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View Full Version : Why do people in Scotland want to secede from the United Kingdom?


JAR
4th May 2003, 12:42 PM
Why do people in Scotland want to secede from the United Kingdom?

Thumbo
4th May 2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by JAR
Why do people in Scotland want to secede from the United Kingdom?
Not all do. My strictly subjective impression is that opinion is about evenly split.

Mendor
4th May 2003, 01:50 PM
*flexes fingers*

The main reasons some people (if I were being optimistic, it's about a 50-50 split) want to secede from the UK are:

We feel that the Westminster government doesn't particularly bother about us. We're only 72 seats-worth there, soon to be less, so things like Thatcher's poll tax* can and do get implemented up here. This was the problem the Scottish Parliament was created to solve, but it's a bit of a paper tiger.
A second problem with the Scottish Parliament is that the three main political parties are based in London, so Scottish Labour, for example, will never act against central Government, because their strings are pulled from Westminster.
Scotland was given an atrocious deal concerning the EU and fishing. It essentially means that we can't fish (over-simplification abounds here, but we did not get a good deal). This deal was negotiated by central UK government - Scotland and Scottish ministers were not consulted. Under independence, we could negotiate for ourselves, like, say, Denmark, and get a deal that protects the environment while not ruining the North East's economy.
Scotland is further left than England politically, as can be shown by the fact that we now have bona-fide tax-the-rich-until-they-bleed unashamed Socialists in our parliament. There's a divergence of political opinion between Scotland and England, which is going to get wider.
If you were to draw a line, label one side "US" and the other "Europe" and say "Right, countries of the world, align yourself" - Scotland would end up firmly on the European side, England on the US side. Scottish independentists, generally, don't like the fact that we seem to be locked in a union that wants to burn its bridges with the EU.
You can take the above point further with an illustration - the Iraq war. Although (before it started anyway) it wasn't popular anywhere in the UK, it was particularly unpopular here - "Why should our boys be sent off to other peoples' wars" etc. etc. Whether the war is a good thing or not is not the point, and I'm not going to get into an argument on that - it was not a war the Scottish people wanted, yet we were dragged into it through the Union.

That's most of the points I think, though I've doubtless missed out some good ones.

* Thatcher's poll tax: When Thatcher was in power, she had the bright idea of introducing a poll tax. However, she didn't know how well this would go down with her loyal subjects, so she thought "Ah! Scotland! The Conservative Party doesn't have any support there anyway, so let's use that as the testing area for the poll tax!". Scotland was not amused. The poll tax wasn't implemented UK-wide.

Mendor

Shane Costello
4th May 2003, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Mendor:
Scotland was given an atrocious deal concerning the EU and fishing. It essentially means that we can't fish (over-simplification abounds here, but we did not get a good deal). This deal was negotiated by central UK government - Scotland and Scottish ministers were not consulted. Under independence, we could negotiate for ourselves, like, say, Denmark, and get a deal that protects the environment while not ruining the North East's economy.

Don't be so sure. The Irish government did much the same thing. Jacques Chirac's recent "You should know when to keep quiet" outburst at European countries mildly supportive of the US position on Iraq suggests that the powers that be in Europe mightn't be all that receptive towards Europe's smaller countries. With the advent of EU expansion, Ireland's allotment of seats in the European parliament is to be decreased by two, leaving a grand total of 13 out of 600+. IMO 82 seats in Westminister doesn't sound all that bad.

Captain_Snort
4th May 2003, 02:07 PM
Mendor

I agree with all you said, but you forgot to mention Bannockburn

oh and before someone mentions the Braveheart mentality, that film was a travesty of history

and the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie effectively put independance back 200 years

The act of union in 1715 was a purely financial act, the ruling inbread aristocricy had lost money trying to set up a colony in the new world, and sold Scotland for the princley sum of 100,000, then got on and moved to london and forgot the people who put them in power. eventually leading to the clearances etc when they decided they couldn't keep up their lifestyles using the peasants taxes.

admittadly is wasn't as bad as in Ireland, but look what, and what is happening there.

sorry for bad spelling, but I am drunk

so you have the history of being a nation and anti scottishness, look at the propoganda of the play Macbeth by billy shakespeare, far from being an evil tyrant, the historical Macbeth was actually a very pious and wise ruler

Mendor
4th May 2003, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Shane Costello


Don't be so sure. The Irish government did much the same thing. Jacques Chirac's recent "You should know when to keep quiet" outburst at European countries mildly supportive of the US position on Iraq suggests that the powers that be in Europe mightn't be all that receptive towards Europe's smaller countries. With the advent of EU expansion, Ireland's allotment of seats in the European parliament is to be decreased by two, leaving a grand total of 13 out of 600+. IMO 82 seats in Westminister doesn't sound all that bad.
Whether the EU is a good thing or not, the point is we would have negotiated a better deal had we been independent. Even if we couldn't negotiate a better deal, we could negotiate to leave the EU if it were in our interests.

I used to be very pro-EU, but I now realise that that wasn't so much being pro-EU as anti-xenophobe (as the Eurosceptic arguments so often advanced here tend to be of the xenophobic type rather than reasoned argument). I'm still slightly pro-EU and pro- the idea of the EU, but am skeptical of the way it's going. France and Germany's domination is a problem that will have to be dealt with, but b*ggered if I know how.

My preference for the EU over the Union of Scotland and England - my rebuttal to the "You're just exchanging one unrepresentative union for another" argument - largely stems from the fact that the political parties aren't based in Brussels. Also, the European subsidiarity doctrine reassures me somewhat. If that were to go, then my support for the EU would evaporate PDQ.

The European Parliament does nothing - it's all the Council of Ministers and the Commission - so I'm not too bothered about over/under-representation in that body - I'm more bothered about the Commission being a bunch of unelected bureaucrats.

72 seats in Westminster is actually over-representation, so it's not bad at all, but the point is that it's an inbuilt minority. Again, this is what the Scottish Parliament was created to solve, but the Scottish Parliament needs many, many more powers to be useful (it only controls 8% of revenues raised in Scotland IIRC)

There is Bannockburn as well. :D
What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor's wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour's station;
But English gold has been our bane-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation !
...but saying things like that doesn't help, so forget I did... :o

Mendor

Captain_Snort
4th May 2003, 02:56 PM
I am pro EU, if only to have a superpower to answer to the US and it (under bush and his advisors) seems to have realised it is the sole remaining superpower left and can basically do what it wants.

has anyone else noticed the hugely anti-france stance coming from the US? hey, I do believe russia and china, also permentant members on the UN security council said they would veto the Iraq action, but where is the mega increased anti chinese anti russian feelings? Colin Powell saying France will suffer, did he say that about china and russia?

its amazing how threads warp isn't it

Nikk
4th May 2003, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by JAR
Why do people in Scotland want to secede from the United Kingdom?

Don't take any notice of the heavy political stuff you can read above.

In reality the average Jock is not very different from any other Brit except in so far as:-
1) He likes to dress up in silly clothes sometimes.

2) H/she occasionaly eats indigestible food items made of animal parts more sensible people grind up and put in hamburgers.

3) Most importantly H/she always likes to bitch about the Sassenachs i.e. the English.

Any kind of independence would remove the opportunity for item 3 (above) and lead to the disappearence of Scottish culture up its own sporran.

Accordingly in reality the Scots can be relied on to recognise which side their bread is buttered on and suppport the Union.

Nikk
4th May 2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Mendor

Whether the EU is a good thing or not, the point is we would have negotiated a better deal had we been independent. Even if we couldn't negotiate a better deal, we could negotiate to leave the EU if it were in our interests.

I used to be very pro-EU, but I now realise that that wasn't so much being pro-EU as anti-xenophobe (as the Eurosceptic arguments so often advanced here tend to be of the xenophobic type rather than reasoned argument). I'm still slightly pro-EU and pro- the idea of the EU, but am skeptical of the way it's going. France and Germany's domination is a problem that will have to be dealt with, but b*ggered if I know how.

My preference for the EU over the Union of Scotland and England - my rebuttal to the "You're just exchanging one unrepresentative union for another" argument - largely stems from the fact that the political parties aren't based in Brussels. Also, the European subsidiarity doctrine reassures me somewhat. If that were to go, then my support for the EU would evaporate PDQ.

The European Parliament does nothing - it's all the Council of Ministers and the Commission - so I'm not too bothered about over/under-representation in that body - I'm more bothered about the Commission being a bunch of unelected bureaucrats.

72 seats in Westminster is actually over-representation, so it's not bad at all, but the point is that it's an inbuilt minority. Again, this is what the Scottish Parliament was created to solve, but the Scottish Parliament needs many, many more powers to be useful (it only controls 8% of revenues raised in Scotland IIRC)

There is Bannockburn as well. :D

.

Mendor


Hmm, well I lived in Brussels for quite a few years and my wife still graces the Commission's wonderful bureaucracy. I can assure you that the average non British Eurocrat, MEP and Council member is under the impression that Scotland is an English county (whatever the hell that is as far as they are concerned).

Accordingly far from negotiating better terms as an independent country I suspect that the application would be treated as a practical joke emanating from the boys and girls of the planning department in Berwick upon Tweed.

So don't expect too much.:D

hammegk
4th May 2003, 03:57 PM
Er, if they do or don't, how would the world at large even find out, let alone be effected?

Will the USA have to invade something else? :eek:

Shane Costello
4th May 2003, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Mendor:
Originally posted by Mendor:
Whether the EU is a good thing or not, the point is we would have negotiated a better deal had we been independent. Even if we couldn't negotiate a better deal, we could negotiate to leave the EU if it were in our interests.

If it were in the interests of the politicial classes, that is. The political establishment in our country decided it was in our best interests to sign up for EMU, despite economists in this country declaring such a course to be inadvisable without UK entry. We may be on the verge of reaping the results, in the form of runaway inflation and decreased competitiveness.


I'm still slightly pro-EU and pro- the idea of the EU, but am skeptical of the way it's going. France and Germany's domination is a problem that will have to be dealt with, but b*ggered if I know how.

This is very close to my position. I'm all for close cooperation, a free market and free movement of people. I don't see the argument for surrendering our independence, or the need for a common currency.

Originally posted by Captain Snort:
I am pro EU, if only to have a superpower to answer to the US and it (under bush and his advisors) seems to have realised it is the sole remaining superpower left and can basically do what it wants.

And you trust the EU to use any potential superpower status in a wise and magnanimous fashion? Ireland had to restage a referendum on the Nice treaty a few months ago, because the outcome first time around wasn't the one the EU was looking for.

has anyone else noticed the hugely anti-france stance coming from the US?

As opposed to decades of European anti-Americanism?

kittynh
4th May 2003, 04:35 PM
Nikk lives with the same warped mentality of Scotland that Dr.Johnson and most other Brits have. sorry, I've lived in Brussels and deal with the EU a lot, family still have an apartment there for business. They feel Scotland is in a bad spot and have a good understanding of the situation, and are very supportive of a Scotland with no ties to England. Heck, they even look upon the WElsh as the poor oppressed masses. Don't get them started on Northern Ireland.

Hatred of the English is taught at the knee of your gran. The arrogance of the English government only builds this hatred.
I remember a speach by John Major given in Glasgow where he admonished the Scots that the money they were being "generously given" by the South was not to be "wasted" and would be "Totally regulated by the government in London"
it was money to fix up some parks for goodness sake. What, they were going to waste it all on beer (well that was a possibility...) I actually have video I took of Mr.Major coming back to the hotel that night. Scots in the lobby area were yelling at him and one guy even threw a beer. I considered dropping my video camera on his head. the funny thing is that his elevator actually stopped at the atrium where I was filming, and I came face to face with him. We were all a little shocked (I guess it was supposed to be cleared and I was in my PJ's! I along with others had walked out on his speech in protest) I told him his security sucked.

Jon_in_london
7th May 2003, 05:09 AM
Three Reasons.

1. Mel Gibson
2. Barveheart
3. Sour grapes

jj
7th May 2003, 07:06 AM
Maggie Thatcher.

Jon_in_london
7th May 2003, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by jj
Maggie Thatcher.

She not in power no more boss!

Mendor
7th May 2003, 09:47 AM
But she was. And the Tories will be again.

When Westminster is Tory and Holyrood is Lab/Lib, sparks will fly.

Jon_in_london
8th May 2003, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by Mendor
But she was. And the Tories will be again.

When Westminster is Tory and Holyrood is Lab/Lib, sparks will fly.

Given that New Labour=Tories, I think your statement is false.

Mendor
8th May 2003, 08:23 AM
Damn. Hadn't thought of that.

We're doomed.

corplinx
8th May 2003, 10:08 AM
So, if Scotland became independent it would raise taxes on the "rich" even futher than the UK? I guess thats a good tactic for running the rich right out of the country.

When you eat your own, they usually start to care less about being like you than caring about escape.

Mendor
8th May 2003, 02:49 PM
Eh? What? Eh? What? Eh?

If that's a response to my "we now have bona-fide Socialists in our parliament" - there are only six of them out of 129. They're not a major concern. The main independence party - the SNP - would lower corporation tax to attract business to Scotland.

Yes, Scotland is further to the left (socially and economically) than England. But even if we do go to Scandinavian-style taxation - which I doubt we would - the Scandinavians don't seem to be doing too badly for themselves.

What exactly Scotland would do if it were independent is not really the point, btw (and I'm not particularly wanting to get into an argument about tax-the-rich vs. don't-tax-the-rich). It's that Scotland should have the right to do it if it wishes, and should be able to take these matters into its own hands. Scotland should have the right to join the Euro or leave the EU, tax the rich until they bleed or lower corporation tax to the lowest rate in Europe, and generally do what it wants, without Westminster having political domination.

Mendor