Philip Hammond believes that what is good for the City of London is good for Britain. He represents the Conservative Party as sociological determinism says it should be, a Europhile and the voice of unfettered financial capitalism
For now, issues of Salmond and independence are subsumed in the public mind by the question of managing the pandemic. And here, in the shadow of May’s election, the news is (superficially) good for the SNP.
Capitalism, our system, is ageing, inept, bilious and barely able to rise from its sickbed. Economic news does not determine the constitution, but it does ask questions about what type of independence might be possible or desirable.
Scotland’s news today is dominated by further lockdown restrictions. The measures may appear marginal: limitations on click and collect deliveries; firmer rules for takeaways; curbs around alcohol. But they are designed to stamp home the message that there is no imminent return to normality.
On Monday the Scottish Government proposed that the UK needs £80 billion of investment for a Coronavirus recovery plan – equating to 4% of the UK’s GDP. Instead, Boris Johnson has revealed his ‘New Deal’ for £5 billion of investment – 0.2% of the UK’s GDP – in a speech full of rhetoric.
“The model of ‘corporation in trouble, finance sector doesn’t want to put its hands in its own pocket so demands the public does, but expects to stay in total control anyway’ is how the RBS bailout was handled. This is a direct replica.”