Project Fear, or Project Stop Them Having Their Cake and Eating It?

The effort to get supermarkets to explain that they will probably raise prices in an independent Scotland, and to get Banks to make plain their plans to redomicile into the Rest of the UK, has been dubbed, seemingly successfully, ‘Project Fear’.  The same idea has been used to describe the effort to describe the economic realities of independence.

But I see it differently.

It would be pretty strange if the banks stayed silent in the run up to the referendum, refusing to comment on Better Together speculation that they would redomicile, fuelling the Yes campaign’s scorn of their forecasts, and then to redomicile anyway after a Yes vote.  If that’s what had played out, the Yes would have been won on false pretenses.

Likewise, wouldn’t it have been almost dishonest if the supermarkets had kept their own post independence pricing strategies to themselves, until it was too late and votes were cast?

In fact, if you think about it, these organisations’ silence about their intentions for so much of the campaign, leaving it so late, is odd.  I would call that silence Project Have Your Cake and Eat It.  Here the cake is ‘appearing cool, exploiting a bit of Scottish localism to boost the brand, feigning neutrality about the whole thing, especially when it seemed like there was no chance of a Yes win’.  And this cake was being had, and eaten, in the sense that all the while there were clear strategic plans in the event of independence, based on the bottom line only, with not a thought for the welfare of the Scots, or English, or anyone, in fact, unsurprisingly, simply for the benefit of their shareholders.

Hence, if the Government and HMT were involved in ‘Project Fear’, I’d think it was better named ‘Project Stopping Them Having Their Cake And Eating It’.


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