Is Scottish independence a 'good or bad' thing? Watch

Poll: Should Scotland be an independent country?
YES (299)
32.12%
NO (632)
67.88%
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Psyk
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(Original post by Katiekj25)
Good thing. I think every country has a right to be independent if it wants to. It's not as if England and Scotland are going to be at war. We'd be good neighbours.


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That sentiment is all well and good, but what is a country? It's meaningless unless you provide a consistent and clear definition of a country.

Maybe I'll just get straight to my point. What you consider a country is already biased. Apart from a few exceptions, most people only consider places to be countries if they already independent. The "countries" of the UK are one of those exceptions. But it's arbitrary. There is nothing in particular (that I can think of at least, I'm willing to hear suggestions) that makes Scotland a country any more than Catalonia, Quebec, Tibet, Texas, Bavaria, Brittany, etc. "Country" is just the terminology we have chosen to use, we could just as easily have called them "regions" or "provinces" or any number of other things.

Maybe you think all of those places should have the right to independence if they want it. But if you do, how are you deciding what places have the right to independence and which don't?
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Kaiser MacCleg
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(Original post by Psyk)
There is nothing in particular (that I can think of at least, I'm willing to hear suggestions) that makes Scotland a country any more than Catalonia, Quebec, Tibet, Texas, Bavaria, Brittany, etc. "Country" is just the terminology we have chosen to use, we could just as easily have called them "regions" or "provinces" or any number of other things.
I know you didn't direct your comment at me, but I figured I'd take a stab at answering it all the same.

I agree. "Country" is a rather vague term which, outside of its application as a synonym for "sovereign state", doesn't mean and awful lot. I would argue that Scotland is more of a nation than some of those you have just mentioned (well, just Texas, really), because its inhabitants more readily voluntarily self-identify as belonging to a Scottish nation.

Maybe you think all of those places should have the right to independence if they want it. But if you do, how are you deciding what places have the right to independence and which don't?
I don't decide, and I don't presume to tell others whether or not they have the right to pursue independence for their region, local area, town or street. I'm a democrat at heart, and I would not be fundamentally opposed to referenda in any such case. The legality of each individual case I leave to those most qualified to comment.
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sandra95
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Scotland becoming an independent state may be beneficial in the long term. They will be able to make their own decisions and will not be controlled/ limited by Westminster. However, I don't think it is the best time for them to become independent. We are basically in a triple-dip recession, Olympics didn't bring in as much revenue as everyone hoped for, there are major changes to the constitution or so there are meant to be and many drastic reforms.

If Scotland becomes independent they will have to apply for EU/NATO etc memberships and UK's debt would be probably split up. Also, what about the armed forces or any other 'national' institutions?

There is many things to consider and Scotland already has some law-making and taxation powers. For those who don't know there was a referendum on Scotland's independence in the past and there was a pretty confident 'no' to that change. But everyone can change their mind
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Psyk
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(Original post by Kaiser MacCleg)
I know you didn't direct your comment at me, but I figured I'd take a stab at answering it all the same.

I agree. "Country" is a rather vague term which, outside of its application as a synonym for "sovereign state", doesn't mean and awful lot. I would argue that Scotland is more of a nation than some of those you have just mentioned (well, just Texas, really), because its inhabitants more readily voluntarily self-identify as belonging to a Scottish nation.
Yes I would say Scotland definitely counts as a nation. But I'm not sure you can really base collective rights around a "nation". Because ultimately a nation is how people feel about other people. A nation is a nation because a group of people feel they are like each other, and not like other people in some way. If people felt differently, Scotland would just be another part of Britain, just like how Cumbria is just another part of England. There are all sorts of reasons why that didn't happen though.

(Original post by Kaiser MacCleg)
I don't decide, and I don't presume to tell others whether or not they have the right to pursue independence for their region, local area, town or street. I'm a democrat at heart, and I would not be fundamentally opposed to referenda in any such case. The legality of each individual case I leave to those most qualified to comment.
Again, I agree. That's why I don't think it makes sense to make a generic statement about who or what has a "right" to independence. Whether they have that right or not is up to the state they are part of. Although of course sometimes other states do get involved.

In the UK, Scotland has a right to independence because the UK government has temporarily given Scotland that right. They could just as easily give that right to Ipswich if they wanted to, although that would be a stupid and pointless thing to do.
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Kaiser MacCleg
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(Original post by Psyk)
Yes I would say Scotland definitely counts as a nation. But I'm not sure you can really base collective rights around a "nation". Because ultimately a nation is how people feel about other people. A nation is a nation because a group of people feel they are like each other, and not like other people in some way. If people felt differently, Scotland would just be another part of Britain, just like how Cumbria is just another part of England. There are all sorts of reasons why that didn't happen though.
Yes, I agree. Nations are not the only foundation upon which a state can be built in any case - Singapore is a city-state, while the USSR was founded on a political ideology.

(Original post by Psyk)
Again, I agree. That's why I don't think it makes sense to make a generic statement about who or what has a "right" to independence. Whether they have that right or not is up to the state they are part of. Although of course sometimes other states do get involved.
Fair enough. I can't emphasise how important your final sentence is, however - international bodies are key in resolving any dispute of sovereignty, so it shouldn't just be down to the sovereign state of which the region seeking self-determination is a part. Particularly here in Europe. I wish the EU would get off its arse and provide some proper clarification on the issue of Catalunya, for example, instead of simply allowing individual ministers and presidents to provide contradictory statements on the matter.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Katiekj25)
Good thing. I think every country has a right to be independent if it wants to. It's not as if England and Scotland are going to be at war. We'd be good neighbours.


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Can I be independent of an independent Scotland?

Itll only be a twenty metre squared bit of Edinburgh? We can be good neighbours.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by sandra95)
Scotland becoming an independent state may be beneficial in the long term. They will be able to make their own decisions and will not be controlled/ limited by Westminster. However, I don't think it is the best time for them to become independent. We are basically in a triple-dip recession, Olympics didn't bring in as much revenue as everyone hoped for, there are major changes to the constitution or so there are meant to be and many drastic reforms.

If Scotland becomes independent they will have to apply for EU/NATO etc memberships and UK's debt would be probably split up. Also, what about the armed forces or any other 'national' institutions?

There is many things to consider and Scotland already has some law-making and taxation powers. For those who don't know there was a referendum on Scotland's independence in the past and there was a pretty confident 'no' to that change. But everyone can change their mind
It may be beneficial, but I'm seeing it as very beneficial with what we have at the moment. My vote at the the moment get's counted in Holyrood, and it get's counted for in Westminster. I get the best of both worlds at the moment.

There's too many unkowns and it's not helping that Salmond's view of the future is he'll get what he demands no questions asked, and many of these demands have been found lacking somewhat.
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sandra95
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
It may be beneficial, but I'm seeing it as very beneficial with what we have at the moment. My vote at the the moment get's counted in Holyrood, and it get's counted for in Westminster. I get the best of both worlds at the moment.

There's too many unkowns and it's not helping that Salmond's view of the future is he'll get what he demands no questions asked, and many of these demands have been found lacking somewhat.
Good point. No one really knows what will happen, and as you are saying there is a possibility of abusing power. Also, who would hold Scottish Parliament to account and how to try and avoid this abuse?

On the other hand, English votes only count in Westminster so it's not really fair on us.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Katiekj25)
Good thing. I think every country has a right to be independent if it wants to. It's not as if England and Scotland are going to be at war. We'd be good neighbours.


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Try reading the comments pages from the SNP supporters on the Scotsman Website. If they're anything to go by, I can see us cutting of our nose to spite our face as long as it annoys the English.

And I think after the costs start mounting, you'll see the usual squabbles over the scraps that leave a bad taste.

How many divorces start off amicably only to end up in pettiness and hostility from both sides.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by sandra95)
Good point. No one really knows what will happen, and as you are saying there is a possibility of abusing power. Also, who would hold Scottish Parliament to account and how to try and avoid this abuse?

On the other hand, English votes only count in Westminster so it's not really fair on us.
How can you say English votes only count in Westminster? It's a democracy, we all have an equal vote. And you seem to think that there is some huge difference between somebody born and living either side of an arbitary line on a map. Have you ever studied in England? Worked in England? Lived in England? I also find your comments disinginuise to teh Welsh and Northern Irish. Are they different to you?

It really is becoming embarrassing how some elements in Scotland are viewing themselves. The navel gazing I'm seeing is shocking. I truely find it amazing that Salmond can promote an idealised image of Scotland when so many of it's supporters seem to be so insular in their outlook.

It's like the lowlands saying that Holyrood doesn't listen to them becuase the Highlands predominantly got the SNP in. Shall we go for even future sepration?

As I keep saying, two of the last three Prime Minsiters have been Scottish, As have two of the last three Chancellors. So how can you say our voice is not heard? Were they not voted in by Scotland to represent Scotlands views?
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Kaiser MacCleg
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
There's too many unkowns and it's not helping that Salmond's view of the future is he'll get what he demands no questions asked, and many of these demands have been found lacking somewhat.
Salmond doesn't believe he should get what he wants, no questions asked. That's why the Scottish Government is putting the question to the people of Scotland.

(Original post by sandra95)
On the other hand, English votes only count in Westminster so it's not really fair on us.
That's not really an accurate description of the situation. Realistically, the only votes that count in Westminster general elections are those few cast in marginal constituencies. Voters in any constituency that isn't likely to change hands, or indeed voters in marginal constituencies who vote for candidates who were never going to win, are all equally disenfranchised, by they from Scotland, England or the Isles of Scilly
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Kaiser MacCleg
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
And you seem to think that there is some huge difference between somebody born and living either side of an arbitary line on a map. Have you ever studied in England? Worked in England? Lived in England? I also find your comments disinginuise to teh Welsh and Northern Irish. Are they different to you?
I'm not sure if I'm reading the same posts as you. Where has the poster you were responding to said anything along these lines?
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Kaiser MacCleg)
Salmond doesn't believe he should get what he wants, no questions asked. That's why the Scottish Government is putting the question to the people of Scotland.

He appears to have assumed he'll get straight into the EU.
He seem sto think he'll get a place on the Board at the Bank of England.
He Appears to have already decided what parts of teh NOrth Sea he wants
He appears to have assumed he'll get into Nato.
He appears to be assuming a lot of things.
He appears to think he's getting a yes vote from us.
He appears to think that increased spending can be met with no tax rises.


That's not really an accurate description of the situation. Realistically, the only votes that count in Westminster general elections are those few cast in marginal constituencies. Voters in any constituency that isn't likely to change hands, or indeed voters in marginal constituencies who vote for candidates who were never going to win, are all equally disenfranchised, by they from Scotland, England or the Isles of Scilly

Agreed, But it's still a democracy. Should we consider splitting the country into several area's on voting patterns?
Anyway, more importantly. Am I right in the head because I'm finding Nicola Sturgeon attractive?
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Piprod01
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I think there is enough political difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK to justify separation. We've currently got a conservative government with an idealogical goal of shrinking the state; reducing welfare, layoffs for public sector employees.
I think Paul Krugman pretty convincingly shows the current drive for austerity to be lead by neo-liberal ideology, that is simply using the current financial situation to fight poverty with poverty.



The only way I can see to avoid this is to split ourselves politically from the rest of the UK, since the people of Scotland tend to have a bigger view of what the government should provide. While the details of Independence may not be set in stone, it's not like issues like EU membership / having job prospects are any sure thing if we stay.
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Piprod01
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
He appears to think that increased spending can be met with no tax rises.
It's called Government Debt. Which is perfectly rational and justified during times like these. Plus with a geographical share of oil, there would genuinely be more oil revenue per capita than the decrease in the tax revenue per capita.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Piprod01)
I think there is enough political difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK to justify separation. We've currently got a conservative government with an idealogical goal of shrinking the state; reducing welfare, layoffs for public sector employees.
I think Paul Krugman pretty convincingly shows the current drive for austerity to be lead by neo-liberal ideology, that is simply using the current financial situation to fight poverty with poverty.



The only way I can see to avoid this is to split ourselves politically from the rest of the UK, since the people of Scotland tend to have a bigger view of what the government should provide. While the details of Independence may not be set in stone, it's not like issues like EU membership / having job prospects are any sure thing if we stay.
So you're saying we can only have a Labour Government in.

There was a debate in Edinburgh many months back. Malcolm Rifkind, somebody from the SNP and a large audience. The SNP guy used that argument playing to the crowd. The response was what he expected as most of the audience understood the concept of democracy highlighting the SE England didn't vote Labour in be they had to dal with it and weren't claiming to be un represented.

You're attempting to use a party political divide that unless you're over 40, you won't really understand.

As it's been explained numerous times before, the Scottish Government already have tax raising powers that the SNP government have chosen not to use as well as sitting on a significant amount of cash numbering £300 Million plus, but it's better for Swinney to keep on digging into peacemeal for party political benefits and not for the good of the people.

The full impact of the Scotland act doesn't come into force until 2016.

The economy is on it's way back up with clear indications that companies are beginning to resource jobs back from China and India back to the UK. Lets see how the PMs trip to India goes, but these things don't just happen over night.

There are some good points such as immigration, financial capital of Europe and huge shale gas reserves which actually means the outlook for the UK economy is the best of the large European countries (this assumes Germany stays in population decline) and so by 2050 the UK is predicted to be the largest economy in Europe (France is no real threat to the UK).

http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/world-20...nuary-2013.pdf
if you go to page 23 and 24 you can see that the UK is 11th but right behind Germany and France but crucially growing faster than them. There have been reports previously showing the UK ahead but this is the latest. You'll notice that the gap to France is tiny anyway ($0.3tn) and so one good decade and we take them, whilst Germany collapses in its lead over us.

So yes, there's a pretty high probability of jobs if we stay together, but less likely if we start scrabbling around argueing over an ever diminishing oil supply. that can't meet current needs now.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Jordan_1)
Scotland always has and always will punch above it's weight in terms on 'impacting the world stage'.

One good thing about Independence is that Scotland would no longer have to get dragged into these pointless wars just to asslick the Americans.


What was our impact pre 1707 on the world stage? I happen to like the vehicle that's given us that opportunity to punch above our weight.

which pointless war are you talking about? The one in Iraq that the scottish prime minister Blair and his scottish chancellor brown took us into. The pointless war in Afghanistan that has Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark in it?
the Libyan war that involved us getting the guy that was responsible for Lockerbie, a dictatorship and funding, equipping and training the IRA? Or the pointless war in Kosovo that stopped genocide?
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
What was our impact pre 1707 on the world stage? I happen to like the vehicle that's given us that opportunity to punch above our weight.
Well, England won a few skirmishes. The 100 Years War. The Spanish Armada. And we started down the road to empire and massive exploitation of African and Asian people quite happily. Of course, the Scots joined in with the latter as soon as they could.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Well, England won a few skirmishes. The 100 Years War.
Er, most historians would agree that the English lost the Hundred Years War, despite winning all of the big battles.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Er, most historians would agree that the English lost the Hundred Years War, despite winning all of the big battles.
Yes, I meant to type "a few skirmishes in the 100 years war" - very minor things like Agincourt.
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