Monthly Archives: November 2019

Mackay is demanding much too little money for Holyrood’s credit limit

TOO LITTLE. TOO LATE.

Pig-ignorant Mackay is demanding much too little money and too late to save his job.

Satirises Derek Makay, happy as a pig in a pigsty

Mackay is demanding only the ability to rack up £1 billion of debt a year – that’s about 0.6% of Scottish GDP – peanuts, an insult to Scottish savers, most of whose savings would still be robbed blind by the UK.

We should be demanding the ability to rack up about £14 billion of debt a year – that’s about 8% of GDP – that’s proper government borrowing powers.

Mackay wants an increase in the overdraft to only £10 billion.

We should want NO overdraft limit whatsoever, only the yearly cap which can be borrowed every year indefinitely, with NO interest payments and NO repayment of the sums borrowed.

Pig-ignorant Mackay wants to pay interest and to repay the sums borrowed – pig ignorant about economics and how government borrowing works. Mackay thinks like a toon cooncillor who has to beg to borrow.

Mackay doesn’t want to govern like a government which is in charge of its own central bank and can borrow its own currency at will. That’s not a borrowing power that a toon cooncillor like Mackay would know what to do with.

Mackay is a pipsqueak of a Finance and Economy Secretary, completely out of his depth and he must be sacked for the good of the Scottish economy.

The bad deal Fiscal Framework Agreement

For years, the Scottish economy has been stagnant, with very weak growth because in 2016, the SNP made a bad deal with the UK which crushed the Scottish government’s powers to borrow money from the UK.

MSPs could have renounced the bad deal at any time. MSPs could have fought for a better £ deal with the UK, or set up a new Scottish currency and central bank to borrow from at will, but they didn’t. MSPs were too slow and too stupid and they took bad advice from a clueless university bureaucrat by the name of Anton Muscatelli, whom Glasgow University and the City of Glasgow would be miles better without.

So MSPs stuck with the bad deal which framed Holyrood budgets for austerity and weak growth, year after year. Scots suffered austerity but Sturgeon told lies and blamed only the UK for austerity when it was her signature on the bad deal. She had agreed with austerity in writing.

Finally, in September 2019, the penny finally dropped for one MSP – the new Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who wrote an opinion piece in the Scotsman which criticised the SNP’s bad deal that Kezia Dugdale, the previous Scottish Labour leader never had the wits to disagree with. Dugdale resigned as Labour leader and an MSP to work for Muscatelli whose bad advice she is presumably still taking. Dugdale was an economically-ignorant celebrity and she got herself out of Holyrood!

“SNP have locked us into a bad deal” – Richard Leonard & Peter Dow agree.

John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon have signed up to a bad financial settlement, says Richard Leonard, writing in the Scotsman on 24th September 2019. Peter Dow agrees and adds …

Richard is right. The SNP’s bad deal fiscal framework crushes the Scottish Parliament’s borrowing powers, framing Holyrood austerity budgets to fail the Scottish economy, making it all but impossible to deliver growth and prosperity for the people of Scotland, which is totally unacceptable to anyone who cares for Scots.

I’ve argued that a good deal fiscal framework would allow for Scottish government £ Sterling borrowing powers capped at no less than an average of 8% of Scottish GDP – about £14 billion per year – borrowed interest-free, with no repayments, the sums borrowed simply added to the Scottish national debt – in other words, macro-economic borrowing powers for Holyrood, akin to those of a sovereign government with its own central bank borrowing powers.

8% GDP is not unreasonable for government borrowing to fund its fiscal deficit and is about what the UK borrowed on average for the 5 years following the global financial crisis of 2008, which allowed the UK economy to grow strongly out of recession.

The UK could of course refuse such a good deal £ Sterling fiscal framework, if and when the Scottish government finally demand one such – in which case establishing a Scottish currency and Scottish central bank is the appropriate response for the Scottish Government and Parliament to take. There is no sign that Richard Leonard has reached nor crossed that particular bridge yet but he has come this far so one can but hope that he or the next Scottish Labour leader will get there one day.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Students and the public shouldn’t support ANY university staff pay claim or strike

As a science graduate of Edinburgh University, a former Glasgow college lecturer and a mature post-graduate science student who was unjustly excluded from both Universities in Aberdeen (AU & RGU) leaving me with the worst-possible reference (“we don’t even allow him on campus”), from which my career as a scientist never recovered, I have a unique perspective on university pay disputes.

Whilst unjustified student exclusions are the fault of mismanagement failing to find a way for people to work together, those unjust exclusions often follow a complaint from a lecturer or department administrator, unwilling to allow tough questions to be asked of staff by “mere students”, however educated and qualified those students may be.

University Principals are those most responsible for hiring lawyers to obtain court orders to enforce exclusions from the campus.

My complaint about the staff in general is that collectively they show no solidarity with excluded students whom one of their fellow staff colleagues may have complained about. The solidarity is always with the tenured staff member to support principals who exclude any student who asks tough questions.

Whilst collective action from staff is often evident to support a wage claim, never in a million years can one imagine collective action by university staff in support of excluded students.

Such excluded students are left to rot on the dole for the rest of their lives, or tormented by Jobcentre staff and made mentally ill by having their benefits cut off. Such individuals as myself are the “skeletons in the cupboard” of academia – only I am one such skeleton who is still blowing the whistle!

So that’s why I don’t support such pay claims, as I explained to a BBC Radio Scotland phone-in program some years ago.

Peter Dow (on radio) re: Scottish Universities Pay Dispute

Lecturers and students who didn’t welcome my tough questions, typically complained that I was “disruptive”, misrepresenting my constructive line of questioning.

They couldn’t go complaining to management about my “constructive” questions without looking foolish, now could they?

Better to save face by pretending that I was “disruptive”, embellish their account so as to paint me in as bad a light as they can.

Academics claiming that they “don’t want” students excluded is insincere when they never lift a finger to oppose or reverse exclusions.

Academics who claim they cannot imagine dishonesty in their colleagues either lack imagination or are dishonest themselves.

In my case, academics testified as witnesses for the prosecution, for my exclusion, as to my alleged “disruptive” behaviour at lectures etc. so my experience is to the contrary of any claims that academic staff “do not want exclusion”.

“Gown” versus “Town”

Academics (“Gown”) are willing to take industrial action action against the university management (“Town”) in support of wages and conditions, so it is untrue to pretend that “Gown” doesn’t ever interfere with “Town” management decisions ever.

The contrast is the courage when selfishly striking for university staff’s own wages compared to the indifference or moral cowardice in not striking, not even speaking out, in solidarity with excluded students.

Academics don’t speak out politically in support of excluded students but have misled the polity by pretending that excluded students can be “expected to do very well”, whereas the deck is very much stacked against us when we are excluded.

My career as a scientist was ruined, long term unemployed and on the sick, with no social life, no friends, no family of my own.

I was excluded from the University of Aberdeen from 1991 and the Robert Gordon University in 2003 and have never been included anywhere else that I wanted to be as a first choice since then.

It is too late for me to expect the experience of decades of exclusion since then not to determine my future. It has determined the last 28 years of my life, ruining it completely.

My life has been totally destroyed by my exclusion!

“Study at the Open University”

Having left my college lecturing job from boredom, I didn’t want to do an O.U. course, still don’t, because I lacked and still lack a social life.

When you are socially isolated, you need the company of your peers. You want to make friends, perhaps find a partner in life to start a family with.

What you don’t need is your peers excluding you from their company because you might ask some tough questions.

What I need is solidarity against the mismanagement of the Universities of Aberdeen and the mismanagement of the courts which prevented me from holding them to account.

I need restorative action which removes the bad management and lets me back on campus in Aberdeen to put the record straight at every public meeting on campus, where I can speak out and reduce the reputation of the past years of mismanagement to the “lowest of the low” which is appropriate.

I have been grievously wronged and the wrong-doers must be held to account.

There must be justice and accountability and compensation, though I fear the compensation I would demand would break the Bank of England but no apology nor compensation whatsoever has ever been offered to me.

So the solution here must be to remove the accreditation of all UK universities and of the standing of the kingdom and monarchy which gave them their royal charters that they never deserved in the first place.

The Windsor royal family must be exiled from Britain before we, the people, can then turn in a “year zero” to confronting the UK elites who have abused their positions of trust in the kingdom.

We’ll see how brave academics etc. are when they don’t have a fascist police state to exclude their critics.

Meanwhile, Ivory Tower fascists do not deserve any wage nor any pension – social security payments only until they put their own house in order.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized