Further to this blog’s recent words of caution about the seeming omnipotence of Fat Eck Salmond and his anonymous chums – the people who released the still thriving Lockerbie bomber, remember? – The Knife is not surprised to read Alan Cochrane’s excellent Telegraph piece. Note his comments about the “limited” John Swinney, Scotland’s would-be chancellor:
“….what was truly astonishing was Mr Swinney’s total inability to answer detailed questions put to him by Raymond Buchanan, the interviewer, about the implications of what he was proposing.
For instance, he had no real response when asked about the notion that reducing corporation tax in Scotland may actually lead to a smaller “take”.
Much worse, however, was to come on excise duties. The separatists want to do this, presumably, so they could increase booze prices as a way of combating what is often described – with massive understatement – as Scotland’s unhappy relationship with the demon drink.
This may be a perfectly laudable objective, but having such powers does throw up problems, as this column mentioned last week and as Mr Buchanan sought to point out yesterday.
If Scotland had significantly higher drink prices than England, he asked, what would prevent him taking a van down to Carlisle, loading it with cheap booze and ferrying it back across the Border?
I have no way of knowing whether or not Mr Buchanan enjoys a drop, but it was a perfectly fair question. What’s more, it completely flummoxed Mr Swinney, who fell back on that old politicians’ standby, saying we should stop making excuses for doing nothing.”
This is no surprise. Swinney’s day job for some time now has been to chunter about choices, decisions blah blah, then ask for more pocket money. He is typical of the SNP mindset – and I include Fat Eck himself – who are basically making it up as they go along, having had a lucky break.
In reality, it all depends on Dave’s electoral calculations, and little else.
Quite a few people are looking forward to the day Eck falls flat on his face. Independence is not just around the corner.