by Colin Campbell
FIFTY years ago this week we had our last major currency upheaval when Britain dropped the tanner, the shilling and the ten bob note and switched over to decimilisation.
That was on February 15, 1971, a big day in our history. I remember it well.
Now the SNP nationalists want another, very much bigger currency upheaval. They want it. But they can’t tell us any more about it than that.
The question is as simple as handing over threepence for three penny caramels.
What currency would an independent Scotland use?
They can’t tell us because, six years after the last independence referendum, they haven’t been able to work out an answer.
So the people who so fervently want to run an independent nation don’t know what kind of money we’d use to buy things in the shops. Not penny caramels, because they don’t exist anymore. But a basic basketful of groceries.
Or other, larger financial transactions, like how it would affect people paying their mortgages.
All they are able to tell us with regard to money, incessantly, is that Westminster isn’t shovelling sufficient billions across the border to satisfy their insatiable demands. No amount, of course, is ever going to be enough for those who are so desperate to “break free” from Westminster.
But on currency, a financial issue which they’d have to take responsibility for rather than endlessly passing the buck, they simply haven’t a clue.
So what currency WOULD an independent Scotland use. The question never goes away. And it’s never answered.
Inverness MP Drew Hendry, ex-councillor, formerly chairman of the bus shelters repairs and maintenance committee or some such, who has now reinvented himself as a multi-billion pound financial expert, can’t tell us.
Ross MP and money-grubbing political hypocrite Ian Blackford can’t tell us. All we know with regard to money and him is that at the last count he raked in £256,000 in expenses from the Westminster system he claims he wants to destroy.
Highland MSP and novice finance minister Kate Forbes, suddenly thrown into the job after her predecessor was caught sending dubious texts to a teenage boy, can’t tell us. A few weeks ago she showed her pleasantly normal side with a flashing smile and a gleaming engagement ring. Now she’s back at the day job where she’s adopted her own version of the Sturgeon scowl – an expression that constant grievance-mongering seems to naturally create – over Westminster not sending up yet more endless billions. But she’s got no idea what currency an independent Scotland would use either.
And Inverness MSP Fergus Ewing? He’s seeking re-election to the Scottish Parliament in May for the sixth time, to continue a cosy and lucrative career there that has spanned no less than 21 years. And despite mumbling the word “independence” now and again, because he has to, he doesn’t really want any upheaval with regard to currency, independence or anything else, and is quite happy with the way things, are. So he can be left out of it.
So what is the answer to what currency an independent Scotland would use?
Andrew Wilson, the biggest financial brain they’ve got, and head of the SNP Growth Commission, favours continuing using sterling for up to 10 years. But others in the SNP furiously dismiss this. How would Scotland be independent, they ask, if it was still dependent on using the British currency, with no controls over interest rates, and still under the boot of the English oppressor? When pressed on the issue by Andrew Neil on Spectator TV, an interview now seen by a huge number of people on Youtube, Wilson was left in a clueless, floundering mess.
Many within the ranks of the SNP/nationalists believe that Scottish people feel more natural affinity with the Belgians, Germans, Italians and Romanians than they do with the people of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. And that we’re all desperate to get back in the EU. The only grain of certainty on offer is if that ever did happen an independent Scotland would have to use the euro. But that’s the last thing they want to admit because they believe it’s not what people want to hear. And on that, at least, they’re right.
Others simply want a new Scottish currency, the Groat, the Sturgeon, magicked out of thin air, despite every objective financial expert ever consulted saying that’s not a credible option because the financial reserves to back it up are non-existent, and it would be regarded by other countries as throwaway monopoly money.
But as always with the SNP/nationalists, never let reality get in the way of fantasy and wishful thinking.
Others, as with so much else about independence, say why bother worrying about it all. It’ll all be sorted out by Sturgeon, Hendry, Blackford, Forbes and co after we’ve broken free from the English oppressor. And don’t worry about paying your mortgage.
And a survey found a significant number of independence supporters, whose main concern is artistically covering their faces with blue and white paint, are baffled by why the question is even being asked. They believe we already have our own currency, in the form of notes issued by the Bank of Scotland and the RBS.
It it wasn’t so serious, or terrifying, you’d almost have to laugh.
So none of the people who want to create an independent Scotland can tell us what currency an independent Scotland would use, after having six years to work it out. Just trust us, they say. Take a leap of blind faith and don’t worry about paying any bills.
Fifty years ago decimilisation confused many people for a while but we got used to it. But back then we started by using the penny and the pound, and continued by using the penny and the pound afterwards, after some adjustment with coins and notes in the middle.
The SNP/nationalists want to lead us into an entirely different world of financial chaos, confusion and crisis altogether. What currency would an independent Scotland use? The SNP/nationalist zealots and fanatics have no answers on the most basic and fundamental question of all.
As things stand who in their right mind, or who has given any serious consideration to it outside of the ranks of the artistic face painters, wouldn’t at least have some serious questions to ask themselves before buying that?