Thursday, April 25, 2013

Notes on a non-scandal

In the latest scare story about Scotland's currency that has been concocted by the No campaign (and of course in this respect the UK Treasury is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the No campaign), there's one particular bit that leaves me in gales of laughter. It's the apparent belief that Scots will somehow be 'scared' into voting No by London's threat to take away our banknotes. For starters, as the SNP have pointed out, no-one with an ounce of sense is going to take the threat seriously - if it's feasible for Scotland to have its own banknotes as part of the UK, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that it suddenly wouldn't be feasible as an independent country. But on a more fundamental level, even if it was true that our banknotes are under threat, who exactly is going to be deterred from voting Yes for that specific reason? Here's how different sections of the electorate are likely to react -

Group 1 - People who actually care about Scottish 'national prestige' and distinctiveness. These people would almost certainly see the demise of the banknotes as regrettable. But by definition they will also care about the far more meaningful trappings of statehood that would come with independence, and will regard them as infinitely more important than the trivial issue of banknotes. Who in their right mind among this group will think that the design of banknotes is more important than whether Scotland has its own representation at the EU and UN?

Group 2 - People who don't give a monkey's about Scottish 'national prestige' and distinctiveness. These people will only be persuaded to vote for independence if they believe that it will improve their lives and the lives of their families, and make the world around them a better and safer place. Who in their right mind among this group will think that the design of banknotes is more important than the question of whether we should get inhuman weapons of mass destruction off our shores, or whether we should put an end to London's monstrous welfare "reforms"?

Group 3 - There isn't a third group.

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What terribly sad news about Brian Adam - arguably the most genuinely likeable guy in the whole parliament.


  1. The few times I've had the pleasure of meeting Brian Adam he was a genuinely likable human being. Exactly the kind of person that should be serving as an MSP. He is a huge loss.

  2. I last saw Brian at the Battle of the Somme anniversary commemorations at Contalmaison on 1st July last year. He represented the Scottish Government at the ceremony and he laid the wreath along with a representative of the French Goverment I was told by another SNP member who was there then he was battling cancer. I shall raise a glass in his honour tonight.

  3. The currency threats are so incredibly stupid. The government of the Isle of Man issues its own notes and coins, Jersey and Guernsey likewise. Farther afield Gibraltar and the Falkland/Malvinas islands issue their own currency. As part of the UK Northern Ireland banks issue their own currency.

    Presumably as long as there is money lodged with the Bank Of England, anyone can do this.

    I never met Brian Adams, but all I've read and heard of him suggests that his untimely death is not only a great loss to his family, friends and colleagues, but to Holyrood and Scotland as well.

    The tributes from The First Minister, Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson were very touching, and I believe there is to be a debate next week.