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A UK Treasury minister has said (Danny Alexander to the Guardian’s Nick Watt, in Aberdeen?) that in the event of a vote for Scottish independence there’d obviously be a currency union. As I’ve written here before, it’s equally obvious to everyone that there’d be no mad border guards and there’d be sensible arrangements regarding the armed forces and other ostensibly UK institutions. All this for the simple reason, which everyone but those running the No campaign understand, that a residual UK would naturally want to get on well with its new neighbour. Folk visiting friends, travelling on business, trading, just living their lives – who’d want unnecessary rancour? No-one, not even those least predisposed to Scottish independence. Every decent person, Scottish or otherwise, would want the best for everyone surely?

Some prominent members of the No campaign are calling for the sacking of the minister who’s dared to speak the simple truth. Well let’s not be rose-tinted lensed about politics, but seriously – actually sack someone for saying something which is not only the truth but which most Scots agree is the truth?

The No campaign is simply a disaster. Its purpose seems to be to champion hate and negativity about Scotland.  Naturally the polls are going the other way in response. It’s patently ridiculous to everyone, it’s treating Scots like inferiors and fools, to argue that Scotland couldn’t hack it as an independent state and that all our neighbours would harm themselves in order to disrespect an independent Scotland.

So what’s going on with the No campaign? Have they actually forgotten that they’re Scottish?

Well, it’s patently obvious that some folk – like serving non-SNP politicians – are paying quiet lip-service to it while keeping their distance. Labour folk really don’t want to be seen as being on the same page as Tories and vice-versa. It’s equally clear that it can’t be left up to the pointlessness which is ‘Scottish’ Labour’s leadership. Alistair Darling aside – he’s been flattered and suckered – the No campaign is being run by junior folk who themselves are flattered to be considered the equals of those running the Yes campaign.

Meanwhile, senior Labour politicians believe (correctly, I think, but I could be, er, wrong) that there’ll be a No vote in the end then it’ll all go back to UK business as normal-ish; meanwhile they have to show willing as a minimum.

I see that some of the (albeit distanced and who’ve never actually bothered to hold elected office themselves) ‘bigger boys’ on the No side are arguing that if Scotland votes No, then that’s the SNP ‘dead in the water’. Ever heard that thought before?

For my own part, I think Scotland will vote No narrowly then never forgive Scottish Labour (I’m not bothered about the others) for dissing Scotland during the campaign – allowing the SNP the right to set the Devo-plus agenda and walk to a comfortable victory in 2016.

There’s time, like. The No campaign is burdened by a negative imperative, but it could point out the good things about remaining part of the UK. The folk running it could at least try to act grown up, as if they’d had jobs other than as politicians’ researchers and whatnot; as if they had a normal buy-in to Scotland and actually being Scottish.

Scotland’s pretty good and it’s good to be Scottish. Why not start a campaign from that perspective?

Ah, bollocks, someone already has……



21 Responses to Scotland – currency union obvious, ‘No’ campaign message a disaster
  1. […] Labour MP Eric Joyce, have also noted that a currency union will happen.  Eric Joyce’s blogpiece on this issue gives a refreshingly honest view from a Labour […]

  2. I’ve looked at quite a few of your posts. How can you be so close to saying YES but not actually coming out with it? Labour for independence is only one word away and Scotland will need a strong Labour party after a YES. The thought of the present lot representing my interests in a future parliament scares me even moe than a NO vote.

    • Eric has looked pretty staunchly unionist to me. Peed off with recent fracas by some of the pro union factions.

      The campaign messages are not the substance of the matter, as ever.

      I look forward to his re-assessment of the latter.

  3. C’mon Eric, you’re nearly there. Take the next step…

  4. I expect the the UK campaign to improve, and as the margin over the Independence faction remains very substantial or increases the pressure to get to them.

    Racial prejudices and xenophobia abound in the wake of the Crash, WW Recession and years of stand still (worse on places) economy.

    And of course proposed communal divorces do not always commend themselves to all on both sides. Resentments are inevitable, not just among the Paul Daniels of this world.

    I doubt currency deals and Trident etc would be settled quite so easily as you UK cosmopolitans imagine Eric!

    A couple of months ago YouGov published research showing that Scotland and the UK more generally both supported the Union by 2:1. 😉

    One of my favourite polls.

    • Yeah, maybe. Who knows. The Trident thing is interesting. A bit like the Russian’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol, no? The SNP would be saying – “We agree that you can’t realistically remove Trident overnight, so you can let them run out in Scotland. What do we get for being super-sensible and keeping rUK’s nuclear arsenal here, along with rUK mil personnel, here in the meantime?”. Answer – “pretty much anything you want”?

      • I don’t see Scots independence as a means to the removal of nuclear weapons from Britain, otherwise, Machiavellian I might reconsider! (Jest)

        Would Salmond call in UN inspectors to dismantle the WMD facilities?

        I suspect Osborne, Alexander and Balls (an unlikely crew for a punt or a pint!) are as obdurate as Salmond. His position looks more secure.

        But do Scots want to risk the £? Or play Trident as a trump card?

        Too much sense. And Tory/LDs for another 14 months.

  5. Anyone who sticks the nut on two Tories is a man of sound judgment who for this alone should be considered for office come September

  6. I’ve had a pop at you in the past, Eric, but this post of yours is very good. I think you could have a place in frontline politics in an independent Scotland. Why not, as others have suggested, offer some backing to Labour for Indy? Scotland needs her best MPs sitting in Edinburgh and not backbenching it in Westminster. Mòran taing

  7. Good article Eric. Good luck with everything. Nice to read your perceptions of this – they look spot on. Who knows maybe a place for you too in the aftermath.

  8. Personally, I would also vote for you as a REAL Scottish Labour party candidate.
    Everything is possible with a fresh start.

    The reason the NO campaign is faltering is partly because of the reasons you mention.
    All the silly patronising nonsense, insults and bluffs.
    But also because the whole UK set-up is broken. It’s all about a greater London.

    The way I see it , we could instead have a decent Scandinavian style socialist government in Edinburgh, rather than putting this country on hold trying to elect Ed Miliband – which just isn’t going to happen.
    He isn’t likeable enough, and the UKIP vote will go to the Tories en-masse.

    Then what do we get?
    Many more years of the David, Boris and Nigel show.

    With independence, I believe a GENUINE Scottish Labour party could actually mean something again, and has a decent chance of forming the first government, with common sense policies including cooperation with the rest of Britain on defense and other areas.

    The SNP will soon split into left and right, and Scottish Labour can truly prosper once it is free from London control.

  9. ‘For my own part, I think Scotland will vote No narrowly then never forgive Scottish Labour (I’m not bothered about the others) for dissing Scotland during the campaign – allowing the SNP the right to set the Devo-plus agenda and walk to a comfortable victory in 2016.’

    A very interesting piece. As a firm yes, I have only really thought about the poor performance of the no campaign in terms of short term benefit to us. Entirely agree this will be close run either way but had not considered damage to Labour in a post- no outcome. In fact I thought with a swift leadership change they might get a wee boost from it but on reflection I think you might well be spot on. What on earth went wrong with Scottish Labour?

  10. Another good article, Eric.

    I see that some of the (albeit distanced and who’ve never actually bothered to hold elected office themselves) ‘bigger boys’ on the No side are arguing that if Scotland votes No, then that’s the SNP ‘dead in the water’. Ever heard that thought before?

    I’ve not heard that one before. Anyone who believes that is deluding themselves. They’d just as well state that that if England votes Tory then that’s the end of the Labour Party. It’s only a referendum, and if it’s lost we’ll carry on trying to convince people to vote YES the next time.

    The No campaign is burdened by a negative imperative, but it could point out the good things about remaining part of the UK.

    This seems to be a problem for the naysayers – finding good things to say about remaining part of the UK. I’ve yet to hear anyone from the NO camp put forward a cogent argument for the Union. If there is such a thing, no-one has yet discovered it.

  11. Eric you are a hero in many socialist eyes , myself included . plz help us the people of Scotland who want a true Labour voice , get us INDY and you will be a HERO ,I would vote for you and so would many others ,sickened by the hypocracy of Scot/Lab be true to your beliefs and stand up for us PLEASE !!!

    • Thanks, really. I think I’ve blown it on that front, though….

      • Thanks, really. I think I’ve blown it on that front, though….

        I dunno about that. OK, you’ve made some mistakes, but who among us hasn’t.

        Many who are independence minded consider you to be upfront and honest – Unlike the majority of Scottish Lab politicos.

        Why not give Labour for Indy the benefit of your experience?

  12. “For my own part, I think Scotland will vote No narrowly then never forgive Scottish Labour”

    Who on earth do you think would wish to govern Scotland in 2016 after the Barnett formula has been disintegrated? Anyone in power at that time forced into making swinging cuts in the social budget will be in a lose/lose situation.

  13. Not bad – now when will you apologise for sharing the Scottish Regiments?

    • Hmmm, a bit tangental but I think you might be referring to the amalgamations. The army isn’t a museum or a statement. And, by the way, having done my own time in the Black Watch I don’t feel like I have anything to apologise about. More power to the elbow of today’s Scottish soldiers, I say….

  14. Not bad … No when will you apologise fir the Scottish Regimenrs


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