A projected profit and loss set of accounts for an independent Scotland .
Well another crazy week business wise with work coming in from all corners and another step towards the inevitable future, electric vehicles. Very shortly our workshops will be equipped to deal with all aspects of servicing and repair of both private electric cars and commercial vehicles including electric coaches. so onward to the future.
Being the end of the week and a chance last night to visit my favorite hostelry, Mennies, I got to thinking once more about independence.
It has now been 7 years since the last independence referendum and basically, nothing has happened with regard to moving towards the natural state of a country and that is to be in charge of its own destiny.
Now this is down to one person, Nicola Sturgeon, but I wont bore you by enumerating her shortcomings once more and my opinion that in place of independence she chooses gender recognition issues and a hate crime bill to back them up rather than the propose for which she was elected, to spend her time.
No, what I want to highlight, is the true reasons why we are no nearer independence than we were in 2014 and quite simply it is this. Most people believed we did not have a feasible economic plan, it is as simple as that, People were afraid that they would be less well off as an independent country.
Now there were many of us who believed the opposite and had done our homework to back up our beliefs and we pounded the streets of Dundee as the Yes Bus team, to try to convince as many as possible that Scotland would be a very wealthy independent country.
Dundee returned the highest percentage of yes voted in the country but it was not enough and although we started the campaign at arround 27% in the polls we achieved a 45% result in the actual referendum. The increase of 18% was simply down to the campaign.,
But, it was not enough, and as I say , it was simply down to economics or the lack of sufficient information on how Scotland would fair as an independent country.
Yes there was an abundance of other issues such as borders, nuclear weapons on the west coast, pensions, health, can we use the pound, can we have our own central bank? etc, etc. But the main point I found was simply down to the money in peoples pocket at the end of the week and in that we failed to make the case.
Shorty after the referendum and still believing that before long we would once again be in another campaign, I looked at the situation as I have outlined and decided that applying basic business principals to the independence case was what we needed.
Starting a new country , or at least turning an existing country from a dependent one to an independent one is similar to starting a new business or indeed buying an existing business. Now the very basic principal of even contemplating such a venture is find out if it is going to be viable and if it is not seen as viable then you walk away, end of story.
So, how do you find out if a business , or a new venture is viable? Dead simple. In the case of an existing business you ask for the audited accounts for at least the previous three years and you then go about looking at how you can improve the figures through different management practices or different markets .
in the case of a new venture, you do your marketing assessment of your product/ service and make up a projected set of figures for the foreseeable future. If the figures don’t look profitable, you again walk away.
So, that is it, in a nutshell, a projected set of accounts for an independent Scotland.
During the campaign I was a member of Business for Scotland headed by Gordon McIntire Kemp. Through almost daily contact with the people of Dundee I became aware that it was the financial case that we were weak on, and I mentioned this at several meetings of BFS . However, things were pretty frenetic at that time and we never really got around to exploring it fully although I did mention it on several occasions after the referendum and Gordons reaction was , yes good idea but give me 20 of a staff and a very large budget and we could do it.
To be fair, BFS did go down that avenue eventually and produced the wonderful publication ” Scotland’s finances the truth” and it should be compulsory reading for every school pupil and every household should have a copy. However it is not a projected set of accounts for an independent Scotland.
So what advantages would a projected set of accounts have over a publication such as ” Scotland’s Finances the Truth “? Well two things, (1), It would be actual figures ( or as near as could be ) and (2) these projected accounts would have a balance sheet and a balance sheet contains the assets, These would be the assets that Scotland would fall heir to when the union was dissolved . In effect it would be a combination of, figures already available through previous trading, combined with a forward business plan taking out all unnecessary expenditure ostensibly made by Westminster on our behalf, such as Trident , 3.5 billion for Army, Westminster, House of Lords, et, etc.
Now who would have the wherewithal to finance such a project, Pretty obvious, the Scottish government, in fact it could be seen that they have a duty to produce this. It would have to be closely overseen of course as of late and led by Nicola Sturgeon the Scottish government have not been exactly the pillar of honesty, and probably an undertaking such as this would be better done after her removal .
Another possibility would be for the SNP to hand over the 600K of “ring fenced money” collected for the sole propose of another campaign, which seems to have gone missing, to, say BFS who I am sure would be able to collate a projected set of accounts assuming access to the good services of Scottish government civil servants who should be able to provide all necessary information.
So there we have it , dead simple, a projected set of accounts including a balance sheet for an independent Scotland, why did someone not think of it before?
Err, actually, someone did.
So to the rest if the evening and a couple of pints in Mennies on this wonderful sunny evening in bonnie Dundee .