Introduction by Philip Pilkington
The Real News Network has recently run an excellent piece on Scottish independence. As this clip shows, the Scottish National Party is a breath of fresh air given the destruction of the British Labour Party by arch-imperialist Tony Blair and his Thatcherite cronies during the 1990s. The SNP is not only offering Scots a break with a past that was, on occasion, less than edifying but they are also offering them a new form of politics — that is, a return to the sort of social democratic, forward-looking governance that Britain lost after New Labour solidified the victory of neoliberalism in the elections of 1997.
However, the key issue for Scotland is whether or not they will be confident enough to launch their own currency. Currently there is much talk about Scotland either continuing to use the British sterling or even perhaps moving into the Eurozone. Both these aspirations are desperately misguided and both will lead Scotland into the exact situation that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland face today. Because the Scottish currency will, in both these scenarios, be issued by a foreign central bank they will not have discretion over their own fiscal policy. Thus, without issuing their own currency — which, of course, will have drawbacks of its own (the Scotch pound would probably devalue vis-a-vis the British sterling upon issuance) — we can be fairly sure that Scotland’s dream of independence would soon become a nightmare.
The SNP once looked to Ireland as an example of a successful nation that had made it after breaking ties to Westminster. Today Ireland sits in ruin. The result of its decision to give up currency sovereignty and kneel down before Brussels and Berlin. Let us hope that Scotland can learn the lessons given by Ireland without having to suffer the same pain and humiliation.