I’m struggling to find justification for the “Nicola Capitalist” epithet in either Sturgeon’s address at Stanford University or Michael Fry’s analysis. All I am seeing is Nicola the principled pragmatist that we have known for some time. It is difficult to see how this could have been missed given that the passage from her speech which is quoted positively oozes principled pragmatism. Unless, of course, you choose to read only every second word; picking out phrases such as “free trade” and “benefits of globalisation” while disregarding things like “properly managed” and “fairer and inclusive society”.
Mr Fry’s comments about economic priorities are also a little odd. Aside from the fact that he seems to suppose the Scottish Government actually has the powers needed to fine tune the economy, never mind steer it in the right general direction, he seems to think Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has a simple choice to make between ‘maxing out’ his borrowing and adopting the “German example”. In reality, of course, no such simple choice would be available even if Mr Mackay had at his disposal all the economic levers that are currently being being withheld by the British state.
It took more than being “fanatical about running a balanced budget” to get Germany to where it is. It took a strategy. Germany didn’t get to its present position without passing through a period of deficit budgeting. The difference is more than mere determination. The difference lies in borrowing and spending wisely in order to reduce a deficit.
Successive UK Governments have shown themselves to be spectacularly inept when it comes to managing Scotland’s economy. A fact which Unionists not only admit, but gleefully celebrate. By all means urge Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government to get the priorities right. But it makes no sense whatever to blame them for getting priorities wrong when they have virtually no means of prioritising and must, instead, accept priorities imposed on them by London.Views: 2928
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