RAISING his hand in a hall full of attendees, financial services expert and pro-independence activist Mike Fenwick placed a pound into a four litre bottle and challenged "all those who want to see change" to also place a pound of their money inside.
Making the case for the creation of a Scottish central bank during a recent currency debate organised by Yes Rutherglen, Fenwick sought to simplify the concept by inviting audience members to take part in a symbolic action which he plans to take all the way to Holyrood.
Up to 60 individuals signed promissory pledges to fund a people's central bank, however the organiser told CommonSpace that £72 in coins had been submitted.
The voluntary bottle collection will last from the present day to Hogmanay and Fenwick hopes to present the final proceeds to the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, for safekeeping. Fenwick hopes the stunt will highlight hopes from the pro-independence camp for the creation of a central bank for the Scottish people free from control by private capital, and solely a publicly funded institution.
Speaking to CommonSpace, Fenwick, said: "One of the questions last night was how do you explain what we are doing to the man/woman in the street - it is a crucial question.
"Much of what we use as currency and think of as money is a piece of paper with a promise printed on it by a Bank, it is not legal tender, and often the printed promise is being given by bank boards and chief executives who left in disgrace."
"What we are attempting is to change that with a promise signed by individuals in their own name, in their own hand, and which is backed in full by legal tender, and to allow everyone in Scotland to get used to another form of currency, in the form of a "medium of exchange", bearing a name which can be trusted - the Scottish ‘Hand’.
"It may also begin to allow everyone to better understand what having a Scottish Central Bank means in practice, one based on assets, not debt."
The idea for the Scottish ‘Hand’ was inspired from the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne, which say:"Around the world on Hogmanay, people will join hands and sing or say these words, “And here's a hand my trusty fiere! And gies a hand o' thine!"
Another advocate of the idea, Jim Stamper of Yes Rutherglen, said it was the perfect symbolism to launch a new Scottish currency and central bankwhich "can embodyfriendship, unity, and above all trust".
SNP: ‘Obedient adulation’ led to legislation (Aberdeen Press & Journal, Saturday 23 July 2016)
Nicola Sturgeon’s former law lecturer has said the ‘obedient adulation’ of her MSPs has contributed to Scottish Legislation being among the worst in Europe. Alistair Bonnington, a former honorary law professor at Glasgow, launched a stinging attack on the SNP hierarchy’s grip on their members, as well as their failure to grasp the basics of constitutional law. He said SNP MSPs “slavishly” followed orders, meaning government bills were “afforded obedient adulation, no matter how flawed”. And he added: “This results in Scotland producing the lowest quality legislation in Europe”. Mr Bonnington, who taught Ms Surgeon in Glasgow, also argued that the Government had encroached on the independence of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. He added: “I seem to have failed to install in her (Sturgeon) the most basic rules of how institutions of government work in the free world”
The statement by Ms Sturgeon’s former law lecturer, surely explains why the SNP Government blindly pressed ahead with the introduction of the “Named Person Legislation”, widely condemn by all sectors of Scottish society as having the real potential to undermine parents, and allow the state unlimited access to pry into the privacy of families in their homes. Also, the SNP hierarchy’s grip on their members, explains the slavish obedience, by the majority of those members and supporters, to the SNP's decision to support the REMAIN campaign in the recent EU referendum, which is undoubtedly the main reason why 62% of the Scottish electorate voted to remain in the EU, while the UK as a whole voted to leave.
SNP Leader Indulged in same ‘Scare Tactics’ (Aberdeen Press & Journal, Newspaper, Tuesday 14 June 2016)
Sir – As an elderly citizen who has voted and worked for Scottish independence since the mid 1960s, I would like to express my anger and disgust having watched the leader of the SNP on the recent EU referendum debate indulging in the exact same scare tactics which have deprived Scotland of independence in every referendum in which I have been involved.
The memory of Nicola Sturgeon talking about ‘scare’ tactics during her ‘YES’ campaign is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Even worse, after campaigning with such vigour for Scotland to leave Britain, she had the audacity to tell 'LEAVE' supporters that there is strength in numbers.
I am sorry to say that Sturgeon has ceased to be an asset to the SNP Party.
D Douglas, Aberdeenshire.
Greatest Sell-Out of a National Resource (Aberdeen Press & Journal, Newspaper, Tuesday 14 June 2016)
Sir – Ever since the United Kingdom joined the Common Market, as it was then called, as a fisherman I have consistently spoken out against the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
As an industry we did not want the CFP. We had everything to lose and little to gain, for it was the greatest sell-out of a priceless national resource and industry ever perpetuated on the British people.
The Common Fisheries Policy was born of expediency because of the greater issues of Europe. Britain no longer controls her fishing destiny, for it has been sacrificed to the European Union. The CFP has been tried and found to be an abject failure. Our fishermen were persecuted by a system that does not work. Thousands of fishermen have been forced out of the industry, along with many other ancillary trades, and our coastal communities have been decimated.
This European Union is an empire out of control. This is not a people’s Europe, but rather a politician’s Europe, and is absolutely for their own ends.
However, this referendum is about whether we govern ourselves or not. If Europe does to this country what it has done to my industry, we shall be asset stripped, but far worse – democratically.
J. Thomson, Lossiemouth
None of this is new money – it is ours (Aberdeen Press & Journal, Newspaper, Tuesday 14 June 2016)
Sir – We hear much exaggerating or inventing figures over the cost involved in EU membership. It is actually ‘just’ £161million a week they say, not £350million. So which of us is correct? Neither.
In October 2015, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) issued a report showing that membership of the EU actually cost us “£367million per week”, considerably more than the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) suggest, while on April 26 this year Sir Andrew Dilnot, Head of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) gave the figure of “£19.1billion per year”, around the same figure that UKIP claim, when giving evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.
But the ‘IN’ crowd would have you believe the ONS and UKSA are ‘wrong’. But whatever the true figure, and whether it counted before or after the rebate and the money we get returned from the EU, the fact is that it is all, every penny of it, our money.
Nothing we get returned is “new money” or coming from anywhere except our taxpayer’s pockets. All the evidence shows we are far better off financially freed from the EU, even when using figures supplied by those who want to stay in.
I have no evidence to support the claim that that the Institute for Fiscal Studies is biased in favour of the EU when it keeps reporting disaster and ruin if we leave, but it is a fact that the body has been financially supported by the EU since 2007, currently to the tune of 7.4million euros per year.
And one final point; if leaving is really as bad as Mr Cameron wants us to believe, why did he say in December last year, “If I cannot get the reforms this country needs in the EU, then I will campaign to leave” (he didn’t get them) and as recently as January this year, “I believe the UK could prosper outside the EU”?
G. Stewart, Avoch