The humiliation of both the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBoS) is complete. The Scotsman Newspaper (Bill Jamieson's column) posits that "As time passes, we will view it as a financial Culloden" (when the mainly Scottish Jacobin army led by The Pretender, Prince Charles Stewart, was defeated by the mainly English and Scottish Hanoverian army led by the Duke of Cumberland). We hope that the fates of RBS and HBoS will not be decided by today's leaders of these forces, Jacobite First Minister Alex Salmond and Hanoverian Prime Minister Gordon Brown? For an account of the coming battle read this excerpt from an as yet unpublished history of the events of October 2008, 262 years after the first battle of Culloden whose illustrations it employs:
"English poured forth their incessant fire of treasury bills notwithstanding the canon of the Golden Rule, now loaded with political sour grapes at the loss of Scottish Parliamentary majority, that now swept aside the Scottish banks like just so many chips off a gambler's card table, and like a hailstorm notwithstanding the flank-fire of the City of London upon the Edinburgh regimen that led the Bill Jamieson's Scotsman (whose front page on the cold grey morning of the 15th trumpeted the call "Still time to save 'The Bank') and all ranks of Scottish patriots hurtling onward and down the slope, as like to the headlong rush day after day of the banks' share prices, dividend-deprived shareholders now desperately flinging themselves into the stern credit lines of the enemy, which indeed they did not see clearly for smoke 'n mirrors of the death-knelling paperwork of back-room agreements signed as if in blood. All that courage, all that despair, could do was done. It was a moment of dreadful and agonising suspense, but only a moment for the credit crunch whirlwind does not reap the forest of share certificates and annual reports with greater rapidity than short-sellers cleaned out the Scottish banks. Nevertheless, almost every man in the shareholders' ranks, chief and gentleman and gentlewoman, fell before the deadly squeeze which they had braved; and although the enemy gave way at minor points along the line, it was not till every rule of shareholders' rights was bent and screens ran red like so many a bloody knife. When the first lines of equity capital and the SLS credit swaps had been swept aside, the defenders of the independence of Scottish banks continued their impetuous advance till they came near the second line of preference shares, when, being almost annihilated by a profuse and well-directed short-selling and panic dissertions, the shattered remains of what had been ever victorious until barely a few months before, now facing a suddenly much more numerous and confident force, began to give way. Still a few political leaders, institutional shareholders and their journalist comrades rushed on, resolved rather to try negotiating the steely points of the enemy than forfeit their well-acquired and dearly-estimated honour of their fair value portfolios. They rushed on, but not a man ever engaged fully with the main force of the enemy's tactical logic. The proud Scots who had innovated all that was at one time new in world banking such as trustee savings, joint stock banks, paper money, double-sided printed banknotes, colour bank notes, bonds, Adam Smith, mutual funds and much else, now found themselves losing at a global chess game that was no longer theirs to influence or command.
The last survivors of that fatal accounting, at the end of what had been a 300 year drama, their pride, dreams and hopes perished more assuredly than on any battlefield as they reached the points on the London government's agenda where Nationalisation would be temporary until all assets and lines of business of any value remaining were sold off at auction prices or given away to foreign interests. The wailing and moaning in Edinburgh and Glasgow's restaurants, bars and drawing rooms could be heard unremittenced for many years after, though it was many years too before a Labour Party again ruled in Scotland."