Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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The Purging of Scottish Madness, by Ciaran Healy

I was lucky enough to have a hand in bringing the world down in 2008.  Not a very big hand, of course.  I was a headhunter.  I found a certain kind of person for a certain kind of ba...

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Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds to move HQ's south after Yes vote

Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds to move HQ's south after Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, which owns the Bank of Scotland, is to move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London in the event of a Yes vote in the independence referendum.
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Two Fantasies and a Fact

Two Fantasies and a Fact | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It is worth remembering what Gordon Brown actually said in his first intervention under the Better Together banner (22nd April, and already almost forgotten), which was seen by most ...

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EU may make RBS and Lloyds English

EU may make RBS and Lloyds English | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

If Scotland were to vote for independence, both Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds may be forced to move their registered offices or legal homes to London under European Union law, I have learned.

Peter A Bell's insight:

I'm having severe difficulty unravelling the contradictory madness of all this. Apparently, despite the fact that Scotland is, according to Better Together, to be expelled and excluded from the EU we will nonetheless be subject to every obscure EU directive.


And, despite Scotland being a "foreign" country, it is expected foot the bill for the failings of banks' operations in the rest of the UK. A truly unique arrangement that is contrary to all established conventions and one which it is hard to believe any Scottish Government would sign up to.


Just as confusing is the fact that we are supposed to believe that Scotland cannot be independent because its financial services sector is too big as a percentage of GDP (but only if you include stuff that isn't actually in Scotland) and at the same time panic because independence might result in the financial services sector shrinking somewhat.


There is some seriously muddled thinking in the anti-independence camp. I'm not sure how much of it is intentional.

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Carney's faith in the City

Peter A Bell's insight:

Robert Peston offers a disturbing picture of where the UK is being taken by the banksters and the British political parties that serve them. Is this what we want for Scotland?


We have a choice to make,

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Danger of banking on a union of currencies

The high number of people in Scotland uncertain about how to vote in the independence referendum suggests that the public still feels under-informed about some issues.
Peter A Bell's insight:

This article is just a rehashing of the standard unionist scare-stories regarding currency. It is unremarkable but for what is omitted and assumptions that are made without any supporting evidence.

Apparently, Scotland having its own currency is "out of the question for the foreseeable future". Why? Don't ask Brian Quinn. As far as we can tell from his article, he has absolutely no idea. Which is, perhaps, not so surprising as there is no overwhelming reason why Scotland could not have an independent currency. Indeed, for many commentators, it is the preferred option.

Similarly, when discussing banking crises  - which now seem to be taken for granted - the option of not bailing out failed banks is dismissed without even being considered. According to Professor Quinn, it "would not be a choice". Perhaps what he meant to say was that from his perspective it is "unthinkable" that the criminally incompetent should suffer the consequences of their actions.

In reality, safeguarding retail banking operations while letting the investment banking side go under was always an option. Governments rescued the so-called "banksters" because they chose to, not because they had to.

Professor Quinn might have tried to justify this decision if he had felt able to do so. But, as far as we can tell, he has nothing to say in defence of using taxpayers' money to bail out those who brought the entire banking system crashing down.

But that is not all that he silent on. He makes big play of the size of the financial sector in Scotland as a proportion of the economy as a whole, but neglects to mention that financial services represents an even larger proportion of the UK economy. As with oil, something that is represented as a great asset in the context of the UK is magically transformed into a terrible liability for independent Scotland.

And he talks of bank bail-outs without ever letting on that, by established convention at the very least, governments are only liable (should they choose to make themselves so) for the banking operations within their jurisdiction.

Since he is so adept at making assumptions, why doesn't Brian Quinn assume that the government of an independent Scotland would regulate the banks in such a way as to prevent catastrophic failure? Why not assume that the government of an independent Scotland would follow the route taken by Iceland in dealing with a banking crisis rather than do exactly as the UK government did?

Why not assume that the people of Scotland are at least as capable of handling their affairs as other nations - and are every bit as entitled to do so regardless of the difficulties they may face?

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More expensive financial products could be unwanted side-effect of independence

More expensive financial products could be unwanted side-effect of independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
RECORD VIEW ponders the report put forward by the UK Treasury that mortgages, insurance and bank accounts could all be more expensive after independence.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Hardly a day goes by without the British nationalist press gloatingly informing us that the independence campaign has suffered "devastating damage". Curious, then, that both the SNP and Yes Scotland are so obviously undamaged and far from devastated.

The reality, of course, is that the Treasury paper, hastily cobbled together when the original scares about credit ratings were overtaken by events, was thoroughly and comprehensively debunked even before the ink had time to dry.

Jim Spowart, one of the leading figures in the Scottish financial sector, described it as not being "a credible analysis of how financial organisations work". He said:

"The Treasury paper is not an accurate reflection of Scotland's financial services industry now, or of how financial regulation would work for an independent Scotland in a sterling area. It is clearly not a credible analysis of how financial organisations work."

And Mr Spowart is not alone. Business people and financial experts have been queueing up to savage what is obviously no more than blatant political propaganda. But we won't hear much about that from the Daily Record or the rest of the unionist press. The reason being that they have their fingers in their ears desperately trying to ignore voices such as Jim Spowarts.

If The Daily Record was genuinely interested in "answers", it would require no more than a couple of mouse clicks to find them. It is for them to explain why they are so reluctant to do so.

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Could RBS stay in an independent Scotland?

Could RBS stay in an independent Scotland? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
If Scotland became independent, would and could Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, owned by Lloyds, keep their homes there?
Peter A Bell's insight:

Robert Peston raises the question of whether an independent Scotland would wish to keep the "Scottish" banks.

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Scotland could become 'another Cyprus' if it becomes independent

Scotland could become 'another Cyprus' if it becomes independent | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scotland risks becoming "another Cyprus" if it becomes independent, the Treasury claims.
Peter A Bell's insight:

This is desperate stuff from the UK government. But it was probably the best the Treasury could come up with given that they were in a bit of a panic because the downgrading of the UK's credit rating put paid to the scare story they'd originally intended to feed us.

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Dutch bank in UK split warning

DUTCH banking group ING has warned independence risks damaging economic growth in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

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Diamond resigns as leaked document turns spotlight on Brown and Darling

Diamond resigns as leaked document turns spotlight on Brown and Darling | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Diamond resigns as leaked document turns LIBOR spotlight on Brown and Darling...
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Lesley Riddoch: Time to work out our own new deal.

Will the latest banking scandal have any impact on Scotland’s independence debate? Will a referendum on Britain’s continuing EU membership sway votes in 2014? On the face of it these issues seem un-connected.
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Scotland pays for Labour's regulatory failures | Scottish National Party

Scotland pays for Labour's regulatory failures | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Here Finance Secretary John Swinney comments on revelations that Barclays had, for several years, been rigging the rate at which it borrowed money and misleading the regulators about what it was doing is a financial scandal as large as those behind the collapse of 2008.

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Royal Bank of Somewhere

Royal Bank of Somewhere | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

In 2012 Lesley Riddoch wrote: “We are currently witnessing the collapse of de-regulated Britain. All we can anticipate is a welter of sticking plaster solutions when we need fundament...

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We should be banking on a brighter future for Scotland

We should be banking on a brighter future for Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE latest siren voice against Scottish independence comes from the world of banking.
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So, now we know. RBS is a London bank. And RUK would take its toxic balance sheet.

So, now we know. RBS is a London bank. And RUK would take its toxic balance sheet. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Forget the dam busters … iScotland would be oil rich and creditworthy even without the banks Iain Macwhirter Columnist Sunday 2 March 2014 IT wasn't so much the dam busters as the blitz. A co-ordin...
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All your ducks in a row

All your ducks in a row | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We've been known to remark from time to time that "Better Together" often has a little trouble getting its scare stories straight. "You won't be allowed into the EU!" somehow manages to co-exist wi...
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Banks 'may move out of Scotland'

Business minister Michael Fallon has warned that banks like Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds could pull their corporate headquarters out of ­Scotland if there is a Yes vote for independence.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It makes just as much sense to say that banks like Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds could pull their corporate headquarters out of ­Scotland if there is a No vote in the independence referendum.


These inane and endlessly recycled scare stories now provoke nothing more than a yawn.

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Scottish independence: Banks ‘must decide’ on HQs

Scottish independence: Banks ‘must decide’ on HQs | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
UK banks in Scotland will be forced to decide whether to keep their headquarters north of the Border if Scotland becomes independent, a legal banking expert has warned.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Another pointless scare story that blithely assumes bad things only happen to independent nations.

For those who have yet to make up their minds the decision in the referendum involves comparing possible outcomes as an independent nation with possible outcomes as part of the UK. It involves asking the questions that shallow churnalists working for unionists rags such as The Scotsman will never ask. Questions such as how likely the outcome is. Or whether the outcome is actually a bad thing, Or, crucially, whether independence really makes the bad outcome more probable.

As we have seen, pretty much anything can happen with the banks within the UK. If they can go bust due to avaricious incompetence under the aegis of the British state they can most certainly decide to shut down operations in Scotland and move jobs down south.

The notion that being part of the British state protects us in any way is at best a naive fallacy and at worst a dangerous deception.

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john king's comment, June 16, 2013 2:18 AM
Had it from a friend who's partner works for RBS that the perceived opinion inside RBS is that it would move to London should there be a yes vote, I think she was expecting an oh no response, instead I said to tell them don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out
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Why did the banks only become Scottish - after they failed?

Why did the banks only become Scottish - after they failed? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Why did the banks only become Scottish - after they failed? This joke reminds me though, of the one of the rallying calls of the ‘No’ campaign.
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Cake neither had nor eaten

Cake neither had nor eaten | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

This week’s Scotland on Sunday is full of the usual outpourings of fear and madness (our absolute favourite is a standout piece of howling-at-the-moon insanity from frothing Tory loonbag Gerald Warner, magnificently entitled “Feminism driving holocaust of abortion”), but one in particular caught our eye.

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Scottish Banks and UK Oil

Scottish Banks and UK Oil | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Few could have failed to notice the ‘row’ over oil revenues in an independent Scotland.  The debate has pitched Unionists, the CPPR and the OBR against the Scottish government, academics and the oil and gas industry.

 

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The Markheims in our Midst

The Markheims in our Midst | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We need a state run bank in an independent Scotland, a bank with a social function in its charter, which supports entrepreneurs, social projects, and the vulnerable in society, that gives the custo...
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Darling's a man with some explaining to do - The Daily Record - Joan McAlpine MSP

Darling's a man with some explaining to do - The Daily Record - Joan McAlpine MSP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

POLITICIAN Alistair Darling has to live down being a Tory front man for the Better Together campaign.

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Will the LIBOR banking scandal catch up with Brown and Darling?

Will the LIBOR banking scandal catch up with Brown and Darling? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Will the LIBOR scandal force Brown and Darling to come clean?

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