Well, it seems that, based on academic research over 30 years of UK economic statistics, the 'Better Together' life that we are promised if we vote to stay with the UK, is more of the same sh*t in a different bucket, or even possibly in the same bucket...
This article was extremely interesting, perhaps all the more so because many of its findings have been pointed out time and again by proponents of independence.
The research was commissioned by the Jimmy Reid Foundation, a left of centre organisation, and carried out by economist Margaret Cuthbert, a respected ex-government economist whose work is quoted regularly by political parties of all colours.
In short it was not commissioned by the SNP or the Yes campaign and it was not carried out by John Swinney, or anyone associated in any way with Scotland's independence campaign.
The main facts appear to be that we have been incredibly badly served over the last 30 years by remaining a member of one of the least productive economies in Europe, inefficiently run from London, for London.
Firstly in distribution of wealth (represented by GDP per capita), the UK has the most uneven performance of any EU country. Even though Italy is always held up as the example of inequality in distribution of wealth (rich booming industrial north and poverty stricken south), the truth is that whilst the difference between richest and poorest areas in Italy is a factor of 2; it in the Uk it is a factor of 4.7. Yes...London has a GDP of 4.7 times that of the poorest part of Britain. Almost everywhere in Britain suffers in comparison to London which hordes its wealth. The GDP growth in London for example, in the period 2007-2011, was 12%: in Scotland 6%.
is expensive in the Uk because it is used to compensate the rest of the country for all the economic benefits hoarded by London.
Of all the advanced economies of the EU, the UK is the only one to have seen industrial production decline in the last 30 years. Austria has seen a rise of 99.8%, Norway of 122.5%, Germany 32.7% and Sweden 54.3%. By comparison, since Mrs Thatcher came to power the UK has seen growth of minus 1.2%.
Scotland has far more part time and low paid jobs than London, suggesting that there is a structural fault with the labour market.
Exports have weakened, precipitating a weakening balance of payments, and consequently increased borrowing, disproportionately hitting everywhere compared to London.
Productivity in the Uk is 16% weaker than the average of the G7 countries of which the UK pretends to be a member. This is disproportionately felt in areas, like Scotland, where economic activity is real, rather than London where the economic activity is The City.
UK R&D is ranked very low in the EU tables, but what there is is concentrated in London. Scotland's R&D is the lowest in Europe.
Housing debt is massive in London, and economic policy is geared to creating affordable housing within London at the expense of economic growth needs elsewhere. (Didn't one senior banker once say publicly that unemployment in the north was a price worth paying for keeping inflation down?)
The UK is one of the worst places in the EU to be an employee in terms of career development.
Scotland has had years of population decline by comparison to the rest of the UK. This is an indication of economic under performance.
The report also concludes that we should not continue to be in a sterling economic zone after independence, but should strike out with our own currency (let's for now call it the 'Sporran' as a working name).
Ms Cuthbert suggests that because the UK economy is so concentrated on London, and the housing market in London so different from the rest of the economy, monetary policy is set, and will continue to be set to suit that market... at the expense of the rest of the sterling zone.
(Given that we have already heard a sound reason for staying IN the sterling zone [relating to the strength of the Scottish Sporran v the weakness of the English Pound, creating a situation where, like Switzerland, it would be virtually impossible to sell goods to the sterling zone...ie England/Wales... one of Scotland's biggest markets], I'd be interested to hear what people think of Ms Cuthbert's opinion.)
Interestingly a spokesman for the
"LA LA LA LA LA LA LA Being a part of the United Kingdom is good for Scottish jobs, mortgages and pensions. We sell more goods to the rest of the UK than we do to all the other countries of the world combined. Tens of thousands of people in Scotland earn a living working for UK companies.
"The nationalists may want to turn our biggest economic market into our biggest economic competitor. However, the overwhelming majority of Scots think that this simply makes no sense. LA LA LA LA LA LA"
PS: Questions for Better Together.
Do we not compete with English industries at the moment? Are you saying that if we hear that an English or Welsh company has tendered for a job we just roll over and let them have it... or do we put in our tender and hope to win?
Tens of thousands of British people (Scots or English) work for American companies like Cadbury, or French companies like Electicité de France, or German companies like Rolls Royce or Mini. Why could Scottish people not continue to work for English companies?
Just asking guys...