PREPARE for Crispin Odey to become a household name outside of London’s square mile.

The reflex English reaction to the pound going down the financial drain is to blame speculators. Way back in 1964, Labour’s deputy leader George Brown started the trend when he targeted the “Gnomes of Zurich” for a run on sterling in the 1960s.

Today’s modern equivalent is hedge fund boss Crispin Odey, who will never be mistaken for a gnome. Unlike the faceless Swiss bankers of the 1960s, Odey is as high-profile as the best of Bond villains – the stature of Goldfinger and the stare of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

And he is no mere bystander in the series of crises which have laid the UK economy so low. A leading funder of the Brexit campaign, he told the BBC on the morning of the result that he had made £220 million speculating that the markets would plunge, saying “Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca” – the morning has gold in its mouth – demonstrating that his Harrow/Oxford education was not entirely wasted.

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Now, this year, he has repeated the trick, with his main hedge fund up 145% by positioning against UK gilts as the current financial crisis developed. It has been, to use the lingo, one of the shorts of the year – or in Odey’s own words, “the gifts that keep on giving”.

And that was before Black Friday and Mad Monday, as the economic credibility of the Chancellor and Prime Minister was shredded by the very markets they love.

Odey continues to be bearish about the UK’s financial prospects, opining yesterday that the pound was still “vulnerable”. No great surprise there, you might say. Anyone who can work an abacus or recognise rank incompetence is of a similar opinion.

However, the interesting point about Odey is this. As the good ship Britannia has steered at full speed to the icebergs and now disappears beneath the waves, he has been a firm supporter of the officers on deck. Indeed the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, himself learned his trade at Odey Asset Management and continued that association after he became an MP.

In addition, Odey has been a long-term friend of Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg – in 2007, backing the investment boutique Rees-Mogg co-founded, Somerset Capital Management.

It is connections such as this which explain why social media is currently awash with conspiracy theories on the reasons for the UK’s demise. These are now feeding through to the mainstream media as in yesterday’s supremely hypocritical headline in the Daily Mail “Fury at the City Slickers Betting Against UK plc”, a sure sign that the saloon bars of Surrey are none too pleased about sterling falling through the floor and mortgage rates rising through the roof. The Mail is on the hunt to point the finger at someone quickly, lest people re-read their gushing enthusiasm for Trussonomics.

In fact, the Odeys of this world are not the cause of the crisis, just one of the symptoms. Quite simply, the UK political and economic system is bust.

The economy is leveraged to finance and even more so, financial operations, which benefit from market instability – “finance has become too proud and industry too poor”. Meanwhile, the real poor become ever poorer as the Government enables the systematic looting of what remains of UK assets.

The Conservative Party has morphed from being the party of Queen and country to one of King and The City. Each transformation of the party is more revolting than the last, assisted by an internal election system guaranteed to choose the candidate least fit for high office.

The Labour Party is a supine opposition, totally lacking in the vim and the verve to chase this Tory gang from office or to reverse their key policies if they scrape an election. Harold Wilson once famously said, “the Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing”. Under Starmer, it is certainly no crusade. It was Labour’s disconnect with the English working class that enabled Brexit and Starmer’s caution that will sustain it. What does it say about Labour that they require the Tory party to go mad to differentiate themselves on the political spectrum?

The mainstream media is in the hands of a few right-wing oligarchs who back the establishment at every turn and a public service broadcaster which in Scotland acts as a British state mouthpiece.

In Scotland, since Brexit, our Government has spurned chance after chance, and mandate after mandate, to bring independence to the crunch. Now we are taking our case to the UK Supreme Court. William Wallace had a better chance in his trial in Great Westminster Hall than Scotland has two minutes walk away at the bench at the Middlesex Assizes.

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AND what then is to be done? We don’t need eleven points in a plan for freedom – just two.

Firstly, we need a plan for independence unlocked from the UK disaster. We need a clean break settlement of no debt and no liabilities, rapid adoption of our own currency, public control of Scotland’s vast resources to ensure a living income for every family and every child, and a rapid move towards free trade in Europe through membership of the EFTA.

Secondly, we need a strategy for obtaining independence based on political action, popular agitation and international lobbying. Nothing will be conceded by the UK unless they are forced to. Our Claim of Right needs to be heard in the court of world opinion, not in the courts of the British state.

And if we do these two things, we will then be able to observe the next of the recurrent English crises as a sympathetic neighbour pondering how a dysfunctional political and economic system could lay such a great country so low.