The biggest British political event of 2014 is, potentially, the vote on Scottish independence onSeptember 18. I say “British”, but it is of course just Sco
Stefan Stern admits to being among the "complacent onlookers down south". And it rapidly becomes clear just how detached from the referendum campaign he is. In one paragraph, under the guise of listing the "practical economic arguments against independence" he offers a catalogue of the fallacies and inanities which form the basis of the anti-independence campaign's arguments. Nonsense which, in Scotland, was debunked and dismissed a long time ago.
But the world looks different from within the bubble of London village. A perspective further distorted by unwise reliance on the mainstream media for information. Those of us who are closer to the campaign and observing the reality rather than the propaganda peddled by an almost exclusively unionist press never fail to be struck by the pompous confidence with which journalists and commentators not so reliably informed parrot the propaganda in the evidently sincere belief that they are musing upon pearls of wisdom. The result is not always entirely comical.
With all of that sincerity in evidence, Mr Stern claims that there would be "enormous and lengthy uncertainty" in the wake of a Yes vote. In fact, there is very little uncertainty. The Scottish government has set out a remarkable clear picture of how the transition would work, how long it would take - around 18 months - and what the initial conditions would be like. Such uncertainty as remains is almost entirely down to the UK Government's failings. For example, while asserting all manner of fantastical nonsense about Scotland being expelled from the EU, they stubbornly refuse to ask the EC for an official opinion on the matter.
Similarly, all the British parties are making silly noises about the matter of the currency union. But none of them will state categorically that it is no policy to abolish the currency union when Scotland votes Yes.
Some of the ignorance on display is barely forgiveable even making due allowance for Mr Stern's quaint belief that he can get all the facts he needs on the constitutional question by reading The Telegraph. He continues to believe in the "subsidy junkie" myth many months after even the UK Government officially abandoned that hoary old propaganda line. He continues to imagine that Scotland could somehow be the only country in the world that was, by some mysterious means, be prevented from using its own currency. A currency which is, in any case, freely tradeable as a global reserve currency.
It would be heartening to think that Stefan Stern was the last person to become aware of the repeated and comprehensive debunking of the "bank bail-out fallacy". There is good reason to believe that Alistair Darling and his Tory allies in project Fear are cognisant of the convention that national governments are only liable for such bail-outs if the choose to accept liability. And then they are only liable for that part of the bad business which falls within their jurisdiction. Darling et al continue to lie about this, of course. How unfortunate that, on top of all his other problems, Mr Stern is so gullible as to be taken in by such obvious untruths.
Anybody is, of course, entitled to comment on Scotland's independence campaign. I just wish they would take the trouble to ascertain the facts before doing so.