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Post-independence prospects

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    (Original post by Belaruce)
    I particularly support independence because I feel like we don't have a voice in the UK. The governments largest party is Conservatives, with 300 odd seats, only 1 or 2 of which are in Scotland. That gives a geographical area with 6 million people with no affiliation with the largest party.
    But it was only a few years ago there was a Labour government in power. They did have plenty of MPs in Scotland. The fact is there's plenty of other Labour (or at least non-Conservative) strongholds across the UK. Surely they are equally non represented as you are?

    Obviously I can see the benefit from your point of view in Scotland being independent. Your preferred party probably will be in power. But I don't think it's unfair that you're "not represented" in the UK government (you actually are since your local MP still sits in Parliament). That's just the way democracy works, it's majority rule.

    Do you propose states split up whenever there is a long running political divide? What happens in an independent Scotland if the north consistently votes Lib Dem and the south consistently votes Labour? As more people live in the south, the north will be "unrepresented" in the Scottish government. Should the north get to be independent?
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    Well, Scotland does a huge amount of trade with the rest of the UK, and if it left the union that would stop. Even if it didn't they'd basically have to follow UK laws but wouldn't have a say in making them.
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    I understand your view, but it's not impossible for a region to want to become independent. N&S Sudan, Kosovo, N&S Korea. If we were never granted devolution, then there wouldn't be a problem with the current government, but since we can now run most of our own affairs here in Holyrood, it seems strange how a totally different party is making decisions on our behalf. I don't like FPTP as a voting system, would much prefer STV/AV to be used, as this would ensure everyone's votes are counted. What matters to me is quality of life, and i personally feel that the bigger a county is, it's more likely to be divided in regions of inequality. England and Scotland would be better off seperate so they could focus on their own problems rather than try to find a 'one for all' solution. Scottish families might need more support than English families, and therefore a separate benefit system would be appropriate.


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    (Original post by Belaruce)
    I understand your view, but it's not impossible for a region to want to become independent. N&S Sudan, Kosovo, N&S Korea. If we were never granted devolution, then there wouldn't be a problem with the current government, but since we can now run most of our own affairs here in Holyrood, it seems strange how a totally different party is making decisions on our behalf. I don't like FPTP as a voting system, would much prefer STV/AV to be used, as this would ensure everyone's votes are counted. What matters to me is quality of life, and i personally feel that the bigger a county is, it's more likely to be divided in regions of inequality. England and Scotland would be better off seperate so they could focus on their own problems rather than try to find a 'one for all' solution. Scottish families might need more support than English families, and therefore a separate benefit system would be appropriate.

    Could the same thing not be achieved with federalisation?
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    Anyway even if the Scots do have oil isn't it meant to run out soon? Not exactly the best thing to base a country's economy on.
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    I'll just post a comment here to rebut some Unionist stuff which is increasingly bandied about:

    1) Because some independent nations have ran into a mess does not mean that every single newly independent nation will necessarily fall into the same position. Indeed in Ireland and Iceland, the governing party (or parties in the case of the former) was decimated because of their handling of the government and the national finances. The same could happen in Scotland as could it in any other nation or state, so any 'truth' that Scotland will be "in a mess", "bankrupt", "bust", "fred goodwin'd" within a few years of independence is illogical and stupid.

    2) Alex Salmond's "association" with certain business people is not "wrong" or "foolish", it is simply a means to attract business investment or to support scottish businesses in their bid to prosper. I find Johann Lamont's rants and harking back into the far past about things Alex Salmond did (such as supporting Mr Goodwin in RBS's bid to take over ABM Amro) to be 150% wrong because what else is a politician meant to do other than support a business leader who can improve Scotland's economic condition? I do not recall there being a crystal ball that a politician can gaze into when considering taking specific decisions, so what is the point here of these attacks?

    3) I find the attacks on the currency situation to be utterly ludicrous to say the least because instead of the SNP seeking to join the Euro (I tell you, I'd vote 'No' in a referendum if we were to be tied to those idiots in Brussels like that), they want to retain the Pound Sterling. Now this is a good currency, and in attempting to get a seat or two on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) the SNP are doing a true good in aiming to improve Scotland's influence over monetary policy where it currently has 0% influence. Now I'd wager that if the SNP sought to introduce a Scottish currency (no bad thing in itself), that you'd have the Unionists banging on about "keeping the pound" and talking of "risks" to the economy via this currency change. It is hypocrisy to say that in keeping the pound it is 'wrong', I see nothing to object to in this.


    And here's an addition thing to dwell on - I do not see a single SNP MSP, MP, MEP, Councillor or ordinary party member foaming at the mouth when independence is mentioned. They may cheer when Lamont sets a timetable for when Scotland will become an independent nation once more, but there is no 'obsession' as such as is commonly stated by arch-unionist after arch-unionist. On the contrary, there is a tendency among Unionists to get 'obsessed' over the independence question. Alex Salmond clearly stated a referendum would be held in the second half of the parliament, and later this was set at the autum of 2014. What happened with the Unionist camp? Panicking. Wanting it "out of the way" as soon as possible, every single time attempting to talk of 'uncertainty' and other such rubbish. The only people I think are obsessed with independence are Unionists. The pro-Independence side are mature. They have set out a rough timetable for which a vote will be held. They are doing what they should be doing - sticking to the long-term plan.

    It is incredibly frustrating also for Unionists to use words such as 'Separation' (this word really frustrates me) to describe Independence. The Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee seems hell-bent on painting Independence as being a bad thing with no deviation from this gloomy image they have invented. "The Referendum on Separation for Scotland" report is a load of BS because it seems to not only make independence look like a bad thing from Hitler's mind, but they also seem deluded when they attack the proposed referendum question as being 'biased' when the report which I quoted is clearly biased. I'd bet if the SNP proposed a question "Do you agree that Scotland should be 'torn out' of the UK and separated?" that this Committee led by Davidson (I was going to use a colourful image, but best not...) would give them a standing ovation. It is sickening for these 'adults' to act like such children over this important issue.

    I remind these unionists of one thing - the SNP won a mandate in 2011 and anyone who denies that is deluded. One such person speaks "on behalf of scotland" which is incredibly insulting to the vast number of us who voted SNP on both our ballots and who would never dream of voting for such a negative, scaremongering, backward-looking, insulting, patronising, script-reading, incompetent, infuriating party leader even with a gun to our heads.

    Perhaps an overly long 'rebuttal' but it needed to be posted.
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    (Original post by Tycho)
    It's crude oil.

    There is a LOT left.

    It can be refined into petrol, diesel, kerosine etc...

    Your point?
    Ok, for a start not all the oil there is Scotland's to begin with.

    Moreover, with the UKs admission into the oil producing countries 'club' (there is a proper name for the organisation I cannot remember what it was though) but basically the oil the produced wasn't the 'right' type of oil. They still have to import quite a lot.

    In other words, Scotland isn't going to turn into Qatar or somewhere just because of North Sea oil.
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    What is all this talk about oil, it will run out in 40 years but its not as though Scotland would be reliant on it like the gulf states since Scotland has a developed economy.

    This is coming from a unionist.
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    (Original post by Stanley Baldwin)
    3) I find the attacks on the currency situation to be utterly ludicrous to say the least because instead of the SNP seeking to join the Euro (I tell you, I'd vote 'No' in a referendum if we were to be tied to those idiots in Brussels like that), they want to retain the Pound Sterling. Now this is a good currency, and in attempting to get a seat or two on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) the SNP are doing a true good in aiming to improve Scotland's influence over monetary policy where it currently has 0% influence. Now I'd wager that if the SNP sought to introduce a Scottish currency (no bad thing in itself), that you'd have the Unionists banging on about "keeping the pound" and talking of "risks" to the economy via this currency change. It is hypocrisy to say that in keeping the pound it is 'wrong', I see nothing to object to in this.
    0% influence? According to their website 4 of the members are appointed by the Chancellor. The Chancellor who is appointed by Parliament, which is made up of MPs voted in by people across the entire UK. Not only that, the last two Chancellors were MPs for Scottish constituencies, so were directly voted into Parliament by people living in Scotland. So actually it's completely false to say Scotland has 0% influence. The Scottish Parliament perhaps has 0% influence, but Scotland, as in the people of Scotland, get just as much say as everyone else in the UK. Maybe that's not an adequate amount of influence, but that's not exclusive to Scotland.

    (Original post by Stanley Baldwin)
    It is incredibly frustrating also for Unionists to use words such as 'Separation' (this word really frustrates me) to describe Independence. The Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee seems hell-bent on painting Independence as being a bad thing with no deviation from this gloomy image they have invented. "The Referendum on Separation for Scotland" report is a load of BS because it seems to not only make independence look like a bad thing from Hitler's mind, but they also seem deluded when they attack the proposed referendum question as being 'biased' when the report which I quoted is clearly biased. I'd bet if the SNP proposed a question "Do you agree that Scotland should be 'torn out' of the UK and separated?" that this Committee led by Davidson (I was going to use a colourful image, but best not...) would give them a standing ovation. It is sickening for these 'adults' to act like such children over this important issue.
    Perhaps calling it "separation" does make it sound bad, but it's also an entirely accurate way of describing it. I suppose that's why it's difficult coming up with a completely unbiased referendum question. You could phrase it in two different ways, both meaning the same thing, both equally easy and clear to understand, yet they could lead to significantly different results. Maybe what they should do is come up with two forms of the question, one which has a bias towards independence, one which has a bias towards union, and 50% of the ballot papers would say each one. So the two biases should cancel each other out. Bit of a far out idea though
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    (Original post by Belaruce)
    I understand your view, but it's not impossible for a region to want to become independent. N&S Sudan, Kosovo, N&S Korea. If we were never granted devolution, then there wouldn't be a problem with the current government, but since we can now run most of our own affairs here in Holyrood, it seems strange how a totally different party is making decisions on our behalf. I don't like FPTP as a voting system, would much prefer STV/AV to be used, as this would ensure everyone's votes are counted. What matters to me is quality of life, and i personally feel that the bigger a county is, it's more likely to be divided in regions of inequality. England and Scotland would be better off seperate so they could focus on their own problems rather than try to find a 'one for all' solution. Scottish families might need more support than English families, and therefore a separate benefit system would be appropriate.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    But in a larger country, there's also potential to redistribute wealth from richer areas to poorer areas. As part of the UK, Scotland has an additional safety net that if the economy in Scotland drops, but the rest of the UK is doing comparatively better, the wealth can more easily be redistributed to Scotland where it's needed. Of course I'm aware there are plenty of potential downsides to that too, because if the reverse happens, Scotland would lose out.

    To be honest, I don't really see how "Scottish problems" are fundamentally different to "English problems". If the economic conditions in Scotland really are significantly different to any other part of the UK (including regions of England), then surely it's likely those different conditions arose because Scotland already has it's own separate institutions?

    Although I do see the point that since Scotland already has it's own institutions, and is largely autonomous in many respects, perhaps you might as well go the whole hog and be fully independent. I'd personally prefer federalism (or something like federalism) over that, but that is probably a bigger change for the UK than Scotland leaving.
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    (Original post by Belaruce)
    Scotland gives more to the tax office than it takes back in public spending, so there's one thing.
    Yeah, that's not true. Scotland's running a deficit. It was running a modest surplus a while ago, when oil revenues were high and there were less economic worries, but that's not the case in the most recent GERS figures.

    I particularly support independence because I feel like we don't have a voice in the UK. The governments largest party is Conservatives, with 300 odd seats, only 1 or 2 of which are in Scotland. That gives a geographical area with 6 million people with no affiliation with the largest party.
    Well, the Conservatives still manage to get hundreds of thousands of votes in Scotland, so it's not a disconnect - more a quirk of the FPTP voting system that the number of Tory MPs are so low. It's also a relatively recent thing: within my parents memory, the Tories were the main party in Scotland.

    Still, this is not uncommon. Parties have heartlands. When I pop down to see family in Surrey, their local borough council has 56 Conservatives and 1 Independent. It hasn't had a Labour member for a very long time. This rejection of the Labour Party is repeated throughout the South East. Meanwhile in the North there is, for example, no Tory members on Manchester City Council. Even Glasgow has a Tory Councillor!

    People say Alex Salmond is stupid for suggesting we adopt the 'Scandinavian Structure'. Why not? It's worked exceptionally well for countries such as Norway and Sweden, who have excellent public sectors, and an exceptional standard of living.
    Norway and Sweden have problems of their own, they're not some sort of utopias. Nor indeed is it particularly consistent to claim a national political character whilst suggesting we should simply model ourselves on another country.


    (Original post by Belaruce)
    I understand your view, but it's not impossible for a region to want to become independent. N&S Sudan, Kosovo, N&S Korea. If we were never granted devolution, then there wouldn't be a problem with the current government, but since we can now run most of our own affairs here in Holyrood, it seems strange how a totally different party is making decisions on our behalf.
    Virtually every country on earth has regional, provincial or state governments within it. There is nothing unusual about them being governed by a different party.

    England and Scotland would be better off seperate so they could focus on their own problems rather than try to find a 'one for all' solution. Scottish families might need more support than English families, and therefore a separate benefit system would be appropriate.
    The UK is already a relatively small country and relatively small areas can also have hugely divergent circumstances. You can walk from Bearsden to Drumchapel - a wealthy community very close to one of the most deprived in the UK - small distance, but a massively different culture, outlook and economic situation.

    (Original post by andrew17)
    The problem is it's not Scotland's, it's Shetland's.
    Oddly enough, Shetland actually used oil money - through its port - to relatively
    good use. There is a Shetland oil fund, essentially, which has been used to invest in public services on the islands.
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    (Original post by Stanley Baldwin)
    I'll just post a comment here to rebut some Unionist stuff which is increasingly bandied about:

    1) Because some independent nations have ran into a mess does not mean that every single newly independent nation will necessarily fall into the same position. Indeed in Ireland and Iceland, the governing party (or parties in the case of the former) was decimated because of their handling of the government and the national finances. The same could happen in Scotland as could it in any other nation or state, so any 'truth' that Scotland will be "in a mess", "bankrupt", "bust", "fred goodwin'd" within a few years of independence is illogical and stupid.
    True. That said, I'm far from inspired by the politics which the SNP and Scottish Labour (being more left-wing than UK Labour, generally) promote. I simply don't think they are remotely realistic about the pressures of actually controlling national finances. If Scotland had become independent in 1999, rather than devolved, I can well imagine these people would've driven us down the same route as Ireland and Iceland.

    What Unionists suggest is that as a United Kingdom, we can share risks and benefit from a more diversified economy than an independent Scotland. That's a perfectly reasonable argument.


    2) Alex Salmond's "association" with certain business people is not "wrong" or "foolish", it is simply a means to attract business investment or to support scottish businesses in their bid to prosper. I find Johann Lamont's rants and harking back into the far past about things Alex Salmond did (such as supporting Mr Goodwin in RBS's bid to take over ABM Amro) to be 150% wrong because what else is a politician meant to do other than support a business leader who can improve Scotland's economic condition? I do not recall there being a crystal ball that a politician can gaze into when considering taking specific decisions, so what is the point here of these attacks?
    The head of a government should not be going around supporting any scheme that promises to deliver a benefit. They should instead consider the possible negative consequences of behaving in such a way.

    The main problem with Salmond vis-a-vis RBS is not that he didn't see the problems coming - he may have done a bit of economics in his time, but I don't think he's any better than the RBS Board in economic foresight - but that he bought into the same fantasy economics that Labour was peddling, but then turned around calling the people he had backed "spivs and speculators".

    3) I find the attacks on the currency situation to be utterly ludicrous to say the least because instead of the SNP seeking to join the Euro (I tell you, I'd vote 'No' in a referendum if we were to be tied to those idiots in Brussels like that), they want to retain the Pound Sterling. Now this is a good currency, and in attempting to get a seat or two on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) the SNP are doing a true good in aiming to improve Scotland's influence over monetary policy where it currently has 0% influence. Now I'd wager that if the SNP sought to introduce a Scottish currency (no bad thing in itself), that you'd have the Unionists banging on about "keeping the pound" and talking of "risks" to the economy via this currency change. It is hypocrisy to say that in keeping the pound it is 'wrong', I see nothing to object to in this.
    That zero percent suggestion is nonsense. Scottish people are equal to other British people in their control over our institutions of government.

    This is unlike when Ireland had essentially a partial currency union with the UK - a former Irish President recently pointed out that they had no control over their currency with decisions being made in Britain for British interests, with no consideration of Ireland.

    And here's an addition thing to dwell on - I do not see a single SNP MSP, MP, MEP, Councillor or ordinary party member foaming at the mouth when independence is mentioned. They may cheer when Lamont sets a timetable for when Scotland will become an independent nation once more, but there is no 'obsession' as such as is commonly stated by arch-unionist after arch-unionist.
    The main reason that people are in the SNP is to pursue Scottish independence. I find that a rather odd thing to focus on. One quote I remember from John Swinney was that--

    "throughout my adult life, I have been driven by the wish to secure the establishment of an independent Scotland. Nothing would give me greater joy politically than to achieve that objective."

    My response was "what?". I think, politically, I would get greatest joy from, say, the elimination of poverty, the embodiment of liberal values in our constitution or something like that. But to put Scottish independence above all political objectives like that just doesn't strike me as normal, or indeed what the people of Scotland would want from their politicians.

    On the contrary, there is a tendency among Unionists to get 'obsessed' over the independence question. Alex Salmond clearly stated a referendum would be held in the second half of the parliament, and later this was set at the autum of 2014. What happened with the Unionist camp? Panicking. Wanting it "out of the way" as soon as possible, every single time attempting to talk of 'uncertainty' and other such rubbish. The only people I think are obsessed with independence are Unionists. The pro-Independence side are mature. They have set out a rough timetable for which a vote will be held. They are doing what they should be doing - sticking to the long-term plan.

    It is incredibly frustrating also for Unionists to use words such as 'Separation' (this word really frustrates me) to describe Independence. The Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee seems hell-bent on painting Independence as being a bad thing with no deviation from this gloomy image they have invented. "The Referendum on Separation for Scotland" report is a load of BS because it seems to not only make independence look like a bad thing from Hitler's mind, but they also seem deluded when they attack the proposed referendum question as being 'biased' when the report which I quoted is clearly biased. I'd bet if the SNP proposed a question "Do you agree that Scotland should be 'torn out' of the UK and separated?" that this Committee led by Davidson (I was going to use a colourful image, but best not...) would give them a standing ovation. It is sickening for these 'adults' to act like such children over this important issue.
    Wanting the referendum out of the way sooner rather than later was quite reasonable. Alex Salmond stated it was to be later in order to work with the UK Government on the Scotland Bill - the response was that it would have been completed by spring 2012, as indeed was the case. The alternative view, spelled out by SNP MSPs, was that the delay was for simple electoral advantage.

    That's not a reasonable way to conduct a referendum. It could perhaps have been forgivable had all other things been equal. Instead, however, we had plenty of businesses and business leaders telling us that the delay would create unnecessary uncertainty and be harmful to investment. The SNP ignored that.

    The question is biased, as the SAC's second report pointed out. I don't think that's a particular issue in dispute - again, the SNP are proposing what would give them political advantage. It should, to my mind, be framed by cross-party consensus or independently by the Electoral Commission. I have no problem with 'separation' - indeed, 'independence' suggests we are somehow a dependent territory of the UK like Bermuda. We are not; we're an integral part of it.
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    (Original post by Tycho)
    Who's "crowing" on? Frankly I find it offensive that you think Scotland doesn't have a world class capital city of its own. Edinburgh - in my view - is a far more beautiful city than London. London has nothing which can compare to Edinburgh Castle.
    It has Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Saint Paul's cathedral and plenty of other things which can compare to Edinburgh castle. London also has a higher population than Scotland. Edinburgh is a good city but it can't compete with cities like London or New York or Tokyo.
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    (Original post by Nick100)
    It has Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Saint Paul's cathedral and plenty of other things which can compare to Edinburgh castle. London also has a higher population than Scotland. Edinburgh is a good city but it can't compete with cities like London or New York or Tokyo.
    Well that's a matter of opinion. Size has very little to do with it in my opinion. Not that I've been to Tokyo, but for me Edinburgh is a nicer city than London and New York.

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