Scotland Indepdence debate

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Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:56 am

Quotes from Israel vs Hamas thread

Sun Xia wrote:In terms of Scotland, they are doing it democratically, the Party advocating independence has been elected by the people and thus are legitimately allowed to introduce a bill or referendum if they choose!! It may not be perceived a something that is necessarily needed but if the people vote for it then it is something they want, such is the democratic way!!



WWD wrote:Eh. I don't believe democracy or the people's will excuses everything. To give an extreme example (not to invoke Godwin here), Nazis were also elected to the German Diet. I hope (hope hope hope) that doesn't in itself bless their electoral programme and goals as just or needed...

Scotland and England were joined in their destinies in the person of King James I of England, VI of Scotland. They've been united ever since. That's not to say that there haven't been really problematic episodes, like the whole William of Orange thing when they slaughtered Scottish Catholics and repressed the hell out of anyone who refused to swear allegiance to William's dictatorial rule. (My dad's family were recusant Lowland-Scots Quakers living in Yorkshire. That's why they came to America in the first place, in the 1690's.) But they underwent industrialisation together, wars, reforms, imperial rise and decline. Personally I think it's pretty damn arrogant of the current generation of Scots to decide of a sudden that they want to undo all of that, and cut their immediate neighbours adrift who depend on the Union for their well-being.



Scotland and England were joined in their destinies in the person of King James I of England, VI of Scotland. They've been united ever since. That's not to say that there haven't been really problematic episodes, like the whole William of Orange thing when they slaughtered Scottish Catholics and repressed the hell out of anyone who refused to swear allegiance to William's dictatorial rule. (My dad's family were recusant Lowland-Scots Quakers living in Yorkshire. That's why they came to America in the first place, in the 1690's.) But they underwent industrialisation together, wars, reforms, imperial rise and decline. Personally I think it's pretty damn arrogant of the current generation of Scots to decide of a sudden that they want to undo all of that, and cut their immediate neighbours adrift who depend on the Union for their well-being.


The current generation of Scots that are currently looking set to vote to stay in the union? :wink: If they voted to leave, perhaps sick of some highly dismissive and insulting attitudes towards them by the English, to take fate in their own hands, I don't see a attitude problem in that. They might do well or it might be a bad move (it will certainly be tougher in early years then Salmond is selling) but it seems a legitimate idea.

If Scotland wants to go their own way, to choose their own government then I don't really see how that is arrogant. Just people trying to go their own way, leaving a union that they feel hasn't always been kind to them and where they aren't exactly being made to feel wanted. It may start a (slow) spiral to the end of all union between the UK and it would be sad, I hope we wouldn't lose the friendly side of things, but I won't think less either way of Scotland whichever way they vote.

Unless they decide to vote to stay in union and then on mass start whining about being under the English thumb.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:29 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:If they voted to leave, perhaps sick of some highly dismissive and insulting attitudes towards them by the English, to take fate in their own hands, I don't see a attitude problem in that. They might do well or it might be a bad move (it will certainly be tougher in early years then Salmond is selling) but it seems a legitimate idea.


We have secessionists here. I'm dismissive and insulting of them too, for the most part because they're racists. But also because they subscribe to a cynical ideology of zero-sum political nihilism, and (tempting though it is to join them sometimes) political nihilists generally suck. They have no concept of civic virtue, of loyalty to anything besides their own naked self-interest, or of any sort of ideal of self-sacrifice for the common good. In general, and with very limited exceptions (as when, for example, there actually is a zero-sum game being played by one of the two parties) I don't think secession is truly a legitimate idea. Not in Yugoslavia, not in Georgia, not in China, not in the US, not in the UK.

Now, like it or not, Scotland's economy, culture and politics are heavily integrated with England's, so saying that there is no possible common good to justify political union just because a few people might have their feelings hurt by some 'attitude' they believe the English have about them seems kind of a stretch.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:04 pm

Well there are certainly cyber-nats in Scotland, the SNP on the other hand... not sure about racist, maybe bigoted about those who view the world differently. No worse then most UK mainstream parties on that though.

SNP are obviously arguing for more then "our feelings are hurt." (just, kind of hard to feel warm to your fellow country when they slag you off. Constantly.) and most acknowledge (some even encourage for the most part) the links. Partly becuase they want to share some. However they want the right for Scottish people to set their own immigration policy, welfare policies, defence and nuclear policy, economic green policies, so on and so on. The nationalists argue that Scotland is more left-leaning then England, that Scotland constantly rejects the Thatcherite/Blairite consensus but get it imposed by Westminster. SNP and Greens would probably argue they country would have more solidarity, civic unity and so on then show England that there can be a different way then the current English consensus. They could also pave the way for Northern England to get more devolved powers and economic benefit from, what remains, a highly centralized country.

Now one can question various aspects of it (and I do) but if Scotland is (big if) different in terms of belief on so many issues, why can't it try it's luck? They can't overthrow the English model, if they went their own way and were a big success then they could influence England a lot more then they do now.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:54 am

Sun Fin suggested a new thread for this so thank/blame him.

We have had the two Darling vs Salmond debates, we have had years of campaigns with claims and counter-claims, we have had Better Together patronizing women but what do you think? Should Scotland go it alone or stay with more (unspecified) new powers for Hollyrood? What has this debate sparked off?

Personally, I'm pro-union which I suppose makes sense given I'm pro-Eu. I think Scotland can go it alone but will need time after initial job burst to settle and I would be more convinced if Salmond was being more radical and less "and we will get everything we want in negotiations." I'm not sure Scotland is quite prepared for what happens after. Even if they stay in the union, the West Lothian and English Parliament questions will have to be looked at again
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby bodidley » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:50 pm

I don't think you can really say secession is always wrong or always right. You have to look at the individual situation. As it is, I can see with the great level of control that the UK national government has over aspects of local life why it's a disadvantage if you're Scottish for people in England to be able to decide what's best for you, especially if they don't particularly like you, as evidenced by a poll showing 56% of England wants to punish Scotland for holding the referendum.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:17 am

I can believe that but not seen that poll?
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:47 am

bodidley wrote:I don't think you can really say secession is always wrong or always right. You have to look at the individual situation.


I believe that is exactly what I did.

Think about what you're saying for a moment. Secession requires the breaking of established ties, established identities, and a radical upset of the existing political order. (The traditionalist conservative in me sees all of the above as an incredibly strong negative.) Secession is essentially a political action which says, 'I've got mine; f••• you'. Well, actually, it says more than that: it says, 'I have nothing more in common with you; there is nothing to be gained by my being in the same polity as you'.

The only way secession would be 'right', would be if that was actually true. As in, if the seceders were being subjected to ethnic cleansing / genocide by the secedees. Not if they just had their feelings hurt once or twice. Or if they happened to lose an election (as the Southerners did in 1860). Or even if polls suggest that a certain percentage of the population might occasionally take a negative view of another percentage of the population.

Dong Zhou wrote:SNP are obviously arguing for more then "our feelings are hurt." (just, kind of hard to feel warm to your fellow country when they slag you off. Constantly.) and most acknowledge (some even encourage for the most part) the links. Partly becuase they want to share some. However they want the right for Scottish people to set their own immigration policy, welfare policies, defence and nuclear policy, economic green policies, so on and so on. The nationalists argue that Scotland is more left-leaning then England, that Scotland constantly rejects the Thatcherite/Blairite consensus but get it imposed by Westminster.


I could be wrong, of course, but I don't think this is an accurate view. I think the SNP is being remarkably cynical about these matters, in fact. Scotland, an incredibly wealthy region in terms of UK politics, would in effect be screwing over the rest of the country on precisely these policies - immigration, welfare, economic, environmental and defence. And I don't see the evidence that Scotland consistently rejects the Thatcherite / post-Thatcherite consensus except to score political points over Labour. The SNP may talk a good game, but in the last analysis they aren't so much pro-independence as they are anti-Labour (including anti-Labour policies). As Alex Massie points out, Salmond is one of the few British politicians who still believes in the Laffer curve.

And it's a simple matter of systems thinking that devolution of power simply won't help the English North without infusions of cold, hard cash - investments particularly in infrastructure, education and industry. Which the South East (along with Scotland, particularly the areas around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, one of the more grossly affluent regions of the nation) would then be under vanishingly fewer obligations to provide.

Dong Zhou wrote:Now one can question various aspects of it (and I do) but if Scotland is (big if) different in terms of belief on so many issues, why can't it try it's luck? They can't overthrow the English model, if they went their own way and were a big success then they could influence England a lot more then they do now.


I have big issues with the identification of Thatcherism with "the English model", as though she didn't get any support from the rest of the UK. (Or as though all English people supported her. Remember, the English North - not Scotland - is still where you'll find the most anti-Thatcher sentiment.)

Now, I can understand the substance of the arguments Salmond makes (even if I think a lot of them are insincere), but to be perfectly honest I still find it baffling that the Yes-voting Scots would be looking to unravel the legacy of the Stuarts, essentially to spite the followers of William of Orange. Who was not English, by the way.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Ranbir » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:12 pm

I think nationalism is a very outdated concept and I'm always a little suspicious of attempts to rebuild sovereignty built upon a social/national identity that is indistinguishable now. People have mixed so much, born in different locations. Yeah, sure have cultural ties but it leaves a lot in the mist when a national identity is based around a situation from the 1300s or something. Why would modern Scots, those perhaps born there from a generation or two ago have any sense of duty or obligation to revive something that had its time. Who are the "Scottish People" in 2014? The evolution to a united Britain was significant and the systems of governance in place allow grievances to be dealt with without needing to create a whole new country. MPs in the north are the same as the MPs in the south.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:34 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:
I could be wrong, of course, but I don't think this is an accurate view. I think the SNP is being remarkably cynical about these matters, in fact. Scotland, an incredibly wealthy region in terms of UK politics, would in effect be screwing over the rest of the country on precisely these policies - immigration, welfare, economic, environmental and defence. And I don't see the evidence that Scotland consistently rejects the Thatcherite / post-Thatcherite consensus except to score political points over Labour. The SNP may talk a good game, but in the last analysis they aren't so much pro-independence as they are anti-Labour (including anti-Labour policies). As Alex Massie points out, Salmond is one of the few British politicians who still believes in the Laffer curve.


I don't think the SNP anticipated being a majority government and so have had the referendum, their big moment earlier then they were prepared for. I do think SNP are pro-independence and anti-Labour but they are fighting their big war earlier then they wanted which perhaps helps explain some of their odder camapign stuff.

As for wealth, if you believe my fellow English then Scotland leaving will not be a problem as all the money saved will instantly end our debts and those scrounging Scots will go bankrupt. So clearly we won't have a problem :wink: I don't know the finances well enough to know who subsides what but sure, if Scotland leaves, we will be hit in some area's. Maybe if we didn't mock them and declare how lucky the are, use their solders in wars Scotland didn't want, helped them gain immigrants like their government wants, have nukes in a country whose government opposes nukes, they might be less tempted to strike out on their own?

And it's a simple matter of systems thinking that devolution of power simply won't help the English North without infusions of cold, hard cash - investments particularly in infrastructure, education and industry. Which the South East (along with Scotland, particularly the areas around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, one of the more grossly affluent regions of the nation) would then be under vanishingly fewer obligations to provide.


and if Scotland shows such a system of devolved powers backed with cash would be successful, it might force Westminster to actually give some cash to the regions.

I have big issues with the identification of Thatcherism with "the English model", as though she didn't get any support from the rest of the UK. (Or as though all English people supported her. Remember, the English North - not Scotland - is still where you'll find the most anti-Thatcher sentiment.)


It amazes me how she got elected given nobody ever voted for her :P However the SNP would argue Labour and Tories both continue her model and, to a degree, enforce it on Scotland.

Now, I can understand the substance of the arguments Salmond makes (even if I think a lot of them are insincere), but to be perfectly honest I still find it baffling that the Yes-voting Scots would be looking to unravel the legacy of the Stuarts, essentially to spite the followers of William of Orange. Who was not English, by the way.


I wonder if the Scots know much about William of Orange or James II, the majority almost certainly won't include Stuarts vs Orange in the way they vote or debate the issue.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:11 pm

Ranbir wrote:I think nationalism is a very outdated concept and I'm always a little suspicious of attempts to rebuild sovereignty built upon a social/national identity that is indistinguishable now. People have mixed so much, born in different locations. Yeah, sure have cultural ties but it leaves a lot in the mist when a national identity is based around a situation from the 1300s or something. Why would modern Scots, those perhaps born there from a generation or two ago have any sense of duty or obligation to revive something that had its time. Who are the "Scottish People" in 2014? The evolution to a united Britain was significant and the systems of governance in place allow grievances to be dealt with without needing to create a whole new country. MPs in the north are the same as the MPs in the south.


This may be tangential or it may be relevant to what you're saying, but I had heard that of the present population of Scotland, nearly 20% was born in England. And of people who are actually Scots-born, those actually living and voting and paying taxes inside England equal Scotland's entire (including one-fifth-English-born) population.

Dong Zhou wrote:As for wealth, if you believe my fellow English then Scotland leaving will not be a problem as all the money saved will instantly end our debts and those scrounging Scots will go bankrupt. So clearly we won't have a problem :wink: I don't know the finances well enough to know who subsides what but sure, if Scotland leaves, we will be hit in some area's. Maybe if we didn't mock them and declare how lucky the are, use their solders in wars Scotland didn't want, helped them gain immigrants like their government wants, have nukes in a country whose government opposes nukes, they might be less tempted to strike out on their own?


Well, I get what you're saying. Perceptions matter. But the cold hard facts are that Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow are hands-down the richest places in the entire British Isles in terms of per capita GDP outside of the South East. Northern England, the West Midlands and Wales have zilch by comparison. If you want to go ahead and say that the wealth gap is greater in England (a fact which I'm not disputing either), that only goes to show that, given how the population is distributed, Scotland as a whole is richer than England as a whole, let alone Wales or Northern Ireland. So yeah, from an English or Welsh or Lowland Scots point-of-view, on the whole they're pretty damn lucky. But they're hardly poor.

See here, where all the dark green dots are:

Image

I can completely sympathise with the opposition to wars and the opposition to nukes. If, in fact, that opposition is sincere. Given Scotland's pro-EU and pro-NATO inclinations, I'm still somewhat sceptical.

Dong Zhou wrote:and if Scotland shows such a system of devolved powers backed with cash would be successful, it might force Westminster to actually give some cash to the regions.


Or, as I said before, it might have an opposite effect, convincing the South East that it's better off not having to invest at all in a devolved North, for which it on this reckoning bears less responsibility.

People are selfish. English and Scots alike. Pardon me if I'm cynical on this matter, but without a sense of national solidarity, where is the sense of humanitarian duty and care going to come from? That sense of solidarity in the UK seems weak enough as it is from here.

Dong Zhou wrote:However the SNP would argue Labour and Tories both continue her model and, to a degree, enforce it on Scotland.


I dunno. Maybe it's another of those perception things, but hasn't Labour done a fairly decent job of shaking off the Blairite legacy? By and large, it seems like Labour wants to; it's pressure from the Conservatives and from the SNP that (again, it seems to me) keeps them from doing it completely.

Dong Zhou wrote:I wonder if the Scots know much about William of Orange or James II, the majority almost certainly won't include Stuarts vs Orange in the way they vote or debate the issue.


:D

True. But the institutional setups exist nonetheless, regardless of which terms they're debated in or voted on.
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