Thursday, January 23, 2014

Better Together and borders: the Lie of the Land

A border? Oh my God! A border's like this, isn't it?

Economic case for Scottish independence: the economic facts

 (If you have difficulty with the clip you can click here to see it on YouTube)
This is, without doubt, the clearest, most compelling explanation of the economic facts underpinning the independence debate that you will see. Few of us studied PPE or economics to degree level but anyone who's interested and prepared to devote 36 minutes of their time (as anyone who plans to vote ought to be) will find that the facts here are sourced back to GERS (the veracity of which is accepted by both sides) and then explained and explored in a way that is clear but unpatronising and, when you hear them for the first time, quite jaw-dropping.

If you watch this and still plan to vote No, fair enough.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Business for Scotland: the Case for Independence

Business for Scotland's guide to the economics of independence is only 15 pages long and packed with fact, all sourced, and plain-language explanation (get it here):
  • what are the data sources (what is GERS and why do both sides trust it)?
  • what does Scotland's balance sheet look like (can Scotland afford to be independent)?
  • what do Scotland's revenue, expenditure, GDP, debt ratio and deficit look like and compare internationally and to the rest of the UK?
  • can Scotland afford to defend itself?
  • how important is oil?
  • why are we well placed to provide pension cover?
  • what about the EU?
  • what currency will we use?
  • what about the banking crisis?
  • what opportunities would we have to pursue different economic policies?

15 pages: read it now or download for later.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The road to Wellville remains open

I genuinely didn't know that the following exchange apparently represents a common belief:

"Poster 1: Wow f***ing wee, Do you really think there will be a national health service in an Independent Scotland?

Dont be f***ing stupid.

Poster 2: Why would there not be?

I don't think the Scottish people would have it any other way.

Poster 3: I think we'd struggle to cover all the public spending required.

If we really wanted an NHS, some other part of the public sector would have to go bye bye."

The answer to all of this is unbelievably simple, straightforward and objectively verifiable: we already have a separate, independent NHS Scotland, comprising our various local Health Boards, and we are already paying for it. NHS Scotland already administers to Scottish patients, each ascribed and identified by means of a Community Health Index, or "CHI", Number.  We already cover the cost of this system of health care provision. The Scottish Government has done that, within the terms of its balanced budget, since devolution was introduced. Could it be simpler? We know we can have it and pay for it because we already have it and are already paying for it, from our own resources.