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  1. #1
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    Default Scottish Independence

    Three weeks today and the voting will all be over up here in the Scttish Independence Referendum. I don't know how big an issue it is to most of you guys, but obviously it's of huge importance to us up here.

    What are your feelings on the issue? From the point of view from the other side of the border, do you think the UK would be better off with or without Scotland? If Scotland voted Yes, do you think it would make much difference to your daily lives? Do you think it would drive a wedge between the countries, or as Alex Salmond claims, actually bring the people closer together? Would you miss us? (Be honest!!!) And if we were to vote No, what do you think should happen....should Scotland get more power to govern itself, extra tax-raising powers etc or should it be made to toe the line and just accept exactly the same as the rest of the UK gets? Should there be incentives to encourage people to vote No and keep Scotland in the UK, or should there be an attitude of "Just be happy with your lot, what you have is all you're going to get...take it or leave it"?

    I'm firmly in the No camp myself, basically if it's not broken why change it? I mean, I'm not particularly happy with the way the Government has been running the country (but let's face it, the last lot weren't that great either) but if enough people feel the same, just vote them out next year. If we, the public, feel we've made a mistake then we can just vote for a change in the next General Election. Not so in the Independence vote, though. If there's a Yes vote and a few years down the line we realise that we've made a huge mistake, we're stuck with it. There's no going back, regardless of the consequences.

    I don't feel that Alex Salmond and co are being very clear on what they want. They say they want independence, which to me basically means cutting all ties and going out on your own, yet at the same time his preferred currency option is a 'Currency Union' with the rest of the UK? Even though all the other parties have ruled it out, he just says they're bluffing. But that's not independence, not when the Bank Of England would have such a huge influence on Scottish finances. A truly independent Scotland would have it's own new currency, possibly a Scottish pound initially pegged alongside Sterling, or join the Euro; Salmond knows though that neither of these options are as secure as staying with the pound along with the rest of the UK. If it's the best option, why try to change it?

    That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. A campaign full of contradictions and negativity on both sides. But what are your feelings on the subject?

  2. #2
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    I think Scotland will be better off staying in the Union. My Welsh friends and family are watching this one with interest!


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  3. #3

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    Hi Kenny - thanks for inviting me to post on your thread here. I've not been posting anywhere really so haven't deserted PS ;-)

    I have my postal vote sitting on the Kitchen table waiting to be completed and sent off. This is probably the first time I have delayed for time to properly think through the consequences before completing any voting papers.

    If I am abroad and someone asks my nationality I have always said British and if they ask am I English I will quickly correct them and say Scottish. I think this tells me instinctively where my heart truly lies.

    There are aspects to the raising of this whole question which have made me uncomfortable. Scotland is a proud nation. Like any relatively small country in population alongside a much larger neighbour I think the feelings will always be the same. We feel the need much more to identify ourselves, be heard and prove our value so we don't feel submerged into obscurity by the impact of that larger neighbour. I have always been a bit offended by the UK being called England, the worst offenders generally being based in the USA ;-) In response to those in the USA I ask if they are Canadian and only then do they get my point...

    One of my concerns over the whole question is that if we answer NO then it may look like we were frightened to go it alone, we didn't have the self belief in ourselves to take that step. The question almost forces us to vote YES which is a positive can do response rather than a NO which is a negative can't do response which may make us look like a weak fearful nation. It's that whole Braveheart freedom thing of stand up and be a nation. Be assertive and take control.

    When George Osborne aggressively declared Scotland would not get the pound I could almost hear echoes of Edward Longshanks from the Braveheart movie... as a Scot I felt we were being bullied and brought to heel and there is nothing better to unite us as a nation than some Oxbridge educated millionaire telling us what we can, cannot do - nice one George - fortunately I think the initial boost to the YES campaign of that action has died down...

    When this kind of approach is taken is totally unhelpful as it gets people to act from the heart rather than the head.

    Scotland being a proud nation will not want to lose face over this. If we vote No then should the rest of the UK choose to consider that we should put up and shut up? We had our chance and we failed to take it so we are diminished in a way.

    So before considering any of the issues I hate the fact that the whole referendum has been raised in the first place because it backs us into a corner a bit.

    I really appreciate comments from those in the rest of the UK (rUK) asking that we remain together and don't want to lose us. Inevitably of course there are a percentage in rUK which deride us and see us as drain on resources and want us to go which I think is rather sad.

    My view is that the UK will be diminished if we vote YES. Sure rUK will continue without us financially with no problem but I think the fabric of the UK will be lessened - I think our Britishness is not in London and the home counties of England but moreso in all the constituent parts and rich diversity of peoples across the UK of which Scotland plays an important part.

    Anyway that's my opening position before getting on to the detail of the various economic issues....

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    Personally, I'd get down on my knees and beg Scotland not to leave us English folk at the mercy of the Tories....
    If I'd not met Jane and was going to Australia in 2-3 years, I'd be seriously considering relocating to Scotland.
    Ralph, I look forward reading your further posts relating to the economic issues, etc...

  5. #5

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    Hi Waynester - I'm wearing a white carnation so you recognise me. As I'm a quarter English (Granny from Manchester) I'm thinking I might get my deportation papers through on 19th September and my assets seized and be sent off on a train to a ghetto in Carlisle..... I'll post thoughts on the economics later... having a day off but need to do one or two things so Scotland's future will have to hang in the balance until I get back....

  6. #6
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    To me, Scottish Independence is the wrong way forward. The Scots should be in the English Parliament, making their voices heard - as should those from Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Scotland is not "far away" from the rest of England. It's an hour's flight from London, plus with modern technology we are more connected than ever.

    From the English point of view, I think it would give the Conservatives a huge edge in the remaining Parliament. Once Scotland is gone, that's a couple of dozen strong Labour seats that they won't bother contesting. I'm surprised the Conservatives want to keep the Union together.

    The whole 'Yes to Scottish Independence' Campaign is utterly ludicrous. It's not in England's best interests, and I can't see how Scotland will benefit. It's only slightly more ludicrous than the appalling 'No' Campaign. Neither side has a positive message or a clear view of what will happen to Scotland in 2015 and beyond.

    Frankly, I don't think this vote is as much about Scottish Independence as it is about Alex Salmond's ego. That's what the Scots will really be voting about.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    I know it'll be a 'big thing' over the remaining few weeks of the campaign - but I wonder, Ralph & Mac, to the average 'man in the street' was it ever really a burning issue in the past? To the SNP I guess the answer is yes, but in general terms, before the referendum was announced, did many people actually even consider it an issue at all? I'm just curious as to whether, actually, it's one of those things that politicians have decided on which the rest of the country didn't really care about. (Your comment about disliking the fact that the referendum has been called at all, Ralph, maybe suggests that it is a politician-driven thing, rather than an electorate-driven one.)

    Speaking personally, but admittedly without having looked into very much detail at all, I can't on the face of it see how a YES vote will benefit either country. And FWIW I don't think the Referendum will return a YES anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    I'm surprised the Conservatives want to keep the Union together.
    It's about oil, it always is.

    Rumours of massive oil find follow Cameron’s secret Shetland visit

    The issue of North Sea Oil has been at the centre of the independence debate for decades. In 2005 a secret report emerged that revealed successive Westminster Government’s had withheld the true value of North Sea oil from the Scottish people.

    In 1974 the UK Government commissioned a report into the potential of North Sea Oil and how it might influence support for Scottish independence. The report made clear that an independent Scotland would be far richer than if it remained within the Union.

    The report's conclusions were so dangerous that it was designated secret and hidden for thirty years before a Freedom of Information request forced the UK Government to reveal its contents.
    The whole thing reminds me of the Proportional Representaion vote, a couple of years back. Offer something that isn't what people would really want (to get a No vote), to take the discussion off the table for the next few decades.

    If I was Scotland, I'd jump at the chance of independence, but real independence is not actually being offered to them. Just another layer of bureaucracy. The whole discussion of currency is a complete red herring, Scotland could use anything it wanted to, even the Hagis if it desired. The whole argument is being used by a media who spout Westminster lies on a daily basis, to confuse and scare.

    If Scotland votes NO, then they''re going to regret it a few years down the line when the dollar finally collapses and takes the pound and euro with it...
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

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    Ah yes, I wondered when someone would mention North Sea Oil. Such a shame that they can't be open and honest about that issue.

    Nothing to say on Trident? The real monster lurking beneath Scottish waters...
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    More scare stories, I suspect, but I haven't followed those discussions too closely. The major part of this independence discussion has been "you can't do this" and "you can't do that". Real independence would mean they could do whatever they want, surely?
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Vale View Post
    Real independence would mean they could do whatever they want, surely?
    They can make decisions that only affect them as a country; they can't make unilateral decisions that affect the rest of the UK or Europe without actually coming to a proper agreement with thsoe other parties. So Scotland can decide to use the Scottish pound as its currency, but it cannot unilaterally decide to link this to the UK pound , or decide to use the Euro, without consensual agreement (otherwise you could end up with a 'mini-Poundzone' crisis just like the euro one)

    I'm truly sick of the "Debate", not because I don't care about the isuue but because both the 'Yes' and 'No' campaigns display all the worst of modern politics. There is little or no detail on either side - Salmond pretends that every Scot will have pockets overflowing with oil money and there will never be a problem again, the Nos declare that Scotland will become a land of poverty and despair. Maybe we should settle it by having a huge fight between the bands of celebrities and 'big names' that each kind can 'wield'.

    Having been a student in Scotland for 5 years in the late 80's - early 90's, I fully understand why many Scots want independance. The treatment of Scotland by the UK government over many years has been appalling (esp Thatcher), to the point where I was embarassed to be English. I can only hope that the Scottish voters give as much weight to the thoughts in their heads as the feelings in their hearts when they make their choice.
    Bazinga !

  12. #12
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    Thanks for posting, Ralph...I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts. I've just quickly skimmed through the posts so far, I'll read them in detail later, but I thought that it would be good to get some insight from your point of view given your background in the financial sector. My biggest problem with the whole thing is exactly what Jon has just commented on...the complete lack of detail from any side regarding what will happen after the vote. The Yes campaign seem to be giving a best-case scenario (while making it sound like that's what life will be like every day) about everything, making it sound that such a scenario will come to be without giving details of how it will come about; the Better Together campaign just seem to be so negative, using scare stories about how bad things will be if there's a 'Yes' vote. Of course, the reality if that becomes the case, will more than likely fall somewhere in between.

    For Jon, he's fed up with the debate because of the lack of details. We feel pretty much the same up here, the big difference being, though, it's much more than just a debate for us. Is it too much to ask for some clear answers from both sides before the Referendum date?

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    I'll answer myself before somebody else jumps in:

    No, of course there isn't...what place does honesty have in politics these days?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    To me, Scottish Independence is the wrong way forward. The Scots should be in the English Parliament, making their voices heard - as should those from Wales and Northern Ireland.
    Please don't take this the wrong way, Steve, but comments like this are just the sort that Ralph talked about in his post, an innocent mistake which you're probably not even aware you made. Of course you meant the British parliament...

    Don't worry, I'm not complaining about it, but it's just the perfect example early in the thread to highlight how Scots (and Welsh as well, I'd wager) can often feel sidelined, or ignored, or belittled...the sort of small petty things that the Nationalists prey on, hoping that they help the cause. Innocent comments which the person doesn't even realise is wrong. (Just to be clear, I'm not saying this in complaining mode, but just as an example of how easily things can be misconstrued...)

    I totally agree with all your comments, though. Spot on.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    I know it'll be a 'big thing' over the remaining few weeks of the campaign - but I wonder, Ralph & Mac, to the average 'man in the street' was it ever really a burning issue in the past? To the SNP I guess the answer is yes, but in general terms, before the referendum was announced, did many people actually even consider it an issue at all? I'm just curious as to whether, actually, it's one of those things that politicians have decided on which the rest of the country didn't really care about. (Your comment about disliking the fact that the referendum has been called at all, Ralph, maybe suggests that it is a politician-driven thing, rather than an electorate-driven one.)
    Good points, Andrew. From my personal experience (which, of course will probably differ from Ralph's) it wasn't really an issue at all. There were a couple of times in reasonably recent history, in the Thatcher years with the miners strike and the Poll Tax, where it certainly would have been a serious issue if the opportunity presented itself (which thankfully it didn't). But for the most part, it's a general annoyance that we're ruled over by a government which wasn't wanted by most Scots (I know that Ralph and myself have different views on that matter, but that's not important here) as well as silly, trivial thngs like the English media/football comentators always bleating on about 1966 ( as if their Scottish counterparts wouldn't do the same if the roles were reversed!)

    So in answer to your question, I'd say it's definitely a politically driven one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    I'll post thoughts on the economics later...
    C'mon Ralph! I'm interested.

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    Sorry - returned to work.... before we leave the United Kingdom I'll get this sorted....

  18. #18

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    To the point of is this independence vote politically driven, I would say very much so. There's no burning desire that I have been aware of down the years for an independent Scotland. However now that the politicians have pushed for this, some Scots are convinced it may be worth a try but I believe they're thinking with their hearts not their heads. It concerns me that we could take a step that will be irreversible. If independence goes through then we have no choice but to try and make it work because it's either that or leave the country....

    I'm not convinced we will be better off and those at the more vulnerable end might find the country takes a more politically right wing approach which I think is typical of smaller economies who need to attract business.

    I believe we are public sector heavy so are more dependent on the resources such as the oil than we ought to be to support our economy. Independence in my view needs a much stronger Private sector mix to generate real wealth.

    If Trident is to be booted out of Scotland a lot of jobs will go and we would be leaving ourselves dependent on our neighbours for protection which seems to me out of order. Nobody wants nuclear weapons but we do need to protect ourselves from our islands being vulnerable particularly given that the enemy is not a easy to identify as it was during the Cold War.

    Having the pound with a foreign country determining the money supply and interest rates is simply crazy.

    We are better off being part of the United Kingdom where we can shape policy decisions rather than being locked out as we would be as an independent country.

    Anyway there's a few thoughts to be going on with....

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    I'm in complete agreement with Ralph, the problem is trying to have a sensible discussion with people about this, though. Feelings run high on the subject but it's all too easy to get people wound up when you don't agree with their point of view. When you point out any of the points Ralph has made, you're accused of being condescending or treating them like children. And at the same time, they say that voting No is just plain silly and it's because you're being afraid of change. End of argument! So as Ralph said, a lot of people are voting with their heart rather than their head...

    I wouldn't say that I'm afraid of change, just wary. If there's going to be change, I'd rather it was going to be for the better than simply for the sake of it...

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    I must admit that I'm not really sure that independence would work fiscally. Yes the UK benefits a great deal from gas & oil which the Scottish would presumably gain control of but is that enough of a resource to base an entire economy on? I'm not sure the business sector is strong enough, but please someone correct me if I'm off the mark here. I'm not really up on the Scottish manufactoring sector.

    I really don't see the rest of the UK suffering much from Scottish independence but I can see the Scottish suffering if, like Ralph says, there is a swing to the right. And to be honest Voting no is probably preferable to coming back cap in hand if it all goes pear shaped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Gently View Post
    I really don't see the rest of the UK suffering much from Scottish independence .
    Except politically - lose the Scottish MPs and voters and you're going to end up with a pretty permanent Conservative majority running the rest of the UK, or occasionally propped up by the Lib Dems, or even UKIP !!
    Bazinga !

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    There's no difference between Labour & the Tories any more, so that's not a problem for us. They're both going to privatise the NHS, sign us up for TTIP, take away as many of our freedoms as possible, and continue to prop up the bankers.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

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    So,
    When are you guys leaving us?

    And would you set up your own annual PlanetSkaro meet-up ?


    Assume you're going to Win
    Always have an Edge

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip J Ludlam View Post

    And would you set up your own annual PlanetSkaro meet-up ?


    Well, we did sort of try a few years back. Nothing came of it, though...

  25. #25

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    According to the latest poll on Saturday it's 51% YES... I'm seriously starting to worry about the impact of a YES vote in the next 10 years plus. Even if somehow it was better I'm pretty sure it's going to get worse first... I can't help but feel that the YES vote is built on blind faith and patriotism... I had a YES voter ramming his views down my throat on Saturday who would welcome my departure to England if I don't like it....

    What's really pissing me off is that there are very few No posters/signage around because of aggressive action by YES campaigners who I get the impression see NO voters as traitors...

    I just wonder how many of these YES people are going to knuckle under and work hard to make it work.... one YES voter saying on the Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show saying she is happy to accept a drop in standard of living for a better Scotland....

    It's going to be close - I just hope it's NO and a vote for Unity with the rest of the UK...
    Last edited by Ralph; 8th Sep 2014 at 2:57 PM.