Better Together can always make a better ad. Alex Salmond can not give us a better currency option than we have being part of the UK

20 pound note. Photo courtesy of steved_np3 on Sxx.huWhat’s the last thing you would want to happen on postal voters’ polling day? How about your own side putting out a broadcast that is beyond terrible? Better Together’s latest effort, showing a woman’s two minute clumsy, contrived monologue as she makes up her mind to vote No. It was Rosie Barnes and her rabbit without the political intelligence.

I’m willing to accept that I may not be its target audience. After all, I am a thoroughly committed No voter and this will have been aimed at undecided women in the largely Labour voting central belt of Scotland. I’m not sure I’m meant to absolutely hate it as much as I do, though. There are ways of appealing to a segment of the population without really annoying a similar group of people.

Calling a broadcast “The woman who made her mind up” as if this was some flight of fancy is the first major error and it doesn’t get much better.  That it was shared more on social media by Yes campaigners than pro UK supporters tells its own story. They have made hay, contributing to a #patronisingbtlady thread on Twitter which, to be honest is just as patronising and sexist as the original broadcast.

There were ways to get the same message over much more effectively. The Better Together campaign said that it was based on things that real women had said to them on the doorstep. Why, then, not have a series of vox pops with the questions actually being answered? Why try to shoehorn it all into one script that just didn’t flow.

What we should, of course, have been talking about today is the letter from 120 business people urging a No vote and highlighting the benefits of the UK. They said:

Our economic ties inside the United Kingdom are very close and support almost one million Scottish jobs. The rest of the UK is Scotland’s biggest market by far.

Today Scotland’s economy is growing. We are attracting record investment and the employment rate is high.

We should be proud that Scotland is a great place to build businesses and create jobs – success that has been achieved as an integral part of the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom gives business the strong platform we must have to invest in jobs and industry. By all continuing to work together, we can keep Scotland flourishing.

Never mind. At least Better Together can redeem themselves by making a better ad at some point in the three weeks before polling day. Alex Salmond cannot offer Scotland a better option on currency than we already have using the pound as part of the UK. A currency union would mean that the rUK would effectively decide our economic policy. Sterlingisation is reckless and irresponsible, especially if it’s accompanied by a default on debt. As Charles Kennedy said last night:

Scotland can use the pound, or the rouble, you can call it what you like. So let’s just call it the pound. But it’s a pound which isn’t backed by a central bank so If there’s a run on the pound, unlike today, you’re stuffed. It’s a pound in which you don’t have the reserves and it’s a pound, remember, which if you were using it in that independent fashion, not the UK sterling we have at the moment, Alex Salmond made clear if they don’t give us that, we wouldn’t shoulder our bit of the debt. And if he didn’t do that, never mind London and the terrible people down there, international markets would have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It’s not been a good week so far for the pro UK campaign. Charles Kennedy’s performance in the BBC2 debate last night was the highlight. I’ll tell you more about that later.

 

Photo by steved_np3 on Sxx.hu

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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42 Comments

  • Richard Dean 27th Aug '14 - 8:45pm

    In the ad I saw, the woman is having a tea break, talking about how the referendum has taken over her family’s lives. She runs through a few pros and cons, and makes her mind up in 2 minutes. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me.

    Alex Salmond won’t offer true independence – an independent currency – because he knows it would fail. It would fail because investors wouldn’t want to invest, so jobs would be lost and Scots would be poorer. Its the rest of the UK that’s keeping Scotland afloat, not the other way around.

    His threat to not pay Scotland’s share of the UK’s national debt looks like the “debate” has turned rather nasty. If implemented, every man woman and child in the UK would need to pay an extra £2000 or so as a direct result of Scottish independence. What does that imply for the future relationships?

    Let’s hope they’re sensible and vote No. None of us should really welcome an economic war!

  • Eddie Sammon 27th Aug '14 - 8:53pm

    Lol! I seen that title earlier “The woman who made up her mind” and assumed it was a Yes campaign parody, I didn’t realise it was the actual title! However, the advert isn’t that bad.

    We need to wheel out Gordon Brown and keep him there. We should also stop banging on about the currency and talk more about raising barriers between UK businesses and Scottish businesses. I’m sure there are lots of other things people could contribute. Even free travel and rights of living in each other’s countries, none of this can be guaranteed in an independent Scotland.

  • As a piece of television, it’s not so bad: adequate lighting, camera direction, and professional, though uninspired acting.

    As political propaganda it fails because it is obviously *not* about a women trying to make up her mind, but about someone pushing a one-sided view under the guise of making up her mind. Quite contrary to Richard Dean’s summary, the actress doesn’t “run through a few pros and cons”; she never, in fact, cites a single “pro.” This is, of course, to be expected from a campaign broadcast, but one is left wondering: if she can think of nothing but negatives related to Scottish independence, why is she undecided? It’s that improbability that tinges the whole advert with an unintentionally parodic touch.

    As for the actress’ concluding argument: she’ll vote No because, in some undefined way, Scottish independence will be terrible for her children. That’s an understandable sentiment, but if it is so convincing, surely the actress could add a few words about exactly what is so devastating about an independent Scotland’s future. War? Famine? Plagues?

    The first thing any political campaign that wants votes should do is to address voters’ intellects. If you can engage their minds, their hearts will follow. (I know that this is directly contrary to political conventional wisdom, but such wisdom is primarily aimed at making things as easy as possible for politicians, and framing an intellectual argument is hard.) This broadcast utterly fails to do this.

  • Denis Mollison 27th Aug '14 - 10:03pm

    Yes, the ad is pretty ridiculous, especially on the pound.

    As to the prominence given to the 120 business leaders, and their letter making some pretty unoriginal and disputable points, all this shows is that the Scotsman is firmly in the BT camp; they do not give equivalent coverage to the 2500 members of Business for Scotland.

  • How the Age of Enlightenment has crunched to a halt – the views of 120 businessmen now are supposed to colour black the hopes and dreams of a nation.

  • Oh, its not as bad as all that. Scotland will be fine setting up an interim currency all on its own, and it is highly unlikely that it would fail based on what credit ratings agencies and the majority of non-partisan business sources have been saying.

    A Scottish pound would be no more expensive to bail out than Ireland was, and the guarantee of the ECB would be no less effective for the unlikely event of a Scottish currency crisis than it was in staving off the Bulgarian bank collapse-that-wasn’t earlier on this year.

    To cut a very long story short, there is no real reason why Scotland’s currency should or ever would be a dealbreaker for events post-independence. Neither side could allow it to become one without seriously damaging their own interests. Much as I hate to borrow the rhetoric of Mister Salmond, the alleged issues are nothing but an exercise in shroudwaving, scaremongering and whataboutery.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 12:22am

    @T-J.
    But if an independent Scottish currency will do well, why is Alex Salmond so insistent on currency union, so much so that he’s willing to issue dire threats if he doesn’t get it?

  • Isn’t it absolutely obvious? The pitch can’t be allowed to get bogged down in the detail of establishing a currency, that would just be technocratic economists talking over eachother and failing to engage anyone with the vote.

    It is apparent that the No side lose more support when the debate stays locked on currency – their whole attitude is completely wrong when discussing it, all senior suits talking down to people about what they won’t be allowed to have. Of course, Yes also have a terrible attitude what with all the posturing over debt, but some terrible attitudes are more electorally viable than others.

  • Tony Dawson 28th Aug '14 - 7:29am

    Since it’s a long time since I lived just outside Helensburgh, I guess I don’t get a vote. Will I be able to apply for citizenship like the Russian Latvians? 🙂

    My concern is, in what I have seen of the the campaign to date, that the question of statehood ought to be BOTH parts of a ‘hearts and minds’ thing. Anyone who pretends that independent statehood will be a total disaster is talking unbelievable rubbish as much as anyone who is talking it up to Nirvana. Disaster is Syria, Tripoli, Gaza. Alistair Darling has had a fair bash at explaining the ‘minds’ part re currency etc but where has been the campaign saying “It’s great for Scots being British because. . . . .” to counter the ‘gut’ case for independence?

    What Caron is describing above is SO reminiscent of the AV ‘YES’ campaign. Maybe the unpunished refugees from the AV HQ have been given a new lease of life?

  • Alex Dingwall 28th Aug '14 - 8:11am

    Sandra Grieve, former convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, told the Guardian that the advert had finally convinced her to vote yes.

    http://gu.com/p/4x46p/tw

  • Paul in Wokingham 28th Aug '14 - 8:54am

    @T-J – I have to admit that I have not been following the currency debate but it does seem that the no camp has played its hand poorly. To simply say that there is no prospect of a currency union sounds like nothing more than economic blackmail. Of course Scotland could simply use the pound regardless or create its own currency and peg it to the pound. That would certainly please the money markets because it would mean that an independent Scotland would not inflate its debt away.

    On the downside there is an asymmetric risk from a peg: any productivity gap between Scotland and England that is in England’s favour would need to be covered by austerity/deflation: cf the Eurozone periphery. Whereas if Scotland has higher productivity then due to the much greater size of England’s GDP it is unlikely to have any significant impact on English monetary policy.

  • I too have been disturbed by how the NO side has appeared to use blackmail on the status of the currency. Particularly I am disturbed by the interventions of Danny Alexander.

    When Danny Alexander pronounces that Scotland cannot belong to a currency union with the rest of the UK, is he giving his personal opinion or is this official Lib Dem policy? If it is Lib Dem policy, how was this policy decided and on what authority? If it is his personal opinion, this needs to be made abundantly clear so that others can have the space to show willingness to negotiate.

    If the NO side prevail, which is still more likely than not, Danny Alexander and others of his persuasion will, I think, have a hard time rebuilding bridges to a large segment of a Scottish electorate that will feel it has been coerced. I fear that Scottish Liberals will be in deeper trouble after the referendum.

  • Perhaps someone can explain to me why in Charles Kennedy’s words “international markets would have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner” if Scotland did not agree to share the UK debt. After all it is not as though the rest of the UK would renounce and default on any of the debt, which I would have thought would be the main concern of international markets.

    Scotland’s own resources, including the oil reserves in the immediate term, would make Scotland financially secure; moreover a lack of debt would make it even more attractive. The principal disincentive could only be trust, but would the markets really assume that Scotland would be likely to be fiscally irresponsible?

    I really doubt that financial institutions would unite as a moral agent. If they did it would surely be a first, they have always proved to be disconcertingly amoral in the past.

  • Denis Mollison 28th Aug '14 - 10:06am

    Alex – thanks for the link. I liked this comment by bithick in answer to someone who asked why Sandra Grieve should have been influenced by a duff advert:

    You’re missing vital context which a Scottish audience shares. Here are some facts that are implicit in this ad, the message from its makers, if you have been living in Scotland over the past two years.
    1. We have no case to argue.
    2. We offer you no case
    3. Except implicit strawman / lie about oil-dependency
    4. We want you to not think
    5 We want you to feel anxious instead
    6 We have no vision for Scotland
    7 We’re still not telling you our Plan A.
    8 We want you vote NO.

  • The international markets themselves wouldn’t exactly crucify Scotland over abandoning the rest of us with all the debt, although there would be a premium that Scotland would end up paying for the privilege of just dumping the credit that its elected representatives helped to rack up. The issue is trust, and the concern that Scotland might view itself as a separate case set apart from the normal rules about paying back loans. Of course, the case of inheriting debt from a defunct union *is* a special case, so the impact of technical default would only be limited. But it would make things that much more difficult for Scotland, and indeed for the Kingdom of South Britain and Northern Ireland if it were to likewise pretend that 10% of the old UK’s debt just didn’t exist.

    The real problems from defaulting on debts shared with England etc will come from the damage done to the Scottish government’s reputation as an international partner. Failing to reach compromise on debt with England and Wales would bode very poorly for Scotland’s ability to reach compromise on everything with Europe, and would give the remaining UK a perfectly good reason to veto its EU accession, for example.

    It is still very unlikely to happen, even if Independence ends up happening. Although the Yes campaign has been shot through with Scottish exceptionalism and the language of historical grievance, the negotiations won’t be in the hands of people who can only think in those terms. Honestly, the debt threat belongs in the same dustbin as the currency doomsaying.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 10:36am

    The debt threat seems real to this Englishman. It means that Scotland couldn’t care less about acting fairly with me. Ok, so I won’t bother being brotherly and sisterly with Scotland either. Next time I’m buy whiskey, maybe I’ll buy Irish. Next holiday in Scotland, well no, they’re ready to rip me off at the first opportunity. Brighton instead. Scottish shortbreads? No, Cornish pasties! They want currency union? Huh! Fat chance. Let’s have economic war instead!

    The debt threat also provides us with a way of estimating what value Salmond/SNP assigns to currency union. It’s worth at least around £150 billion to them. Well, if that’s what they’ll gain from the currency union, it must also be what they’ll lose from having an independent currency! I deduce that Salmond believes Scotland’s economic state is dire. Which means that England, Wales, and Northern Ireland must presently be subsidizing the Scots.

    Or maybe Salmond’s just taking the opportunity to be greedy? Which means I’m back to paragraph 1. Or a weak reaction to the No campaign’s argument that he doesn’t have a Plan B.

    I think maybe the debt threat was a bit of a political mistake?

  • jedibeeftrix 28th Aug '14 - 10:50am

    Scottish business seems to feel it is being coerced into silence by the yes mob.

    I’ll feeling on both sides I’d say.

  • Your deductions, filtered through a kneejerk emotional response, are mistaken. You confuse a political posture for a negotiating stance, and a negotiating stance for an intended outcome.

    As I said earlier, the emotional hotheads won’t be in charge of the negotiations. The only element of the deal that is likely to be up for the popular vote is the currency union, which is a bad idea in the first place but which serves to place No on territory that makes them come across badly.

    A case in point is your outburst. How many Scots do you suppose are going to be filled with warm goodwill and an inclination towards No thanks to your call for economic warfare?

  • T-J: I cannot even see that there would be a technical default. I presume there are plenty of precedents from when Ireland left the Union and the Empire broke up. Was debt shared in these cases?

    I think you are certainly right to suppose that cooler heads would conduct negotiations, which is why the NO side do not inspire credibility and why some sort of co-currency and debt agreement would be much more likely. I think the issues of credibility on the YES side are quite different and more political than economic. But why is Danny Alexander amongst the hotheads? Does he presume to speak for Lib Dems in general or just for himself? I do not think his position on currency is any help in our perceived credibility issues.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 11:24am

    @T-J
    That is why it’s a political mistake. By threatening me personally with a bill of over £2000 for Scottish independence, Salmond has changed the nature of the debate in a very unwise way.

    Previously I was quite happy and desirous of finding a best solution for everyone. Now I have the impression that the SNP at least are just out to rip me off. If Scotland votes yes and they use that threat in their negotiations, that’s what some of me will think of the whole nation.

    The joke about Scots being tight becomes a reality, and if that is the reality then I’d better change my generous warn attitude towards my Northern neighbours!

    Classic case of politicians generating war to satisfy their own egos?

    And now I have T-J telling me I’m stupid because I didn’t realise that a serious threat was just a jokey negotiating stance and it’s my fault the bad feeling has developed?

    What does that do for friendly relations?

    Over to you, mate. It’s you who started this war. Rest assured it’s me who will end it victorious!

  • Richard Dean: The threat is on the other (NO) side. Salmond explicitly stated that with a currency agreement he would support taking responsibility for a proportionate share of the debt. As a non-Scot, I am more of a neutral on this referendum and more concerned with the role of the UK in the EU: at present a YES vote might be the safer option for pro-EU Scots. I just do not think that the NO side have presented a good case nor an attractive vision for the future.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 11:43am

    @Martin.
    Scotland already has a responsibility to repay a proper proportion of the UK’s national debt. So Salmond’s “generosity” in offering this is no generosity at all.

    After independence, I guess we in the rest-of-the-UK will have to classify Scottish people living here as immigrants? And vice versa.

  • Martin, the point regarding the pound is very simple – It is perfectly acceptable for the Scots to have the pound and the stability offered by being part of a global currency which comes as a part of being one nation, or it can have independence. What cannot be acceptable is for the Scots to cherry pick the best bits of union (in this case the pound) while insisting on the best bits of independence (e.g. the oil), while just expecting the English, the Welsh and the Irish to settle for the left overs.

  • Denis Mollison 28th Aug '14 - 11:55am

    Richard – It’s the unionist parties that started the threatening, by categorically ruling out a currency union, despite, for example, Alistair Darling being on record from last year as saying that in the event of independence a currency union was the obvious preferred option. The Yes campaign have merely pointed out that the debt belongs to the Bank of England (which despite its name is really the Bank of the UK); so if there’s no currency union, any contribution to the debt is not “defaulting”, it’s a voluntary contribution.

    Both positions are (pre-)negotiating stances; amd hopefully if there is a Yes vote, both negotiating teams will remember their commitment under the Edinburgh agreement to work out a solution to the benefit of both countries.

  • Richard, if your response to ‘if you won’t share obligations then neither will we’ is to call for war, then you have a problem.

    Martin, the Irish precedent is one that we really have to hope we’ll avoid, certainly we ought to unless we go mad and appoint Richard ‘No Surrender’ Dean as head negotiator. That precedent quickly degenerated into civil war and chaos, and occurred as a result of armed insurgency. The market’s opinion of the lack of an equitable debt settlement would have been lost in its reaction to the war.

    The Empire breaking up is also very different, as few if any of the imperial colonies were ever considered integrated parts of this nation-state, and certainly took no part in its governing democracy. Lots of legal fictions, proxies and shell organisations existed to create the Empire without requiring it to be welded into any truly cohesive or democratically validated whole, and the breakups reflect that.

    The perspectives that Scotland both has a responsibility to pay its share of the UKs legacy costs and should be freed from any obligations to do so, both have validity, and Salmond’s position appears to recognise this.

    A default would have worse impacts on South Britain, assuming it also refuses to pay, as it is that part that wants to claim legitimacy as the successor state while Scotland wants to claim most of the effects of being a new state. But it is a no-win scenario, both parties significantly harm their own interests by allowing things to degenerate that far, which is why I don’t expect it to get there.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 12:13pm

    So, ok, we now know that Scotland will be absolutely ruthless in its negotiations, caring not one whit for an equitable sharing of burdens. That’s good to know, because we of the rest-of-the-UK will therefore be best advised do the same. Any idea of “working out a solution t the benefit of both countries” has now gone out the window.

    The unionist parties may have made a mistake, ok. But now Salmond has made a bigger mistake. This sounds like a classic case of ego-driven escalation!

    On behalf of my fellow rest-of-the-UK citizens, I offer Salmond a way out. Abandon your threat. Publically, Do it now, before enough of me gets riled enough that it becomes impossible to correct. It’ll be good for your image – make you look like the statesman you so obviously think you are.

  • Angela Davies 28th Aug '14 - 12:15pm

    Most Independent countries have no problems with currencies, Most former colonies have different currencies to us and they manage OK.
    The pound is great but not the greatest. Scotland is a rich country and quite capable of managing well as an Independent country. I feel we in the rest of the UK would be the losers if Scotland leaves us.
    I say Scotland please stay we need you

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 12:17pm

    @T-J.
    And now the nice patronizing Scotsman is telling me “I have a problem”. Is that the nice Scotsman’s idea of an effective “negotiating stance”? Is that his idea of a way to calm me down so that I won’t carry out my reactive threat of economic war? Or is it the desperate words of a child who won’t admit that it’s not the word’s fault, it’s his?

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 12:18pm

    word’s –> world’s

    (just in case the nice Scotsman got confused)

  • Richard, I’m not a Scotsman. Never have been, never will be.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 12:20pm

    There was no need for LDV to moderate my previous comment. If I was paranoid I’d suspect a Scottish influence on the software. Hell, I forgot, I am paranoid actually! It’s definitely is Scottish plot!

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 12:27pm

    T-J.
    I’ve got it now! The nice Scotsman who told me I’m stupid for not realising it was a jokey negotiating stance, and who now denies being a Scotsman, has not realised that my reaction was also a jokey negotiating stance, nor indeed that I am partly European. Right on. Ok. Where were we?

    Can I take it that the mysterious initials T-dash-J actually stand for “Alex Salmond”, and that Mr.Salmond is now willing to take back his debt threat?

    This nice Englishman must now unfortunately go away and do something else. Well, Scotland really isn’t a big issue is it? Catalonia calls. But rest assured, like Arnie, I’ll be back later! 🙂

  • Little Jackie Paper 28th Aug '14 - 1:17pm

    TJ – Salmond will not go for the so called zero option. There has not been a single successful example of it that I am aware of. If you look at how the ex-Yugoslavia (in a civil war!) managed this you will see that debt allocation was an intrinsic part of separation and currency establishment. If an Independent Scotland wanted currency union then there are very sound reasons indeed why the rest of the UK would want some serious political union and possibly a referendum too. Currency substitution strikes me as a short-term at best option.

    Yes, the rest of the UK would have a strong interest in stability, but so to would independent Scotland and debt allocation would be a part of that.

    There is no reason why Scotland could not launch an SCP. As to the Euro, Scotland would need to meet the entry requirements. I don’t know how the Euro polls in Scotland but presumably they would need a referendum given that Salmond does not appear at present to be seeking a vote that includes joining the Euro – or at least that’s not my understanding.

  • LJP – That’s basically my point about why none of Britain’s colonies ended up taking a debt allocation – they weren’t integrated parts of our nation state. Yugoslavia is one of the most recent examples of what to do when an integrated single nation decides to split (minus the ethnic cleansing and war of course). Maybe Czechoslovakia is a better example. Either way, I am aware that the precedent is that breakups involve an equitable debt settlement, even if one or both parties could technically just wash their hands of it and be off.

    Salmond will probably try to negotiate Scotland’s share of the debt down if he doesn’t get the currency union. It may be that he’s only asking for one so that No will make themselves look bad by lecturing Scotland over the issue, with it then being exchanged as a concession for something else if negotiations end up being needed. Certainly, he’s got the No camp all turning it into this huge red line issue which they’ll give a lot to win on. But who knows?

    Regarding currency itself, for the short to medium term a new Scottish pound would be best, I think. It avoids the issues of trying to hammer out a currency union deal, with all the shared political structures that England wouldn’t be too keen on having anymore. It also meets the EU rules, which contrary to popular belief don’t set a strict deadline for euro adoption, but do seem to require each non-eurozone member to have its own central bank and associated instruments of government.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 28th Aug '14 - 2:48pm

    Bearing in mind that the SNP doesn’t have a great majority amongst Scots – I’m wondering what will happen [if Yes goes ahead] when the SNP is in opposition to Labour-leaning voters in Scotland. Will the new government wish to enter new arrangements? And with whom?

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 28th Aug '14 - 2:50pm

    I’m surprised that Scots would even consider ‘One vote fits all’

  • Let’s get this straight. Firstly, even most Yes supporters of my acquaintance (except the most optimistic and fanatical) acknowledge that a No vote is still the most likely outcome, barring a 1992-type switch in the polling.

    That said, if there is a Yes vote, then it seems to me that a currency union is likely to happen in conjunction with a concession on the Scottish side. That may be taking our share of the UK’s debt – though you could argue that we would have to do that anyway – or it may be on something like Trident (the Scottish Government could lease the area around Faslane to rUK in the same way Hong Kong was leased, which would allow them to argue that there were no nuclear weapons on Scottish soil.)

    There’s also still an assumption that any negotiations will be amicable and stress free. Unlikely!

  • Toby Fenwick 28th Aug '14 - 5:52pm

    Sorry to be coming to this debate late.

    I can’t see any circumstances under which there will be a currency union between the two states: for the UK there’s no incentive at all if the alternative is a pegged Sc£ or sterlingization to take on the risk of paying 91.6% of the cost of a Scottish bank bailout. For iScot , it’s really unclear why would you want to lock into a monetary policy that isn’t designed for you and to accept UK veto over their budgets and deficits – especially as the effect of a major change in the oil price will be an asymmetric shock to the currency union.

    I wrote about these and other issues in May for CentreForum: http://www.centreforum.org/assets/pubs/scottish-independence.pdf

    Happy as always to discuss.

  • Denis Mollison 28th Aug '14 - 9:44pm

    Toby – “Happy as always to discuss” . Why is the prospect of a Scottish bank bailout regarded as such a big obstacle to currency union? A reasonable solution is for each country to take responsibility proportionally to a bank’s activity in its country. Also note that (1) It was the Westminster government’s lax control of banking that facilitated the crisis of 2008/9, (2) none of the major Scottish banks is owned in Scotland, and (3) the groups they belong to have most of their activity outwith Scotland, so it is obvious sense that they should be regarded as joint responsibility.

  • Richard Dean 28th Aug '14 - 10:02pm

    How would “each country … take responsibility proportionally” if there is only one currency?

  • Bruce Biddulph 29th Aug '14 - 2:56pm

    The ad is apt because it mirrors Better Together perfectly. Empty, ill informed, stupid person spends ten seconds on biggest decision and is meant to be representative of undecided women in Scotland? The ad says everything about BT’s attitude to women, that any Lib Dem can even mildly support this advert reflects poorly on a party I used to support. Like many Scots, I have seen the Tories, the n Labour and the LibDems patronise the electorate in their rush to gain power in London. This advert does the same, it insults the intelligence and presumes people are stupid. A shock is coming and none of the London based parties are ready for it as they are still living in the 1970s – clearly!

  • So according to some folk here, investors wouldn’t want to invest in one of the richest countries in the WORLD simply because the people of that country vote for decentalisation of power? If you believe that, you’ll believe anything!

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