By Mark McNaught
Denying Scots the pound; thas col’ pimpin’.
During George Osborne’s hectoring speech on currency union, he declared “A vote to leave the UK is also a vote to leave these unions”, and that “There is no legal reason why the rest of the UK would need to share its currency with Scotland”.

Instead of the three parties unifying over what additional powers to allocate to Scotland in the event of a ‘no’ vote, they unify to threaten to deprive Scots of their own currency. Revolting.

Westminster is acting like a strung-out abusive pimp, berating his women as nothing without him, completely dependent and submissive, and threatening to beat them if they escape. I imagined a cartoon of Big Ben in a zoot suit grabbing a bedraggled Scottish woman, slapping her around, and yelling “You ain nuttin widout me bish! I made you! You wouldun las five minit on da street widout me. I own you. You aint goin’ nowhere. Now ged out der an make me sum money!” Any artists out there?

In case there was ever any doubt, Scots must now realise the union has never been an equal partnership. Vote ‘yes’, run, and never look back. Imagine what Westminster has in mind if Scots actually vote ‘no’ to keep them in permanent submission, keep the oil money flowing to the UK treasury, and have a place to park their WMD’s. Apparently, Scots aren’t good for anything else, and don’t deserve the pound if they seek a better future.

The Sterling zone is currently comprised of the UK, Ascension and Tristan de Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the British Indian Ocean Territory. The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey are in formal currency union with the UK, and are ‘Crown Dependencies’. Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, and St. Helena use a currency board to peg their pound to the UK pound. Unofficial users include Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Botswana, and Mirpur in Kashmir Pakistan.

If Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone can use the pound, so can an independent Scotland.

If Osborne’s stupefying bravado is authentic, and the three parties actually follow through on their bluster and exclude Scotland from a currency union, the question remains under what status Scotland could retain the pound, not whether. If there is no legal reason why the r-UK would be obliged to form a formal currency union with Scotland, then there is no legal reason why Scotland cannot make alternate arrangements to continue to use the pound after independence, and no legal reason to take on debts incurred by the r-UK.

What Mr. Osborne ruled out was a formal currency union, which would involve the Bank of England continuing to set monetary policy over Scotland, and be the lender of last resort. This does not prevent an independent Scotland establishing a currency board, which would peg the Scottish pound to the r-UK pound, pending a long-term solution.

Given Scotland’s massive petroleum reserves, whisky revenue, VAT, and tax revenue from their own lands and citizens’ income, Scotland could begin independence debt-free, and remain so far into the future. If revenue and expenditure are properly planned and managed, the Scottish Republic would not have to issue bonds or borrow, and could institute a moderately progressive tax scheme with no loopholes that could be adjusted to balance the budget and build up a sovereign wealth fund like Norway. Scots could avoid Goldman Sachs and the financial markets becoming their new pimp.

In addition to a Scottish Pound, Scottish businesses could also accept payments in euros, as is done in parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Both could be used in parallel and see which one works better, perhaps adopting the euro later on. Or, Scots can pursue a petroleum backed monetary union with Norway. That’s the point of independence: ditching dependence on Westminster and making your own decisions.

Scotland can institute sound financial regulation, reducing the risk of having to bail out the banks in the first place. Constitutional provision can be made to separate investment banking and commercial banking, so that Scottish taxpayers cannot be held liable for proprietary trading and gambling on risky derivatives. In the US, Glass-Steagall was very effective in mitigating bank failures from its inception in 1933 until it was repealed by the Commodities Futures Trading Act in 2000. We saw what happens after sound financial regulation was abandoned. Scotland can learn from others’ mistakes.

Above all, Scots must abandon the idea that they are dependent on Westminster. Vote ‘yes’, and blossom after independence. The pimpish bluster emanating from Westminster will backfire, and ultimately shrivel r-UK influence. If leaving the UK means leaving all unions, then Scotland ditches the Monarchy, feudal aristocracy, and the Commonwealth too.

Why on earth would Scots want to belong to any of these unions in which they are treated with such contempt? I’m beginning to understand much more clearly why 13 colonies on the Atlantic seaboard dumped Westminster 238 years ago. They didn’t do so badly afterwards.


2014-02-15 14:45

The Scottish Government and YES should take this opportunity to spell out to the people of Scotland what the perfectly feasible alternatives to Monetary Union are.

This will make us less fearful of this latest unionist scare. Indeed the more YES speaks of the monetary ‘alternatives’ the only people becoming scared will be the London/Westminster elite.

Their daily lives will be dominated by one eye watching the money markets and how they are reacting to this. Then will come yet another humiliating climb down.

I’m really beginning to enjoy this campaign now and we haven’t even had the first of our 4 big series of Advertising splurges yet (Beginning March I believe.)

2014-02-15 15:11

This is like the public bikering between management and unions when there is a strike. Then they sit down in private and a deal is negotiated.
2014-02-15 15:25

A good point,and John Swinney will be subjected to the same critical questioning that the Chancellor was – oh dear, that didn’t happen for some reason!
There is only one “F” in feartie. Think phonetically
2014-02-16 00:30


2014-02-15 16:04

In addition to the issues raised in Mark’s article it is also worth remembering the way George Osborne was able to run away without any questioning.

I would ask all Scots to consider why he thought that was acceptable in our democracy?

Usually when a politician says something the media are clambering over each other to ask difficult questions, rather than print it as plain fact.

Are Scots prepared to be bullied into a compliant submission by voting ‘No’ and thereby accept George Osborne’s UK?
2014-02-15 17:35

I think Mark is entirely correct here, he said in real terms that resonate. While I have always thought that a currency union, I am now changing my mind.

I listened to an Irish Financial person the other night during a TV interview, who said a currency board is the best option for Scots. The Irish do know a bit about how manipulative Westminster can be, so I took what he said on board.

I think many Scots are starting to think the same way. After all, we offered, they have unanimously. So I would suggest we take them at their word. Regarding the debt, in your analogy, one has to ask, do you reward the abuser by willingly pay their bills, I think, no, not at all.
2014-02-15 20:04

I notice that Osborne is happy to have Balls on his side over the currency its a pity he did not have the balls to answer some questions instead of running back to Daddy at Westminster.
2014-02-15 20:36

Mark,you are too kind.
The Westminster establishment are more like a bunch of thugs who have travelled the world,punching,  clouting,threat  ening,bullying and intimidating anyone who got between them and a fast buck.
Just ask any of the countries who have had the “pleasure” of their company.
We need to cut all links with the Westminster political establishment which in my view would include any pooling of financial resources (Westminster doesn’t do sharing).
Hasta La Vista and hopefully not too soon.
2014-02-15 20:53

Do we need these arrogant chancers?
2014-02-15 21:17

“…they unify to threaten”.

Thats about the height of it and it is indeed revolting. What an iniquitous bunch. Scotland must get out, anything else is such a poor alternative.
2014-02-15 23:02

Excellent summing up Mark.

I would not have been able to comment as a rule, but I’ve realised that bursting blood vessels and having veins throbbing in my forehead (whenever I think about the Osbourne/Balls/Alexander vile triumvirate of retarded thinkers) is not a good way to approach this important year for Scots. Instead I read articles here, nod my head in agreement and sit back and wonder when the Unionists will start to realise that even many English people are repelled at the sight of their (semi) elected representatives getting become the most loathsome Parliament ever.
2014-02-15 23:43

Finally someone mentions the Glass-Steagall act.

The level of economic debate in Independence “debate” is ridiculous.

Some points:

1/ The trans-Atlantic region is on an economic cliff edge.The present system is unfixable in its present form.

2/ pass a Glass-Steagall act yesterday to separate the Casino “banks” ( who are speculating pensions and savings and then demanding tax payer bailouts when they lose), from the retail and commercial banks.
3/ Close down the Bank of the Rich and Political Elite (Bank of England). No more privately (“independently”) controlled central banks. Let all Casino banks that go bust fail. NO BAILOUTS.
2014-02-16 05:52

Or, after a “YES” referendum, the SNP Government has a vote in Holyrood confirming and declaring the Sovereignty of the Scottish people, which is legal under international law, the treaty of union and the Edinburgh agreement. Then, promptly declare Scotland’s sovereignty WITHOUT NEGOTIATION bringing immediate diplomatic, international and legal recognition by a swarm of UN members, offering support, congratulations and wanting to establish direct trade links to he new “iScotland”. This instantly torpedoes any “Project Fear/Better Together/Ye Cannae Dae That” objections at the international level, allowing us to “discuss or dictate” the acceptable terms of a severance agreement. It’s a “Velvet” divorce, same model as the Czechs and Slovaks used, so it has been proven to work 😀
2014-02-16 09:08

From the article:

“Instead of the three parties unifying over what additional powers to allocate to Scotland in the event of a ‘no’ vote, they unify to threaten to deprive Scots of their own currency. Revolting.”

A very pertinent point that any good journalist couldn’t fail to miss which is the reason why, among all the other great points Mark McNaught didn’t fail to mention we can see a real journalistic scrutiny and an easy read is important when making good copy that is well researched.

The sober points in this article demonstrate the herd of elephants left in the room when Osbourne made a speech, threatened Scotland to behave, and then absconded in a cowardly manner.

As a promotion of what being ‘british’ is about the antics over the usage of the pound (actually only mouthy politically based bollocks about a common currency union) the last two weeks have been an epic fail and a half.
2014-02-16 10:28

Osbourne was allowed to come to our capital,do his “telling off the Scots” speech,then go back home with no journalist or member of the public allowed to pose a question. Alex Salmond,hours later grilled and interrupted constantly by Kirsty Wark. Nice tot see a fair fight.
Marga B
2014-02-16 13:44

OT but I see Barroso is also acting like a two-bit pimp.

Have you seen the Guardian article giving his august views on Scottish accession (or otherwise).

In which by the way he insinuates that Spain will oppose it when this month it expressly said it would not.

Well, it must be about his last chance to pay back the UK and other states for voting for him, one of the weakest candidates, as President so as not to threaten their control of the EU while we all vote meekly for a powerless parliament.

As yet we do not have the legal EU position but he apparently does not feel bound to wait for it.
2014-02-16 15:30

He fails to mention that after independence,wh  atever the Westminster establishment decide to call themselves,they are also going to have to renegotiate EU membership terms which may be even more difficult than it will be for an independent Scotland.
They will also have to deal with UKIP pressuring them for complete withdrawal from the EU.
And of course,there is the extremely thorny problem of EU citizenship and,if we are to believe Barroso,suspens  ion of said citizenship for people resident in Scotland immediately following independence.
If we are to believe that EU citizenship is accorded to people living in defined states,then England (or rUK or whatever) will no longer be the state defined by the UK and the same rules must apply.
The only way Westminster can get around this is by laying claim to all of Scotland’s assets such that the appearance of remaining intact applies.

2014-02-16 19:35

Interesting articles by Kevin McKenna in The Observer and Peter Hitchens in The Mail.
2014-02-16 21:14

You can’t keep the pound and you can’t keep the Queen seems to be a war cry from some of the rabid BTL comments in the MSN this week. Well, we may not be in a currency union, but we sure as hell can use the pound if we want to.

Income from Crown Estates in Scotland must be a fairly easily identifiable sum, and currently the profit goes to the UK exchequer. If an iScotland retains a (single) member of the royal family as head of state, then the income from the crown estates raised in Scotland should rightfully go to the Scottish exchequer immediately after a Yes vote.

In return iScotland could keep 1 residence for any state visit – which would be payed for out of the crown estates income until a decision is reached about the head of state in iScotland. The remainder could be held in a sovereign fund.
Furious D
2014-02-17 19:56

Mr McNaught’s argument would have been more effective if he had not chosen to couch it in such flagrantly racist terms. It’s 2014 and I can’t believe I have to tell anyone that white men are no longer allowed to make jokes resting on the assumption that all violent, loathesome pimps are black. There are disgusting, misogynistic scumbags of all colours making their rotten living from exploiting women.
2014-02-17 21:50

Author here. I never said that. Where do I say what you infer I said? At first, I envisioned George Osborne slapping around Scotland, but I thought Big Ben would be less personal. My broader point, Westminster treats Scotland like a pimp treats a whore, regardless of colour. Isn’t that obvious?

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