Friday, September 12, 2014

By this time next week.....

I promise this will be the last blog about the referendum , as by next Friday, Scotland might have imploded into some kind of civil war – well I hope not but now it is getting nasty – we are talking football!

Since the last  blog,  the yeses overtook the noes in the opinion polls for the first time and the pound and the stock market of the UK had a major jittery fit. And gave the already beleaguered economy another thing to worry about.

The response of Westminster was to announce a new royal baby was on its way, which will just make more folk vote yes… as we don’t really want to go through all that for another seven months  ( it almost makes me think about voting yes  but a royal baby is slighter cheaper than stock market collapse so I’ll stick with the no!)
The other response of Westminster was to send their leaders north to quell the yes vote and make a last ditch attempt at persuading   the undecided to stay in the union.
                                                   I'm not sure what this advert is about.....

Nick Clegg said that whatever the Scottish independence result 'the status quo is gone'

 Important folk getting in the mix now - she is rumoured to have  donated a million pounds to the Better Together campaign

 Right at the start of all this, there was going to be three options on the ballot paper, yes, no or devo max (maximum devolution but we stay in the union - or full fiscal autonomy as the posh folk say). Cameron thought it wise to take off the devo max option in exchange for Salmond picking the date -  after Commonwealth Games, anniversary of  Bannockburn 1314, etc etc, the Homecoming, tartan, shortbread etc.
Or forcing the hand of the electorate.
The minute the yeses took the lead, devo max was back on the table!
Then Lord Prescott who was supposed to be here helping the noes, suggested that  Scotland and England  could merge the football team. I was speechless at that one, but he is a bit mad so nobody pays any attention to him ; he is the man who punched a bloke who flung an egg at him.  Never fling an egg at an ex ( or an egg boxer??) boxer. And  talking of boxers, a  young gentleman of my professional acquaintance  has just won a boxing match and his next fight will be for the British title…. Or will it….will a Scot be able to fight for a British title???  It’s all very complicated.


 But the latest opinion  poll shows that  the independence moment has stalled,  it’s back to 53 against  47 for. Which is the same as it was two months ago.

Meanwhile Alex Salmond is in some trendy  Edinburgh pub talking to .
Then he angers patriots  by  saying that no voters are not in team scotland….. hackles up all around now.  The matter is made worse by accusations that a vote no, is a vote for team Westminster.. when in fact a no vote might just mean we want to maintain a stable economy and keep the nhs safe.

A clever person said that it’s not a vote for independence anyway, it’s a vote for separation, and then we will become dependant on other countries to help fund us…. Here’s a large but interesting piece from the telegraph..

The prospect of a Scottish default on its share of Britain’s £1.2 trillion debt would lumber the new state with Wonga-sized interest rates for a generation – just as it would be most in need of international lending to support public services.
But that is precisely the threat that Alex Salmond has issued unless he gets his own way on a currency union. David Cameron has called the ultimatum “chilling”, and one that will bring “crippling” interest rates on Scottish families.
In a move to reassure lenders, the Treasury has said it would guarantee the entire UK debt in the immediate event of a break-up, and within minutes of a Yes vote next week it is likely the Dept Management Office would reassure markets that – whatever Mr Salmond threatens – the UK would shoulder the debt in the immediate term.
In the long run, an independent Scotland faces "significant" tax rises and spending cuts of around £6 billion a year higher than the Coalition austerity programme if it is to get its debts on a sustainable footing.
Otherwise, an ageing population, higher borrowing costs and declining oil revenues risk pushing debt to over 300 per cent of GDP within 50 years.
You can see why I’m worried.
And big firms have said that they will pull out.
The chief executives of Shell and BP  have already agreed that oil revenues will have ceased by 2050

And how can we be separate or  independent when  Salmond wants to keep the pound and Westminster  still control the  treasury?

 I hope you lot are as confused as I am.

In work I found a 'yes' pen at reception and I threw it in the bin. I make it very clear that I would have done the same with a 'no' pen. There should be no political affiliation in the practice…. And it's my business so what I say goes. The  'yes' accused me (jokingly) of bullying and interfering with their freedom of speech.   Then ALL the patients in the waiting room gave me a quiet round of applause…

 And it has turned to violence…. In Helensburgh person A lamped person B… the yes person had put posters all down the street, the no person covered them up… then they met. Opps.
But Helensburgh is the town closest  to the nuclear sub base. The yeses make a point of saying that the base can go back to Westminster as we don’t want it in our backyard.  Who would!
But the noes point out  6500 lost jobs, and a death knell to the local economy.

As Alex Ferguson once said, 'It's sweaty buttocks time.'

I will remain in a bad mood with Alex Salmond until he takes back what he said about Staffies…. Not a great reason to  stay with the union but its as good as any.
Just so you know, here is a devil dog- the killer on the streets..... it's doing an impression of something cute hiding from the hoover..

Mathilda, devil dog

 Caro Ramsay  12 09 14 reporting from North Britain ( the good bit)


  1. Caro, during the Historical Novel Society conference, I came in a few minutes late for one of the plenary panels. When I got there, the subject of Scottish separation was the only thing being talked about. (I can;t even remember what aspect of historical novels was meant to be discussed.) If I hadn't had your amusing and insightful blogs to inform me, I would have had no idea what the participants were talking about. At the end of the session, the moderator took a vote. About 250 people from all over the world were in the room. The vote was seven yes, all others no. You will be proud to know that I voted no. BUT I do think all the yes votes were from actual Scots.

  2. Scotland separating will not save you from the media onslaught surrounding a new royal baby. We here in the U.S. have been separated for 200-and-some years, and our media STILL goes ape-shit over that stuff. My first words, upon hearing of the new expectation, was, "Oh, no!"

  3. If Scotland votes yes it will have the honor of soon becoming Greece's northern sibling sans beaches. And I'm not saying that (just) because of shared sweaty buttocks but financial realities coming home to roost/roast.

  4. I've been wondering whether, if the Yes's win, all Scotland born people will lose their UK passports and will have to get work permits to work in the new UK.

  5. Stan, Funny enough, I have been wondering the same thing. And also about the MANY other administrative headaches of separating all the paperwork, the tax accounts, the gov't forms. I have held hands with corporations for both mergers and spin-offs. Many headaches in the corporate world for such transitions. I cannot imagine it with the bureaucracy of a whole country.

  6. Well it's all getting very nasty. I had a distressing day at work yesterday. Little old ladies in tears at the thought of their pensions being decreased etc etc. The yessers jumping about as happy as Larry ( but with a remarkable shortage of answers). The yessers are dancing in the streets and making a huge noise. English people are feeling nervy when out and about. 750 journalists, 450 foreign film crews have arrived already.
    As a nation, we are pulling ourselves apart.
    But on a lighter note, there is a helpline to phone if worried. They are very busy. Mostly taking calls about the BBC and will we still get good stuff on the tele.... and Dr Who is should we not be selling that down south. Turned out that caller thought Dr who was Scottish as opposed to the actor who plays him being Scottish.
    The bookies are still on the Noes winning but the whole process has caused damage which will take a long time to repair, no matter what way it goes.
    I am a sad little crime writer.

  7. Hi Caro - not that it is as serious of an issue but Iceland almost split in two halves when our parliament took it upon itself to apply for entry into the EU. It was never 50/50 but the chunk that wanted to go in and the chunk that did not constantly went head to head - dividing the country into two opposing sections when we really needed to stick together. There were all sort of doomsday scenarios thrown about by both sides. Then the application sort of fizzled out and everything is back to normal. I hope whichever way the vote goes that the result will be a good thing for Scotland and that the half that does not get their way can rally behind the half that did. However, the way these things tend to work is that there will be repeated voting in the next decades until the binding one comes in. And that would be the yes. Not that it is worth much (actually nothing money wise) but Iceland will continue to love you no matter what the outcome.

  8. Just an update for Stan - it has come to light that it would be unlawful to remove a UK passport from a UK citizen. Another one of those things that HBTT (hasn't been thought through) so now we might have dual nationality if we want it. And share the currency with the rest of the UK. And that sounds like devolution!