Scotland’s Future … an introductory guide (that shouldn’t be ignored by NI)

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The Scottish Government’s 670 page long white paper Scotland’s Future was published today.

Scotlands Future coverThe document reads like a cross between a party manifesto and a giant FAQ. It’s tone is of modernity and a progressive Scotland. Issues around independence are opportunities not challenges – and derivations of “opportunity” appear four times more often than “challenge”.

It makes an independent Scotland seem like a more tangible possibility while simultaneously supplying just enough information to spark hundreds of questions in your head about the practicalities of removing the Saltire from the Union flag and going it along ‘north of the border’.

Scotlands Future snippet of table of contentsVarious sections make the case for independence, look at the financial impact of splitting, the NHS, pensions (categorised under Health, Wellbeing and Social Protection rather than Finance and the Economy), international relations and defence, justice, fisheries, food and drink, culture, broadcasting and a myriad of other issues. (And yes, flags are covered in about half a page.)

It’s downloadable in PDF, ePUB and MOBI (Kindle) formats, and can also be flicked through online.

No doubt over the coming months various Slugger posters will refer back to the ideas the white paper contains and the challenges opportunities it presents for the NI Executive and Assembly who would be foolish not to dip into Scotland’s Future and borrow some of its ambition and ideas, even if they are quite sketchy and the detail hasn’t yet been resolved.

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  • braniel unionist

    So, it is ambitious to suggest leaving a successful union in order to apply, as a new state, to join a larger union which already includes it’s current partner, on the condition that they keep The Pound? Then, denude Scotland of it’s only effective deterrent against attack, while relying on it’s friendly neighbour to protect them? And, then, falsely promise numerous unaffordable social benefits to it’s people! That is neither modern nor progressive. It is bonkers!

  • Harry Flashman

    Truly pathetic. The Scottish Nationalists really are a lily-livered bunch aren’t they? They are almost as laughable as the Quebeckers, always nyamming on about how wonderful it would be if only they could be free of their oppressive English rulers but utterly terrified of actually breaking free.

    So they want independence do they? Really? They want to be an independent state, like Norway, or Brazil, or Indonesia, or Bangladesh? You know a free independent, sovereign state that has complete control over all matters relating to its borders, laws, currency, sovereignty, the stuff that real independence means?

    Is that what the Scots nationalists really want? Because it sure as hell doesn’t sound like it. They will retain the Queen, the NHS, the BBC, the pound sterling?

    So they don’t actually want independence do they? They’re not willing to fight and die for their nation’s right to self-determination are they? All they want is glorified home rule in which they get to keep the nanny-state bits of Britishness they’ve come to like.

    670 pages of mealy-mouthed waffle about how marvellous independence will be because it won’t really be independence.

    Not exactly Proclamation of the Irish Republic or “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…” stuff is it?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Agree, Harry. But people need to keep a wary eye on the actual question posed. At the last (most recent) referendum here, polls showed that a significant portion of the people who intended to vote “Yes” believed that they would continue to be part of Canada (somehow). And it was a close run thing.

  • Charles_Gould

    SF should produce one of these for a UI.

  • Morpheus

    If SF produced one of these it wouldn’t even be looked at by a sizable chunk of the population. An independent body should create one of these so we get warts’n’all and the 30% of the population who currently ‘Don’t Know’ can fall into the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ camps.

    In terms of the thread then why don’t we just leave it to the people of Scotland to decide what they think is in their best interests. I am pretty sure we’ll still get our handout

  • Son of Strongbow

    Setting to one side the obvious heresy of a small percentage of an island people seeking a partitionist future for themselves, it is an interesting novelty in these parts for a group advocating such a separation to actually put their vision down on paper.

    Rather than relying on a mythic ‘manifest destiny’ wooly kind of approach I mean (oh, and the persuasion-by-murder campaign of course, we should never forget that oft utilised option).

  • Charles_Gould

    The SNP have set a precedent that SF may wish to follow. It could help clear up a lot of issues and establish their vision for a UI.

    The SNP can’t guarantee these outcomes, nor can SF, but the proposals are useful as part of seeing a model of how it could work.

  • Neil

    That the SNP waited until one year prior to the referendum to produce such a document may give you a small indication as to why one has not been produced here. One would think on a thread about Scottish independence the reason you don’t set out your plans a decade in advance would be quite obvious – hint, the Scots might leave, that would change the basis of your future plans here, as would a British departure from the EU, as would financial meltdown in Ireland/UK/EU.

    Publish your plans about a year in advance of the vote? Sounds like a good idea, we should do that.

  • denogla

    I downloaded the document as a pdf and searched for the word ‘nationalist’…’No matches were found’. Hmmm.

    Other posters have claimed that the SNP have set a precedent for SF. I won’t dispute that, but it seems to me that the historical precedent for the kind of ‘independent’ Scotland the SNP are after is obvious: the Irish Free State (though SNP independence would probably amount to a bit less…).

    The kind of rhetoric about continuing to cultivate close relations with ‘the rest of the UK’ (the UK will not continue to exist in its present form if Scotland becomes independent, because one of its constituent nations, Great Britain, will no longer exist) and the Republic of Ireland has a Good Fridayish accent (‘East’-‘West’ axis) to it as well.

  • Charles_Gould

    Neil

    SF want a referendum in the next Assembly, so such a document would go hand in hand with that, They are also presenting the results of unofficial mini-referenda that they are currently organizing. The most recent one was in Lifford.

  • Neil

    Charles,

    do you think should Scotland vote for independence that one would have to take the into account? Or if England left the EU? Or there was a further financial meltdown? Obviously all of these factors, and factors unknown would have an impact and so spending millions on a document that would be out of date by the time the ink dried would be a waste of money. This is why Salmond has waited until now to produce his, and it would be nothing short of idiotic for the Shinners to mount their campaign for a hypothetical vote many years in the future.

  • Count Eric Bisto von Granules

    “Setting to one side the obvious heresy of a small percentage of an island people seeking a partitionist future for themselves….”

    How can I put this succintly? Wow

    Discuss

  • Barnshee

    ” why Salmond has waited until now to produce his, and it would be nothing short of idiotic for the Shinners to mount their campaign for a hypothetical vote many years in the future.”

    Thus in a longish journey where we know the sought destination we decline to consult or provide a map for the way until a few seconds before we leave/
    I don`t think so the reason that SF have no map is because they don`t know the way

  • Neil

    It’s not a map and it’s not about ‘the way’ to get there – the answer to both being via a referendum. It’s more an itenerary of what happens when we get there, and to plan an itenerary it’s a good idea to know what’s going on there right now, instead of basing it on what you think the ground will be like in 5 years time. It also costs millions and is hence a pointless waste of money too far in advance.

    A very long campaign is known to turn voters off. Salmond banging on about independence and nothing but for 5 years would leave the electorate weary. Wait until late in the game and make a good argument and you may win.

  • Charles_Gould

    Neil

    You make good points and in fairness I didn’t say they ought to do it now. But they should do it at some point.

    I guess you think that at the moment is a bad time to have a referendum and maybe in a few years it might be a better time if say the economy in NI grows such that people in NI are feeling more prosperous and NI is less dependent.

    Against that the GFA lays out that the SoS calls the referendum if it is likely to go to a YES vote, and it is necesary to build up support for the idea in the first place to attain the conditions for a referendum. A plan or some kind of blueprint might help to build up that support?

  • foyle observer

    I really hope they get their independence.

    If the Brits can hand back Hong Kong, they should hand back every other post crumble of their glorious empire colonies.

    Wonder if the ‘loyalists’ of Ireland will be as eager to fly the Scottish national flag on their lamp-posts, post independence?

  • Morpheus

    I always wondered what it is the SoS needs to see in order for him/her to be confident that a ‘Yes’ vote would win. Something in the census? Something in the Assembly elections? Something in the L&T survey?

    It is very subjective at the minute, I am surprised the Shinners haven’t asked for it to be clarified in black and white. As it stands after the next election the SoS could say “Right lads, SF are the biggest party so I am confident, here is your border poll.”

  • Harry Flashman

    You are aware FO that way and above everyone else the Scots were up front and centre when it came to building the British Empire, as kings, soldiers, engineers, politicians, missionaries, spies, businessmen, the whole shebang.

    Including in our own wee nook of the empire.

    It would be a wee bit disingenuous for them now to claim to be victims of the empire they pretty much created.

  • foyle observer

    Harry, no, not quite accurate.

    Anyway, good luck to the Scots. Hope they achieve what most countries deserve, and that is their right to self-determination.

    The end of the ‘Union’ is nigh.

  • Greenflag

    @ Harry Flash

    “”It would be a wee bit disingenuous for them now to claim to be victims of the empire they pretty much created.”

    Yes and No . Those who know their Scots history will know of the Great Darien Ponzi scheme which removed one third of Scotland’s investment capital in 1700 – in the Panamanian yellow fever swamps of Darien .

    The would be Scots seekers of El Dorado died in their hundreds while English merchant ships off shore were under orders not to rescue any of the colonists . Scotland was bankrupt and her much richer southern neighbour bailed out Scotland in return for the Scots giving up their then “independence ”

    So the Scots were both victims and beneficiaries of Brittania Inc as historian Simon Schama makes very clear in his must see series on British History –

    Good luck to the Scots whatever their decision . The timing for this referendum probably could’nt have come at a worst time with so much uncertainty re the world economy and the on going financial and debt crises which won’t ever be resolved until the white collar criminals of Wall Street and the City of London and their bought political abetters are dragged from their desks and hanged from the nearest lampost by the ever increasing number of the destitute and any remaining members of the disappearing American and British middle classes .

  • Greenflag

    @ Neil ,

    Excellent points made above at .7 November 2013 at 1:42 pm

    @ Banshee ,

    Given that the circumstances which would give rise to a referendum are somewhat vague to say the least -then it would be foolish for SF to put down in black and white what their version of the political future will be when the British authorities are very grey indeed on the subject .

    Of course this could be just HMG’s mandarins as usual ensuring that they will always have just enough ‘rope ‘ to hang their opponents but will run out of rope before they hang themselves .

    Scot free is the way HMG likes to depart from former colonial entanglements . And while both Scotland and Ireland are not Botswana or Singapore or Nepal or Kenya nevertheless the London regime sees both as somewhat outside the Pale . How many Tories are elected in Scotland ? or in Northern Ireland ? Total of 1 I believe .

  • Charles_Gould

    I believe that the SoS would call a referendum if the nationalist parties (designating as such) had a majority of votes or a majority of elected assembly members.

  • Paulk

    “Is that what the Scots nationalists really want? Because it sure as hell doesn’t sound like it. They will retain the Queen, the NHS, the BBC, the pound sterling?”

    Just because they may vote for independence doesn’t mean they should jettison perfectly good ideas, my understanding is that the Queen will be their head of state much like Australia, Canada etc. and i’m pretty sure they’re still independent, the NHS in Scotland is already funded by the Scots with an arrangement in place with NHS England and NHS Wales for any cross border help they may need in much the same way the NHS in Northern Ireland has a mutual agreement with the ROI. They are also quite within their rights to keep the pound, when they signed the act of union in 1707 their previous currency was also called the pound. Not everything in Great Britain is owned exclusively by the England.

    “Setting to one side the obvious heresy of a small percentage of an island people seeking a partitionist future for themselves”

    Indeed i’d say they should ask England and Wales to vote on it as well but i’d wager that the pro union camp might be shocked at the answer, and i’d suggest thats the reason why its being restricted to Scotland only…. pro union people really need to stop with the negative campaigning start telling the Scots why they should stay in the union and its benefits rather than threatening them warning what will happen if they leave etc.

  • Charles_Gould

    There is quite a big difference between Scottish and Irish nationalism.

    There are differences in culture but …

    The most intriguing difference to me is that

    *Because Scotland starts “from scratch” the SNP can offer Scotland continuing as she is, with only modest changes from the status quo, the same institutions, and same tax, welfare health systems more or less just run from Edinburgh. (The good budgetary situation means there are no need for cuts, either).

    *SF do not have this option. Because of the presence of the South and her established institutions, and her size, NI would essentially become part of the South and so that would determine our institutions, tax, and health/education systems. So, in a sense, there is less need for a manifesto. People in Dublin aren’t going to change their institutions to accommodate NI. Dublin provides its own manifesto: for the best evidence on a UI look to Dublin.

    It does mean there are more winners/losers in the Irish case than the Scottish case, because there are bigger changes implied.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Charles Gould:

    “for the best evidence on a UI look to Dublin.”

    Good post, Charles, but I disagree with some things including the above.

    Dublin is Leinster and Leinster people are different to Ulster same as they are different to Connaught and Munster. For what the six counties would be like in a UI I think Ulster folk should look to Donegal, a county where many northern Protestants feel quite at home I believe.

    As for the health/education systems in Ireland, there’s no reason whatsoever why 6co Ulster people wouldn’t have a strong role in changing the current systems if the changes brought improvement.

  • Old Mortality

    PaulK
    “…..pro union people really need to stop with the negative campaigning start telling the Scots why they should stay in the union and its benefits rather than threatening them warning what will happen if they leave etc.”

    Telling them that they are unlikely to be able to afford their existing levels of public largesse IS stating a benefit of the union, albeit a dubious one.
    I’ve heard it said that there are some Scots who intend to vote for independence, not out of patriotic zeal, but as the only way of breaking the country’s dependency culture.
    I doubt whether a united Ireland could or would sustain the even worse levels of state dependency here. Maybe it’s time for SF to stop helping out with benefit claims.

  • gendjinn

    A timely article in the Derry Journal about experiences of German re-unification and what Irish re-unification should learn from it.

    The lesson, for Ireland, is that reunification needs to be much better planned.

  • Old Mortality

    gendjinn
    Michael Burke is not ‘a leading economist’ and to support his threadbare argument he persists in using GDP which persistently exaggerates the success of the Irish economy by including the substantial chunk which represents the profits earned and repatriated by foreign-owned companies.

  • gendjinn

    Old Mortality,

    that’s very interesting, do you have some links to more details on his shenanigans as I would like to have a clearer understanding of reality.

    GDP economics aside the point remains that we need a better approach to planning for re-unification than Germany. We also should learn from their experience, evaluate how open we should be to amending our constitution to embrace the new nation.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    FoyleObserver[1.54] I noticed that the actual effective independence date in 2016[if the ref goes as Salmond wants it to, is March 24th, thats Maundy Thursday three days before Easter Rising centenary. Subtle or what. He wants it tied in with Ireland’s independence factor. Of course, unionists care not a jot for Scotland’s future, they’re fearful of the ideas England will get about the subsidy to this place, and with good reason. All bets will be off in that climate prevailing in the remaining UK, post Scotland exit.

  • Red Lion

    Salmond sounds to me like he is undermining his own argument; Scotland can stand on its own two feet yet he says they still want to use the UK pound…a UK that they have just left.

    Er, what? Do you want to stay in the UK or do you want out of it?

    Or maybe you want some halfway house? If you want devo max then say so. Don’t call it independence when it really isn’t.

  • Charles_Gould

    Will be interesting to see how many points the YES side gain in the opinion polls.

    This thing is n’t settled yet. And the polls could be wrong: does anyone know how well the polls did in the devolution referendum?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Why wouldn’t they use the English pound? Entirely sensible if you ask me, it saves the costs incurred in pegging to the euro or setting up a new Scots Punt. And how exactly does Osborne intend to stop the Scots from using Sterling,a fully convertible reserve currency? He is talking cach.

    A very sensible sober call from the Scots.

  • Red Lion

    Well yes Charles, some see Salmond as very clever, undoubtably he is, others see him as slippery.

    Seems to me he is trying to straddle two horses.

    Those who want independence on identity or ‘heart’ grounds, and then selling independence to other Scots who like certain British aspects of their daily life…the pound, NHS, even the Queen, as if many things about an independent Scotland will be reassuringly similar and wholesale change won’t abound to encourage a ‘yes’ vote amongst the undecided.

    To me, its too…confused, and makes him look slippery or trying to stretch the definition of independence to the point at which it is no longer really independence and he loses credibility as a result. Maintaining the UK currency in a so called indie Scotland is a mixed message which says ‘actually we are better together’.

    I think it would have been more honest for SNP to go for devo max and call it that.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh come now Greenflag you don’t believe that whiny oul, chippy Scottish tosh about how Darian would have been a great imperial success if only the mean English hadn’t ruined it, do you?

    The union of Great Britain saved the Scots’ scrawny necks, just as it was to do in 2008 when the Scottish financiers over-reached, again, and were bailed out by the English, again.

    Safely ensconced in the British union the Scots became the greatest imperialists of the whole lot, free from the damp, cramped parochialism of Scotland the Scots were able to play an imperial role in the wolrd’s stage as they set out to carve up the world among themselves from Canada to Hong Kong and from New Zealand to India.

    Take a wander around Singapore, Nassau, Hong Kong or Penang and just look at the number of Scottish names you see in local districts, streets and businesses. The Scots filled their boots in the empire and loved the whole rigmarole as they amassed great booty either as soldiers, plantation owners, slave traders (ever wonder why so many British people of West Indian origin have Scottish names? It’s like a big elephant in the corner that no one likes to draw attention to) , bankers and missionaries.

    Scotland was the most die-hard Tory region of the country as late as the 1960s. It really won’t do for them now to try and reinvent themselves as victims of the very imperialism they set up.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    Harry Flashman[1.46]The Scots want to stay in the union because they’ve been ‘tamed’ by the English. The Welfare State has them cocooned. They’re broken in and can’t flee the nest because they’ve been neutered. It’s the same story with Unionists here. They’ve had their balls cut off and are neutered as well and are tied to England’s apron strings. They have no more self respect than than the Scots and fear being stranded. Cowardice is their raison d’tre.

  • Charles_Gould

    Sinn Féin should certainly be looking to build up Northern Ireland’s economy, as that has helped the SNP to be able to argue that no cuts are needed to the budgetary position.

    The issue for SF is that while SNP have argued that things can stay almost the same in Scotland after independence, that isn’t possible for SF because the ROI already exists and is established in its ways; SF would have to change NI’s tax, welfare, health, broadcasting institutions etc to be as ROI. That means SF have to present bigger changes to the electorate than the SNP.

  • Charles_Gould

    The FT’s amusing column on the SNP’s document reads:

    Braveheart whose mum does the laundry The SNP’s blueprint for independence is reminiscent of a note from a son to his parents….”

  • Mc Slaggart

    “Braveheart whose mum does the laundry The SNP’s blueprint for independence is reminiscent of a note from a son to his parents….”

    I wonder how this is seen in Scotland. It appears one does not have a “British pound” but an “English one”?

  • Barnshee

    GF
    “Given that the circumstances which would give rise to a referendum are somewhat vague to say the least -then it would be foolish for SF to put down in black and white what their version of the political future will be when the British authorities are very grey indeed on the subject .”

    Stuff the political future —lets have the SF plans on
    Taxation
    Health
    Education

    Just for starters
    (would be good light reading I suspect)

  • Neil

    McS

    I wonder how this is seen in Scotland. It appears one does not have a “British pound” but an “English one”?

    Funny that, the in the Guardian yesterday it mentioned the fact that there was a pound in Scotland prior to the Union.

    Barnshee,

    Stuff the political future —lets have the SF plans on
    Taxation
    Health
    Education

    You’re definitely asking all the right questions.

    Taxation – See Republic of Ireland taxation system.

    Health – See Republic of Ireland’s health service.

    Education – See Republic of Ireland’s school system.

    Anything else? You see as CG mentioned on another thread, we will not be taking over Ireland when and if unification occurs, we willl be subsumed into the Irish nation. They will not be renegotiating every single facet of life in Ireland to pacify Unionists (or Nationalists for that matter). The dog will be wagging the tail, not the other way around.

  • Morpheus

    “we will not be taking over Ireland when and if unification occurs, we will be subsumed into the Irish nation”

    Says who? You?

    Mary Lou’s speech very much indicates that we should be looking at taking the best of RoI and the best of NI and democratically building a new Ireland which works closely with the UK, the US etc.

  • Neil

    I think the democratically elected government of Ireland will make the decisions. I doubt if an overhaul of Education, Health or Taxation is on the cards.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Neil:

    “I doubt if an overhaul of Education, Health or Taxation is on the cards.”

    Not unless the overhaul improves those sectors. All states should constantly strive to improve, and a new Ireland would be no different.

  • Morpheus

    The democratic government will make the decisions Neil but the democratically elected officials north of the border will have their say as well. If we went to referendum on the premise that NI will simply be subsumed into the RoI and our elected officials would have no say then it would fail. And fail miserably. And rightly so.

    The reality is that we cannot talk with any certainty about what a UI would look like because we haven’t even started the conversations yet. Maybe the much talked about Federalized Provincial Governments feeding into Dublin is the way to go. Maybe the same devolved arrangement as now except devolved from Dublin instead of London. Who knows? But one thing is certain, at some stage a concrete proposal will need to be put to the people so we can all decide if it is for us and our families or not.

  • Charles_Gould

    I think it is important to accept, that in a UI, the reality is that NI would be like ROI in terms of the various legal, health, broadcasting, tax/benefit, educational and university systems. I can’t see it being practical otherwise, and I would have thought the argument FOR a UI is that of having a single system. As ROI is established, and bigger, it isn’t likely there would be big changes.

    That is perhaps another reason why SF does not need to bring out a book.

  • gendjinn

    Morpheus,

    As an Irish citizen my position is straightforward. If unionists want to negotiate now for UI, then these matters are on the table for change & compromise.

    If we have to wait to win a majority in an NI referendum then NI will be subsumed into the Irish Republic without changes to the constitution, institutions, flag or anthem.

    In simple terms, for us to give unionism something they want, they will have to give us something we want. Unionism does not get to hold out to the bitter end, until we win a referendum and then they get to negotiate what the re-unified Ireland looks like.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    I’d agree with that.

    If unionism loses the big gamble then it has to pay up.

    I’d consider voting for a UI now if certain changes would be made e.g. replacing the tricolour with a new flag for a new Ireland amongst other things.

    But that’s just me. The Lundy that I am…

  • Red Lion

    gendjinn, I’d say if nationalism got its 50+1 the Dublin government will have a canary and will very much be in ‘negotiating mode’, including negotiating with London for them to stay on board in some capacity to help settle unionists and to help pay for the whole shebang.

    50+1 starts off negotiations

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    gendjin[10.47] That’s as it should be and when the time comes up here and unionists are in the minority, their claims about being democrats will be exposed as they will then have no use any longer for ‘their wee country’ unless they control it politically, and Britain,[possibly by then England won’t help them out with repqartition so they’ll have nowhere else to go.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    alas there is no party representing “Unionists for a negotiated United Ireland” and so no way to gauge the level of interest in exploring that avenue.

    Red Lion,

    I think it will depend a lot on who’s in government in the Republic. If it’s FF and/or SF then it’s very doubtful they would prevaricate. If it’s FG and/or Labour the prevarications are more likely but will end when there’s a change of government.

    Either way the negotiations will be on the transition and not the nature of the union. That ship will have sailed.

    danielsmoran,

    England has no interest in NI and wants shut of the place without losing face, so repartition is out. That unionism will renege and likely resort to violence is not a certainty, today they would but in 15 or 30 years will they? It depends on the heat remaining in NI politics. In that same timeframe I would expect the Republic to be integrated into the European Defense Forces and will have ample resources to put down any terrorism. They will have full support from the EU, there is no way the EU is going to countenance another 30 years of Troubles in the north.

  • Greenflag

    @ Harry Flashmann,

    ‘Oh come now Greenflag you don’t believe that whiny oul, chippy Scottish tosh about how Darian would have been a great imperial success if only the mean English hadn’t ruined it, do you?’

    Thats not what I said HF . Darien was never going to be an El Dorado – It was a Ponzi Scheme – Darien was a yellow fever infested swamp -which even today is avoided by modern Panamanians – The English merchant ships in the area may have feared contagion -do remember it was 1700 – and thus left the eh ‘enterprising ‘ don’t say greedy now Scots to die .

    Of course today’s modern Ponzi schemes concocted and administered by Wall St & the City of London continue to wreak much worse havoc on the world’s remaining democracies much more so than Empire ever could . It seems the new American Pope Francis is about the only politician speaking out against the tyranny of the financial services sector in the world economy although how he reconciles that message with the flagrant extravagance of that German Bishop of Bling I’ve no idea ?

  • Greenflag

    @ Barnshee,

    “Stuff the political future”

    The political future can’t be stuffed -It will unfold certainly or uncertainly -of that we can be certain at least in regard to NI.

    —lets have the SF plans on
    Taxation
    Health
    Education”

    Better ask SF then -I think Neil above read the script and perhaps unwittingly Mr Salmon has let the penny drop for SF that is .

    The Scots will decide their political future and I’d leave it at that .

    As to maintaining the link with the pound sterling I don’t see any problem with that . The Irish Republic ‘s pound was linked with sterling until March 1979 and the Free State was still part of the British Empire and Commonwealth until 1949 .

    Whats interesting imo is Scotland probably reducing corporation taxes to attract inward investment . The SE and the London are have always been the main attraction for foreign investment and even local investment in these islands -at least until the Republic reduced it’s corp tax to 12% .

    But will such a policy work for Scotland in today’s beggar they neighbour world as not just countries but regions and states within countries carve out their public services so that foreign and local capitalists can earn more profit and thus skew income distribution even more to the pre Victorian age ideal of 2 % having everything and 98% having nothing .

    When and if Scotland or the UK or Ireland or the USA ever get to that point politics will be stuffed – but not in a bloodless way . And totalitarianism of the left or right will reassert itself . London’s moneymen may be forced to make good their threat to leave for Switzerland or Liechtenstein or the Caymans -assuming of course that they can find a sanctuary somewhere.

    .

  • http://www.e-consultation.org/ davenewman

    It has been downloadable on Kindle for over a week.