Monday 2 July 2012

Just say no to bank/state collusion

Alex Salmond's been in a bit of trouble recently over whether to go for the Euro, start a new Scottish currency, or keep the pound. Keeping the pound, like keeping the Queen, all seems a bit, well, unionist, does it not? Actually, I don't think so. Despite its bizarre name the Bank of England is a UK institution and is therefore just as much Scottish as it is English. Similarly Her Majesty is every bit as much Queen of Scots as she is Queen of England. Nevertheless, lots of folk regard a policy of keeping the pound as somewhat of a climb down for Mr Salmond.
There is a way out of this, of course. With one jump Alex could be free. What Salmond needs to say is that an independent Scotland would have no official currency at all. Running the monetary system just isn't a legitimate function of government. The First Minister should say that an independent Scotland would leave the choice of what money to use in the hands of the people, from whose hands it should never have been taken.
This would require a ban on bailing out the shareholders or bondholders of financial institutions that got into difficulty. The government shouldn't be supporting any private company and that obviously includes banks. In addition a proper government of an independent Scotland shouldn't even protect the accounts of customers in banks. Caveat depositor. In such a world people would be very wary of banks and a reputation for conservative management would be essential for any bank to survive, let alone prosper.
More importantly, what would money actually be in a world (OK, a Scotland) without central banking? All historical evidence suggests that people would pick something like gold or silver as the money of choice. But that should be up to the people themselves, not a subject of legislation.
An independent Scotland could lead the world in re-establishing monetary soundness. Interest rates should be set by supply and demand, not by cosy cabals of bankers operating in a state created and controlled insiders' club.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Not quite "Up North"

Alex Singleton has a post up on his Daily Mail blog. Alex calls for a new elected UK Senate to be situated "up North". Alex suggests Manchester.

Naturally I had to respond:

Good idea Alex.

But in UK terms Manchester isn't in the North. It's only just beyond the end of the Metropolitan Line. The mid-point of the UK mainland is Kendal. If we count the offshore islands the centre of the country is Lockerbie...

So let's really put the new Senate in the north. I suggest Glasgow as a suitable location.

We need an appropriate building; one close to the city centre but not too far from the airport. A listed building that's close to the motorway system. A building that may shortly become available. A building that would come complete with the world's largest supply of union jacks.

Put the Senate in Ibrox Stadium!