One of The Knife’s occasional hobbies is to point out how perennially overrated is King of Scotland, Alex “Fat Eck” Salmond. The main problem is twofold. Firstly the Scottish Parliament was set up to make it almost impossible for one party to get an overall majority. This wheeze failed dramatically at the last election, though I wouldn’t bank on the same thing happening next time. Secondly, the opposition has been just hopeless. There have been signs of life, mainly from Johann Lamont, the deceptively dopey looking Labour leader, but the only real opposition is in the media, and online.
However, every time Eck’s ludicrous pipedreams get any sort of scrutiny, they start to crumble. Here’s his latest, now that Plan A (joining the Eurozone) is looking a little shaky:
Scotland wants the Bank of England to bail it out if there is another financial meltdown – even if the country breaks away from the UK.
Scottish Nationalists are insisting they want to keep the pound as their currency and retain the Bank of England as the ‘lender of last resort’.
But an influential committee of peers has warned it would be ‘implausible’ for the Bank to accept risks over which it had no control. It also attacked one of the main parts of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s economic blueprint as ‘fanciful’.
Well, quite. “Fanciful” is putting it politely. Of course there is the oil, and if you visit Aberdeen (booming) you’ll realise that it isn’t drying up yet, but I wouldn’t bet on Eck’s plan than 90% of this will end up with Scotland. This all arose from The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, who seem to have been thorough (unlike Eck and his ‘limited’ pals):
… it pointed out that the debt and liabilities held by in an independent Scotland would be 123 per cent of GDP – a level committee claimed would be “a major issue” for a small country with no borrowing history….It described the SNP’s plans of being able to influence the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee and having a Scottish representative on it as “entirely fanciful” and “devoid of precedent.”…..It said it was “difficult to see how the UK Government would extend central banking services to an independent Scotland since the UK government would lack control over tax and spending policies of an independent Scotland.”
Add to this Dave’s well-timed jab about defence and Eck once again looks like what he is: a noisy overindulged thug, who wings it all the time. I still doubt that he really wants the responsibility of running an independent country, he just loves the spotlight. As it happens, given that they’re almost certainly going to lose the referendum, he may well be satisfied on both counts.
The most perceptive take on all this that I’ve seen in years is found at Bogpaper. Very funny, and worth reading it all. Here’s a sample:
Walking back from the pub last night I bumped into a strangely familiar character when I stopped off at a chip shop to buy a kebab. He was drinking from a bottle of something hidden within a brown paper bag and trying to order food from the bemused Turkish staff in a strange foreign tongue. At first I thought it was a Bulgarian Big Issue seller but then it suddenly dawned on me who it was – none other than Alex Salmond – the leader of the SNP.
He was a big man for a Scot, about 5 feet 3 inches tall, and I could see that unless he got something to eat PDQ there was going to be violence. My grandfather was a Glaswegian so I understood the language and offered to translate for him.
“Have ye any deep fried butter balls?” he asked the Turkish shop owner…..