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SCOT-BUZZ EDITOR BILL JAMIESON says it’s forty eight hours to the biggest political decision we’ve ever made – not just how we want to be governed but which country we want to be in…Scotland is at fever pitch. Never before has such argument raged, mass rallies held, the TV studios packed and tens of thousands of windows plastered with ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ stickers.You might think by now you’ve heard all the arguments there could be for independence.But here’s one you almost certainly haven’t heard from the mouths of politicians – the argument that dare not speak its name. Bill calls it Consequences...
This is it. The week to end all weeks, one way or another. Honey thinks that if you haven’t made your mind up yet, nothing you’re going to read is going to make any difference. So here’s the Scotsman for No, the Sunday Herald for Yes, some experts on more powers, the historians looking forward, the best of scribblers at home and abroad, dogs, classical music and traffic lights. And on to Thursday. Good luck, everybody. Good luck, Scotland…
Nothing will more concentrate minds at Westminster and Edinburgh over the next 48 hours than the prospect of financial market turmoil on Friday morning in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Chancellor George Osborne have cancelled plans to attend a G20 meeting in Australia to be on hand to deal with potential turbulence. With the referendum result due to be announced on Friday morning just ahead of the opening of markets, volatility and a sharp dive in the pound look to be the immediate consequences of a ‘Yes’ vote. Maintaining business confidence will be an immediate priority...
John McGurk says it's nearly decision time...but when we stand before that ballot paper on Thursday, how many of us will have the courage to place our cross where we really want to? Who has the bottle to vote ‘No’ when their heart tells them ‘Yes’ and who will risk voting ‘Yes’ when their head tells them ‘No’?. It's now clear, says John, that a great many Scots started off as unionist but then felt the power of the independence argument and began to change their minds. It could all have been avoided, if only...
WHAT is left to say in the great referendum debate, asks George Kerevan? As the clock ticks till Thursday’s historic decision, he's been struck by the contribution of an intelligent sceptic and liberal Scot – John Lloyd, of the Financial Times. In his regular column for Reuters Breaking News John set out ten reasons why it would not be cool for Scots to vote for independence. Here George responds - point by point...
This week KEN HOUSTON asks if there is a physiological link to two-wheeled anti-social behaviour on our urban roads. Ken looks fondly on the gentle perambulation of the bicyclists of Amsterdam in their casual clothes and business suits. What a contrast with the lycra-clad robocops of our capital city, one of whom recently brought the city to a halt behind him as he merrily pedalled off leaving a mangled bus and tram ...
New figures show Scottish small business confidence has fallen back this quarter and is now below the UK average. This week's Federation of Small Business Index shows that while average small business confidence grew across the UK as a whole in the third quarter of 2014, it actually fell in Scotland. Time to panic? Is this just a blip, or part of a bigger long-term trend?
Peer-to-peer lending allows individuals to lend money as part of a collective, cutting out much of the bureaucracy associated with a middle man. The total value of loans processed by P2P lending platforms has now surpassed £2 billion and the sector has grown at an annual rate of 158%. It's the result of UK consumers being able to think outside the banks...
Capital Flight – it could be a funky new airline that just made its first departure from Edinburgh Airport, says Scot-Buzz editor BILL JAMIESON. It’s big, it’s packed and it’s eerily silent as it heads to the skies. Financial panic has hit the UK’s financial establishment – not just Scotland. Yesterday the pound fell by 1.3% against the dollar to a 10-month low; traders are preparing for a fall of 10% or more should Scotland vote ‘Yes’. Whether you are for ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, says Bill, capital flight is an appalling outcome and one to be avoided...
GEORGE KEREVAN asks if a federal Britain could be the unexpected outcome of the Scottish referendum debate. And would it be a good thing? George assesses the options and pays a tribute to Sir Alan Peacock (pictured) who put forward a federal solution – in 1973. One instant political fix might be to call a Royal Commission. These were invoked in Victorian and Edwardian times when politicians encountered a difficult political problem that required a national solution. A committee of wise heads was established to work out a solution free from party infighting. George recalls Sir Alan and Kilbrandon...
Ken Houston looks at the child abuse scandal in Rotherham this week. Turning a blind eye was bad enough, says Ken, but the refusal of officials to take any responsibility is almost worse. Whatever became of the notion of public service? Why do people in these positions get away with it, not just in Rotherham but in a myriad other circumstances of public agency failures across the country? Dispense with the chief executive, cries Ken. Bring back the lay councillor, - and the town clerk!