Why should the English get a say on Scotland?


2:30 pm - January 16th 2012

by Tim Fenton    


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The manoeuvring by Alex Salmond over the question of potentially giving his country independence – a break from the Union – intruded even into the appearance on the Andrew Marr Show by Ed Miliband yesterday morning.

Marr – another Scot who has made his name south of the border – mischievously suggested England having a say in the matter.

This idea has been germinating in the right leaning part of the Fourth Estate for a couple of days now.

First out of the blocks was Iain Martin at the Telegraph, thundering “David Cameron would never give England a vote on Scottish independence”.

Readers are then told of “the quiet patience of the English in the face of provocations from the Scottish administration”. So I’ve been quietly patient, it seems.

But this is complete crap: the mischief of Alex Salmond is so much a feature of the political landscape that a little more pot stirring from Edinburgh hardly produces a blip on most folks’ radar.

But he is not alone in attempting to turn the independence question on its head: the preposterous Simon Heffer at the Mail has been more than eager to join the fray.

“Hang on, Mr Salmond. The English MUST have a say on Scotland’s future too …” he blusters. He describes the debate as “byzantine” and at the outset deploys his killer play: “I’d like to know what these 51 million souls think about the question” (presumably the Welsh and Northern Irish, despite being part of the Union, don’t merit inclusion for some reason).

But Heffer is clearly serious about the idea: “it is democratically offensive to imagine the English do not have a right to be consulted” he thunders. Really?

Let’s take that idea and run with it, shall we? In October, Heffer twice ranted about the question of a referendum on EU membership. He returned to the subject after Young Dave’s jolly good veto at Brussels in December.

Iain Martin, too, talked of an EU referendum in December. Twice, in fact. But he, like Heffer, did not for a moment suggest that those dastardly foreigners have a say in such a matter.

No talk of “democratically offensive” was to be heard. I’m sure that, given sufficient time, both pundits will be able to manufacture sufficient bluster and whataboutery to get over that one.

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Tim is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more frequently at Zelo Street
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Reader comments


You may reasonably view many of the named commentators as idiots, but you failed to look at the underlying question: Scottish independence will effectively be a partial dissolution of the United bit of ‘United Kingdom’. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the other members of the union might have an applicable opinion.

Whilst it would look pretty silly to have the Scots vote overwhelmingly to go, and the rest to vote for them to stay, it’s as foolish to say that non-Scots have *no* say as it is to say that they should decide the issue.

“I’m sure that, given sufficient time, both pundits will be able to manufacture sufficient bluster and whataboutery to get over that one.”

A somewhat ironic last sentence, given that your response to them basically amounts to “But what about the EU referendum?”

The rest of the world would probably welcome the creation of “Little England” shorn of its responsibility of governing Scotland and severed from the European Community. Wales would probably follow Scotland and seek nationhood and the demand for a united Republic of Ireland would – in these circumstances- be unstoppable.

The only way that Westminster could retain the seat in the Security Council, and other International bodies, is by reconstituting as a Federal Parliament of England and Wales.

The idea that England has any say at all in the breakup of the United Kingdom is some kind of stupid joke surely. Unless we want to send the English army (as I presume it will be called at that point) to occupy Scotland the way we did with Ireland then how the hell are we supposed to stop Scotland just dumping us?

And it is a dumping by the way, which is why so many commentators and politicians are whining and butthurt about it. England is getting dumped because we’ve treated Scotland like a chemical toilet for decades and her people have had enough. It is what the English deserve, and I much as I would love us to remain friends I completely understand if Scotland stops returning our calls.

With the economy of England based pretty much entirely on bullshit at this point, who can really blame Scotland, who have dibs on many of the only tangible assets in the UK right now, for wanting to turn us loose?

Meanwhile I would presume, could be wrong though, that the UK would cease to exist if Scotland left. I mean we’re technically the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or something right now, so without Scotland we’re neither United, or all of Great Britain.

I think all this is very funny anyway. I mean I always knew Cameron was an absolute dogturd of a prime minister, a legitimate candidate for being the least able man to ever hold the office. But even I didn’t consider his stupidity, crassness and inability to lead would actually pose an existential threat to the United Kingdom as a state. I mean he might literally destroy this country. And then maybe he can get a job as captain of a cruise ship.

5. Thomas Hobbes

A simple question with a simple answer.

There are 2 Acts of Union, therefore England requires a referendum on Scottish Independence as well as Scotland.

There is only 1 European Communities Act, applicable to the UK, therefore only the UK as a whole requires a referendum on whether to repeal it. Despite the wishes of Delores and the current Brussels elite, the EU is not a political union and therefore does not require consent from other parties to leave.

I will personally vote for full Scottish independence, if only to ensure the denizens therein are never again allowed to foul the waters of Westminster.

6. Thomas Hobbes

@Monglor if by ‘tangible assets’ you refer to North Sea Oil, there is the rather inconvenient obstacle of this belonging entirely to the Crown.

Scotland is of course quite able to negotiate ownership – but it’s going to cost. Taking on all of the debts of RBS and HBOS seems to be a fair swap.

Oh and you want to continue to use the pound? We’ll have to talk about that.

It seems that some people want to hold the world’s first ever referendum in which the outcome wouldn’t be decided by those wanting to be independent, but by those they wish to be independent of…

This would have had an interesting impact on e.g. the USSR or Yugoslavia, or any other country which has separated from another over the past century.

Of course some (emphasis on this word, etc, etc, etc) surveys show that support for Scottish Independence is actually higher in England than Scotland. For what little that’s worth.

As Thomas points out in his response above, this is a matter of acts, not treaties. A government can abrogate a treaty but has to repeal an act, and in the case of leaving the United Kingdom it seems to be agreed that repeal can only take place following a referendum (note that Wales however would have to sucede from England…). All great fun for lawyers and historians, but with a serious point.

Where Thomas falls down is his next post, where he presumes crown property will belong to England though – as the head of state, the Queen would have crown property in both the independent states of England and Scotland (in the same way as Queen Anne did prior to 1707). The Queen is the head of state of Scotland as well as England remember…

D-Notice: ‘It seems that some people want to hold the world’s first ever referendum in which the outcome wouldn’t be decided by those wanting to be independent, but by those they wish to be independent of…’

For the last 40 years, if the people of Britain had ever been asked whether they wished to keep the Six Counties of Northern Ireland as part of the UK, I reckon that there would have been a substantial majority saying ‘no’.

Maybe Mr. Heffer should be told that the worry about the English entitlement to be consulted is because we’d threaten to overrule them… 😉

12. Anon E Mouse

Put it to the UNITED KINGDOM and we’ll let the tartan skirted throwbacks khow we really feel.

Can someone please give Dougie Alexander a one way ticket back now….

13. Leon Wolfeson

@3 – More likely NI would explode into violence.

If Scotland wants to leave then England doesn’t get a say on telling them they can’t. But if Scotland doesn’t want to leave England should have a say on whether we want to dump them.

And on the EU, sorry, but the Lisbon Treaty says that countries can withdraw if they wish, with or without the express consent of the other members.

I cannot see any practical reason why ‘England’ (for England read the ‘rest of the United Kingdom’) should have a say on who stays within the UK and who is booted out.

Take this to its logical conclusion. Let us say that we have a part of the Union, say, Northumberland, doing quite nicely, thank you and the rest of us decide to toss them out on their collective ear, isn’t that just the tyranny of the majority? On the other hand, if they truly want to leave, have the rest of got the right to stop them?

If 60% of Scots want independence, what does it matter what percentage of English people want, one way or another? On the other hand shout 60% of English people have the right to kick out anyone else?

Mr Hobbes is not as knowledgeable as he things

The Queen is Queen of Scots by a separate Oath to her Oath as Queen of England

If Scotland goes Independant it is removal from the Union of the Parliaments, not the Crown, and it is the Scots Crown that holds sway over oil in Scots waters

Archaic nonsense in any case

Furthermore the Acts were to adopt the TREATY of Union

In theory the Scots parliamentarians can hold a vote, walk out en masse and say ‘ we no longer sit at Westminster’

It’s amazing how down right nasty the “fair play, play the game mob” get when their sense of Imperial Importance is threatened

17. Alisdair Cameron

The idiocy of this stance by Heffer et al is incredible.
Were Scotland to vote to keep the Union, then he wouldn’t have a problem. If Scotland voted to end the Union, it doesn’t matter a damn what he, what England (nor his omissions of Wales and NI) say.
Thus, for once, I agree with Tim Worstall (well, one line of his):If Scotland wants to leave then England doesn’t get a say on telling them they can’t.
What is incredibly telling in all this is the vitriol and abuse being hurled not at the nats, but at Scotland in general by supposed Unionists. One would have thought that they wouldn’t be so stupid as to blanket abuse the very nation with whom they wish to keep a union…

18. Jon Bon Jovi

@Thomas Hobbes

The obstacle of the North Sea oil notionally belonging to the Crown is no longer a problem once you are not un the rule of the monarchy. I would love to see “But the Crown still owns it” being used as an argument verses international law regarding the EEZ of a sovereign nation. May as well argue that any mute swans in Scotland post independence still belong to the Queen because they used to when Scotland was part of the union.

Your other two points are stupid. Though they are registered in Scotland, RBS and HBOS did not pay tax to a Scottish body, but to HMRC, so to take on the entire cost of their bail out would not be fair, as to do so would imply that Scotland alone benefitted directly from their business.

And of course the continued use of the pound would be subject to negotiation – virtually every facet of the current and continued relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK would be subject to negotiation, ideally to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. If I may present a couple of examples.

The nuclear power plants currently placed in Scotland – would they continue to operate? What solution should we use if they do – operate them in Scotland for the UK, or lease the land to the UK, perhaps for 10%* of the plants output rather than money?

Similarly, the UK’s nuclear subs are currently docked at Faslane. Would they be moved to a UK dock, or should the facilities be leased long term to the RotUK, if not on a permanent basis, to at least give the UK time to arrange for their relocation?

Virtually every aspect of the relationship will require negotiation if independence is achieved.

*Percentage used as example. It is not a suggestion.

19. Shatterface

Scottish independence would effect the lives of all British people, not just the Scots. However it would effect the Scots far more than the English so any vote encompassing the whole of the UK should be weighted so that one Scottish vote is worth ten English ones (to pluck a figure out of my arse).

I’d draw an analogy with pregnancy. Both parents will be effected by the outcome and both might reasonably discuss financial obligations towards the child but only an idiot would think the man and the woman should have equal say on whether the child comes to term.

10. Dr Paul

Maybe, but that isn’t actually an argument in favour of letting England – or Wales and N. Ireland for that matter – decide on whether or not Scotland should be independent.

18. Jon Bon Jovi

Similarly, the UK’s nuclear subs are currently docked at Faslane. Would they be moved to a UK dock, or should the facilities be leased long term to the RotUK, if not on a permanent basis, to at least give the UK time to arrange for their relocation?

If we use the ex-Soviet base at Sevastopol, Ukraine as an example, the base could still be leased from Scotland by the remainder of the UK.

If Scotland becomes independent then the remaining parts would reconstitute themselves as the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This new state would be the rightful legal successor of the UK and would retain its historic rights, obligations, and responsibilities (both domestic and foreign) less any such rights, obligations, and responsibilities ceded to Scotland in the independence negoiations and subsequent acts. Whether Scotland rejected independence or not, it would be possible (I would argue desirable) for there to be a constitutional commission to look at the structure of the UK with the objective of proposing a federal structure giving devo-lite to the remaining parts separately. Scotland alone should vote on independence in a referendum with only the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ options. Thereafter, any move to a federal structure should be approved by the whole of the UK in a referendum. But before the Scots vote, the UK government should indicate its intention to establish the constitutional commission – whatever the outcome of the vote.

@17: “What is incredibly telling in all this is the vitriol and abuse being hurled not at the nats, but at Scotland in general by supposed Unionists. One would have thought that they wouldn’t be so stupid as to blanket abuse the very nation with whom they wish to keep a union…”

As this latest poll showed, given the chance, the English would vote in favour of independence for Scotland:

“The poll shows that while a substantial proportion of Scots (40 per cent) back independence, 43 per cent want to remain inside the United Kingdom.

“However, among English voters – who would not get a vote in any referendum – there is a clear lead for those who support independence for Scotland (43 per cent) over those who want the Union to be preserved (32 per cent).”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9015374/Britain-divided-over-Scottish-independence.html

I’m not surprised. After WW2, Scotland had a flourishing, if heavily subsidised, shipbuilding industry – both the trans-atlantic liners, the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were built by John Brown on the Clyde. Shipbuilding failed. By the 1950s and 1960s, the Scots wanted a motor industry. They got a subsidised motor industry. That failed. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Scots wanted an electronics industry. With hundreds of millions in grants from taxpayers, they got Silicon Glen. That failed. Whatever happened to cheap electricity from wave power? Salter’s Ducks sank shortly after launch. By the 1990s and 2000s, the Scots wanted a banking industry. They had a banking industry – and in 2008, RBS and HBOS went down the proverbial drain too.

As Cameron might have more aptly said: There is such a thing as national character – but it’s not the same as the state.

Of course, there have been some Scottish success stories too – such as whiskey and brewing, growing beef, fish farming, and food processing, like that marmalade, as well as an innovative national cuisine such as kippers, haggis and fried battered Mars bars, none of which are too cerebrally challenging.

I go by the historic evidence. The Act of Union in 1707 was prompted by the bankruptcy of the Scottish state as the result of the failed, loony Darien project. Even that didn’t stop the loony invasions of England by Scottish Jacobite armies intent on restoring the Stuarts to the throne. In 1645, an invading army captured the town of Derby, about 100 miles north of London.

In recent years, Glasgow stages annual Orange Order marches in July when 80,000 turn out to celebrate the outcome of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 – before the Act of Union – when the Protestant army of William defeated the Catholic army of James II, two rival claimants to the English throne.

What would sink Britain is not independence for Scotland, as costly as that would be, but independence for London and the South East.

24. Alisdair Cameron

@ Bob B (23) Thanks for the cut’n’paste of one of your earlier contributions, but how it relates to my point is bafflingly opaque. English does not necessarily = Unionist. My point concerned those English commentators who are (at least purportedly) Unionist (it being a cornerstone of much Toryism) yet who disparage Scotland with depressing frequency. If Scotland is so awful, why complain if it wants to go? If you value the Union, isn’t it best not to metaphorically beat up your partner?

“if Scotland doesn’t want to leave England should have a say on whether we want to dump them.”

Is that UKIP policy now? 😉

One way to look at it is that Independence is the equivalent of a divorce: I think everyone now agrees (barring a few on the Religious Right) that if one party to a relationship wants a divorce and the other doesn’t, that a divorce should be permitted.

The implication here, though is that Devo Max is the equivalent of opening a relationship, as it were, and so the rest of the UK should have a say on that….

Hmm. Must remember not to pick at the metaphor….

“What is incredibly telling in all this is the vitriol and abuse being hurled not at the nats, but at Scotland in general by supposed Unionists. One would have thought that they wouldn’t be so stupid as to blanket abuse the very nation with whom they wish to keep a union…”

It’s actually really hillarious – on a par with running an election campaign with the slogan “you’re all idiots and stupid, we’ll increase your taxes and cut your services, but please vote for us anyway you thickos”.

I would have honestly thought Unionists would have been able to come up with some benefits of the union to offer the debate beyond “you’re subsidised!!! You’ll never do it alone!! lols”.

@24: “If Scotland is so awful, why complain if it wants to go? If you value the Union, isn’t it best not to metaphorically beat up your partner?”

As that poll shows, a majority of the English would vote for independence for Scotland – presumably, that majority wouldn’t care if Scotland did go. If you apply cold towels, you might come in due course to appreciate why my post @23 was therefore entirely relevant.

A little dispassionate research would show that many ex-pat English living in Scotland have experienced abuse because they are English – I did.

As those who know Scotland and follow the news about what happens there, racism is rife:

“Reports say every day in Scotland, 17 people are abused, threatened or violently attacked because of the colour of their skin, ethnicity or nationality. Statistics showed that 6171 incidents of racism were recorded in 2009/10 – a rise of 20.4% from the 5123 racist incidents recorded in 2008/9.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_the_United_Kingdom

Have people forgotten, by the way that there is already precedent for a departing chunk of the UK to both continue to use the pound (or at least to tie their currency to the pouind sterling) and to continue to lease military bases to the rump-UK?

30. Cllr John Bryant

I know I might take up a minority view in Liberal circles but I actually agree that if you are part of a club called the United Kingdom, then the members of the club have the right to decide who should remain part of the club and enjoy the privileges of membership.

It is clear that a strong minority currently living in Scotland want to leave the UK to achieve independence. There is also a smaller minority (I suspect) in the rest of the UK who would like Scotland to go. Those of us who support the break up of the current UK (for whatever reason) have equally legitimate rights to express that view. Why should the rights only exist for those who want to leave the UK? Those who might want to expel the Scots from the UK apparently are not to be given similar rights. Why not?

@28 Bob B

Your personal experience of abuse at the hands of my countrymen, although indefensible, is hardly proff positive of your point (assuming you have one of course). Do you think “the English” are entirely innocent of doing the same to Scots? Hmmnn… no, thought not…. no doubt you can cut and paste your usual reams of tosh to demonstrate how google proves your point though eh?

Recap:

The serial industrial failures are hardly surprising in the light of this:

“Scotland is in the grip of a health crisis after research revealed that more than half of men and 30% of women drink to excess.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/feb/22/scotland-alcohol-crisis

“In Scotland, the alcohol-related death rates for males and females were around double the rates for the UK as a whole in 2002-2004, according to new analysis published today by the Office for National Statistics in Health Statistics Quarterly 33 (Spring 2007).” [statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/alrate0207.pdf]

I think we should go by the historic evidence.

@30

As a Liberal you are of course well used to being a minority… indeed one might almost venture part of a dying breed…especially in Scotland where your lot appear to be going the way of Tories. I wonder why that might be?

The Lib Dems are of course on course for joining the Tories in Scotland in being outnumbered by the numbers of Scottish pandas.

This isn’t a complex issue for even the most hard of thinking to understand. Only the Scots get a say, because only the Scots have a party which is giving them the choice to bring about a break up of the UK. All the little Englanders and sundry nutters getting upset about it are quite within their rights either to form a party advocating the break up of the UK, or to persuade one of the “English” parties to campaign for such a measure and win an election based on that policy.

Until then, they would be well advised to hud their wheeshst as they say in the land of my fathers.

34. Alisdair Cameron

Bob B, I have to have to reiterate this, but your point was not relevant, because English is not a synonym for Unionist. Indeed, someone English who is of the opinion that Scotland be independent/cast off (delete as applicable) is, I would aver, not Unionist. So, you pertinence of your point remains elusive, to all, I suspect other than your good self.

If Scotland becomes independent then the remaining parts would reconstitute themselves as the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

No need for ‘United’ there I’d have thought. It’s only called the ‘United Kingdom’ because it represents the Union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. There aren’t any other Kingdoms in the UK.

Have people forgotten, by the way that there is already precedent for a departing chunk of the UK to both continue to use the pound (or at least to tie their currency to the pouind sterling) and to continue to lease military bases to the rump-UK?

The currency question is quite an interesting one, but only quite. There’s obviously no doubt that Scotland could continue to use Pound Sterling as their currency. Zimbabwe uses the US$. But it’s pretty unlikely that they’d be entitled to a currency union (i.e. retain the right to print Sterling and have an input on monetary policy) as of right. In that respect, an independent Scotland actually reduces its monetary sovereignty.

There is also the question of the EU/Euro. Scotland assumes that on independence it will automatically become a member of the EU, but there’s no precedent for this. If it leaves the UK, presumably the rump UK (ugly phrase) will be the successor state (what with it representing more than 90% of the population). Scotland would thus be a new member. New members do have to apply, and it’s now a condition that all new members have to pledge to adopt the Euro.

@21 D-notice

It is vanishingly unlikely an independent Scotland would want to come to any long-term leasing of a nuclear sub base in Faslane or anywhere else in Scotland. There is about as much support for that as there is for the Tory party.

38. flyingrodent

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Boo hoo, we don’t get a vote blah blah blah.

Look, just keep sending us all that lovely money and we’ll keep spending it on heroin and deep-fried Mars bars, okay? That way, everyone’s happy.

Well, except for the English and Scottish nationalists of course but, since the main function of nationalism in the modern era is to provide entitled, comfortable bores with an excuse to be perpetually butthurt and offended so they can whine about nothing… They’re happy, in their own way.

@34: “Bob B, I have to have to reiterate this, but your point was not relevant, because English is not a synonym for Unionist.”

So what? I’ve been through this debate so many times before and in international forums that the standard ploy of the Scots to declare any post they don’t like as “irrelevent” is instantly recognisable.

Think very hard and you’ll appreciate that Unionist is a subset of English. The Scots don’t have a prerogative on determining the scope of the debate about independence – the debate will certainly go beyond the control of the Scots and much will come out that was previously discretely suppressed, like the documented chronic alcoholism and racism of the Scots as well as that in-built capacity for subsidy addiction linked to successive industrial failures.

Never mind the Unionists, this is another of many reasons why the English won’t care if Scotland goes:

First Minister Jack McConnell has condemned the attacks on a man and a boy wearing England football shirts.

Mr McConnell described the assaults on Ian Smith in Aberdeen and seven-year-old Hugo Clapshaw in Edinburgh as “entirely unacceptable”.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/5105452.stm

It’s hard to believe but there were a series of news reports about English football fans being attacked in Scotland for flying the St George’s flag at the time of the world cup tournament. Anything so petty and vicious is difficult to imagine.

@BobB And of course, Scottish or Irish schoolkids whose parents have moved to England never get a kicking for not being English – Hell, at one point it seemed to be the national sport!

@BobB And of course, Scottish or Irish schoolkids whose parents have moved to England never get a kicking for not being English – Hell, at one point it seemed to be the national sport!

It was certainly so common that at no point did any English politician feel they had to apologise for it: the incidents you quoted above, though, were singled out by their very rarity!

42. Leon Wolfeson

@36 – Not necessarily. Given the Scots are already EU citizens, I can absolutely see a deal being done on this, especially since they’re far more pro-EU than the English.

akicif (#29); you’re right that it’s a bit like a divorce, but that extends to neither party necessarily getting the share of the record collection and bank loans it expected.

It isn’t just “Should Scotland leave?”, it’s a question of “What assets and liabilities should Scotland take with it?” and the non-Scottish bits of the Union have every bit as much of a right to a say in that question as Scotland.

The difference between a Scot and an Englishman is so negligible as to be meaningless. Of course, if Scotland is free to leave the union without the consent of the remainder of the country, then so too is Cornwall, or for that matter, any other constituent territory. Remember Passport to Pimlico? I myself would like an independent Worcestershire – then we could ban Londoners. Ideal.

Will the Scots be providing their own postal system?

I wonder how many here can truthfully claim to have debated in the Glasgow students’ union – as I have? (-:

I mentioned that in a conversation I once had with the late John Smith, who was a famous union debater during his many years as a student at Glasgow University while he took an ordinary degree followed by his law degree. He became a little defensive, as I recall . .

@45. Trofim: “Will the Scots be providing their own postal system?”

Eventually, along with lighthouses, air traffic control, DVLA vehicle registration, police national computing facilities et al. For a long while, Scotland would be a client of managed services, but after 50 years or so things would get disentangled.

The Scots seem curiously reticent about saying which currency regime they would opt for after independence. I doubt that they really understand the implications of the options but ever helpful, this is the choice:

– the Euro, which Salmond originally proposed before the later hiatus in the Eurozone: so much for Salmond’s understanding of currency economics and he did cheer on that fatal takeover bid by RBS for ABN Amro

– Scotland launching its own national currency to assert the claim to full independence: with Scotland’s recent history of failed banks, that is unlikely to attract much international confidence

– staying with the Pound with the Bank of England deciding monetary and stability policy issues.

The last is the least risky course and certainly the wisest given Scotland’s long history of failing national industrial strategies along with the national tendency for chronic alcoholism.

@39 Bob B

What is it with you and your fixation about attacks on poor benighted English people in Scotland, and the chronic alcoholism of (it seems you believe) much of the Scottish population? For God’s sake man get a grip! Your tendentious twaddle doesn’t impress anyone, and neither does your propensity to mistake google and wiki mining for research, or even debate.

For all your self declared debating skills, you aren’t actually much cop at formulating a coherent response, let alone hold a candle to someone like John Smith; I imagine he went silent because you were boring him as much as you bore most of us, most of the time.

48
I wonder what’s to blame for Scotland’s failing industrial strategies – their tendency for chronic alcoholism or maybe they followed some economist’s theory that has an equal history of failing industrial strategies.

@44 Trofim

You may think the differences are negligible, but many on both sides of the border would disagree with you. There are significant cultural and societal differences, and the recent political history of both countries could hardly be more different…. or haven’t you been paying attention?!

It’s the last refuge of the obscurantist or crazed Unionist to play the reductio ad absurd am of Passport to Pimlico. Cornwall isn’t Scotland, and isn’t capable of being an independent state, nor do the people there want it; it is quite possible to argue it should have more devolution however.

By the way, I wouldn’t try the “negligible differences” angle in any gathering of Scots unless you’re close to an exit. 😉

@43 Jason

They will have a say in the disposition of assets and liabilities through their elected representatives who will be negotiating the terms of any future settlement post independence… simples.

Presumably, if Scotland vote to leave the UK, nobody is suggesting the Scots take with them any of the £1.2 trillion debt?

After all this has been run up by the UK government and is therefore nothing to do with Scotland.

Right?

@48 Bob B

The chances are Scotland will retain the pound, or a currency linked to the pound, at least in the immediate term; things will need to settle down for a while after the split. the Irish republic did much the same until relatively recently, and with fewer resources than the Scots, and places like the Isle of Man and channel islands can hardly have been said to have suffered.

Who knows if the Euro will even survive until 2014, or if it does if an independent Scotland will want to join that or the EU?

You are certainly ill equipped to be a guide to anything you can’t regurgitate from wikipedia or google, so forgive us if we take your sage advice with the same derision as Cameron’s attempts to dictate what the Scottish people can and cannot do.

@53 pagar

Perhaps we could just call it quits for the £3.6 trillion in oil taken from the North Sea? 😉

56. Alisdair Cameron

@ 39. Bob B, in your admirable zeal to argue, you appear to have slipped the surly bonds of sense, and declared UDI from the kingdom of facts.

Think very hard and you’ll appreciate that Unionist is a subset of English.

Er, only if I abandon reason and truth could I think that.
Many who frequent Ibrox, indeed a goodly number of the Orange order marchers whom you reference in post 23 would term themselves Unionists, as would a number of Welsh and Northern Irish nationals. Unionism may possibly imply a degree of Anglophilia, but it’s arrant nonsense to say that Unionist is a subset of English, as any reasoned consideration would conclude.
Furthermore, despite quoting (thanks) a couple of sentences of mine, you appear to have singularly failed to grasp my simple point: why are those who profess to wish to retain the Union so prone to denigrate Scotland (regardless of whether such denigration is factual or not)? It won’t engender support for their cause among Scots, while it will only lead other Home nationals to question the merits of the Union.
By the way, the fact that those you somehow perceive to be your opponents call some of your arguments irrelevant, does not by virtue of their opposition make your arguments relevant. Shoehorning in everything you can think of about Scotland (though I note you’ve omitted poor World Cup performances) isn’t actually germane to this thread.

Galen10 + Alisdair Cameron

You are in denial. Personal abuse of me won’t change the substantive facts.

Public concerns about the extent of chronic alcoholism in Scotland come from the Scottish government itself – which has been pushing the proposal to introduce a minimum statutory minimum price for alcohol, a proposal for which Cameron has expressed interest in following the lead of the Scottish government. One compelling reason for following the Scottish lead is the prospect of a substantial regular smuggling trade in booze should Scotland introduce a minimum statutory price for alcohol while the rest of Britain didn’t.

The extent of racism and violent crime in Scotland is well documented in independent sources – as linked @28 and @39

The serial failings of Scotland’s successive national industrial strategies supported by the national addiction to subsidies are thoroughly familiar to those who follow events there. It can hardly be denied that the failures of the RBS and HBOS banks, with the headoffices in Edinburgh, were the largest contributing factors to Britain’s financial crisis of 2008. In an interview with the BBC Today programme on 4 November, Bob Diamond, the CEO of Barclays, said that the banks must accept responsibility for what went wrong.

Ad hominem abuse doesn’t change the facts.

Wot, no response to that question @48 about Scotland’s currecy regime after independence?

I note the Unionist meme for Scotland is to compare Scitland using the ng with Zimbabwe

Malcolm Rifkind used it this morning, and often Unionists compare Salmond to Mugabe

Never, in the currency tracking debate, do they mention Man or the Channel Islands, who already do as the SNP propose

59. Just Visiting

Scotland leaving the Union is a classic case of emotion over logic.

On the global stage – england and scotland have so much more in common with each other; than we do to other countries.

Scotland on their own will be a tiny voice globally – Churchill used to talk about the UK having influence beyond our ‘little island’ status: but Scotland in Europe or anywhere will be a little voice easily ignored.

Far better for Salmond to be clear on some concrete proposals to make the Union more comfortable for the Scots – than to walk away.

Better to agree a house work / financial regime with your spouse than file for divorce!

60. Leon Wolfeson

@51 – Mm-hum. Why?

At half a million people and 3,600km², it’s more populous than quite a few countries (indeed, some 30% of all UN-recognised countries), and has a markedly distinct Celtic identity. In a collapsing UK, why shouldn’t they throw in with the winning side?

(A “celtic league”, essentially)

@57 – It’s not ad-hominen. There are ways to present concerns, and ways to be racist. You’ve also ignored the skilled industries doing well in Scotland.

Galen @51:

“There are significant cultural and societal differences” (between England and Scotland)

Exactly the same could be said about the north and the south of England.

“and the recent political history of both countries could hardly be more different”

ditto northern and southern England.

There are a quite a few Cornish people would like to see Cornwall have an independent status, they are, after all, a Celtic people.

There are a lot of people talking about moving to Scotland, and the number will increase as England gets ever more crowded. Just so long as we can get a house there. That’s what matters.

Galen @51:

“There are significant cultural and societal differences” (between England and Scotland)

Exactly the same could be said about the north and the south of England.

“and the recent political history of both countries could hardly be more different”

ditto northern and southern England. North votes Labour, south votes Tory, as a general rule. Not so?

There are a quite a few Cornish people would like to see Cornwall have an independent status, they are, after all, a Celtic people.

There are a lot of people talking about moving to Scotland, and the number will increase as England gets ever more crowded. Just so long as we can get a house there. That’s what matters.

63. Alisdair Cameron

@ 57. Nothing ad hominem in there. Simply establishing that your arguments (if we can call them that) as posted on here are neither relevant nor reasoned in the context of the thread and discussion. For all I know you might be the loveliest chap in the British Isles, but what you’ve posted is poor, and fails to address others’ questions.
For the last time, how on earth does anything you’ve posted on here today, whether it’s true or not have a bearing on the thread? Just because it’s a “fact” of yours about Scotland does not make it pertinent to the issue of a referendum, while your notions on Unionism are woefully inaccurate. Do clarify on how Unionist is a subset of the English,please, that’s your assertion, and then outline how it aids the unionist cause to disparage Scotland. We’ve established that you disparage Scotland with some vigour, which is your prerogative, but the only logical conclusion from that is that you too wish to see independence so that you can be rid of a nation that irks you. My question remains why would supposed Unionists similarly criticise Scotland?

Why should the English get a say on Scotland’s independence? Wot T@1 and Shatterface @19 said. Think about it this way: not “English” but all being subjects / citizens of the UK. If there is to be a referendum that may lead to such change in the UK as presently constituted, why should UK subjects not have an opportunity to offer their opinion?

Cornwall isn’t Scotland, and isn’t capable of being an independent state, nor do the people there want it; it is quite possible to argue it should have more devolution however.

Cornwall isn’t Scotland – true. I don’t know what is meant by “isn’t capable”.

“Nor do the people want it” seems arguable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_nationalism#Support

@63: “Simply establishing that your arguments (if we can call them that) as posted on here are neither relevant nor reasoned in the context of the thread and discussion. ”

So, so predictably, lots of ad hominem stuff but no actual response to the issues @57. The Scots aren’t and won’t be the arbiters of the scope of a public debate in Britain on the independence of Scotland. Get used to that. It’s time for some home truths about Scotland.

As posted, I’ve been in many previous online debates about Scotland so I’m thoroughly familiar with any criticism of Scotland and the Scots being dismissed as “irrelevant”. OTOH intelligent, sober Scots quietly reflect on why a majority of the English would vote for independence for Scotland as in that poll reported in the link @23.

The indisputable fact is that the failure of the Scottish banks RBS and HBOS were the major contributing factors to Britain’s financial crisis of 2008. We are where we are mainly because of the failed Scottish banks, not because of overspending by the Labour government:

As posted several times before, in 2007, before the financial crisis broke, according to OECD figures, general government expenditure in Britain as a percentage of national GDP was a little higher than in Germany but lower than in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and France. The current budget deficit looms so large because Britain’s GDP fell by 7pc from its peak in 2008Q1 to the trough in 2009, a steeeper fall than in most or all other advanced economies, most likely because financial services feature so large in Britain’s economy. And the steep recession cut government tax revenues, thereby boosting the budget deficit.

66. Alisdair Cameron

Bob B, firstly, check what the term ad hominem means.It doesn’t mean what you take it to mean. Secondly, you seem incapable of answering direct questions, so clearly debate is not a forte of yours, if we are to judge by what you have posted: as I’ve said you may be lovely indeed, but not by the evidence of your words here, which quite frankly come across as muddled and incoherent.You can criticise Scotland all you like, indeed you could if you wished express outright hatred for the place,but that’s not what the thread is about.
Now have a good evening.

Just Visiting @ 59

Scotland leaving the Union is a classic case of emotion over logic.

Nope, nothing to do with ’emotion’ for millions of my fellow Scots. Sure, you get the odd ‘Braveheart’ fanatic and anti English fuckwit, but racism is nothing new, nor is it unique to Scotland. This is not some kind of English bashing kick; I cringe when I hear that type of thing. For me and most Nationalists I know this is about, good honest to goodness pragmatic reasoning. I feel increasingly remote from Westminster politics and the motives behind the main Parties that run Parliament. Not so much because the Tories won the last election or anything as churlish as that, you take your chances and all that, but more a sense of alienation with the direction that British politics is going.

For the first time in my life, I feel a sense separation and hostility from the British people. I used to think of myself as British first & second and Scottish a poor third. That is no longer the case, as I see so little of our shared heritage left in this brave new world. I am ashamed to share DNA with people (North and South of the border) who see nothing wrong in singling out the poor and the sick for punishment. It appears that the folk memory of the Second World and the rebuilding of that Country has long been forgotten.

Becoming independent will not solve that of course, but to be frank, I would rather trust the Scots people and the Scots’ political movement to look at the boarder picture that the short term, greed driven culture that has replaced the British way of life.

Scotland on their own will be a tiny voice globally –

So? Right now Scotland apparently has nominal influence on a permanent seat on the security Council. Which amounts to precisely fuck all, because Scottish soldiers are regularly sent in to die in imperial squabbles as the last remaining superpower has a hotline to our Prime Minister and direct control over the fate of our troops. Our great voice? Yeah, you can keep it, because we are a small Nation on edge of Europe. The Scots have been everywhere, seen everything collected the T shirts from the spoils of rampant empire building and to be honest, it had made us rich, look at the names of the streets around Glasgow docks for that. Now, Scotland’s future lies closer to home. Where better to shape our destiny than our own home?

Far better for Salmond to be clear on some concrete proposals to make the Union more comfortable for the Scots – than to walk away.

Ah, but there is the rub, making the union ‘more comfortable’ for the Scots will have the Simon Heffers, Richard Littlejohns, not to mention our own Bob B turning a rather fetching shade of crimson.

There is open hostility aimed at Scotland right now at any imagined slight or any policy introduced toward making Scotland more ‘comfortable’, look at the further education fees to prescriptions etc. The idea that Scotland should have the right or even the ability to shape policy around what people rather than the Daily Mail require is unacceptable to the ‘British’ people. Difficult to see what Alex could ‘win’ that wouldn’t further rupture the chasm opening up in this Country?

Alistair Cameron

You are not the arbiter ofthe scope of the debate about independence for Scotland.

It’s you who are avoiding the real issues. By that poll @23, a majority of the English would vote for independence for Scotland. Intelligent, sober Scots wonder why that could be. I’ve been trying to suggest cogent reasons for the motives. You might not like the analysis and those reasons but that’s just tough cheese. You have not rebutted the reasons – but that is precisely what I expect.

6. Thomas Hobbes

” @Monglor if by ‘tangible assets’ you refer to North Sea Oil, there is the rather inconvenient obstacle of this belonging entirely to the Crown. ”

Oil, gas and coal are specifically excluded from the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate manages the Marine Estate which covers virtually the entire UK seabed out to 12 nautical miles. Note manages not owns. They also retain vested rights to explore and utilise natural resources of the UK Continental Shelf which extends to 200 miles from the coast. This includes the sub-soil, minerals and substrata below the surface of the foreshore and seabed, but oil, gas and coal are excluded.

36. Tim J

” There is also the question of the EU/Euro. Scotland assumes that on independence it will automatically become a member of the EU, but there’s no precedent for this. If it leaves the UK, presumably the rump UK (ugly phrase) will be the successor state (what with it representing more than 90% of the population). Scotland would thus be a new member. New members do have to apply, and it’s now a condition that all new members have to pledge to adopt the Euro. ”

You are confusing Scotland with the SNP. Some of the legal arguments are here if you are interested.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/publications/unit-publications/68.pdf

As you say there is no precedent. However, the EU are very good at making stuff up as they go along. The SNP appear to be relying on the Vienna Convention on State Succession in Respect of Treaties.

Article 34(1) of the Convention which provides:

When a part or parts of a territory of a State separate to form one or more States,
whether or not the predecessor State continues to exist:

a) any treaty in force at the date of the succession of States in respect of
the entire territory of the predecessor State continues in force in respect of each
successor State so formed; [. . .]

They believe that would mean that they would inherit UK treaties in force at the time of independence, and that includes the UK euro opt-out. If all this ever comes to pass I think politics will be a bigger factor than legalism. Moreover, there is more support in Scotland for leaving the EU than there is for leaving the UK. The last opinion poll that I seen was around 50% in favour of leaving the EU compared to somewhere in the thirties for independence. Although there is still plenty of time for the unionists to screw things up. I think if your Mr Cameron used his head he would offer extended devolution before the referendum and the nationalists would then not win the subsequent referendum.

@67 Jim: “For the first time in my life, I feel a sense separation and hostility from the British people. I used to think of myself as British first & second and Scottish a poor third. ”

Sober analysts in England regard Scotland and the Scots as very largely responsible for our present economic plight – and with solid reasons for doing so.

It can’t be seriously disputed that the failure of the Scottish banks, RBS and HBOS, with their headoffices in Edinburgh, were very largely responsible for Britain’s financial crisis in 2008. There really ought to be new criminal offences about banking while under the influence.

An outstanding example of hubris:

“Before the 2008 collapse and the general financial crisis, RBS Group was very briefly the largest bank in the world and for some time was the second largest bank in the UK and Europe (fifth in stock market value), and the fifth largest in the world by market capitalisation.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Bank_of_Scotland_Group

Bob B,

It can’t be seriously disputed that the failure of the Scottish banks, RBS and HBOS, with their headoffices in Edinburgh, were very largely responsible for Britain’s financial crisis in 2008. There really ought to be new criminal offences about banking while under the influence.

You complain about ad hominem abuse directed at yourself but have repeatedly characterised Scots as being drunks. Maybe if you don’t do the latter there might be less of the former?

ukliberty,

leave him alone he provides endless entertainment. It is difficult to believe anyone could be so utterly dense so it must be trolling. The behaviour of the so-called Scottish banks that apparently everyone in Scotland is to blame for their recklessness because they had their HQ in Edinburgh. Almost the entirety of their shareholders were outside Scotland. They were regulated by the UK FSA in London, UK Treasury in London and UK central bank in London. Virtually all soured loans were outside Scotland. RBS investment bank who suffered such heavy losses are based in the City of London. Hell they are even to blame for the heavy losses of RBS Greenwich Capital based in Stamford, Connecticut. In Bob B wacky world wherever you have your HQ the people who live there are responsible for your behaviour. By that logic the innocent folks in London were responsible for polluting the Gulf of Mexico because BP have their HQ in London. Does not seem a reasonable point of view to me. In fact, it is nonsense. Responsibility lies with those involved and those who were regulating them.

@71 UkLiberty: “You complain about ad hominem abuse directed at yourself but have repeatedly characterised Scots as being drunks. ”

Don’t blame me – I’m just quoting. The Scottish government has admitted that the Scots are a nation of drunks:

Scotland’s drink problem is significantly worse than the rest of the UK. Figures suggest that as many as half of men and a third of women in Scotland regularly drink above sensible drinking guidelines.

Alcohol consumption across the country has increased by 19 per cent since 1980, driven by an increase in affordability of 70 per cent over the same period.
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/health/Alcohol

The study, commissioned by the Scottish Government, found Scots were almost twice as likely to kill or take their own lives compared to those living elsewhere in the UK.

Experts called for urgent action to tackle alcohol and drug misuse.

The Lesson for Mental Health Care in Scotland report, by Manchester University, found there were 18.7 suicides per 100,000 population in Scotland, compared to 10.2 in England and Wales.

Similarly, the homicide rate in Scotland was 2.12 per 100,000 people – compared to 1.23 in England and Wales.
[www.scotsman.com/news/mixed_messages_of_off_sales_crackdown_1_1172968]

Galen10 @ 37:

“It is vanishingly unlikely an independent Scotland would want to come to any long-term leasing of a nuclear sub base in Faslane or anywhere else in Scotland. There is about as much support for that as there is for the Tory party.”

If it’s so unpopular, then why aren’t the SNP making a bigger fuss over it?

Leon @ 42:

“they’re far more pro-EU than the English.”

I’ve never seen any evidence to back this us. Got a source?

Pagar @ 53:

“Presumably, if Scotland vote to leave the UK, nobody is suggesting the Scots take with them any of the £1.2 trillion debt?

After all this has been run up by the UK government and is therefore nothing to do with Scotland.

Right?”

Not sure if you’re being serious here, but since Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom, the government of the United Kingdom is the government of Scotland. The existence of the Scottish Parliament doesn’t change this, any more than the existence of the Alabama State Legislature means that Alabama has nothing to do with the US government.

75. Frances_coppola

The truculent idea that England, Wales and Northern Ireland should have a vote on whether they want to remain in union with Scotland simply won’t wash, I’m afraid.

The union in question is the union of England and Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland are not in union with Scotland. Constitutionally, Wales is regarded as a part of England (yes, I know this probably needs to change, but that’s the situation at the moment), and Northern Ireland is in union with Great Britain under the 1800 Act of Union as amended by the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. Wales’s relationship with England wouldn’t change as a result of the 1707 Treaty being repealed, since the annexation of Wales predates that Treaty by I think around 200 years. Wales has no treaty relationship with Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s position is a little more tricky, since technically Great Britain would no longer exist. However, I imagine that the Westminster parliament, which is not affected by change or repeal of any Treaty or Act due to its sovereignty over UK law, will find a way of reconstituting the 1800 Act of Union in such a way that Northern Ireland can if it chooses remain in union with England (and Wales). Whether it would choose to do so is the question of course, and arguably Northern Ireland should have the chance to vote on whether it wishes to remain in union with England (and Wales) without Scotland.

So, strictly, the only nation that should have a vote on whether it wishes to remain in union with Scotland is England, although this is a little unfair to Wales and in practice a referendum on ending the 1707 union would probably extend to Wales. England has as much right as Scotland to end this union if it chooses. It would not be, as some have suggested, England deciding to “boot out” Scotland. It would be England, as the other party to the 1707 treaty, exercising its right under international law to walk away from the treaty.

Polls suggest that a majority of the English would like to end the union with Scotland, whereas at present the independence movement in Scotland does not have a majority. This begs the question why the Scots have a major political party committed to ending the union but the English do not. Could it be that the English, lacking devolved government, are hoping that the Scot Nats will achieve for them the outcome they will not get through the political process because Westminster is overwhelmingly in favour of the union?

For those who have asked why the English are so keen on Scottish independence, I believe the two main reasons are the Barnett formula, which is widely seen as benefiting Scotland at England’s expense, and the West Lothian question. Both would be solvable without ending the union, although solving the West Lothian question would mean instituting some form of devolved government in England, which would be a major constitutional change in effect introducing a federal model of government in the UK.

Coppola @ 75:

“The truculent idea that England, Wales and Northern Ireland should have a vote on whether they want to remain in union with Scotland simply won’t wash, I’m afraid”.

Truculent is an adjective applied to human entities, not ideas.

Citing evidence pertaining to Scottish levels of alcohol abuse is nothing to do with ad hominem argumentation.

And then, as one should expect in a left-wing article, the obligatory mention now and again of “racism”. Are the Scots a race? Is Hardeep Singh Kohli racially Scottish? What about those Scots descended from Italians – racially Scottish? Chinese Scots? Are not the Scots a multi-ethnic nation?

And as for 67: it’s nothing to do with emotion – “I am ashamed to share my DNA with . . . “. No it’s nothing to do with emotion.
Word’s fail me. Are the fundamentals of elementary reasoning not taught in schools any more?

@ 61 Trofim

“Exactly the same could be said about the north and the south of England.”

I agree; however that doesn’t change the fact that there isn’t any movement in the English regions for declaring independence, or even for devolution/federalism that I can discern.

“There are a quite a few Cornish people would like to see Cornwall have an independent status, they are, after all, a Celtic people.”

Not so much. a lot of nonsense is talked about Celtic identity; much of lowland Scotland wasn’t celtic after the early middle ages. the early Scottish kingdom was multi-ethnic, but modern scottish nationalism has sweet FA to do with tartanry, painting oneself blue or going off to the we tern isles to learn gaelic. The Cornish language having died out is hardly the factor that the Breton language is in Brittany. I’d support the rights of the Cornish people for more devolution and/or self government, but to try an insist that they represent a people or a self-regarding political and historic community in the same way as the Scots is over egging the pudding!

“There are a lot of people talking about moving to Scotland, and the number will increase as England gets ever more crowded. Just so long as we can get a house there. That’s what matters.”

Fiar enough, I’m sure they will be made welcome… (whatever Bob B thinks!) the traffic has been going both ways for centuries after all.

@64 ukliberty

Although I haven’t seen figures for it, I would very much doubt that the majority of people in Cornwall would vote for an independent Cornish state, or even for a fully devolved Cornish government a la Holyrood. However, if that is what they want, and they voted for it, then have at it!

As to whether Cornwall represents a potentially successful state in itself there has to be a great deal more doubt. As you say, Cornwall isn’t Scotland or even Brittany or Wales.

79. Frances_coppola

76 Trofim

Do you have anything useful to say about what I wrote, or is pedantry your stock in trade?

It would be helpful if you would address your remarks to the people to whose comments you are responding. Only the first of your remarks was intended for me. The rest were aimed at other people on this thread. Unfortunately because I was the only person you addressed, you gave the impression that I said things that I did not.

“Word’s fail me”??? Grammar fails you, it seems. There should be no apostrophe.

@57 Bob B

I refer you to Leon’s response @60 above. Constantly shouting “ad hominem” at people who disagree with you doesn’t really work when you don’t actually understand what the concept means, nor does it cover the weakness of what passes in your mind for an argument.

Your eccentric crusade to prove that the Scots are collectively responsible for the economic collapse of the UK simply makes you look ridiculous, and is as tiresome as your constant wikipedia trawling and googol mining. Your other fixations, with Scottish drunkenness and racism, whilst they offer an interesting window into your twisted psychological state, do nothing to enlighten us, nor are they germane to the topic under discussion.

You are increasingly exposing yourself as a nut job; your skewed “reading” of the situation simply makes you look more and more ridiculous. Your characterisation of Scots and Scotland, the crass generalisations, and the inherent racism they represent wouldn’t be tolerated if you made similar comments about other groups, and looks dangerously to me like the kind of tripe certain people in the 30’s used to come out with about the depression being the fault of the jews, or worse bolshevik jews. No doubt you can provide wikipedia references for Scottish culpability for global warming too…? Get a grip man, and stop listening to the voices in your head.

Polls suggest that a majority of the English would like to end the union with Scotland, whereas at present the independence movement in Scotland does not have a majority. This begs the question why the Scots have a major political party committed to ending the union but the English do not.

If we’re dedicated to petty pedantry this morning, this doesn’t beg the question, it merely asks it.

The answer, anyway, is reasonably obvious isn’t it? Regardless of whether there’s an English majority for Scottish Independence, the English don’t care very much about it. In Scotland, on the other hand, a decent proportion of them seem to care very much.

@79 Frances

Well said.

@ 76 Trofim

“And then, as one should expect in a left-wing article, the obligatory mention now and again of “racism”. Are the Scots a race? Is Hardeep Singh Kohli racially Scottish? What about those Scots descended from Italians – racially Scottish? Chinese Scots? Are not the Scots a multi-ethnic nation?”

Anyone with even a modicum of understanding of Scottish history will know that Scotland has always been multi-ethnic. As has also been pointed out above, few Scots take the Braveheart tub thumping nationalist seriously, nor do they condone vicious attacks on the English.

However, if people use lazy generalisations (yes, Bob B, that does mean and include you) about the Scots and/or Scottish people, their responsibility for the economic meltdown, for being alcohol riddled subsidy junkies incapable of having an industrial policy, and no doubt other crimes when Bob B get around to cut and pasting them from t’interweb… it does look very much like racism doesn’t it? Lumping one group of people (in this case the Scots) together in the furtherance of a twisted view of their presumed faults does leave the person making the claim open to a charge of racism, and splitting hairs about whether Chinese or Italian Scots are part of a race isn’t some get out of jail free card to nut jobs like Bob B.

My best friend at school in Scotland was of Nigerian ancestry, but is a proud Scot. My nephew is dating a Scots Italian girl whose family have been in Scotland for generations… are they any less Scottish? Does the fact that my paternal grandmother was from Wearside make me slightly less guilty of the faults of the Scottish nation attributed above? No..of course not.

Re: Scots a race – racism can generally be defined as prejudice + power. Obviously targeting scots for being Scottish (essentially targeting the ethnicity underlying their ‘race’) is bigotted in and of itself, but I’m not sure the balance of power between the english and the scottish justifies the usage of the term racism. Prejudice or bigotry definitely, but not racism.

@ 74

Presumably, if Scotland vote to leave the UK, nobody is suggesting the Scots take with them any of the £1.2 trillion debt?

Not sure if you’re being serious here

It is a serious issue that nobody seems to be discussing. I can’t see how Alex Salmond could be persuaded to accept the debt burden.

What about North Sea Oil, he will say.

It is also conceivable that fewer people would vote for a new Scottish government were it going to have £150 billion to pay off in public debt than if it were going to start from a zero debt position.

And presumably a potential write off of the Scottish element of the UK national debt, if that’s what would happen, should be affecting markets and rating agencies?

@84 pagar

I’m not sure that’s altogether true; most reasonable people would be able to accept that Scotland should assume a proportion of the debt in line with the relative size of its economy; all of that would no doubt be part of the negotiations post-independence on how the respective assets and liabilities are divided up. there is obviously room for disagreement and argy-bargy during the process, but I haven’t seen or heard anyone suggesting that we assume zero…or even if they have it could be an opening position?

His Eckness is probably right not to show all his cards just yet… and as we have seen he is a much cannier political operator than the Unionist politicians in England or Scotland, hence his popularity even amongst Scots who don’t actually support independence per se.

It is a serious issue that nobody seems to be discussing. I can’t see how Alex Salmond could be persuaded to accept the debt burden.

What about North Sea Oil, he will say.

What about it? Will be the response. The precedent’s reasonably clear: when the Irish Free State left the UK, they retained a proportionate liability for the National Debt (this was subsequently negotiated away in return for territorial concessions). Scotland is a part of the UK, and the National Debt is just that – national.

Scotland isn’t in a position to dictate terms and have them accepted without question. Once the independence question has been answered, the terms of independence will be a combination of negotiation and an impartial constitutional commission.

@80: “Your eccentric crusade to prove that the Scots are collectively responsible for the economic collapse of the UK simply makes you look ridiculous, and is as tiresome as your constant wikipedia trawling and googol mining. Your other fixations, with Scottish drunkenness and racism, whilst they offer an interesting window into your twisted psychological state, do nothing to enlighten us, nor are they germane to the topic under discussion.”

ROFL! From long personal experience, the Scots love to dish it out but can’t take it when anyone reminds them of well-documented history and the facts about Scotland and the Scots. Recap: the Act of Union in 1707 was a salvaging operation since the Scottish state and its aristocracy were bankrupt as the result of investments in the loony Darien project. Do tell about the costly investment in the Caledonian Canal, yet another example of the serial failures.

The major part of Britain’s financial crisis in 2008 was due to the failure of those two substantial Scottish banks with headoffices in Edinburgh: RBS and HBOS.

Salmond cheered on that fatal hostile takeover bid of RBS for ABN Amro which is what sank RBS entailing that bail out of £45bn by British taxpayers. Suggestions here by Richard W that banking regulators in the FSA should have blocked that takeover on prudential grounds are just laughable. The Scot Nats would have gone even more bananas about interference from London blocking the legitimate expression of Scottish aspirations to create one of the world’s largest banks – aspirations that were pure hubris.

As for “google mining” (LOL), I fully confess to wanting to know and to confirm and document recollections of the facts, an exercise which Scots plainly find too painful to endure without experiencing apoplexy. The intelligent recourse is to wonder why a major of English in that poll reported @23 would vote for independence for Scotland – and which is why the English won’t be allowed a vote in a referendum.

Of course, it’s just possible that Salmond has done a superb job in convincing them about Scottish nationalist aspirations and competence even though, by the same poll, he hasn’t managed to convince the Scots. But then it’s also possible that regular Scots watchers among the English have learned a thing or two.

Have another wee dram or two.

88. Chaise Guevara

@ 86 Tim J

“Scotland isn’t in a position to dictate terms and have them accepted without question. ”

That feeds into something that’s been confusing me here. I’m hearing that the three options on the referendum are planned to be a) no change, b) independence and c) staying in the union but with more devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament. Surely Scotland can’t unilaterally enforce C?

Galen 10@ 85

Given than Scotland currently makes up 8.5 of the British population, I think that would be a reasonable starting point as a proportion of the UK debt we would leave with. I cannot imagine we would negotiate from a position of ‘nothing do wiv us guv’nor’.

That feeds into something that’s been confusing me here. I’m hearing that the three options on the referendum are planned to be a) no change, b) independence and c) staying in the union but with more devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament. Surely Scotland can’t unilaterally enforce C?

No, they couldn’t. Any further transfer of powers from the UK Govt to the Scottish Authority (its official name…) would have to be granted by Act of Parliament. Of course, if there were a referendum in Scotland that showed mass support for specific further powers to be granted, then it would be tricky for the UK Govt to deny this.

The thing at the moment is that no-one’s quite clear on what Devo-Max actually is. You can see why the SNP are keen to include it – compared to status quo or independence it looks like a reasonable middle ground – but I’d be a little surprised if it ends up in that form on the referendum, because it’s so vague.

91. Frances_coppola

Chaise,

You raise a good point. Scotland absolutely has the right to leave the Union if it wishes, or to stay if it wishes. But it doesn’t have the right to dictate how the governance of the Union should work. Unfortunately including the devo-max question in the referendum effectively allows Scotland to do just that, since as Tim J pointed out it would be politically very difficult indeed for a UK government to refuse to implement devo-max if the Scottish electorate voted for it. No wonder the UK government doesn’t want it included.

92. Chaise Guevara

@ Tim and Frances

Thanks for the clarification guys. Wouldn’t another problem with including devo-max on the voting slip be that referendums with answers more complex than “yes” and “no” are potentially dodgy, in terms of vote-splitting and so on? E.g. if 60% of voters were strongly opposed to independence, but evenly split between “no change” and “devo-max”, independence could get through on 40% of the vote even though most people actively didn’t want it.

I’m not sure of the details, so I don’t know if the referendum is being designed to prevent this (e.g. by letting people choose more than one response). But it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Tim @ 90

To be honest with you, Tim, a three option referendum appears to be a bit of a fudge to me. The ‘Devo Max’ option would really need to be clarified into something more tangible and held on a completely different ballot, if a ballot is actually required.

The only real question that matters is the in or out question, the starting gun being already fired on that debate and will run its due course over the next eighteen months. Once the position of Scotland’s membership of the UK is settled one way or another (these things are never settled, of course), then we may need to push the Home/Westminster slider on specific powers. Bolting multi (but not necessarily mutually exclusive) options onto a single question is almost guaranteed to produce a completely ambiguous answer, one that will have every side claiming victory.

Chaise @ 92:

Yes, that’s a good point. Presumably if a three-option referendum were decided on, the government (British) would say beforehand that they would only accept the result as binding if a clear majority (as opposed to a plurality) of people supported one option.

95. Frances_coppola

92 Jim

Totally agree. To my mind this referendum should simply be concerned with whether or not Scotland wishes to remain in the Union. But separately from that there should be a constitutional review for the whole of the UK, including Scotland if the Scottish people choose to remain in the union, to determine a more appropriate governance model for the future. The recommendations of this review should be put to the electorates of all four (or three) countries in a referendum.

Wouldn’t another problem with including devo-max on the voting slip be that referendums with answers more complex than “yes” and “no” are potentially dodgy, in terms of vote-splitting and so on? E.g. if 60% of voters were strongly opposed to independence, but evenly split between “no change” and “devo-max”, independence could get through on 40% of the vote even though most people actively didn’t want it.

I thnk what’s envisged by proponents of the devo-max option is two referendums, the first being status quo v independence, and then the second status quo v devo max. As said above, I can see why anyone who isn’t the SNP might have problems with this!

There seems to be an accepted principle that the Scottish demos will have the effectively unilateral right to vote for independence. I cannot see how a question about further devolution of powers can be put before the same demos without a parlimentary bill offering this (which I cannot see being forthcoming), so Mr Salmond has to be very careful – if he wants to campaign for this option, he is in effect endorsing at least Swiss-style referenda-led democracy, and more likely Californian-style ballot-box determined chaos. It may be this is his vision, but it would set a very difficult precedent for any devolved or independent Scottish government.

@92: “Wouldn’t another problem with including devo-max on the voting slip be that referendums with answers more complex than “yes” and “no” are potentially dodgy, in terms of vote-splitting and so on? E.g. if 60% of voters were strongly opposed to independence, but evenly split between “no change” and “devo-max”, independence could get through on 40% of the vote even though most people actively didn’t want it.”

Very simple: one ballot paper with two questions on it.

1 – Should Scotland become independent, or remain within the Union?
2 – If Scotland does remain within the Union, should it have full fiscal autonomy?

There would then be no question of vote-splitting. Of course, devo-max isn’t something for Scotland to decide on its own, and a vote for that couldn’t be binding: but imagine the alternative scenario. A one-question, two-option referendum is held, with no mention of devo-max, and the independence option loses. What basis would the Scottish Government then have from which to negotiate for devo-max? The UK Gov’t would declare the issue dead – obviously, the rejection of independence means everyone loves the current settlement (just as the rejection of AV means everyone loves FPTP…)

@87 Bob Buffoon

Your supposed “point” (I use the term very loosely much like your grasp on reality) about Scottish culpability for our economic situation because it involved a few banks with HQ’s in edinburgh isn’t even sensible, let alone proven!

The concept of a troll like you learning anything is of course risible, as anyone who reads your vomitus on here for any length of time will know full well. Go away and formulate some opinions rather than subject us all to your cut and pastery and ill concealed bigotry.

@97 Watchman

“There seems to be an accepted principle that the Scottish demos will have the effectively unilateral right to vote for independence.”

Agreed… and surely unless you are a crazed Unionist zealot, or not in favour of democracy how could it be any otherwise? Only the Scottish people can decide it, and ill-judged interventions by the likes of Cameron will simply drive more people in Scotland into the arms of the pro-independence camp. The membership of the SNP has risen markedly since his intervention, and the % in favour of independence in the polls has also increased (altho it has been increasing slightly in any case).

Nobody is saying there should not be a further bill in the event that the result of an independence referendum is no. The difficulty for the Union is that roughly a third of Scottish voters want independence (altho’ signs are this is increasing gradually), another third want the devo max option, and the rest are split between don’t knows and those who want the status quo.

As Salmond has shown, he is a much smarter political operator than Cameron, and he has zero opposition of any quality in Scotland. Of course he wants a “yes” to the independence question, and naturally he wants to hold it when it best suits him and his party… hardly surprising for a politician! However “most” SNP supporters would settle for devo-max as the next best thing, and see it as another step on the road to their ultimate goal. Again, that is entirely unexceptional.

Bear in mind however that there is overwhelming support in Scotland for more devolution rather than less… all the polls show this, and have for a long time. the danger for Unionists is that if they insist on leaving the devo-max option out, they increase the chances of people voting for independence now.

There is also the issue of what happens in the event that the vote is “no” for independence, but there is no other option on the ballot paper; in the view of many, it will simply make independence more likely down the line, particularly if the Unionist parties make it an excuse to kill off any further devolution…. all people in Scotland will do is vote for the one force which can deliver change, and at present that is only the SNP.

The Tories are toxic in Scotland, and the LD’s have now joined them. Scottish Labour is in chaos, with a pitifully weak leadership still reeling from last years defeat, and on course to lose control of Glasgow in the upcoming local elections. They are now in the unenviable position of agreeing with the Tories!! One wonders if they will be sharing a platform… or is that one step too far even for their clueless leadership?

Makhno @ 98

A couple of points spring to mind, though. In practical terms, that would require two separate campaigns. One for and against both options, which counts as three or possibly four different campaigns. It is entirely feasible that someone could be passionately in favour of Devo Max (DM), but equally passionately against full independence (FI). On the other hand, the SNP would no doubt support the former, but would feel that they would be at a tactical disadvantage in being seen to campaign for both the former and the latter, even though it would be perfectly legitimate position to support either position.

On a purely pragmatic note, imagine a scenario where the threshold independence for FI was set at a simple majority of the vote. On the night of the declaration, it turns out that FI gained 55% of the popular vote in the first ballot, but DM gained 70% in the second. The latter camp would surely claim a clear and unambiguous victory! Given that more people actually voted for the second option than the first, we would be back to square one.

We need an unambiguous answer one way or another on FI, the latter not being about the full constitutional position, merely a negotiation on new powers for the halfway house.

@101

I don’t think that’s how it would pan out tho’ is it? It seems makhno’s solution is a snsible one if you want to give people the option of both questions at one time; you answer yes or no to full independence first, and if that gains >50%, then it’s a done deal… that’s how democracy works. The second question only comes into play if the answer to question 1 is “no”… and it is overwhelmingly likely that the answer to DM would be yes. It would then be down to the Scottish government to negotiate the terms of what DM looked like (unless that had already been agreed prior to the referendum of course).

The problem for Labour and the LD’s in Scotland is that as supposedly pro-devolution parties, they have signally failed to flesh out what DM is or should be, or to take the battle to the SNP… part of the reason for this is that both are piss poor of course, but another reason is that they are in a quandary about what it means for the UK as a whole, and how it will affect them at Westminster if the number of Scottish MP’s is reduced as a quid pro quo (which I agree it should be). Of course the LD’s are toast in Scotland anyway, so they can be discounted… but Scottish Labour are having something of an existential crisis at the moment…and it couldn’t happe to a nice bunch of no-hopers!

Galen10: “@87 Bob Buffoon”

You have amply demonstrated your capacity to deliver personal abuse but not any capacity for intelligent, reasoned rebuttals of the substantive evidence presented here @23 of the serial commerical failures of Scots in Scotland.

The major contributions of the failures of RBS and HBOS banks in Scotland to Britain’s financial crisis in 2008 can hardly be seriously disputed however much personal abuse you heap on my head. That you evidently regard personal abuse as a substantive contribution to a debate about the views of the English on independence for Scotland about says it all.

Have another few drams.

Galen 10 @ 102

The thing is though, that you are asking the electorate to vote for a pig in a poke. Indeed that was the flaw in the original referendum; namely, you were proposing potentially two separate proposals in the first question that depended on the answer of the second, tax raising abilities of said parliament. You didn’t actually know if you were voting for merely a ‘Parliament’ or a Parliament with tax raising powers until the result was in.

Same with this proposal, you do not know what you are voting for either, assuming we have a two part referendum. If you are voting for FI that is fair enough, but in relation to what? The status quo or DM? That only becomes apparent AFTER the referendum result has been known.

What are the four million voters actually getting to vote on? Are we voting for FI against the status quo? That is a very different question than a straight choice between DM and FI or DM and the status quo, is it? What about people who think, ‘thus far and no further’ WRT to devolved government? Is there not a chance that they will be bounced into supporting DM as a means to stop FI?

We need to know what we are voting for and against in a referendum and two part referendum means we are all playing the classic prisoners dilemma.

@103 Bob Buffoon

Aw, didums…

… the concept that your vomitus represents anything other than a pathetic atavistic itch-scratching to trawl thru wikipedia and dress it up as research is the funniest thing I heard since Thatcher’s Francis of Assissi moment! Even when you do actually manage to “find” some real reserach, the problem is you deploy your legions in the rhetorical equivalent of Caligula’s legions punishing the Sea.

You wouldn’t know real debate if it jumped up and bit you in the arse you freak! Toddle off now and continue your descent into the bigoted cul-de-sac you crawled out of. I suppose it’s too much to expect that you’ll disappear for good, but at least TRY to engage with the actual issues rather than go off on weird tangents about Scottish alcoholism, abuse of the English, and how we are responsible for the sky falling.

Galen10: “You wouldn’t know real debate if it jumped up and bit you in the arse you freak! ”

ROFL! Just more personal abuse with no substantive rebuttal of Scotland’s long history of commercial failures – but that is exactly what I expect

90. Tim J

” The thing at the moment is that no-one’s quite clear on what Devo-Max actually is. ”

Ben Thompson’s think tank put some flesh on the bones of what is meant by further devolution. They call it ‘ devolution plus ‘ and it would be an improvement on the current arrangements. This would probably not satisfy the nationalists but appeasing the nationalists should not be the point. There is no single Scottish point of view and sizeable groups are in favour of the status quo to full independence. Therefore, pleasing everyone is unachievable.

However, any changes should be with the intention of improving the governance of Scotland by making public bodies more accountable for the money that they spend. The current block grant system is full of bad incentives towards inefficient spending of resources. There is no incentive to not spend all the grant and use the money saved on other priorities. Therefore, one gets overspending on some public services with no obvious better outcomes because the full block grant is being spent.
http://reformscotland.com/public/publications/Devolution_plus2.pdf

The Barnett formula is more generous to Scotland than other parts of the UK and causes resentment in England. However, the Treasury public spending figures have large parts that are attributable public spending and not actual public spending i.e. the Treasury say we are spending this on your behalf. Therefore, getting rid of the Barnett formula would mean if the Scottish Parliament wants to spend more on health they need to raise the income from somewhere or spend less elsewhere. That would improve the incentives for all public bodies and make them more accountable. I can’t see how a Conservative government could be against making politicians more responsible for their spending priorities.

87. Bob B

” Salmond cheered on that fatal hostile takeover bid of RBS for ABN Amro which is what sank RBS entailing that bail out of £45bn by British taxpayers. Suggestions here by Richard W that banking regulators in the FSA should have blocked that takeover on prudential grounds are just laughable. The Scot Nats would have gone even more bananas about interference from London blocking the legitimate expression of Scottish aspirations to create one of the world’s largest banks – aspirations that were pure hubris. ”

Clearly you are an idiot. Salmond wrote a letter to Goodwin, big deal. The Queen gave him a knighthood, and Forbes magazine awarded him their title of ‘ global businessman of the year. Salmond had no oversight powers for RBS, and no say in approving the takeover of ABN Amro, all that was dealt with in London. The idea that the regulators would have cared what the SNP thought on the issue really is laughable. Scottish companies are subject to takeover all the time by foreign firms and the London regulators never ask anyone in Scotland if they approve. Robert Wiseman dairies the latest. Therefore, the notion that the regulators would have even considered Scottish views on the RBS takeover of a foreign firm is barking.

Many people have noticed on numerous threads that you are a nasty bigoted little man. Does any of your bile actually have anything to do with the subject that is being discussed. The answer is no. Here is an interesting if slightly exaggerated book by an American academic for your bedtime reading.
http://www.amazon.com/How-Scots-Invented-Modern-World/dp/0609606352

@104 Jim

Not necessarily. The ship has already well and truly sailed WRT devo max. Almost 60% of the Scottish voters support it… the question is surely why the parties purportedly in favour of it haven’t been campaigning for it, and explaining what it means?

The polls are changing, as a cursory glance at the Scottish blogs will show ( see http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/referendum for example). Of course the first referendum was jerry mandered by the Unionist specifically to prevent one party gaining power, and in a cynical attempt to make independence more or less impossible, hence George Roberstson’s infamous boast that devolution had killed independence stone dead. Uh huh.. how’s that prediction worked out?

In a 2 part referendum if independence fails, then the next option is a choice between DM and the status quo. the result of that one is a shoo in, it doesn’t really matter whether the details of the DM scheme have been worked out before hand (which seem unlikely given the disarray in Labour and the LD’s), or negotiated after in detail; most people are capable of figuring out what it means in braod terms.

People who think “thus far and no further” i.e. the status quo are now in the minority… so if they want to keep things as they are, it is incumbent on them to make their case and elect parties supporting that position. At the moment, the party which does support that position has fewer MP’s than there are pandas in Edinburgh zoo.

People know what is at stake; the ones playing fast and loose with the Union are Cameron and the rest of the Eton Mess, dishonourablt assisted of course by Scottish Labour and the pathetic rump of LD’s in Scotland who are heading for the same fate as the Tories.

@106 Bob Buffoon

I’m not interested in playing “industrial failures trumps” with you, as it doesn’t prove anything, still less have any merit with respect to this particular issue. Harking back to the failure of the Darien scheme is just barking… but you just can’t see it.

As any number of people have pointed out to you here and elsewhere, there is plenty of evidence that Scotland is more than capable of supporting itself. For every failure you point too, there are other shining success stories. …. or do you believe England has no industrial failures? What happened to your much vaunted industrial base?

Come back and tell us what failures we are in a few decades after independence and we might be inclined to listen to you. The only weird thing is that you thing a few cherry picked examples from the internet are some “slam-dunk” proof of your idiotic and pointless diatribes. Grow up.

110. Frances_coppola

107 Galen10, 104 Jim

I have a considerable problem with the idea that there should be a second referendum for the Scots alone on the question of governance of the Union. The Scots are not the only people with concerns about how the union works at the moment. If there were a second referendum following a vote to remain in the Union, it should in my view follow a full constitutional review and it should offer the opportunity to people in ALL FOUR countries to say how they would like the Union to work for them in future. We have adopted a piecemeal approach to devolution for far too long.

Galen10: “Come back and tell us what failures we are in a few decades after independence and we might be inclined to listen to you. The only weird thing is that you thing a few cherry picked examples from the internet are some “slam-dunk” proof of your idiotic and pointless diatribes. Grow up.”

For easily understandable reasons of national pride, the Scots desperately feel they needs a strong albi to account for that long history of serial industrial strategy failures, which is why the English just have to be set up to get the blame.

The fact is that I was living and working in Scotland to witness the early decline of shipbuilding and how the Scots were stoking up their enthusiasm for their own Scottish motor industry to rival Birmingham’s.

By chance, I then became a close observer in the 1990s of the hundreds of millions of public finances that were poured into promoting silicon glen.

It’s a matter of history that shipbuilding went down the proverbial, as did the Scottish motor industry and silicon glen has all but disappeared for all the money spent on its promotion. None of that can be disputed, any more than the failures in 2008 of the RBS and HBOS banks. The commercial failures have gone on and on.

Do tell us more about this from June 2003:

Robert Crawford has quit as chief executive of Scottish Enterprise to escape the “goldfish bowl” of the public eye.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2967794.stm

That rather looks as though Robert wasn’t too keen on transparency and accountability. This news item from the Indy in 1994 also looks really fascinating:

“The Monklands East by- election, for the other vacancy created by the untimely death of the Labour leader, has refocused attention on Monklandsgate, the scandal that refuses to die. It could yet pull down with it the electoral hopes of one of Scotland’s most glamorous high-flyers, Helen Liddell, sometime confidante of Robert Maxwell and self-styled job creator extraordinaire.”
[independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/what-john-smith-left-behind-monklands-east-the-late-leaders-constituency-should-be-solid-labour-but-charges-of-corruption-in-the-local-party-have-altered-that-1423656.html]

I note again the currious reticence on the part of the Scots to discuss their choice of currency after independence – see @48 for the options.

Galen @ 107

Not necessarily. The ship has already well and truly sailed WRT devo max. Almost 60% of the Scottish voters support it…

They may support it, but they are still supporting a pig in a poke because although Calman (sp?) has put out some good proposals, no-one has actually put any of them under democratic scrutiny. Once we have seen actual, tangible policies, then we are still talking about ‘something as yet undefined’.

then the next option is a choice between DM and the status quo. the result of that one is a shoo in,

That might or might not be true, but we cannot define a referendum based on what we think the likely answers will be, or else there is little point in having a referendum? I agree with you that the likely outcome is devo max, but we cannot frame the debate on that being the answer before we start, again, what would be the point?

the status quo are now in the minority… so if they want to keep things as they are, it is incumbent on them to make their case and elect parties supporting that position.

Again, I agree, but I would argue that they have a legitimate right to put forward and campaign against the other proposals on the table. You cannot do that until we know what the alternative actually is. You are asking them to gamble on the outcome of a referendum in order to vote on that self same referendum. How can people vote on whether to select Devo Now vs Devo Max/Full Independence if they do not the outcome on whether they are fighting against Devo Max or full independence?

Let us imagine you DO NOT want either DM or FI.
You can either campaign for DM or the current system only if you know the result of DM vs FI…

We need an answer one way or another, either before or after the independence vote, not during.

FC @ 109

The point being is devo max a significant alteration to how England is governed? I cannot see it myself. Unless it affects England, I cannot see what it has to do with those people living outside of Scotland.

It’s a matter of history that shipbuilding went down the proverbial, as did the Scottish motor industry and silicon glen has all but disappeared for all the money spent on its promotion. None of that can be disputed, any more than the failures in 2008 of the RBS and HBOS banks. The commercial failures have gone on and on.

1. Electronics manufacturing moved to the Far East. Silicon Glen is these days about electronics design, which we haven’t yet been able to get Chinese workers to do for relatively little money (incidentally, I hear people are now looking at getting South Americans to do the soldering etc). Why would you go Far East? This may be of interest: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509. What are Chinese electronics factories like? http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/02/ff_joelinchina/all/1

2. National Semiconductor, Motorola and NEC (among those companies who invested in and subsequently closed their Scottish fabs) are not Scottish companies.

115. douglas clark

Frankly I don’t agree that devo max can be on the ballot paper without all the unionist parties committing to that manifesto in advance of it being put to the Scottish electorate. In other words that they would guarntee that they would implement it.

As that is extremely unlikely to happen, despite the wishes of an apparent majority of the Scottish electorate – mainly (and sadly) because Bob B represents a surprisingly large percentage of the chattering classes in England. Ill informed, wrongheaded but numerous.

Frankly, with the degree of support there appears to be for chucking Scotland out of the UK as expressed in opinion polls coming from England it would be political suicide for an MP representing an English constituency to vote for a devo max option.

The relationship has soured something rotten over the last year or so. A breakup is probably best for both parties. The sooner we put this behind us, the better.

“because Bob B represents a surprisingly large percentage of the chattering classes in England. Ill informed, wrongheaded but numerous. ”

Having lived and worked in Scotland and having discussed related issues with other English who have also had experience of Scotland, I suspect that I’m perhaps better informed about Scotland than most English who have never been there.

IME there is a surprising convergence of views about Scotland among ex-pat English who know the place. Most agree on the parochialism, the serial failures of industrial strategies, and about the extent of the drunkenness, the racism and sectarian hatreds, the violence and the antagonism towards the English. There are also worrying issues about the extent of political corruption in Scotland. But most of that is well documented in independent sources however much the Scots desperately try to cover it up and deny it. Resorting to personal abuse of critics is fairly commonplace.

It’s difficult to imagine any in England, let alone 80,000, turning out for an annual march in July to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 between rival claimants to the English throne. Ask a random selection of English and few will have even heard of the Battle of the Boyne, let alone know what it was about. Come to that, it’s doubtful whether more than a few English could correctly quote the years of the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo, which were seminal in British history.

117. Leon Wolfeson

@114 – So your local convention of racists are…racist.

Colour me surprised!

Leon: “Colour me surprised!”

Check out the reference @28.

119. douglas clark

BobB,

That’s your view of our problems.

It is certainly also true that electing a large cadre of Labour MPs to Westminster hasn’t resolved any of the very genuine issues that we have. Indeed they ( Scottish Labour MPs) appear to ‘go native’ as soon as they get down there.

If you were truly concerned at the incidence of alcohol abuse then extra money should have been allocated to it’s prevention – say fifty years ago – or if the housing stock is inadequate money should be forthcoming to bring it up to a habitable standard and so on and so forth. Or, if you want to tackle it from the economic point of view there should have been a proper transition from traditional industries to a modern economy. That might have worked.

The fact of the matter is that Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the North of England have all been let down terribly by Westminsters London Centric approach to our economy.

On the plus side, as far as I recall we have never elected as much as a single BNP councillor, the attempt at an SDL (rebadged EDL) rally in Glasgow attracted about 50 folk in our largest city. No repeat performance. And UKIP gets even less traction than the Tories.

Yes, it is a different country and it needs it’s own solutions to it’s own problems. Our problems are not your problems and vice versa.

Frankly I’d rather not be in a club that didn’t want me as a member and I assume that that’s your strategy.

120. Leon Wolfeson

@116 – I have have plenty of experience of those types of people. They never stop at ONE form of bigotry, of course…

You want me to be shocked you have friends with the same views? Ha.

121. Frances_coppola

113 Jim

If a constitutional review concluded that the UK should move to a federal model, there would be greater implications for England than any other country in the Union. It is the only country that currently does not have devolved government at all.

Latest news from the Health Committee of Scotland’s Parliament:

The Scottish government has estimated that the country’s alcohol problems cost £3.56bn each year – or £900 for every adult.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/scotland/newsid_9679000/9679828.stm

@ Bob Buffoon (throughout)

Enough, and more than enough of your crass bigotry and wrong headed projection of a few nuggets of truth into some weird “proof” of a point none but you accepts, or even consider logical.

Your individual experiences, or those of your self-selected cadre of fellow ex-pats, tells us nothing of consequence about the issues you purport to be discussing, still less are they actually germane to this thread. You are of course a serial offender in this regard, so it will be no surprise to regular readers and contributors.

Of course, few “reasonable” people will recognise the cartoonish caricature of Scotland you present, which is about as accurate a reflection of the the actual place as Brigadoon. As a Scottish ex-pat living in England, married to an English woman, having lived and worked in both countries, and having attended universities in both countries, I’m here to tell you that your bigotry (for that is without doubt what it is) is of the same type as those you excoriate above.

Perhaps that is why it appears to upset you so much…. the repressed and those in denial about what they actually are often lash out in this way after all.

Perhaps you’d be better off taking a break from your pointless wikipedia mining, and actually refer to some sites presenting a different view? they provide an antidote to your uncritical (or perhaps more accurately unthinking) acceptnace of the kind of tosh you routinely present on here. For example:

“An analysis published on January 4th by Financial Times Research showed that Scotland is the “most prosperous” part of the UK outside London and the South East of England, in terms of the 12 nations and regions of the UK. Scotland’s economic output is 99 per cent of the UK average. The highest is London at 171 per cent, and the lowest is Wales at 74 per cent. (Gross Value Added per head of population in 2010.)

With the exception of London, Scotland is the only nation or region in the UK to show an increase in economic output between 2007 and 2010, recording growth of 1.9 per cent.

The Gross Value Added (GVA) figures for Scotland do not include the value of economic output generated by oil and gas production in Scottish waters. A separate analysis shows that, in terms of GDP per head, Scotland with our geographical share of oil and gas output would be the sixth wealthiest nation among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) countries, compared to the UK at sixteenth place.”

http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-economy/4125-business-leaders-join-in-referendum-debate

Funny that how a country of such failures finds itself in that position, in spite of all the drunkeness, business failures and wild sectarianism that bedivils us?

Now… won’t you please go back under your bridge and leave us all in peace?

Galen10: “Enough, and more than enough of your crass bigotry and wrong headed projection of a few nuggets of truth into some weird “proof” of a point none but you accepts, or even consider logical.”

ROFL! All I did @122 was to post a link to a news report on the BBC website about the concerns of the Health Committee of the Scottish Parliament about the annual costs to the Scots from alcohol abuse – £900 for every adult.

Don’t blame me for that worrying estimate – blame the Scottish Parliament for its (understandable) concerns about the health and mental stability of the Scots.

Do calm down and have another wee dram or two to settle your neurotic hiatus.

I can’t see how a Conservative government could be against making politicians more responsible for their spending priorities.

But equally, a move to what is effectively full fiscal autonomy for Scotland makes the West Lothian Question still more acute. If Scottish MPs can’t vote on tax and spending decisions that affect their constituents, why on earth should they be voting on tax and spending decisions that affect England and Wales?

In fact, if devo max is implemented, there’s a strong argument that Scotland shouldn’t be sending MPs to Westminster at all, but have UK-wide issues (principally foreign policy, because what else is left?) decided on an inter-governmental basis between Westminster and Holyrood.

From a tribal Tory perspective that’s not a bad result of course – the Union is preserved, and Labour is severely weakened…

@112 Jim

“They may support it, but they are still supporting a pig in a poke because although Calman (sp?) has put out some good proposals, no-one has actually put any of them under democratic scrutiny. Once we have seen actual, tangible policies, then we are still talking about ‘something as yet undefined’.”

The lack of definition about DM is the fault of those parties and groups who support it, and have signally failed to come up with something coherent which could be used to offset the SNP juggernaut. Bear in mind that this is a relativey “new” phenomenon- polls only a year or so before tha last Holyrood elections showed the Labour party trouncing the SNP, and yet look at the current situation! However, I don’t actually accept that every i has to be dotted and every t crossed to put the question of “do you want DM/more devolution/full fiscal autonomy” to the Scottish people. the details can be worked out afterwards.

“How can people vote on whether to select Devo Now vs Devo Max/Full Independence if they do not the outcome on whether they are fighting against Devo Max or full independence? ……….. Let us imagine you DO NOT want either DM or FI. ………. You can either campaign for DM or the current system only if you know the result of DM vs FI…”

They will know what they are fighting against; One scenario is a simple yes/no vote to full independence, with no other question. Thus those who want the status quo (or the fewer who want to roll devolution back) will obviously vote no. Depending on how things develop over the next few years, some supporters of DM in this scenario may vote for full independence, altho the smart money is that most of this group would still vote no.

Another scenario is that the referendum has 2 questions. Despite all the Unionist bleating and special pleading, this is hardly outwith the ken of man; the people of New Zealand proved quite capable of coping with a 2 question referendum not that long ago. Again, those against any change are quite capable of campaigning against any change, and ensuring that the wording of the referendum meets their needs. However, as recent elections and pools show, the constituency you appear so worried about is pretty small. More devolution is inevitable, and the danger for Unionists is that if they don’t find a way to meet the overwhelming demand for it in Scotland, then independence begins to look more and more attractive to the majority Scots.

The idea that devolution would kill independence stone dead (are you listneing Lord Robertson??) looks rather hollow now… it has in fact made it much more likely, but that didn’t happen in a vacuum, nor was it inevitable; it has come about due to the crass incompetence of the Unionist parties in the UK and within Scotland. His Eckness Mr Salmond is indeed an impressive political operator, and the SNP party machine must be the envy of the poor wretches in Scottish Labour at present…. but their achievements are more than outweighed by the fact that the opposition are in such disarray that they have acted as enablers.

@124 Bob B

What is this strange obsession you have with the drinking habits of the Scots…? so what? It isn’t relevant, either to this thread or the general bonkers rationale you are trying to build up that the Scots are somehow incapable of governing themselves.

@125 Tim J

It has always seemed to me the problem with proposed solutions to the west lothian question fall down due to the nature of the “British” polity, and the size disparity between the constituent units.

Nobody in fully federal systems like Germany bats an eyelid about there being a national parliament deciding issues where MP’s from all the laender have a vote… but that’s becuase it’s a fully federal system. Since the English regions don’t have (and don’t seem to have much appetite for) devolved status, it makes the solution for the UK more problematic.

I wouldn’t have any problem with Scottish MP’s being excluded from “rest of UK” only decision making; the concomitant of that however is that you might have e.g. a Tory majority “English” or “rest of UK” government legislating for some things, then a Labour majority or Coalition government having a majority legislating for “UK” issues – how would that work in practice?

From memory, the abortive plan in the late 19th century realting to Irish home rule was similar, in that Irish MP’s were not going to be allowed to vote on non-Irish issues at Westminster… I don’t know if they foresaw the same problems then.

@galen10: “What is this strange obsession you have with the drinking habits of the Scots…? so what? It isn’t relevant, either to this thread or the general bonkers rationale you are trying to build up that the Scots are somehow incapable of governing themselves.”

Because of:

– the commitment of NHS resources to dealing with the consequences of alcohol abuse by the population – when I lived in Scotland, I soon gathered that Thursdays and Fridays were paydays for some because of the increased numbers falling off the buses

– the higher rates of homicide and violent crime in Scotland, linked to escalating racism and the noticeable persistent antagonism of the Scots towards ex-pat English

– the serial failure of Scotland’s industrial strategies, not to overlook the loony Darien project which precipitated the Act of Union in 1707 and the later, useless but costly Caledonian canal

– the fact that the failed Scottish banks – RBS and HBOS – were the largest contributing elements to Britain’s financial crisis of 2008 with the consequences that has brought upon us all.

All that can be documented.

I wouldn’t have any problem with Scottish MP’s being excluded from “rest of UK” only decision making; the concomitant of that however is that you might have e.g. a Tory majority “English” or “rest of UK” government legislating for some things, then a Labour majority or Coalition government having a majority legislating for “UK” issues – how would that work in practice?

Well, the point is that if you have devo max (which I’m interpreting as being effective fiscal autonomy), there really aren’t very many whole UK issues left are there? Tax and spending is now devolved; health, education, law & order and social services are already devolved; justice has always been devolved – what’s left? Foreign policy is about the only thing I can think of, and it really doesn’t merit 50 MPs from Scotland going to Westminster – sort it out at an inter-governmental level.

@129 Bob B

“the commitment of NHS resources to dealing with the consequences of alcohol abuse by the population – when I lived in Scotland, I soon gathered that Thursdays and Fridays were paydays for some because of the increased numbers falling off the buses”

Your individual experiences of drunks falling off buses in Scotland aren’t relevant. the fact that alcohol abuse is a problem, and costs the NHS money, is regrettable but I (like many others) will struggle to see both why this one particular item is such a huge bug bear of yours, and also why you think it somehow bolsters your bigoted view of “all” Scots. I’ve seen horrifying levels of alcohol abuse in Finland, Norway and Russia… so what?

“- the higher rates of homicide and violent crime in Scotland, linked to escalating racism and the noticeable persistent antagonism of the Scots towards ex-pat English”

You’re at it again. Conflating things which are either unrelated, or so tangentially related that they don’t support your supposed point (altho of course most sane people can see that your point is spurious anyway). No doubt homicide rates are higher in lots of places than Scotland.. perhaps even some parts of England…. again… so what? Any increase in racism or racist attacks is to be regretted… again, Scotland is hardly uniquely afflicted.

Of course there is antaganoism towards the English, and yes in some cases it might amount to something actionable, or is merely unpleasant; are you trying to maintain that it never happens the other way round? The vast majority of interactions are jocular, tongue in cheek and pretty harmless unless you are particularly thin skinned. And again, however bad it is, and even if the actual violence rate is higher in Scotland…it’s hardly at epidemic levels, despite your desperation to show that anyone English has to go in fear of their life for opening their mouth.

Things work both ways Bob, which appears not to have entered your thoughts; trust me, as someone who has lived in England for 20 years, it goes both ways.

“- the serial failure of Scotland’s industrial strategies, not to overlook the loony Darien project which precipitated the Act of Union in 1707 and the later, useless but costly Caledonian canal”

Really? Is this honestly the best you can do? the old Darien schem chestnut crops up in your posts all the time! Get over it man.. it was 300 years ago! Similarly with the Caledonian canal… so waht?! It was ages ago. Are your seriously saying there were no wasted money projects in the rest of the UK over the past few centuries?

“- the fact that the failed Scottish banks – RBS and HBOS – were the largest contributing elements to Britain’s financial crisis of 2008 with the consequences that has brought upon us all.”

your pathetic attempt to lay all the blame for the current economic mess at the feet of Scottish banks has already been comprehensively rubbished enough before. I’m amazed you have the gall to keep trotting it out. It was a global economic crisis; the Scots, and banks which happened to have their HQ’s there are not uniquely culpable.

Please change the record… nobody is convinced by your points, which don’t get any more convincing for constant repitition. Try addressing the figures quoted above…. they hardly support your cartoonish view of the feckless Scots and their inability to survive do they?

@130 Tim J

Yes, I see the point; full fiscal independence or devo-max, however it is eventually distilled does tend to beg the question of why not just go the whole way. I think the danger at present… and the huge miscalculation on the part of Unionists both at westminster and in Holyrood… is that the situation in Scotland has changed.

If a few years ago the Tories, Labour and the LibDems had presented a coherent strategy for “more” devolution, whilst at the same time spelling out how that would work with respect to the West Lothian question, and the effect on the UK political system as a whole, then the Union might have been preserved.

As things stand, I think the tide has turned irrevocably in favour of independence, wither in the short term via a referendum, or in the medium to long term just by the logic of the two peoples and systems growing apart.

Once full fiscal autonomy is attained, there would seem little point paying into a joint pot for defence, trying to maintian a common foreign policy, and some other areas of social policy.

I don’t think your solution of sorting things out at a governmental level would work, both in terms of there being a democratic deficit, and in terms of the disparity of size of the constituent units; what happens if the “English” government wants to do something in foreign policy or defence that the Scottish government wants no part of? Intervention in some foreign expedition for example, replacing Trident etc?

I don’t think your solution of sorting things out at a governmental level would work, both in terms of there being a democratic deficit, and in terms of the disparity of size of the constituent units; what happens if the “English” government wants to do something in foreign policy or defence that the Scottish government wants no part of? Intervention in some foreign expedition for example, replacing Trident etc?

Well, I guess that an alternative would be that for questions of defence and foreign policy, a joint vote at Westminster and Holyrood is taken (or perhaps the Holyrood vote is weighted and applied to the Westminster tallies). Obviously Scotland could be outvoted but then, you know, 8% of the UK population and all that.

134. Frances_coppola

128 Galen10

Why would a federal model involve breaking up one of the four countries in the union into smaller “regions”? Regional devolution in England failed in my view because it ignored the existence of a country called England, with which many of its inhabitants identify. If the Scots can call for their country to be recognised as a nation in its own right, why shouldn’t the English?

@134

They can do so: I’ve long thought that one of the problems with the Union is the fact that the English have a stunted sense of their own nationality, or at least that it was more difficult to pin down what being English meant in comparison to Scots, Welsh or Irish. Part of that of course is just the fact that England is so much bigger than the other parts of the UK, and part of it is the fact that England is quite diffuse.

There is no intrinsic reason why English regions couldn’t be like the laender in Germany, some of which are “historical” entities, or at least have a regional identity, others of which are fairly modern constructs.

The issue as discussed with Tim J above is how federlism which only involved England/RUK and Scotland would work in practice given the disparity in size. Granted the German laender vary in size, but there are quite a few.

Devolution failed in the NE because it was a bad plan, and was seen as expensive and inserting another level of government; it won’t work in England unless it involves devolving real power to lower levels… and whatever the Tories say, they will fight tooth and nail to avoid it, just as the did in Scotland.

Of course, it hasn’t worked out too well for them there has it…. I think they’re on about 15% in the polls, and have 1 MP 😉

Galen10,

I’ve long thought that one of the problems with the Union is the fact that the English have a stunted sense of their own nationality, or at least that it was more difficult to pin down what being English meant in comparison to Scots, Welsh or Irish.

The English haven’t been asked if they wanted an English Assembly or Parliament*. I don’t think we need to have a sense of our nationality, particularly, but we would like the West Lothian question to be settled.

I happen to believe (without any evidence whatsoever) that the English would be quite content to have English MPs voting on English matters** and aren’t particularly fussed about – perhaps even thinking it a waste of money – having another (nine) government building and another load of politicians.

Labour, of course, fearing Tory power in England, tried to place non-legislative regional bodies. That’s just fuel on the fire, I think.

* or the English and Welsh a Parliament of England and Wales

** and it can’t be beyond the wit of man to work, despite claims to the contrary, to work out what those matters might be.

@131: “You’re at it again. Conflating things which are either unrelated, or so tangentially related that they don’t support your supposed point (altho of course most sane people can see that your point is spurious anyway).”

The quote from the Scottish press @73 shows that the homicide rate in Scotland is almost double that in England and Wales. Presumably, there is some reason for that stark difference. You have fully lived up to expectations is claiming that is “spurious”.

“your pathetic attempt to lay all the blame for the current economic mess at the feet of Scottish banks has already been comprehensively rubbished enough before. ”

One of Hitler’s more acute insights was to recognise that the great mass of the population will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.

However often you try to deny it, the Scottish banks – RBS and HBOS – did fail and together they comprised by far the greater part of Britain’s financial crisis in 2008.

I have good personal cause to remember this. In late summer 2008, I had an appointtment to see an adviser in my local bank, who turned out to be a large lady with a heavy Scots accent. Early on in the preceedings, she announced, apropos nothing that I’d said, that “the Scots make gud bankers”.

Oh, I replied, that must be why RBS and HBOS have recently issued rights calls. Curiously, she instantly changed the conversation. That’s how it goes and goes on. Her evident expectation was that I was too ignorant and stupid to know about the failing Scottish banks despite being retired GES. The obvious lesson is: Be especially aware of bankers with Scots accents.

@136 ukliberty

I doubt very much you’d get many takers in Wales for the concept of a parliament of England & Wales either frankly – I suspect that they will want to develop their own devolved assembly along Scottish lines.

If the English really HAVE an appetite for a seperate parliament, then let them vote for one.. or for parties that promise them one. I happen to agree with you about there being little appetite within England (or most of it at least)… and as voters in the NE showed, people won’t vote for something they think is ill-conceived, or expensive, or purpose-less. I see very little evidence that the folk of Sussex are clamouring for more devolved government.. tho’ you might get more interest in an area like Yorkshire perhaps?

The solution is to ensure that central government functions and spending are (to the greatest extent possible/sensible) devolved and carried out at regional levels, and that this doesn’t involve duplication. As you say, these things are not outwith the ken of man.

In a UK context however, I don’t see how the current “unreformed” UK polity can accommodate a Scottish government which has attained full fiscal autonomy for everything except defence and foreign affairs, and not tear the Union apart. It is almost bound to result at some point in one party with a majority in the UK as a whole, and another in England… I don’t see how you square that circle.

@137 Bob Buffoon

For someone with such a fixation about Scottish alcohol consumption, you’re alarmingly like one of those drunks who doesn’t know that it’s more sensible to stay down when you’ve been beat.

“The quote from the Scottish press @73 shows that the homicide rate in Scotland is almost double that in England and Wales. Presumably, there is some reason for that stark difference. You have fully lived up to expectations is claiming that is “spurious”.”

I didn’t say the figures are spurious; figures are what they are. What I said is that your use of them to support your crass and bigoted views of Scotland and the Scots was spurious, and that further did not support your whacky arguments. Why would the homicide rate being higher in Scotland somehow prove any of your points? It’s still a good deal lower than in many other countries; no doubt we could all cherry-pick statistics to prove that rates of some things were higher in England…. but so what?

You don’t address that of course, because you can’t… just like you didn’t respond to the question asked above @123. How convenient.

“However often you try to deny it, the Scottish banks – RBS and HBOS – did fail and together they comprised by far the greater part of Britain’s financial crisis in 2008.”

Yes… and what about Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock etc, etc.. no doubt the tartan hordes were responsible for them too? It was a global crisis Bob.. it didn’t originate in Edinburgh, much as you strain to present it otherwise!

At least your pointless anecdotal evidence has now updated to 2008 rather than the 300 year old Darien project or Caldonian Canal from the 19th century.. well done you!

Galen10: At least your pointless anecdotal evidence has now updated to 2008 rather than the 300 year old Darien project or Caldonian Canal from the 19th century.. well done you!”

The references to the loony Darien project and then the useless Caledonian canal are just to show that the Scots have been dedicated to commercial failures for centuries. The serial failures in Scotland’s industrial strategies since WW2 and the banking failures of 2008 show that the Scots still haven’t managed to break the national habit. The antagonism towards the English is to show that it must be the fault of someone else.

Have another wee dram or two.

141. Chaise Guevara

@ Galen and UKliberty

Apparently English support for an English Parliament varies between about 15% and 60% in favour, probably depending on what exactly is called for and whether or not the survey includes an “I don’t really care” option.

Also, I may be behind the conversation here, but wouldn’t the parliament for England and Wales (and N.I.) after Scottish devolution be called the Parliament of the United Kingdom and be based in Westminster?

I say Bristol should be able to become independent of the UK too, and no-one but residents of Bristol should have a say.

I say Bristol should be able to become independent of the UK too, and no-one but residents of Bristol should have a say.

Presuming you mean this comment facetiously, why is it such a daft idea? It’s only the logical extension of the localism we all discuss.

Why should the residents of Bristol not be able to decide what kind of city they live in free from the centralised prescription imposed by Westminster? Are they too stupid to understand how they want to live?

Of course, the reason it’s a daft idea is that we know they would not be allowed to secede even if the vote to do so were unanimous- the UK state needs their taxes.

And with that in mind, I trust that Alex Salmond will get his personal security sorted out before he presses the independence button, and won’t indulge in any hill walking……

“And with that in mind, I trust that Alex Salmond will get his personal security sorted out before he presses the independence button, and won’t indulge in any hill walking……”

It became something of a dark online joke c. 2000 about how so many Scots would rush out to go mountain climbing whenever the weather forecasting folk announced storm warnings. The conjunction became so painfully obvious that the Scottish government started a major publicity campaign to get across the message of just how costly staging search and save missions was and how the lives of the searchers were often put a risk.

Should Salmond’s political career come to grief, I reckon he is a sinch for job as a banking adviser. After all, he was once employed in the Government Economic Service in the civil service in Scotland, which might illuminate some of the reasons for the serial failures of Scotland’s industrial strategies.

And let’s suppose the Scots wanted to change their mind after a couple of years. What arrangements would be made?

Potentially, I guess the Shetlands might want to secede from Scotland, and take their oil with them. Presumably, they would have an absolute right to do so, irrespective of the wishes of Scotland?

@141 Chaise

“Also, I may be behind the conversation here, but wouldn’t the parliament for England and Wales (and N.I.) after Scottish devolution be called the Parliament of the United Kingdom and be based in Westminster?”

Errrmmm…. no, because only England and Scotland were kingdoms; Wales is a principality (and for a long time was deemed to simple be part of England), and NI is a province.

Galen10 @138,

If the English really HAVE an appetite for a seperate parliament, then let them vote for one.. or for parties that promise them one. I happen to agree with you about there being little appetite within England (or most of it at least)… and as voters in the NE showed, people won’t vote for something they think is ill-conceived, or expensive, or purpose-less. I see very little evidence that the folk of Sussex are clamouring for more devolved government.. tho’ you might get more interest in an area like Yorkshire perhaps?

I agree to an extent, but it’s one of those cases where it seems very important when you’re talking about it specifically, but compared to general concern about the economy, education, health and so on, it recedes into the background at election time. In other words there’s little mileage in politicians offering it at election time – a bit like UKIP’s USP (although I dare say UKIP would do rather better today than in previous years). I do think there is a fair bit of irritation about the West Lothian question, which seems long overdue in being answered, and so long as it isn’t answered support for an English parliament will grow.

What I was trying to get across, though, is that the Scots were asked if they wanted their own legislative body, and the Welsh too, and the Northern Irish, but not the English, who were instead offered non-legislative regional bodies. Of course we can only vote for or against what’s on the table – we can’t vote for or against what appears on someone else’s table. And we aren’t offered it because politicians are afraid of the answer.

@140 Bob Buffoon

Still waiting for an answer to the question posed you above (I know answering direct questions isn’t your forte… but still worth a try):

if Scotland is such a basket case, how come the report quoted above quotes such a good picture? You keep harping on about the failures, as though Scotland was the only place in the world that had them. Do please try to get some perspective… I know your tin foil hat makes it difficult sometimes, but the normal people who have to wade through your dross would appreciate it.

For a significant period during the industrial revolution, Scotland had the highest GDP per capita in the world… much higher than England in fact; of course it was concentrated in the hands of the fortunate few in a country with a relatively small population.

Chaise,

Also, I may be behind the conversation here, but wouldn’t the parliament for England and Wales (and N.I.) after Scottish devolution be called the Parliament of the United Kingdom and be based in Westminster?

But we would still have non-English MPs voting on English-only matters.

(I forgot how old the West Lothian question is: Tam Dalyell raised it in 14 November 1977.)

150. Frances_coppola

@135

I don’t have a stunted sense of my national identity, thank you. I’m English. And I am heartily sick of people saying the English have no cultural heritage, no sense of identity, nothing that makes them a nation, really…….so it’s fine to break up England into smaller units and destroy our national identity. No it isn’t. I would not support devolved government to “regions”. I think that the English have as much right to nationhood as the other members of the United Kingdom. So the only form of devolved government in England that I would support would be an English parliament. Or resolution of the West Lothian question within the UK parliament, so we end the farce of non-English MPs voting on matters that don’t concern them.

151. Frances_coppola

146 Galen

Yes, it quite possibly would be called the Parliament of the United Kingdom actually. Parliament can call itself whatever it likes.

@148 Galen10: “You keep harping on about the failures, as though Scotland was the only place in the world that had them. Do please try to get some perspective… I know your tin foil hat makes it difficult sometimes, but the normal people who have to wade through your dross would appreciate it.”

ROFL! Scotland specialises in a national kamikaze culture which inevitably results in predictable disasters.

I recall from when I went to live there being suitably impressed with the fine traditions of genuine music hall and thriving local folk music like: A Scottish Soldier and A Song of the Clyde. If guys wanted to fall off buses towards the end of a working week, that was their business and another local tradition, after all. Of course, if some guys felt impelled to go around in broad daylight dressed as transvestites in tartan skirts, that was bit quaint but then it takes all sorts and I’m naturally tolerant.

To learn more, I started to follow small news items in the local press. It was then that I really started to notice a difference with incidental short reports about the end wall of a four-storey tenament falling off, leaving the apartments exposed to the elements, or that a central staircase of a tenament had collapsed leaving the occupants of all but the ground floor stranded. How could such things happen, I reflected. I latter learned this was because of arcane Scots property laws.

There was that extraordinary news story about how five or so long term residents of Barlinnie Prison had been found dead one day. The cause, it turned out, was that they had been drinking “red biddy” – for the uninitiated, red biddy is a potent mixture of cheap English port wine and coal gas – this was from long before natural gas had come on stream. How they managed to brew red biddy in a prison wasn’t explained.

I learned later about the property laws from a colleague who got married and bought a top-floor apartment in a tenament. The roof needed fixing but that wasn’t a problem in principle – all that needed to get the work started was the agreement of the owners of the other apartments in the block that their jointly owned roof needed fixing.

Meanwhile, the colleague and his new wife got on with decorating their apartment. But getting the roof fixed proved troublesome and protracted because the well-heeled dentist in the apartment immediately below refused to agree that the roof needed fixing. It was a toss-up on whether to continue to negotiate or resort to the courts. Unfortunately, some heavy rains came through the roof and ruined the decorations while the negotiations about the roof progressed through the lawyers.

By 1968 I had escaped back to England. In the winter that year, there was a terrible storm in the west of Scotland. When there, I had rented rooms in the ground floor apartment of a four-storey tenament. What I learned from contacts was that a (large) chimney pot of the tenament had been blown off by the storm. It crashed through the roof and the three upper apartments of the tenament to land across the bed of the young woman in the room next to where I used to sleep. She was killed.

As said @23, I wasn’t in the least surprised to learn that a majority of the English would vote in favour of independence for Scotland.

153. Leon Wolfeson

@152 – And that kind of group occupation of a building in the UK…requires EXACTLY the same permissions for works.

Stop with the racist shit.

“Stop with the racist shit.”

My posts aren’t a bit racist. They are just anthropological narratives following the best pioneering tradition of Margaret Mead on Polynesian cultures.

@154 Bob Buffoon

Nah.. Leon’s right… racist bullshit m8.. you reek of it.

@151 Frances

“Yes, it quite possibly would be called the Parliament of the United Kingdom actually. Parliament can call itself whatever it likes.”

It can stick a golden arch out front and call itself McParliament for all I care….. the point is that it makes no sense to style yourself the United Kingdom when one of the two kingdoms forming the Union leaves; it’s really not a difficult concept to grasp.

@150 Frances

“I don’t have a stunted sense of my national identity, thank you. I’m English. And I am heartily sick of people saying the English have no cultural heritage, no sense of identity, nothing that makes them a nation, really…….so it’s fine to break up England into smaller units and destroy our national identity. No it isn’t. I would not support devolved government to “regions”. I think that the English have as much right to nationhood as the other members of the United Kingdom. So the only form of devolved government in England that I would support would be an English parliament. Or resolution of the West Lothian question within the UK parliament, so we end the farce of non-English MPs voting on matters that don’t concern them.”

As discussed above, the current system doesn’t lend itself to a federal structure unless you had “proper” devolution for the English regions, which isn’t on the cards… partly because most people in most regions don’t give flying fuck at a rolling donut about it. The English may be re-discovering a sense of their national identity..and good for them, but lots of them especially in the North probably feel as much affinity with other Northerners, the Scots and Irish than they do with the South.

You still have to explain how solving the west lothian question can be done without tearing the Union apart anyway, and having different parties in control of UK and English parliaments.

@155: “Nah.. Leon’s right… racist bullshit m8.. you reek of it.”

The usual stuff – label and smear but no analysis and no rebuttals. We need some analytical anthropological studies of Scotland and the Scots and that national culture after all the abuse heaped on the English.

As my post @28 showed, independent sources report escalating racism in Scotland and most ex-pat English living in Scotland can report personal experiences of Scots antagonism towards the English there – I certainly experienced it from complete strangers: all they knew about me was that I spoke with an English accent.

There’s no sane reason why the Scots should have their own national Parliament while the English mustn’t have theirs.

159. Leon Wolfeson

@155 – Ah good, not just me. There are ways of doing this which are polite and otherwise…

@150. Frances_coppola: “I don’t have a stunted sense of my national identity, thank you. I’m English. And I am heartily sick of people saying the English have no cultural heritage, no sense of identity, nothing that makes them a nation, really…….so it’s fine to break up England into smaller units and destroy our national identity. No it isn’t. I would not support devolved government to “regions””

But the nation of England was created by a coalition of English neighbours and feudalism.

Based on accent or by culture, it is difficult to discern the difference between a West Yorks bloke and an East Lancs bloke. They will argue about the definition of a barm cake, and (correctly) glorify the Pennines.

On the county split, the West Yorks bloke and the East Lancs bloke might be miles apart on many occasions. Is it a barm cake or a cob or a bun or a bap?

England is not homogeneous, never has been.

161. Leon Wolfeson

@150 – And I’m British, I’m not English, and I’m fed up with being told I’m somehow a traitor for it by the right! I’m NOT Anglo-Saxon, and my loyalty is to this country, not part of it.

Charlieman: “England is not homogeneous, never has been.”

That’s absolutely true. Moreover, for all the warnings of Richard Hoggart in his book: The Uses of Literacy (1957), regional differences in England have remained very resilient to change despite the homogenising pressures of national media since.

It’s difficult to assess how much English culture now prevails in London when 40 pc of its residents have been born abroad. Born and raised Londoners are becoming scarce but then Disraeli wrote in Tancred (1847): London is a modern Babylon.

163. douglas clark

I could stereotype BobB as a sub ‘Pub Landlord’. His ‘facts’ are hand picked and there is no narrative worth the candle.

I could say that BobB hasn’t a clue. There are quite a lot of English born folk in the SNP.

I could say BobB is someone who could always see the negatives in winning the lottery. Or a date with Holly Valance. Or the keys to the Bank of England.

Or, I could say that BobB is a troll.

But I won’t.

_______________________________

What BobB says is what passes for non racist comment on many, many sites where Scottish independence is discussed. It is ‘just a fact’ that we are now too drunk, too aggressive and too stupid to manage our own affairs. BobB and his ilk know exactly what they are doing, they are playing a wedge strategy. He wants us to go, some of us, err…me, want to go, but without the cheap shots that BobB uses.

Unfortunately BobB sounds like a spurned lover. And, that, ladies and gentlemen is what a heck of a lot of people that live in the green and pleasant land think of your northern neighbours. Not, I hasten to add the nice folk around here, but the folk that comment in exactly the same manner as BobB on comment columns throughout the internet.

___________________________________________________

BobB recalls a storm and tells us what? He tells us he narrowly missed death because a chimney stack might have fallen on him, but phew!, he got out of there in time.

I too survived that particular wind. Quite what the point of the anecdote was is between BobB and his maker. It has sweet fuck all to do with a civilised discussion on whether Scotland should plough it’s own furrow or not.

Perhaps the idea is that without the dispensation that God gives to Englishmen then we’ll have more storms and plagues and death to our first born?

Surely not.

Just saying.

164. Frances_coppola

Charlieman and others,

Since when has homogeneity been necessary for nationhood? Since when has historic and cultural diversity within a country justified breaking it up?

Leon

Who is calling you a traitor for saying you’re British? Certainly not me. But if Scotland leaves the union you will have a problem with that identity, won’t you?

Galen

Please explain to me why a federal structure could not be simply four countries within a union? Why would England have to be broken up?

@164 Frances

“Please explain to me why a federal structure could not be simply four countries within a union? Why would England have to be broken up?”

I wasn’t saying England has to be broken up; I WAS saying that a federla structure containing 4 units (presumably England, Scotland, Wales and NI) is unlikely to work well on the basis that England as a single unit would hugely predominate. Thus, I ask the question again (which nobody has yet answered) how does such a structure deal with the situation in which you have an English Tory government being over-ruled by a UK government with a Labour or coalition majority? I submit to you that it simply doesn’t work.

The answer therefore is not that Englan be “broken up” as you say, but that there be a truly federal system a la Germany. That’s the only way I can see to avoid the situation above, although I’m not sure it would satisfy the Scots any longer. I have my doubts now that even some loose confederation of Scotland and the rump UK would actually work, as if you are going to go that far, you might as well make a clean break.

@163 Douglas

Well said! In a way, the pathology of someone like Bob the Buffoon is quite interesting, and he does provide some comedy moments, but in general he’s just tiresome.

I think he does actually believe some of the rubbish he comes out with, and thinks it is somehow relevant, despite the comprehensive rubbishing he usually receives.

I’m pretty convinced he lives with his elderley mother, composes most of his posts in his underpants whilst eating Rice Krispies from their box, and makes people feel uncomfortable in social situations.

I particularly love the one about how the Darien scheme 300 years ago proves how the Scots mucked the “world, universe and everyfink” up. Priceless.

167. Frances_coppola

165 Galen

I’m sorry, the model you are proposing DOES amount to breaking up England, certainly as far as self-determination goes. It clearly isn’t possible to “weight” voting rights by size of population in a federal struture, because as you say, England would then always outvote the rest. But splitting up England into bleeding chunks in the name of equalising population size isn’t the solution either. It’s like jointing a chicken. After you’ve jointed it, you have equal-size chunks, but you don’t have a chicken. I prefer my chicken whole.

I think, in order for the union to work, all four countries would have to be largely self-governing, and there would then have to be a “federal government” for issues in common, which could I suppose be regionalised as you suggest. Self-governing English regions is simply a non-starter in my view, but that isn’t an argument for maintaining the present situation where England is the only country in the union that doesn’t have devolved government.

@167 Frances

I disagree with your analysis.. but I can see where you are coming from. Part of the problem for England I think is that only certain sections of it constitute areas that might reasonably be seen as self-standing (or even self-identifying?) regions? Yorkshire, perhaps Tyneside/NE, Lancashire/NW…. I’ve never seen much evidence of people elsewhere in England wanting regional government, so you may be right. However, having regional assemblies and devolution hardly amounts to dissolving the state.

If the English are so desperate for their own parliament, then they should bring it about; I tend to agree the current situation isn’t tenable, but I’d argue your alternative is probably worse and would lead almost inevitably to Scotland and later Wales breaking away.

169. Chaise Guevara

@ 146 Galen

“Errrmmm…. no, because only England and Scotland were kingdoms; Wales is a principality (and for a long time was deemed to simple be part of England), and NI is a province.”

To be honest, the original etymology doesn’t seem like much of a reason to change the country’s name now. Also, it sounds wrong: it’s United Kingdom, not United Kingdoms.

170. Chaise Guevara

@ 149 ukliberty

“But we would still have non-English MPs voting on English-only matters.”

I agree that’s a double-standard given Welsh and Scottish devolution, but the idea of Welsh MPs voting on matters that only affect England doesn’t exactly bring me out in a cold sweat.

Nevertheless, if an issue doesn’t affect Wales (which includes not spending UK money that hasn’t already been assigned to England), I see no reason we shouldn’t have a rule that says only English MPs can vote.

Charlieman @ 160:

“England is not homogeneous, never has been.”

And? For most of its history, Scotland has been practically two different countries, the Highlands and the more English-influenced Lowlands. So what?

As for the federal question: are there any countries in a similar position whose constitutions we could study? I believe that the Dutch Republic was largely dominated by Holland, whose contributions accounted for more than 50% of the Republic’s income; does anybody know how they structured their government?

@170 Chaise

The issue does bring many people … particularly many English people.. out in a sweat tho!

In the case of Wales the numbers are smaller but probably not much of an issue (altho in the event of a really close/hung UK parliament it could be ahuge issue I imagine!!).

With respect to Scottish MP’s, the 6 SNP MP’s at Westminster do not vote on “England only” issues by choice; the same cannot be said of their Scottish Labour compatriots. chances are there will be many more SNP’s after the next election (always assuming the referendum in 2014 means there won’t be any Scottish MP’s at Westminster of course!).

I’d love to see the howls of protest in a future UK parliament if Scottish/Welsh/NI MP’s making up a non-Tory majority at Westminster over-ruled something that a Tory majority in England wanted tho’! 😉

@169 chaise

“To be honest, the original etymology doesn’t seem like much of a reason to change the country’s name now. Also, it sounds wrong: it’s United Kingdom, not United Kingdoms”

Perhaps not… what’s in a name after all. I doubt our Welsh and Norn Irish friends would be happy with England, and it wouldn’t be that accurate to call it Great Britain, because that refers to England, Scotland and Wales. Perhaps Wales should be elevated to a kingdom to solve it, or you could just call yourself “Britain”? I don’t think anyone really falls for the “Great” bit anymore… altho’ I think the roots are more geographical (as in Greater Britain as opposed to Lesser Britain which was probably what is now Brittany) than a claim for status!

@171 XXX

I don’t think the Dutch republic is a great example…. a couple of the states (holland and Zeeland I think) dominated it, but there was also an on-going issue between republicans and supporters of the House of Orange which provided stadtholders, as well as freedom of religion questions.

The UK is a pretty unique beast.. I’m not sure if there are many obvious comparisons? A lot of other federal systems I can think of have some size/wealth disparities, but more players, and less historical/political baggage.

175. Chaise Guevara

@ Galon

As I understand it, “Britain” refers to the state rather than the island (which is “Great Britain”), making “Britain” synonymous with “UK” anyway.

However, that obviously leaves much room for confusion, given that Britain is bigger than Great Britain.

176. Leon Wolfeson

@164 – Yes, of course I’ll have a “problem” with it.

I also refuse to live in a one-party state, regardless of the name, for that matter. I’d rather go to a country where I call one of the parties in the ruling coalition Fascist. But it’s NOT one-party.

As to who says it…it’s happened from the Left AND the Right these days…

There’s no end to the continuing narrative of serial failure and incompetence, is there?

TAXPAYER-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has been hit with its third enforcement fine from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 18 months, after insurance staff tampered with files and forged signatures, under performance pressure from management.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/company-news/rbs-hit-with-2m-fine-after-insurance-firms-altered-files.16516937

178. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob B

“There’s no end to the continuing narrative of serial failure and incompetence, is there?”

Not when you cherry-pick negative stories about Scotland (and things vaguely linked to Scotland) to justify your irrational dislike of the country, no.

@178 Chaise

LOL… indeed.. it’s not as if any non-Scottish banks have ever done anything wrong is it…. oh wait….

…. and of course it’s entirely justified to take one instance of a bank’s misbehaviour and conflate it into a generalised rule relating to the collective guilt of a group you have an irrational dislike of…. oh wait…

Chaise: “Not when you cherry-pick negative stories about Scotland (and things vaguely linked to Scotland) to justify your irrational dislike of the country, no.”

I’m just picking current news stories reported in the mainstream media. What I’ve posted about Scotland and the Scots is exceptionally well-documented. That may have been dismissed and abuse heaped on my head but what I’ve posted hasn’t been rebutted. Scottish government sources are very explicit about the problems of drunkenness.

@180 Bob Buffoon

As has been pointed out to you ad nauseam, the little pearls of wisdom you so assiduously mine from the internet are beside the point, usually off tops, and even when you do try to link them to the topic at hand prove to be nonsensical.

There is as much justification for drawing inferences about the Scots today on the basis of the Darien project, the Caledonian canal, the failure of “Scottish” banks recently, higher levels of alcoholism in Scotland, etc. etc as there is from drawing similar inferences about “the English” on the spurious basis of the South Sea bubble, the collapse of Northern Rock etc., etc.

People weren’t disputing that some of the items you had cherry picked were factually inaccurate, they were deputing that they were relevant. You are open to abuse because you are a pointless troll, who is either too myopic to see his own crass stupidity, or is simply doing it to wind people up and hide a repugnant and bigoted sub-text which you ought to be deeply ashamed of.

As a person with Scottish and English heritage via my parents I would very much like Scotland to stay part of the union. I have been speaking to my friends and family about this both sides of the border and oddly enough it is the Scottish side who say that they don’t want to leave Great Britain and the English side who are saying that Scotland should leave- if they want to. I thought it would be the other way round.

Also, alarming how many Scots are saying that ‘Longshanks’ stole Scotland’s identity and murdered Braveheart and they hate the English for it. Wtf?!

If Scotland goes for Independence .. it will be the best English new year .. I have had for years.
And once they have had it .. I would love to see the Shetland and Orkney Islands go for there Independence from Scotland.
As they were forced into a union with Scotland in the 14th and 15th century.
Unlike that of the Scots who sent there Noble Highlanders to Westminster with there
begging bowl.
After failing to make money in Darien Panama.
The Scots want out of a relationship with England .. that asked for it 300 years ago.
Do they not think they should at least let the Shetland and Orkney Islands have there vote on if they want to stay with Scotland seeming as they were forced into the union with Scotland.
Or .. could it be that they would not want this, due to the Shetland and Orkney Islands .. being the real owners of the oil.
And they class there selves as Norwegian !.
They must at least let the Islands have a vote.
Lets hope the Shetland Islands decide they want there Independence from Scotland.
At a later date .. maybe once Scotland has gone Independent from England.
Then lets see if they dare come to England Twice with there begging bowl.
Maybe if there lucky the Ascendants of Norway .. will let Scotland live off them.
As Scotland has no money or wealth … they only have the oil that belongs to the Shetland and Orkney Islands .. and lets be realistic .. even that will run out.
And due to the size of this small Island .. do you think Scotland will hear
the people of England laughing up there .. when it all goes wrong.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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    Why should the English get a say on Scotland? http://t.co/XyJ63Fwx

  2. Graeme Stirling

    Why should English get a say on Scotland? asks @zelo_street. Would we give EU a say on UK membership? http://t.co/S4oLOc8O

  3. Gareth Winchester

    RT @libcon: Why should the English get a say on Scotland?http://t.co/4STPwar3 Simple: we shouldn't, unless *we* want to separate from the UK

  4. Stewart Lochhead

    Why should English get a say on Scotland? asks @zelo_street. Would we give EU a say on UK membership? http://t.co/S4oLOc8O

  5. elliot herman

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why should English get a say on Scotland? asks @zelo_street. Would we give EU a say on UK membership? http://t.co/7JY6Kw7O

  6. Gordon

    Why should English get a say on Scotland? asks @zelo_street. Would we give EU a say on UK membership? http://t.co/S4oLOc8O

  7. Panda

    Why should the English get a say on Scotland? http://t.co/XyJ63Fwx

  8. Maps Man

    Why should English get a say on Scotland? asks @zelo_street. Would we give EU a say on UK membership? http://t.co/S4oLOc8O

  9. Gary Cocker

    @garyphcocker Why should the english get a say on Scotland? @libcon http://t.co/xOzeWzyj

  10. David

    RT garyphcocker: RT @LeighEgerton: @garyphcocker Why should the english get a say on Scotland? @libcon http://t.co/Wc7bVa46

  11. The CEP

    Why should the English get a say on Scotland? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/e8CwMSHX

  12. David Rickard

    Of course English should get a say: but about ENGLAND's governance including new settlement post-Scots indy http://t.co/51uMGDGU via @libcon





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