On Monday 29 October, the Domestic Politics Society welcomed Lord Christopher Monckton, Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party and political advisor to Margaret Thatcher, to advise the society and guests on “How to make Scotland the richest nation on Earth.”
Monckton claimed the current economic and political situation in Scotland is worrying, as “debt is growing,” and “it will get worse if Scotland does not receive subsidies from Britain.”
It was for this reason he advised Scotland rejected complete independence and remained part of Britain, but opted out of the European Union and acquired greater independence to spend money according to its own interests.
Monckton proposed “abandoning the socialist model altogether,” instead “introducing a more rational… balance between the public and private sector.”
To do this, he advocated temporarily lowering taxes for the rich and increasing them for the poor, before eventually introducing a low flat-rate taxation rate for all, and decreasing the role of the public sector to encourage the introduction of private corporations and thus greater employment.
He also suggested that Scotland model its economy on Hong Kong, with little to no governmental intervention in the economy.
A small turnout on the night allowed for a heated debate following Monckton’s controversial points. When Lord Monckton opened up for questions, it was clear that a number of audience members did not agree with his statements, and by the end of the night there were still questions left unanswered.
Some criticisms pointed out by audience members were that the welfare system was one of the biggest achievements of Scottish politics, and abandoning the public sector would put the most vulnerable at risk.
Another argued that even if the major corporations Lord Monckton envisions did move to Scotland, it is not guaranteed that they would employ Scottish people, thus would have no impact on the economy. Additionally, the recent reports of corporations not paying taxes were mentioned.
A Domestic Politics Society member said: “Lord Monckton has been a regular at debates and I thought he would be an interesting speaker to have which he certainly was,” adding that the DPS would be introducing another controversial speaker – George Galloway – on November 13th.