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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

    Yes, I do think that Scotland should remain part of the UK. It is an important area and we all benefit together.

    I am sure that your particular field and associates would be in support of the SNP idea of independence, however, the majority across society will have a different view. Most will ask the question; why would Scotland benefit by leaving a UK economy and currency only to join a Euro economy and currency where the majority of members dont speak the same language and have a totally different culture.?

    But....I think the most dangerous aspect if the SNP continues on down its current road is that a sizeable proportion of Scots will not want a split and this could lead Scotland into a situation like Ireland. It is possible that a region or regions remain within the UK and the rest outside and will wish to fight for total independence.

    You think that Scots wont turn on Scots in such a situation? Think again, already we are seeing more recent sectarian violence in Scotland along the lines of old religious bias. It may be that this combination of change could provide a situation which nobody wanted.

    This is what I think is not being taken into account. Scotland is not a country of like minded individuals, there is no 'National' movement and therefore the SNP could open divissions in its attempt to unify.

    Firstly, opinion on the issue of independence isn't really divided on sectarian lines - there are many catholic unionists and many protestant nats, and vice versa of course. The vast majority of Scots are embarrassed by sectarian violence, and the idea that this is an issue which could cause it to spread is simply unfounded. The SNP won a significant number of votes from all sections of society - weegies, teuchters, borderers, catholics, protestants, Polish-Scots, English-Scots, Pakistani-Scots, everyone frankly. This is something that Sinn Fein or the DUP could not achieve because they are still essentially sectional parties. We take all sorts, not only in terms of demography but ideology, because the one thing that unites us is the belief in the ability of our people to govern our country. And as the 2011 election made clear, this ideal of becoming the 'National' Party has become a reality, in a way that no other party has managed in the history of either devolution or the lifetime of the UK parliament. We can't win a referendum by dividing the country because of how diverse a nation we are- what happened in Quebec is surely testament to the fact that this strategy cannot work in a modern society. No country is made up entirely of 'like minded individuals' - I would hate to live in one which is, because we need differences of opinion and culture to improve our understanding of the world.

    As for the EU, that remains an issue which is yet to be decided. The SNP has been generally pro-European, which is a good thing, but when criticisms need to be made our representatives have shown willingness to take action. Take for example the Common Fisheries Policy, which the SNP argued against far more vociferously than the Westminster parties. I'd expect our relationship with the rest of the EU (including the remaining UK) to be just as it was before, other than with our input into the debate not being muffled by the UKIP, right wing tories and BNP MEPs who make our contribution to the place look like a farce.

    And independence does not mean joining the Euro. Actually, independence may end up meaning we stick with the pound for at least the foreseeable future if some of the more moderate voices in the SNP have a say on the exact wording of the question. In fact, see my post on the 'should the UK join the Euro' thread - plenty of other small nations on the periphery of power in Europe have done perfectly well outside of the Eurozone with their own currency and there's no reason why Scotland can't be any different to Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, the Czech Republic etc. (in the fairly loose sense that they all have their own currency).

    There would obviously be major issues to be resolved if the referendum was a yes vote, but I have enough trust in the Scottish people to conclude that either way, one of those issues will not be some kind of partition of our country or our society.

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

    A very goodpost LSS. I did find the idea of a Scots having a civil war over keeping London domination hilarious; it is exactly the latter that has historically united Scots in struggles for self-rule. http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    Following recent mori and comres Westminster voting intention polls, I thought it’d be fun to do a wee analysis. Few graphs included.

    1. Shows Westminster election % of the vote for each party in Scotland in the 2010 general election versus and for two recent polls (SNP/Lab are average, con/lib for the mori as I couldn’t find the latter for the earlier comres – irrelevant however). The main unionist parties state/hope that Scots like the Union and will vote Labour at generals with SNP for home matters appears. I wondered if this pattern was evident in the Inverclyde result. So…

    2. Shows recent poll % vote shifts for the 2010 general versus the Inverclyde by-election result. If the same pattern of vote shift is there, but only different in degree of amplitude, then these should approximate a straight line. They do, confirming that the vote shift to the SNP seen in recent coutry-wide polls is evident at the constituency level, albeit more subdued in labour strongholds.

    Ok, lets look at what happened in Inverclyde. To make a fair comparison by normalising (of sorts), we make the assumption that voters of all parties showed approximately the same degree of apathy. For this normalisation, we multiply up all the by-election vote numbers per party equally by 1.33 to give us comparable votes for the by-election and the general. See the table (3). We can then calculate the votes lost/won by each party. All parties bar the SNP lost votes. This means when total up all the votes lost by each party we must allocate these to the SNP or another party not listed to give the net result. As can be seen, the total of all votes lost by each party equals those gained by the SNP. Thus, we can plot 4 and conclude the following:

    The Labour vote was notably eroded with net loss to the SNP

    The Liberal vote collapsed, with an almost complete net decamp to the SNP

    The conservative vote reduced by a large proportion, again to the net SNP benefit

    Even UKIP loss gave net gain to the SNP

    Thus the SNP are, as well understood, gaining support across the political spectrum. This is not inconsistent with this being a ‘national movement’.

    So, at the moment, for the Scottish parliament we have: 47.5% voter support for the SNP / inpendence parties. 54.0% if you include the Lib Dems and their previous comments that they will consider supporting a referendum if they are happy with the question.

    In Westminster polls we now have ~ 40%support and growing for the SNP.

    With respect to the Scots Parliament 44.7% support for the SNP, we’d need to go back to 1970 to see a Westminster party get the same backing. Even the 1997 election which swept labour to power in a stunning victory was based on only 43.2% support for them.

    Give it a few years and it'll be >50% support for independence seeking parties. Furthermore, based on demographics I discussed earlier, < 35 years old want independence. Thus max ~10 years for the union unless there is a major shift backwards/union supporters come up with a way of offering Scots complete autonomy within the Union.

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

    I am sure that your particular field and associates would be in support of the SNP idea of independence, however, the majority across society will have a different view. Most will ask the question; why would Scotland benefit by leaving a UK ......only to join.....members dont speak the same language and have a totally different culture.?

    Actually, my wife is French, ergo half my extended family and friends are French. They speak English/Scots/French; my French is not too bad either. They have Christmas, new year, birthdays, weddings, religions etc. They have different political parties/views and debate the pros and cons of each. They have schools, supermarkets, cars, hospitals, taxes - all the stuff we have here really. They like football, rugby, sports... olympics.... I believe most things that are illegal here, are likewise illegal there.

    Hmm, sorry, but I'm struggling to see basic differences between other nearby european nations and those of the UK other than that they are independent countries. I love France. The Danish are cool too; some good friends. The list goes on....

    This is about a shared ideal of political governance for a historically and still currently distinct nation, not about where its inhabitants come from nor what language they are speaking.

    All are welcome to put a kilt on; very comfortable as they are...http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    EDIT. Wee update.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-14232393

    Lib Dem councillor Elaine Morris defects to SNP

    Elaine Morris said she had joined the SNP following her dissatisfaction with the UK government and the party's failure to provide leadership on Edinburgh's trams.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
    http://www.betternation.org/2011/07/pete-wishart-mp-proud-to-be-british-in-an-independent-scotland/ Pete's obviously been reading our posts...http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif A fairly clear rebuttal of the unionist argument that we would lose our sense of being british if we gained independence.
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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    http://www.betternat...ndent-scotland/ Pete's obviously been reading our posts...http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif A fairly clear rebuttal of the unionist argument that we would lose our sense of being british if we gained independence.

    Aye, hits the nail right on the head; this is exactly how most independence voters feel..

    Ok, so as at least a few folk found the last set of graphs worthy of a download, and I just can’t help myself, here’s a couple more…

    The often stated view of hardline unionists is that Scots ‘have been voting SNP due to their competence and do not wish a referendum/independence’.

    Fair enough, but do the Scottish election results actually say this? That’s hard to say conclusively without knowing the stats for what individuals voted in terms of their first (constituency) and second (regional list) preferences. However, we can theorise based on what we do have; total votes per party for each.

    First, we make some assumptions:

    - Those who are passionate about their party will vote for that party with both votes

    - Those who are passionate about independence will vote SNP for both votes

    - Those who are passionate about the union will not vote for the SNP on either vote

    - Voters primarily vote for a mainstream party with their constituency vote, reserving the second for less mainstream parties (e.g. the greens)

    - Voters are unlikely to vote for both the big UK two, e.g. conservative and labour

    - Those who like their local MP for who they are rather than being overly passionate about their party are more likely to use their second vote for an alternative, less popular party (e.g. Green), i.e. ‘the others’

    All in all, this should mean that the party with the strongest support should have the most voters voting twice for them. Likewise, with respect to the SNP, people voting twice for them are very likely to support independence.

    Graph 5 shows constituency versus list vote numbers for each party. If everyone voted for the same party with each of their two votes, then all points would fall on the same 1:1 line. If people use their second vote for a smaller ‘others’ party (e.g. greens), then points for parties will drop below the 1:1 line with the ‘others’ point climbing to a higher value with respect to the list results. Undoubtedly, there will be some voters who vote for 2 of the different mainstream parties, but this value should not be expected to be very high due to significant policy differences. So, what do we see…

    Well, the party closest to the 1:1 line is the SNP, the conservatives are in second place, then Labour, then the Libs. Add up the votes ‘missing’ from regional piles and you get the total votes for the ‘others’ as illustrated.

    This is shown in graph 6. Net results strongly suggest based on the above assumptions that the vast majority (up to 97%) of SNP voters voted SNP with both votes. Conservatives were not far behind with 89% voting Tory-Tory. Labour are behind at 83% voting Labour-Labour, which might agree with dwindling support for the party, but popularity remaining with some individual MPs. Libs are last with over 34% of their voters not voting for them twice. This would be consistent with strong party disaffection, but popularity for individual MSPs holding (e.g. Orkney and Shetland).

    Ok, this is a net result and without actual data on first vs second preferences, it remains speculative. However, it is unlikely to be far from the truth.

    So what does this mean with respect to independence?

    Well, if the pattern is correct and SNP voters voted SNP-SNP in the main, it means they favour independence or are at least not against the idea at all. So, possibly up to 45% of Scots fall into this category.

    Recent polls came close to 40% in support of full independence, which would agree with the above assessment; the missing 5% being those who did vote SNP for only one of their votes……

    If support for full independence can be close to 40%, then support for full territorial fiscal autonomy is likely to be passed by majority. This is the primary aim of most Scots given the increasing political divergence between Scotland and the rest of the UK, as highlighted by the final image; Scottish election results (for a centre-left government) versus the RUK (Westminster). The north is all yellow....

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    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

    Yes, I do think that Scotland should remain part of the UK. It is an important area and we all benefit together.

    .....Most will ask the question; why would Scotland benefit by leaving a UK economy and currency only to join a Euro economy and currency where the majority of members dont speak the same language and have a totally different culture?

    With respect to language, this is an interesting article:

    http://www.newsnetsc...akin-scots.html

    "Is it ony wunner at aw that mature professional Scots disnae feel aw that canty tryin tae speak Scots in formal or e'en in informal forgaitherins o thair peers? Efter bein telt for years at the scuil tae stop yaisin thon common street slang an lairn tae speak proper, they war fleetched tae redd thae common words an habits oot thair speech. As they gaed thair wey throu eddication on the gate tae professionalism, they got better an better at no yaisin thae words that thair forbeirs kent as freends. "Pittin thair fit in it" wis somethin that kythed less an less as time gaed by. The mair they lairned tae think in English, the easier it wis tae keep thae scunnersome Scottiscisms oot the wey"

    http://en.wikipedia..../Scots_language

    http://en.wikipedia....Scottish_Gaelic

    My native language is Scots (a Germanic language variant with similarities to English), although my English level is very good. My Gaelic is limited though.

    I use English for important articles (international language of science), but use variable amounts of Scots and English together depending on whether I'm talking to a tourist or the builder doing my extension.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    EDIT: This could come in useful for translations if you are up this way:

    http://www.dsl.ac.uk/

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

    With respect to language, this is an interesting article:

    http://www.newsnetsc...akin-scots.html

    "Is it ony wunner at aw that mature professional Scots disnae feel aw that canty tryin tae speak Scots in formal or e'en in informal forgaitherins o thair peers? Efter bein telt for years at the scuil tae stop yaisin thon common street slang an lairn tae speak proper, they war fleetched tae redd thae common words an habits oot thair speech. As they gaed thair wey throu eddication on the gate tae professionalism, they got better an better at no yaisin thae words that thair forbeirs kent as freends. "Pittin thair fit in it" wis somethin that kythed less an less as time gaed by. The mair they lairned tae think in English, the easier it wis tae keep thae scunnersome Scottiscisms oot the wey"

    http://en.wikipedia..../Scots_language

    http://en.wikipedia....Scottish_Gaelic

    My native language is Scots (a Germanic language variant with similarities to English), although my English level is very good. My Gaelic is limited though.

    I use English for important articles (international language of science), but use variable amounts of Scots and English together depending on whether I'm talking to a tourist or the builder doing my extension.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    EDIT: This could come in useful for translations if you are up this way:

    http://www.dsl.ac.uk/

    Cracking post. Scots is not a dialect of English...

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

    English ma baws!

    LOL. A ken whit yer sayin.

    (SS switches effortlessly to English...). The other night I was at a conference dinner attended by delegates from all over the world. Given my status as a ‘native’ in kilt, many were interested in chatting about Scots history etc.

    Quite a few – particularly those from North America, knew of Gaelic, but were not sure about the status of ‘Scots’ as a language. I asked them what song do people often sing at New Year, and the answer was of course ‘Auld Lang Syne’. To which I responded ‘Well, what language did you think you were singing in then; Swahili?’.:D

    Even today, due to the Scots being taught/told to ‘speak proper’ (English, the language of the Union) historically, quite a few Scots are still themselves not sure. Scots does of course share origins with English; specifically Northumbria old English, and the two grew alongside each other, much like, e.g. Norwegian and Danish. Scots also has various shared words from Gaelic (ben, coire, Lochan), Scandinavian (bairn / barn) and even French (fash is from facher = to be angry/all worked up = Dinnae fash yersel / don't get angry/all worked up).

    Certainly, it is most definitely a language; it is recognised by the EU as one and I’ve just been speaking to the delivery guy from Jewson in it.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    Nice to here it being used by our government alongside the other languages spoken in these parts.

    Here’s tae us, whas like us, damn few an they’re aw deid; Mair’s the pity.:good:

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    Posted
  • Location: Home - Bexley, London/Kent border. Work - Cannon Street, C London
  • Location: Home - Bexley, London/Kent border. Work - Cannon Street, C London

    http://www.betternation.org/2011/07/pete-wishart-mp-proud-to-be-british-in-an-independent-scotland/ Pete's obviously been reading our posts...http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif A fairly clear rebuttal of the unionist argument that we would lose our sense of being british if we gained independence.

    Hmmm....sorry, but surely it rests on a little bit more than 'culture'??

    After all, the ONLY reason the union took place in the first place was to rescue Scotland from bankruptcy - completely financially motivated.

    Given the fact that the union was never about 'culture' in the first place, I see little reason why one should heavily focus on it now.

    As with most debates I've had, both down here in SE England or more poignantly with my Scottish mates who are (generally) SNP voters (one being an SNP councillor), there is always this lingering ambiguity and grey area...the article posted by Pete Wishart MP catches this perfectly in my view..."I would also be happy to see any number of shared institutions being called British and it could and should be the brand name of our new enhanced and equal 21st century partnership"

    I have numerous issues with this sentence alone but will focus on the those I find most interesting and possibly conducive to further discussion

    1. brand name - isn't this something we have already? I thought the very reason Scotland was seeking out independence was to embrace just that, independence. Having full control over affairs ranging from international matters to fiscal matters to demographic matters and so on. How could a British brand exist any longer with Scotland not part of it? I find this a ludicrous terminology and baffling also.

    2. I would also be happy to see any number of shared institutions - such as? Which institutions would he like to see as 'shared'? NHS? Military? Monarchy? Border agency? Currency? Again, a lovely discussion about keeping some connections there, but ultimately you want independence...the impression I have had for a long time and which has become stronger over the past few months, is that the SNP want a form of 'independence' which they're currently defining, but will let us know in due course. They want to have full fiscal control, but using the Sterling???????? So, effectively, the SNP are looking for the rest of the Union to say "Scotland, my old mate, we cut you free to do whatever you want...by all means use our currency in whichever fashion you like, devalue and bash f**k out of it for all we care...if you end up bankrupt, we'll welcome you back with open and arms and sort all the mess out, after all it was only a little experiment"....I think not. The Sterling is also called the GBP, Great British Pound...perhaps this is the "shared institution" Mr Wishart was referring to? Bounce around on the back of a strong currency yet pay nothing in return, or indeed carry no risk? Nah!

    3. "our new enhanced and equal 21st century partnership" - I have heard it from the mouths of pro-independence Scots themselves...of all the members of the Union, Scotland attracts the largest apportionment of money per head of population. In what way is Scotland feeling 'unequal'? As an ignorant Englishman, I still struggle with the 'hard done by' attitude I continually read from Scotland. Does Alex Salmond truly believe the saviour is in setting Corporation Tax? What makes Alex Salmond think that an independent Scotland could compete with London, when the likes of New York, Paris and Berlin can't?

    Personally, I am a Unionist (pretty much the only ever scenario you'll hear my use that phrase!). I like wielding the union jack, I like the fact I am connected (aside from family) to the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish history in addition to the English history - obviously, we'll never lose that but at present, conventionally, we are one and the same where we can freely stroll across each others borders, trade freely without the need for alternative currency, permissions, special licences and the like. The fact that, despite of progressive devolution, we are linked by politics, law, economy, society, military, health care and the like...I do not like the thought a pair of giant scissors is simply going to cut the Scottish element out of it. I find it ludicrous when, at a time when it is recognised that country's uniting is essential in such economic times when competition from the far East is slowly swallowing us up, Alex Salmond is rallying around trying (and succeeding it seems) to convince everyone their prospects are better going it alone! Admittedly, the Eurozone (as was ALWAYS going to be the case to those with half a braincell) is in dire trouble...thankfully, the UK is out of that.

    I truly hope Salmond doesn't get his way and the Scottish see sense. I can only see one outcome from Scottish independence, and IMO Scotland will by no means by the new Switzerland (for starters Scotland will be bound by the EU treaty unless it cuts free from there also).

    If he does get his way, then there will be interesting discussions to be had IMO. Currency, monarchy, border controls, NHS, military, North Sea fossil fuels (seems to be an assumption here this will become largely Scotland's ownership...will be interested to see how those discussions go, because I'd be very surprised if Westminster said "yeah go for it"), international foreign policy, embassies, the lot.

    Independence....seems inevitable, but so does (IMO) the regret soon after getting your own way.

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

    Hmmm....sorry, but surely it rests on a little bit more than 'culture'??

    ....

    Thanks for the contribution. I'll get back to you with my thoughts on some of the issues you've raised.

    The think the thing to remember is that it is not the Scots breaking the Union, rather that the strong RUK Tory vote, coupled with labour and the libs creaping to the right that is forcing the Union apart. Scots are liberal centre left in the main (their used to be loads of Lib MPs up here), yet it seems impossible for them to get a government of that leaning to manage their taxes within the current constitutional framework. This is simply about politics; this is what I've been trying to highlight with respect to shared languages, culture etc - we share these with many nations, not just the UK. Such things are ultimately superflouous to the issue, what this comes down to is Scots not wanting to pay their tax to remote london adminstration that they did not vote for/are effectively unable to influence (last time was 1974; remove the scots MPs from all elections since and the winner is the same - listen to David Butler in the video below at ~24.20). They want centre-left liberal. I look at the manifestos and the SNP matches me best, independence or not. What am I supposed to do other than vote for them? This is what's happening, not some romantic braveheart inspired charge. If the Tory vote collapsed in England and the Libs took over, went back to being Libs while labour went left again, the Scots would likely lose interest in full independence.

    In the meantime, this is a well put together little film about the history of the independence movement. The scene with Ewan McGregor from trainspotting is particularly funny.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

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

    Firstly, Iam looking at the situation in a pragmatic way, with an interest in both politics and history. The independence movement has been around for 300 years, it is not something new. Likewise the recent Scottish Election result was not a shock/surprise at all, but a natural follow on to the rise of the SNP/Scots interest in independence which began to gain strength in the 1970’s as the British Empire ended. Every time the Scots have been asked whether they want ‘home rule’, they have said yes. After being denied it in 1979 even though they voted yes, it was only natural that they’d vote for devolution when Labour offered it to secure the Scots vote in 1997.

    With respect to the Darien scheme which led to the Union; this was ill planned from the start and when England tried to block it, forcing out English and Dutch investors, it should have been scaled back or cancelled. It was far too ahead of it’s time (it was the first‘panama canal’, but overland) and too risky with England determined to make sure it failed. With the might of the English Navy blocking it, even if it disease etc had not taken its toll, it would have struggled. The massive loss of money impoverished Scotland and England took full advantage as planned; the opening was there for a largely bloodless takeover with bribes to the most foolish of Scot’s lords (the ones that invested the most in Darien) ensuring the act of Union was passed. There were mass protests and rioting against the act for many months after; the Scots people did not want it, debts or not.

    I agree with some of what you say about Pete Wishart’s comments, but I think he is right in quite a few respects.

    Brand Name

    Quick look on google and in order… British Airways. No need for a change there; still flying in andout of the British Isles. British Gas – still works. British Museum– as it’s concerned with history, also still works. British Monarchy – with the Queen staying head of state for Scotland and Scotland still attached to the British Isles, this seems fine to me. British National Party– neither of us want this. British Midland – same as for BA. British Red Cross – no need to rename, happy to put in our share to represent the British Isles. British Antarctic Survey. Collaborative effort from many nations down there, so fine. British Army – If this was for defence,fine, we’ll contribute. List goes on, and I don’t see a big problem here.

    ‘British’ means Scotland,England, NI, Wales. Anything involving these in some way can still be called ‘British’.

    Shared Institutions

    See above. BritishGeological Survey – sounds fine. Visit Britain – yep, lots of countries and cultures to explore. There are many areas where collaboration under the banner of the British Isles can still work just fine.

    …we are linked by politics, law, economy, society, military, health care and the like

    We are not linked by politics; Scots vote centre-left and the rump of the RUK is voting increasingly centre-right, as I noted in my earlier and previous posts. This is a large part of the rise in support for independence; people down south voting Tory is what is causing the Scots to want out. Blame the Tories/Blue Labour/Blue Libs for the break up of the Union, not the Scots. We remain the same, it is RUK that is changing.

    Our law/legal systems are different/independent, as are Scots / RUK healthcare systems. Scots don’t want privatisation of the NHS. We like free prescriptions and the SNP are managing to deliver these on a fixed budget without borrowing.

    Our Schools and university education systems are different.In Scotland,we believe that money should not be a barrier to education for our young. Education is cornerstone of civilisation; the Scots are thus naturally repulsed by the idea of tuition fees.

    Our economies are very different; Scotland’s centres a lot on export of food (net exporter) energy and utilities (oil, gas and electricity, water).We are also very rural and much further from European markets, putting Scots firms at a disadvantage compared to those close to the SE coast of England.

    In terms of the military, there is little doubt of worthiness of the Scots contribution to the British Army, with the highest Victoria Cross numbers per capita of any home nation. However, Scots often have objected to the RUK throwing itself into wars (e.g. Iraq), yet are powerless to do anything about it. As a result, we have Muslim extremists trying to blow up Glasgow Airport. We don’t need their oil; we have our own right here.

    The problem is that Scotland is a country far more than Britain ever has been to Scots. The RUK, particularly England, has embraced Britishness far more than the Scots, who found themselves British without being asked. They’ve tried to make the best of it, seeking more control over their own affairs whenever the opportunity arose (not easy when you’re out numbered 10 to 1).

    The economic argument is a sound one. Have a look at the GERS reports and you’ll see Scotland is doing just fine. Plenty of eminent economists happy to vouch for Scotland. However,we have different priorities for our taxes, that’s all.

    Oil

    As for the oil? Lots left to keep Scotland powered and to supply RUK while we develop renewables to keep the energy flow to you steady. We only use about 10% of what comes ashore oil/gas-wise, so plenty for the RUK to use. As for ownership; Scotland’s territorial waters are not under dispute, they are already laid out according to accepted international standards (this was clarified as part of devolution).We can ask the UN to have a look-see if there are any disputes.

    Currency

    I’ve never seen a ‘Great British Pound’. I’ve seen bank of England notes,Bank of Scotland notes, Bank of Ulster notes… These are all in pounds sterling and have the same value (honestly, they do). Scotland could use the Scottish Pound Sterling if it so wished, tying it to the RUK pound which would make life easy. I’m not in favour of the Euro and an independent Scot’s government (elected following independence) would need to offer a referendum on this issue lest they fall foul of a PR parliament.

    Embassies?

    Lots of options here, including us continuing to pay ourshare and continue to use British ones. Or, if RUK is all in a bad mood and does not want those of joint Scots-RUK origin to have this benefit we can just do the same as many other smaller nations; have embassies in relevant nations and share facilities in others. All very common.

    Alex Salmond thinks that Scotland could compete with London

    I’ve never heard of this. Normally, he talks about smaller European nations similar to Scotland,such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden. I don’t believe the Scots have this impression. Certainly, none believe Scotland will be super rich, with the streets paved with gold. Rather, we’d be happy with our modest lot, having our taxes spent as we wished.

    Border Controls?

    Schengen. For non-EU, a Scots visa which permits activities in Scotland it may not permit in the RUK. Co-operative British isles task force. I’ve driven across borders in Europe many times. Really easy. Often you don’t notice for a while.

    I’ll say again – this is simply about politics. Little will change, and what changes will occur will strengthen the British Isles. The Scottish economy will improve through targeted initiatives, making the Isles better off. Cross-border relations will be better; Scots will have nothing to grumble about as we get on with our PR-type parliament, centre-left government while the RUK sticks with old style 2 party,increasingly blue politics it seems to favour.

    Scottish control over Scottish affairs is ‘Big Society’ in action, Scots have more local control, rather than the current ‘top-down’ Westminster knows best style government we have right now. I want to be able to decide if my taxes are to fund a war or buy some new shiny nuclear weapons.

    I look at the Eurozone and think ‘Hmm, big super-state idea does not work as planned’. I look at the US with its massive credit card bill which it may default on and think ‘Hmmm, big super-states don’t work well’. Big, powerful nations are the bane of the world.

    I really don’t see what the fuss is. Scotland isn’t going anywhere. You can still see your Scottish mates and they can still work wherever they like in Europe. I’ll still be down in London with work often, enjoying the sights.

    IMO, the chance of a yes vote is high. A vote for full fiscal autonomy is probably guaranteed. Westminster should not fight this, but leave it to the Scots to decide democratically.

    If the RUK really, really wants the Union.Stop voting for the centre-right. Otherwise, let each to their own.

    Edit. Scottish waters map attached.

    from here: http://www.marineman...ineplanning.htm

    Here too: http://www.opsi.gov....99/99112601.gif

    post-9421-0-78514900-1311626567_thumb.jp

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    If the RUK really, really wants the Union.Stop voting for the centre-right. Otherwise, let each to their own.

    I had a very odd conversation at work this afternoon with a [previously] fervent Unionist - who stated she would vote for independence for exactly that reason. It appears that Wendy Alexander's conspiracy theory may be coming true (in demanding a referendum a couple of years ago for exactly that reason - seeing a Tory UK Government on the horizon)...

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  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    Great Post SS.

    Harry, further to your point about Scotland needing The Act Of Union in 1707 to ward of bankruptcy becuase of Darien. It was more than that, and all together more troubling.

    The English Parliament passed the Alien Act in 1705 which basically made Scots in England "Aliens", affecting inheritance and trade. The Act banned Scottish imports into England and would have effectively impoverished Scotland overnight, nice neighbours eh?

    Between greedy Lords and ruthless neighbours The Act of Union was forced upon Scots who neither voted for nor wanted it.

    Edited by mountain shadow
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  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

    Further to my point about the SNP being a party for all demographics here are the Scottish Election Study Statistic

    http://www.scottishe...hell_slides.pdf

    Showing that the SNP won the Catholic vote by 43% to 36% as well as the none and Church of Scotland votes by a larger margin. They also won the middle class, the working class, the no-class, the female, the male, and even 24% of those who consider themselves British not Scottish (could be considered as a slightly concerning statistic also I suppose). If that doesn't count as a national party, I don't know what does.

    Edited by LomondSnowstorm
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  • Location: ANYWHERE BUT HERE
  • Weather Preferences: ALL WEATHER, NOT THE PETTY POLITICS OF MODS IN THIS SITE
  • Location: ANYWHERE BUT HERE

    Having continued to read through member's contributions to this thread I am still of a firm mind that Scotland will tear itself appart if and when the SNP try to make a case for independance by having a referendum.

    It will open up the most horrendous can of worms which will not be resolved easilly. The country is too diverse and has too many viewpoints to consider for it to be a simple issue. Mr Salmond in my view is risking the most terrible stink if he continues to push for his own agenda against a sizeable proportion who simply want no part in it.

    The same would be true if the English demanded their own parliament and their own independence. Its a dangerous game this man is playing and if he doesnt have serious misgivings at times then he is dangerous IMO.

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  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

    Having continued to read through member's contributions to this thread I am still of a firm mind that Scotland will tear itself appart if and when the SNP try to make a case for independance by having a referendum.

    It will open up the most horrendous can of worms which will not be resolved easilly. The country is too diverse and has too many viewpoints to consider for it to be a simple issue. Mr Salmond in my view is risking the most terrible stink if he continues to push for his own agenda against a sizeable proportion who simply want no part in it.

    The same would be true if the English demanded their own parliament and their own independence. Its a dangerous game this man is playing and if he doesnt have serious misgivings at times then he is dangerous IMO.

    It's dangerous in the same way that elections are dangerous. Some people are disengaged with politics in general and don't vote, most will vote for a party which doesn't end up running the country and there are definite splits in voting pattterns based on demography. And yet we manage it, pretty much every year, electing representatives of some sort in a number of varying systems. And yes, some of the campaigns are divisive, very divisive, and there are dirty tactics used by many candidates which are also divisive, and yet there is never any violence or riots on polling day.

    The referendum is not a way of encouraging independence as such, it is a means by which the Scottish people can decide their own future. If people don't want it, they can vote no. If people don't care enough to vote, they can choose not to vote. The outcome will be the will of whatever the majority of voters want, which means that it will be far fairer than an FPTP election.

    I think you're confusing diversity with segregation: generally most people get along well with most other people regardless of colour, religion or political view and getting a direct choice on our constitutional future shouldn't change that. The idea that we should be afraid of letting the people decide because it might lead to divisions or be 'dangerous' (you've still failed to explain fully why it would be dangerous) is patronising in the extreme. If South Sudan can do it without any of the repercussions you hypothesise, then there are absolutely no reason why we can't have a vote. Not only that, but your views are an insult to all those people who live in countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Libya, where leaders use the very same excuse that you use to justify not holding elections.

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

    The same would be true if the English demanded their own parliament and their own independence. Its a dangerous game this man is playing and if he doesnt have serious misgivings at times then he is dangerous IMO.

    Em, there are actually 69 SNP MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, elected by 45% of Scots voters. There are also 6 MPs in Westminster.

    Are you implying that Alex Salmond has somehow brainwashed millions of people? He's a fairly adept politician, but he's not that good.

    Dangerous? How so? Are there fire hazards or explosive chemicals involved? Nobody's mentioned the like to me so far.

    I've certainly not noticed any signs of impending civil unrest. In fact, quite the contrary; I've almost felt a sense of increasing pride in people feeling 'Scots' since the election. In meetings with Scots professional colleagues, I can't help but feel they are speaking Scots more often/happily slip straight into it if you do - and this is in important technical meetings regarding major oil and gas developments. Even in shops I'm finding this too. Like I say, maybe just me, but I can't help getting that impression.

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

    One of the hotly debated topics at the moment – one that Union supporters often raise in support of their argument – is the concept of ‘being British’. However, when asked what this means, nobody can really give an answer. However, asking…..

    What is it to be Scots?

    It’s supporting the Scottish football team, even though they’ve just drawn with the Faroes again

    It’s drinking Irn Bru

    It’s salt and sauce, or salt and vinegar?

    It’s singing Flower of Scotland at Murrayfeild

    It’s wearing a kilt

    It’s making jokes about yourself for wearing a skirt and loving it

    It’s the saltire, the lion rampant

    It’s the bagpipes

    It’s liking haggis, neeps and tatties

    It’s speaking Scots, Gealic and enjoying doing so

    It’s about ceilidhs and dancing into the wee small hours

    It’s getting a wonderful reception when people ask if you are American, English etc when travelling and you tell them you are Scots

    It’s the Edinburgh Festival

    It’s the Highlands, the lowlands, the lochs, then glens

    It’s the clans, tartans, castles, snow covered peaks

    It’s getting soaked by horizontal rain when camping

    It’s about getting blown back up hill when skiing on heather

    It’s getting bitten to hell by midges

    It’s whisky, quaichs, first-footing

    It’s meeting another Scot when abroad; we’re rather rare

    It’s about being proud of where you come from

    It’s about longing to be there

    is much easier. So is asking:

    What is it to be English?

    It’s the three lions

    It’s beer gardens by the river

    It’s the Yorkshire dales,

    It’s Corrie, Eastenders

    It’s cockney rhyming slang

    It’s west country cider

    It’s…

    apologies if this is crap - I’m sure an Englishman would do a far better list than my kilted self (please feel free!). http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif The same for being Welsh, N. Irish….

    But what is it to be British?

    Can someone answer this?

    I’m genuinely interested in the views of those who really feel ‘British’ and what it means to them. I have a good mate who is half English / half Scottish. He votes SNP, but is unsure on independence as he says he feels sort of ‘British’, even though he wears a kilt etc. When I ask him what that means, he can’t give an answer; he’s just not sure and it seems more like he feels he should feel British, yet has no idea what that actually is.

    I feel this is an important factor in the equation. While many like myself will vote yes for primarily political reasons (I want a more accountable, local, PR-type, multi-party democracy which leans suitably to the left of centre; something I will never have unless I vote Yes), there are those who will be like my mate and will possibly find themselves caught a little between the head and the heart, even if after all nothing will change in this respect (they can just get two passports if needed, my French wife has both).

    For me, the union is simply a political construct; one that does not serve where I live well. This is evidenced by Scots votes largely making little difference to the government of Westminster. Hence I favour my taxes going to Holyrood. For others – although they are not in majority up here – do seem to have an emotional attachment to the Union.

    Can anyone provide a view on this, i.e. what they feel ‘Britishness’ is?

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  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

    One of the hotly debated topics at the moment – one that Union supporters often raise in support of their argument – is the concept of ‘being British’. However, when asked what this means, nobody can really give an answer. However, asking…..

    What is it to be Scots?

    It’s supporting the Scottish football team, even though they’ve just drawn with the Faroes again

    It’s drinking Irn Bru

    It’s salt and sauce, or salt and vinegar?

    It’s singing Flower of Scotland at Murrayfeild

    It’s wearing a kilt

    It’s making jokes about yourself for wearing a skirt and loving it

    It’s the saltire, the lion rampant

    It’s the bagpipes

    It’s liking haggis, neeps and tatties

    It’s speaking Scots, Gealic and enjoying doing so

    It’s about ceilidhs and dancing into the wee small hours

    It’s getting a wonderful reception when people ask if you are American, English etc when travelling and you tell them you are Scots

    It’s the Edinburgh Festival

    It’s the Highlands, the lowlands, the lochs, then glens

    It’s the clans, tartans, castles, snow covered peaks

    It’s getting soaked by horizontal rain when camping

    It’s about getting blown back up hill when skiing on heather

    It’s getting bitten to hell by midges

    It’s whisky, quaichs, first-footing

    It’s meeting another Scot when abroad; we’re rather rare

    It’s about being proud of where you come from

    It’s about longing to be there

    is much easier. So is asking:

    What is it to be English?

    It’s the three lions

    It’s beer gardens by the river

    It’s the Yorkshire dales,

    It’s Corrie, Eastenders

    It’s cockney rhyming slang

    It’s west country cider

    It’s…

    apologies if this is crap - I’m sure an Englishman would do a far better list than my kilted self (please feel free!). http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif The same for being Welsh, N. Irish….

    But what is it to be British?

    Can someone answer this?

    I’m genuinely interested in the views of those who really feel ‘British’ and what it means to them. I have a good mate who is half English / half Scottish. He votes SNP, but is unsure on independence as he says he feels sort of ‘British’, even though he wears a kilt etc. When I ask him what that means, he can’t give an answer; he’s just not sure and it seems more like he feels he should feel British, yet has no idea what that actually is.

    I feel this is an important factor in the equation. While many like myself will vote yes for primarily political reasons (I want a more accountable, local, PR-type, multi-party democracy which leans suitably to the left of centre; something I will never have unless I vote Yes), there are those who will be like my mate and will possibly find themselves caught a little between the head and the heart, even if after all nothing will change in this respect (they can just get two passports if needed, my French wife has both).

    For me, the union is simply a political construct; one that does not serve where I live well. This is evidenced by Scots votes largely making little difference to the government of Westminster. Hence I favour my taxes going to Holyrood. For others – although they are not in majority up here – do seem to have an emotional attachment to the Union.

    Can anyone provide a view on this, i.e. what they feel ‘Britishness’ is?

    It's an interesting one, because most of what seems 'British' either no longer exists or has connotations which are unpleasant (mostly because they are 'London based', as pretty much all of our scandals seem to emanate from there these days):

    It's the monarchy

    It's Westminster, which has been discredited by scandal after scandal and half of which is unelected

    It's the press, the hacks who've hacked our phones and scaremonger endlessly

    It's the BBC, which is perhaps one of the few things I would regard as a positive, though even it has the flaw of being London-centric

    It's the military, involved recently in wars of increasing dubiety and decreasing to its lowest level in 100 years, though it's hardly the fault of the armed services themselves

    It's the NHS, though this is now an example of the benefits of services being run from Edinburgh rather than London

    It's the shipyards and the coalmines, the monoliths of days gone by, before Methil and Bathgate and Linwood and Govan were no more

    It's the empire, a sign of the domination of a small island nation whether one liked it or not which crumbled 60-odd years ago

    It's the union flag, hijacked by both struggling and far-right politicians as a symbol of protectionism and racism

    It's all the wars we've fought in and won together

    Culturally, it's Jeremy Kyle and the whole idea of reality tv, though this is perhaps more a US phenomenon which has infiltrated the rest of the world

    It's fish and chips, though we like haddock and they like cod (from what I know of it at least)

    It's villifying youths as chavs or neds

    It's falling behind other European nations in the rankings for living standards and health and having greater inequalities than most other developed nations

    It's having an unrealistic expectation of summer every year without fail

    It's reminiscing about a time which never actually existed when everything was much better than it is now (again, probably not a UK only thing)

    It's queueing in an orderly fashion

    It's sarcasm and light hearted banter at the expense of others but still getting along with them at the end of the day

    It's discussing the weather at great length without ever feeling bored

    It's Stephen Fry (perhaps he simply defines a type of Englishness which the Scots have a degree of fondness for)

    In fairness, and surprisingly to me, I've thought of quite a few things which could define Britishness, and not all of them are completely negative, but those that are negative are mostly those which are dependent on the union remaining. If we take those away, we''re left with the basis for a very good relationship with our nearest neighbour.

    As Harry says, perhaps culture shouldn't be considered in this at all, but if it isn't then the case for independence seems all the more emphatic to me.

    Oh and you missed one for scottishness: it's about being able to hear that list in the same voice as the narrator of the T in the Park radio advert and feeling close to tears with pride when you hear it.

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

    Oh and you missed one for scottishness: it's about being able to hear that list in the same voice as the narrator of the T in the Park radio advert and feeling close to tears with pride when you hear it.

    LOL, when I first saw that, I thought it was an advert for independence, until it said ‘It’s T in the Park’….

    Agreed on Stephen fry; Michael Palin et al. would fall into the same category. 'Quintessentially' English and well loved for it.:good:

    On a more serious note, I found this:

    http://ethnos.co.uk/...ishness_CRE.pdf

    What is Britishness

    A study by the Commission for Racial Equality.

    Discusses the concept through analysis of the views of a wide range of people from the UK with different backgrounds/ethnic origins.

    Many of the concepts above touched on. Particularly interesting is the section on who ‘feels British’.

    While the content of ‘Britishness’ was shared across most groups, there were important differences in the ways in which participants personally related to, and identified with, Britishness.

    As UK passport holders, all the participants knew they were British citizens, but not everyone attached any value significance to being British.

    In Scotland and Wales, white and ethnic minority participants identified more strongly with each of those countries than with Britain.

    In England, white English participants perceived themselves as English first and as British second, while ethnic minority participants perceived themselves as British; none identified as English, which they saw as meaning exclusively white people.

    Thus, the participants who identified most strongly with Britishness were those from ethnic minority backgrounds resident in England.

    It was nice to hear that immigrants to Scotland (and Wales) feel firstly ‘Scottish’ (and 'Welsh'); which ties in with the multi-cultural/ethnic support for the SNP up here discussed in earlier posts.

    I was surprised to find much less ‘Britishness’ feeling in general south of the Border than I might of imagined, particularly given those posting on here often use this line of argument (shared values etc) as support for political union. As it turns out, it is ethnic minorities in England who predominate in terms of identifying themselves as British. Sadly, as also discussed in earlier posts, it is concluded that this is due to ‘Englishness’ being hijacked to a significant extent by the far right (e.g. EDL) and highlights the need for those south of the border to reclaim this.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Home - Bexley, London/Kent border. Work - Cannon Street, C London
  • Location: Home - Bexley, London/Kent border. Work - Cannon Street, C London

    Firstly, Iam looking at the situation in a pragmatic way, with an interest in both politics and history. The independence movement has been around for 300 years, it is not something new. Likewise the recent Scottish Election result was not a shock/surprise at all, but a natural follow on to the rise of the SNP/Scots interest in independence which began to gain strength in the 1970’s as the British Empire ended. Every time the Scots have been asked whether they want ‘home rule’, they have said yes. After being denied it in 1979 even though they voted yes, it was only natural that they’d vote for devolution when Labour offered it to secure the Scots vote in 1997.

    With respect to the Darien scheme which led to the Union; this was ill planned from the start and when England tried to block it, forcing out English and Dutch investors, it should have been scaled back or cancelled. It was far too ahead of it’s time (it was the first‘panama canal’, but overland) and too risky with England determined to make sure it failed. With the might of the English Navy blocking it, even if it disease etc had not taken its toll, it would have struggled. The massive loss of money impoverished Scotland and England took full advantage as planned; the opening was there for a largely bloodless takeover with bribes to the most foolish of Scot’s lords (the ones that invested the most in Darien) ensuring the act of Union was passed. There were mass protests and rioting against the act for many months after; the Scots people did not want it, debts or not.

    I agree with some of what you say about Pete Wishart’s comments, but I think he is right in quite a few respects.

    Brand Name

    Quick look on google and in order… British Airways. No need for a change there; still flying in andout of the British Isles. British Gas – still works. British Museum– as it’s concerned with history, also still works. British Monarchy – with the Queen staying head of state for Scotland and Scotland still attached to the British Isles, this seems fine to me. British National Party– neither of us want this. British Midland – same as for BA. British Red Cross – no need to rename, happy to put in our share to represent the British Isles. British Antarctic Survey. Collaborative effort from many nations down there, so fine. British Army – If this was for defence,fine, we’ll contribute. List goes on, and I don’t see a big problem here.

    ‘British’ means Scotland,England, NI, Wales. Anything involving these in some way can still be called ‘British’.

    Shared Institutions

    See above. BritishGeological Survey – sounds fine. Visit Britain – yep, lots of countries and cultures to explore. There are many areas where collaboration under the banner of the British Isles can still work just fine.

    …we are linked by politics, law, economy, society, military, health care and the like

    We are not linked by politics; Scots vote centre-left and the rump of the RUK is voting increasingly centre-right, as I noted in my earlier and previous posts. This is a large part of the rise in support for independence; people down south voting Tory is what is causing the Scots to want out. Blame the Tories/Blue Labour/Blue Libs for the break up of the Union, not the Scots. We remain the same, it is RUK that is changing.

    Our law/legal systems are different/independent, as are Scots / RUK healthcare systems. Scots don’t want privatisation of the NHS. We like free prescriptions and the SNP are managing to deliver these on a fixed budget without borrowing.

    Our Schools and university education systems are different.In Scotland,we believe that money should not be a barrier to education for our young. Education is cornerstone of civilisation; the Scots are thus naturally repulsed by the idea of tuition fees.

    Our economies are very different; Scotland’s centres a lot on export of food (net exporter) energy and utilities (oil, gas and electricity, water).We are also very rural and much further from European markets, putting Scots firms at a disadvantage compared to those close to the SE coast of England.

    In terms of the military, there is little doubt of worthiness of the Scots contribution to the British Army, with the highest Victoria Cross numbers per capita of any home nation. However, Scots often have objected to the RUK throwing itself into wars (e.g. Iraq), yet are powerless to do anything about it. As a result, we have Muslim extremists trying to blow up Glasgow Airport. We don’t need their oil; we have our own right here.

    The problem is that Scotland is a country far more than Britain ever has been to Scots. The RUK, particularly England, has embraced Britishness far more than the Scots, who found themselves British without being asked. They’ve tried to make the best of it, seeking more control over their own affairs whenever the opportunity arose (not easy when you’re out numbered 10 to 1).

    The economic argument is a sound one. Have a look at the GERS reports and you’ll see Scotland is doing just fine. Plenty of eminent economists happy to vouch for Scotland. However,we have different priorities for our taxes, that’s all.

    Oil

    As for the oil? Lots left to keep Scotland powered and to supply RUK while we develop renewables to keep the energy flow to you steady. We only use about 10% of what comes ashore oil/gas-wise, so plenty for the RUK to use. As for ownership; Scotland’s territorial waters are not under dispute, they are already laid out according to accepted international standards (this was clarified as part of devolution).We can ask the UN to have a look-see if there are any disputes.

    Currency

    I’ve never seen a ‘Great British Pound’. I’ve seen bank of England notes,Bank of Scotland notes, Bank of Ulster notes… These are all in pounds sterling and have the same value (honestly, they do). Scotland could use the Scottish Pound Sterling if it so wished, tying it to the RUK pound which would make life easy. I’m not in favour of the Euro and an independent Scot’s government (elected following independence) would need to offer a referendum on this issue lest they fall foul of a PR parliament.

    Embassies?

    Lots of options here, including us continuing to pay ourshare and continue to use British ones. Or, if RUK is all in a bad mood and does not want those of joint Scots-RUK origin to have this benefit we can just do the same as many other smaller nations; have embassies in relevant nations and share facilities in others. All very common.

    Alex Salmond thinks that Scotland could compete with London

    I’ve never heard of this. Normally, he talks about smaller European nations similar to Scotland,such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden. I don’t believe the Scots have this impression. Certainly, none believe Scotland will be super rich, with the streets paved with gold. Rather, we’d be happy with our modest lot, having our taxes spent as we wished.

    Border Controls?

    Schengen. For non-EU, a Scots visa which permits activities in Scotland it may not permit in the RUK. Co-operative British isles task force. I’ve driven across borders in Europe many times. Really easy. Often you don’t notice for a while.

    I’ll say again – this is simply about politics. Little will change, and what changes will occur will strengthen the British Isles. The Scottish economy will improve through targeted initiatives, making the Isles better off. Cross-border relations will be better; Scots will have nothing to grumble about as we get on with our PR-type parliament, centre-left government while the RUK sticks with old style 2 party,increasingly blue politics it seems to favour.

    Scottish control over Scottish affairs is ‘Big Society’ in action, Scots have more local control, rather than the current ‘top-down’ Westminster knows best style government we have right now. I want to be able to decide if my taxes are to fund a war or buy some new shiny nuclear weapons.

    I look at the Eurozone and think ‘Hmm, big super-state idea does not work as planned’. I look at the US with its massive credit card bill which it may default on and think ‘Hmmm, big super-states don’t work well’. Big, powerful nations are the bane of the world.

    I really don’t see what the fuss is. Scotland isn’t going anywhere. You can still see your Scottish mates and they can still work wherever they like in Europe. I’ll still be down in London with work often, enjoying the sights.

    IMO, the chance of a yes vote is high. A vote for full fiscal autonomy is probably guaranteed. Westminster should not fight this, but leave it to the Scots to decide democratically.

    If the RUK really, really wants the Union.Stop voting for the centre-right. Otherwise, let each to their own.

    Edit. Scottish waters map attached.

    from here: http://www.marineman...ineplanning.htm

    Here too: http://www.opsi.gov....99/99112601.gif

    My hat off to you - what a thorough and thought provoking post!

    I still feel strongly that independence of Scotland will leave both the remainder of the UK and Scotland worse off - that's just my gut feeling. Scotland does have a very socialist orientation in respect of some of the policies and has demonstrated a willingness to be quite welfare/state dominant - I fear for the sustainability of some of Scotland's policies - such as free education, prescriptions and so on. Under 'New Labour' this has resulted in massive deficit/debt and all the problems of the past few years (and no doubt years to come).

    The way you have explained the feeling of many Scots above however is certainly very interesting and intriguing. To an outsider, the way Salmond comes across is on the side of aggressive, inflammatory and a bit Blair-like - not in his political motivations but his uncanny ability to say what people want to hear, with little substance behind his assertions. People flock to him as the great saviour, yet as with Blair, I fear it could leave Scotland in a mess....that said, I for one would have more support for Salmond if he put his ideas across in the manner you did in your post above

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    "The referendum is not a way of encouraging independence as such, it is a means by which the Scottish people can decide their own future. The outcome will be the will of whatever the majority of voters want."

    "I think you're confusing diversity with segregation"

    "(you've still failed to explain fully why it would be dangerous) is patronising in the extreme."

    Ok I will deal with your three main points in order;

    You say that the outcome of a vote for independence will be a simple case of "the majority get what they want"! Really? On a serious issue about going it alone after 400 years when currently the majority want to stay within the UK and therefore a win for leaving the UK would be a slim margin!! So you think that if there was a vote and 51% of Scotts decided to go it alone that the other 49% would simply accept it? OK if you are simply voting in a party for a few years which can be reversed....not so when there are deep entrenched views about such a major constitutional change in sovereignty after almost fifty generations. Think again.

    I am not confusing diversity with segregation, they are two quite separate things and totally unrelated. The Scottish people have a wide diversity of views on the issue of independance. Nothing to do with segregation as you state.

    Why do you call me patronising when the whole of history should serve a lesson to everyone that almost all major changes in Sovereignty usually bring civil unrest and bloodshed? You used the examples of the middle east at present.....That should be enough to slap you hard in the face with the dangers that I am warning obout.

    If you are saying that the Scotts are never going to be passionate about such an issue then I dont believe a word of it.

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    Great Post SS.

    Harry, further to your point about Scotland needing The Act Of Union in 1707 to ward of bankruptcy becuase of Darien. It was more than that, and all together more troubling.

    The English Parliament passed the Alien Act in 1705 which basically made Scots in England "Aliens", affecting inheritance and trade. The Act banned Scottish imports into England and would have effectively impoverished Scotland overnight, nice neighbours eh?

    Between greedy Lords and ruthless neighbours The Act of Union was forced upon Scots who neither voted for nor wanted it.

    Of course, England strolled in and forced Scotland into Union?!?!?! Really? Surely that would be tantamount to 'conquering' rather than 'uniting'? If it was something Scots neither voted for nor wanted, Scotland have had by my reckoning 304 years to do something about it and have chosen not to, so please don't insinuate the Union is something the Scots have a right to be resentful of! According to albeit limited history I've read in the past, I don't recall the Scottish people on the picket line campaigning against the spread of the British Empire, which spread round to capitalise on the riches and resources of half the planet. If the English are greedy and ruthless then the Scottish equivalent are of equally derogatory standing.

    Having continued to read through member's contributions to this thread I am still of a firm mind that Scotland will tear itself appart if and when the SNP try to make a case for independance by having a referendum.

    It will open up the most horrendous can of worms which will not be resolved easilly. The country is too diverse and has too many viewpoints to consider for it to be a simple issue. Mr Salmond in my view is risking the most terrible stink if he continues to push for his own agenda against a sizeable proportion who simply want no part in it.

    The same would be true if the English demanded their own parliament and their own independence. Its a dangerous game this man is playing and if he doesnt have serious misgivings at times then he is dangerous IMO.

    There are definitely merits to your posts Village...I too think its a very dangerous path to take!

    However, if the Scots truly believe they are better going it alone then I think we should afford them that. I personally think it will end miserably but that's just my view.

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    Hey Harry, you know, I like the Scottish, they are really liked down here in the south and we have no bad feelings for them. The English will genuinely be happy to accomodate the Scotts and will have no wish to forcefully make them do one thing or another.

    I am really, really concerned about salmond though....In my opinion he is showing all the signs of a politician who is pushing a racist agenda based purely on Nationality and he shows no signs or sounds which would indicate he has any misgivings or concerns. We here in England would have banned such a person heading an English National Party with a view for independence for the English only. That party too would risk civil unrest on our streets and it too would risk tearing England appart too.

    The Scottish are no different if their blood is made to boil and passions will run high. Its a dangerous game he is playing.

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