I put it to a well-informed Scot of my acquaintance that I simply cannot understand how Nicola Sturgeon presses for independence for Scotland when the UK government subsidises each Scot to the tune of £2,000 p.a. – that is £15bn a year. Further independence would entail apportioning Scotland’s liability to its share of UK government debt. Needless to add this debt would have to be guaranteed by the UK government and expressed in sterling. All this is in direct contradiction of Ms Sturgeon’s desire to join the EU and, presumably, look to Germany to subsidise Scotland – in Euros of course.
My Scottish contact advises that I have not missed anything. His concern though is that Nicola will have her way before such rational arguments gain sufficient traction with the Scottish electorate. In due course they will see the truth of them and repent at leisure. But it will be too late. I don’t mean that they will see the truth of them after independence – they will see the truth of them pretty soon after the SNP win an independence referendum because the separation negotiations will turn very ugly, very quickly on exactly these points. But that, as I said, will be too late. The link will have been irretrievably broken.
He continues that “the SNP’s “progressive” tax and spend agenda is only possible because it is essentially underwritten by the UK. You may feel that the UK Government has somewhat lost touch with the concept of sound money but it is utterly alien to the SNP. Why should the UK Government make any concessions to such spendthrifts? You and I both know that a significant part of the tax base that Nicola thinks she can turn to as an alternative source of funds will simply flee over the border – the divergence between income taxes here and in England is already bad enough. An independent Scotland is an economic accident waiting to happen (with the most vulnerable, as ever, bearing the brunt of the failed experiment). And don’t get me started on how any concept of “independence” can possibly sit with Nicola’s stated aim of rushing straight back into the arms of the EU.
“You may ask why I think Nicola will have her way in the first place. I have become increasingly dispirited by the SNP’s control of the narrative and the normalisation, via Covid and health being a devolved matter, of separatist language and concepts where Scotland is concerned. Those worrying polls reflect the way things are going up here.
“My other worry is that Boris is a Unionist (and many other things) in name only. Apart from the refusal of a Second Referendum, the UK Government’s policy has for years essentially been one of acquiescence/appeasement and therefore a policy that, I would argue, has progressively weakened both its hand and the Union.
“It is such a shame that the Referendum bar is irretrievably set at anything over 50%. This is an era in which it seems that almost any institution can be dispensed with far too easily should it momentarily fall out of favour, all without any real thought being given to the inconvenient truth of why that institution existed in the first place and the consequences of its disappearance.”
Meanwhile, inflation looks to be coming to the United States and, accordingly, the Dow is marching up and the USD is marching down. this of course means that those long gold futures expressed in USD are doing very nicely. This includes me.