There are many potential pitfalls in the SNP's vague proposals

With Rangers still in recovery and Hearts teetering on the brink of oblivion, few football fans would argue that Celtic is not a well-run club.

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Although much criticised at the time because of comparisons with high-spending Rangers, the foundations for success were laid by Fergus McCann and consolidated under the chairmanship of Brian Quinn, the Glasgow economist with global experience who rose to be deputy governor of the Bank of England.

In Mr Quinn's seven years as chairman Celtic won five SPL titles, four Scottish Cups, three League Cups and reached the final of the Uefa Cup.

Who would disagree he knows a thing or two about economics and running a successful global business?

So when he says the SNP's plans for an independent Scotland's currency could breach EU rules, place burdens on Scottish banks and could limit the government's ability to spend and borrow we should sit up and listen.

Most seriously, Mr Quinn said it was "not self-evident" Scotland would keep the UK's international credit rating. If so, that could mean the cost of all our mortgages going up.

As befits a sensible business figure, Mr Quinn is careful to qualify everything he says.

He does not assert anything; just points out there are many potential pitfalls in the SNP's vague proposals. Yet the SNP would have us believe nothing they propose will happen without any difficulty or implication.

But look at recent events. Only last week Alex Salmond was forced to apologise to the Scottish Parliament for claiming he was giving more money to Scottish colleges when he was actually slashing their budgets.

Even then he had the cheek to claim it was all a big misunderstanding when the man who supplied the figures, education secretary Mike Russell, had sat smirking as the misleading figures were being presented.

Mr Salmond does seem to have difficulty with figures. Last year, his government pledged to spend up to £500million in two years on new building projects. In every speech on the economy this has been trumpeted as a great thing for Scotland.

But two weeks ago the Scottish Conservatives revealed only £20m has been spent. What's happened to the other £480m?

And last month Mr Salmond was exposed as having misled the public into believing he had legal advice about EU membership when none existed. Perhaps worse was his claim earlier this year that investment from renew-ables firm Dusan was on track when he knew the deal had been canc-elled months before.

So who would you believe when it comes to your money; an esteemed economist with a track record of success who says there may be problems, or a politician with a length-ening track record of misleading the public? You decide.

Finance

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