After 2 years, I have finally convinced my mum that a yes vote is the way to go next month. Of all the people I have managed to think again about a yes vote where they see the merits and come out in favour of independence, this has been the most satisfying.
Anonymous said: I have read your responses to questions about independence with great interest. But it does seem that Scots will not vote for it. However, we have been guaranteed more powers, short of devo max. Surely you must welcome that? Plus, that would be on top of the Scotland Act 2012. So we really will have the best of both worlds, a strong parliament in the framework of the UK.
"The best of both worlds." If I hear that stupid sound bite once more I may eat my own ears.
However, to your question as to whether I welcome the “commitment” given to the Scottish people by the Westminster parties of more powers, simply I don’t, because the pledge is complete garbage.
Let us go back to the consultation period, where the Scottish government sought the opinions of Civic Scotland and the wider population on the question etc. There was clearly, a popular gravitation towards a devo max option on the ballot paper, alongside the yes/no question. Although the SNP preferred a straight yes or no question, they sought to include a devo max option on the ballot paper to reflect the popular response of the people and Civic Scotland, much to their credit. However, David Cameron absolutely refused a devo max option to be included on the ballot paper.
Now if they were genuinely in favour of some sort of devo max option, they would have wholeheartedly agreed to the inclusion of a devo max question. This would have ended the prospect of full independence (or threat if you are of the unionist persuasion ) for a generation, as Scots would have gave a thundering endorsement of devo max. But they fought tooth and nail to not have it on the ballot paper.The recent pledge just reeks of desperation and rancid politics to be honest. If there was a sincere commitment, they would have spelled out a detailed blue print of what would be devolved in their pledge document, alas there wasn’t.
Also, it would have to be endorsed by the rUK. And there does not seem to be any enthusiasm at all in Westminster to bring about such a thing. Many Conservative and Labour backbenchers have said they would oppose all attempts at delivering devo max to Scotland if we vote no, and just look at the comments made by Boris Johnson. The whole thing just stinks.
Therefore lets ask ourselves this. What is the point of devo max? We would essentially have full fiscal autonomy and full control of all policy areas short of defence and foreign affairs, so in that case, why not just have full independence? All devolutionary roads lead to the same destination = Independence.
As for the Scotland Act 2012, it is a miserable piece of legislation. We would only control 15% of our economy, why not 100%? The whole thing is miserable and does not reflect the ambition and wishes of the people of Scotland, in terms of more devolution.
For god sake lets have some courage, lets seize the moment and grab our independence while its being offered, lets roll up our sleeves and reshape this nation for the benefit of all Scots and the wider world.
So been invited to take part in the BBC Radio 5 Live debate in Dundee on the 2nd September. Totally accepted, of course. Bring it on!
Anonymous said: Seems you're a bit screwed currency wise. I see you are not overly supportive of a long currency union with England, but many yessers say they can use the pound regardless. Em, that's stupid isn't it? There are no examples of countries who use another countrys currency without agreement. Vote No and lets [ut thisto bed.
First off, let me say, that I am sick to death of the carcass of the currency being dug up to cause fear. I am really sick of it.
However, I shall humour your question with a response.
Yes, its true, I’m not overly fond a currency union in the long term, I believe it should be a short term arrangement. But I can see the logic in it, and it is the sensible choice.
But your point about not being able to use the pound without agreement is simply, with all due respect, absolute tosh. It is a fully internationally tradable currency, any nation on earth can use Sterling. So even if a currency union is still rejected during negotiations post a yes vote, we can still use it regardless. This would actually be a bonus. (As a side note, we can set up a separate currency and peg it to sterling through something like a currency board, which will have the same effect) we can have a system of sterlingization, where we use sterling without a formal agreement with the rUK. There are indeed many examples of countries who adopt another nations currency without any formal agreement to do so. Look at Latin America, many nations use the US dollar, and are fairly successful and stable. Panama is cited as an example of what can happen if country uses another currency without permission, in a negative context. What we are not told, is that Panama, through dollarization, has the 7th most stable financial system in the world, and is one of the fastest growing economies in South America.
But the main bonus of this arrangement is that it will keep the banks in check. As the financial institutions of Scotland will not have access to a lender of last resort which has a currency printing capacity. So Scottish banks will have to put aside capital for illiquidity (runs into trouble). This is sort of a free banking system, which Scotland has a tradition of, particularly in the late 1700’s and throughout the 1800’s. And guess what? The Scottish financial system was relatively secure and allowed Scotland’s economy to grow more so than England’s.
Also lets not forget, that we will start without our share of the National debt, which could put us in surplus, rather than deficit, if a currency union is denied. Any UK chancellor would have to be an economic illiterate to allow such a scenario to happen.
But the No side (such as you) will not acknowledge this, as its ingrained in you to peddle myths, and scare stories and untruths. Like this currency issue Which is very disappointing.
However, there will be a Yes vote, and there will be a currency union. Of that I have no doubt. But people should also not fear the scenario where we use the pound without any formal agreement, it could be even better for Scotland.
So I watched lasts night debate, and it was a bit disappointing.
The First Minister did well in highlighting policies like the bedroom tax and its affect on Scots, the growing numbers of food banks, and reminding the country of Alistair Darlings lamentable record as Chancellor, given that the financial system almost collapsed under his Chancellorship.
Whoever advised the First Minister to ask questions about attacks from space and driving on the right side of the road in Scotland, should have been taken out and shot. What a waste of questions. I get what he was hinting at, that the no campaign is utterly ridiculous at times. And I feel for undecided voters, this debate, from both sides, didn’t make anything clearer. The same rehearsed lines we’ve had for 2 years now. As a yes supporter, I wanted to hear an overall vision, a narrative that the country could get behind. But it wasn’t articulated. However, we can not base an entire referendum outcome on the back of one, two hour debate.
The First Minister also frustrated me on currency. He should have set out the options that are open to Scotland, which featured in the Fiscal Commissions report. It’s worth setting them out here, for anybody who isn’t aware of them.
Set up new currency
1.Join the Euro - Join European monetary union. Monetary policy determined by ECB. Membership of ERMI for at least 2 years prior to joining.
2. Enter no monetary union (preferred choice of many in the yes movement) - New Scottish currency established. Scotland free to choose to operate either a floating or fixed exchange rate policy.
3. Currency Board - A currency board issues local notes and coins anchored to a foreign currency (e.g. Sterling). The most robust institutional setup for fixed exchange rate regime.
Monetary Union with UK
1. Formal - Scotland enters a formal currency Union with UK. BofE sets monetary policy for sterling area. Formal agreement with UK Government.
2. Informal (i.e. Sterlingisation) - Scotland chooses to retain sterling, but does not enter a formal monetary union.
I’m not wanting an argument on the pros and cons of these options. What I am trying to do is to show that there are other, perfectly viable options available to Scotland currency wise. I personally think a long term currency union is absurd. We should enter a short term currency union, to keep stability for both sides and begin to establish our own central bank and our own currency. But the FM should not have allowed Alistair Darling to pepper him with bullets on this issue, he should have said his preferred option, but there are other options we can consider.
All in all, a fiery debate indeed, with some good blows landed by both men, but ultimately disappointing, particularly for undecided voters.
So if you have any questions on Scottish Independence or anything else around the subject, then please…
SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONS!!!!!