Influence and Control: Q&A with Alistair Darling

Until he takes up National Collective’s invitation to debate, we can still have a chat with Alistair Darling anyway, after all he’s right here telling us why we wouldn’t be Better Together

He says: ‘A currency union means that the two countries involved, Scotland and the rest of the UK, would have to agree everything… In other words, Scotland’s budget would have to be agreed by another country.’

We say: When you say ‘Scotland’s budget would have to be agreed by another country’, surely you meant with another country? Or did you…? It may seem an innocuous turn of phrase, but this slip of the tongue reveals a lot about how Better Together and Westminster do not view Scotland as an equal partner. For Scotland’s budget to be ‘agreed by another country’ rather than ‘agreed with’ suggests a lack of willingness to cooperate with an independent Scotland at all, let alone as partner in a currency union. Given that these are largely the economic terms under which we currently operate, surely this means there would be no great change in the event of a currency union? And anyway, we thought you were a fan of unions Mr Darling…

He says: ‘We believe that we’re better and stronger together, with the pound, with a currency that we’ve got influence over, with a central bank standing behind Scottish Banks and financial institutions that we have influence and control over as well.’

We say: ‘If there was ever an argument for independence then here it is, those three little words that you just uttered: influence and control. Yes Mr Darling, we know you like to be able to influence and control Scottish finances, but we would prefer to be treated with a little more dignity.’

He says: ‘Why give that up?’

We say: ‘You’ve given us reason enough, but if you want to know more why not check out our website!


Amy Shipway
National Collective