In a Hole?

THE world’s central bankers – who oversee the global monetary system – have just returned from their annual Druid’s conclave at the US ski resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One ostentatiously absent face was Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. Carney also gave Jackson Hole a miss last year. In 2017 he sent in his stead Ben Broadbent, the Deputy Governor in charge of UK monetary policy. Broadbent is usually tipped as the frontrunner to succeed Carney when (theoretically) his boss steps down next June.

However, the City press is currently awash with rumours that Chancellor Hammond is desperately courting Dr “I-am-the-smartest-guy-in-the-room” Carney to stay on post-Brexit. The tall Canadian from central casting is one of the few calming influences keeping UK banks from bolting for the Continent (or Dublin) to escape the looming Brexit car crash. Till now, Carney has been plotting a return to his native land in preparation (it is speculated) for a run at becoming Canadian Prime Minister. But with bonkers Donald Trump threatening a US-Canada trade war – despite America running a $12.5bn trade surplus with its northern neighbour – now might not be a good time to stick one’s head above the political parapet.

When I was an MP, I found myself one of the few politicians invited to the Bank of England’s annual Christmas party – a most discrete but very un-banker-like affair. I suspect, deep down, Dr Carney prefers the secretive world of high finance and influencing from behind the scenes, to the cruel limelight of the elected politician. After all, capitalist bankers really do run the planet.

STAR GAZING

The main gig at this year’s Jackson Hole was a speech by Jerome “Jay” Powell, Trump’s new head of the US central bank, the Federal Reserve. Powell is a razor-sharp Wall Street lawyer turned investment banker. Don’t be fooled by his urbane demeanour: Powell was formerly a partner at Carlyle Group, the giant US vulture fund that specialises in buying distressed debt and squeezing dry it for cash returns. In character, Powell’s keynote address was a brutally honest, if rather worrying. With a deadpan delivery, he told fellow central bankers that US monetary policy was the equivalent of “navigating by stars”. Helpfully he added: “guiding policy by stars in practice… has been quite challenging of late because our best assessments of the location of the stars have been changing significantly”. Good to know we are in such safe hands.

WAGES OF SIN

After Powell’s talk, the conclave got down to serious business: trying to explain why global wage rates are staying flat. This is a hot topic amongst bankers and mainstream economists – not to mention poor employees. Any rise in wages would herald inflation. Central bankers would then respond by raising interest rates, thus stopping the economy in its tracks. Such a rise in interest rates is the last thing Donald Trump wants, as he keeps telling Jay Powell. Yet despite near full employment in most industrial countries, wage rates are not responding as expected. This is a mystery.

The bourgeois economists attending Jackson Hole had a few ideas. Put simply, they think that the world has entered a new age of super monopoly, high tech firms like Apple, Google and Amazon. These are able to fix prices and wages free of pesky competition – because it is so difficult to create equivalent monster companies in the same markets. This has resulted in a dual labour market governing wage rates. Most of us work for small companies or are freelance, and so have limited power to raise our salaries. In the monopoly high tech sector, wages are higher and protected. Yet even here wage increases are limited because “superstar” companies routinely force employees to sign contracts banning them from leaving to join competitors for higher remuneration.

This is a bleak picture because it implies ordinary workers will remain stuck with flat wages, while super profits pile up in the monopoly high tech sector. In the West, trades unions are too weak to make a difference. This is also true in China, which is currently in the grip of a classic strike wave. As I wrote last week, one solution in an independent Scotland would be a return to legally-sanctioned, centralised wage bargaining. Under this system, the government would force employers and worker representatives to meet annually to determine wage increases, sector by sector. These wage contracts would have the force of law. Failure to agree would result in government mediators imposing a solution.

RETURN OF RISK

The other news this week is that Britain’s banks are responding to the weaker housing market by doing what they did before the last big Crash in 2008: lending recklessly. Welcome back loan-to-value mortgages of 90 per cent plus, and 35-year loans. Where is Mark Carney when you need him?

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  1. Graeme McCormick says:

    Don’t assume that bank mortgage lending in Scotland is reckless. The housing dynamic is very different here and low risk. Our prices are lower our average loan to value is lower as well.

    There is a lot of nonsense written about young folk being unable to afford a first home. Over a year there are around 40,000 properties with at least 2 bedrooms for sale in every district in Scotland for less than £125,000 and most are priced below £90,000. Mortgages of 95% at good rates are available . It’s a matter of lifestyle if you g folk don’t buy as the deposits required are relatively modest for a couple to save over a 12 month period.

    1. Wul says:

      Graeme, I had a quick look for two bed homes up to £120k in Glasgow, where my children live. ( I use the word “home” rather than your “properties”, meaning, in my view, a house with a front door and access to an outdoor space)

      First one that came up is a terrace in Ruchill, ranked 838 out of 6,505 in Scotland, where 1 was the most deprived and 6,505 the least. (i.e. There are 5,667 less deprived areas in Scotland) No offence to the good folk of Ruchill, but apparently there are 5,667 better places to start a family, in terms of positive outcomes for your kids.

      Up to £90k gets you a terraced house in Maryhill East. In the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) this area was ranked 262 out of 6,505 in Scotland, where 1 was the most deprived and 6,505 the least.

      Good enough for your children & grandchildren Graeme?

      1. Jamsie says:

        W
        What was your point?
        The guy is saying that there are affordable properties available and that the current bank mortgage rates and lending policies in Scotland are not reckless as suggested by GK.
        I tend to agree.
        If you want to live in an area higher up a list and need to pay more to do so the premium is a choice you make.
        The price of property in any given area in Scotland is driven by what people are willing to pay.
        That in turn is a function of what they can afford to pay.
        One would or should expect one’s children or grandchildren to work hard and earn to be able to buy the property they want within their means.
        It is down to choice.
        There is no entitlement.
        Mibees we should all opt for crowd funding to buy or mansions eh?

        1. Derek Thomson says:

          Should that not be “wee” crowdfunding? Utterly obsessed.

      2. A says:

        Wul,

        I am an owner-occupier in North Kelvin and have been for 44 years. This is my ‘home’, not my property East Maryhill is just on the other side of Maryhill Road from where I live. In the time I have lived in the area, it has undergone significant changes both socially and economically. Undoubtedly, 30/40 years ago, there were pockets of anti-social conduct, but, it is now, and has been for many years an area through which I walk and cycle without any fears. There is a fair amount of modern housing provided mainly by Queen’s Cross HA and the remaining tenements are sound, attractive buildings which have been refurbished. It is, indeed, an area where one can raise a family with confidence. It is close to the city centre, with a good bus service. The schools are good. There are good green spaces at Ruchill Park and along the canal. And, the clincher, you are beside Partick Thistle FC!

        1. Wul says:

          A,

          I’m sure the place where you live is great.

          My response was aimed at Graeme’s assertion that “there is a lot of nonsense written about young folk being unable to afford a first home”.

          Graeme sounds like he is saying that today’s young folk, who say that they can’t afford a first home, are in fact talking nonsense and that there are perfectly good homes available for £90 -£120k. It’s just that they are in areas ranked (not by me mind, but by the Index of Multiple Deprivation) as being amongst the most deprived places in Scotland ( and probably Europe) to live.

          My challenge to him was, would you be happy for your own family to live there?

          I’m perhaps showing my own prejudice here, but Graeme sounds like he thinks that living in poorer areas of Scotland, with all the negative effects on life opportunities that brings, is OK for others. Where does Graeme live? I’d wager its not East Maryhill or anywhere like it.

          I get annoyed that Scots continually fail to see just how poor many of our communities are compared to what we could achieve if we put citizens first.

          I’m sorry, call me an elitist snob, but the bottom quarter, of the bottom quarter, aint where I want my weans to live.

          “That’ll do them” isn’t good enough.

          (PS: Try getting a £120k mortgage when you are on a zero hours contract, are self employed or work for Amazon)

          1. MBC says:

            What makes an area deprived though? I’m 66 and in my lifetime I have seen many parts of Edinburgh where I live become run down. Tiny front gardens in small one and two bedroomed tenement flats used to be attractive and well cared for. Now the weeds are three feet high, windows are peeling and unwashed, and the gardens full of trash. There used to be a respectable working class, that, though never wealthy or owning a single brick, kept their homes and gardens spotless. Now no more. It’s not a feature of poverty exactly but of something else. No, I wouldn’t choose to live in those sorts of areas either, but if it was all I could afford, I would keep it smart and pretty and make a go of it. That doesn’t cost money, just care and effort. It’s a genuine question. Poverty and ugliness don’t need to go hand in hand. There is something else here, don’t know what it is.

    2. Will says:

      At April 2017 the median full time wage in Scotland was £23,150.

      I do not know what the statistical distribution of the earnings are below the median but common sense suggests it will be in the range from the median to the minimum wage which is around £16,000.

      And so for an individual earning a median wage or less one can see how ” property ” purchase is an unaffordable pipe dream.

      Try living on a median wage or less, paying for food, clothing, heating and lighting, travelling and all the rest and one can see how there’s not much left to save a deposit and then pay a mortgage.

      Not quite a lifestyle choice I’d suggest.

      Factor in credit standing, zero hours contracts, and the lifestyle choice becomes even starker.

      But hey, it’s maybe all part of the grand neo liberal strategy started by Thatcher to choke of housing supply thereby creating an asset bubble on which the banks can lend.

      A lifestyle choice do we think?

  2. Jamsie says:

    When I read the title I thought the writer was asking a question of the Indy movement and more particularly the SNP given the current unedifying shenanigans.
    The spiritual leader of the movement and the party telling the leader of the movement and the party he is taking her “government” to court based on their handling of serious allegations against him.
    Wee Nicola says there are many questions to be answered and these cannot be discussed until the process has been completed.
    I trust some of these questions will be as follows:-
    When were each of the complaints first made and to whom?
    Given the nature of the complaints why were the complainants not immediately directed to contact the Police?
    Why did the “government” official who had received the complaints not refer the issues to the Police immediately on receipt.
    Why did wee Nicola take it upon herself to meet wee Eck to discuss the allegations?
    Did these discussions delay the matters being reported to the police in the hope that it could all be brushed under the carpet?
    Given an internal review by the “government” could only address matters in terms of responsibility for the safety of employees in the work place who took the decision to delay reporting the matters to the police until after it was completed and why?
    Was the head of the civil service and her review unduly influenced by politicians, special advisors and/or other members of the SNP to delay reporting the matters to the Police.
    Did the First Minister deliberately seek to bury the allegations and try to resolve matters without it becoming public being reported to the police?
    What representation and support has been provided to the complainants and did they or their representatives request the matter be referred to the police before the “government” actually decided to do so?
    The question of wee Ecks innocence or guilt should only have been investigated by Police Scotland although some are suggesting that the politicisation of this organisation might be an issue in terms of thoroughness and perhaps it should be handed to another force.
    But it is the cover up and control freakery that should be the story here regardless of the outcome.
    And I think wee Eck knows already who leaked the story to the Daily Record and is determined to out them publicly.
    That is probably one of the questions wee Nicola would have preferred not see the answer to emerge as it will show her party a side they don’t want see.
    Mibees the title should have been “In a hole? Stop digging!”

    1. East Neuker says:

      Contempt, disrespect and nastiness seeps from the pores of your hatred onto the page WEE Jamsie. I have no idea whether the allegations against the former first minister have any foundation, and neither do you. The police are considering whether they will take any action, and your hints that they are too politically biased to investigate properly are not based on any evidence at all, just more of your anti SNP bile.

      1. Jamsie says:

        Blindness, stupidity and gullibility perhaps are what you display as a follower of the SNP.
        The allegations indeed have foundation.
        Two yes two complaints have been made.
        The issue now is whether the delay in informing the police and the publicity surrounding the case will allow a comprehensive assessment of the allegations to be made in order to have each tested in a court of law.
        This as a result of delay in reporting the matters.
        As to the police investigation being politically neutral you only need to look at the new Chief Constable.
        But you put the view that my point related to the police not investigating the matters fully to somehow save the “government” embarrassment and I concur that was a part of my meaning.
        However I was also referring to comments by his friends that he might not get a fair hearing in Scotland and given wee Eck’s contempt for the “government” investigation into the allegations he will probably also go down the route of trying to discredit the police investigation and call for another force to be appointed.
        Contempt for the SNP and wee Nicola?
        In this matter you better believe it.
        She has been caught out trying to suppress the whole matter and only succumbed to the reality of it when confronted by the civil servant in charge,
        She then sought to separate party from “government” as if the civil servants were somehow acting not on her behalf.
        People have seen the mendacity she displayed.
        And it looks like there will be even more on display when wee Eck outs the the individuals responsible for the leak.
        Then there are the two women who have complained.
        If the police do not charge him and take the case to court what price each of them take civil actions?

        1. East Neuker says:

          The alleged victims could have informed the police right away. Why did they not? The fact that the are two of them does not change anything.
          You imply that you have information amounting to proof that the allegations are true. Tell us what that is. I repeat that I have no idea whether they are true, and I don’t think you have. Convince me otherwise, or wait for the investigations to inform us. Orherwise, your acidis misplaced and judgemental.

          1. Jamsie says:

            I have made no such assertion.
            Reading and understanding is obviously a problem for you.
            What I have said is that wee Nicola needs to answer questions on her handling of the whole affair.
            Whether he is innocent or guilty is yet to be proved but she needs to answer for the delay and interference in bringing the cases forward to enable this to happen.
            People will judge wee Nicola on her mendacity and deception here.
            She knows who leaked the story.
            So does wee Eck.
            Hiding behind civil service procedures she introduced won’t cut it when the source is outed and both she and her hubby are implicated.
            Wee Eck might try get his return to frontline politics at her expense.
            Indyref 2?
            Come back in twenty years.

          2. Me Bungo Pony says:

            J*msie wrote “The allegations indeed have foundation” and when questioned on it wrote “I have made no such assertion”. That says it all for how much faith can be put in his scribblings.

            It appears the unionists have given up on arguing the case for the Union on its merits. That sustained campaign since 2014 has made not a single dent on support for independence despite the lack of an indie campaign in opposition to it. So, in desperation, they have resorted to medieval “witch trial” tactics. As Alex Massie almost gleefully claimed Salmond’s career was finished whether he was guilty or not. So “If the accused drowns” they are innocent, but if they don’t they are guilty and are hanged.

            The unionist cause has been getting more and more unedifying as the years go by. As typified by J*msie here. I feel, as he has done here, every discussion will be hi-jacked to concentrate on Salmond as unionists seek to distract the people from the lack of a coherent unionist argument against indie, and tarnish it by somehow implying alleged wrong doing by a former politician is reason enough to turn against it.

            My feeling is that unionist zealots will revel in this, thinking they have “won the argument”, while Indies will rightly see it as an unconnected issue and waverers will be put off by what is clearly an attempt at distraction by rather ugly means.

            But hey, never interrupt an enemy while they are making a mistake as they say. So bash on J*msie. You continue to ignore the real issues around independence and concentrate on ugly-ing up the unionist cause.

          3. Jamsie says:

            EN and MBP
            “The allegations indeed have foundation.”
            The allegations have two sources, they have been reviewed by the Scottish “government” and the process of the review is now being challenged by wee Eck.
            The allegations are a fact.
            Nobody knows what the result of the “government’s” review is but I think you can take it wee Eck died hence his challenge.
            As far as his guilt in terms of criminality goes that is a matter for the courts and as the “government” aka the SNP chose only to report the matter to the police last week obviously that remains to be seen.
            But just to repeat for those of you whose comprehension skills following reading are a bit askew the allegations indeed have foundation and have been brought forward by two individuals and upon review by the “government” have been passed to Police Scotland as possible criminal offences.

          4. East Neuker says:

            The allegations are, as you say, a fact. They may be true. Then again they may not. All that has been established so far is that if they are true, then criminal offences may have been committed. They have therefore been passed to the appropriate investigating authorities.
            I repeat the point that the individuals themselves could have taken these to the police if they felt offences had been committed against them.

            Therefore, though the the allegations are a fact, they may or may not have foundation. I hope you comprehend that, as you appear to have a very high opinion of your intellectual skills and huge arrogance and contempt for others.

          5. Jamsie says:

            “I have made no such assertion.”
            EN opined that I had implied or otherwise stated that wee Eck was guilty.
            The statement says it alll.
            Read and understand.
            If you need help get someone to translate.
            Now as to the argument for independence the polls and surveys show Scotland does not want another referendum and even if wee Nicola did grow a pair and try to call one she had no legal, political or moral mandate.
            And given the efforts of her economic “experts” even given attendance at BoE parties there won’t be one in the foreseeable future.
            Finally this is all about SNP fighting SNP for who the real power is.
            The damage is entirely self inflicted.
            It does reinforce that Indy is not a situation that is even remotely possible or desirable for the majority of the electorate of Scotland.
            Looking forward to wee Eck’s day in court already with everyone’s money.
            Even more to the big moment when the source of the leak to the Daily Record comes out.
            If rumours are true the special advisor hoped to be be able to blame Police Scotland but given the legal stooshie now unfolding you can bet they will make sure it is not pinned on them.
            I wonder if the leak is a breach of the Official Secrets Act lol.

          6. Jamsie says:

            EN
            Now that we have established that the allegations are fact and are founded on actual complaints by two civil servants let’s move on.
            Wee Eck says he has offered mediation, conciliation etc to try to resolve the matter but it was only when he was advised that the result of the review based on wee Nicola’s new rules was that the matter was to be reported to the police that he went down the route of challenge via the Court of Session.
            He is claiming that the process is unfair for a number of reasons but mainly because the “government” has refused to show him any evidence relating to the review or the allegations.
            As he is no longer an MSP or a member of the “government” I cannot see why he should be given this.
            In fact it seems through the meetings with wee Nicola that he has already been in receipt of preferential treatment.
            My view is that the evidence should be presented to the police who are the correct authority to investigate whether any criminality has taken place.
            If you re-read the questions I think should be answered you will see where I am coming from.
            Has wee Nicola been trying to mediate in the matter and has pressure been brought in the complainants to accept that the civil service review needed to take place before the matter was reported?
            Wee Nicola has a lot of questions to answer!

          7. East Neuker says:

            Thank you wee Jamsie. Do you think you have it in you to stop insulting people?

          8. Me Bungo Pony says:

            And still J*msie drones on. Digging an ever deeper, ever muddier (making it all the easier to throw) hole for himself. There is no limit to the depths many unionists will plumb in their ever more desperate attempts to thwart independence for their country.

  3. Jamsie says:

    In November last year BC printed an article In Govanhell by Cllr Mhairi Hunter.
    The article was described by her as bringing balance to a report carried in the Evening Times on Child Sex Exploitation in Govanhell wee Nicola’s constituency.
    Ms Hunter stated that the 4 or 5 people quoted in the report had not engaged despite their contentions they had.
    This week has seen some developments as a result of a police investigation.
    No sign of Ms Hunter trying to balance things out though.
    Govanhell is a third world entity in the centre of Glasgow.
    The SNP should be thoroughly ashamed and do should wee Nicola.

    1. Jamsie says:

      MBP
      Can you give me one argument for independence that would possibly create a majority for it?
      Take your time.
      Then can you tell me why wee Nicola has not called for Indy2.
      The problem with people like you is that you would put us all in a third world country environment.
      Some of us have worked too hard too long to even consider that.

      1. WTL says:

        Jamsie, where in the article is there any mention of the issue of Independence, or of the issue regarding Alec Salmond? So much bile and rubbish spouted and not a single word about the economic issues addressed. Furthermore, the investigation of allegations against A Salmond were not within the remit of the party leader, but in the hands of a senior civil servant – who dictated the timetable and outcome. Why not get off the tired old nag you keep riding and give us all some peace. Even better, why not address all your issues by writing to the ‘Torygraph’ as , ‘Disgusted of Kelvinside.’ BC will be a much better place without your ridiculous diatribes.

        Bill

        1. Jamsie says:

          WTL
          The economic issues addressed?
          Are you being serious?
          Not in the remit of the party leader?
          She is head of the “government” ffs.
          She has already made it her remit by meeting wee Eck on three occasions to “discuss” aka try to bury the matter.
          He is asking for judicial review on the actions of the Scottish “government” which are based on the rules introduced by the head of the Scottish “government” aka wee Nicola.
          He claims the process is unfair however it is obvious or should be that he is not complaining about the process but about the result of the process I.e. that the matter has been handed over to the police to determine whether he should face criminal charges.

      2. East Neuker says:

        Ah it’s wee Jamsie again. You could at least stop the derogatary adjectives. I will if you will.

        1. Jamsie says:

          EN
          Which adjectives are commonly derogatory?

        2. Derek Thomson says:

          Wee Jamsie can’t help himself. Utterly, utterly obsessed. What a thoroughly unpleasant little fellow he sounds.

      3. Me Bungo Pony says:

        Norway.

        1. Jamsie says:

          MBP
          And were the wishes of a majority of the Norwegian electorate ignored?
          Wee Nicola has already told you that a referendum probably won’t be called as the economics don’t stack up.
          She doesn’t listen to GK either!

          1. Me Bungo Pony says:

            Like I said before, a complete lack of a coherent unionist argument against independence.

          2. Jamsie says:

            How about £13bn deficit and a majority of the electorate who don’t want it?
            Oh silly me.
            These are reasons for not having independence.
            How about the Barnet formula?
            Does that count as a benefit of being part of the Union?
            What gets me is that you think that somehow the argument on Indy is already won.
            It is not.
            The Union is the default position for Scotland and its electorate and even for its “government”.

          3. Me Bungo Pony says:

            Such a deficit, if it actually existed (GERS is not an indication of the financial position of an independent Scotland; only a Scotland under the union) is not a great advert for the Union. What you are saying is “look what a mess being under the Union has made of Scotland’s finances, so independence is unaffordable and best stick with the model that ruined us”. If the Union was good for Scotland, why does the figure you revel in exist? Why are we not prospering as SE England and ALL our small, independent neighbour’s do? Indeed, if the Union is so beneficial for Scotland, why do we not out perform them instead of lagging behind.

            All polls since 2014 have shown almost half the population in favour of independence. The most recent has independence in front if Brexit goes through. So your argument is a little thin and undemocratic there.

            The Barnet Formula gives some, but not all, the money generated in Scotland back to us. Woo hoo! Thanks Westminster. The BF is a political construct to counter arguments for Scottish independence. It can be rescinded by the Westminster Parliament on a right wing Tory/Northern England Labour whim. Neither are fans of it. Will you still support the Union if such an eminently possible (nigh certainty if the SNP lose power) comes to pass? Best we have all the financier and power to utilise them here in Scotland so they can be used in our own best interests (not Westminster’s) with the decisions being made by the people of Scotland’s representatives, in Scotland, with Scotland’s interests paramount. Only then can Scotland and its people achieve the prosperity of ALL our small, independent neighbours.

            No we don’t think the argument is won. Not by a long shot. We do KNOW we have the best arguments. Far better than the “too wee, too poor, too stupid” Project Fear nonsense unionists try to in still in the people of Scotland’s psyche. With that essential advantage, we are confident we will win indyref2.

            I’ve yet to here “the positive case for the Union”.

          4. Me Bungo Pony says:

            3rd paragraph:
            Should be “situation” before “comes to pass”.
            Should be “finances” not “financier”

            4th paragraph:
            Should be “instill” not “still”.

            5th paragraph:
            Should be “hear” not “here”.

          5. Jamsie says:

            MBP
            What I am saying is that the “government’s” own figures identify the deficit.
            The consequences of independence with no credible policy to address this would mean third world country lifestyle in Scotland.
            Even the GCR acknowledges this.
            The Union allows this incompetent “government” to indulge in policies that would be immediately unaffordable in an independent Scotland.
            Notwithstanding the schism created by wee Eck wee Nicola has already started down the road of no referendum as the economic circumstances are not conducive.
            What part of this don’t you get?
            And as for the poll on decisions after Brexit it looks to already have been discredited.
            But the big issue is how would an independent Scotland ever be able to rejoin her beloved EU?
            Spain and France have already said they would veto.
            And given her misplaced support for the Catalan politicians who refuse to face justice Spain would say naw means naw.
            What price a referendum anytime soon?
            She is too feart.
            She knows she cannot win.

          6. Kenny Smith says:

            Jimbo ma foamy friend, wipe yer chin.

            I can hear a bum squeaking

          7. Jamsie says:

            Ach Barbie yer still squawkin fae the background.
            You really need to get a life.
            Ken?

          8. Me Bungo Pony says:

            I’ve rarely read such bunkum J*msie. You really are living in fantasy fuelled, unionist dreamland. Nobody but those of a “union or death” persuasion believes the GERS figures say anything at all about the financies of an independent Scotland. An independent Scotland would have a completely different set of priorities to the UK and, consequently, different fiscal policies. For instance (just one example), Norway has been taking £tens of billions of revenue out the North Sea while the UK has often been actually paying oil companies to take the stuff out the ground and sell it for a vast profit. Frankly, this is a political decision by Westminster and I don’t understand why the English electorate are not just as outraged by this as Scots Indies (not unionists who are pro anything that they believe will undermine the case for independence for their own country). An independent Scottish Govt of any hue would soon rectify that anomaly.

            Other differences such as in defence, trade and debt repayment among many others would see even more reduction in the “under-the-union” GERS figure. What is it about this you don’t get?

            As to the rest of your post; it is just wishful thinking on your, and your ever-more-desperate union buddies, part. Seriously J*msie, if your’s is typical of what the unionist argument has been reduced to, independence is just round the corner.

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