The co-editors announce the closure of Sceptical Scot on its seventh anniversary….
‘The current conflict seems one from an anachronous, imperial past. There is little to separate a Ukrainian and a Russian – this is not an ethnic conflict but one over territory.’
‘It is conceivable that all this could lead to a rapid collapse of the Putin autocracy, but we should not engage in wishful thinking. Wide-ranging economic sanctions on Russia may be needed for a lengthy period of time. Ejection from Swift is a symbol of these efforts, not a powerful economic tool that can constrain Russia’s actions in Ukraine at little cost to ourselves.’
“The current crisis is made in the USA, but the US can still defuse it by stepping back and agreeing to a demilitarized zone in Eastern Europe. However, that is unlikely to happen as it would contradict Neocon doctrine and go against the character and history of the country. President Biden would also be further politically damaged. In effect, he too has been boxed in by the Neocon operatives in the State Department, the Pentagon, and his own National Security Council.”
As UK inflation hits a 10-year high of 5.1%, a leading Scottish economist asks why global prices are rising so fast – and what central banks must now do.
“Are we in the developed world prepared to accept that it would be fair for Africa’s C02 emissions to rise even as ours fall? Or are we prepared to fund a transfer of resources to enable solar, tidal, wind and so on, to supply their needs? At the end of COP26, more money was promised – but it fell far short of what African negotiators wanted.”
“Governments should work with unions and employers to ensure green jobs: offer good wages, benefits and job security;
provide better training and advancement opportunities;
give workers the right to organise, and are safe and accessible to all.”
It is hard to see how Biden can emerge from this disaster without his credibility shredded, but the greater loss is to the credibility of the United States, which increasingly appears a fading power internationally (as well as a failing state at home).
“A move from unilateralism to deliberation suggests negotiation. So, if last week’s pardons counts as a concession by the Spanish executive, what will the Generalitat have to concede in return?” asks a Barcelona-based commentator of the pardon of nine leading Catalan politicians.
‘Progressives often criticise increased European co-operation on defence because they fear the construction of a European army on the superpower model. But if we understand European defence co-operation as contributing to multilateral missions, this could be a positive development.’