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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

     

    Personally, wealth is not so much of an issue for me; an improvement in equality and democracy is what's the main driving force behind my stance. Improvements in equality could make the majority more wealthy without any rise in GDP. I don't esteem to be rich personally; I earn well enough and am not worried. A bit more security for when I retire would be good though.

     

    Anyway, on this subject, John Swinney, Finance Secretary, on a visit to my work (one of my workplaces, the other being a university spin-out company as discussed) took the opportunity to propose the SNP's oil fund plans should they be elected as the government of an independent Scotland.

     

    http://archive.is/Ik7SX

     

     

    Swinney: oil fund will allow independent Scotland to borrow, save and reduce debt without raising taxes

     

    An independent Scotland could borrow, save and reduce debt simultaneously without raising taxes or cutting public services if it puts some money into an oil fund, according to Finance Secretary John Swinney.

     
    An expert working group commissioned by ministers has said the Scottish Government does not have to wait until the budget is in surplus to establish an oil fund.
     
     
    Also, I know you consider yourself as a 'get up and go' type of guy, so you'll probably appreciate 'Business for Scotland'; which is a large and growing group of business people who support independence. Some good articles on their site as to why they support independence and are confident it will bring good economic benefits to Scotland just as devolution has (I recall being told it would be a disaster for business by the Tories ahead of the 1997 referendum, which they could not have possibly been more wrong on).
     

     

     

    Sounds great, oil or not i am heavily in favour of a sovereign wealth fund. Indeed, all for devolution.

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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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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    Labour's been banging on about 'Scotland on hold'. Even amongst the relatively few people I know who are inclined towards no at this time, several have recently commented that the independence debate seems to far from having had the negative impact predicted, appears to be energising Scotland, a more confident place with more get up and go. Far from having a damaging effect, I think it's actually having a positive impact on Scotland - and if people currently in the no camp are noticing this, then that's one scare story proven false. That in itself will have people thinking, what other scare stories are nonsense?

     

    Seeing as we're embarking on the biggest change to support and care services in a generation with the merger of local authority social work/community NHS services - I'd hardly say that policy is on hold... Then of course there's Police Scotland, the merger of Fire & Rescue, Creative Scotland....  Labour are getting beyond cringyworthy and embarrassing.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Coming back to Derek Bateman...

     

    Herald has picked up on the story so his blog is obviously being taken notice of.

     

    http://archive.is/OgLQB

     

    BBC chief too close to Labour, claims ex-colleague

     

    THE head of BBC Scotland's newsroom has been attacked by one of his former journalists over his connections to Labour in the run up to next year's independence referendum.
     
    John Boothman, the head of news, has come under fire from retired broadcaster Derek Bateman who said in his blog that his strong past links to the pro-United Kingdom party are a liability in today's Scotland.
     
     
    If the Herald could just get rid of Magnus Gardham, it would be a quite balanced read with respect to the independence debate.
     
    Also, on the subject of newspapers, the Scottish Sun (the most read paper in Scotland and fence sitting on indy for now) obviously rather unimpressed by Dave's approach to 'saving the union'. This morning's front page:
     
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    Posted
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

    Seeing as we're embarking on the biggest change to support and care services in a generation with the merger of local authority social work/community NHS services - I'd hardly say that policy is on hold... Then of course there's Police Scotland, the merger of Fire & Rescue, Creative Scotland....  Labour are getting beyond cringyworthy and embarrassing.

     

    MrsCatch was in creases of laughter at me ranting at the radio (Radio Borders) in the car yesterday morning. There was a piece on the closure of some local police front desks, and the only comment on the piece came from a Labour mouthpiece, I think it was the shadow justice secretary but don't quote me on it. Anyway, there was no balance from the broadcast, just the usual let's say something negative and then "prove" it by getting some Labour person on to pass comment. I went off on a rant worthy of any grumpy old man, but I had a very valid point!

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    Posted
  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level
  • Location: Maddiston , Falkirk, Scotland 390ft above sea level

    MrsCatch was in creases of laughter at me ranting at the radio (Radio Borders) in the car yesterday morning. There was a piece on the closure of some local police front desks, and the only comment on the piece came from a Labour mouthpiece, I think it was the shadow justice secretary but don't quote me on it. Anyway, there was no balance from the broadcast, just the usual let's say something negative and then "prove" it by getting some Labour person on to pass comment. I went off on a rant worthy of any grumpy old man, but I had a very valid point!

    I am immune to BBC bias now I just accept it and take a deep breath. They are the ones with the problem that's all I try and remember when getting angry at their lazy biased journalism. Very sad but we live in country where the media has an inbuilt bias and cringe against Scots.
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    Posted
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    I see the A83 is shut again due to another landslip.

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-24378986

     

    Surely the easiest long term solution is to plant more trees to hold the soil together?

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    Posted
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

    I am immune to BBC bias now I just accept it and take a deep breath. They are the ones with the problem that's all I try and remember when getting angry at their lazy biased journalism. Very sad but we live in country where the media has an inbuilt bias and cringe against Scots.

     

    Radio Borders is commercial, not BBC. The news on many of the commercial stations is notably "non-level", I'm using that clunky term as I'm not sure it's purposefully biased, or just that the reporting is rubbish? I suspect it's the former, but I have no proof. It would be nice to be able to sit through a TV or radio news broadcast and not feel enraged at the bias, they all seem out of touch with what news should be about, providing a balanced debate for the viewer to digest.

     

    It maybe isn't a good idea to have two of the main TV broadcast units side by side in the same city in the west of Scotland. They should have been more centrally located, perhaps somewhere like Stirling?

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I liked this tweet from Kevin Bridges

     

    https://twitter.com/kevinbridges86/status/385744934013505536/photo/1

     

     

    Got this through the door today, my heart is saying "mongoose that" and my head is saying "Aye, mongoose that"

     

    Posted Image

     

    ------------

     

    Also, latest instalment of 'The Fear Factor'.

     

    The Artists, the Press and the Black, Black Oil'

     

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1ls_0oxja4

     

    Full series:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/user/fearfactorscotland?feature=watch

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    EDIT

    Interestingly, the UK government has recently decided to release tax receipts on a home nation basis.

    Here's tax take breakdown.

    Posted Image

    Note over the period in the table, Scotland started with 8.3% of the population, rising to 8.4%.

    So, the normal state is net 'surplus' which goes to the UK treasury per head of population.

    It all adds up to Scotland putting in 42.5 billion extra into the UK pot on a per capita basis over the period in question.

     

     

    I must admit I was taken aback when I saw this stuff released by the ONS. What? All of a sudden we're getting data showing Scotland is in a good economic position, generating more taxes per head of population etc with this all laid out clearly?

     

    Also, graphs like this showing the relative increases in tax revenue which has Scotland's increasing by the most over the period in question.

     

    Posted Image

     

     

    What is going on I thought to myself? Why is the ONS now trying it's best to reassure Scots that independence would be fine/make them better off; something which polls show would readily swing the worriers to Yes? 

     

    Then I read this.

     

    Official statistics 'Bible' to help 2014 voters

     

    THE referendum campaign has been dogged by complaints that voters have not been given the information they need to make their decision.

     
    But all that might be about to change with the launch of a special statistical compendium next year.
     
    The UK Statistics Authority, the country's official facts and figures watchdog, yesterday announced that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will publish the new referendum Bible early next year.

     

    Yep. The Tories (and libs as they've lost Scotland too, even 'English' Labour) it would seem are angling for Scottish independence. After all; devolution lasted just 10 years before it was 'broken' and they can't win and keep Scotland as polls show.

     

    Senior Tories letting it slip that they no longer support the union...The Calman Scotland Bill rushed through with no fuss... the Edinburgh Agreement happily signed to the horror of Labour... occasional silly interventions intended to rile the electorate and be disproved immediately (credit rating, roaming charges, border fences)...Dave giving Scotland just 54 seconds at the conference..Ed removing the cross of St Patrick and fading out the saltire on the union flag (the one nation is England)... no statements like 'you won't be in the EU; we've checked' and 'you can't use the £ in a currency union' (negotiations must be nearly done here)... Scottish and UK governments sitting down with NATO to discuss the way forward... Now the UK government is going to make it clear as day that Scotland puts a good bit more in than it gets back and would be economically fine under independence.

     

    Nope, Westminster has been fighting the rise of calls for Scottish home rule / independence for the best part of 70 years. It first ignored it, then overruled it (1979 Yes vote), then allowed a bit of it but with controls to try and make sure it was contained (Holyrood PR system to stop pro-indy party majorities)... but still it goes on. I suspect they have conceded defeat now.

     

    As noted, there can't realistically be any further devolution; certainly not of the level up to 7 in 10 Scots wish. It's too asymmetrical already and would require huge UK-wide changes. Nope, it's all or the status quo.

     

    Next month we shall start to find out the full details on what a Yes means and what a no means from both the Scottish and UK governments.

     

    Going to be an exciting year.

     

    EDIT oh, and one other important factor. Scotland's oil and gas has been the poisoned chalice; it's the reason that the 1979 devolution result was overruled. Scotland would quite likely already be independent if it was not for the oil and gas. However, the loss of that is not such a huge blow to the treasury. It's a lot of money, but not a massive component of the UK budget (a big bonus for wee Scotland though). Also, something has the potential now to cancel that loss out to an extent while improving energy security for the rUK. Shale gas.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    This is interesting.

     

    Scotland, particularly in the past, has been painted as 'the sick man of Europe'.

     

    However, it's not. Only a few small areas have problems and these skew figures.

     

    The areas are of course those where heavy industry was closed under the Tories, with nothing put in place to replace it, even though hundreds of billions in oil revenues was available to drive investment in new industries. Instead the money was used to keep people on the dole, wasting away.

     

    http://archive.is/zSz77

     

    Demise of shipyards blamed for nation's ill health

     

    The man in charge of the health of Scotland's five million people has blamed the demise of shipbuilding in the 1970s for the nation's poor health.
     
    Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns said the loss of so many jobs along the River Clyde and elsewhere left a void in the lives of former shipworkers which has since been replaced by ill health....
     
    ...Sir Harry told the Society for Acute Medicine conference at the SECC: "Scotland is not an inherently unhealthy place, nor are Scots inherently unhealthy."
     
    Mortality rates in 24 council areas are in line with the average for western Europe, he said. It is the remaining few which give the country its poor health record and they are mostly clustered in west central Scotland.
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    A video of the recent independence debate at Abertay University in Dundee, in which the SNP’s Stewart Hosie – debating Labour’s Lord Robertson - turned round a large pre-debate majority of 59% to 21% for the Union and converted it into a clear majority of 51% to 38% for Yes; a 25% swing.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5oHTBvidgc

     

    I wouldn’t expect people to watch the whole thing through unless really keen. However it serves to show the standard of the argument well on both sides.

     

    Aside from the fact Stuart Hosie wins the debate hands down, what is very apparent once again is pro-union Scottish politicians, whilst taking every available opportunity to say how proudly ‘Scottish’ they are, at the same time try to argue such a distinct national identity doesn’t really exist.

     

    Lord Robertson highlights this well. To quote:

     

    “In Flanders, in Belgium, they say “why can’t we become an independent state?†Or Catalonia, in Spain, where a million and a quarter people marched down the streets. They say they want to become an independent state, but they’ve got language, and culture, and all these sort of things — we [scotland] don’t have any of that.â€

     

    What an example of the ‘Scottish cringe’. I guess being Scottish doesn’t go down well if you want to get on in London. Gordon was the same. 

     

    Both Scots on the ‘London trough’ make and both utterly inept.

     

    ---------------

     

    Also, Ed Balls takes a strange attitude to campaigning.

     

    With the Dunfermiline by-election campaign in full swing he’s up presumably as a ‘big gun’ for Labour.

     

    This is a tight one for the SNP; it took the seat entirely by surprise by a very small margin in 2011:

     

    SNP   37.6   +13.5

    Lab 35.6   +2.7

    Lib   19.7   -13.5

    Con   7.1 -1.2

     

    I’m not sure what the result will be, 50/50 chance for Labour or the SNP. Labour will gain from a low turnout. Will make no difference to anything of course as the SNP will still hold an effective majority if they lost the seat (when you include the presiding officer and the 2 ‘independent’ SNP MSPs who vote with the party but withdrew from it on the NATO issue), backed up by the greens and Margo when it comes to the referendum.

     

    Anyway, after Labour have been complaining about the SNP focussing too much on the referendum, thus not ‘voter concerns’, Labour are campaigning for the by-election on the referendum issue it would seem. Not only that, but Ed Balls is threatening the voters of Dunfermline with possibly vetoing an independent Scotland using the £ as part of his argument for voting Labour.

     

    http://archive.is/baaPc

     

    Balls fires warning over use of sterling post-independence

     

    Now, putting aside the fact that the £ is Scotland’s currency and belongs to it as much as the rUK, and the fact that the £ is fully tradable so any country can use it, and the fact the BoE – 8.4% owned by Scotland - would freak at losing 25% of the £’s balance of trade ‘overnight’, and the fact that Westminster has categorically refused to rule out a currency union post Scottish independence for the reasons above even though it could be a huge blow to the Yes campaign…

     

    Have you ever heard of a party threatening voters to get them to vote for it? This seems new to me. I’ve come across parties saying ‘voting for us as the other party will batter you’, but never ‘vote for us or we’ll batter you (or might anyway)’.

     

    Is it some sort of Labour hearts and minds winning thing?

     

    I must say I’m not sure it’s a sensible tactic. Putting aside up to ~25% of Labour voters support indy, everyone in Scotland will have to live with a Yes vote, whether they voted for it or not. So, Ed is threatening to harm those who would vote for his cause too.

     

    Does the guy have even two brain cells to rub together? OMG.

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    Posted
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

     

     
    Also, on the subject of newspapers, the Scottish Sun (the most read paper in Scotland and fence sitting on indy for now) obviously rather unimpressed by Dave's approach to 'saving the union'. This morning's front page:
     
     

     

     

    It's interesting you say that about the Sun, I was flicking through a copy someone had left in the canteen in work today. On about the seventh or ninth page there was a big article about Alex Salmond's diet. It seemed to be a very supportive piece, nowt to do with politics but interesting none the less. A huge departure from the infamous noose front page from several years ago.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Won't happen but its interesting that somebody has tried to call for an Eu referendum next October, ergo distracting some of the Scottish electorate as you'd no doubt see certain media giving 90% coverage on the Eu matter.

    Crafty.

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    Posted
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

    Won't happen but its interesting that somebody has tried to call for an Eu referendum next October, ergo distracting some of the Scottish electorate as you'd no doubt see certain media giving 90% coverage on the Eu matter.Crafty.

     

    The Scottish electorate are crafty enough to see round it SB, I'm not convinced that the media have as big an influence as we sometimes believe. The infamous Sun front page warning voters not to vote for the SNP in 2007 didn't stop the SNP winning the election, albeit with an overall minority government.

     

    The Scottish electorate have become used to multiple votes meaning different things at different points in time. We have had more major elections in the past 14 years than the English electorate who are perhaps only now waking up to the power of their vote. The Scottish electorate are far more electorally literate these days (than they were in the past and more than the English, not doing anyone down it's a result of us having had more opportunity to vote).

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    If there was an EU referendum and Scotland voted to stay in whilst the rUK (dominated by England) voted to leave, that would most likely end the union by a different means.

     

    Nobody could justifiably argue that Scots could have their European citizenship removed when they voted to retain it. After all, an EU referendum would be a constitutional referendum on Scotland's status as a country / the citizenship status of it's residents. 

     

    While the forthcoming Dunfermline by-election could be a close race between Labour and the SNP, I imagine there's a very good chance we'll see UKIP lose another deposit.

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  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    The Scottish electorate are crafty enough to see round it SB, I'm not convinced that the media have as big an influence as we sometimes believe. The infamous Sun front page warning voters not to vote for the SNP in 2007 didn't stop the SNP winning the election, albeit with an overall minority government. The Scottish electorate have become used to multiple votes meaning different things at different points in time. We have had more major elections in the past 14 years than the English electorate who are perhaps only now waking up to the power of their vote. The Scottish electorate are far more electorally literate these days (than they were in the past and more than the English, not doing anyone down it's a result of us having had more opportunity to vote).

    I don't believe the media have the power to decide which way people vote any more however I do believe that they are still very good in setting the agenda of what subject people talk about and being perceived as component I think for the independence referendum that the Snp need to be in the media as much as possible.Fair enough.
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    If there was an EU referendum and Scotland voted to stay in whilst the rUK (dominated by England) voted to leave, that would most likely end the union by a different means. Nobody could justifiably argue that Scots could have their European citizenship removed when they voted to retain it. After all, an EU referendum would be a constitutional referendum on Scotland's status as a country / the citizenship status of it's residents.  While the forthcoming Dunfermline by-election could be a close race between Labour and the SNP, I imagine there's a very good chance we'll see UKIP lose another deposit.

    That's true but I'm increasingly confident that England will vote to stay, much more of the In crowd like me seem to be relishing the coming battle (if it occurs) rather than staying quiet and letting the skeptics dominate the debate.
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    Posted
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

    If there was an EU referendum and Scotland voted to stay in whilst the rUK (dominated by England) voted to leave, that would most likely end the union by a different means.

     

    Nobody could justifiably argue that Scots could have their European citizenship removed when they voted to retain it. After all, an EU referendum would be a constitutional referendum on Scotland's status as a country / the citizenship status of it's residents. 

     

    While the forthcoming Dunfermline by-election could be a close race between Labour and the SNP, I imagine there's a very good chance we'll see UKIP lose another deposit.

     

    I think Labour may well retake the seat SS, but if the SNP win it then we will see further cracks appearing in Labour in Scotland. There's only so far a ship can sink before people start jumping off.

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I think Labour may well retake the seat SS, but if the SNP win it then we will see further cracks appearing in Labour in Scotland. There's only so far a ship can sink before people start jumping off.

     

     

    Yes, it was a surprise for the SNP to take it in the first place. Although they took it from the Libs, not Labour, the Labour vote was just behind the Lib vote in 2007.

     

    I think it all depends on turnout and what happens to the Lib vote. A low turnout would favour Labour as SNP voters are aware the by-election is not important in the big scheme of things and might be less inclined to vote, thinking the SNP will likely hold it and it doesn't matter if they don't.

     

    However, the Lib vote held up better in Dunfermline than elsewhere. Given that it's fallen further in polls since then to 5% (they got 8% in 2011 for constituency), then added Lib to SNP defectors could swing it for the SNP.

     

    50/50 in the end though.

     

    So, SNP hold would equal 'quite amazing' for this stage in the electoral cycle. Narrow Labour win would be 'not impressive / no evidence of a comeback' and just an 0.78% MSP change to the Holyrood chamber.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: New York City
  • Location: New York City

    If there was an EU referendum and Scotland voted to stay in whilst the rUK (dominated by England) voted to leave, that would most likely end the union by a different means.

     

    Nobody could justifiably argue that Scots could have their European citizenship removed when they voted to retain it. After all, an EU referendum would be a constitutional referendum on Scotland's status as a country / the citizenship status of it's residents. 

     

    While the forthcoming Dunfermline by-election could be a close race between Labour and the SNP, I imagine there's a very good chance we'll see UKIP lose another deposit.

     

    I actually think UKIP will get a surprising amount of votes like they did in Aberdeen earlier in the year.  There are a certain amount of people who go on the bandwagon without thinking it through.

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  • Location: Paris suburbs
  • Location: Paris suburbs

    If there was an EU referendum and Scotland voted to stay in whilst the rUK (dominated by England) voted to leave, that would most likely end the union by a different means. Nobody could justifiably argue that Scots could have their European citizenship removed when they voted to retain it. After all, an EU referendum would be a constitutional referendum on Scotland's status as a country / the citizenship status of it's residents.  While the forthcoming Dunfermline by-election could be a close race between Labour and the SNP, I imagine there's a very good chance we'll see UKIP lose another deposit.

    The EU referendum would be a referendum on the UK's EU status. I agree that it's awful for a nation to have its EU citizenship removed despite voting otherwise, but EU status isn't a devolved issue, right? To me, it'd be like taking Dumfries out of the EU but keeping Falkirk in - I don't think Scotland being a country with its own parliament would be relevant in the eyes of the law here.
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I actually think UKIP will get a surprising amount of votes like they did in Aberdeen earlier in the year.  There are a certain amount of people who go on the bandwagon without thinking it through.

     

    Yes, but that surprising number of votes lost them their deposit.

     

    And note Aberdeen City is less 'Scottish' that the rest of Scotland with a higher proportion of people saying they are 'British' and 'English' due to oil industry migration. If UKIP had a chance anywhere, it's there.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    The EU referendum would be a referendum on the UK's EU status. I agree that it's awful for a nation to have its EU citizenship removed despite voting otherwise, but EU status isn't a devolved issue, right? To me, it'd be like taking Dumfries out of the EU but keeping Falkirk in - I don't think Scotland being a country with its own parliament would be relevant in the eyes of the law here.

     

    Which law? English/Welsh law? N. Irish Law? Scottish Law? The latter of course.

     

    UK constitutional law? Erm, no such thing. British law? Again, no such thing.

     

    I didn't mean it would directly result in Scottish independence - that as you say is not what the referendum would be on in principle - rather it would create a situation where that came about by a different route.

     

    There are complexities here that people need to appreciate.

     

    Westminster only rules Scotland with the consent of the Scottish electorate; this is particularly the case now with devolution where the will of the Scottish electorate can be expressed clearly. The concept of 'Parliamentary sovereignty' in England and Wales has no counterpart in Scots law. Rather test cases have backed up the principle of the 'popular sovereignty' which has been understood as the case in Scotland since 1320 (and why Lizzie is Queen of Scots at their discretion, not Queen of Scotland).

     

    All this talk of what's devolved and what's not is ultimately a pile of crap because the UK has no constitution / no single law structure so nothing is 'solid'. The problem e.g. Catalonia has is that it is part of a federated Spain with a constitution the federal government states does not allow Catalonia to hold a referendum/leave without it's permission. Scotland is not in such a situation; Westminster has no legal authority over it if that is the against the consent of the electorate, as expressed through the Scottish parliament / at the ballot box. 

     

    We've already seen how legislation passed by Holyrood can only be challenged by the Highest court in Scotland or the ECHR. Neither Westminster nor the England and Wales Supreme Court can make changes to Scots law without the permission of Holyrood. We have seen this test cases and it is why the Edinburgh Agreement was not given any legal challenge/signed without fuss (any challenge to the duly elected government of Scotland holding a referendum would have lost in the Scottish courts and the ECHR most likely too); in the end, Holyrood represents the Scottish people's democratic wish not Westminster, and the preservation of Scotland law under the treaty of union prevents Westminster interference with it. Holyrood has superseded Scots MPs as the protector of this; after all, it's PR and is elected as 'Scotland's Government' instead of 'who Scots want in charge at UK level' which is what its MPs are (like MEPs, but for the UK). 

     

    Now, Holyrood, by convention, passes into law any bill passed by Westminster as required. It is also responsible for criminal law bills in Scotland. However, it could decide not to implement a change in the law in Scotland if such a move was clearly against the will of the electorate as expressed at the ballot box. Removing Scotland from the EU would be a direct alteration to Scots law, i.e. it would no longer be subject to European law and the human rights of Scots citizens would be affected. As Westminster can't change Scots law without the Scots electorate / Holyrood's permission; the UK taking Scotland out of the EU against the will of the electorate would breach the treaty of union, whereby ending it. In this case the Scottish government could rightfully UDI. That or say a new 're-join the union' referendum is needed immediately. Certainly, the UK attempting to withdraw Scotland from the EU against it's democratic wish could end up in the courts and such a challenge would likely win. That challenge would be in Scots courts under the guise of the ECHR; something Westminster would have no control over as noted.

     

     

    The UK leaving the EU thus would in all probability mean the end the UK by a different route as I said, particularity if the EU exit is Tory/UKIP led; that would created a whopping Yes to the EU vote in Scotland. For even the most clueless person on the EU, just telling them that the Tories/UKIP are backing an exit will have them queueing up to vote to remain.

     

    Devolution was thrown together in the normal UK hodge-podge style with little thought given to it's implications. It was assumed that the SNP would never get a majority due to PR and people would keep voting Labour. However, the independence of Scots law combined with a representative parliament now means that Scotland can do what it wants and there's no legal means that Westminster can challenge that, at least not without causing a crapstorm that would most likely result in the opposite outcome than intended. This is crucial to understanding how things are evolving. While Westminster in practice is in control of the most powers with respect to governance of Scotland, Holyrood is more powerful as it represents the democratic will of the Scottish people.

     

    Note your Dumfries comparison is a bit silly. Scotland is a distinct country and legal jurisdiction part of the UK under a treaty under international law which is covered by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The EU recognises this - it has to due to the different legal jurisdiction; Scots law needs to be made to comply with EU law / the ECHR. Dumfries does not have this distinction. You sound like Tavish Scott.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    This story has popped up from time to time.

     

    Some new developments relating to FOI requests has it on the radar again. From the Sunday Post of all places.

     

    http://www.sundaypost.com/news-views/scotland/did-mod-block-oil-boom-in-the-firth-of-clyde-1.138569

     

    Did MoD block oil boom in the Firth of Clyde?
     
    A potential North Sea-style oil boom off the Ayrshire coast was blocked by worried defence chiefs, a former MP has claimed.
     
    Retired Labour politician David Lambie has said oil exploration work in the Firth of Clyde was stopped during the 1980s because of fears it would interfere with a vital training and exercise area for nuclear submarines.
     
    Seismic and geological studies were carried out by energy giant BP in a 92 square mile stretch of water south of Arran which is a vital gateway to the Faslane naval base. But both BP and the UK Government say they no longer have copies of the survey results..
     
     
    Certainly, geologically there's no reason why there couldn't be reservoirs, if only more gas dominated. One of the largest UK gas fields discovered was in the Irish Sea off Morcambe. Also, the West of Scotland has huge potential as we're seeing from the West of Shetland. The problem has in the past been seismic penetration/detection beneath the volcanic rocks which overlie potential reservoir formations on the Atlantic margin. 
    Edited by scottish skier
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