Scotland Indepdence debate

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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:02 pm

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.


That wouldn't surprise me. That is one of the union's stronger arguments which we have been really really useless at selling.

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.


I believe the SNP on nuclear, they have been long time opponents I believe and whatever Salmond's views, I don't think he could get away with it.

The Nato thing is just bizarre though. It seems part of the "but the change mustn't be too radical" and telling everyone that Scotland can have the pound, BBC, EU, Nato and all conditions will be agreed to by the other side.

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.


How we handle the north is a long and difficult debate but yes there is a risk that if Westminster (as unlikely as it seems) give up such considerable powers, it would also then go and refuse to help fund it to bring it to a fairer playing field.

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.


I would like to think without nationality we could have the duty of care but yes, there isn't a huge sense of solidarity or brotherly love.

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.


Part of the problem is the answer is yes and no. Miliband has broken against the Blair/Thatcher consensus on certain economic issues including private isn't always good but he is still pro-austerity. I have no idea on foreign policy (a bit more non-interventionist then current government but no sense of a wider vision) and on certain issues, he is going hard to the right. Welfare and immigration come to mind as area's he seeks to be close to UKIP then the Tories on.

Labour doesn't give a damn about the SNP when they decide policies (not always sure they care what Scottish Labour thinks). Worry about the media, UKIP and Tories may be preventing a march further to the left and maybe if he got into office, Ed Miliband would be bolder but I'm not convinced. He shows flashes of ruthlessness and brave vision but other times...
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:06 am

Alarm spreading among unionists as, for the first time, the Yes camapign lead in a poll. Just one poll and within margin for error but it is symbolic while it seems the undecided are increasingly leaning towards independence. Momentum is with the Yes camapign and the No's must find a way to stop it or cross their fingers and hope that, when push comes to shove, people change their minds and play it safe with a no vote.

Meanwhile Darling should drop a list of those who should be investigated for high treason. :wink:
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:55 am

Was going to do most of this in UK poltics thread but posting it here instead:

Gordon Brown, in a rousing speech, sets out a timetable for giving Scotland more powers, Westminster expected to back that after being caught by surprise. No camapign rolls their eyes and call it a panic while Angus Robertson makes a Point of Order to remind Commons that there is a purdah that they can't breach. The English press, even the right, is hailing Brown as a potential saviour of the union, their last great hope and one or two asking why Brown has been kept back so much till so late.

Sir Heywood confirms there are no contingency plans for Scottish independence which Flynn describes as deluded and complacent from the PM. Monday's usual meeting between Downing Street spokesman and journalists apparently spent 50 minutes on Scotland and only one question not involving that. The pound's sudden fall being blamed on the uncertainty caused by the tightening of the polls while some banks are preparing for a potential run on the banks. Will be intresting to see if that warning of economic uncertainty changes some votes or if they will see, hear and speak no evil. Again.

Interesting to see Cameron's triumph in the referendum negotiations a few years back is now turning into a stick to beat Cameron with. No devo-max, timing and so on. Some blame starting to build against Miliband, after all Scotland used to be Labour's fiefdom, they are SNP's main rivals and a lot of Scottish Labour are defecting to Yes, and while Cameron is going to have a hard time surviving if Scotland goes, indeed the 1922 Committee are preparing the ground for a possible overthrow, but it might yet also be a danger for Miliband. Is that why the Yes vote has risen? :wink:

Bar Russia invading the US or vice versa, the next 2 weeks will be Scotland centred for everyone following the news in the UK.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:42 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Some blame starting to build against Miliband, after all Scotland used to be Labour's fiefdom, they are SNP's main rivals and a lot of Scottish Labour are defecting to Yes... it might yet also be a danger for Miliband. Is that why the Yes vote has risen? :wink:


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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Antiochus » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:03 pm

Before going any further, I would like to throw it out there that I am far from a hard-line secessionist. What follows is but a fraction of my own thought on this issue, but I feel in needs to be addressed in the context of this discussion.

WeiWenDi wrote: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.


I think you have to be a part of a national minority group to understand that particular issue.

To be a part of a smaller "nation" within a larger whole is difficult. On the one hand, because of the keen awareness that your continued collective existence is always at risk, you feel like you have to project your identity as often as possible. It is, as Ernest Renan said, a daily referendum. On the other hand, these constant affirmation of a culture tends to make it more exclusive, as defining "us", by design, implies defining "them". As such, the border between nationalism and racism can often be thin.

I am a member of such a community and while I am often distraught the radicalism of some of the promoters of our nationalism, I am also often offended by the tendency of many commentators who reduce any manifestation of longing to that group as a form of sectarian populism.

As for the "having their feelings hurt" by some "attitude", I think you are underselling the effects of a much more complex phenomenon. As someone who is often made to feel that the only legitimate way to exist as a national minority is to be a quaint bit of folklore, I can see why many Scots would wants to secede, though I know for a fact that this is but one rational among many. But I have had my "feeling hurt" myself, having been the target of something akin to racial slurs by members of the "national majority" for using my own language while in the country's largest urban center. It is quite alienating, to be made to feel a stranger in the country your family has been a part for centuries.

Of course, I'm not saying that this is the basis of all interactions people like me had with their fellow citizens within my country (Remember how I started this post), but it is a part of it to varying degree. This was meant as an answer to a very particular post and not my whole thesis on the phenomenon as a whole.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:14 am

Full disclosure - my father's side of the family, the Coopers, are Lowland Scots who hail originally from Yorkshire. (And Czechs on my paternal grandmother's side.) I'm not sure if that is a particularly salient fact given that most Americans are either English, Irish or German in extraction, and also that most Americans' sense of ethnic nationality is attenuated at best, but even so, possibly relevant to this discussion.

Antiochus wrote:To be a part of a smaller "nation" within a larger whole is difficult. On the one hand, because of the keen awareness that your continued collective existence is always at risk, you feel like you have to project your identity as often as possible. It is, as Ernest Renan said, a daily referendum. On the other hand, these constant affirmation of a culture tends to make it more exclusive, as defining "us", by design, implies defining "them". As such, the border between nationalism and racism can often be thin.

I am a member of such a community and while I am often distraught the radicalism of some of the promoters of our nationalism, I am also often offended by the tendency of many commentators who reduce any manifestation of longing to that group as a form of sectarian populism.


I'm sympathetic to certain strains of populist politics, so I share your offence at the disdain of the commentators who use that term as a slur. And I can also sympathise somewhat with the need (not just a 'want') to defend certain life-ways, collective identities and traditions which do not receive the official blessing or affirmation of the political identity of the state. The Québécois tradition in particular is valuable in and of itself, as the sole expression of a Frenchness that was obliterated practically everywhere else by the geopolitical catastrophe of 1789.

But speaking to your particular situation, there's a bit of a paradox involved, right? I mean, I'm not Canadian (sometimes I wish I were, but that's neither here nor there), but part of the history is that French Canada's continued existence after the Seven Years' War was guaranteed by the British Crown as part of the postwar settlement. One may speak of separation, but French Canadian history is inseparable from its Canadian moorings. Canada would not exist, were it not for Québec. And Québec would not exist, were it not for repeat British and British-Canadian interventions. Including that against, well, us, in 1812. Americans unfortunately seem to have a history of being monstrously bigoted against Catholics, and we kind of were planning an invasion of British North America.

Antiochus wrote:As for the "having their feelings hurt" by some "attitude", I think you are underselling the effects of a much more complex phenomenon. As someone who is often made to feel that the only legitimate way to exist as a national minority is to be a quaint bit of folklore, I can see why many Scots would wants to secede, though I know for a fact that this is but one rational among many. But I have had my "feeling hurt" myself, having been the target of something akin to racial slurs by members of the "national majority" for using my own language while in the country's largest urban center. It is quite alienating, to be made to feel a stranger in the country your family has been a part for centuries.


Again, though, my family are Scots. As far back as written family history records or anyone can remember, we've always spoken English. Scots English, maybe, but not Gaelic. And I know enough of British history and culture to understand that most modern-day Scots are in the same boat as I am. We don't have a linguistic barrier, except one which is artificial and self-imposed. I can understand the desire, though, not to become simply an obsolete relic in a country which doesn't see you as relevant.

Maybe context and content matter more than either of us are giving credit for, though.

In America, when the topic of secession is brought up, the immediate referent is the Civil War. And the sole stated reason for the Southern states to secede was to preserve and extend slavery. And that is one life-way that deserved to be stamped out, if necessary, with as much violence as was perpetrated on its black victims. I have no sympathy at all for Southern nationalists. By and large, they continue to be historical revisionists and racists with monstrous, gaping flaws in their basic grasp of decency and morality. When they aren't elitist fops and effeminate dandies with quite frankly offensive pretensions to European aristocracy. They have no valid reason to secede, and their appeals to emotion quite frankly bore me.

And the thing about the Scots seeking independence - as I said before, for a national minority, the Scots are fairly privileged. Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow are three of the wealthiest cities in the entire country, outside of London, and a lot of that wealth does come from Scottish oil - so the entire line Salmond is pushing about a poor, left-wing Scotland being oppressed and robbed of its natural resources by a wealthy and right-wing England is fairly mendacious. Add to that the fact that ethnic Scots who live in England outnumber the entire population of Scotland (including the 20% of that population who were born in England), and the case for secession becomes pretty weak on the merits.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:10 pm

Something that worries me greatly is that now the hostility has reached even the highest levels. All the talk of how wonderful the camapign has been and how Scotland will pull together whatever the result? I'm not sure that will be the case.

Scotland votes to break away? Those that voted to stay in may feel a bit bitter at the rough treatment they have gone through but will probably accept the result. Scottish politicians may well return but there is some bitterness with Salmond over the NHS lies and being labelled as traitors. The problem will be when negotiations begin and Scotland finds it more difficult then Salmond told them. UK politicians know their own people are increasingly angry and that each give away affects the UK with the big constitutional debate so will be reluctant to be seen as generous. Nor will Westminster, BBC, businesses and others be that keen to help Salmond after he spent so much time slagging them off.

Scotland votes to stay? The cyber-nats and the bullies will not react well to the traitors... is the word being used now quislings? The argument that patriots vote Yes and No is being led by Westminster bullies divisive effects will be felt in Scotland for years to come, Westminster (plus BBC, businesses, anyone else who suggests independence wouldn't lead to universal prosperity and peace) will be the target for a lot of abuse and blame games. Westminster will probably be generous to Scotland due to promises already made, trying to keep Scotland happy and becuase they will plan to boot constitutional reform to rest of UK as far away as possible so won't be too concerned about implications. Hollyrood may be strengthened by angry big-beasts who want to oppose Salmond for his lies. But how do people come back from feeling intimidated by their own country-men? How do you come back when your told only true Scots vote one way, only black-hearted evil doers vote the other and the Westminster "bullies" win?
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:02 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Scotland votes to stay? The cyber-nats and the bullies will not react well to the traitors... is the word being used now quislings? The argument that patriots vote Yes and No is being led by Westminster bullies divisive effects will be felt in Scotland for years to come, Westminster (plus BBC, businesses, anyone else who suggests independence wouldn't lead to universal prosperity and peace) will be the target for a lot of abuse and blame games. Westminster will probably be generous to Scotland due to promises already made, trying to keep Scotland happy and becuase they will plan to boot constitutional reform to rest of UK as far away as possible so won't be too concerned about implications. Hollyrood may be strengthened by angry big-beasts who want to oppose Salmond for his lies. But how do people come back from feeling intimidated by their own country-men? How do you come back when your told only true Scots vote one way, only black-hearted evil doers vote the other and the Westminster "bullies" win?


Ethno-nationalism has the capacity to turn very ugly, very quickly. And just because Scotland's Yes-types fancy themselves left-wing, doesn't mean that their ethno-nationalism is in any way immune from that ugliness - the argument soon may start to turn on who is 'Scottish enough', and I think many may be unpleasantly surprised to find that, in the view of a newly-empowered nationalist government, they don't qualify.

But I say that as someone who is Not a True Scotsman anyway, first on account of my being an American mutt, second on account of my being a left-conservative Unionist with a dim view of ethnic separatist movements generally, and third on account of my Scots ancestors having been Lowlanders who lived in Yorkshire at the time of the Williamite usurpation. So what do I matter? :P
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Boydie » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:14 pm

I can't wait for this to be over with tomorrow. This debate has been head splitting, once I vote tomorrow there will be a large sigh of relief. :lol: I'm quietly confident the union will remain intact.
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Re: Scotland Indepdence debate

Unread postby Boydie » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:06 pm

Voted a few hours ago, now the long wait begins.

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