The Financial Times joins Project Fear

Now not everyone has access to the Financial Times website so I’ve taken the liberty of copying the article, then comprising my own analysis. Sorry for the length of this but there was a lot to cover.


I’m not a political expert, nor a financial one for that matter but here it goes:


The FT Article:



Shrill, leaderless and fizzing with all the emotional power of a bank statement. That is the abridged verdict on the campaign to persuade Scots to vote against independence in September’s referendum – from its own friends. As polls start to make secession look plausible, if nothing like probable, unionists are urged to state a more romantic case for the UK than the logistical ordeal of undoing it.



They should resist. There is no evidence that sentimental unionism would be outperforming this hard-headed version. Better Together, the pro-UK campaign, should certainly curb its apocalyptic tone but its line of attack is probably the best available. Scots who are emotionally committed to the union will vote for it. Scots who are emotionally set on independence will vote that way. This referendum was always going to be settled by the undecided, who are not tugged by their souls one way or the other. Exposing them to practical doubts is only sensible. Those doubts, about an independent Scotland’s currency and EU status, have just turned out to be less intimidating than expected. Going all mawkish now about “300 years of history” would suit only Alex Salmond,the nationalist first minister who, on top of his cold ingenuity, can out-emote anyone.



Unionists should stop fretting about their campaign. Their predicament is much worse than that. Whatever happens in September, it takes a feat of self-deception not to see that Scotland has become a very different political culture from England, if not also the rest of the UK, and that the future is one of gradual estrangement.



This point is best made by reiterating two features of the referendum debate that we have come to accept as somehow normal. First, this is a debate in which even the staunchest unionists believe that Scotland will be given greater autonomy if it votes against independence. Some actually want their campaign to tout this offer as a “positive” reason to vote No. Why risk separation, so this supposedly stirring message would run, when you can have something similar under the safety blanket of the UK?



When even unionists accept that the union will become looser, its future is insecure. The next round of powers for Edinburgh will be followed by another, and another after that. Tony Blair once boasted that he has no reverse gear – neither does devolution, his main constitutional reform as prime minister. It is a process, not an event, and if its destination is not independence, it may be “devo-max”. According to February’s Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, this arrangement, which would empower Edinburgh on virtually everything outside foreign and defence policy, is the most popular. If it eventually comes, it is hard to see how MPs with Scottish constituencies could hold high office in Westminster or even vote on much legislation there, for their decisions would affect every part of the UK except the nation they represent. And these are mostly MPs of the left. Without them, the Conservatives could aspire to command the rest of the UK in near-perpetuity, unless Labour moved right to win more votes in England.



This is the other feature of the debate that is nothing like as benign as we treat it. David Cameron has largely delegated the unionist campaign because he rightly fears that interventions from a Conservative (and English) prime minister would set back the cause. So many people on all sides accept this as common sense that the dark implications for the UK are missed. So it is worth going over again: the prime minister of the union cannot front a campaign to preserve that union because he belongs to the wrong party, a fact aggravated by possession of the wrong accent. This is extraordinary.



Major figures in the unionist campaign confess that their prospects hinge on how likely another Tory-led government looks in Westminster by the time of the plebiscite, so loathed is the party up there. The Tories’ nugatory presence in Scotland has become a line of comedy, but the joke is on the future of the union. The most popular party in England, which accounts for 84 per cent of the UK’s population, cannot get a hearing in Scotland, which accounts for 8 per cent, and is denied a majority in Westminster because of it. This is the Tories’ own fault; parties are accountable for their own performance. Nobody, however, can look at this structural lopsidedness without fearing for the stress it puts on the union, or wondering whether the political gap with Scotland is actually bridgeable.

Scottish public life is growing so unlike England’s as to already resemble that of a separate state. Wonderfully, Mr Salmond can call for more immigration and live to tell the tale. No Westminster politician would try. Less wonderfully, he can espouse the kind of economics that would cause much of England to check that it was not 1975.

This disparity is not going away. The unionist campaign is a footling concern next to the deeper unionist plight. Independence may be averted in September but the trend of history is unmistakable.

Article from the Financial Times by Janan Ganesh

My take on it:

Where to start, where to start? Probably from the beginning would be best I suppose.

Plausible? When you see how much distance was gained in the last 12 months by the Yes Campaign – not the nationalist, they are a party. Yes is a movement – it looks more and more likely, not just a mere possibility. I mean it’s plausible to say that mermaids exists because the human race has only explored around 15% of the world’s oceans, not likely though. Again the idea of separation springs up too. How many times must the story be told. The UK is a union of separate countries, not 1 that is going to break apart like North and South Korea. Think of the name. UNITED kingdom. A treaty will be dissolved. That’s it. I think of it like a business arrangement. Where 1 party has decided that the arrangement is not working for them, so they want to pursue other projects. Would that equate as 1 business breaking into 2? No It wouldn’t. It would be 2 business’ going their separate ways. Another way to look at it is, the In/Out referendum the Tories want to hold in 2017. Are they trying to break up the EU? After all it is a union of separate countries isn’t it. The simple answer to that is no. They want to dissolve the treaties and go their own path away from Europe. Also most European officials and governments are seeing a Yes vote being the likely outcome in September.

If the Better Together Campaign is “hard headed” then I’m a talking remote control. That’s how much sense that statement makes. Hard Headed means delivering facts, not making up useless provable lies and attempting to pass them off as such.

He does make a good point that those committed to Independence will vote for it, while those committed to the union will vote for that too and it will be the undecided voters who will swing it either way. Again though looking at the trend in the polls – as any 1 poll can be misleading in the greater context of the debate – the movement has been from No to Undecided to Yes. I have never come across anyone who has gone the other way. They may be out there, I’ve just not met nor spoke to them.

“Practical doubts” about currency or EU membership. I will type this very slowly. An Independent Scotland will use the pound sterling. That good? I’ll try again. POUND STERLING. It is a fully trade-able currency, Westminster does not own it. You would think a writer for a financial newspaper would know that very basic principle. To say the pound is not available to an Indy Scotland when it was used throughout the Commonwealth when countries became Independent shows discriminatory policy towards Scotland. Or even just downright racism.

The closest example of European membership we have is Denmark and Greenland in the EEC, the predecessor to the EU. When Greenland became independent from Denmark, she had to negotiate her way OUT of the EEC. When she left, she was still classed as a member. From the EU to reject the same option to Scotland would put in jeopardy the idea that the EU is a shrine to democracy. An idea the EU itself likes to promote.

Again, another good point follows. The gap in the political spectrum between Scotland and the largest member of the UK, England is startling. Scotland has an inclusive view of the world where as England, granted it is mainly in the south, is still stuck on this island mentality. UKIP’s uprising being the result of this.

The safety blanket of the UK. Ahh yes that blanket that served us so well by invading other nations in the middle east at America’s request. Rich Hall, an American comedian, said in 2010 Americans were looking forward to the UK elections to see “who would be Obama’s bitch”. Its funny cause its true, though at the same time not funny at all to see your life being dictated to from across an ocean. This safety blanket also put nuclear weapons 25 miles from Scotland’s largest city because there is no-where to put them down south as it would be too dangerous. Not our problem chaps. You want them, you pay for them and you house them. Its like buying a horse then setting up the stable in your neighbours garden because you don’t want your grass trampled. Then having the cheek to charge your neighbour for the pleasure because they get to look at it.

Next round of powers being delivered. Well as I wrote in my earlier post. Johann Lamont put the lie to that. “Instead, Ms Lamont urged people in the North-East not to believe “propaganda” about extra powers and riches heading to Edinburgh, “

Labour would need to move to the right to win votes from Tories. Does he mean further than they have already moved to the right? If so I don’t want to be a part of that.

“This is the other feature of the debate that is nothing like as benign as we treat it. David Cameron has largely delegated the unionist campaign because he rightly fears that interventions from a Conservative (and English) “ Again the anti-English propaganda springs up. We don’t hate the English. We hate getting governments and policies that the majority of our country didn’t vote for. 1 MP in Scotland and we get all their policies. Even if we had 0 Tory MPs we would still be receiving Tory cuts, while bankers get millions in bonuses. That is not democracy in the slightest. We accept that when Scotland is independent and I vote for say Scottish Greens and the majority of the country vote for a rejuvenated Labour party. Then I will accept the Labour government. I might not like it, but the majority of the people who live here wanted it. That is the nature of democracy. Backbench Tories complain that the EU is run by people that weren’t voted for in the UK, why is the argument different when it comes to Scotland?

So it is worth going over again: the prime minister of the union cannot front a campaign to preserve that union because he belongs to the wrong party, a fact aggravated by possession of the wrong accent. This is extraordinary “ Again he repeats the anti-Engligh propaganda, this can be interpreted as neural linguistic programming. 1st he planted the seed, now he’s repeating it to ensure it grows. Its very simple campaign politics. Undermine your opponent, then reinforce it. At least he got the party bit right. We don’t vote Tory. In the last 60 odd years ( I believe its 68 though not sure) Scotland voted Labour 90% of the time, got Tory 52% of the time How is that democratic?

Imagine in 2016, you look at the headlines in the papers that says : Scotland voted for (again an example) Scottish Greens. Scotland got Scottish Greens. A party Scotland voted for to decide Scotland’s foreign policy, to decide her taxation, to decide ….. well to decide everything a government should decide. Holyrood was built for one reason and one reason only. To shut the Scots up. Holyrood was given a system of proportional representation, designed to stop 1 party having a majority so endless coalitions would be formed. Resulting in endless in-fighting so nothing really could get done. Proportional representation is actually the right way to run a government. It allows smaller parties a voice, after all they were voted for so why should they not get a say. What Westminster didn’t count on was Scotland standing up for herself. An SNP landslide majority who would fight for independence. Who would fight for her people.

Martin Sinclair

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