Monday, 17 February 2014


Why does anyone care what this idiot says? Look at the mess he's made.
In  case any of you have missed James's hilarious post here, I'd suggest you read it, and you might also like to look at the Channel Four poll to which he refers.

As he says, the questions border on insulting, and it's clear from the wording that we are supposed to answer in the negative. Unfortunately for them, that seems not to have worked.

I don't really understand economics, but, as I see it the pound is a currency that both Scotland and England use. It doesn't belong to either country, nor does it belong to Northern Ireland, Wales, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, The Isle of man  or the Falkland Islands. It belongs to and in the world as an internationally recognized and tradable currency.

The UK government cannot stop us using it, no more than the Japanese government can stop us using the Yen. 
Not a fat lot of difference between Labour and the Tories then
What the Scottish government proposed was that we would continue to use it, with the backing of the rest of its users ...after all we helped pay for the printing of the notes, the minting of the coins and the very building that houses its offices and vaults. The gold stored therein (or what's left of it) is partly ours and our taxes help to pay for the salary of the staff including the  massive salaries and pensions of its top management and ex management.

In return for this the Scottish government was happy to work with the Bank of England (which should have been called the Bank of Britain), continuing to pay for its services, as presumably the government of Jersey does, and to take its share per capita, of the horrendous debt that it has built up

Fair's fair. It we share the benefits of being part of the sterling zone; it wouldn't be unreasonable to share the liabilities. 

It would work for England and the other countries in the sterling zone too, because Scotland's healthy exports would act in its favour.

Smart boy has a degree in history*
But smart boy Gideon, backed, somewhat publicly and indiscreetly, by the civil servant who heads the Treasury has said "no".

So Scotland has no alternative but to use the pound unofficially. This is perfectly legal. As I said earlier we could use any internationally traded currency; the Icelandic Krona, the Swiss Franc, or the Hungarian Forint... but it makes most sense to use the pound because it is what we already use; there would be no need to split the assets of the Bank of England, and there would be no exchange rates to consider between traders on either side of the border.

I see that as a relatively short term thing, because I can see no reason why Scotland should not have its own currency. 

However, using the currency unofficially absolves Scotland absolutely of any obligation to shoulder the trillion pound plus debt that sterling has built up. Just as we have to take the bad with the good, of we are refused the good, we are not likely to take the bad. But no, Gideon doesn't like that. Like all posh spoilt children he wants to have his cake and eat it.
Typical spoilt rich kid
Mystifyingly they tell us that if we do uses the pound and refuse to shoulder the debt, that they may well block independence, regardless of the vote, including our entry into the EU (how grown up is that?), and in the same breath tell us that we would be obliged to use the Euro, which is supposed to scare the living daylights out of people.

Dealing with the privileged, the elite of English society is really like working with spoilt children. 

They want it all their own way.

If this is designed to frighten the horses, then Gideon would know, that a) we don;t believe him and b) if he actually carries out the threat it only makes people more determined.

Scots don;t like being bossed about by posh Tories. And I include Balls in the second part of that. Posh he may not be, aren't but a Tory he surely is!

*After graduating in with a 2:1 in Modern History, Osborne did a few part-time jobs including as a data entry clerk, typing the details of recently deceased into an NHS computer database. He also worked for a week at Selfridges mainly re-folding towels. Osborne originally intended to pursue a career in journalism. He failed to gain a place on the Times trainee scheme, and instead did freelance work for The Telegraph. Then he got a job as a researcher at the Conservative Party. So he clearly is just the man for the job, erm... of folding the towels.


  1. My thinking is that after a Yes, the nonsense will stop.
    We will agree a currency union with a fixed minimum term, and personally, I hope we join the Euro eventually.

    1. I imagine that this is the course the game will take.

      Alistair Darling, who had already said that a currency union was the most logical and desirably outcome must be furious that Gideon, and at Balls too... and doubly so because Gideon said he couldn't imagine any other chancellor disagreeing with him. Alistair Darling was that chancellor! Oops.

      The Euro went through a bad time bcause frankly they hadn't sorted it out before they started. It was obvious that Greece's economy was never going to be able to keep pace with that of Finland, Austria and Germany, but informed opinion seems to think that they have solved a lot of the problems..

      I don't buy the idea that a joint currency can't work. The dollar more or less seems to work for America, despite the difference in the economies of say Maine and Louisiana; California and Montana... and the states are to many intents separate countries.

      But I reckon in time the Euro will become a settled currency. and although I freely admit to having not much in the way of economic knowledge, can't see why it wouldn't work, if people pulled together to make it work.

      Therein lies the problem.

    2. tris - Greece has not solved any problems - have a look at this interview

    3. I think Greece will take a very long time to solve its problems, Anon. But then so will the UK. Just because people aren't rioting here doesn't mean that all is well.

      Greece though seems to have an even bigger percentage of their population from whom too much has been taken away, and just like the UK, the people at the top have lost nothing and pretty much refuse to pay tax.

      I know a Greek guy, though, who gets really upset at the accusations that every Greek doesn't pay tax. He cites his own family which is relatively poor, despite being well educated and having reasonable jobs, and is hammered for tax., all of which they pay. He says that most ordinary people are like that.

      There are of course tax dodgers in Greece... as there are most places, and they are not just the people at the top. Small businessmen employ tax accountants to evade as much tax as they can.

      But Greece should never have been allowed into the Euro. It fiddled its figures to get in. It should have been chucked out, with help from the other countries to reestablish its own currency.

    4. I liked the comment that they should learn lessons from Iceland.

      Again, we all should have learned lessons from Iceland.

      Oh for Icelandic common sense here.

  2. Replies
    1. Oops indeed. Ang minute now BT will hear of this and there will be a rush of emails and suddenly, in the space of half an hour, the balance will have changed.

      At the moment it looks like, however biased the question; however patronising, you can't always guarantee to get the answer you wanted.

  3. Does anyone seriously think Gideon will teeter along the wire of political oblivion right up until Independence day in March 2016? (If the Tories win in 2015) refuse to have a Currency Union and then block Independence if we don't agree to his demands?

    Anybody have a spare straight jacket?

    1. Not sure what else he can do now, David. he's put his cards on the table backed up by a report written for him by someone who I'm sure will soon find himself with a peerage.

      If he backtracks on it, he will look incredibly stupid... Yeah OK... He might ...

      But I think that he will keep it up till YES day, then he will say that as he is a fair minded person and the Scots have spoken it would be wrong and unstatesmanlike of him not to look again at the currency arrangements, and could be please have some dosh from us, because the pound is currently work 1/2 a Yen.

    2. Excellent article at Bella Caledonia.

      Firstly a stream of people saying that they, or their skeptical father, girlfriend ...or whatever is so angered by the threat that they will now be voting YES. One labour councillor saying that he is disappointed in Balls and will now vote YES.

      And the embarrassing fact that according to an earlier paper by HM Treasury, the paper drawn up for Osborne has mysteriously increased the size of Scotland's financial sector to 25%, as opposed to 7% of the UK sector, completely wiping out Osborne's argument.

      No wonder the idiot didn't want Ponsonby to interview him. He didn't know what he was talking about and it was based on a pile of utter rubbish...

      This may be his getout.

      It couldn't have happened to a nicer fool.

  4. As to you will not have currency union the terminology now seems to have turned to doubt, maybe the markets are getting the jitters.

    1. This is one of the reasons I wondered at even someone as stupid as Osborne doing it. The markets will wonder if the Uk will ever pay its debts...