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Old July 21st, 2016, 12:03 PM   #13941
DaeguDuke
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Milton, we've already been over this, BT promised that things would be bad if we left, they did not promise that things would be any better if we stayed nuts
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Old July 21st, 2016, 08:54 PM   #13942
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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post

Milton, we've already been over this, BT promised that things would be bad if we left, they did not promise that things would be any better if we stayed nuts
Sorry, I was forgetting that "protect" doesn't necessarily mean "protect to the point that it makes a material difference". A crucial distinction in the BetterTogether dictionary.
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Old July 21st, 2016, 09:42 PM   #13943
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Sorry, I was forgetting that "protect" doesn't necessarily mean "protect to the point that it makes a material difference". A crucial distinction in the BetterTogether dictionary.
I can't help but note that we still have a steel industry and we still have a shipbuilding industry - indeed, one currently building two of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK, and with an extensive order-book for new frigates. Indeed, as part of the UK, we've seen employment rise enormously in recent years: employment is the highest it's ever been.

As far as I'm aware though, the only thing that Better Together put out about the steel industry was an infographic quoting a trade union official saying that workers united in solidarity could achieve more together than apart.
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Old July 21st, 2016, 09:48 PM   #13944
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Nope. Wanting to be part of a country is not an endorsement of a particular policy or political party.
Yes, it would be. A second referendum would be a binary choice and the UK option would be to stick in it as it changes demonstrably for the worse. Brexit is a manifestation of reactionary fear about a rapidly changing world. Psychological studies done in the aftermath of fascism showed that a considerable proportion of the population respond to authoritarian language and imagery. While Brexit does not equal Nazism, the root cause and pathway for them to develop is the same. Another manifestation of those same underlying concepts is support for the death penalty and corporal punishment, and as this BBC News article describes this is a better predictor of Brexit support than simple socio-economics.

A good rule of thumb to see whether your side appeals to that is whether the far right supports your cause. In 2014, it was unequivocally the case that the far right supported the No side while their diametric opposites supported the Yes side. That tells you all you need to know about the underlying messages of the campaigns.

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Yet Scotland was supposed to emulate countries like Norway and Iceland as an independent state?
Norway and Iceland are not repugnant to the idea of ever-closer Europe. Had the UK never joined, it not being part of it wouldn't be either. What is repugnant is the idea that it's possible to pull up the drawbridge and reverse the inevitable tide of globalisation and more complicated societies.

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Many of your fellow travellers on here have been telling us Britain is in a terrible state anyway. Usually this is based on outright lies (increases in employment are all zero-hours contracts, poverty has increased, inequality is increasing and so on). I suspect the inclination here is the same: if your ridiculous "isn't everything terrible?" rhetoric doesn't wash with people now, perhaps they'll believe it's in the post.
We weren't saying that it couldn't get any worse. There was at least some prospect of redemption before Brexit. Now, we have the Tories resurgent again, with the only danger being that they under-deliver on Brexit and have to tack even further to the right to keep UKIP at bay. At this point Labour now appears to be beyond saving, since there is no prospect of it ever coming back together under one tent. Corbynism cannot win a GE against the Tories when they can tack as far to the centre as they want without the media complaining.

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Bonkers, of course, but what about the uglier faces of Scottish nationalism isn't?
See above.

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So, everyone who disagrees with me is either a lunatic Objectivist or an English nationalist? I see that "summer of love" the SNP promised the dear old unionists really is in full swing.
On Brexit, yes. The middle ground of Scottish opinion evidently supported a Remain vote. Clearly, they were not persuaded by Nigel Farage or Daniel Hannan, representing the English nationalist and lunatic Objectivist views, respectively. The English Tories are split between free-market economic liberals and traditional small-c conservatives, but as far as I can see the Scottish Tories seem to be more of the latter. For whatever reason, even under our proportional electoral system there is not much room for either objectivism or reactionary Kippery. It stands to reason therefore that these views are very much in the minority in Scotland. Who knows why?

There was token left-wing support for Brexit, mainly concentrated on the trade union movements affected most by globalisation and free markets. In Scotland, again this hasn't been so important when the left has (correctly) Westminster as its bogeyman. With policies like UBI the SNP would be able to win over whatever exists of this pretty comprehensively.

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Yet we don't have any credible evidence that crisis situations have actually increased beyond the anecdotal. Foodbanks have become more evident, in many cases taking the place of longer-standing crisis support, but we don't actually have any reliable information on use - or indeed how people are prioritising their spending.

If previously you might have spent your money on food and not paid the gas bill, having a foodbank may mean you can pay the gas bill instead and approach a charity for food, but it doesn't make you any more or less deprived overall.
Other than all the charities and non-governmental institutions which deal with poverty. Because they're all biased and want to continue justifying their own existence.

Having to rely upon charity to have some quality of life is not a positive thing. Charity is not a replacement for social security that only a state can deliver. It's convenient for the rich to advance charity as a solution to social ills because they donate proportionately less to anti-poverty charities than less wealthy folk. The total contribution of the rich to charities is distorted by donations to charities which disproportionately benefit them (e.g. cultural and educational institutions).

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I agree, and poverty has been falling fairly consistently for a long time, while average disposable incomes increase in real terms.

Wider societal problems cut both ways too. Creating situations where long-term worklessness can be preferable to employment is a valid issue: it leaves people in poverty and holds them back from economic activity. That's what we have in spades - where it has been financially better off for many people not to work. Welfare reform, which you later attack, is there to address that societal element, not to ignore it.
Meanwhile, forcing people to work discourages companies from investing in automation and skills. It's a fantastic wheeze for the short term but in the long term, it's a bad idea. UBI would be a far superior solution, as you remove disincentives to work while helping to distribute employment at the lowest levels among more people. It would be better for society for someone to cut their 50 hours a week to 25 and have the other 25 go to a currently unemployed person.

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You manage to both criticise the UK Government for cutting too much, and for not cutting enough there.

Actually if you look at the figures, spending on welfare (social protection minus pensions) has been fairly flat in recent years. It's not been slashed in the way you suggest.
From 2010 to 2012, we had an actual austerity policy. The Treasury figures were based on the idea that for every £1 of government expenditure we only get 50p worth of growth, and thus cutting spending would result in an increase in growth. As it turns out, that is complete and utter rubbish. Since 2012, the government has kept up the pretence of cutting the deficit through austerity (by ensuring that benefits cuts etc are kept in the public spotlight) while relaxing spending policies in areas which benefit their core voters. Spending billions on Help to Buy without forcing the construction of more homes simply inflates property values, which is great for the property-owning Tory voters in Middle England but absolutely abysmal from a macroeconomic perspective. Most of the benefits cuts already happened by then, so the fact that spending hasn't gone down recently isn't entirely surprising.

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Oh really? What are these measures?

Because employment has reached an all-time high under the current government, with the vast majority of the growth in full-time employment.
Employment is one metric. It is easy to gear policies so that they focus on one metric, as has happened, but at the expense of wider economic concerns. Unemployment has gone down because unemployed people are now forced to seek out every hour of employment possible in the short term. Wage costs have decreased below the minimum wage floor through the introduction of zero-hours contracts and increased casualisation. Some of the practices are verging on wage theft - e.g. unpaid searches at the end of a shift.

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Workless households are down considerably, poverty is down, real earnings are rising, income is rising fastest for the poorest sections of our society, the UK has been growing at the fastest rate of any major advanced economy.

The point is that you hide away from these. It makes for a fairly pointless critique when you cannot understand the thinking of those who you oppose - largely it seems for little more than tribal reasons - and engage on the basis of evidence. Basically your analysis never seems to get beyond "the people I disagree with are evil and doing evil things solely for evil reasons": you might as well just dispense with the discussion of policy and cut and paste that as a response to everything the UK Government does.
I am angry with the Tory government because it fundamentally appears to be more interested in rent-seeking than creating economic prosperity for all. Rent-seeking is an unforgivable sin. I wouldn't care so much about welfare policies if at the same time they were not changing policies so that their own voters will gain at the expense of everyone else. Rent-seeking is the root cause of a great proportion of the West's economic problems right now, and it is a cancer which harms everything it touches. Allowing and encouraging it destroys wealth, as further rent-seeking becomes a more lucrative investment than real investment in the economy. Eventually the people who have suffered will snap and their anger will find an outlet somehow, and unfortunately in England this has been primarily against immigrants and foreigners (aided and abetted by the very forces which gain from rent-seeking in the first place).
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Old Yesterday, 12:37 AM   #13945
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Oh, I very nearly forgot to mention here just how quiet we're all being about George Kerevan's kite-flying exercise. I suspect SNP politicians will be having to answer his quotes for many years to come.

It appears the unilateral declaration of currency union is now well and truly dead and buried among the SNP's inner circle. Instead we have a wishy-washy Scottish currency pegged to the pound and no control over monetary policy.

As much as I'll criticise the Euro as a concept, at least its central bank is an institution that operates for the benefit of all members. In an independent currency, we'd have monetary policy controlled by by the UK Government and the Bank of England for the benefit of a then-foreign state.

The real fun of course came when he admitted this would "necessitate fiscal consolidation" (or, as I've put it on this forum before, billions of pounds worth of cuts). Somehow I expect the experience of Scotland having to "cut its budget coat to fit its fiscal means" will be felt far more keenly by the poorest in our society than the likes of Mr Kerevan.

I've yet to quite work out what he's envisaging when he talks of "monetising her legacy share of UK state assets". Flogging off the tax offices? Selling MOD sites? We can only guess.

Still, apparently smaller countries "exhibit greater social solidarity when it comes to sharing any economic pain". So that's all right then.
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Old Yesterday, 04:57 PM   #13946
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
"The UK", by which I assume you mean the UK Government, has absolutely no such policy and has never stated anything of the sort.



Some quotes from some leavers doesn't really add up to that. Indeed, I could quote you many who suggest EEA membership or equivalent.

Couldn't really be bothered, but why don't you replace leavers with Kerevan, switch UK with SNP and you've already got your answer.

Amused how you're going off on one about Kerevan's
comments and defending lies/broken promises from BT and Brexit politicians.

"Yes that was promised, but if independence had won things would be worse" doesn't really hold water
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Old Yesterday, 09:14 PM   #13947
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
Oh, I very nearly forgot to mention here just how quiet we're all being about George Kerevan's kite-flying exercise. I suspect SNP politicians will be having to answer his quotes for many years to come.
I don't disagree with George Kerevan whatsoever. Other small European countries have been put in relatively major financial situations and have pulled through stronger than before as a result of good governance. There's nothing to suggest that the SNP wouldn't be able to pull off a similar thing in Scotland given that we do have areas of our economy that are ripe to grow.

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It appears the unilateral declaration of currency union is now well and truly dead and buried among the SNP's inner circle. Instead we have a wishy-washy Scottish currency pegged to the pound and no control over monetary policy.

As much as I'll criticise the Euro as a concept, at least its central bank is an institution that operates for the benefit of all members. In an independent currency, we'd have monetary policy controlled by by the UK Government and the Bank of England for the benefit of a then-foreign state.
I don't think you appreciate the point or implementation of a currency peg. There would be an independent Scottish central bank making the decision that it would be in the best economic interests of Scotland to peg it against the Pound Sterling. This is no different to the Danmarks Nationalbank deciding to peg the krone against the Deutschmark and then the Euro. If the situation changes and it becomes economically advantageous to remove the peg, then it is entirely in the power of the Scottish central bank to do that.

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The real fun of course came when he admitted this would "necessitate fiscal consolidation" (or, as I've put it on this forum before, billions of pounds worth of cuts). Somehow I expect the experience of Scotland having to "cut its budget coat to fit its fiscal means" will be felt far more keenly by the poorest in our society than the likes of Mr Kerevan.
The goal of the Scottish Government under these circumstances would be to reduce the deficit in a sustainable way. When the Tories tried to cut the deficit, they approached it from an ideological base that state spending was bad (the 50p value for every £1 of state expenditure, as in the original Treasury plans) rather than the science of economics. They failed, although as the deficit reduction plan was put in place for ideological reasons rather than necessity, this didn't result in that much of a calamity. The SNP have effectively no ideology other than to do what is in the best interests of Scotland. Just like how they have assembled a panel of EU experts from across the political spectrum to look at the options for Scotland after Brexit, they would set up a panel of economic experts to come up with the best proposals for reducing the deficit. If that means cuts in some areas, then so be it, but these would be because an independent panel of experts said they would be best and then the elected government decided to agree with them.

Examples of such cuts that could have a major impact upon the deficit would be changes to housing benefit. Right now, housing benefit is of dubious social and economic value as it is nothing more than a subsidy to private landlords. Reducing it or abolishing it completely may well leave the poorest no worse off while massively reducing the burden on the public purse. As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, there are many examples where the Tories have encourage rent-seeking behaviour and much of this is done with taxpayer's money.

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I've yet to quite work out what he's envisaging when he talks of "monetising her legacy share of UK state assets". Flogging off the tax offices? Selling MOD sites? We can only guess.
Well, we do have Faslane to think about. What is the market rent for an irreplaceable (in the short term) nuclear submarine base? We would charge the rUK the maximum that they would be willing to pay for continued use of the base while they (inevitably) build its replacement. Remember that they would just have had the multi-billion pound liability that is Scotland removed from the Treasury's balance sheet, so they wouldn't be short of cash to pay for it either. If they don't pay, they don't get the base. It's as simple as that.

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Still, apparently smaller countries "exhibit greater social solidarity when it comes to sharing any economic pain". So that's all right then.
Well yes, they do. Seriously, think about whether Nicola Sturgeon would suffer the political problems that other leaders have had in making tough decisions. Unlike most the of social-democratic parties of government in Europe the SNP haven't been in power long enough to become hateable and distant. No one can argue that Nicola Sturgeon or almost anyone else in the SNP came into power for the sake of a ministerial car and so don't actually care about the people of Scotland. That's what makes her so powerful right now and that's what will continue to make her powerful so long as she doesn't make any Iraq-level mistakes. She wouldn't suffer as a result of a Yes vote in IndyRef2 because she would simply have allowed Scotland to vote for the thing that she's been campaigning for her entire life. It's politicians who use referenda as political tools who suffer when the result is difficult times.
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