let us now consider the9% Growth Party.From Tom Shields in the Herald. Had an 8 year old child with a pocket calculator been available Mr Shields could have confirmed that 9% growth over 8 years does indeed double income for everybody but clearly he does not move in such intellectual company. Beyond that he actually seems to know what I was standing for & is apparently a train enthusiast. The Herald & Sunday Herald declined to publish my response.
I met the 9% Growth Party - Mr Neil Craig as he is also known- when went to The Doublet bar in Glasgow to have a pint and avoid elections for a wee while. Craig, whose science fiction book and comic shop Futureshock is nearby, was handing out leaflets.
"No blackouts. No vindictive bans", the leaflet said. I assumed he was talking about the pub: Don't drink so much you have a blackout, but even if you do, you should not necessarily be barred.
But no, it transpired the "blackouts" is a reference to nuclear power, of which the Glasgow regional list candidate is in favour.The"vindictive bans"isa reference to the Scottish Executive's unilateral prohibition on smoking, to which he is opposed.
The leaflet also promised "Double your income in eight years", which sounds a decent enough electoral bribe. In Craig's brave new world, all business taxes and fiscal controls will disappear. And with 9% compound growth, income apparently doubles in eight years.(Well,it does if you are an entrepreneur. If you're on a pension, it might be a little more difficult.) I suggested to Craig that he might have given his movement the snappier title of the Double Your Money Party, but he thought people might get confused with Hughie Green.
Our Mr Craig is not very green. He thinks climate change is a myth; he tilts firmly against windmills; he thinks the Green movement has killed more people than Hitler. (Check it yourself: Google "9% growth party + Hitler".) Mr 9% does have some sensible policies, too. He wants to automate the Glasgow subway with driverless trains running 24/7 and do the same with the Glasgow-Edinburgh rail link. Less convincing is his proposal to build a tunnel from Oban to Mull to make the island more accessible to fans of Balamory.
It says on Craig's CV that he was chucked out of the LibDems for illiberality which, in itself, is quite an achievement.
I thank Tom Shields for his approval of the 9% Growth Party's proposal for fully automating the Glasgow underground & Glasgow-Edinburgh lines.
He is quite correct that I support putting new nuclear in to replace the 50% of our electricty production which is reaching retirement. This is a matter on which the larger parties have specificly refused to debate. I'm afraid if we lose half our power massive blackouts are obviously inevitable. Burying our heads in the sand, as the big parties do, is grossly irresponsible & will not make reality go away.
The tunnels proposal is based on the Norwegian's achievement of building 740km of tunnels over the last 20 years. A series of tunnels at Gourock/Dunoon & crossing to Kintyre, Bute Arran & as he says, Mull making it a simple drive from there to Glasgow would greatly improve the prospects of all.
Tom expresses some doubt about the effect of 9% Growth. Doubling income in 8 years at 9% growth is how compound growth works. Try getting a pocket calculator & multiplying 1.09 by totaling 8 times & you will see it. Mathematically it is known as the Rule of 72 since doubling, except in very short time periods, requires 72 points of growth. Thus at Scotland's current growth rate of 1.5% doubling takes 48 years while at 10% growth the income of the Chinese will have doubled & doubled & doubled & doubled & doubled & doubled & close to doubled again.
This is part of why getting the economy growing would be so very valuable for all of us, rich & poor, as I hope, thinking it over, readers will appreciate.