Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Big Currency Bash.

Well, it's been hot news since Gideon laid his cards flatly and squarely on the table. The Scots and their Nation are second-class citizens of Planet Earth when it comes to currency sharing. And while I don't normally re-blog items, I saw this post pertaining to the stramash on "who can do what with a pound" while on Facebook today, and thought it was worth the reposting. 

Thanks to Mairie NicIllemhoire and Ken Potter for all the information:

"I'm not in favour of the Euro as our currency post-indy, but nonetheless, I found it very interesting to discover that there are several non-EU members who use the Euro as their currency, namely: Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, and Vatican City.

With regards to sterling, the current list of official users (plus secondary currencies, in brackets) are:

United Kingdom,
British Antarctic Territory,
Falkland Islands (alongside Falkland Islands pound),
Gibraltar (alongside Gibraltar pound),
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Tristan da Cunha; alongside Saint Helena pound in Saint Helena and Ascension),
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (alongside Falkland Islands pound),
British Indian Ocean Territory (de jure, US Dollar used de facto),
Guernsey (local issue: Guernsey pound),
Isle of Man (local issue: Manx pound),
Jersey (local issue: Jersey pound).

Apart from these OFFICIAL users of the pound sterling, there are the following places using sterling unofficially:
Sierra Leone,
plus the Pakistani city of Mirpur in Kashmir.

After becoming independent, Ireland continued to use the Saorstát pound (Irish Punt), which remained pegged with sterling until she joined the European Monetary System in 1978, whilst the UK remained out. Other areas of the, now defunct, Empire have also used sterling in the past - the gold sovereign was legal tender in Canada despite the use of the Canadian dollar.

Several colonies and dominions adopted the pound as their own currency. These included Australia, Barbados, British West Africa, Cyprus, Fiji, the Irish Free State, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. Some of these retained parity with sterling throughout their existence (e.g. the South African pound), whilst others deviated from parity after the end of the gold standard (e.g. the Australian pound).

At this point, I'm thinking that someone needs to put this to Better Together, and ask 2 salient questions: 

1) Just exactly WHAT makes Scotland different from any and all of these other places?
2) Name one place that has ever been refused the use of sterling. Just one!"

It will be interesting to hear if they've got an answer to either of those questions. 

As we approach the referendum, the output of scaremongering dross from the Unionist side is building to a torrent . But just how much more will the people in Scotland take and how much of it is now being seen for what it truly is - utter nonsense? 
I get the feeling that Westminster forgets even the humble Scot has access to the internet where any amount of information is available and these pronouncements can be checked and double-checked and seen for the misinformation they are.

Meanwhile, on the rest of the planet, the thought of an independent Scotland with a Scottish Pound appears to be perfectly acceptable. For instance, this little article - Hong Kong Markets favour a Scottish Pound - published last year on April 28th shows the money markets of the East giving a more favourable rate to the Scottish Pound than Sterling. It looks as if foreign markets think a Scottish Pound would be a safer bet than rUK Pound. 

I shall await the next development, scare story, bullsh*t with baited breath. I'm sure, just like buses, several will turn up at the same time. 


  1. I think the currency union was honestly offered - as, say, a 10-year plan, it would prop up the pound and the balance of payments, lower trading costs, and simplify trade between the two countries. However, I also think the Devo Max option on the referendum was honestly offered by Salmond - it would have been easier to win a referendum on and would have been a major step towards Independence. When Cameron turned it down, he became the bad guy and forced many Devo Max supporters to realise their only hope of change lies with Independence - a win-win situation for Alex. Similarly, I predict this currency wrangle will be seen as another win-win.
    In reality, a currency union would benefit England more than us - despite their bluster, they are in deep economic trouble and would probably have to devalue - possibly even before an Independence vote. Since they are net importers, it would take a long time to dig themselves out of that hole. We are net exporters, have a strong economy - largely due to Salmond's endless campaigns for inward investment, oil, whisky, agriculture, digital technology, banking, tourism, and probably the strongest research base per capita in Europe. If devaluation had occurred in a currency union, our exports, unlike England's, would have gone through the roof, quickly offsetting increased import costs.
    However, we clearly have the capacity to stand alone and I can see Salmond, apparently reluctantly and with many crocodile tears, proposing either an immediate Scots currency post-Independence, or just using the £ until the dust has settled since the nasty Westminster boys seem determined to cut off their own noses to spite their faces.
    It's another win-win situation for him - remember, his proposals are backed up by Nobel-Prize-winning economists, Osborne's are backed up by pique and a misguided sense of strategic advantage (not echoed by either the Stock Market - down 51 points immediately after his speech - nor the bookies - Ladbrokes STILL have the odds as 1/3 on us using the pound). If we use an Independent currency, it WILL be strongly backed see http://wingsoverscotland.com/unleashing-a-firestorm/
    Slovakia went for its own currency a month after Independence and, within a year, became the fastest-growing economy in Europe - it's still one of the top-performing economies. Slovakia has FAR fewer resources than Scotland! We are a rich country. It's time we became a rich society!

  2. Indeed. I think the negotiating position of the Scottish Government is flawed in that it is so rational and reasonable. Currency union would be for a limited time-period, a sensible policy to enable an orderly transition to a situation in which there are two successor states of the former UK (good acronym there).
    But that is why it has provoked such a hysterical reaction. (Interestingly, to be found quite regularly on the "Guardian's discussion boards, so no illusions there please.) And along with the stramash anent Barroso's inept utterances, what it shows is that there's a large body of opinion in England which thinks that "things will go on as usual" in a continuing political entity which would have no constitutional foundation. Few of those who take this view really see Northern Irish people as co-citizens, and they rarely think of the Welsh at all. It's the old problem - "Britain"/UK = England.
    This is pathological; it does to a deeply troubled insecurity about identity which poisons the whole debate and is shown by the increasing nastiness of the failed Better Together campaign. It cannot be reasoned with, so the sooner an independent Scotland has its own currency and the power that gives a Scottish government, the better for all of us. Ultimately that includes the people of England.

  3. I would prefer it if Scotland did go with her own currency, and I like Peter Bell's wee theory that this is just another belter being played by Salmond to allow us to point out "no share assets, no share debt!" ...
    We shall see.

  4. Hazel

    I have a scoop. A member of my family at the B of E have started the design process for a new range of printed bank notes, post Independence of Scotland. He managed to get a few photo copies of some of their proposed designs.

    How can I e-mail them to you?


  5. Like you, Hazel, I hope we go our own way with currency, better to have nothing whatsoever to do with the rUK financially come independence, why should we be dragged down a blackhole of debt by Westminster, the B of E is nothing but a printing press. Fair share of debt countered by a fair share of assets perhaps, if they play ball with the assets, but it looks like they're fighting dirtier by the minute. Me, I would walk away and leave them with their debt-time-bomb. We have too many good people in Scotland that can run the country in a far better way than Westminster ever can. I have no fears for the future of Scotland as long as we get independence.