Don’t we ever learn

Richard Murphy has ruined my Friday morning and the Growth Commission is the reason, as Richard rightly says, they may also have just ensured that economic independence remains a dream.

From my own ignorant point of view I have always felt that an independent Scotland keeping the pound was both a millstone and a huge mistake. Not only does this go against what appears the express wish of most of the yes movement, but it plays into U.K. hands and would mean power is retained by London over much of Scotland’s economic policy in future, and there we have it folks, the Growth Commission is recommending it. Who was on the Commission Alistair Darling, Ruth Davidson and George Osborne.

Have we learned nothing from the last debate and the White Paper. Independence has always been about democracy for me and remains so but for many it is about economics and money, as well as, being different. The problem though is you have to clearly state how different you will be on day one of independence. My brother voted no in 2014 because he didn’t feel that an independent Scotland would look and be all that different from the U.K., I didn’t agree on the basis of democracy, but for someone not all that much interested in politics I saw where he was coming from, it made sense and made me think we would lose because if we couldn’t convince my brother whose life experiences were the same as mine then we couldn’t win.

Today was never going to be a good day for YES, it would always be a too wee, too poor , too stupid day but like the white paper, the short passages that Richard has highlighted destroys much of the arguments that make independence different for many people, so why should they vote yes in their eyes.

The Commission Report is a set of recommendations and we don’t have to accept them, and I suspect many in the YES movement will reject this one, but like the White Paper we may have just made our job harder and the unionists easier on top of providing them with a great start to the weekend.

I am convinced now that the SNP should not be allowed to lead the debate, we need the SNP to secure the referendum but then they campaign as a party and it has to be the YES movement who take the lead or I fear we lose again, no matter the state of the U.K. Sad but true.

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26 Responses to Don’t we ever learn

  1. Alan says:

    I agree, the report is quite disappointing in that respect. I personally favour the Scottish currency option now. But remember…

    The point of independence is so our governments can actually decide. The SNP has a hard enough time arguing for independence without also fighting for everything else in the constitutional box. European membership, currency, etc..

    It’s not that surprising if they’ve decided to defer certain decisions to the future independent government – which will be elected by those who live in Scotland. I do not believe we should set up a new currency to kick in on day 1 of independence anyway. There will be plenty of time to switch over to the Scottish Pound after we do have independence.

    If the rUK treasury/bank starts playing games to screw with Scotland’s economy, intentionally or not, we’d have the powerful threat of dumping sterling and floating the groat or something. That’s way more influence than we have now.

    Still, I’d prefer to lead with a Scottish currency and force the rUK civil service to scramble, beg and plead for us to stay in their currency union. Really push the screws in by threatening to expel Trident too(another thing the SNP isn’t quite going to get rid of on day 1, in case that disappoints someone else later).

    Pound sterling is still a strong currency, despite Brexit. It would be daft not to consider its continued use, even temporarily.

    • Brian says:

      Agreed. This is a less controversial place to start… with some certainty, and indeed stability. For many in my generation (60+), questions over currency was the showstopper in 2014.
      When independent, we can start from a currency union until we find our feet.

      • Brian
        The UK won’t agree one until we are independent and will use it against us for Project Fear 2, and we will not have a counter argument again. I appreciate the SNP don’t have to accept any recommendations but the commission is already theirs in the eyes of the public due to the media and unionist mantra that is why I think the next indy ref has to be a YES Movement led campaign with the SNP clearly campaigning as a party.

        Thanks for commenting.
        Bruce

        • Alan says:

          There’s a big difference between the ‘Currency Union’ proposed during 2014 and the ‘Sterlingisation’ option, which belatedly became Plan B last time. A currency union requires its members to enter agreements and coordinate some fiscal policies, but sterlingisation does not. Any country in the world can simply adopt sterling as their currency in that way.

          It is in Scotland’s interests to prevent or reduce a run on sterling. Such a run would impact the Scottish economy even if we managed an overnight transition without a single hiccup. More likely is a process where we start off using sterling, then we introduce a new currency and use both for a short period before gradually phasing out sterling from everyday usage, but keeping the two currencies pegged in the same basket. Unpegging is the final step and should only be carried out if the sterling performs very poorly.

          I think the intended message to the UK government is, “we don’t need your permission and we are not going to ask for it.” I can only approve of that message.

          • Anonymous says:

            Alan
            I can see what you are saying and it makes sense I get that but for me, as I have said to others, the offer needs to be different from 2014. We are all fighting for around 15% of the vote , a rerun of the 2014 arguments won’t convince people on the soft side like my brother, it just won’t. I think the U.K. would look for a deal if they think they will lose but until then they will play hardball and that will convince many sadly to remain no. My point really is that this is a lesson that we should have learned from the last time. The U.K. will spend and borrow whatever they need to fight for they believe is theirs and that sadly is Scotland. I do however hope you are correct.

            Thanks for the info and commenting
            Bruce

    • Alan
      I understand what you are saying but the problem is that currency is an issue that will not go away no matter how rational the process is on the steps to independence. My preferred option is a Scottish currency and think the policy has to be we will use the pound without an agreement with the UK, as we won’t get an agreement prior to a yes vote anyway, with the clear intention to move to a separate Scottish currency as quickly as possible and if possible within say the first year of independence. The problem with the commission report will be that it gives the yoons a lot of ammo that will bog down the debate and also allows for the whole argument again that so you will use the pound, the bank of England will decide the interest rates, you will need UK money to bail you out blah blah blah, this really doesn’t help what you have correctly noted is a hard enough fight for independence.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  2. g m says:

    It doesn’t recommend a currency union it recommends using the pound before moving to our own currency or the Euro.

    • gm
      The yoons will not entertain a currency union as long as they think they can win and I certainly wouldn’t make the mistake of going into one with rUK, but the report makes the argument more difficult on this issue and I definitely accept what Richard Murphy says as he hasn’t often been far off the mark.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  3. g m says:

    It is a report nothing more. it is not SNP policy. It starts a debate and gets independence up and running again in Scotland. As far as a currency is concerned using the pound while putting plans in place from the outset for our own currency is overwhelmingly likely to happen in my view. Is the Scottish government mandated to create a plan for an Independent Scotland at the moment? Does it have the support among the people or the right to spend time and public money creating our own currency before it has been decided we will be independent?

    • g m
      At the moment the SNP is all we have and they do have a mandate until we are independent then I would expect, if that day ever comes, that we will see a more balanced parliament over time. Labour will recover and new left parties might emerge, a yes vote might finish off the Tories and the Liberals might be back in the game but a long long way to go before any of that.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  4. Kangaroo says:

    Good grief! Absolute tosh frm the Growth Commission. They should be called the Austerity Commission, absolute fools; maybe they were unionist plants.
    Currency is THE issue, without your own you are a Vassal State ; F U C K! M E D E A D.

    Difficult to recover from this, the Yoons will be laughing their heads off.

    • Kangaroo
      I agree and why I blogged this morning, this is huge own goal and while again no one has to accept what the commission says it is linked with the SNP and that’s all the ammo the yoons need to kick start Project Fear 2, it’s a huge own goal and I hope someone has a strategy to counter it as we will be killed in the press and while that may not bother you and me, we don’t believe their shit or buy their papers but many do.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  5. Yvonne Hollywood says:

    does it not help if we continue using sterling, given that we can retain the majority of business that is moving out of the UK? As in be the ‘bridge’ between Europe and England, and financially nothing changes for any of them, meaning we get a huge increase in business?

    • Yvonne
      In the short term it no doubt makes sense but the problem is that the report gives ammo to the unionists who can now re-hash their currency arguments from 2014,and it would have been better to avoid that. I agree with Richard Murphy there were other options that need to be at the front of the debate, it’s a pity and with the commission being linked to the SNP it shows the need for the YES Movement to be the lead in the next campaign. I am not an SNP member but I do vote for the party as the only one that can deliver the referendum.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  6. bjsalba says:

    SNP Conference is 8-9th June. There are such things as emergeny/topical resolutions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bjsalba
      Will be interesting to see if the conference discuss this but they tend to be strictly manage them so we will have to wait and see.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  7. James says:

    Why is everyone still talking about a currency union. It was specifically stated there won’t be 1. We’ll use the pound (cos it was ours 1st anyway), and all we’ll do is keep the same interest rates. Sounds ok to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      James
      The U.K. could then mess with interest rates and such like according to Richard Murphy which makes using the pound very risky. I’m no expert but it feels like a gift to the yoons to be honest. We can’t afford to be rehashing the same arguments as the last time or we will be bogged down in 2014 again.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

      • mearnsgeek says:

        The whole point of being independent is that we’d be able to change out minds and policy if the situation changes and this policy of keeping sterling isn’t working out.

        Let’s face it, if we win a second indyref, Scotland isn’t going to be overnight a completely different place to the rUK and not having every single thing be new and shiny from day 1 makes a lot of sense – the hard work starts after a Yes vote.

        I would like to have seen more of a commitment that we will *definitely* be moving to a Scottish pound (or whatever) but it’s a decent starting point IMO.

        • mearnsgeek
          Scotland won’t change overnight you are spot on, and no one will expect it to, but the offer has be different than what is on offer right now within the UK. For me it’s always been about democracy and nothing more than that but for most its about money and the economy and how they understand it to be, too many don’t need much of a reason to vote no. I suppose that his starts the debate and more clarity will come in future but at least things are moving in the right direction at least.

          Thanks for commenting.
          Bruce

  8. Mike Lothian says:

    Most people are afraid of change, so the slower the rate of change the more likely we are to get those people on board. That’s the reason we’d keep the monarchy and the pound after independence. Once we are independant we can change both those things fi the people want that. To win our independence we have to get people on board and scaring them won’t do that. There will be Project Fear 3.0 going all full pace, so lets not add to the fear from our side too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mike
      If the offer is too similar to what we have now, pound, Bank of England, same interest rates, we won’t convince people as they won’t see the point. It’s a tough one and we all have ideas. I don’t think people will be afraid by the arguments and I agree change is difficult, however, replaying 2014 on the issues like currency plays into yoon hands I suspect. I really believe the narrative needs to change this time led by the YES Movement.

      Thank you for reading the blog, and commenting.

      Bruce

  9. Ricky says:

    Bruce , I know you want a Scottish Currency , as do we all . But to get some of the 55 to vote our way we need to show a way to do that . Following the Irish model , is close enough to home that it might resonate with some of the 55 . The report also indicates something else , that we will use the pound without the consent or agreement of Westminster , but with full knowledge of the problems that will arise in the short term . And that is all it is short term , a max of 10 years to set up our own currency that is stable and solid for the country is a small price for the longer goal . Read Wee Ginger Dugs take on it or Peter A Bell , they have decent takes on things , or watch the latest Indycar on Youtube it covers this as well . I know your frustrated about this , but I think they may have learned , and are laying the foundation for something , maybe its not asking permission for anything but deciding to do it for themselves and freeze out Westminster .

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ricky
    I will be doing a lot of reading on this but Richard Murphy has been pretty spot on most of the time. He noted that the Irish model was a disaster for Ireland but I am no expert. My biggest concern is that the offer is different enough or we are back in 2014 again and that won’t help us. I also really do think that the SNP need to be second fiddle this time to the YES movement as the yoons will use all the ammo they can get.

    Thanks for commenting.
    Bruce

    • Ricky says:

      Of course they will use anything as ammo , but what do they have left ? Shouting nobody wants another indyref , what currency , out of the EU , we won’t trade with you , fishing will go tits up , no ship building , no trade deals , they have little or nothing left . We need to attack the union , because they can’t defend it , there is no defence for the union it doesn’t work . Use positive realism for independence and attack the union for all its worth , and let them try and defend it . Set the tone , set them momentum , and set the narrative .

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ricky
    You’re not wrong there, we take the fight to them.

    Thanks for commenting.
    Bruce

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