The Scottish Independence Podcast 134 – Dr Craig Dalzell on Scotland’s Currency Options

Gt1wRDr8.jpg largeFor the 134th episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast, I spoke with Dr Craig Dalzell.

Craig recently wrote a paper outlining the possible currency options for an independent Scotland. This is important work because an aspect of the Yes side that was much criticised during and after the 2014 referendum was the perceived lack of a strategy on what to do about currency. I say “perceived” because much of it came down to perception, not fact.

We talked about why the 2014 plan may or may not have been right at the time, but probably wouldn’t be the correct strategy for indyref 2.

Would the Euro work? Scottish Pound? A crypto-currency?

We also talked about what the hell a crypto-currency actually is.

And of course, I asked Craig why he supports Independence for Scotland.

Hope you enjoy.

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The Neoliberal Condition

The Against The Grain podcast has many good episodes and I’ve only recently got round to catching up with a few of them.

I really can’t recommend this one highly enough. Go to this link and download Michel Fehrer’s talk on how…

“neoliberal policies have turned individuals, corporations, and states into credit-seeking asset managers. Those people deemed asset-less (whom Feher calls “discredited”) are being disposed of, in four distinct ways.”

It’s not exactly light listening, but not terribly heavy on the ear either. Really, make the time for it.

One Thing In Public, Another In Private

misdirectionMy second little piece of information today , after this one regarding the perception management going on at the moment, is about some of the business stories flying around.

I’ve taken the opportunity in the last couple of days to speak to some people who could be said to be “insiders”, but in different things and in different places.

I learned many important things, most of which have already been mentioned but a couple are worth going over again.

The first is that despite what is being trumpeted by Cameron, Osborne et al and the wider No camp, I can tell you that the workers in at least two of the companies that are supposedly going to leave Scotland (they’re not) have received internal emails telling them that, despite what they have seen on TV and in the paper, there is no threat to jobs and conditions if Scotland votes Yes.

Have you seen that side of it reported as much as the invented threats? Aside from finding it out for myself by actually asking people, which most of the mainstream media seem disinclined to do, only Andrew Wilson in the Scotsman commented on the same thing (my contacts were in different companies but they all seemed to receive similar letters or emails).

So while politicians skipped from studio to studio trying to make people worry for their jobs and the rest of us believe all branches and offices would close, the CEO of RBS was drafting a letter to staff calming them and pointing out that no jobs or operations would be affected by a technical legal move.

Now, let’s go on to the second one.

I happened to be speaking to a market insider who definitely knows what they are talking about.

Much of our discussion has already been mentioned by many other people in the field.

Some of it was that the financial services sector of an independent Scotland could be very strong indeed, in fact, it could be significantly better than it is now. Further to that my contact added that the people in the industry are almost ALL convinced of this and the rhetoric is merely the calling in of political favours or being done in the hope of future political favours.

BxF02s0IcAAJjsAFurthermore, any future uncertainty, which would be bad for both new nations, can and will be quickly and easily dissipated as long as it is clear to the markets what is happening. The UK govt are at the moment recklessly playing a weak hand and calling in and/or promising every favour to create the illusion of continuing uncertainty, for which there is no sane reason, unless you are trying to be a bully. And after a yes vote, there is no reason at all to continue to play the bully.

Did you know that Mark Carney and George Osborne have chosen NOT to go to the G20 meeting in Australia? Now why would they do that?

They would do that because the moment Scotland votes Yes, despite all the nonsense, they want to be here to get a deal sorted IMMEDIATELY.

After a Yes vote, there is every reason for all sides to very quickly come to an agreement, and that will happen.

The Tories are playing a dangerous game of sleight of hand in order to bully and frighten the Scottish people into voting no, but at the same time their politicians and functionaries are already on hand to ensure that what they are trying to scare you with doesn’t happen, and it won’t.

Are people this dishonest the kind of people you want to run your government?


The Scottish Independence Podcast 61 – Professor Ailsa McKay

Ailsa_McKayThe 61st episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast  comes from a speech made at the Radical Independence Conference by Professor Ailsa McKay, who recently passed away.

Ailsa was recommended to me on three separate occasions as someone who I should try to get onto the show. I tried to get in touch but was obviously unaware of her illness.

Nevertheless, the aforementioned speech she made was available and I decided to put it out as an MP3 so that it might reach some people who didn’t see it there.

It’s certainly worth it.

Some of the work she did in her life is described on her Wikipedia page.

McKay was Reader in Gender and Economics until her 2011 appointment as Professor of Economics at Glasgow Caledonian University. She also served as Vice Dean of the Glasgow School for Business and Society until 2013. She specialized in gender inequalities and the economics of the welfare state, and served as a consultant to the Scottish Parliament, the Irish Government, Her Majesty’s Treasury, and the United Nations Development Programme. Since 2006, she held the visiting chair in gender studies at the Complutense University of Madrid, and was invited as an expert witness to give evidence during the budget process to the Scottish Parliament and the Parliament of Canada. She was a leading authority on gender budget analysis in the United Kingdom. She was also a business commentator for The Herald newspaper. In 2012 she was appointed by the Scottish Government as a member of the Expert Working Group on Welfare and Constitutional Reform.

Hope you enjoy.

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The Scottish Independence Podcast 56 – The Economic Case For Independence

one“Like on steroids”.

The 56th episode The Scottish Independence Podcast is the second of the presentation-type podcasts that I’ve put out this week, next time we’ll get back to the interviews.

This time the presentation comes from Business for Scotland and features former guest on the podcast Ivan McKee, who I’m sure you’ve been seeing on TV recently, and Michelle Thomson.

The presentation is called The Economic Case for Independence, and that quote with at the start was not referring to Scotland’s prospects.

twoIt’s quite a long episode so you might want to divide your listening into sections.

Hope you enjoy.

This is the direct download link (right click and save as)

You can listen to the show online at its web page

Or you can subscribe with itunes

We are also now to be found on youtube

P.S. If you’d like to help this and the other podcasts keep going, please go here.


A Question No One Asked

Aside from the Johann Lamont debacle yesterday, someone else trying to make the case for the union recently made a complete tit of himself too.

Enter stage right John Boyle, who in this video, speaking with Ivan McKee of Business for Scotland, appears not to have any idea at all what he is talking about.

He starts with a standard Britnat appeal and doesn’t appear to know the facts of what he is trying to discuss.

I suddenly have a lot more sympathy for Motherwell fans.


Saturday Matinee 32 – Fire Over Water

Nice Canada, lovely Canada.

Well no, not exactly.

This documentary from Al-Jazeera shows a kind of resistance that is currently going on all around the world for different reasons in different places.

Specifically, this is about the opening up of some land for shale mining and the people resisting it.

It also shows how states will use force to protect finance, not people…


Whichever Way Round You Like It, Just Vote No

BbFGnUuCUAA4se9I’m sure most of you seasoned indyref watchers like me have noticed that the No campaign tends to do something a little odd regarding who is funding who in this Union of supposed equals.

If speaking in isolation, the strategy is often to say that without funding from down south, Scotland would be in trouble. This leads to something like yesterday where Labour backbenchers appeared to cheer their belief  that Scotland is subsidised by the UK. In one way that could be construed as cheering the (perceived) weakness of your own country, perhaps not the seemliest thing for MSPs to be doing.

However, in other platforms, when the discussion seems to be that Scots contribute more to the UK than they get back, or that Scotland is doing better in some of the figures than much of England, then the No campaign strategy is to move to talking about redistributing wealth down south.

So to recap.

  • Scotland gets more, so we redistribute it south.
  • Scotland doesn’t have enough and needs to rely on England

Does anyone else see that those two can’t simultaneously go together?

Furthermore, if you look at the image above, if all this wealth had been being redistributed all around the country by successive Labour and Tory governments, keen to do their bit for the “regions”, I suspect that map would be rather different.

If however, as many would suggest, money from Scotland tends to go south and gets stuck there, it seems to make more sense, don’t you think?

The Scottish Independence Podcast 46 – David Comerford

20140115_115552David Comerford is the guest for the 46th episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast.

David is an economist at The University of Stirling, who is working on the ESRC’s Future of the UK & Scotland project.

Listening to this is your chance to get over some of the spin from both sides in this debate. Some of the questions I put to him were…

  • What are the benefits of staying or leaving the EU?
  • What’s the truth surrounding currency choices?
  • Is the white paper realistic?

Aside from that, David had some important things to say on the subject of short-termism and how narrow some of the thinking so far has been.

It all might require your thinking cap, so I’d put it on now.

Hope you enjoy…

This is the direct download link (right click and save as)

You can listen to the show online at its web page

Or you can subscribe with itunes

We are also now to be found on youtube

P.S. If you’d like to help this and the other podcasts keep going, please go here.