LibLink: Danny Alexander: Scotland can’t go it alone and keep the pound. That’s not bullying, it’s reality

Danny Alexander has taken to the pages of this week’s Mail on Sunday to write about the Scottish independence referendum.

He tackled the hostile reaction from some nationalists to David Bowie’s entreaty at the Brits. “Scotland, stay with us.” said the rock legend.

David Bowie’s call sparked strong reactions on both sides of an ever more passionate debate. He was attacked for being a ‘celebrity’, being English and not living in the UK.
And why shouldn’t a ‘celebrity’ have a view and express it? Why shouldn’t an Englishwoman have a view on  an issue that will change the country she lives in, too?

Come to that, why should we be surprised that Brits living abroad have  a view on the referendum?

Celebrities can bring inspirational leadership to a campaign.

Who could ever forget Joanna Lumley’s crusade for the Gurkhas?

Danny goes on to explain where he is coming from:

My perspective is as a proud Highlander and a patriotic Scot.

I was raised on the island of Colonsay and in Glengarry in Lochaber. I will have a vote in the referendum.

But I also look at this as the Lib Dem Minister in the Treasury and a member of the UK Government.

What matters to me is what’s best for Scotland, and I want everyone to understand the economic risks, dangers, and huge uncertainties inherent in Mr Salmond’s leap in the dark.

He talks about the consequences of failure to have a Plan B on currency and of Salmond’s threat to default on its share of UK debt.

His failure to have a currency plan at this stage is a damning indictment of his party’s ability to grasp what is at stake.

Worse, his ‘threat’ to renege on honouring Scotland’s share of the UK national debt is immensely destructive.

If the first act of a new state was a default on its debt, this would create a huge leap in interest rates – which would have a serious negative impact on investment, jobs and prosperity.

He talks about the meeting of the Cabinet in Aberdeen tomorrow:

The regional Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen this week is a great opportunity to show our economic plan is working for Scotland and the UK.

How could it be in the interests of the Scottish recovery and of the Scottish people to wrench ourselves away from the security of this combined strength?

We already have the best kind of currency union – keeping the pound by staying in the UK. The facts show that we are better when we combine our resources and work together.

I may only be a poor cat, but it strikes me that there are not that many supporters of independence amongst the readers of the Mail on Sunday in Scotland. While the language may well appeal to those readers, it’s perhaps time to develop more engaging language to inspire those whose votes are needed to win the referendum.

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  • “David Bowie’s call sparked strong reactions on both sides of an ever more passionate debate. He was attacked for being a ‘celebrity’, being English and not living in the UK.
    And why shouldn’t a ‘celebrity’ have a view and express it? Why shouldn’t an Englishwoman have a view on an issue that will change the country she lives in, too?”

    Hmm. Perhaps it was a mistake for Danny Alexander to stop wearing glasses.

  • you seem a bit uncertain about what species you are.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 23rd Feb '14 - 9:39pm

    Ooh, we’d better get her to the vet in the morning….

  • Danny Alexander says — “Celebrities can bring inspirational leadership to a campaign.”

    So I guess he did not read the Rock Against Racism page on Wiki which informs us —
    “Bowie was quoted as saying: “Britain is ready for a fascist leader… I think Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism… I believe very strongly in fascism, people have always responded with greater efficiency under a regimental leadership.” He was also quoted as saying: “Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars” and “You’ve got to have an extreme right front come up and sweep everything off its feet and tidy everything up.”

  • widescreen2010 24th Feb '14 - 10:14am

    It sort of clears the issue really.
    If Scotland was a proper country it would not need EU membership or someone else to back its debts.
    The ScotNats alarm at the prospect of being forced to function as a real country after independence gives the game away. In their eyes, Scotland cannot function properly as an independent country unless someone else is paying for it.

  • Alex Dingwall 24th Feb '14 - 12:12pm

    Danny would have done himself some good to have read Stephen Tall’s article ‘Who’s afraid of Scottish Independence’. before taking to the media to repeat some of the nonsense he has.

    Firstly, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny really should know (and I am sure he does) that the pound is a freely convertible currency which anyone can use. So no Danny voting for Independence does not mean losing the pound. Its silly to keep saying this so please don’t, if you mean there won’t be a currency union then say that.

    But maybe Danny meant that an Independent Scotland would have to use the Euro? Again this ignores the evidence.

    Speaking last week to the Scottish Parliament’s Europe and External Relations Committee, Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Economist of the European Policy Centre, noted that stringent criteria must be met in order for a country to adopt the Euro – one of which being that they have been members of the Exchange Rate Mechanism for two years – membership which is itself entirely voluntary. Note: “voluntary”.

    As for the nonsense on Bowie, almost as nonsensical as his actual statement:
    “In Japanese myth, the rabbits on my old costume that Kate is wearing live on the moon. Kate comes from Venus, and I’m from Mars. I’m completely delighted for having a Brit for being Best Male. But I am. Aren’t I, Kate?” Yes. I think it’s a great way to end the day. Thank you very, very much … and Scotland, stay with us.”

    This was hardly on a par with Joanna Lumley’s campaign for the Gurkhas .

    Frankly my vote, Danny’ vote and Caron’s vote and not going to be swayed by pop stars, authors or actors. I’d really prefer it both campaigns spent less time courting ‘stars’ and more time speaking to the only people who really matter, the Scottish voters.

    Finally I do wish Danny and others would think about the tone they use. In our party some 4/5ths will vote No but 20% are going to vote Yes, so maybe remember when those kneejerk reactions come upon you to spin, misrepresent and demonise, your not just risking alienating other party supporters but some of our own too.

    Reading the recent pronouncement on the pound, Europe, Oil, etc, I was reminded of Michael Douglas’ speech in The American President:

    We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only — making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it.”

    So Danny, Nick, Vince et al.. please stop being Bob Rumson.

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