Friday 18 March 2016

Fear and courage

I’ve commented previously that it is silly for those in favour of leaving the EU to be arguing that it would not be an economic shock.  Far better that they accept that it would be and argue for that being a positive rather than a negative.  I’d still be against for a host of other reasons, but it would be a more honest argument, and I think a much better one.  Economic shocks aren’t always a bad thing, and they can lead to good results.  It was interesting to see today that one supporter of Brexit has done just that.
Now if only I could persuade people in Wales to see the prospect of independence in the same light.  There simply are no certainties either way, but sometimes a degree of uncertainty can be an inspiration and an incentive rather than something to be frightened of.  Instead, too many people see it as something which has to be removed and eliminated before we can even consider the possibility.
That underlines the fact that, in some ways, it isn’t economics which holds us back – it’s a lack of imagination and courage.


Anonymous said...


And now we need to get one of the major political parties on-board. I suggest the Tories because the economic case has to stand up.

Plaid has held this nation back for decades. It's time we moved on.

Well done!

John Dixon said...

I'm not sure that you've been following recent postings here. There is no 'economic case' for independence, just as there is no 'economic case' against independence. There are economic consequences from whichever choice we make, but the basis for making that choice isn't economic; it's about taking responsibility.

Your point about the Tories is an interesting one. If there was a genuinely Welsh conservative party it might be expected that they would support the idea of taking maximum responsibility for ourselves. The fact that the conservative party in Wales doesn't support that says a lot about the sort of conservative party that we have. It's more a case of the UK Conservative Party in Wales' than a 'Conservative Party of Wales'. As long as that remains true, the chances of them not supporting the continuation of the union are zero.

Peter said...

I've been watching the EU debate from afar with great interest. Not least because I will be returning home at the end of this year after a quarter century absence.
It seems counter-intuitive to see how Nationalists support continued membership while Unionists want out. For my part I do not see economics as a decider. I am far more impressed by the fact that you and I, being of the same age, are the first generation ever not to have been conscripted or otherwise coerced into fighting our European neighbors. I admire the European Parliament that divides the members according to their political philosophies rather than national allegiances. These kinds of arguments are what would get me to vote to stay in.
If we must mention economics though; I would envision electrified rail extending into the valleys. An electrified railway and a major roadway joining Caernarfon to Cardiff. Extending the M5 to Lleyn and the M4 to the west coast and a motorway joining them north to south. This would provide the infrastructure to encourage inward investment as well as opening up opportunities for Welsh entrepreneurs. No doubt the second home owners would be crying into their wine glasses but I have no pity for them.
The main obstacle to making a prosperous Wales happen is that such schemes would only be pursued by a Welsh Parliament and could only be quickly realized with support and investment from the European Community.
That, and a dose of the Courage and Imagination that you mention.

Anonymous said...

Peter, You may have no pity for the second home owners but 'you and yours' would do well to go out of your way to thank them on a fairly regular basis because it is invariably the likes of these people that supply the funds that allow hospitals and roads and trains and policemen to work in and around Wales. In other words, they are invariably the income taxpayers, and often the higher rate income taxpayers that we so sorely need to fund our current way of life.

Granted, if we had enough of our own we wouldn't need to rely upon the largesse of the English and Scottish but unfortunately we don't have enough of our own and until somebody kills welfare in Wales stone dead we never will have.

So in the main I agree with you. Let's set the nation to work to build up our infrastructure but let us not allow a single person, unless so disabled, to avoid the daily horror of hard work! It is precisely this sort of hard nosed decision making that will convince investors, be it the EU or the UK or others, that we are serious about transforming Wales.

John Dixon said...

I understand how it suits your political agenda to refer to the "largesse" of taxpayers in Scotland and England, but it's a hopelessly oversimplistic and inaccurate way of looking at the economic relationships between the different parts of the UK, and it disregards the extent to which the money spent in Wales is largely raised in Wales. However, a detailed debate around taxation revenue and expenditure in Wales is outside the scope of this post.