BANKING Part 3 of 3: What Next?


by Andrew H. McMorrin (Drew1314) – A retired banker




A Central Banking system should be established in Scotland – just remember it was a Scot who founded the Bank of England in 1694, just to balance things, it was an English cousin who founded The Bank of Scotland a few months later in 1695, by Act of Parliament hence no need for any Limited after their title.

Currency is a problem and this is where the scholars come in. What to do – go for our own currency? Go for the Euro? – definitely not, is my opinion. Create our own? – difficult, yet not impossible. Canniness – that old Scot’s word, so often the butt of others jokes, even our own, should be a watchword.

As for the modern “Great Green God” solutions do lie in, unsurprisingly, the green economy. Yes, let us embrace it for the employment it can create, equally let us not do it slavishly and allow more scars on our landscape for the pursuit of Westminster objectives. Selective and productive green projects are the way forward – not sticking a windmill on your chimney or harnessing wind from inventive sources. The Galloway Hydro Scheme was a blueprint for Russia’s system between the two World Wars and my grandfather travelled to Russia to assist, with many, many others. Tidal barriers are hugely capital intensified, yet the cash will come in as sure as the tide. The “yellow welly” brigade (sailors) are the main objectors, yet that can be solved with lock gates.

Accountability and regulation should be our watchwords in the financial sector and starting reasonably small, offering the customer a service – not dictating the service the customer gets.

“Foreign” banks, those who wish to trade in Scotland, must submit themselves to the full scrutiny of our regulators. They can be rewarded, just as the ordinary “Jock” has always professed – a fair days work – a fair days payment.

And let us not leave the unfortunate and sick behind. Charity is a very emotive word. Buy a pal, whose down on his luck, a pint or a poke of chips and say here’s some charity and not surprisingly you will be adorned by chips and booze. Do it in a non-patronising way, as most of us really mean and you will see the soul of the man. Help to that man is far better served, in my opinion, by talking, listening and trying to solve his problems. The pint or the poke of chips is merely a tool to assist the aforementioned.

We need to look after our own, regardless of religion, creed or colour, those who choose to settle on our shores should be brought into the Great Clan or fold, choose your own description and encouraged to contribute to our Country’s ethos.

Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the minor parties posture, yet we see no solutions. Let us be bold, let us put the case to our people, not subjugate them into submission, as Labour have done, still do, and will always do. Our people are worth so, so much more. I, in my travels, have met from about the highest in royalty to the humble dustman (often the more interesting character), yet I made a couple of promises to myself years ago – treat everyone the same – “We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns” and “A man’s a man for a that”.

We are where we are, and we need solutions. These must be worked through, carefully, yet for the sake of our children and our grandchildren we must move forward at a steady pace and get it correct. Disregard the wails of the M.S.M. to go for short term fixes – “Steady as she goes, boys” which I believe is the cautious approach needed at this time. No “splash the cash” fixes, which Labour recommend to the other extreme, “slash and burn” of the Coalition.

Do NOT found a recovery on a fickle housing market. Manufacturing, exports and new financial institutions should be the basis of any recovery. Spend wisely and if necessarily from Revenue budgets. Giving freeby newspapers to the young is not how to engage with the youth of the Country. Engage them in our visions, after all they may well have, and in some cases, better visions than we could even dream of.

Get shot of the celebrity culture, the ambulance chasers, the European human rights act – have our own, show respect to others, young and old, whether they be surly or grumpy (I fit the latter perfectly).

Start funding social housing projects, not just in urban areas but where there is more need, arguably, in rural areas.

People should be encouraged to save. (A manager told me when I was a junior he would rather have 100 savings accounts with £100, than one of £10,000 – reasoning – less likely to lose all the deposits in one transaction). Difficult in this climate, still should be encouraged.

Where to save. Well there’s an institution ready made and if the Westminster politicians had any gumption they would use it – The Post Office. Just how many Scottish Labour M.P.’s voted for closure, then spun on a sixpence and supported the saving of one or more in their constituency. As a matter of record mine did – Russell Brown M.P.

Should the Post Office be allowed to lend? Well yes, in my opinion, small to medium size loans initially, with proper liquidity ratios. There are still plenty of the old-fashioned bankers about to train up new staff and have them practice sound principles, both in lending and saving’s advice.

Larger lending and savings schemes can be introduced, this would require a regulator in Scotland with the power to stress test the new system.
Support our farmers, fishermen and others, by standing up to other nations, even within the E.U. who choose to treat our waters as their own, and treat our farming exports, at times akin to poison.

Workable – absolutely. However Scotland needs full fiscal autonomy in order to provide this sort of service to her people