Mike Vickers' Blog

July 7, 2014

Referendum – reason, choice and after

Filed under: economics, Lesley Riddoch, Politics, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 10:10 am


Three articles in today’s Scotsman – Monday 7 July 2014




All somewhat related.

Lesley Riddoch does not accept that the great and the good – well the academics – are intimidated to come out and say No in case their research grants are cut after a Yes.

She goes on to say Glasgow and Westminster are in cahoots on seeking and getting funding for the extension of the railway from Paisley to Glasgow Airport if No; and the SNP government  responding to say they will find funds anyway. Is the £500 million being well spent? Cross rail Queens Street and Central (I thought there is a bus service and why not walk the ½ mile)  and of course the more deserving local communities

Brian Monteith bangs on about the SNP government commitment to keep Prestwick open just to save a few jobs when no one wants to fly from Prestwick anyway. Loosing £800,000 a month and Ryan Air pulling out anyway – free rail passes to Glasgow Airport for the staff becoming unemployed.  Back to ‘Market Forces’

And the Leader pleading for all (including the great and the good) to make their views, Yes or No, known as the decision Yes or No is ‘too fundamental for issues to go unspoken’.

All this is of course relevant; but as Lesley and Brian point out where is the money to come from whatever the decision Yes or No – West Lothian Council say that they need to bear additional  £31 million cuts over the next three years.

The SNP in their White Paper can at best say ‘It’s the Oil’ and No to Trident 2 – well Trident 2 is futures anyway.  Westminster hasn’t a clue except that ‘Cuts are inevitable’.

What is required is for both sides to be realistic about the money – Utopia is not tomorrow with either choice – Utopia never has existed except in the imagination . St Thomas More lost his head for coming out with it (OK I know I fudge to make the comment).  What we want to ensure following either decision that we are not faced with a Dystopia.  In either case there needs to be a complete re-think of the Scottish economy – and one where there is more input from all concerned not just from the great and the good.

Incidentally Bill Jamieson ex Executive Editor of the Scotsman and an economist believes that when the electorate go to the poles, thoughts of the economy will be out of the window – votes will be cast on the basis of identity and belonging.


And I agree – there has been far too many conflicting short-term economics thrown about over the last 18 plus months;  no one can think about the next 50 years never mind 300.  Get the Referendum over then start to map out Scotland’s future and then set out the economic strategy with all its risk.

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