Third post of the day and me with young children to put to bed!
My position has not changed…I thought Carney was measured and fair, giving benefits (which as I said earlier he rushed through at the start but that wasn’t what the mainstream media types were after) and he gave an objective assessment of potential obstacles and compromises. The only question I have about his effort was in trying to compare the Eurozone with the UK. He missed the key point about the problems with the euro – that it was attempting to tie together disparate economies with totally different approaches to tax and spend. The northern part has worked extremely well and guess how much the euro has varied in value throughout the crisis? Next to nothing. It is rock solid and arguably safer than the pound. It was the countries in the south which created the problems and that is completely different to Scotland where as even he admitted there is almost total integration. He made the case for monetary union.
The media as ever fell for the briefing line. Remember, the papers yesterday before Carney spoke were full of government briefing that the governor would warn the Scots of the dangers. The dupes dutifully complied, including the London-based BBC. Carney would show his speech to Downing Street or the Treasury and they would sign off on it beforehand so they knew the content. So the briefing began and the journos simply waited till he hit the button they had been told to prepare for and bingo! they’ve got their story. Sad to see the BBC falling for it and Peston’s analysis all based on poor wee Scotland failing to pay its debts and having to be bailed out by London and England, didn’t pause to ask himself who ran up one of the highest sovereign debts in the world, currently heading for £1.5 trillion pounds…and who has balanced the books over the last seven years in Scotland? A real contrast with Brian Taylor on Radio Four who gave a seriously measured and balanced analysis minus the London twist.
Metropolitan superiority on show tonight…even on liberal-minded Channel Four where Matt Frei (ex-BBC) ended up taunting Swinney with: Why should WE pay for Scotland’s debts? We? We? Surely you are British, Matt, and this is a shared Union and even after independence, there will be rUK taxpayers in Wales and Northern Ireland? But then they like the Scots, don’t really count, do they? Not like the London-based English elite. He seemed to assume that it’s him his Anglo-centric chums who pay for everything. Thank you, Matt. Thank you. You are playing my tune. Funny how a programme so committed to a bleeding heart support for every minority on the planet turns into a raging hotbed of establishment bigotry when it comes to Scotland.
I thought Carney laid out almost word for word what is in the White Paper and poor old Alistair Darling is showing why he has gone down as the (second) worst Chancellor in history by declaring that a monetary union which he himself endorsed is a non-starter. They keep asking what the alternative is. Wouldn’t they get a shock if Salmond told them it was our own currency and we were out of sterling. How fast do you think they can back-pedal? A bucketload of metropolitan arrogance and automatic assumptions of self-justification from the British media tonight – enough to make even Don’t Knows say: If that’s what they really think of us, time to get out.