How bad could it be?

A guest post by Samuel Miller

They say timing is everything and given the nature of my previous post, this Q.E.D. moment couldn’t be allowed to pass. It appears that some folk yesterday were quite concerned about Scottish economic performance lagging behind the UK. Others? Not so much.  Very much a glass half empty or glass half full kinda story. Four quarters of continuous but modest growth, or why aren’t you doing as well as…etc? Depends on your outlook really. Regardless, what really caught my eye were the statements made by Mr Mundell, oor Secretary of State for not being consulted very much.

“It is good news that today’s GDP figures show that Scotland’s economy continues to grow. I note a modest improvement in Scotland’s important services sector, and encouraging growth in production industries.” (Super so far)

“However, it is increasingly concerning that a significant gap persists between Scotland’s economy and the rest of the UK. The Scottish Government has the powers to boost productivity and strengthen the economy, and must use them to close this gap. By making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK, the Scottish Government risks damaging, rather than growing, our economy.” (Aaaand there we have it. Also? My bold)

Which begs a question or two now doesn’t it?

Those unspecified powers Mr Mundell mentions must be quite the package. It’d probably be helpful if the Secretary of State for… whatever… could tell folk exactly what they are right enough. Also safe to say that there are folk out there who might disagree on whether the Scottish government has the powers it requires. How and ever, and for the sake of clarity, you’ll find who has competence over what HERE.

You’ll note where the responsibility for the economy of the entire UK rests pretty rapidly and don’t let tourism and economic growth fool you either. The Scottish government can invite investment, but it relies on Westminster to set favourable economic conditions. The SG can also stimulate growth in certain sectors, but again this relies heavily on the budget granted/available and those economic conditions set elsewhere at the time. The SG have only a percentage of tax raising powers and zero control of essential resources and revenue streams. They have no treasury and therefore no control over monetary policy. No control of employment legislation or benefits and clearly no control over foreign policy, borders, trade, immigration and so on.

I’d say they’re doing pretty well all things considered. In fact it sounds very much to me like a case of tackling some fairly severe economic challenges with the legislative equivalent of having one arm and both legs tied behind your back. Personally I’d have thought it perfectly reasonable to assume that when a Scottish government in full control of ALL of the above powers fails, then folk could have a wee gripe. Mibbies it is just me though. (shrugs)

Just to put things into further perspective given the impending Brexit. HERE is a link to a list of UK recessions and their effects on the overall economy, with 2008’s crash on the bottom. Worst Q was -2.2% in Q4.

So, just to be clear. It’s taken a central government, in full possession of all economic levers, ten years NOT to have ditched austerity ideology. A period which has seen unprecedented wage stagnation, draconian changes and swingeing cuts to the UK’s benefits system, massive growth of food bank culture and cuts to services reported across the board. A state legislature in FULL possession of ALL economic levers. Personally I’d say that’s worthy of a gripe or two, but then I would.

Anyway, now we get to the interesting question on the subject of those economy growing zooperpowers. Given both HMG and Scotgov’s impact assessments consider a 2-2.5% contraction is currently the best case (soft Brexit) scenario for Scotland. Also taking into account the all too evident hardships which the recession of 2008 has delivered over the past ten years. Just what do you reckon the effect will be of a 9% contraction of Scotland’s economy in event of the worst case scenario?

Readers, of course, can decide for themselves whether they consider the economic powers of the Scottish parliament sufficient for the challenges ahead.

After all… how bad could it be?

0 thoughts on “How bad could it be?

    • Of course they can read. That is what they are doing in parroting the script issued by Conservative Central Office, and, when interviewed by the BBC et al, the interviewers are reading from the same script. The ‘narrative’ is being ‘framed’ and this framing constrains the parameters of the debate.

      What Macart has done is to point out the ‘frame’ within which the SG has to operate and the frame forbids reference to the existence of the constraints under which the SG has to operate. Any such reference is sneered at with, ‘As ever it is Westminster’s fault as far as the SNP is concerned’.

  1. Sam, seems to me that the Governor General is actually passing comment on his own lack of performance, he and his not in power government are the people with the responsibility for the way things are being run.
    Readers of this site and others know this for sure.
    Unfortunately some unelected occupiers of seats in the parliament don’t understand the difference between devolved and retained.
    How can we educate our people to this fact, I exclude the media as they probably know the difference but ignore in the interests of a good SNP bad story.

  2. Looking at the UK’s record Sam is very telling. Tells us they are pretty bad at much of the economy and maybe, perhaps they should look at how much they spend on WMD, secret and not so secret foreign adventures which leave more dead and destitute and a couple of tiers of legislators who don’t have the peoples welfare at any point in it’s deliberations.

    That list is obviously not exhaustive and sure folks could add to it! We have a decent chance of an out and I’m not stopping until I can say I’m a citizen of an independent country.

  3. The Secretary of State for Scotland and doubtless Gordon Brown (remember him) possibly, after talking their nonsense for so long, actually believe the mantra that all bar Defence and Foreign Affairs resides with Scotland (or would do if you voted No!).

    It would seem certain parties have not been very good at keeping their word, so maybe next time we will indeed put Foreign Affairs at the top of the List of areas to have full control over, as any normal Country has control over, as at present there is little reflection of Scotland’s wishes and aspirations as expressed by its electorate in evidence in this area.

    The reality is Scotland has .been deemed competent enough to take on Gaelic road signs, perhaps if we have full control in this area, we should start fighting back in this area … as for sure under the current colonial approach to governing North Britain (which principally comprises ignoring the democratic wishes of the electorate) tha sinn air rathad gu àite sam bith.

  4. Pingback: How bad could it be? | speymouth

  5. There is something fundimundelly wrong with the SOSfS’s statement but I can’t quite put my finger on it (coz, frankly, I don’t want to).

    Even past Tory SOSfSs like Forsyth, have stood up for Scotland on occasions but this one… yech!

  6. Just more British nationalist lies. Their incompetence continues to damage Scotland. Independence is the only answer.

  7. Excellent Macart.

    It’s always fascinating to witness how the right wing attempt to justify taking money from the poor, squeezing them until the pips squeak, telling everyone there’s no other way to do save, and save what? who knows. It’s not rocket science to work out that any money taken out of peoples’ pockets is a bad economic act. If people have money to spend it keeps things ticking over if not actually keeping the merry go round turning, like a cog, the engines needed to keep society functioning.

    What we musn’t forget is that any money taken from the people, say via UKgov’s ‘benefits’ sanctions, bedroom tax, and other financial attacks on the poorest, is money taken out of local economies in Scotland, which will have a knock on effect on Scotland’s wider economy. The Scottish government are then having to try plugging that gap with little fiscal leaway.

    For the likes of Tory leader, untRuth complaining about paying £20 a month more in tax, from her what, £100k wages paid out of the public purse, is sickening to the core. Her disgusting party are literally starving people and in England removing life chances of kids by punishing their parents and them for being poor. Utterly despicable.

    Dread to think what Scotland would be like if a Britnat unionist party was at the helm right now. They kept Scotland poor and begging for a very long time, while removing Scotland’s vast resouces and wealth. During Labour’s watch at Holyrood in 2006/7 they sent back £1.5 billion to Westminster saying, ‘can’t find anything to spend it on in Scotland’. Not even health, infrastructure, education, building homes? No, nothing to spend it on! Have never trusted them since, not one tiny bit.

    To repair 100’s of years of Britnat rule is going to take more than a few years. SNPGov are doing an ace job, as you say Macart against massive odds, working within constraints of Britnat rule. Devolution light and if Westminster get their way, it will be devolution skinned to the bone, if we are lucky and they don’t just scrap Holyrood altogether.

    Taking the absolute rip out of Scotland with devolution really, taking Scotland’s revenues and resources, and throwing a few crumbs back, calling it a grant and telling Scotland to be grateful, too poor too wee too stupid. It can’t continue.

    • Not forgetting the massive debt that Labour landed Scotland with in their short few years when in control at Holyrood. The trams fiasco, PFI, schools and hospitals etc built for profit of private companies. Now millions/billions £s debt to be paid from council cash strapped coffers. Labour are a disgrace, never let them away with slagging the SNP for anything relating to making important fiscal choices.

      • 17 schools in Edinburgh, hetty, PPI’d under Labour and Chancellor Broon falling down, death traps.
        The original builders and the PPI Company are not doing the repairs. EDC is.
        Surely reason enough to tear up their PFI contracts and return the schools to LA ownership?
        But no, some smart feckin’ lawyer from the Caymans will sue.

    • It’s worse than folk think. It’s purely dishonest Hetty. Scotland’s economic performance in comparison to…. whoever. It’s laughable nonsense.

      Firstly, Scotland’s economy IS the UK’s economy. They can’t keep bleating about a single UK market, but take Scotland out of the equation to suit. Secondly, the Scottish government do not have the full powers of state to manage an economy. It is simply dishonest to compare a Scottish governments handling of miniscule fiscal competences with other independent states who do.

      Basically every comparator soundbite they use on the subject is critically flawed, given without context and designed to belittle. As I said in post, if a Scottish government in full command of all the powers to manage an economy screws up, or under performs there’ll be a case for such headlines. Until then it’s just disingenuous guff.

      • You’re right, Sam. I can’t even be bothered commenting on the ‘guff’ this little traitor utters about ‘Scotland’s’ economy.
        England starves a million school kids, 51 young Londoners were brutally murdered in the first three months of this year, NHS England is in meltdown, and Mundell, who has hindered Scotland’s progress at every turn, gets airtime and column inches to bad mouth the land of his birth.
        A modern day Lord Haw Haw. We shall remember these traitors come Independence Day.
        ‘Nuf said on this insignificant little twerp.

        • You are right Jack there should be consequences for those non patriot types come independence.

          I fully support serious action against the many who stood against Scotland may give them cause for thought.

  8. Very clear post Sam.

    There has been a lot about this issue over the last couple of years. Despite the fact we have little control of our economy here is a list of good news about our businesses.

    Have a look at a few of them. There is one on the daftness of GDP. It only tells us what we have bought and sold. It is also totally impossible to know this figure for Scotland. So GDP and GERS are at best lies or guesses.

      • Andy, in August 2016, in the aftermath of a totally unexpected Leave vote, the Bank of England (sic) gave the Banks $50 billion in QE Funny Money, plus £10 billion A MONTH in trading bonds, in order to provide cheaper loans to business and individuals.
        So the City is booming on the back of Magic Money Tree Money.
        Bloated with this bonus the ‘performance’ of London’s and the South East’s economies falsely inflate the performance of the rest of England.
        Mundell stood by saying nothing, doing nothing, as England asset strips his own country.
        Whether it be 4000 Scots HMRC jobs being ‘relocated’ to the new mega centre in Crawley (Boris’ pound in Crawley speech), or the premature Tory cancellation of Scotland’s renewable energy research subsidies, this little toady has said nothing, did nothing, and obscenely backs his WM Masters’ destruction of Scotland’s economy, infrastructure and society.
        This fucking little oik believes that he has more of a duty to protect Lincoln’s fruit pickers than lift a finger for Scotland.

        I’m beilin’ now.
        Oh, how I am going to party when we send this lot packing back to their Motherland.

  9. A good read Sam , Long since given up believing anything our Scottish media churn out , its repeat , repeat , repeat . This background noise is only to try and reinforce the grip on our house Jocks the ones who believe they are valued and respected by the English establishment , its going to be tears before bedtime when they finally realise how they have been lied to.

    In the meantime we have interlopers on every Indy supporting site trying to sow seeds of doubt , check any site and there they are using this lull in the proceedings to erode from within , most folk realise that the British state is indeed involved in this effort to cause disruption if they weren’t they wouldn’t be doing their job .

    Indy Ref 2 is happening and at a time of our choosing , never mind this not now pish , we don’t need permission and this simple fact has to be passed on to ordinary people. The Scottish People are Sovereign not Westminster.

    • There is, with one exception, no such thing as Scottish media. They are all owned, controlled and run by the English. This is also the case with the EBC and STV. These foreign owners have no care or consideration for the Scottish people, and spend their time acting as propaganda units for the English government and their big business bosses.

  10. A bit o/t – Just popped in to have a look at the coverage of the Commonwealth games- As usual presented by the English- for the English- about the English- and paid for by everyone else .
    Makes you feel oh so proud to be a part of this great country eh , bloody farce and the proud Jocks can’t see it .

  11. Big boots being filled well as usual Sam – but I did blush at being included on this prestigious site!

    Robert Graham – spot on , same as the Glasgow games and that ‘quake’ – which remains UNFORGIVEN in my book!

  12. David Mundell the secretary of getting intae a ‘state’ for Scotland every time he is interviewed.

    His inability to articulate a sentence is proof enough , to me, that when the going gets tough Fluffy gets shifty. In fact if the going gets really tough then Fluffy get’s as far away as possible and is missing in inaction .The only time he says anything about Scotland is when he is dissing the SNP, other than that he is of no bloody use to man nor beast to the country he misrepresents in the HOC.

    The only thing keeping him in his job is that he has proven to his masters at HQ that he is able to actively work against Scotland’s interests and has helped support HQ with the blatant suppression of all things Scottish .

    A useful idiot , expendable when Ruth D gets her safe seat, and I would not be surprised if he was rewarded with a shitehood for being yet another renegade selling his soul to gain the ‘ultimate’ political unionist prize of money for nothing i.e. sitting (sleeping) in HOL while getting our hard earned dosh for talking ill informed and biased shite….in between naps.

    Sure he will enjoy joining Forsyth and Lang in talking down Scotland….it’s what they have always done and still do best.

    Obvious that in his constituency the votes were for the party NOT the man, because no one would seriously vote for him because of his political acumen. Should he write his memoirs I am sure an apt title would be ‘Sweet Fanny Adams…my political life’.

    Oh and Samuel your post is ,as usual , well written and enjoyable. Good job as per.

    • As I alluded to in my last post, the guy just talks shite.
      However, since the Scottish Unionist epitome of success is literally to suck cess and then regurgitate it on command I suppose that is not entirely surprising.

    • Lol Jack.

      Come next election you can read my biography on him published post next GE .

      Mundell…My part in his downfall….long overdue.

      Book will have 500 pages….with only one page that has text….and that page will be me describing how/why I actively campaigned to get his sorry arse out . The other 499 pages readers can fill in the blanks….just like his political life….too many blanks and not enough content.

      • C57, Remember and include a free pack of Crayons for the Listory Boys, Murdo, Prof Tomkins,, Jamie Greene, Ross Thomson, James Kelly, Wee Wullie Winkie, and the rest.

  13. What desperate dross Gordon, Hutcheon and Torrance are churning out in the columns of Herald Britland.
    Not long now, guys.

    I’m sre that the Findo Gask Thunderer is still looking for commission only advertising ‘sales executives’.
    Of all the things that are wrong with Britain today,you lot continue to turn out SNP BAD dross.

    Grow a pair.
    Get a proper job.
    Your ‘paper is dying, yet still you pick at the scabs.

    Still the Ranjurs and Sellick knuckledraggers will keep you alive for a few more months.

    If the adverts on the online version are anything to go by, the Findo Gask Thunderer already has more sponsors than your Blah.

    Flogging 241 pre-theatre meals at Don Munchalotti’s Italian Bistro is not going to pay the wages.

    After 4 years of drone drone drone, are you not getting a bit sick of hearing your own moaning voices?

  14. OT but worth noting in a day when the Daily Mail and Willie Rennie lie about the BADSNP not helping coonsils wi’ potholes, Wullie’s specialist subject.

    Yesterday Andrew Marr featured the needless deaths of 51 young people in London in the first 3 months of this year.

    As usual his programme attempted to lump Scotland in with this peculiarly London problem.
    Most of the deaths are inter gang warfare among young blacks who are the victims of the Blue Tories Austerity Britain stuck in the heart of the over bloated SE and London bubble.
    Poor education, no prospects of work, affordable housing, and ghettoised .
    Yet the problem is described as a ‘UK’ problem?
    Aye, right.

    This from the Guardian 3rd December 2017 before the current slaughter began.

    ‘Between April 2006 and April 2011, 40 children and teenagers were killed in homicides involving a knife in Scotland; between 2011 and 2016, that figure fell to just eight. The decline has been most precipitous in Glasgow, which once had one of the highest murder rates in western Europe. Between 2006 and 2011, 15 children and teenagers were killed with knives in Scotland’s largest city; between April 2011 and April 2016, none were.’

    ‘The number of people carrying knives also appears to have declined across Scotland. According to figures from Police Scotland, there were 10,110 recorded incidents of handling an offensive weapon in 2006-07, a figure which fell to 3,111 in 2015-16 – a decline of 69% in a decade.’

    Yet nary a mention on that ProudScotBut Marr’s programme of lessons that could be learned from the sterling work our Police, and support services and educationalists have done to tackle violent crime, particularly amongst youngsters.

    This from Police Scotland 2016-2017 Stats:-

    In 2016-17:
    50% of victims were killed using a sharp instrument
    – 94% of which involved a knife

    17% of victims were killed by hitting and kicking

    2% of victims were killed by shooting

    67% of homicides occurred in a residential location
    – 85% of which occurred in a dwelling

    30% of homicides occurred on a street or footpath

    The remaining 3% occurred in a public place indoors

    In the last ten years:

    The number of homicide victims has fallen by 44%

    The number of those accused of homicide fell by 48%

    The homicide rate has fallen from 22 – 12 victims per million population

    Victims 64 , half the number slain in 2009-2010.

    48 (Male) 16 (Female)

    Age under 16

    16 to 20

    21 to 30

    31 to 50

    51 and over

    Half of male victims were killed by an acquaintance

    Most female victims were killed either by a partner / ex-partner or an acquaintance
    57% of female victims

    Number Accused 77
    68 (Male) 9 (Female)
    Under 16

    16 to 20
    21 to 30
    31 to 50
    51 and over
    Yet according to Wullie Rennie Police Scotland are shite.
    Only sayin’, like.
    Oor Polis whit are they like?
    One death is a loss too many of course.

    • Agreed Jack ever since this became headline news in England ,
      The Met Commissioners visit to Police Scotland to gather information on how they were tackling knife crime the Met was amongst other police forces New York and Canadian forces ,any and all reference to any success is omitted .
      Any reference to the visit has disappeared from our very own BBC in Scotland only to be replaced by a Fact free Tory rant ,
      And as you point out both labour and Tory refer to it as a U.K. wide phenomenon , Unionist parties can’t bring themselves to admit things are done a little differently here just like the Health Service this isn’t by accident is part of the ongoing attempted brainwashing of Scots .
      They work on this 24/7 it’s relentless, if it’s pointed out well it’s tin hat time and we are all nuts , an occasional slip ok that’s fine but every bloody item that’s out and out propaganda .
      A party with 20% support of the voting public gets a free hand and 99% of the unquestioning media coverage seems only fair eh ? . I believe that there is a term for that situation now what is it . Oh Scotland that’s it , mushroom land .

      • Indeed, Robert.
        Potholes and pissoirs.

        That’s about Rennie’s, Findlay’s, Leonard’s and Davidson’s stretch; and we pay them a six figure package plus pension to attempt to ruin Scotland.

        And the Scoops of the Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls? SNP BAD; the only game in town.
        We don’t get news, we get Red Blue and Yellow Brit Nat Press Releases and lies, with ‘critics say’ appended to the daily deluge of anti Scottish filth by the overpriced but soon to be extinct hacks.
        Never can any country in modern times in the so called democratic world been kept in subjugation and suppression by state engineered control of the Establishment.

  15. Tory austerity is about to hit the county of Angus. The Tory council are about to end free parking in the local car parks and limit free on street parking to 15 minutes.

    • It’s the Blue and Red Tory Way, m boyd.
      Everything at a price.
      Their local MSP on the List, Murdo The Queen’s Eleven Fraser, the biggest political failure in Scottish History, suggested a toll booth on the New Queensferry Crossing so that his pals in their Land Rovers and Beamers would have a congestion free journey to and fro the Capital.
      The Red and Blue Tory principle. is to sell off publicly owned assets to their relatives and pals at a whopping discount, and watch the party donations flow in.

      They would install weighing machines and piss meters in Public Conveniences and charge by the volume of our discharge if they could get away with it. Maggie tried to tax us for merely breathing..

      I have no words to describe my utter contempt for the PFI privateers.
      Their only role in life is to destroy civic society. If you can’t pay, starve, freeze, do without, die at home.
      As I observe, come Independence, I’ll dance a jig to MacPherson’s Lament on their gravestone.

      • I agree with everything you say but Murdo is in Perthshire as a list MSP. I have to put up with him in my village occasionally trying to garner the rUK Tory vote from the incomers.

        • I meant ‘local’ to Queensferry, m boyd. Sorry to confuse.
          They’re everywhere flogging the Family Silver to their pals and relatives.
          I wonder who will get the Car Park contract?

  16. Now we know that Herald Britland is on life support. Two grizzled old septuagenarian gruntfuttocks, Jim Sillars and Billy Connolly feature online today bad mouthing the Self Determination Movement by unfounded insults.
    Jim, the Self Determination movement is not turning in on itself, as your headline ‘admits’ implies. To whom were you ‘admitting’ this unsubstantiated rubbish ? The hack from Herald Britland who gleefully recorded the ramblings of a tired old warrior?
    Connolly, the self styled Laird o’ Cockpen, observes that Scottish folk blame the English for everything, just because they are English and we are Scottish?
    Sad end to a career, insulting yer ain folk.

    Not long now before the plug is pulled on this once proud Thunderer.

    I’d back the House on Michelle Mone featuring soon.
    Fill the pages with personalities and a few hundred words about nothing at all.

    What a pointless vacuous Ranjurs and Sellick rag this Blah has become.

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