We are now entering the part of the independence campaign where things get truly nasty. The UK government seem intent on not only harming the future prospects of an independent Scotland, but also in delivering a considerable amount of collateral damage to the economic well being of the country right here and now.
The latest debacle is (again) around whether an independent Scotland would be able to continue to use the pound. Despite various educated commentators pointing out that they can’t really stop us, this particular argument rumbles on.
What makes this doubly irritating is that Scotland already has it’s own currency in the only sense that matters – the pound in your wallet, the money in your hand. It is, in every sense, a complete non argument.
Picture this – a crisp, new £20 note. No, not that one, the other one. or possibly the other, other one.
See, for those of us living in Scotland, there isn’t a pound – there are a few of them – Clydesdale, RBS, Bank of Scotland, and of course, the one that anyone south of the border is thinking of when they say “the” pound – the Bank of England.
And the thing is – although these other notes are sometimes accepted without hassle in English shops (but not always), they are not actually legal tender at the moment – in order to issue these notes, the Scottish banks have to hold an equivelant sum of Bank of England notes in reserve at their head offices – they do this using massive value notes called “Titans”, which are worth an eye popping £100,000,000 .
And there’s the punch – in order to continue to issue sterling notes all that would be required is for the Scottish banks to hold an equivelant value of Sterling in their head offices to back those notes at 1:1 value… in other words, precisely and exactly what happens at the moment.
As I said – this is a complete and total non-story, whipped up by Project Fear to try to discourage a Yes vote.
Hopefully, the Scottish people will demonstrate that we are made of sterner stuff, and stand up to bullies!