Saturday, 23 March 2013

Labour Unionist cling to another poll

Labour Unionist Blogsuite Left Foot Forward, Through Ed Jacobs s SNP  Independence campaign has been dealt a blow with new polling showing a majority of Scots against their currency policy.
Under the SNP’s plans plans , an independent Scotland would retain the pound, leaving the Bank of England in London to set its interest rates.

The claim is conducted by YouGov for the Unionist  Better Together Campaign, found that just 17 per cent of Scottish voters supported the SNP’s proposals, with over half (56 per cent) preferring Scotland to stay in a political union if the country is to remain in currency union with the rest of the UK 

Speaking in a video message posted on the Better Together website, the campaign’s leader, former chancellor Alistair Darling, pointed to the ongoing crisis in Cyprus  ( I was wondering when Cyprus would came up)as a reason why an independent Scotland would have to have its own central bank with control over its monetary policy.

One of the most important details is the currency we’ll use if Scotland were to become independent. The nationalists at the moment are proposing a currency union. What is a currency union? Well it’s like the Eurozone and you can see what’s going on there and all the difficulties you’ve had, of which Cyprus is just the latest example. But a currency union means that the two countries involved, Scotland and the rest of the UK, would have to agree everything.
“They would have to agree on their In other words, Scotland’s budget would have to be agreed by another country – that’s not independence.”

So no member of the Euro Zone is  an Independent Nation then . Is Darling moving towards Ukips position then ?

Do the Eurozone agree entirely  on tax, on their spending, on their borrowing. 

And you can interpretate  the poll as  the Scottish people not wanting to be tied to the pound and being bullied by Westminster  rather than working together.

Wasn't the Irish Punt tied to the pound for years having the same exchange rate. Even though they had no say in how it was set , Unlike the SNP plans for Scotland.

But  what Darling and his Unionist Chums at Left Foot Forward seem to arguing that the negotiations after the Independence  referendum  will mean that the Rump (England,Scotland and Wales) will dictate how  financial Implications will be set.

In other words  Westminster will decide whether Scotland can remain with the pound.

The Unionist have a point in that the SNP must make it clearer how an Independent Scotland will link it currency , To the Pound , The Euro or have its own.

As Darling rightly points out 
"And what is plan B? Suppose the terms and conditions imposed aren’t acceptable. What’s the fall back position that the nationalists are proposing? We simply don’t know…we need answers because these things are important. Detail matters"
but the Unionist must be honest  to arguing that members of the Eurozone are not Independent starts sounding like Ukip  and other Euro sceptics.

At the moment Scotland has no say in any currency . After Independence what ever they choose they will at least have a voice.


Anonymous said...

It's also true that when the Irish let the punt float their economy took off, after decades of stagnation while tied to the pound. Of course they later sacrificed the punt to the euro with the inevitable disaterous results..

There's no real independence without an independent currency and the SNP are showing that they have no real faith in the rightness of their cause by failing to wholeheartedly advocate a Scottish currency

maen_tramgwydd said...

I tend to agree with Anon above.

The UK is in terminal decline, politically and economically - Wales' economy is proof positive of that fact. Cyprus is also telling us that over-reliance on banking and the financial sector can be a disaster - and that is truer of the UK on a much larger scale.

I fear the SNP went for retaining the pound in the hope that it would make independence more palatable for those who had doubts resulting from relentless unionist propaganda using 'separation' as a weapon.

I'm no economist, and I don't know enough about currencies to pontificate on whether Scotland could use its own currency after independence. It would make more sense to go that way.

I'd like to make a wider, but related point. I believe that the electorate is savvy enough to appreciate honesty and openness when it comes to political parties and their policies. People don't react well when they feel that politicians tell them something they want to hear. It's such hypocrisy that has brought politicians into disrepute.

For decades Plaid Cymru has avoided the word 'independence' like the plague - leader after leader has rowed away from it or equivocated, for fear of frightening the electorate. That, I believe, has been a huge mistake for the party. If it doesn't believe it enough to stand by it through thick and thin, then the policy should be discarded.

I feel that too many of the party's elected representatives soft pedal on independence because they're afraid of losing their seats. In other countries' fight for independece people paid with their lives. It is a costly struggle.

Wales isn't going to achieve independence by default or incrementally. It will have to be fought for - hard - and the battle will be tough. Nineteenth and twentieth century history and what's happening in Scotland tells us that. The unionist big guns are targeting Salmond and the SNP relentlessly and I fear that more serious dirty tricks are in the offing - the nationalists will have to watch their backs over the next eighteen months. Secession is anathema to most sovereign states.

We in Wales have lacked the guts and confidence to stand up for ourselves. Neither Plaid or the SNP will sell independence by soft-soaping or pulling the wool over people's eyes. The Scots have to decide whether or not they will be better off out of the UK. I have no doubt at all that they will be, and I wish that Wales had such prospects too.

Der said...

There certainly are inconsistencies in the Unionist stance here. I feel that the issue of currency may well be the Achilles heel for the SNP etc. But, in reality, control of your currency is the strongest argument for independence.

Anonymous said...

Some good points by maen tramgwydd but it's clearly the perspective of a nationalist. Perhaps Plaid needs some non-nationalist perspectives, particularly as there isn't a big enough nationalist vote in Wales for Plaid to rely on. To be honest, the idea that Plaid leaders have rowed away from independence is misguided. You would think that from internal Plaid party politics, but externally the two main messages associated with Plaid are ; independence for Wales, and speaking Welsh. Dafydd Wigley was possibly Plaid's most successful leader and he actually did row away from independence.

Is it the case that the Welsh lack the guts for no reason? Or are there in fact financial reasons why the Welsh lack the guts?

Maybe Plaid can't sell independence at all because the product is simply not appealing enough. They can work on improving the product perhaps, but it strikes me as being a major obstacle that Plaid simply can't win enough votes in elections. Independence won't ever be sold to the electorate unless Plaid does better in elections and gets non-nationalist voters like the SNP has. Plaid has a much harder task than the SNP as well, Scotland has had a form of distinctive governance for centuries. Wales is a much more modern state (though an ancient nation).

A simple reading of Welsh history shows that actually, incrementally is the only way independence could ever happen. Plaid almost certainly knows this and will do what they can. But at the moment they can't (yet) offer a better deal for voters than Labour, and that's their problem, not the fact they don't talk about independence. I also disagree with maen tramgwydd saying the elecotrate in Wales is savvy or sophisticated. I think they are actually conservative and quite reactive.

maen_tramgwydd said...

Anon 15:08

Can you name one sovereign state which achieved independence incrementally?

Scotland won't achieve it that way. The Yes Campaign will have to fight and win a campaign in which the unionist media is massed in opposition. The BBC is already in full bias mode - if you have time watch the interview of Nicola Sturgeon by Gordon Brewer on the day the referendum date was announced - . It will not be a fair contest, and I'm not saying that because I think the vote will be lost. My prediction is that the polls will narrow as the day approaches and the Scots realise the import of the decision - there are signs that is already happening

When I said that the electorate is 'savvy', I meant it in the sense that it is not blind to the wiles of politicians and parties. Dishonesty and hypocrisy is rife in all of them, without exception, but more in some than others. That many voters in Wales are conservative in voting Labour, I have no doubt.

If Plaid abandons its unique selling point, it will become just another party fighting for votes, like the other three. At times that has tended to happen and the outcome has tended to be that Plaid gains when Labour is in power at Westminster and falls back when the Tories govern. The lesson to be learned there is that Plaid has to defeat Labour electorally if it is to advance its USP. At times it has come close to doing that in places like Caerffili, and the Rhondda etc. Emulating, and/or cosying up to Labour, as happened in 2006, is not the right approach.

How to defeat Labour is another issue - but its clear that the party has to adopt a different approach if it is to succeed. The party has to have wider appeal and the language issue has to be put into perspective. Leanne Wood's election was a positive step in both regards. Labour's disastrous period in government 1997-2010, and the failures of Labour in the Assembly since 1999 should make the task easier, but surprisingly Plaid failed to capitalise on both. They must not make the same mistakes again.

We now have to wait for September 19th 2014 to see what the future holds for Wales. Unless we gain independence or significantly more powers soon, that future promises to be very bleak indeed. We live in a state of dependency, a vicious cycle which has to be broken. I've no doubt that eventually we in Wales will be driven in taking matters into our own hands, just how long before that happens I can't begin to predict. The Scottish referendum will play its part in that timescale.

glynbeddau said...

The BBC attitude can be sen by the fact that they seem to have given Nigel Farage his own parking space.

Anonymous said...

'Can you name one sovereign state which achieved independence incrementally?

Scotland won't achieve it that way. The Yes Campaign will have to fight and win a campaign in which the unionist media is massed in opposition.'

Eh? Scotland's regaining of independence has been incremental, since 1885 establishment of administrative devolution and encompassing the current Parliament. The SNP now says independence means completing devolution.

Add Catalonia and the Basque country to that. Both countries needing decades of nationalist self-government before independence has become popular.

Wales getting independence will be nothing like the current sovereign states. It would only happen in the same way as the western European stateless nations that have self-govt/devolution/autonomy to build on. That's the ONLY way it can be politically possible. Ever.

"If Plaid abandons its unique selling point, it will become just another party fighting for votes, like the other three."

It's not a selling point at all. It's unpopular. This is just my opinion though. You'll only beat Labour by having a better offer and appeal than them. I can't see independence being part of that. Further devolution would be part of it though. Some of having a better offer or better appeal than Labour will sound like either emulating them, or emulating what they used to stand for. Labour values are much more popular than even the Labour party. But it's pretty obvious that Plaid is relatively popular, but a little bit off putting in terms of independence and possibly language issues (though i'm not convinced the language is as much a 'problem' as it used to be, and support and normalisation is hopefully growing).

I agree that Leanne Wood is a positive leader. I think she won't beat Leighton if she promotes independence. I think Plaid needs to watch the Scottish referendum and ensure independence can be put into the long grass if the Scots vote no.