Sunday, October 19, 2008


The Times, on 19 October 2008, asked "Is Scottish independence stone dead?"

Is Scottish independence stone dead? - Times Online

There is to be a by-election in Glenrothes in Scotland and it might seal the fate of Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister.

“I’ve always voted Labour but I've decided I’ve had enough of them,” says Mr George Smiley Fulton, a former government employee who has worked in Saigon, East Berlin and Washington.

“The Scottish National Party seem the only alternative.

"Given what’s happened with Labour wrecking the economy, I’m sure I'll vote SNP.

"If Ireland and Norway and even Singapore can rescue their banks, then so can Scotland.”

Labour’s own private polling shows that the Nationalists will finish 5,000 votes ahead.

Gordon Brown, the prime minister in London, does not have the money to help the Bank of Scotland.

He will have to borrow the money.

The UK budget deficit may soon climb to at least 92 billion pounds ($159 billion).

An independent Scotland, in a worst case scenario, would have a deficit that was very tiny in comparison.

When oil prices rise again, Scotland will have a huge surplus.

Scotland, with its oil wealth, could, if independent, borrow the money needed for the banks.

At the recent SNP conference, companies such as Coca-Cola, trade unions and media groups all jockeyed for position.

SNP membership and donations are on the rise.

An independent Scotland could produce a fund from North Sea oil revenues to shelter the country in times of trouble. Norway has a fund of £200 billion.

According to SNP leader Alex Salmond:

“All countries, large and small, are affected by this.”

“The prime minister keeps saying it originated in the United States. Seventeen financial institutions have failed in the United States, the largest economy in the world. For unionists to say this is something just affecting small countries is daft.

“And to besmirch the reputation of Norway and Ireland to try and get a point against the SNP . . . it used to be that unionists only ran down Scotland, but now they are busy running down other countries as well.”

Iceland, said Salmond, had “very particular problems” and a population only half the size of Glasgow, while Norway was among the best-placed countries in Europe to get through these turbulent times, and Ireland was moving into recession at a point where it was 40% more prosperous per head than the UK, and would probably emerge with a similar margin.

Finland, Denmark and Norway were all forecast to avoid recession, while Ireland had taken early action to stabilise its banking sector.

“By my reckoning that gives us three countries that will do better than the UK, one which has very similar problems to the UK and Ireland, and Iceland which is a particular example of a country very badly affected.”

Marc Coleman, an Irish-based former economist at the European Central Bank, said of Ireland: “After 15 years of record-busting growth, some froth is being blown off the Guinness. But the glass remains very much almost full,” he said.

“Ireland’s economy grew by almost 90% in the past 10 years, four times faster than the EU and three times faster than countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.”


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