Saturday, 17 January 2009

Coinage ... & Notes

"9.13 We believe that certain functions are integral to the effective functioning of the United Kingdom as a sovereign nation-state with international responsibilities, and ... fundamental to the very concept of Union. These comprise ... currency and coinage. ... These we will not consider further."
- Calman Commission, First Report, Page 100

Again, why not?

As the example of the Euro shows each member state has its own coins. Therefore why can't Scottish coins be considered within the Sterling zone?

In fact there are different coins within the Sterling zone as the these examples for the Isle of Man (population 80,058), Jersey (pop. 90,800), Guernsey (pop. 65,573) and Gibraltar show (pop. 28,875).

A combined population of 265,306 who mint their own coins. Well short of Edinburgh's population never mind Scotland's five million.

Then there is this example of the 1956 shilling showing obverse and English and Scottish reverses.

Since there is no apparent bar to minting Scottish coins why has Calman not considered that issue as one that could "secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom"? Surely a union of unity is strong enough to allow a return to the production of such official coinage which links win with Scottish identification?

And a more pertinent point is the Act of Union itself - which Calman is meant to be securing. Article 16 says:

And a Mint shall be continued in Scotland under the same Rules as the Mint in England
It's eventual disappearance was a convoluted affair concerning efficiencies and legal status but as this report also shows Cumbernauld was also considered as the location of a new Royal Mint.

Aren't issues of public jobs and their spread throughout the UK a matter which Calman should have been considering?

One other related issue on "currency and coinage" which Calman appears to miss are the banknotes issued by Scottish banks.

Considering their Scottish specific status and how protecting status is one both raised by nationalist and unionist politicians wouldn't such an issue be worthy of consideration by Calman in order "to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom"?

The only reason for this flight from addressing such issues of Scottish identification can be how Calman has conflated the two issues in its report by lumping them together as "currency and coinage" because they believe people in Scotland cannot differentiate between currency and coinage.

It is the matter of currency that concerns them and they are attempting to shut the issue down.

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