Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scottish independence: Bank of England denies talks have been held with SNP over currency, how much longer will this stupidity by the SNP Government go on; independence needs to be built on trust, Salmond and Sturgeon are a liability to indy campaign

Dear All

With the SNP’s EU debacle taking centre stage as Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tries desperately to find a foothold, there is also another equally damaging issue of trust in the SNP Government looming.

The Bank of England has now denied entering a dialogue with the Scottish Government over its plans for an independent Scotland to form a currency union with the UK.

Is monetary union important?

Yes, absolutely and it appears yet again that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t done the work.

Yet again assumption by SNP Ministers is that they will ask for something and therefore they will get everything they want.

In an embarrassing development, the Bank of England hasrejected comments by SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney who said the Government had been involved in a "very helpful dialogue" with the Bank over the Nationalists' key policy to keep the pound.

There has according to the Bank been no dialogue.

Mr Swinney said he had been in contact with the Bank as he gave evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The upshot of this is his remarks were interpreted as the start of talks between the Scottish Government and the Bank.

Very quickly, the Bank of England has moved to counter by saying:

"The Bank of England did no more than answer technical questions from representatives of the Scottish Government. We have not entered a dialogue about the possibility of changing monetary arrangements for Scotland in future."

As we are seeing, the independence campaign and the Scottish Government are falling apart; the trust has gone in both.

You could say that the independence campaign hasn’t started yet, because the SNP hasn’t managed to work out the ground rules which need to be firmly based in transparency and trust.

The SNP Government wants an independent Scotland to enter a currency union with the rest of the UK to keep the pound, that as an idea seems fine, but what if they say no?

What if the EU demands Scotland joins the Euro?

Where’s the plan McB?
The whole independence campaign is a vacuum of no substance, people campaigning for independence don’t actually know what proposition they are campaigning for, and neither does Salmond or Sturgeon.

Independence demands a special campaign unlike the SNP has ever done, and as we see each week, its crap founded on crap.

SNP claim it would be welcomed into a new "sterling zone".

Where is the agreement from Westminster?

There is none, its assumption presented as fact.

Another badly handled aspect of this Sterling debacle is that SNP Ministers believe an independent Scotland would be entitled to a seat on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee.

To which an answer has come back in the shape of ‘piss off, you’re getting nothing’.

If and it is only an if that Scotland gets monetary union with England, Scots can’t set their own interest rates and no guarantee on lender of last resort either has been established.

Critics of the plan claim it would leave an independent Scotland with less influence over macro-economic policy than it enjoys at present.

Westminster because of our present set up has to cope with a few niceties in that regard.
Addressing the Lords committee, Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government had been in a "very helpful dialogue" with the Bank about plans for monetary union.

He insisted the "points raised by the bank" would "inform the model we bring forward".

Asked by Labour peer Lord Hollick why the Bank of England should act as lender of last resort to a foreign country, he said:

"It would be of interest to the Bank because the Scottish economy would be contributing to the sterling zone."

Labour's Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran claimed Mr Swinney had been "economical with the truth".

She said:

"He tried to mislead not just the House of Lords but the people of Scotland when he claimed he was in dialogue with the Bank on an independent Scotland keeping the pound. The Bank of England has now made clear that no such dialogue has taken place”.

Curran added:

"They misled the people of Scotland on whether they had EU advice. They misled the people of Scotland on our membership of the European Union. Now John Swinney has joined Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond in wilfully misleading the people of Scotland on something as basic as the currency we should have."

This continue theme of opposition parties about the lack of honesty of SNP Ministers making claims which turn out to be untrue must stop.

Alex Salmond and co think they are being very clever with the English language as they seek to change their story citing everyone has got it wrong this is what they really meant.

Poll after poll sees the people of Scotland turning away from them as the no vote becomes more solid, I expect it to grow because at it heart there are several issues that need addressed which never were.

The campaign for Scottish independence is on course to fail; this is because of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

What has happened up till now has been a disgrace; there is no joined up thinking between the SNP, SNP Government and Yes Scotland.

Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is the ‘independence chief’, in 2014; her failures will raise questions whether she should be leader of the SNP when Alex Salmond steps down.

Personally the thought of Sturgeon and her nasty little clique run the SNP will see support for the party drop like a stone, Sturgeon is an analogue politician in a digital age, she isn’t a solution; she is part of the problem.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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