Independence beckons

Well that’s it. The United Kingdom has died. The Conservatives killed it. It’s all over bar the screaming. It’s all over for any hope of stopping Brexit. It’s all over for the Labour party. It’s all over for the Lib Dem’s hopes of being a relevant political force. It’s all over for the Conservatives’ claim to represent the entire UK. It’s all over for the UK. Yesterday’s election was the death knell of this so called precious union that is no union at all. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was given the mandate that he craved from the electorate in England and Wales, but Scotland said no. We told the Tories again, and they’re still not listening.

An independence referendum and Scottish independence is now the only way to prevent Scotland being lost to a Tory Brexit and to years and years of Boris Johnson’s unfettered rule. It’s the only way to defend our NHS from a trade deal with Trump. It’s the only way to protect the weak, the vulnerable, the poor, and the sick.  It’s the only way to protect the post-war settlement that underpins those supposedly British values that so many No voters in 2014 thought they were voting for.

Politically Scotland and England are not merely different countries, we’re different worlds. Scotland showed that it aspires to be a normal social democratic northern European nation, England voted for the kind of right wing authoritarian populism that wouldn’t be out of place in Eastern Europe. The UK is no longer sustainable. Those Scots who consoled themselves with the myths of Britishness have had their comfort blanket ripped from them, exposing the naked truth of a Scotland that’s a possession of Tory nightmares. The Conservatives are calling themselves One Nation Conservatives, they don’t mean Scotland where the SNP pretty much swept the board. They don’t mean Northern Ireland where for the first time nationalist MPs outnumber unionists. They mean Greater England.

The highlight of the night for those of us who stayed up was the victory for Amy Callaghan in East Dunbartonshire, defeating Jo Swinson. Since the Lib Dem vote managed to hold up elsewhere in Scotland, this was a personal verdict on Jo Swinson from her own constituents. And in her speech she displayed all the reasons why she was unfit for leadership as she embarked on a cack handed excuse in ill grace, equating the desire for self-determination in Scotland, the desire to be a part of Europe, with the xenophobia of Brexit. I’m glad she’s gone. Still, it’s not all bad for her. At least she no longer has to pretend that she lives in Milngavie.

Labour’s result was a disaster. Seat after seat that had once been solid Labour in the north of England fell to the Tories. Their vote collapsed across the whole UK. They are no longer politically significant in Scotland. Ian Murray is lonely again. The left in Scotland can no longer tell itself that there is a British path to socialism. There has only been one Labour victor in a general election in the past 40 years, and that was Tony Blair. It ought to be obvious by now that the only way that Labour can be elected in England is by aping the Conservatives. If you seek genuine left of centre politics, the only realistic option is an independent Scotland. Calls to solidarity sound hollow when Scotland’s solidarity with the working class in England is responded to with a kick in the groin. Labour’s solidarity is a suicide pact.

48 MPs for the SNP (including the election of Neale Hanvey in Kirkcaldy) was an overwhelming vindication of the strategy of Nicola Sturgeon. It ought to silence those who criticised her strategy – although it probably won’t. The only pro-independence party with any realistic chance of winning seats made gains across the board, seeing its vote tally rise even in those seats that they failed to take. Tory majorities that had been in the many thousands were slashed to the bone. This election showed conclusively that the electorate in Scotland will respond positively and enthusiastically to a pro-independence message. This election will embolden the SNP to be more assertive and ballsy about pursuing the right to self-determination in the months ahead. There is now a fourth mandate for another independence referendum.

The Tories in Scotland have had their fig leaf of excuses torn away. It wasn’t just the SNP which made this election about independence, it was all that the Conservatives in Scotland mentioned – to the exclusion of Brexit. Their leaflets and information made it very clear that a vote for Nicola Sturgeon was a vote for another independence referendum. The Tories in Scotland campaigned on one single issue, the rejection of an independence referendum. And they lost. They lost badly. Scotland voted for the party that does want an independence referendum. The Tories need to be reminded of that at every opportunity, because it’s not just Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s opinions which need to be set in stone. Scotland just voted for Nicola Sturgeon and stripped the Conservatives of over half their seats in Scotland. Scotland just voted for another independence referendum. Jackson Carlaw said so. He’s the one who stomped about the TV studios telling voters in Scotland to “tell her again”. Well we did tell her again Jackson, just not the way you wanted us to.

Brexit is now going to happen. It can no longer be avoided. There will be no EU referendum and the UK will leave the EU at the end of January, taking an unwilling and angry Scotland with it. There is now no longer any possibility of dreaming of a Corbynista future in the UK. We can expect to see an increase in support for independence in opinion polls. We can expect to see consistent majorities for independence from now on. We can also expect to see a Scottish Government and a wider Yes movement which is energised and assertive in pursuit of the claim of Scottish rights. The SNP’s vote share in Scotland is greater than the Conservative vote share in the UK. If Boris Johnson claims he has a mandate to deliver Brexit, he cannot deny, he cannot be allowed to deny, that the SNP has a mandate for another independence referendum.

Boris Johnson is highly unlikely to be conciliatory. It’s not in his nature. His monumental ego will not allow him to become the last Prime Minister of the UK. He’s going to play hard ball. A sign of things to come came in his victory speech. Scotland wasn’t even mentioned. We’re the embarrassingly normal relative in a family of freaks. The metrocommentariat is already in full flow, trying to explain away the SNP mandate and tell us that it’s not really a mandate for another referendum at all. Because they understand Scotland better than we do. Right now as I am typing this, the Brexit Party’s Claire Fox is on Sky News insisting that the SNP victory doesn’t represent a demand for another independence referendum at all. She knows better than we do what we voted for. Aye. Right. And then she rails about the elites depriving the people of what they chose at the ballot box.

The SNP will demand a Section 30 order. The Scottish Government will assert the right of the people of Scotland to decide our own future. Nicola Sturgeon has been given the moral and political capital by the people of Scotland to make that assertion. But Johnson will refuse. He’ll refuse because he knows, just as Jackson Carlaw knows, that the only way that he can only resist Scottish independence for as long as he can resist another referendum.

There will now be a direct collision between Boris Johnson and Scotland. It’s up to us in the Yes movement, and to the Scottish Government, to capitalise politically on that refusal. We need to keep insisting, to refuse to take no for an answer. We cannot and will not accept that Boris Johnson has a political or moral right to refuse the legimitate demand of the people of Scotland to determine their own future. His refusal will only prove that this UK is not a union, that the UK is not a partnership of nations, that we cannot have true democracy in Scotland if a Prime Minister we didn’t vote for has a veto on our future. We must ensure that there will be widespread public support in Scotland for the pursuit of alternative strategies.

2020 is going to be a busy year for the Yes movement. There is a path out of the darkness of Boris Johnson’s Brexit Britain. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Independence beckons.

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80 thoughts on “Independence beckons

  1. The Tories won (although they shouldn’t have), the UK will leave the EU (as it should) and the natural anti-neoliberal Party, Labour, will wonder why they are not in office.

    They should start with their Brexit position, which will lead them to the Blairites and the cosmopolitans, and that should cause the Party to take action and clean out this element.

    They wont and as a consequence will stay out of office while blethering on about fake news, BBC bias and all the rest of it.

    And when the UK doesn’t fall into the North Sea after leaving the EU, then it might become clear to them what all this was about. Money; the ability of a country with a fiat currency to create capital without incurring debt or issuing government bonds. The Magic Money Tree – MMT or Modern Monetary Theory.

    It’s a different game now, Paul with very different rules. Scotland has a choice with independence – which I fully support. Remain within the UK sterling model and although the UK government can NEVER run out of money, we’ll still be using a begging bowl to get a share. Declare independence and issue a new Scottish pound – and take advantage of the powers and freedoms an MMT based economy can undoubtedly create. Or declare independence and join the EU and Euro – but this is NOT a fiat currency – and we’re back to the same arrangements as before, except our parters now number twenty seven instead of three, with all the attendant risks and complications. My preference would be for the second option.

    This was an excellent election result in Scotland and it’s given a sense of hope and self belief. Try and familiarise yourself with MMT and currency expansion and you’ll realise that creating money isn’t a problem for any sovereign country.

    • You’re spot on about currency: our own fiat currency is essential and if anyone is in doubt about how we can safely transition from sterling, it’s all laid out in layman’s terms in the currency chapter of Robin MacAlpine’s splendid book ‘How to Start a Country from Scratch’.

      I think it’s essential that all SNP spokespeople should get basic instruction in macroeconommics and how currency actually works. This would avoid being tripped up in interviews and being demolished in debates. A job for Robin?

      • Yes I would love to see someone knowledgeable speaking in a debate with politicians when they try to justify austerity or spending restrictions. I sincerely hope this is not intrusive or off topic – but it’s essential to try and understand what this actually means in a practical sense. I’ve posted this video on a previous page, but for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet – sit down, forget everything you think you know about money and take twenty minutes to educate yourself how the world really works..

        • Mark – you would also need Mark Blyth to talk about the toxicity of austerity and Richard Werner about the proper function of banking

  2. I am of the opinion that all the ranting and gnashing of teeth that went in Wings Over Scotland put the brakes on the SNP doing themselves even more damage. Congratulations are in order to Neale Harvey who clearly won on his own merits. He’ll be a tremendous asset whether inside the SNP or not.

    In retrospect the SNP strategy of “Stop Brexit” seems to have been inspired. With the Labour Party in shreds the only credible way to EU membership in the next 10+ years is through an independent Scotland. There is simply no other choice.

    Clearly bold action is now required. The time for whining is definitely over.

    • Agreed, Stuart – although we disagree about the sagacity of joining the EU for the reasons stated above. I do hope we don’t get dragged into the anti-semitism arguments. I think most people will already have figured out what’s motivating this process – and eventually the world will confront the Zionist ideology – just as it has with Capitalism, Communism, Marxism, Fascism – and all the other parochial movements humanity has invented in its time. I have just as much sympathy for the Jewish people as for the Palestinians – in some ways, even more. It’s worth remembering what ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’ really infers.

      99.9% of people on this planet want no more than a good meal, warm bed and kind friends – with the freedom to enjoy this amazing place and she the experience with each other. The other 0.01% are greedy, psychopathic wankers, who are determined that will never happen.

      I’m a big fan of democracy. 🙂

    • You are actually stating that WOS should take some credit for the election result. Total nonsense. WOS said Sturgeon was a liar and should also resign. WOS continually criticised the SNP. Next thing you will be saying the Daily Mail and the Daily Express should be given some credit for continually slagging off the SNP.

      The most ridiculous statement I have read about this election and that takes some doing considering the nonsense spouted by the Britnats over the result being no mandate for Indyref2.

      • Cubby, you’re reading too much into what I said. I said nothing of the sort. After Harvey got successfully deselected I am sure others were next – after all, accusing someone of anti-semitism is a winning strategy. Perhaps, just perhaps, somebody thought that now was not the time. Nothing more was heard from the “woke” faction in the party – why was that?

        As for all the other stuff about resignations, etc. Clearly that didn’t help in the slightest.

        • Oh I think that’s what you said.

          You are just not happy that someone calls you out on it. Sick of the so called independence supporters who continually slag off the SNP. Do we not have enough with all the print media (except the National ) and broadcasters pumping out propaganda against independence and the SNP.

          Why don’t you try criticising the Britnats ignoring a democratic vote. Try it out it will make a change from criticising the SNP.

          • Well said, Cubby, it might even be a start if Stuart MacKay realised the correct name of ‘Mr Hanvey’ – who he keeps calling Harvey!!

            Wings will take a long time before I forgive him for his antics just before the GE, and his latest post shows no sign of regret.

          • It costs nothing to read, I will never again financially support Wings unless I see changes in his attitude to the SNP. Why should I provide my good cash for him to blacken the only party capable of getting Indy?

  3. I wonder how many subscribers have deserted Stu Campbell since his tack to blaming Nicola Sturgeon for all the ills in Scotland. I certainly no longer automatically go to his site as a first choice because of his gratuitous complaints about the SNP. Thanks for keeping the faith Paul.

    • How dare anyone criticise Nicola or the SNP. Shocking I tell ye, shocking.

      Grow up, neither is Nicola a dictator nor the SNP a cult.

      They are open to criticism whether you like it or not.

      • Beware of dead cats being thrown on the table. The Britnats will exploit any division they see in the Yes movement. They will be infiltrating blogs disguised as yessers but their real intent is to sow discord and division. I don’t subscribe to WOS….my suspicion is that it has already been infiltrated. The Britnats will employ any tools they can to divide politically and even along religious lines. Scotland could be vulnerable to religious divisions so beware these people will be desperate. If you smell a dead cat then be suspicious. They have their backs to the wall and will play every dirty trick in the book. Unite behind the SNP!! You will be able to express your political views in the first Scottish General Election after independence, then you will have a choice of parties to choose from or start your own party or run as an independent. Let’s stay tight and win the fight.

    • Same re WoS, sadly.

      Great article Paul. Scotland has sent a clear message to London/Eng gov and to the world.
      Scotland is on a life affirming, forward looking path, and wants nothing to do with the far right wing, damaging, unequal, narrow English nationalist path.

      Time to let go of Scotland, England, we can still be pals and even help you out with some water or oil money when the s**t hits the fan for you’s.

      Not gloating though, feel very mixed about this GE, delighted for Scotland and the SNP, and worried and sad for the good people of England who did not vote Tory and who do not want Brexit. ( Engexit).

  4. Events in Ireland have only enhanced the idea that the current constitutional arrangements within the British state are coming to an end.
    Labour unionists in Scotland will now realise that the only way to achieve social democracy in our country is to separate ourselves from a Westminster government which is pursuing a far right agenda which has been ongoing for 40 years.
    Corbyn’s legacy.
    When the Tories start screaming,as they will,about a once in a generation event,remind them that their 5 year fixed term parliament promises resulted in 3 elections in the last 5 years.
    Plebiscites are required on a regular basis because circumstances and majority opinion changes and attempts to block that process are in effect dictatorship.
    Hopefully democrats in Scotland will take note.

  5. >>Those Scots who consoled themselves with the myths of Britishness have had their comfort blanket ripped from them, exposing the naked truth of a Scotland that’s a possession of Tory nightmares.

    There is now a grieving process going on for decent unionists. The Brexit they never wanted is happening, the independence they feared in 2014 and wished had gone away is now more likely. We need to be compassionate with them, gently (not mockingly, or triumphantly), showing them a better way, and giving them a bit of space at this time.

    There is almost nothing now that can reverse the process of unionist switching, except the UK government treating Scotland with respect (never going to happen) or us acting like bellends towards them.

    • Quite – 3 unionists friends who lent their vote to the SNP in Aberdeen South to defeat the Tory candidate will be as you describe, Craig.

  6. This is exactly the result I was hoping for – a clear victory for Bojo the clown down south, the decimation of unionist parties in Scotland, a significant increase in SNP MPs and a bigger %age share of the vote for the SNP here than Bojo has down south, and hence Nicola wins the argument of who has the better mandate (the latest in a long line of mandates!) The muddy waters have finally cleared for Nicola. She won’t have to walk a tightrope with a minority government in power. Now it’s a straight slugging it out match between her and him and two diametrically opposed ideologies and visions of the future – and I know who my money’s on!!!

    And I see our two best vote winners – Bojo and Trump – have already kicked off our 2020 independence campaign by saying we’re definitely brexiting on 31 January and there will be the mother of all trade deals. They just can’t help themselves!

  7. Well said Paul. 🙂

    Something cheery to think about. If we go to a referendum (of any kind), then something to remember. Unlike a GE, resident EU citizens (regardless of point of origin) and 16-17yr olds have a vote. 🙂

    IF we head down the referendum route…

      • Heh. Don’t doubt the intention of the FM mumsy. The ballot and the standing precedent are always the preferred option.

        Can’t say as I could trust the other fella down the road tho. He has a bit of a track record on being the unreliable type when it comes to democracy. Also. Pretty sure he’ll be aware of both how public opinion and legal systems work by this point. International diplomacy… Probably not so much.

        He now has a choice to make and one which both the public and continental neighbours will be/should be watching with great interest.

  8. Haha – excellent quote on the Scottish Covenant Facebook page :

    “You are either on my side, by my side, or in my f***ing way. Choose wisely.)


  9. Indeed a great election for the SNP. Unfortunately they failed to remove Jack and Mundell in the south but the SNP vote did increase so there was some comfort there. I don’t have the figures, but the overall non SNP/Greens vote may be a little larger than that for the independence parties. Such is the way of the First Past The Post system. So it looks like we’re still around the 50/50 yes/no situation. It makes me nervous about calling indyref2 too soon. If it’s late in 2020 then that gives us a year to do some convincing. Independence is not won yet…

    • Hasn’t that been the plan all along, late 2020?

      As to the 50/50 situation, if it is as balanced as that then what effect does adding in 16/17 yo and EU citizens make?

      Agreed Independence not even close to being won but the starting gun was fired last night whether we’re ready or not!

      • Yes the 16/17 year olds and Eu citizens should make a difference. The signs are positive, especially with the electioneering time until late 2020.

    • Och, john, don’t fall into the Brit Nat trap that everybody who voted Labour LD and Tory yesterday would vote No in the now inevitable Indyref2020.

      That’s what the long line of List MSPs and old Brit Nat Has Beens on BBC Jockland’s couches would have us believe.
      ‘I voted for a UK Party in this election’ , does not automatically transcribe to a No to the Referendum question, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’

      The Brit Nats tried to ‘frighten’ Scots into voting for the most fascist Brit Government since Oliver Cromwell by dangling the ‘threat’ of Scotland dissolving their precious Union.

      It backfired severely.

      Jamie Green, Two Jobs WATP Adam Tomkins, Annie Wells, a sad wee bunch of unelected List Tories, old Gravy Trainers like Ian Davidson, who would bayonet all us Indies, a sad queue of ProudScotsButters, and feckin’ Kezia Dugdale, prompted by Glenn and Martin, and Toodle Oo , droned on all through the night insisting that when Johnson says No to Indyref 2,then that the matter closed.
      Aye, right.

      We witnessed many demises last night,but none as stark as the death of BBC Jockland.

      They cannot stop us now.
      And the vermillion faced Carlaw and the Red Shop Steward Leonard, an wee Wullie, know this.

      Scotland produced an SNP landslide.
      It has begun, Watson.

  10. “Calls to solidarity sound hollow when Scotland’s solidarity with the working class in England is responded to with a kick in the groin. Labour’s solidarity is a suicide pact.”

    They’re kicking themselves in the groin, Paul. Vox pops this morning with several working-class voters in the Blyth Valley area (former mining towns that were shafted by Thatcher). A couple of older guys openly admitting to the interviewer that they voted Tory, readily accepting that they’d have their dads and grandads spinning in their graves.

    I feel no solidarity with those people. Like you say, they don’t just live in a different country — they live in a different world.

  11. Would someone PLEASE knock on the head the fallacious statement that was regurgitated endlessly by unionist ostriches last night that ”we were all promised that the referendum was a once in a generation vote ” !
    Even SNP spokespeople did not counter this claim when it was dropped into the conversation by ashen-faced Tories as they saw their seats disappear ( or perhaps they were terrified at the horrific thought of 50+ SNP seats and Ruth Davidson disrobing on the banks of Loch Ness ).

    The Scottish Tories started this after the 2015 election , saying that ‘Alex Salmond promised it would be once in a generation ” , now it has seemingly segued into a claim that it was on the side of a bus and on every election hoarding in the country and was quoted by every SNP activist on the doorstep !
    I can find one , off-the-cuff remark by Alex Salmond which referred to this , as he simply emphasised the importance of the referendum in 2014.
    It was NOT in the Edinburgh Agreement , it was NOT in leaflets , it was NOT in TV adverts , it was NOT raised by any Unionist , not even by Jackdaw Carlot !

    Time to challenge this EVERY time it is raised .

    • You missed one of the most ludicrous assertions regarding the ‘ once in a generation ‘ remark by AS. Boris himself claimed that it was the Tory party that had promised it was a once in a generation referendum and that he intended to keep that promise. I know, that would be a first.

      The Edinburgh Agreement is the best thing to have handy when faced with this question. It clearly states that the agreement doesn’t prevent another referendum if we choose to have one. Signed by all party’s including the Tory’s.

  12. The leader of the tories in Scotland said ‘ The Union is on the Ballot’, they lost bigtime.
    Carless jackass quote has to be used now to counter the once in a lifetime.
    New mandate in the GE says SNP won it in Scotland.

  13. Words in large block capitals on the whole of the front page of Tory leaflet received on Wednesday:

    Important information

    On, Thursday,you will decide whether or not there is another independence referendum.

    There’s only one way to stop it.

    Vote Conservative.

    On the reverse of the page again in large block capitals:

    Don’t let Scotland sleepwalk into Indyref2

    Also: SNP election win would be instruction for Indyref2, says Sturgeon

    The Tories are going down the route of the Republicans in the USA – just deny the the facts and the truth. We need to get out of this prison called the UK.

  14. The vote in England totally destroyed Britnat Labour in Scotland’s old argument of just one more heave and we will get a Labour government and all our troubles and worries will be sorted. It was nonsense before the election and surely even the dimmest of Labour voters in Scotland can now see that only an independent Scotland can deliver a fair, decent and prosperous Scotland.

  15. Thanks for all your hard work Paul and keeping it real ! Yesterdays great Result was in part your Making ,with such a positive attitude, your Skill of writing, and a focus on the endgame .Your doing a great JoB Mate

  16. Theresa May said in the Westminster Parliament that if the SNP got over 50% of the elected members from Scotland, Scotland could have its independence. The Tory party seems to have conveniently forgotten that.

  17. It feels as though we have actually left the UK and all that’s left to do is go through the formalities and bid England and Wales farewell. Lingering on is in nobody’s interests.

  18. It’s pretty sickening to hear all the Britnat media and all the Britnat politicians saying there is no mandate for Indyref2. Just how many elections do the SNP need to win to get a referendum. You don’t hear the same people saying Johnson hasn’t got a mandate for Brexit because he didn’t get >50%.

    It’s a faux democracy in Scotland. Time to terminate the Treaty of Union. Its never been a democracy for Scotland.

  19. Can I ask a question? Did anyone see Mark Carney giving evidence to a select committee years ago about Scotland’s GDP v what we get back in the block grant? I seem to remember what we made outstripping what we got but can I find the video again? I am trying to convince people that we can stand on our own two feet and would like to post it here in Orkney. Thanks if you can help.

  20. Toodle Oo The Noo live on the Ministry of truth.
    Johnson has already said no to NS on the phone, and, well, that’s it, because Taylor announced that there is no legal route for Scotland to secure a referendum.
    A big fat lie, of course.

  21. Scotland raises £63Billion in tax revenues. The UK raises £661Billion . Take £63Billion from £661Billion = £598Billion . Divide by 11. Scotland 1/12 by population. £54Billion. Scotland raises £9Billion more pro rata. Scotland pays (UK) Gov pensions and benefits from revenues raised.

    The Block Grant on average is £30Billion. It has been cut every year percentage wise since 2010. Austerity. It is now £3Billion+ short. Despite Scotland tax revenues rising every year. More pro rata is spent on Education/NHS benefits. To mitigate austerity.

    The ConDems cut Education/NHS (welfare) despite making promises to support them. They gave tax cuts to the wealthiest and support tax evasion. The reason for Brexit. The EU is tightening up tax evasion Laws.

    Scotland had to pay interest on loans not borrowed or spent in Scotland. £4Billion. Tax evasion costs Scotland £3Billion. Defence and Trident costs Scotland £1Billion more. Scotland can’t borrow £5Billion? to invest for growth.

    The Oil revenues were used to fund London S/E. Thatcher build Tilbury Docks and Canary Wharf funding bankers. Bankers funded the Tory Party.

    Scotland has to pay for Hinkley Point and HS2. A total waste of monies with better alternatives. Investing in the North would cut rail times and journeys throughout Britain. There could be less flights. Cut emissions.

    The Tories cannot Brexit. It would increase unemployment, mean higher Defence costs and a decline in trade with the nearest, largest market. The EU costs Scotland nothing and brings benefit.

    The EU contribution (£12Billion) does not even cover the cost of the illegal UK/US wars and the displacement of million of people. The European countries have to pick up the cost and try and sort out the mess and the migration crisis throughout Europe. The crisis caused by Westminster unionist policies,

    • Ken. It’s just BS. Seriously. The UK is a fiat currency and simply cannot run out of money. See my post above re why we are exiting the EU. The government has a Magic Money Tree and so do many others. The EU doesn’t and seeks to impose regulation on currency issuers like the UK. Where does one suppose they ‘found’ the £200 billion plus to give to the banks after the 2008 crash? They created it out of thin air by pressing a few keys on a Treasury computer. You’re thinking is what your parents and grandparents taught you – good housekeeping. It simply doesn’t apply here.

    • From the perspective of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) a government’s ability to make timely payment of its own currency is never numerically constrained by revenues from taxing and/or borrowing. Therefore the creation of a sovereign fund by purchasing assets in financial markets in no way enhances the government’s ability to meet future obligations. In fact, the entire concept of government pre-funding an unfunded liability in its currency of issue has no application whatsoever in the context of a flexible exchange rate and the modern monetary system.

      The misconception that ‘public saving’ is required to fund future public expenditure is often rehearsed in the financial media. In rejecting the notion that public surpluses create a cache of money that can be spent later we note that Government spends by crediting an account held by the commercial banks at the central bank.

      There is no revenue constraint.

      Government cheques don’t bounce!

      Additionally, taxation consists of debiting an account held by the commercial banks at the central bank.

      The funds debited are accounted for but don’t actually go anywhere nor accumulate.

      Thus is makes no sense to say that a sovereign government is saving in its own currency. Saving is an act that revenue-constrained households do to enhance their future consumption opportunities. The sacrifice of consumption now provides more funds in the future (via compounding). But the government doesn’t have to sacrifice spending now to spend in the future.

      The concept of pre-funding future liabilities does apply to fixed exchange rate regimes, as sufficient reserves must be held to facilitate guaranteed conversion features of the currency. It also applies to non-government users of a currency. Their ability to spend is a function of their revenues and reserves of that currency.

      So at the heart of the mis-perceptions about sovereign funds is the false analogy mainstream macroeconomics draws between private household budgets and the government fiscal state.

      Households, the users of the currency, must finance their spending prior to the fact. However, government, as the issuer of the currency, must spend first (credit private bank accounts) before it can subsequently tax (debit private accounts).

      Government spending is the source of the funds the private sector requires to pay its taxes and to net save and is not inherently revenue constrained.

      However, trying to squeeze the economy to generate these mythical “pools of funds” which are then allocated to the sovereign fund as if they exist is very damaging. You can think of this in two stages.

      First, the government spends less than it taxes and this leads to ever decreasing levels of net private savings (unless there is a strong positive net exports response).

      The private deficits are manifest in the public surpluses and increasingly leverage the private sector. The deteriorating private debt to income ratios which result will eventually see the system succumb to ongoing demand-draining fiscal drag through a slow-down in real activity.

      Second, while that process is going on, the Government is actually spending an equivalent amount that it is draining from the private sector (through tax revenues) in the financial and broader asset markets (domestic and abroad) buying up speculative assets including shares and real estate.

      Accordingly, creating a sovereign fund amounts to the government competing in the private equity market to fuel speculation in financial assets and distort allocations of capital.

      However, as you can see from pulling it apart, this behaviour has been grossly misrepresented as providing “future savings”. Say the sovereign government ran a £15 billion surplus in the last financial year. It could then purchase that amount of financial assets in the domestic and international capital markets. But from an accounting perspective the Government would no longer have run that surplus because the £15 billion would be recorded as spending and the fiscal position would break even.

      In these situations, the public debate should be focused on whether this is the best use of public funds. It would be hard to justify this sort of spending when basic infrastructure provision and employment creation has been ignored for many years by neo-liberal governments.

      So all we are talking about is a different portfolio of assets – and that’s why your revenue and taxation calculations aren’t applicable.

        • Yes – and Scotland can have one too, providing it retains it’s sovereignty and issues its own currency. Used responsibly, it could transform the country and set a remarkable example other nations could follow.

          • Hi Mark – I am planning to take a few days off from blogging over Christmas and the New Year, because it’s the holidays and also because I’m knackered after this election. So if you’d like to write a guest post about Modern Monetary Theory I’d be happy to publish it over the holidays. Email me at the usual address if you are interested.

  22. No person or candidate is above Independence. Even they recognise that. There are no extraordinary people. It is a community. People have to wait in line until their time. There are so many good people.

    Scotland has come such a long way in twenty years since Devolution 2000. The best is yet to come. What an achievement. Despite Westminster unionist interference.

    Why people who support Independence vote for Unionist Parties is a mystery. They do not support it. The SNP gov is total better governance. To make Scotland and the world a better place. To stay positive.

  23. It’s getting worse. On C4 news the pretentious prick that is Fraser Nelson actually says that one of the hurdles Nicola Sturgeon has to get over before she can claim to have a mandate for an independence referendum is the Alex Salmond trial. Unbelievable. What has that got to do with a democratic vote. The Britnats are desperate. The Britnat media are a disgrace.

    Democracy in the UK is a joke.

  24. Beckoning?

    The United Kingdom has died. The Conservatives killed it;
    we know that Alba/Scotland is a very different country…
    conservatives delight in “precious Union”: in their ‘writ’
    and their electorate are beneath them, whatever they cry!

    Furthermore, ‘UK’ also represents the Unravelling Kingdom,
    despite what’s internationally recognised in other words;
    gone are the times when that stood for more than ‘humdrum’!
    From their ‘House of Commons’ and even The House of Lords?

    Nowadays, what had been reverentially admired, is pitiable;
    having progressed from these higher echelons… downwards ~
    one wonders: Is Westminster dissolution really inevitable?
    Perhaps so, after the 2019 General election, it’s on cards!

    © Ewen A. Morrison 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


  25. The rehabilitation of Neale Hanvey has taken place by media. Already he is part of the 48 clearly establishing that whatever he did once a long time ago is not that important. And if that weekend Nazi Yaxley-Lennon can join the Tories, then Neale Hanvey should immediately have SNP support returned.

    • Beware the media, it was they who created this fiasco in the first place, and they’re not about to label Fifers antisemitic for so roundly electing him.
      Hanvey will be quite happy to go through due process, he is no Yaxley-Lennon..

      But… Thereafter there must be a very public discussion on whether the definition of antisemitism has been corrupted and abused for political ends, predominantly by the Tories.

      • Indeed. It is time also to have a very public discussion about what antisemitism means. The implication that those accused of it for political reasons according to the current definition are comparable with those responsible for genocide is an insult to intelligence, not to mention the memories of so many Jewish people murdered and persecuted by the likes of Yaxley-Lennon.

        Nobody will be scrutinising Yaxley-Lennon’s toxic past though, there will be no media outcry about his blatant and explicit racism.

        What I found so interesting was the way Neale Hanvey’s alleged crime has been glossed over by the media now that their man has won. Almost as if they are admitting it was only a election tactic. His inclusion in the 48 has taken place without comment.

        • 👍 Few in the press would have failed to spot the Hanvey story as other than a political scam piece… After C4 failed to get traction, it was passed to Pacifier Quay, who dutifully sent out Glenn Campbell to attempt some creative story telling for the Fife electorate, that worked well eh?
          Following on from their failed “contaminated water” campaign, BBC Scotland lost any remaining credibility, their news unit should be closed down, and Donalda Mackinnon dismissed….

          A racing certainty Labour would support a public discussion on antisemitism, they have borne the brunt of this Tory smearing campaign for long enough…

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