You may, like me, have noticed that some people with a tendency to always seek the last word in an argument are terribly self-conscious about it, and try to disguise what they are up to with 'perfect' last words such as this : "you always like to get the last word, don't you? See if you can resist responding to this! LOL! LOL! LOL!" Yup, you've guessed it, I'm once again talking about the former and now deposed (a nation weeped) Poster of the Year at Political Betting, Ms. Plato. I had an exchange with her about the independence referendum this morning, after something I said agitated her so much that she stopped pretending that I don't exist for the first time in at least five months. I had to pop away, but when I had a look at the rest of the thread a few minutes ago, I was amused to spot this strikingly familiar riposte to my final post -
"Oh no - I'll just wait to hear tell of your 40000 word blog post on the subject.
Will it be entitled The Last Word, Part 88.9742?
Here's a test - don't reply to this"
Well, to her horror, I passed her test with flying colours (and with no effort whatsoever), and of course how can I now resist her yearning for another blog post devoted to her talents? After all, who needs the last word (or indeed to waste energy writing a fresh blog post) when you can simply let Plato's bafflingly muddled line of attack speak for itself? Enjoy...
Marquee Mark : Just how much is the yoke of Westminster preventing this better, fairer place actually happening today?
Me : By denying us control of tax, welfare, macro-economic policy, and refusing to remove inhuman weapons from our soil. By seemingly setting his face against Devolution Max, David Cameron has helpfully left independence as the only conceivable solution to these problems.
Plato : "By denying us control of tax, welfare, macro-economic policy, and refusing to remove inhuman weapons from our soil"
Taking these one by one, I'm sure many undecided voters would be interested in the thinking behind these.
1. Control of tax - Holyrood hasn't used its current tax varying powers. IIRC the reason given is that additional revenues would be deducted from Barnett payments. Is this true?
And what happens if Holyrood wanted to reduce their income tax rate to stimulate growth?
2. Welfare - what does this include?
Do the current rules actively prevent changes or is it about using the same money with a difference emphasis as already happens with 'free tuition fees' etc?
3. Macro-economic - unless Scotland has its own currency, ME policy will be set by the BoE or Brussels as they'll set interest rates/money supply.
How does independence change this?
4. Nuclear weapons.
Is this because it fears being targeted by Iran or AN Other, or because it doesn't like them in principle?
Has Holyrood asked the MoD to relocate their bases elsewhere.
Is this why leaving NATO is included in the independence bag?
Me : Superb - I agitated Plato so much that she just had to respond (first time in months?) but she still couldn't quite bring herself to be associated with my name by hitting the 'reply' button!
"1. Control of tax - Holyrood hasn't used its current tax varying powers...Is this true? "
Yes, because it would be regressive to do so. We need the powers to progressively vary different rates of tax.
"2. Welfare - what does this include?"
The benefits system - entirely controlled by Westminster, and now under siege.
"3. Macro-economic - unless Scotland has its own currency, ME policy will be set by the BoE or Brussels as they'll set interest rates/money supply. How does independence change this?"
Read the Scotland Act, Plato. Macro-economic policy is reserved to Westminster. Even under Devo Max, that wouldn't be the case.
"4. Nuclear weapons. Is this because it fears being targeted by Iran or AN Other, or because it doesn't like them in principle?"
The latter. And, yes, that's why the policy is to leave NATO - it's a nuclear weapons alliance.
Plato : I posed a number of questions - you didn't respond to:
1. And what happens if Holyrood wanted to reduce their income tax rate to stimulate growth?
4. Has Holyrood asked the MoD to relocate their bases elsewhere.
Re ME policy, unless Scotland has its own currency/central bank - how is it in more control than now? Joining the Euro/using Sterling wouldn't provide any freedom to set money supply or interest rates.
Me : Those weren't questions 1 and 4, both of which I answered. They were afterthought supplementaries, but I'll answer them anyway -
"1. And what happens if Holyrood wanted to reduce their income tax rate to stimulate growth?"
The Scottish Tories are free to give it a go, in the unlikely event that they're ever elected to office.
"4. Has Holyrood asked the MoD to relocate their bases elsewhere."
What a very slippery question. We're talking about nuclear weapons, correct? If so, then yes, the SNP majority at Holyrood has "requested" (I'd put it a bit more strongly than that) that Trident be removed from the Clyde.
Plato : I'll ask the question again - What happens if Holyrood wanted to reduce their income tax rate to stimulate growth?
What did the MoD say in response to Holyrood's request?
Me : "What happens if Holyrood wanted to reduce their income tax rate to stimulate growth?"
Firstly, income tax would be reduced. Secondly, we'd find out if Tory economic philosophy stacks up. Ah hae ma doots.
"What did the MoD say in response to Holyrood's request?"
Plato : Have I missed the SNP view of how having Brussels or the BoE control their monetary/interest rate policies gives Scotland macro-economic independence?
If not, would a Nat like to explain how this works?
HD2 : Come on, Plato, Nits NEVER explain.
The Word is Freeeeeeeeeedoooooom...
It's called Freeeeeeeeeedooooooom, ye ken?
Me : She's just sulking because I managed to answer every single one of her distinctly odd menu of questions upthread.
Plato : Far from it James, you failed to answer both my question and SO's re macro-economics and independence.
I asked it again just a few minutes ago to see if any other SNP supporters would like to offer an explanation.
How is having interest rates and money supply controlled by Brussels or the BoE an example of *independence*.
Why would I be sulking? It's an immensely childish trait that I grew out of approx 35yrs ago.
TheUnionDivvie : What some of the red-faced stampers of feet demanding that the 'EthEnPee anther my qwethtionth now or I'll thqweem & thqweem & thqweem' don't seem to realise is that they don't have to be provided with anything. In the triage of political campaigning and discourse they're not even in the 'likely to die, regardless of what care they receive' category.
Me : "Why would I be sulking?"
I don't know, Plato. Only you know the answer to that.