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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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Following a historic victory for the Scottish National Party, the politics of Scotland is increasingly diverging from the UK as a whole.While a referedum for Scots on the future of Scotland within the Union is now largely guaranteed, what this referendum will specifically decide (e.g. the nature of the question and implications) is not, with a sizeable proportion of Scots currently against full independence according to recent polls.In the meantime, the Scots government, with Alex Salmond now elected again as first minster, will be pushing for increasing fiscal responsibility to be devolved to the Scots Parliament - including collection/management of corporation tax - as part of the Scotland Bill which is currently being debated at Westminster.Thus, the next five years look to be interesting and exciting times for Scottish politics. With a clear amount of interest in this topic, from both NW members north and south of the border, here is a wee thread to discuss.EDIT: BBC article discussing Alex Salmonds election as FM and statement of the SNP immediate goals.http://www.bbc.co.uk...otland-13426524

Edited by Osbourne One-Nil
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And that ignorant, offensive, rant sums up exactly why the YES campaign failed  

Good god. What a load of boarish spiteful bile from bad losers has been posted during the night. I actually dread to think how Scotland would be run if this is representative of how the yes vote behav

I'm disappointed in the lack of grace shown by some across the net in accepting this No vote. A complete lack of any empathy and understanding as to why fellow Scots didn't vote Yes.   I personally

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Aye, The First Minister is in a prime position to finally offer the Scottish nation are alternative to rule from England, I hope he can deliver.

Scotland has the natural resources to be amongst the most wealthy small countries on this planet, if only we can keep the export revenues from those resources in our country.

Edited by mountain shadow
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Developments on the Scotland Bill starting up.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13458257

Scotland's first minister:

..has long said the bill should be amended to give Scotland control of corporation tax, revenues from the Crown Estate in the nation and to bring forward new capital-borrowing powers

Seems fair enough given that the SNP have made this policy clear to Scots voters and they voted for it in the recent election. Yet:

Speaking for the UK government, the Lib Dem Scotland Secretary Michael Moore suggested they might all be rejected. He said: "We will listen to any detailed arguments that are put forward to us. But excise duties are things that we believe are best placed at a United Kingdom level. Broadcasting we also believe should be a UK-wide responsibility."

This would not likely be a good response for Westminster should they hope to keep Scots keen to remain in the Union. If the Scots have voted for this, then it would seem very undemocratic to block it would it not?

In any event, as the article says, if Westminster wants to block it, the Scottish Parliament can do so first, i.e. block it going there in the first place. It would be a bad day for UK politics if the Scottish Parliament was put in that position, i.e. the bill would not meet the expectations of the voters due to westiminster plans, so it could not proceed.

Really, if Westminster wants to retain Scotland as part of the Union, surely it should agree with the voters (of a constituent country/partner within that Union) in terms of what they wish? Either that, or legislate for that country to leave. I suspect that this is what it may boil down to.

Certainly, the result of Scotland Bill negotiations are going to be interesting.

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I can't understand how the SNP government in Scotland are able to provide give-aways such as free prescriptions and university tuition as well as tax freezes/breaks and still manages to end the year with a budget surplus.

It all seems very enviable from here in Tory-blue England. Maybe Salmond and his SNP could provide us with some tips... Posted Image

Hope you don't mind me shifting this?

Good question.

At the moment, Scotland can't borrow and so must balance the books. Swinny was pants as a brief party leader because he's an accountant and a good one at that. I guess life is easier when you're looking after 5 million people instead of 50 million...

Swinney looks sensible while (seemingly typical unionist) BBC interviewer looks silly:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-13492640

George hopefully seeing he has no choice - give more fiscal control to the Scots Parliament or increase the votes for independence:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13498678

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Politics in Scotland seems much better... a real progressive government that can deliver good services and good taxation and not put the country in the red... A choice not to vote for the 3 old parties sounds good too - here all the parties are too busy trying to please Middle England. When will Salm offer the referendum? Tories thinks it's going to be defeated so want it early I heard...

Oh and another bonus of Scottish politics - NO TORIES!

Edited by EastDevonWeatherFan
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It’s not perfect by any means, but things are taking a change for the better.

The SNP do offer something different, and apparently politics that appeal to voters from both sides of the political spectrum. I guess they are best described as ‘Social Democrats’ in that they support capitalism (if regulated properly) but at the same time believe this should fund a decent welfare service/social system.

While I’ve been accused of being a ‘bigoted, hardline nationalist’ by some on here, I’m quite the contrary. I believe strongly in democracy and devolution of powers rather than centralisation if people/regions want it. Right now, the referendum is not high on my list of priorities even though I’ve voted SNP for 17 years. The SNP manifesto was to fight for increased dissolved powers then conduct a referendum towards the end of their term in office; i.e. the Scots will be able to judge based on over 8 years of SNP government combined with increased autonomy as to whether taking things further makes sense. Developments in Westminster will also play an important role.

The unionist parties want a referendum right now as support for full independence is not there (only ~30% support ‘full’ independence in the latest poll). They accuse the SNP of waiting for ‘the right moment/more support’ before holding a referendum. I find this really silly as is it not the role of government to try to give the voters what they want, i.e. if the Scots are not interested in full independence right now, then why on earth hold a referendum? If support does become strong, then it is the job of the government to offer people the choice.

Anyway, the majority of Scots do support increased powers/devolution. It will be difficult for Westminster to say no to this as the chances are that this will only increase support for independence. Also, given that the UK prides itself on trying to establish democracy in other countries, if on their own doorstep the Scots vote for this, there is no justification for saying no.

Interestingly, a chat with some of my sponsors (reps from major oil companies) reveals that seemingly the oil companies are watching with interest and are moving towards support for the SNP/independence given the short-sighted approach of the current Westminster government with respect to NS oil.

Alex is a bit of a grandstander, but you have to give him and the SNP credit for the recent success – the parliament was made PR-type by labour to avoid exactly what happened. The SNP know how to get votes; ask people what they want - don’t tell them what is best for them.

http://www.newsnetsc...t-minister.html

In the end, as he says, this is about Scotland being Scotland and working with neighbouring countries as friendly partners. A very positive view. For now certainly, the politics of Scotland are becoming very different to those south of the border, and that does not favour the current union status. As you say, the Tory vote is tiny up here. Seems the labour and lib dem vote has crumbled too. Out with the 'same old' and let's look for something better?

Edited by scottish skier
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The thing about PR being designed by Labour to keep out the SNP seems slightly far-fetched. It was probably more a sop to the Lib Dems to get them to support the terms of the parliament than an attempt to undermine the SNP, and in fact this is perhaps the only election in Scottish history where PR actually helped Labour and hindered the SNP. AMS was perhaps also used to ensure a 'unionist majority' in some form, and certainly it is amazing that the SNP managed to gain a majority of seats in a PR-based Parliament. Some vote shares of winning parties from history:

1983 Conservatives 43.9%

1997 Labour 43.2%

2010 Conservative 36.9%

1999 Labour 39% (Constituency)

2011 Labour Wales 42.3%(Constituency vote)

CDU/CSU Germany 2009 33.8%

Spain 2008 43.9%

India 2009 37.2%

SNP 2011 45.4%

So we have a bigger mandate than almost any other party in a parliamentary system of government in recent history. Using it is of course a different matter but Salmond has achieved so much with a wafer thin lead of one seat then who knows how much we can do with a majority. The major sticking pointI can see is going to be the budget cut and trying to square that with our manifesto pledges, but with the ever-competent Swinney at the helm, this might not prove to be a major issue and could even work in our advantage on both the 'competent government' front and the 'we could do so much more if we had full fiscal autonomy/independence' front also.

Edited by LomondSnowstorm
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In reality, the SNP did fantastically - 45% is a great achievement for them. The SNP results in LD heartlands must be worrying people like Danny Alexander I should assume... let's keep it up the Lib Dem low polling until 2015 - and it will be bye bye to them too!

Funnily enough, the Westminster polls for Scotland still suggest that Labour is the party people would vote for in a UK election.

On the subject of the Tories in Scotland, they did terribly last year - 1 MP and swings against them in their target seats... they surely have no mandate in Scotland, despite all their efforts there.

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So we have a bigger mandate than almost any other party in a parliamentary system of government in recent history.

It is quite astonishing when you put it that way. I recall stating in the old thread if we had Westminster style FPTP in Scotland, the SNP would have 73% of MSPs based on the constituency vote!

As I said in my previous post, the referendum should come when it's due I feel, just as the SNP have (sort of) gone for. Lots to get working on first - Scotland Bill being immediate priority.

I would be very happy to see independence, but lets take it step by step to let those still not sure see why it's a good idea. When the majority want it, we can have it, and that's what has changed for me :good:

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In reality, the SNP did fantastically - 45% is a great achievement for them. The SNP results in LD heartlands must be worrying people like Danny Alexander I should assume... let's keep it up the Lib Dem low polling until 2015 - and it will be bye bye to them too!

Funnily enough, the Westminster polls for Scotland still suggest that Labour is the party people would vote for in a UK election.

On the subject of the Tories in Scotland, they did terribly last year - 1 MP and swings against them in their target seats... they surely have no mandate in Scotland, despite all their efforts there.

People would probably vote Labour simply because they don't want the tories and that is, on a UK-scale, the most obvious way to vote against them. Where the tories had any base and the SNP did not, for example in Eastwood and Dumfriesshire, people voted tactically for Labour even in 2011. However, the SNP won those seats on the 'list' vote, which tells us that where there is a real 'threat' of there being a tory MSP/MP voters will back the best placed party to beat them. In the three constituencies they did win, the main non-tory opposition was either obscure, as in Ayr, the Lib Dems, as in Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwckshire, or the MSP had a huge personal vote, as in Galloway. The Lib Dems though arguably did far worse than the tories because, while the tory share at least stayed fairly stable in seats they had no chance of winning and allowed them to win some list seats, the Lib Dem vote simply deserted everywhere. The lowest % drop of their vote in a seat was around 25% (in the equivalent to Charlie Kennedy's seat), while nationally they lost over half of their vote from last time. Personal votes seemed to make no difference - people simply couldn't bring themselves to vote for a party that went into coalition with the tories no matter how hardworking, progressive and personally well-liked their local MSP was. Danny Alexander and Michael Moore look like dead men walking to me because of their key roles in the coalition, while Kennedy and Campbell, probably the safest LD MPs in Scotland, will struggle, not least because both Ming's seat, my own NE Fife, and Kennedy's seat now have big SNP majorities.

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It is quite astonishing when you put it that way. I recall stating in the old thread if we had Westminster style FPTP in Scotland, the SNP would have 73% of MSPs based on the constituency vote!

As I said in my previous post, the referendum should come when it's due I feel, just as the SNP have (sort of) gone for. Lots to get working on first - Scotland Bill being immediate priority.

I would be very happy to see independence, but lets take it step by step to let those still not sure see why it's a good idea. When the majority want it, we can have it, and that's what has changed for me :good:

Yep, gradualism makes more sense both strategically and pragmatically too. And it might also have the added benefit of making the 'Lesser UK' a better functioning federalised state and helping our Welsh, English and Northern Irish cousins. But that's probably more based on hope than sense!

So, if Scotland is still in the UK at the time of the 2015 General Election, It is predicted that there may be a Lib Dem wipeout in Scotland... Will be interesting to see how Labour do...

Yeah, in summary, from 2010, probable Lib Dem wipeout, probable SNP progress, probable tory stagnation and who knows for Labour.

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I love Alex Salmond's 'concessions' that they will still recognise the Queen as their monarch and use the Sterling...I bet they will! I suspect Westminster will have something to say in respect of their use of the Sterling in particular, something which I will not be voting in favour of if we are afforded a referendum on the subject!

I have not heard much about how Salmond will develop it's own NHS system, military, intelligence base, independent trade links etc while still providing free university education and all the rest of it!

I think Salmond is full of hot air at the moment and in need of a serious reality check...if he thinks breaking away from the Union will do Scotland GOOD then he needs his head examined IMO!

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I love Alex Salmond's 'concessions' that they will still recognise the Queen as their monarch and use the Sterling...I bet they will! I suspect Westminster will have something to say in respect of their use of the Sterling in particular, something which I will not be voting in favour of if we are afforded a referendum on the subject!

I have not heard much about how Salmond will develop it's own NHS system, military, intelligence base, independent trade links etc while still providing free university education and all the rest of it!

I think Salmond is full of hot air at the moment and in need of a serious reality check...if he thinks breaking away from the Union will do Scotland GOOD then he needs his head examined IMO!

Nah = Scotland can sod off. They've pontificated over this for far too long. If they want to go, then just let them go (and take RBS' debt with them)

It's time for all Scots to make a stand, and rid themselves of the evil English. And the Welsh and the Irish.

I think England would do quite fine thank you, and I wonder why these satellite pretend states don't leave ....

The answer's in the question.

Edited by Sparticle
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Isn't Scotland it's own country yet? If not, what's taking you Scots so long? Bugger off.

Those up here in favour of it are really trying our best but unfortunately the Westminster based parties / current UK/English government are very much against the idea for obvious economic reasons.

Any help you can offer in persuading Scots to go for it - (comments such as above are ideal) - is really much appreciated. :good:

On a different note - it is funny how some people react to a region wanting/relcaiming it's own independence/devolution. I have a chinese colleague who is always complaining about the government of china - poor human rights, corruption etc. He can't stand them. However, mention Tiawan or Tibet and he get's all angry saying 'They are part of China, why should they be seperate' etc. Makes no sense at all - it's just a hurt to his country's pride.

I guess some see it like their partner 'dumping' them and so get all grumpy about it, i.e. 'Well sod off then - didn't want you anyway. You'll never make it with out me - you'll be poor etc.' Scotland is thinking about telling the UK 'It's been nice, but can we just be friends?' . The UK is a big boy - will handle it just fine. Only a small 10% drop in population after all. UK seems to be best mates with the US now anyway.

Edited by scottish skier
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My take on this is that as England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland(i think) are part of a Union at present, shouldn't all the 'home' nations have a say in any referendum on Scottish Independence? Just a thought

Edited by Bristle boy
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My take on this is that as England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland(i think) are part of a Union at present, shouldn't all the 'home' nations have a say in any referendum on Scottish Independence? Just a thought

I knew you'd show up on here at some point http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

A fair point though. I guess that would be kind of like saying to your wife 'you can't have a divorce unless with both agree to it'. Which would negate that you were both in a 'union' - it would be a subordination.

That's the point - Scotland is part of a 'Union' of different countries that make up the 'United Kingdom'. Scotland chose to join up (although it was not super popular at the time) on the condition that it would retain its identity (laws, flag, courts, education etc) as a seperate country. Only difference would be that there would be a single government/tax system/army.

The UK is not a country per se, but an agreed Union of countries. Thus, if one country wishes to leave, then it would be hard to argue democratically that it could not.

If let's say Xshire wanted to become independent; that would be likely considered very differently if it had never been recognised as a different country/realm. Even then, you might question whether it was the right of those not living there to decide in its fate - that suggests a lack of democracy. Not very clear cut though. I guess Cornwall would be somewhere in between. Wales is even closer to Scotland, but Wales was taken by force and absorbed by England, with a lot of mixing of peoples well before scotland joined the union. I guess this is partly why support for nationalism is not as strong overall as it is up here.

Funny thing is, I understand support for 'full' scottish independence is polling higher in England that Scotland right now http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif Thus it seems that the average person from south of the border is fair minded and thinks if Scotland wants it, why not? It is just the government of the UK/England that really, really is against the idea, and they obviously have their own reasons. These reasons being why the Scots are thinking - hmm, independence might not be a bad idea.

Anyway, England will not get to vote on it - it would be seen by the international community as a very questionable thing to do, given the consitutional status of the UK. Pity, as it could well help achieve what Scots such as myself wish!

Edited by scottish skier
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Those up here in favour of it are really trying our best but unfortunately the Westminster based parties / current UK/English government are very much against the idea for obvious economic reasons.

Any help you can offer in persuading Scots to go for it - (comments such as above are ideal) - is really much appreciated. :good:

On a different note - it is funny how some people react to a region wanting/relcaiming it's own independence/devolution. I have a chinese colleague who is always complaining about the government of china - poor human rights, corruption etc. He can't stand them. However, mention Tiawan or Tibet and he get's all angry saying 'They are part of China, why should they be seperate' etc. Makes no sense at all - it's just a hurt to his country's pride.

I guess some see it like their partner 'dumping' them and so get all grumpy about it, i.e. 'Well sod off then - didn't want you anyway. You'll never make it with out me - you'll be poor etc.' Scotland is thinking about telling the UK 'It's been nice, but can we just be friends?' . The UK is a big boy - will handle it just fine. Only a small 10% drop in population after all. UK seems to be best mates with the US now anyway.

Not at all. I see Scotland as a people who have their own right to self-determination. As I've already said, the Scots are guilty of immense amounts of procrastination, and hyperbole. Whilst a lot of my post is hyperbole, I don't want independence for Kent.

You can spin it anyway you want to: the Scots either want independence or they don't. It's time for a referendum - one, of which, the rest of Union is not involved.

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I knew you'd show up on here at some point http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

Funny thing is, I understand support for 'full' scottish independence is polling higher in England that Scotland right now http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif Thus it seems that the average person from south of the border is fair minded and thinks if Scotland wants it, why not? It is just the government of the UK/England that really, really is against the idea, and they obviously have their own reasons. These reasons being why the Scots are thinking - hmm, independence might not be a bad idea.

Couldn't resist!http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

Haven't seen any polls, but i suspect it could poll higher here, because i think a lot of English are fed up with what they PERCEIVE to be whinging Scots, moaning about the English, whilst taking huge subsidies to fund the ever burgeoning Scottish Welfare State.

So, maybe English people feel "Go on then, become independent, but don't come begging for our money afterwards, when your coffers run dry!" Just a PERCEPTION, i'm sure!:whistling:

For me, as i've said before, the Union is more of a sentimental issue - i think the UK has worked well over the years - The British Army, for example, would not be so highly regarded for its professionalism, effectiveness, etc around the world without all home nations being part of it.

Compared to many countries around the world, including developed ones, we've been a model of stability (internally) in an otherwise crazy world. If you go back over the last 100 years, despite a diverse political environment within the UK, we've never embraced either Fascism or Communism - unlike some of our European neighbours.

A simple everyday example would be this - we can all have a group of friends who may be quite opposite in political views, but once we sit down for a beer together we get on just fine - there are many countries where the hatred runs deep through all walks of everyday life.

I'd be happy for the Union to continue for many years, but also fairly relaxed if Scotland decided it wanted to go its own way.

Now back to my AC/DC Live at River Plate dvd - the better half is out with friends for the evening - sound on the TV cranked right up! Cheers! :drinks:

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Not at all. I see Scotland as a people who have their own right to self-determination. As I've already said, the Scots are guilty of immense amounts of procrastination, and hyperbole. Whilst a lot of my post is hyperbole, I don't want independence for Kent.

You can spin it anyway you want to: the Scots either want independence or they don't. It's time for a referendum - one, of which, the rest of Union is not involved.

'Bugger off'? Sorry, but such comments make me wonder whether you're trying to contribute to the discussion or get a rise out of someone.

I'm not spinning it any way - I'm just describing how I and many fellow Scots feel. And as I'm sure BB can testify, I've always said it is up to those who want independence in Scotland to convince those who don't up here why it could be a good idea. I hold the Scots entirely responsible for what happens, if anything. However, there do seem to be a few south of the border who take offence at the idea of independence for no obvious reason other than - I assume - pride. If you're not in that category, then great and apologies.

A simple everyday example would be this - we can all have a group of friends who may be quite opposite in political views, but once we sit down for a beer together we get on just fine - there are many countries where the hatred runs deep through all walks of everyday life.

I too am proud of many aspects of UK history that you describe. We have fought side by side in many just causes.

If there is hatred - which I abhor - it is more resentment because when the Scots go up for their round, they have to ask for 'some of their pocket money' from the UK mates to buy it.

I see no reason why we still all can't go for a pint if independence occurs - it's just that we'll pay with our own cash and we will worry about how much is in the account!:D

Friends should be equals. That's what this is about, for me at least.

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'Bugger off'? Sorry, but such comments make me wonder whether you're trying to contribute to the discussion or get a rise out of someone.then great and apologies.

In the SE that's a friendly term, sir.

I am more than capable of getting a rise out of someone and being entirely offensive. My posts are not intended as such. I really believe Scots should go for it on their own, with the Welsh, and Irish to boot. Really. The world economy will evolve into services and things like oil, gold (etc) will dwindle away. Scotland can make a real go of it, and if they do it fast they will win. If they carry on whinging and procrastinating, they will lose.

Edited by Sparticle
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