Planning blind

How can Derek Mackay provide information that he doesn’t have? How can there be any realistic scenario planning when there are so many variables and so much uncertainty as to what the UK Government is going to do?

Scenario planning is, effectively, planning for things that may never happen. That’s OK if there are a limited number of possibilities. But what resources would have to be diverted to even superficial planning for the myriad possible directions in which things might go in the wake of the EU referendum result and the installation of a new UK Government without an election and hence without a manifesto to at least give some indication of policy direction?

It is already clear that Theresa May is intent on ditching much of her predecessor’s ‘legacy’. But we have no way of knowing what will be put in its place. Even Theresa May herself seems uncertain, as her dithering and eventual capitulation over Hinckley Point demonstrates. Multiply that uncertainty a thousandfold and you’re still nowhere near describing the uncertainty associated with the UK’s totally unplanned exit from the EU.

How might scenario planning be feasible under such circumstances? The proliferation of conditions and caveats would make any such forward planning utterly meaningless.

The British parties at Holyrood will, of course, bleat and snipe. But as you listen to whinging British nationalist ideologues such as Murdo Fraser and James Kelly, bear in mind that it is they who insist we are better off leaving crucial decisions in the hands of the Westminster elite. It is they who demand that vital powers be withheld from the Scottish Parliament. It is they who want the union at any cost.

However the British media might spin it, what the finance committee is highlighting here is, not any failing on the part of Derek Mackay, but part of the price that we pay for clinging to the archaic, anachronistic, dysfunctional political union.

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4 thoughts on “Planning blind

  1. Corrado Mella

    Derek Mackay might as well throw a set of dice, or consult a crystal ball.

    The underlying problem here is that an SNP representative in the Finance Committee has gone public with a misguided statement that can be used to clobber the SNP.

    This scenario, where the Scottish Government is between a rock and a hard place, will repeat itself relentlessly until we break – or break free.

    Those that studied history in Italy like me, were taught of the underhand tactics the fascists used to discredit the Italian Government in the 1920s.

    Constant slurs, vile personal attacks, accusations of sleaze, omissions and outright lies used in abundance to delegitimize a legally elected Government, and to create unease in simple minded people just wishing to “get on with life” and offer the mortal coil of fascism as a way forward.

    I don’t want to be the next Cassandra, so don’t come to me when the new autocratic BritNat UK Government recalls the devolved powers to itself and dissolves the national Assemblies and Parliaments, with the puerile excuse of dealing with the aftermath of Brexit.

    I see a monster coming from the swamps of time.

  2. Jockanese Wind Talker

    The same Parties who will soon be complaining about the budget when it is published are the self same ones who impose block grant cuts via their votes in Westminster and ask the Scots Gov to mitigate them.

    Then these Parties representatives at Local Government level blame the Scots Gov for budget cuts while spending millions on projects none of their electorate want or need.

    And so the cycle perpetuates.

    If push comes to shove Scots Gov should look at major infrastructure project investment.

    1. Update infrastructure in existing Container Ports and build new ones, Rosyth, Aberdeen, Montrose, Cromarty Firth, Glasgow etc.

    2. Increased runway size and capacity at Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    These actions would:

    1. Benefit Scots economy during and after the CAPEX phases as long as construction firms who pay tax in Scotland are used (this should be a tender prequalification requirement)

    2. Increase employment/maintain employment

    3. Bypass English ports for trade exports therefore ensuring export taxes are accurately accrued by Holyrood, reduce food etc. miles

    4. Increase availability of routes for short haul flights from Scotland for business travellers and tourists

    5. Bypass Manchester, Newcastle, Gatwick & Heathrow for long haul flights from Scotland again benefiting business travellers and tourists

    6. APD revenue would also increase to Scots Treasury

    7. Business travellers and tourists spend on food, drink, accommodation, entertainment etc. would be spentin Scotland again increasing taxable revenue to Scots Treasury

    Scots Gov needs to start the ground work for viable infrastructure for an iScotland to mitigate the scorched earth policy we see being implemented on our country by Westminster sooner rather than later.

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