Newsweek Scotland: big decisions and macro economics.
I've spent part of the week wondering about the increasing sense of anger people feel about the way things are just now. It can be hard to put your finger on it exactly but you only have to say "banker" to get the idea. Their fecklessness and greed followed by their apparent disdain for their rescue and immediate return to lottery-sized bonuses seems to embody what has gone wrong.
And when you think about it, the implication is that something fudamental is at fault... systems of government? Quality of political decision-making? Is the re-ordering of society needed?The big decisions on macro economics will be made in London of course, but this will also be the arena in which our MSPs argue in the May election. How are our noble representatives bearing up?
The ongoing squabble about the case for fiscal autonomy doesn't seem to augur too well. The minutaie are hardly enough to grab public imagination. Would more tax powers allow a marginal increase in GDP? It seems fairly obvious that it could do, if the right economic policies were pursued and equally, that if the policies were misguided then more powers could still lead to less output. Are they dancing on the head of a pin?
We're interested this week, in our perceived inability to see the bigger picture. And is there another place where the media would exult in apparently proving their own country was uniquely too weak to stand alone, even if it wanted to? Murray Leith of West of Scotland University knows a lot about Quebec so my bet is he'll tell us it's sometimes the same there. He debates with Carol Craig who wrote 'the Scots' crisis of confidence'.
We'll debate the London end of politics covering Coulson, Blair and Johnson not to mention the baleful presence of Ed Balls as shadow Chancellor.
We go overseas to Tunisia and Ireland and, as I prepare my Toast to the Lassies for next week, we're in Alloway at the auld clay biggin that was home to the Bard. It has reopened after a £20million renovation and gives new inspiration to memory of Burns. Now that's a big idea. Join me tomorrow at 8.