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Scottish Independence

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A Winter's Tale

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In the closing year of the 20th Century, finally, Scotland had its own devolved parliament in the wake of a referendum in 1997. In just thirteen years, Holyrood had performed tremendously to boost life for Scottish citizens including: the introduction of the smoking ban, abolition of tuition fees and the provision for free prescriptions. These stupendous decisions made by MSP’s have exhibited how taking responsibility for the decisions of your own land, economy and people is essential in enabling a country to prosper. Now, we have been blessed with a once in a lifetime opportunity - to build on the benefits that devolution has brought to Scotland with an independence referendum due in 2014.


Scotland has a unique and diverse culture famed for innovation, creativity and artistry, inspired from a dynamic and awe-inspiring landscape which is rich in beauty and potential: renewable energy; oil and gas resources; thriving cities; landscapes that boasts renowned habitats, scenery and industry; its intelligent and famous people from Burns to Bell to Fleming and Ferguson. Scotland has the fertile soil to sow the seeds for a healthy economy with unparalleled industry that could deliver an egalitarian society and present our own innovations to the world. It is outrageous that this dynamic country is ultimately restrained by a UK government that imposes bedroom tax, austerity cuts but backs bonuses for the rich. In the 2010 UK general election, the Conservatives won one seat in Scotland, yet we end up with a Tory Prime minister because of the right-wing consensus south of the border. With 83.9% of the UK population living in England, Westminster politicians are elected from an English consensus and focus primarily on English matters. Scottish consensus (staying in the EU and opposition to trident) are not well represented in the UK. The Westminster system only benefits London (ONS revealed that Scotland had 6% growth in output between 2007-2011 but London had 12.4%). It is time to accept that Westminster is not serving Scotland. An independent Scotland would make decisions for Scotland by introducing policies and make good use of our assets and revenues to enhance Scotland. It is time to say yes.


However, saying yes to independence is not based on our wish to present romantic stereotypes but to recognise that we are a vibrant and modern nation that no longer needs to rely on the union to survive. Scottish independence is about the centralisation of our resources, power and decisions to take responsibility for ourselves. By saying yes, we would break free from the external factors, ideologies and circumstances influencing government decisions. Scotland would no longer fight wars that we disagree with, obey politicians we did not vote for and tolerate tough decisions from Westminster. By voting yes, we can cultivate our aspirations, set our own targets and make policies that are in the best interests of the people of Scotland.


In Europe, there are examples of the benefits of independence. [color=#000000]The population of the Baltic Nations in total is 6 million people and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are not well-known nations. However, independent, the Baltic nations had the highest growth rates in Europe between 2000 and 2006 as unemployment fell below the EU average. Furthermore, Estonia was among the top ten most liberal economies in the world. The success in the Baltic States derives from taking responsibility for the unique set of demographic, economic and geographic circumstances of a country which results in the right decisions being made. The concept of responsibility, in essence, is paramount to how self-sufficient a country is. The resources behind the decisions are important in mapping out the potential an independent country has. Scotland is bursting with a rich and wide-array of primary resources that would make Scotland a very self-sufficient country. [/color]
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[color=#000000]Scotland[/color][color=#000000] is also the oil capital of Europe. Since the discovery of North Sea oil, Aberdeen became the centre of Europe’s petroleum industry which created half a million jobs in the Aberdeen energy industry. Scotland produces more oil than Kuwait according to the BBC and the Scottish government says that North Sea oil and gas is an asset worth £1 trillion and North Sea oil revenues of £54 billion are due in the next 5 years. The Scottish government is confident that North Sea oil should provide a safety net for at least another 40 years. The OECD suggested that oil prices could be $150-a-barrel by 2020. This suggests a bright future for the oil and gas industry in Scotland. However, the Scottish parliament obtains no revenue from oil and gas; an independent Scotland would receive all the revenue from oil and gas within Scottish waters. In 36 years the UK government has raised around £180 billion from oil and gas production. The Norwegian government revealed that in just under twenty years, it had used its oil revenue to build a pension fund of £450 billion: this shows how a relatively small nation had used its own oil wealth very wisely. It has been suggested that Scottish oil and gas could produce more revenues, and it is imperative to have an independent parliament receiving all the revenue. In an independent Scotland, we would be able use our oil wealth to improve life across the nation and to ensure that oil wealth will be passed onto future generations. As much as Scotland’s oil supply is a massive factor for our industry and economy, an independent Scotland would also need to invest in other industrial sectors as our oil supply cannot last forever. [/color]
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[color=#000000]Oil is not the only substantial asset Scotland has. We have unsurpassed offshore wind and tidal energy potential. According to the Met Office, Scotland is the windiest place in Europe. The combination of strong winds and the exposure to the elements makes for an ideal place for offshore wind and tidal energy. As Scotland has over 790 islands, most of which uninhabited, it is vital we locate wind turbines in the most exposed and inhospitable of locations without spoiling natural beauty. Scotland’s offshore wind and tidal energy combined would produce 25% of the EU’s potential – an asset worth billions each year. The renewable industries would generate further jobs and supply Scotland with more capital for the economy. An economically and industrially stronger Scotland would be able to build stronger trading links with the rest of the British Isles and other nations. A wealthier Scotland should make it a better place to work and live in, but an independent Scotland would also take responsibility for its own landscapes and environments which have made our nation a very special place for Scots and people from all around to globe to live in and visit. [/color]



[color=#000000]Scotland[/color][color=#000000] has earned its right to control its own destiny, to break free from the inequality of the Union and to develop qualities to enhance our communities and our environment. We have got the character, the inspiration and the industry to be a country with a strong and stable economy. By having our own parliament for thirteen years, we have gone a long way from the days of Margaret Thatcher, but to progress even further, Scotland needs to be independent from a government that has made the wrong decisions for our country. Cabinet after cabinet, budget after budget, Westminster continues to serve London above the rest of the UK. [/color]Do we need a family in another household to determine how we run our own house? I think not. [color=#000000]It is time to look at the reality that Scotland is self-sufficient with oil and renewable energies and by going it alone, we can cultivate our supplies sensibly and take responsibility for ourselves to be in control of our own destiny. Let’s say yes to a brighter future. Let’s say yes to independence. [/color]
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Nothing wrong with romanticsm..surprised it hasn't played a bigger role.

I hope for success in the referendum - i predict a narrow victorty for independence!

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I truly wish they will get independence.......i would consider moving back to scotland if they did .....

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Nothing wrong with romanticsm..surprised it hasn't played a bigger role.

 

I'm not sure that 'romanticism' is the right word (for 'Scotland is my country' if you catch my drift). But it will play a huge role on the day.

 

Just as it did in 1997 which I remember very well. Scotland looked like Hampden for an international. I've never seen so many saltires, kilts, tartan, thistles etc. The atmosphere was electric.

 

A vid showing bits of semi-independence day, 1st July 1999.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anYHBwOF2cY

 

 

Nice summary AWT.

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