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Scottish Independence, Financial Crisis and the By-Election
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James D



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 981

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Scottish Independence, Financial Crisis and the By-Election Reply with quote

With the up coming By-election in Glenrothes, a seat that neighbours Gordon Brown's constituency and the aftermath of the global financial crisis, where does Scottish Independence stand?

Will the SNP (Scottish National Party) win?
Is independence viable in the new global (NWO) economic order?
What should we (the Scots) do if we get independence?

Any opinions?ideas?suggestions?

The general details:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenrothes_by-election,_2008

After Gordon Brown's "Triumph" in the world of finance things apparently aren't so bleak for Labour:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7670670.stm

By-election day 6th November

Interesting times!
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PatrickSMcNally



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 846

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Scottish Independence, Financial Crisis and the By-Elect Reply with quote

James D wrote:
After Gordon Brown's "Triumph" in the world of finance things apparently aren't so bleak for Labour:-

Presumably you mean that with a slight touch of sarcasm? The Labour Party has sold out enough times that they'll get along OK. But they aren't really advocates of "labour" anymore.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/billjamieson/An-exodus-that-could-lead.4071208.jp

An exodus that could lead straight into Salmond's arms
By Bill Jamieson

Gordon Brown may be forced to cut corporation tax if he wants to stop the SNP luring firms north of the border.

IT'S not like the SNP to miss a trick. But in a week where no tricks were really necessary as the Labour 'opposition' collapsed in disarray over calls for an early referendum on independence, a missed trick here or there might hardly matter.

However, this one does. Growing talk of an exodus of top UK companies to escape further intrusion by the Treasury and Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs has presented a golden opportunity for the party to flaunt its low business tax credentials.

Pharmaceuticals giant Shire and media group UBM have already announced plans to move their corporate domicile to the Emerald Isle. WPP, Diageo and Smith & Nephew are among those considering following in their footsteps. Joining the list of possible movers this week were Aberdeen Asset Management and Edinburgh fund management group Martin Currie. Others keeping a watching brief include energy company International Power, Aegis and GlaxoSmithKline.

Geneva also features as an alternative location. Foreign companies including Kraft, Google and Yahoo have recently switched their European HQs from the UK to Switzerland.

But Ireland appears to be the favoured destination for UK companies considering a corporate flight. And it is of course Ireland, with its 12.5% rate of corporation tax, compared with 28% in the UK, that the SNP has long held up as the Celtic Tiger that Scotland should emulate.

What a fantastic opportunity has thus been presented to the SNP. An independent Scotland could be presented as a haven for London and south-east of England based big businesses. They are fearful that Treasury plans to simplify the regime for the taxation of overseas profits could turn into yet another stealth tax opportunity of the type that characterised the 10-year Gordon Brown chancellorship.

Lower corporation tax has been a central feature of the SNP's economic strategy. Many have dismissed it on the grounds that it would take more than a juicy tax carrot to encourage companies to transfer their headquarters. Now the issue has moved centre-stage as talk of a big corporate exodus from the UK has gathered pace.

As if the Treasury was not alarmed enough about such rumblings, it will not have been at all comforted by the recent activities of the Irish Industrial Development Agency. The IDA has been actively encouraging the exodus through letters to UK firms urging them to consider relocating their business.

It is a prospect that must fill Chancellor Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown with particular alarm. Only last year Brown moved to quash an attempt by Northern Ireland to have its corporation tax rate lowered to match that in the Republic so that its economy could compete on even terms with the south and to help it recover from decades of strife and turbulence.

That such a move might have set a precedent for other parts of the UK – and nowhere was the case for lower Ulster corporation tax followed more closely than in Scotland – was a particularly urgent reason for Brown to sweep this proposal off the table.

Ireland has boomed on the back of its appeal to international companies, and while it is understandably keen to stress that factors such as improving infrastructure and a skilled and educated workforce figure high among Ireland's attractions, a rate of corporation tax less than half that of the UK has to be a big incentive. Its corporation tax rate of 12.5% compares with 41% in Germany, 19% in Poland and 18% in Hungary. It even beats Singapore (20%) and Switzerland (21.3%).

Little wonder the country has attracted investment from around 1,000 overseas companies such as Intel, Yahoo, Adobe, Microsoft, HP, Apple, Google and Amazon.

But the current stirrings are not about moving industrial plant and activity from the UK, but moving the domicile of the headquarters for tax purposes. So what has so upset such a host of big businesses? What is it that they fear?

The Treasury has signalled that it wishes to reform the system of taxing the overseas profits of multinational companies domiciled in Britain. Ironically, the changes are ones with which most accountants broadly agree. And the Government has approached the issue in textbook manner: plenty of warning and lots of time for consultation before any changes are introduced – if they are introduced at all.

The problem is not so much with the fine print of how companies' foreign earnings are to be taxed. It is to be found in the broader context of these proposals. Companies are deeply apprehensive that changes to the tax system, however innocuously presented, will in fact prove to be another opportunity for more stealth taxes.

Businesses have been the victims of a constant series of such changes in recent years, presented as simplification or loophole closing. The result, in almost every case, has been greater investigative powers for HMRC, more hassles with the tax office – and higher tax. In recent months there has been fierce controversy over changes to the system of Capital Gains Tax, also presented as a simplification, and the taxation of non-domiciles. What these cumulative developments have done is to corrode the trust between business and the Government.

New Labour went out of its way in the early years to secure business support, and broadly succeeded in doing so. But relations have soured of late. The trust has gone. And as the economy slows and Government revenues are put under threat, businesses fear that changes to the system of taxing overseas profits will be too tempting for the Government to pass up.

Equally worrying for business has been the ever-encroaching powers of HMRC, and in particular the activities of its international division, which seems hell-bent on driving up the tax take on profits earned overseas.

Added to the gradual loss of competitiveness that the UK has suffered, particularly through extended employment legislation, and it is not hard to see how companies, faced with intensifying global competition, have become apprehensive and restive. Moving tax domicile out of the UK is not what most wish to do. But if the Government's proposals turn out to be as invasive as they are now feared to be, then the exodus will almost certainly gather pace.

And this is a loss that the economy can ill afford at this time. The UK has been a good home to first-class international companies. In return they bring employment, good opportunities for senior executives in marketing, logistics and finance, help the UK to ride the ever-changing trends in the global economy and contribute hundreds of millions of pounds to the Treasury coffers.

This head office benefit is of particular relevance in Scotland where there has been growing concern at the loss of head offices through mergers and takeovers – Scottish & Newcastle being the most recent example.

Scotland needs to attract head office activities and the high-value jobs they bring. Scotland, too, can offer a skilled workforce, an impressive pool of talent, a great environment for work and relaxation, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The SNP has correctly spotted that a lower rate of corporation tax would give the country an edge that it currently lacks.

However, such is the pressure mounting on the Treasury and the need to cauterise this corporate revolt, that I suspect a further cut in corporation tax will be on the 2009 Budget agenda. Can Brown afford to do it is an obvious question. But there is a bigger one: can he afford not to?
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James D



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 981

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Salmond said:
Quote:

"Battle will be joined and the issue will be toe-to-toe.

"I'll be delighted to meet Gordon on the campaign trail - I would be delighted, incidentally, to debate with the prime minister."


Now that would be fun!

Whatever you think of Alex Salmond or his policies, in open debate he is almost untouchable. I seriously doubt if Gordon Brown would have the balls to take him on.

Here's a wee sample of him with a famous pompous ass interviewer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWeG0tQprzs

And with yet another poor fool interviewer trying to go for the throat! and failing miserably :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQPptuG8uM&feature=related

Yes she was very rude and yes she did have to apologise.
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Fintan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
James D wrote:
After Gordon Brown's "Triumph" in the world of finance
things apparently aren't so bleak for Labour:-


PatrickSMcNally:
Presumably you mean that with a slight touch of sarcasm?

I think James D meant it with a large degree of sarcasm.
That's why he put the word "Triumph" in quotes.

Quote:
The BBC understands that campaign strategists - who just three weeks
ago were warning the prime minister that Labour would lose -- have now
told him that the tide has turned in the constituency, partly the result of
Mr Brown's handling of the banking crisis.

ROTFLMAO.

Talk abpout clutching at straws. Gordon Brown "solved" a problem
directly caused by he and his cronies in the UK/USA banking system!

I think that undeniable fact would be more likely to make the Scots run
a mile from the monopolists in London.

Quote:
James D
Is independence viable in the new global (NWO) economic order?
What should we (the Scots) do if we get independence?
Any opinions?ideas?suggestions?


Independence and national self-determination is the growing wave
which will destroy the new global economic coup d'monde attempt.

Scots should grab their own independence, as should the Welsh,
and then urge the English to win independence from the NWO Laughing

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PatrickSMcNally



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 846

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fintan wrote:
Independence and national self-determination is the growing wave which will destroy the new global economic coup d'monde attempt.

But what exactly does that mean and what precisely does the SNP offer? The characterization given by Bill Jamieson

-----
An independent Scotland could be presented as a haven for London and south-east of England based big businesses. They are fearful that Treasury plans to simplify the regime for the taxation of overseas profits could turn into yet another stealth tax opportunity of the type that characterised the 10-year Gordon Brown chancellorship. Lower corporation tax has been a central feature of the SNP's economic strategy.
-----

sounds like the kind of "independence" which some important people would very much like to see.
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ManAtTheWindow



Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 253
Location: Inverness, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James D wrote:
Alex Salmond said:
Quote:

"Battle will be joined and the issue will be toe-to-toe.

"I'll be delighted to meet Gordon on the campaign trail - I would be delighted, incidentally, to debate with the prime minister."


Now that would be fun!

Whatever you think of Alex Salmond or his policies, in open debate he is almost untouchable. I seriously doubt if Gordon Brown would have the balls to take him on.


I totally agree, James. I've never seen anybody get the better of Eck in a debate. He has an extraordinary ability to get under the skin of his opponents and cause them to self-destruct while he chortles knowingly. If Broon finds himself forced to go head to head with Salmond it will only be as a result of desperation.

Having said that, I retain a suspicion that Salmond is first and foremost the bankers' ally rather than the people's man. I say that because of correspondence I had with him before the 2007 election. He had just made a statement praising the "magnificent" performance of the RBoS, which had posted profits of umpteen gazillion. (Remember those days?!!)
I wrote to him to suggest that these profits had accrued in large measure from practices of questionable legality as well as ruthless exploitation of the poorest members of society. For example, on the issue of excessive charges for exceeding an overdraft limit, RBS was defying the OFT's finding that any charge beyond an absolute upper limit of £12 was unlawful. RBS was charging £38 (and for all I know it may still be at this level.) RBS has stonewalled its legal requirements at every step of the way and deserves no praise from anybody, far less the people's representative, for this vicious strategy of dragging its heels in the hope and expectation that most of the little guys will be unable to endure the long drawn out process of recovering the money that the bank has stolen from them.
Salmond's reply was to say that he stood by his support for a great Scottish institution which was, in his opinion, an example of how a Scottish business could prove itself to be a world-class contender.
Despite being pro-independence, I therefore did not vote for the SNP at the last election.

We're in a situation now where the banks are clearly the enemy. They are holding entire nations to ransom and saddling every individual citizen with a debt that runs into thousands of pounds. Neither the Prime Minister nor the First Minister is fighting for the little guy in this battle. It makes no difference to me whether the Glenrothes by-election ends up as a victory or a defeat for the genetic mutation of the Labour party which is led by the soulless, robotic, Manchurian Candidate Gordon Brown. The SNP may well beat them again but the Banksters have nothing to fear from either party. And if the banks don't fear the government then the people should.
Salmond is personable, likeable and entertaining; Brown is cold, creepy and dull. But neither of them is going to stand up to Usury plc. It's going slightly too far to say it's like having to choose between Goering and Himmler.

But only slightly.

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ManAtTheWindow



Joined: 29 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fintan wrote:


Independence and national self-determination is the growing wave
which will destroy the new global economic coup d'monde attempt.

Scots should grab their own independence, as should the Welsh,
and then urge the English to win independence from the NWO Laughing


In principle, I agree. But I have the suspicion that the leaders of the independence movement may turn out to be mere gatekeepers.
I wonder to what extent independence can be granted from the top down. I feel in my gut that it can only be viable if it starts from the very roots and moves upwards. Unless the individual wants to be self-reliant it's hard to see how a nation can be truly independent. This is a moment when people should be seizing the advantage and demanding that the banks can sink into their own mess and be damned.

Does it matter to me as a Scot whether the Bank of Scotland has its corporate HQ in Edinburgh or Halifax? While this question is exercising the minds of the political stooges in Holyrood I'm still waiting for someone to suggest where its grave will be, never mind its HQ. If the coke-snorters are still in control does it matter whether or not Scotland is "independent"? Is the USA not independent? Has anybody told Paulson?

The person I'd vote for is the political leader who goes live on national TV to announce, "The nation is under attack. I have ordered the armed forces to round up every director of every financial institution that has asked for a handout. These traitors will be hanged in the Square Mile at dawn tomorrow after a brief trial by waterboard. Highlights will be shown throughout the day on all terrestrial channels. Thank you in advance for your co-operation in this matter."

Now that's independence!

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James D



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ManAt TheWindow said:
Quote:

The person I'd vote for is the political leader who goes live on national TV to announce, "The nation is under attack. I have ordered the armed forces to round up every director of every financial institution that has asked for a handout. These traitors will be hanged in the Square Mile at dawn tomorrow after a brief trial by waterboard. Highlights will be shown throughout the day on all terrestrial channels. Thank you in advance for your co-operation in this matter."

Now that's independence


No, Dude, that's Revolution! And Maybe it's what we need! Laughing
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James D



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Posts: 981

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So lowering corporate tax is a good thing?

That's because ...
Quote:
Scotland needs to attract head office activities and the high-value jobs they bring.

and ...
Quote:
The SNP has correctly spotted that a lower rate of corporation tax would give the country an edge that it currently lacks.


Yeah, I'm sure it sounds great when you're debating away on Newsnight and there's a by-election to be won, but is that really where it's at?

Corporations, what we need is more corporations, corporations paying less tax, hmmm...and workers (foreign?) earning less wages, I suppose, hmmm...and producing...?...more consumer goods for a global market?etc.,etc.

Yeah, I'm thinking how detached politics is from reality.
All this attracting big business stuff for the economy is going to sound a bit irrelevant in the face of the coming depression and financial meltdown ahead of us.

We here all know it's coming and so do they - WHEN seems to be the only unknown variable!

So what do we really need?
Independence, of course! Then what?

What would you do as "The next King of Scotland"?

I'm thinking nationalise (well it is in fashion) the electricity, Scottish Power and share (so we get 10 times what we get now) North Sea Oil for a start.
And then there's LAND(HUGE issue). I'd like a bit for every Scot, to build on, farm, garden or sell.
What else?
Policies please to this BFN thread.
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James D



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just how much money are we talking about with North Sea Oil?

As much as 250,000 million pounds in tax to the Treasury over 30 years!
Which is maybe about 50%!

Here's an interesting documentary:-

Truth, Lies, Oil and Scotland :-

Part 1
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=sIOBG1AVUd8&feature=related

Part 2
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=jrFAaa4SwIE&feature=related

Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=NRMWv2guicE&feature=related

Part 7
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=JTHnknn0ajg&feature=related

So, at half of that, maybe we're talking about 100 Billion pounds - that's got to be a big bargaining tool!
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James D



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, tell it like it is!

Quote:


http://www.sundayherald.com/oped/opinion/display.var.2461475.0.0.php

What’s so safe about banking with UK plc?
Ian Bell on Scotland’s potential

A STRANGE tribe, the North Britons. Nothing cheers them so well as calamity. Their arguments work, when they work, only when the colony they call a country seems to prove itself incapable even of sniffing at the idea of independence. For the NBs, things only go right when they are going wrong. These are proud Scots, every one, and don't you dare suggest otherwise.

They have their uses, too. Last week, they were writing Gordon Brown's script. No sooner had it become clear that RBS and HBOS were to be force-fed public money than the columns - never crowing over misfortune, you understand - began to appear. The pride of Scottish banking (I paraphrase) had required a rescue of the sort Scotland itself could never hope to mount. Only UK plc and HM Treasury could do that job. Ergo - did nobody teach them to beware the syllogism? - SNP hopes for independence were dead in the water.

Mr Brown joined the fun soon enough. "Stronger together than apart," he said, not for the first time. Alex Salmond - I paraphrase again - could stuff the Nationalist dream back into his pipe. The NBs, having endured the distressing spectacle of a popular SNP government, and having adopted Labour on the "my enemy's enemy" principle, couldn't have put it better. Most didn't.

So: stronger together. Britain is strong then, Mr Brown? Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, a cap-in-hand Lloyds TSB: each a testament to sound economic stewardship and a warning against the siren call of petty nationalism? Or are we to understand, simply, that a British government can borrow more than a Scottish government could ever borrow in order to save a banking system for which that British government was, I believe, responsible?

Sort the thing through, in any case. HBOS, and you can take it from this customer, is no national Scottish champion. Edinburgh gets a brass plate; Halifax makes the decisions: that's the reality. RBS is a different, madly hubristic case. It approached collapse - though let's see how the shares fare this week - because its boss, like his peers around the planet, joined a global frenzy. Fred Goodwin compounded the error by paying over the odds for a share of the Dutch bank, ABN Amro. But Barclays really wanted that stake, and almost got it. What conclusions might then have been drawn?

An SNP government could not have rescued RBS: that much is true. Possibly, however, an SNP government might not have presided over the debt and housing asset bubble that helped to wreck British banking. "Stronger together" Brown, not Alex Salmond, was responsible for that, in large measure. He ignored all the warnings, promised an end to boom and bust, and connived in the lunacy.

Mr Salmond may have been incapable of picking up the pieces. This is, it is true, a small country. But it was Mr Brown, and his mighty Treasury, who allowed the great money machine to shatter. In the real world, the fate of thousands of Scottish jobs now lies at the doors of 10 and 11 Downing Street.

Still, what can you hope for from a tiny country with ideas above its station? If you seek to protect people, you have to be big, or so runs the argument. How is that working out, currently, for the US, busily printing money, in hock to the Chinese and shedding jobs like flaking skin? As to British strength, remember this: in August of 2007, personal debt in Britain exceeded GDP. By most rules of thumb UK plc was broke even before the crash. And we should still rely on the state, the government and the prime minister who contrived that state of affairs?

Perish the thought, but it is just conceivable that a Scottish government might have elected to regulate banking a little more tightly than Mr Brown has hitherto dared. Contrary to folk in the City, such things are both possible and legal. Spain's Santander group is able to cherry-pick British banking assets precisely because the Spanish government enforces certain standards of corporate behaviour. Equally, the chances are that an independent Scotland would find itself in the eurozone, with the European Central Bank offering an alternative to the London Treasury and the "can't do" Financial Services Authority.

Still, the NBs, lucky only when others are unlucky, want to know what became of Mr Salmond's "arc of prosperity", the notional linkage of nations from Scandinavia to Iceland to Ireland that prospered mightily until recently. These days the NBs are calling it "the arc of insolvency".

Ireland, they remind us, is in recession. Britain isn't? Iceland, they say, is bankrupt. A population you could lose in Edinburgh got suckered by bankers; this is not an isolated phenomenon. Norway has gone cap in hand to the IMF for $5 billion. That's modest, just at the moment, and necessary only because Norway's $200 billion - just the $200 billion - oil fund is reserved by law to guarantee pensions. How many pensions is Mr Brown guaranteeing, just at the moment?

One conclusion to be drawn from the arguments of the northerly Britons is inescapable: small countries should never be independent. I hope the Swiss are listening. I hope, equally, that the plethora of small nations around the planet are drawing conclusions about the nature of global capitalism. I'll bet some wish they had Norway's oil, or Scotland's.

That one, once again. The NBs never tire of stating, as fact, that it is a foolish government indeed that bases its economic plans on a single, volatile commodity. Look, they say, how the forward price for oil has fallen. True enough: from $147 a barrel at its recent peak to as low as $66 last week. The OPEC nations are worried; some want to cut back on production and force the price back into three figures, if they can. A Scottish exchequer pinning everything on such a hope would find itself in trouble.

But here's something that puzzles me. Have the Gulf states suffered long-term economic damage thanks to their absolute dependence on oil? Has Russia collapsed because of energy prices? Venezuela? Norway? Brazil? As global peak production approaches, oil prices will continue to tend upwards unless and until alternatives are found. So are all these countries being entirely stupid when they could have been spending their wealth on dole money, as Thatcher did?

It is some trick for Mr Brown to claim to be rescuing us from a crisis he helped to create, and then to adduce his efforts as proof that no alternative, such as independence for Scotland, could ever have been feasible. Mr Salmond has not displayed the surest of touches during the banking crisis, but the prime minister is boasting of a triumph best known as Pyrrhic. His tune will sound less melodious as unemployment in Scotland climbs and repossessions commence.

As to our North Britons, I wish them luck. They commit a traditional error, after all. They tell us, above all, that Scotland is simply too economically backward. The country is too small to have ideas above its station, too nearly a basket case to face the big, bad world. Three centuries of Union have worked wonders. After 300 years, if you believe these patriots, Scotland's only hope is to cling to the coat-tails on an increasingly disdainful neighbour. We are part, in turns out, of the arc of ineptitude.

Let's all take heart from that. Or perhaps an independent Scotland could take a leaf from Mr Brown's recently revised book. Nationalise the banks and do not, whatever happens, put your faith in a Bank of England that sets interest rates only to suit the Square Mile, not the little country in which we happen to live. And if the prime minister decides to redistribute those RBS shares among every man, woman and child in this nation, he might even win at Glenrothes.



However with Alex Salmond being basically a Banker to trade, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say to it all and what plans he has for Scotland plc.
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ManAtTheWindow



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the plus side, no one was more unequivocal in his condemnation of Blair's determination to go to war in Iraq. Salmond even wanted to have Blair impeached for his crimes. The Independent,25/9/2004

Salmond has also been consistent in his call for getting rid of Scottish-based nuclear WMDs.

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