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The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

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Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

David,

You said......

"Scots, English, Welsh and Irish should all reunite to face the gathering storm together, because come it will! Happy New Year!"

Are you saying that England cannot weather the forthcoming storm without Scotland and are you saying Scotland cannot survive without the crutch of England?

What is your prognosis for other small countries in relative size and population to Scotland who are independent country's....... Will they all emerge as failed states and if you advocated the betterment of the four nations remaining in the Union and reunite why do you think we (UK) not reafrim our Union with the EU.

Just curious as to why just four nations should unite to face the impending storm and not 27 nations. I may have the numberof the EU wrong since more have joined the club.
If you are advocating strength in numbers then remaining with the EU makes the same argument.
Peter C
David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Peter,

If the Euro, once again teetering on the brink, and the US stock market go belly up, Germany will remove itself from the EU, and gold will skyrocket because US owes Germany billions in gold bars they have squandered. The bond markets would collapse, and Switzerland would peg her Franc to the German Mark. Britain would need to follow Germany (but if she wants to be in a position to call the shots, in my view she should recognise the writing on the wall and precede Germany - so all power to UKIP I say!) and remove herself from a defunct EU as a result of the currency failure, and all talk of splitting up would cease for the sake of the survival of the City of London as the ONLY world commercial hub to replace Wall Street, provided she was able to reestablish her credentials as the only safe place to do business. Such would only be just feasible provided Britain retrenched and buried all notions of partition. Otherwise, we would face the very bleak alternative of a flag of convenience (like the notorious Liberian flag!) for world trade, and our identity as a British nation would be lost for ever. If only people could realise this and do something about preserving our very rich cultural heritage together and for Auld Lang Syne!
David A
John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

David A

Thank you for your lucid analysis of the world as it really is, a common sense view untainted by tribal prejudices.
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

In reply to this post by David A
David,

I appreciate your reply.

Ok that answers the question why you believe the four nation of the UK are stronger together, I won't dispute that there is Strength & Unity together. Your reply gives me reason to think better together.
At least you have given an example that gives a positive reason to remain in the Union.

However, there is nothing to say that England could not do this on her own or with Wales & N.Ireland nor does it show that Scotland could not be a success on her own.

The other question I raised still remain unanswered perhaps because no one knows the answers!!

You said.......

"If only people could realise this and do something about preserving our very rich cultural heritage together and for Auld Lang Syne!"

This is exactly what is needed but all we get are threats, innuendo, scaremongering but nothing with substance at least you have made a valiant attempt and gave me room for thought, and I also accept some points made by John K, however, neither you nor John K are able to communicate your thoughts...... Perhaps you both want to join the Better together camp and lead from the front because Cameron and Alistair Darling or not putting a positive case to the Scottish voters it's all scaremongering and innuendo.

If you have any thoughts on the questions I raised would be warmly welcomed as you can tell, I am still open to be convinced in the Union.

This us why I have been putting counter arguments to John K because sometimes play devils advocate can get answers that can help adjust one's thinking.

Sent from my HTC One

----- Reply message -----
From: "David A [via Have Your Say]" <ml-node+s915577n4031185h10@n3.nabble.com>
To: "Peter C" <peter50uk@live.co.uk>
Subject: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting
Date: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 21:09

Peter,
If the Euro, once again teetering on the brink, and the US stock market go belly up, Germany will remove itself from the EU, and gold will skyrocket because US owes Germany billions in gold bars they have squandered.. The bond markets would collapse, and Switzerland would peg her Franc to the German Mark. Britain would need to follow Germany (but if she wants to be in a position to call the shots, in my view she should recognise the writing on the wall and precede Germany - so all power to UKIP I say!) and remove herself from a defunct EU as a result of the currency failure, and all talk of splitting up would cease for the sake of the survival of the City of London as the ONLY world commercial hub to replace Wall Street, provided she was able to reestablish her credentials as the only safe place to do business. Such would only be just feasible provided Britain retrenched and buried all notions of partition. Otherwise, we would face the very bleak alternative of a flag of convenience (like the notorious Liberian flag!) for world trade, and our identity as a British nation would be lost for ever. If only people could realise this and do something about preserving our very rich cultural heritage together and for Auld Lang Syne!




David A






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Peter C
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

In reply to this post by John Kelly
John K, 


I trust your comments to David are not an insinuation that my own views are tainted by tribal prejudices.
Peter C
John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Peter C

My comments were directed to David and were in praise of his wisdom, If I wanted to insult an individual you may be sure I would direct the insult directly at the target, a Scottish trait I have inherited from my forebears.
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

This post was updated on .
John K,

Laughing out load....... I should have known better (It was a tongue in cheek remark) hence the winky face

I hope you understand that there is very little positivity coming from the Better Together camp up here in Scotland and I have been deliberately giving a counter argument looking to find some positivity to remain in the Union of which believe it or not I am still looking to be convinced off but I am getting Zero from the Better Together camp in anything positive.

Only threats, innuendo and Scaremongering!!

I still remain very very suspicious of a Westminster government, hence my question that no one appears to have ant answer or thoughts on.
Peter C
David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

In reply to this post by John Kelly
John and Peter,

I appreciate your replies - as you say, John it should really just be a question of common sense which appears, sadly, to be lacking in all our leaders, and Cameron, in particular, seems not to have a clue, and he and his cronies are behaving childishly and unrealistically as would a red rag to a bull. Cameron, this is not about superiority and whipping the troublesome Scots into line. It is about Unity! Call yourself a Cameron? I suggest you read, mark, and inwardly digest our sage's immortal words talking about the lack of Union in the Act of so-called Union! as true today as they were some 250 odd years ago!

... and roused the freeborn Briton's soul of fire
No more thy England own!

remember this, England and Westminster, please! You are doing your fellow Scots a huge disservice by spitting in our face, and you could be instrumental in creating a schism none who call themselves Britons will ever recover from!
David A
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

David,

I have to join John K in administration of your wisdom, your last post speaks volumes.....

If only Cameron and Westminster had listening ears or someone reading this debate!
Peter C
John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Peter C & David A

Cameron has withdrawn from the real world, his world is now the artificial reality of pseudo politics, in that respect he has joined the same shameful club as Ramsey McDonald and Neville Chamberlain where members of this "elite" actually believe the total b*llocks they speak.
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

John K

I can wholeheartedly endorse all you said here.
Peter C
David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Hi Adminukpolitics,

Seems this topic is about to overtake Syria, and therefore worthy of being pegged?
David A
David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

before this one disappears, how about pegging it, admin? Second time of asking? Sounds like the banns of marriage - or reaffirming them!!!
David A
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

David,

I agree with you and I have written an e-mail directly to adminukpolitics reguest he pins it to the front page and drawing his attention to your original post here and request........

I have not heard back from adminukpolitics as yet, perhaps he is still recovering after Hogmanay celebrations
Peter C
John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

David A

The Scottish Government insists that Scots have paid more tax than UK tax payers if a geographic share of oil revenues is allocated to Scotland.
 
Hence, according to the Scottish Government "Scotland more than pays her way in the UK."

My opinion on SNP conclusions about Scotland paying her way is that they have omitted  to bring spending into account when making their pronouncements .

By using Scottish Government data, that spending per person in Scotland has also been higher in each of the last 30 years than it has been across the UK as a whole. I have concluded, that the data suggest that "the greater tax receipts were invested for the people of Scotland, creating jobs and investing in public services. the Scottish people have received a significant dividend from North Sea oil revenues" I have recently revisited these data and can conclude not only has Scotland received a significant dividend from North Sea oil revenues, it has been almost fully compensated for these higher revenues by higher public spending.

When you analyse the numbers, over the 32 year period the total value of tax receipts is £1,425 billion while the total value of public spending in and for Scotland was £1,440 billion.

Spending was nearly £15 billion higher in Scotland than the tax receipts including a geographic share of oil revenues. 

That amounts to additional spending over and above Scottish tax receipts of £89 per person per year.
So, it could be argued that the large oil revenues in the 1980s generated a surplus.

This was banked with the UK Treasury building up an oil fund that was then drawn on subsequently to meet Scotland's needs.

It might be argued that the gap between public spending and tax receipts was much greater in the UK than Scotland. This is correct. 

In fact the amount of spending over tax receipts amounted to £644 per person per year. So, net English borrowing was implicitly greater than Scottish borrowing and some of that borrowing was in effect from Scotland. But it has been paid back.

However, a significant, argument against the present analysis is that the estimation of Scottish spending includes a population share of UK public borrowing costs, about 8.3%.

With a geographic share of oil revenues assigned to Scotland borrowing costs, at UK borrowing rates of interest, would have been much lower, or even zero, over the period.

For most of the period, the Scottish account would on this basis have been in surplus, as it  built up an oil fund in the 1980's (banked with the UK Treasury) and drew it down to meet Scotland's needs.

It is possible to estimate using 19 years of Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) that Scotland's share of UK debt interest amounted to £83 billion at 2001-12 prices. Subtracting this from total estimated Scottish spend of £1,440 billion we get a debt interest adjusted estimate of spend of £1,357 billion. 
Total estimated tax revenues are £1,425 billion. 

This means that Scotland was in overall surplus by about £68 billion.

To put this another way Scotland had returned to it from the UK treasury in spending for the Scottish people 95% of the tax revenues it generated.

I suppose I will hear some supporters of Scottish independence say "well that proves, Scotland can pay its way better than the rest of UK and would do better if independent."

But this would be a false analysis of this data.

Firstly, that was the past and actually Scotland did all right from its membership the Union over a period of 30 years.

Secondly, the future looks different as oil will not ever be at those levels again and production is expected to be negligible by the 2040s according to Kemp and Stephen'sestimates.

Thirdly, an independent Scotland would have to borrow to manage cash flow and keep spending at present levels.
   
There are two distinct problems with that assumption:

1,
It might well be forced to pay higher interest rates. (the UK Government was easily able to borrow the money to fund the gap between spending and tax receipts), an independent Scotland would find borrowing more costly and far less easy on the money markets.

2,
So long as the interest rate paid on Scottish borrowing is not penal it will not be critical. But Scottish government outlays would rise, by about £1 billion if a premium of only 1% above UK borrowing costs has to be paid  by Scottish Government issued bonds.
That would mean a need for additional borrowing, or a diversion of spending from investment in the people of Scotland to pay Scottish Government Bond creditors.

3,
Scotland couldn't keep borrowing to pay for spending in excess of its tax take – the money markets just wouldn't allow it, especially for a new state with no financial track record, and if dependent on the £ Sterling and with no central bank and dependent on the Bank of England as a funder of last resort.

Scotland has had the benefit of its oil fund without all the uncertainty that would have been caused in an independent Scotland due to the volatility of oil prices and production.

So, this analysis suggests that Scotland has already spent most, if not all, of its oil fund, while the possibility of creating such an oil fund in a future independent Scotland will be significantly less, unless there are major cutbacks in spending.

These calculations do not take account of the effects on Scotland in the UK,  or as an independent Scotland, of a loss of funding of the Barnett formula.

David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

An astute analysis, John, but Problem no 3 in my book outweighs the other two.

Truthfully, it matters not a jot if Scotland's books are clean, if she does not carry with her the confidence of America. Right now the latter is facing a debt crisis of monumental proportions, (not helped, I may add, by the violent winter storms afflicting their country and Europe and bringing many to a standstill!) which is why they are trying to bully Carney, thankfully so far without success, to tow the European line, because they are acutely aware of the present precariousness of fiscal stability there, and are fearful of the domino effect which could also send their precious dollar into a spin sending the Canadian dollar flying too! and all this while the Aussie, NZ dollar, and SA Rand have been hammered thanks to the fall in the gold price! The oil price too has dropped thanks to cheap oil from Mexico and Iran, making Scotland's oil reserves less profitable!

Forgive my cynicism, but Salmond's ruse to coincide Independence for Scotland with the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn could not have been more ill-timed if he'd tried!

For what it's worth I'll predict wild market swings in February. I have misgivings about April too! Later on, I'm not so sure... It is my belief that 2014 will be the year of the big crunch!
David A
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

In reply to this post by John Kelly
John K

I read your comments with great interest and I would say it is a fair analysis.

You said.......

"These calculations do not take account of the effects on Scotland in the UK,  or as an independent Scotland, of a loss of funding of the Barnett formula."

It is without doubt Scotland is granted more than England but then so does N. Ireland and Wales as seen in the block grants generated by the Barnett formula.

Northern Ireland £9,385
Scotland £8,623
Wales £8,139
England £7,121

Why is it the English harp on about Scotland's block grant but say nothing about the Welsh & Irish of which N. Ireland get the most.

This raise my usual questions and suspicions about Westminster!!

1. What's in it for Westminster?

2. Why if Scotland is such a burden on the Westminster treasury , why is Westminster so much wanting to keep Scotland in the Union?

3. Why did Westminster agree to the Barnett formula that would give Scotland £1,502's per head more than the English?

4. How does Westminster square this the the English people!!

There are overwhelmingly more English Westminster MP's how on earth was the Barnett formula ever past.

If I were English I would be asking these questions.
__________________________

Although not subject to the Barnett formula, there are significant variations in identifiable spending between the regions of England.

North East £8,177 – 111% of UK average identifiable expenditure

North West £7,798 – 106%

Yorkshire and Humberside £7,188 – 98%

East Midlands £6,491 – 88%

West Midlands £7,065 – 96%

Eastern £6,144 – 83%

London £8,404 – 114%

South East £6,304 – 86%

South West £6,677 – 91%
Peter C
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

John K

When talking about the Barnett formula it should be remembered that their is the .........

Barnett Squeeze which is meant to reduce the block grant granted to Scotland year on year over a period of 30 year to a level playing field.......

Barnett squeeze - if England receives a 5% enhancement, that is worth only 4% to Scotland, so the 1% effect on a block grant of, say, £25bn, results in a shortfall of £250m a year.
Peter C
Peter. C Peter. C
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

In reply to this post by John Kelly
John K & David

At the end of the day the vast majority of people will not be able to digest these figures so it is regrettable to say but most voters will brush these arguments aside and accept there is difficulties in going it alone and I believe it will come down to who can the Scots best trust to look after their futures......... I have already highlighted the deliberate actions of Westminster by both Tory and Labour's governments on the McCrone report which hid the truth about the wealth of north sea oil & gas in the 70's and kept it hidden around 30ish years.

Have a read of the following you may have a strong feeling of deja vu like I have.......

Westminster is Not to be Trusted!!

The SNP have raised the question of whether the Westminster is again deliberately misleading the Scottish public as it did during the 1970s, as the latest Westminster forecasts for Scottish oil revenues remain significantly below those produced by the oil industry itself.

Just last week former UK Chancellor Denis Healey, now Lord Healey, admitted that during the 1970s Home Rule referendum campaign, the British Government lied to the public about the potential for North Sea oil in case awareness of the reality of Scotland's wealth encouraged pro-independence sentiment.

Mr Healey also suggested that the UK Government was currently engaged in similar tactics as Scotland debates its future in the run up to next year's independence referendum.

Mr Healey's suggestion that the UK Government is revisiting its misinformation tactics from the 1970s finds support in the figures recently released by the UK Office for Budget Responsibility for the future output of the oil and gas sector.  The OBR's figures are significantly lower than those produced by the oil industry.  The UK Government has not given an explanation for the large discrepancy.

In line with the latest industry forecasts, the Scottish Government estimates that by 2017 production levels will rise by a third on current output, increasing from 1.5 to 2.0 million barrels of oil per day – while the OBR assumes that production will remain largely unchanged from current levels in future years.

Scottish Government analysis shows that the oil and gas industry is likely to generate between £41 and £57bn in tax revenue between 2012-13 and 2017-18. Again these figures are solidly based on industry estimates.

Meanwhile, the latest OBR figures – based on estimates of oil production from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change - estimate the industry will generate the much lower figure of £33bn in the same time period.

However the higher industry and Scottish Goverment figures are conservative estimates.  Malcolm Webb, the chief executive of industry body UK Oil and Gas, told a conference in Aberdeen earlier this month that he believed the industry's figures for remaining oil potential to be significantly underestimated, leaving the discrepancy between reality and the UK Goverment's figures even greater.

Speaking to Holyrood Magazine last week, former Chancellor Denis Healey said tax receipts from oil are the biggest factor behind Westminster opposition to independence in next year's referendum, which was also the case in the 1970s - and that Westminster parties are "worried stiff" about Scots voting Yes because of the valuable income from the North Sea.

In 1974 Professor Gavin McCrone wrote a report for the UK Government which stated that Scotland would have had an "embarrassingly large tax surplus as a result of the North Sea oil boom". Successive Westminster governments kept this information under wraps until it was eventually released in 2005.

Mr Healey's admission that Westminster was deliberately lying about the true value of Scotland's oil revenues confirms a previous admission from another former cabinet minister from the 1970s.

Former Foreign Secretary Anthony Crosland, who died in 1977, admitted in his posthumously published diaries that UK Treasury officials plotted to plant false stories in order to weaken growing Scottish demands for Home Rule.

Mr Crosland said that Treasury officials had suggested planting stories which claimed that in the event of Scottish independence Orkney and Shetland could remain a part of the UK, taking a large part of Scottish territorial waters with them.  The Treasury officials intended to pass the stories to sympathetic journalists and politicians in order that they could not be attributed to the UK Government.

In scenes remarkably reminiscent of Mr Crosland's admission, in January this year the anti-independence media gave prominence to a story claiming that if Scotland voted for independence, Orkney and Shetland could choose to remain a part of the UK.  

Despite the UK Government's attempts to raise the spectre of partition, a recent opinion poll for the Aberdeen Press and Journal newspaper found that the people of the Northern Isles overwhelmingly regard themselves and their islands as Scottish.

Studies by legal experts have also confirmed that even in the unlikely event that Orkney and Shetland remained a part of the UK after Scottish independence, this would have no significant impact on Scotland's right to exploit resources lying under the country's continental shelf or Scotland's potential revenue from oil and gas.

Commenting on the unexplained discrepancy between UK Government forecasts and estimates originating from the oil industry, SNP MSP Maureen Watt said:

"When you take these figures into account along with Lord Healey’s comments, it is clear nothing has changed since the 1970s – Westminster continues to downplay the value of Scotland’s oil.  This is another case of history repeating itself.

"With the UK government's oil forecast at odds with the industry's, there is a real sense of déjà vu when we think back to how Westminster buried the McCrone report – a report that oil and gas would turn Scotland into one of the wealthiest and most financially secure nations on the planet – at the same time as telling us that revenues would be lower than expected and would soon run out.

"Lord Healey's admission that the Treasury hid the truth about the value and longevity of Scotland's oil and gas resources begs the question - how can we believe a word they say now?

"Personally I would trust the forecasts of those actually working in the industry rather than those of a UK Government which has a clear and consistent track record of trying to talk the industry down.

"Scotland's finances are consistently stronger than the UK's, over half of the North Sea tax revenues are still to come, and our oil and gas assets are worth £1.5 trillion or even more.

"But of course, it's a complete myth to say that we are reliant on oil. Even without this fantastic resource, Scotland's economic output is almost identical that of the rest of the UK. Oil revenues make up around double the share of Norway's total tax revenue compared to Scotland, but no one is telling the Norwegians that they are too wee and too poor to be a successful independent country.

"We have seen an historic 30-year high in investment in our oil and gas industry, with £11.4billion invested last year – expected to rise to at least £13bn this year.

"Only a Yes vote next September gives Scotland the opportunity to make the next four decades of oil and gas work for our country and for future generations.”

Meanwhile, after being asked on Good Morning Scotland on Saturday what she thought of Denis Healey's revelations that the Treasury purposely played down the value of Scotland's oil reserves in the 1970s because of the possibility of Scottish independence, shadow Scotland Secretary Margaret Curran claimed she didn't know anything about it.  Ms Curran was then forced to concede that she "would never have colluded with an argument that didn't make Scotland strong."

Commenting, SNP MP Angus MacNeil said:

"Margaret Curran's initial remarks about Lord Healey’s revelations display a remarkable insight into the world of the No Campaign. To admit complete lack of knowledge of this issue is astonishing and begs the question of what else the No campaign wants to ignore and keep from the people of Scotland?

"Is the Labour Party also seriously saying that we should trust the current Tory-led government with Scotland's oil wealth? Considering how often Labour tell us we can't trust the Tories, this is a remarkable position for a front bench Labour MP."
Peter C
David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Sobering revelations, Peter, but now a case of stable doors and bolting horses, I fear!
David A
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