Keep it fair (Douglas Young)

I read the letter “Importance of the Vote” (Shetland Times, 9th May) and realised why people might vote “no” in the referendum.

To debunk every part of this letter would raise the editor’s ire so I shall restrict myself to three points.

The three writers are incorrect to say there is a “nationalist’s referendum” on September 18th, it is for the entire Scottish electorate and the Edinburgh Agreement permitting it in law was actually signed by, amongst others, unionist David Cameron. Better Together try to link the referendum to the SNP and Alex Salmond, which is disingenuous and I am sure the writers simply made a mistake.

“Remaining in the UK is the only way to guarantee to keep the pound” is quite simply wrong. It has been confirmed on live television by both our own MP Alistair Carmichael and Alistair Darling an independent Scotland could not use it. Any country may use it with or without Westminster’s permission as it is a fully tradable currency. I am sure the writers simply made a mistake.

“Remaining in the UK is the only way to guarantee pensions” is also completely false. Again Better Together use this in order to win voters through fear. 

On Wednesday 7th May, Westminster’s own minister of state for pensions confirmed pensions would be unaffected by independence (www.government-world.com/uk-gov-minister-admits-pensions-safe-with-yes-vote/), so to simply repeat what pro-union MPs say is inadvisable without a little research. I am sure the writers simply made a mistake.

The writers also claim “many businesses plan to move their operations because of the prospect of an independent Scotland”

Name them in next week’s Shetland Times. Although it would be inadvisable to include Standard Life, BP, Shell, Aberdeen Asset Management, Tesco, BT or BAE Systems on that list as Better Together have tried to do. They are going nowhere.

All these points can be cleared up in live debate or by visiting mistake-free https://www.facebook.com/YesShetland.

Douglas Young

Sumburgh

21 comments

  1. james morrisey

    I’m sure that Scotland could use the pound if it votes yes to seperate itself from the UK. However it would not be in a currency union with the UK and therefore would have no control over financial decisions involving said currency.
    I always find it fascinating that those who support seperation are so selective in those from England Wales and NI whom they chose to believe. Mr Young has no hesitationin believing the comment on pensions , but seems reticent to accept that a currency union will not happen.

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      But why does the pound only belong to what would be left of the UK? We might need to split it 50:50 as in an amicable divorce. Scotland could have its own pooond, like the Irish had the punt. I wonder how Ireland managed to get their currency out of the UK when they left? Maybe the PM then had more sense and to keep saying ‘you cant have that, that’s ours’. We could always seek a ruling from the European court on who is entitled to the pound and who isnt.

      Reply
      • Chris Baxter

        The BOE isn’t going to allow an independent Scotland with independent debt issuance to have any amount of control over its policies. Simple as.

        Scotland could attempt to peg its own currency to the pound, but to maintain a currency peg you need big foreign exchange reserves, and we’d start with >£100bn equivalent in debt already.

      • Johan Adamson

        Surely the Bank of England is a mis-nomer? It is the Bank of the UK government and belongs to all? If we are having it’s debt proportionally then we own it too, surely.

      • Robert Duncan

        An independent Scotland is perfectly free to use the pound, any country in the world could do the same.

        Use of the pound does not equal currency union, despite various parties on both sides conflating the two arguments. The remainder of the UK would be perfectly within their rights to reject a currency union that gave Scotland say over fiscal policy.

        As an aside, the pound doesn’t “belong” to anybody. It is not an asset in and of itself.

      • Robert Boakes

        Ireland simply carried on using the pound for 7 years, no-one on either side really thought about it. Then in 1928 it created the Saorstát pound which was pegged to Sterling & the Bank of England guaranteed that Irish banknotes would be honoured at par in sterling without fee, margin or commission. In return Irelandd lodged assets equal to the money it printed with the BoE. That situation remained till 1979. The arrangement did constrain development of the Irish economy but on the other hand it meant its currency was fully backed by reserves rather than debt.

    • Charlie Banham - Cullivoe

      James, like you, I am no financial wizard, but surely, an independent Scotland using the £ Sterling informally, without the unwanted burden of a currency union would be an excellent scenario? – the only risk ( and a relatively minor one at that) are currency fluctuations, which, lets face it happen to all currencies on a daily basis.
      i.e.: Use the pound informally, and let the rUK take all the risks (they have much experience in that) Win-Win

      Central Bank- who need one? – Hong Kong NEVER had a central bank in it’s entire UK associated history – and had a very prosperous, strong, stable economy and financial structure – the envy of many Western Countries.

      Lets face it, Banking, especially UK & USA it is exactly what got us into this big mess.

      What an Independent Scotland would need is an old fashioned banking system that can be trusted. No more making money out of other peoples money by risky and greedy Investment Bankers.

      Credit Unions and Building Societies, for centuries, have served us well no obscene bonuses, they are owned by members, work FOR members and have management that can be held to account by members, and when clearly necessary, given their walking papers.
      Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?
      Or are you satisfied with what we have now?

      Vote ‘YES’ for a much better and fairer Scotland

      Reply
      • Chris Baxter

        “Central Bank- who need one? – Hong Kong NEVER had a central bank in it’s entire UK associated history – and had a very prosperous, strong, stable economy and financial structure – the envy of many Western Countries.”

        That’s a daft comparison, Hong Kong was a low-regulation tax haven extraordinarily well placed to benefit from the surging Chinese export market. Its lack of a central bank isn’t really a factor here. It also had its own currency, you really are comparing apples and oranges.

        “What an Independent Scotland would need is an old fashioned banking system that can be trusted. No more making money out of other peoples money by risky and greedy Investment Bankers.”

        I guess we’ll be saying goodbye to whatever proportion of that 8pc of our economy you consider “greedy” then. Market crashes are a part of life. The idiots that paid too much for houses and borrowed far beyond their means are at least as much to blame as the banks that leant them the money in the expectation of a rising housing market covering defaults.

        “Credit Unions and Building Societies, for centuries, have served us well no obscene bonuses, they are owned by members, work FOR members and have management that can be held to account by members, and when clearly necessary, given their walking papers.”

        Great, I support credit unions and building societies, but individual finance is but a small part of the financial sector as a whole, and you’re not even remotely close to looking at the full image here.

  2. Charlie Banham - Cullivoe

    Excellent Post James Morrissey
    Nice to read a polite post on such an emotive issue, and I commend you for that.

    But these ‘mistakes’ you mention , to me at least, smack of deliberate tactics to confuse and deflect from the real issues at hand.

    The State Pension is a perfect example, when we are told the myth that ‘they are at risk’

    What ‘Risk’ I ask ? Pray Tell

    There are literally thousands of former UK Residents/nationals/former immigrants/ even former asylum seekers et al, who have since moved to other countries, that, if they paid their required National Insurance Contributions, whilst they were in the UK receive (as they are legally entitled to) ALL of their UK state pension, deposited in their bank, overseas, in the local currency – in fact many some that I personally know of, who live in the E.U. also receive the UK Winter Heating Allowance

    At risk indeed? NOT!)

    Reply
  3. ian tinklr

    Independent Scotland? Finance controlled by The Bank of England with all that entails, the price of keeping the pound. Independent Scotland? keeping The Monarchy with all that entails, just to pamper to loyalist voters. Independent Scotland, dismantle RN Submarine Base Faslane and join NATO, with all that entails, those very nuclear armed subs allowed into all and every Scottish port with no questions asked!!. I think Salmond’s version of independence is more than a little strange, perhaps we need a new definition of the word independent.

    Reply
  4. Brian Smith

    Mr Tinkler’s proposed independent republican Scotland outside NATO sounds attractive.

    Reply
  5. Ali Inkster

    “To debunk every part of this letter would raise the editor’s ire …..” Or maybe require an even more vivid imagination than the one you already have, Douglas.

    Reply
  6. Ian Tinkler

    Johan, as I understand it “the Bank of England” is independent of Westminster and its function is to control interest rates and such matters relating to the pound. An independent Scotland would not necessarily need the same controls and could be disadvantaged considerably. That is why Scotland using the same currency as what s left of the UK would be a tad silly, if Scotland wished to be truly independent of the UK.

    Reply
  7. John Tulloch

    Given the absence of comments on Simon Collins’ letter about the ‘pig’s ear’ the Scottish and UK governments have made of managing our fishing industry, it would appear that both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns accept his damning indictment of their respective governments’ performances?

    It does make it a tad awkward for politicians when people who know what they’re talking about start arguing with them.

    Still, it won’t be long before we find out what ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ has achieved for our fishing industry, if anything.

    Reply
  8. Stuart Stenhouse

    Re: James Morrisey comment, ref, Pound Sterling

    James, may I respectfully allay your concern of Scotland using the pound Sterling.

    Firstly, a currency union with an outside trading nation, is not unprecedented.

    The most derided currency is according to the media at least, the Euro.

    No input to a said ‘currency union’ being detrimental to an independent Scotland, or any other nation whom uses the pound Sterling?

    I could list indefinitely those who fall into that bracket. But rather more poignantly I would highlight the following.

    Top traded currencies in the world:
    1. US Dollar
    2. Euro
    3. Japanese Yen

    Britain follows 4th with the pound Sterling, closely followed by the Australian dollar, Swiss franc, Canadian dollar and the Mexican Peso.

    Any may I remind all readers that any currency, can and will be bolstered artificially; then subsequently attacked by the dealers in the international markets. Today it may be the Bangladesh taka, tomorrow it may be the Turkmenistan manat.

    1992 brought ‘Black Wednesday’, with Britain’s exit from the ERM (exchange rate mechanism). That was not connected to a newly born Nation, but an old established nation being dragged through the Stock Exchange; with a certain George Soros pocketing £1 billion on speculation, fear, negativity, and doom mongering about the pound we all carry. He literally holed the UK exchequer below the water-line.

    So to sum up, no more negativity from those who peddle ‘project fear’ into this most important decision in our collective voting rights.

    Lets look positively to the future, our future; and abide by the result.

    And please, if the Ascenion Islands can use the pound Sterling with a population of 950 people; surely Scotland can use the same pound coin at a population of 5,300,000.

    Times are a changing, and change with the times. What sort of country do you want your bairns, and grand -bairns to grow up in?

    Subservient or visionary? Come the 18th September it is my and your call.

    Vote accordingly.

    Reply
  9. David Spence

    ‘ What ‘Risk’ I ask ? Pray Tell ‘

    Charlie, if this vile Tory Government gets elected to govern the country for another 4/5 years in 2015, you can bet your bottom dollar (excuse the punn…….since the vile Tories love the yanks and their political corrupt way of doing things) that state pensions, like our education, health, defence and everything else done by the state will be under the rule of the even more vile private sector…….whose sole purpose is to provide a half baked service but charge extortionate prices………in a capitalist system there are no morals at all…….just selfishness, greed and profits…nothing else…………and they say ‘ the want for money is the root of all evils ‘…….mmmmm where does the USA stand on this??? lol

    Reply
  10. ian tinkler

    Salmond and the NATS want to use the Pound, so be it. Now just look what happens when an “Independent” country shares a currency, with absolutely no control of financial policy pertaining to that currency. Just look at the Euro! Greece, Portugal, Italy and perhaps Spain, now does Scotland really want to follow by letting “The Old Lady of Threadneadle Street (B of E) controlling an “Independent” Scotland’s interest rates, financial controls ect. Only a total fool would regard that as independent control of financial policy, however Salmond can find no alternative, plan B. !!! Just like Osbourne, mind you his “Plan A” worked rather well, even for us Scots. Highest economic growth in the West, not bad, all things considered.

    Reply
  11. Ali Inkster

    Keep it Fair, pot calling the kettle black is it not Douglas.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/wider-political-news/claims-snp-are-blocking-scrutiny.24234927
    I did not expect anything else from them but for those of you that did it is time to wake up.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      I wonder why they want to suppress discussion of the petition for local referenda in the islands?

      I thought SNP politicians were supposed to be aspiring to a Nordic-style model of democracy?

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        No need to suppress discussion of the petition. No-one is discussing it.

  12. Ian tinkler

    “No need to suppress discussion of the petition. No-one is discussing it.” Brian Smith, are you becoming delusional, flaccid and indifferent? Believe me, you have seen nothing yet, we are just about to start. How about a bit of support or are you just stuck in a rut?

    Reply

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