Salmond shouts “Shotgun!” on Sterling

Oh, Alex. Not this again.

Game of Salmond

Ever since Alex Salmond published his delusions personal manifesto independent, totally unbiased and completely logically feasible account of what an independent Scotland would look like, he has dug his heels into the ground in the truculently recalcitrant perfectly reasonable belief that Westminster would accede to his demands recommendations, even though he has absolutely no authority to compel it to do so.

Two key areas concern the EU (not discussed here) and the economy.

Having declared unilaterally that Scotland’s current currency situation would remain effectively unchanged — independence whilst exerting control over the printing of another sovereign country’s money is not an option; see numerous (failed) attempts in Québec — Salmond appears to have been shocked to find that Westminster said “that ain’t gonna happen.” After his first tactic of “na-uh, it is too” failed to gain traction down south, Alex has latched onto a ‘new’ idea: using the pound anyway. This is moronic for three — no, four — reasons:

1. Scotland would of course be free to use whichever currency it wishes, but the Bank of Scotland would, as explained above, forfeit the power it currently has to amend the inflation rate as befits Scotland’s economic needs.
The UK, for its part, is also free to switch currencies. We could adopt the rouble, the rand or the renminbi if we so chose — but we’re not going to do so.

2. Salmond appears to be labouring under the mistaken impression that current talks to open a renminbi clearing house in London mean we are abandoning the Sterling and it’ll be free for him to claim squatter’s rights. It doesn’t work that way, Al; you can’t just shout “bagsy”.
It is also pretty obvious that this is all just so he can rename it the “Stirling” and feel chuffed with himself.

3. Look at the Eurozone, Alex: closer currency union (as forfeiting the Bank of Scotland interest rate powers would entail) begets closer political union. In order to make international currency union work, you’ll be sacrificing the very independence you so belligerently scrounged valiantly fought for. [Ed. It’s possibly even worse than this; the FT calls it a “Panama fix” (£) [alt] (a reference to Panama’s adoption of the USD) which could “seriously endanger the country’s economy and financial sector”.]

4. Even if he ignores all three of the above, Salmond will not be able to print Scottish heroes like Mel Gibson on his money. That’s the other main reason, isn’t it?Stirling

Edit: this article has already generated a degree of controversy on other fora. For clarification: this is not an indictment of the Yes Scotland campaign, nor is it either an endorsement for the Better Together campaign, its methods or the means by which it advocates continued union. Previous experience has amply demonstrated the distinction between a goal I support and the official apparatus for bringing it about. Nor is it an attempt to condense the entire debate into one verbose soundbite. It is simply an expression of my personal opinion that Alex Salmond is an idiot.

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4 thoughts on “Salmond shouts “Shotgun!” on Sterling

  1. Mmmmmm… at the outset, let me state that I greatly enjoy your writings and frequently find them balanced and fair.

    This article, however, suffered from a patronising Anglo-centric tone that serves to undermine all the good work up to now.

    Your points are certainly valid, if perhaps a bit strongly weighted in south of the border politics. Yes, AS could do with another S at the end of his nominative acronym, and his handling of this highly sensitive issue could be a bit less cack-handed but Scottish independence deserves a lot more than this Hollywoodised caricature. You can do better and I look forward to reading it when you do.

    • Nice wordplay.

      Yes, I accept, it may have come across as patronising; it wasn’t intended to belittle the overall case for an Independent Scotland (in fact I fully support the debate, although I do not agree) – it was intentionally patronising of Alex Salmond himself. Whilst I’m intentionally simplifying the debate (or electing to discuss one component part thereof for the purposes of discussion), in all the press coverage that Salmond is getting (at least down here in London), so is he. Moreover, he is focussing on the (to my mind) completely un-winnable and cosmetic elements, in a populist gamble to carry the election on his own personal credentials. It’s a risky move – maybe a good move, I don’t know – but what I do know is it’s making him look even more of an arse because he’s doing so at the expense of tackling the tougher issues.

      He’s not alone; hard talk is one sure-fire way a politician gets him/herself deselected.

      Please bear in mind, going forward: there is an immense divide between decrying “Anglo-centrism” in viable criticism of a statement of unrepentant bias from a position of cultural bigotry and distain for others’ views, and using it as a Chewbacca Defence against anything said by an Englishman because you elect to disagree with him. I’m not saying you’re in either camp; it’s a spectrum. Just making sure you’re aware of the scale here.
      Post-colonial discourse may have done many great things, opening up historical narratives (previously dominated by one group, who attained the ability to do so by force of arms) to much-needed criticism (including from those from that very same demographic), but it does not extend to automatically invalidating any points now made from that same group.

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