/ Osborn throws his rattle on Scottish Independence

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EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
It would seem that Osborn is determined to ensure that the Scots can't have their cake or eat it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22251103

Any thoughts on the idea that an independent Scotland might not be permitted to use the pound in an economic union?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: is there really still 16 months of this to go? :-(
knthrak1982 on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

I can kind of see his point. The newly redefined United Kingdom would be entering a currency union with another country. Seems reasonable that both sides are required to agree.
What currency do most of the pro-independence Scots want?
Chris the Tall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:


> Any thoughts on the idea that an independent Scotland might not be permitted to use the pound in an economic union?

Scotland currently prints it's own notes, but surely we wouldn't allow a foreign country to do this. So Scotland could use sterling, but would have no control over the money supply, which is a very odd and dangerous position to be in.

> It would seem that Osborn is determined to ensure that the Scots can't have their cake or eat it.

Purely as an aside, whats the point of having a cake and not eating it. Ownership of the cake is irrelevant until consumption. So whoever has eaten the cake, and cake always gets eaten eventually, has had their cake as well. Surely the the phrase should be "You can't eat your cake and not have it"

And as a further aside, can I just say that the Peak view cafe near the Cat and Fiddle has the most fantastic array of cakes I have ever seen
davidbeynon - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Purely as an aside, whats the point of having a cake and not eating it. Ownership of the cake is irrelevant until consumption. So whoever has eaten the cake, and cake always gets eaten eventually, has had their cake as well. Surely the the phrase should be "You can't eat your cake and not have it"
>

Ah. I can answer that one. "wanting to have your cake and eat it" is a corruption of an earlier version of the saying which is about "wanting to eat your cake and have it". The older version actually makes sense.

As for the whole scottish independence thing, I aint going there.
Chris the Tall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to davidbeynon:
Ah, I see, so it should be "You can't eat your cake more than once", which is true, but you can always have a second piece of cake, particularly if you've just cycled up a big hill
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: I reckon Salmond has eaten his cake more than once


i'll get my coat
Mike Stretford - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

>
> Any thoughts on the idea that an independent Scotland might not be permitted to use the pound in an economic union?

The Euro has demonstrated the problems of economic union without political union. The Greeks and Italians are no longer independent, Scotland would not be unless it had it's own currency.
MJ - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to knthrak1982:

What currency do most of the pro-independence Scots want?

The Groat.
Postmanpat on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
>
>
> Any thoughts on the idea that an independent Scotland might not be permitted to use the pound in an economic union?

Weird question:

1) An independent Scotland could use whatever currency they want but that does not mean rest of the UK has to take any notice of how this impacts them when formulating policy.

2) Were there an economic union (but not a political union) then they would probably have to use the same currency-but this option is not on the table currently.

Osborne is making the commonsense point that if Scotland wants to have political and economic independence then both parties would have to agree to the concept of a "joint" currency just as parties in the Euro all had to agree.
Ramblin dave - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to knthrak1982:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> I can kind of see his point. The newly redefined United Kingdom would be entering a currency union with another country. Seems reasonable that both sides are required to agree.

I kind of see his point[1] but as with a lot of things, it's arguable that the pound isn't an English thing that we currently let Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland use if they behave themselves, it's a jointly British thing, and hence an independent Scotland would have more of a claim to choose the terms on which they use it than, say, Denmark would if they just randomly decided to adopt it...

I have no idea what the precedents are for this sort of thing.


[1] although he's clearly also playing it up to make independence sound less attractive - in practice, making it harder to do business between Scotland and the remainder of the UK isn't going to be in anyone's best interests...
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to knthrak1982)
> [...]
>
> I kind of see his point[1] but as with a lot of things, it's arguable that the pound isn't an English thing that we currently let Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland use if they behave themselves, it's a jointly British thing, and hence an independent Scotland would have more of a claim to choose the terms on which they use it than, say, Denmark would if they just randomly decided to adopt it...
>
It's not quite like that, since the Bank of England would remain the central bank and all that that entails. Bank of England policies (such as setting interest rates) would be the same for a nominally independent Scotland as for England, so any potential advantages of having an independent currency (own ability to set interest and exchange rates) would be lost. It's always seemed a strange idea for the SNP to be promoting, since it seems to confer no particular advantages and reduces considerably the degrees of independence that can be claimed.
SCrossley on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: Scotland can do what it wants and either print it`s own or use the £,€ or $ no problem, just seems odd that the SDP wants to join a union on something as fundamental as currency with a country it is trying to break ties with.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

If Scotland went independent it would end up in either the pound or the Euro. The pound is already a fairly small currency and there is a lot of trade between England and Scotland. If Scotland was forced into the Euro it would make the pound more marginal as a currency because of the reduced population using it. Many English companies would end up trading in Euro as well as pounds. The banks would start moving operations from London to Edinburgh to be inside the Euro zone.

Saying Scotland would not be permitted to use the pound is an empty threat because the likely end result would be both countries using the Euro.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

I see his point Osbourne and commmon sense are not two phrases I would put together. He is playing politics.

But there are substantial points to be made and the truth is in the middle somewhere.
dissonance - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The banks would start moving operations from London to Edinburgh to be inside the Euro zone.

really? So why havent they popped over to Paris already?
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

For the reasons he mentioned presumably.
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> If Scotland went independent it would end up in either the pound or the Euro. The pound is already a fairly small currency and there is a lot of trade between England and Scotland.

6% of England's trade goes to Scotland. 30% of Scotland's trade goes to England.

> If Scotland was forced into the Euro it would make the pound more marginal as a currency because of the reduced population using it.

Seriously?

> Many English companies would end up trading in Euro as well as pounds.

They already do. Both English and Scottish banks have extensive international operations, and trade in a very wide range of currencies.

> The banks would start moving operations from London to Edinburgh to be inside the Euro zone.

Why do they have to move? You don't have to be in any particular country to trade in their currency.
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Saying Scotland would not be permitted to use the pound is an empty threat because the likely end result would be both countries using the Euro.

Really? I don't see the UK switching to the Euro at any time in the foreseeable future and I don't see that independence for Scotland going to change that.

Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

He didn't say they would have to move. This is a technique that characterises UKC - make someone defend a point they have never made and when they don't bother or can't, as they didn't say it, then the other party claims victory and proof of their own argument.
999thAndy on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Tom said "The banks would start moving operations from London to Edinburgh to be inside the Euro zone."

Which I would read as meaning they'd move.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> If Scotland went independent it would end up in either the pound or the Euro.

I think this is the rub. There is an assumption that Scotland will use the pound or euro, but there is no guarantee, or more still, would it be in Scotland's interests to just use whatever currency happens to be in-vogue? Sure, Scotland can use the currency of their choice, but they would be very much at the whim of policy set well and truly outside their control.
MG - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> Any thoughts on the idea that an independent Scotland might not be permitted to use the pound in an economic union?

The options seems to be Euro, Sterling or Scottish Pound. The first two imply being attached to a bigger currency without political union, with the potential for Greek/Irish/Spanish type problems. The second would be a new, small currency with no history which would imply volitility and higher borrowing costs. As with it seems all policy areas the SNP haven't actually thought through their position and just oscillate between advocating the three options depending on the time of day and who they are talking to.

Or, of course there is the status quo of political and economic union, or something similar, which works pretty well.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

Correct, he didn't say they would be forced to move which is what Tony appears to believe he said.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

I think you are right, those are the three main options. It's good to be talking about the mechanics of this as opposed to just dismissing it all out of hand.
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to 999thAndy)
>
> Correct, he didn't say they would be forced to move which is what Tony appears to believe he said.

What I appear to believe ... You're a fine one to tell people off for assuming things.

Tom's point was that banks would move in order to be inside the Euro zone. My point was was that geographical location has no bearing on currency trading. Perhaps you might like to let Tom answer the point?
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

I am just saying that you picked him up wrong. Sorry if you find this to be a personal affront but you did get it wrong.

I am not stopping you answering him - go ahead.
999thAndy on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

What's your opinion of Apple products?
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> I am just saying that you picked him up wrong. Sorry if you find this to be a personal affront but you did get it wrong.
>
What did I get wrong? He said banks would move, and I asked why they'd have to move to do something they can already do.

> I am not stopping you answering him - go ahead.

Err, I asked him a question - I'm waiting for him to answer it (rather than waiting for you to stick your oar in with your own misunderstandings).

knthrak1982 on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> What's your opinion of Apple products?

I like crumble but prefer it with cream rather than custard.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

If you mean iMacs etc then I think them better than most PCs but not worth the extra cost and restrictive use of software.

What is your opinion on Black Diamond Kilowatt Skis?
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

You said "Why do they have to move?" and I merely pointed out that he didn't say they would have to move. You added that bit in.
999thAndy on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Never used them. (Actually I didn't know BD made skis)
Steve John B - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
> >
> Osborne is making the commonsense point that if Scotland wants to have political and economic independence then both parties would have to agree to the concept of a "joint" currency just as parties in the Euro all had to agree.

Which apparently counts as throwing his rattle...
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> You said "Why do they have to move?" and I merely pointed out that he didn't say they would have to move. You added that bit in.

I asked why they had to move to do something they can already do. F*ck, you're being dim today.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

You should do. They are excellent with the O1 binding. Skiing is the new climbing, or at least for climbers who want something less brutal and scary in winter ;-)
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

There are some interesting points put by both sides to the debate.

Basically Scotland will need a stable currency with good financial underpinnings so that someone who holds/invests in their currency will know that it is worth pretty much what it says on the face of the note. Setting up a central Bank of Scotland (with what gold/currency reserves?) may not convince people of that - hence the choice between either joining the Euro (which to be honest seems the more obvious one to me) or retaining Sterling but having an agreement with the Bank of England that it will stand behind notes issued through the arrangement.

The quid pro quo of the B of E providing that service is likely to be that Scotland will have to give financial/fiscal assurances to the UK and let the UK have considerable control over their finances. Very much as Germany does with the smaller Eurozone states - except in this instance the balance of power would be even more tilted towards the UK in proportion to Scotland (less than 10% of GB's GDP is currently from Scotland and 90% from the "rest" as opposed to Germany's GDP being "only" 30% of the Eurozone's).

This hardly looks like full independence and we have seen what happened with Greece/Cyprus etc both in terms of getting out of step with the Eurozone (which is what could happen with Scotland if locked financially to the UK but having de-linked the economies and fiscal arrangements) and the influence of Germany over those smaller countries.

The counter argument is that Scotland has contributed to GB's financial position and should continue to have access to B of E support. However, it is clear that Salmon et al already don't look on that as anything other than a fairly short term measure. Presumably as it does indeed mean that they won't be truly independent. They have also used the "threat" that, if they don't receive the continuing support of the B of E, then they will leave Scotland's part of the UK's debt behind (I imagine that's been factored in by the UK already to be honest). Regardless, whilst they can (and do) talk a good talk, they won't be negotiating from a strong position. It shouldn't be forgotten that Scotland would be choosing to leave the UK and, in fact, being allowed to leave. I doubt that Scotland would be very successful in dictating terms which are unhelpful to the economies of the remaining 90%.

When all is said and done, however, having a messy divorce and fall out over the financial settlement and maintenance conditions doesn't strike me as very sensible if it can be avoided. But that seems to be what Salmon wants.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

No, you said "Why do they have to move?" He didn't say they have to move. It's pretty simple.

Why did you add that bit in?
Tyler - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Is this really the level of debate we can expect for the next 18 months? Surely you can see you are being disingenuous? True, Tom never mentioned any sort of compulsion to move but without it being implied then his sentence makes no sense he's just saying business would move for no reason whatsoever. Do you support Tom's assertion that businesses would move?
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

This makes some interesting reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_Czechoslovakia#Currency_division

Incidentally, Salmond is but one person in this as is Cameron.
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> No, you said "Why do they have to move?" He didn't say they have to move. It's pretty simple.
>
> Why did you add that bit in?

He said they would move. I added that bit in to find out why he thought they would move so that they would be in the Euro zone, when in fact their geographical location is irrelevant.
Leonard Tedd - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Osborn twice made reference to Panama, which uses the US dollar, in his interview on the Today programme this morning. Interesting link to the catastrophic Darien scheme, which directly led to the 1707 union in the first place...
cuppatea on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Maybe the Scots could start using "Pounds Stirling"

I'll get my coat.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Tyler:

Yes it is. In the UK an informed and non-biased debate is impossible. People are unable to see merit in others' arguments even if they disagree. That standard way of addressing an opposing opinion is to dismiss it totally out of hand and shoot it down. No matter how protest there is, Tony either misunderstood Tom's point or added to it. That is no big deal and the reaction to me pointing this out is indicative.

Take HS2, there are clearly good arguments for and against it but on balance a good thing I think. But the antis can see no merit at all.

The same is true of windfarms. There is nothing wrong with being anti them on aesthetic grounds but to deny any benefit is just stupid. This is what many of the antis do though.

Re Tom's point, of course I do. Businesses move all the time. When changes come along of course they are all going to assess those changes according to their own benefit.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

OK thanks for the clarification.
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> and hence an independent Scotland would have more of a claim to choose the terms on which they use it...

But this could no longer be the GBP, which would be the currency for what was left in the Union of Great Britain, the simplest would be to call theirs the Scottish Pound (SP) or probably, I imagine, most Scots would want to be able to use the Euro, if they remained in the EU. If their were two pounds, GBP and SP, then these would initially be at the same value but the exchange rate could vary afterwards... A fixed exchange rate would be delicate to negotiate after the country had chosen to break away.

Although with a bit of luck none of this will be required if we all remain as we are now :-)
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Leonard Tedd:

I didn't hear that but it would really be scraping the barrel of weak arguments to bring that up. I thought this was meant to be a clean and open, informed discussion.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

Excellent post that. Could I ask a question though?

> They have also used the "threat" that, if they don't receive the continuing support of the B of E, then they will leave Scotland's part of the UK's debt behind

Is this true, and does it hold any water?

I have been constantly surprised that if a YES vote were passed, the whole thing appears to be a done deal. I can't help thinking that perhaps I (as a resident south of the border) would like a vote on the final settlement as it will surely affect me. I am surprised this hasn't been mentioned. The Scottish desire for independence and the deal brokered to enable independence are surely two different things?
Sir Chasm - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: There might be a vote in parliament, your vote, however, is delegated to your mp.
FrankBooth - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
Scotland seem to make quite a play about adopting the Scandinavian model - high taxation but with equally high quality-of-life/social support to go with it. Given that the Scottish population is almost identical to Denmark, is it that far-fetched to suggest they could support an independent currency in the same way?
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Isn't that why we vote for politicians though? To get them to do stuff on our behalf? If you want a direct say you will need to become an elected politician.
Tyler - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Re Tom's point, of course I do.

So why do you think "The banks would start moving operations from London to Edinburgh to be inside the Euro zone"? Banks can do that from their already established bases so what would change as a result of an independent Scotland joining the Euro?


cuppatea on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:


If Scotland had a separate currency to the rest of the UK and didn't use the Euro then it would make it easier for the New UK to buy Scotland back after any economic disaster that might befall Scotland.

Like what happened after the Darien Scheme.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darien_scheme
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Tyler:

I don't think that. As I said, I think businesses will move and assess any change according tor their own situations.

Clearly if a new state with financial powers comes into existence then banks will want to be involved in that. Common sense in my view.
Tyler - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> I don't think that.

Eh? But that was Tom's point (I've copied it verbatim) which you said you agreed with!:

Me: Do you agree with Tom's assertion that business would move
You: Of course I do

Did you mean to write 'Of course I don't'?
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> I can't help thinking that perhaps I (as a resident south of the border) would like a vote on the final settlement as it will surely affect me. I am surprised this hasn't been mentioned. The Scottish desire for independence and the deal brokered to enable independence are surely two different things?

Just as the Scottish residents (but not the Scottish people, apparently) will have a vote on independence, something original for mainland Britain but which had already taken place in Ireland, then there is absolutely no reason why the entire British people should not have a vote on the final treaty. Just as in Europe we have all been able to vote in referendums (a?) to ratify or refuse various treaties. This seems obvious to me but from what the SNP delegation on ukc appear to be saying is not obvious to all.

It seems that everybody is democratic but some are more democratic than others.
rossh - on 23 Apr 2013

At the end of the day despite what the pro-independence people say, Salmond is cornered when it comes to the currency.

Suggesting a new currency for Scotland is a complete non-starter as it would ensure complete annihalation in the ballot as after all who is going to risk their life savings on the basis of one of Alex Salmonds assertions. The Euro crisis has put paid to any notion of using that.

The SNP are therefore left in the feeble position of talking up a currency union with the UK. Despite what the SNP say, Scotland will have a weak negotiating position given it only has around 7-8% of the UKs population.
graeme jackson - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to knthrak1982:
> What currency do most of the pro-independence Scots want?

The Buckfast
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Take HS2, there are clearly good arguments for and against it but on balance a good thing I think. But the antis can see no merit at all.

Well... as someone who has HS2 proposed to be passing within 300m of my house on a ramped up and open viaduct, I know a little about how this feels. I can see *some* merit in it and I am not actively opposing it. However, also as someone who often travels on the train between B'ham and London (mostly business) I have to confess I don't really see the need (and I think it will probably damage business in the Midlands) so, taken together with the very direct financial impact I am suffering, I oppose it in a quiet way. Most people I know in the region actually feel pretty much the same, lukewarm at best. The real point most protestors are making is one of compensation, which is both non-existent for most (which includes me) and difficult to obtain even if you should qualify. Of course, to press that case, most protestors are throwing the kitchen sink into the argument - stupid not to really as a starting point. So, I think you're actually wrong. Perhaps the debate is more subtle than many realise?
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> Is this true, and does it hold any water?

Well, the SNP have said that, yes. Whether it would bother what is rest of the UK, I don't know. As I said, I rather suspect that it's been factored in already (ie. an assumption "we" may have to continue to take on that debt without the ongoing financial contribution of Scotland).

> I have been constantly surprised that if a YES vote were passed, the whole thing appears to be a done deal. I can't help thinking that perhaps I (as a resident south of the border) would like a vote on the final settlement as it will surely affect me.

My understanding is that indeed it is more or less a done deal if Scotland votes Yes. The rest of the UK would be letting them decide whether to leave - although they probably have no legal right to independence. But as you imply, the Gov't appear to have made a decision on behalf of the whole population (who voted them in I suppose). I agree that it seems a bit odd not to have had a wider vote on it of some form.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

Probably on a face to face basis. In the press forget it.
Ramblin dave - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
I'm being super dense, here, but is the basic idea that the actual terms for independence won't be pinned down until after a potential "yes" vote?

And is there any way that this won't end up with the run up to the referendum being dominated by massive amounts of fear uncertainty and doubt from the No campaign and wishful thinking from the Yes campaign?
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

I dont think they have said that at all. Where did you get that from?

Re legal right to independence? What are you talking about? It's not up to the UK to grant permission. The right to self determination is a principle well recognised around the world and as part of the UN.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Yes you are right on that (terms) and yes and yes. The UK government doesn't want to enter in the mechanics of this, which I can understand. If they did it would mean more people would think a yes vote a real possibility.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Isn't that why we vote for politicians though? To get them to do stuff on our behalf? If you want a direct say you will need to become an elected politician.

Indeed. But since we live in party system, you vote on a manifesto. In the UK I don't think any of the parties had anything to do with the independence of Scotland in the last election. It is only the SNP banging on about it and living in the England, I don't get to vote for them.

I would imagine that if you get the YES vote through, the pressure will be on the UK parliament to either do a very good deal for the remaining UK or to give some sort of say to the people.
MG - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
> I'm being super dense,

No, you are spot on with that post. I do find it rather amazing that pretty much every turn in the debate shows more and more clearly how little thought the yes campaign has given all the key questions. This does mean the no campaign don't really need do much but wait as the wheels fall off one by one for the SNP. Still, this suits me fine.
dissonance - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
> I'm being super dense, here, but is the basic idea that the actual terms for independence won't be pinned down until after a potential "yes" vote?

how could you vote on something without understanding the terms it will work under?
Unless there will be another vote to actually say yes or no?

EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I'm being super dense, here, but is the basic idea that the actual terms for independence won't be pinned down until after a potential "yes" vote?

That is how I see it. The Scots are only voting on whether to be independent or not. There is no mention of what currency will be used, how debt will be split, oil reserves / investments, defence and all the other fluff that will need to be split in order to create two new entities, hence my scepticism as to the fact that a YES vote will simply allow Scotland to set its terms.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Yes but you wont get a vote on it at all as none of the parties standing offered that.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

You do realise the reason for this? The UK Government dont want to negotiate so the electorate is going into it blind. It's the No campaign who dont want discussion of the practicalities as 1) it doesn't suit their constant attacking and 2) it will mean that people will start to consider it. They don't want people to do that - they want people to dismiss it with no thought.
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> I dont think they have said that at all. Where did you get that from?

Quote from BBC: "Mr Swinney (Scottish Finance Minister) said the Treasury was "playing with fire" in its arguments.

He said: "The chancellor is arguing in his paper that the UK would be the successor state, that it would hold on to the pound and we somehow could not get access to that.

"If that is his position then the UK as a successor state is obliged to hold on to all the debt and we would be liberated from a population share of UK debt of £125bn."

So, yes, they have said that.


> Re legal right to independence? What are you talking about? It's not up to the UK to grant permission. The right to self determination is a principle well recognised around the world and as part of the UN.

It is not clear cut and I assume you are aware of that. Whilst, yes, the UK has signed up to the UN charter acknowledging the right of self determination, it is open for debate how that is ... determined and put into place. For example who gets to vote, and on what, and who sets the gound rules?

This is a very different position to a country being annexed by another (eg, the Falklands by Argentina). Here we have a small part of a large (ish) country wanting to break away. From wiki...

"The legality of any British constituent country attaining de facto independence (in the same manner as the origins of the Irish Republic) or declaring unilateral independence outside the framework of British constitutional convention is uncertain. Some legal opinion following the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on what steps Quebec would need to take to secede is that Scotland would be unable to unilaterally declare independence under international law if the British government permitted a referendum on an unambiguous question on secession.[56][57] Rather, the SNP claims that a positive vote for independence in a referendum would have "enormous moral and political force... impossible for a future [Westminster] government to ignore" "


Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

I see where you are coming from, hardly a threat, unless you feel threatened, ore an explantion. Think of it in a similar vein to the posts above where posters say the rUK would need to get the best deal possible.

I think you are getting confused about self determination and apart from yourself and few right wing people, no one including the UK questions any legal right to become independent or otherwise. It's fairly well established across the globe. On other planets I amn't sure.

No one is talking about annexing anyone else.
MG - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall: I don't think abstract legal arguments count for much. Clearly if Scotland votes yes, it will become, in some sense, independent. The reason it won't happen isn't legal but because, at most, there will be a 40% vote in favour.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Yes but you wont get a vote on it at all as none of the parties standing offered that.

We will see. There will be another election before you get your L plates and you can never underestimate the conformance of even the most hardened politicians when pitted against an aggressive London-centric press.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Yes you are right. Do you want a bet on the outcome? I say £10 to our local MRTs. I give £10 if there is a no outcome and you £10 if there is a yes outcome.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> You do realise the reason for this? The UK Government dont want to negotiate so the electorate is going into it blind. It's the No campaign who dont want discussion of the practicalities as 1) it doesn't suit their constant attacking and 2) it will mean that people will start to consider it. They don't want people to do that - they want people to dismiss it with no thought.

Agreed. But at the moment, this isn't an issue for the rest of the UK. It is an issue for Scotland only. If a Yes vote is passed, I will bet my bottom dollar that suddenly the rest of the UK will wake up.
MG - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: Done.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Fair enough but just so we are clear why people are going into this blind.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Good and thanks. I am not suggesting for a second that your word is not good but do you remember "Dribbler" on these forums who bet me a similar amount on some election result he got totally wrong. Unfortunately he wasn't good for his word though and refused to pay!

He clearly had issues.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> Yes you are right. Do you want a bet on the outcome? I say £10 to our local MRTs. I give £10 if there is a no outcome and you £10 if there is a yes outcome.

Can we all take this bet? It's a worthy cause.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> Fair enough but just so we are clear why people are going into this blind.

It matters not a jot whether we (the rest of the UK) are blind or not. We have no say in the matter. Whether we have a say in the final settlement / deal is another matter all together.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Can we all take this bet? It's a worthy cause.

My goodness. Who would have thought the financial future of MRT's was to be dictated by the Scottish referendum?!
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

No you misunderstand me. The electorate in Scotland will be unable to get real facts on things like who gets what assets etc as the UKG doesn't want to have that conversation.
Jim C - on 23 Apr 2013
I am undecided (plenty of time)

However, there was a chap ex UK treasuary on the radio just this morning who said Osborne was scaremongering, and there was in fact a positive impact for Britain of having the Scottish Oil revenues, for example, within the pound sterling, whether that was from an independant Scotland or part of a union as it is now.

There are so many tall tales being told on both sides that it not helful for anyone trying to make a reasoned decision. I tend to believe neither, and when I look into most of the headlines, there is usually not a clear cut answer, but either way it is never as bad as each side say when they scaremonger on the issues.

If independance happens,the world will still turn.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

It's a worthy cause anyway and I can only afford one bet, on any issue. Donate your money because you want to, not because of me.
MG - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: If you want to set up an escrow account, I will happily put my money in it! Given the discussion, we should maybe be clear that we are talking pounds sterling here.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> No you misunderstand me. The electorate in Scotland will be unable to get real facts on things like who gets what assets etc as the UKG doesn't want to have that conversation.

Surely the marriage is either over or not? Or would you stay in a marriage just because divorce wouldn't be lucrative enough?
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> No you misunderstand me. The electorate in Scotland will be unable to get real facts on things like who gets what assets etc as the UKG doesn't want to have that conversation.

But is it not the case that this will be discussed after a yes vote? I have heard some commentators giving figures of between 1 year and 18 months to broker a deal. After all, these are not simple matters. It seems like a hell of a waste of time and effort to go through those negotiations, give only one side a vote on it, only for it all to be discarded should a no vote be returned.

My feeling is that if you get your Yes vote, there will then be a couple of years of negotiation and then a UK wide referendum on the settlement. I could be wrong, but that is certainly the democratic way of doing things.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...]
>
> Err, I asked him a question - I'm waiting for him to answer it (rather than waiting for you to stick your oar in with your own misunderstandings).

What I was trying to argue was that Scotland joining the Euro would set up a dynamic that would drag England towards the Euro. Currencies are based on confidence and once confidence starts to be undermined people feel the need to diversify or jump ship entirely to protect their position.

If Scotland joined the Euro about 1/10 of the people and businesses and government agencies holding pounds would need to convert their pounds into euros. Companies in England trading with Scotland will want to hold some of their assets in Euros. That scale of selling is going to affect the value of the pound. Organisations outside Scotland holding pounds and financial speculators will see that the pound is going to lose value and start taking positions to protect themselves.

Edinburgh as a financial centre is already closely linked to London, lots of people move between the cities and lots of companies have a presence in both cities. There's no language or culture barrier or time difference. If you add in EU regulations to make it harder to do Euro business outside the Euro zone there's going to be a rebalancing of operations between London and Edinburgh. In a situation with Edinburgh in the Euro zone and London out the EU will be happy for Euro business to drain out of London towards Edinburgh.

I don't think any of this will happen because the guys in the City will have figured this out years ago and they'll make sure the UK government doesn't push Scotland out the pound. Similarly, the bankers in Frankfurt and Paris will recognise Scottish independence is a possible lever to get England into the Euro and undermine London as a financial centre and will make sure the door is open for Scotland to join the EU and Euro.

Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Good point lol!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Ramblin dave - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> [...]
>
> But is it not the case that this will be discussed after a yes vote? I have heard some commentators giving figures of between 1 year and 18 months to broker a deal. After all, these are not simple matters. It seems like a hell of a waste of time and effort to go through those negotiations, give only one side a vote on it, only for it all to be discarded should a no vote be returned.

But it also seems mental to ask people whether they want independence or not without first deciding what independence would entail.

> My feeling is that if you get your Yes vote, there will then be a couple of years of negotiation and then a UK wide referendum on the settlement. I could be wrong, but that is certainly the democratic way of doing things.

I'm pretty thoroughly unconvinced by that - as far as I know, we've always previously taken the view that secession is a matter for the seceeding party - witness, for instance, the Good Friday agreement and the noise we've been making about self determination with regards to the Falklands, as well as our general attitude in foreign affairs. And I've never heard anything from the government to the contrary.

Which then leaves you with the slightly weird position of negotiating the terms of something which you've already agreed is going to happen - how exactly would it be possible for anyone to put their foot down, so as to speak?
tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Thanks for taking the time to give such a considered response.

However, I think there are a whole load of ifs and buts and maybes - I see no enthusiasm for the Euro on either side of the border, and so I don't see any kind of leverage being exerted one way or another.

Given the scale of trade with Europe between both England and Scotland, I really don't see that English companies trading with Scotland will be in a different position to that if they were dealing with anywhere else that operates the euro - they can cope fine at the moment dealing in euros, pounds, dollars and so on.

If the bankers in Frankfurt and Paris want to undermine London as a financial centre, I would imagine they would come up with something a bit less uncertain than the outcome of a Scottish referendum.
EeeByGum - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> But it also seems mental to ask people whether they want independence or not without first deciding what independence would entail.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg, or in this case, the idea of independence, or the massive technicalities of the reality?

> I'm pretty thoroughly unconvinced by that - as far as I know, we've always previously taken the view that secession is a matter for the seceeding party - witness, for instance, the Good Friday agreement and the noise we've been making about self determination with regards to the Falklands, as well as our general attitude in foreign affairs. And I've never heard anything from the government to the contrary.

A fair point, but the Good Friday agreement was about brokering an agreement and peace between sectarian groups within one state. With regard to the Falklands, it would not matter a jot to the average UK mainland citizen what happens to them... unless they discover oil!

Scotland on the other hand is tightly integrated into Britain. Separation will have far reaching impacts on just about everyone. Is it not right that we all have a say in that?
Al Evans on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: Why the F does Scotland want independence anyway? Is it a purely nationalistic fervour like a football crowd or does it make any kind of economic sense? Anymore than Yorkshire seeking independence? The idea of Scotland seeking independence seems insane to me.
Then again I can't see why Ireland wanted independence, it's nearly as stupid as the Sunni v Shiite wars in Syria etc, but at least they have a background religious significance, the basis for Scottish independence just seems completely unfounded.
adsheff - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Would be a bit odd to leave the close-to-home 300 year old union, only to turn to the much bigger, further-from-home, harder-to-influence EU and seek closer integration with them (of which UK is one of the largest members). Also with current set up they have influence and say over UK policy, whereas upon independence they would undoubtedly rely heavily on the UK for trade etc, but have absolutely no say over how it is run.
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> I see where you are coming from, hardly a threat, unless you feel threatened, ore an explantion.

Explanation, threat, whatever. Same result.


> I think you are getting confused about self determination

No but I think you are.

> No one is talking about annexing anyone else.

Er, that was the point I was making - in which case self determination is easy to define. In this case, less so.

Should Cornwall be allowed to self determine? Should only locals vote, or the whole of the UK?


tony on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) Why the F does Scotland want independence anyway?

Because it feels like a different place to England, and for many years there has been a feeling that being attached to England is not in the best interests of Scotland. Because Scotland wants to stand on its own feet and be accountable to itself. Because Thatcher screwed the country and stripped big chunks of it of their dignity and they want to restore their sense of dignity on their own terms. Because it already has its own laws for a whole host of subjects and independence is seen by some as being the logical next step.

> Is it a purely nationalistic fervour like a football crowd or does it make any kind of economic sense? Anymore than Yorkshire seeking independence?

You keep bringing Yorkshire into the discussion. It's irrelevant. The future of Yorkshire is for people in Yorkshire to decide - if they're happy with what they get from Westminster they can stick with it. The future of Scotland is for people in Scotland to decide - if they think they're going to be better off under their own steam, then it's going to be up to them to make their own way.

And you're woefully mistaken if you think it's just about economics. Having a working economy is one part, but having the ability to make one's own way and taking responsibility for one's own actions is a bigger part.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

Anyone should be allowed to vote. If they get themselves organised and to a critical mass it's fine.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

Excellent post Tony and a joy to read. Wish I could say the same about my work docs this afternoon. The sun shines though outside.
almost sane - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to adsheff:
> Also with current set up they have influence and say over UK policy, whereas upon independence they would undoubtedly rely heavily on the UK for trade etc, but have absolutely no say over how it is run.

"Scotland has a say in UK policy?" What is this Scotland of which you speak?

As I see it, influence on UK policy comes from:
Large commercial concerns, people like the major banks, BP, GlaxoSmithKlein, etc.
Big media and communications players like Sky, BBC, Murdoch, Google.
Academics, theorists and think-tanks.
Shapers and reflectors of popular views, ranging from the Sun and the Mail to the Today programme on Radio 4 and HIGNFY to best selling authors to pop stars...
Mass-membership organisations like the RSPB or the Scouts.
and so on.

Some of these organisational influencers are officially based in England. Some are based in Scotland. Some are global concerns with the UK as just one of their points of presence. The people who are part of these bodies of influence are based here, there and everywhere.
These various influences rarely speak with a united voice.

So who is this "Scotland" that so influences UK policy?

Oh, and the same sort of web of influences and vested interests are already being brought to bear on the Scottish parliament, and independence is likely to increase this.
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Anyone should be allowed to vote. If they get themselves organised and to a critical mass it's fine.

Very sweeping. As you're so keen on the rule of international law, how many countries do you think would recognise an independent Cornwall? And just what effect does that have on the UK's own laws?

As you are probably aware, these things tend to 'happen' as the larger nations move to recognise new countries and local laws are effectively rewritten (or not) as a result.

The real point being that the UK is choosing not to stand in the way of Scotland if it does decide to part company. Ok, in practice, the UK could eventually be forced to accept an independent Scotland if there were a unilateral decision on the part of Scotland to break away and if enough countries recognised an independent Scotland (which they probably would). However, I do think the point has been a little overlooked that Westminster is doing the right thing here, rather than being forced to do so kicking and screaming.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

I think you are living in a bit of a fantasy world. Westminster did everything it could to not have a vote in the first place. This vote is happening despite the wishes of the Tories, Labours and some other minor party who say they want liberal democracy.
Postmanpat on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

There is something deeply ironical that, only a week after Thatcher's funeral, the PM whose Anglocentric fiscal and monetary policies are held responsible for the destruction of Scottish industry, that the nationalists seem so upset that they might not be able to be subject to anglocentric economic policies in the future.
Eric9Points - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Deeply ironical or deeply cynical?

I agree though.
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

How do you define "nationalist" in the Scottish nationalist context? Someone who supports an independent Scotland?
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> The electorate in Scotland will be unable to get real facts on things like who gets what assets etc as the UKG doesn't want to have that conversation.

What stops the SNP setting out their conditions and demanding clarity - about the currency, the debt shares, the monarchy, military bases and nuclear power stations etc. If I was in the SNP I would insist on clarifying all these and many more questions before the referendum as if they are left in the air people won't really know what they are voting for.

As the SNP hasn't done this, and you yourself, a long time SNP member, have always been loth to answer questions on the subject, we are forced to wonder if it is really just Cameron who is blocking any moves towards clarity?
Postmanpat on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> How do you define "nationalist" in the Scottish nationalist context? Someone who supports an independent Scotland?
>
Yes, seems to be what the Scottish nationalist party wants or is Mr.Salmond spoofing?

Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Let me explain to you why I never bother to answer your posts and will ignore you on that one too.

I found your behavour utterly repugnant on a recent thread on UKC when even the deaths of a some climbers were not enough to stop you raising your obsession with this subject. That you would stoop so low and are so utterly out of touch with feelings is indicative. UKC deleted your comments and my response and good on them. Your posts were an utter disgrace.

I believe you have mental issues, as evidenced by much of what you write and your closed mind to any reason. In short, it's a total waste of time applying any energy to you. It's all a bit sad.

Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Well that means on your own definition you are a British Nationalist.
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to almost sane:

> So who is this "Scotland" that so influences UK policy?

The same as that "England" or that "Wales" which influences UK policy - they all elect representatives to Parliament. In fact Scotland has more than England per capita as they also have a local Parliament, not to mention all those Scots who have been ministers, PMs and so on.

There is no discrimination, all citizens have a vote - non-citizens who reside in Britain have cause for complaint though, they work but have no say at all.
Douglas Griffin - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> What stops the SNP setting out their conditions and demanding clarity - about the currency, the debt shares, the monarchy, military bases and nuclear power stations etc.

The Scottish Government already has the authority re. nuclear power stations and its position on that one is quite clear.

The SNP has also made clear that it would envisage Scotland retaining the Queen as Head of State.
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

What thread was that then?

As far as I remember the only person who has ever had any of my posts removed was you (maybe one other), you always sulk and get in a huff when asked to explain the positions that justify you nationalism, for years you even pretended not to be in the SNP, before you most recent of numerous name changes, but even since you have "come out" you are still using any pretext to go beyond emotional generalisation.

Come on now, don't sulk and play the prima-donna, explain clearly your party's position, that's what a debate is - why run away from it?
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>
> The Scottish Government already has the authority re. nuclear power stations and its position on that one is quite clear.
*
No polemic but would Scotland be entirely independent concerning nuclear power? It is an example as I would have thought that it might be more cost effective for some sharing on such a technical problem.
>
> The SNP has also made clear that it would envisage Scotland retaining the Queen as Head of State.

Yes but "envisage" is not really an answer though, is it? Maybe people in Scotland don't think it's important but it could lead to problems of credibility afterwards - Donald says it's all down to Cameron but this seems a bit of a cop out to me - now he's refusing to answer because of some remark he imagined I made at some time in the past on a totally unrelated subject, but more responsible SNP spokespeople might be able to give a more informative response?

Postmanpat on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Well that means on your own definition you are a British Nationalist.
>
By that definition, so I am.

If you prefer me to use the term "independentists" or another of your choice that's fine. Or perhaps "Scottish Nationalist Party" to clarify that these are the nationalists I was referring to and this is the term they use to describe themselves.



Douglas Griffin - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> No polemic but would Scotland be entirely independent concerning nuclear power? It is an example as I would have thought that it might be more cost effective for some sharing on such a technical problem.

The current policy would continue, i.e. no new-build nuclear power stations on the territory of Scotland.

Nuclear weapons are a far bigger issue than nuclear power in the minds of most people. The SNP policy is for there to be no nuclear weapons on the Clyde or anywhere else in Scotland. The UK has nowhere else to put its independent nuclear deterrent base at present. There would surely be some hard bargaining around this one in the event of a Yes vote.

> Yes but "envisage" is not really an answer though, is it?

OK, the SNP wants to retain the Queen as Head of State. (God knows why, but it does.) Is there any precedent for this being refused in the past? Can you really see Scotland not being a member of the Commonwealth if it wanted to? This is surely one of the least controversial areas and one which in my opinion most people won't even consider when weighing up the pros and cons prior to the vote in 2015.

The policy on currency needs to be more clearly set out, no argument there.

Alex Massie's recent blogs on these and other independence matters have been well worth reading, e.g:
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/alex-massie/2013/04/are-the-snps-plans-for-a-currency-union-a-expedient...
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/alex-massie/2013/03/nemo-me-impune-lacessit-defending-an-independent-sc...
Cuthbert on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

I mind either way. As long as we are all clear. I see the Orange Order has now aligned itself with "Better together"
Jim Fraser - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

(As recently submitted elsewhere on the same subject.)

I am ambivalent to the independence issue but recent disinformatiom requires intelligent review.

Check out Luxembourg. Currency union with its neighbours since 1922, until 1999 with the Belgian franc but using its own notes, and no sign of it or Belgium suffering financial harm through that arrangement. If I remember correctly, 2011 IMF figures show Luxembourg to be the second richest country in the world. Check out the richest: currency union again but not notes.

Based on the facts of such unions in Europe, the competence of the Treasury is up for question. If the rating agencies understood how stupid they are, how low would the UK sink?


In reply to Saor Alba:
Now for"Mason Boyne" sharing a platform with Alistair Darling!
Skyfall - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> I think you are living in a bit of a fantasy world. Westminster did everything it could to not have a vote in the first place.

Personally I can understand why they have tried to avoid it. However, are you overlooking the fact that every government in the last 20 years or so has conceded the point that Scotland should be allowed the right to self determination. Despite the legality of the situation (which i notice you have stopped arguing).
Postmanpat on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> (As recently submitted elsewhere on the same subject.)
>
> I am ambivalent to the independence issue but recent disinformatiom requires intelligent review.
>
> Check out Luxembourg. Currency union with its neighbours since 1922, until 1999 with the Belgian franc but using its own notes, and no sign of it or Belgium suffering financial harm through that arrangement. If I remember correctly, 2011 IMF figures show Luxembourg to be the second richest country in the world. Check out the richest: currency union again but not notes.
>
>
You can't seriously think this example is comparable? Luxembourg is barely even a country. It's population is marginally larger than Brighton, most of whom are probably Eurocrats or German tax dodgers :)

ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> You can't seriously think this example is comparable? Luxembourg is barely even a country. It's population is marginally larger than Brighton.

It's one of the myths printed here and there to encourage the Nationalists, the other one is that overnight Scotland would suddenly become another Norway... If this were really possible it could have happened already, the truth is that cultures and ways of life in each country are different for all sorts of reasons and can't just be transported elsewhere where the objective and subjective conditions are different.

Some may believe that Scotland has been held back by England and that when this domination is removed all will be wonderful but surely devolution would already have given us a glimpse of such wonders already? In Britain as a whole it seems to be lack of imagination and class domination of riches that are holding the country down and yet even the independentists seem to be avoiding shedding the greatest symbol of this, the monarchy and the aristocratic system that shelters behind it! One of the things they could most do without and they don't even have the courage to do it... hardly a sign of great things to come, looks more like more of the turgid same but in two bits with a border between.

Even more jobs for the boys though :-)
Fat Bumbly2 - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Norway is still a monarchy, but admittedly with only a fraction of the BS that surrounds our institution. Definitely less malignant.

As for scare stories, I suppose death of first born, sky falling in and loss of control of the Loch Ness Monster are being left til nearer the day.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

When were you last in Scotland, Bruce? And have you ever lived there? There have always been some differences between the parts of the UK and Scotland has been deliberately studying and copying many aspects of the various Nordic political and socio-economic structures. It is already a different place to England and the huge changes over the last decade show that countries can and do change. Scotland has changed, is changing and no doubt will continue to do so.
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> When were you last in Scotland, Bruce?

Not very long ago, why? Obviously there are differences between Scotland and Kent but that's has always been the case, as it is in all but the smallest of countries - in France, Italy, and Germany, for example you'll find differences too - France being one of the most varied countries in Europe but this in itself doesn't imply splitting up into all the components like in medieval times, any more than ethnic differences imply separate ethnic nations. The historical trend is towards less primitive ways of thinking and living together.

> Scotland has changed, is changing and no doubt will continue to do so.

As have just about every country in the world, fortunately. My last visit to Scotland, which involved arriving at Glasgow airport, I noticed changes since my previous trips, a greater prosperity seemed apparent in Glasgow and in Fort William too, the hills hadn't changed much though, but I don't quite see how this contradicts what I said about the fatuity of looking for a small independent country nearby and then saying that this is what Scotland will be like but only with independence. This jump of logic is wishful thinking, and unless someone can point out what precise changes independence will bring that will enable such a change and that cannot be implemented within the present borders will remain just this - spin.

None of which is for or against independence, there may be better arguments which the Nationalists are saving for later in the campaign.

PS. I first went to Scotland in 1969 - long before you were born, so I'm better placed than you to comment on any changes!
tony on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> PS. I first went to Scotland in 1969 - long before you were born, so I'm better placed than you to comment on any changes!

I first came to Scotland in 1965, and I've lived here over half my life. Does that mean I'm even better placed than you? Is this a new version of Top Trumps? Where's Norrie when he's got much better cards?
Postmanpat on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Where's Norrie when he's got much better cards?
>
Scotland?

Cuthbert on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

Well said Tony! The reality is that people who live here are best placed to comment regardless of where they come from. The longer they live in a place the more they will know about it. I know plenty of people from Scotland who have moved away for jobs and now know very little about the place and a lot less than many people who were born elsewhere.

The occasional visitor with mental issues and an axe to grind is the least informed of all.
EeeByGum - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> The occasional visitor with mental issues and an axe to grind is the least informed of all.

True. I don't really think this referendum is about facts though. It is based emotions and ideology. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but when you look at other countries that have made big shifts, once the celebrations have died away, the stark reality of the mundanity ahead is often a dismal disappointment.
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I was in Fort William last weekend and was struck by the huge numbers of empty shops or closing down shops on the high street. My friend who works in the property sector just said sadly "that's the recession".

My point was that if Scots want to be a Nordic style social democracy then who are we to say they can or can't be. Maybe if it was independent they would spend next to nothing on defence if they could (cf. the massive decline of the Swedish military), and spend that money on social security provision. Would you be against that?

With your anti-nationalism and anti small-state sentiments, I'm surprised you're not more pro- a federal EU.

> PS. I first went to Scotland in 1969 - long before you were born, so I'm better placed than you to comment on any changes!

"A bit" before I was born I'm afraid, but I'll take your kind compliment on my youthful good looks. I lived there for a number of years though, if it's my turn in Tony's top trumps game. ;)
Cuthbert on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Which ones specifically? I know of no country that has recently, the last 30 years say, wanted to reunify with their neighbour.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> Which ones specifically? I know of no country that has recently, the last 30 years say, wanted to reunify with their neighbour.

German Democratic Republic.

Most people in Ireland and Korea would see the split of their country as something necessary to keep the peace but which will eventually be reversed.

EeeByGum - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Which ones specifically? I know of no country that has recently, the last 30 years say, wanted to reunify with their neighbour.

There are many. Look at Iraq, Egypt and Libya for example. They went through huge political and social change, yet none have benefited from it. Even the US isn't immune. There were huge swathes of hope when Obama was elected that things would change for the better and by and large, they have more or less stayed the same.

I wish you well in your quest for independence, but when all the dust has settled, there will be little or no difference to your daily lives.
Cuthbert on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh and Eee:

Total different situations, completely.

I was referring to situations where a vote has taken place and so on. Not one where oppersive regimes and war have featured.

To draw parallels with Iraq and Egypt is just scraping the barrel and evidence of a weak argument.
EeeByGum - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: Ok - fair play. Perhaps Egypt and Libya are a bit extreme, but the US is quite a good example. In the short term I reckon you will be ok, but in the long term I do wonder where your wealth is going to come from once the oil has dried up. If the answer to that is finance, the risk is that you end up like Cyprus, Iceland and Ireland.

Out of curiosity, as an individual, what do you want out of independence?
Cuthbert on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

It's not a good example either. Czechoslovakia provides the best example as does Norway although a little bit older.

Most people view post talking about Libya etc as idiotic if parallels are being drawn with Scotland. To most people it's just evidence of a dismissive and confused argument.

Sorry I have to go down the A82 now. It's example of what I want changed - Scrap Trident and spend the money on the A82 and other infrastructure.
Jim C - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA:

A the vote looms, a lot of people will be reflecting on the position Salmond has got us in. There IS NO plan B, no Devo Max, no plans , but vaugue promises, for more powers > If we vote to stay with the UK they can then do what they like, with Scotland.

And don't say that would never happen, at least one Tory MP has already let the cat out of the bag and stated that the first thing the Government should do once Scotland votes to stay with the UK is to cut the funding, to Scotland and there is nothing can be done, there is NO negotiation position after we vote no,we will get what we are given.


MG - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> A the vote looms, a lot of people will be reflecting on the position Salmond has got us in. There IS NO plan B, no Devo Max, no plans , but vaugue promises, for more powers > If we vote to stay with the UK they can then do what they like, with Scotland.


I think that's a pretty fantasic suggestion. Sure you will find the odd tory who will say that (as they probably would for everywhere outside leafy Surrey) but in practice most people want the UK as a whole to work well and will therefore support sensible solutions to funding etc whatever the structure. This "them" and "us" attitude is large driven by the SNP and the Telegraph - most people want to get on fairly.

But if you are really concerned, perhaps also consider the possible result of a yes vote. Using similar logic, the moment Scotland says yes, all central UK government contracts etc can be given to rUK providers, the armed forces, diplomatic service, could all withdraw from Scotland with no comeback from the Scottish government (perhaps leaving Scotland the cost of Dounray and Trident etc). With all the power of the civil service in London and mostly staffed by English voters any settlement could result in Scotland being done over.
AJM - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

I normally try to stay out of this sort of thing, but do you have a reference for that?

Given the nature of the debate where both sides want to exaggerate to best suit their argument I'm curious as to whether we are talking some sort of reasoned proposal from someone vaguely sensible or an off the cuff remark by some loose cannon who wouldn't be let near policy with a long bargepole.

I thought most of the material I had seen suggested that further devolution or outright independence were the only two end games in town really as the outcome of this process.
Ramblin dave - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> And don't say that would never happen, at least one Tory MP has already let the cat out of the bag and stated that the first thing the Government should do once Scotland votes to stay with the UK is to cut the funding, to Scotland

Assuming that I'm looking at the same story, what they actually said is that discussion of devolution should also be coupled with discussion of "Scotland paying its way" ie if they're so keen on political independence, why do they expect us to subsidise them. Which is plainly bollocks, being based on a very dodgy premise, but arguably not as much bollocks as the fact that the SNP are wilfully misinterpreting it as "there is a secret UK Government policy to cut funding to Scotland if we vote No."
andic - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

The Scotch have their own money already, (BoS + Clydesdale) it is not the same as stirling and is not legal tender south of the border. Once independent they could chose to pin it to sterling or let it float.

As for the Euro, new members have to agree to join the Euro (and begin preparations) as a condition of consideration for entry. Acceptance is not guaranteed and wont happen over night so Scotland will need it's own currency in the meantime.

Once independent Scotland can issue bonds for sale and print the money; what they calls it is up to them probably the Scotch pound but I'd love it to be something historical like an Angel or Guinea or even a Salmon(d)?

More interesting does Scotland have any gold reserves? Would some of the UK reserves have to be handed over?
999thAndy on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> The Scotch have their own money already, (BoS + Clydesdale) it is not the same as stirling and is not legal tender south of the border.
>

Rubbish. All banknotes issued by UK banks ARE Sterling and ARE legal tender
dissonance - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

> Rubbish. All banknotes issued by UK banks ARE Sterling and ARE legal tender

actually, technically speaking they are not legal tender.

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/about/faqs.aspx#16
EeeByGum - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> And don't say that would never happen, at least one Tory MP has already let the cat out of the bag and stated that the first thing the Government should do once Scotland votes to stay with the UK is to cut the funding

Do you mean like they have done with the rest of the UK? If you voted Yes, are there any guarantees you would be able to carry on as you already are? Scottish residents already benefit from more funds per head of population than the rest of the UK. Are you sure you could maintain that if going it alone?
andic - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

As dissonance points out above.

Have you seen the michael mkintyre skit: "I think you'll find that's legal tender...." Brilliant.
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

> I first came to Scotland in 1965, and I've lived here over half my life. Does that mean I'm even better placed than you?

Absolutely, no doubt about it.

Don't worry about my remark to Toby, I was only teasing him as he was me, I'm sure he wasn't really hoping I hadn't been to Scotland recently :-)
999thAndy on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance: fine, but they ARE Sterling notes, most of them say so and if you're really bothered you can swap them for BofE ones at any English or Welsh high street bank.
andic - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Another advantage of starting again with monetary policy, would be the ability to make it into law that only the state may print money and do so without having to issue bonds? In the same way that lincoln did with the greenback dollar.
andic - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

But you cannot insist on your right to spend them. Anyway my point was that they could quite easily continue with a Scottish pound and peg it to sterling in the short term, then allow it to float once the transition period was over. No one gets confused between USD and AUD!
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> I was in Fort William last weekend and was struck by the huge numbers of empty shops or closing down shops on the high street.

That's the same for all of Britain, Scotland is part of Britain you know so what happens in Folkstone happens in Fort William... on the other hand Glasgow looked richer, but that gives an idea of how it was 40 years ago.

Of course it could be argued after nearly 70 years of peace, in W Europe, that countries could all be split up, more or less into regions, all under a benevolent European federal state, but this would be forgetting all the historical factors, often incredibly violent and destructive, that led to settling on these states and these frontiers, as if the British, French, Italian and German unions were just accidents. Personally I don't believe this is the case, although not an absolute unchangeable reality there are reasons for getting where we are and there may also be good reasons for maintaining states which work fairly well.

When they don't - Belgium seems to be an example - then other solutions may be a good idea, but concerning Britain it seems to me logical and mutually beneficial to remain within existing frontiers, with a possible exception of N Ireland, which might well be better united with Eire. It seems to me that both Labour and Tory are moving away from the Union, for quite different reasons, but which seem more opportunistic politically than based on the real interests of the British people... Again lulled into geopolitical lethargy by the absence of war, many seem to yearn for the virile pleasures of dead flesh and bullets - I don't.
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> The occasional visitor with mental issues and an axe to grind is the least informed of all.

I'm not an occasional visitor I have a house in Britain and will be living there more and more.

BTW, when are you going to tell me when I had posts lifted? I've had a look and can see no sign of anything of the kind, no emails from mods at all, not since a business concerning using 30 years old ropes, but that was nothing to do with you or Scotland. You wouldn't be fibbing again by any chance, would you Donald?
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> And don't say that would never happen, at least one Tory MP has already let the cat out of the bag and stated that the first thing the Government should do once Scotland votes to stay with the UK is to cut the funding, to Scotland and there is nothing can be done, there is NO negotiation position after we vote no,we will get what we are given.

I think you are exaggerating here, a bit like the SNP accuses the "no" parties of scaremongering. If anything a vote to stay in Britain would boost the interest of all of Britain in what's going on up North and a national (confederal?) government would be very keen to prove to Scottish voters that their concerns and fears had been registered and that they had made the right decision.
blurty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to 999thAndy)
>
> [...]
>
> actually, technically speaking they are not legal tender.
>
> http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/about/faqs.aspx#16

As my Glaswegian grandad used to say (when an English shopkeeper refused his Clydesdale notes), 'You'll no take mae money, but you'll take mae bloody oil'
graeme jackson - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to blurty: your grandad owned an oilfield? remarkable.
blurty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:

He sure did, he was Scottish, his sense of entitlement knew no limits

;-)
MikeTS - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

It's important to remember that the rest of the UK doesn't get a say in this, since they are not voting. So if Scotland goes, it can't really expect to take anything for granted about what the rest of the UK (will it still be Great Britain and Northern Ireland?) might agree to. After all, to use the pound sterling would be to accept the fiscal policy of another country - which is not really independence.
MikeTS - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Would Scots be forced to move from UKC to ScotsClimbing?
Cuthbert on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

What you on about? We aren't subsidised.


Who are you quoting with "there is a secret UK Government policy to cut funding to Scotland if we vote No"? Yourself?
Cuthbert on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

They might do some climbing. Most people on here haven't heard of it but they own a big wall bag!
Jim C - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> [...]
>
> I think you are exaggerating here,...... a national (confederal?) government would be very keen to prove to Scottish voters that their concerns and fears had been registered and that they had made the right decision.

Aye right Brucevpull the other one, there are no votes to be lost in Scotland, the Tories would finally have us by the short and curlys again .

So , ok just one Tory MP has actually been stupid enough to express this view of punishing the Scots when they vote No so far,( prior to the vote) However,are you telling me that others will not hold the same view, and push for cuts to the Scottish budget?
After all we are constantly being accused of being the 'scrounging Scots' that is how they see us.

My complaint is Salmond has painted Scotland into a corner with no room to negotiate when they lose. I don't like Salmond, but equally I don't trust Cameron and the Tories to hold the best interests of Scotland after the no vote.

LRB - on 25 Apr 2013
How comes the rest of the UK doesn't get to vote on whether we want to keep Scotland...

/end devils advocate and chucking oil on the flames
Wiley Coyote - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Probably coming in way too late on this but, leaving aside all the good riddance and why don't we get a vote stuff, two questions puzzle me. Can any economists enlilghten me?
1. The Osborne.BoE view seems just common sense to me. Why would any country (UK) be expected to allow a foreign country (an independent Scotland), to print bank notes and then have the UK guarantee their worth?
2. Why would one country (Scotland) want to use a currency over which it had no control whatsoever? The PIGS are up the creek with the one-size-fits-all euro even though they have at least some nominal say in the running of the currency and European policy. The UK govt would presumably run sterling solely in the interests of the remaining UK economy and if that did not work for a perhaps increasingly divergent Scots economy, presumnably the message would be: "Tough sh*t. Which part of 'independence' didn't you understand?"
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to LRB:

No. None of the parties standing in elections outside Scotland want to offer a vote currently and none has said they will in the future.
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
>
> 1. The Osborne.BoE view seems just common sense to me. Why would any country (UK) be expected to allow a foreign country (an independent Scotland), to print bank notes and then have the UK guarantee their worth?

There is no reason I've spotted.

> 2. Why would one country (Scotland) want to use a currency over which it had no control whatsoever? The UK govt would presumably run sterling solely in the interests of the remaining UK economy and if that did not work for a perhaps increasingly divergent Scots economy, presumnably the message would be: "Tough sh*t. Which part of 'independence' didn't you understand?"
>
There is no good reason. It seems the SNP believe it would be be a more "stable and secure" currency and would reassure voters that many familiar aspects of their lives would continue. All a bit wishy washy.

The SNP thinks it can negotiate a place on the BOE board or some other way of securing influence over policy. Why any RoUK government should accept that I cannot imagine unless the SNP thinks it can get it by playing hardball over oil revenues or debt transfer.

If the SNP are so keen to use pounds they could just set up a "peg" to sterling in the same way HK has had to the $ for three decades.

Pat (not a real economist)

MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> If the SNP are so keen to use pounds they could just set up a "peg" to sterling in the same way HK has had to the $ for three decades.


How does this work with government borrowing? Does HK issue debt in (effectively) US dollars?
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
>
> How does this work with government borrowing? Does HK issue debt in (effectively) US dollars?

Depends what you mean by "effectively". The debt is issued in HK $ but the HK $ and therefore HK interest rates, are pegged (ie.fixed) to the US $.

However, the peg is not necessarily permanent. HK could decide to abandon it and speculators have occasionally tried to force the point.

EeeByGum - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> The SNP thinks it can negotiate a place on the BOE board or some other way of securing influence over policy. Why any RoUK government should accept that I cannot imagine unless the SNP thinks it can get it by playing hardball over oil revenues or debt transfer.

If the SNP did get tough over debt or oil revenue, what would happen if the UK government just said "No deal"?
MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Depends what you mean by "effectively". The debt is issued in HK $ but the HK $ and therefore HK interest rates, are pegged (ie.fixed) to the US $.
>
> However, the peg is not necessarily permanent. HK could decide to abandon it and speculators have occasionally tried to force the point.

I see. Getting off topic, but how is the peg enforced? If investors decide that actually an HK dollar doesn't mirror the US dollar's value, what happens?

Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> If the SNP did get tough over debt or oil revenue, what would happen if the UK government just said "No deal"?
>
The Scottish would track down a long lost Jacobite prince somewhere in Europe and march on Derby as per usual?

God knows, keep arguing?

Doug on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG: or closer to home, how does Denmark keep their crown pegged to the Euro (& earlier to the Deutschmark) ? Couldn't Scotkland do the same ?
AJM - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Central bank either prints money or spends HKD reserves to buy dollars to keep the HKD from rising, or spends foreign currency reserves on buying HKD to push up demand and stop them from falling.
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> I see. Getting off topic, but how is the peg enforced? If investors decide that actually an HK dollar doesn't mirror the US dollar's value, what happens?
>
Basically they buy and sell $US to keep the currencies in line. All HK$ have to be backed by holdings of US$.

MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat and AJM: So such arrangments require the "pegged" to have a sufficiently comparable economy to the "parent"? A sort of half-way house between Greece, with no possibility of revaluing, and a fully-fledge currency?
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Postmanpat and AJM) So such arrangments require the "pegged" to have a sufficiently comparable economy to the "parent"?
>
Theoretically no but in practice yes.

If the smaller economy's business cycle or economic profile required a radically different economic policy it simply wouldn't be able to sustain the forex intervention to keep the currencies aligned and anyway, like Greece in the Euro, the interest rates would be totally inappropriate.

tony on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

This is one of the things I really don't understand about the SNP's stance. Keeping the pound, no matter how it's done, would make it impossible for Scotland to makes its own decisions on interest rates, and it seems to me that that should be a central plank of an independent economic policy.
Slugain Howff - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

I'd say that keeping the pound is simply the lesser of 3 evils at present and is consistent with Salmond’s desire to follow a path of least resistance.
tony on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Slugain Howff:

But I don't know if it is the line of least resistance. It would be making Scotland dependent on a foreign banking system. In terms of the development of an independent economic policy, it seems to offer no real benefits and significant disadvantages.

If Scotland wants to keep the pound, it's simpler just to stay in the Union.
Wiley Coyote - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Slugain Howff:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> I'd say that keeping the pound is simply the lesser of 3 evils at present

I can see the advantage and convenience to Scotland in retaining an established currency. What I can't understand is the belief that banks in a foreign country (ie an independent Scotland) should be allowed to carry on printing sterling bank notes that should in turn be guaranteed by a foreign (ie UK) government. The rest of the UK would surely take the view that only thge BoE could print sterling banknote and those printed by SCots bank, while they might be accepted in Scotland, would be treated as counterfeit in the rest of the UK. Nor can I see how an independent Scotland should have any influence over the management of sterling just because it suits them to piggy back on another country's currency.
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

I think both of you (Slugain and Tony) are probably right. Clearly any proposal will be derided by the Unionists no matter how sensible or otherwise it is.

I am presuming the strategy is to make the leap smaller for the electorate and less scary. Fear is a big problem though. Decades of negative propaganda have meant that people are really receptive to negative message and often believe the headlines without looking into the detail. The presence of a question mark over something, regardless of how small, is a big deal for many people.

However maybe the pound argument is not so bad after all. Much of the "we wil have no control argument" seems to be based on a religious presumption that Scotland is some kind of economic basket case. There are significant economic leavers and resources to be had with independence. The Treasury knows this and wants to hold on to them.
graeme jackson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> There are significant economic leavers and resources to be had with independence.

such as?
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:

Oil, wind power, hydro power, other power, the crown estate, land, people etc and importantly, the ability to develop policy more suitable for the management of these.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
>
> However maybe the pound argument is not so bad after all. Much of the "we wil have no control argument" seems to be based on a religious presumption that Scotland is some kind of economic basket case. There are significant economic leavers and resources to be had with independence. The Treasury knows this and wants to hold on to them.
>

It's got nothing to do with Scotland being an "economic basket case".

How are these "levers" going to give an independent Scotland an independent fiscal and monetary policy?
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Through the ways that are out there on the net for everyone to see. IN the same way as the UK and any other sovereign state.

There is nothing stopping a different type of fiscal and policital union which is different from the current one.
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Through the ways that are out there on the net for everyone to see. IN the same way as the UK and any other sovereign state.
>
Not that I've seen. Can you direct me to them?

So, you think that an independent Scotland can set interest rates independently from the RoUK but have the same currency?

If not, and interest rates are set by the BOE do you think that Scotland's borrowing decisions will be unaffected?



> There is nothing stopping a different type of fiscal and policital union which is different from the current one.
>
Corrct, but that is called "devomax" which is not on the table.

Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

I didn't say anything about interest rates and don't have the time, and mainly the will, to get involved in a pointless UKC dingdong with people who will never agree. You will have to google it and do some reading.

Devomax is off the table as the Unionists refused to consider it. I wonder why???????????
dissonance - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Devomax is off the table as the Unionists refused to consider it. I wonder why???????????

Because its a have you cake and eat it scenario?
In addition it would have needed a whole of UK vote on the matter and the chances are the answer would be no.
Postmanpat on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> I didn't say anything about interest rates and don't have the time, and mainly the will, to get involved in a pointless UKC dingdong with people who will never agree. You will have to google it and do some reading.
>
You used the phrase "have not control over". Myself and other posters had all made the argument that an independent Scotland would have no control over over fiscal and monetary policy.

It seemed reasonable to assume that you were referring to these posts (if not, what were you referring to???)

Interest rates are inextricably linked to both.

So are you or are you not arguing an independent Scotland in a currency union could have an independent fiscal and monetary policy?

i'm sor of wondering if you don't understand the terms "fiscal and monetary policy

> Devomax is off the table as the Unionists refused to consider it. I wonder why???????????

I don't. It's bloody obvious.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Currently the UKs economy is such that interest rates will remain low for a considerable length of time. The BoE is not looking like halting its bond buying anytime soon as a highly leveraged population cannot withstand any hike in rates. As such, we are looking at a currency crisis where the BoE will import inflation through currency debasement to work away at the debts.

If Scotland votes yes, are the Scots sure they want to be tied to this currency?

There is then the risk that the RuK starts to grow faster then Scotland and so rates do come up. This will put Scotland in the PIGS position of being strangled by an interest rate that doesn't suit their position.

Taking the other alternative, Scotland starts to perform much better than RuK..then low interest rates will fuel an overheating economy and asset price bubble.

Either way, RuK will be dictating monetary policy to suit themselves and Scotland will have to take it regardless of any "levers" they think they have...because they will not be levers are not attached to anything at the BoE.

tony on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

And some people accuse the Unionists of avoiding the difficult questions ...
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

No because it takes power, control and income away from the likes of Darling, Cameron and Osbourne. That is fundamentally why they are against it.

Do you think Darling is sitting in his £600,000+ house in Edinburgh worrying about the people in Castlemilk? Get real.
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

Who is avoiding anything? I amn't a spokesman for anyone and this is a climbing website. What you wanting? An explanation from an economist from me?

More seriously, I am sure you could see my point if I said it would be a total waste of time trying to provide any kind of reasoning on UKC on this subject matter as most people dont want to change their minds or listen. However, most of them wont get a vote in this.
tony on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Who is avoiding anything? I amn't a spokesman for anyone and this is a climbing website. What you wanting? An explanation from an economist from me?
>
I'm not sure why you're ranting at me. My comment wasn't in reply to you.

> More seriously, I am sure you could see my point if I said it would be a total waste of time trying to provide any kind of reasoning on UKC on this subject matter as most people dont want to change their minds or listen.

I do get a vote on this and I would be interested to know how the SNP plans to deal with the issue of their lack of control on interest rates. I do understand that you're not able to give an answer, but that doesn't mean there isn't an answer to be given. Saying 'I don't know' is always an option, and it's often a more respectable option than bluff and bluster.

You still seem to have this idea that anyone asking questions is immediately taking a position directly opposed to yours. That's not always the case. Sometimes people ask questions because they're trying to find further information, or to develop a further understanding.
MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Do you think Darling is sitting in his £600,000+ house in Edinburgh worrying about the people in Castlemilk? Get real.

Well they are not his constituents so probably not especially. Do I think he cares broadly about the well-being of the country - yes. I don't see how the value of his house is relevant - does owngin expensive houses mean people don't care in your view?
dissonance - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> No because it takes power, control and income away from the likes of Darling, Cameron and Osbourne. That is fundamentally why they are against it.

Possibly, I would never rule out self interest however that doesnt mean they are right for the wrong reasons.

Although not sure your logic really adds up unless they reckon the chances of a yes for independence vote are pretty much zero. Otherwise having a smaller bit of the same cake would be a sensible option.

> Do you think Darling is sitting in his £600,000+ house in Edinburgh worrying about the people in Castlemilk? Get real.

lucky there is the SNP hey?
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

That is the whole point of the long lead up to the vote - so that these issues can be ironed out so I expect this will be tackled. Of course, if the UK Government position continues to be all or nothing then things will have to be changed. Time will tell.

You are bang on on your last sentence but this website doesn't provide the opportunity to discuss things. Most of it is defending a point that you never even said.
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Well I disagree. He is the leader of the Better Together campaign so I would have though a modicum of understanding. Oh well.

No it doesn't mean that Martin, you imagined it in your head.

Unless someone saying something, it's best to presume they don't mean it.
tony on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> That is the whole point of the long lead up to the vote - so that these issues can be ironed out so I expect this will be tackled.

I would have though the issue of interest rates should have been a fundamental part of the considerations of any future currency, since it is central to an independent economy. I'm surprised it doesn't seem to have thought about yet.
>
> You are bang on on your last sentence but this website doesn't provide the opportunity to discuss things.

It could do if you made the effort. Simply saying 'this website doesn't provide the opportunity to discuss things' doesn't get anyone anywhere.
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

You are right in many ways, many of the Unionists are in denial. opinion polls can be wrong, look at the last Scottish elections. Darling and Co want to say there is no chance of it happening as the last thing they want is people to believe it might and start moving their votes accordingly.

Wanting to be on the winning side is a human trait. Whilst most polls say it's about 30% for, 45-50% against and 20% undecided, that can and probably will change.
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

Are you joking? I've being making the effort for years? Haven't you noticed? I would say my effort is on par with Martin's pro-conservative efforts or BH's "I am not mad, honest" efforts.
MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Well I disagree.

Fair enough. I take the viewmost politicians are not in it for themselves primarily but I can see why others don't.
>

>
> Unless someone saying something, it's best to presume they don't mean it.

And it was going so well. There is something nicely ironic about accusations of presumption that presume exactly what they criticise! I even used a question mark...

I won't hold my breath, but maybe you could explain why the value of AD's house is relevant if my guess is wrong.

Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

So do I but in the case of Darling and most of the Labour lot from that era they have an answer for everything and can admit nothing. His track record speaks for itself. The BT donation from the Tory guy was gladly accepted by AD but when the same guy previously was going to donate to the Tories the Labours said the polar opposite. It's not about principle for Darling, it's about personal gain.

I would have thought it fairly obvious about his house. It appears to me he has led a privileged life style most of his life and I can't imagine he knows much about what goes on in the real world. A bit like my own MP (Beaker) who should go on work experience with a paper boy
MikeTS - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

>
> Any thoughts on the idea that an independent Scotland might not be permitted to use the pound in an economic union?

I totally do not understand how you can vote on independence if no-one knows what this actually means; this is one example of many. Like would it have to apply to join the EC? Would there be an international border and Scottish passport? etc
Eric9Points - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>

> I would have thought it fairly obvious about his house. It appears to me he has led a privileged life style most of his life and I can't imagine he knows much about what goes on in the real world.

Jesus wept. If you're going to resort to insults, presumably because you've got nothing of any substance to fall back on, at least do some research so you're vaguely accurate. He's the son of minister from Lewis.

..and vague accusations of corruption? Scraping the bottom of the barrel aren't we?

How much is Alex Salmond's house worth? I suppose you'll not be bothered enough to find that out for me will you.

Oh aye, where did you get £600K from anyway. I vaguely know where he lives and doubt that there are many houses round there worth that much. Not that it's a huge amount for Edinburgh anyway.
Cuthbert on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

I'm not insulting anyone. If that is an insult you need to man up a bit! I said I don't think he knows much about the real world. Hardly an insult.

The vague accusations of corruption don't exist apart from in your head. I said that they were using double standards as the Labours were complaining about the Taylor donation until it suited them. Guess what - it's now an "appropriate donation" according to Lamont.

Double standards and lack of principle. That's Labour to the core.

I see you are now aligned with the Orange Order.
sphagnum - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
> [...]
>
> But it also seems mental to ask people whether they want independence or not without first deciding what independence would entail.
>
>

I think the vast majority know what independence entails (self government).
Bruce Hooker - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> or BH's "I am not mad, honest" efforts.

If that's me I've never said I wasn't mad!

Keep up the demonstration of the SNP's clarity on economic matters, you've clearly gained a few floating votes tonight.

Oliiver - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: let's hope Scotland do get independence for the good of England. Labour will never win another general election again.
999thAndy on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to sphagnum: is the UK not independent then?
GrahamD - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to sphagnum:

> I think the vast majority know what independence entails (self government).


Self legislating ?
Self financing ?
Self administering ?
Self defending ?
Self regulating ?

I don't think everyone is that clear what it means.
dissonance - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Oliiver:
> (In reply to EeeByGum) let's hope Scotland do get independence for the good of England. Labour will never win another general election again.

oh really? Why? You do realise it is a myth that the Labour victories have been dependent on Scotland dont you?
dissonance - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to sphagnum:

> I think the vast majority know what independence entails (self government).

hence why the questions around the currency. If Sterling is retained then that reduces the self governance.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

I do. The powers that the UK Government has.
Sir Chasm - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
>
> I do. The powers that the UK Government has.

So if the SNP want independence they'll also be wanting their own currency with all that that entails. Except they don't appear to want their own currency.
Postmanpat on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
>
> I do. The powers that the UK Government has.
>
And you think an independent Scottish government can have that within a currency union?

Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

No I didn't say that. You are presuming that I fully support that position. As I said above, some of these details need to be worked out. Neither side has or can get to that position as the other doesn't permit it. UK says no to currency union, unwilling to enter into discussions on detail meaning the SG is unable to provide detail.

The, UKG says "where's the detail?" which is an impossible question to answer given their position.

So it looks like another scenario will have to be looked at or the positions of both parties will have to change.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> No I didn't say that.

Using this line repeatedly is certainly an improvement on simply shouting that people are ignorant. But not much. Debate doesn't proceed by lawerly, literal analysis of every phrase but rather takes account of hints, implications, suggestions and so on. If you write something that contains these, as you (and everyone else) regularly does, don't be surprised when people pick up on them.
wintertree - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Do you think Darling is sitting in his £600,000+ house in Edinburgh worrying about the people in Castlemilk? Get real.

The ugly politics of envy raises it's head once again.

Also, at £600,000 capital that's cheap compared to the £100,000/year running costs of Salmon's palace
http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2013/02/08/living-flame-gas-fires-worth-30000-installed-in-alex-salmon...
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to wintertree:

Are you envious? I amn't. Imagine living in a town house in Edinburgh miles from the country. It sounds awful.
Wiley Coyote - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

I've not really followed (ok not at all)the independence debate since I don't really give a monkey's either way whether the Scots leave or not but the more I've seen of this thread the dafter it seems to me that any Scot would have to be to vote Yes.
It appears to be unclear (to put it mildly) what the currency arrangements would be and IIRC the head of the European Commission has said it's far from clear whether or not an indpependent Scotland could be member of the EU. Both those strike me as quite important bits of info that I'd want to have before making that kind of decision.
Perhaps the worst of all worlds would be for Scotland to vote yes in some flush of phoney Braveheart-inspired nationalisn only to bottle it on the detail because they had not thought it through.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Aye whatever Martin. Maybe you seek approval from others on this site and maybe this really is a big part of your life, but not mine. I haven't said anyone is ignorant and I haven't shouted at anyone. This is in your head. Step away from the computer.

Fundamentally you wouldn't even have a Scottish Parliament so conservative are your views.

But here is a challenge to you - could you name three major powers that you think should be devolved to Scotland as part of the Union?

I have some other questions too regarding the Union which you could maybe answer with some certainty also.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Yes you are quite correct. These are very important pieces of information but the UK Government refuses to clarify these issues or ask for clarity from the European Commission. Only member states can do this and England, Scotland aren't in that category.

The UK Government don't want to discuss currency union either, just dismiss it.

Both of these are fine but you have to be aware where the blockage in the information flow is and it's not in Scotland.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
I haven't said anyone is ignorant and I haven't shouted at anyone. This is in your head.

Was that one of your previous guises then before you embarassed yourself so much that you needed to start afresh?


> Fundamentally you wouldn't even have a Scottish Parliament so conservative are your views.

And you go on about making assumptions! Care to guess how I voted regardng devolution?

>
> But here is a challenge to you - could you name three major powers that you think should be devolved to Scotland as part of the Union?
>
Further powers?


> I have some other questions too regarding the Union which you could maybe answer with some certainty also.

Well not if you don't ask them I can't. Afterall, I wouldn't to make any assumptions about what you might ask.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: It's all very well saying that there is a "blockage" of info from Westminster. But it is up to the SNP to come up with solutions as they are pushing the agenda.

I know you are not "the SNP", but they will need to have this clarified if they want to win over the level headed/more nervous brigade
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> I haven't said anyone is ignorant

Not this time but you usually do... You have called someone mad, me, and fibbed a bit... plus refused to answer even simple questions about your party's policies - the usual for you really.

To summarise, you call for a "yes" vote without clearly saying what currency is planned, who the head of state will be (in both cases sticking with the present situation is left as a possibility, even a probability if I've managed to decipher what you think, which isn't certain). One thing is certain though, according to you, the British people as a whole will not have any say at all, nor will Scots who do not at the time of the vote reside in Scotland, while English residents will.

It's a weird web you weave.
jkarran - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Scotland currently prints it's own notes, but surely we wouldn't allow a foreign country to do this. So Scotland could use sterling, but would have no control over the money supply, which is a very odd and dangerous position to be in.

The Isle of Man uses Sterling and mints its own money (which is not legal tender in the uk).
jk
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

No.

You said you were relaxed about not having the SP. I say this from memory.

Yes further, major, powers.

I am waiting for your first answers before I ask the second set. Here is a taster, will the UK be in the EU in 2025? I am not looking for an opinion, anyone can produce that, I want certainty which the Union case is supposedly built on.
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> [...]
>
> Not this time but you usually do... You have called someone mad, me, and fibbed a bit... plus refused to answer even simple questions about your party's policies - the usual for you really.
>
> To summarise, you call for a "yes" vote without clearly saying what currency is planned, who the head of state will be (in both cases sticking with the present situation is left as a possibility, even a probability if I've managed to decipher what you think, which isn't certain). One thing is certain though, according to you, the British people as a whole will not have any say at all, nor will Scots who do not at the time of the vote reside in Scotland, while English residents will.
>
> It's a weird web you weave.

I presume you are referring to Saor Alba and not me?
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

I don't think it can ber clarified in some cases. People will have to make their minds up. If the UK refuses to ask the EC and the EC refuses to allow a request from a non-member state there is not much chance of clarity. That is why they refuse to ask. Clarity is the opposite of what the UK Government wants. They want people to have multiple uncertainties so that there is less chance they vote for it.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

He has mental issues. Just ignore him.
dissonance - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> The UK Government don't want to discuss currency union either, just dismiss it.

you mean apart from the paper they just published and which kicked off this thread?

> Both of these are fine but you have to be aware where the blockage in the information flow is and it's not in Scotland.

is there anything you cant blame the UK government for?
I know they are an easy and often correct target but you take it to extremes.

You seem to feel that the government should be campaigning for you?
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

No. That paper does not constitute discussion, exploring options or considering it in any serious way. It's a political exercise. Read the piece from David Blanchflower (sp!).

I don't blame the UK Government for the rain but I do blame them for preventing clarity on the EC issue. The reason, it's their fault.

You have imagined the last bit of your post.
Douglas Griffin - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> the British people as a whole will not have any say at all, nor will Scots who do not at the time of the vote reside in Scotland, while English residents will.

Why shouldn't English residents of Scotland get a say in the matter?

And do you really think that the U.K. as a whole should vote on Scottish independence? None of the main political parties (SNP, Labour , Lib Dem or Conservative) agree - what is the fundamental point that they are all missing?
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> No. That paper does not constitute discussion, exploring options or considering it in any serious way. It's a political exercise. Read the piece from David Blanchflower (sp!).

Right, but you are assuming that the UK government want to negotiate on this issue, just as somehow Argentina seem to think the UK government will negotiate on the Falklands. I would have though that the silence on the matter was a more than subtle hint as to the UK government's position on such matters.

i.e. there is no position to negotiate. You can enter negotiations but the answer is still no so why bother?
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

Yes, sorry it was aimed at "Free Scotland" aka Donald aka the Laird of somewhere or other. I must have got carried away by emotion - mad people do, you know.
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> what is the fundamental point that they are all missing?

The only one I can think, is that if the population, but more likely the London-centric press feel that Scotland is doing one over the English.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: " They want people to have multiple uncertainties so that there is less chance they vote for it. "

Well, what do you expect? This is why it would make sense for the SNP to come up with an alternative solution.

A question for you - If by September next year this issue is still shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, would you still be confident in winning a majority yes vote?
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

I am not assuming that. I know they wont unless they have to. They wont budge from their position as that would mean providing clarity and meaning undecided people might start to consider a Yes vote if they get some clarity.

I fully understand the position but when they say "where is the detail" that is political too as they are the main reason there is no detail.

I don't know where you think the silence is. It's certainly not from the UK Government. The story was widely reported with multiple interviews with government ministers.
Sir Chasm - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: Do you have a preference for a currency system in a post-independence Scotland?
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

It won't be certain. How can it be. The UKG refuses to even consider these matters. It's as if many people on here don't understand why there is no certainty. Creating doubt, fear and uncertainty is the main tactic to get people to vote no. Saying no is easier than yes in this situation.

Confident is not a word I would use regarding the yes vote but possible certainly. I do think that things are changing though. I don't know if you live in Scotland but there is an almost constant feed of this message about doubt and so on and from the people I speak to, many don't listen to it as there is so much of it.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Me personally? Not currently. I am open to ideas.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> And do you really think that the U.K. as a whole should vote on Scottish independence?

I was resuming Donald's views, he seems to find it important as he repeats it on most threads with some delight. As for my view, it seems odd to me that Scots living in other parts of Britain or abroad at present should be deprived of a vote in the planned referendum, and it also seems obvious to me that whatever deal was worked out regarding the final arrangements would need to be ratified by the British electorate both sides of the border... they will be paying for it and affected by the agreement after all.

Generally for any measure of such importance democracy requires the consultation of all concerned, wouldn't you say?

To resume my opinion, first vote for Scots, resident or abroad, if "yes" wins then consultation of all people, North and South of the border and nationals abroad, on the final negotiated package.
Douglas Griffin - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> To resume my opinion, first vote for Scots, resident or abroad

What do you mean by "Scots" here?

MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>


> You said you were relaxed about not having the SP. I say this from memory.
>

Correct. It's not something I had strong views on, but I voted for devolution. So your assumption is wrong. If someone doesn't say something, then best not to assume, as you love to say.

> Yes further, major, powers.


In the current setup, none, and in fact there are some I think would be better not devolved. If a federal UK were established, various taxes


>
> I am waiting for your first answers before I ask the second set. Here is a taster, will the UK be in the EU in 2025? I am not looking for an opinion, anyone can produce that, I want certainty which the Union case is supposedly built on.

Well I am flattered you think I can predict the future with certainty but I am afraid you over-estimate my powers. My guess and preference would be yes, but probably the EU will look somewhat different.
Sir Chasm - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> Me personally? Not currently. I am open to ideas.

There seem to be 3 options currently, Sterling, Euro, Scotland's own currency. You don't have an opinion as to which you prefer, with all that the choice says about how Scotland would be able to run its own economy?
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>
> What do you mean by "Scots" here?

Well that's the point, isn't it! I see us all as British, I'm not the one who is calling for Scottish independence, but as some are they must have some feeling of what being Scottish means. Generally it is a question of birth or culture.. there's Doug who lives in France who I would say is a Scot, you appear to be too, as does Donald. My Aunt Chrissie is but has lived in England since WW2... It's easier to know who is are than invent a technical definition - place of birth seems insufficient so I would say that any British citizen who was either born there or signed a declaration that he or she considered themselves to be Scottish was a Scot?

If no one but me is worried about non-resident Scots (whatever the definition) not having a say on their country's future then it probably doesn't matter. If I was concerned I'd be pissed off at not being included though.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Federal UK wont be established. That idea is dead along with AV and proportion representation.

Agreed on the EU which demonstrates that there is no certainty, for Scotland, of being a member of the EU whether it stays part of the UK. IF the Tories win the next election and IF they are good for their word (!) the the referendum would take place. Although I doubt the UK would vote to leave.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Please see my answer above!
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> I am not assuming that. I know they wont unless they have to. They wont budge from their position as that would mean providing clarity and meaning undecided people might start to consider a Yes vote if they get some clarity.

Or perhaps things are perfectly clear. That if you choose to vote Yes, you going to be on a massive uphill struggle to get any form of concession from Westminster.
Sir Chasm - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: I've seen your answer and I don't believe you.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> [...]
>
> Or perhaps things are perfectly clear. That if you choose to vote Yes, you going to be on a massive uphill struggle to get any form of concession from Westminster.

Quite. If separatists are already blaming "Westminster" for all their troubles, what do they think will happen when the UK genuinely has no interest in Scotland's wellbeing? "Hmmm... you appear to have some aging nuclear subs in one of your lochs that will cost £xx billion to demcomission. Oh well."
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: " I am open to ideas."

It's a very difficult problem to solve, hence the reason AS is seeking the easist route (i.e as close to the status quo as possible)

The issue as I see it, is that this is where Westminster holds all the cards and the SNP have a very weak position. To be truely independent would require your own currency/central bank/debt management office plus a credit rating. To achieve this without incurring much higher borrowing costs as a nation (certainly to start with) is very hard to imagine. It's also very hard to comprehend how existing Scottish borrowers would have their debts restructured into the new currency, or would they keep them in RuK £ and take on an FX risk (assuming they will be paid in new Scottish currency) - similar circumstances have worked out very badly for mortgage holders in Hungary borrowing in currencies not their own for example.

So, it's easy to see why the SNP are trying to avoid taking on these challenges, because it would also be a negative to the waverers in a referendum vote.

Part of me thinks that AS has ridden the wave of popularity very well (no doubt he has many skills as a politician) but has now suddenly hit some details that cannot be smoothed over with bluster and blaming the UKG. Absolutely correctly, the Scottish voters will want to have a very good idea how this will be resolved before deciding yes or no.

Incidently, I am English and live in England. I think the Scots have every right to vote on independence as they voted in the SNP on this very pledge. But I don't like the fogginess on some of these fundemental issues and feel sorry for the Scottish elctorate if they have to vote without being clear on these issues.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

In the event of a yes vote the game would be different. Westminster would have to deal with these issues, unless it decides to rip up UN and EU treaties etc.

Then all sorts of things start getting looked at such as mineral right and so on, all by well established principles.
Douglas Griffin - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I'm not the one who is calling for Scottish independence, but as some are they must have some feeling of what being Scottish means. Generally it is a question of birth or culture...

I certainly don't speak for the SNP but as I understand it they don't distinguish on the basis of what you call "birth or culture", but rather on the basis of where people live.
dissonance - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> No. That paper does not constitute discussion, exploring options or considering it in any serious way. It's a political exercise.

I believe thats what the entire independence campaign is?
It does seem to sum up that the proposal from the SNP hasnt been fully thought through or presented.

> I don't blame the UK Government for the rain but I do blame them for preventing clarity on the EC issue. The reason, it's their fault.

whats in it for them?

> You have imagined the last bit of your post.

oh so why are you continually going on about how they arent putting much effort into clarifying things which may not suit them?
It seems that the SNP havent really planned out the campaign, namely by sticking in the list of prerequisites for a sensible discussion.
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Then all sorts of things start getting looked at such as mineral right and so on, all by well established principles.

Right - so perhaps that is the way forward? That if you vote Yes, then we talk about it. This is why I wonder if there will be a second referendum, possibly nation wide, to vote on the final settlement. And I would wage that it will take several years to negotiate that settlement which is possibly why the UK government will not negotiate now, especially if there is a chance of a No vote saving a tonne of time and cash.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

The practicalities of it are very achievable.

I don't think it is reluctance at all, more than there is only so much time in the day to deal with this. I think this was recognised beforehand hence the long lead up time to the vote. The UKG was against it for decades until they had to deal with the small issue of democracy returning a party they didn't like. Then, overnight, they started calling for a quick vote asap but have now conceded on that too. The point of having the vote asap was that all these issues couldn't be explored and clarified.

The UKG is to blame on the EC clarity issue. That isnt a judgement or opinion, just a plain fact.

Where the SNP is being a bit silly is not recognising that Scotland would probably have to apply for EU membership. I think that is the case but I have no doubt that we would get in.

There wont be clarity on many issues as we are talking about. If there is it will probably come from outside the UK.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

There wont be a second referendum. No one is proposing that. It's not up to the UK to grant leave. If there is a yes vote it happens. The only question is on what terms.

You are right, they wont negotiate now as they dont want to open up the possibility of it happening. But there is no credibility in calling for clarity when you are the main reason there isn't any.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> [...]
>
> Right - so perhaps that is the way forward? That if you vote Yes, then we talk about it.

Which would probably be inevitible whatever the process. What is amazing is that the SNP clearly have simply not given any thought to any of this. Rather than arguing clearly for this economic settlement, these defence arrangements, this route to EU membership etc., and generally having thought-through, robust policies, they are just blustering and hoping no one will notice.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

It may well "seem" that way to you but I have explained several times that nothing is in it for the UKG. You can take a horse to water.........

You could argue though that good government would be to lay out the facts, regardless of how difficult and uncomfortable they are, and let people look at them.

The UK political system, including that in Scotland, is not able to deal with many of these issues. It may be an old political system, but it's certainly not grown up or able to deal with difficult issues which dont suit it.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

You spend too much time on UKC Martin talking about tihngs. Unless you live in a news blackout zone there is no way, other than in your head, that you could argue that no thought had been given to this.

The game has changed, it's by giving considerable thought to this that the vote will happen. All of that against the wishes of all UK Governments. That doesn't happen by accident or chance.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: My £10 is safe.
silhouette - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG: I did think about starting a whole new thread but I'll put it here instead. If Scotland did use either the pound sterling or the Euro as its currency without being in a formal currency union, what risks would that entail? My feeling is that any risks would be marginal but I'd be interested to hear from someone who knows what they're talking about.
dissonance - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> It may well "seem" that way to you but I have explained several times that nothing is in it for the UKG.

well you have thrown in lots of random insinuations but i guess close enough.

> You could argue though that good government would be to lay out the facts, regardless of how difficult and uncomfortable they are, and let people look at them.

depends on what it costs really. Why dedicate shedloads of civil servants and senior ministers to negotiate on something which may not happen.
Particularly if by not taking the action the outcome is more likely to go the way you want it to.

> The UK political system, including that in Scotland, is not able to deal with many of these issues. It may be an old political system, but it's certainly not grown up or able to deal with difficult issues which dont suit it.

i think you will find thats a case of political systems or indeed humans in general.

I am with EeeByGum it would have made more sense to argue for a two stage referendum. One to judge general interest and another after sorting out the details. That the SNP didnt do so is their tactical error and it is lazy to blame the UK gov for taking advantage (and saving money).
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> The UK political system, including that in Scotland, is not able to deal with many of these issues. It may be an old political system, but it's certainly not grown up or able to deal with difficult issues which dont suit it.

I am afraid you are coming across as a bit conspiratorial here. The UKG have not made it much of a secret that they oppose an independent Scotland. With that in mind, just why would you expect them to make things easier for those who disagree with that point of view? This isn't childish. It is called adversarial politics. If you want to win the debate, blaming the opposition will get you nowhere.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to silhouette:
> (In reply to MG) I did think about starting a whole new thread but I'll put it here instead. If Scotland did use either the pound sterling or the Euro as its currency without being in a formal currency union, what risks would that entail? My feeling is that any risks would be marginal but I'd be interested to hear from someone who knows what they're talking about.

And you are asking on UKC?! Questions I would have are: What would stop a Greece/Ireland scenario? How would it borrow in a currency union with no central bank? How would having no control over interest rates affect matters? If it could borrow, what would its credit rating likely be - lower I understand, perhaps a lot lower as it would have no track record of borrowing.

silhouette - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> And you are asking on UKC?!

A little harsh; some people do come on here who know what they're talking about. Perhaps they're busy just now. I'm intrigued by the experiences of countries who have adopted the Euro without being part of the EU. Am I right in saying Montenegro is in that position?

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG: I had a stab at covering some of those questions with my post yesterday (below)

"Currently the UKs economy is such that interest rates will remain low for a considerable length of time. The BoE is not looking like halting its bond buying anytime soon as a highly leveraged population cannot withstand any hike in rates. As such, we are looking at a currency crisis where the BoE will import inflation through currency debasement to work away at the debts.

If Scotland votes yes, are the Scots sure they want to be tied to this currency?

There is then the risk that the RuK starts to grow faster then Scotland and so rates do come up. This will put Scotland in the PIGS position of being strangled by an interest rate that doesn't suit their position.

Taking the other alternative, Scotland starts to perform much better than RuK..then low interest rates will fuel an overheating economy and asset price bubble.

Either way, RuK will be dictating monetary policy to suit themselves and Scotland will have to take it regardless of any "levers" they think they have...because they will not be levers are not attached to anything at the BoE."

I should also add the possibility that an independent Scotlands economy happens to be similar to the RuK's and that RuKs interest rate policies actually suit Scotland. Basically, it's all a bit of a gamble as far as I can tell.


MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús: Yes thanks - and you do sound like you know what you are talking about. Not a very enticing prospect...
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

You are getting a bit silly now in that arguing the UK Government didn't want a second referendum on the basis of cost. They didn't want any referendum, at all, at any time on this subject.
dissonance - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> You are getting a bit silly now in that arguing the UK Government didn't want a second referendum on the basis of cost.

lucky I didnt say that then. Rather than insults you could try reading? Or are you trying to balance Bruce out?

> They didn't want any referendum, at all, at any time on this subject.

then you cant complain when they dont make it easy and take advantage of bad strategy really can you?
silhouette - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús) Yes thanks - and you do sound like you know what you are talking about. Not a very enticing prospect...

Sound advice but .. there's an element of time; if Scotland is indeed exposed for pehaps two or three years, that scenario may pass once Scotland joins the EU, the Euro and the currency union.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:

What planet are you people on? I am not complaining about what the UKG is doing. I fully understand what and why. All I am saying is that the lack of clarity is as much their fault as anyone elses. In the EC case it is only their fault.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG: Thx, although I am no expert, just stating it how I see it.

I think the euro alternative is interesting as well due to uncertainty. Especially over the time frame of 16 months. Who knows what state the euro will be in by then? There is evidence of growing disquiet now even in Germany and France with the currency union. They handling of Cyprus has made a lot of people wonder how safe their money is. All of this is completely out of the SNPs control but may well play havoc with peoples perceptions of whether its a good idea to go for independence with the Euro.

I will add though as a caveat...the current status quo is hardly a rose garden of economic bliss. I don't envy AS trying to come up with a credible solution to this question that would satisfy a cautious voter, and am interested to see how he handles it.

Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

Agree with you. This is a very difficult situation. Every alternative has problems and benefits. The £ is no safe bet either. I don't envy anyone on the receiving end of all this.
Jim Fraser - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Jim Fraser)
> [...]
> You can't seriously think this example is comparable? Luxembourg is barely even a country. It's population is marginally larger than Brighton, most of whom are probably Eurocrats or German tax dodgers :)

Plenty eurocrats certainly. In the few times that I have been there I have never met any foreign tax dodgers, just rude eurocrats and very friendly, and particularly able, locals. I have been left with the impression that Luxembourg's success is largely based on a mixture of raw talent, language ability and tolerance.



(Other European examples for comparison in the wider debate are Norway, Denmark and Sweden, listed in order of per capita nominal GNI, all of whom are significantly richer than us due to their economic policies bearing no resemblance whatsoever to George Osborn's ideas.)
GrahamD - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Me personally? Not currently. I am open to ideas.

I didn't think you were. You said you wanted Scotland to have the same powers as currently held by the UK government - which is to print and manage your own currency.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Well if you understand my position on the basis of one UKC post you are right. If you take account of the wider context and various discussion then you are wrong.

This thread is nearly 300 posts long and no doubt there will be others in the coming year. I can't be bothered to input into this thread anymore.
Douglas Griffin - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

> Not a very enticing prospect...

I'm old enough to remember a period when the economy of the SE of England was judged to be "overheating", so the Government set the interest rate accordingly. Meanwhile, the economic situation in Scotland (and rest of the U.K.) was still very much on the cool side.

So while it's not a very enticing prospect to have to endure interest rates that aren't suited to your economic situation, it's worth remembering that it can happen and has already happened to Scotland in a U.K. context. I think this serves to illustrate that Scotland will have to face many of the same problems whether or not it votes for Independence.

GrahamD - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

It all rather points to the fact that everyone does not have the same idea of what independance is, don't you think ? when it goes past the sloganeering and into the nuts and bolts I mean ?
In reply to silhouette:
> Am I right in saying Montenegro is in that position?

Yes, and Kosovo too I think.
MG - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
I think this serves to illustrate that Scotland will have to face many of the same problems whether or not it votes for Independence.

Well it's a judgement but I would judge the £ sterling with economic union to be much more stable that £ sterling without. There is probably quite a good economic case for London/SE to separate from RUK, better than Scotland doing.
AJM - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

In terms of the difference though, the eeconomic theory would suggest that areas where interest rates are harming things would receive cash transfers and areas where things are booming would be paying said transfers. There should also be a move of people from the former to the latter.

Hence the problem in the eurozone in that language makes people movement tougher and the cash transfers a're tiny. Scotland wouldn't face the language problem but post independence there would be no transfers (before anyone starts talking about subsidies and what Have you the transfers are things like unemployment benefit, rather than anything else)
Douglas Griffin - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to AJM:

That's a fair point.
AJM - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

In theory to be fair things like infrastructure investment, tax incentives etc can be used to help move money around.

Fiscal union how the highlands vs London and Alabama vs California differs from Germany vs Greece despite all having massive differences in economies.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

I dont think that is a fact or correct. Many people have a very clear idea. You may not share that view but it certainly does exist.
Wiley Coyote - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> There is probably quite a good economic case for London/SE to separate from RUK

I think Boris has already suggested that

GrahamD - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> I dont think that is a fact or correct. Many people have a very clear idea. You may not share that view but it certainly does exist.

Many people have their own idea what independance means. Its far from clear that all those ideas are the same. Currency being a case in point.
Cuthbert on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

No one has said the ideas are the same. That is true of every country. I think you are struggling with human nature there, not politics.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>
> I certainly don't speak for the SNP but as I understand it they don't distinguish on the basis of what you call "birth or culture", but rather on the basis of where people live.

Yes, at present it's based purely on residence in Scotland, I thought you meant who could be considered "Scots" amongst those living outside Scotland if the referendum was enlarged to include all people who think of themselves as Scottish. At present they are all disenfranchised.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

> You could argue though that good government would be to lay out the facts, regardless of how difficult and uncomfortable they are, and let people look at them.

Who would take seriously such "facts" if they were "laid out" by the present British government which is obviously against a break up of the country it was elected to defend? The very notion is illogical. The only people in a position to set out what they want for an independent Scotland are those that want an independent Scotland.

How can you deny this? It sounds as if you want the people who are against your dream to help you work out its details, which goes against your usual position that Scots are quite capable of organising themselves... Have you really so little confidence in yourself that you would like a bunch of Conservative Unionists to do the ground work for you?

PS. Before I'm accused of dissing the Scots, I have absolutely no doubt that Scotland could function as an independent country, what I doubt is whether this is the best solution.
Jim C - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> [...]
>
> Who would take seriously such "facts" if they were "laid out" by the present British government which is obviously against a break up of the country it was elected to defend? The very notion is illogical. ...
> PS. Before I'm accused of dissing the Scots, I have absolutely no doubt that Scotland could function as an independent country, what I doubt is whether this is the best solution.

Well said Bruce, I'm a Scot but I did not vote the Nats in. , but I am now in the position, that there is a 'no win ' vote, with no backup plan like Devo Max.

I can't get sensible answers to anything, everything said by the UK government is totally biased, and the Nats just call it scaremongering, but no one answers the questions.

If I vote yes, I take a stab in the dark, and I might have to guess it will work after a fashion,( or crash disastrously like our unionist friends assert. )

Or I vote no, and I am equally in the dark of what the Tories will do when they have the upper hand and can call all the shots? ' the rebellious Scots to crush'

As I have pointed out before,at least one Tory MP has broken the silence, and called for the Scots budgets to be cut when they vote no.
She was not supposed to say that( until after the vote! )

So who was it that changed their vote, to let the Nats in , knowing that they will hold a referendum?
Not me, but I know at least one Tory who admitted, that HE voted SNP to try and keep labour out. So was there really a groundswell of support for independence leading scots to vote SNP in , or was this whole thing just caused by a miscalculation by Tory supporters who knew voting Tory in Scotland is like PITW?

So my question is , did the Tories in Scotland vote SNP and tip the balance and let SNP in, or if not , how did the SNP get in?


AJM - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> Or I vote no, and I am equally in the dark of what the Tories will do when they have the upper hand and can call all the shots? ' the rebellious Scots to crush'
>
> As I have pointed out before,at least one Tory MP has broken the silence, and called for the Scots budgets to be cut when they vote no.
> She was not supposed to say that( until after the vote! )

Harping on about the Tories punishing the country when from what other people have been said the actual comment was about the scots paying their way (isn't that kind of what devo max is about?) doesn't half make you sound paranoid you know...
Postmanpat on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
>
> So my question is , did the Tories in Scotland vote SNP and tip the balance and let SNP in, or if not , how did the SNP get in?
>
Probably not. The SNP benefited from the anti-mainstream vote just like the libdems did in England and UKIP are now.
Toby S - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

>
> So my question is , did the Tories in Scotland vote SNP and tip the balance and let SNP in, or if not , how did the SNP get in?

Unlikely that any Tory voters would have tipped the balance, their ain't enough of 'em! ;-)

A think it was a combination of things, a reaction to Iain Gray's horribly negative and borderline paranoid politics (Johann Lamont isn't much better imho), disappointment with the Lib Dems coalition 'betrayal' and a real resentment towards the Tories. The SNP were a very attractive prospect because they campaigned in a very positive manner. It would be nice if the BT campaign could follow that example.
Jim C - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to AJM:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> [...]
>
> Harping on about the Tories punishing the country when from what other people have been said .... doesn't half make you sound paranoid you know...

Or does it make you sound complacent?
only time will tell.

I trust you too will be living in Scotland post referendum?
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> So my question is , did the Tories in Scotland vote SNP and tip the balance and let SNP in, or if not , how did the SNP get in?

Historically there was a transfer of votes from Tory to SNP, this can be seen by looking at election results and was discussed on ukc years ago, it's why some Scottish Labour Party supporters liked to refer to the Nationalists as "Tartan Tories"... I have both in the family and when they got together, usually at funerals, the teased each other about it.

Some posters on ukc get very peeved and emotional at the term "Tartan Tory" though :-)
AJM - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Frankly, wondering how you decide on a decision that will potentially last centuries based on your fears of what you think one government might do in response (in a totally illogical way - what better way to leave the whole issue unsettled and end up in the same situation again five years down the line) isn't just paranoid...

It's in everyone's interest to get a solution this time round and settle the issue for the medium term rather than end up with demands for a further referendum by a nationalist government with a majority bolstered further by the actions of a spiteful Westminster government. The Tories are campaigning for a unionist platform and so why in gods name is it logical for them to do that, win, and then shoot themselves in the foot so totally and completely by punishing the scots for voting the way the Tories want them to. Give me a good reason, go on?

As for where ill be living, I've no idea. I'm not settled anywhere yet. Edinburgh has some appeal, theres firms there i could work for and its a nice town. But what relevance that has to you I've no real idea.
Jim C - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to AJM: http://www.scottishreview.net/AlanBissett69.shtml

"Westminster won't devolve further power in the result of a No vote, for the simple reason that it won't have to. Cameron fought to remove devo-max from the ballot for a reason. At the moment, the threat of independence is the only bargaining chip Scotland possesses, the only thing which prevents, for example, a lowering of our block grant. If we vote No, London will hear only this:

Do whatever the hell you like to Scotland, because we don't care enough about ourselves to stop you.

Westminster promised treats if we voted against devolution in 1979. What happened? Thatcherism."
............
"Should Westminster decide to reverse devolution – the Barnett Formula and the West Lothian Question have long-vexed right-wingers – we will be utterly powerless to stop them."

So the answer is because they are Tories , they have no mandate in Scotland at the moment, but still want to impose unpopular policies at the moment, and a no vote will be hijacked as a mandate to do exactly what they want.
AJM - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:

I think your response says all thats needed really - there's a lot of copy and pasted opinion/bluster there but in the end its "because they are Tories" - like I said, it comes across as paranoid.


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