Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Salmond: The Silly Wizard of Oz

What in the name of the wee man in Salmond up to now?

No sooner does the 'Arc of Prosperity' turn into the 'Arc of Insolvency' than Salmond points to Australia as Scotland's economic model.

Forget Iceland. Australia's a hotter role model for Scotland, says Alex Salmond

No wonder The Scotsman has splashed this story. The unionist rag can't believe its luck. What a hostage to fortune if ever there was one. Iceland and Ireland were never good models for Scotland and that blew up in Salmond's face. Now he rolls out Australia. Does Salmond have a scoobie as to why the current economic collapse is happening? We have systemic collapse brought about by too much debt. Iceland and Ireland got into the speculation game and got burned. Australia has staved off the inevitable but their debt is humungus. Yes, 'gold' mining has bought them time but they are an accident waiting to happen.

Some argue that the best economist alive is Steve Keen - an Australian economist. See his blog here. What is Steve Keen predicting for Australia? A collapse in housing prices and devaluation of the Aus$.

This could easily happen before the Holyrood elections. So, what in heaven's name is Salmond doing attaching the party's reputation to the perilous state of Oz?

For a start Oz, since the crisis, is now integrating itself into the Asian economies and especially China. How can this be a comparison for Scotland? Australia may well have lasted this long without economic mayhem but that certainly does not mean it'll last. The problem of debt that has ravaged the Western world is consuming Australia and it is only a matter of time. Sure, they have a 'commodity currency' which means that if they run out of money they can borrow against future gold sales but their national and household debt is enormous. It is unsustainable and is very typical of the problems that are haunting the US, UK, Spain, Iceland, Ireland and others. A ticking time-bomb.

And Salmond, the economist, is pinning his colours to Australia. Has he understood nothing of the crisis?

There is only one decent model for Scotland and it is Norway. Same population, same geographical situation, same natural resources but Scotland has certain advantages over Norway such as whisky, tourism and financial services. There is no reason why Scotland couldn't emulate Norway which has easily weathered The Crisis. Norway has a strong currency, no debt problems and has invested in infrastructure and future genertions. Australia is a debt-driven bubble waiting to explode.

Please Alex. Change tack immediately. Stick to Norway!

On the subject of Oz, here is a song by The Silly Wizards to lend you some sanity. What a loss Johnny Cunningham is!

Enjoy: The Rambling Rover


This Scotland said...

There are a few good examples of well run small economies, but using Australia as an example of an economy that Scotland could emulate is completely pointless.

Firstly, as a new world country, Australia has a completely different history to Scotland and, being situtaed on the other side of the globe, it has the South East Asia economies on its doorstep. It also has a very high waiting list from around the world of skilled labour wishing to emigrate there. Finally, and perhaps more importantly, it has a population more than four times that of Scotland.

As for an ecomomy that Scotland could emulate, Norway is perhaps the best example, but there are others in Europe too. Denmark, for example, seems to be doing reasonably well and Switzerland seems, as ever, to be very resilient. And the Unionist nay-sayers never ever seem to mention Luxembourg, which despite having a population no bigger than that of Edinburgh, happens to have the highest GDP in Europe.

Finally, it might be worth remembering that Ireland, despite its recent ecomomic troubles is still much, much better off then Scotland.

Alex Porter said...

@This Scotland,
Agreed! Your exlanation is more comprehensive than mine. A comparison with Australia is absurd on all sorts of levels.

As for Europe, I think sticking to Norway is the best idea. Denmark and Switzerland don't have oil like Scotland and Norway. I think an indepenent Scotland would be looking long and hard at what Norway has done with its oil wealth. Salmond is an oil economist and knows this well.

We simply can't have poor comparisons again. Iceland was a disaster! Australia may soon be too.

Yes, Ireland is better off. I mean they are struggling but we're only starting to see the mess the UK is in! Give it time..

Bob said...

" And Salmond, the economist, is pinning his colours to Australia. Has he understood nothing of the crisis?"

Do you really want me to answwer that ? ;)
Could be a simple 'No' or a longer explanation !

Alex Porter said...


Please do Bob. No windmills though, Ok;)

Clive said...

The trouble with unionist hubris is that it comes back to bite them.

Their so called 'Arc of Insolvency' is still richer than the UK with Ireland and Iceland's figures actually INCREASING and the UK's DECREASING.


So the question for unionists is what fictional land are they in if the UK's solevency is worse?

Alex Porter said...


I agree and exposed this 'Arc of Insolvency' hypcorisy on this blog.

UK debt is even worse than Iceland's and Ireland's for sure!

We can't say that they are good models just because the UK is knackered though. So, the point stands. They were never good models and hypocrisy or not - it blew up in Salmond's face.

Norway is the intelligent model and Salmond should stick to it. If the Australian housing market crashes, Salmond's Holyrood campaign, the independence message and the referendum momentum will take a humiliating hit. We know the unionist press will not miss the opportunity.

That's avoidable..