Tag Archives: Independence

Smackeroonis

The Seven P’s

Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. So went the acronym so beloved of military instructors as they regaled their students with the importance of being prepared for as many eventualities as they could think of. They were absolutely correct and we need to be prepared for the upcoming maelstrom created by the EU referendum and today’s announcement, by the First Minister, of a draft bill for a second Scottish independence referendum. I don’t have a crystal ball but I don’t need one to see some of what comes next. I’ll try to be as logical as I can, but there is not much logic around at the moment so please forgive me if I seem to go off at a tangent here and there.

It’s the economy stupid

The UK economy is in the first stages of what will probably be viewed as the most severe depression ever. The vote to leave the EU caught the UK government with its pants down and exposed its utter complacency in assuming a No vote. Now we are drifting along the river Brexit with no navigator and no means to propel towards any particular destination even if we knew where we wanted to go. The reality of our desperate situation is slowly dawning on the currency markets and they have been dropping the pound as if they have suddenly realised that they are holding a turd (which they are).

The resulting sell off has seen the pound dredge some entirely depths not seen for 168 years according to the FT.

pound-to-euro-13oct16

Pound to Euro 13Oct16 (Graph courtesy of http://www.xe.com)

The fall against the Euro, our biggest market, is bad enough. But it’s the fall against the US dollar which is more alarming:

Pound to Dollar 13oct16

Pound to Dollar 13Oct16 (Graph courtesy of http://www.xe.com)

Since all commodities are priced in dollars the recent falls in the pound/dollar exchange rate are going to push the prices of everything up, the Marmite/Unilever issue is just the tip of the iceberg (Unilever wanted to increase prices by 10%). This will feed through into the inflation figures in around 6 months time and the Bank of England will be under severe pressure to increase interest rates. For an economy which is hooked on cheap money this will be very damaging, can you afford a 5% increase in your mortgage rate? Now would be a very good time to reassess your situation and maybe lock in a fixed rate for a while.

Meanwhile the price of oil has been increasing, $52 per barrel as I write this. This will push the price of everything up and therefore increase inflation as well.

Oil price 12 months 13Oct16

Oil price 12 months 13Oct16 (Graph courtesy of BBC)

Coupled with that are the negative yields on government bonds, or gilts as they are known. Effectively the government is being paid to borrow money! This can’t last of course. Once the financial markets look at the levels of UK debt and the potential for the UK to pay that money back, they’re going to want a better yield for the increased risk. This means that the bond prices will fall from their current highs and the respective yields will increase. It is these yields which drive the longer term interest rate. So the Bank of England will be forced to raise interest rates sooner than it wishes.

In short the UK economy is about to suffer a severe downturn, which will make the tired old economic arguments against Scottish independence look weak at best. The economic argument was the most potent weapon wielded by the despicable Project Fear during the first independence referendum but it will become one of our best arguments for independence very soon.

I don’t particularly like the economic argument, for me independence is a normal state of affairs for a country and having the opportunity to fashion our country in the way we wish it is all the argument I need. However we will need every advantage that we can get in order to counter the British state so I will be thankful that the economic argument will be in our favour.

The Brexit vote will allow us to be able to deploy such arguments as:

  1. UK drowning in a sea of debt (which can’t be serviced and a default is imminent)
  2. Big business deserting the UK for the EU
  3. Huge job losses
  4. Massive, and increasing, wealth inequality
  5. Huge hikes in taxation and reductions in public spending
  6. Big reductions in international investments

The bust will be painful, but as an opportunity to counter Project Fear it must be seized.

Currency

The next most potent argument wielded by that ermine socialist Alistair Darling was the currency question. The Tories of all hues gloated that we couldn’t use our own currency post independence. The argument was a straw man, as fallacious as it was arrogant. But the pound is now in free fall and if it carries on then the Smakaroonis could well be considered a reserve currency in comparison.

Smackeroonis

Smackeroonis

The fatal flaw in the currency union argument, even though it was sound and the best solution for Scotland and rUK, was that it gave the initiative to the UK government who ruthlessly exploited it. We cannot allow this to happen again.

For me the only way to answer the currency question is for us to have a pound Scots. A free floating currency would be preferable, however it would probably be necessary for there to be a peg during the currency’s infancy for stability. This MUST NOT be a peg to the pound sterling because this would hand at least some of the initiative back to Westminster. A peg to the Euro, the US dollar, or preferably a basket of currencies would be my solution.

A little known fact is that for every Scottish pound in existence there exists an equivalent pound sterling lodged with the Bank of England. In 2007 there were just over a billion Scottish notes in circulation and an equivalent lodged with the Bank of England. We would be having these assets back of course, they would be a useful deposit for starting our own central bank.

The weakness in the currency argument is that we may be required to use the Euro. However if we can retain our current membership conditions this wouldn’t be a problem. But I expect the forces of darkness will relentlessly pursue this line, perhaps our friends in the EU can help?

You can’t have a referendum!

I can just picture Her Majesty Queen May standing outside No. 10 telling us Scots that we cannot have a referendum as she wields the royal prerogative against democracy again. I see this discussion being had already but it is unlikely to come to pass. The main reason being that we gave the SNP all the mandate they needed to hold one when we re-elected them. It was in their manifesto and all they are doing is keeping their promise, just like the Tories kept their promise to hold an EU referendum.

Of course the power to hold a binding referendum is reserved to Westminster, it was temporarily devolved for the first independence referendum by the Edinburgh Agreement. So theoretically the UK government could withhold the power. This is unlikely to happen because it would play sweetly into the hands of the SNP who would wield the “denying democracy” argument with devastating effect. Can you imagine the outrage if we were to be told by the Viceroy of Scotland that we couldn’t have democracy?

The Scottish government could hold a non-binding referendum any time they choose, there is a pro-independence majority in the Scottish parliament so the bill would be passed. This would allow the Scottish government to hold the referendum free of the constraints of Westminster. Can you imagine the UK government allowing a referendum to happen which they had no control over? Not a chance.

So I think it highly unlikely that the Tories will block a second referendum.

We need to prepare, for the time is short. I will endeavour to ponder more imponderables soon, but it’s late and I have an exam tomorrow, so it’s Bon Soiree.

shovel-faced lesbian

sorry but i’m a jock
it won’t be much of a shock
that i want to break holyrood
and steal power back for good

once i get my orders from may
i execute them without delay
my words and fundamentalism
spread by organs of imperialism

keeping the rich nests feathered
is the reason i am bothered
hopefully an ermine coat
can clothe this unworthy scot

i can lie to order
knowing the media won’t bother
chastising my deceit
i’m just protecting the elite

the will of the people means nothing
when we have migrants needing expelling
human rights will be eviscerated
once we have brexited

i tell you what to do without mandate
while my chums pollute and rape
the country into which i was born
your criticism only brings scorn

you won’t be getting a referendum
the thought makes snackbeard glum
you’d only vote yes, that’s true
then i’d have to wear flat shoes

Respect democracy

It’s the phrase of choice for British Nationalists, isn’t it? They’re always telling us that we need to respect the result of our independence referendum. They use this phrase as a shield to deflect any and all criticisms of the UK, the stock phrase being “well you voted for it.” And they’re quite correct.

We voted for the status quo, we voted to remain the junior partner in a UK which was a member of the EU. Indeed we were told that the only way to preserve EU membership was to vote No in our referendum. We were promised other things if we voted to continue to be subservient to our London government, but they were more threats than promises. They were threats about HMRC jobs, threats about Royal Navy ships built on the Clyde, threats about our economy and it’s reliance on oil. But one of the biggest threats was the one about our membership of the EU. The architect of this programme of fear mongering dubbed it Project Fear.

It must be some quirk of fate then which moved the HMRC jobs to England, delayed the building of Type 26 frigates indefinitely and drove the price of oil to sustained lows. It must be a pure coincidence that we now find ourselves heading for the EU’s exit door (the one which confounded Nigel Farage). In fact it must just be a fluke that all of the British Nationalists’ threats have come to pass.

But we have to respect democracy, don’t we? We have to respect the fact that 55% of Scots voted to remain a part of one of the most corrupt states on the planet based upon the threats and promises of the serried ranks of corporations, politicians, media and monarchs. Forget the 45% that voted to jettison a 300 year old union which has extracted so much from Scotland that our economy can’t sustain itself. We don’t count because we didn’t win.

We have more democracy to respect now in the shape of the EU referendum. In reality it was more like a Nuremberg rally than an exercise in democracy. Project Fear took time out from demonising the Scottish independence movement and it focused it’s dull gaze, Theresa May like, on “immigrants”.

Theresa May

Theresa May

If anybody doubts that propaganda works, witness the sharp increase in racist attacks since the result of the EU referendum was announced. I hear that the Brexiteers are to rename England to Xenophobia.

But forget how the campaign was won. After all it’s not the means which counts in a referendum, it’s the result which matters. Slim as it was it was the result was still a majority for leaving the EU. That’s cool, I respect that. I respect the fact that the UK as a whole wishes to turn insular and cut itself off from the rest of the world. I respect the fact that the UK wishes to cancel all of the trade deals which currently exist between the EU and the rest of the world.

However, respect is a two-way street. So now that I have proclaimed my respect for the result, so must the British Nationalists. They must respect the fact that an overwhelming majority of Scots voted to remain within the EU, as did the people of Northern Ireland. I doubt that they will, after all we are the losers again. The British Nationalist will not respect our vote in the EU referendum just like they will not respect our qualified vote in the independence referendum. So why on earth should we respect the result of either referendum?

As far as I am concerned all bets are off. We voted to stay in this toxic union called the UK on condition that we retained our EU membership. Now that we are to be torn out of the EU by the votes of another country why should we stay in the UK?

What is to come is one of the most uncertain periods our country has ever faced. We will face massive upheaval, economic shocks and political mismanagement on an unprecedented scale. Given that we can clearly see our fate, how can we best navigate our way safely through its turbulent waters? To which ship should we pin our colours to? Should it be the slave ship Xenophobia with its crew of 65 million (foreigners not welcome), or should it be the cruise liner Europe with its crew of 742.5 million? My money, and most of the rest of the world’s money, is on the EU.

The only way that this can be achieved is for Scotland to become an independent nation once more. For that to happen we will need to hold and win a second independence referendum, we don’t have much time but the broad Yes movement is still with us. Let’s get going. The British Nationalists have already begun, but now their arguments ring hollow and we are no longer afraid. Saor Alba

Better Together?

Willie’s gone Wonka

The opinion polls make dire reading for the Lib Dems these days, with a projected 5% of the vote for the Scottish Parliamentary elections next year. So Wee Willie Rennie has jumped on the UK Labour Party’s Scottish Branch Manager’s wheeze to try to entice Yes voters back into the fold by allowing their MSPs to speak for Independence in the event of another independence referendum. Notice that the Umpa Lumpa’s will only be allowed to campaign for a Yes vote, not necessarily vote Yes.

They must think we’re daft. Who is going to trust these people? Remember that Wee Willie backs the self-confessed liar Alistair Carmichael. One of the newly ennobled Lib Dem peers, Malcolm Bruce, famously said, “If you are suggesting every MP who has never quite told the truth or even told a brazen lie, including cabinet ministers, including prime ministers, [should be removed] we would clear out the House of Commons very fast, I would suggest.”  Why would anybody vote for the Liar Democrats? As for Kezia Dugdale, she lies on a daily basis. She doesn’t even blush these days. I wonder if the Conservative and Unionist party will come out with a similar ploy?

But what of it? Well it shows that the writing is on the wall for the Unionist parties. People just don’t trust them anymore. No amount of grand standing, no amount of positive media coverage is going to change people’s point of view. That’s why we are hearing them tell us that they may kind of support some idea of independence if the need arises in the future. I haven’t laughed this much since I heard of David Hameron’s porcine fellatio.

However, what it does show us is that the Scottish constitutional question is still very much alive. They are starting to realise that, if they want to survive another election, they will have to move with the current. That current is moving inexorably towards independence now. There is still much work to be done, but surely we have earned a brief moment to smile.