No parallels with Ireland as a pro-union strategy in Scotland begins to emerge at last

There were risks in sending a posh English boy like George Osborne to Scotland to warn that it might be no doddle for an independent Scotland  to continue using sterling as its currency. The move  might yet backfire among thrawn Scots if  the English try to put the frighteners on them. Like pointing out the supposed difficulties of Scotland continuing more or less automatically as a member of the EU, Osborne’s sally north  was part of London’s  growing challenge to the SNP tactic of lulling the Scottish people into independence as the most natural and inevitable thing in the world. However rather than stoke a backlash as it might well have done, Osborne’s warning is being interpreted as a  sign of growing unionist confidence and part of an effective riposte to the Nats among otherwise divided parties. This comment by the Guardian’s Martin Kettle is on the money.    

As English red rags waved in front of proud Scottish bulls go, George Osborne’s Glasgow speech was as provocative as they get. And with David Cameron having made his own trip north this month to celebrate Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons – historically unpopular in Scotland – it is hard to imagine two events better calculated to present Salmond with a tailor-made nationalist opportunity..

…both sides suspect, surely rightly as things stand, that Scots will vote no when the referendum comes

The most remarkable thing of all is a paradox: the calling of the independence referendum, far from acting as a springboard for a much more confident and assertive nationalism, seems to have become the catalyst for some significant and welcome rethinking about the nature of unionism.

Neither side in the sterling argument has made much of the Irish experience of 1922 when the new Free State kept sterling. This is the only article comparing the Free State’s situation then with Scotland’s today that I’ve been able to find.   Of course the heirs of Griffith and Collins had other priorities after violent struggle and no obvious alternative. Yet in the split over the Treaty, the currency and the economy barely figured, or  later in the tortuous debates sponsored by de Valera   on achieving “ full” independence. Only the small parties on the left, like Sean McBride’s Clann na Poblachta made anything of it.

MacBride also argued for the “return of sterling assets” to Ireland-essentially a decoupling of the Irish pound from Pound sterling by selling British gilts and investing the money in domestic enterprise. Officials in the Irish Finance department, who had an excellent relationship with the British Treasury and thought a decoupling would isolate Ireland and discourage investment, resisted. The matter came to a head at the time of the 1949 devaluation of sterling. Despite two government meetings to discuss decoupling, it was decided to retain the sterling link – which remained until 1979 ( when the sterling link was broken as the Republic joined the European exchange rate mechanism and finally the euro in 1999).

As Dev’s grandson Eamon O Cuiv put it to me a few years ago: “only when we joined the EEC could we look Britain in the face as equals”  Alex Salmond and the Nats will  no doubt try to  play an equally long game if they lose the 2014 referendum.

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  • Rory Carr

    Forgive me for being obtuse but don’t you mean to say “Alex Salmond and the Nats will no doubt try to play an equally long game if they win the 2014 referendum.” ?

  • tacapall

    Didn’t Alex Salmond say they would also like to keep the link with the monarchy as well as the link with sterling, therefore Scotland will still be a dominion of the crown, is this idea of independence just another word for, we want to look after our own financial affairs.

  • Neil

    I suppose people are going to view this with their own hopes for the result in mind. Certainly negative campaigning by one of the most hated parties in Scotland has never before been viewed in such a positive light. As Dewi pointed out, repeating themselves for the next two years might also come to be a problem, and they’ve been repeating themselves for a while already.

    If the Tories are in the running for a win in the next GE then support for independence will grow and that may yet happen. Meanwhile Salmond can prepare his responses and with a bit of luck blow currency and EU issues out of the water while the wind’s at his back. After Bannockburn’s anniversary and when people start to get fed up with the toffee nosed Eton types telling them they don’t have what it takes, with Braveheart airing on TV nightly.

  • Red Lion

    Neil, we’ll get the reality of the documentary of Salmond hobnobbing with Trump and abusing the Scots of the Aberdeenshire estate on TV around the same time.

    Will Scots choose myth of braveheart over the Salmond government abuses of Aberdeenshire?

  • veryoldgit

    ‘if the English try to put the frighteners on them’.
    English? Osborne is a British pro union politician. The House of Commons is composed mainly of British politcians who couldn’t give a toss about England. They are more concerned with shoving as much English taxpayers money across the borders to subsidise Scotland Wales and N.Ireland. They don’t represent the majority of English people’s view on the UK. Most of us English would be pleased to see it end.

  • runepig

    A few things in the article and comments I’d take issue with here. First off, I wouldn’t agree with the Guardian’s analysis. Having read the bi-weekly or so regurgitations of the Westminster government’s line in the Guardian, this seems to be par for the course, and you’ll find myriad commenters on their website picking up on the paper’s lack of understanding of Scottish politics and the mood of Scotland’s electorate.

    I don’t see Martin Kettle’s piece and Gideon’s excursion to ‘North Britain’ as anything else than a rehash of the same (and constant) message to the people of Scotland, i.e. “Too Wee, Too Poor, Too Stupid.” There’s still little progress to be seen in the promise of a ‘Positive Case for the Union’ and ‘Balanced Debate’.

    Also, this “Alex Salmond and the Nats” thing is getting a little old. Although SNP voters and/or members make up a considerable amount of Yes Scotland’s support, it is not an SNP or SG vehicle. Trying to paint the movement as such (or make it sound like some sort of rival evil pop group from a Monkees show as above) is a bit disingenuous.

    Lastly, while it can prove useful to look at the formation of the Free State in relation to precedent when it comes to Scottish Independence, the situations are very different. With this in mind, I think tacapall is commenting on the monarchy in Scotland through Irish tinted glasses (for lack of a better phrase). While I’m not exactly an enthusiastic monarchist, I don’t see there being the same issue being a ‘dominion of the crown’ post-independence. Bear in mind that, for good or bad, it’s Scotland’s monarchy too, and there was a personal union of the Scottish and English crowns a century before the Treaties of Union. I think retaining the monarchy post-Independence is seen somewhat as part of a restoration of Scotland’s status rather than not being completely free of some kind of English yoke (or, like myself, think there are more important things to worry about first).

  • tacapall

    Runepig Scotland being independent and having its own monarchy that although would still be Mrs Windsor and being a dominion of the crown, are two different things. How can you be independent from the rest of the UK but yet still be crown property. Isn’t this whole independence idea just modern day home rule for Scotland.

  • runepig

    tacapall, I appreciate what you’re getting at but don’t really accept the premise that an independent Scotland with a monarch is just home rule. After all, I wouldn’t consider Canada to be in a ‘home rule’ situation, and the key difference here is that the monarchy in question is not a ‘foreign’ one when it comes to Scotland (German-ness aside), e.g. we’re not ruled by a Canadian royal family. Again, I’m no fan of the Saxe-Coburgs and would like to see a lower profile monarchy for Scotland (if at all), but that is for the residents of Scotland to decide post-independence – another key difference is that the people of Scotland are sovereign, not parliament. That’s the point here – having the rights and responsibilities of an independent state, the form the head of state takes isn’t a primary issue as it was in 1922 for Ireland.

  • DougtheDug

    The most remarkable thing of all is a paradox: the calling of the independence referendum, far from acting as a springboard for a much more confident and assertive nationalism, seems to have become the catalyst for some significant and welcome rethinking about the nature of unionism.

    This paragraph sums up Martin Kettle’s knowledge of Scottish Politics. Let’s examine one important sentence.

    …the catalyst for some significant and welcome rethinking about the nature of unionism

    What is the significant and welcome rethinking about the nature of unionism that Martin Kettle is so enthused about?

    Ruth Davidson the gaffe prone regional leader of the Conservatives in Scotland has done some muttering that the Conservatives should look at devolution again and has set up a Scottish Commission to do that. When questioned as to whether the findings of this commission would be in the Tory UK manifesto at the next General Electon she couldn’t answer because she didn’t know.

    The Scottish region of the Lib-Dems produced a report in October 2012 under the auspices of the man who would be a patrician, Ming Campbell and it’s called “Federalism: The best future for Scotland”. Inexplicably it failed to become party policy at the following Lib-Dem Spring Conference.

    Labour in Scotland have produced their own interim devolution report under the direction of their Scottish regional leader Johann Lamont. The main income tax part was immediately disowned by Labour MP’s and in a radio interview Johann Lamont couldn’t confirm Ed Miliband had even read it.

    So that’s it. No UK party has any policy on devolution if there is a no vote in the independence referendum and no UK party has set up a UK commission to look at more devolution for Scotland as they’ve just left that in the hands of their powerless Scottish regions as a sop to Scotland.

    1. The Conservatives’ Scottish commission are thinking about devolution but can’t promise the UK party will take any heed.

    2. The Scottish Lib-Dems have produced a devolution report and the UK party hasn’t taken any heed.

    3. Labour in Scotland has produced a first draft of of their devolution proposals only to see them shot down by their own side straight away.

    I’d take the rest of Martin Kettle’s article with a big pinch of salt.

  • runepig

    Good post Doug, to sum it up in two words – jam tomorrow.

  • GavBelfast

    VeryOldGit: “Most of us English would be pleased to see it end.”

    I was entertained by and nodded-along to your post, but how do you actually know this? It’s just your opinion writ-large, isn’t it?

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    GavBelfast

    Have you any evidence to the contrary? In the case of Scotland, I would say that most English people are ambivalent at best.

    English people aren’t stupid – they can see that the “Union” really means them subsidising the other home nations – most particularly the North of Ireland.

    I believe that Scotland will just about vote to retain the Union. If the vote was in England, I believe VeryOldGit is correct.

    I also love the way that NI unionists are trying to draw a parallel between Scotland and NI. If the English people had their way – they couldn’t get rid of NI quick enough. I accept that that as long as the majority of NI people want to remain in the UK that’s fair enough. However, please don’t try and peddle the “as British as Finchley” crap or pretend that there is a lot of support for the Union with NI in England. There is very little interest and even less support.

    If you have any evidence of a wave of interest or support for the Union with NI in England, lets see it.

  • Neil

    The West Lothian question illustrates that to at least some English political anoraks the unfairness the Union provides for England. They would be better off without us financially and democratically.

    Add to that small number the English Nationalist types who would rather do away with the Union Jack and hoist the flag of England, the Vicky Pollards (of whom there are probably proportionally as many in England as there are are in NI/Scotland/Wales) who wouldn’t vote in anything beyond X Factor, the sizeable chunk of people who think everyone in Ireland is Irish, and the third of people who don’t vote and I’d say you have yourself a good majority of English who see the Union for what I think it is. A bunch of ingrates who demonstrate their ingratitude and bigotry towards the English daily and who are only interested in fleecing them for every brass tack they can get, while voting against English interests in Westminster and denying the English of that same vote in their own devolved legislatures.

    Let’s not fool ourselves. We bring nothing to the table but misery, we take everything we can get, and we do it with bad grace. And as I say that only applies to those who are interested enough to know that Ireland has a border in it.

  • cynosure

    I find some of these posts concerning the views of English people to be very interesting. I think I have a relevant perspective as I lived in Finchley, of all places, for a long period. Firstly, the area is not what most would imagine, containing both very run down estates and one end of bishops avenue. It has changed a lot since Thatcher’s time with a big influx of Eastern Europeans. Anyway, it probably contains a diverse enough demographic mix for pollsters. My experience, would indicate a range of views that tally with Neil’s post. My friends were both guardian reading lefties and daily mail reading working class. On balance, my totally unscientific straw poll would indicate most would rather be shot of NI at least.

  • BarneyT

    I lived all over England for 20 odd years…and many are unaware of the level of subsidy they provide to NI. A wider understanding of this would trigger near rebellion in many parts of England (Barnsley etc.) Many in the south see the north of England as an unncessary drain so my thinking is that the cost of NI to England (with no obvious benefit to England) sits under the radar of most.

    Nothern Irish, protestant and catholic are merely Paddy murdering bastards to the English…not just when the chips are down.

    On the Scottish thing…..I have to be honest. For me an independent Scotland represents the start of the end of the British Union…and I welcome it.

    In support of the English, they are absolutely better off without NI (and its treasonous disloyal covenanteers and “murdering paddys”) and perhaps without Scotland. Just a thought

  • grandimarkey

    a pro-union strategy in Scotland begins to emerge at last

    I have seen absolutely no evidence of this whatsoever. All we have is more of the same.

    You can’t do this. You will not be able to do that. This won’t work. Never accurately of course.

    Has anyone actually got a positive reason for Scotland to remain in the union? I’ve not heard one.

    And if the unionist argument is going to emerge it better get its skates on, the reasons for Scottish independence have been laid out years ago.

  • Paulk

    If i can pose an honest (but perhaps stupid) question to anybody who may know the answer then: Why are the all of the mainstream parties except the SNP campaigning for a No vote to independence?

    What are the benefits to keeping Scotland in the union rather than letting them go their own way?
    Is it the fear of a loss of influence internationally?
    Is it North Sea Oil?
    The Scottish Regiments?

    If it is to the benefit of the English tax payer why not let them go?
    It also seems to me that their arguments consist of a mixture of scare stories and basically saying Scotland would have nothing if it wasn’t for England pulling them along.

    Maybe i’m reading the wrong newspapers or watching the wrong news but nowhere have a read a compelling case for the retention of the union based on proper arguments.

  • Paulk

    Sorry if i duplicated grandimarkey’s 1.37pm question there my internet page only updated just now!!

  • Greenflag

    @ grandimarkey ,

    Ya gotta accentuate the negative -eliminate the positive – don’t mess with Mr In Between . The pro union side have adopted the stance of the popular 1940’s wartime song but par for the course they just got the words vice versa 😉 to get the message across .

    @ brian walker ,

    ‘As Dev’s grandson Eamon O Cuiv put it to me a few years ago: “only when we joined the EEC could we look Britain in the face as equals” ‘

    I don’t know whether O’Cuiv’s remark was before or post 2008 .Had it been after circa 2010 or so an apt rejoinder might have been

    ‘And how does it feel looking the Germans /Troika /IMF in the face as ahem ‘equals ‘?

    The less Ireland /Northern Ireland interferes in Scotland’s decision the better . The histories are intertwined but they also differ in important respects despite ancient cultural and/or linguistic ties via Scots Gaelic or Ulster Scots.

    No side as yet has dug up the ‘Darien ‘ misadventure which was circa 1700 Scotland’s last major financial throw of the colonial dice to assert some economic and political independence . For those who are unaware of that outcome -the ponzi scheme failed and England came to the financial bailout for which the price tag was the Act of Union in 1707.

    Nationhood and it’s adjunct ‘sovereignty ‘ have vastly different practical meanings in 2013 as compared to a century ago or even 40 years ago ! There are probably at least 100 large multinational corporations who have greater sales revenues (GDP) than half the world’s nation states .

    In that context even large nation states never mind smaller ones are in many areas ‘hostage ‘ to the requirments and priorities of the corporate plutocratic international sector who govern without the need for ‘votes’ .

  • DougtheDug

    Paulk:

    Why are the all of the mainstream parties except the SNP campaigning for a No vote to independence?

    Simple really. The Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Lib-Dems are all essentially English parties, all headquartered in England and with an overwhelmingly English membership.

    The “Scottish Labour Party”, the “Scottish Conservative Party” and the “Scottish Lib-Dems” are just registered party descriptions for Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems and are not separate parties at all, just election branding.

    For the members of these parties in Scotland an independent Scotland would stop their chosen career path in its tracks.

    Their chances of troughing it in the House of Commons followed by a £400 day attendance allowance at the House of Lords with a title, ermine collar and a flunkey serving tea would bite the dust.

    These parties don’t support the British Establishment, they are the British Establishment.

  • tacapall

    Scotland being independent from the union and the British establishment is an illusion, would the Scottish army or the Scottish government not be under obligation to partake in a war if the Queen declared war on behalf of the UK.

    If the crown owns all land in Scotland, would that be a different crown than the one which owns all land in the UK and the commonwealth.

  • Barnshee

    “Maybe i’m reading the wrong newspapers or watching the wrong news but nowhere have a read a compelling case for the retention of the union based on proper arguments”

    Because there is now no compelling case for the Union.
    The reasons, preservation of the English Succession -protection against foreign attack ( World wars confirmed the need for “the Union)”,are no more,

    England “bought” English security via the Union, it no longer needs either the union or its associated costs. In short English politicians are too polite to express the truth they don`t give a flying fuck for the “union” Its a burden they would rather do without.

  • tacapall

    That elite banking cartel in inner city London will still be pulling the strings in an independent Scotland, just like they pull the strings of the British government, it is in the interests of these people that Mrs Windsor acts and declares war, the Scottish people may believe they have the freedom to decide their own destiny and are free of English rule, but the reality is they would still be obliged to act and be under the control of the very people they are trying to break free from.

  • This feels like the gybe about the old Earl of Leicester (though it’s been said of many others), that he dreamed he was making a speech in the House of Lords, and woke up to find that he was.

    There was I, elsewhere bloaviating on the Border Poll. One of the reasons why the original Border Commission failed was because Patrick McGilligan, a hard-headed Ulsterman from Coleraine, was the Cumann na nGaedheal Minister of Finance. He had done his figuring and reckoned: “Unemployment insurance would be our greatest problem”.

    First as tragedy. Then as farce …

    Today’s Herald Scotland has a screamer:

    Pensions timebomb fear if Scots back independence
    FIRMS are facing a multibillion-pound pensions timebomb under EU rules that would kick in if Scotland voted to become independent, the country’s accountants warn today.

    Employers would be forced to plug gaping holes in exposed pension schemes immediately as underfunded “cross-border” schemes are not allowed under the EU’s Pensions Directive.

    The requirement could bankrupt some companies, accountants fear, forcing their schemes to collapse and leaving hundreds of thousands of past and present workers seeking help from state-backed protection funds.

    In a robust response, the Scottish Government said there was no reason why an independent Scotland could not follow the example of the UK’s existing agreement with Ireland to cover such pension issues.

  • DougtheDug

    Malcolm Redfellow:

    Pensions are the latest Chicken Little, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling…” scare from the No Scotland side ably abetted by the BBC and the press in Scotland.

    There’s a good response to it on the Sign for Scotland blog.

  • DougtheDug @ 4:27 pm:

    Fair point, as far as it goes.

    The Herald, though, is merely commenting on a report published today from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). What the ICAS want, and it is a reasonable want, is “the Scottish and UK Governments to engage with business, the pensions industry and the EU to minimise the financial impact on these schemes, their sponsoring employers and the people who have paid into the schemes”.

    That’s not Chicken Little feed. Any hysteria is not with the ICAS.

  • DougtheDug

    Malcolm Redfellow:

    Any hysteria is not with the ICAS.

    I never said it was Malcolm.

    ICAS has not quantified how many firms in an independent Scotland would be affected by this problem and what the liabilities of these firms would be. It could be hundreds of firms, it could be none and there is no attempt to work out what their liabilities are if any.

    However it’s, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling…” from the media in Scotland as your previous quote from the Herald shows.

  • OK, OK: DougtheDug @ 4:49 pm. You see, I’m open-minded on this. I just need a cool, collective appreciation of a complex argument

    So, in the immediate context, all you need to do is show where my previous had “the media in Scotland” declaring Skyfall. Else, am I entitled to assume you are merely a SNP mouthpiece?

  • Perhaps the Scots lost out by not declaring England to be but a colony when James VI and his pals went down to London and took over.

  • DougtheDug

    Malcolm Redfellow:

    So, in the immediate context, all you need to do is show where my previous had “the media in Scotland” declaring Skyfall.

    The quote you put in from the Herald which says, “FIRMS are facing a multibillion-pound pensions timebomb under EU rules that would kick in if Scotland voted to become independent…” is classic Chicken Little when no-one has quantified how many firms in Scotland are liable nor what their liabilities are.

    It’s even more Chicken Little, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling…”, when you consider that these firms are already legally liable for the shortfall in their pension scheme funding and will have to make up that “multibillion-pound pensions timebomb” whether Scotland is in or out of the Union.

    Else, am I entitled to assume you are merely a SNP mouthpiece?

    Ahh. Back to normal service. The reasonable point, counterpoint interchange there had me a bit unsettled.

  • GavBelfast

    Monk,

    I didn’t offer an opinion or evidence about general English attitude to the UK overall, for for any part of it, I merely asked of the poster concerned had any evidence for what he was saying.

    You seem to have got a bit needlessly excited about my simple query ….

  • Well, DougtheDug @ 10:15 am, you may be fully entitled to ascribe doom-and-gloom to the Herald, if only because it’s a stock-in-trade. I am conscious that the Herald is owned by Newquest, which is owned by the Gannett Company of Tysons Corner, VA, USA. Since Gannett’s claim to be “the largest U.S. newspaper publisher” rests in large part on — dearie, me! — USA Today, say no more.

    However, you are thereby taking pot-shots at the mere messenger. The source was ICAS, which is somewhat more reputable. You may have discovered in chartered accountancy an unknown dimension of sensationalism.

  • Starviking

    MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    However, please don’t try and peddle the “as British as Finchley” crap or pretend that there is a lot of support for the Union with NI in England. There is very little interest and even less support.

    Actually the quote is: “Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom; as much as my constituency is.”

    Which is quite true.

    Ref: http://sluggerotoole.com/2012/01/05/the-british-government-has-planned-the-sell-out-of-ulster/

  • Starviking

    tacapall (profile)

    Scotland being independent from the union and the British establishment is an illusion, would the Scottish army or the Scottish government not be under obligation to partake in a war if the Queen declared war on behalf of the UK.

    No, Scotland would be under no obligation to follow any UK declaration of war. This dates back to the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which granted legislative independence to the Dominions.

  • tacapall

    I dont think you are getting the point Starviking, Scotland under its own monarchy, although still Mrs Windsor, would not be part of the dominion unless it joined the commonwealth.

  • Starviking

    tacapall

    I dont think you are getting the point Starviking, Scotland under its own monarchy, although still Mrs Windsor, would not be part of the dominion unless it joined the commonwealth.

    Well first Tacapall, a Dominion is not a grouping, it is the definition of a member of the Commonwealth that has the Monarch of the UK as their own Monarch.

    You are right that Scotland can choose or refuse to join the Commonwealth. However, if it joins, as a dominion, then under the Statute of Westminster it does not have to join the UK in any declaration of war.

    If it does not join the Commonwealth, then, as an independent nation, it does not have to join the UK in any declaration of war.

    Seems simple enough.

  • Barnshee

    “I didn’t offer an opinion or evidence about general English attitude to the UK overall, for for any part of it, I merely asked of the poster concerned had any evidence for what he was saying.”

    How much you can read into “have I got news for you” But invited to a show of hands on Scotland the audience overwhelmingly to it to “bugger off” (A sentiment I hear expressed regularly)

  • GavBelfast

    When was that? Last night? Not watched it (yet) …

  • Barnshee

    When was that? Last night? Not watched it (yet)

    Yep last night

  • seamusot

    Scotland will introduce a new currency – “Stirling”

    Aye – following likely immediate purchasing power enhancement of the Stirling following on from liberation and removal of economic shackles, backed by freed oil reserves, there will be a target currency exchange rate of 1 Stirling Franc = 10 *ngurlanger Sterling Pounds.

    All traces of Windsor Mobsters will be removed from Scottish currency.

    Stirling currency will issue/convert at midnight following the liberation declaration and the use of *ngurlanger toilet paper currency within Scotland will be banned for at least one year thereafter to assist the *ngurlanger repatriation programme. It is therefore imperative that Scots should minimise their holdings of *ngurlanger toilet paper currency and cash assets immediately prior to the liberation referendum. Warn the weens to spend the contents of all piggy banks.

    The use of cash vending machines will be prohibited from liberation midnight until full conversion to prevent *ngurlanger parasites indulging in their favourite pastime of economically fleecing good Scottish people. Equally the most sophisticated and best technologies in currency design will be incorporated to counter *ngurlanger fraudsters.

  • In 1707 the guid Scots pound was exchangeable for sterling. The (generous) official rate – London had to bribe all those loyal Scots to sell out – was twelve Scots to one “British”.

  • FDM

    To keep the Scottish currency in line with the royal images on Stirling notes will the Scots be putting the pictures of tax evaders, thieves, footpads and spongers on their money?

    For consistency purposes of course.

  • seamusot

    Current plans for the new Scottish currency Stirling involve the images of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Bonny Prince Charlie, John Boyd Dunlop and Alec Salmond.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Forgive me, but I am reading this as:

    “No parallels with Ireland” as a pro-union strategy in Scotland begins to emerge at last.

    It seems the Pro-union camp has almost forgotten about the fact that The Free State left the Union with sterling, the monarchy and even a few taxes to the Treasury as well!