Did US academic learn to despise Scotland after meeting Pennington at Aberdeen University?

Hallwood did his PhD at Aberdeen in 1988 and his first degree at Hull. He is clearly not an expert on the UK economy judging by his recent, unusual, publications:

The FT published his letter as clickbait, I’m sure and I suspect he is better ignored but it is a remarkable idea that an academic, these days, seems to believe that England subsidises Scotland.

Does Scotland in Union have a US branch? Affiliated with the CIA?

8 thoughts on “Did US academic learn to despise Scotland after meeting Pennington at Aberdeen University?”

  1. Perhaps the English electorate will be struck by “the truth” of this and insist Scotland leaves the Union immediately. (I’ve been told the shorthand for irony is /tory 🙂 )

    Or does it make a difference (internationally/politically/to morale…) whether we’re fired, rather than quit? This is a semi-serious question – I’m a ‘convert’ remember. Does Scotland have to have a referendum or secede from the Union for it to be acceptable to Scotland?

    In fact, can anyone help with a good, basic book that deals with silly (possibly potentially offensive) questions like that? Sort of ‘Scottish Independence for Dummies’. If there isn’t one already, maybe one should be written. I’m pretty sure I could provide the questions for a start!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two useful books:
      How to Start a New Country by Robin McAlpine and available through Common Weal’s website. It comes in 2 volumes: a short version and a more detailed, longer version. I recommend getting both and read the short one first as an introduction to a number of complex topics. Then the longer version will make more sense as you’ll have a grasp of how and why the topics inter-relate.

      The other book is Scotland the Brief by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp and available via the Business for Scotland website. Again a short & long version, both packed with facts & figures about the Scottish economy.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thanks.

        I’ve ordered Scotland the Brief, but it looks like the Common Weal’s shop isn’t taking orders at the mo, due to CV-19.

        Still, I’ll have plenty to go at until such time as sales recommence.
        Thanks again


  2. Well, Hallwood is / was in favour of fiscal autonomy for Scotland rather than the Barnett formula.


    Given the flawed nature of the fiscal settlement that would be a step forward – not enough, though.

    “Scotland’s 53% marginal tax rate for middle earners illustrates yet another flaw with the Fiscal Settlement

    Cuthbert J. R.: published in The National 31 January 2019.
    Describes how the awkward interface between devolved and reserved powers leads to anomalous, and damaging, tax effects.

    download this paper”


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank’s Sam for the link to this Cuthbert paper. Helpfully your link also provides access to his wider body of highly relevant work on Scotland’s public finances and economy.

      The particular paper you link to is a very sobering read. I’ve long been aware in a general sense of the highly complex and problematic nature of the fiscal settlement post 2014, including the only partial powers granted to the Scottish Government over tax, even over income tax, and the mire of the Block Grant Adjustment (BGA) process. Regardless of the ‘fiscal traps’ set for Scotland in all this, anything associated with the public finances that is as complex as the BGA cannot be good for Scotland’s democracy today.

      There is much in the Cuthbert paper to ponder and worry over. This is just one extract that I found telling:

      “… a cynic might also say that the fiscal settlement design has another advantage from the Westminster viewpoint, because it opens up an opportunity for Westminster to game the system.

      If Westminster decides to increase the higher rate income tax threshold for the rest of the UK at a higher rate than inflation, then the resulting decrease in income tax revenues will be partially offset by the extension of the band over which 12% national insurance contributions are paid.

      But since this increase in national insurance contributions also applies to Scotland, and since these revenues go to Westminster, what Westmister has actually been able to do is to pre-empt part of Scotland’s taxable base: in other words Westminster has benefitted at the expense of potential revenues for the Scottish Government.

      Of course, surely such considerations would have played no part in Westminster’s decision in its 2018 Budget to increase the rest of UK higher rate threshold from £46,350 to £50,000, well above what would have been required for an increase in line with inflation.”

      I suspect the last sentence was written with tongue firmly in cheek!

      What is also being revealed is yet another manifestation of a democratic deficit, but this one is more insidious i.e.progressing inconspicuously but harmfully!


  3. The FT heading for the letter is revealing: “…… HOLDING ON TO SCOTLAND.” A Freudian slip? We (i.e. the wealthy class – mainly, but not exclusively, English) own Scotland, i.e it is one of OUR assets.

    Perhaps there are benefits in the view that “England ‘subsidises’ the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh”, in increasing the view in England that these Celts should be cut loose and stop leeching on the ‘hard-working’ people. The kind of arguments that were deployed in the Daily Express and others when it was clear that the Empire was crumbling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Tories are going to have to explain to hard pressed English voters,why they want to continue subsidising ungrateful Scots and why it is when Scotland demands greater control of their economy,they refuse.
    In fact,they should be having to explain that to Scots as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Re.Scotland in Union/CIA
    You can bet your bottom $ their is some form of obscure link but cleverly set up
    In a informal way so that it can never be outed
    Strategically Scotland and its coastline is of the highest importance with regards
    Sea routes across the N.Atlantic and a vital Northen air corridor in the event of major conflicts and play a huge part in the security of the whole of Europe
    UK Trident submarines are NOT independent despite the government doing its utmost to portray them as being so
    The agreement between UK/USA is that we lease the missiles on the condition
    That we build the submarines & supply the weapon grade nuclear material for warheads
    Furthermore the US has the FINAL say on
    Any target and release of the missiles as they have the ultimate launch code
    We in the Indy movement must wake up to these facts and start to play a smarter game and realise that just shouting from the roof tops that upon Indy that these weapons will have to vacate Faslane
    Although it hurts to my core to say what our policy should be
    Lease/Rent the base for a 10 yr.period to what remains of UK
    1.They will fight like mad to prevent Indy at all costs as they cannot stomach losing
    Such military clout and all that goes with it
    2.10 yrs of lease gives them sufficient time to if they can find the monies to build
    A new base to house them
    3. The lease could yield a very tidy annual rent in excess of £1 billion/ annum
    Along with we would have a massive input to the terms and conditions of the lease
    So much so and in a way that it demonstrates our Firm and intended neutrality in any future conflict and hopefully minimise the likelihood of us being a target
    It is utter naivety on our part to think otherwise
    So behind closed doors our leaders should
    Intimate that we shall not demand Trident
    Removal but reach a amicable agreement
    In a fair and reasonable lease
    That way you have now got USA off our back and diverting all their efforts to England who must maintain their so called
    Special Relationship
    In life it is only the Final Result that actually matters and in order to achieve one more often than not you have to give to receive what you seek
    In these matters it is very much a case of make friends of your foes
    And that is the smartest move any commander can make
    Tis the cleverest of warriors who wins
    By merely placing his hand upon the sword
    Trident is their sword but it is only our hand that can draw it
    Acknowledge this simple reality and act accordingly

    Liked by 1 person

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