/ Scotish Independance... why?

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JGF - on 01 Nov 2012
As a proud Welshman, national independance is a familiar subject that has always been a topic of serious dabate in these parts.

Therefore, I'm interested to know what the benefits of an independant Scotland would bring to the Scotish people (rather than Mr Salmond).
coinneach - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF:

An ability to spell "independence"

And "debate"

And "Scottish"

And "pedantic"

JGF - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to coinneach:
I think you'll find that in Welsh it's "podantic". (Little too much Laphroaig consumed with my mate from Aberdeen earlier whilst discussing the topic, and lack of spell check on ukc).

Excuse the spelling... point remains.
DaveN - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to coinneach:
> (In reply to JGF)
>
> An ability to spell "independence"
>
> And "debate"
>
> And "Scottish"
>
> And "pedantic"

Why use capitals on the word "and". You've not used full stops and you shouldn't start a sentence with it.

Nothing to add on the subject, but so much pedantry round these parts!
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveN:

It's 2012, we can let our hair down a bit and start a sentence with 'and'

Good call on the full stops though, we don't want standards slipping in an independent Scotland...

Cheers
Gregor
Ben Sharp - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF: It's down to entrenched ideologies. No one denies that in the past Scotland has been the looser in the Union but now the tables have turned and no one in their right mind would suggest that England financially benefits from being part of the union with Scotland. We have a better health service, free university education, free hospital parking, free care for the elderly, frozen council tax, free prescriptions and I think a more liberal, rounded government who can get on with creating a decent society to live in instead of squabbling over tax and defense.

All of this while under the umbrella of the UK which has obviously prevented our economy from collapsing during the financial crisis unlike Ireland, Greece, Iceland etc. If we got independence and took the Euro, we'd be Greece, if we kept the "English" pound we'd have our exchange rates controlled by a country where we have no vote and if we started a Scottish pound it would be worthless for decades. The reason people want independence is emotional, not practical.

Every conversation I have with someone who supports independence is void of issues and usually goes something like "we don't want our purse strings controlled by Westminster", "it's time we put a stop to David Cameron dictating our lives", "we've lived too long under the thumb of the English" etc. etc. No one ever stands up and says, "well having looked at the facts we'd have been much better off during the recession had we been independent".

Having lived in both England and Scotland, Scotland's way better; why change it?
mikekeswick - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF: Non of us are independant anyway. We all bow to the same master.
dale1968 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mikekeswick: I want independence from Scotland, why don't the English get a vote? Because I would vote them out!
Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:

I see where you are coming from but many of the facts you present are just opinions which you are of course welcome to hold. One of the main reasons for me is that I don't want a Tory MP coming and telling us we will have nuclear weapons whether we like it or not.

Have you been to Norway?
dale1968 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba: are youn suggesting that without English interference you will have a Norwegiansque state? that is laughable! best of luck, you will more likely go down the road of the Greeks
Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to dale1968:

No and please see the extensive threads on this last week and other times. I can't be bothered go over the same ground again. Please assume that unless I have specifically suggested or said something then I don't hold those views. That way I won't have to justify an opinion that I don't even hold.
Al Evans on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp: Well Ben I'm with you on a lot of that, as long as you can keep a tory government out of power in Scotland the better for you. Unfortunately us English need the Scottish remnants of anti torism to help us fight them in Westminster, so please don't leave us all alone.
All those freebees, very noble and worthwhile ones would wither under a right leaning government, so Power to the Scots, but don't leave your English brothers in the lurch.
dale1968 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba: SNP could do with some good politicians :)
michaelc - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:
I don't see why it's obvious that Scotland would be like Greece if in the euro. Greece's problems are bigger than the euro, but the euro (and with it access to cheap credit) allowed the problems to grow unchecked. A prudent Greek administration could have avoided this (as have many other euro-zone economies). Finland for example has not collapsed in the same way as Greece.

Equally, it is not clear that a Scottish pound would be worthless for decades. It all depends on how the currency is managed (Scottish Central BAnk), and how the Scottish economy fares. A devaluing currency is not even so bad (your competitiveness goes up, attracts jobs), and an appreciating currency can be a real disaster especially for small countries (e.g. Swiss Franc appreciating in 2010/2011 caused (and is causing) huge problems for Swiss exporters competing in international markets)

None of that is to say independence is good or bad. A lot of it depends on the quality of the government (and of course electorate) you can expect to have, and how they will run things when fully untramelled by UK policy.
dale1968 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: no please go, then it will be true blue all the way...
Steve John B - on 01 Nov 2012
tony on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to DaveN)
>
> It's 2012, we can let our hair down a bit and start a sentence with 'and'
>
> Good call on the full stops though, we don't want standards slipping in an independent Scotland...

There's no need for full stops, since 'And "debate" ' is a statement, rather than a sentence.

And there's nothing wrong with starting a sentence with the word 'And'.
tony on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp) Well Ben I'm with you on a lot of that, as long as you can keep a tory government out of power in Scotland the better for you. Unfortunately us English need the Scottish remnants of anti torism to help us fight them in Westminster, so please don't leave us all alone.

Perhaps that just means Labour in England should try doing a better job?

And it's also not true to say that without Scottish MPs, England is doomed to perpetual Tory dominance. Blair's landslides would have given Labour a majority even without Scottish Labour MPs.

tony on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to michaelc:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
> I don't see why it's obvious that Scotland would be like Greece if in the euro. Greece's problems are bigger than the euro, but the euro (and with it access to cheap credit) allowed the problems to grow unchecked. A prudent Greek administration could have avoided this (as have many other euro-zone economies). Finland for example has not collapsed in the same way as Greece.
>
> Equally, it is not clear that a Scottish pound would be worthless for decades. It all depends on how the currency is managed (Scottish Central BAnk), and how the Scottish economy fares. A devaluing currency is not even so bad (your competitiveness goes up, attracts jobs), and an appreciating currency can be a real disaster especially for small countries (e.g. Swiss Franc appreciating in 2010/2011 caused (and is causing) huge problems for Swiss exporters competing in international markets)
>
At the moment, it's not clear how the currency would be managed. As far I've been able to make out, Scotland will either continue to use Sterling (and so be unable to do anything about exchange rates or interest rates) or will join the Euro (and so be unable to do anything about exchange rates or interest rates).
PeterM - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF:
>Scotish Independance... why?

..because we have nothing more important to worry about..we have more money than we know what to do with...we have a psuedo-romantic notion that we've been 'hard done by' all these years when in fact it is mostly our own doing..because we think we're a 'special' race (we most assuredly are not - just like everyone else..)..we're deluded in that we think a shared nationality somehow makes us all brethern..this is one of the worst notions. Being proud of your nationality is a bit like being proud of your height or hair colour, i.e. meaningless...that isolationism is a good idea...oh, where do I stop...
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Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to PeterM:

Do you want the UK to be in the EU?
PeterM - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

Whatever my decision would be, I can assure you it would be based on economic and social factors not nationality...
Al Evans on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
And it's also not true to say that without Scottish MPs, England is doomed to perpetual Tory dominance. Blair's landslides would have given Labour a majority even without Scottish Labour MPs.

But are you saying that the Blair government was a labour one, hardly.
Al Evans on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to PeterM)
>
> Do you want the UK to be in the EU?

Now would be a terrible time to join, I think if we'd gone in at the start we would probably be in the position of Germany rather than Greece or Spain, but with the value of hindsight and the lies a lot of countries entering like Greece were telling it's best that we stayed out, and certainly now is not the time for the UK to enter the eurozone.
dale1968 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: no hindsight I said at the time it was crazy to let these country's in, but it was about socialist politics rather than financial expedience
GridNorth - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF: It's all a bit silly. The UK is already a tiny country, where does the call for independence end? Independence for Yorkshire? Lancashire? Cornwall? I know lets go the whole hog and bring back tribes ruled by local Chiefs. I have a Scottish birth certificate and don't agree with any of this cessation nonsense which is mostly based on emotional and historical chips on shoulders. My relatives are always harking on about Bonny Prince Charlie and Culloden conveniently forgetting that there are no Catholics in the family and we would probably have been opposed to them at that time.

John
Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to PeterM:

Neither is mine. So in the current circumstances we find ourselves in, do you want the UK to be a member of the EU?
Jim C - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> (In reply to JGF) ....... We have a better health service, free university education, free hospital parking, free care for the elderly, frozen council tax, free prescriptions .......
>
>I hear this all the time, Scotland gets an allocation of money, it then decides to allocate (about 3% I think it is) to free university education, free hospital parking, free care for the elderly, frozen council tax, free prescriptions , so therefore there is LESS money for all other things.

I don't agree with all of these priorities, but since my Tory friends decided to vote for the SNP and against labour, and let the SNP in, so we are stuck with whom we now have and their priorities.

If Labour had got in, the overall amount of money would have been just the same, just the priorities would change.
(And I would not have agreed with those either)



Jim C - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to JGF) ... My relatives are always harking on about Bonny Prince Charlie and Culloden conveniently forgetting that there are no Catholics in the family and we would probably have been opposed to them at that time.

And anyway he was a wee Italian shit with a Polish Mother (Maria Clementina Sobieska)

(Born: December 31, 1720, Palazzo Muti
Died: January 31, 1788, Rome Buried: St. Peter's Basilica)


graeme jackson - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> We have a better health service, free university education, free hospital parking, ...

I'd happily go back to paying for hospital parking. Ever since st johns Livi stopped charging it's been impossible to get into the car park due to it filling up early in the morning with people leaving their cars all day while they go to the shops/ offices/ schools/ pubs etc.
Ken Lewis - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF:

> Therefore, I'm interested to know what the benefits of an independant Scotland would bring to the Scotish people (rather than Mr Salmond).

Some of the benefits are actually problems. For example...

Air freshener manufacturers are really worried about the prospect of a yes vote, because from 2015 onwards, Scottish shit will no longer stink.

Charities are also worried because poverty, crime, abuse and any negative social ill will be eradicated 48 hours after the yes vote, leaving all charities unneccessary.




Ken Lewis - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
>
> I see where you are coming from but many of the facts you present are just opinions which you are of course welcome to hold. One of the main reasons for me is that I don't want a Tory MP coming and telling us we will have nuclear weapons whether we like it or not.

The people now responsible for nukes staying in Scotland are the SNP.

In the opinion of the SNP CND branch, that is.

Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Lewis:

I don't see the logic there. Utter fantasy more like.
Ken Lewis - on 01 Nov 2012
Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Lewis:

Ah right, that is very different from you post above.
jonny taylor on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Lewis:

I read that link out of curiosity. Not the most coherent of pieces. I was a bit uneasy about some of their lines of arguments, but the alien invasion one was totally flawed logic (only reason to hold an opinion on nato is if in fear of imminent military invasion) so I'm more than a little suspicious about the whole thing now...

Can't help feeling the whole think was written by an intern who really needs some coaching on how to write a meaningful "briefing"
Ken Lewis - on 01 Nov 2012
Not that different really.

Indy Scotland out of NATO, nukes removed in 2 years max.

Indy Scotland in NATO, international real-politik takes hold and things drag on, and on, and on.

SNP are responsible for taking Indy Scotland into NATO, ergo, SNP are responsible for nukes not making a sharp exit - should that happen.

Of course where we probably differ is whether we think that scenario would happen. I think it will because I'm cynical about international politics.
Ben Sharp - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to JGF) It's all a bit silly. The UK is already a tiny country, where does the call for independence end?

I totally agree but it's a scenario that seems to be played out all around the world - people seem to develop a dislike for the nations they're closest to. Despite the fact that they're often most like them.

Scots, English, Welsh and Irish are so similar in terms of shared history and lifestyles when you compare us to other English speaking countries like America, Australia, Canada.

Cuthbert on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:

It's nothing to do with dislike for anyone else and history wont and cant be changed. It's about should Scotland have the powers to decide things like having nuclear weapons, what the VAT rate might be, when to go to war and when not, what sort of immigration policy to have etc.

If you think think it's just about negative sentiment you are going to miss the biggest opportunity to reshape these islands.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

> It's nothing to do with dislike for anyone else and history wont and cant be changed. It's about should Scotland have the powers to decide things like having nuclear weapons, what the VAT rate might be, when to go to war and when not, what sort of immigration policy to have etc.

People in Yorkshire could say the same! Why not just admit that it's mostly down to sentiment at best, and other less avowable motives at worst?
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verygneiss - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF:

I view independence as the better option (the other being the status quo), as I am in favour of local decision making at all levels, e.g. along the lines of the Swiss cantonal system. I would also support an ultra-federal system, e.g. the other parts of the UK become almost entirely independent of one another, but remain in loose federation for defence (in the sense of self-defence, not invading whatever middle-eastern country is the flavour of the week).

I would also like the nuclear boogeyman deterrent to be removed from Faslane and preferably destroyed, as it is not the Cold War anymore.
Al Evans on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
> [...]
>
> I'd happily go back to paying for hospital parking. Ever since st johns Livi stopped charging it's been impossible to get into the car park due to it filling up early in the morning with people leaving their cars all day while they go to the shops/ offices/ schools/ pubs etc.

Wouldn't a better answer be to having to show an up to date pass, letter etc for genuine needers of the car park rather than simply charging for it when presumably all those 'shoppers' could still use it?
Al Evans on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
>
> It's nothing to do with dislike for anyone else and history wont and cant be changed. It's about should Scotland have the powers to decide things like having nuclear weapons, what the VAT rate might be, when to go to war and when not, what sort of immigration policy to have etc.
>
> If you think think it's just about negative sentiment you are going to miss the biggest opportunity to reshape these islands.

As Bruce says the same could apply to Yorkshire or Lancashire or Cornwall et al, a complete defragmentation of a happily existing country where the odds are just about shared, probably in favour of Scotland. Geographically we are co-joined. Why do yo think a Scot should have more right to indepenence than a Yorkshireman, what arrogance has driven that into your soul.
We are an Island , driven together by history and now language and joint national interests.
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...]
>
> As Bruce says the same could apply to Yorkshire or Lancashire or Cornwall et al,

If people in Yorkshire or Lancashire want independence, that's an issue for them. The fact that there isn't any kind of Yorkshire independence movement doesn't have any bearing on the legitimate aspirations of some Scots to follow a different path.

> Why do yo think a Scot should have more right to indepenence than a Yorkshireman, what arrogance has driven that into your soul.

Who has said anything anyone having more right to independence - has anyone prevented the formation of a Yorkshire National Party? If that's want they want to do, let them go ahead. There's nothing arrogant about wanting self-determination.



rossh - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

There is something very arrogant and selfish about splitting up the very succesful political union that the UK enjoys into little parts, each with competing agendas and the consequent disputes that this would lead to. That would be of benefit to no one in the UK. Thankfully Yorkshire and Lancashire have more sense than to want this.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to rossh:

I realise that it's customary on these forums to refer to Scotland in the same breath as "the Lakes", for example, but in the present context in particular it'd be helpful if people could at least compare like with like. Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cornwall etc. are English counties. Scotland is a country, with its own counties - you may even have heard of some of them.
Al Evans on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Douglas Griffin: I was looking at the relevant individual economies of Yorkshire vs Scotland. And do you think the battle of the roses was fought over tribal love. No the outcome was eventually common sense that one great alliance is better than a frgamented whole. You Scots really do need to join the 21st century, or would you like to have a Balklans like situation going on in Great Britain.
You are not excluded or downtrodden, you are a part of it, and should be proud of the fact.
graeme jackson - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Wouldn't a better answer be to having to show an up to date pass, letter etc for genuine needers of the car park rather than simply charging for it when presumably all those 'shoppers' could still use it?

If they were made to pay, they would be more likely to use the shoppers carparks that currently charge and are more often than not half empty (and right next to the shops).
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to rossh:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> There is something very arrogant and selfish about splitting up the very succesful political union that the UK enjoys into little parts,

The notion of a political union is interesting in this context. It's often not very well known south of the border just how much is already devolved north of the border. Even before devolution in 1998, Scotland already did its own thing in health and education, had a separate legal system (the right to retain a separate Scottish legal system was enshrined in the 1707 Act of Union), land access and ownership, and had a different relationship with established churches. For a union, there has always been a lot of difference.
Al Evans on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony: A difference we should all hope to integrate for the best of us all than to fragment it even more. The UK is currently the great central power block outside the rest of Europe, surely it is in our interests to maintain it's cohesion and not split into smaller warring tribes all over again.
Toby S - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> surely it is in our interests to maintain it's cohesion and not split into smaller warring tribes all over again.

Oh come on Al, that's highly unlikely. It's nothing like your earlier cited example of the Balkans either.



MG - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I agree with your general sentiment although I don't think your Doomesday predictions are realistic, or helpful. But you are right, increasing differences between regions lead to less mobility which is a pity. Already since devolution teachers, police etc. are much less likely to work in a "foreign" bit of the UK, and students are more parochial in their choice of university due to different funding regimes. It's a pity and we should try and stop the trend rather than let it grow.
Toby S - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

And the Wars of the Roses were not about Lancastrian or Yorkshire Independence. They were about who had the right to the throne of England.
Sir Chasm - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Do you think that there should be closer integration between the UK and the rest of Europe?
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to MG:

> Already since devolution teachers, police etc. are much less likely to work in a "foreign" bit of the UK.

Are you sure about that? Take teachers, for example. The Scottish education system has always been independent of the rest of the UK. What difference did devolution make?
Al Evans on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> And the Wars of the Roses were not about Lancastrian or Yorkshire Independence. They were about who had the right to the throne of England.

And you think Scottish independence is not about who has the right to rule???? If it was there wouldn't be a problem, the UK had been ruling fairly and equally over England and Scotland, though I think weighted in Scots favour, it's pure tibalism that is making Scotland want independence, there is no logic to it and it will only do both country's harm to fragment.
Al Evans on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Al Evans) Do you think that there should be closer integration between the UK and the rest of Europe?

I don't think that has anything, or shouldn't have, to do with the stupidity of independence for Scotland.
dissonance - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Toby S:

> And the Wars of the Roses were not about Lancastrian or Yorkshire Independence. They were about who had the right to the throne of England.

yup it was really two branches of the same family with power bases, predominately, in the North and the South as opposed to Yorkshire vs Lancashire. Although even that was more complex eg West Yorkshire was split between the two due to land holdings.

Then the Welsh branch sneaked in during extra time when everyone was knackered and grabbed the throne.
MG - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Are you sure about that? Take teachers, for example. The Scottish education system has always been independent of the rest of the UK.

True, but devolution has enhanced the feeling of separation. I don't have figures, but anecdotally there is a new resistance to, for example, English teaching bodies attempting recruit Scottish teaching graduates.

Sir Chasm - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Well you appeared to be saying bigger better, smaller badder. I wondered where the limit to that is.
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Toby S - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Toby S)
> [...]
>
> And you think Scottish independence is not about who has the right to rule????

It's about the right to self determination. It's not fighting about who gets Lizzie's throne.


>If it was there wouldn't be a problem, the UK had been ruling fairly and equally over England and Scotland, though I think weighted in Scots favour,

In what way do think it's weighted in our favour?

>it's pure tibalism that is making Scotland want independence, there is no logic to it and it will only do both country's harm to fragment.

Rubbish. I've got plenty of friends who are not Scottish and who see Scottish Independence as a good thing. They all live and work in Scotland.

Cuthbert on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> I don't think that has anything, or shouldn't have, to do with the stupidity of independence for Scotland.

Actually the opposite is true. The EU question has been high in the news recently. There are quite clear differences on EU membership throughout these islands.
MG - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Actually the opposite is true. The EU question has been high in the news recently. There are quite clear differences on EU membership throughout these islands.

Surprisingly constant geographically according to polls - London most supportive, then Scotland but quite small differences.

rossh - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

In some parts of these islands they really can't even decide what they want with regard to the EU. One minute it's the euro, next it's definitely not the euro but some so-called sterling zone. Even Salmond can't be sure what it will be by 2014.
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Toby S)
> [...]
>
> there is no logic to it and it will only do both country's harm to fragment.

In what material ways would an independent Scotland harm England?
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Actually the opposite is true. The EU question has been high in the news recently.

Only because Nicola Sturgeon let the cat out the bag to reveal Alec Salmond to be a weasally liar. Hmm, mixed metaphors perhaps...
Toby S - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

I thought that had been proved not to be the case. Did the Chief Justice (or whatever the hell he's called) not come out and back him? Not being paying much attention to the news over the last week so could be wrong on that!
Cuthbert on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

Well not true actually. The question raged for ages before that and has now moved on to the UK Government not wanting to ask the question. I wonder why they are so keen to insist they don't need the opinion of the body that would make the decision????
Sir Chasm - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba: Well, to use the hackneyed analogy of Scotland becoming independent being like a divorce, why would the party being left obtain legal advice about the future status of the party who wanted to leave? If you want to know about your post-divorce status put your hand in your pocket and pay for a legal opinion.
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Well not true actually.

Well it is true that Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government would be asking for legal advice, there was then a big stooshy, and then she agreed that it was unfortunate that 'an impression' had been given that such legal advice had already been sought. How was that impression gained? Anything to do with anything Alec Salmond had previously said perhaps? Weasel words left, right and centre.
rossh - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

As the UK government is not planning to and has no desire to break up Britain then why would they want to waste time and money asking hypothetical questions about Scotland joining the EU? Surely it is up to Salmond to get the answers to all these questions? However as we have found out recently, Salmond prefers assertions to facts. He's terrified of asking any of these international organisations such as the EU and NATO about the terms under which Scotland might join them. I guess you'll just have to trust him, surely no one doubts his honesty?
Cuthbert on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to rossh:

Correct, but it does mean that no informed choice can be made on the matter which is exactly the opposite of what they keep going on about. The Scottish Government (I don't think it would be Salmond as there is more than one person in government) can seek advice but according to the BBC reports only a member state can seek the formal view of the Commission.

I think a lot of this information probably is being sought and will be released in due course.
Cuthbert on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

They can commission advice from someone but I don't think the Commission will give it to anything other than a member state. You can guarantee that if the advice was favourable to the UK it would have been sought ages ago.
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> They can commission advice from someone but I don't think the Commission will give it to anything other than a member state. You can guarantee that if the advice was favourable to the UK it would have been sought ages ago.

How would they know whether it was favourable if they hadn't sought it?

Besides, that's all a different issue to the one regarding Alec's Salmond's impression that advice had been sought from Scottish law officers, Nicola Sturgeon's appeal against the Information Commissioner's order to publish the advice, and the revelation that advice hadn't really been sought, and the dropping of the appeal against Information Commissioner's order, presumably because there was no advice in the first place.

You know perfectly well that that's what the big stooshy was about. The debate in Scotland about EU membership hasn't actually been about EU membership, it's been about the assumptions and presumptions about Scotland's membership, and the legal advice that may or may not have been sought or given. There's been no real debate about whether membership of the EU would actually be in Scotland's best interests.

And I've been wondering - should it be stooshy, or stooshie? I'm starting to think the latter might be better.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

Definitely stooshie.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

Or indeed stramash.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

ps - Iain MacWhirter described the whole episode as an 'omnibourach' the other day.
Cuthbert on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

Get real. Do you honestly think they haven't made some enquiries or talked to some people? Of course they have and either it's in their favour or not. But that it hasn't been released is interesting. Both sides will have a timetable when to do certain things.

You are correct re the rest of your post. What is very clear now is that the argument about Scotland gaining the security of certain EU membership through the UK is now dead. It is more likely that the UK will take us out.

Stooshie I would have thought. Not sure on origin of word though.
deanstonmassif on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to PeterM:

Bang on.

I live in Scotland, my daughter is Scottish and I like the place. Never really understood the sense of grievance towards the UK that some people have up here; in most cases it is more a resentment of London - but that is a sentiment common to many provincial parts of the UK. The whole 'national identity' thing takes up far too much of people's energy up here, and is entirely negative; promoting a maudlin, victimised, blindly proud view of the 'nations' identity.

As an example of how misguided things are, try counting how many government institutions, quangos, charities etc working up here use the Saltire as the key emblem in their brand identity, rather than trying to present a brand image based upon WHAT they actually do. I have not seen this attitude in other countries, and certainly not in England.

Scottish politicians need to genuinely look ahead rather than back to 1707 all the time. When considering the United Kingdom they need to stop simply thinking of English tories, and perhaps understand a bit more what the benefits of the union might bring in future.
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> ps - Iain MacWhirter described the whole episode as an 'omnibourach' the other day.

Excellent! The Thick of It comes North - love it.
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Mike Stretford - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to deanstonmassif: Many of the issues you mention could also be dealt with by Scots voting for independence. This 'grievance' may well be becuase they are a country without a state of their own.
tony on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
>
> Stooshie I would have thought. Not sure on origin of word though.

Apparently it comes from stashie, according to the Dictionary of the Scots Language. Unhelpfully, it doesn't give a derivation for stashie. Interesting that it's now more common as stooshie than the original (in my experience).
PeterM - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to deanstonmassif) Many of the issues you mention could also be dealt with by Scots voting for independence. This 'grievance' may well be becuase they are a country without a state of their own.
- No, it won't.

Cuthbert on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to PeterM:

Still interested to know your thoughts on UK membership of EU. In or out?
Al Evans on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> In what material ways would an independent Scotland harm England?

The rich (tories) would have the upper hand in elections.
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

> yup it was really two branches of the same family with power bases...

Yes, it was the house of Lancashire against the house of Yorkshire, family names that had lost their geographical meaning.
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

> Even before devolution in 1998, Scotland already did its own thing in health and education, had a separate legal system (the right to retain a separate Scottish legal system was enshrined in the 1707 Act of Union), land access and ownership, and had a different relationship with established churches.

It always strikes be as ironical, or unfair even, that Scotland being allowed to maintain its regional differences - essentially a generous and open minded concession at the time - is now used as an argument against the union today! Perhaps all those North and South of the border, who set things up like this back then should have adopted the French centralising approach at the time of the revolution and imposed norms of language, laws and so on? Until a few years ago, for example, Breton children were beaten if they spoke Breton in class, all in the name of national unity.

> For a union, there has always been a lot of difference.

There are all sorts of local differences even so, and, taking the French example, local languages and customs are now being encouraged - Breton, Catalan etc. There is one part of France with different educational and religious setup, Alsace, as they were broken away from France in 1870 and only rejoined again in 1918. By then the insistence on totally centralised administrative norms had declined a little, which doesn't make the people there feel any less French, quite the opposite, they have first hand experience of how weak and vulnerable they would be if not part of France.

Ken Lewis - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> You are correct re the rest of your post. What is very clear now is that the argument about Scotland gaining the security of certain EU membership through the UK is now dead. It is more likely that the UK will take us out.

Why do the seperatists constantly bang on about utopian Norway while at the same time clinging on to mummy EU as the be all end all?

Personaly i have more faith in Scotland than you and believe they are more than capable of determining their own rules.

Wheras you are happy to and indeed desire to, for example, subject every Scottish citezen to the justice of countries such ss Romania on sn equal footing with that of your own.

Id have far more respect for the seperatist view if they would grow some balls and actually go for inependence, instead of the laughably not independent scenario they ate currently building.
Ken Lewis - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Lewis:

Sorry bad spelling, on phone.
Cuthbert on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to Ken Lewis:

I'm not sure it's banging on, more that Norway offers a relevant, close and clear comparison with Scotland. It also offers the comparison of a nation choosing its relationship with the EU, a facility which Scotland has little control of right now.

You should listen to "Good Morning Scotland" from this morning on Iplayer as it dealt with many of the issues raised here including a commentator who thought that independence outside of the EU was becoming a more widely held view. I amnt convinced of that but certainly the comparison with Norway is even more relevant in that situation.
Dr.S at work - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF:

> Therefore, I'm interested to know what the benefits of an independant Scotland would bring to the Scotish people (rather than Mr Salmond).

they could get asked "has independence been a benefit" rather than "what would you get from independence" = could be less tedious on UKC?
TOS on 03 Nov 2012 - 62-63-41-65.static.customer.pronea.no
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Ken Lewis)
>
> I'm not sure it's banging on, more that Norway offers a relevant, close and clear comparison with Scotland.

I have to ask, what specifically is it about Norway you reckon can be emulated?
TOS on 04 Nov 2012 - 62-63-41-65.static.customer.pronea.no
Iím assuming youíre not referring to the oil industry, because that would be like comparing a 3 year old VW Golf that's had full main dealer servicing with a 20 year old badly maintained Ford Escort thatís been patched up with the minimum just enough to get it through the MOT each year.

Whilst Norway has all this oil wealth it still costs 160kr (£17) to see your GP and up to 790kr (£86) just for a check-up visit to your dentistÖ Iím thinking itís not this.

Income tax is at 36% Ė 40% and national insurance many times higher than the UK, so Iím thinking itís not this either.

The only thing you can realistically hold up about the Norwegian dream is it that they have some good climbing and skiing, and the burds are well fitÖ. Is it this?
Cuthbert on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

It's the fact that their system delivers better government, a better standard of living, better infrastructure and less insular view of the world, in my view of course.

We still pay £17 to see a GP, just in a different way.
jonnie3430 - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Gaupa:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...]
>
> I have to ask, what specifically is it about Norway you reckon can be emulated?

He used to use Ireland and Iceland as examples of a small country doing well to justify Scotland's independence, but they failed so he uses Norway instead.

TOS on 04 Nov 2012 - 62-63-41-65.static.customer.pronea.no
In reply to Saor Alba:

I'm not sure what your view is based on, but mine's based on having lived in Scotland and now in Norway.

My life in Scotland under the 'oppressive Westminster rule' was of a higher standard than here. If paying high taxes and getting little in return is your thing, then yes, it's great here.

The reason I'm here is because as someone who works in the oil and gas industry, Norway's future in that respect is rosy; an undeveloped Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea, on top of the existing activity in the North Sea.

Scotland on the other hand doesn't have that massive coastline and undeveloped oil and gas to plunder. A few notable new prospects such as CoP Jasmine and Nexen Golden Eagle come to mind, but otherwise Scotland has a clapped-out fleet of ancient used and abused platforms, and little scope to turn the industry around
Dr.S at work - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Gaupa)
>
> We still pay £17 to see a GP, just in a different way.

true - but not with such high taxation as suggested above - so in one way or another the UK is costing less - of course this may or may not be a good thing, and I've no idea how good norwegian health care is!

however a quick google and random quotage suggests its not fantastic...
>
More than half of German (56%) and French (53%) patients and more than two of five Norwegian (43%) and U.S. (42%) patients reported gaps in care coordination, including duplicate tests being ordered, medical records or test results not being available during a medical appointment, or providers not sharing important information with each other. In contrast, only 20 percent of U.K. patients and 23 percent of Swiss patients reported such care gaps.
ē The proportion of patients reporting medical errors (including prescription and lab test errors) ranged from a low of 8 percent to 9 percent in the U.K. and Switzerland to 22 percent or more in New Zealand, Norway, and the U.S.

source 2011 commonwealth fund international health care systems comparison
Douglas Griffin - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

Clair Ridge and Rosebank and Laggan/Tormore are worth a mention too. There's a lot of activity going on West of Shetland.

Most of the already-discovered reserves on the UKCS have of course already been produced. But with the oil price likely to remain high for the foreseeable future, it may be that more than half of the revenue is still to come.

Of course, that's even more true for Norway. They really are in an incredibly rosy position.
Cuthbert on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

Who are you quoting with your oppression comments?

Little in return? There are over 1000 road tunnels in Norway and as any climber knows, the A82 and A9 are falling to bits. That's leaving roads such as the A83 and Stromeferry issue. In Norway all of these would have been dealt with years ago. They can't here for only one reason - money.

Independence, for me though isn't just about my standard of living. Labour have failed the working classes for decades and the gap is widening. I also want to see the general standard of living in Scotland raise to that of Norway. So whilst your own standard might have been better here, I don't think one person's situation is of massive relevance in the bigger picture.

Cuthbert on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Fair enough, our health system has less errors in prescriptions. Do those figures apply to Scotland or the whole of the UK or just E&W.

One thing is for sure, the power over health in Scotland has saved us from the shambolic way Westminster is going about it.
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TOS on 04 Nov 2012 - 62-63-41-65.static.customer.pronea.no
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

True, but you also have to admit a lot of the platforms are plodding on at the moment and are only viable due to the high oil price. Most would be doing far better if a take-take-take attitude hadn't occurred for the last few decades.

My case example would be the BP Miller - a CO2 capture / EOR project requiring some finanical breaks from the government got binned because it didn't get them.

So instead of having a platform with another 20 years of life, the place has been shutdown, for good....

The UK oil and gas industry is indeed doing a good job of bringing the money in, but I don't think the likes of Donald understands how much has to be put in to keep them producing. Nor how how old some of those old workhorses are - Apparently one of the last UK platforms I worked on had itís gas turbines stamped with ĎFrank Whittle Companyí.
Cuthbert on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

So basically what you are saying is that the UK Sector has suffered from under investment, poor government management of the oil industry. Why on earth would anyone want to continue that scenario AND have no oil fund is baffling.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

> They can't here for only one reason - money.

Under devolution isn't the way money is used in Scotland under local control? The decision to provide free higher education, a good one in my opinion, means maybe it isn't available for some roads? This sort of compromise won't disappear with independence, will it?
Dr.S at work - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Dr.S at work)
>
> Fair enough, our health system has less errors in prescriptions. Do those figures apply to Scotland or the whole of the UK or just E&W.
>
UK figures, from a US thinktank.


Cuthbert on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Right.

Maybe Labour supporters could answer this question.

Who should have the power to make the decision on whether we have nuclear weapons in Scotland? A Labour minister in Scotland or a Tory minister in London?
Dr.S at work - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Who should have the power to make the decision on whether we have nuclear weapons in Scotland? A Labour minister in Scotland or a Tory minister in London?

why do you exclude the possibility of a labour minister in westminster?
TOS on 04 Nov 2012 - 62-63-41-65.static.customer.pronea.no
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Gaupa)
>
> So basically what you are saying is that the UK Sector has suffered from under investment, poor government management of the oil industry.

Er, yes.

>Why on earth would anyone want to continue that scenario AND have no oil fund is baffling.

You're right, but that's a question to ask the current and previous governments.

Unfortunately you're a bit late to change the UK oil and gas situation I'm afraid.

If you buy a car that runs ok but has 150k miles on the clock and needs constant work to get through the MOT each year, no amount of attention will turn that situation around. It's still old, and counting on it for your future commute to work is, well, a bit optimistic to say the least.

The only problem is that we're not talking about an old but currently reliable car which can be replaced fairly easily with a replacement, we're talking about huge expensive oil and gas installations.
MargieB - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to JGF: A removal of the status of Crown Estate around the coastline of Scotland. Crown Estate status inhibits the funds from Renewables from going directly to Scottish Parliament. As a federalist, this would have been on the agenda for a negotiated change in the legal relationship between Scotland and the Uk as a whole. Look to the middle east,[ look to America going for energy independence ]and you get an understanding of the urgency of the situation. Legal and political restructuring should reflect the new energy revolution we require - a taylored Scottish policy and a new distribution of funds entrenched in a new legal position between the regions.
Douglas Griffin - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

The cost of decomissioning those installations will be at least partly borne by the tax-payer. These costs are not insubstantial and will certainly run into many £bns over the UKCS as a whole.

This is something that would also need to be the subject of negotiation if and when Independence were to be a reality, i.e. would the 'rump' UK (i.e. England/Wales/Northern Ireland) retain some of the tax liability and how would that work?
MargieB - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to MargieB: So isn't this an aspiration shared by those wanting independence? Doesn't an independent country get automatic control over a 200 mile distance of coastline?
Al Evans on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Dr.S at work)
>
> Right.
>
> Maybe Labour supporters could answer this question.
>
> Who should have the power to make the decision on whether we have nuclear weapons in Scotland? A Labour minister in Scotland or a Tory minister in London?

Thats a stupid question, it goes back to the earlier debate, why or who should have the right to decide on a nuclear option in Yorkshire.
Al Evans on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Gaupa)
>
> It's the fact that their system delivers better government, a better standard of living, better infrastructure and less insular view of the world, in my view of course.
>
> We still pay £17 to see a GP, just in a different way.

And why shouldn't you, everybody else does, except the yanks who pay vastly more, your view of the Scotland ruled by only scottish birth people is naive and, well totally wrong for the good of the whole UK, not just England.
"Whilst Norway has all this oil wealth it still costs 160kr (£17) to see your GP and up to 790kr (£86) just for a check-up visit to your dentistÖ Iím thinking itís not this.

Income tax is at 36% Ė 40% and national insurance many times higher than the UK, so Iím thinking itís not this either.

The only thing you can realistically hold up about the Norwegian dream is it that they have some good climbing and skiing, and the burds are well fitÖ. Is it this?"


Mike Stretford - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Al, stop with this Yorkshire thing... it's really silly.

Scotland qualifies as a 'country' by several measure.... while Yorkshire doesn't even aspire to be one.

The UK never really merged, leaving cessation be the constituent countries a real possibility. Accept the reality of the situation.
jonnie3430 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Al Evans) Al, stop with this Yorkshire thing... it's really silly.
>
> Scotland qualifies as a 'country' by several measure.

Not by all. Yorshire qualifies on several measures, as does Glasgow. http://geography.about.com/od/politicalgeography/a/scotlandnot.htm
Mike Stretford - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: No of course not by all. I've said elsewhere it is time for Scots to decide wether they do want to be a country of a region of the UK. However, they have that choice because they are considered a 'country', though not an independent one. Yorkshire or Glasgow have never been considered nations so it is a facetious line at best.

Al Evans on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Papillon: There is no economic reason to consider Yorshire different to Scotland, it is purely different on narionalism grounds, which is certainly not sensible for the scots and not at all good for the union.
Mike Stretford - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans: If the world were organised on that basis then we'd have a wholesale merging of nations across the globe. It is not. The international norm is for for nation states.

jonnie3430 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Papillon:

But if we are seriously going to look at "independence," then we should take all possibilities into account. If people are wandering about saying "I'd rather it is an independent Scotland, I can't explain it, but there is a strong feeling," then I am perfectly entitled to say that I firmly believe that Glasgow should be independent from Edinburgh. I'd rather it stayed as part of the UK to be honest, but if there is independence, then I don't want to be part of the same country as Edinburgh. (And I can't explain it, but there is a strong feeling!) Why can't this be on the ballot.

I don't care about the old boundary lines. I want a new one drawn up around Edinburgh (and Fife and Perthshire, now that I think about it.)
tony on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Papillon) There is no economic reason to consider Yorshire different to Scotland, it is purely different on narionalism grounds, which is certainly not sensible for the scots

Why not?

> and not at all good for the union.

Why not?

Ken Lewis - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> But if we are seriously going to look at "independence," then we should take all possibilities into account. If people are wandering about saying "I'd rather it is an independent Scotland, I can't explain it, but there is a strong feeling," then I am perfectly entitled to say that I firmly believe that Glasgow should be independent from Edinburgh. I'd rather it stayed as part of the UK to be honest, but if there is independence, then I don't want to be part of the same country as Edinburgh. (And I can't explain it, but there is a strong feeling!) Why can't this be on the ballot.
>
> I don't care about the old boundary lines. I want a new one drawn up around Edinburgh
(and Fife and Perthshire, now that I think about it.)

Your confusion is probably due to the fact Edinburgh is a windy English city with a sandblasting allergy.

I think I heard a scottish accent there once, some posh scot-toff talking about school fees.

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pec on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

> Who should have the power to make the decision on whether we have nuclear weapons in Scotland? A Labour minister in Scotland or a Tory minister in London? >

Or how about a Scottish Labour minister representing a scottish constituency in London? Its not that long ago there were quite a few of them making decisions for us, sometimes on matters which didn't even affect Scotland.

Ken Lewis - on 07 Nov 2012
Celtic 2, Barcelona 0.

Surely this can only be possible due to Alex Salmond wanting to show the Spanish seperatists who the most important seperatists in Europe are.


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