Free Trade Zones

With comments like this, no wonder we lack national self-esteem

He was quoted in The National in response to Nicola Benedetti’s wonderful nomination as the first Scotsman and first female director of the Edinburgh International Festival: “In many ways she reflects the spirit of this festival, internationally recognized and respected but Scottish at heart. …” (Benedetti will be the first Scottish director of the Edinburgh Festival, March 2).

It’s so insidious you almost miss it, especially since the Scots, I believe, are used to it. The word should have been AND, not “but”.

No wonder we have trouble believing in ourselves and our self-esteem needs fixing.

Go Nicholas! I’m so proud of you because you’re a woman, and BECAUSE you’re a passionate Scottish. There should never be a “but” in the same sentence as your name.

Jenny Pearson
Edinburgh

IT is inevitable that Boris Jonson’s SNP-endorsed “free trade green zones” will multiply and expand until the whole country becomes a tax haven for unregulated business. Temporary and poorly paid contracts, lack of environmental oversight and, due to Labor Party opposition to the devolution of employment law, including minimum wage and union rights during the Smith Commission and passage of the Scottish Act From 2016, there will be no union recognition and therefore no protection rights in the workplace. The political clock goes back to the beginning of the 19th century, when the people’s struggles and sacrifices were in vain.

READ MORE: This is why the SNP’s Green Ports plan is right for Scotland

We are at a tipping point and in a very dangerous place indeed.

A perfect Dickensian utopia for Boris and his hedge funders is in sight. These so-called “ports” can be located anywhere, including fenced inland areas. Just prefix “green” and you’ll be fine! For the credulous, of course.

Free/Free Trade Zones should be seen in the context of the Brexit Freedoms Bill. So now we have the beginnings of a Singapore-style tax haven vision in the UK for the Conservative Party. A zero-tax/unregulated Britain to free the multi-millionaires, property developers and hedge fund spivs who financed Brexit and Johnson’s bid for Prime Minister. Now is the time for recovery. Johnson’s premiership is secure at least until the piper has been paid.

It is capitalism at war within its own ranks and it is the asset strippers, oligarchs, money launderers, newspaper owners and purveyors of unusable PPE equipment who are winning at the expense of our civil liberties.

It is shocking that the SNP has been duped by this extreme agenda of the conservative far right.

God help us if Scotland cannot pull itself out of this dystopian future that is now clearly ahead of us.

Gordon Murray
Lanark

DURING a radio interview, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickson lamented that he couldn’t choose where his taxes would end up. Bruce did not understand that at the British level, taxes are destroyed money. In another world, without fiat money, we might find that cat sanctuaries start turning to offshore banks for the massive cash flowing in.

We currently live in a very dysfunctional democracy, but elected politicians decide their spending plans and where, who and why to tax. I would like fiscal and monetary sovereignty in Scotland, but we don’t have that now and until we have that we don’t have political sovereignty either.

At the British level, it is a political choice to de-fund museums and art galleries. If museum staff are willing to work for books, they can be hired. As a monopoly money issuer, the UK government can always guarantee that these facilities remain free to the public as long as the real resources are available to them in pounds. This is not the case with the Scottish government, which is a currency user with both real resource and currency constraints.

The UK government’s tax breaks for fossil fuel giants and their choice to support the arts build on Bruce Dickson’s libertarian dream of personally choosing your tax fate. If this dream were to come true, it would usher in a dystopia. Moreover, the low tax bills of the fossil fuel giants contribute to the accounting arsenal of the GERS used against the concept of Scottish independence.

Kairin of Sweden
Modern Money in Scotland and Scotonomy

INSTEAD of trying to encourage the Conservative Party to return foreign donations, why not get them to transfer the money to a Ukrainian relief fund to help offset the costs of rebuilding their country and supporting refugees? The same could also apply to any frozen Russian assets.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire