Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Salmond has "no plan B"? The Westminster establishment are having a laugh


One of the most pervasive propaganda narratives utilised by the Westminster establishment and their allies in the mainstream corporate media in their campaign to keep Scotland under Westminster control is the oft repeated "No Plan B" accusation made against the SNP leader Alex Salmond.

The "No Plan B"  accusations came about because Alex Salmond refused to give in to the economically risky hardball tactics used by the Westminster establishment. Salmond insists that his plan for Scotland is that they will continue using the Pound as currency, whilst George Osborne has insisted that that an independent Scotland will lose the Pound, reinforced through constant reiteration of statements like "No ifs, no buts, we will not share the pound if Scotland separates from the UK".

   This hardline stance from Westminster is extraordinarily risky because it creates a lot of economic uncertainty. In fact it actually actually relies on the fear of economic uncertainty frightening people away from voting for Scottish independence. Economic uncertainty is extremely bad because it damages market confidence, causes risk aversion and capital flight, and is an important causal factor in the development of economic crises.

The best course of action from an economic perspective would have been for both sides to agree a fixed-term currency union in order to maintain economic stability during the process of constitutional separation, should Scotland vote for self-determination. The Westminster establishment simply couldn't agree to this kind of pragmatic solution because they felt that they needed to frighten the Scottish people with economic uncertainty in order to win the debate. In my view this decision to put a political propaganda narrative above the stability of the economies on either side of the border just goes to show how terribly unfit to rule the Westminster establishment really are.

Another huge hole in the 
"No Plan B" propaganda narrative is that Alistair Darling (the leader of the Better Together campaign) has publicly admitted the truth, that there is absolutely nothing the Westminster establishment can do to stop an independent Scotland from using the pound. 

As far as I'm concerned Alex Salmond's plan to have a long-term currency union between Scotland and the UK is not a good one. You only have to look at the disastrous economic consequences of the Argentine Peso-US Dollar currency peg, or the Eurozone crisis, to get an idea of why currency unions are risky.However, since Alex Salmond is the democratically elected head of Scotland and I'm not, he's the one making the plans (until 2016 that is).

If Scotland does achieve independence, and the Westminster establishment continue to play their incredibly risky game of hardball, Salmond has a number of other options to pursue, plans B through to F if you like (I prefer option E or F by the way).

  • Plan A: Currency union with the UK
  • Plan B: No currency union, but use the Pound anyway
  • Plan C: Use the Euro
  • Plan D: Launch a Scottish currency pegged to the value of the Pound or the Euro
  • Plan E: Launch a free floating Scottish currency
  • Plan F: Launch an innovative new kind of currency (a Scottish cryptocoin perhaps)
Now that we've established that there are many options open to Alex Salmond, or whoever might succeed him as leader of an independent Scotland, we'll look at the factor that makes the "No Plan B" propaganda narrative of the Westminster establishment so incredibly hypocritical.

In the week before the Scottish referendum David Cameron's official spokesperson admitted that the government has made no contingency plans at all should the people of Scotland vote for self-determination, and excused this extraordinary admission of complacency with the claim that "The government’s entire focus is on making the case for the UK staying together".

The Westminster establishment have publicly stated that they have
 "No Plan B"  should the people of Scotland defy them and vote for self-determination. The only thing they're prepared to publicly commit to in regards to an independent Scotland is their plan to deny Scotland use of the Pound, no matter what the economic consequences either side of the border!

Of course there is the possibility that they have drawn up secret contingency plans, but that they're lying to the public about it. However to chastise a political opponent for having 
"No Plan B"  whilst publicly stating that they themselves have "No Plan B"  is a ludicrously hypocritical stance.

I suppose the only way that we get to find out whether David Cameron's official spokesperson was blatantly lying, or if the Westminster establishment really are that breathtakingly complacent that they actually haven't drawn up any contingency plans at all, is for the Scottish people to vote Yes.


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