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Saturday, September 13, 2014

SNP and their day of reckoning

In the Spectator, Fraser Nelson details some remarkable threats by leading SNP politician, Jim Sillars:

Sillars is a former SNP deputy leader but now not part of the apparatus- so he can speak freely. All too freely, as it turns out. Here’s what he has said today.
“This referendum is about power, and when we get a Yes majority, we will use that power for a day of reckoning with BP and the banks. The heads of these companies are rich men, in cahoots with a rich English Tory Prime Minister, to keep Scotland’s poor, poorer through lies and distortions. The power they have now to subvert our democracy will come to an end with a ‘yes’. BP, in an independent Scotland, will need to learn the meaning of nationalisation, in part or in whole, as it has in other countries who have not been as soft as we have forced to be. We will be the masters of the oil fields, not BP or any other of the majors.”
So Scotland’s refusal to go all Hugo Chavez on its companies is, to Sillars, an example of the SNP administration ‘forced’ by Westminster to be ‘soft’ (ie, not lay down the law to) companies. Their expressing their concerns about his separation plan is the same as ‘subverting our democracy. The have become enemies of the Scottish people, according to Sillars, and will be treated as such.

Sillars had a bit more to say. Under a separate Scotland, companies like Standard Life would be required to give two years warning of any layoffs they wanted to make. This sounds crazy, more like East Germany than a new Scotland. But as Silllars put it:
What kind of people do these companies think we are? They will find out.”
Is this the reality facing Scotland if they vote 'yes' on Thursday? As Fraser Nelson says all this unnerves businesses. He adds that this why increasing numbers of businesses have had to reassure shareholders that, if Scotland votes ‘yes’, they will not stick around for long enough to see what Mr Sillars meant.
A Yes vote will be great for Scotland and a boost for democracy in the rest of the UK. Surely something Lib Dems would be in favor of. Challenging the forces of economic and political centralized power is to be applauded if a little crudely put by JS. It sickens me to see Lab and Lib MPs, AMs and activists publically siding with the interests of a miniscule elite which is responsible for war, the centralization of economic and political power and the continuance of privilege. I'm an internationalist and a liberal and this makes perfect sense to me.
A yes vote will leave Scotland isolated and broke.The forces of economic and political power can best be challenged within a Federal UK
How on earth will it be isolated and broke. The UK seems heading for withdrawal from Europe an independent Scotland most certainly would stay. The UK shows every intention of continuing entering into illegal wars which earns the hatred of communities throughout the world, Scotland would be spared that. Economically, broke. Why? Scotland is a wealthy country and size is of no concern. Luxembourg, anyone.
If the forces of power are best challenged within the UK, why have they never been?
You are better than this.
The key issue for Scotland here is its currency.

If Scots vote yes and if they are allowed to keep the pound, which is in doubt, then they will have no control over money supply, interest rates or exchange rates.

In other words they will not be able to manage their own economy. Not so independent after all.

The alternatives are to create their own currency, but without foreign currency reserves or gold they have nothing to anchor it against.

Or to join the Euro, which will be a protracted process and which might not succeed. If it does succeed then again they will not be in control of their own economy but worse they will have to meet certain economic criteria and will be tied in with a number of economically weak countries such as Italy and Greece.

It is for these reasons that investor and businesses are threatening to flee south in the event of a yes vote.

And that is before we even take account of rising prices and other job losses as UK agencies and defence establishments relocate out of Scotland.

A yes vote is a huge gamble that could cripple the Scottish economy. The alternative of devo-max gives Scotland more powers without those risks.
Devo Max eh? The old Liberal Party's Home Rule All Round from the 19th century. An admirable policy but never implemented even following the landslide of 1906 and when LL G was the most powerful man in the world. There are risks with any venture political or otherwise but to remain tied to a tiny Westminster elite which serves international finance is lunacy. The Conservatives will not introduce any meaningful Devo Max in the event of a NO vote. Your party surely has seen enough of their duplicity (AV etc) over the last 4 years to know that. The issues you raise regarding relocation, rising prices, job losses etc have all been addressed by independent observers. The sight of Cameron inviting the chiefs of large retailers to no 10 to issue dire warnings was obscene. Do you and the Libs wish to be associated with these people?
When you say Jim Sillars is a 'leading' SNP politician, you should note that he holds no such rank, although he was an MP for Glasgow Govan for the SNP between 1988 and 1992. You should also note that he was of course a Labour MP for Ayrshire between 1970 and 1979. I suspect that all of the political parties in an independent Scotland will re-crystallise and no doubt the views and traditions of Sillars will probably be represented by some kind of a Socialist Party of Scotland which will be made up of what is left of Scottish Labour and left wing SNP members. There may even be a right of centre political party, and no doubt the Scottish Greens will flourish. May I complement you Peter on making the same comment on Jim Sillars of Scotland now, as Lloyd George made on James Connolly of Ireland a hundred years ago. Let's hope that the UK government 'in negotiation' are less duplicitous this time.
Oh! These big brave businesses and their hugely over-paid bosses! What wimps. First sign of uncertainty and they curl up or slink off. And why are they paid so much? Because they have unique talents for leadership and risk-taking. Ho! Ho1
it's not about bravery for business. if they are threatened they will leave if they can. and jim sillars made direct threats to major corporations, those corporations are required by law to provide the best return for their shareholders. so if they know (or strongly suspect) the SNP will punish them when in total power they are obliged to warn their shareholders and in most cases where head offices are easy to shift, they'll move to the UK, or overseas, to prevent avoidable losses. i don't approve of big C capitalism, but if you have it you need to be more circumspect when you go after it's wealth. it also helps if business have a reason to stay in scotland, i don't see why the big ones would when they face higher taxes and some seriously unreasonable demands. (2 years notice of layoffs? even i think that's unreasonable and i loathe the Corporatist scum).
as a halfling scotlish man i want the union to remain, i don't want my familial cousins to suffer what i see as the inevitable depression that scotland will suffer. i'd like to be wrong about this, but i rarely am in such matters. still it'd be nice if it all works fine, i just don't see how it can.
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