Scottish Independence

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BattleMoose
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:31 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:I don't think micronations do particularly well as a rule. It's more that they tend to disappear once they run into problems, so the ones that remain are the ones with an unusually fortunate history.


I don't know enough about the micro nations of Europe other than they tend to do well, Monaco, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg. Andora and Malta possible exceptions but they aren't doing badly.

Singapore is possibly the poster child. When Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia it was in a very difficult situation and managed to get to where it is today largely on policy.

It's a well accepted truism (from military and now also in business) that an individual can effectively manage about 4 subordinates, from millennia of waging war was this learned. This ratio exists throughout the entire military command structure in modern militaries. This idea doesn't seem to have infiltrated into government bureaucracy yet.

leady
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby leady » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:53 am UTC

From a heart perspective I'd like them to stay - but from a head perspective the loss of Scotland will cripple labour in the UK + is very constitutionally interesting.

If it leaves though Scotland will be screwed under Salmon and it will be years before their political landscape and economy adapts to the reality of having to pay for your own goodies. I also suspect they will lose around 1m people to England in the first few years too dooming their already screwed demographics

BeerBottle
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby BeerBottle » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:14 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:What surprises me, from the outside, is how much of the debate seems to be about money. About the pound, about banks, other big companies, oil money, etc. Interviews with Scots-in-the-street always seem to turn that.

It's like people want to vote for independence, but only if it's not too expensive. Doesn't feel to me as much of a basis for independence.
Some of the bitterest arguments between the Yes and No camps has been over currency, so it seems natural this topic is often forefront in people's minds. Probably the best point that the No campaign has made is that the Scottish Nationalists are so committed to independence but want to give control of their currency to a foreign nation (rUK = rest of UK). I.e. they want to continue to use the British Pound, and not the Euro or their own currency so will be at the mercy of rUK interest rates and monetary policy. Salmond insists that rUK will agree to a formal currency union, all rUK politicians and the Bank of England say they definitely won't.

But in a way I think the Nationalists are happy with this line of debate - it forces to "No's" to effectively argue that Scotland can't work alone, that it will fail or that Scots are not capable of governing themselves. The nationalists have dubbed this "Project Fear". Pitted against the romantic view of independence offered by the nationalists you can see why the "Yes's" are gaining ground in recent weeks.

It will be very close.

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Zamfir
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:35 am UTC


I don't know enough about the micro nations of Europe other than they tend to do well, Monaco, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg. Andora and Malta possible exceptions but they aren't doing badly.

Singapore is possibly the poster child. When Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia it was in a very difficult situation and managed to get to where it is today largely on policy

Note that Singapore has far, far more people than those other countries. More than Scotland, for example, or Finland. Singapore's government can fill in most of the typical specializations expected of an independent country, including a serious military. Malta and Luxembourg are edge cases, the smaller ones are simply dependent on their neighbours for the daily functioning of lot of the country.

Also, all those countries derive a significant income from tax evasion. That won't work to the same degree for a lager country, or if there were more of such microstates.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:49 am UTC

Derek wrote:If this succeeds it will no doubt fuel other independence movements. They'll be new calls for referendums in Quebec, Catalonia, maybe even Wales.


Quebec just had the separatist government soundly defeated by a federalist party, in particular BECAUSE they brought up separation. Even the separatist party now said that independence needs to be taken off the table for now because there is not enough support for it. I don't think Scotland separating or not is going to do anything in the near future. Plus the federalist party that is in charge got a majority so they're in place for the next 5 years anyways.

In terms of the percentage needed to separate, the Canadian government passed the Clarity Act which was meant to ensure the referendum question was clear and that a clear majority were in favor. Ironically it doesn't define what clear majority or what a clear question actually is...

The clear question bit is pretty important. Consider the two questions that were asked in the two Quebec referendums
1980 Referendum question wrote:"The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will only be implemented with popular approval through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?"


1995 Referendum question wrote:"Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?"


Compared to Scotland's "Should Scotland be an independent country?" those are pretty wordy and confusing.

WilliamLehnsherr
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby WilliamLehnsherr » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:49 pm UTC

The most I can hope for from this is the republican movement in Australia being reignited.

I shouldn't get my hopes up.

Illiander
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:06 pm UTC

(I've been reading for ages, very rarely comment)

Ok, as an English-born living in Scotland for most of my life, I'll weigh in here on "the situation on the ground" as it were.

First off, Scotland leaving the UK will make essentially no difference to the party political makeup of Westminster (The UK parlement). If you remove Scottish MPs from Westminster since 1945, you would only have had 2.5 years more Conservative Governments. (I'd post links, but they're getting my post flagged as spam)

Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...

If you want the details on finances, a significent amount of the UK's exports come from Scotland, including ~90% of the UK's oil and gas (That's 90% *after* Labour moved the Scotland/England sea border to put some rather large oilfields into English waters, and not counting the Clair field that was found recently, and not counting the fields on the west coast, which the MoD have stopped people using because the rigs get in the way of their submarines). Scotland is a net exporter, and the UK is a net importer. Google "Balence of Payments" for why that matters. (tl;dr: A free-floating Scottish Pound would be one of the hardest currencies in the world, but doing that would cause the London Pound to crash so fast you'd see the crater from orbit)

Citizenship has been settled already by announcements from both Westminster and Hollyrood(The Scottish Parliment) already: Everyone keeps their British Citizenship, and therre's a simple set of conditions for automatically getting Scottish Citizenship. So have pensions, but that doesn't seem to stop Westminster MPs from going on about them.

On Powers: Hollyrood has nowhere near enough power. When Labour set it up in the 90s, they basically moved the Scottish office from London to Edinburgh. They recive a block grant based on a % of UK spending, minus certain "UK-wide" expenses (which are almost always spent in London and the south of England, except for Trident: The nuclear submarine system that is based near Scotland's largest population center). On top of that, the House of Lords has form in quietly removing powers from Hollyrood without any discussion, and only a quiet announcement. A key example of a missing power is control over Social Security, which Scotland would handle *very* differently to Westminster.

On Currency: Alistair Darling (head of Better Together/No Thanks/We keep changing our name because we keep trashing our "brand") admitted, on live, national television, that Scotland can use the Pound *regardless* of what Westminster says (He also said we could use the Ruble, if we wanted, but none of us do). The head of the Bank of England has said that he can make whatever currency arrangements the two governments decide on work (The BBC likes to lie about what he said in that interview). It is a non-issue that Unionists like shouting about because it's scarey, and they think people don't realise it's a bunch of bull. Scotland wants control of Taxes, and the tax income, and will probably move to an independent currency in a decade or so.

"Project Fear" was not what the Nationalists called it, it is Westminster's own, internal name for the project, leaked a few years ago.


Lets see, what else needs covering?

The fact that the entire No campaign is essentially funded by the Rich backers of the Tory parties?

That the Yes campaign has people all over the country talking about what the prioritites of a country should be?

That the polls have seen a steady increace in their prediction of the Yes vote ever since they started?

That the published canvassing results are showing Yes returns of 70-90%?

That the media seems to like pretending that this is all about Alex Salmond and the SNP, when the Yes Movement has become so big from pure grassroots that there isn't any one place you can go to find out everything?

That there's hope, for the first time in decades, that we could actually have a government that works for the people, rather than to line their own pockets, and is accountable to the people, rather than the City of London?

That the No campaign is only talking about how good things were in the past, all the people we've killed together, and isn't putting forward a vision for the future.

That the Yes campaign is *only* talking about building a better future, history isn't being mentioned at all, other than pointing out what a load of hypocrites *all* the Westminster parties have been over the last 50 years.


Any Questions?

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CorruptUser
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:09 pm UTC

Question. If independent, will Scotland join the UN? Can the US break into 50 separate states that are in a permanent alliance with permanent trade treaties and common currency and get 50 votes in the UN?

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setzer777
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby setzer777 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:12 pm UTC

Does anyone care that much about UN votes? I thought everything meaningful was basically dictated by the security council anyway.
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Illiander
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:20 pm UTC

The SNP plan is to join Nato as a non-nuclear partner. (There's no way that the UK's nuclear deterrent is staying in Scottish waters if we go independent)

Given the stratigic location, and that the USA is trying to get the UK to drop their nuclear deterrent anyway, I don't think anyone seriously thinks that that will be a problem.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:24 pm UTC

A extra UN vote is neat if you're country is poor enough to benefit from bribes, but Scotland is too rich for that.

If you want the details on finances, a significent amount of the UK's exports come from Scotland, including ~90% of the UK's oil and gas (That's 90% *after* Labour moved the Scotland/England sea border to put some rather large oilfields into English waters, and not counting the Clair field that was found recently, and not counting the fields on the west coast, which the MoD have stopped people using because the rigs get in the way of their submarines). Scotland is a net exporter, and the UK is a net importer. Google "Balence of Payments" for why that matters. (tl;dr: A free-floating Scottish Pound would be one of the hardest currencies in the world, but doing that would cause the London Pound to crash so fast you'd see the crater from orbit)

I do have a question on this: is there already an agreement how Scotland would take over the oil fields? For example, Scotland would have to take on some of the national debt of the UK. It seems reasonable to give it an extra-large chunk of debt if it also gets those oilfields. After all, the debt was taken on in the expectation that oil and gas would help pay for it.

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Wnderer
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Wnderer » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:25 pm UTC

It's all Mick Jagger's fault.

On Thursday August 7 2014, Dan Snow presented an open letter signed by English celebrities.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-sco ... s-28687880

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/2 ... -rise-ayes

20140913_BRC654.png


The English don't know when to shut up.

Illiander
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:31 pm UTC

The UK Treasury has already said that it will be responsible for *all* of the UK's debt repayments. (As the UK is claiming to be the "continuing state" this makes perfect sense)

The SNP has offered what are essentially foreign aid payments to help them with that, after they lose the income from Scotland, but those are likely to be conditional on Westminster not having a tantrum. The general expectation is if Westminster don't give Scotland a fair share of shared assets and a formal currency union, then an independant Scotland won't give them foreign aid payments.

Scotland and England already have a border for their Exclusive Economic Zones, so Scotland gets the oil fields in Scotlands waters, England gets the oil fields in Englands waters. (We might argue about putting the border closer to where it was before Tony Blair moved it north in the 90s, but that's not *that* much of the oil, maybe 10%)

Edit: If this seems unfair to you, then remember that Scotland has been running at a net profit almost every year that we have records for (even before the oil was found).

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:39 pm UTC

Net profit?

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby addams » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:51 pm UTC

I'm sorry.
I do not understand the Finaces.

That part and much of the rest of it seem like Scots want The English and Everyone Else to Know,
Scotland and Her People are Independent!

Like when people grow up and want their Own House.
Well...?

Who could ever confuse a Scotman with an English?
Not every man in a Dress looks Scot, even to me.

Only the man knows for sure and I think some of them don't Really know.
I met a Black Irishman. I swear! He was Born in Ireland. Not many of those.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

Scotland pays more in taxes than it gets back in spending, almost every year. And always has done. They stopped publishing the figures in the 1910s because they were embarrassed at how much Scotland didn't get back.

Unless you stick them with their population share of UK debt (which is mostly taken on to fund projects in London and the south of England), and then they're still doing better than any other bit of the UK.

For the maths, start here:
http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/ne ... t-country/
And that's running off GERS (UK Government figures), which doesn't take into account the taxes from companies which have their headquarters in England, but do business in Scotland (like all the big supermarkets do), or exports which leave the UK from an English port (like most Scottish exports do - they go by road to the south of England), so the true figures are even better than that.

Edit: We also have quotes from David Cameron (That's the current head of the UK Government) saying that "*Of course* Scotland could be a succesful independent country." And he's one of the biggest figures against Scottish independence.

And here's some more reporting on Scotland subsidising the UK:
http://wingsoverscotland.com/information-retrieval/
Last edited by Illiander on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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addams
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby addams » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Illiander wrote:Scotland pays more in taxes than it gets back in spending, almost every year. And always has done. They stopped publishing the figures in the 1910s because they were embarrassed at how much Scotland didn't get back.

Unless you stick them with their population share of UK debt (which is mostly taken on to fund projects in London and the south of England), and then they're still doing better than any other bit of the UK.

For the maths, start here:
http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/ne ... t-country/
And that's running off GERS (UK Government figures), which doesn't take into account the taxes from companies which have their headquarters in England, but do business in Scotland (like all the big supermarkets do), or exports which leave the UK from an English port (like most Scottish exports do - they go by road to the south of England), so the true figures are even better than that.


Scotland pays more in taxes than it gets back in spending, almost every year. And always has done. They stopped publishing the figures in the 1910s because they were embarrassed at how much Scotland didn't get back.

When stated like that, the situation looks more like a Partnership that is Abusing one of the Partners.

If That is True,
That is, sort of, fucked up.

Is Scotland so Richly Productive she meets her own needs and contributes Greatly to the well being of all The Island and The World?

If that is True, those people Do have a thing or two to be Proud of.

If Scotland has unmet need and her Wealth is being funneled off,
then that is an Abusive Partnership.

The English and the Scotish and the Irish (over there. walk on water.) have always been Almost the same people to me.
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Zamfir
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:19 pm UTC

The yes Scotland site says that Scotland would take on a share of the national debt, they imply that it should be divided by population size. The rUK would be the holder of all current debt, but Scotland would be indebted to the rUK. No mention of 'foreign aid payments' that could just be stopped at will. They do stress that the details are to be negotiated, and depend on a fair division of other assets.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:25 pm UTC

@adams:
Yeaup.

A few more facts for thought:

Scotland has possibly the largest renewable energy resources in Europe, but Westminster are more interested in building nuclear power plants.

Scottish life expectency is about 10 years lower than English life expectency, and retirement ages are a non-devolved matter (so controlled by Westminster, so set for life expectencies in London and the South-East, which are the high areas for England)

Westminster is reintroducing workhouses for the unemployed (Google "Workfare")

Minimum Wage in the UK is so low, that there is a significent problem with "working poor" (people in full-time work, who need additional help from Social Security in order to keep their families fed and not dying of exposure)

Westminster is failing so badly at providing for people, that the Red Cross is asking for food aid for the UK for the first time since the War. (Google "Foodbanks in the UK")

@Zamfir:
What do you call one Soverign Country handing another Soverign Country money (when they need it)? Especially when the UK Treasury has stated, publically and on the record, that the UK Treasury will take on all responsibility for existing UK debt.

Edit: It is in Scotland's best interest for the rUK to be financially stable, as they're our biggest trading partner, and we're planning to share a currency with them. As long as they aren't idiots (which is a distinct possibility, given their current rhetoric) then Scotland's government has every incentive to keep Westminster afloat.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby addams » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:31 pm UTC

Thank you.
The truth does not always set us free.

Sometimes it breaks our hearts.
I understand more, now.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:34 pm UTC

You say that, but there's a correllation in the polls between how informed a voter feels about the choices post-referendum, and their voting intention. (more informed -> yes vote, less informed -> no vote)

So maybe the truth will set us free ;)

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Zamfir
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:54 pm UTC

What do you call one Soverign Country handing another Soverign Country money (when they need it)? Especially when the UK Treasury has stated, publically and on the record, that the UK Treasury will take on all responsibility for existing UK debt

Oi? If it's foreign aid, then Scotland can stop paying without consequences. If it's a formal agreement, then such actio. would be a default, or at least bear a close resemblance to one. Matters a lot for the creditworthiness of Scotland. The UK has been paying off debts to the US for decades, no one considered that foreign aid or thought that the UK could just stop paying without consequences.

The Yes website uses terms as 'divide the debt', which suggest that they envision a formal agreement, not a voluntary contribution.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:03 pm UTC

See the second sentence of that quote.

Westminster have committed to handling all the debt. So any deal is just that, a deal.

The fact that the loans that caused the debt were almost universally spent with no benefit for Scotland, and that we're essentially offering to stop them having to declare themselves bankrupt just to get them to negotiate in good faith says quite a lot about what's going on though.

Personallly, I'd prefer it if they tried to play hardball with us, then we can walk away with a clear concionse(sp?) and enjoy being one of the few debt-free countries in the world. (And we'd still be propping them up by using the Pound)

Well, you'll be negotiating with your ten times larger sole neighbour and dominant trade partner. There are upsides to being a small country, but a strong negotiation position is not one of them.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:06 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:What surprises me, from the outside, is how much of the debate seems to be about money. About the pound, about banks, other big companies, oil money, etc. Interviews with Scots-in-the-street always seem to turn that.

It's like people want to vote for independence, but only if it's not too expensive. Doesn't feel to me as much of a basis for independence.


Eh. Even US indepedence was largely focused around taxes and such. Money is never the only thing, but it's basically always a huge factor. It seems like a pragmatic viewpoint to me.

SlyReaper wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Is it expected that the loss of Scottish voters would radically shift the political landscape?

Scottish people almost never vote Tory. I believe there is one solitary constituency in Scotland that is held by a Conservative MP. If we lost all those votes that are going to other parties, the Conservatives would be in a much stronger position in future elections. It would become very difficult to vote them out, and we might be stuck with them for decades.

Come to think of it, given that Scottish voting preferences are so different from the rest of the country's voting preferences, maybe that's a good reason for them to split off. It'll just suck for the rest of us.


I would agree. No doubt it'll cause some shifts, but distinct differences in preferences would seem to support the argument that they should be governed seperately.

Of course, this raises interesting questions about other distinct geographical voting trends...for instance, the urban/rural divide in US politics.

Zamfir wrote:I don't think micronations do particularly well as a rule. It's more that they tend to disappear once they run into problems, so the ones that remain are the ones with an unusually fortunate history.


Agreed. Scotland is large enough to be out of micronation territory, so it's not terribly worrying...but micronations tend to come and go. Size brings a certain stability with it, and less reliance on local trends. Smaller is not inherently better.

Adacore wrote:What really depresses me is that so many of my Scottish relatives seem to be planning to vote yes for, what seem to me, exceptionally stupid reasons. For example, one of them said they were 'swung' by an anecdote in which an American remarked "who wouldn't want to live in an independent country?" Which is moronic on several levels. Like, the US is one of the most federated countries in the world, so unless the American was a hard-line secessionist to an extent that he would likely be regarded as either insane or treasonous by most other Americans, his comment made no sense, and all Scots are already part of an independent country - it's called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Treason is fairly tightly restricted as an actual crime in the US, so very little gets viewed as such. It gets tossed around occasionally as an epithet in partisan politics, but it isn't really tied to secessionism, which is mostly just viewed as unlikely/amusing...when Texas put in a petition to leave, many considered it hilarious to sign up to say they wanted Texas gone too. Nobody seriously thought it was going to be really considered.

However, the desire for independence isn't considered odd at all, and I dare say many 'murricans like the idea of living in a smaller country that's more like their preferences. They simply do not see it as likely or serious.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Derek » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:42 pm UTC

Illiander wrote:Given the stratigic location, and that the USA is trying to get the UK to drop their nuclear deterrent anyway,

I highly doubt it. If anything, the US would like to see it's NATO allies take up a greater burden in NATO's mutual defense. The US has basically no reason to see the UK give up it's nuclear arsenal.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby BeerBottle » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:50 pm UTC

Illiander wrote:(I've been reading for ages, very rarely comment)
Ok, as an English-born living in Scotland for most of my life, I'll weigh in here on "the situation on the ground" as it were.
.....
Any Questions?
Thanks for filling us in. I am from England and in favour of Scottish Independence (if they want it of course) but I am concerned by the nature of a lot of the debate, some of which is reflected in your posts. Any region setting up as a new country will experience uncertainty. There are totally legitimate concerns of Scots over issues like EU membership, NATO membership, currency, the military, debt repayments etc that the Yes campaign don't seem to want to recognise. They are all waved away as if these are simple issues that can be easily solved. They are not, and while things MIGHT work out as Salmond et al. suggest, each of those things I mentioned involve negotiations with other countries, sometimes with ALL the other countries of the EU. These other states have their own interests and it absolutely cannot be predicted with total accuracy what will happen.

I'm not saying don't become independent, but when doing so you have to recognise there are uncertainties, and things may be difficult in the short term. So my question is this: as (I assume) an ardent Yes supporter, I wonder what you think are the main risks of Scotland declaring independence and how might they be mitigated?

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:16 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Question. If independent, will Scotland join the UN? Can the US break into 50 separate states that are in a permanent alliance with permanent trade treaties and common currency and get 50 votes in the UN?



Scotland can join the UN, unless everyone votes no/the Security Council vetoes it (I see no reason for such).


As for that comment... well, sort of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Uni ... ed_Nations

The Soviet Union, at the UN's creation, initially demanded 15 seats, one for each Soviet Republic.

The US countermanded, asking for 48 seats, one for each (then) state.


There was a compromise.


The USSR ended up having 3 separate seats (USSR, Ukrainian SSR, Byelorussian SSR). The US similarly was offered 3 seats, but since it was politically impossible to decide which two of the 48 states got their own seat... we never took the deal, and just kept the national seat.

And after post-Soviet breakup, all Soviet States that weren't Russia, Ukraine and Belarus got their own admittance. Most of these nations were still in alliance.

So the answer is yes.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Derek » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:29 pm UTC

The United States was also offered two additional seats, but due to political problems (regarding which two of the 48 states would be represented), it was never acted upon.

Huh. Now there is a great trivia question.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:03 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
Illiander wrote:Given the stratigic location, and that the USA is trying to get the UK to drop their nuclear deterrent anyway,

I highly doubt it. If anything, the US would like to see it's NATO allies take up a greater burden in NATO's mutual defense. The US has basically no reason to see the UK give up it's nuclear arsenal.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/world ... =all&_r=1&
"The situation in Britain is so bad that American officials are quietly urging it to drop its expensive nuclear deterrent."

BeerBottle wrote:
Illiander wrote:(I've been reading for ages, very rarely comment)
Ok, as an English-born living in Scotland for most of my life, I'll weigh in here on "the situation on the ground" as it were.
.....
Any Questions?
Thanks for filling us in. I am from England and in favour of Scottish Independence (if they want it of course) but I am concerned by the nature of a lot of the debate, some of which is reflected in your posts. Any region setting up as a new country will experience uncertainty. There are totally legitimate concerns of Scots over issues like EU membership, NATO membership, currency, the military, debt repayments etc that the Yes campaign don't seem to want to recognise. They are all waved away as if these are simple issues that can be easily solved. They are not, and while things MIGHT work out as Salmond et al. suggest, each of those things I mentioned involve negotiations with other countries, sometimes with ALL the other countries of the EU. These other states have their own interests and it absolutely cannot be predicted with total accuracy what will happen.

I'm not saying don't become independent, but when doing so you have to recognise there are uncertainties, and things may be difficult in the short term. So my question is this: as (I assume) an ardent Yes supporter, I wonder what you think are the main risks of Scotland declaring independence and how might they be mitigated?


EU Membership:
The Presedent of the European Commision has said that Scotland will get fast-tracked into membership, as otherwise every Scot would be stripped of their EU membership, and all the EU citizens currently living and working in Scotland would have to be evicted. Which is a situation no-one wants. I can dig up a link if you really want. (The BBC misreported this, when he said that there would be "no new members of the EU for 5 years, and Jean-Claude Junker subsequently posted a correction to them saying that he wasn't talking about territories that are already in the EU, such as Scotland).

Other issues raised with EU membership (personally, I'd be ok with Scotland being in the EFTA instead, so it's not a big deal for me):

Spanish Veto to shut up the Catalonians:
Not going to happen. Spain's fishing fleets *need* Scotland in the EU, because they spend most of their time in Scottish waters. It would be political suicide domestically for them to veto Scottish entry into the EU.
rUK Veto out of spite:
Honestly, since England seems to want out of the EU anyway, I could see Scotland getting the UK's continuing EU membership, rather than Westminster.

NATO membership:
Personally, I don't give a toss. But given the importance of the North-West gap, do you *really* think they'll say no?

Currency:
We're using the pound, and Alistair Darling (Head of the No campaign) admitted that it was possible on a live TV debate. So no uncertainty there.

MIlitary:
Scotland doesn't want to go off invading the world. We don't need much, and if we spent the same ratio of Government expendeture as the UK does on it's military, we'd be *better* protected than we are now. (Almost none of the UK's military is stationed in Scotland, except for Trident)

Debt:
The UK Treasury has publicly stated that it is responsible for *all* UK debt. Scotland would have *no* debt unless Westminster made a deal. And they're not going to get a deal unless they give us a fair share of Government assets. (Basically, if Scotland takes on some of the UK's current debt, we'd have shares in the Bank of England, and a bunch of other stuff that cuts our set-up costs, and since Scotland runs at a profit when we're not helping to pay off London Debt anyway, so we'd probably sort out our share pretty quickly) And as Scotland currently subsidised the rest of the UK, Westminster would be insane not to make that deal.

I can provide links for all of those if you really want.

Main risks of going independent?
Short-term chaos in the next two years while everything gets sorted out. Not exactly a worry in the long-term. Best mitigation would be for Westminster to grow up and stop throwing tantrums (and maybe the BBC actually being impartial for a change). Not going to happen. Not something I'm worrying about. (Remeber the Y2K crises? I'm expecting it to be like that: Lots of work in the background, and a complete let-down for people expecting the world to stop turning)
The other big risk I see is Westminster saying: "It's only a consultation referendum, we're not going to act on the result." That would be both hilarious and horrific.

Something I don't think people outside Scotland really appreciate, is that the SNP have won people's trust. They are considered to have *integrety*. This is because, when they were the minority government in Hollyrood, they actually followed through on the majority of their campaign promises, which caused their landslide victory. And they've been following through on their campaign promises since then as well. So when the SNP say something, people don't automatically assume that they're a bunch of lying scumbags (which is the default reaction when a politician says something, trained by decades of Conservative and "New Labour" governments), they assume that they at least vaugely know what they're talking about, and have done their research. Now, I don't agree with all their policy choices, but I know that they'll follow through on them. The same can't be said of any Westminster Party.

So trying to spread FUD about something that they've said that they'll do? Not going to get you a good reaction up here. They don't do uncertainty, they *will* do what they say they'll do, or they'll have a damned good reason not to, and they'll *tell you* the reason.

"Better Together/No Thanks/We can't believe that Scotland might actually go independent" put together a list of 500 questions for the Yes Campaign to answer. Every single one of them got either an answer, or an explination of why it wasn't possible to answer. (A lot of those questions would have been right at home on a Louisiana Literacy Test, and a lot of them were rephrasings of earlier questions) They then challenged the No Campaign to answer the same questions in the case of a No vote. They have declined to respond to that request.

The No Campaign has been ranting on about "uncertainties" for years now, every question of theirs has been answered (recently, months before they asked it, as they're recycling questions). For an example of what we've been dealing with, watch the two youtube vids at this link:
http://wingsoverscotland.com/out-in-the-open/
The second vid is the press conference, the first vid is the BBC's report on the press conference.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:25 pm UTC

Illiander wrote:all the EU citizens currently living and working in Scotland would have to be evicted.
Sorry, what?
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby omgryebread » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:34 pm UTC

Illiander wrote:First off, Scotland leaving the UK will make essentially no difference to the party political makeup of Westminster (The UK parlement). If you remove Scottish MPs from Westminster since 1945, you would only have had 2.5 years more Conservative Governments. (I'd post links, but they're getting my post flagged as spam)
Nah. Labour would lose a ton of seats. This probably wouldn't mean the era of Tory dominance, because Tories are losing support too. Possibly the party with the most to gain (aside from the SNP) from Scottish independence is UKIP.

Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...
You can't talk about feeding the homeless, employing people, NHS, or any of that stuff without talking about currency. Many banks have already said they'd move to England if Scotland voted for independence. You'd see the same thing that every country with an uncertain currency has: massive capital flight, as people and corporations move their money to be more secure. Most likely under the protection of the Bank of England.


If you want the details on finances, a significent amount of the UK's exports come from Scotland, including ~90% of the UK's oil and gas (That's 90% *after* Labour moved the Scotland/England sea border to put some rather large oilfields into English waters, and not counting the Clair field that was found recently, and not counting the fields on the west coast, which the MoD have stopped people using because the rigs get in the way of their submarines). Scotland is a net exporter, and the UK is a net importer. Google "Balence of Payments" for why that matters. (tl;dr: A free-floating Scottish Pound would be one of the hardest currencies in the world, but doing that would cause the London Pound to crash so fast you'd see the crater from orbit)
The oil industry has poor growth prospects and is run by a cartel of not-so-cool countries. In addition, even with the new discoveries, Scotland's oil capacity sucks. New discoveries like Clair aren't really viable right now. If oil prices rise, they'd be more worth it, but OPEC countries have oil fields with easier oil that aren't even producing at full capacity.

Why would you intentionally make your economy more dependent on oil? Every rich oil producing country is trying to diversify. (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia).

On Currency: Alistair Darling (head of Better Together/No Thanks/We keep changing our name because we keep trashing our "brand") admitted, on live, national television, that Scotland can use the Pound *regardless* of what Westminster says (He also said we could use the Ruble, if we wanted, but none of us do). The head of the Bank of England has said that he can make whatever currency arrangements the two governments decide on work (The BBC likes to lie about what he said in that interview). It is a non-issue that Unionists like shouting about because it's scarey, and they think people don't realise it's a bunch of bull. Scotland wants control of Taxes, and the tax income, and will probably move to an independent currency in a decade or so.
Of course you could. And yes, the Bank of England could make whatever arrangements the government of the UK wanted. Scotland could negotiate, but the UK could just say "lol no." Scotland's sole point of negotiation is that they have money to pay UK debt.

"Project Fear" was not what the Nationalists called it, it is Westminster's own, internal name for the project, leaked a few years ago.
No, it was (allegedly) a name used by some people inside the Better Together campaign. Not any sort of official name.

The fact that the entire No campaign is essentially funded by the Rich backers of the Tory parties?
And the entire Yes campaign is essentially funded by a pair of lottery winners. http://www.yesscotland.net/news/yes-scotland-publishes-details-campaign-donations

That the published canvassing results are showing Yes returns of 70-90%?
Can't find anything like those numbers. Perhaps you are referring to http://radicalindependence.org/2014/08/19/radical-independence-campaign-18k-canvass-sample-released/. That would get laughed out of any serious discussion of polling. Spoilered for poll-nerdiness.

Spoiler:
This is all taken directly from their website.

First off, it's an obviously partisan organization. Even when polling organizations that "lean" (like Public Policy Polling or Rasmussen in the US) publish results, they aren't using the poll to actively push an agenda.

When we go to the doorsteps we spend time discussing and engaging with people. This is not a simple ‘data mining’ operation. That is why we are winning the argument, where the Labour/Tory/Lib Dem opposition are not.
That's called a "push poll". First, a poll isn't representative when you try and influence people first. A pollster cares about what the people who he hasn't polled think. Secondly, people who are strongly "No" probably shut the door before they got "polled".

- 18,012 is an enormous sample size. Pollster companies usually poll 1,000 people. A certain subjectivity has to be accounted for, but we usually ask people their view and note it down before we engage in debate.
"Usually". Usually is an aggresively useless word in polling. Also, 1,000 people is perfectly acceptable sample size for a political poll if it's sampled properly.

- The canvass returns are of a specific demographic: RIC has targeted areas of low voter turnout and deprivation as a result of Westminster austerity and privatisation.
I don't even... They explicitly acknowledge they're canvassing with a bias. And low voter turnout areas! It's one thing to tell a guy at your door how you'll vote. It's another thing to actually vote.

It's pretty unbelievable they're actually claiming their poll means something. They should honestly be ashamed of themselves.


That the media seems to like pretending that this is all about Alex Salmond and the SNP, when the Yes Movement has become so big from pure grassroots that there isn't any one place you can go to find out everything?
"Grassroots"
http://www.yesscotland.net/news/yes-scotland-publishes-details-campaign-donations wrote:The SNP contribution was used to establish Yes Scotland and to fund the start-up and staffing costs including the official launch on 25 May, 2012.


That there's hope, for the first time in decades, that we could actually have a government that works for the people, rather than to line their own pockets, and is accountable to the people, rather than the City of London?
If you think voting for independence will magically make a government accountable, I've got a bridge you might be interested in purchasing.

That the No campaign is only talking about how good things were in the past, all the people we've killed together, and isn't putting forward a vision for the future.
Sure they are. A vision in which Scotland is beholden to OPEC and the central bank of a foreign country, having to renegotiate all sorts of trade agreements from a weakened position...

Given the stratigic location, and that the USA is trying to get the UK to drop their nuclear deterrent anyway, I don't think anyone seriously thinks that that will be a problem.
Meh. You're right, it doesn't really matter much, but the UK still has to do something with those nuclear weapons. They're basically US stuff, so we could probably take them, but we don't really need them.


Illiander wrote:Currency:
We're using the pound, and Alistair Darling (Head of the No campaign) admitted that it was possible on a live TV debate. So no uncertainty there.
Except, you know, all the massive uncertainty about using a foreign currency.

MIlitary:
Scotland doesn't want to go off invading the world. We don't need much, and if we spent the same ratio of Government expendeture as the UK does on it's military, we'd be *better* protected than we are now. (Almost none of the UK's military is stationed in Scotland, except for Trident)
Most of Scotland's military protection is based in the US. Honestly, the game for Scotland, like most US allies is to contribute enough to shut up the US whining for more help. So basically Scotland would leech more off of the US than the UK currently does.

Debt:
The UK Treasury has publicly stated that it is responsible for *all* UK debt. Scotland would have *no* debt unless Westminster made a deal. And they're not going to get a deal unless they give us a fair share of Government assets. (Basically, if Scotland takes on some of the UK's current debt, we'd have shares in the Bank of England, and a bunch of other stuff that cuts our set-up costs, and since Scotland runs at a profit when we're not helping to pay off London Debt anyway, so we'd probably sort out our share pretty quickly) And as Scotland currently subsidised the rest of the UK, Westminster would be insane not to make that deal.
Scotland, unlike most other rich oil producing countries has very little in foreign reserves. An oil shock would put them in debt rather quickly.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:40 pm UTC

Personally I think this referendum is very interesting, and as an outsider I am following it with much interest. I do think in general nations are too attached to their territories. Why not let a region leave if they want to? I really can't see the harm, apart from loss of pride. Especially within a broader framework of the EU.

One thing that I don't quite agree with though is that this is done via a single referendum. Public opinion is fickle, and a single referendum has way too big an error margin. Most countries in the world require super majorities to change their constitution. Why not require a super majority for an independence vote? Seems logical. Or perhaps even better, make it two votes, spaced at least 2 years apart. That way you can be sure a 'yes' vote reflects the will of the people, and isn't just a momentary fluke.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:29 am UTC

Illiander wrote:(I've been reading for ages, very rarely comment)

Ok, as an English-born living in Scotland for most of my life, I'll weigh in here on "the situation on the ground" as it were.

First off, Scotland leaving the UK will make essentially no difference to the party political makeup of Westminster (The UK parlement). If you remove Scottish MPs from Westminster since 1945, you would only have had 2.5 years more Conservative Governments. (I'd post links, but they're getting my post flagged as spam)


It would mess up the next term royally. An outright majority for any party's looking unlikely with some kind of labour-led coalition looking the most plausible. If Scotland leaves, labour would effectively need to form a much stronger coalition than the conservatives would. It could well be that, at the start of the term, labour are the only party able to form a coalition but, come the end, their coalition has become a minority government.

This would be an issue.

Illiander wrote:Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...


The EU charter currently requires all new members to adopt the euro unless their is a unanimous vote to allow them to keep their own currency. Spain is never going to let an independent Scotland have that special privilege because it wants an independent Scotland to have as hard a time as possible.

So it's not that Spain wouldn't let them join the EU, but that they wouldn't let them do so and keep the pound (which they are able to do).

Illiander wrote:Currency:
We're using the pound, and Alistair Darling (Head of the No campaign) admitted that it was possible on a live TV debate. So no uncertainty there.


Yeah, you guys can use the pound, in the same way my cousin used US dollars when she went to Laos. The issue is that without formal agreements, Scotland would have no control over the currency and, in particular, any devaluations of it the bank of England might want.





One point I haven't seen mentioned much in the official stuff is that Scotland (if it becomes independent and joins the EU) would have to stop charging UK citizens tuition fees. I have absolutely no idea how much of the net revenue that is (probably not a particularly significant amount), but it would be nice to see that cheat stopped.

As an English person (so without a vote), I'm hoping for a no vote because I'm worried of how much power UKIP would gain.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby addams » Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:43 am UTC

oh.
I finely Got it.

They will not have a whole new money.
They will have Euros. Ohhh.... oh...

oh, Dear; I know it is serious to you.
But; I know some people will decide if Scotland has the Euro like France does....
They may want all Scots to Go To France!

I have spoken to English people that have only one objection to the Euro.
"The French have it." "If they have it, we don't want it."

That is Genus at nursing a gruge.
It had been Hundreds of Years sense the French did something to Offend those people.

They had learned to nurse that grudge as part of their Englishness.
I laughed. The French feel that way about me. "Americans! pfft."
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby tempyypmet » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:06 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Illiander wrote:Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...
You can't talk about feeding the homeless, employing people, NHS, or any of that stuff without talking about currency. Many banks have already said they'd move to England if Scotland voted for independence. You'd see the same thing that every country with an uncertain currency has: massive capital flight, as people and corporations move their money to be more secure. Most likely under the protection of the Bank of England.

I was going to post on this last night, but xkcd 386 happened and I know where my priorities lie.

I am writing as someone who has never lived in Scotland, but has spent certain parts of my life when I was there so much it certainly felt like it. I'm not going to go through point by point because I feel that arguing with Scottish nationalists*1 is a bit like arguing with creationists, as in general they do not reflect on what is being said. I think fundamentally there are several things which are true:
    1 - Politicians who tell you you are going to get the moon on a stick are telling you fibs*2
    2 – Anything said by a politician in a TV debate is dismiss able as nonsense
    3 – The banks are getting ready to leave Scotland like rats off a sinking ship
    4 – Purposely building your entire economy on a dwindling commodity is a dumb idea
    5 - The language of SNP is that of division, in some cases borderline racism*3 and has not been about details of how an independent Scotland would operate
    6 - The language of Better Together has not been about inclusion nor understanding the benefits of staying in the UK
    7 - Scotland splitting away will have an effect on families who straddle the border. Currently London is Scotland's second most populous city, that s a lot of families.
    8 – There are so many UK wide organisations and functions that they would be impossible to capture*4
    9 – The EU, NATO and other international organisations have no vested interest in Scotland being independent
    10 – This is forever.

My personal conclusion is that Scotland could survive as an independent nation, but I think it would be poorer financially and culturally. The UK without Scotland would not be hit any way near as much as the Scots, but would be still poorer financially and culturally. Over the last couple of hundred years working together the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh have done great things to shape the world, why stop now?

K


*1 - I'm not limiting this statement just to Scottish nationalists, there are several other political groups I also feel it is true of.
*2 Also smug politicians are not to be trusted. Alex Salmond is about as smug as Tony Blair ebfore the Iraq war and look where we are now
*3 -Certain speaker have reminded me a little of Martin Webster, but it would not be right to include this directly in the list
*4 For instance the machine used to calibrate radiotherapy devices, which is near London but used country wide.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:20 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Illiander wrote:First off, Scotland leaving the UK will make essentially no difference to the party political makeup of Westminster (The UK parlement). If you remove Scottish MPs from Westminster since 1945, you would only have had 2.5 years more Conservative Governments. (I'd post links, but they're getting my post flagged as spam)
Nah. Labour would lose a ton of seats. This probably wouldn't mean the era of Tory dominance, because Tories are losing support too. Possibly the party with the most to gain (aside from the SNP) from Scottish independence is UKIP.
I can post links now, so here's a breakdown of what would have happened to the UK without Scottish MPs: http://wingsoverscotland.com/why-labour ... -scotland/
(partisan site, but the facts are solid)

Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...
You can't talk about feeding the homeless, employing people, NHS, or any of that stuff without talking about currency. Many banks have already said they'd move to England if Scotland voted for independence. You'd see the same thing that every country with an uncertain currency has: massive capital flight, as people and corporations move their money to be more secure. Most likely under the protection of the Bank of England.

On Currency: Alistair Darling (head of Better Together/No Thanks/We keep changing our name because we keep trashing our "brand") admitted, on live, national television, that Scotland can use the Pound *regardless* of what Westminster says (He also said we could use the Ruble, if we wanted, but none of us do). The head of the Bank of England has said that he can make whatever currency arrangements the two governments decide on work (The BBC likes to lie about what he said in that interview). It is a non-issue that Unionists like shouting about because it's scarey, and they think people don't realise it's a bunch of bull. Scotland wants control of Taxes, and the tax income, and will probably move to an independent currency in a decade or so.
Of course you could. And yes, the Bank of England could make whatever arrangements the government of the UK wanted. Scotland could negotiate, but the UK could just say "lol no." Scotland's sole point of negotiation is that they have money to pay UK debt.


Scotland's points of negotiation if the UK decide to be stupid:
Oil and other *exports*: The Pound would crash without Scottish exports propping it up. The UK is already in far more debt than it can ever hope to pay back, if the value of the pound starts dropping, then they're screwed.
Trident: The rUK has *nowhere* to put it. It would take 5-10 years to sort Portsmouth out to handle it, and that would be political suicide, because all the swing seats (which actually decide the outcome of elections) would feel threatened having all those nukes that close to London.

If you want the details on finances, a significent amount of the UK's exports come from Scotland, including ~90% of the UK's oil and gas (That's 90% *after* Labour moved the Scotland/England sea border to put some rather large oilfields into English waters, and not counting the Clair field that was found recently, and not counting the fields on the west coast, which the MoD have stopped people using because the rigs get in the way of their submarines). Scotland is a net exporter, and the UK is a net importer. Google "Balence of Payments" for why that matters. (tl;dr: A free-floating Scottish Pound would be one of the hardest currencies in the world, but doing that would cause the London Pound to crash so fast you'd see the crater from orbit)
The oil industry has poor growth prospects and is run by a cartel of not-so-cool countries. In addition, even with the new discoveries, Scotland's oil capacity sucks. New discoveries like Clair aren't really viable right now. If oil prices rise, they'd be more worth it, but OPEC countries have oil fields with easier oil that aren't even producing at full capacity.

Why would you intentionally make your economy more dependent on oil? Every rich oil producing country is trying to diversify. (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia).


We're not going to be dependent on oil. *Without* oil, Scotland is the second-richest part of the UK (That's according to the Westminster-published GERS figures, which are a severe underestimate due to their methedology). The plan is to use the oil money to bootstrap the renewable energy industry, which Westminster seems completely uninterested in, and restart the "hard" industries that Thatcher destroyed.

The fact that the entire No campaign is essentially funded by the Rich backers of the Tory parties?
And the entire Yes campaign is essentially funded by a pair of lottery winners. http://www.yesscotland.net/news/yes-scotland-publishes-details-campaign-donations

That would be the *official* Yes Campaign. There's also all the work that Wings, RIC, or any of the other hundreds of groups did off of crowdfunding. I get the impression that you're missing a lot of details here.

That the media seems to like pretending that this is all about Alex Salmond and the SNP, when the Yes Movement has become so big from pure grassroots that there isn't any one place you can go to find out everything?
"Grassroots"
http://www.yesscotland.net/news/yes-scotland-publishes-details-campaign-donations wrote:The SNP contribution was used to establish Yes Scotland and to fund the start-up and staffing costs including the official launch on 25 May, 2012.

I think you're confusing the officially branded "Yes Campaign" with the people who are going out and getting things done.

That there's hope, for the first time in decades, that we could actually have a government that works for the people, rather than to line their own pockets, and is accountable to the people, rather than the City of London?
If you think voting for independence will magically make a government accountable, I've got a bridge you might be interested in purchasing.

There's accountable, and there's "more accountable than Westminster". The second isn't hard to do. And running under PR (Which "New Labour" set up *specifically* so that there wouldn't be a majority) isn't going to hurt minority parties at all.

That the No campaign is only talking about how good things were in the past, all the people we've killed together, and isn't putting forward a vision for the future.
Sure they are. A vision in which Scotland is beholden to OPEC and the central bank of a foreign country, having to renegotiate all sorts of trade agreements from a weakened position...

Have you seen how well Panama is doing, running off the US dollar?


Illiander wrote:Currency:
We're using the pound, and Alistair Darling (Head of the No campaign) admitted that it was possible on a live TV debate. So no uncertainty there.
Except, you know, all the massive uncertainty about using a foreign currency.
Yeah, so many countries are doing that around the world and suffering so much for it. They're topping some of the standard-of-living charts.

MIlitary:
Scotland doesn't want to go off invading the world. We don't need much, and if we spent the same ratio of Government expendeture as the UK does on it's military, we'd be *better* protected than we are now. (Almost none of the UK's military is stationed in Scotland, except for Trident)
Most of Scotland's military protection is based in the US. Honestly, the game for Scotland, like most US allies is to contribute enough to shut up the US whining for more help. So basically Scotland would leech more off of the US than the UK currently does.
Or, we could just *not* piss off the highly volitile areas of the planet by invading them for no reason other than "we want their oil". Then people wouldn't feel the need to attack us.

Debt:
The UK Treasury has publicly stated that it is responsible for *all* UK debt. Scotland would have *no* debt unless Westminster made a deal. And they're not going to get a deal unless they give us a fair share of Government assets. (Basically, if Scotland takes on some of the UK's current debt, we'd have shares in the Bank of England, and a bunch of other stuff that cuts our set-up costs, and since Scotland runs at a profit when we're not helping to pay off London Debt anyway, so we'd probably sort out our share pretty quickly) And as Scotland currently subsidised the rest of the UK, Westminster would be insane not to make that deal.
Scotland, unlike most other rich oil producing countries has very little in foreign reserves. An oil shock would put them in debt rather quickly.
Scotland runs at a net profit *without* the oil money. And we'd be using the oil money to invest in other things (or just stick a fund together for the times it's not doing so well, like Norway's one which recently passed being worth a million for each man woman and child in the country)

Diadem wrote:One thing that I don't quite agree with though is that this is done via a single referendum. Public opinion is fickle, and a single referendum has way too big an error margin. Most countries in the world require super majorities to change their constitution. Why not require a super majority for an independence vote? Seems logical. Or perhaps even better, make it two votes, spaced at least 2 years apart. That way you can be sure a 'yes' vote reflects the will of the people, and isn't just a momentary fluke.

Couple of reasons why that didn't happen:
Cameron doesn't want this dragged out, because he *knows* that the longer this goes, the more people will vote yes. (That's been borne out by the polling trends, btw) So his best chance of getting a No vote is a single referendum, as soon as possible. We've been talking about this for two years now, people changing their mind to no doesn't happen much.
Google "the 40% rule". This is nowhere near the first referendum on Scotland becoming more independent from Westminster, and a *lot* of people are still bitter about them changing the voting rules at the last minute to return a No, when the vote was a Yes.

eSOANEM wrote:
Illiander wrote:Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...

The EU charter currently requires all new members to adopt the euro unless their is a unanimous vote to allow them to keep their own currency. Spain is never going to let an independent Scotland have that special privilege because it wants an independent Scotland to have as hard a time as possible.

So it's not that Spain wouldn't let them join the EU, but that they wouldn't let them do so and keep the pound (which they are able to do).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden_and_the_euro
Can't make us, and we wouldn't qualify for the requirements to join the Euro anyway. (Look them up, it's impossible to qualify for them until at least two years of having your own currency)

One point I haven't seen mentioned much in the official stuff is that Scotland (if it becomes independent and joins the EU) would have to stop charging UK citizens tuition fees. I have absolutely no idea how much of the net revenue that is (probably not a particularly significant amount), but it would be nice to see that cheat stopped.

Scottish universities charge *everyone* tuition fees. There's a fund for Scottish residents that pays them if you qualify. Google "SAAS" to see their requirements. People just call it "Free Tuition".

If you're worried about UKIP, start trying to hold the BBC to account over giving a political party which *no* elected MPs so much screen time. Because that's the only reason UKIP are bigger than the BNP.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:12 am UTC

Illiander wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Illiander wrote:Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...

The EU charter currently requires all new members to adopt the euro unless their is a unanimous vote to allow them to keep their own currency. Spain is never going to let an independent Scotland have that special privilege because it wants an independent Scotland to have as hard a time as possible.

So it's not that Spain wouldn't let them join the EU, but that they wouldn't let them do so and keep the pound (which they are able to do).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden_and_the_euro
Can't make us, and we wouldn't qualify for the requirements to join the Euro anyway. (Look them up, it's impossible to qualify for them until at least two years of having your own currency)

One point I haven't seen mentioned much in the official stuff is that Scotland (if it becomes independent and joins the EU) would have to stop charging UK citizens tuition fees. I have absolutely no idea how much of the net revenue that is (probably not a particularly significant amount), but it would be nice to see that cheat stopped.

Scottish universities charge *everyone* tuition fees. There's a fund for Scottish residents that pays them if you qualify. Google "SAAS" to see their requirements. People just call it "Free Tuition".

If you're worried about UKIP, start trying to hold the BBC to account over giving a political party which *no* elected MPs so much screen time. Because that's the only reason UKIP are bigger than the BNP.


Sweden's status is irrelevant, the ECB have been explicit that refusing to join the ERM II won't be tolerated for future members of the EU (on the other hand, the european commission say that participation is voluntary; I'm not sure which takes precedence).

I hadn't realised that in order to join the ECB and adopt the Euro you'd need your own currency though. I don't know how this would play out with Scotland joining the EU though. They're required to join the ECB but cannot do so without their own currency. Scotland could introduce a Scottish pound in parity with the rUK pound but once part of the ERM II, if the pound diverged more than ±15% from the euro, the ERM II would drag the Scottish pound away from rUK pound as with the Irish pound breaking parity with the sterling in 1979 under the ERM.

As for joining the EU, the European Commission's own website states the accession treaty is not final and binding until it "is ratified by the candidate country and every individual EU country, according to their constitutional rules (parliamentary vote, referendum, etc.)" (emphasis mine). Spain could delay Scotland's accession indefinitely, particularly if their are questions about how to implement the ERM II.

The tuition fees stuff is a bit misleading as you're telling it. The EU law is based on the fees the student themself is liable for and, as such, non-UK EU students also have their fees paid for by the Scottish government (i.e. it's free de facto) whilst English students pay fees under pretty much the same terms as English universities. Were Scotland independent and a member of the EU, this loophole they're exploiting would no longer be viable (I believe there were cases brought to the european courts about it which determined that it's currently legal but only because Scotland is part of the UK).

I also think you're a little unfair on the bbc re:ukip. Sure they are over-represented on tv, but unlike the bnp, ukip got a large proportion of the vote in the EU elections which are the most recent set of national elections. BBC time should be based on %ge of the vote and, for most parties, numbers of mps isn't a terrible indicator of this. For ukip however it currently is.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:29 am UTC

tempyypmet wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Illiander wrote:Only the "No" camp (pro-Westminster-rule) are really bringing up issues about currency and money. (Though they keep on contradicting themselves on them (the silliest one is "you'd have to join the euro" but "Spain would veto you joining the EU". No country can be forced to join the Euro (see Sweeden), and Spain needs Scotland in the EU or their fishing fleets don't have anywhere to go)) They do seem to like going on about what pictures we put on our coins though, when the "Yes camp" are talking about feeding the homeless and getting people back into work, protecting the NHS, free education, care for the elderly, etc...
You can't talk about feeding the homeless, employing people, NHS, or any of that stuff without talking about currency. Many banks have already said they'd move to England if Scotland voted for independence. You'd see the same thing that every country with an uncertain currency has: massive capital flight, as people and corporations move their money to be more secure. Most likely under the protection of the Bank of England.

I was going to post on this last night, but xkcd 386 happened and I know where my priorities lie.

I am writing as someone who has never lived in Scotland, but has spent certain parts of my life when I was there so much it certainly felt like it. I'm not going to go through point by point because I feel that arguing with Scottish nationalists*1 is a bit like arguing with creationists, as in general they do not reflect on what is being said. I think fundamentally there are several things which are true:
    1 - Politicians who tell you you are going to get the moon on a stick are telling you fibs*2
    2 – Anything said by a politician in a TV debate is dismiss able as nonsense
    3 – The banks are getting ready to leave Scotland like rats off a sinking ship
    4 – Purposely building your entire economy on a dwindling commodity is a dumb idea
    5 - The language of SNP is that of division, in some cases borderline racism*3 and has not been about details of how an independent Scotland would operate
    6 - The language of Better Together has not been about inclusion nor understanding the benefits of staying in the UK
    7 - Scotland splitting away will have an effect on families who straddle the border. Currently London is Scotland's second most populous city, that s a lot of families.
    8 – There are so many UK wide organisations and functions that they would be impossible to capture*4
    9 – The EU, NATO and other international organisations have no vested interest in Scotland being independent
    10 – This is forever.

My personal conclusion is that Scotland could survive as an independent nation, but I think it would be poorer financially and culturally. The UK without Scotland would not be hit any way near as much as the Scots, but would be still poorer financially and culturally. Over the last couple of hundred years working together the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh have done great things to shape the world, why stop now?

K


*1 - I'm not limiting this statement just to Scottish nationalists, there are several other political groups I also feel it is true of.
*2 Also smug politicians are not to be trusted. Alex Salmond is about as smug as Tony Blair ebfore the Iraq war and look where we are now
*3 -Certain speaker have reminded me a little of Martin Webster, but it would not be right to include this directly in the list
*4 For instance the machine used to calibrate radiotherapy devices, which is near London but used country wide.


So much misinformation there. Let me guess, you get your info from the pro-Westminster media?

We've had these arguments hundreds and hundreds of times over the last two years. We know the answers. We also know that the No camp doesn't like *admitting* that we've provided the answers. (I've provided evidence of that farther up the thread)

1: Yup, but no-one other than the No Campaign are claiming that the Yes Campaign are claiming that we'll get the moon. All the Yes campaign are claiming is that things will be *better* than under Westminster. (And that's *really* not a high bar to clear)

2: So all those claims of "more powers for Scotland after a No Vote" are just as dismissable, right? The currency is a settled question. Sterling is a fully tradeable currency, so Westminster can't stop *anyone* from trading in it. It's just nice that the people who have been going on about Salmond needing a "Plan B" have admitted that he doesn't need one. When your opponent says your right about something that they've been claiming you're wrong about for the last two years, I think we can take them at their word for it.

3: The banks already have their head offices in London, where they put their plaque is irrelevent. And they're bluffing anyway. Remember Standard Life claiming that they'd leave Scotland if we voted for more devolution in the 90s? Did they go anywhere? And any that do leave are welcome to, maybe we can get some responsible banks popping up to fill the void they leave, who aren't going to ask Governments to pay off their gambling debts for them.

4: No-one on the Yes side is saying that. Everyone on the Yes side is talking about using the oil money to bootstrap Scotland into other industries. (Renewable energy, rebuilding our heavy industries...)

5: Who's bringing up "making your family into foreigners"? Who's talking about "building a better Scotland for everyone who lives there"? Yeah. Racism seems to be the province of Westminster if you look beyone the BBC and Daily Mail.

6: Agreed. They're just trying to scare everyone away from even talking about this.

7: Only if Westminster try to cause trouble. I have family in Denmark, America, Austrailia, and friends in all of those, plus Sweden, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Germany... What effect are you talking about? You're sounding a bit xenophobic there.

8: Name one that is based in the rUK that would *refuse* to do business with an independent Scotland.

9: They have no interest in refusing to acknowledge the result of the referendum either. And some might even like to see the UK taken down a peg or two.

10: No shit. How many countries got their independence from the British Empire, and then asked to be let back in?

You are aware that Scotland has been subsidising the rest of the UK for the last 300 years, right?

I'm going to pose a question to everyone here: What metric do you use to measure the success of a Government?

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Illiander » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:39 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Sweden's status is irrelevant, the ECB have been explicit that refusing to join the ERM II won't be tolerated for future members of the EU (on the other hand, the european commission say that participation is voluntary; I'm not sure which takes precedence).

I hadn't realised that in order to join the ECB and adopt the Euro you'd need your own currency though. I don't know how this would play out with Scotland joining the EU though. They're required to join the ECB but cannot do so without their own currency. Scotland could introduce a Scottish pound in parity with the rUK pound but once part of the ERM II, if the pound diverged more than ±15% from the euro, the ERM II would drag the Scottish pound away from rUK pound as with the Irish pound breaking parity with the sterling in 1979 under the ERM.

As for joining the EU, the European Commission's own website states the accession treaty is not final and binding until it "is ratified by the candidate country and every individual EU country, according to their constitutional rules (parliamentary vote, referendum, etc.)" (emphasis mine). Spain could delay Scotland's accession indefinitely, particularly if their are questions about how to implement the ERM II.

The tuition fees stuff is a bit misleading as you're telling it. The EU law is based on the fees the student themself is liable for and, as such, non-UK EU students also have their fees paid for by the Scottish government (i.e. it's free de facto) whilst English students pay fees under pretty much the same terms as English universities. Were Scotland independent and a member of the EU, this loophole they're exploiting would no longer be viable (I believe there were cases brought to the european courts about it which determined that it's currently legal but only because Scotland is part of the UK).

I also think you're a little unfair on the bbc re:ukip. Sure they are over-represented on tv, but unlike the bnp, ukip got a large proportion of the vote in the EU elections which are the most recent set of national elections. BBC time should be based on %ge of the vote and, for most parties, numbers of mps isn't a terrible indicator of this. For ukip however it currently is.


I'm pretty sure the EU Commission takes precedence. Even if it doesn't, Scotland using Stirling still stops any possibility of it being forced to join the Euro.

If Spain stops Scotland from joining the EU, then their fishing fleets have to go home. There are a *lot* of EU citizens currently living and working in Scotland, if countries start delaying Scotland's entry, then those people suddenly have to leave, because they're only there because Scotland is a member of the EU free travel and work zone. That's political suicide for whoever is responsible. And there's a reasonable number of people who would prefer Scotland were in the EFTA insead of the EU *anyway* so this isn't really that important an argument.

The tuition fee stuff is done in similar ways in other EU countries. (And English tuition fees are so out of line with everyone elses, I don't think there would be much objection from anyone other than Westminster, who want's out of the EU anyway)

Look at the timeline for UKIP. They were getting far more coverage than any other party *before* the elections. They have essentially been bigged up by the BBC giving them screen time, rather than the BBC reporting on them *because* they were winning elections. You have your cause and effect the wrong way round.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:55 am UTC

Illiander wrote:How many countries got their independence from the British Empire, and then asked to be let back in?
Western Australia did. But they weren't allowed independence from Australia.
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