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Old 27th February 2013, 11:28 AM   #161
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Not my subject. They can do what they like so long as they don't start a war over it.

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Old 27th February 2013, 02:10 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I disagree. The USA is very diverse.
Yes it is. But there appears to be a unified American identity that sits over the top of the diversity. I've never met an American who identified as anything other than American. I never met someone who claimed to be a Nebraskan or a Californian and not an American.

Yes there might be many sub-identities and cultures within the country but they tend to sit alongside the overarching culture without conflict.

The same is not true for Scottish, Welsh, English and British.

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But there is no single identity and as I described above we are diverse to the point that opposites are still part of our overall diverse identity.
Not in my experience. The opposites co-exist in a generally uncomfortable partnership. They are not part of one overall diverse identity but rather separate identities. Of course there will always be exception.

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I do not see immigration controls as being anti-immigration.
That's an odd statement. Pronouncing you no longer want to be a soft touch and would rather be the toughest is anti-immigration.

At the same time Alex Salmond is trying to welcome immigrants to Scotland. I know which one I personally identify with.
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Old 27th February 2013, 04:25 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I disagree totally, there is no evidence to say England, Wales and especially Northern Ireland want to split.
There's a national movement in Wales, so I couldn't possibly imagine how you can't see the evidence. Northern Ireland would as Rolfe said begin to go towards a path of reunification with Ireland. As for England, all the other constituent republics are attempting to divorce England, and the English in particular do not wish for the alliance to dissolve.

What more is the U.K. other than England + some other states? In America some more uneducated Americans even associate the entire U.K. with just England. This by and large is what happened in the Soviet Union where most ethnic groups were just associated with Russians. Russia was notorious for refunneling the wealth of other member republics back to Russia. Most of them were fed up with it by the 80s and decided that enough was enough. Was dominated the Union, and other republics had very little say in what happened.

Now granted the U.K. is a lot more democratic than the U.S.S.R. But Constituent republics aren't even being granted their only national assemblies that actually wield power. More likely, these national assemblies are toy legislatures that can only make partial decisions. If the London Parliament was to get it's head out of its ass and allow for constituent republics to be more independent, I'd say that the U.K. would last.

As of now however, I'm saying bye bye U.K. 2014.
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Old 27th February 2013, 04:54 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
Yes it is. But there appears to be a unified American identity that sits over the top of the diversity. I've never met an American who identified as anything other than American. I never met someone who claimed to be a Nebraskan or a Californian and not an American.

Yes there might be many sub-identities and cultures within the country but they tend to sit alongside the overarching culture without conflict.
As an American, I must say this is very true.
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Old 27th February 2013, 05:06 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
There's a national movement in Wales, so I couldn't possibly imagine how you can't see the evidence. Northern Ireland would as Rolfe said begin to go towards a path of reunification with Ireland. As for England, all the other constituent republics are attempting to divorce England, and the English in particular do not wish for the alliance to dissolve.

What more is the U.K. other than England + some other states? In America some more uneducated Americans even associate the entire U.K. with just England. This by and large is what happened in the Soviet Union where most ethnic groups were just associated with Russians. Russia was notorious for refunneling the wealth of other member republics back to Russia. Most of them were fed up with it by the 80s and decided that enough was enough. Was dominated the Union, and other republics had very little say in what happened.

Now granted the U.K. is a lot more democratic than the U.S.S.R. But Constituent republics aren't even being granted their only national assemblies that actually wield power. More likely, these national assemblies are toy legislatures that can only make partial decisions. If the London Parliament was to get it's head out of its ass and allow for constituent republics to be more independent, I'd say that the U.K. would last.

As of now however, I'm saying bye bye U.K. 2014.
This is true as well. I often tire of explaining the difference between England, Britain, and the U.K to my fellow Americans who often get them confused. It's hard to blame them though, since as you've already pointed out, the U.K is overwhelmingly England. Some uneducated Americans even think Canada is still part of Britain. Or they think it is part of England. Or part of the United Kingdom. Some are shocked to find out it is actually a sovereign, independent country, I kid you not. All that "royal" stuff and the Queen on the money confuses them.

Indeed, based on outward appearance, it doesn't look truly independent. When I was much younger, it even confused me into thinking it was still a British territory.

And you're so right about Americans confusing people from former Soviet Republics with Russians. Ukrainians often get very offended by this kind of confusion, along with the Baltic peoples. And Russians get offended when some notorious criminals from the non-Russian former Soviet republics make big news, and everyone calls them "Russians", just because they have Russified names and usually speak fluent Russian.

Last edited by Zelenius; 27th February 2013 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 27th February 2013, 05:31 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The tax powers and funding proposals in the Calman legislation are absolutely dreadful and will seriously damage Scotland if they ever come into force. They are intended to give Scotland no chance of raising more money than before, but to launder what is granted through the Inland Revenue in a highly inefficient manner for the purpose of the Scottish government being seen to be blameable for spending cuts.
This sort of statement is easy to make. Likewise "The electoral system was set up to prevent the SNP getting a majority."
Can you provide evidence and reasoning to support either ?
Quote:

That is what we are stuck with if there is a No vote. That, and Trident, and the prospect of a much more heavy-handed administration from Westminster once they don't have to worry that Scots will vote for independence if they don't like what's being done to them. Expect significant powers such as planning to be reserved.
Quite. So having created a lose / lose situation for the majority of Scots who never wanted the referendum in the first place , do you really expect them to support the one the SNP prefers or the one they already know?
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You are not going to get jam tomorrow, no matter how often the same people who prevented you from expressing a preference for devo-max in the referendum sort of hint that they might think about it. It's independence or Calman, austerity, bedroom tax and ATOS.

Your choice.
Just a hint of a possible false dichotomy there, methinks. Scotland has housing shortages and financial shortfalls too. Austerity wouldn't switch to prosperity overnight in an independent Scotland.

nb- I agree Flower of Scotland is a poor choice for an anfem, but how can you say it's a dirge and at the same time prefer "Scots wha hae..."?

I'd rather "A man's a man for a'that", suitably bowdlerised to suit current sexist mores. I'd rather it was the anthem of the UN though. (As come it must, for a' that).
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:49 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Zelenius View Post
This is true as well. I often tire of explaining the difference between England, Britain, and the U.K to my fellow Americans who often get them confused. It's hard to blame them though, since as you've already pointed out, the U.K is overwhelmingly England. Some uneducated Americans even think Canada is still part of Britain. Or they think it is part of England. Or part of the United Kingdom. Some are shocked to find out it is actually a sovereign, independent country, I kid you not. All that "royal" stuff and the Queen on the money confuses them.
I'm not at all convinced that this is to do with the domination of England. This is just ignorance of geography, which is at least as prevalent here; ask British people for the capital of the USA, and I'd put good money on New York as being the winning answer.

Originally Posted by Zelenius View Post
And you're so right about Americans confusing people from former Soviet Republics with Russians. Ukrainians often get very offended by this kind of confusion, along with the Baltic peoples. And Russians get offended when some notorious criminals from the non-Russian former Soviet republics make big news, and everyone calls them "Russians", just because they have Russified names and usually speak fluent Russian.
Again, this is not just because Russia dominated the USSR. Ask people now (here or in the USA) to name nations of the world, and I guarantee they will not be naming Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, or even Belarus.
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Old 27th February 2013, 07:15 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Rat View Post
I'm not at all convinced that this is to do with the domination of England. This is just ignorance of geography, which is at least as prevalent here; ask British people for the capital of the USA, and I'd put good money on New York as being the winning answer.


Again, this is not just because Russia dominated the USSR. Ask people now (here or in the USA) to name nations of the world, and I guarantee they will not be naming Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, or even Belarus.
Rat that answer is only partially true. While it is true that many Americans are somewhat ignorant about geography, that is not the only reason why the U.K. is sum equated with England in the American psyche.

Another seems to be the overwhelming dominance the English have in all crown affairs. The dominant language is English, the capital is in England, the heirs to the thrown though German are traditionally associated with England. When people mimic the British here, they overwhelmingly do impressions of snooty South Eastern Englanders. I personally like to do a Welsh accent where ear, there, and hear are all pronounced 'ere.

For the most part, the English do dominate the Union. There is no way around this fact, England is the dominant constituent republic of the U.K. And internationally this is recognized. The same was true of the U.S.S.R. where Russia held overwhelming sway over smaller republics. It was proposed by some in the earlier history of the U.S.S.R. that Russia maintain it's capital seperately in St. Petersburg, and that the capital of all republics including Russia be in Moscow. Some knew early on that if Moscow were to be both the Capital of Russia and the Soviet Union that Russian affairs would dominate the union and potentially cause resentment to grow from other smaller republics.

Nonetheless this proposal was rejected because St. Petersburg was associated with the Tsarist Regime. Lenin wanted to remove any doubt that the Tsarist Regime would return. Thus he moved the capital to Moscow, and Russia simply dominated the union state for 70 years. This seems to be one of the leading factors behind why the USSR collapsed. Because of a growing tide of nationalism and anti-Russification that occurred during the late USSR years.

I'm seeing a very similar scenario play out in the U.K. as we speak.

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Old 28th February 2013, 02:44 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
This sort of statement is easy to make. Likewise "The electoral system was set up to prevent the SNP getting a majority."
Can you provide evidence and reasoning to support either ?

Goodness, they were quite open about it at the time. They said so, and it was reported.

The d'Hondt system, which was briefly discussed in the thread about voting systems, was tweaked so that there are substantially more constituency seats than list seats. (There should be equal numbers.) The PR thing in general makes it hard for any party to get an overall majority, but Labour thought they were setting up a perpetual cosy Lib-Lab pact.

The point about the tweak to the d'Hondt is that it specifically disadvantages parties with a relatively evenly-spread geographical vote (SNP and Conservative) and favours those whose vote is concentrated into constituencies (Labour and the LibDems).

Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Quite. So having created a lose / lose situation for the majority of Scots who never wanted the referendum in the first place , do you really expect them to support the one the SNP prefers or the one they already know?

The majority of Scots knew what to do about it if they didn't want a referendum. Don't vote SNP. It was right there on the manifesto, and not exactly hidden in the small print either. Actually, opinion polls have consistently returned quite large majorities for wanting a referendum, even if they weren't giving majorities saying there would be a yes vote.

You narrow this down to "something the SNP prefers". This is a hell of a momentous decision, to return to the normal status of a normal country, like scores (indeed over 100) of countries have done in the last hundred years or so. I think you'd struggle to find one of these which would show a majority preferring to return to being governed by their previous "owner".

If you're agin it, that's your choice, but don't talk it down as "something the SNP prefers". This is a lot wider than the SNP. This is about reclaiming our own place in the world.

Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Just a hint of a possible false dichotomy there, methinks. Scotland has housing shortages and financial shortfalls too. Austerity wouldn't switch to prosperity overnight in an independent Scotland.

Overnight? Well obviously not. But we have a far far better shot at it by controlling our own resources and our own budget and our own spending priorities than letting slash-and-burn Osborne continue on his merry way.

Scotland has been shafted by Westminster on a serial basis for about as long as you want to look at the books. Starting in 1707. Look at what L.Y.S. says above about Russia and the other Soviet republics. It wasn't so blatant, or maybe it was just concealed better. We want to set our feet on our own road to prosperity. Nobody said we'd get there overnight, but for God's sake let's make a start.

Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
nb- I agree Flower of Scotland is a poor choice for an anfem, but how can you say it's a dirge and at the same time prefer "Scots wha hae..."?

I'd rather "A man's a man for a'that", suitably bowdlerised to suit current sexist mores. I'd rather it was the anthem of the UN though. (As come it must, for a' that).

Scots wha hae is a march that is usually sung at slow crawl pace. Sing it at the right speed (and don't start too high as it has the rising pitch that most good anthems have), and it's rousing in the extreme.

The tune is extraordinarily ancient. It is known to have been sung by the Scots soldiers who fought in the army of Joan of Arc. (I don't know what the words were then.) The words we know today were written by Burns.

I believe we should think long and hard before we ditch as asset like that.

(But yes, the song our choir has chosen to learn as our party piece for foreign trips is indeed A man's a man. And the hell with PCing Burns's text! The choirmaster - staunch Labour by the way - said it would be fun to hear other choirs come out with their rousing nationalist songs and then for us to sing that. And I agree with him.)

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2013, 04:14 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
I never met someone who claimed to be a Nebraskan or a Californian and not an American.
You might have more luck looking for self identified Texans.
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Old 28th February 2013, 04:24 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
<snip>

The greatest complaint is that Scotland's resources have been essentially annexed, then less revenue returned to the country than was contributed. For over 300 years.

<snip>

Well, we're going. I think we'll get that yes vote. The rest is just paperwork.

I hope you guys get it. Best of luck.
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Old 28th February 2013, 04:38 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Why would an independent Scotland be in the EU? It is part of the EU at the moment because it is part of the UK. Once it decides it doesn't want to be part of the UK then how can it be part of the EU any more?

I'm not following that logic at all.

Why would a country splitting in two mean either one aren't allowed in the EU anymore?

I doubt it would be much more than a formality...
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Old 28th February 2013, 04:49 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
because their bit will have a bigger share of some resource. If that's not selfish, what is it?

There's a big difference between wanting someone else's resources and wanting to keep your own resources.

Sure you could say they are both forms of being selfish, but wanting someone else's stuff is considerably more selfish.

Also most people would say that the latter is morally right and the former is morally wrong.
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Old 28th February 2013, 04:59 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
I'm not following that logic at all.

Why would a country splitting in two mean either one aren't allowed in the EU anymore?

I doubt it would be much more than a formality...

A lot of people are playing scare-stories with that one, including this morning, from Latvia of all places. The script is to keep saying that Scotland would be thrown out of the EU and have to apply as a new state and that takes ages, I mean Turkey has been trying to get in for 17 years now.... "Go to the back of the queue" is a common phrase. So really, don't dare vote Yes!

It all loses a bit of its effect when at the same time Cameron announces a referendum in the UK to take us out of the EU, and there is quite an anti-EU sentiment in England. Truly, independence might be our best route to staying in.

It all falls apart when you ask, on what date would Scotland be expelled from the EU? And on that date, what will happen to all the Polish plumbers and other EU nationals living in Scotland under their right as EU citizens? And what will happen to Scots nationals living in, say, France under their right as EU citizens? What will happen to the border between Scotland and England, and who will make it happen?

Suppose we have the vote on 14th October 2014, and it's a Yes, and the result is announced on 15th October. Are we out on our ear immediately? Or what?

Er, no. It's going to take about 18 months to organise things before the actual independence day, which is currently pencilled in for March 2016. Scotland will still be in the EU during these 18 months, because the UK will still exist.

Now, consider that Scotland has 5 million EU citizens, is a net contributer to EU funds, has a substantial chunk of the EU's fishing grounds (currently being strip-mined by Spanish fishing boats), almost all the EU's oil, a truly unfair share of renewable energy potential (wind, wave and tidal), and some rather tasty export industries (we can start with Scotch whisky if you like). And Scotland is currently in favour of remaining in membership.

Hands up anyone who thinks the EU is going to say, OK Scotland, on your independence day you will be thrown out and have to come back crawling on your knees with your cap in your hand. Anybody?

It's all going to be sorted out during that 18 months, and membership will simply continue. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply hasn't thought it through. However, it is in the interests of the BBC and the unionist press barons to keep peddling the scare stories rather than analyse the situation sensibly.

Honestly, if you read the coverage, you'd be forgiven for coming away with the impression that Scotland will simultaneously be thrown out of the EU and forced to adopt the Euro as its currency and join the Schengen area!

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 28th February 2013 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:02 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
There's a big difference between wanting someone else's resources and wanting to keep your own resources.

Sure you could say they are both forms of being selfish, but wanting someone else's stuff is considerably more selfish.

Also most people would say that the latter is morally right and the former is morally wrong.

It's OK, Soapy Sam is going to vote Yes in the referendum. Because he reaslly, really wants Scotland to stay governed by England, and to vote for what you actually want is greedy and selfish, and he would never do that....

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Old 28th February 2013, 05:06 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
Yes it is. But there appears to be a unified American identity that sits over the top of the diversity. I've never met an American who identified as anything other than American. I never met someone who claimed to be a Nebraskan or a Californian and not an American.
I have met Americans who identify with state as much as nation.

Quote:
Yes there might be many sub-identities and cultures within the country but they tend to sit alongside the overarching culture without conflict.
Eh? Are you sure?

Quote:
The same is not true for Scottish, Welsh, English and British.
Yet I come across many who identify with their part of the country and the UK as a whole and feel no animosity towards others.



Quote:
Not in my experience. The opposites co-exist in a generally uncomfortable partnership. They are not part of one overall diverse identity but rather separate identities. Of course there will always be exception.
We clearly have very different experiences. That is maybe why you have more issues than me about this.



Quote:
That's an odd statement. Pronouncing you no longer want to be a soft touch and would rather be the toughest is anti-immigration.

At the same time Alex Salmond is trying to welcome immigrants to Scotland. I know which one I personally identify with.
Alex Salmond will still have immigration controls. No country in the world has no control over immigration. Immigration controls are not anti-immigration, or else we are all anti-immigration.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:09 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
There's a national movement in Wales, so I couldn't possibly imagine how you can't see the evidence. Northern Ireland would as Rolfe said begin to go towards a path of reunification with Ireland. As for England, all the other constituent republics are attempting to divorce England, and the English in particular do not wish for the alliance to dissolve.
To clarify, there is no likelihood of the rUK splitting.

Quote:
What more is the U.K. other than England + some other states? In America some more uneducated Americans even associate the entire U.K. with just England. This by and large is what happened in the Soviet Union where most ethnic groups were just associated with Russians. Russia was notorious for refunneling the wealth of other member republics back to Russia. Most of them were fed up with it by the 80s and decided that enough was enough. Was dominated the Union, and other republics had very little say in what happened.

Now granted the U.K. is a lot more democratic than the U.S.S.R. But Constituent republics aren't even being granted their only national assemblies that actually wield power. More likely, these national assemblies are toy legislatures that can only make partial decisions. If the London Parliament was to get it's head out of its ass and allow for constituent republics to be more independent, I'd say that the U.K. would last.

As of now however, I'm saying bye bye U.K. 2014.
The largest ground will always dominate. The same will happen in Scotland with the central belt and Edinburgh getting most of the resources.

I agree more power to the regions within a UK would be the most popular outcome.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:18 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Yet I come across many who identify with their part of the country and the UK as a whole and feel no animosity towards others.
Yep, British, English and European in that order, no animosity what so ever. Don't personally know anyone around here who has.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:19 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
To clarify, there is no likelihood of the rUK splitting.

I agree it's unlikely, though I think anyone who tries to guess what will happen to the Irish question in the medium term is extraordinarily foolish.

Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The largest ground will always dominate. The same will happen in Scotland with the central belt and Edinburgh getting most of the resources.

I disagree, unless you mean that as most of the population is there, then of course a properly-distributed spending policy will naturally spend the bulk of the money there.

Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I agree more power to the regions within a UK would be the most popular outcome.



But it's not going to happen. No matter if you scweam and scweam until you are sick. Westminster is simply not going to grant anything approaching devo-max or even devo-plus. Calman is the furthest limit they are prepared to go, no matter what dishonest noises they may make before the referendum in the hope of persuading a few gullible voters that they really do have jam in that cupboard.

Calman is scary stuff. That is what we get if we vote No, that and a lifetime of trying to maintain Holyrood having some worthwhile devolved powers in the face of having burned our one and only trump card. A ton of bureaucracy to give us the same amount of money as we get now, all controlled by Westminster, and still with the ability to cut and cut so we have to privatise the NHS or Scottish Water or whatever the right-wing government on the green benches wants us to do.

Next year is our ticket out of that. You may want to burn it. I don't.

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:35 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
I'm not following that logic at all.

Why would a country splitting in two mean either one aren't allowed in the EU anymore?

I doubt it would be much more than a formality...
I also doubt it would be much more than a formality, but I'm surprised that you can't see it any other way. Scotland is voting for independence, to leave the UK. The UK is a member of the EU. I can see no reason that Scotland must continue to be a member.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:39 AM   #181
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Here's what someone said on WoS about this, a few minutes ago.

Originally Posted by Jeannie
I’m driven near insane by the constant questioning of whether we’ll have to apply to join the EU or not. We’re already in the EU so I tend to read it more as we’ll have to give them an idea one way or the other of whether we want to stay in or get out, otherwise how are they supposed to know what we want to do? If we indicate we want to stay in, they’ll take that as our application and process it accordingly. If we indicate we want out, a formal process to that end will be commenced. But during the process, either way, my reading is, that we’ll still be in as there’s no formal process for kicking anybody out.

That's about it.

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Old 28th February 2013, 06:43 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
A lot of people are playing scare-stories with that one, including this morning, from Latvia of all places. The script is to keep saying that Scotland would be thrown out of the EU and have to apply as a new state and that takes ages, I mean Turkey has been trying to get in for 17 years now.... "Go to the back of the queue" is a common phrase. So really, don't dare vote Yes!
The comparison with Turkey is ludicrous, of course. There are a lot of reservations with various EU governments to admit Turkey at all; and then there are the obvious human rights issues. Turkey's application is older than that of many current EU members.

The reason why it took several years for other, non-controversial members, to get in, was to get their legislation in line with EU directives. That is obviously not the case with Scotland, as it is already indirectly a member.

The only thing that has to happen for Scotland to stay a member, is some kow-towing about the number of EP seats, commissioner seats and the height of the contributions.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It all loses a bit of its effect when at the same time Cameron announces a referendum in the UK to take us out of the EU, and there is quite an anti-EU sentiment in England. Truly, independence might be our best route to staying in.
LOL, yes. And in case that referendum is successful, you do have to vigorously guard your southern border from unwanted intruders.
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Old 28th February 2013, 07:04 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
The comparison with Turkey is ludicrous, of course. There are a lot of reservations with various EU governments to admit Turkey at all; and then there are the obvious human rights issues. Turkey's application is older than that of many current EU members.

Exactly. Which didn't stop that Latvian numpty from specifically bringing Turkey up on GMS this morning. (That's how I know it's been 17 years - he used that as an example!)

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
The reason why it took several years for other, non-controversial members, to get in, was to get their legislation in line with EU directives. That is obviously not the case with Scotland, as it is already indirectly a member.

All our legislation is already compliant, obviously. It's a non-issue. We've been in the EU since before it was the EU!

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
The only thing that has to happen for Scotland to stay a member, is some kow-towing about the number of EP seats, commissioner seats and the height of the contributions.

Quite. We'll be having more seats, as an independent country, obviously. I can't remember what the going rate is for a population of 5.2 million, but I think it's about twice what we have now.

We can also get a better deal on the contributions/rebates aspect. The previous UK deal involved quite a lot of selling out Scotland's interests for the benefit of London.

And of course EWNI is going to be doing exactly the same renegotiating at exactly the same time.

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
LOL, yes. And in case that referendum is successful, you do have to vigorously guard your southern border from unwanted intruders.

Hopefully this won't happen. I think it would be extraordinarily short-sighted.

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2013, 07:50 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Exactly. Which didn't stop that Latvian numpty from specifically bringing Turkey up on GMS this morning. (That's how I know it's been 17 years - he used that as an example!)
It's wrong actually. It's 26 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessi...European_Union:
Quote:
Turkey's application to accede to the European Union was made on 14 April 1987.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Quite. We'll be having more seats, as an independent country, obviously. I can't remember what the going rate is for a population of 5.2 million, but I think it's about twice what we have now.

We can also get a better deal on the contributions/rebates aspect. The previous UK deal involved quite a lot of selling out Scotland's interests for the benefit of London.

And of course EWNI is going to be doing exactly the same renegotiating at exactly the same time.
Oh yes, the comment was generally meant. Probably other member states want to jump to the occasion to renegotiate their shares too.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Hopefully this won't happen. I think it would be extraordinarily short-sighted.
I think a lot of people are getting very tired of this spiel of "do we stay in or do we get out". It's been playing ever since the UK became a member. At least I am.

But if rest-UK wants out, and an independent Scotland wants to stay in, then you'll have to defend Fortress Europe from the barbarian hordes looming on your southern border. And probably adopt Schengen and the Euro as well - those are exceptions to EU rules the UK got that don't make much sense in that situation.
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Old 28th February 2013, 09:35 AM   #185
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If we have to have a border with England then obviously we'd go for Schengen. The only reason not to go for Schengen is to avoid having a controlled land border with England.

Joining the Euro takes time. Ask Sweden. So far as I can see, nobody joins the Euro unless they want to - there are so many loopholes.

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Old 28th February 2013, 12:51 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If we have to have a border with England then obviously we'd go for Schengen. The only reason not to go for Schengen is to avoid having a controlled land border with England.
You currently also have an open border with the Irish Republic. But yeah, that's much less important than the border with England.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Joining the Euro takes time. Ask Sweden. So far as I can see, nobody joins the Euro unless they want to - there are so many loopholes.
Denmark and the UK have a formal opt-out. All other EU states are formally required to adopt the Euro once they meet the convergence criteria. Sweden exploits a loophole: before adopting the Euro, a country must first join ERM II for two years. As joining ERM II is voluntary, Sweden has simply refused to do so.
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Old 28th February 2013, 01:07 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's OK, Soapy Sam is going to vote Yes in the referendum. Because he reaslly, really wants Scotland to stay governed by England, and to vote for what you actually want is greedy and selfish, and he would never do that....

Rolfe.
Actually, I might.
I think it's a damn silly idea, but if it happens, a lot of people who never saw the need to do a hand's turn are going to have to get off their bums and start working, which might be no bad thing- and maybe we will stop blaming England for all our problems .

I'll probably be retiring not long after 2016 (If I ain't "retired" sooner), so I will be able to sit back and write letters to the Scotsman, while living high on the benefits of independence; the free mince and tatties, the high investment returns on my Royal Bank of Scotland shares and the cheap energy from the wind farm on the roof.
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Old 28th February 2013, 03:00 PM   #188
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I don't know why it's a damn silly idea for Scotland, when it's not a damn silly idea for Denmark, or Norway, or Slovenia, or Estonia, and even Latvia gets to throw it's damn weight about in the EU when it was a puny Soviet satellite that couldn't order a pizza for itself without Moscow's permission not so long ago.

But yes, I think it will be a great incentive for Scotland and a lot of Scots, and as someone retiring about the same time as you I hope to hell we get a yes because I don't fancy being a pensioner in Osborne's New Jerusalem, that's for sure.

And besides, my house will be worth more. (Yours as well I would imagine.)

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2013, 03:30 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
To clarify, there is no likelihood of the rUK splitting.



The largest ground will always dominate. The same will happen in Scotland with the central belt and Edinburgh getting most of the resources.

I agree more power to the regions within a UK would be the most popular outcome.
What evidence do you have to support that the rUK isn't going to split? What part of, if Scotland leaves there is no U.K. don't you understand? Scotland leaving would have a domino effect on the rest of the constituent republics excluding England. For the most part, England is the one attempting to keep most of the republics together. Northern Ireland is some unique case that is hard to explain. But it is clear that Scotland, and Wales have a firm independence movement in their perspective countries. So let's not even play the whole, "the movements are weak or don't exist" gambit.

As for the "dominate" ground controlling the resources I think it's poppycock. If that statement were true the states who would get the largest subsidies in America would be California and Texas. Although those two states do get heavily subsidized by the government, other smaller states in the plains receive the most economic assistance per capita. So the whole refunneling of wealth bit doesn't stand on two legs either. It is my understanding that Scotland has much to offer, but is being offered very little to give it. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Not only is more power to each perspective constituent republic necessary to maintain the U.K., but the English must divorce their capital from the federal capital. That is the only logical way that English politics will not overwhelm crown politics. As it were, the English hold tremendous sway over all affairs of the union. And quite frankly this is hurting other republics. Scotland and Wales have been nearly stagnant. And that is not healthy. Had Scotland grown at a healthy rate, it's population would have been some 15-20 million residents. The fact that it is only 5 million shows how much it has not grown in the union.

There is a saying in the Black American community that sums this up best, "If I can do bad with someone else. I can do bad all by myself". Meaning it is better to be by yourself and do yourself harm then it is to be with others who do you harm. Right now Scotland is saying "I can do bad all by myself". And as of now, this statement is holding true.

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Old 28th February 2013, 03:53 PM   #190
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Just to clarify to some, the 2014 referendum still maintains Scotland's relationships with the U.K. and EU (as a new state entity); defense arrangements with the remainder of the U.K., EU, and NATO; and for a common economic space with other British states. However, the referendum also gives Scotland state sovereignty and rights over economic decisions.

So all of this "Scotland won't be in the EU" is nonsense. The referendum clearly doesn't call for Scotland to withdraw from the EU, or even to fully withdraw from the British commonwealth. It does call for increased economic and political sovereignty. Which is the real issue.

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Old 28th February 2013, 04:18 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
Not only is more power to each perspective constituent republic necessary to maintain the U.K., but the English must divorce their capital from the federal capital. That is the only logical way that English politics will not overwhelm crown politics. As it were, the English hold tremendous sway over all affairs of the union.
You can't really compare with the US situation. The US was consciously set up in the beginning (well, with the current constitution) as a federation of states with clear states with their own laws and their own parliaments and executives, and on top of that a federation with laws and parliament and executive.

The Act of the Union and the later merger of Great Britain with Ireland created a hybrid situation: on the one hand, the constituent countries remained separate jurisdictions with separate laws and courts, but on the other hand, there was a single parliament and executive. So you also had the funny situation that, (1) Scottish MPs could vote on laws that only applied to England and Wales, and (2) English MPs could vote on laws that only applied to Scotland, etc. etc. Devolution has taken care of (2), largely, but (1) remains - the so-called West-Lothian question.

Anyway, the main difference was that there was no clear separation of "federal" and "state" level as in the US, and such a separation in case of England is unlikely as it's by far the biggest home country, accounting for over 80% of the population.

Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
And quite frankly this is hurting other republics. Scotland and Wales have been nearly stagnant. And that is not healthy. Had Scotland grown at a healthy rate, it's population would have been some 15-20 million residents. The fact that it is only 5 million shows how much it has not grown in the union.
That's a tad exaggerated; 10-11 million would be more on the mark. Look at the historical figures on wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_Scotland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_England
Then you see that the numbers for 1601, 1701 (estimated) and 1801 (first census) put the population of Scotland at roughly 20% of the population of England. After that, the ratio begins to decline: 17% in 1851; 15% in 1901; 12% in 1951; and 10% in 2011.
(numbers rounded and calculated by head, so I may have made some rounding errors).
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Old 28th February 2013, 04:25 PM   #192
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The mixed messages coming from Westminster are a bit confusing.

"Scotland, we love you and we value you, you are a full and equal partner in the union and we're all Better Together."

"Scotland, if you even think about voting Yes, we will screw you so hard you won't know what's hit you. You'll get no share of the assets you've been paying for, but you'll have to take all the debt. We'll take 90% of your territorial assets, but you'll have no right to any of our territorial assets. We'll work to have you thrown out of the EU and the Commonwealth and you can't use our pound or our bank, even thought they're your pound and your bank too. And we'll force you to keep Trident and you'll be banned from having nuclear weapons of your own.

And despite being thrown out of the EU you'll be forced to adopt the Euro and join Schengen. And we'll throw up a 20-foot high razor wire fence at Gretna, and all Scots in England will be repatriated as enemy aliens. And we won't buy any of your produce, not even the whisky, or any of your electricity.

And we'll bomb your airports and take the pandas away from Edinburgh zoo."

I'm not making this up unfortunately. Not even the bits about bombing the airports or taking the pandas away.

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:33 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And we'll force you to keep Trident and you'll be banned from having nuclear weapons of your own.
Trident is the only UK nuke program. Or would Scotland get the submarines and rest-UK the missiles? Then you both have, effectively, nothing.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And we'll bomb your airports and take the pandas away from Edinburgh zoo."

I'm not making this up unfortunately. Not even the bits about bombing the airports or taking the pandas away.

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:40 PM   #194
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So what happens to the lands belonging to the Royal family in Scotland if Scotland becomes independent of the U.K?

I can just see the political cartoon now: Queen Elizabeth at the Scottish border, a Scottish border guard says to the Queen: "I need to see your passport and identification".

Anyway, it would be interesting to see what happens to Scotland's per capita income and economic development when they are able to keep most of their oil wealth, assuming they become independent(and what becomes of the U.K without the oil). It's funny to think of the implications of Scottish independence; just think, because it will remain within the Commonwealth, it will be the equivalent of Canada on England's northern border!

Correction: Maybe not Canada, due to EU membership, but close.

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Old 1st March 2013, 02:18 AM   #195
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The land that belongs to the Queen personally will continue to belong to the Queen personally. Queen Victoria bought Balmoral with her own money, because she liked being soaked and frozen to death in the Great Outdoors. That doesn't change.

There isn't going to be a closed border between Scotland and England, unless England does something extraordinarily petty and spiteful. For goodness sake, there isn't a closed border between the UK and Ireland at the moment.

What happens to the Crown Estates in Scotland is something else again. We'll be having that back, I think.

Scotland has a bright future as an independent country, insofar as anything is bright in a global recession and insofar as anyone can be "independent" in this interconnected world. It's not the English politicians who are trying to prevent this that I resent, not really. It's the Scottish politicians who are trying to prevent it because they like the Westminster gravy train and being the USA's poodle and invading Arab countries for their oil. And they have their eyes on seats in the House of Lords, of course.

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Old 1st March 2013, 03:24 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Trident is the only UK nuke program. Or would Scotland get the submarines and rest-UK the missiles? Then you both have, effectively, nothing.

24th February
Independent Scotland faces nuclear arms ban (and they say that like it's a bad thing....)

"An independent Scotland would not be permitted to have nuclear weapons, the UK government has confirmed."

26th February
An independent Scotland might have to thole Trident on the Clyde

Quote:
The likeliest scenario on independence, I think, is that negotiations will see Trident remain on the Clyde until it is obsolete and replaced by something else, if indeed it is. The decision on whether the UK will go for a like-for-like replacement system or something else like nuclear warhead cruise missiles has been pushed back until 2016, well after the next Westminster general election. The obsolescence of Trident is most likely to be the decision point, which could well be as late as 2030.

Yeah, right....

The statement that England might well be forced to bomb Scotland's airports actually came from a Scottish Conservative Lord (Peter Fraser, I think). The "China will take the pandas away from Edinburgh and put them in a zoo in England" was more of a tabloid thing. These were longer ago and it would take time to find the references.

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Old 1st March 2013, 03:45 AM   #197
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Reading the Independent article it seems to me that the issue of nuclear weapons in an independent Scotland is one of international law and inconvenient for both countries. Painting it as some kind of "I'll take my toys and go home" threat from England seems to be a distortion.
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Old 1st March 2013, 03:57 AM   #198
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Rolfe,
There's no question that a great deal of drivel is being / has been said by politicians on both sides the Tweed, as well as by the press.

Take a baby's rattle away and he'll scream. This is human nature. We have the examples of the 1300s and 1707 for all to see; I can't see why someone as well read in Scotland's history as you finds it upsetting or surprising that the modern equivalent of the northern Barons don't want to rock the gravy boat.

Even more surprising is that the SNP still seems unable to see that most of Scotland's people feel the same way. Unlike Latvia etc, there is no popular upwelling of emotion around this campaign. Instead, there is an uninterested silence, punctuated by squeals from the politicians on either side, while most Scots look on wondering what they are on about.
If there is to be a yes vote, between now and next year the SNP have to pull something very original out of the hat. They have to involve the people. That will be hard, because times are hard and they may have to make some unpopular decisions this year. Honestly, I don't see Eck or Nicola having the charisma.
Cameron can still do it by simply saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment, but I get the impression that lesson is slowly sinking in down south. The really daft stuff seems to be getting scarcer. I think a gagging order has gone out.

As for Trident- if America can keep a presence at Guantanamo, I daresay the RN can keep a base in Scotland. There would be security issues, but for Christ's sake we're not likely to start a nuclear war with each other. Great Britain ain't nearly great enough.

Good gods. A cock pheasant just landed on my car outside the window. Probably an MI5 robotic spycam.

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Old 1st March 2013, 04:18 AM   #199
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SS, it's the same in England, what ever the decision of the referendum I don't know anyone who would bare the Scots any ill will over it and no-one I know feels particually strongly one way or another. There would certainly be a degree of sadness over the end of such a long shared history but that's about it, wish you well and get on with our own lives.
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Old 1st March 2013, 05:05 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I agree it's unlikely, though I think anyone who tries to guess what will happen to the Irish question in the medium term is extraordinarily foolish.
I guess NI will remain within the UK or UK - Scotland. That is not a foolish guess, it is based on who is the majority and democracy and that is not going to change for a while yet.


Quote:
I disagree, unless you mean that as most of the population is there, then of course a properly-distributed spending policy will naturally spend the bulk of the money there.
Which is what I meant, so we agree.


Quote:



But it's not going to happen. No matter if you scweam and scweam until you are sick. Westminster is simply not going to grant anything approaching devo-max or even devo-plus. Calman is the furthest limit they are prepared to go, no matter what dishonest noises they may make before the referendum in the hope of persuading a few gullible voters that they really do have jam in that cupboard.

Calman is scary stuff. That is what we get if we vote No, that and a lifetime of trying to maintain Holyrood having some worthwhile devolved powers in the face of having burned our one and only trump card. A ton of bureaucracy to give us the same amount of money as we get now, all controlled by Westminster, and still with the ability to cut and cut so we have to privatise the NHS or Scottish Water or whatever the right-wing government on the green benches wants us to do.

Next year is our ticket out of that. You may want to burn it. I don't.

Rolfe.
So devo max will never happen and English crushing of Scotland will happen unless we vote for independence
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