Author Topic: Scottish Independence  (Read 25524 times)

Cain

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Scottish Independence
« on: January 11, 2012, 09:08:15 am »
So, a huge, hilarious fight between the Scottish Government and Parliament has finally kicked off.

The issue is that of who actually gets to declare a referendum that can make Scotland independent: the Scottish government or the one in London.  Each claims they themselves have the mandate and the constitutional right to do so.  As such, hilarity has ensued.

It's not a simple yes/no question, incidentally.  While I favour Scottish independence (I think I have a good claim for a Scottish passport), the "devo max" option of transferring a large amount of powers and financial independence to Scotland, but staying within the Union, is also a very popular position.

I also think the Tories doth protest too much.  By having a fight with the SNP, everyone wins except Labour.  Scotland will be resentful of English, Tory interference in their affairs and so will cleave to the SNP more tightly, meaning the vote for Labour will drop significantly.  Meanwhile, if Cameron's own blundering makes Scottish independence more likely, that also makes Tory dominance of English politics more likely (without Scotland voting Labour MPs, the Conservatives have a "structural majority" in UK politics).

Now, all of this could be a little too Machiavellian for The Most Chaotic Government Ever to actually consider.  But I'm not so sure.

Anyway, it's going to be fun to watch in the meantime, even if it eventually dooms England to 20 more years of Our Mate Dave running the place.

Phox

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 09:16:48 am »
That is interesting. I'll like to see it play out as well.

Demolition_Squid

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 09:20:45 am »
I have to admit, I find the idea of Scottish (and Welsh) independence a little bit silly. Mostly because we're a very small island with highly interconnected economies. I also dislike the idea that all those Scottish people (like you, by the sound of it) who have moved to England might be denied a say in whether or not their place of birth gets to stay within the Union.

I also find it aggravating that it is cheaper for someone from France to go to university in Scotland than someone from England. Because for some reason, Europe-ness only counts when it is from the continent? Bizarre. Stupid.

But both Scotland and England have benefited massively from the Union. It has taken a long time, and seeing it start to break up is causing a rise in ugly rhetoric about 'Englishness'. I've got absolutely no claim to anything other than being 'English' if Britain ceases to exist, and most of the people who claim to represent 'Englishness' are disgusting human beings.

All of that said...

I do have to fall in with the Scottish parliament on this, if only because of practical reasons. If the question needs to be asked, nobody else is going to ask it. I hope that this whole issue goes away, but as it seems to have been gathering more and more steam since Thatcher decided it was a great idea to fuck Scotland sideways, I doubt it is going to. Which means more ignorant yammering from people prodding the 'sleeping lion' and even more dividing lines to draw ourselves up along.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Cain

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 09:39:27 am »
Well, strictly speaking, I'm not Scottish.  However, I do have a Scottish family background (my last name is Scottish, a clan name in fact) and I lived there for four years while studying.  If I had to choose, I would take Scottish over English citizenship in a heartbeat.

Sure, the Union seems a better economic situation than independence.  But this has been building steam for a long time.  In addition to Thatcherite stupidity, you have a political and media class who are intensely hostile to Scotland and Scottish independence or even political influence at any level (remember the hilarious conspiracy theorizing about a "Scottish cabal" during the Blair years?  Most Scots do), bolstered by a petulant English public whose whining and moaning while holding the majority of power in the Union really infuriates even the most mild-mannered of Scottish nationalists.

The way the Scottish see things, it's been insult upon insult delivered by the the most powerful factions of English society against Scottish claims for autonomy and a greater national identity with political influence.  Of course, there is also the idea that the Scottish political elite would gain much greater influence in an independent Scotland, even if it meant a decrease in overall influence for Scotland and England in the world.  Better to rule in hell and all that.

Also, there is the issue concerning the North Sea oil deposits, which has, to my knowledge, never been concluded successfully.  Scotland claims all of them, England claims half.  I wont deny admitting I kinda hope that devolves into a war.  I am very willing to off David Cameron in the event of a Scottish-English oil war, just give me a uniform, a rank and a serial number.  Quotes from Braveheart while doing so will cost extra.

Demolition_Squid

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 09:54:25 am »
You are right, of course.

The problem is that the English national character is essentially one of over-inflated self importance. We love to perpetuate this idea of England as the underdog who paradoxically rules the waves. That isn't helped by the media (largely based in London of course) continuously feeding us stories about how life in the UK is so much easier if you are anything other than English. Which is patently false, but popularly believed.

Amusingly, my dad was always very proud of his scottish roots. Then we did some family history digging and it turns out we have absolutely no claim to anything other than Englishness as far back as we can find, excepting one relative in the 1800s who may have been exported to America under dubious circumstances.

The final problem is that Tom Nairn is a bit of a dick and Scottish independence would make him happy, so I have a kneejerk reaction against it.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Cain

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 09:58:10 am »
Oh yeah, it's dicks all the way down on this.  But there are just too many incentives for everyone in power to actually go ahead with this.  The Lib Dems probably wont even realize how they're being played for chumps, despite a venerable tradition of Scottish leaders, they're currently about as insightful on issues north of the border as a bag of bricks.  They're also generally pro-devolution, so the chances are, no matter who claims the final say, devo max or full independence is on the cards.

Demolition_Squid

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 10:15:27 am »
I do wonder how this will effect the UK's relationship with Europe. Scotland has become very popular in EU because of its successful use of structural funding and emerging green energy expertise. In the short term, control over north sea oil is going to be the big question. I'm not convinced it is actually worth it, though. If I'm reading the figures correctly, the tax collected varies with a high of 12bn in 2010 but a more average 6-9bn. That really isn't a huge amount of money. I can see the argument that maintaining control is useful for our energy security, but I doubt there is anywhere near enough oil coming out of the north sea to form a significant strategic reserve.

Scotland has taken a huge slice of the investment pie, too. Edinburgh and Glasgow have become very attractive as alternatives to London since their regeneration projects kicked off. A lot of people are looking at London and feeling that it really doesn't offer anywhere near as much as it needs to in order to support the ridiculous cost of the place.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Cain

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 10:42:20 am »
I suspect that the EU is another one that will work in favour of Scottish independence, given how royally Cameron just fucked us with his recent attempt to "protect the City".

Should Edinburgh become an alternative to London for companies looking to operate in the British Isles, a very real possibility as you note, then I might even be tempted to move back up that way.  Property is much cheaper up there, and Edinburgh also has much more potential for expansion.  London...not so much.  Plus, getting to London from Edinburgh is insanely easy, especially if you plan ahead.  Inexpensive, too.

And yeah, the North Sea oil isn't really that important, though I can imagine some heckling about it from the Tory backbenchers.  You never know when they'll decide to make a big issue of it in the Telegraph and hammer Cameron's approval ratings.  The Tory right are not noted for their rational forward thinking, and they are exactly the kind of people who would make it a matter of pride or something retarded.  As if Scotland's not going to sell England the damn oil anyway.  I very much doubt anything would come of such a dispute, but it's fun to think about.

Scotland is also trying to build bigger ties with the Scandanavian countries as well, emphasizing it's own past of socialism, heavy drinking and bouts of depression.  Sadly, this will probably work, much to the disappointment of Scandanavian tourism industry workers everywhere.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 11:55:03 am »
I have to admit, I find the idea of Scottish (and Welsh) independence a little bit silly.

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Demolition_Squid

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2012, 12:06:41 pm »
I have to admit, I find the idea of Scottish (and Welsh) independence a little bit silly.

Fe godwn ni eto!

*flashbacks*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shFDtLnsKps
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2012, 12:23:07 pm »
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2012, 02:11:41 pm »
I gotta say, I'm probably in favor of anything that further reduces the size of the vestiges of the British Empire. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, hell even Cornwall, I'm cool with all of those gaining independence. Don't even care if Northern Irish independence leads to unification. I would also argue against the idea that the Britain is too small of an island to have 3 separate countries on it. Ireland's a much smaller island and has two. Scotland and England separately are still larger than the Republic of Ireland both in area and population. Wales would be significantly smaller but it's not like the Isle of Man is a massive country with a huge population.

Or you know, there's also a long tradition of tiny European countries anyway and they seem to do fine.
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Demolition_Squid

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 02:19:51 pm »
I gotta say, I'm probably in favor of anything that further reduces the size of the vestiges of the British Empire. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, hell even Cornwall, I'm cool with all of those gaining independence. Don't even care if Northern Irish independence leads to unification. I would also argue against the idea that the Britain is too small of an island to have 3 separate countries on it. Ireland's a much smaller island and has two. Scotland and England separately are still larger than the Republic of Ireland both in area and population. Wales would be significantly smaller but it's not like the Isle of Man is a massive country with a huge population.

Or you know, there's also a long tradition of tiny European countries anyway and they seem to do fine.

You do understand of course that the 'Britain' in 'British empire' is England, Scotland and Wales, right?

This isn't exactly the same as Ireland, which is a unique case largely because it was conquered rather than absorbed peacefully. The unification of England, Scotland and Wales is the result of 300 years of shared history, which is being broken up by a largely manufactured nationalism... or more accurately, racism and entitlement.

I fail to understand how you can seriously think breaking up the country down to the level of 'cornwall' is in the best interests of anyone. There might be an argument for Scotland and Wales purely because in recent history they've been fucked by England, but they are likely to suffer a large setback in their respective qualities of life if they became independent. Cornwall would be unable to sustain itself. And the Isle of Man? Do you know anything about how that 'country' operates? Because it is essentially an appendage of the British state, just saying.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Demolition_Squid

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 02:23:57 pm »
I mean don't get me wrong, I'm not the biggest fan of the British State, but are you seriously arguing we should go to a county level breakdown? Do you have any idea what that would actually look like? The distribution of wealth and natural resources in this country is incredibly disproportionate.

How would that even work with our major institutions? They're already arguing about who is going to be left holding the bag with RBS and BOS, our national debt and national obligations, our military...
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Scottish Independence
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 02:34:11 pm »
It's not just a matter of me being Irish and going haha. It's really just a matter of the people deciding their preferred government. If 70% of Cornish people end up favoring independence, hey, more power to them. I'm sure they would be able to find a way to make it work, otherwise they wouldn't seriously consider the option. And I wouldn't say that Scottish and Welsh nationalism is manufactured. Scots seem to be sufficiently different from English for them to feel a sense of nationalism. And Welsh people are a distinct species of cave gnome.

As far as any major institutions, I imagine that London and whatever capital city(ies) will be forced to negotiate that if and when the time comes. I imagine that London will end up bearing the brunt either way.
Strange and Terrible Organ Laminator of Yesterday's Heavy Scene
Sentence or sentence fragment pending

Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS