Pressure mounts on Salmond for currency plan b

New polling has found that a majority of people outside Scotland oppose the idea of a currency union.

As the SNP gather for their spring conference, the last conference before September’s referendum, they will do so with another cloud hanging over their flagship policy of an independent Scotland keeping the pound.

New polling conducted by YouGov for the international currency transfer service UKForex has found that a majority of people outside Scotland oppose the idea of a currency union.

The survey, which questioned people only in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, found that 53 per cent would oppose a currency union compared with 26 per cent who would support it and 21 per cent who did not know.

The polling piles yet more pressure on Alex Salmond to come up with a Plan B on his currency policy.

As he took to the Today programme this morning, his case amounted to the clutching of straws, citing a report in the Guardian last month quoting an unnamed minister as saying that a currency union would happen if Scotland opts for independence.

But such a position has become untenable given the scope and nature of the many organisations and individuals who have objected to a union.

In February the chancellor, chief secretary to the treasury and shadow chancellor all went on the record to rule out a currency union whilst the CBI has made clear the need for the SNP to come up with a “credible plan B on currency” that addresses the concerns of Scottish business about being part of an “unstable currency union”.

Also in February, the treasury took the unusual step of publishing formal advice from the permanent secretary to the treasury Sir Nicholas Macpherson to the chancellor in which he advised “strongly against” a currency union with an independent Scotland.

Speaking earlier this week to the Public Administration Select Committee as part of its inquiry on civil service impartiality, Sir Nicholas said of the letter’s publication:

“Throughout the debate on economic issues the Scottish government has sought to cast doubt on the British government’s position.

“It has claimed that we are blustering, bluffing – in effect, casting aspersions on the UK government’s integrity.

“My view in this case, and it’s a very exceptional case, is that if publishing advice could strengthen the credibility of the government’s position, then it was my duty to do it.”

Commenting on the new poll, Better Together Campaign director Blair McDougall said:

“A currency union between a separate Scotland and the continuing UK would not happen. The prime minister, the chancellor, shadow chancellor, chief secretary to the treasury and the permanent secretary of the treasury have all said it would not happen. Now it’s clearer than ever that people living elsewhere in the UK wouldn’t agree to it either. What people in Scotland need from Alex Salmond is his Plan B for what would replace the Pound – would we rush to adopt the Euro or would we set up a separate unproven currency?

“The fact that people living elsewhere in the UK would remove their money from Scotland is very worrying. Scotland can’t afford a run on its banks. This would put thousands of Scottish jobs at risk and be a disaster for our economy.

“As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds – a strong Scottish parliament, with the guarantee of further powers, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. We don’t need to put this at risk.”

25 Responses to “Pressure mounts on Salmond for currency plan b”

  1. tadramgo

    Don’t you get bored of playing the shill?

  2. uglyfatbloke

    Ehhhmmmmm…first up – anybody (including Scotland) can use Sterling if they want to; it’s a freely traded currency.
    Next…advice from the permanent sec. at the treasury is far from impartial; who do you think will decide on his place in the lords and other post-retirement sinecures?
    And of course….if there is no formal currency Union (not the the same thing as just usng the currency) then the Uk govt. will get to keep the Bank opf England and – naturally – all of the UK debt, meanwhile Scottish banks will no longer be obliged to hold large stocks of BofE notes, Gosh…is n’t boy George being ever so clever?

  3. Alec

    Ehhhmmmmm…first up – anybody (including Scotland) can use Sterling if they want to; it’s a freely traded currency.

    Blimey! You must have asbestos cheeks to come out with this guff!

    Read my lips… no-one is suggesting that an independent Scotland could not use Ster£ing. Salmond does not want merely to use Ster£ing. He wants a currency union.

    An independent Scotland could use any currency she wishes. There’s a reason very few countries – possibly single figures – don’t do this. It’s economic and monetary cretinism.

    Do you not think these convos would work better if you started telling the truth?

    ~alec

  4. Alec

    D’you ever get bored trolling blogs?

    ~alec

  5. uglyfatbloke

    Do you think they would work better if you did n’t call people liars and talk bollocks? Do you really think that the permanent sec. at the treasury or any other department is an impartial source? If so, would you like to buy some shares in the Brooklyn Bridge? Or possibly some magic beans?

  6. Alec

    If someone is presenting Westminster/Whitehall’s opposition to a currency union – or Ed Jacob’s piece – as suggesting that an independent Scotland would be prevented from using Ster£ing informally, then I’ll call them a liar because they are a liar just as surely as I would if they insisted Antwerp were the capital of Belgium.

    You’ve had two months of this clear and unavoidable distinction being made (and you yourself concede it in your post) for mere thickness to be a reason.

    No-one is obligated to treat your comments with kid gloves. You are willfully and knowingly presenting a gross misrepresentation of the facts as accurate, i.e. lying,

    Do you really think that the permanent sec. at the treasury or any other department is an impartial source?

    Yes. As I said, you clearly have picked-up bad habits from those louts at Holyrood and Bute House, and now are projecting your own low standards onto everyone else. Nah, some of us have an inkling of parliamentary democracy.

    If so, would you like to buy some shares in the Brooklyn Bridge? Or possibly some magic beans?

    I’m quite sure that’s intended to sound satirical, but it doesn’t. It just sounds demented.

    There’s a fairly good chance that Salmond does not really want a currency union at all but merely wants to be able to say ‘we wanted to share both the currency and the debt, but Osborne made it impossible’.

    And to think he is seen as a cynical opportunist who cannot argue in good faith. Then you hammer it home with an expression of approval for such disreputable and duplicitous conduct! Again, you are mistaking your own low standards for acceptable behaviour.

    He did exactly the same over the referendum questions.

    How dare he demand the SNP play by their own rules! That part of the 2011 manifesto related to referendums was for independence nothing more nothing less. Maybe if they’d got more than 25% of the total vote they’d have been in a stronger position to change the terms of debate, but as it is they can whistle.

    It almost is as if you – and Salmond – don’t want the responsibility of power, but always for daddy to bankroll you. An independent Scotland could operate tolerably well… standard of living might drop, foodbanks might shoot up, but it still would be better than the majority of the globe… but it is not in “everyone’s best interest” to keep all the intra-UK agreements and institutions: you want that, you stay in the UK.

    And just so’s you know…politicians may not have talked about ‘using’ Sterling much, but you don’t have to look hard to find plenty of people who think the Scots should not be allowed to use the pound, since it belongs to England.

    Liar, twice over. Firstly, you appear not to realize/care that there are nations other than Scotland and England in the UK. Secondly, you know full well that well anyone says that they are referring simply and pure and solely to currency union, and couldn’t care less if Ster£ing carried on being used like those economic powerhouses like Argentina and Montenegro use the U£ and €uro respectively.

    You are doing an excellent job of demonstrating why so many in EWNI are sick to the hind teeth of whining mediocrities in Scotland, and would not give youse a drachm more than they have to in the event of independence.

    Now, are you going to reply, or will you – as so often before – remember a prior engagement or flounce off in a cloud of indignation and faux prudery at being challenged?

    ~alec

  7. uglyfatbloke

    Last point first…I’m away a good deal and often don’t have the opportunity to keep up with blogs etc, but I’ve never – so far as I’m aware – failed to respond to a PM. I’m not aware that I’ve failed to respond to anything on LFF, but it is quite possible that I have missed some things – perhaps you’d care to point them out?
    Now then…I’ve never suggested that Osborne – or anyone else in serious political life – has claimed that they could stop Scots using Sterling, nor that they would try to do so even if they could, but not there are plenty of voices which disagree with him – you get nutters everywhere, not just the cyber-nats.
    I don’t think I’ve ever suggested that Salmond is NOT an opportunist, but since you seem to follow my musings closely you will doubtless be able to correct me if I’m wrong about that.
    If you are happy to believe that permanent secretaries are genuinely independent persons who do not sway with the government of the day you are perfectly entitled to do so, though I fear history does not support your case.
    Bankrolling…as it happens I am not convinced that either currency union or currency sharing is necessarily the best option for either party in the event (which I still see as very unlikely) of Scottish independence.
    Countries…at the risk of introducing historical facts to the discussion…..Wales is a principality and was formally incorporated into England in the later middle ages and N. Ireland is a province of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom (the clue is in the name) was formed by the Treaty of Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707. There were no other parties to the Treaty; just England and Scotland.
    Finally, there really are plenty of people who honestly (and kind of understandably) think that the reserve bank of the UK belongs specifically to England. That does not seem entirely unreasonable in the sense that the BofE is older than the Union of Parliaments, but it is an asset of the United Kingdom. If there is to be a division of liabilities there has to be a commensurate division of assets.
    So…I have n’t lied, but you’ve had a nice little rant…are you feeling better now?

  8. Alec

    I’ve met with you and other pro-YESers BtL on LFF, and typical response from them is as described. If you haven’;t done so, I’d take it back if you hadn’t said “nice rant”.

    You entered this thread with immediate outrage and condescension, and have followed a hectoring tone throughout. People disagree with you, deal with it. It is possible for you to be wrong, or at the very least others to disagree with you for sincere and honest reasons.

    “Rant” really ought to go down as a nonsense Internet word which means “something I don’t like”. This is meant to be a serious discussion, not a Holyrood committee lynching of the CBI director.

    Now then…I’ve never suggested that Osborne – or anyone else in serious political life – has claimed that they could stop Scots using Sterling, nor that they would try to do so even if they could, but not there are plenty of voices which disagree with him – you get nutters everywhere, not just the cyber-nats.

    Again with the asbestos-cheekery. You responded to Ed Jacob’s piece with that mendacious interpretation, and this is a piece about Osborne’s statements so it’s a reasonable extrapolation that you were implying exactly that.

    But, no, you have some glimmer of plausible deniability! You can get out of it whilst still leaving the thought floating in the air! No, you can’t.

    So what if there’s a weirdo or nobody out there who would deny an independent Scotland the informal use of Ster£ing? This is a discussion about those who actually have influence on the matter, so it’s as irrelevant as citing someone who believes Elvis still is alive in a discussion about American rock.

    I don’t think I’ve ever suggested that Salmond is NOT an opportunist, but since you seem to follow my musings closely you will doubtless be able to correct me if I’m wrong about that.

    And you make that sound like admirable behaviour! Incredible! For those of us who have standards – and are not political thugs – “opportunist” means a guttersnipe, someone not to be trusted.

    There is a clear and vital difference between playing hard-ball for your own constituency’s interests, and being an opportunist twunt who’d sell his own grandmother. The former, I can respect even in disagreement… the latter I don’t trust an inch, especially when their stated aims are like weathercocks in hurricanes.

    If you are happy to believe that permanent secretaries are genuinely independent persons who do not sway with the government of the day you are perfectly entitled to do so, though I fear history does not support your case.

    Oooo, that’s not what you said. You did not say that the civil service, being staffed by human beings, might sometimes be informed by their own life-experiences/biases. You said that they were inherently compromised.

    So, pack it in with the argumentum ad incredulum. I don’t “believe” it… I know it. The British civil service is world famous for its impartiality and professional integrity, not least because Permanent Secretaries like Macpherson have not been appointed by transient politicians.

    He is there to advise on the UK’s interests, and they don’t include allowing special pleading from foreign countries which is what a post-YES Scotland would be.

    Salmond and his gaggle might think everyone is there to acquiesce to their will, and you might be behaving like a besotted gangster’s moll, but some of the rest of us have standards.

    Bankrolling…as it happens I am not convinced that either currency union or currency sharing is necessarily the best option for either party in the event (which I still see as very unlikely) of Scottish independence.

    So why the heck are you making a point out of it??? You’re all over the place!

    Countries…at the risk of introducing historical facts to the discussion….. […]

    Yeah, so? The Act – not a Treaty – of Union also said it was to be for evermore, and written at a time when Scots could be executed for blasphemy and just a fraction of the population had the franchise.

    Are you suggesting we should return to that state of affairs?

    Ultimately it is of historical interest for how we got to where we are now, but of somewhere between zero and almost zero relevance for life today.

    And, as before, you aren’t even internally coherent considering the 1801 Act of Union which brought Ireland into the fray.

    No matter how many angels you see balanced on the edge of that pin, Scotland and England are not the only nations in the United Kingdom… not least because of her current status of advanced liberal democracy with full emancipation: according, at least, to those of us who believe countries are the property of the individuals living in them, and not whichever gangmasters are in charge.

    If there is to be a division of liabilities there has to be a commensurate division of assets.

    A. Currency. Is. Not. An. Asset.

    ~alec

  9. uglyfatbloke

    Oh dear……at the risk of introducing the history……
    There are two Acts of Union, one in the English parliament and one in the Scottish parliament, but their function in both cases was to allow the completion of a Treaty of Union and that is what happened in 1707. The 1801 treaty was with the existing United Kingdom and was framed so that it would have no impact on the existing Anglo-Scottish Treaty. If you have not read up the subject it may be best not to write about it, but there is plenty of peer-reviewed quality scholarship on the topic.
    I think you’ll find that the English franchise was pretty tiny in 1707.
    I do not think opportunism (whether Salmond or anyone else) is either desirable or praiseworthy, I’m not a ‘Yesser’ and we live in a pseudo-democracy despite the breadth of the franchise.
    If currency is not an asset is it a liability? I’m a (largely retired) historian, not an economist, but if you like I could ask around among my former colleagues in the economics department and see what they think.
    As I said before, if you feel that permanent secretaries should be regarded as immune from government influence you are perfectly entitled to continue to do so.

  10. Alec

    Oh dear……at the risk of introducing the history……

    You really are a self-righteous pompous prig, are you not? An intellectual snob who’s mistaken chronicles for historiography.

    You can use Wiki. So what?

    If you really are a historian, you’d realize that these remain historical events which provide a snapshot of how the political scene was then, but has naff all to do with how the situation is now… unless you want to go back to everything else in force at the time.

    Perhaps you think everyone else is credulous enough to be taken in by your sophistry, but I for one am not… I find it pathetic.

    There are more than two nations in the United Kingdom. You’re wrong.

    If currency is not an asset is it a liability?

    No. Why does there have to be only two options?

    As I said before, if you feel that permanent secretaries should be regarded as immune from government influence you are perfectly entitled to continue to do so.

    Liar, liar, liar. Liar, liar, liar. Liar, liar, liar. Liar, liar, liar.

    Liar.

    Macpherson did not forbid a currency union. He said it would not be in the UK’s interest, not to mention an independent Scotland’s. And even you accept that it wouldn’t be desirous.

    I find it very difficult you were academically trained in anything given this patently dishonest argument.

    Just why is it that you expect the civil service to be a hired mob for the Government in place at the moment?

    ~alec

  11. uglyfatbloke

    OK….I accept that my experience as a student, lecturer, writer and consultant is nothing compared to yours, that Civil Servants are not under the sway of the government of the day, that FPTP delivers a fair result, and I certainly acknowledge that I do despair of the sheer mindlessness of Better Together (though I live in hope of improvement) and I accept that the widespread opinion among economists that a currency is, of itself, an asset (though cash on hand can be seen as a liability) is quite wrong and that I think opportunism is a good thing.
    Do I hell.
    You’ve cheerfully tried to twist anything I’ve said to suit your desire to vent some spleen and have a go at someone; better me than someone who might be genuinely upset.
    Since you are so keen to apply the word ‘liar’ let’s just remember that when you talk about ‘an Act, not a Treaty’ we are faced with only two possibilities. Either you have failed to read a book on the subject, or that you have read a book, but you did n’t like the data. I can’t help that, but lets just assume you are ignorant as opposed to lying.

  12. Alec

    Who’s saying you aren’t competent in your chosen field? Here, your argument is utter mince, relying as it does on argumentum ad incredulum; question begging; special pleading; and general use of gossamer-like arguments and splattering of the thread with subject-changes and introduction of new info so to trip up your opponent when they make a minor error or you introduce new info which they could not possibly reasonably have anticipated.

    It’s a common tactic of dissemblers and liars. And, as someone you has implicitly and/or explicitly said that Ed Jacobs and others were advocating forbidding an independent Scotland from using Ster£ing informally you are lying.

    You also are pursuing non-points about fly-blown documents from over three hundred years which have been superseded and cast aside many times over to claim there are only two nations in the UK. This is, for all intents and aims, a lie as well.

    By your own admission, you are not an economist, so your views on what a currency is have, for all your appeals to [your own] authority, no more value than mine. Unless you are a constitutional historian, your views on the constitutional status of the early 18th Century UK history are of questionable superiority as well… and even if you are a constitutional historian, your peculiar views on the social history of these islands have no extra authority.

    ~alec

  13. uglyfatbloke

    I did not say – in any sense – that Ed Jacobs was advocating anything at all, I was merely pointing out something that tends to get lost in the laundry bag of politics. Anyway…I’m sure you’ve enjoyed your thesaurus – it’s given you access to new ways or repeating yourself, but you might profit by reading a book (or two) on constitutional history and practice before you pontificate rather than after.
    I note that you are very brave at a keyboard….that’s nice for you, but do be good enough to stop sending me emails.

  14. Alec

    I did not say – in any sense – that Ed Jacobs was advocating anything at all,

    For goodness sake, of course you did. You most certainly said that. If you didn’t. your opening sneer was of no more substance than a haggis’ fart.

    Your argument is jumping around far too much for it to be anything other than conscious deceit. You’ve ran alongside one one line of argument from me – not just about the petty lie over use of Ster£ing, but also of your support for some sort of Ster£ing post-YES (even your very support for YES) not to mention your repeated dismissal of my objection to Salmond’s opportunism – only to, further down the line, say “ah-ha! I was saying something else all along!”.

    It’s of the same intellectual – and emotional – worth of a sniggering five year old saying “I know something you don’t know”.

    Now, when you’ve run out of options there, you’ve seized on another non-point to troll.

    You do not have a point about the nations in the UK. The constitutional set-up in 1707 ceased to have prescedence at the next Parliament, and has become less and less relevant in the three centuries since then.

    It matters Sweet Felicity Arkwright that Wales was a Principality. She was and still is populated by Welshes who see themselves as a distinct nation, something more than demarcation lines on a map and statements of political control. For those of us who’re not reactionary weirdos who see countries as the property of whichever gangmasters are in charge, this is what matters.

    Why should I believe you’re any sort of academic or lecturer? You’ve offered naff all in proof… not just a verifiable name/position (instead of an Internet pseudonym) but also citation sources and texts which indicate a deeper knowledge than cribbing Wiki.

    And, even if you are, you’re a snob filled with disdain for those you consider your intellectual lessers (which is pretty much everyone). You must loathe the Internet which allows plebs an equal voice without due deference to you.

    Your lectures would have been a treat:

    You: “X is an incontestable fact.”

    Student: “I disagree, look at such-and-such.”

    You: “That refers to X, you prat. I clear was referring to Xi, or even Y.”

    Student: “I still disagree because of ~*whatever*~.”

    You: “How can you possibly believe that? No-one of any intelligence could! It clearly is as I say!”

    Student: “No it’s not. I may not be as insightful and qualified as you, but I know a buffoon and argumentum ad incredulum when I see it.”

    You: “Do you think you’re here to learn??? You’re here to listen! To me! I’m blah-blah-blah! Do you know who I am?”

    Student: “No, I don’t. Who are you? You just have strolled in here without identifying yourself or pointing to a letter of achievement. You might as well be the chicken soup machine attendant for all I know. How do I complain to the Departmental head?”

    ~alec

  15. SERAPH1212

    Well you don’t obviously.

  16. SERAPH1212

    That’s it Alec !. When logic fails just throw your toys out of the pram.

  17. SERAPH1212

    Take no notice of ‘Smart’ Alec, he appears inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.

  18. Alec

    And when you get shown to be a complete and utter weirdo in one thread, check-out my posting history and pursue me across different blogs… fucking weirdo.

    ~alec

  19. Alec

    Says the weirdo who’s contributing nothing to this thread, and arrived only after I failed to be impressed by your histrionics on an entirely different discussion. Sounds like trolling to me.

    ~alec

  20. Alec

    Take no notice of this thug and weirdo… he’s the sort of person who pursues people across blogs after being resisting. Rather like your proprietorial attitude towards this blog and your intellectual cowardice.

    ~alec

  21. SERAPH1212

    Kettle, Pot ?

  22. SERAPH1212

    Me, I speak English without obscenities. You should give it a try.

  23. SERAPH1212

    I’m sure ‘ugly fat bloke’ is impressed by your contributions to the art of Trolling.

  24. Alec

    D’you have anything to say on the subject matter, or are you just here to bitch?

    ~alec

  25. SERAPH1212

    Dear Alec, if you haven’t got the message by now, you probably never will.
    Having said that, “You are awful, but I like you”.

Leave a Reply