By Mark McNaught
The greatest sin in politics is when you believe your own propaganda. On the eve of the second Darling/Salmond TV debate, Alistair Darling’s former minion Ed Balls declared that Scotland joining the Euro was the ‘least bad’ currency option when Scots vote yes, thus precluding any use of the pound.
It is a sad commentary on the Westminster parties that the only thing they can agree on is how to threaten the Scots.
His utterances are breathtakingly stupid not only because it betrays his ignorance of economics and what is in the best interests of the UK, but also the risks he is incurring to the rUK £ by the markets if Westminster attempts to forcibly prevent Scotland’s use, which they can’t even if they wanted to.
Also the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and other ‘foreign’ countries in the world use Sterling without objection. Why is Scotland different?
At least he unwittingly admitted that Scotland will have no problem staying in the EU. I guess we can be partially reassured that UKIP’s threats to wrench the UK out of Europe helped lay that scare story to rest.
Given the mendacity and opacity of Westminster, they are having great difficulty assembling a coherent set of lies and threats. Worse, this incoherence and stupidity could imperil the stability of Sterling itself.
Scots need to realise that they hold a royal flush in the poker game of independence negotiations. Westminster is the one that has a national debt of £1.36 trillion, the Scottish government has no debt. If Scotland is deemed the ‘new’ state under international law there is no obligation to incur any of the UK debt, which they have already promised to honour in full.
The McCrone report – hidden for thirty years – revealed why oil revenues are deliberately opaque, but we can be sure that they are at least £5 billion a year. Add whisky revenues and negotiations will quickly reveal the degree to which Scotland has been robbed blind by Westminster for generations.
However, maintaining these threats and lies is all that Westminster has to prevent Scotland from voting yes. They are literally betting the stability of the UK financial system on them. Fathoming a ‘yes’ vote, and the profound consequences it will have on the r-UK, seems beyond the capacity of Westminster and the Unionist media. Doing so would oblige them to ask for Westminster’s ‘Plan B’ on the following issues.
- How will the markets react just after a ‘yes’ vote to this threat? Is Westminster confident that markets will not punish the UK for being so rigid in the bargaining position before they even begin?
- If the Unionist parties follow through on their threat to deny Scotland a currency union, how would the financial markets react to the rUK national debt and the massive imbalance of payments which would accrue without Scotland’s petroleum revenue?
- If the markets do begin to punish the pound after a ‘yes’ vote, how long before Westminster has a ‘come to Jesus’ moment, repents, and begs for forgiveness and a currency union?
- How will Westminster pay for the massive London-based infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, HS2, and their sewer system without Scottish oil revenue?
These are but a few of the profound questions the media should be asking of the Westminster establishment, if they considered it remotely possible that Scotland will vote ‘yes’. However, Westminster still maintains its time-tested imperial mindset, so Scotland is still seen as a colony to threaten and exploit, so that’s not the world we live in.
Instead, the default position is to bludgeon Alex Salmond with questions he could not possibly answer without Westminster’s cooperation, seeking to erode his credibility and by extension the independence movement, clinging to the hope that Scots are stupid enough to be cowered into voting ‘no’.
Westminster and the unionist media are in for a rude awakening on the 19th of September. We’ll see how long it takes after a potential attack on Sterling by the markets following a ‘yes’ vote to snap them out of their delusional propaganda.
Whether they truly examine how they acted with such mendacious incoherent stupidity has yet to be seen. Maybe they can hone their techniques for when Wales holds an independence referendum.