By Derek Bateman
What happened to my love-bombing? Where are those arms that reached out all the way from the Olympic Velodrome? Where is the shared history and where the shared principles? What happened to the family of nations bound by ties of blood and history? Am I to think that on the back of Please don’t go are added the words or you’ll pay for it? Now I don’t expect an easy ride from a cold-hearted, self-interested clique used to telling everyone what to do, but some consistency might help with the credibility.
Were we not told that there would be no pre-negotiation? What is a statement *(always assuming it comes) that there will be no deal on currency but staking out a negotiating position? Making a declaration in absolute terms – always assuming this isn’t smoke and mirrors – is negotiating because they are ruling out one option from future talks, or so it seems.
If they do that then it has implications for the position taken by the Scottish side who are obliged to respond. That is called negotiation. Will there now follow more of this on for example EU membership, defence assets etc? Or is it the case that they say one thing and do another and can’t be trusted?
The message contained in these briefings to journalists is that Britain is not an equal country of equal national rights. It is a statement – by all the main Unionists – that Scotland has no stake in the UK. We have, according to them, contributed nothing to the pound, made no impact on the UK’s finances, the reserves and fiscal policy and as a result deserve nothing out of it.
Is it £300 or £400 billions in oil revenues and they count for nothing. How much in corporation tax from Royal Bank alone over the years? We have been taken for a ride, if they are right. What they are saying is that Britain belongs to them, lock, stock and barrel and more fool the Scots for thinking they were really partners.
It is difficult to see how they can pretend now to love Scotland with more melancholic sub-Wordsworth fancies when they unite behind vindictive John Bull obduracy. Even at risk to their own interests they will resist the economic logic.
What on earth do Labour people in Scotland make of their party shoulder to shoulder with the Tories threatening the Scots by denying them access to their own currency? How many humiliations can they stand? Isn’t this issue an area for a distinctive Labour voice?
They are the party of liberal conscience and could strike a separate, less strident anti-Scottish tone by standing to one side and doing a Carney by saying of course it’s possible but they would have to weigh up the implications if they are elected. Instead the rush along behind the Tories like their little Labour helpers.
Interesting that Jackie Baillie couldn’t answer on Newsnight when asked if she supported the currency blockade. Either Labour in Scotland wasn’t informed in advance – again – or they are unconvinced by it. They will know this is a hard sell on the doorstep. Why can’t we use our own currency? Because our friends the Tories say so…
Still you can see how the fear game is the only hand they can play. Scare the elderly and the pensioners, ignore the truth about Scotland being able to meet pension commitments more easily than the UK and wring your hands a lot. It will frighten those with knock knees.
But to be fair this is a campaign and you have keep moving. They have been determined to push Yes into offering a Plan B as it is obviously their trump card. No doubt they will link it to the Euro which they still think – against a lot of evidence – is toxic. If this statement is ever made, the spirit of the Edinburgh Agreement is dead and this becomes more of a fight than a debate.
Their plan is not to win but to crush. But at least what will happen is that experts will now focus on this decision and, as we found in the Financial Times reports on our finances, it will emerge just what Scotland does bring to the currency table and I await with interest the Unionist business types going public. If they trade in Scotland how can they agree with this position? And if they don’t will they be intimidated into keeping quiet?
This has to be seen as a challenge, a kind of toe-to-toe argument, and the proportionate response is No Pound: No Debt.
The English trolls are already bellowing online that it isn’t fair…Scotland can’t just walk away and has a moral responsibility to take its share etc…funny how it’s changed from We won’t miss you…our economy’s too big to notice. It may be dawning that Scotland has cards to play and dumping all the debt on them is one of them.
*(Wouldn’t it be just like the Tories to renege on the Osborne statement and give us something less affirmative?)
Courtesy of Derek Bateman