#IndyRef: City of London finally wakes up to possibility of losing Edinburgh (and more importantly the EU)…

Just to finish the week on Scotland (aye, there’s more next week with the start of a mini series we’re calling #IndyRef’s Elephant Traps), with this from Chris Blackhurst in the London Evening Standard

…the City has finally woken up to the Scottish referendum and the serious possibility of a Yes victory.

We know that if the Scots opt for independence there will be a rush by investors to exit companies with a heavy presence north of the border. Many large businesses up there, including two banking groups, are expected to relocate down here. Sterling will be set on a roller-coaster until the choice of Scottish currency is resolved.

Independence would boost Ukip and Nigel Farage, and weaken the authority of the Prime Minister. The Better Alone campaign of the Scots Nats is the same as the one Farage would run to leave the EU: a cocktail of we can prosper on our own, mixed with emotional flag waving.

The clamour from the Farage camp would be deafening so the prospect most firms dread, of the UK exiting the EU, (far worse than the Scots going it alone) would move closer.

Mario Draghi has acted to save the eurozone from stagnation, but we can’t tell if the European Central Bank president’s gambit is too little, too late.

Everywhere, there is uncertainty. Even the most consistent heaviest dividend payer in the FTSE 100 is a cause for doubt. The US court finding that BP acted negligently over the Deepwater Horizon disaster may see the oil giant fined $18 billion (£11 billion). That’s $18 billion that would have been paid in the divi.

Working backwards, I’d take that last one with a large dose of salt. £11 billion is the likely maximum possible, the hit to the divi could be a great deal less. And in the middle section he’s not wrong either about how competing nationalisms reinforce each others cultural arguments, even as they express utter disdain for one another

Perhaps there’s more than a little whiff of fear in the writer never mind the writing, suggesting that London has been looking the other way for longer than perhaps it should.

The gap, according to the polls, is still favouring (just) the No camp. Yes need to keep powering through. Expect just under two weeks of tumult as everything that’s not screwed to the floor gets thrown.


  • Mick, any chance we could get some (even semi) objective analysis – other than this afront of unionist scaremongering platitudes from the The Evening Standard – written presumably to pamper the feelings of the delicate and sensitive political sensibilities of the average poor little right wing Londoner. I mean, this opener of “We know that if the Scots opt for independence there will be a rush by investors to exit companies with a heavy presence north of the border”. What a load of c***! We know no such thing, while it is much more likely that the opposite will be true. London may wish their own scare stories were real, but they’re not, they are simply scare stories to frighten the Scots while at the same time reassuring the country that things aren’t be as bad as they think they might be. But they are. They are as bad for London and rUK as their worst fears have hinted to them that they may be. But they don’t want to think about that, better tell themselves something more reassuring in the hope that somehow that might make all their own worst fears go away. Well, that will work for a while, for another 2 weeks to be precise, and then all he’ll is going to break lose as London literally s***s the bed and wonders how it is going to sort out its own stinking mess that it has gotten itself (along with rUK) into. My heart bleeds.

  • mickfealty

    You want objective analysis? In the middle of a ‘war for independence’? Ha! I’ve seen one of those which is worth blogging (which I will blog on ots own despite having quoted part of it in a previous blog.

    I’m open to suggestions, but most of the interesting stuff I’m seeing is pretty subject either way. Rev Stu’s Wee Blue Book is linked on the side bar, I’d love to get someone to parse that for us for instance. Stu’s a great writer, a brilliant net entrepreneur and a gifted propagandist. But that last doesn’t mean we should ignore him.

    Blackhurst’s account is interesting not because it’s objective – the use of the $18 billion dollar figure shows he’s going for effect in his reader – but the time and the place of his ‘note from the front’ tells us something revealing about the current state of play.

    If you didn’t like this you really won’t like ‘#IndyRef elephant traps’ pieces I have planned for next week.

  • Mister_Joe

    I think it might get rather nasty in the next two weeks. But the Scots folk aren’t stupid and will make what seems to them to be the better outcome. I wish them well no matter. In either case they will have a lot to figure out.

  • chrisjones2

    “Rev Stu’s Wee Blue Book is linked on the side bar”

    I did start but oh dear oh dear

    The sophistry is amazing in parts. Just a few examples

    He claims that Scotland “shoulders an extra £3bn of spending a year” more than ENgland. That is derived by comparing Scotland’s devolved services against the whole of the UK Government which includes all the non devolved matters like defence etc

    “Scotland is a country without enemies” so it doesn’t need armed forces …… tell that to IS or those Russian Long Range Surveillance / bombers that nip in over the North Sea for fraternal visit

    Orkney and Shetland might go it alone? Well “Orkney and Shetland are legally part of Scotland, and no more entitled to their own “local” referendum result than Falkirk or Peterhead or Sauchiehall Street.” Strangely thats the opposite of his core argument for independence – but then there is possession of the oil fields at issue here so they can feck off if they want independence. Soon though he might need a Scottish Army to occupy them – CF above as well

    “David Cameron suggests that North Korea poses a nuclear threat to the UK which demands a nuclear “defence”.” ….denying that is foolish. A shipping container can be just as effective a delivery system as an ICBM

    “Scots might lose the BBC ” ….because of the way the internet works itw will be impossible to stop them watching it online. First this is untrue in the medium term and second it suggest taht they just freeload on content

    “NO border controls” ….utter nonsense unless the Scots propose to spend billions on their own border controls to EU standards. They don’t so the EU will wish to see hard controls at the border. That will give a big boost to the UK because they will pay for them

    and so it goes on and on and on

    I keep saying that I am neutral on Scottish independence but this sort of nonsense does make you wonder

  • mickfealty

    Ahem, CHris, that was an aside. We’re going to have an avalanche of IndyRef posts (if we’re lucky and my nerve/patience holds out), and we try to focus on the subject matter in the OP… I’m hopeful we’ll get round to Stu’s Magnum Opus eventually…

  • kensei

    The Wee Blue Book is undoubtedly propaganda. And Stu has a habit of looking at things at a superficial level – search for some of his arguments in videogames forums.

    But in fairness to him a lot of the Wee Blue Book is in response to equally outrageous claims by No. For example, the latest on his site is parsing a No leaflet comparing Tesco UK with Tesco Ireland and coming up with a 16% difference. So he asked Tesco in Scotland if they were planning a 16% increase. Brilliant – they say no and it instantly sticks No on the defensive.

    Now that’s nonsense, but so is the original leaflet – you need to look at taxes, currency costs, transport costs and the competitiveness of the market if you want a serious debate on what might happen. And maybe he prods that. He provides a useful role, I think.

    Scotland could also do an Ireland and basically spend bugger all on defense if it desired, and getting rid of Trident would a significant saving, by the by. Depends on what the role you see yourself in.

  • Mister_Joe

    If Scotland votes “Yes”, it won’t be a United Kingdom anymore since neither Wales nor N.I. ever had a king so what shall we call the place?

  • Who cares?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Well, Ireland has been as much a kingdom as anywhere else, whichever way you look for a king, from the Cenél nEógain, the Dál gCais, Stuart or even the Welf-Este line the English imported (and appointed) in 1714, so I suppose the wee rump of six sixteenth century defined counties might give them the right to continue as “The United Kingdom of England (including the principality of Wales) and just over 17% of Ireland”.

    And as Scotty_dog says……..

  • mickfealty

    Well, whatever the Scotty Dog says, it does matter… But there will be plenty of time for that, after resiting of nuclear weapons, recalibration of defence strategies, the deal over debt and currency etc, etc after a Yes vote…

  • Cinaedmor

    You’re relentless rubbishing and aggression towards any commentary on the No side of the debate is not helpful, and I mean unhelpful to those campaigning for a Yes.

    The Market dislikes uncertainty and it is not unrealistic to say that investors might indeed look around for somewhere else to put their money. The “war’ly race” are not known for biding their time in the hope things will work out ok.

    It would have been refreshing for those leading the Yes campaign to have acknowledged that independence will bring uncertainties and there will be a period of adjustment rather than trying to match the Nos’ doom with relentless sunshine.

    Of course I understand the realities of contemporary politics and its fundamental Punch and Judy nature but that is no excuse for those on the sidelines to go for the shouty mob option.

  • Tacapall

    The Kingdom shall still be in place Joe as Mrs Windsor will still be the sovereign. The enigma part for Scots is – If Mrs Windsor declares war on behalf of the UK will Scotland be obliged to take part seeing as their Queens Kingdom is under threat.

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    I think if there’s a Yes vote David Cameron would have to call an election concerning settlement terms with Scotland and the future of the Union. David Cameron has proven not to be up to the job in terms of protecting and maintaining the rights of the British people throughout the UK, if Scotland were to separate the current British government doesn’t have the right personnel in it, as they weren’t elected to deal with this sort of situation. For instance I imagine the English would probably want more unionist-minded politicians to come forward for election to discuss terms UKIP perhaps and NI the same, east Belfast would turf out N Long and definitely get a unionist in, as she isn’t a unionist. What was it about events? Seriously someone in Westminster needs to come out and play hard ball and say seriously you guys aren’t getting Sterling and you are totally on your own if independence carries and make it clear in no uncertain terms that Westminster isn’t about facilitating a soft landing or soft separation in fact the break up could be ugly. Some say that’s the politics of fear how about it just being politics of realism, time to get real.

  • mickfealty

    Ah, but that is Salmond’s genius at work Tac.

    DeV was at a similar game until the Fine Gaelers pulled Ireland out of the Commonwealth in 1948/9, debunked the Crown and made it much more difficult for northern Unionists to make the emotional leap.

  • Mister_Joe

    Some of the 55million people south of a new border might care and since you would be dependent on their representatives to do a fair deal with regards to dividing the spoils and debts, a “who cares?” attitude is hardly helpful.

  • Tacapall

    Thats If Scotland was joining the Commonwealth Mick but Scotland will be still in the Kingdom therefore constitutionally obliged to take part in any war declared by their Queen. Its also the same with the idea that Cameron or the British government has the power to refuse Scotland use of Sterling since when has the British people had ownership of Sterling ?

  • Okay, agree with you (in part) I probably have overdone it a bit this last couple of days. Perhaps you can understand though that having such relentless scare, lies and threats coming from the No side for so long and then to see their lies and fear begin to wash over people’s heads in the last two weeks of the campaign has been one hell of a thrill. Difficult not to feel more than a little excited at our prospects of victory! I will take a break now from posting on Slugger for a couple of days and just watch from the sidelines. Let’s see how the debates on Slugger and in the real world develop and pan out. Thanks Cinaedmor for the helpful advice. 🙂

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    Yeah at the moment with David Cameron in government, a centrist, soft landing, soft separatist PM in power, if Scotland goes independent, the rUK and its people are not going to want Cameron cutting the cake, unionists would have to come to the fore and protect the rights of the pro Union people and even those in Scotland. Give the rUK a Churchill and rid us of this Chamberlain. David Cameron is deluding himself if he thinks this isn’t a resigning matter!!

  • I’m taking a break from posting for the next few days as I probably said a bit too much already. However, I will respond d to you as you answered my response to you. Obviously the 55 million peole in rUK will care about whether they need to have a new name or new flag or new anthem or whatever. But faced with the monumental political and economic and military changes they are facing, what they should call themselves is the very least of their problems. But I’m sure like these bigger challenges they are facing, they will no doubt get around to sorting out a suitable new name and flag etc that is appropriate for rUK. Regards

  • mickfealty

    Just remember, most of don’t have a vote, and most of us are more than happy for you Scots to do what you will with your sovereign choice.

    Just leave us our own right to sceptical inquiry? 😉 [It’s an enlightenment thing we borrowed off you boys…]

  • mickfealty

    Independence means control over Foreign Policy Tac. Parliament and the Executive will control that, and they will
    then inform the Queen of their intentions afterwards.

    Scotland after a Yes will be as obliged to follow Westminster as Ottawa is today. That is, not at all.

  • Comrade Stalin

    You seem to be labouring under the fascinating but sadly deluded notion that everyone else thinks like the Ulster unionists.

  • Comrade Stalin

    unionists would have to come to the fore and protect the rights of the pro Union people

    What rights ? The right to fly are fleg and sing the famine song ?

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    There would be negotiations and David Cameron is kidding himself if he believes he is the right man and has the right political team to do deal on behalf of the British people in the circumstances. I think I have given you examples of the type of MP that would get turfed out if an election were to be called and you can’t tell me there’s no difference in views and styles between liberals and conservative unionists in relation to constitutional politics, if you were going to have to vote on matters of national interest and so on you’re not going to want a bunch of liberals and Naomi Longs at Westminster, are you now?

  • Cinaedmor

    I don’t think you should hold back on sharing your opinions. This is a momentous period in the history of Scotland.

    I admire your enthusiasm and (sometimes unbridled) excitement. I just make a plea to you to be a little more circumspect in your responses to those who offer opinions that may suggest reasons for a pause for thought.

    Not everyone who advocates for a No is evil incarnate 😉 .

  • Comrade Stalin

    you’re not making a lot of sense I’m afraid.

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    The Scottish people have used the SNP to fight for independence and Westminster has pandered to it thinking it wouldn’t happen, but after a yes to independence vote well things would be very different, as negotiations would have to be entered into, new arrangements would have to be made with Scotland, deals would need to be struck. You can’t do this using the existing crop of politicians to do a deal with the SNP as the rUK and British people would want to have their own version of the SNP call it for simples sake the BNP in there fighting their corner. It would be fair to say at the moment Westminster government is full of centrist politicians elected on domestic socio-economic lines not national ones. The British public would deserve an election to look after their own interests and OK it’s not going to be the BNP they would elect but likely more conservative unionist UKIP ones to get the best deal nationally and for the British taxpayer. The post independence general election would have to exclude Scotland and Scottish MPs as part of this also, it’s time to get real.

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    If the SNP and Scot Nats think they’re getting independence and the dream date of cutting deals with centrist politicians think again, besides will Danny Alexander be at the table when post-independence terms are being agreed with Cameron heading things up, don’t think that’s going to happen. An election will have to be called and all the liking of your comments are probably Irish Nats pissing themselves about the SNP schooling the Westminster government in politics and they don’t even know it’s happening, Scottish nationalists are kicking these metropolitan liberal centrist types right up the ass! Salmond is prob hoping if not praying and dreaming these liberal centrists stay on in power and give them absolutely fantastic separation terms and a nice well deserved soft landing into independence. What is happening at Westminster?

  • Mister_Joe

    Tomorrow’s YouGov poll shows the “Yes” side leading by 51% to 49% among decided voters.

  • sean treacy

    Latest poll now gives yes a 2 point lead.This is getting serious!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    This is Scotland’s opportunity to restore King Francis II (see my inumerable earlier postings on this) from exile, and let the English keep the dregs of Welf-Este as a tourist attraction!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And there was me thinking that David Cameron was an almost perfect example of Churchillian opportunism and evasion! What is is with this bizarre cult of Churchill as the inevitable touchstone of true British greatness? After all, he did deliver your much vaunted Empire to the US & UN!

    Most of the high ranking Irish born soldiers who actually fought the war and were working with Winston regularly had precious little of his firmness and consistency to tell of when I was growing up. Only those who knew Winston from the media and his own propaganda could ever see him as a strong politician. Those real soldiers who had to keep his murderious sillyness in check (as in the case of his constant demands to use poison gas and even anthrax) saw him as as much of a liability as Lloyd George in 1917/18 who almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    So yes, I to pray may fate give you a Churchill to complete the public discrediting of England’s silly miscalculations.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Did CIGS Alan Brooke not think of him as an “idiot savant” of some type?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The way I’d heard it, growing up, they left the Savant out when discussing him among themselves. Now I’m aware that no man is ever a hero to his valet, but the cult of “Churchill Savour and Renaissance Man” seemed to need some real distance from the object of worship to florish effectivly. Listening to a few of those who’d had to deal with him during the years of glory left a very “Churchill/Bertie Wooster corrected in his encoragable sillyness by Jeeves the senior staff officer” imprint on my impressionable imagination.

    That was before I realised that Bomber Harris had Churchill’s entire support in steering Britain into an arguably a genocidal bombing of civilians campaign, entirely discredited as any sort of acceptable military action by the dramatic effect of actual precision bombing of war industries by the Americans in the last years of the war. So ITOT is asking for a Churchill to sort out Cameron’s mess? Be careful what you ask for…….