Why has Facebook blocked economist’s post about benefits of Union to Scotland? – John McLellan

Facebook has questions to answer (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
Facebook has questions to answer (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
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Facebook blocks a perfectly reasonable post by an economist about the economic effects of the Union; Edinburgh may become expensive as London; and yet another tram-related consultation looms, writes John McLellan.

For all the bile that’s available on Facebook, it’s bizarre and a little bit worrying that such a powerful social media platform can block a perfectly reasonable and rational post by Edinburgh economist Kevin Hague, apparently because of complaints from separatists.

Mr Hague’s “crime” appears simply to be his effectiveness at showing how much economic benefit Scotland gains from being part of the Union, using nothing more offensive than neat graphics and some well-turned phrases.

The offending blog actually shows what a poor deal places like North-East England get compared to Scotland, but his analysis of official data also confirms the extent to which Scotland’s £13bn deficit is due to high public spending rather than poor revenues. All the SNP ranting about Brexit does not answer the question about how an already reasonable economy funds its massive expenditure.

READ MORE: New pro-Union think tank launched ahead of Indyref2

READ MORE: Thousands spent on targeted Facebook ads for Edinburgh and Lothian politicians

Driven by Capital

It’s no secret that every UK nation and region outside London and the South East run deficits, but if Greater London drives the UK, what drives Scotland?

New analysis from the Royal Bank of Scotland shows the short answer is Edinburgh, with the capital estimated to have nearly 40 per cent of Scotland’s potential economic growth over the next decade, fired by a growing number of highly qualified working-age people, while retiring people move elsewhere to downsize affordably.

Infrastructure problems elsewhere, particularly health care, will become acute while there is a danger Edinburgh becomes as expensive as London and Dublin.

Bigfoot returns

In the official announcement about the return of the Eduardo Paolozzi “Bigfoot” sculpture to Picardy Place was a reminder that there will be yet another consultation into the future of the traffic island site which will be part of the new tram stop which will be relocated from York Place.

The presumption must be that the location and design of the tram stop itself won’t be up for grabs, otherwise the project won’t get going for years. Who knows…