MICHAEL Fry’s latest article was certainly accurate, but history with extrapolation perhaps helps (At a time when everyone wants to put up taxes, who’ll speak for restraint?, September 11).

In that vein, it’s interesting to note that the UK deficit is continuing to spiral, literally out of control. This is something which could be considered to be a very good indicator of a state in its death throes, especially when a government’s actions are not geared to reducing that, but primarily towards containing any damaging fallout to the current political system and its supporters.

In spite of this debt mountain, almost all departments within Whitehall are arguing for more spending, this while the official cry is “austerity”.

Austerity clearly has little meaning for our “elite”. If it did, and they had any type of management acumen whatsoever, the debt would be reducing while efficiency increased and taxes were held to reasonably stable levels. Who could argue this is the current state of the UK?

READ MORE: When all want to put up taxes, who will speak for restraint?

Exacerbating this, government borrowing is increasing while the Tories remain hell-bent on removing us from the EU, thereby compounding our deficit while increasing the costs of almost everything we import, automatically requiring higher taxes. Disposable incomes across the UK will plummet. House prices should be anticipated to undergo a rather substantial correction even as interest rates climb, making affordability just as difficult. As banks see their asset values drop, what happens next? Lending crisis?

What’s sad to see is that this is the state of the state which our current politicians here in Scotland seem to wish to emulate. Surely a sensible individual could only ask why?

It’s time to abandon the dreams of yesterday’s Empire, of again being a “force” on the world stage where the UK’s power base, both hard and soft, has been diminished to that of a second-tier nation. It’s beyond time to refocus on a socially cohesive package, while a portion of taxes are gathered, but constitutionally set aside to pay both principle and interest on a national debt that’s already become a national disaster.

READ MORE: Letters, September 12

As a point of note, that debt interest is at £140 million a day – just the interest. Pensions cost about £250m a day. Essentially we could have left our pension age unchanged, kept our promise to the disadvantaged women, raised the state pension by about 50%, or drastically cut taxes to increase disposable income, always allowing we didn’t choose to invest in infrastructure or some other equally worthy cause. We would have options.

What do we do instead is align with Westminster to line the bankers’ pockets.

There’s a very good reason why bankers in the UK, senior ones, are virtually impossible to prosecute. They very much get the laws they desire. They hold the purse strings after all.

This state of affairs goes back to a Scotsman, William Patterson, one of the founders of the Bank of England, and one could argue a chief architect of the Union through his championing of the Darien Scheme, which virtually bankrupted Scots nobility and so very tidily paved the way for those acts we’re now trying so hard to unravel. Surely, in a sensible Scotland, unchained from disastrous English fiscal policy, we should practice what we’re famous for, prudence. Unfortunately, with Darien and its ramifications still haunting us, we can’t do that, not quite yet.

As for William Patterson, by leading a nation to penury, paranoia and dependency, well, history tells us he received quite a welcome at England’s court, for services rendered.

Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Ashley MacGregor
East Kilbride