This month’s meeting of Edinburgh & Lothians Group featured Andy Anderson. It was after the 2014 Referendum that Andy decided to do something about getting the message over to Scots about how we could create the kind of economy that would best support our nation and how we can set up our own currency. He has been writing, speaking and running study groups on those topics ever since.
Andy was born in the Glasgow ‘Toon Heid’ district, and at the age of 15 took up employment at the Blainhall Colliery in Fife. He was later a piper in the Cameron Highlanders.. Then as an elected official of the Miner’s Union the NUM. He received a scholarship from the Union to study at Ruskin College in Oxford, and later won a state scholarship to New College Oxford from which he graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Andy worked for the National Union of Public Employees for 20 yrs, then retired to Skye, where he became involved in the Skye Bridge Anti-Tolls Campaign – ending in prison. Although to date he has never paid the toll or any fines!
He is the author of ‘The Skye Bridge Story‘, ‘Currency in an Independent Scotland‘ and co-author of ‘Moving On: An economic case for Scottish Independence‘.
You can listen to the talk and the discussion afterwards here:
In his talk, Andy covered two main topics:
- Money is not important. It’s wealth that is important and Scotland is a very wealthy country. First of all we need the political power to run our own country and then we need our own currency.
- Can we do that? Well, Iceland has with a population the size of Edinburgh with fewer resources
- How do we get the wealth of our nation into our pockets here in Scotland?
- We have all this wealth and yet it doesn’t seem to be available to us to create the society we want?
- How do we move from where we are and get to the kind of society we want?
- There are examples of how to do this…. eg UK at end of WW2 we were very badly off and yet we created wealth in the years after that in a very short period of time. We applied Keynesian economics. In fact Keynes was advising the Labour Gov post war. It was done then and it can be done again.
The questions that Andy was asked after his talk covered a wide range :
- Is it only a sovereign state that can set up a central bank
- Are SNP setting things up in the way the Scottish people want? eg with the Growth Commission ? Are they not packing their advisory groups with neo-Liberals?
- Taxation after independence
- Devolved Powers will never let us run our own economy in the ways we want.
- International Credit Rating for an independent Scotland
- What should we do first after independence? First, we have to have political independence. We may have different views on how to proceed with currency but that’s not a problem. We all want independence. So we work together for independence and after that we can debate the best way forward.
- Public and private ownership
- How quickly can we set up our own currency?
- Do we need a lender of last resort?
- Is it politicians we need to get this message over to and educate them about currency?
- Do you think SNP & First Minister still want independence?
- The UKGov and media will tell us we can’t afford to go it alone. We need to be ready to refute that.