To say the United Kingdom is sailing through very choppy water would be the understatement of the century. But whatever happens in the coming weeks, new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is already steering the ship into calmer seas.
Britain will come through this, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has produced a chart which would take Scotland into an economic tempest of such ferocity it will make the last few weeks feel like an oasis of tranquillity.
Were Scotland to take the First Minster’s advice, no new resignation or election would halt the rapid descent into chaos. Independence is a once-and-for-all decision, and if recent events teach us anything it’s that markets don’t accept good intentions or sentiment as legal tender.
But with a self-assurance of those blinded by faith, the “Building a New Scotland” blueprint for independence Ms Sturgeon presented on Monday confirmed most of what critics of her plans have been saying for years.
Yes, there will be a hard trade border with England. Yes, the SNP plan is to jockey on the back sterling and the Bank of England with no control over money supply. Yes, they will try to double up with a new Scottish currency.
But no, they have no idea when an independent Scotland can stand on its own two feet. No, they have no idea how long it would take to set up a Central Bank. No, they have no idea how the £3,000-a-head deficit will be covered apart from and exorbitant borrowing and crippling taxes.
No, they have no idea how long the new country would be caught in a limbo, neither in the UK nor the EU. And no, the European Free Trade Association which numbers Norway amongst its members isn’t on her radar because the First Minister is so enthralled by EU membership.
Yes, she is prepared to throw the Scottish economy into the sea because she so loathes the UK that she is prepared to dump the Treasury, which pours billions into Scotland, so the Bundesbank in Frankfurt can call the shots.
Such is her soaring self-confidence it’s as if little things like currency upheaval and disruption to domestic trade don’t matter.
Ms Sturgeon’s breezy acceptance that “checks on certain goods generally take place physically at the border,” will mean lorry queues at Gretna and Berwick. Moving from sterling to Scottish money “as soon as practicable through a careful and managed transition” will mean a black economy like the end of the Soviet Union when everything was priced in roubles but everyone wanted paid in dollars.
Like the disastrous Darien Scheme, she is selling a journey to a land of limitless wealth but on arrival we will instead find an unforgiving landscape in which no-one owes you a living and bargains are driven harder than anything Scotland has had to negotiate for over 300 years.
Meanwhile, in Holyrood this week the First Minister’s bitter response to the resignation of Community Safety minister Ash Regan not only reveals the vicious treatment meted out to SNP dissenters, but confirms the huge fault lines running through the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.
For far too long has the SNP used London politics to divert attention from a track record of both poor service delivery and unnecessary and dangerous legislation, now there can be no-hiding place for Ms Sturgeon and the ill-considered GRR legislation debated in Holyrood yesterday.
Ms Regan has exposed what many have said for months, that the Scottish Government has barely entertained, never mind considered, real concerns shared by thousand and thousands of women about the erosion of equal rights we have only begun to take for granted after decades of struggle.
When I say ill-considered, the Scottish Government has barely entertained, never mind considered, the real concerns shared by thousands and thousands of women about the erosion of equal rights we have only begun to take for granted after decades of struggle.
If passed, this legislation will allow someone as young as 16 to be granted a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and legally change their sex simply by claiming to have lived in their new sex for three months without producing any medical evidence of gender dysphoria.
The implications are far-reaching, and campaigners have pointed out it affects measures to tackle discrimination against women, like equal pay protections, and allows GRC to circumvent exclusion from single-sex spaces and services.
Even now such service providers, like violence refuge charities, fear applying existing exemption rights leave them open to legal action. To complicate matters further, strict privacy provisions will make disclosing a person has a GRC a criminal offence, effectively making single-sex provisions illegal.
The Bill’s intentions are good, but none of the unintended consequences are addressed and just as the SNP is determined to set aside the views of the vast majority to satisfy the demands of a small minority, it is only right that all likelihoods receive proper scrutiny.
Is it acceptable, for example, that it could be illegal even to challenge a “male person’s” assertion that they have a right to be in a woman-only space?
The supposed safeguard is that false declarations will be a criminal offence, as if there is any way of proving someone wilfully declared their sex to be different. Who, facing prosecution, will confess, rather than just claiming they simply changed their mind? And which procurator is going to argue there is enough expectation of a successful prosecution in these circumstances to take such a case forward?
Yet the Bill is being presented as a beacon of modern, progressive Scotland, when thousands of people, gay or straight, know it to be the politics of the madhouse.
But it is a madness which is already having very serious consequences, in some cases causing irreparable damage to young people who, on reflection, realise that a condition needing medical intervention was instead a passing phase, where the emerging gay person is instead persuaded that something physically drastic is needed to achieve happiness and contentment.
It results in allegations that organisations like LGBT Youth Scotland are offering to help provide breast binders for children.
NHS England is calling a halt to this and following a damning report from former Royal College of Paediatrics president Dr Hilary Cass new draft guidance advises that “gender incongruence” does not usually persist into adulthood and all options should be properly explored. In Scotland we should be doing the same.