Coincidences with Scottish by elections

We have seen a £2.7billion emergency package to deal with the problems of Labour’s tax reforms, and the announcement of new aircraft carriers. This time round there is the £37 billion financing package for RBS, HBOS and its possible new partner, Lloyds.

The government will tell you that these spending items are unconnected to by-elections. I do notice, however, that some are keen keen to spin that the bail out of Scottish banks by English and Scottish taxpayers shows Scotland would be too small to go it alone.

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  1. Posted November 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I don't think anyone from the UK can seriously argue that Scotland is too small to go it alone. We should never forget that Malta was granted independence from the British Empire as a stand alone state – and many others all over the world as well.

    What the Unionist parties are arguing is that Scotland benefits economically from the Union and this 'bail out' is an example of the 'Union dividend'. Its hard at the present time to argue against that.

    Scotland entered the Union on the back of an economic disaster – the ill-fated Darien scheme of the 1690s. Part of the sweeteners for Union was that those Scottish nobles who had lost money were compensated by the English Government. "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"…as the French might say!

  2. mikestallard
    Posted November 1, 2008 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    The credit crunch works so quickly and decisively. Who would have thought, say, six months ago, that Labour might have won Glenrothes?
    As an ordinary punter/voter I must say that I find politicking most distasteful. All this stuff about trying to win by elections with other people's money and leaking information and so on is most unpleasant.
    I suppose it is the Great Game for politicians?
    If so, please may we have two teams on the pitch instead of just one Scottish one?

  3. Adrian Peirson
    Posted November 2, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    But the Aircraft Caeeiers will be slowly handed over to the EU Navy once ours has been demoralised and culled out of existance through lack of funding.

    • APL
      Posted November 3, 2008 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      The Aircraft Carreries will be unusable. With out the supporting defensive craft to provide an airscreen, anti submarine counter measures and other defensive measures, they will never be able to leave dock.

      Carriers will need a battle group each, and a flight deck equipped with sufficient aircraft. Without those things, without additional surface warship support we are simply providing a huge sitting target for the enemy.

  4. David Eyles
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Personally, even if the announcement of the aircraft carrier order was made in time for the by-election, I would not give a monkey's. We actually need not two, but three (one to be maintained or in home waters whilst the others are away on service elsewhere) and preferably five. But we also need the destroyers, frigates and hosts of small ships to make up the losses made by this government and to re-equip to counter future threats. By the same token, the RAF and army need more and better kit urgently, just to get to grips with our existing commitments, as well as doubling or trebling the numbers of active service personnel.

    What I do think is a travesty is the bailing out of RBS/HBOS and the Northern Rock and rest, because that really is pure electioneering as well as condeming the entire country to a future of high taxes and low growth. This latter strategy will ensure that our armed forces remain impoverished and our service men and women endangered by a cynical, irresponsible and incompetent government.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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