Hartlepool by-election

If even the Guardian reckon Labour are in trouble in Hartlepool, that suggests that Labour are in deep, deep trouble.

It really seems rather surprising that the current government would win such a seat at such a time... but it looks quite likely...

Predictions? Interpretations? If this is correct, does that suggest that the country as a whole in fact love BoJo and regard him as doing a fantastic job, despite what many might think?
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Comments

  • I wonder if Starmer's fellow MPs will try to knife him like they did Corbyn? Somehow I doubt it, no matter how badly he's doing. What is even the point of Labour under Starmer?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    If even the Guardian reckon Labour are in trouble in Hartlepool, that suggests that Labour are in deep, deep trouble.

    Don't dismiss specific local factors; votes for Labour have generally been going down in every election -- with the one that bucked the trend being 2017, the previous Labour MP resigned because of allegations of sexual harassment, and the current candidate was parachuted in after failing to win a seat elsewhere.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    If even the Guardian reckon Labour are in trouble in Hartlepool, that suggests that Labour are in deep, deep trouble.

    Labour may well lose but your premise here is flawed. The Guardian is no cheerleader for the Labour Party. They publish so much that is critical of Labour. Partly because they are serious about journalism in a way the Mail never has been and the Telegraph used to be. Hence you get proper reportage with a particular perspective. It is not a mirror of the Right wing propaganda put out by most of Fleet Street. The other reason is that much of the Left can't agree with itself and the perfect is so often the enemy of the good.

    AFZ
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I don't think it means Labour are in trouble, since the Brexit voters will switch to Tory. I don't take the Graun seriously on Labour, or many things.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    "If anyone but Corbyn was leader, Labour would be 20 points ahead..."
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I don't think it means Labour are in trouble, since the Brexit voters will switch to Tory. I don't take the Graun seriously on Labour, or many things.

    Aiui, the concern isn't just that Brexit Party voters are switching to Tory, but that even Labour Party voters seem reluctant to vote Labour this time round.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I don't think it means Labour are in trouble, since the Brexit voters will switch to Tory. I don't take the Graun seriously on Labour, or many things.

    Aiui, the concern isn't just that Brexit Party voters are switching to Tory, but that even Labour Party voters seem reluctant to vote Labour this time round.

    Well, Boris has had a honeymoon, hasn't he? Will it last? I'm not a fan of Starmer.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    "If anyone but Corbyn was leader, Labour would be 20 points ahead..."

    I doubt that they would be 20 points ahead with Burgon as leader
  • An analysis on BBC Radio 4 yesterday suggested that:
    - the Tory candidate is a very popular individual locally.
    - the Labour candidate is not only strongly anti-Brexit but also an MP who lost his seat (Stockton) at the last election; Hartlepool voters think they're being patronised.
    - Boris is benefitting from the vaccine bounce while no-one seems to care about his wallpaper.
    - Starmer has made little or no impact.
  • Telford wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    "If anyone but Corbyn was leader, Labour would be 20 points ahead..."

    I doubt that they would be 20 points ahead with Burgon as leader

    a) Why? What would make Labour so unelectable under Mr Burgon?
    b) Why is it even a relevant comment given that Mr Burgon is no longer in the shadow-cabinet and hasn't even mentioned an interest in the Labour leadership (I'm not ruling out that possibility in the future, of course).
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Labour's basic problem is structural: the economic foundations on which it was based are no more. There is no longer a working class movement in the United Kingdom requiring a party to represent its interests and aspirations. At its height Labour was dominated by industrial trade unions through their control of the party at all levels, trade union officials (ret.) were well represented in parliament, and the unions kept the socialist ideologues in check. It's greatest achievement was the foundation of the welfare state post-1945 associated with full employment, and integrating the working class into the United Kingdom. Just as the Liberal Party emerged as the means for the political emancipation of the nineteenth century middle class, so did Labour for the working class in the twentieth . Their tasks completed, their time has been and gone. Make way for the British and Celtic Nationalists- and don't kid yourselves that the latter are in some ways more virtuous.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 5
    Since the Welsh Nationalists I know are all firmly on the Left, I'm pretty sure they're a very different animal to the likes of the BNP, Britain First and the rest of that mob.

    Labour's tasks are not completed. We still have an unelected House of Lords and we still have workers oppressed by zero hours contracts and other unscrupulous employment tactics. In fact, with the gig economy the task is urgent and immediate.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    If Labour wants to win anything, it'll need some policies. I literally don't know what they stand for now.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    "If anyone but Corbyn was leader, Labour would be 20 points ahead..."

    Indeed. As no real Corbyn fan, I wrote this two years ago:
    Secondly, the Labour should be leading easily in polls narrative is nonsense. There is a large chunk of the electorate who always vote Conservative. Those votes are not up for grabs. There's a constituency that only care about Brexit and wouldn't trust Labour with it even if Corbyn was on TV burning EU flags. Those votes are not available. They will vote either Conservative or Brexit party company. There are Remainer votes to be picked up, some will vote LD, SNP, Green anyway; some will vote Labour if they believe JC can stop Brexit. Then there's the Labour votes that would be lost by being anti-Brexit. The evidence is that this group is a lot less than the gains but it really isn't as simple as JC can pick up all these swing voters easily. Some are pro-Brexit and not available to him.

    The dynamics in May 2021 are different but not that much different. The government has successfully taken the credit for the vaccine role-out (for which they did almost nothing) and avoided the blame for messing up the rest of the Covid response (in which they did almost everything wrong). That is the issue.

    Oh and Brexit is far from over.

    Corbyn was never my first choice but I supported him against the proto-fascist we have as PM. I like Starmer more but either way it's irrelevant. The Left* needs to do two things:
    1. Stop fighting each other long enough to take on the actual enemy.
    2. Find a way to fight the propaganda war we've been losing for over 20 years... (probably more like 40).

    AFZ

    *Whatever the hell that means
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    The dynamics in May 2021 are different but not that much different. The government has successfully taken the credit for the vaccine role-out (for which they did almost nothing) and avoided the blame for messing up the rest of the Covid response (in which they did almost everything wrong).

    It's worth pointing out that the first part isn't baked in; there's very little evidence of a 'vaccine bounce' anywhere else in the world (and there's very little evidence of a bounce here either -- what has happened is that the level of support for the Conservatives hasn't fallen -- which led one journalist to speculate that perhaps Labour 'bounced downwards').
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Doc Tor: I literally don't know what they stand for now.

    Agreed!

    IMO the major problem facing Labour, especially, is de-industrialisation and the seemingly intractable problem of how to revive the economies of former industrial towns outside the large cities. That is the issue which needs to be addressed, especially by Labour if it is to survive as a credible political force, but no-one seems to have an answer.
    Regional policies pursued by both Labour and Conservative governments in the mid-twentieth century have proved largely ineffectual. Most of these areas have formed part of the Red Wall, whose voters were at one time mobilised by trade unions, e.g. the NUM, but whose grandchildren are atomised workers in low-paid jobs or in and out of work, and may well have decided to take a punt on the Tories, given the demonstrable failure of Labour national and local politicians to make a difference. The odds it will work are exceptionally slim- but what the hell? What is there to lose? What is the speech that any leader of the Labour Party is going to say that seriously and constructively addresses the issue?

  • Kwesi wrote: »
    Labour's basic problem is structural: the economic foundations on which it was based are no more. There is no longer a working class movement in the United Kingdom requiring a party to represent its interests and aspirations. At its height Labour was dominated by industrial trade unions through their control of the party at all levels, trade union officials (ret.) were well represented in parliament, and the unions kept the socialist ideologues in check.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Labour's tasks are not completed. We still have an unelected House of Lords and we still have workers oppressed by zero hours contracts and other unscrupulous employment tactics. In fact, with the gig economy the task is urgent and immediate.
    I think the task for the Labour movement still remains, but that also Kwesi is right that the structure of society has changed and Labour to an extent have failed to change with it.

    Through to the 1980s Labour and the Unions were effectively a single working class movement - the Unions at the front line working for individual workers and for the groups of workers they represented, and Labour as the political wing of that movement working for structural social change to support the rights of all workers. The union reforms of the Conservative governments of the 1980s disarmed the unions who have been losing members as their ability to actually help members has been stripped away, and the reforms of Labour putting more power into the hands of individual members rather than unions has put an artificial division within the movement (for the record, I'm not a Labour Party member and I don't have a dog in that fight, but that was probably a good move if only because the propaganda value to the right wing media of the misleading 'unions control Labour' headlines was costing Labour a lot of support).

    Labour and the Unions are now allies in a common cause, rather than part of the same movement. The Unions still do sterling work protecting their members and fighting for their rights, but often those most in need of Union representation (eg: those in the gig economy) are often not in a Union and forming a Union to represent them puts their very jobs at risk. I'm not sure the Labour Party have fully woken up to the fact that there's a massive part of the work force who are not in a Union, will never be in a Union unless many of the Union-busting laws of the past are over-turned, and yet need the support of the Labour movement. The movement can no longer rely on the Unions to have the backs of workers, and the Labour Party seems to have been very slow to step up to take the lead. Sometimes it seems that the workers have seen this, and as they can no longer look to Labour to protect them they instead look to those who say they're on the side of employers in the hope that if their employers are looked after then at least their jobs with inadequate conditions will be safe - a bad job being better than no job.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Most of these areas have formed part of the Red Wall, whose voters were at one time mobilised by trade unions,

    The so-called 'Red Wall' isn't anything like the American Rust Belt, it consists of constituencies with largely different histories, many of whom swung right in the 80s and early 90s, the term seems to have stuck around because it is evocative, it's explanatory power is fairly low.
    e.g. the NUM, but whose grandchildren are atomised workers in low-paid jobs or in and out of work, and may well have decided to take a punt on the Tories

    If we look purely at the deindustrialised areas that were historically Labour and do a breakdown of votes by age, the young tend not to vote or to vote Labour, many of these constituencies consist of part of a town plus it's surrounding suburbs -- which generally have a greater percentage of older, retired voters, most of whom own their home outright (often on the back of Right to Buy) and vote Tory.

    This is visible if you compare the voting patterns in Hartlepool over 2015, 2017 and 2019. Tories and UKIP/BXP have a near constant level of support, the difference in 2017 is a bloc of voters who would normally sit out the election voting Labour.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    KarlLB: Since the Welsh Nationalists I know are all firmly on the Left.

    They may claim to be on the left, but their sense of international working class solidarity ceases at the English border. Furthermore, Welsh independence would not be in the interests of the Welsh, especially the more economically disadvantaged. Similar observations might be made of Scottish nationalism. To prioritise national identity over class is not of the left. Those the left might reflect on the consequences for the left on the success of Irish nationalism for both Ireland and the UK in the twentieth century.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    KarlLB: Since the Welsh Nationalists I know are all firmly on the Left.

    They may claim to be on the left, but their sense of international working class solidarity ceases at the English border. Furthermore, Welsh independence would not be in the interests of the Welsh, especially the more economically disadvantaged. Similar observations might be made of Scottish nationalism. To prioritise national identity over class is not of the left. Those the left might reflect on the consequences for the left on the success of Irish nationalism for both Ireland and the UK in the twentieth century.

    Hmmm - assessment of random person on internet versus people I actually know. How to decide which way to go...
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    KarlLB: Since the Welsh Nationalists I know are all firmly on the Left.

    They may claim to be on the left, but their sense of international working class solidarity ceases at the English border. Furthermore, Welsh independence would not be in the interests of the Welsh, especially the more economically disadvantaged. Similar observations might be made of Scottish nationalism. To prioritise national identity over class is not of the left. Those the left might reflect on the consequences for the left on the success of Irish nationalism for both Ireland and the UK in the twentieth century.

    Hmmm - assessment of random person on internet versus people I actually know. How to decide which way to go...

    I suppose the question is whether being "of the left" has to equate to being internationalist. Does class solidarity have to trump (pardon the word) national solidarity?
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    The Unions still do sterling work protecting their members and fighting for their rights, but often those most in need of Union representation (eg: those in the gig economy) are often not in a Union and forming a Union to represent them puts their very jobs at risk. I'm not sure the Labour Party have fully woken up to the fact that there's a massive part of the work force who are not in a Union, will never be in a Union unless many of the Union-busting laws of the past are over-turned, and yet need the support of the Labour movement. The movement can no longer rely on the Unions to have the backs of workers, and the Labour Party seems to have been very slow to step up to take the lead.

    Not sure how significant it is, but most of the big victories against the gig economy have been won not by the big Labour-affiliated unions, but by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited May 5
    Telford wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    "If anyone but Corbyn was leader, Labour would be 20 points ahead..."

    I doubt that they would be 20 points ahead with Burgon as leader
    a) Why? What would make Labour so unelectable under Mr Burgon?
    Because, to put it politely, Burgon is and always was, tedious, ineffective and inconsequential.
    b) Why is it even a relevant comment given that Mr Burgon is no longer in the shadow-cabinet and hasn't even mentioned an interest in the Labour leadership (I'm not ruling out that possibility in the future, of course).
    I can't speak for @Telford and so can't answer this.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    KarlLB: Does class solidarity have to trump (pardon the word) national solidarity?

    The left would argue that a bus driver in Scotland has more politically in common with an English bus driver than with the Duke of Buccleuch or an Edinburgh banker. National solidarity would see it otherwise.
  • FWIW, the dismal forecasts of Labour's potential defeat at Hartlepool are deeply depressing, to me at any rate.

    We seem likely to be stuck with Johnson and his awful chums from here to eternity.
  • Kwesi wrote: »
    KarlLB: Does class solidarity have to trump (pardon the word) national solidarity?

    The left would argue that a bus driver in Scotland has more politically in common with an English bus driver than with the Duke of Buccleuch or an Edinburgh banker. National solidarity would see it otherwise.

    But most left wing Scottish nationalists recognise that an independent Scotland is more likely to be able to tackle the Dukes and bankers if they're not reliant on the English not voting tory, which the last 40 years has shown to be a mugs' game. Independence is for the left a recognition that the battle for the UK is unwinnable.
  • Whilst I look forward to an independent Scotland (I have connections - my Ma's family came from Dumfries, and Ma herself moved back to that area for the last 17 years of her life), it may mean that *England* is left in the noxious grasp of Johnson & Co, becoming virtually a one-party state.

    Maybe I'm being unduly pessimistic, and maybe the other elections tomorrow will provide some gleams of hope...
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    The problem with Scottish independence would be negotiating an independence deal with a Tory government of England with no option of cutting ties. It would be like the EU negotiations only the unreasonable power grabbers would be the ones holding all the cards.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    KarlLB: Does class solidarity have to trump (pardon the word) national solidarity?

    The left would argue that a bus driver in Scotland has more politically in common with an English bus driver than with the Duke of Buccleuch or an Edinburgh banker. National solidarity would see it otherwise.

    But most left wing Scottish nationalists recognise that an independent Scotland is more likely to be able to tackle the Dukes and bankers if they're not reliant on the English not voting tory, which the last 40 years has shown to be a mugs' game. Independence is for the left a recognition that the battle for the UK is unwinnable.

    Yes, England is a hopeless case. Of course, Labour then shot itself in the foot by linking with Tory unionists. Separating from Westminster could be very unpleasant, if there is a Tory govt, but doesn't this reinforce the idea that the UK is not a true (voluntary) union? Well, Ireland had to use physical force, so amorous was the English embrace.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Bishop's Finger: Whilst I look forward to an independent Scotland (I have connections - my Ma's family came from Dumfries, and Ma herself moved back to that area for the last 17 years of her life), it may mean that *England* is left in the noxious grasp of Johnson & Co, becoming virtually a one-party state.

    What you are not factoring in is the fiscal gap that the Scots would have to fill, i.e. increased taxation in Scotland to maintain the present level of public spending, or public spending cuts, or both, not to mention the increased cost of government borrowing by an Edinburgh administration keeping sterling but outside a monetary union. Whatever way you cut it, independence means a greater austerity north of the border. The insouciance with which these issues are addressed by nationalists is nothing short of criminal negligence. They can't produce a single serious or non-serious expert in public finance to support their ruinous aim.

    Ranting about the dreadful Tories doesn't solve the problem. The plain truth is that the Conservative-dominated south-east of England is the most prosperous part of the UK, and the trick for the periphery is to get as much in cash transfers as possible. That requires a government with a majority of MPs from the regions and Celtic nations. An independent England is bully for the English and the Conservative Party that would have increased resources to devote to the northern rust belt, whilst the Welsh and the Scots would face serious belt-tightening. The Irish case is particularly instructive: the loss of Ireland severely weakened the centre-left across the UK and hardly produced progress in either part of Ireland.




  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Well, you know the Irish joke, the first 40 years of independence are the worst.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    One of the reasons that the SE of England is prosperous is proximity to a national capital. Since independence would create national capitals in Caerdydd and Edinburgh there would be a new dynamic in play there.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    Kwesi wrote: »
    What you are not factoring in is the fiscal gap that the Scots would have to fill, i.e. increased taxation in Scotland to maintain the present level of public spending, or public spending cuts, or both, not to mention the increased cost of government borrowing by an Edinburgh administration keeping sterling but outside a monetary union. Whatever way you cut it, independence means a greater austerity north of the border. The insouciance with which these issues are addressed by nationalists is nothing short of criminal negligence. They can't produce a single serious or non-serious expert in public finance to support their ruinous aim.

    And what you're not factoring in is that this is a bug, not a feature.

    An independent Scotland is free to set what rules it wants - and if that's repatriating its financial sector from London, then it can do that. The reason that the south east is so prosperous is nothing inherent to the south east. It has no natural resources, it has little in the way of manufacturing, it can't even supply itself with water or food. It's simply that decades of neglect outside of that region have left it a stark contrast with anywhere else in the country - it's rich because it's rich because it's rich.

    And almost everyone else is right, that while the Union exists, that's probably never going to change. If Scotland cuts loose, then, they can make their own centre of gravity, within their own borders.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited May 5
    It would be interesting to calculate if simply having national Parliaments in Cardiff and Edinburgh would be cheaper than having MPs at Westminster as well. Plus no Scottish or Welsh Offices.

    Mind you, Wales and Scotland would need to have Embassies in London! (I believe they already have pseudo-consulates in various places).
  • Kwesi wrote: »
    What you are not factoring in is the fiscal gap that the Scots would have to fill, i.e. increased taxation in Scotland to maintain the present level of public spending
    You do realise that taxation (well, income tax) in Scotland is already marginally higher than the rest of the UK? Other areas of national taxation are not within the powers of the Scottish government to change. Though, there maybe room for revision of local taxation (currently the same daft council tax system as the rest of the UK) for something more sensible. The Scottish government already is needing to raise more tax to fill the shortfall in monies given to it by the UK government.
    or public spending cuts
    If we start by not paying a share of the cost of totally pointless and illegal weapons of mass destruction then that would be a good start. And, how about invest more in public services in support of business so that we have more people in work on better salaries paying more tax?
    the increased cost of government borrowing by an Edinburgh administration
    Since the Scottish government can barely borrow anything at all at the moment (they can borrow upto £1b per year to a total of £5b as part of the additional devolved powers granted by Cameron to bribe the people of Scotland into voting 'No' in 2014) this is a meaningless comment. Of course the cost of borrowing goes up when borrowing becomes possible - but, borrowing is needed to invest so that future costs go down and/or incomes rise (which is a simple bit of economics that the current UK government with it's fixation on austerity to cut tax rates for the rich ignores).
    keeping sterling but outside a monetary union.
    Is not the plan for any of the parties advocating independence - the plan is a Scottish currency, there's disagreement between parties re: the pace of moving from Sterling to that new currency (but, disagreement between parties is part of a healthy democracy as it allows discussion of alternatives leading to adoption of the best possible).
    Whatever way you cut it, independence means a greater austerity north of the border.
    Only if you accept the Tory mantra of cutting borrowing to the bone and cutting taxation for the rich. If you accept reasonable levels of borrowing to invest in public services and fairer taxation then the books can balance (maybe not immediately as there will be some initial pain that will need money spent to ease people through, but within a relatively short period of time).


  • There was an interesting article in (I think) the Guardian the other day, which suggested that an independent Scotland would do well to look to Denmark, and other Nordic countries, as examples on How To Do Things, rather than to England.

    Given the shambles down here in England, that seems eminently sensible to me.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Doc Tor:. An independent Scotland is free to set what rules it wants - and if that's repatriating its financial sector from London, then it can do that.

    Not sure what you mean. What is the financial sector in London that is to be repatriated? What you might consider is what the Scottish-based financial sector, easily the most successful part of the Scottish economy, will do in the event of independence. It was strongly opposed to independence in 2014 and a number of its businesses had taken steps to move to London in the event of a "yes" vote. Was it not the vulnerability of the Scottish banking sector that made the Union so attractive in the first place?
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Was it not the vulnerability of the Scottish banking sector that made the Union so attractive in the first place?

    It's not impossible that things may have changed over the last 300 years.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    edited May 5
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Doc Tor:. An independent Scotland is free to set what rules it wants - and if that's repatriating its financial sector from London, then it can do that.

    Not sure what you mean. What is the financial sector in London that is to be repatriated? What you might consider is what the Scottish-based financial sector, easily the most successful part of the Scottish economy, will do in the event of independence. It was strongly opposed to independence in 2014 and a number of its businesses had taken steps to move to London in the event of a "yes" vote. Was it not the vulnerability of the Scottish banking sector that made the Union so attractive in the first place?

    You're actually bringing up Darien? I think the odds for Scottish independence just shortened by a couple of points.

    (eta)

    Scottish banks (not those owned by the English - the largest being part owned by the British government). Taxation rules that stipulate that off-shoring of profits is illegal under a General Anti-Avoidance Rule. A Scottish Sovereign Wealth fund. Scottish treasury. Scottish tax office. Scottish insurers. Scottish stock exchange. Scottish sovereign debt. Scottish central bank...
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Fawkes Cat: It's not impossible that things may have changed over the last 300 years.

    Of course, circumstances change, but that's not how the Scottish financial sector see their relationship to the City. It is notable that Edinburgh, the focus of financial services, and its associated region, was particularly hostile to independence. It was not inappropriate that a Scotsman, William Paterson, should have been a co- founder of the Bank of England, and an advocate for the Union,
    following his experience with the Darien Scheme.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    It's delicious to see unionists argue that it makes economic sense to stay in a greater union. I suppose many of them are Brexiters.

    I think similar arguments were raised against Irish independence, in the Home Rule period, c. 1885-1915, that is, it made no economic sense. However, once national self-determination takes hold, it's often a runaway train.
  • Which does not necessarily end in a train-wreck...
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Since when was Hartlepool in Scotland?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    It was strongly opposed to independence in 2014 and a number of its businesses had taken steps to move to London in the event of a "yes" vote.

    In large part because of the potential for disruption around at least temporary loss of EU membership and the impact on financial passporting.

    Post 2016 this equation has changed somewhat.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    What you are not factoring in is the fiscal gap that the Scots would have to fill, i.e. increased taxation in Scotland to maintain the present level of public spending
    You do realise that taxation (well, income tax) in Scotland is already marginally higher than the rest of the UK? Other areas of national taxation are not within the powers of the Scottish government to change. Though, there maybe room for revision of local taxation (currently the same daft council tax system as the rest of the UK) for something more sensible. The Scottish government already is needing to raise more tax to fill the shortfall in monies given to it by the UK government.
    or public spending cuts
    If we start by not paying a share of the cost of totally pointless and illegal weapons of mass destruction then that would be a good start. And, how about invest more in public services in support of business so that we have more people in work on better salaries paying more tax?
    the increased cost of government borrowing by an Edinburgh administration
    Since the Scottish government can barely borrow anything at all at the moment (they can borrow upto £1b per year to a total of £5b as part of the additional devolved powers granted by Cameron to bribe the people of Scotland into voting 'No' in 2014) this is a meaningless comment. Of course the cost of borrowing goes up when borrowing becomes possible - but, borrowing is needed to invest so that future costs go down and/or incomes rise (which is a simple bit of economics that the current UK government with it's fixation on austerity to cut tax rates for the rich ignores).
    keeping sterling but outside a monetary union.
    Is not the plan for any of the parties advocating independence - the plan is a Scottish currency, there's disagreement between parties re: the pace of moving from Sterling to that new currency (but, disagreement between parties is part of a healthy democracy as it allows discussion of alternatives leading to adoption of the best possible).
    Whatever way you cut it, independence means a greater austerity north of the border.
    Only if you accept the Tory mantra of cutting borrowing to the bone and cutting taxation for the rich. If you accept reasonable levels of borrowing to invest in public services and fairer taxation then the books can balance (maybe not immediately as there will be some initial pain that will need money spent to ease people through, but within a relatively short period of time).


    Alan, you're a very smart guy but there's some deeply flawed arguments here. Serious economic analysis does not support Scotland doing well outside the UK in the short to medium term. Your reference to Trident is disappointing. Even if you take the strongest critics' figure for the cost of Trident, it's still at absolute most £2bn per year. (FWIW, I think this is over inflated but...) the Scottish fraction of this cost being less than 10% would be around £180m / year. Hardly the sort of dividend needed, especially when you factor in that much of the cost of Trident is spent in Scotland... ridding Scotland of nuclear weapons may well be morally desirable but probably would actually cost money in the round. Besides, I suspect that many nuclear technicians both military and civilian would follow Trident (to Plymouth?).

    However. Brexit does change things.

    The economics of the City are basically that London is a massive hedge fund to the world with the UK gaining a lot of economic activity and tax revenue as a consequence. I very much think the UK economy needs rebalancing but that's beside the point. In the short to medium term, hundreds of billions in tax revenue depend on the City.

    Now if a post-independent Scotland got accelerated entry to the EU, then a shift of financial services from London to Edinburgh seems likely. The amount of tax revenue that would follow could be enough to cover the whole lifetime cost of Trident every year!

    I understand why many want independence for Scotland but absent EU membership it will be very costly. That's not a reason not to do it for many but realism about it is really important. I agree that the South East of England's economic dominance over the rest of the UK is both artificial and detrimental but we can't just wish it away. The cost of Trident is a complete red herring. Putative membership of the EU would happen eventually I think, but unless and until it does, Scotland could be a lot worse off. The difference being that this impoverishment was self inflicted rather than caused by London.

    You are right that the UK has been governed by economic illiteracy for the past decade and an independent Scotland would probably has sane leaders but that isn't enough to fix the whole gap. Especially if due to meanness in London (highly likely) Scottish-English trade was more difficult and being tied to Sterling initially could be very messy.

    AFZ
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Especially if due to meanness in London (highly likely) Scottish-English trade was more difficult and being tied to Sterling initially could be very messy.

    Whilst this is very probable, I suspect the attractions of a cheap way of avoiding under-mining the 'levelling up' agenda would win out.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    Since when was Hartlepool in Scotland?
    Good point. When we know the result of the election and I have a bit more time I'm thinking of a Scottish Independence thread (of course, if the SNP/Greens don't have a majority it's all moot at this time).
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Now if a post-independent Scotland got accelerated entry to the EU, then a shift of financial services from London to Edinburgh seems likely.
    Why? If they were going to move why wouldn’t they already have moved to established financial centers in the EU like Paris or Frankfurt?
  • Dave W wrote: »
    Now if a post-independent Scotland got accelerated entry to the EU, then a shift of financial services from London to Edinburgh seems likely.
    Why? If they were going to move why wouldn’t they already have moved to established financial centers in the EU like Paris or Frankfurt?

    It's a lot easier to persuade people to move to a country where they speak one of the languages.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Dave W wrote: »
    Now if a post-independent Scotland got accelerated entry to the EU, then a shift of financial services from London to Edinburgh seems likely.
    Why? If they were going to move why wouldn’t they already have moved to established financial centers in the EU like Paris or Frankfurt?

    Some have but EU membership is not the only thing. English speaking, ties to Hong Kong, links to US.

    There has been a steady trickle to Frankfurt and Paris etc. Edinburgh is already a financial sector. The confluence of factors would make Edinburgh very attractive.
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