The issue of which currency an independent Scotland would adopt has gone on the back-burner. But with a new poll showing 58% support for indy it deserves to move to the front…Economist/statistician Richard Marsh urges a wider debate.
‘Both governments have a responsibility. Yes, the Scottish Government needs to be much more open about the financial scenarios it faces. But the UK Government needs to have a much greater appreciation of the knock-on impact of its decisions, such as the cancellation of the Autumn Budget, on devolved policymaking. Devolution shouldn’t be seen as an afterthought.’ (Graeme Roy)
‘There was a day when anyone associated with the Duke of Buccleuch would have been anathema to the SNP but in its desperation not to frighten the horses, the current SNP leadership is willing to abandon what its membership in its heart knows is required. The SNP is simply letting a good crisis go to waste.’
In his latest piece on the pandemic, Hugh Pennington examines inter alia how cuts in labs and scientists have helped damage our response to the coronavirus
“But GERS does provide an accurate picture of where Scotland is in 2020. So, in doing so, today’s numbers set the starting point for a discussion about the choices and challenges that need to be addressed by those advocating independence or new fiscal arrangements.”
‘.Like the Bourbons, the Conservatives have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. But Labour are in danger of the same. Time is running out for a reasonably well developed alternative option that might be included in a future referendum. Not only would this enrich a stale debate but would allow Labour to escape the potentially lethal embrace of working with the Tories again.’
On the SQA crisis: ‘At the heart of Scotland’s educational malaise is a serious deficit in the quality of thinking at the top. Such a climate is a recipe for the apotheosis of mediocrity. Too many of those in senior positions are ineffective time-servers, compliant functionaries or political opportunists.’
‘Swinney’s actions during the pandemic have not inspired confidence. The pattern of announcing policy, being sent homeward to think again before quickly reversing that policy, has been almost comical. For instance, he should have foreseen that a categorical pledge to NQTs would marginalise any teachers who were not in that category.’
After questioning economic orthodoxy in his two previous articles, the author asks whether Scotland can deal with the ‘new normal’ and asks commentators/analysts to join nin the discussion.
‘As for the other people on the forum, it would be surprising if any ‘wild cards’ are to be found, since the tried and tested mechanisms of patronage ensure that those who get through the vetting process have to be judged ‘sound’. In the conformist culture of Scottish education, any tendency to ‘rock the boat’ is unlikely to lead to career advancement.’ On the OECD review of the Curriculum for Excellence…