#ScotlandDecides: Canny Alec concedes a #Currency handicap to redoutable Darling

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If you were one of the many who didn’t get to see the STV debate between Alec and Alistair last night, you can catch it here. You can make your own mind up who won the debate, but as both sides were keen to emphasis, debates don’t change the weather.

The results of this one though I suspect will have surprised most people. I don’t know anyone I spoke to about it beforehand who seriously thought Alistair Darling would come out of it with his dignity intact.

Indeed, one of the most interesting moments last night on Twitter was when Survation released it’s own pre match figures with how the debate went down with a live ICM panel for the Guardian:

Even though, these ratings are completely in line with the western front like figures for the overall polling in the last couple of years in the case of STV’s own IPSOS Mori polling (underlining that zero effect on the campaign) Yes campaigners having carried the weight of expectation, will have the harder job getting up this morning.

Salmond’s achievement is to get the debate this far. A forty plus per cent dissent level over the United Kingdom’s sovereignty over Scotland is massive achievement. He has proven, against the odds, that Scotland could exist on its own after independence.

And that’s where he started last night. The mild mannered Darling wasn’t long luring him into the mud of currency union question and did his best to keep him there for as long as he possibly could.

Now, forget the debate for a minute, and look at the currency as laid out in Salmond’s own thoroughly detailed proposals for an Independent ScotlandOptions for currency union

This is the reason why Alex has no Schlieffen Plan (sorry, I’ve been a wee bit immersed in the WWI thing on the quiet) to cut around the back of enemy lines and knock the opposition out from behind.

For the believers in Scottish independence, the negative consequences of Independence won’t matter. For those of lighter preference, it certainly will.

The key problem, and why the First Minister is so reluctant to engage is the problem of retaining the financial sector north of the border (Edinburgh’s bankers and financiers put a full 24% of GDP into the Scottish national tank).

If you take option two, which is to do what Ireland between the 20s and the early 80s and just peg your Scots pound to the Bank of England, you effectively have no lender of last resort. Don’t get me wrong. Whatever the No camp might say, it can be done. Just not without surrendering a huge chunk of that income to England.

Option one, means that if you can negotiate a deal with England (and like EU membership, why wouldn’t you if you have the democratic mandate for it?), but then you are into the same territory that Ireland finds itself in viz a viz not simply the ECB, but discovering that the German Parliament is getting to approve you’re budgets before the Irish parliament.

Of course, that many only be a temporary measure until something more formal is put in place. Many pro Independence Scots may figure that half a loaf is better than none. The majority, ie, those who have have been holding out in Salmond thus far won’t see it that way.

So, whilst the debate may indeed have been disappointing for the YES camp, I don’t think Darling did anything other than raise a critical and pre-existing fault-line within the Scots populace to the surface.

Salmond has another crack in front of a tv audience, but it is hard to see how it gets past this one issue.

On the other hand, the YES campaign has had a resolute focus on developing an on-the-ground campaign aimed no doubt at keeping up spirits and turnout as their troops approach the enemy lines.

No one wonder no one was backing last night as a game changer. Complacency on either side is the common enemny for either side. But it is Salmond who’s carrying most of the policy handicap just as they go into the last turn of a very long race.

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  • kensei

    Ireland used Sterling informally until 1928, a punt pegged to Sterling until 1979 (that’s the whole time, not just in the early 80s though for most of that it was a different era in internal currency), a free floating punt until 2002 then the Euro. Cosmically, they all “worked” and were for the most part subservient to government policy in the impact on the economy.The currency issue is reasonably technical and better suited to a more sombre debate after independence. Essentially any other option will be 5-10 years out in any case so there is plenty of time to decide.

    In fairness to Better Together I’d have done the same thing. The trap isn’t so much the financial services, but the political one. Say that you will have short term informal currency then decide, and you’ll be easily hammered for indecision. Say that Plan B is one of the other options and you’ll be hammered on the weakness of it. If I was Salmond, I’d be tempted to pick one and just defend the weaknesses. that would move the debate on, and at least to ground of your own choosing.

  • mickfealty

    From a unionist pov, if you leave it till after, you run chance of losing the referendum. Not sure why you would be tempted to do that.

    It’s not a Yorkshire man, shoe-box-int-middle-a-road scenario we are talking about here. Just some prolonged tough weather after independence.

    We need to see how this pans out, but I think there’s a few very cautious nats who were not convinced now was the time to call this referendum.

    Powder is often better left dry in the musket until you have the kind of critical mass that makes winning if not inevitable then at least on the cards.

    Yes shouldn’t be dismayed by this. As I said above, the rating of the two men is in line with broad opinion.

    The disappointment may be bolstered by a general forgetfulness that Darling won his wings at a Westminster dispatch box bringing budgets and bailouts through some pretty nasty anti Scots jibing from a baying Tory front bench.

    The tough truth is that an Independent Scotland is far more exciting to contemplate for us outsiders, but getting people to sign up to it is going to prove a tall order.

    Too few observers have stated the bleedin obvious: the Yes campaign may have closed a gap, but it has yet to hit the front.

  • Michael Henry

    Alex Salmond went into that debate with 77 per cent of people thinking he would walk it- but Salmond came out the other side with only 44 per cent against Alastair Darling who – ( no harm till the man )-can hardly be described as a party leader-

    It’s something that I have feared for a while now- Salmonds heart is just not in it- he has entered a race where he has no intention of winning or even passing the baton on to some one who might deliver-( we will find out better in the next few weeks )-

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Yes I agree with this summary, many in the ‘Yes’ camp feel Salmond has lost the battle for them, however I don’t feel yesterday’s debate will change m(any) minds.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Interestingly many English people are asking why they haven’t been given the choice as to whether they want to keep Scotland or not. This debate could go a lot further with England wanting to go it alone which would obviosuly impact NI.

  • kensei

    I was talking from (1) how you might make a sensible decision (holding pattern and assess carefully) and (2) a Yes POV on how they might counter it.

    I’m not sure it would mean particularly rough weather after independence. For a start you’d need to see the outcome fo negotiations. But the most likely outcome is that things would stay much as they are i the short term. Any changes will pan out over the long term.

    I’m sure Salmond wants to win it, but I’m not sure if he believes he will this time; the polls have been so consistently No. But it is probable he’ll get more power to Scotland, and he’s decisively set the precedent that it’s in Scotland’s hands – he’d trouble getting the referendum in the first place. I’d guess that there will be more independence supporters after the referendum than before, and it is a realistic possibility in a way that it wasn’t previously. The next generation that argues for independence might have an easier time if in the event of a loss, the UK reneges on any promises or general does worse. You could wait 20 years anyway for the powder to dry, so I think strategically it’s the right choice.

    There is another TV debate too. The general pattern from the US is that the loser of the first recovers in the second, but we’ll see.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    Oops!

  • Morpheus

    It’s a valid point but having lived in England for 30 years I don’t think Northern Ireland wants to pull on that particular thread Joe

  • Joe_Hoggs

    If Scotland does go it alone then it has to be considered a real possibility. Do England really want us? I can see them keeping Wales but no NI and the ROI certainly don’t want us.

    Politicians seriously need to start making this country work.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    Sorry,.try that again: Salmond’s problem.on.currency seems.to.me.insurmountable. It.is.just not feasible.to insist on a.currency union. Salmond is.unconvincing on.the subject because.he.know.this. He knows.perfectly well that the pound is.not an.asset and he also knows that Sterlingisation is, as Frances Coppola.said. ‘bat-shit insane’, as was his.threat to.default on Scotland’s share of.the.debt. His ‘independence in Europe’ never really appealed to me but at least it made some kind of sense whereas this.doesn’t. When the dust settles will the verdict be that postmodern statehood was broken on the rocks of the Euro crisis?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    On a separate note, what’s with the use of so many full stops?

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    I don’t know. My phone hates me.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Thanks. I thought it was a new online talk mode that I wasn’t aware of, I still don’t like the Twitter version. #hate#it

  • Morpheus

    According to the Treasury, NI gets £10,876 spent on us per head of population per year, the English get £8,529, below the UK average of £8,788. We don’t want them to look at it too closely :)

    http://www.cityam.com/blog/1385049825/northern-ireland-has-highest-government-spend-head-uk

  • Joe_Hoggs

    That’s my pont Morpheus, they are starting to look at it since the Scotland debate is in full flow.

    What exactly is done with this £10,876 per person per year?

  • Morpheus

    Here in the expenditure from last year:

    Public and common services – £506m
    EU transactions – £76m
    International services – £229m
    Debt interest – £1,406m
    Defence – £1,108m
    Public order and safety – £1,489m
    Enterprise and economic development – £264m
    Science and technology – £81m
    Employment policies – £156m
    Agriculture, fisheries and forestry – £503m
    Transport – £610m
    Environment protection – £270m
    Housing and community amenities – £967m
    Health – £3,669m
    Recreation, culture and religion – £556m
    Education – £2,794m
    Social protection – £7,954m

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Thanks Morpheus, are those figures just for NI?

  • Morpheus

    Yes, just NI.

    Note the following:
    Defence – £1,108,000,000
    Debt interest – £1,406,000,000
    Public order and safety – £1,489,000,000

    And the tiny amounts spent on science and technology, enterprise/economic development

  • dougthedug

    There is no problem with currency just that the UK is using the threat of no currency union as a political weapon in the independence debate.

    Just to point out Scotland has no share of the UK’s debt.

    This is what the Treasury says. “In the event of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, the continuing UK Government would in all circumstances honour the contractual terms of the debt issued by the UK Government.”

    Any agreement to pay off some of the UK’s debt by an independent Scotland will depend on what the UK offers in terms of assets and currency to offset the debt payments.

  • dougthedug

    It doesn’t actually matter what the currency plan the Yes campaign put forward the Better Together alliance will claim it won’t work.

    A currency union won’t work because even though it would be to the rUK’s advantage to have one they won’t allow it.

    Using the pound without a currency union won’t work because Scotland will face disaster without a central bank.

    A Scottish currency won’t work because as soon as you move away from Sterling all businesses in Scotland will have to pay currency transaction charges to trade with their major trading partner the rUK.

    The Euro won’t work (even if we could get it) because the Euro means Scotland will end up like Greece.

    Any other plan put forward…BT will say it won’t work.

    It’s all just part of the doom and gloom agenda of BT.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Yes it’s crazy, I assume the defence is linked to Trident?

    Debt interest is staggering, is our debt going up or down?

    Public order and safety – is this the police?

    I again agree completely with you, what about the £7954 that goes to social protection, what does this relate to??

  • Cal Murray

    “We need to see how this pans out, but I think there’s a few very
    cautious nats who were not convinced now was the time to call this
    referendum.

    Powder is often better left dry in the musket until
    you have the kind of critical mass that makes winning if not inevitable
    then at least on the cards.”

    I’d disagree with that strategy for either Ireland or Scotland. I’d actually say that it’s necessary to lose the first Ref in order to win the second.

    While a NI Ref will be entirely different to the Scottish one the NO side deploy similiar tactics noteably to pin the YES vote and therefore the shape of the new Scotland/Ireland to a single party and attach to that a demand for specific detail (I think this is your trick as well Mick) thus if you dislike the party vote NO and if you dislike the answers to the specifics vote NO.

    Now then, while I expect (sadly) that Scotland will vote NO, London has made lots of vague promises of jam tomorrow for the Scots if they remain in the UK and lets be honest there will be no jam tomorrow, hence when the demand for a next Ref gathers pace a lot of NO and none voters will be easily swayed to voting YES.

    A NI Ref will be much better, London is committed to not campaigning for a YES and I bet they are grateful as I expect the Fleggers and OO protests give a flavour of the tone of the NO campaign for here and while I expect a similiar NO vote I also expect the likely unionist crowing afterwards to push a lot more people into the Yes camp next time.

  • dougthedug

    We need to see how this pans out, but I think there’s a few very cautious nats who were not convinced now was the time to call this referendum.

    So when was the time to call it Mick? The only way to get an independence referendum was to get a majority in the Scottish Parliament and there’s no guarantee with the PR system in place there that getting an outright majority will be achieved again.

    What would have your strategy been? To ignore the opportunity and hope that the SNP got an outright majority again in some future parliament and to also hope that somehow that would be a better time to call a referendum than now?

  • Morpheus

    Your questions are all perfectly valid Joe and it’s part of the reason why Northern Ireland PLC is in the state it is in. Our MLAs – because of their ineptness – do not pull the Finance Minister over the coals about this stuff. Sammy Wilson was able to bluff his way through his ministry because the rest of the MLAs were too busy bluffing their way through their terms to get him to answer important questions like the ones you pose.

    (I have a lot of time for this new Finance Minister BTW – I don’t think he is handling Welfare Reform very well at all but it took balls to call Edwin Poots out last week for his Health Budget but it had to be done and he did it – mucho respect there)

    I would guess that debt interest is our part of the UK debt which as of Q1 2013 amounted to £1,377 BILLION, increasing by £107 billion per annum.

  • Morpheus

    “London is committed to not campaigning for a YES ”

    Where does that come from?

  • Tacapall

    “The key problem, and why the First Minister is so reluctant to engage is
    the problem of retaining the financial sector north of the border
    (Edinburgh’s bankers and financiers put a full 24% of GDP into the
    Scottish national tank)”

    Somebody is telling porkys, maybe the union needs Scotland far more than Scotland needs England.

    “In 1974 the UK Government commissioned a report into the potential of North Sea Oil and how it might influence support for Scottish independence. The report made clear that an independent Scotland would be far richer than if it remained within the Union. The report’s conclusions were so dangerous that it was designated secret and hidden for thirty years before a Freedom of Information request forced the UK Government to reveal its contents.”

    Why would the Scottish people have to worry about what currency they could use –

    http://yes2014.net/2014/08/01/oil-around-shetland-could-be-more-than-it-appears/

    “In an exclusive turn of events, several anonymous sources have
    advised us about strange going on’s in the Clair field near Shetland. A
    few days ago we were made aware that contractors working for BP were
    stood down after obtaining the results of the latest test drilling
    statistics. While the source refused to name the actual test drilling
    rig, other sources of information point to it being in the Clair field.
    It was said that the test results “far exceeded expectations”.

    We have had other information that contractors have in fact been sent
    home on full pay just after receiving these results and that they were
    advised that they would not be recalled until after the referendum. All
    of this happened just shortly before Prime Minister David Cameron became
    the first Prime Minister to visit Shetland in 34 years. His visit was
    shrouded in secrecy and up until he was snapped by a photographer
    getting off the plane had been denied altogether”

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    I’m afraid there is. It’s not just a campaign strategy; agreeing to a CU is not in rUK’s interests because they would be shouldering all the risk and the obligations. Let me put it another way: what credible rules in relation to public debt and deficits would George Osborne be able to stick to?

  • Zeno1

    “A NI Ref will be much better”

    When will that be? Well we know when it will be as it’s when the Polls and Election Results show a Yes vote can win. But there’s no evidence to show that will ever happen. So?

  • Morpheus

    And what exactly do the election results and polls need to show? What specifically do nationalists need to aim for? You do know, right?

  • chrisjones2

    “there’s no guarantee with the PR system in place there that getting an outright majority will be achieved again.”

    So if Scots are unlikely to elect an SNP Majority again whats the point of an independence vote? That may be accurate and instructive as a comment

  • chrisjones2

    “when the demand for a next Ref gathers pace a lot of NO and none voters will be easily swayed to voting YES.”

    Dream on. IT will take 20 years for the recriminations to settle down. That’s it decided for a generation

  • chrisjones2

    Now now….dont disillusion the SF votes. They have hope ….

  • chrisjones2

    SOS NI has to believe that the result will be yes.

    Given the revelations about what past SOS’s believed that shouldn’t be too hard

  • chrisjones2

    That’s £4000 per person on benefits…that’s why MLAs don’t want reform ….too many clients will lose out

  • chrisjones2

    When you meet them you realize why some of them don’t question him. It would require the formation of coherent sentences that don’t just involve the words ‘orange’ ‘pope’ ‘irish’ ‘oppressed’ and ‘equality’

  • chrisjones2

    Aye ..that’s why he started it .

    The other view is that failure is now staring him in the face. Now they line up to blame him for the failure oust him and get his job. That’s how politics works ….every cloud ……… just look at Dave and Boris

  • Morpheus

    Yes I know what the GFA says. But I want someone, ANYONE, to tell me exactly what the election results and polls need to show in order for the SoS of NI to believe that the result will be yes. What specifically do nationalists need to aim for?

  • Morpheus

    How did you calculate £4000 per person on benefits?

  • gendjinn

    I believe the UK govt (Blair) pledged to be neutral in the campaign. Not that it’s written anywhere…. and therefore as dependable the unwritten British constitution.

  • gendjinn

    Morse code.

  • Jofrad

    “The tough truth is that an Independent Scotland is far more exciting to
    contemplate for us outsiders, but getting people to sign up to it is
    going to prove a tall order.”
    Exiting for outsiders to watch the break – up of the UK eh Mick ?

    “Too few observers have stated the bleedin obvious: the Yes campaign may have closed a gap, but it has yet to hit the front.”
    The Yes campaign has stalled, has never been in the lead and is leaving it a bit late.

    Do you really write this stuff Mick ?

  • Zeno1

    Of course I know. It’s soo obvious almost everyone knows.
    But I’m not going to explain it to you. It would take too long.

  • Morpheus

    There there. Of course you know sweetie :)

    The reason you ‘know’ is because you made it up :)

  • Cal Murray

    Nope, it’s when the SoS says so, which is when the PM tells him to say so’

    Which is basically when the PM wants to.

    A independence Ref is not party political, as I pointed out in the post you responded to. No matter how often the trick is pulled by Mick or the media, so election results are not a measurement, neither is stopping someone in the street while waving a clipboard

  • Cal Murray

    Nope, the GFA recognises two nationalities rights in NI (unlike in Scotland) so a PM cannot intervene on behalf of one.

    I recall SF cheekily claimed that HMG were obliged to act as a persuder for a UI at the time.

    NI is under Joint Authority now as a recent NIO report made clear when it said that NI would have to be excluded from any talks concerning a future rUK as otherwise the Irish Govt were entitled to attend.

    Jeez, HMG can’t even impose welfare reform in NI, why do you think SF picked that particular fight to fight when they let so many pass by, welfare reform is meant to be UK wide, but they’re proving NI ain’t UK wide

  • Cal Murray

    care to exand on how you reached that conclusion

  • gendjinn

    Nope, the GFA recognises two nationalities rights in NI (unlike in Scotland) so a PM cannot intervene on behalf of one.

    Why not?

    I recall SF cheekily claimed that HMG were obliged to act as a persuder for a UI at the time.

    I recall SF wanting HMG to become a persuader not that they were obliged.

    ….why do you think SF picked that particular fight….

    Interesting point. I thought doing what their voters wanted as well as being consistently anti-austerity north & south was their motivation.

  • dougthedug

    Because elections to the Scottish Parliament are not a referendum.

    Many Labour supporters who cannot bring themselves to vote for the SNP in an election feel able to vote Yes for independence in a referendum.

  • dougthedug

    That reply assumes that Scotland would be more risky than the rUK and that the benefits of all the current and future oil production in Scotland would bring nothing to the market value of the pound on international markets.

  • mickfealty

    I’ll confess Doug that I wasn’t one of those voices telling the FM he’d got the timing wrong. Personally a Yes or a No has been less important to me than the debate itself.

    Scotland politically has lost that whining under confidence, particularly with the advent of a majority SNP government at Holyrood (none of the Scots based UK parties have even begun to match it for drawing in native political talent).

    In fact I only figured out that the currency issue was the third rail in this debate in February, and that a week or two after the debacle over the Chancellor.

    Why it’s the third rail is simple. Ireland in 1922 did not have large financial sector putting 24% into the country’s GDP. No lender of last resort, and they have no choice. They will have to leave Edinburgh (with the huge drain in human and intellectual capital that implies).

    The Scottish Government’s alternative is not independence: it’s Ireland with the Troika only permanently installed. Permanent special measures, as the saying goes.

    Somehow, some joker down below has figured from the article above – in which I haven’t mentioned the SNP once – that I’m trying to paint out the difference between a referendum and the popular vote.

    I see there are others trying to do that (rather foolishly in my view), but our experience of Irish referendums is that they work on a different plane to party politics, and that no one would be wise to extrapolate from one to the other or indeed back again.

    That said, Labour actually needs to have been thinking already about its own next steps (I doubt they have) forward. The SNP will be fine if No stays above 40% (and even if it falls below that, it still isn’t faced by a coherent Scottish opposition) and better the closer it moves to 50%.

    The problem for Scotland is that the closer it gets to the 50% mark, the greater the negative incentive to the finance sector to bugger off slowly over the next 10 to 15 years.

    Ironically, that sort of ‘restructuring’ would make independence more feasible over the medium term, but that’s a hell of a chunk of income for a small country to be losing in a competitive international scene.

    Mind you 10 or 15 years is a long time in politics. If the Euro was to sort itself out, then Scotland might be able to do both.

    I’ll be leaving the extrapolation to our circumstances until we get an actual result in September. In the meantime, I’m looking for…

    – Scottish essayists to continue our occasional series,

    – An on-the-ground No blogger for the last week of the campaign (Phil Mac Giolla Bhain will be reporting for the YES side).

  • Morpheus

    C’mon, enlighten me. What specifically do nationalists need to aim for in the election results and polls?

    Nationalist parties to take 40% of the votes in the Assembly elections? Local elections? Westminster elections? European elections? All of them? A mixture of them? 45%? 50%+1? 55%? 60%? Biggest designation at Stormont? 40% of all elected public representatives being nationalist?

    Are you allowed to tell me which polls the SoS will use? NILT? Belfast Telegraph? Sunday World? If it’s the NILT then what modules are to be used? UNINATST? UNTDIREL? NIRELND2? FUTURE1? FUTURE2? All of them? None of them? Mixture? What needs to be seen in the ones you say will be used?

    If it will ‘take too long’ just add a simple link which confirms what nationalists need to aim for in order to make the SoS confident that a poll would succeed.

  • Zeno1

    GFA
    1 if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.
    (That means Vote Yes)

    _____________________________________

    Try and work it out yourself. Here’s a few clues.

    A Referendum is decided by the number of people voting for one side or the other.

    What would indicate that a Yes Vote could win?
    _____________________________________
    Elections.

    A) The number of Councillors they have?

    B) Holding the office of First Minister?

    C) The actual number of people voting for them?

    What would indicate that a Yes Vote could win?
    ____________________________________
    Polls and Surveys

    A) 10% say they would vote Yes?

    B) 20% say they would vote Yes?

    C) 51% say they would vote Yes?

    ____________________________________

    What Polls and Surveys would the SoS use?

    A) Mickey Mouse Polling Companies with poor reputations?

    B) Well established Reputable Polling Companies?

    Mull that over for a while and I’ll get back to you later.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’d love it Morph if we could just stick to the subject in hand rather than making it always about us, us, us?

  • Morpheus

    Let me try to cut through the rubbish and decifer what you are trying to say:

    1. Elections – There needs to be more nationalist votes than unionist votes (which elections by the way – Assembly, Local, Westminster or European? Mixture? 2 out of 4? 3 out of 4? 4 out of 4?)

    2. Polls – a poll from an established, reputable Polling Company needs to show that 51% of the population would vote Yes. That question isn’t asked in the NILT so we are talking a specific BT/Lucid poll, right? Like this one:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/poll-just-38-want-a-united-ireland-29584149.html

    Is that what you are saying?

  • dougthedug

    No lender of last resort, and they have no choice.

    Why’s that Mick? When a company is using the central bank to keep going as a lender of last resort it is, to put it bluntly, already fecked.

    Do you have figures for the number of finance companies who have resorted to the Bank of England to keep going? That would tell you how much a central bank is actually needed in Scotland otherwise it’s just your opinion.

    In any case banks and other finance operations are bailed out not by the country where there nameplate resides but by the country where they operate.

    In an article by Avinash Persaud in City.Am he says he can’t see any problems with Scotland unilaterally using the pound.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    I wasn’t assuming that at all. I’m referring to the deal about borrowing that would be necessary.for a CU. What interest would the rUK have in constraining themselves in this manner? What.interest would Scotland have, for that matter?

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep. But would you take a car on the road if you thought your insurer would not be good for any damages you might accidentally incur?

  • mickfealty

    That’s true (would you take your car on the road if you thought the insurance company could not afford to pay out in the event of an accident?).

    The problem is the sheer size of the financial sector and any future Central Bank of Scotland’s capacity to underwrite it.

    I don’t see much written about option two to be honest, but in part that’s because I don’t think many people reckon it will go like that. It’s simply not credible.

    Option one (ie, tied to the Imperial parliament) is the more likely. That would be far short of the sort of independence Ireland struck for in 1922, but the world has changed a lot since then.

  • dougthedug

    The interest is more in the stability that Scotland’s oil and gas exports bring to the pound.

  • dougthedug

    A Central Bank doesn’t have to underwrite the financial sector.

    The lender of last resort has no obligation to keep a company solvent and will only do this in cases where any failure is regarded as detrimental to the national interest.

    Your insurance analogy doesn’t work when the insurance company will only pay out if it sees and advantage for itself.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    No that’s not right. Oil is obviously worth having but it brings volatility, not stability, to a currency. But that doesn’t address my question. If a CU had a stability pact like the Maastricht one (borrowing 60% of GDP, BD at 3%, if memory serves), it wouldn’t be in rUK ‘s interests to agree to that. Even if it was, do you really think.politicians in England, Northern Ireland and Wales would be able to sell that to voters? Not a chance. It’s time for Yes Scotland to face facts: the currency issue has been a slow motion car crash and the only person to blame is Alex Salmond.

  • Zeno1

    I’ve replied twice but the posts keep vanishing. I’m not going to bother trying again .

    Both posts basically said……………….. Jeez…………..NO NO to your 2 questions.

  • Morpheus

    Jesus wept, getting your point out of you is like pulling teeth.

    Let’s look at elections first. You said:
    “A) The number of Councillors they have?
    B) Holding the office of First Minister?
    C) The actual number of people voting for them?
    What would indicate that a Yes Vote could win?”

    Are you saying that there needs to be more nationalist Councillors than Unionist Councillors PLUS a nationalist First Minister PLUS more nationalist votes than unionist votes?

    PS. The number of Councillors obviously comes from the Local elections, First Minister comes from the Assembly, where does the third come from – Assembly?

    PPS. This would really be a lot quicker if you simply linked me to the document which confirms all this BTW :)

  • dougthedug

    But any UK CU will not be based on the Maastricht one.

    You’ve raised a straw man argument.

    If Scotland becomes independent the UK will lose almost 10% of its GDP overnight and with no CU that will be reflected in the currency markets including the ratings agencies.

  • Zeno1

    Let’s look at elections first. You said:
    “A) The number of Councillors they have?
    B) Holding the office of First Minister?
    C) The actual number of people voting for them?
    What would indicate that a Yes Vote could win?”
    —————————————–
    JESUS, IS THAT NOT GLARINGLY OBVIOUS

  • Morpheus

    Mind blowing concept I know bui how about committing and actually answering a few questions rather than trying to avoid it by asking more?

    I ask again – Are you saying that there needs to be more nationalist Councillors than Unionist Councillors PLUS a nationalist First Minister PLUS more nationalist votes than unionist votes?

    Or is your list à la carte? For example, can I have a ‘C’ please Bob?

    PS. The number of Councillors obviously comes from the Local elections, First Minister comes from the Assembly, where does the third come from – Assembly?

    PPS. This would really be a lot quicker if you simply linked me to the document which confirms all this BTW :)

  • Zeno1

    DID YOU NOT READ THIS POST?

    GFA
    1 if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.
    (That means Vote Yes)

    _____________________________________

    Try and work it out yourself. Here’s a few clues.

    A Referendum is decided by the number of people voting for one side or the other.

    What would indicate that a Yes Vote could win?
    _____________________________________
    Elections.

    A) The number of Councillors they have?

    B) Holding the office of First Minister?

    C) The actual number of people voting for them?

    What would indicate that a Yes Vote could win?
    ____________________________________
    Polls and Surveys

    A) 10% say they would vote Yes?

    B) 20% say they would vote Yes?

    C) 51% say they would vote Yes?

    ____________________________________

    What Polls and Surveys would the SoS use?

    A) Mickey Mouse Polling Companies with poor reputations?

    B) Well established Reputable Polling Companies?

    Mull that over for a while and I’ll get back to you later.

    ===============================================================
    IF YOU DID READ IT, READ IT AGAIN BECAUSE YOU ONCE AGAIN COMPLETELY FAILED TO UNDERSTAND IT

  • Morpheus

    I can read it fine – thanks for your concern. Now try answering the questions I asked

  • Zeno1

    In that case, get someone to explain it to you.
    I’ve no interest in talking to you for obvious reasons.

  • Croiteir

    Better negotiators for a start, imagine agreeing to that crock of keek., and imagine being stupid enough to vote for it.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    I was just using that as an example. What borrowing limits will the CU that isn’t going to happen have, then? And how, pray, can you know?

  • dougthedug

    I don’t assume knowledge I don’t have. You did, and then used it to try and prove a point.

  • Zeno1

    “so election results are not a measurement, neither is stopping someone in the street while waving a clipboard”

    REALLY?

    “The Secretary of State turned down a referendum saying ……………………

    “The provisions for calling a border poll are set out in the Belfast Agreement and the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

    “Given the state of opinion in Northern Ireland, which is clearly expressed in election results and opinion polls, the Government has no present plans to call such a poll,” she said.”

    *note that bit………… clearly expressed in election results and opinion polls,

  • Morpheus

    You are a bluffer zeno

    :)

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    Can I refer you to your last comment? You said CU wouldn’t be based on stability pact criteria. That’s assuming knowledge. Would you care to speculate on what the borrowing limits would likely be? If not 60% then what? 70, 80, 90? If it was 90 even slasher Osborne would need to do some more slashing. Why would anyone in the rUK agree to that?

  • Morpheus

    Go on, explain to Cal exactly what needs to be in the election results and polls in order for the SoS to be confident that a border poll would succeed because you seem to be the only one in the know. You have the floor, I’ll be here on the edge of my seat

    :)

  • Zeno1

    Yeah,Yeah, that’ll be it. It has nothing to do with your inability to understand simple concepts like: what decides who wins a referendum and how would you measure that from opinion polls and election results?

    It’s all my fault.

  • Zeno1

    No one else but you is asking what the polls and election results have to say before a referendum is called. No one asked during the GFA negotiations. Is that because they are all stupid, or maybe it was soo obvious no one needed to ask. Except you of course.

  • Morpheus

    Finished with your mope?

    It’s very simple zeno. You are the one – the ONLY one – who claims they know exactly what a SoS needs to see in the election results and polls in order to be confident that a border poll would succeed. I have simply asked you, repeatedly, to prove it by showing me and you have repeatedly avoided answering the most basic of questions instead opting to bluff it by answering questions with questions.

    Conclusion =Bluffer

  • Zeno1

    “NI is under Joint Authority now as a recent NIO report made clear when it said that NI would have to be excluded from any talks concerning a future rUK as otherwise the Irish Govt were entitled to attend.”

    I’d like to see that report if you have a link?

  • Morpheus

    Nationalists need to aim for better negociators for something that happened back in 1998?

  • Zeno1

    Why does no one else except you need it explained to them? Why don’t you write to the Secretary of State and ask her? I’m sure it will give her a laugh.

  • Morpheus

    Why write to the SoS when I have you, the fountain of all knowledge? You obviously know the threshold where the SoS goes from being ‘not confident’ to ‘confident’ and I was just hoping you would share it with the world so nationalists would know that reaching the threshold is beyond their capability. You’d be doing everyone a favor if you think about it.

    The closest we have come so far is confirmation that the information is contained somewhere in election results and polls (ahhhhh, remember the good old days when we were certain that national identity was part of it too?) and all we need now is confirmation from you as to what it is in the election results and polls that nationalists need to aim for in order to make the SoS confident that a border poll would succeed.

    On your marks….get set…….go

  • Zeno1

    First you claimed no one knew what the SoS looked at.
    When I told you. You then changed the subject to what exact figures she will be looking for.
    Now you’re telling fibs. I told you she would look at Polls ,Surveys,Elections and Identity.
    Now show me a link that says she doesn’t take National Identity into account.
    Also ,could you stalk someone else.

  • Morpheus

    Not stalking, proving you are a bluffer. With ease :)

    I can no more prove that the SoS won’t look at national identity than you can prove the SoS will – the whole point of my thread. You don’t have a clue…just like the way you don’t have a clue what nationalists have to aim for. You tried to bluff it and failed.

    I suggest a reread of what I *actually* said btw :)

  • Croiteir

    The question was what to aim for, better negotiators than the gulpins in 1998 is the start.