If I could have ten pence for every politician, who’s put forward his view on the question of what currency Scotland has if they vote for independence, i wouldn’t be just a rich man, but a very rich man.
Surely, the amount of energy expended by politicians, would power a reasonably-sized city like Glasgow.
All of these politicians are flying in the face of the new reality, which is starting to sweep the world. Just read this article on the web site; SmallBusiness.co.uk about the future of banking. Here’s the first paragraph.
I was recently invited onto Evan Davis’ BBC radio and TV show ‘The Bottom Line’ for a discussion on alternative finance. Alongside me was Zopa founder Giles Andrews, the founder of Zopa – a UK peer-to-peer lending platform, and Michael Joseph, the former CEO of Safaricom, which set up M-Pesa, a mobile payment system, in Kenya.
It is the last bit that is the most significant. It also says this about banking and particularly M-Pesa.
The day-to-day of banking is changing world-wide and banks are not the ones driving the innovation. For instance, by some measures, Starbucks is among the 200 largest banks by deposits in the US, having $3 billion on their in-store card in 2012. Both Google and Amazon are also talking about providing finance to users of their marketplaces. At the other end of the economic spectrum, 31 per cent of Kenyan GDP now flows through M-Pesa, which is so simple it can be operated on a very modest Nokia phone and has no physical bank branch presence.
So does it matter about whether an individual or a company has their bank account in pounds, dollars, euros, thistles or beans? It only matters to the individual concerned. As someone living in and spending most of his money in the UK, I would probably keep my account in pounds! Although switching to euros, should be just a choice on the account.
Unfortunately, this transparent and convenient system would be unacceptable to the banks, as they make so much money on currency conversion.
I do wonder, if my new-found liking for cash, may be a personal reaction to the greed of the banks. If I pay by cash in Carluccio’s, I can leave a tip easily. It also seems to get good service, as the staff in many restaurants know me and have the gluten-free menu ready immediately I walk in. It’s also faster to settle up and there is nothing worse than waiting to get away, whilst a dim waitress struggles with a credit card terminal.
So to me, in a few years time, the Scottish currency question will be irrelevant to most people and companies in Scotland. They will pay their taxes in whatever currency the Scottish government uses or is forced to use and keep their bank account in whatever is convenient for their lifestyle or business.
So let’s get going on research to capture all that hot air being spoken to generate lots of electricity.
This story from the Metro, shows how we should co-operate a bit more, where wildlife are concerned. Here’s the first few paragraphs.
When Brian Dodson set up a carp fishery from scratch he had no idea the business would be quickly ruined – by otters.
The 60-year-old discovered the carnivores had eaten his entire £250,000 stock after a river haven for the animals was built nearby.
He is now seeking £2.5million from the Environment Agency, which he claims failed to tell him about the scheme and prevented him building protective fencing.
Surely there should have been a middle way.
But then as the story says otters are carnivores and will get their food no matter what. There was a story a couple of years ago, where otters were taking koi carp out of a pond in a suburban garden in Birmingham. No-one knew that there were otters in the nearby canal.
I’m reminded of the tale I heard when I shared the driver’s cab in a High Speed Diesel Train from Edinburgh to Inverness.
The owner of an hotel close to the line, built a lake, which he stocked with fish for his guests. But just down the road was Loch Garten, where ospreys have made a home. And as ospreys are wont to do, they found the hotel lake and decided it was a good place for dinner.
The hotel owner cut back on his fishing, but apparently, he now promotes the lake as a place to watch ospreys feed.
They’ve just said on BBC Radio 5 Live, that the Scottish rugby team, were welcomed on to the pitch by a lady bag-piper and two drummers.
This article is the second most popular on the BBC’s web site.
I just wonder how many of the viewers are from Glasgow!
Surprisingly, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Edinburgh tram.
This article in the Telegraph about the relationship between an independent Scotland and the EU is really worth reading.
Not for the article itself, but for the comments that have been added by readers.
Many would be worthy of a good comedian. And plenty bad ones too!
Predictable in that it was more of the same, even if you don’t like one or more of bankers, large corporations, benefit claimants, pensioners, unions or drivers. I don’t like at least three!
Some taxes and allowances went up and some went down. Was it ever any different?
We need some radical ideas to get the economy going?
Take these statements which are more or less agreed policy between all the major parties.
1. Banks should lend more to individuals and businesses, so that they purchase capital goods and services.
2. Savers should get a better return on their money.
3. The banks should have more capital reserves.
Point 3 is the elephant in the room, as any money the banks get goes on salaries or to improve their balance sheet rather than more lending.
So let’s leave it out and go to peer-to-peer lending, where borrowers and savers are put in touch by intelligent computer systems.
The Chancellor didn’t take the radical route and help peer-to-peer lending at the expense of the banks. After all if he did, the price of all those Government bank shares would drop. So as they will continue to lose value, wouldn’t it have been better if Gordon Brown had done the prudent thing and put them down, when they went bust?
But then Labour would never have got another vote in Scotland. As it is, Labour doesn’t seem to get many!
Scotland has added extra taxes to large stores that sell tobacco and alcohol. It seems to have had the effect of getting some Sainsbury supermarkets to not sell tobacco. It’s reported here on the BBC.
Although I applaud any measure to reduce smoking, I’m not totally sure about this one. It will harm the profits of the big supermarket groups and they will react, by perhaps not investing in stores and jobs north of the border.
And of course, smokers will still get their fix, by probably buying tobacco from bootleggers and others.
I would prefer to see all tobacco sales in large supermarkets as that would perhaps make it more difficult for kids to get hold of them. After all, when did you hear of a large chain of stores selling cigarettes or alcohol to those underage.
The SNP appears to be changing its defence policy. It all goes to illustrate the difficulties they will face on so many issues.
I’m not against nuclear weapons, but with the threat from a large superpower unlikely, I don’t think we need something like Trident. We perhaps need some some of retaliation weapon like submarine-launched nuclear missiles.
There was a cheeky letter in the Times yesterday saying that if the Scots got independence, would the rest of the UK be able to do what we want to do with the clocks and move to a time zone compatible with most of the EU?