The debate that was over before it began


   By G.A.Ponsonby

Scotland cannot be prevented from using the pound and nobody can prevent Scottish banknotes from remaining in an independent Scotland.

Scotland cannot be forced to adopt the Euro as evidence clearly shows.  Yes, there may be a technical requirement for some new EU members to say they will join at some point in the future, but the sun will extinguish at some point in the future so such a promise is meaningless.

The real story of course is how Osborne’s guff managed to be presented by the usual suspects in the Scottish media?  How is it that professional people who know full well that Osborne was talking absolute rot didn’t call this as it is?

Right at the front of the queue was BBC Scotland’s Business and Economy Editor Douglas Fraser who claimed that one of the big questions was what kind of banknote would pop out of a cash machine.

Fraser is what’s known as a ringer, employed on a business and economy brief, but in reality he politicises many of his pieces.

Had Fraser really wanted to look at the economic issues then we could have been informed.  Yes, agreement would be needed if the Bank of England were to underpin Scotland’s banks but England would suffer if bloody mindedness got in the way of economic pragmatism.

Fraser let licence payers down with his flippant antics and could have learned a thing or two had he listened to George Kerevan who valiantly tried to separate politics from the economics of a currency union.

Perhaps the funniest moment of yesterday’s latest meander through the Unionist scary minefield was that bastion of balance and political heavyweight, Kaye Adams who almost choked when she was informed that the Isle of Man – not part of the UK – was using the pound.

A lot of hands were shown this last two days, not least those in the media who know the reality of the situation.  Some reputations took a dent – namely Alf Young who allowed his fundamental Unionism to get the better of him in a quite sad debate on STV with the aforementioned George Kerevan, who embarrassed the former Labour party aide.

Mr Young’s performance was marginally better than Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander appeared on the same Scotland Tonight programme and who continues to burn any and all bridges.

‘Constrain their fiscal freedom’ is the phrase used to beat the independence camp with.  What it really means is that a newly independent Scottish government will agree limits to borrowing and debt.

Two words will remind voters just how important these mutually agreed constraints are to any country.

Alistair Darling – whose overspending left the UK with debt levels that will take decades to clear.

One final point; Douglas Fraser writes:

“There is, amid this, a fundamental disagreement over who owns the pound sterling now, and the Bank of England.

“The Scottish government says Scotland can expect to share such institutions, post-independence, having spent 300 years building them up within the UK.

“But the UK Government takes the view that if Scotland votes to leave the UK, it can’t expect to make demands of the UK’s institutions.

“It’s hard to see how these views can be resolved, without either a lot of compromise or the help of the courts.”

It’s easy to see how this can be resolved.  We own an equal share of all UK assets, and that includes the Bank of England.  The pound is as much Scotland’s as it is the rest of the UK’s.

If we get no assets then we take no debts.  That will be a sobering thought for any Westminster delegation entering negotiations with a Scottish delegation the day after a ‘Yes’ vote.

Even John McLaren of the CPPR appeared to side with the Scottish government.  Now that’s real pragmatism and perhaps an indication that some recognise when their own nation is being threatened.