Monday, May 19, 2014

A Comprehensive List of Debunked Better Together Scare Stories

I've not really had time to blog recently, with the pace picking up at work and an upcoming placement test for Korean Lessons. Study and work kind of dominate my life these days, much to my chargrin. I digress though. Even though its currently not the wisest use of my time, I would like to compile a list of every Better Together/ NOBorders/ UK government scare story, along with an accompanying link to a report/ official statement from the horses mouth/ or evidence that debunks it.

Currency Union:
Scare Story: The UK government will, under no circumstances consider a currency union with an independent Scotland.
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason: Political horse trading. Currency may be used as leverage to "buy" a lease for Faslane until Trident can be moved.

Scare Story:  Scottish pensioners would, under an independent Scotland, lose all of their pension contributions made in the UK
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason:  Pensioners who have paid into the British "pot" for the duration of their working lives have access to it, regardless of your citizenship. It's one of the reasons why the UK won't come to an agreement with other countries about offering foreigners the opportunity to withdraw their pension contributions when they leave the country

(Interesting note: The UK doesn't have a "pension pot". If you have paid national insurance for a certain period of your life, you are entitled to a pension taken from the taxes paid by current workers. Its a massive Ponzi scheme that screws future workers. Independence is the only way to start afresh and ensure the younger generation of workers in Scotland actually get a pension.)

Scare Story:  The UK government would set up border checks at the Scottish-English Border on the event of independence
Status: Debunked. Source 1. Source 2
Reason:  Costly. No border between the UK and Ireland. Senseless. Bad for business.

Scare Story:  Scotland is a subsidy junkie that has always been funded by English taxpayer money
Status: Debunked. Source (Figures from the National Library of Scotland)
Reason:  Scotland has been a net contributor to the UK finances since at least 1900.

Scare Story: Scotland would lose the British NHS if it broke away from the UK
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason: The NHS has never been united. The Scottish NHS is, and always has been a completely separate institution from the English (not British) NHS

Mobile Phone Roaming charges:
Scare Story:  Scots travelling in England would have to pay international roaming charges when using their mobile phones
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason:  The EU intends to completely scrap roaming charges across Europe by 2015

EU Status:
Scare Story: Scotland would never become a member of the EU because the EU would not let them do so.
Status: Debunked. Source 1 Source 2
Reason:  It's expected that Scotland would complete all appropriate negotiations before the date of Independence in 2016.

Scare Story:  In an independent Scotland, Scots travelling abroad may not have Embassy or Consular access in some countries
Status: Debunked.  Source 1 Source 2
Reason:  All EU countries must offer consular protection to all EU citizens, regardless of the citizens home nation. Its EU law.

Bank Bailouts:
Scare Story:  Scotland's economy is too small and if a big Scottish based international bank goes down, it will impoverish the nation.
Status: Debunked.  Source
Reason:  Banks are bailed out not in their host country, but in the country where they have most of their assets and operations. RBS do most of their business in London. London =/= Edinburgh.

The Queen:
Scare Story: If Scotland leaves the UK, Scotland will lose the Royal family!
Status: Debunked.  Source 1 Source 2
Reason 1:  The union of crowns continues as before. The Queen of the UK is also Queen of Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as numerous other small states. None of them are currently part of the UK.
Reason 2: The Church of Scotland is looking into the possibility of setting up a separate coronation ceremony for the Queen in accordance with the Scottish Claim of Right act (And hence take the title Queen of Scots, rather than Queen of Scotland).

Supermarket Prices:
Scare Story: In an independent Scotland, food prices will rise
Status: No basis.  Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 (Sources via Wingsoverscotland & Newsnet Scotland)
Reason 1:  Some supermarkets claimed distribution costs would increase, but distribution costs already vary across Scotland anyway. Tesco in say the Highlands is already much more expensive than Tesco in Glasgow. Given the distribution networks already exist, there is no reason for an increase in costs, over and above the already expensive overheads currently tacked onto distribution to remote places.
Reason 2: Morrison's and Asda(Walmart) have suggested the opposite to be true. Prices may actually fall if the Scottish government reduces corporation tax levels, as already proposed. Prices may also fall if the Retail Levy on Supermarkets selling Alcohol or Tobacco is abolished.

I'll continue adding to this list, so if there are any more, please let me know.

Credits to Newsnet Scotland, Wings over Scotland, The weegingerdug and Google for the sources.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A list of all Scottish Labour MPs who voted for caps on the welfare state.

Margaret Curran – Glasgow East
Tom Greatrex – Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Ian Murray – Edinburgh South
Willie Bain – Glasgow North East
Gordon Banks – Ochil and South Perthshire
Tom Clarke – Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
Dame Anne Begg – Aberdeen South
Alistair Darling – Edinburgh South West
Ian Davidson – Glasgow South West
Thomas Docherty – Dunfermline and west Fife
Frank Doran – Aberdeen North
Gemma Doyle – West Dunbartonshire
Sheila Gilmore – Edinburgh East
David Hamilton – Midlothian
Tom Harris – Glasgow South
Jimmy Hood – Lanark and Hamilton East
Cathy Jamieson – Kilmarnock and Loudon
Mark Lazarowicz – Edinburgh North and Leith
Gregg McClymont – Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
Anne McGuire – Stirling
Anne McKechin – Glasgow North
Iain McKenzie – Greeenock and Inverclyde
Grahame Morris – Livingston
Jim Murphy – East Renfrewshire
Pamela Nash – Airdrie and Shotts
Sandra Osborne – Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
John Robertson – Glasgow North West
Frank Roy – Motherwell and Wishaw
Lindsay Roy – Glenrothes
Anas Sarwar – Glasgow Central

Whether you agree or disagree with the principle behind the cap. The very fact that many of these Labour MPs voted to take a gigantic dump on many of their constituents should leave a horribly bitter taste in the mouth of any labour voter, past and present. Remember, Scotland has extremely high poverty levels for being part of a supposedly "developed" nation.

Across the UK, a grand total of 13 Labour MPs managed to grow a spine and oppose the cap

Party of the people, my arse. Red Tories in all but name.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nationalism versus Nationalism: A Commentary

Source: The Guardian

You know, when I look at the Scottish independence debate from over here. I don't see Nationalism versus Unionism. The media portrays it as such, but it's a falsehood because they've already pinned their colours to one side.

What I see, and what is more evident as the weeks go by, is that this is merely nationalism versus nationalism. Scottish nationalism versus British nationalism. The rhetoric, especially from Labour these days has particularly strong nationalistic undertones( and its expected that the Scottish Nationalist party would have their own nationalistic undertones, so that's not really worth mentioning) when you dig through the pseudo-socialist "we're all in this together" malarkey that hasn't been true since Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made their New Labour pact in 1994.

The thing about British nationalism that its a toxic brand. It's the kind of thing that the Daily Heil makes a fortune peddling. Its anti-progressive at its heart. Its reactionary at its core. That's what makes Labour's continual forays into such nationalism concerning. Its also fairly untenable to keep attacking a nationalist position when your own position exploits a similar strain of nationalism. Compare them to the Liberals for example. The Liberal Democrats are wet blankets, but credit should be given where its due. They are fairly internationalist in their view points, though you do get the occasional mad-hatters like Tavish "Shetland and Orkney want to stay British!!!!!" Scott. They tend to not rely heavily on British nationalism in their arguments for the union, as other parties do, and see European federalism as the future, rather than petty nationalism.

Fighting fire with fire just burns the house down. Labour would do well to remember that because from where I am standing, the Union is burning faster than magnesium ribbon on a naked flame.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Politics of Titles and Deference

Imagine you are applying for a job. You pen out your resume/CV and write up a beautiful cover letter that will surely get you the interview.  It's in the bag. Before you send it off though, you need to address the letter to someone, preferably the person who may be in charge of hiring and firing. Lucky for you though, you've found out the name of the human resources manager for the company you are applying to. His name is John Smith (stereotypical, I know). Now you are left with a conundrum. How do you address this man?

Do you write:
A) Dear John
B) Dear Smith
C) Dear John Smith
D) Dear Mr Smith

Each of the above ways of addressing this HR manager conveys a very different attitude.

 (A)  gives off a feeling of chumminess. As if this guy is your friend. You may do this if you actually know the guy in person and go out drinking with him on a regular basis. If you don't know him though, it just sounds weird and disrespectful. Using this is a good way to get your resume/CV thrown in the trash can.

(B) is problematic. When you refer to someone solely by their surname in English, it can be seen as a sign of disrespect. Usually its okay in informal situations, where its easier just to refer to someone(usually famous or infamous) by their last name, however when we apply it to more formal situations, such as job applications, business letters, news, or debates, then it is almost universally seen as disrespectful. It's almost passive-aggressive in tone and gives off the impression that you have a massive axe to grind. Use this form on your cover letter and you might as well just trash your resume/CV right there and now.

(C) is better, but its not really that formal. You're not showing respect, but at the same time you are not showing any disrespect. It's pretty neutral.

(D) involves the use of a title (Mr.) It's formal, polite and deferential towards the person you are writing to. You are showing them respect, basic etiquette for person to person interactions in business, politics and professional life. 

Why do I bring up politics here? Usually when politicians are debating each other, they have a tendency to use deferential titles when referring to their opponents. In the UK(and other commonwealth countries if I recall correctly) for example, its common to use the term "The right honourable" when MPs or MSPs debate with each other. It's a polite way of showing respect to the station that the MP/MSP occupies, even if you are about bulldoze every policy they stand for in your speech. Outside of the bubbles that are Westminister and Holyrood, its more common to just use the term Mr./Mrs./Ms. to show respect. If you want to speak more informally(or if you don't like the person), you may just say their full name, or if you know your opponent well you may just even say the first name.
Using the last name to refer to an opponent is usually taboo. You just don't do it in politics unless you really have it out for your opponent. Again, in general discourse there is usually nothing wrong with it, but when it comes to debates, political rallies and political interviews. It comes across as passive-aggressive. It's not often you hear politicians refer to other politicians by the last name, and when it does happen, its almost always because they have a strong dislike for that person. Margaret Thatcher is one of those people who was routinely subject to that by her opponents. George W Bush and Barack Obama are some American politicians who are/were often subject to the same passive aggressive disrespect by their political opponents.

Back in 2010, during the UK general elections that year, the leaders of the main parties had televised debates for the first time ever. As they were debating they had to think of a way to refer to each other. The opposition party leaders hated the incumbent prime minister, Gordon Brown. Everyone knew that. They didn't want to be deferential to him so they opted not to refer to him as Mr. Brown. They also didn't want to appear too friendly, so opted not to use Gordon. They also opted not to use "Brown" because it comes across as rude and alienating, so they decided to just refer to him by his full name, Gordon Brown. It does the job without seeming too deferential or rude. They came out of the debate looking quite good.

Much the same can't quite be said of Mr. Alistair Darling in the video below.

He refers to the man he sees as his political opponent by his surname throughout the interview. A big No-no move that makes him come off as a hack, rather than a former chancellor of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In politics, you can get away with not showing respect by just using the full name rather than a title, but when you verge into disrespect, it does raise eyebrows about your conduct. It's pretty cringeworthy and you'd be unlikely to see a more able politician, such as the Prime Minister delve into such pettiness. Mr Cameron did manage to avoid that 4 years ago, despite his clear hatred for his foe, Gordon Brown. As the head of Westministers Better Together cohort, Mr. Darling should know better. However his actions indicate those of one who has risen too far above his ability.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The BBC Tabloid, Courtesy of the Taxpayer

A short post here today, again related to the Scottish independence debate.

The BBC has, for a pretty long time, claimed itself to be impartial. It would continually justify its obscene television licence fees to taxpayers by claiming that its unique position, free from the media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black, Richard Desmond, et al, meant that it could provide an impartial viewpoint that no other news outlet in the UK could match.

It was never particularly believable, a state run news organisation cannot be truly independent. However a great many people believed this to be the case anyway. The Scottish independence debate has shown a rather...interesting light on the BBC though. Rather than explain it, I'll let you make a conclusion here.

This is the statement from the Scottish Investment company, Standard Life:

It points out that they are registering companies outside of Scotland so that in the event of independence, they can transfer sections of their business there, to better serve the customers in that region(presumably England). This is not particularly newsworthy, given this is how they operate. Doing business in Ireland? open up an office there. Doing business in Hong Kong? Open up an office there. Presumably, in the event of Scotland and England separating, they'd have to do it anyway given that each country has its own subsidiary!

Now, lets look at the BBC's interpretation:
Scottish independence: Standard Life may quit Scotland

See the difference?

In other news, The Scottish independence website, Wings over Scotland, catches a very interesting double standard at the BBC. The above article is headline news, but a far more important article, that is actually relevant to the independence discussion is conspicuously absent.

The credit rating agency, Standard and Poor, produced a report, which raises some concerns about the Financial industry in Scotland(and thinks most of it should leave), but paints a picture that is overall quite positive, where even in the absolute worst case Scenario, the Scottish Economy would have a similar level of stability to that of New Zealand.

Obviously this is really important news, not just for people, but for businesses throughout Scotland. So then... where exactly is this hiding on BBC news?
Not here:
Or here:

Quite interesting, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Debunking Some Common Myths About the Consequences of Scottish Independence

Last week there were 2 main events in the tale of Scotland's quest for independence.

  • George Osborne, with the backing of the British Establishment said that there would be no currency union.
  • José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission made the claim that Scotland would not be accepted into the EU upon independence.

I'll tackle both events in order. Currency first, EU second. If you don't feel like reading each short essay, check under each one for the TL:DR version.

A - The Currency Union Debate

Now, while I do think it makes sense for businesses to operate in a currency zone within the British Isles, and there are benefits in the form of enforcing sustainable economic practices between the two states in such a scenario, I do think at the end of the day it is the right of the UK government to rule out a currency union if they wish to. I don't think its "bullying" as the nationalists complain. I really can't think of an example where the central bank was divided up between countries upon the succession of one from the other.

However, I should add that I take issue with 2 of the economic reasons that the UK and the media are using to defend this position.

  1. It doesn't want to bail out a foreign country or its banks.
  2. There was been no successful monetary union ever. The LMU failed horribly and the Eurozone is going the same way.

A1 - Bailing out

The first reason sounds entirely feasible.  I mean, who wants to bail out a foreign country in order to keep your own country safe from the economic shocks that comes with a neighbour you are tied to via currency from going belly up. Look at Germany and Greece as a great example of that. Surely the UK would never want to have to do such a thing, right?

Oh snap. The UK bailed out Ireland to the tune of 7 billion pounds when it was in trouble. Why? Because that's what neighbours with interlinked economies do to each other. Help. As Osborne said in that very speech in the houses of parliament in November:
"We are doing this because it is overwhelmingly in Britain's national interest that we have a stable Irish economy and banking system.The current Irish situation has become unsustainable. Their sovereign debt markets had effectively closed and had little prospect of reopening."
Now, last time I checked, Ireland and the UK had very different currencies. The currency issue is a red herring when we talk of bailing out a foreign country. You don't do it because they are using the same currency as you and may bring down the union. You do it because the worlds economy is interdependent and if one major trading partner goes down, you go down with it. Union or not, you will suffer if you don't act to protect your own interests by issuing a bailout.

The BBC and "unnamed" government ministers also like to point out that the RBS bank is 12 times the size of the Scottish economy and if that collapsed in an independent Scotland then England would have to bail out the RBS under a currency union. This is false because regardless of whether Scotland uses the pound or not, RBS conducts most of its business in London and is heavily invested in the markets there. If RBS fell, England would have to bail them out regardless of whether Scotland and England are in a currency union or not because RBS is so integral to the day to day functioning of the City of London. This wouldn't be a problem if Westminister did the sensible thing post 2008 and cut RBS up into its component parts, but expecting Westminister to do anything sensible when it comes to the financial industry is like expecting the Japanese government to apologise for its part in WW2, it ain't gonna happen.

An interesting case study to look at when it comes to nations bailing out foreign banks would be the bailout of the UK financial juggernaut Barclays by the US Federal Reserve in 2008.

The Fed bailed out Barclays to the tune of 863 billion dollars. Why? Self interest. Economies and and banks from around the world are so interconnected that should one of the big ones go down, the effects will be felt in London, or Wall St, or whereever. You simply cannot base an argument against a currency union on the basis that you will have to bail out the junior partner when times are tough. That happens already!

On another note, can you just imagine how far up **** creek the UK economy would have been if the US Fed didn't jump in to save Barclays and left us to do the heavy work? Another 500 billion pounds in debt would have been absolutely catastrophic for our economy. We British like to forget those little facts when it is convenient for us to do so. We have a very selective memory. So,  USA! USA!

TL:DR: Neighbours and friends bail each other out when the going gets tough.

A2 - Has there ever been a successful monetary union?

Lets move on to the second reason now. When there is talk of a currency union, its almost inevitable that someone will bring up the Eurozone or the Latin Monetary Union as examples of bad currency unions, and then follow that up with the assertion that there have been no successful long term currency unions in history. As with many things in the news though. You always hear the bad, never the good.

Its true the Eurozone is failing. Countries set rules and refused to adhere to them from the get go. Countries borrowed too much and then hid the figures in their books. Naturally, that is a recipe for failure.
Its also true the Latin Monetary Union was a catastrophic failure. The nations set their currency at parity with each other, so they could freely use them as if they were all one and the same. Then Italy and Greece decided to debase their coins hoping that they could get away with it....and the rest is history.

We never hear about the success stories though. Which I guess is about what you would expect from a media that thrives on fear and panic. To find a success story, we should travel back to the mid 20th Century. Belgium and Luxembourg established an Economic union before WW2 and pegged their currencies to each other. 1 franc from one country was equal to 1 1/4 francs from the other. After WW2 though, this developed into a true monetary union. 1 Belgian Franc was equal to 1 Luxembourgian Franc and nationals from each country could freely use their own coins and notes in the other country. The union was stable and because of how economically interlinked they were, they both had a vested interest in maintaining the union. There were no cases of economic freeriding as we have seen with Greece in both the LMU and Eurozone. It was stable and should have served as a model for future currency unions - a small union between 2 culturally and economically similar nations that maintained enough space for political differences. People might say...ohhh but that was an exception to the rule, however that doesnt seem to be the case.

As we see from the Forbes article
"In fact some of the world’s richest nations are members of currency unions. Examples include Hong Kong/Macau and Singapore/Brunei.

Then there is the granddaddy of them all, Switzerland/Liechtenstein. Established in 1920 and still going strong, it is an arrangement that neither nation has had any reason to regret. Certainly Switzerland ranks well up among the world’s richest nations, with a per-capita income more than 50 percent higher than America’s. Meanwhile Liechtenstein’s per-capita income at $142,000 at last count was the world’s highest."
I am in no way saying that the England and Scotland are similar to those examples, however they do show that, contrary to the Treasury's claims,  a currency union of some sort is most defiantly not an  unworkable proposal, which goes along exactly with what the Governor of the Bank of England said weeks ago. Logically, it follows that if it is not unworkable, then it is workable. Logic does not lie, unlike politicians (That should be my signature phrase!).

TL:DR: Currency Union between many countries of very different cultures = bad. Currency union between 2 countries of very similar cultures = good.

B - The European Union Debate

source: Wikipedia

Now moving onto the second event, Mr Barroso's rather interesting intervention on Scottish (and Catalonian) membership of the EU.  Mr Barroso essentially claims that Scotland will exit the EU and have to reapply as a new member, but will never be accepted because Spain will block it, like it blocks Kosovo... Now, lets ignore the absurdity of comparing Scotland to Kosovo for a minute and look the main issue here. Will Scotland be part of the EU?

 On one hand, the Russians are jumping with joy at Mr Barroso's flat footed intervention in the Scottish affair because they can wave this idiocy in front of the Ukrainians and say "look guys, the Europeans don't really came about self determination and liberalism." The Russians look at the independence movements and see a region leaving a bigger country and then try to spin that into the region wanting to leave the EU because its not the land of honey and spice. It certainly doesn't help things when Barroso comes out and says that the region will have to leave the EU. It gives the Russians all the ammunition they need to destroy the hopes of the Ukrainians.

Someone please give Mr Barroso idiot of the year award for helping foster that stupid view.

On the other hand this whole line of debate is one gigantic red herring anyway. One could make an appeal based on common sense that it simply does not make any sort of business sense to eject Scotland. The nationalists have been using this argument extensively. They say that without Scotland, Europe will lose most of its oil and much of its fishing grounds. Europeans will also lose free access to Scottish Universities and have to go through complex visa processes to continue their studies. Fair points, but I'm sure that arguments can be made against those points (though I wont try to). Basically I think those premises are fairly weak to base your argument for EU admission on.  One need not make such an argument though. I'll tell you why.

According to Mr Barroso, on independence, Scotland (or Catalonia for that matter) would not be a member of the EU, ignoring the fact that these lands have been EU territory since the 70s (or 80s for Catalonia). That part is incredibly important. EU territory. The Catalonians have already done their homework on this issue and the Scottish nationalists would be fools if they ignored the advice given by the French expert advising the Catalonians on this issue. It's a gem that solves all their problems and renders every single argument used by Better Together on the issue of the EU completely null and void.

"In addition, Gouning highlights the legal argument resulting from article 50 of the EU Treaty, which deals with the withdrawal of a Member State from the Union. The Treaties clearly say that the withdrawal is not automatic and has to be negotiated, specifically regarding the relationship of the State with the EU. Therefore, automatically excluding Catalonia or Scotland, without a negotiation, would be quite problematic regarding Article 50."

You see, according to Article 50 of the EU treaty, a territory or nation cannot unilaterally secede or be expelled from the EU. To leave the EU, one must conduct extensive negotiations will all members of the EU and formally begin withdrawal procedures. There is a precedent for this kind of negotiated withdrawal, Greenland from the EU's predecessor, the EC in the 80s. Essentially, the implication of this is that Scotland has no choice but to start life within the EU, but must either renegotiate its terms and conditions in order to reflect its new status(which may be more taxing on the nation than its current terms and conditions as part of the UK), or it must begin negotiations with the rest of the EU for an eventual, formal withdrawal.

This should also be of interest to the Anti-EU wing of the Tory party and UKIP. The implication of Article 50 of the EU treaty also affects them as it means they cannot unilaterally withdraw from the EU if they win a referendum on that issue. They will have to undergo a lengthy and costly withdrawal process involving ALL members of the EU. With the way the UK behaves and treats mainland Europe, I can only imagine the fireworks that might go down at those meetings.

Did anyone really expect the EU to give up its territories as easily as the media suggests? It ain't bloody likely as long as the treaty is adhered to, as all members are legally obliged to do so.

TL:DR: It's damn near impossible to leave or escape the cold grasp of the EU. Its written into the treaty for things to be that way. Scotland is safe.

By the way, if it wasn't already clear, the point of these posts I am making are not to argue in favour of anything. When it comes to the Scottish Referendum D-Day on September the 18th, I want people to vote knowing as much as possible about what they are actually voting for or against. Your vote is not my business, do what you like.  Living outside of Scotland I will not be able to vote anyway. The point of these posts are to debunk assertions that are made by politicians and the media in order to muddy the waters and confuse people. Information is as precious as gold during referendums and if there is one thing politicians hate above all else, it is people making informed choices. They will make baseless assertions in order to get you to do what they want. Assertions are just that, assertions. Never believe anything unless someone gives you a source for their claims.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The currency of fear-mongering (about currency)

Another week, another misinterpretation of the Bank of England Governor. This time, from the boss of Orion Group(not to be confused with the Korean Orion Corporation), Mr Alan Savage speaks out in a letter to the Huffington post, siding firmly with the Better together campaign. Naturally, the very same talking point is raised yet again, that of currency.

"But for me the biggest uncertainty of all in Mr Salmond's separation experiment is on the vitally important issue of currency. I have no confidence at all that an independent Scotland would be able to retain the pound. Running my specialist engineering recruitment business - or any company - from Scotland without stable currency arrangements is a non-starter.
Don't take my word for it on the issue of the pound, listen to the Governor of the Bank of England who has told the SNP that an independent Scotland would have to establish a central taxation body, the very thing that Salmond doesn't want. This unknown over what currency an independent Scotland would have is creating untold uncertainty and harming business confidence when we should be concentrating on recovering from recession."

This, unfortunately, is what happens when folks take Alistair Darling's version of the Governors speech at face value and don't question that much of what Mr Darling said was completely unsubstantiated. Of course,  its not the first time Mr Savage has said more or less the same thing.

Now..returning to the topic at hand...

 I sincerely doubt anyone will take your word for it, Mr Savage. The Governor made no mention of a requirement for a central taxation body for the currency union. Read the speech. Its freely available on the BBC.  The Governor did use the Euro as a warning of what goes wrong with a shared currency without fiscal checks, however contrary to Mr Savage's interpretation, there was no mention of the centralization of taxes. Actually, the only time he mentioned tax revenues was when he mentioned that tax revenues fall when output falls, and the benefit of a union like the UK is that resources can then be transferred to the underperforming province as life support. It helps, but is not a requirement. By the way, Its called a Transfer Union. Mr Savage may want to remember that the next time he writes online. You'll notice if you exchange 'central taxation body' to 'Transfer Union', his blog post doesn't quite have the fear-mongering kick. Some bias is removed and it sounds a tad less like an opinionated rant. Don't worry, Mr Savage,  consider that advice free of charge.

Now, to get away from that tangent, the governor mentioned a selection of options that are available for a prospective currency union. A Transfer Union was merely one of a selection of choices available.