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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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Posted
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing fog, frost, snow, sunshine.
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl

    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.

    If Salmond is pushing an ethnic agenda, why is it that many of the party members and elected politicians from the SNP are English, Pakistani, Italian etc? Please don't confuse parties like the BNP with the SNP, Scotland is voting for civic nationalism as opposed to ethnic nationalism, although some people do not understand the difference (which is huge) and assume nationalism means racism. Civic nationalism is pride in a country that is historicaly diverse (there's not really such thing as ethnically "Scottish", difference parts of the country are made up of different ethnic groups: Gaels / Scots, Picts, Vikings, Brythons, Angles) - the SNP has in fairness encouraged European immigration, celebrating that Scotland this year reported its largest ever population, a figure which is influenced by the large English immigration too! If anything, the most racist parts of Scottish society are generally unionist (the Scottish Defence League, the Orange Order etc).

    So please Village, don't be concerned - as a highly educated nation, Scots are completely able to look beyond ethnic nationalism and even if there's been a swell in nationalism, most of it has been pride in a small North West European nation that has historically been diverse.

    Edit: If you're going to argue that Scottish independence isn't economically viable, please cite some actual figures please.

    Edited by NorthernRab
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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

    Harry, you are correct in some of your assertions, but incorrect in others. To summarise:

    1. The average Scot had no say in Scotland joining the Union. There were mass riots and mob rule for many months, with the army having to be used to control the situation

    2. There were Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1745; these were strongly supported by the clans and Catholics from the south of Scotland (Catholicism was the dominant religion in Scotland) to put a more monarch more favourable to Scotland on the throne, whereby ending repression of Scots, particularly in the Highlands.

    3. Following the 1745 rebellion, the UK government built a massive network of roads and forts to subdue the Scots by force and control

    http://en.wikipedia....iki/George_Wade

    4. Likewise, they banned Scots from carrying weapons, playing the bagpipes and wearing traditional Highland garb (the plaid etc)

    http://en.wikipedia....and_persecution

    5. They used the normal tactics of recruiting the less desirables and Scots with grudges against other Scots to form the ‘Black watch’ to control Scots by force

    http://en.wikipedia....egiment_of_Foot

    The goal was to eliminate and notion of nationhood/Scots identity. The first 100 years of the Union were thus years of riots, rebellion and forced domination of the Scots.

    Following this, the rise of the empire, rightly as you say, started to bring some benefits to Scotland, and support for rebellion so reduced. However, Scots nationalism was not dead, rather it became more political manoeuvring for more Scots independence within the Empire/Commonwealth. It is also a sad time as it saw the Highland clearances, with many Scots forced of the land, leading to mass emigration to the US etc. The rich Scots Landowners themselves were largely to blame for this.

    It was at this time that Scotland gave the world the industrial revolution when James Watt invented the independently condensing steam engine one afternoon in Glasgow. This was a time of the Scottish Enlightenment; an outpouring of intellect and inventiveness the world had never seen. Edinburgh was considered the ‘Athens of the North’ for its scientists and thinkers contributions to the world. So we probably have around 100 years where the union was generally accepted for the benefits it brought through the empire, but nationalist feelings never went away. Scots were always Scots first, then British. Ongoing suppression of Scots and Gaelic was a problem however, with children being forced to ‘speak proper’ English.

    What we must also remember is that the average Scot did not have a vote. This was only given to all men in 1918 and all women in 1928 (my wife’s grandmother remembers this time). The UK has only been a democracy for 83 years; i.e. within living memory. So, only a few rich Scots had any say in the constitution, and these were doing well enough out of the Union to bother rocking the boat too much.

    National Party of Scotland formed in 1928; the same year as universal suffrage. It is in this party the SNP have their roots. Thus, when people got the vote, they started thinking immediately about how it might be used to further the case for home rule.

    Problem is, Europe had just emerged from WWI and independence issues came second to rebuilding from the damage the war had caused. Likewise, the empire was still bringing in steady work through manufacturing and trade. Along came WWII and the cycle repeated. The subsequent decline of the empire saw a steady rise in support for increased home rule; armed with vote, the Scots could now do something about this. In 1979, Labour gave the Scots a vote on home rule and they said yes by 51.6 %. They were denied it by a wholly undemocratic technicality; the assumption that not voting means you did not want it, rather than you just did not mind either way. This is what Maggie wanted to do to keep the Tories in power, to widespread condemnation.

    Thus, at the first opportunity to vote for home rule, the Scots said yes.

    http://en.wikipedia....eferendum,_1979

    After 18 years of Tory rule, polls in Scotland put 55% in support of full independence. Labour saw they had no choice but to give the Scots some form of home rule lest the Scots decided to go it alone. It was hoped this would destroy the nationalists, and the PR system in both Scots and Welsh assemblies was designed to ensure a nationalist majority would not occur. However, support for the SNP has risen steadily as Labour have shifted towards the right. With the Tories back in power, the SNP vote is climbing to new highs, making a vote for YES highly likely.

    So, to clarify, to describe the Union as 300 years of happieness and contentment is rather far from the truth. Instead, we have 100 years of resistance and rebellion, 100 years of general acceptance due to it bringing benefits, but Scots still feeling firmly Scottish, then 70 years of growing support for home rule. Then we have 18 years of Scots wanting home rule but being denied it by the Tories, and finally devolution moving to increasing support for independence brings us to where we are now. Support for independence has never dropped below 30%; not far off what the current PM’s party has right now. This has been coming for some time; Westminster has known it since the 1970’s and has done everything it possibly can to stop it. It is still desperately trying to think of ways, but short of doing a Gaddafi, it can’t.

    Village. As NB pointed out, the SNP are a civic nationalist party. This may seem unusual to you being used to Labour and the Tories, but Scotland is very liberal and inclusive. You will note my post on ‘Britishness’ and how immigrants to Scotland feel very welcome to the point of feeling Scottish before British. Scots are not racist and the SNP are a liberal to modestly left of centre social democratic part.

    Civic or liberal nationalism:

    "Liberal Nationalism is a kind of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in a non-xenophobic form of nationalism compatible with liberal values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights.

    Liberal nationalism, also known as civic nationalism or civil nationalism, is the form of nationalism in which the state derives political legitimacy from the active participation of its citizenry (see popular sovereignty), from the degree to which it represents the "general will". It is often seen as originating with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and especially the social contract theories which take their name from his 1762 book The Social Contract. Civic nationalism lies within the traditions of rationalism and liberalism, but as a form of nationalism it is contrasted with ethnic nationalism. Membership of the civic nation is considered voluntary."

    http://en.wikipedia....ral_nationalism

    This describes the way Scots increasingly want their country to be run. I like that.

    Why do you think the SNP are garnering so much support? It is exactly because they are inclusive. All are welcome, whatever your ethnic origins. They don’t tell people what is best for them, rather ask what people want and try their best to deliver that. The referendum is not about promotion of independence, rather promotion of the right to decide.

    The economic case is perfectly sound. We all have to tighten our belts and the SNP are making big savings at the moment, but minimising involuntary redundancies etc. In terms of affording tuition fees and free prescriptions; they are affording these as they have a fixed budget block grant and can’t borrow. Maybe you should be asking if the SNP can manage it, then why can’t Westminster? I’ll prepare some comments on the economic question for an independent Scotland as there seems to be a lack of knowledge on this. Will follow as soon as I can (a few days off coming, so can relax and write, which I enjoy).

    Finally, to finish up, you must realise the significance of what is going to happen. For the first time in over 1100 years as a nation, all Scots – the young, the old, the poor, the rich… have the right to vote on their constitutional future; something they have never had before. This is truly historic and it is highly unlikely that they will not use that vote to seek independence.

    Put it this way, if Scotland was independent right now and you asked Scots if they wanted to give up their parliament for 9% representation in the parliament of a neighbouring nation, support would likely be rather low.

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

    LOL. You've watched Braveheart too many times. http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    Recent example of independence from the UK which all went perfectly peaceably.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_history_of_Australia#The_Australia_Act

    If you want a riot, then let Westminster interfere - the claymores will be out in no time :D

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    Posted
  • Location: New York City
  • Location: New York City

    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.

    Acts of Union 1707 Article 15 granted £398,085 10s (equivalent of >£30 million) which was distributed to those investors (Members of the Scottish Parliment perhaps?) who had lost all their capital in the Darian Scheme. All it took was 125 people to pass this act, it wouldn't have mattered if everyone else in Scotland disagreed with them.

    Harry, you are correct in some of your assertions, but incorrect in others. To summarise:

    1. The average Scot had no say in Scotland joining the Union. There were mass riots and mob rule for many months, with the army having to be used to control the situation

    2. There were Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1745; these were strongly supported by the clans and Catholics from the south of Scotland (Catholicism was the dominant religion in Scotland) to put a more monarch more favourable to Scotland on the throne, whereby ending repression of Scots, particularly in the Highlands.

    3. Following the 1745 rebellion, the UK government built a massive network of roads and forts to subdue the Scots by force and control

    http://en.wikipedia....iki/George_Wade

    4. Likewise, they banned Scots from carrying weapons, playing the bagpipes and wearing traditional Highland garb (the plaid etc)

    http://en.wikipedia....and_persecution

    5. They used the normal tactics of recruiting the less desirables and Scots with grudges against other Scots to form the ‘Black watch’ to control Scots by force

    http://en.wikipedia....egiment_of_Foot

    The goal was to eliminate and notion of nationhood/Scots identity. The first 100 years of the Union were thus years of riots, rebellion and forced domination of the Scots.

    Highlanders and Lowlanders getting a bit mixed up in there!

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    Posted
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing fog, frost, snow, sunshine.
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl

    Harry, you are correct in some of your assertions, but incorrect in others. To summarise:

    1. The average Scot had no say in Scotland joining the Union. There were mass riots and mob rule for many months, with the army having to be used to control the situation

    2. There were Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1745; these were strongly supported by the clans and Catholics from the south of Scotland (Catholicism was the dominant religion in Scotland) to put a more monarch more favourable to Scotland on the throne, whereby ending repression of Scots, particularly in the Highlands.

    3. Following the 1745 rebellion, the UK government built a massive network of roads and forts to subdue the Scots by force and control

    http://en.wikipedia....iki/George_Wade

    4. Likewise, they banned Scots from carrying weapons, playing the bagpipes and wearing traditional Highland garb (the plaid etc)

    http://en.wikipedia....and_persecution

    5. They used the normal tactics of recruiting the less desirables and Scots with grudges against other Scots to form the ‘Black watch’ to control Scots by force

    http://en.wikipedia....egiment_of_Foot

    I agree with Hiya, that's simplifying things slightly - following Culloden, our native East Highlands was first to experience what would nowadays be called cultural cleansing, even ethnic if we consider the clearances. Badenoch, Strathspey, Inverness, Aird, Monadh Ruadh, Monadh Liath, Easter Ross, Perthshire, Sutherland and even parts of Caithness were staunchly Gaelic territory. It was the post-Culloden events, the "murder tour" after the battle, the Clearances, the 1872 education act, the acts banning dress, song etc (and thus language) and WWI had a devastating affect on the Highlands as a whole. My views is that English was essential to our economic growth - but I would prefer to see a bilingual, well-populated, culturally confident and economically progressive Highlands today, unfortunately that is not the case. The government took the land, language, confidence and history of the people, a government that included Lowlanders (who for a long time mistrusted and essentially misunderstood the Gael / Highlander), English, Irish, N.Irish and even Highlands. A horrible history, certainly not a simple one, but definitely beginning to look up since the 1990s :)

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

    Highlanders and Lowlanders getting a bit mixed up in there!

    We have always had that problem up here. http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    I happen to be a Highlander by birth..... Now a lowlander. Split personality disorder. :D

    The Jacobite risings were dominated by Highlanders because the highlands were dominantly catholic. The Lowlands were caught in the middle as they were dominated by protestants, who had less strong opposition to a protestant London Government/King.However, the Jacobite army was welcomed in the lowlands with mass crowds cheering them in to Edinburgh. After all, a Scots Prince was seeking to take the throne of the UK to which he was very arguably the heir, i.e. Scotland would rule England of sorts.....

    I'd class that as a general vote for the SNP of the time. Luckily, claymores are not the weapon of choice when canvassing these days.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    Edited by scottish skier
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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

    Don't know what to say to be honest, other than I wholly understand why many Scots want full independence...I just fear it will fail as I don't see how a smaller economy, which prides itself on being a big state provider (healthcare, education and so on) will be able to do it.

    'Re the ethnic cleansing bit, that's poppycock in my view, something which 13 years of Labour has lead you to believe. Sometimes, segregation, for sake of civilian independence or otherwise, is not always bad. Interestingly enough, if SNP did prevail and win Scottish independence, I wonder how all embracing and all loving Scotland will be when they are solely responsible for their borders. Remember, whatever the SNP win for Scotland, they're winning for other Europeans also. If Scotland's economy and way of the life did improve, so will the number of people moving in to capitalise...nothing will dilute Scottish culture and way of life more, which I do wonder how Scotland will cope with.

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

    Don't know what to say to be honest, other than I wholly understand why many Scots want full independence...I just fear it will fail as I don't see how a smaller economy, which prides itself on being a big state provider (healthcare, education and so on) will be able to do it.

    I think you are misunderstanding the SNP / liberalism / civic nationalism. The SNP are centre-left, they are not rabid socialists. They are already working to try and reduce public sector spending, albeit doing so in a way which minimises the impact on people, e.g. by voluntary redundancies and cost savings through better management.

    They believe in business, in a strong private sector, but at the same time understand how Scots wish public services which form the basis of civilised society (health, education) etc are not subject to private sector short-term profit aims. They are moderates, just as the majority of Scots are.

    As you will note from the CRE study I posted, the Scots are known for not being racist, but rather are very welcoming. Scots don't force others to adopt their culture with tests of their 'Scottishness', making them swear allegiance to the haggis (Queen for the UK) etc, and by not doing this, immigrants don't feel alienated and end up adopting a lot of Scots culture naturally. We don't have segregation up here; there are no concentrated 'ethnic minority' areas of significance. I work with people from over 10 different countries cultures, from the middle east to the far east; this is what they tell me too. They are welcome to put on a kilt, but we don't force them to; we just ask they respect the different cultures of all that live here.

    Immigration is something that must be managed by any country (we're not complete leftie dreamers), but up here we believe that where there are skills gaps, we should welcome immigration to fill these, no matter where people come from.

    Suggesting somehow that Scots will start ganging up on these people following independence is completely speculative with no basis in fact, and well, really a tad insulting, for which there is no need. Let's keep this based on the facts in hand.:good:

    EDIT as for the economy, there is no data which suggest smaller countries mean weaker economies. In fact, the trend for western democracies is the opposite; smaller countries on balance tend to have higher GDP per capita than larger ones. I've posted this before, but here again.. As I said, I'll put some more details together on this in due course.

    post-9421-0-63059100-1311845462_thumb.pn

    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

    Also, with respect to voting trends north and south of the border, while maps show it well, you can see it in vote share % too.

    Since the 1960's, as the conservatives became more conservative (Thatcher etc) and Labour have moved away from the left, the Scots have retained a left-right balance by increasingly voting for the Liberals, the greens and the SNP; all of which are centre-left in the main. Of course the Lib Dems direction is questionable since the last election, hence the sudden dumping of them by Scots in favour of the SNP.

    You can see England has not gone this way, with centre-left liberal voting stagnating and the Tory/Blue Lab vote holding steady.

    Interestingly, Scots Liberal voters are not adverse to independence (they are happy to vote SNP and the Scot Lib Dem party have mumbled about the referendum being ok in the past). If we assume that SNP voters and other liberals in Scotland are likely to vote YES, then this graph might suggest YES will get a majority.

    post-9421-0-47531100-1311846200_thumb.pn

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    Posted
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing fog, frost, snow, sunshine.
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl

    Don't know what to say to be honest, other than I wholly understand why many Scots want full independence...I just fear it will fail as I don't see how a smaller economy, which prides itself on being a big state provider (healthcare, education and so on) will be able to do it.

    'Re the ethnic cleansing bit, that's poppycock in my view, something which 13 years of Labour has lead you to believe. Sometimes, segregation, for sake of civilian independence or otherwise, is not always bad. Interestingly enough, if SNP did prevail and win Scottish independence, I wonder how all embracing and all loving Scotland will be when they are solely responsible for their borders. Remember, whatever the SNP win for Scotland, they're winning for other Europeans also. If Scotland's economy and way of the life did improve, so will the number of people moving in to capitalise...nothing will dilute Scottish culture and way of life more, which I do wonder how Scotland will cope with.

    I said the Highland Clearances were arguably ethnic clensing, maybe you misunderstood me? That of course has nothing to do with the independence question, it's simply historical context for the Highland / Lowland divide.

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

    Surely more to the point where can you get a decent kilt made these days?

    LOL. All welcome to don one.

    A worthy investment; rather costly as they are largely handmade, but well worth it. Very refeshing if it's windy and handy for answering the call of nature. Also works better than lynx with respect to the ladies...:good:

    Mine is 20+ years old. Given to me by my father when it became too small for him (not through shrinkage mind). I had to make it smaller to fit me at first. As the years have passed, I've had to adjust it back. Posted Imagehttp://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    EDIT: you are more than welcome to adjust to suit your own traditional dress if you like:

    Posted Image

    http://news.bbc.co.u...000/9480517.stm

    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

    Being Scots/Irish is after all quite a popular pursuit....

    Colorado:

    http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5P1M5qwBwo

    http://www.scotfest.com/Scottish_Festival/Home.html

    Edited by scottish skier
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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

    I think you are misunderstanding the SNP / liberalism / civic nationalism. The SNP are centre-left, they are not rabid socialists. They are already working to try and reduce public sector spending, albeit doing so in a way which minimises the impact on people, e.g. by voluntary redundancies and cost savings through better management.

    They believe in business, in a strong private sector, but at the same time understand how Scots wish public services which form the basis of civilised society (health, education) etc are not subject to private sector short-term profit aims. They are moderates, just as the majority of Scots are.

    As you will note from the CRE study I posted, the Scots are known for not being racist, but rather are very welcoming. Scots don't force others to adopt their culture with tests of their 'Scottishness', making them swear allegiance to the haggis (Queen for the UK) etc, and by not doing this, immigrants don't feel alienated and end up adopting a lot of Scots culture naturally. We don't have segregation up here; there are no concentrated 'ethnic minority' areas of significance. I work with people from over 10 different countries cultures, from the middle east to the far east; this is what they tell me too. They are welcome to put on a kilt, but we don't force them to; we just ask they respect the different cultures of all that live here.

    Immigration is something that must be managed by any country (we're not complete leftie dreamers), but up here we believe that where there are skills gaps, we should welcome immigration to fill these, no matter where people come from.

    Suggesting somehow that Scots will start ganging up on these people following independence is completely speculative with no basis in fact, and well, really a tad insulting, for which there is no need. Let's keep this based on the facts in hand.:good:

    EDIT as for the economy, there is no data which suggest smaller countries mean weaker economies. In fact, the trend for western democracies is the opposite; smaller countries on balance tend to have higher GDP per capita than larger ones. I've posted this before, but here again.. As I said, I'll put some more details together on this in due course.

    This post is not meant to be in any way inflammatory, however I believe your post to be verging on narrow minded, borderline ignorant and naive.

    The English are not known for being racist or otherwise either - in fact, globally the UK as a whole, including England, are known to be one of the most welcoming, tolerant nations on the planet, hence why so many immigrants want to come settle here as they hope to be accepted and embraced into the community, in addition to finding work. This has been largely a success.

    That is not to say there is not an increasing swell of resentment, racism and xenophobia, as has been seen all across Northern and Western Europe in particular, including the highly regarded Scandinavia. Irrespective of the terror caused by one nutter in Norway last week, Sweden also has seen a significant swelling of far right borderline neo-nazi groups over the past several years...one would always have held such countries in high regard for their warm, welcoming and tolerant stances....you'd be naive to think that such resentful and destructive movements don't exist and that everyone upholds the glowing reputation they have.

    Based on conversations I've had with Scots, articles I've read and interviews I've seen, the resentment doesn't lie with immigrants, it lies with Margaret Thatcher and successive Westminster governments who have not acted in the best interest of the Scottish people and shut down many of the key trades. Those in Scotland who are unemployed and have suffered as a result look to Westminster with a steely gaze. However, and as my post refers, when it is no longer Westminster's responsibility to provide employment and eventually the SNP (or whoever) starts to create the hotly anticipated jobs, when immigrants undercut local labour or come in more highly skilled, resentment WILL start to grow. Scotland is not exempt from this by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, I do not believe either that Scotland stands out over England and Wales for being 'known' for it's all embracing tolerance either. Scots are a fine people and indeed very tolerant and welcoming, but on no higher plane than the English I'm afraid.

    "We don't have segregation up here" - this seems to imply that England does, which is absolute nonsense. If international communities feel comfortable settling in similar areas and by default, clusters of certain foreign culture begins to emerge, then it's hardly surprising. To think that doesn't happen in Scotland, and/or wont occur in Scotland, is again rather narrow minded in my view.

    As I say this post is not intended in any way to be inflammatory or a whipping against the Scots...however, your posts SS IMO are starting to read slightly on the side of hopeful borderline fanciful rather than factual or logical.

    I wish Scotland all the best with its pursuit for independence (even though I personally don't want it to happen) and hope that should it come off, it works for you. I just think that the SNP are painting a bright, colourful picture without fully appreciating the negatives which could (will) emerge.

    Edited by Harry
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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    I said the Highland Clearances were arguably ethnic cleansing, maybe you misunderstood me? That of course has nothing to do with the independence question, it's simply historical context for the Highland / Lowland divide.

    I believe that that is exactly what they were, Rab; and I think that exactly the same thing was done here, but in the guise of land closure or whatever it was called. The ends were the same, however: thousands of peasants shipped off to the colonies and used as slave labour. At the same time, the rich stayed put, fenced-off all the land, built themselves silly castles and lived off the preceeds - and got even richer. Was the Irish Potato famine not augmented by the hoarding/profiteering behaviour of the English wealthy?

    I don't believe that the real problems have anything to do with whether one happens to be Scottish or English, that's just an accident of birth; but, rather, of whether-or-not the aristocracy/establishment considers you a waste of space? And that distinction is, IMO, what distinguishes Scottish from English politics, even now??

    Down here, politicians and other dilettantes are content with shuffling hospital waiting-lists around as though they are playing cards...

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

    Harry, at no point have I said the English are racist. I used conclusions from the CRE report to merely show that Scotland was generally a very a tolerant and inclusive country, which relates to why the SNP, a civic nationalist party, are able gather support from all ethnicities/walks of life. This was in response to suggestions from some that they are somehow racist, which implies half of Scots voters are too.

    I agree I was not clear on (largely auto) ‘segregation’; what I meant is that up here we don’t really have any ethnic dominated areas of significance. This is very likely attributable to a notably lower immigrant population, but the fact that these people are distributed within the community, rather than concentrated in specific areas, makes for much more comfortable integration as there is no ‘divide’ (e.g. walking from one ethnic dominated area into another) as such. It seems a similar situation exists in Wales. As Scots feel Scots first, so immigrants to Scotland start feeling that way as it is the feeling of the community in which they live.

    ‘Hopeful, borderline fanciful…’

    I believe I balance real facts with links to supporting information well while at the same time having a little fun. People are voting SNP for their positive vision, rather than negative outlook. Yes, Scotland, the RUK, the world.. face many challenges, but there is nothing wrong with being hopeful for the future.

    One thing, do you not notice that the Scots posters on here seem rather supportive of each other, i.e. they share a common hope/dream? Likewise, it seems most of those from south of the border do not take offence at this (one assumes there are at least 10 from south of the border for every Scot on this forum), with those who seem to dislike the concept of Scots wishing to govern themselves being in a minority. In fact, I get the impression that some wish to join up!

    People are sick of negative politics, both in Scotland and in the RUK. The Scots feel the SNP are doing a good job of changing the face of politics up here for the better, and will keep voting for them if they succeed in this pursuit. To suggest that Scots are somehow lost in some Alex Salmond induced fantasy is really rather silly; they are a canny lot and know fine well when they’re being led up the garden path. This is exactly why as Westminster tries to scare them over independence, it only causes a rise in support for it.

    Bridges to cross there will be, but we will cross these when we come to them. In the end, the potential that all Scots, for the first time in over 1100 years, will be able to influence the future governance of their country, is something quite historic and can only be good. :good:

    EDIT. With regards to attempts to force people to become ‘British’ through tests etc. I raised this because my French wife was looking into dual nationality and discovered it a rather long-winded process with various tests to pass with regard to suitability. To both her and I, this seems utterly ridiculous. She’s French; she already has all the same values so why should she need to adopt them? As for swearing loyalty to a wealthy old lady; I told her she could just lose the ‘the’ in translation and she’d be swearing loyalty to Freddie Mercury et al. Makes about the same sense.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

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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

    Harry, at no point have I said the English are racist. I used conclusions from the CRE report to merely show that Scotland was generally a very a tolerant and inclusive country, which relates to why the SNP, a civic nationalist party, are able gather support from all ethnicities/walks of life. This was in response to suggestions from some that they are somehow racist, which implies half of Scots voters are too.

    I agree I was not clear on (largely auto) ‘segregation’; what I meant is that up here we don’t really have any ethnic dominated areas of significance. This is very likely attributable to a notably lower immigrant population, but the fact that these people are distributed within the community, rather than concentrated in specific areas, makes for much more comfortable integration as there is no ‘divide’ (e.g. walking from one ethnic dominated area into another) as such. It seems a similar situation exists in Wales. As Scots feel Scots first, so immigrants to Scotland start feeling that way as it is the feeling of the community in which they live.

    ‘Hopeful, borderline fanciful…’

    I believe I balance real facts with links to supporting information well while at the same time having a little fun. People are voting SNP for their positive vision, rather than negative outlook. Yes, Scotland, the RUK, the world.. face many challenges, but there is nothing wrong with being hopeful for the future.

    One thing, do you not notice that the Scots posters on here seem rather supportive of each other, i.e. they share a common hope/dream? Likewise, it seems most of those from south of the border do not take offence at this (one assumes there are at least 10 from south of the border for every Scot on this forum), with those who seem to dislike the concept of Scots wishing to govern themselves being in a minority. In fact, I get the impression that some wish to join up!

    People are sick of negative politics, both in Scotland and in the RUK. The Scots feel the SNP are doing a good job of changing the face of politics up here for the better, and will keep voting for them if they succeed in this pursuit. To suggest that Scots are somehow lost in some Alex Salmond induced fantasy is really rather silly; they are a canny lot and know fine well when they’re being led up the garden path. This is exactly why as Westminster tries to scare them over independence, it only causes a rise in support for it.

    Bridges to cross there will be, but we will cross these when we come to them. In the end, the potential that all Scots, for the first time in over 1100 years, will be able to influence the future governance of their country, is something quite historic and can only be good. :good:

    EDIT. With regards to attempts to force people to become ‘British’ through tests etc. I raised this because my French wife was looking into dual nationality and discovered it a rather long-winded process with various tests to pass with regard to suitability. To both her and I, this seems utterly ridiculous. She’s French; she already has all the same values so why should she need to adopt them? As for swearing loyalty to a wealthy old lady; I told her she could just lose the ‘the’ in translation and she’d be swearing loyalty to Freddie Mercury et al. Makes about the same sense.http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    Re the citizenship test, it's barking mad! I entirely agree! I couldn't answer some of the questions on there and I'm as British as British can be (Scottish and English Grandfathers, Irish and Welsh Nan's)! I agree with an English language test of some description (i.e to test to see if there is sufficient basics in which to be able to find work) but the whole 'cultural' element is nonsensical and perverse!

    I think it's great that Scotland has views of a positive future, socially, economically, politically and so on. If the SNP turn it round, trust me I'll be looking for a similar system also and asking for Salmond to set up an ENP franchise! Again, my biggest hang up with the SNP is that I've heard too many promises and very little about how it will be achieved. While not being Scottish, I do have a keen interest and held Salmond in very high esteem until recently - his appearance on Question Time for me showed him to be a bit of Blair - pleasant charming, confident and clever man, says all the right things, knows his people very well, yet when questionned on how it will be achieved fed either standard party lines lacking any remote substance, or dodged the questions (which made me think "ahh, another Blair")

    I'm sick to death of our politics though I have to say - Labour are a pathetic lot talking nonsense day on day, having absolutely NO sense of responsibility which has very much filtered its way into society! The Tories, of which I am one, are beginning to irritate me with their failure to think things through properly as well as their slowness on the uptake (i.e the hacking scandal, appointing Coulson and getting into bed with the Murdochs). The Tories have had virtually carte blanche to reform things for the better but its being shrouded with rash decisions not being properly thought through - education is perhaps one of the things I'm most passionate about, and the English Baccalaureate is the best thing Gove has come up with so far (laughable!). The Greens bore me to tears with their inability to be at least expert in the one important thing they stand for - the planet. The Lib Dems are a fractured lot with little gusto and self belief. UKIP are a frightful lot whose only aim in life is to sever us from the EU. BNP are a right wing nutter brigade. Independent party are, well, almost non existent really.

    As I say, if the SNP pull it off, make no mistake I'll applaud...but again, negativity prevailing I'm afraid!

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

    As I say, if the SNP pull it off, make no mistake I'll applaud...but again, negativity prevailing I'm afraid!

    Come on mate, cheer up, it's not that bad http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    Aye - the feelings you have for the mainstream parties are shared by many up here. I have not always seen eye to eye with AS, but then he is not the SNP, just a decent leader for them. As I've said before, my belief in Scots ruling themselves does not come from SNP arguments, it comes from my own research into the topic and knowledge of important industries in Scotland. The SNP are offering me what I think is right and I think they're doing a decent job, so I vote for them. If Scotland does become fully self-governing, I can then use my vote for another party if I wish (the SNP will become the Scottish Social Democrats or the like one assumes).

    And yes, I think a change/modernisation of Westminster politics is sorely needed too. A move to a PR system would be a start, bringing the UK into line with most European democracies, while at the same time forcing more moderate consensus politics. I hope that progress can be made in these areas and the old game of Tory-Labour tennis can come to an end.

    Cheers, SS

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

    Anyway, back to ongoing issues...

    Little if anything from the Labour BBC Scotland recently with respect to Scottish politics.

    This popped up yesterday:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...otland-14324780

    Scottish Borders Council's executive pay criticised

    Senior executives at a Scots council have received pay rises at the same time as hundreds of lower ranking staff accepted a wage freeze, it has emerged.

    I find it strange that they don't mention the politics of the Council; a Tory-Lib Dem coalition.

    http://en.wikipedia....orders#Politics

    Likely be all change next year anyway...

    http://en.wikipedia....elections,_2012

    EDIT: SNP have been making decent efforts to clean up councils with respect to excess payments to councillors etc:

    http://www.localnews...onage-payments/

    End to Councillor's Patronage Payments

    "Payments made to Glasgow City Councillors appointed to ‘Arms Length’ companies set up by the Council are to stop.

    Glasgow City Council paid out nearly £250,000 a year to councillors to sit on the board of the Council owned companies called ALEOs But legislation put before the Scottish Parliament by Finance Secretary, John Swinney, will stop the practice.

    SNP Councillors had previously tried to stop the practice but where voted down by Labour and Lib Dem Councillors. Labour has a vast majority in Glasgow City Council."

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

    . While not being Scottish, I do have a keen interest and held Salmond in very high esteem until recently - his appearance on Question Time for me showed him to be a bit of Blair

    He has more brains than David Cameron and many of the MPs in Westminster.

    How to make friends with and influence a people...

    The SNP, who have only 6 MPs in Westminster, still represent the government of Scotland and thus the Scots people. Yet, it's always fun to gang up on/pick on the minority. Ok, Westminster debate allows a bit of ribbing of a party/MP, but not surely not the insulting of an entire people, which Dave C does without even thinking about it. He is supposed to want to keep the Union. Sorry, as I know you support them, but the man is a fool. I still like him though; he's the best advert for independence there is, after Maggie T.:good:

    In the second video (posted a link before, but still relevant), it is the Tories in shadow cabinet that start the murmurs. The welsh (plaid) get 'Timothy Dalton'. Mature huh?

    http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRklzcMQ4tw http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h7B3gAxgZU

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

    LOL. All welcome to don one.

    A worthy investment; rather costly as they are largely handmade, but well worth it. Very refeshing if it's windy and handy for answering the call of nature. Also works better than lynx with respect to the ladies...:good:

    Mine is 20+ years old. Given to me by my father when it became too small for him (not through shrinkage mind). I had to make it smaller to fit me at first. As the years have passed, I've had to adjust it back. Posted Imagehttp://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    EDIT: you are more than welcome to adjust to suit your own traditional dress if you like:

    Posted Image

    http://news.bbc.co.u...000/9480517.stm

    I could see that top half catching on for traditional Scots garb with a kilt below. It is a very lovely set-up I think :)

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

    I believe that that is exactly what they were, Rab; and I think that exactly the same thing was done here, but in the guise of land closure or whatever it was called. The ends were the same, however: thousands of peasants shipped off to the colonies and used as slave labour. At the same time, the rich stayed put, fenced-off all the land, built themselves silly castles and lived off the preceeds - and got even richer. Was the Irish Potato famine not augmented by the hoarding/profiteering behaviour of the English wealthy?

    I don't believe that the real problems have anything to do with whether one happens to be Scottish or English, that's just an accident of birth; but, rather, of whether-or-not the aristocracy/establishment considers you a waste of space? And that distinction is, IMO, what distinguishes Scottish from English politics, even now??

    Down here, politicians and other dilettantes are content with shuffling hospital waiting-lists around as though they are playing cards...

    You must know better than anyone the differences/similarities between the 'English' and the 'Scottish' since you have actually lived in both countries. I myself am a direct half cast with an English mother and Scottish father. Further family analysis would suggest a lot of Scottish even on the English side but then a vast amount of Irish (some Northern and mostly southern). I'm told there is some French thrown in at some point too.

    Nationality is a funny beast, I see myself as Scottish through and through but I'm only Scottish by birth and by belief. I want a fair society, I don't want the London held ideals of world domination....but that's nowt to do with being anti-English. I'm anti-London, pure and simple.

    Most of the English feel the same, at least north of Oxford....

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  • Location: Barnehurst, near Bexleyheath, Kent
  • Location: Barnehurst, near Bexleyheath, Kent

    I'm anti-London, pure and simple.

    Most of the English feel the same, at least north of Oxford....

    Anti-London because that just so happens to be where the Houses of Parliament are?
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  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

    Anti-London because that just so happens to be where the Houses of Parliament are?

    It certainly has an influence SR. Although you forget that my proper Government sits in Edinburgh, not in London.

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

    Anti-London because that just so happens to be where the Houses of Parliament are?

    We Scots often use the word 'London' (rule) in reference to westminster governance of course. London as a capital city of a neighbouring country is fun to visit, just as is Paris, Berlin etc.

    EDIT.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...t-fife-14344093

    Zara Phillips wedding: Royals to gather in Edinburgh

    ...As Scotland's first royal wedding in almost 20 years it is set to draw crowds of well-wishers...

    I've not had anyone mention this to me, so this seems rather hopeful. Union Jack bunting wasn't really flying off the shelves up here for Willie and Kate. Given that it's on the royal mile, should be noticed by some tourists though.

    All the best to them on their big day and for the future anyway. Hope they enjoy Edinburgh.

    EDIT2. Nice weather for the 'crowd'; I count about ~8 watching in this pic, most of which seem to be from canada, England etc.

    Posted Image

    Jeez -looks packed. Not a free spot in sight:

    Sorry, couldn't resist, but the BBC are really trying their best to interest Scots in it but in reality their is none up here http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...otland-14352711

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