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View Full Version : The Scotch Land Independence Vote.


Skyquake87
2014-09-09, 04:06 AM
Note: This is spun out of the Grumpy Old Men thread in toys, as a result there's a couple of mentions of Transformers in the first few posts.

Here's an entirely accurate representation of the Scottish to get people in the mood for the debate-- dalek.

gxjqMZd-BVE


Ha! Sure! Actually, I was up in Scotlandcestershire just yesterday, in the fine city of Glasgow (love all the murals!) - thought I'd best go before I need a passport to get in...!

Skyquake87
2014-09-09, 10:08 PM
The worst of it was how the independence campaign has been seized on by capitalist scum-f**ks to churn out all kinds of horrible SCOTLAND IZ MEGA tie-in compilation CDs, Thistle mascots and all manner of other terrible crap.

I'm honestly not sure what I make of independence. I think Scotland may struggle to go it alone (its already reliant on England to shore up its electric and gas ... which we er, import 'cos we can't get it together to generate our own). There's no guarantee the Scots'll be any better off and I'm deeply suspicious of Salmond's motives given his dealings with the Chinese and Rupert Murdoch (of all people). Its all moot anyway, as the whole debate has been derailed by bickering over whether Scotland can continue to use sterling (my understanding is they'd have to adopt the Euro due to EU stuffs, although Luxembourg has some curious get-out the Scots may be able to invoke - perhaps by becoming a massive tax haven like them. And London).

I think Salmond is just jealous he hasn't got a statue like Donald Dewar!

I did see a lot of Police Boxes (TARDISes!!!!) which was pretty cool. Including a red one. Ooh.

numbat
2014-09-10, 12:48 PM
I'm voting Yes next week.

Scotland actually subsidises England. Although we do get more spending per head than elsewhere in the UK (except Northern Ireland), we still give more to Westminster in taxes and revenues than we get back.

As to energy, Scotland generates a surplus of electricity and shores up England's deficit. The UK Government white paper on energy says they will not import electricity from an independent Scotland, but will import from other countries. That's comical as the National Grid already connects us, and there are no connections to other countries. It's even more comical as the only connection in development is spearheaded by Scottish Government and would connect Scotland to Europe. So, just spiteful nonsense from UK Government there...

Scotland votes significantly differently than the rest of the UK, and rarely influences the composition of the UK Government (only 4 out of 18 times since WWII). We're frequently governed by governments we do not elect, because we are a minority vote in the UK. If we were independent we would have the government we choose 100% of the time.

Westminster can strip Scotland's devolved powers without even consulting with Scottish Government, let alone the Scottish electorate. And they have done so before. In fact, in December they stripped Scotland of its devolved renewables powers (a decision by the unelected House of Lords no less!). Since then they have stripped us of our devolved powers over fracking (so licensing decisions and revenues go direct to Westminster). If they are willing to do this in the leadup to a referendum, I don't see why they wouldn't do it any time.

Also, meaningful UK environmental legislation is all built on EU Directives. Yet England is moving towards leaving the EU, and at the same time stripping environmental 'red tape' (and have spent over 10 years in court with the EU over not enforcing environmental legislation). Scotland wants to be part of the EU, but I'm confident we would have strong environmental legislation regardless as we have demonstrated we value our environment as an economic asset and important part of our national identity.

There are lots of other reasons I'm voting Yes, and there are perfectly valid reasons to vote No.

However, I doubt this is the right place to discuss them. If you're interested in more PM me or look me up on Facebook (Chris Cathrine)!

:)

PS - This is nothing about being anti-English. Most of my family, including my dad, are English. English people living in Scotland, as well as Germans, Japanese etc would also be part of building this new independent nation if we vote Yes.

Skyquake87
2014-09-10, 01:24 PM
What you've highlighted there is exactly what isn't being widely discussed in the media. It is very much a Scottish question for the Scottish people - you know your country better than I - it looks Scotland may get what it wants anyway with the noises Cameron has been making this week.

I'll be interested to see how it goes anyway.

As for Britain's EU Membership...well that's a whole other can of worms. Our innate hostility to Johnny Foreigner and a lack of understanding about EU regulations and the generally poor way the UK enacts them hasn't given us the best impression of the European Union. Not of course helped by the massive economic collapse which has made a mess of the Euro.

In other more related news, I was in Tescoland and was marvelling at the Dinobots. As that is all they had. The same three figures in every size and scale you could possibly want.

And absolutely s*d all interest in them. Meanwhile, silver chested Optimus and Grimlock 2 pack has clearly been scalped as that seems to be the only set anyone is interested in. Being the proud owner of a FoC Grimlock already, your 30 seems to gets you two mediocre toys for the price. If one breaks the cost between the two figures - one Voyager and one Deluxe, it doesn't quite hit the value for money mark costing roughly the same as the individual figures, saving about 3.00 if bought separately. Woo.

Denyer
2014-09-10, 05:54 PM
I'm broadly in favour of Star Trek style world government, but Federation politicians don't seem to be ninety percent plus corrupt bastards. Personally consider myself British > European > mongrel, given that the land's been invaded so much. "English" as an identity has become synonymous with racist scum and "Scottish", "Irish" and "Welsh" aren't doing much better.

On a semi-tangent, Nazi Prime (black repaint of TW Orion) arrived recently. He's got the hand articulation for it and everything.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-10, 08:15 PM
What I really think is unfair is how the Scottish have sneaked this vote upon our politicians with just a few days to go rather than, say, giving at least a year's notice. It means the No campaign are having to scurry around at the last second and make up their promises on the hoof rather than the no doubt serious and considered thought that would have been given if there had been proper time to prepare for such a major vote.

Personally I'd say the Union is better off together (and think Salmond is pulling an awful lot of bullshit out of his ass, nicely showing that politicians are all the same regardless of which side of the border they're on, things like his promises on how the currency will work out are dependant on what remains of the UK just cheerfully going along with whatever he wants), but in a world where there's the very real possibility of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister one day, it's hard to argue that running for the hills isn't the best idea.

It's mildly shocking it's only just occurred to people this might create problems for the election next year.

Warcry
2014-09-10, 08:23 PM
Although it's fascinating to see a country other than Canada have to deal with a secessionist movement for once*, it's really not TF-related. Would you guys mind making a topic in GD if you're going to continue to discuss it?

*I'm curious whether most of the English actually want Scotland to stay, or if there's a big chunk saying "get going already, we never liked you anyway!", like much of English Canada says to Quebec whenever they threaten to leave...

inflatable dalek
2014-09-10, 08:36 PM
Of course, the main argument is over who gets lumbered with keeping Canada as a pet.


Will move posts into a new thread when I return from work.

Denyer
2014-09-10, 08:58 PM
Suggest copying rather than moving.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-11, 07:13 AM
As only two of the relevant posts actually mentioned the original topic (well, beyond being grumpy) I thought moving would be more straightforward.

I have however sensitively edited what is now the first post and come up with an entirely non-racist thread title.

In terms of how the English feel... well, at least where I am, there's a degree of sympathy with wanting to get the hell away from London but equally I live in a part of the country the government genuinely has never even given the slightest **** about (the first election I could vote in the Labour MP had basically fallen on his sword by pushing through a hospital closure nobody wanted knowing it would lose him his seat, but which was made up for by the promise of a nice cushy job at central office afterwards. He cheerfully came to my sixth form ostensibly to cultivate new voters but actually wound up saying everyone who lived in my town was an idiot with the full glee of a man who doesn't give a toss what happens) so hearing Scots go on about how hard done by they are is more than a bit grating.

Sure, there are poor unregarded parts of Scotland the same as there are everywhere in the country, but hearing people from Glasgow acting as if they're living in a third world country under evil English oppression just makes most of the people I talk too around here want them **** off, and **** off completely (no shared currency, proper borders, no sharing of EU membership and so on and so on).

I think we'd let them have the new royal baby though so as to start their own monarchy. Or just make Susan Boyle Queen of Scots, with her Brian May standing on his head muff as the new Stone of Scone.

It's actually staggering how much of a shambles the organisation of the whole thing has been with no one in power seeming to take it seriously until this week, if there is a Yes vote I don't think either side are actually in any sort of state to handle the changeover.

Even more worryingly, if there is a No vote I don't think either side are actually in any sort of state to handle things staying the same.

@Numbat: As you're keen on being in the EU (as am I), what's the most recent on whether Scotland would actually be allowed to be a member if independent? IIRC there was some confusion over Salmond basically saying they would carry on as part of it automatically even though that's against standard EU practice (where if part of a country gains independence they have to reapply, and in the case of Scotland that would also raise the Euro issue in a currency situation no one seems to have still made their mind up about).

I was mildly surprised to see on the news this morning that, alongside Lloyds, the Royal Bank of Scotland have said they'll move their head offices to London if there's a yes vote. Can the actual Scottish bank actually do that?

Skyquake87
2014-09-11, 07:55 AM
*I'm curious whether most of the English actually want Scotland to stay, or if there's a big chunk saying "get going already, we never liked you anyway!", like much of English Canada says to Quebec whenever they threaten to leave...

I would like Scotland to stay, personally. The campaign for/against has - as dalek says been something of a shambles and there do not seem to be any concrete plans being bandied about to allow a properly informed decision. Its just become a jingoistic debate with neither side convincing on any front.

Devolved powers to the Welsh, Scottish and Irish seems to have - in the main - worked ok. Certainly in areas such as the NHS (er, ok, the Welsh NHS is a huge mess in much the same way as the NHS in England is) and education. Scotland has actually managed to avoid some of the privatisation problems that have crippled the likes of England's health and railway system (oddly, Alastair Darling was keen when Transport Minister to avoid the franchising messes that have plagued England's railway network). There seems enough freedom for these governments to adapt the laws and policies put forward to their own countries. As Numbat says, the English government can revoke certain things where it is said to be in the interests of the Union to do so (and to create equality, one would hope - he says with his rose-tinted glasses), but that seems a fair and sensible thing to do. So long as its done properly. Devolution also offers support if things go a bit pair shaped (again, Wales and their problems with the NHS).

I would also like the UK to retain its EU membership and I wish we'd just jump right in and be properly involved instead of doing as we do at the moment - shouting from the sidelines whilst being utterly ignored. Our attitude of playing up our membership when it suits us and moaning when it doesn't is of no use to anyone and only serves to encourage anti-EU wonks like UKIP.


I also loved The Family Ness (Maddocks animation studios also did Jimbo And The Jetset and Penny Crayon)

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-09-11, 03:16 PM
When the United Kingdom was originally formed wasn't most of the Scots against it because of all the bad blood between them and England at the time (IIRC being told that UK was formed in the 18 or 19th century again this was a long time ago so maybe I'm off on my history) because the rich landowners and/or nobles were the ones that really wanted it so they could get more money and power.

Is that true or just BS?

Warcry
2014-09-11, 03:50 PM
I find the role of the EU in British politics fascinating, I can't lie. Everyone who lives outside of London seems to agree that the government can't be bothered to do anything about their problems, to the point where a large chunk of your country stands a very good chance of walking away in a week's time. And yet a lot of you are keen to cede more power to an even more distant government with even more varied and impossible-to-please constituents in Brussels. To an outsider, it seems quite contradictory. Wouldn't devolving more power to local governments be a better idea than giving it to a pan-national federation?

Of course, the main argument is over who gets lumbered with keeping Canada as a pet.
We outnumber the Scots six to one, so I'm pretty sure it'd be the other way around...

In terms of how the English feel... well, at least where I am, there's a degree of sympathy with wanting to get the hell away from London but equally I live in a part of the country the government genuinely has never even given the slightest **** about (the first election I could vote in the Labour MP had basically fallen on his sword by pushing through a hospital closure nobody wanted knowing it would lose him his seat, but which was made up for by the promise of a nice cushy job at central office afterwards. He cheerfully came to my sixth form ostensibly to cultivate new voters but actually wound up saying everyone who lived in my town was an idiot with the full glee of a man who doesn't give a toss what happens) so hearing Scots go on about how hard done by they are is more than a bit grating.

Sure, there are poor unregarded parts of Scotland the same as there are everywhere in the country, but hearing people from Glasgow acting as if they're living in a third world country under evil English oppression just makes most of the people I talk too around here want them **** off, and **** off completely (no shared currency, proper borders, no sharing of EU membership and so on and so on).
That sounds very familiar. In the 1990s, both of our major political parties basically told the rest of the country to go screw themselves and paid all their attention to Ontario (where the biggest chunk of votes are) and Quebec. Quebec paid them back by holding a referendum on separation, with politicians screaming about how the rest of Canada oppresses them by existing and at the same quietly assuring voters not to worry because they'd be able to keep using our dollar and benefiting from our social safety net. Meanwhile the federal government and the rest of the country were telling them "nope, if you're out you're out!"

There was very little sympathy for Quebec in the west, north or east of the country, since the people there had been screwed over by successive governments for the better part of a century. Generally because those same governments devoted a disproportionate amount of time to placating Quebec.

In the end, the separatists lost the vote by less than 1% and the rest of the country has had to watch our tax dollars spent to bribe Quebeckers into hating us less for the last two decades.

I would like Scotland to stay, personally. The campaign for/against has - as dalek says been something of a shambles and there do not seem to be any concrete plans being bandied about to allow a properly informed decision. Its just become a jingoistic debate with neither side convincing on any front.
Also very familiar! Have the separatists played the "our unique culture is being trampled on by the rest of the country!" card yet? And then utterly, completely failed to explain how being a sovereign country would change that in a world where global media penetration is at an all-time high? And has London countered with empty platitudes about how the rest of the country "loves" Scotland?

I have no opinion either way on whether independence would be a good idea, but the language of "national unity" debates seems to be the same no matter where you go.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-11, 04:56 PM
I find the role of the EU in British politics fascinating, I can't lie. Everyone who lives outside of London seems to agree that the government can't be bothered to do anything about their problems, to the point where a large chunk of your country stands a very good chance of walking away in a week's time. And yet a lot of you are keen to cede more power to an even more distant government with even more varied and impossible-to-please constituents in Brussels. To an outsider, it seems quite contradictory. Wouldn't devolving more power to local governments be a better idea than giving it to a pan-national federation?

Personally, I don't by any means think the EU is perfect (though I think the way to change it is to weigh in there and take an active part in it rather than holding it at arms length like a rotten fish as is basically government policy) I also think that the British as a whole really need to wake up to the fact we're not one of the main world powers anymore and haven't been for a long time. Most of our foreign policy is based on the assumption that what we think matters and that's pretty much had disastrous results over the last decade.

It amazes me that Tony Blair is now comfortably the most hated Prime Minister in living memory, you'll still find a depressingly large number of people who will defend Thatcher to the hilt but I can't recall the last time anyone had anything nicer to say about Blair than disgusted disappointment.

Well, apart from him winning GQ Humanitarian of the Year at exactly the same time as most of the regions he's spent the last few years trying to stop erupting into war erupted into war. Which is right up there with Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was a week into office (which in retrospect I would say is a mistake. Poor old Obama, he's wound up a mild sufferer of Blair syndrome- voted in on a massive wave of hope and winding up fairly ineffectual and a let down. His only advantage is he's only carried on nasty pointless wars rather than starting them illegally).

I think in terms of the UK's future on the world stage, working closely with Europe in unison is the only way forward. And with our experience with the Commonwealth we should be right at the front of making a loose alliance of like minded countries work together well rather than sulking at the back.

It's also worth noting that most of the anti-EU stuff in the British press has little to do with it's actual flaws and is mostly based in xenophobia and the general assumption the British are just better, and any story reported only has a 50/50 chance of actually being true (the famous one being that the EU are going to force us to have straight bananas).



That sounds very familiar. In the 1990s, both of our major political parties basically told the rest of the country to go screw themselves and paid all their attention to Ontario (where the biggest chunk of votes are) and Quebec. Quebec paid them back by holding a referendum on separation, with politicians screaming about how the rest of Canada oppresses them by existing and at the same quietly assuring voters not to worry because they'd be able to keep using our dollar and benefiting from our social safety net. Meanwhile the federal government and the rest of the country were telling them "nope, if you're out you're out!"

There also seems to be an increased sense of annoyance at only the Scots getting to have a say in such a big decision that affects the entire country. Though realistically, I can't see what could be done about that even if it were a legitimate complaint.

There was very little sympathy for Quebec in the west, north or east of the country, since the people there had been screwed over by successive governments for the better part of a century. Generally because those same governments devoted a disproportionate amount of time to placating Quebec.

In the end, the separatists lost the vote by less than 1% and the rest of the country has had to watch our tax dollars spent to bribe Quebeckers into hating us less for the last two decades.

I think, assuming a close No vote (and I think the No still stands the strongest chance as the British are depressingly conservative by nature and in the end don't really like change. We didn't rise up and overthrow the government after an entire generation got wiped out in World War I, we're unlikely to break up the union because Scotland is slightly hard done by in terms of money spent on it per head) that's exactly what will happen here. There's already been some very serious backtracking on what will happen if there is a no vote, suddenly the Scots are going to get all sorts of extra devolved powers that weren't on the table originally.

It really is being made up as it goes along.

Just for fun, I think we should let Scotland have the Falklands if they do split.

Skyquake87
2014-09-13, 09:13 PM
And Groundskeeper Willie has waded into the debate...and is talking more sense than anyone else. Except Numbat.

http://youtu.be/W6vDzf-wSbk

Knightdramon
2014-09-13, 11:53 PM
Living in the UK for a bit more than a year, I think short term it will create a big heap of problems. Long term I can't really say for sure.

Independence is one thing, but what will that make the new Scotland? EU? "Overseas"?

Now, I am only talking education here [the part I have very regular contact with], because I am really unfamiliar about the other things spoken about...but we're talking about a whole new slew of rules for UKVI immigration, massive re-arrangements in the education equivalences for at least the first years and so on.

And on a slightly different matter, UK ever moving out of the EU would be a massive headache both for lawfully abiding citizens ALL over the country, but also for a great deal of the UK economy structure itself.

Lots of people bash the Polish and the Romanians for "coming in and taking the jobs" [this possibly extends to other Europeans as well], but the vast majority of this immigrant crowd is actively giving in by working, whilst a good portion of "locals", at least around my area, thrive off benefits and heck,even build entire families based on them.

These are of course two very different discussions [Immigration and benefits], but it's something Scotland and Scottish people IN the UK will probably face due to the Independence, should it come to pass.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-14, 12:06 AM
And Groundskeeper Willie has waded into the debate...and is talking more sense than anyone else. Except Numbat.

http://youtu.be/W6vDzf-wSbk

I... can think of no rational defence against that.


@Knightdramon: Every question you poise is not only valid... but is something both sides should have agreed in long before this came to a vote. If I were Scotch, I'd have no idea who to vote for because the actually important decisions that need both English and Scottish to come to terms on, haven't been agreed on in advance.

Even though I'm generally pro-Scottish independence (in that I think we work better together but can't argue against anyone wanting to get away from Cameron), I think the English will need to be allowed to have a very big say in how future relations with an independent Scotland will work, even if that means more referendums (should we share a currency or not?), all the pro arguments are currently based on one half of the divorce just having to accept whatever the other says even on issues that affect both of them. And that... is again something that should have been agreed on beforehand.

Skyquake87
2014-09-14, 08:50 AM
I find the role of the EU in British politics fascinating, I can't lie. Everyone who lives outside of London seems to agree that the government can't be bothered to do anything about their problems, to the point where a large chunk of your country stands a very good chance of walking away in a week's time. And yet a lot of you are keen to cede more power to an even more distant government with even more varied and impossible-to-please constituents in Brussels. To an outsider, it seems quite contradictory. Wouldn't devolving more power to local governments be a better idea than giving it to a pan-national federation?

I forgot to pick up on this point! The problem with the current UK outlook is that from a governmental point of view, it has become extremely London- centric. The level of investment and improvement made in the capital has seen its economy grow much much faster than the rest of the UK, to the point where IIRC, London's economy accounts for something like a third of our overall economy. Largely this has been built on by City deregulation which is seeing what the governement cheerfully calls 'foreign investment' (whilst this is true to an extent, the amount of money laundering happening in our financial centres is worrying - HSBC was recently fined in the US for laundering Mexican drug cartel money to the tune of a few billion dollars through London through a web of funny shell companies. There's also the dubious use of LLPs to hide where funds are orginating - currently beloved of some of Russia's more interesting characters).

A recent example of the government bias towards London would again be in the railways - here the government is spending huge amounts in subsidies to upgrade the rail network around Euston and continues to pour good money after bad on the cross rail project and botched attempts at privatising the Underground.

To compensate for this, commuters in the rest of the country on local branch lines (the majority of which fall in my patch in Yorkshire which has lots of small towns and villages which rely on railway connections as privatised bus services are non-existent) are having their subsides cut or frozen which means commuters are looking at 50% increases on tickets.

There's been a growing division between the capital and everywhere else since the last Labour government, but its just getting silly now. The capital's housing costs are also becoming unsustainable for those key service workers (the police, nurses, firemen etc) whom actually have to live and work in the capital. If ever you wanted a sign of silly things are, a lot of Saudi oligarchs are buying up huge old statley piles in London and not living in them, letting them fester and decay. Recently, a bunch of them flooded the streets of London with high end sports cars (some of which aren't road legal over here).

Also: Boris Johnson - a cartoon character - is somehow Mayor and is going to stand as an MP at the next General Election

All this dubious financial activity is happening now - in era when the banks are supposedly being more tightly regulated. This is incredibly frustrating knowning that some of these banks have been bailed out by the tax payer (IMO, some of them should have been left to fail - HBOS in particular was a pretty lawless entity that only had itself to blame for the mess it was in). There seems to be less agreement in Europe that the banks are the be and end all and seem to be on a much tighter leash - and we could do with that over here.


The Chartist Movement of the C18th did fight for devloved government and was mad keen on a Northern Parliament, but this was the only one of their demands (along with things like votes for the working class) that never came to pass. So that kind of thinking is not a new thing. Then people were more inclinded to stand up and fight for their livelihoods and improving their lot in life. Of course, back then we had actual proper industries and were going through Industrialisation which was having a huge impact on people, so doing something about it was much more of a burning issue.

My own interest in seeing the UK as a whole as part of Europe (even having the Euro and all that) is simply because we are not self sufficient and cannot survive without them. We need them to ensure we have a future. We don't manufacutre on the scale we used to, with such things being cottage industries in the UK now, we can't produce the energy we need to survive as all our Nuclear Power stations are aged and being slowly decomissioned and no new ones built, all our mines are closed (the last functioning one in the North is likely to close as a rescue plan reliant on central government support has been rejected), we have no oil (as the Scots will tell you!) and seem to think Fracking will do us right (leaving aside the probable issues of contaminating the underground acquifers that the majority of our towns and cities rely on for drinking water and the geological ramifications) which is an incredibly finite source of energy (they reckon if fully mined, shale gas will last 60 years. Not long is it, really?).

Things like the working time directive have been positive (why in the UK we demand to work more than 48 hours a week and find Europe's meddling on this front is beyond me) and whilst not everythign has gone to plan - the application of Farming and animal welfare EU directives has been hamfistedly and poorly applied in the UK, I can see that they exist to support and regulate food production and protect farmers (and avoid, ooh I don't know, hilarious scenes of us burning all the cows in Britian if there's an outbreak of vCJD in cattle or organising a piss-poor Badger cull which is doing more to spread bovine TB than curtail it.) - the benefits of membership far outweigh the negative. As dalek says, the UK does have form on being part of a loose-knit group of countries and should be up there leading the charge, instead of cowering from nay-sayers for fear of a political backlash.

I just think if the government of our country is to seriously think we can do without the EU, then we need a massive program of serious investment in traditional industries and a radical rethink of where we are headed. At the moment, we are relying on Private Industries to run everything for us to the point where the government's ability to have any say in how things are run is diminished to the point you wonder why they exist.

These poor choices and a myopic view of the country are probably why some of the Scots want to leave, and I really can't blame them. By the same token, this is yet again something that has been poorly planned without any real thought as to how this is all going to work. You shouldn't be offering something and working the details out later - not on something with such far reaching ramifications - as best I can figure, the Yes campaign is built on maintaining the infrasturcture and instruments of being part of the UK whilst being their own country - and I am not sure that's viable, as many of the banks (funnily enough) have pointed out this week by saying they will move their HQs as independence would mean Scotland is its own country and their policies and procedures are defined by UK laws - not whatever Scotland will have (which isn't clear). I can see them re-establishing local HQs as other multinationals do, but I can see their argument - it would be like operating under Spanish banking regulations from an HQ in France.

Cliffjumper
2014-09-14, 01:05 PM
If I were Scotch

You'd be a drink. There's actually a higher percentage of alcohol in Scots, though.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-14, 05:54 PM
You'd be a drink. There's actually a higher percentage of alcohol in Scots, though.

Being a limey, you would say that.

numbat
2014-09-14, 06:35 PM
Groundskeeper Willie really says it best.

I'm actually trying to ignore much of the independence debate now. As some of you know, I have suffered insults an abuse from 'friends' because I am voting Yes (I know others have experienced the same as No voters too). Examples include:

- 'You're a fascist.'
- 'I'm embarrassed to share your surname.'
- 'What's the point of having a big brain if you don't bother to use it.'

Just a random selection there.

I'm also incredibly depressed by the incredible media bias (towards No), although I understand that this has turned a bit in the last few days. Makes a big difference, after all of two years...

'This is rumour control, here are the facts' or 'a few myths exploded':

- The banks will move their HQs to England
The banks have stated they will reincorporate their HQs in England. This is hardly surprising given many are effectively owned by the UK Government now, since the economic crash. However, contrary to many media headlines on national news (I even heard this nonsense repeated on BBC Radio 4 the other day), banks such as RBS have guaranteed there will be no job losses in Scotland. This is a technicality. Another myth about this is that Scotland will lose out on tax - the banks will need to have Scottish companies to trade under, and taxes will be paid based on the proportion of trade in the country. This is how multinational business works.

- BP and Shell will cease business in Scotland and move to England
Really? Companies which make their money on oil will mover operations from an oil-rich country to one with very little? Even though they are happy to trade in war-torn countries and those with massive terrorism issues, they wouldn't be happy doing business in a peaceful Western country? Hmmm... On the otherhand, Scotland is pro-renewables, and generally environmentally friendly, and wants to give more of the money from oil to its people, rather than big business. I wonder if maybe the UK, with its pro-big-business anti-oil policies is a better trading environment, especially given the number of oil company ex-board members that have cabinet positions? They'll obviously stay in the case of independence, because they want the oil and have billions of pounds of assets already in the North Sea. In the offchance they do choose to leave? Great business opportunity just opened up in Scotland guys!

- Supermarkets will raise prices in an independent Scotland
Actually, statements were initially that prices may diverge between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK due to different trading environments. Prices could go up or down in an independent Scotland, just as they could go up or down in the remainder of the UK. In fact, Tesco actually stated that the cost of fresh produce is likely to be less in an independent Scotland than in the remainder of the UK, as it comes from here (not so well covered in the media last I checked).

- There will be no currency union
This has been stated, but would be a very strange decision on the part of the UK, as it would severely damage their economy post-Scottish independence. (Then again, they've made lots of nonsensical decisions on economy, war, energy security, environment etc over the years, so maybe they will stick to this - but with such bad decisions making, it'd only reassure Scots that we made the right decision in an independent country!) To quote an impartial expert:

'For both countries abandoning a monetary union would introduce transaction costs, which for UK businesses might be around 500m-2.5bn.' - Professor Anton Muscatelli, University of Glasgow.

Although currency union is not a big deal to me, I know it is to others. Yet No campaigners claim the reduced fiscal powers would mean Scotland would not be truly independent. Well, we'd have power over everything else, which is something we don't have just now! And in the long run we'd likely set up our own currency anyway - this is a common route of newly independent countries. (Even Australia did it...)

- England subsidises Scotland
Not true. Actually, Scotland subsidises England. Scotland does have higher spending per person than anywhere else in the UK except Northern Ireland, but even taking this into account we pay more into the UK in taxes and revenues than we get back, even according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies report the media like to partially quote and misrepresent.

- The UK needs Scotland to keep the Tories out of UK Government
Also a myth. The Scottish vote is a minority in the UK context, and rarely influences the UK Government composition in any significant way. Since WWII, the Scottish vote has influenced only 4 out of 18 UK Governments, but this has never been turning a Conservative majority into a Labour majority (or vice versa).

On the otherhand, Scotland often is governed by UK Governments we do not choose. For instance right now, there is only one Conservative MP in Scotland. In fact, voting is really very different in Scotland, and this reflects significantly different views and priorities compared to elsewhere in the UK (although I accept the north of England may share much of these views - it's unfortunate they're on the other side of an arbitrary national border):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_2010#mediaviewer/File:2010UKElectionMap.svg

An independent Scotland would be governed by the government we choose 100% of the time.

- This is all anti-English
Also not true. The UK is a bit more than just England isn't it? Quite an offensive and arrogant suggestion if you ask me!

Most of my family are English (including my dad). Many of my friends are English. Most of my employees are English. I have no issues with England.

People of many national origins get to vote on Thursday. If we wake up to an independent Scotland, we'll be building this new country together - Scots, English, Japanese, German, whatever.

This is an opportunity to make a brand new, fairer, greener country. In fact, only one of my English staff is voting No (and he has perfectly valid reasons to do so). The rest are voting Yes. So this is not about England vs Scotland, although some people would like to paint it up this way.

- If Scotland votes No we'll get 'Devo-Max' (new devolved powers)
Who knows for sure? The Scottish Government asked for three options on the referendum ballot paper two years ago when this all started: Yes, Devo-Max, No effectively. Westminster refused this. Now this would make sense of the No campaign planned to offer 'No' as the Devo-Max option. But they didn't. While Scottish Government issued a huge doorstop of a White Paper on independence, setting out a vision for the future, no-such thing has come out of Westminster or the No Campaign detailing new devolved powers. It's just after the polls showed Yes and No were roughly equal did this all get brought up a week ago! They had two years, and they throw this in 10 days before the referendum? Poor planning guys... I would have been naturally in favour of Devo-Max even a year ago, but now it seems like an empty gesture made in panic. This is made even less certain by the fact that the new powers have not been specified nor guaranteed (they'd need voted through Westminster still as well). And even less certain by the fact the UK Government can strip Scotland of devolved powers at anytime without consultation. And they've done this before - last December they stripped Scotland of devolved renewable power (without consultation with Scottish Government let alone the electorate) and since then have also stripped devolved powers over fracking (note these are two areas Scottish Government and UK Government have strongly different views on). If UK Government are willing to strip devolved powers from Scotland in the lead up to a referendum, I really see no reason why they wouldn't do it any time they choose.

- There are no plans on either side if Scotland does become independent
Also not true. All civil service / government agencies in Scotland had to come up with detailed plans for the event of a Yes vote and did so 6 months to one year ago. Scottish Government planned ahead. On the otherhand the UK Government decided over a year ago that they would not make contingency plans because a Yes vote was impossible. Who would you rather have running your country?

- A Yes vote is for SNP and Alex Salmond
Not true - a Yes vote is for independence: self-determination. We'd get to vote for our government. Personally I'm not a fan of Alex Salmond - I don't like his inflammatory style or all of his policies. He's a good politician though, unlike some of the people the No campaign have put up against him. Also, he's not the leader of the Yes campaign. Note, this is also not a vote for or against the Conservatives, although if Scotland did go independent, it is highly unlikely they'd ever get into government here.

I've just picked a random assortment of points there - there are so many more. Plus there are perfectly valid reasons to vote either way, on balance I have decided that a Yes vote makes sense for me. My vision for the future is:

'I want my son to grow up in a world brimming with wildlife and powered by renewable energy. I want my son to live in a multicultural society that embraces differences and lends a hand to the less fortunate.'

I can't see this vision becoming an actuality as part of the UK.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-14, 06:52 PM
- There will be no currency union
This has been stated, but would be a very strange decision on the part of the UK, as it would severely damage their economy post-Scottish independence. (Then again, they've made lots of nonsensical decisions on economy, war, energy security, environment etc over the years, so maybe they will stick to this - but with such bad decisions making, it'd only reassure Scots that we made the right decision in an independent country!) To quote an impartial expert:

'For both countries abandoning a monetary union would introduce transaction costs, which for UK businesses might be around 500m-2.5bn.' - Professor Anton Muscatelli, University of Glasgow.

Although currency union is not a big deal to me, I know it is to others. Yet No campaigners claim the reduced fiscal powers would mean Scotland would not be truly independent. Well, we'd have power over everything else, which is something we don't have just now! And in the long run we'd likely set up our own currency anyway - this is a common route of newly independent countries. (Even Australia did it...)

I think this is the big issue for me, something this major should not still be up in the air this close to the vote itself, both sides should have agreed what would happen with the currency in the event of a yes vote pretty much right off the bat rather than what seems to be the current policy of just hoping it will sort itself out. Very bad form.

Still, you've got Nigel Farrage up their at the moment trying to persuade you all to say No (because of course the leader of a party that wants a referendum on EU membership wouldn't want the same choice extended to the Scottish), so I'd say he'll help make a yes a certainty.

Apparently the Orange Men are on the No side as well, because of course a group dedicated to keeping Ireland split in two are going to be pro-unification.

I think we'd be better off putting all the dicks in the country in one, fairly minor part of it (Wolverhampton?) and giving that independence so the rest of us can just get on with it.

Warcry
2014-09-14, 07:04 PM
What you guys are saying continues to sound sadly familiar. I support independence insofar as I believe that any territory that wants to split from its parent country should be allowed to do so, but if both sides are just spewing nationalistic propaganda and ignoring the real issues that would come up as a result of a split how are the people supposed to make an informed decision either way?

Personally, I don't by any means think the EU is perfect (though I think the way to change it is to weigh in there and take an active part in it rather than holding it at arms length like a rotten fish as is basically government policy) I also think that the British as a whole really need to wake up to the fact we're not one of the main world powers anymore and haven't been for a long time. Most of our foreign policy is based on the assumption that what we think matters and that's pretty much had disastrous results over the last decade.
That sounds reasonable to me. That's the same sort of problem that we can see the US start to struggle with, thinking they're a superpower but not actually being able to bring superpower-level muscle to bear anymore.

Again from an outsider's perspective, it really does seem that the biggest problem with the EU is that nobody can agree what the EU is for. It just sort of happened on its own momentum, and it seems like all the members each have a different idea of what they want it to take care of and what they want it to leave alone. The fact that the EU lets countries opt out of stuff like the euro probably doesn't help in that regard. It really does make it look like doing what the EU says is optional and only increases the resentment that people will have when the EU makes an unpopular decision... "we ignored them on these things, why are we listening to them now?"

The general disorganization of the whole thing is what led to a handful of well-run countries having to bail out the Greeces and Portugals of the world -- because they have a shared currency but no shared economic policy, and it only takes a couple of basket cases to seriously undermine the Euro. A stronger union could avoid problems like that, but that would leave the national governments pretty much neutered.

It amazes me that Tony Blair is now comfortably the most hated Prime Minister in living memory, you'll still find a depressingly large number of people who will defend Thatcher to the hilt but I can't recall the last time anyone had anything nicer to say about Blair than disgusted disappointment.
Is that really a surprise, though? A lot of right-wing people unconditionally love Reagan in the US and he was an empty suit with a nice smile. Left-wingers in Canada worship Pierre Trudeau as a god, and he's personally responsible for creating or worsening practically every issue that's vexing the nation today.

Charisma plus time equals a huge surge of nostalgic popularity.

Well, apart from him winning GQ Humanitarian of the Year at exactly the same time as most of the regions he's spent the last few years trying to stop erupting into war erupted into war. Which is right up there with Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was a week into office (which in retrospect I would say is a mistake. Poor old Obama, he's wound up a mild sufferer of Blair syndrome- voted in on a massive wave of hope and winding up fairly ineffectual and a let down. His only advantage is he's only carried on nasty pointless wars rather than starting them illegally).
The people who were killed by US bombs in Libya, Pakistan and Syria under Obama's watch would probably disagree with that last part.

But in general, there's nothing more disappointing than a politician who gets elected on a messianic wave of hope. Give me a boring, uncharismatic technocrat any day of the week.

I think in terms of the UK's future on the world stage, working closely with Europe in unison is the only way forward. And with our experience with the Commonwealth we should be right at the front of making a loose alliance of like minded countries work together well rather than sulking at the back.
I'm not really sure the two are comparable, though. Britain is always going to have a special place in the Commonwealth compared to the younger countries, even if just in ceremonial terms. I'd imagine it's a lot easier for the folks who believe in British exceptionalism to cooperate in a forum like that than in one where they need to admit they're interacting with equals.

Independence is one thing, but what will that make the new Scotland? EU? "Overseas"?
From what I've read, several existing EU countries are planning to veto Scotland's automatic inclusion in the EU and force them to apply as a new entrant, as a warning to separatist regions within their own borders (Spain sending a message to Catalonia was the main one, IIRC). So if the Scots are going to have freedom of movement to the UK they might need to negotiate that separately.

Lots of people bash the Polish and the Romanians for "coming in and taking the jobs" [this possibly extends to other Europeans as well], but the vast majority of this immigrant crowd is actively giving in by working, whilst a good portion of "locals", at least around my area, thrive off benefits and heck,even build entire families based on them.
I think it's the same everywhere, though -- here it's the Filipinos that people bitch about. Out in Vancouver it's the Chinese and Sihks. But the jobs that they're "stealing" are jobs that the local white trash refuse to work anyway because they think they're too good for it.

I forgot to pick up on this point! The problem with the current UK outlook is that from a governmental point of view, it has become extremely London- centric. The level of investment and improvement made in the capital has seen its economy grow much much faster than the rest of the UK, to the point where IIRC, London's economy accounts for something like a third of our overall economy.
I've read stuff like that in a lot of places. It makes me wonder if the question shouldn't be "should Scotland be independent?", but "should the rest of the UK kick out London?" ;)

Denyer
2014-09-15, 12:40 AM
The City of London, as distinct from London in general, is already (and a bit sinisterly) separate -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London -- as well as being basically where all of the money is.

Doubt border controls would change significantly in practical terms, simply because neither side wants the direct and immediate negative PR, and higher food/goods transport costs would probably be cushioned for residents in the same way transport already gets subsidised. On the other hand I could see an independent Scotland not gaining currency union, not having EU membership any time soon, and being limited in distancing from debts due to the impact on confidence of financial markets.

Would expect things to get nasty in the event of a very close vote, as fraud will be exacerbated by youth participation and registrations.

All civil service / government agencies in Scotland had to come up with detailed plans for the event of a Yes vote and did so 6 months to one year ago.
If they turn up would be interested to see them, from a professional point of view.

if both sides are just spewing nationalistic propaganda and ignoring the real issues that would come up as a result of a split how are the people supposed to make an informed decision either way?
Treating politicians like wild badgers.

numbat
2014-09-15, 08:31 AM
I think this is the big issue for me, something this major should not still be up in the air this close to the vote itself, both sides should have agreed what would happen with the currency in the event of a yes vote pretty much right off the bat rather than what seems to be the current policy of just hoping it will sort itself out. Very bad form.
I agree - it was UK Government that refused to discuss in advance of the referendum. Scottish Government have been asking for discussions for almost two years.

As to civil service plans, I suspect they aren't public, but I don't know for sure. All I know is that this has been a major undertaking for them over the last year or so, from my wife who is a civil servant, and friends. As everyone probably knows, civil servants have to follow government instructions and support their views as part of their job (so no wonder the head of the Bank of England says the same as UK Government - he has to!).

Sending anyone from UKIP up, let alone Farage, is a great way to generate more Yes votes! Check out some of his great (and completely untrue, let alone offensive) statements on the matter:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=978009442225009

I think the rise of UKIP has pushed a lot of people to Yes. It certainly solidified my convictions. What's worse is this nonsense about it all being a meaningless protest vote. Firstly, protest votes should be for someone with good policies who's unlikely to get in (e.g. Greens). Secondly, if it was such a minor deal, why are Conservative and Labour adjusting their policies to be more rightwing to capture the UKIP vote? I don't want our governments to be more rightwing - we've gone too far already! And bloody hell, I'm embarrassed to be British based on the xenophobic comments some of our politicians make already (as I'm sure many of us in the UK are).

Denyer
2014-09-15, 05:45 PM
from my wife who is a civil servant, and friends. As everyone probably knows, civil servants have to follow government instructions and support their views as part of their job

Something health-related, isn't she? Health service, local govt, or real civil service?

The latter theoretically exists to implement the policies of incumbent politicians, just as it's theoretically politically neutral -- the whole not being employed by parliament. Neither's necessarily true, but support for political viewpoints would more often than not just be self-interest. Or occasionally genuine conviction.

inflatable dalek
2014-09-15, 07:58 PM
Every person I know who works in the civil service (including my mother) basically regards themselves as the one competent person in an organsiation dominated by the stupid and the lazy. I would not trust any plans the Scottish branch has put into place to be more effective than on the English side.

I agree - it was UK Government that refused to discuss in advance of the referendum. Scottish Government have been asking for discussions for almost two years.

That doesn't excuse Salmond claiming there will be currency union before it's been decided on (frankly, I think the rest of the UK are now- however unfairly- annoyed enough with the Scottish that they don't want it even if it's a case of cutting their own nose to spite their face. Not that having to quickly switch to their own money isn't a bad thing, under a union Westminster would still control your cash). It's just one of many things he seems to have pulled out of his bum.


I think the rise of UKIP has pushed a lot of people to Yes. It certainly solidified my convictions.

The problem I can see, other than you getting all the Scottish racists coming with you, is I can see an independent Scotland becoming a mecha for the Out of Europe lobby. You almost certainly will have to apply for membership rather than it being carried over (apparently there are a couple of prominent EU members with regions that could try and follow Scotland's example who have a vested interest in making it look as difficult as possible by forcing them to obey the full letter of EU laws of membership and dragging the whole thing out as much as possible).

So the McFarrage's of your nation will be making big rallying cry speeches of "We just threw out the English, why should be throw ourselves into bed with the dirty European and loose our freedom right away?" card and will likely get a lot of support of the back of the nationalistic jingoism that will still be in the air.

I certainly hope that if a yes vote happens your dream of a liberal green and pleasant land happens, frankly I think it's more likely to be the same shit on a different day (it'll be interesting to see if the genuinely poor part of the country ever see much of a change at all of if it's all Edinburgh/Glasgow and nowhere else with London bias just having moved).

numbat
2014-09-16, 08:47 AM
That doesn't excuse Salmond claiming there will be currency union before it's been decided on (frankly, I think the rest of the UK are now- however unfairly- annoyed enough with the Scottish that they don't want it even if it's a case of cutting their own nose to spite their face. Not that having to quickly switch to their own money isn't a bad thing, under a union Westminster would still control your cash). It's just one of many things he seems to have pulled out of his bum.

Can't remember if I already said this here (I've been discussing this with so many people in so many places!): I'm not a fan of Salmond.

That being said, after the UK Government said there wouldn't be a currency union, Salmond has not categorically stated there would be. Even in his TV debate with Darling, he had three options for currency. I don't think that makes it any less true that a currency union is very likely.

The problem I can see, other than you getting all the Scottish racists coming with you, is I can see an independent Scotland becoming a mecha for the Out of Europe lobby. You almost certainly will have to apply for membership rather than it being carried over (apparently there are a couple of prominent EU members with regions that could try and follow Scotland's example who have a vested interest in making it look as difficult as possible by forcing them to obey the full letter of EU laws of membership and dragging the whole thing out as much as possible).

So the McFarrage's of your nation will be making big rallying cry speeches of "We just threw out the English, why should be throw ourselves into bed with the dirty European and loose our freedom right away?" card and will likely get a lot of support of the back of the nationalistic jingoism that will still be in the air.

All fair points - there are racist Scots just like there are racists everywhere. However, recent studies have shown Scotland is proportionately less racist than the UK norm. Also, we don't tend to be calling for less immigration and such-like. Even more-so than the UK, Scotland's economic future depends upon immigration. Without it, we're stuffed. Whatever body it is that represents immigrants and asylum seekers did actually come out and state that in their analysis an independent Scotland would be more favourable to those they represent (sorry, that was like over a year ago, so I forget the organisation's name, as it doesn't tend to have much relevance to me).

Also, there is not the same anti-EU sentiment in Scotland as there seems to be in the majority of the UK.

I certainly hope that if a yes vote happens your dream of a liberal green and pleasant land happens, frankly I think it's more likely to be the same shit on a different day (it'll be interesting to see if the genuinely poor part of the country ever see much of a change at all of if it's all Edinburgh/Glasgow and nowhere else with London bias just having moved).

At the very least, we would have tried. If we don't, we'll just regret it. Besides, there are definitely some benefits that would happen:
- We would get the government we choose 100% of the time (even if they do turn out to be rubbish, in which case we have the added benefit of only having ourselves to blame for a change! That would be liberating!)
- We would have full powers, which could not be stripped from us by another government (and one we did not choose without consulting with us no less).

So, we'd be somewhere closer to living in a democracy.

At the end of the day, I really think the UK Government totally mismanaged the whole referendum though. They could easily have had more support for the Union if they had tried. Whatever the outcome, I hope that this is something that is going to be looked at closely afterwards.

I really don't know how it's going to go. I'm very depressed by the ridiculous, outrageous, negative and insulting comments coming out of both sides now. I've stopped listening, looking, or watching the news (plenty good films to watch in my collection if I get the time... I'm doing bat surveys until the dawn of voting day anyway though). I've also stopped discussing / debating. (Consider yourselves honoured!)

Let's just see what happens now, aye?

:)

inflatable dalek
2014-09-16, 07:40 PM
Oh, and on a similar note to Groundskeeper Willie, if anyone is likely to be swayed by a fictional Scott played by someone who isn't Scottish, Simon Pegg did a brief bit of roleplay on Twitter suggesting Scotty is in favour of independence (at least at some point this century).

Oddly James Doohan's Scotty is strangely quiet on the matter.

Clay
2014-09-17, 03:34 AM
I just think it's neat that the UK seems civil enough now to decide the matter by voting instead of shooting each other, as is the custom with this sort of thing in other parts of the world.

numbat
2014-09-17, 10:09 AM
Oh, and on a similar note to Groundskeeper Willie, if anyone is likely to be swayed by a fictional Scott played by someone who isn't Scottish, Simon Pegg did a brief bit of roleplay on Twitter suggesting Scotty is in favour of independence (at least at some point this century).

Oddly James Doohan's Scotty is strangely quiet on the matter.
Maybe it was actually at the Scotland referendum vote that the two Star Trek timelines diverged, rather than when Eric Bana came back in time as is generally accepted?

I just think it's neat that the UK seems civil enough now to decide the matter by voting instead of shooting each other, as is the custom with this sort of thing in other parts of the world.
Absolutely - that has been my thought from the outset (although that said originally David Cameron refused the referendum, but then changed his mind because it turned out he couldn't legally stop it... Probably didn't enamour him any more to the Scots who were hardly his biggest fan in the first place... I hope most people voting tomorrow see past the Conservatives and SNP and look at future opportunities instead though, as this is not about any individual or party).

As people are saying to me today: 'Happy Yessmass Eve!'

Lol!

inflatable dalek
2014-09-17, 07:41 PM
Maybe it was actually at the Scotland referendum vote that the two Star Trek timelines diverged, rather than when Eric Bana came back in time as is generally accepted?


Ironically the last film implied the UK (complete with monarchy!) still has Scotland in it in the 23rd century.

Maybe we reconquer you during World War III?

Or they just won't be arsed to change the flag.

Denyer
2014-09-17, 07:44 PM
Would anyone let them? Too ingrained in consciousness.

numbat
2014-09-17, 07:52 PM
Maybe we reconquer you during World War III?

Probably. We're a bit shit and you guys will have all the nukes plus the inflated military budget.

I saw a piece on the uncertainty concerning the Union Jack as if this were a major deal yesterday. Seriously, this is the big issue for some people?

And yeah, I think it would stay the same anyway.

:)

Heinrad
2014-09-17, 11:24 PM
Actually, we can tell that at some point between now and the time of Star Trek, the UK will have conquered France.

If the Yes vote goes through, maybe that's what the UK will do in response.

Skyquake87
2014-09-18, 07:32 AM
I can see the union flag changing, as er, we wont be a union anymore. We could add black from the flag of St. David or just shove the green in from the Welsh flag :)

Its today!!! Exciting!!!

inflatable dalek
2014-09-19, 02:12 PM
Considering it was a vote with only two choices the percentage by which No won was much higher than I was expecting, and whilst 10% might not seem much, virtually every region of Scotland actually voted No overall as well.

I'm sorry for numbat and those who wanted the change, but ultimately I think the right choice was made, the current system is hellish flawed but ultimately most of Salmond's promises were equally without foundation (someone made the excellent point a lot of his claims were entirely outside his control as the policies of an independent Scotland would be decided by the first elected parliament of that country, not by the interim First Minister who would hold office until that happened. He was effectively, arrogantly, assuming he'd win the Scottish election with a big enough majority to do what he likes) and making what we have better was the more sensible option.

Plus, why break up the team that gave us Simon Furman and Geoff Senior?

And though I don't like him, I think Cameron made all the right noises in his victory speech, in particular acknowledging they can't hand the promised extra powers to Scotland without doing something similar for the rest of the UK. You can tell there's a general election coming and he's desperate not to get routed, but lets hope most of this comes to pass.

Denyer
2014-09-19, 07:36 PM
Although I don't doubt there was a fraud element, good to see a fairly clear margin for a result.

Sades
2014-09-20, 05:21 AM
...

numbat
2014-09-20, 12:32 PM
The result is in, and Scotland stays in the Union. We now need to work together to make the UK a better place, and make sure the politicians keep their promises. Do you think this could kick start a move towards a federal UK? That would be awesome!

It is interesting to note, though, that the no vote was won by the elderly. All age classes under 55 bar one (18-24) voted a Yes majority.

I hope older people didn't vote No on the back of uncertainty over pensions. Although Better Together played on this uncertainty up to the last minute, the Department of Work and Pensions confirmed that pensions would be safe in an independent Scotland way back in 2013.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-09-20, 01:27 PM
I'm sorry that Scots that wanted independence lost the vote, but instead of sulking in defeat and retreat into bitterness try to use the energy from this movement to force David Cameron, whoever the Labour Party's canidate in the next election, and the rest of the UK government to keep their word and if they don't tell them you will bring up for a vote again and again.

Dead Man Wade
2014-09-20, 02:59 PM
On behalf of every country ever to be part of the British empire, I would just like to say:

You can vote for independence?!

inflatable dalek
2014-09-20, 03:21 PM
Do you think this could kick start a move towards a federal UK? That would be awesome!

Certainly if they give Scotland extra devolved powers that aren't in some form extended to the rest of the UK they'll be a huge number of people ****ed off with the Government (and indeed the Scots if they continue to moan about being hard done by).

There was some fun earlier with my mother shouting at Gordon Brown at the TV earlier when he started talking about Scotland's new tax/benefits powers ("WILL THEY BE PAYING FOR THAT THEMSELVES??!!! RARGH!").

It is interesting to note, though, that the no vote was won by the elderly. All age classes under 55 bar one (18-24) voted a Yes majority.

Well that was inevitable, the older you get the more you have invested in the staus quo and the less likely you'll want to see it changed. That'll happen to the current young Scots by the time this happens again as well. Though over 55 is elderly now? Christ, I must be middle aged. :(

Mind, short of not letting older people vote (and the voting age being lowered to 16 for this was supposed to counter that) I'm not sure what could be done about this, and it's not as if, with the UK's ever ageing population, that the people over 55 aren't going to be around for a long time so it's not as if they've had a say and will then drop dead without having to deal with the consequences.

numbat
2014-09-20, 05:37 PM
On behalf of every country ever to be part of the British empire, I would just like to say:

You can vote for independence?!

Apparently!

I'm sorry that Scots that wanted independence lost the vote, but instead of sulking in defeat and retreat into bitterness try to use the energy from this movement to force David Cameron, whoever the Labour Party's canidate in the next election, and the rest of the UK government to keep their word and if they don't tell them you will bring up for a vote again and again.
I'm pleased to report that so far (you know, two days later...) everyone seems to be being very friendly and civilized about it all. With the exception of some pro-Unionist nutters who are burning Scottish flags and being very aggressive in Glasgow and Dundee that is, but there's always some bad eggs and I reckon their riots were planned for whether the vote turned out No or Yes.

There are petitions to sign to keep the heat on the Westminster politicians to keep their promises e.g.: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/promise-for-Scotland#petition

And a petition to put Scotland in control of its broadcasting (the media bias was a major issue throughout the last two years):

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/574/697/105/put-scotland-in-control-of-scottish-broadcasting/?taf_id=12722229&cid=fb_na

If either are relevant to you (ie you live in the UK), and you agree with the points, please do sign them.

There's also a new movement: 'We are the 45%' (which so far is very friendly and civilized and focussing on getting these new devolved powers, but hey, it's only been two days :swirly:). In order to deliver new devolved powers faster than independence would do, as they promised, these need to be in place within 18 months... Good luck with that as...

Certainly if they give Scotland extra devolved powers that aren't in some form extended to the rest of the UK they'll be a huge number of people ****ed off with the Government (and indeed the Scots if they continue to moan about being hard done by).

I think the problem is, as was discussed a lot by government advisors and think tanks during the referendum campaigns over the last year up here, in order to give Scotland the level of devolved powers they're talking about the entire UK constitution would need to be ripped up and a brand new one written. This would need to effectively federalise the UK. So it would need Wales and Northern Ireland to agree. And the big elephant in the room - England would need to decide how it would want to approach federalised government itself. I reckon that actually, setting up a new constitution for the entire UK is going to be a far harder and longer process than Scotland becoming and independent country would have been. I think only a minority of politicians even appreciate this, and a lot of the statements by the three main parties likely were made without fully thinking this one through. However, if the referendum does bring about a federalised UK it would be an amazing triumph for all of us - even if it does take longer than 18 months in the end.

There was some fun earlier with my mother shouting at Gordon Brown at the TV earlier when he started talking about Scotland's new tax/benefits powers ("WILL THEY BE PAYING FOR THAT THEMSELVES??!!! RARGH!").

Well, I guess one of the big points in the debate was Scotland does pay more in to the UK in taxes and revenues than it gets back even though spending is proportionately higher per head than in other UK nations, except Northern Ireland. However, that's a fine argument for independence, but I think it's unlikely the rest of the UK would agree to giving more money to one of the nations in the Union because it brings it in - and why should they? This is a Union after all, so wealth should be spread fairly. I still think this could be very much improved on, as frankly London sucks the rest of the country dry, as I think we all know, and that's not healthy in the long run.

Well that was inevitable, the older you get the more you have invested in the staus quo and the less likely you'll want to see it changed. That'll happen to the current young Scots by the time this happens again as well. Though over 55 is elderly now? Christ, I must be middle aged. :(

Mind, short of not letting older people vote (and the voting age being lowered to 16 for this was supposed to counter that) I'm not sure what could be done about this, and it's not as if, with the UK's ever ageing population, that the people over 55 aren't going to be around for a long time so it's not as if they've had a say and will then drop dead without having to deal with the consequences.

:)

I just couldn't think of a quick catch-all term. You're right, 55 is not elderly. Although it was the 65+ category that really hammered it home. They really didn't want independence! (And fair enough.) I have a lot of friends and colleagues in this category - although none of them voted No, several family members in this category did. The additional voters brought in by lowering the age actually was an insignificant number, and could never have countered the 55+ vote.

I think the entire referendum has been tremendously positive. 85% of the electorate voted, and Scotland has become more politicised than ever. 45% of the electorate voted to break away from the Union, to embrace a more liberal society demonstrating that the appetite for bloated military budgets and business centred policies is waning. Hopefully, the excitement of the final couple of weeks has also brought the other nations in the UK more into the fray. The three main parties have promised additional devolved powers for Scotland that means the UK constitution must be re-examined and rewritten in order to achieve this. This could result in a federalised UK, which would benefit all of the nations - and potentially (as I know many of my friends south of the border hope) more devolved regional control throughout England as well.

I really hope that not only Scotland but the entire UK will show this level of interest and at least 85% of the electorate vote in the upcoming general election.

(I'm very interested to see how Scotland votes. We're traditionally Labour, but swung Lib Dem and SNP in the last election. Labour are dragging their heals already about the new devolved powers the three parties promised just days ago, and it was the Labour vote that swung dramatically towards independence in the referendum making it as close as it was. Lib Dems have certainly not conducted themselves well in the current coalition government, and are the only party in Westminster than 0% agree with keeping the Barnett Formula [the system by which central money is assigned to Scotland] while 100% are in favour of a new system reducing the amount of money we receive, although there is a difference of opinion as to the mechanism. And while Scotland clearly positively hate Conservatives [we only have one Conservative MP] they are offering the highest level of devolved powers and the fastest timetable. Interesting times ahead!)

Skyquake87
2014-09-20, 06:15 PM
I'm a bit sceptical about the timetable. I'm sure there's probably been stuff put in place already (there would have had to have been in the event of the Yes vote being a success) - but we're six months away from a General Election, so whilst I think promises will be kept I don't think they will happen as quick as everyone would like, so yes, quite correct to keep the pressure up!

...I was also going to be childish and say that 55+ is elderly in Scotland..! :p

I understand the media bias that hasn't been helpful in this debate, but that doesn't surprise me. As far as the BBC is concerned, the clue is in the title ;) and the London-centric Fleet Street rags dominate all else, with the Scottish papers barely featuring when telly does 'what the papers say' stuff.

Noticed Salmond's quit (er, whilst buying cat biscuits), wonder what that's all about...

numbat
2014-09-21, 10:01 AM
...I was also going to be childish and say that 55+ is elderly in Scotland..! :p

Well played sir! :lol:

Noticed Salmond's quit (er, whilst buying cat biscuits), wonder what that's all about...

He's resigned for honour. When was the last time a Westminster MP (let alone party leader or PM) resigned over honour straight away (without being pushed)?

As I understand, he really put his all in to this campaign over the last seven years, and is burned out anyway. He always said he'd stand down in the even of independence as well, as that was his goal and he would have achieved it. Lots of people claimed he would take over ala Hitler, which is just nonsense. I really respect Alex Salmond for resigning, and think this does demonstrate that he was never in this for personal gain (again lots of people said he just wanted to be more than First Minister of a devolved Scotland - well, if that were the case, why would he resign from that position?). I don't particularly like him (although he is the most positively viewed politician in the UK, as much as the media would like to portray him otherwise) - he's a damn good orator, but has a habit of making rather inflammatory remarks. But I do respect him.

Denyer
2014-09-21, 05:42 PM
short of not letting older people vote (and the voting age being lowered to 16 for this was supposed to counter that
Seriously?

inflatable dalek
2014-09-21, 06:35 PM
Seriously?

Apparently so.

Salmond pretty much had to go really (much as Cameron would have if the Yes had won), he's smart enough to know he's pissed off many of his own side over the flaws in the campaign (whether what went wrong is directly his fault being immaterial, he's the face of it, and he was certainly the one sprouting most of the blatant bollocks that put people off) and it's better to fall gallantly on your sword than have the vultures behind you give you a helpful push.

As far as Salmond's personal goals go, he was clearly assuming he and the SNP would be making the first government of Scotland with a large majority as many of the promises he was making would make no sense otherwise (what if, for example, the UK had come up with a favourable to Scotland deal to keep their nuclear weapons in place there?).

I think he'd have done a lot better if he'd just been more honest, "It'll be tricky at first and I can't promise direct policy until you've had your say in an election, but within a decade we could be at the same stable level of a country like Iceland and we'd be in charge of our own fate". It's less exciting than the stuff he was promising, but would have avoided putting off as many as it did. I honestly think the surprising size of the No victory was down to many deciding they just couldn't trust him to be able to follow through.

In terms of the time it'll take the devolved powers to come in, I think it's fair to give them the amount of time it would have actually taken for Scotland to become independent, as the 18 months statement was one of those things from Salmond that was Blatant Lies.

Plus of course, we've got an election in the middle and that could potentially change a lot in terms of what promises the new government gets elected on.

Skyquake87
2014-09-21, 06:56 PM
I think he'd have done a lot better if he'd just been more honest.

Ha! You could say that about political campaigns :lol:

inflatable dalek
2014-09-21, 07:03 PM
Ha! You could say that about political campaigns :lol:

Oh yes. And of course, the UK politicians were full of crap as well, but had the advantage that how a combined UK works is a known quantity, Salmond didn't have that reassurance behind his nonsense.

numbat
2014-09-21, 08:01 PM
I think he'd have done a lot better if he'd just been more honest, "It'll be tricky at first and I can't promise direct policy until you've had your say in an election, but within a decade we could be at the same stable level of a country like Iceland and we'd be in charge of our own fate". It's less exciting than the stuff he was promising, but would have avoided putting off as many as it did. I honestly think the surprising size of the No victory was down to many deciding they just couldn't trust him to be able to follow through.
Actually, Salmond and the Yes Campaign both said it would be hard at first and you won't know the actual ins-and-outs until we're independent. In fact, even the White Paper was clearly stated to be SNP's vision only, and it was made very clear (indeed it was one of the main campaign points) that the Scottish people would choose a government post-independence and what actually happened depended on that. It's a real shame the other parties declined putting out their visions for an independent Scotland, although it is important to point out that the Yes Campaign was not an SNP campaign, and that Alex Salmond was not actually its leader in the same way David Cameron was not the No Campaign leader. The difference between the two is Alex Salmond too his role in the matter seriously and actually got involved, whereas David Cameron just ignored it all in favour of more wars of questionable morality and legality (and other nonsense of less import to the UK than it's continued composition). Also it is important to remember that the Green Party were also supportive of Scottish independence and put out their own vision, which differed from the SNP one.

I'm guessing the above was not well covered in the national media? Because it sure wasn't in the Scottish media!

:lol:

I don't think many people thought nearly so many people would vote Yes, incidentally.

45% of Scotland voting to leave the UK is probably quite significant - more-so given if it were left to the under 65s, Scotland would be independent (we could absorb the 18-24s and 55-64s, but those 65+s swamped us). The number of people tweeting about regretting voting 'No' already is also interesting. I don't think this is something which can be ignored now, or we'll just end up with another referendum in a few years.

Let's all take this momentum, and make the UK a better place - come on England, Wales, and Northern Ireland!

:)

inflatable dalek
2014-09-22, 08:01 PM
Actually, Salmond and the Yes Campaign both said it would be hard at first and you won't know the actual ins-and-outs until we're independent. In fact, even the White Paper was clearly stated to be SNP's vision only, and it was made very clear (indeed it was one of the main campaign points) that the Scottish people would choose a government post-independence and what actually happened depended on that.

If that were the case then Salmond really didn't make the argument very well as every single interview or debate I saw him involved with had him making definitive statements, not "This could happen" or "I'd like this to happen".

It's a real shame the other parties declined putting out their visions for an independent Scotland, although it is important to point out that the Yes Campaign was not an SNP campaign, and that Alex Salmond was not actually its leader in the same way David Cameron was not the No Campaign leader.

If Salmond wasn't the Yes campaign leader, who was, and why were they letting him be the public face of it (including taking part in debates with No campaign leader Darling)? Why let him carry on in the style he was doing even when it was clearly starting to alienate a lot of voters? If the Yes campaign was serious about a vote for them not being a vote for Salmond, then frankly it was handled really badly.


The difference between the two is Alex Salmond too his role in the matter seriously and actually got involved, whereas David Cameron just ignored it all in favour of more wars of questionable morality and legality (and other nonsense of less import to the UK than it's continued composition).

As much as I dislike him, I think Cameron actually took the right approach in being hands off to start with. In order to be a fair contest the No team had to be represented by someone the Scots didn't actively hate, and he seemed to have at least that basic level of self awareness.

So putting an Labour MP who basically never offended anyone (I'm sure Darling was no doubt involved in some dodgy shit when they were in power, but who remembers anything about him other than the eyebrows?) in charge and keeping a reasonable distance from it- whilst getting on with the other aspects of running the country- was the right political move. The fact Darling run the campaign so badly Cameron had to, rather comically and desperately, come in swinging at the last second is more a problem with the rouge Gerry Anderson puppet than the Prime Minister (the posh Tory being able to swing Scots back round to their point of view more than the Labour guy is something Darling should never live down).

The telling thing is, despite being a former PM, Labour and Scottish Gordon Brown never seems to have been seriously considered from the position (though he's been trying to rebuild his reputation by giving big impassioned speeches afterwards), a real sign of how much everyone really disliked the poor bugger by the time he stood down. All he'd have done for the No campaign is show up the whole "Scotland would be better off run by Scots" thing as dubious.


I'm guessing the above was not well covered in the national media? Because it sure wasn't in the Scottish media!

I'm just going by how what Salmond said and how he came over in his various speeches, if his actual intent was that different from what was coming out of his mouth I have to pretty much disagree with you about him being a great orator.

Plus, if he doesn't want people to think he's a power crazy loon he probably shouldn't come out with things like this:

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/salmond-we-don-t-need-referendum-for-independence-1-3548270

"The people have spoken! Bloody people. Luckily, there's ways we could do this without having to put up with this democracy nonsense!".

The worst thing is, that's the sort of thing that's going to hurt his SNP successor. If folks start thinking a vote for the SNP means a vote for un-consulted independence that's likely to put any firm No's who might have been swayed by other local issues for the Scottish parliament off.


I don't think many people thought nearly so many people would vote Yes, incidentally.

Surely it was always expected to be close? Hence it being set up so it could have come down to one vote,rather than, say, the Yes side being required to achieve a definitive majority of something like 75%. A lot of none Brits seem to have been surprised the country could be split up by even the tiniest of majorities but IIRC it was felt that was the only way to do it as there was little chance of an outright majority. Indeed, I'd say the 10% difference is more than many were expecting regardless of who won.

I don't think this is something which can be ignored now, or we'll just end up with another referendum in a few years.

I do think there needs to be a decent gap before the next one, 15 years at a minimum (and frankly I'd be leaning towards 25, but it seems unlike me the British political elite don't define a "Generation" the same way as Doctor Who and Four to Doomsday, the fools), it's not the sort of thing you can do over and over again at regular intervals (especially as if separation had happened it wouldn't have been possible for the No voters to push through a retry five years later).

Some of the more extreme Yes campaigners are coming over as "We should keep doing this until we get the people to give the right answer!".

Oh, and I should say, I'm utterly convinced if Yes had won this thread would be full of me bemoaning of the silliness in how the No's had handled defeat as well.

numbat
2014-09-22, 10:55 PM
If that were the case then Salmond really didn't make the argument very well as every single interview or debate I saw him involved with had him making definitive statements, not "This could happen" or "I'd like this to happen".
Well, he did in every speech I heard him make, as with other Yes campaigners. They were even saying it in their speeches the evening before the vote. This was all about possibilities, opportunities and self-determination and Yes were always clear about that. I suspect that most media outlets have an 'edit' function.

:)


If Salmond wasn't the Yes campaign leader, who was, and why were they letting him be the public face of it (including taking part in debates with No campaign leader Darling)? Why let him carry on in the style he was doing even when it was clearly starting to alienate a lot of voters? If the Yes campaign was serious about a vote for them not being a vote for Salmond, then frankly it was handled really badly.
Blair Jenkins was the leader of the Yes campaign, and was frequently in both Scottish and national media, although the BBC preferred to make Salmond out to be the leader as it was easier to demonize an individual than the campaign.

Alex Salmond challenged David Cameron to a debate one and a half years ago. David Cameron declined and said it was more appropriate for the leader of the No Campaign to face the 'Leader of the Yes Campaign'. Alex Salmond and others pointed out that Blair was actually the leader of the Yes Campaign and that this was to be a debate between the Prime Minister and First Minister, and there was a lot of demand for that. Regardless, Darling was pushed in front of Salmond instead of Cameron. There were a great many other debates between different people from both campaigns.

Now, I really am not going to recount two years of Scottish politics and public discussions that happened to get missed by the national media - especially after the fact. :)

I think it's very unfair to say Yes mismanaged this. Polls suggested Yes was lagging way behind for most of the last two years, and Westminster decided not to do any contingency planning for a Yes vote because it looked such a long shot. Most people in Scotland were intent on No overtly up until the last couple of months. I think the Yes campaign did an amazing job. Did you know SNP membership went up by 5,000 the day after the referendum, and Green Party membership (the other pro-independence party) by 2,000 in the same time?

In fact, SNP have over 20,000 new members since Thursday, which puts membership at over 45,000 now. This is a significant increase on the membership of 25,000 before 18th September. They've now overtaken Lib Dems to become the third largest party in terms of membership in the UK. (Note, I've not joined, and am not promoting them - it's just a fact.)

As much as I dislike him, I think Cameron actually took the right approach in being hands off to start with. In order to be a fair contest the No team had to be represented by someone the Scots didn't actively hate, and he seemed to have at least that basic level of self awareness.
And you know the weird thing? He's actually our Prime Minister. Yet his part has one constituency in Scotland. But he's still our PM, so I think he had an obligation to give Scotland attention rather than focus on less pressing issues further from home. I have less respect for Cameron now than I did when he won office (which wasn't a lot to begin with, granted). He shirked his prime ministerial responsibility.

Plus, if he doesn't want people to think he's a power crazy loon he probably shouldn't come out with things like this:

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/salmond-we-don-t-need-referendum-for-independence-1-3548270

"The people have spoken! Bloody people. Luckily, there's ways we could do this without having to put up with this democracy nonsense!".

The worst thing is, that's the sort of thing that's going to hurt his SNP successor. If folks start thinking a vote for the SNP means a vote for un-consulted independence that's likely to put any firm No's who might have been swayed by other local issues for the Scottish parliament off.
I can only assume you didn't read the rest of that article? Sure the headline is set to portray it badly, but the actual interview has Salmond talking about various democratic options as well as ideals such as abolishing the unelected House of Lords which we're all lumbered with. (Who as it happens stripped Scotland of devolved renewables powers last December without even consulting with Scottish Government, let alone the electorate.) Again, I really don't like Salmond and do not want to get in to the habit of defending him, but it's important to make justified arguments rather than spinning words.

I can do similar by taking words out of context:

show up the whole "Scotland would be better off run by Scots" thing as dubious.
Sounds harsh out of context. ;)

Surely it was always expected to be close? Hence it being set up so it could have come down to one vote,rather than, say, the Yes side being required to achieve a definitive majority of something like 75%. A lot of none Brits seem to have been surprised the country could be split up by even the tiniest of majorities but IIRC it was felt that was the only way to do it as there was little chance of an outright majority. Indeed, I'd say the 10% difference is more than many were expecting regardless of who won.
That wasn't the view up here, and only the final polls suggested a very close vote. The media have painted No as the forerunner by far and Yes as a fairly ludicrous underdog for over two years, only changing tack 10 days before the vote. Unfortunately a lot of people were taken in by the last minute devo-max promises by the three main UK parties, and there's already a lot of people saying they regret voting No based on the performance since.

I do think there needs to be a decent gap before the next one, 15 years at a minimum (and frankly I'd be leaning towards 25, but it seems unlike me the British political elite don't define a "Generation" the same way as Doctor Who and Four to Doomsday, the fools), it's not the sort of thing you can do over and over again at regular intervals (especially as if separation had happened it wouldn't have been possible for the No voters to push through a retry five years later).

Some of the more extreme Yes campaigners are coming over as "We should keep doing this until we get the people to give the right answer!".
The only reason another referendum should be held should be if people are genuinely not satisfied with how the UK are treating Scotland. However, it is something we have a democratic right to, and if the UK Government do fail to deliver on the promises that 80% of the electorate are now holding them to (all Yes and most No voters), it would not seem an unrealistic occurrence for another referendum sooner than 15 years. They did promise more powers in less than 18 months.

Oh, and I should say, I'm utterly convinced if Yes had won this thread would be full of me bemoaning of the silliness in how the No's had handled defeat as well.
It's good to have a debate!

But now's not the time to go back over the referendum again and again. That's done, and Scotland has chosen to stay in the UK. Now we need to work together and make the UK better for everyone - don't you agree?

:)

PS - I really won't go over any of the referendum stuff again here or anywhere else. I am moving on. :)

inflatable dalek
2014-09-23, 07:57 PM
YouGov have put up their final poll (the one numbat mentioned was apparently of a far smaller sample), it mainly differs from the earlier effort in that the defeat can't just be blamed on the over 55's, only one of the age groups on this one (25-39) voted yes by a majority, though most were very close as you'd expect from the final result.

Interestingly, and bizarrely, men were more likely to vote yes than women.

http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/09/19/scottish-independence-final-prediction/

And we have also learnt today why it's protocol for the Prime Minister not to repeat his conversations with the queen: She's insane.

Or Icke was only slightly wrong and she's actually a giant cat.

I mean really, she purred?


And you know the weird thing? He's actually our Prime Minister. Yet his part has one constituency in Scotland. But he's still our PM, so I think he had an obligation to give Scotland attention rather than focus on less pressing issues further from home. I have less respect for Cameron now than I did when he won office (which wasn't a lot to begin with, granted). He shirked his prime ministerial responsibility.

The annoying thing is, he's the only one of the main political leaders to come out of the whole sorry with some dignity intact (well, right up to the purring Queen comment anyway), which, coupled with the side he was supporting winning by a decent margin, suggests his tactics were bang on.

I mean, what on Earth was Miliband thinking having Labour be the first party to make "Oh, we're not sure about this" noises almost immediately after the vote? That's playing right into the Torries hands as, if they do have no intent of following through fully on this, they don't actually have to do anything that can be seen as negative, just let Labour mess it up and then pin the blame entirely on them with a sad shrug of the shoulders. It's as if Ed thinks it's a shame the Tories don't have more seats in Scotland and wants to help them out.

Coupled with the fact that I'm not sure if Nick Clegg is still alive it's really hard to see the next election being anything other than a decent Tory victory. Not because people like Cameron, but because the others are a bunch of nobodies.


I can only assume you didn't read the rest of that article? Sure the headline is set to portray it badly, but the actual interview has Salmond talking about various democratic options as well as ideals such as abolishing the unelected House of Lords which we're all lumbered with. (Who as it happens stripped Scotland of devolved renewables powers last December without even consulting with Scottish Government, let alone the electorate.) Again, I really don't like Salmond and do not want to get in to the habit of defending him, but it's important to make justified arguments rather than spinning words.

I read the whole thing, but obviously the new information (I'm assuming his- perfectly sensible IMO- opposition to the House of Lords wasn't a secret) is the most interesting part to comment on, hence it being the headline. Surely the Scotsman doesn't have an anti-Scots agenda?

What's really dodgy about the "No need for a referendum comment" is how he says something controversial he clearly knows won't go down well and then tries to throw it on the rest of his party whilst distancing himself from it with the "Well I wanted a referendum but most of the SNP didn't", that's a terribly unfair thing to do to his successor whilst trying to make himself look like the reasonable nice one.

With the SNP descending into infighting and having to pick a new leader and direction I can see the Torries doing better in Scotland next time round than they have in decades.

Though, as swings and roundabouts, I agree with Salmond about the voting age being lowered to sixteen nationwide after this.


Sounds harsh out of context. ;)

I do think it would have been fair when Salmond was doing the "Scots will rule Scots" best for someone to ask him how he felt it went last time a Scot was in charge of everything (I suppose Blair would technically count as well, knowing him he'd probably class himself as English or Scottish depending on what was the most populist thing to say at that moment).

I mean, Brown was so ridiculously hated by the time he had to leave office (and I suspect memoires of that slow drawn out embarrassment helped inspire Salmond to go quickly) even I almost felt sorry for the poor bugger despite him mostly brining it on himself.

By the point he was being mocked for poorly written letters to the mother's of dead soldiers (which was basically taking the piss out of the handwriting of a nearly blind man who actually went to the effort of doing personal letters despite that, not to mention that getting the soldiers killed is what the paper's should have been more upset about) there was literally nothing he could have done to be more disliked.

Frankly, if I'd have been him I'd have sent photos of myself masturbating over pictures of dead soldiers to every single grieving mother with a note saying "FANCY SELLING THIS TO THE PAPERS AS WELL WHORES?!" on the grounds I had absolutely nothing else left to loose and so might as well reeaaaaaaaaally piss people off.

Odd how no one has ever asked me to stand for political office.


That wasn't the view up here, and only the final polls suggested a very close vote. The media have painted No as the forerunner by far and Yes as a fairly ludicrous underdog for over two years, only changing tack 10 days before the vote. Unfortunately a lot of people were taken in by the last minute devo-max promises by the three main UK parties, and there's already a lot of people saying they regret voting No based on the performance since.

Or a lot of people decided Salmond was just making unrealistic promises and just changed their minds? Or probably a bit of both.



PS - I really won't go over any of the referendum stuff again here or anywhere else. I am moving on. :)


I wish I'd read this bit sooner. :(

numbat
2014-09-23, 08:09 PM
No worries.

:)

I actually found your points there interesting.

I'm just sick of the negativity surrounding everything. I think there are a lot of positives which have come out of this and now's the time to build on that. I think that's true for the whole UK and not just Scotland.

Incidentally Nicola Sturgeon is currently fully backed by SNP to take on the First Minister role. Something could change, but right now there's no in fighting (other than one more leaving but over SNP's policy for an independent Scotland to be part of NATO so not really related).

On the other hand SNP membership continues to grow: more people have joined SNP in five days than the entire Scottish Labour membership. Their well over 50,000 members now. If anything, the referendum has strengthened SNP (and very much damaged Labour - there are lots of tweets flying around of people staying they've switched parties including lifelong Labour members).

Ryan F
2014-09-23, 09:56 PM
Personally I'm glad the great people of Scotland saw sense and decided to remain in the UK. There's a lot of talk about "45%", but when you factor in all those who were eligible to vote but decided not to, at the end of the day only a third of the voting public actually wanted independence.

As an Englishman, what worried me the most was the financial implications. When YouGov announced that one of their polls had 'Yes' in the lead, it caused huge ripples, devaluing the Pound and causing a number of Scottish-based companies to plummet on the stock exchange. It's not only Scotland that would have faced financial ruin on independence; we all would have had to suffer.

The problem is that Salmond was the only real candidate for SNP leadership, and with him gone I can see the party falling back somewhat. There might be a huge surge in membership now, but how many will still be there when it's time to pay the annual subscription, I wonder? Let's not forget that this was Salmond's second term as leader, he was brought back because no one else could do the job as well as him. His second-in-command Nicola Sturgeon is by all accounts intensely disliked amongst the rest of the party leadership, and she seemed to be the only other SNP bod with anything approaching charisma.

I think the real reason there were a lot of 'Yes' votes is basically, everyone's sick and tired of Westminter. All three major English parties seem as bad as each other, far removed from the masses and completely out of step. You'd think the rise of UKIP and now the Scottish referendum would be just the kick in the ass we needed to knock some sense into them and begin a series of major reforms, but the cynic in me has the strangest feeling that we're stuck with the status quo for decades yet.

Given the feeling of disaffection that's sweeping the UK, I can't blame a fair proportion of Scots for preferring an uncertain independence over years of rule by those idiot Etonians we're currently stuck with. If there was a referendum to make my home county Essex an independent nation I'd gladly vote 'Yes', too.

PS: is there a neutral source for the claim that Scotland pays into the union more than it takes out? Not questioning anyone's veracity here, I'm just curious to see the figures.

numbat
2014-09-24, 07:01 AM
The full Institute for Fiscal Studies Report is here:

http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r88.pdf

This report was used as the basis for the misquotes and quotes out of context used by No, Yes and the media. As you'd imagine the financial and economic issues are a lot more complex than was presented during the campaigns (and especially in the last 10 days where the referendum enjoyed national coverage), and there are arguments for No and Yes to be made there. However, one thing which is clear is that Scotland does send more money to UK Government through taxes and revenues than it gets back to spend, and the deficit between public spending per head and money generated is lower in Scotland than the UK average, even though spending per head is higher than in other UK nations except Northern Ireland.

I actually based my decision on digging for the actual objective facts rather than listening to campaigns. (Although the No Campaign did itself no favours by being so blatantly offensive to Scots! Lol!)

I'll also point out what financial and economic analysts said at the time of the pound crash and drop in some Scottish companies the day after the poll which indicated the referendum was very close: it did not have anything to do with the fact Yes may win, but that it was suddenly uncertain who would win, whereas before it had been assumed that No would win easily. Suddenly the markets did not know what would happen, and they hate uncertainty. We'll never know what would have happened in the case of independence, but a lot would depend on UK Government's willingness to agree to a currency union (which seems certain given the huge amount of money the remainder of the UK's economy would lose each year without one, according to objective analysts - I think I referenced at least one of these before in this thread, but given this is all over and just dragging at the expense of moving forward I'm not going to dig any sources up again here).

Oh, and up here there seems to be consensus that Nicola Sturgeon is the right person for the job - and women I know very much like her in particular. The media here has portrayed her as being unanimously supported by SNP leadership - I guess national media must be saying something else.

And brush off massive growth in SNP membership (way way more than UKIP, which is a rather different party with extreme right-wing policies, and a silly comparison, which has a larger base to draw from in England and the rest of the UK than SNP), but I think ignoring this is not such a good idea. There was an unprecedented turn out, and 45% and 55% are the most representative outcomes of a voting event ever on that basis - unfortunately you don't count non-voters, they kinda chose not to have their voices heard. I agree most people want change, and now there are even more people pushing for the politicians to deliver on their promises. It's not about Yes or No anymore. It's not about 45% and 55%. Undoubtedly the UK Government would like to hammer home these divisions - because now it's about 100% working for a better country. There are already a lot of disaffected No voters.

(The thing that frustrates me is all this tale of certainty: the No campaign offered no certainty, as they never even gave details of extra devolved powers, and the UK looks like it wants to leave the EU, while Scotland wants to be a member. UK Government has stripped Scottish Government of devolved powers without even consulting. There seems to be a growing movement to scrap the Barnett formula, and give Scotland less money to work with. And we are a minority vote with very different political leanings than the majority of the UK, meaning it is unlikely many if any UK Governments going forward will actually be the ones Scotland votes for. So there really is no certainty in the Union. On the otherhand, independence offered an awful lot of certainty because we'd be making our own decisions and would definitely have full powers. I hope things change, and I hope things improve, but I have grave concerns about my son's and business's future in the UK.)

Anyway, that's that.

Oh - except: believe it or not, the Scotsman was not unbiased. It was slightly biased towards the No campaign based on a South African academic study, although was more balanced than the national media (which were, would you believe, extremely biased towards No). Can't get anything from a name anymore... :swirly:

Hello insane war in Syria!

Bye-bye thread.

:)

Ryan F
2014-09-24, 08:10 PM
Hi numbat, sorry to hear you're leaving the thread - I only just found it, and it's great to hear some well-argued and intelligent points from both sides of the argument. And cheers for the link!

We'll never know what would have happened in the case of independence, but a lot would depend on UK Government's willingness to agree to a currency union.

Sorry for being a bit rubbish but could someone explain this to me? I thought that the whole thing with the currency was that an independent Scotland didn't need the UK's permission to keep the Pound, and that they planned to use it much in the same way that Zimbabwe, Panama or East Timor use the US Dollar - i.e. use it as currency but have no control over it, with interest rates still being set by the Bank of England.

Was there another proposal on the table, maybe to introduce a new currency ('The Scottish Pound') or maybe have some say in how the Pound was regulated, post-independence? If there was, I'm unaware of it and would appreciate some clarification.

The only historical precedent I can think of of the top of my head is Czechoslovakia, in which both sides initially kept the same currency, regulated by the Czech Republic in Prague. The smaller, less-wealthy Slovakia couldn't cope with the net cash outflow and announced their own currency within a year of secession. Slovakia is now a very successful country (and a great model for what an independent Scotland can achieve given time), but it's arguable they couldn't have done it without first decoupling their currency from the Czechs'.

And brush off massive growth in SNP membership (way way more than UKIP, which is a rather different party with extreme right-wing policies, and a silly comparison, which has a larger base to draw from in England and the rest of the UK than SNP), but I think ignoring this is not such a good idea.

Whilst I agree that the SNP and UKIP are very different parties with massive differences in philosophy and outlook, my point was that their one common element is that they trade off the general public's rampant dislike of the status quo. "The future is better with us! The grass will definitely be greener!" is a deliciously compelling message, no matter who delivers it.

(The thing that frustrates me is all this tale of certainty: the No campaign offered no certainty, as they never even gave details of extra devolved powers, and the UK looks like it wants to leave the EU, while Scotland wants to be a member.

Hmm... from what I've heard, the argument is the complete opposite - stick with what you know or take a leap into the unknown. Although an independent Scotland had hopes to join the EU, its lack of a central bank (and it's own unique currency), coupled with the continuous threats by Salmond to forfeit Scotland's share of UK national debt would certainly have counted against membership, wouldn't they?

Five years is the present time-frame for EU admittance these days, and going without the benefits of membership for even a fraction of that time would seriously have hindered the Scottish economy. Cornerstones of the Scottish financial industry (HBOS, Lloyds etc.) would, by EU law, have needed to move their offices out of Scotland and into the UK.

Scotland already relies on England for 80% of its exports, but without recourse to those intra-EU trading incentives the rest of the UK might have to look elsewhere for its goods - hardly a future full of certainty.

Salmond made the claim that EU membership would be immediate and automatic upon independence, but IIRC he had no evidence either way and was just guessing (hoping). Anyone who agreed with him was of course held up as a bastion of sanity.

However, most European commentators I saw interviewed were of the opinion that Scotland would have to jump through the same membership hoops as everyone else - and of course, Salmond instantly dismissed their claims as being "lies", "media bias", or that old favourite, "scaremongering".

But I'd be happy to stand corrected. Being in the UK, I fully admit that we got a very one-sided slant on the whole process, and I'm sure a lot of my points above could be countered very easily by someone more clued-up.

Salmond is a well-educated, excellent politician and a great ambassador for Scotland; his loss to the SNP will be keenly felt. His passion and infectious enthusiasm are a breath of fresh air amongst the backdrop of dour, grey bores such as Darling, IDS or whoever. And yet here on the news in England, his speeches were always presented in carefully-selected edits that made him sound like a bit of a loon (hence my fatuous "scaremongering" quotes above).

Undoubtedly my views have been clouded by the crummy presentation of the argument in England, and like many people in the aftermath, I'm still just trying to make sense of it.

Cheers!

electro girl
2014-09-24, 11:12 PM
It is interesting to note, though, that the no vote was won by the elderly. All age classes under 55 bar one (18-24) voted a Yes majority.


This reminds me of the Sean Lock quote "People over 65 shouldn't be allowed to vote because its not their future." And we all had a good laugh.

Tetsuro
2014-09-25, 05:59 AM
This reminds me of the Sean Lock quote "People over 65 shouldn't be allowed to vote because its not their future." And we all had a good laugh.
What's the retirement age in the UK?

Denyer
2014-09-25, 07:01 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retirement_age