Conversation piece

| 23/07/2014 | 0 Comments
Conversation piece

After almost two years of the Referendum debate, I still find myself from time to time confounded by the strange questions with which I am confronted by apparently deep-seated ‘no’ voters. Recently, more or less in innocence, I happened to remark that if Alex Salmond managed to pull off a ‘yes’ vote he would enter […]

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Gordian knot of imperial past

| 17/07/2014 | 0 Comments
Gordian knot of imperial past

Professor Gavin Kennedy, formerly Professor of Defence Finance in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Heriot-Watt University and Senior Lecturer in Economics at Strathclyde University Today, when the UK sends its small and still declining armed services abroad to intervene in other countries, it follows the familiar postures of the foreign policy it pursued […]

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UK’s extravagant defence provision

| 14/07/2014 | 0 Comments
UK’s extravagant defence provision

Professor Gavin Kennedy, formerly Professor of Defence Finance in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Heriot-Watt University and Senior Lecturer in Economics at Strathclyde University. The outbursts in the media by the UK defence establishment on whether Scotland will vote for independence in September are all highly negative.  Spokespersons for the Ministry of Defence […]

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Danny Alexander, The Red Queen and ‘Impossible Things’

| 08/07/2014 | 0 Comments
Danny Alexander, The Red Queen and ‘Impossible Things’

Sir Donald Mackay, the respected Scottish economist questions the UK Treasury’s inaccurate forecasts, arguing here that Westminster’s calculations are not credible. Beware politicians offering, over many years, a ‘Union Dividend’ of £1,400 for every man woman and child in Scotland. Such was the promise of Danny Alexander when he came to Edinburgh to explain the Treasury […]

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No “black hole” for oil forecasts

| 07/07/2014 | 1 Comment
No “black hole” for oil forecasts

One of Scotland’s most respected economists has questioned the UK Treasury’s oil and gas forecasts, arguing that Westminster’s calculations are ill-informed and “wide of the mark”. The extent of Scotland’s future energy revenues has become a key battleground in the independence debate. Professor Sir Donald Mackay, a former chairman of Scottish Enterprise who advises Reform […]

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Scottish Water – a business success story

| 04/07/2014 | 0 Comments
Scottish Water – a business success story

There are many business success stories, but Scottish business success stories are not as common as they used to be.  Success stories about Scottish public sector businesses are as rare as hen’s teeth.  Here is one that deserves to be better known.  It’s about the water industry. Water is our largest industry.  If all the […]

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The right to elect a government

| 03/07/2014 | 0 Comments
The right to elect a government

By Jim Walker, founder and managing director, Asianomics, Hong Kong.  Today the United States celebrates Independence Day.  A few days ago another former British colony, Hong Kong, marked its Establishment Day – the day it was handed over to Mainland China in 1997.  The word ‘celebration’ would be highly inappropriate in this particular instance. Over […]

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Separate visions of wealth

| 03/07/2014 | 0 Comments
Separate visions of wealth

A peculiar speech in Edinburgh by Ed Milliband attempted to frame independence as a battle about social justice. You have to dig deep into the blatant appeal to Labour’s own electoral constituency offering yet more gravy from central coffers to find any meat, but it’s there – and pretty rancid too. He starts from a […]

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Sustainable Growth and the Competitive Position

| 17/06/2014 | 0 Comments
Sustainable Growth and the Competitive Position

The debate on the economics of independence has been fought out in claim and counterclaim on what the respective costs and benefits of independence might be. Perhaps we should put this into a wider context of the challenges facing not just the UK but the western world since the financial crisis of 2007-8.  The great […]

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Fear or Optimism?

| 13/06/2014 | 0 Comments
Fear or Optimism?

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future”. So said philosopher and political thinker Noam Chomsky and his philosophy seems to epitomise the Yes campaign. That is not however a charge that can be brought against the No campaign, whose strategy has been based on negativity in general and fear in particular. For despite […]

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The Vexed Question of Immigration

| 10/06/2014 | 1 Comment
The Vexed Question of Immigration

From The Scotsman, June 7th, 2014. The vexed question of immigration could be viewed differently in a post-referendum Scotland, writes Michael Fry. Old, unhappy societies tend to lose emigrants; young, optimistic societies tend to receive immigrants and indeed welcome them. At least this is a generalisation that holds true for much of human history. The most salient […]

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Tax competition – an idea whose time may have come

| 05/06/2014 | 0 Comments
Tax competition – an idea whose time may have come

Guest Contributor Eben Wilson is Director of TaxpayerScotland. This piece was originally published on their blog. Liberal economists have always been in favour of tax competition. It is another tool to constrain the state in its interminable capture of our own money for its own ends. It looks like the referendum polls have put the […]

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How we can discover luck

| 02/06/2014 | 0 Comments
How we can discover luck

In a previous article I pointed to some statistical parallels between Palo Alto in California and Cumnock in Ayrshire commenting that, while matched in many things, the two communities differ widely in local wealth and economic growth. Palo Alto’s pre-eminence arose from discovered luck by a few pioneers in new industries. Discovered luck is not […]

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“Yes Scotland” has misjudged its audience

| 02/06/2014 | 2 Comments
“Yes Scotland” has misjudged its audience

By Andy Maciver – Guest Contributor Elections to the European Parliament tend not to be the highlight of the political calendar.  The candidates tend to be anonymous, the MEPs have invariably had five years of cosy isolated inactivity, and the campaigns are treated as an opportunity for the Scottish and British-based leaders of the parties to […]

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Independence and Government Debt

| 25/05/2014 | 0 Comments
Independence and Government Debt

The text of this paper was submitted to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee in May 2014 As the UK Government has recognised, there will be no legal obligation on the government of an independent Scotland to accept any share of UK government debt, since Scotland, as a legal entity, was not party to incurring them.  […]

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