Newsweek Scotland: Tak Sa Mycket
I'm beginning to worry about the independence referendum - Whenever That Is. There was yet another report put out his week - from the House of Commons Library - which had goggle-eyed constitution-watchers frothing at the mouth...(excuse me while I reach for the Kleenex).
Worried because there's going to be so much information washing around possibly years before anything actually happens, we might run out of things to say. (Note how I'm not interested in our country's future, but how to fill Newsweek every Saturday). As usual there was what you might call a bit of over-writing and over-reaction in the press - one billed it as a backlash against the separatists, rather giving away its agenda I suspect.
Nevertheless I took the trouble to read the actual report and, having researched enough on the subject lately to merit an honorary degree - are you reading this, Oxford University? I found it one of the most balanced and comprehensive of its type. I know there are many critics of Westminster out there but to be fair to the Commons Library researchers, they have earned a reputation for integrity over many years. Yet what struck me was how many caveats there are in everything that is written.
Every area is hedged around with What If? And several times there are references to the possibility of both the (theoretical) new Scotland and the remaining UK being successor states in continuing membership of the EU. That may sound unlikely and against the majority of evidence we have seen so far, but the researchers point out that if there is goodwill between Edinburgh and London and the break-up of the UK is portrayed as amicable and voluntary then it is difficult for any third party like the UN or EU to disagree.
Would London back Scotland's continued status? Well, why not if the Scots had already expressed that view. After all we are told there is a respect agenda and that one of the Union's great strengths is the mutual respect and strong bond between us. Surely a London government wouldn't want Scotland to fail? On the other hand...this is politics.
Anyway one newspaper led on Scotland's possible contribution to funds to shore up the Euro...IF Scotland joined the Euro...IF there is still a Euro... We decided to take up this point with one of our leading experts from Edinburgh University. Will Scotland be forced into the Euro? Only 17 out of 27 members are in.
I particularly like the Swedish excuse for not adopting the Euro which is supposed to be mandatory...unless like Britain and Denmark you negotiate an opt-out. Before going into the Euro you must first join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and joining the ERM is VOLUNTARY. So Sweden said we won't bother with the ERM, tak sa mycket (thanks very much).
We'll bring you the interesting piece about Italian society that went AWOL two weeks ago and we discuss launching a pre-emptive attack on Iran (No, not the Newsweek team - the US) and we're on Mars...nearly. Angus Macleod will guide us through the papers. I'm off to read yet another report saying that it is illegal to ask the Scots what they think about the future of their country!!? Have we all gone mad? Join me at 8 to find out.