HBOS merger could end Treaty of Union

October 20, 2008

I thought it was interesting listening to Jim Spowart, founder of Standard Life and Intelligent Finance, on Sunday’s The Politics Show on BBC Scotland.

He offered the view that if the HBOS merger with the Lloyds TSB happened it could break the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England.

Spowart has been a long-time advocate against Scottish independence, so his views should be taken as a warning to Unionists over the proposed bank merger.

He estimated that around 100 000 jobs in Scotland, primarily in the central belt, could be lost if the proposed merger happens.

That figure includes jobs from businesses indirectly linked to the HBOS headquarters in Scotland, as well as the losses expected from HBOS themselves.

An absolutely huge figure.

The merger is seen as supported by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and even caused by his mismanagement of the economy in the first place.

So if 100 000 people did lose their jobs in the central belt I doubt they would have much incentive to vote Labour.

The fact that Labour’s heartlands in Scotland are in the central belt, especially in the west, probably won’t have escaped many Labour councillors, MSPs, MPs etc.

And as witnessed in the Glasgow East by-election those voters will predominately switch to SNP en masse.

The HBOS merger might just lead to Labour meltdown in Scotland.

And bring Scottish independence that much closer.

For all that, I doubt the SNP are cock-a-hoop wanting this merger to happen to finally realise their dream of independence. Independence could happen with any number of political scenarios; I very much doubt the SNP want Scotland to lose 100 000 jobs to achieve it.

Why pick the worst option to achieve independence when there is something inevitable about it happening anyway?

Any number of political scenarios could bring about independence for Scotland. The challenge for the Unionists is that each scenario they have to win; nationalists only have to win once: can anyone name a nation who once democratically free and independent actually wanted to go back to its old imperialist masters? That fact alone suggests that independence must be the best way forward for Scotland.

I don’t see Ireland wanting to be back in under UK rule, or Iceland – even with its current financial troubles – wanting to be back under Danish rule.

Independence will happen anyway. It would be a shame if it happened like this.

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Scottish Six

August 19, 2008

I listened to Greg Dyke, former director general of the BBC, today on BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive programme agreeing with the case for a ‘Scottish Six’ programme on BBC television. It is not the first time he has aired such views.

He admiitted that the UK BBC News has little relevance to Scots since devolution started; as there is a whole range of issues that are reported as UK- wide but now only apply to England. He also admitted the political pressure put on him by the Labour Party to prevent a Scottish Six happening during his tenure in charge.

Also noted in passing was the Scots having the highest reluctance to pay the BBC licence fee of anywhere in the UK.

Do you think these two issues could be related in some way?

I note there is a online petition just started for a Scottish Six.

I am in favour of a Scottish Six – as is the Scottish Broadcasting Commission; BBC TV Scotland should handle all international news in the same way as BBC Radio Scotland does – the coverage on Good Morning Scotland is well delivered.

I have heard arguments that a Scottish Six would be parochial; I think that is an insult to the people of Scotland. If it works on radio, it should work on TV surely!! (Albeit we might have to put up with ugly people on the box at the start – but its a price worth paying!)

The ‘parochial argument’ surely comes from people thinking that the Scottish Six would be an extension of the current local news. Its only local because they’re not allowed to give international news currently!

Giving Scotland a Scottish Six would mean that Scots are given news that actually relates to them, not UK news on health and education that purports to apply to Scotland.

And whats up with wanting Scots to be more informed?

After all isn’t information one of the remits of television?

Nation shall speak unto nation.

That’s the BBC motto.

Its a pity that when the nation is Scotland, it seems we’re not allowed a voice. (Except for radio obviously!)