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Subject: Scottish independence referendum? rss

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Ivan Pawle
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Prompted by this poll: British Isles User Polls
and this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/09/scotland-referendum...
I'm wondering if anyone here has any insights/opinions on the matter?
 
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It's an interesting move from Cameron, but I don't think it will make much difference.

Salmond probably wont take him up on it, because he knows he'll probably lose, which would be a pretty bad blow to his party, at least in terms of face.

On the other hand, if Salmond wants a referendum on an independent Scotland in 20 months, and it turns out to be a positive for independence, then Cameron saying this 2 years ago isn't going to make much difference, Scotland would become (or start becoming) independent, sooner rather than later.

I think this is largely posturing. Cameron gets to look like he's doing something with his pro-union voters (which really aren't that big a block for the Tories, generally) at little cost. I guess it might force the fact that Salmond was elected for being not Labour and not Tories, rather than because of a shift in the pro-independence feeling of the country, into a bit more clarity. But it's not like it wasn't pretty clear anyway.

Salmond has to be a bit careful not to look like an idiot, but realistically, I think even Salmond would have to be having a very bad day to mess that up to much.
 
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More generally, I'm not Scottish, but I think I would find it hard to get worked up about the whole independence one way or another even if I were.

The relationship between England and Scotland is still going to be close, even if it does become independent. The difference between an independent Scotland and a Scotland with a highly devolved government is going to be very slight in practical terms.

It'll probably have a larger impact on Westminster government, with a large left-leaning chunk of Parliament suddenly vanishing.
 
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IMO Cameron is just pulling the SNPs chain a bit, at least on the timing issue.

A key part of the SNP manifesto was to hold a referendum in the second half of the new parliament, but Cameron is making noises about forcing the issue, and bringing it forward, claiming that uncertainty is damaging business etc. Considering that the SNP were voted in a landslide at least in part on the basis of the 'second half' referendum, if Cameron forced an earlier date he would pretty much be riding roughshod over the Scottish electorate, and I doubt he would risk the shitstorm that would probably result. I'd guess he is hoping to get Alex Salmond flustered and defensive, but so far it looks like Salmond is playing it cool and letting his subordinates respond.

Of course, 2014 is the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, so the SNP might want to hold the referendum then, and hope that a surge of historical jingoistic pride willl sway things their way, so Cameron might just be trying to avoid this.
 
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This is all because Braveheart was on Bravo this weekend. Stirred up the blood.
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Tom McPhee
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It has been a few weeks since I last checked, but if I remember right there is not the overwhelming support for independence that Salmond thinks there is. I certainly don't support it. But then I'm not exactly the vox populi!
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tommcphee wrote:
It has been a few weeks since I last checked, but if I remember right there is not the overwhelming support for independence that Salmond thinks there is. I certainly don't support it. But then I'm not exactly the vox populi!

What are the main arguments both for and against it?
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Academically, how they propose to go about splitting up government debt and the north sea resources in the event of independance is the most interesting issue to me.

I bet a lot of Tory MPs have fantasys about the idea at night though.
 
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Dolphinandrew wrote:

It'll probably have a larger impact on Westminster government, with a large left-leaning chunk of Parliament suddenly vanishing.


And on anyone in England who ever wants a non-Tory govt. ever again.
 
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whac3 wrote:

What are the main arguments both for and against it?


You can read http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/neilobrien1/100128633/we-n..., for one limited example, as a springboard to forming your own arguments.
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Fwing wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:

It'll probably have a larger impact on Westminster government, with a large left-leaning chunk of Parliament suddenly vanishing.


And on anyone in England who ever wants a non-Tory govt. ever again.


Yeah, that is something that hadn't really occurred to me.
 
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A guy called "Cameron" seemingly about to lets the Scots out of the union eh? COINCIDENCE?
 
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It's wierd, as soon as someone mentions "It's damaging business/the economy" I immediatly don't give a shit about their argument.

As to the independance. I really don't think it matters. As long as I can still get haggis and whiskey I'm good.

Unfortunatly I have only been to Scotland a few times. I love the country, the landscape and the people. But I do find it strange how everything is basically the same but with the word "Scottish" written in front of it.

As far as I'm concerned let them have a referendum. I don't think it will pass, but if it does, so be it.
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whac3 wrote:
tommcphee wrote:
It has been a few weeks since I last checked, but if I remember right there is not the overwhelming support for independence that Salmond thinks there is. I certainly don't support it. But then I'm not exactly the vox populi!

What are the main arguments both for and against it?


Gosh, it's hard to know where to start with this one. As with most things in politics there are lots of opinions, most of which are held with the certainty of facts, and few facts, many of which are no better than opinions.

When I think about this issue I come at it from a West of Scotland (now) middle class Glaswegian angle, although I was brought up in a working class family, many of whom, it has to be stated outright are nationalists. There are many different strains to the arguments for and against, but seem to boil down to history, economics, and culture. And of course they all interact with one another in a complex mish mash.

Long story short- Once upon a time Scotland was an idyllic place, where the streets were paved with gold, the forests an untouched virgin and well balanced landscape- in fact a veritable land of milk and honey. Until the nasty English (boo-hiss) appeared on the horizon, clambering over Hadrian's wall like a horde of rapacious Uruk-Hai and orcs hellbent on turning it into an image of Mordor! The orcs devastated the country and turned it into a wasteland by chucking folk off the land as it was more profitable to graze sheep. These plucky highlanders set sail for worlds anew, spreading the joy of bagpipes and men in skirts to all the four corners of god's good earth, mainly Nova Scotia, New Zealand, Australia and some ragtail bits of the USA. Meanwhile in the now devastated shire, rich in sheep, poor in skirted men (more's the pity), the evil orcs continued to wreak havoc, turning the west of the country into a polluted cess pit for the creation of weapons of war, whilst they settled in the New Town part of the old capital, Edinburgh (or Edin-burrow to our US cousins). The old Scottish king became the joint king of both England and Scotland and for a while, men (kilted or otherwise), sheep, and orc lived mostly in harmony. There were a few unpleasantries along the way, not helped by the strange garlic scented men of Gondor to the south helping the kilted men to resist the evil imperialist orcs! But eventually things were settled until, in the east, arose two terrors in quick succession, both helping to stem the imperial machinations of Mordor! After the second of the wars to end all wars (but before the third such war) the vast industrial abilities of the now polluted Shire were no longer needed. There was no market for their weapons of war. And thus the land fell under a shadow. A greater shadow than that of Mordor, Nazgulism or Cthulhumism... a new threat, one that even to this day strikes terror into the hearts of kilted men the world over... Thatcherism! It is said that Beelzebub himself spat this creation onto the earth.

This creature disembowled the once perfect land of milk and honey. Despair and misery were the watchwords of the decade. But the kilted men had a hankering. A hankering to determine their own futures. And they had come across the magical talisman with which to accomplish that feat. For, off to the north east, a magical liquid was found, buried deeply under the ocean waves, hidden from the sight of Mordor and Thatcher's devilish orcish army. The newly invigorated kilted men started to clamour for their independence, and of course, this was to be funded by gold coins bought by selling off the magical black liquid, and the more tasty and salubrious maltish brown water of life for which the indigenous population were now famous! And shortbread tins. And tartan. And Edinburrow Castle. And some American tourists. And a lot of wishful thinking.

Less in the style of a drunken Tolkien- Scotland has a historical antipathy towards England. Our two nations have long detested one another. Not helped by our frequent wars. Things eventually settled a bit when the crowns, and then later the parliaments joined back in the mists of time (well 1603 and 1707 to be more precise). Indeed Scots have played a very active role in this political union. But the nation has always had something of an inferiority complex compared to its larger, more powerful southern neighbour. The English probably won't be winning any awards for conciliation over the past few centuries, from the highland clearances (aided and abetted by scottish landowners) right up to much more recent (perceived) fucking over of the nation by Thatcher. From the basing of nuclear missiles on our soil to trying out new tax powers to basically realising that her party stood no chance of having any power in the country and therefore feeling free to treat it like shit... Scotland and Thatcher have a poor relationship. That's not to say it hasn't been represented well in the Westminster parliament however. Much to the annoyance of our English cousins, when they realise that a Scottish prime minister of a political party they would never have voted in themselves is making decisions regarding them. Without Scotland, labour would find it exceptionally difficult to establish a government again in Westminster. The conservatives do not stand a chance of establishing a government in Scotland. It will take a long long long time for Scotland to recover from Thatcher (even though some of us might admire her).

Anyhow, that's a long waffle and as I say I strongly suspect someone else will be along shortly with a completely contrary view!
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tommcphee wrote:
The English probably won't be winning any awards for conciliation over the past few centuries, from the highland clearances (aided and abetted by scottish landowners) right up to much more recent (perceived) fucking over of the nation by Thatcher. From the basing of nuclear missiles on our soil to trying out new tax powers to basically realising that her party stood no chance of having any power in the country and therefore feeling free to treat it like shit... Scotland and Thatcher have a poor relationship. That's not to say it hasn't been represented well in the Westminster parliament however. Much to the annoyance of our English cousins, when they realise that a Scottish prime minister of a political party they would never have voted in themselves is making decisions regarding them. Without Scotland, labour would find it exceptionally difficult to establish a government again in Westminster. The conservatives do not stand a chance of establishing a government in Scotland. It will take a long long long time for Scotland to recover from Thatcher (even though some of us might admire her).


I can only hope if Scotland does become independent, my homeland of the North of England (which has a very similar relationship with the Tories) can join Scotland.
 
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tommcphee wrote:
whac3 wrote:
tommcphee wrote:
It has been a few weeks since I last checked, but if I remember right there is not the overwhelming support for independence that Salmond thinks there is. I certainly don't support it. But then I'm not exactly the vox populi!

What are the main arguments both for and against it?


Gosh, it's hard to know where to start with this one. As with most things in politics there are lots of opinions, most of which are held with the certainty of facts, and few facts, many of which are no better than opinions.

When I think about this issue I come at it from a West of Scotland (now) middle class Glaswegian angle, although I was brought up in a working class family, many of whom, it has to be stated outright are nationalists. There are many different strains to the arguments for and against, but seem to boil down to history, economics, and culture. And of course they all interact with one another in a complex mish mash.

Long story short- Once upon a time Scotland was an idyllic place, where the streets were paved with gold, the forests an untouched virgin and well balanced landscape- in fact a veritable land of milk and honey. Until the nasty English (boo-hiss) appeared on the horizon, clambering over Hadrian's wall like a horde of rapacious Uruk-Hai and orcs hellbent on turning it into an image of Mordor! The orcs devastated the country and turned it into a wasteland by chucking folk off the land as it was more profitable to graze sheep. These plucky highlanders set sail for worlds anew, spreading the joy of bagpipes and men in skirts to all the four corners of god's good earth, mainly Nova Scotia, New Zealand, Australia and some ragtail bits of the USA. Meanwhile in the now devastated shire, rich in sheep, poor in skirted men (more's the pity), the evil orcs continued to wreak havoc, turning the west of the country into a polluted cess pit for the creation of weapons of war, whilst they settled in the New Town part of the old capital, Edinburgh (or Edin-burrow to our US cousins). The old Scottish king became the joint king of both England and Scotland and for a while, men (kilted or otherwise), sheep, and orc lived mostly in harmony. There were a few unpleasantries along the way, not helped by the strange garlic scented men of Gondor to the south helping the kilted men to resist the evil imperialist orcs! But eventually things were settled until, in the east, arose two terrors in quick succession, both helping to stem the imperial machinations of Mordor! After the second of the wars to end all wars (but before the third such war) the vast industrial abilities of the now polluted Shire were no longer needed. There was no market for their weapons of war. And thus the land fell under a shadow. A greater shadow than that of Mordor, Nazgulism or Cthulhumism... a new threat, one that even to this day strikes terror into the hearts of kilted men the world over... Thatcherism! It is said that Beelzebub himself spat this creation onto the earth.

This creature disembowled the once perfect land of milk and honey. Despair and misery were the watchwords of the decade. But the kilted men had a hankering. A hankering to determine their own futures. And they had come across the magical talisman with which to accomplish that feat. For, off to the north east, a magical liquid was found, buried deeply under the ocean waves, hidden from the sight of Mordor and Thatcher's devilish orcish army. The newly invigorated kilted men started to clamour for their independence, and of course, this was to be funded by gold coins bought by selling off the magical black liquid, and the more tasty and salubrious maltish brown water of life for which the indigenous population were now famous! And shortbread tins. And tartan. And Edinburrow Castle. And some American tourists. And a lot of wishful thinking.

Less in the style of a drunken Tolkien- Scotland has a historical antipathy towards England. Our two nations have long detested one another. Not helped by our frequent wars. Things eventually settled a bit when the crowns, and then later the parliaments joined back in the mists of time (well 1603 and 1707 to be more precise). Indeed Scots have played a very active role in this political union. But the nation has always had something of an inferiority complex compared to its larger, more powerful southern neighbour. The English probably won't be winning any awards for conciliation over the past few centuries, from the highland clearances (aided and abetted by scottish landowners) right up to much more recent (perceived) fucking over of the nation by Thatcher. From the basing of nuclear missiles on our soil to trying out new tax powers to basically realising that her party stood no chance of having any power in the country and therefore feeling free to treat it like shit... Scotland and Thatcher have a poor relationship. That's not to say it hasn't been represented well in the Westminster parliament however. Much to the annoyance of our English cousins, when they realise that a Scottish prime minister of a political party they would never have voted in themselves is making decisions regarding them. Without Scotland, labour would find it exceptionally difficult to establish a government again in Westminster. The conservatives do not stand a chance of establishing a government in Scotland. It will take a long long long time for Scotland to recover from Thatcher (even though some of us might admire her).

Anyhow, that's a long waffle and as I say I strongly suspect someone else will be along shortly with a completely contrary view!

Too bad I can only thumb this once. Hilarious but informative.

What exactly did Thatcher do?
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whac3 wrote:

What exactly did Thatcher do?


This is a pretty good article about the relationship between Scotland, Margaret Thatcher & the Conservative policies of the 80s.

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2009/02/scottish-sco...

Her policies destroyed heavy industry in Scotland, effectively destroying employment in a number of towns across the country, including the own I grew up in. The poll-tax in particular was /hugely/ unpopular.
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Here you go, Moshe, this covers pretty much all of it in glorious detail:



Note to Scots: If you do go for independence, keep the nukes.
 
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Salmond has been milking the Independence card for years to get political advantage. It is getting boring and starting to affect business and discussions on more important issues Scotland faces. So he should get on with it or shut up. He knows he has to wait until the last minute because after that he will have little useful to say.
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Greendan wrote:
It's wierd, as soon as someone mentions "It's damaging business/the economy" I immediatly don't give a shit about their argument.

As to the independance. I really don't think it matters. As long as I can still get haggis and whiskey I'm good.

Unfortunatly I have only been to Scotland a few times. I love the country, the landscape and the people. But I do find it strange how everything is basically the same but with the word "Scottish" written in front of it.

As far as I'm concerned let them have a referendum. I don't think it will pass, but if it does, so be it.


I think there's the rub. Scotland is, to my personal mind, three cultures. There is a celtic northwest in the hebrides and an island of 'celticness' in Glasgow. The central belt is as English as Liverpool or Manchester with Edinburgh having pretensions to being like Oxford. The Northern Isles are probably more close to Scandinavia, culturally (and for the Shetland isles also geographically). The Highlands of Scotland are where the three cultures mix and become mushed up.

Having said that, and I'm not a cultural anthropologist, there are definite cultural differences within these rough cultural divides with various subcultures developing, from the hyper-religious gaelic speaking Calvinists on Lewis to the Glasgow 'neds'.
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Being an ex-pat sassenach (that's a wee pasty Englishman) who lives in the US, and who goes back to visit every year or so, I have a view based on gut rather than economics. Although I am sure that all the economic arguments will probably be proved wrong in the long run anyway.

Within the overall structure of the EU, independence for Scotland is bollocks, I think it will lose more than it gains; Cameron calling for the referendum is calling the SNPs bluff, I hope it does not backfire on both sides.

The folks from the British Isles (and I would include the island of Ireland in that description) have way more in common than they realize, living in a foreign land I see that more than I did when I lived in the UK.

The logistics and details of a referendum just boggle the mind; taking into account how many Scots live outside of Scotland and how many non-Scottish Brits live in Scotland...who gets a vote ?
Hey I have been there, do I get one as well ?

The Scots (and the Welsh and the English regions) should have more say in their government although I am against more layers of bureaucracy for the sake of it.

From the selfish point of view I do want the Scots Labour MPs counteracting the English tory dominance of Westminster, and think independence is the wrong solution for the wrong problem. The politicians want more power for themselves, look past the hype.

Embrace your culture, you are Scots and you are British. Enjoy being both.

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I'd miss the jocks if they left the union.
Can't really blame them for thinking about it though.
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MyTwoCents wrote:
oi_you_nutter wrote:


The logistics and details of a referendum just boggle the mind; taking into account how many Scots live outside of Scotland and how many non-Scottish Brits live in Scotland...who gets a vote ?




Since there is currently no such thing as a Scottish Citizen then the only options are

a) All those registered to vote in Scottish electorates (i.e. residents of Scotland, many of whom are not Scots)

b) The entirely of the UK - which is my preference. Scotland is not currently independent, and anything changing the status of the UK should be voted on by all UK voters.

Theres certainly no way to have Scots only voting, as the word 'Scot' has no legal meaning at the moment


Exactly, any criteria will piss off one group or another.
 
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