Independence for Scotland?

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Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:34 am

In 43 days, Scotland will either vote "Yes" to independence or "No" to independence. Whatever your view about the debate (and personally I think it would be a sad day for England and Scotland if it were to happen), there are a couple of things which remain unclear, or unclear to me anyway!

Firstly, what is Salmond's fallback position in the event that Scotland can't or won't accept sterling?

Secondly, if, as the polls suggest, the Yes campaign is unsuccessful, what does this mean in the longer term for the Independence for Scotland campaign? Will its supporters continue to hassle for a further referendum every 2 or 3 years or is that the end of the debate for the foreseeable future?

And finally, why has the debate overall been so vitriolic and personal. As I said above, I hope Scotland stays in the union. I am English but have a great fondness for Scotland and I've spent some of my happiest holidays there. I will feel no animosity to Scottish people in the event that they vote for independence but the debate has been marred by personal attacks, suspicious statistics and very dubious prognostications for the future from both camps.

Balanced views from either side of the debate will be welcomed.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by ARKWRIGHT on Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:36 am

It seems strange that you are inviting British people living in France to discuss the forthcoming vote on Scottish independence because no one in England is discussing it at all. Only people living in Scotland have a vote so for the rest of us it is irrelevant. Most people are just bored with the politicians waffling on and on so we've all lost interest.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:49 am

ARKWRIGHT wrote:It seems strange that you are inviting British people living in France to discuss the forthcoming vote on Scottish independence because no one in England is discussing it at all.

It appears that you are suggesting that I should only invite people to comment on issues that are of immediate and local interest. Why is it strange that I am inviting (not just) British people to comment on an issue which is, in my view, important? The fact that I live in France is irrelevant; I am interested in the war in Syria; I am interested in the American support of gun laws and capital punishment; I am interested in the antics of Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon. In short, I am interested in many things outside of my immediate locality and so are my friends and these are some of the things that we talk about.

ARKWRIGHT wrote:because no one in England is discussing it at all.

You don’t say where you get this information from, but it sounds more than a little suspect. To suggest that no-one in England is discussing it, is clearly untrue.

ARKWRIGHT wrote:Only people living in Scotland have a vote so for the rest of us it is irrelevant.

How can it be irrelevant if it will have a knock-on effect on those people living in England and beyond, which it will, whether we want it to or not? For example, if the voters in the UK elect a UKIP government in the next elections, it will affect me; I don’t live there but it will certainly not be irrelevant to me.

ARKWRIGHT wrote:Most people are just bored with the politicians waffling on and on so we've all lost interest.

I’m not sure what the statistical basis for this statement is. However, your premise seems to be that people are bored with hearing politicians “waffling” on about independence which rather flies in the face of your earlier statement that “no one in England is discussing it at all”.

That aside, if you lose interest in an issue simply because politicians discuss it, you’re going to be left with precious little to talk about.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by peirol on Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:51 am

I hope the following meets your criteria for "balanced views"!

I am very interested in the idea of Scottish independence, and I'd be delighted to see the Scots vote in favour. They have done very well out of the Union, in my view, now let's give them a chance to see how they do outside it. It will certainly save money for those in the southern parts of Britain.

One thing I don't understand, is why only the Scots have a vote. A separation would cut both ways, and create two smaller nation states, so why don't the rest of Britain get a chance to give their opinion in a referendum? I suspect it is because all the political parties oppose independence for Scotland (for their various reasons) and they think England would vote in favour. Add to this the fact that all political leaders want to represent the largest possible population when the stride upon the international stage, and obviously they are going to want to reduce the risk of splitting up Britain.

But one good thing may come out of all this: the sorting out of the "West Lothian question". It is outrageous that Scottish MPs in Westminster are still able to vote on matters which, because those subjects have been devolved to the Scottish Assembly, do not affect their constituents in any way!

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:48 pm

peirol wrote:I am very interested in the idea of Scottish independence, and I'd be delighted to see the Scots vote in favour. They have done very well out of the Union, in my view, now let's give them a chance to see how they do outside it. It will certainly save money for those in the southern parts of Britain.

The problem with this line of argument is that we would also cut adrift Wales, the North East, the North West, many rural areas and indeed any other part of the UK that for social, geographical, natural resources or other reasons can't “show a profit”. One of the responsibilities of a union is to subsidise those areas/regions which have particular problems or difficulties and Wales is a good example.

peirol wrote:But one good thing may come out of all this: the sorting out of the "West Lothian question".

Only partly. Welsh & Northern Irish MP’s will still have full voting rights.

p.s. You were right to bring me to task on my “balanced” comment; in retrospect, it was somewhat high-handed.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by peirol on Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:21 am

p.s. You were right to bring me to task on my “balanced” comment; in retrospect, it was somewhat high-handed.

well, maybe I was a bit snarky about that!

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:25 am

peirol wrote:
p.s. You were right to bring me to task on my “balanced” comment; in retrospect, it was somewhat high-handed.

well, maybe I was a bit snarky about that!

 Laughing 
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by axelwhite on Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:47 am

Hi,

I work as a journalist at France Bleu Limousin and I'd like to meet British people as soon as possible in order to record an interview about Scottish independence referendum.
Tocyvi, Peirol, Arkwight, what you wrote interesses me. You can mail me at alexandre.blanc@radiofrance.com to get in touch.

Thank you.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Tony H on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:51 pm

I tend toward the no vote as I think both England and Scotland would be worse off economically and socially if there were a Yes vote.

However my main and purely selfish concern is the likely economic meltdown following a Yes vote. Markets uncertain about the consequences, are likely to bail out of the pound, causing it to fall substantially against the euro.

As my pension income is in sterling then that will seriously affect the amount of money I have to spend here. Same with many others. I just get by every month and the last thing I need is sterling/euro parity that we almost saw just 2 or 3 years ago.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Tony H wrote:However my main and purely selfish concern is the likely economic meltdown following a Yes vote. Markets uncertain about the consequences, are likely to bail out of the pound, causing it to fall substantially against the euro.

I don't think it's necessarily selfish to talk about an economic meltdown. Such an event (and it's certainly more than a possibility, as we are starting to witness already) will affect Scots and British alike. I think the financial implications for both sides are pretty severe. The difficulty is that there is precious little solid, unbiased and factual information to be had.

I have to say, as well, that the "No" camp has run a pretty miserable and negative campaign and this has contributed to the rise in the "Yes" vote. If you constantly harangue people with threats, they won't take kindly to it. I think that the government is only now, at 1 minute to midnight, realising that the union could fall apart.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Amber on Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:34 pm

Seeing Cameron, Clegg and Miliband all holding hands and begging me to stay with them would be enough to make me run for the Highlands and vote 'Yes' ! Laughing

Seriously, though, I must admit I haven't closely followed the whole debate but do think there are so many unanswered questions on both sides of the argument, and important decisions yet to be made, that it's very difficult to make a balanced judgement.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:46 am

Gordon Brown has definitely been the dark horse of this campaign. Never a man, in my opinion, to inspire or encourage enthusiasm, popped into the telephone kiosk and exited as "SuperBrown". His speech was full of passion for, and pride in, the union. It is a long time since I heard any politician speak with such emotion and, the best thing was, it was unscripted. If nothing else, it shows what politicians can do, when they kick their advisers & script-writers into touch and speak from the heart.

Many, many years ago, I went to the Albert Hall to listen to a speech by Jo Grimond. His passionate beliefs brought tears to my eyes; Brown almost did the same thing today. What a pity the "No" camp didn't wheel him out sooner. Alistair Darling, pleasant though he may be, is hardly an inspirational figure and yet this is exactly what the campaign called for. I just hope it's not too late.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by peirol on Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:25 pm

Words cannot describe how I feel about Gordon Brown - I think I dislike him even more than Tony Blair did, and that's saying something! However, he does have a following in Scotland, which I suppose is why they are putting him in the front line. Someone in Labour HQ must have realised that Miliband, as a metropolitan, Islington-dwelling intellectual, would really get up Scottish noses. And it is vital for Labour that the vote is 'no' because without the Scottish constituencies, Labour would struggle to ever get a majority in Westminster and form a government again.

I think the negotiators and the PM made a big mistake (from their unionist point of view) when they agreed to the referendum question. They should have gone for "Do you want Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom?". Then the nationalists would have had the 'no' campaign, and they would have been the ones having to battle against perceptions of negativity.

I've just come back from Catalonia where they are watching this referendum with great interest. They are hoping keenly for a yes vote in Scotland, as they have their own independence referendum in November. The difference is that the Government in Madrid has refused to recognise their referendum or its result, but the Catalonians are enthusiastic about the idea of a general European movement towards smaller independent nation states.


Last edited by peirol on Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammar error)

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:35 pm

And, most likely, Catalonia has the wealth to sustain itself as an independent state, something which is yet to be proven with Scotland.

Like you, I have little time for Brown, although Blair has reserved a special place in my heart for my worst feelings of disgust. At least, Brown doesn't have the deaths of thousands of innocent people on his hands.
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Scotland, a different perspective!

Post by Inkflo on Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:36 pm

You should check this out, funny, but so much truth in it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YkLPxQp_y0
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:14 pm

Hi Inkflo
I may be in the minority but I absolutely love the sound of bagpipes and to see Scottish regiments in full regalia marching to the sound of "Scotland the Brave" or any other Scottish melody, for that matter, gives me goosebumps.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by lady of leisure on Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:30 pm

me too

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Amber on Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:26 pm

So do I , maybe having a Scottish grandfather means I have it in my genes but I always felt as though I had 'come home' when we went to Scotland on holiday.

I'm not sure I agree with you Tocyvi about Scotland needing to prove they have the wealth to support themselves.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:44 pm

Amber wrote:I'm not sure I agree with you Tocyvi about Scotland needing to prove they have the wealth to support themselves.

Hi Amber. What I was suggesting is that most of Salmond's financial forecasts are based on what most other pundits call optimistic assessments of oil revenues. Even if we take his guesstimates, it is always going to be a finite resource and, as far as I can see, there is no other golden goose hiding in the heather to come to Scotland's rescue once the oil has dried up.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:56 pm

Amber wrote:I always felt as though I had 'come home' when we went to Scotland on holiday.

As far as I'm aware, I have no Scottish blood in me but whenever I travelled up the A9 to start my next "Munro-bagging" adventure, I invariably got that frisson of excitement that I was coming back to somewhere special. The journey back was always slightly melancholic. In about 18 months time, my wife and I will be returning to Scotland to spend 5/6 weeks touring round the northernmost parts - Sutherland, Orkney & Shetland Isles, Caithness etc and I can't wait!
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Inkflo on Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:04 am

tocyvi wrote:Hi Inkflo
I may be in the minority but I absolutely love the sound of bagpipes and to see Scottish regiments in full regalia marching to the sound of "Scotland the Brave" or any other Scottish melody, for that matter, gives me goosebumps.

So do I, and I love Scotland, but sadly, I think many other people have a different perception of Scotland and the Scots and most of them have probably never been there. Neutral
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:54 am

55%:45%
I am delighted that Scotland has decided to stay in the union and has said so fairly categorically. It is, however, a matter that needs to be addressed that 45% of Scottish people wanted 'out' and only greater devolution will satisfy that demand.

The other positive thing to come out of this, is the turnout; an average of 85% (and some turnouts of as much as 91%) is a hugely impressive figure, especially in comparison with some of the pathetically low turnouts seen in elections recently. It is great to see people so energised by issues that will affect their lives.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Amber on Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:27 pm

I agree Tocyvi, but don't hold your breath that a future election will produce such a good response!

I envy you your trip to the 'Far North' - I hope you enjoy it. Smile

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by tocyvi on Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:43 pm

Amber wrote:I envy you your trip to the 'Far North' - I hope you enjoy it. Smile

Hi Amber
I'm pressing my haggis, polishing my kilt, cooking my bagpipes and pumping up my skean dhu as I write.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Amber on Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:18 pm

lol!

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

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