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Did you know that Scotland votes on Independence next month?

The Scottish Referendum on Independence will be on September 18th. There has been a long lead up to the vote and even here in the US there have been lots of articles. There are so many issues that the Scots have to consider from currency, to EU membership, to UK defense bases, to oil and more. It certainly is something that anyone visiting Scotland in the next few weeks needs to be aware of. Here are some articles that might help in understanding the issues and what people are thinking. Everyone seems to have a say....These are for the most part US interpretations--maybe MC and others can add local links.

Neal Ascherson is a Scottish Journalist who has been a proponent of Independence for decades.

A rare Scottish Conservative's perspective.

The Irish perspective.

Publishers' perspective.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland left out.

It's about the young....

European Union thoughts.

And finally, it's the talk of The Fringe Festival!

Pam

Posted by
844 posts

My son and DIL are in Scotland right now and I'll be interested to find out what they have heard while they are there. Thanks for the links to the articles.

Posted by
1239 posts

The official Yes campaign is called unsurprisingly Yes Scotland

The official No campaign is called Better Together

Both are making valid points, both have come up with arguments that are risible. What is unusual is the length of this campaign, it has now been going on for over a year whereas British elections are six weeks max! At the moment No is leading but the lead is not that strong, and the Yes side have to be honest more enthusiasm on their side.

For the actual referendum itself, the first postal votes landed on peoples' door mats this week meaning the first votes have been cast. A family member with a postal vote expects to fill in theirs in the next two weeks simply because they really have not decided.

Posted by
7639 posts

I will be in Edinburgh when they vote. It should be interesting!

Posted by
5502 posts

If/when the independence referendum passes, will the current Scottish banknotes be legal tender in England?

Posted by
1239 posts

Keith, do you read the Daily Mail? ;-) The truth is Scotland pays its way in the UK and has for decades. The Scottish economy is in reasonable shape at the moment with below UK average unemployment.

In the likely event of a No vote, virtually nothing will happen. There will be some of the 'interesting' fringes of the Yes side who will act up, but the campaign, long, divisive, and, if you saw the BBC debate, shouty, has not turned nasty beyond the fringes on both sides. The extremes have been horrid, the twitter trolls should look at themselves in the mirror for the abuse that has been hurled, but the core, the overwhelming majority of the people of Scotland, have been civilised. On 17th September, Scotland will be Scotland. On 18th September, Scotland will be Scotland, on 19th September Scotland will be Scotland, but probably hungover. Just leave the post with Cumbria Country Council, and we've asked Northumberland to look after the pandas.

Posted by
3262 posts

Over our 2 weeks in Scotland earlier this month, some locals chimed in. We never brought the subject up, but some folks we talked with mentioned the vote and had definite opinions. Bobby, an Edinburgh songwriter and musician suggested that if someone spoke up in favor of "No," they'd never get served in a pub, and then what would they do? :-)

Edinburgh and Portree, Fort William, and Stirling (and other substantial cities/towns) had notable "Yes" banners on display. On the drive in the pouring rain thru Glencoe on our penultimate day, there was one "Proud to be Scottish, Glad to be United" billboard on the side of the road.

Our hostess in Shetland (a Renaissance woman who trains and shows horses and ponies; keeps a falcon; makes leather purses, tack, and belts, plays the fiddle; and runs a B&B with her husband) was "no" the whole way. A woman at the monthly craft fair in Fort William, selling delicious homemage preserves, said she hoped the vote would be "No." A woman running a Scottish Ale & Beer shop (who went on a bit about how she despised the attitudes and treatment she received from many English tourists, especially regarding English vs. Scottish pounds) left no doubt about her "Yes" feelings.

One person was worried for the state of the country in any event. She said that even if Indepence was voted down by, say, a 55% to 45% margin, that would mean that roughly half the country were unhappy. If the vote was "Yes" by anything other than a landslide, that would still mean that lots of people would be unhappy with the outcome. We didn't get any sense that anyone was planning on dressing up in buckskins and feather headdresses and dumping any tea into a harbor, though . . .

Posted by
252 posts

Oh yes, I am very aware. It is a very popular topic in Canada too!
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/love-bombing-the-scots-the-world-s-politest-independence-fight-1.2746526

I would hope the results be be clear...by a large margin...sadly, probably won't be the case. I wish them Scots well since I loved visiting Scotland this Summer.

They will most likely change their immigration laws I read...so if they make it easier to go there...perhaps I am a yes... ;)

Posted by
23563 posts

So, if Salmond gets his way and and the Scots pull up the drawbridge, what will happen to the army?

I don't mean the big organization, I mean the 18 or 20 year old boy or girl who want to follow the long held tradition of joining up. They won't be joining a Scottish army because Salmond has said he wants no military, assuming I suppose that the southerners will just protect them from the vikings by force of habit - or maybe hire some French.

They won't be signing up with the English. Why would the English army want runaway Scottish regiments?

Sounds like unemployment to me.

And then what will happen to the Tattoo? Surely neither side will want British soldiers on parade?

And then where does it all stop? I saw a story this week on telly about Argyll and Bute wanting home rule instead of being governed by (not repeatable on a family channel) Edinborough?

Posted by
1239 posts

Nigel, Salmond has said there will be an army, the Scottish Defence Force. The SNP are anti nuclear weaponry, not anti armed forces.

The British armed forces at the moment recruit and accept recruits from across the world so that is unlikely to change and a number of Irish citizens serve in them despite the Republic having its own defence forces.

What it would not be is that big, probably about the size of Denmark's, Norway's and New Zealand's as examples.

As for the Tattoo, non Scottish and non UK units have been centre pieces for years.

Posted by
4468 posts

A recent poll suggest only 18% of people living in England think the status quo should be maintained in the event of a no vote. What this means is support for either a separate English Parliament or the stopping of non-English MPs voting on purely English spending matters, such as education, roads, health etc, which currently they still do. Once you start opening up the constitution it takes a long while to settle things down again.

Posted by
1239 posts

I don't think the status quo can be on offer from now on, we either move to a federal or confederal system or we might as well post the divorce notices out. WRT Scottish MPs voting on English matters that would be acceptable, to stop it, here, if the spending did not have implications, ie if the money raised in Scotland, including the oil money, stayed in Scotland with money going south for issues of common concern.

The same poll had English opinion showing 49% support for the money staying in Scotland, with virtual home rule for Scotland. Which puts them ahead in terms of devolution than the Scottish Labour Party!!

Posted by
5461 posts

And a long lost short story by George MacKay Brown on Orcadian Independence!

And a more mundane article on voting from the The Orcadian.

Posted by
5019 posts

Planning a vist next summer. Now wondering if I'm gonna need a special visa (and vaccinations!). ;)

Posted by
3262 posts

At this year's Tattoo, there was a (decidedly non-military) fiddle ensemble from Shetland, and Zulu dancers/warriors form Africa, and others that performed alongside the Royal Marines Band.

@David- eat some haggis immediately upon arrival, and you'll be ready for most anything else Scotland throws at you.

Posted by
1239 posts

The most recent poll gives No a 6% lead. This is really too close to call at two weeks out.

Posted by
23563 posts

Is the referendum first-past-the-post winner-takes-all, or does the referendum need to pass by a certain percentage to have legal effect?

It seems to me that a 51-49 result would not be clear nor provide a mandate. Whoever the 49% would be would feel aggrieved. You surely don't want another Northern Ireland with trouble and strife...

Posted by
1239 posts

Is the referendum first-past-the-post winner-takes-all, or does the referendum need to pass by a certain percentage to have legal effect?
It seems to me that a 51-49 result would not be clear nor provide a mandate. Whoever the 49% would be would feel aggrieved. You surely don't want another Northern Ireland with trouble and strife...

Yes, winner takes it all. All that is required is one vote. I don't foresee another NI. We've got too much of the spill over from there at the moment, look at out football clubs. Definition of a Glaswegian athiest, someone who goes to an old firm match to watch the football. Or a jags fan.

One person on here knows how I intend to vote, though you can probably guess. If No win, the reaction of the Yes supporters I know is 'better luck next time' if the Westminster parties fail to deliver on their promises. Of the No voters if Yes wins the view is making sure independence works.

But you have a point, what ever the result both the Scottish and Westminster governments have to face the fact that almost half the Scottish electorate who turned out and voted wanted it the other way. Either way it is not going to be easy.

Posted by
5461 posts

So, MC, do you think that the turn out will be strong? I would think that it would be.

Pam

Posted by
1239 posts

Pam, it looks like the turn out will be 80% plus. The last UK general election was only about 65%. Despite compulsory voter registration in the UK, local councils are reporting a surge of thousands of people getting registered to vote ahead of 18th September..

Posted by
5461 posts

Well that's impressive turn out. I don't want to even think about how low the turn out will be next week for the NY primary.

Pam

Posted by
1239 posts

Latest poll is YES 51, NO 49.

The papers, well the Grauniad, is reporting the three main UK parties are pulling together to offer a constitutional convention if we vote No. I am not convinced now it is enough.

Posted by
41 posts

Well, whatever the vote, I wish them all the best. Two points do come to mind, though: as a resident of North Carolina, I would have to say that the Scots are fortunate that David Cameron is the PM and not Abe Lincoln. Were it the latter, a vote for separation would surely bring a massive invasion of Scotland by land and gunboats blockading Glasgow and Edinburgh.

More seriously, I have read that if Scotland does vote for secession, Orkney and Shetland will in turn separate themselves from Scotland and either remain British or petition Norway for integration into that country. Anyone any thoughts on that?
Don M.

Posted by
3262 posts

Wow, Don -- lot of unknowns there, but if the northern isles rejoined Norway, I wonder if they'd need to reorganize the roadways and start driving in the right? Locals in Orkney would have to get used to passing other cars on the Churchill Barriers on the left.

Posted by
41 posts

I hear ya, Cyn, but once the secession ball starts rolling, what happens next will be unpredictable. Personally I think Scottish independence is a mistake, in that there will be a multitude of issues that will have to be addressed immediately, like a monetary system, some sort of at least rudimentary military, some form of international alliance...even the national language. Will it be English, Gaelic, or a bi-lingual set-up like Canada? As an American Southerner I can certainly empathize, but it will not be easy!
I think the Orkney/Shetland thing is for real, though. I have heard on my several visits to Orkney some very harsh talk about Scotland and some surprisingly favorable mention of Norway and Britain as well. In any case, if Norway is the choice, driving on the right is far less of a problem than those Scotland is about to encounter.
Also, what do you envision will be the new UK flag?

Posted by
3262 posts

Don-lots to consider, for sure. I wonder if a New Jack flag would get rid of the blue background, eliminate the St. Andrews cross, and maybe finally give Wales a chance to be represented on a combined flag?

Posted by
5461 posts

I'm not so sure about an Orcadian secession. Take a look at what their online paper has for this week's headlines. There is an article in the Orkney Living magazine. It just doesn't look like it's a hot topic. Maybe it's all underground. Here's an article from the Shetland Times. It looks like Orkney and Shetland send a Lib Dem to Westminster. You can see a discussion in the comments.

Evidently, someone did try to petition the Scottish Parliament to set up additional votes on the issue of independence, not just for Orkney and Shetland, but also for the Western Isles. The petition didn't go anywhere as they did file it until Spring 2014. I would have thought if this was really wanted it would have been started much sooner. And here's a very interesting Guardian article.

And then on the US front, You've got Paul Krugman who thinks Scotland would be mad to vote of independence.

And then Britain is pledging more self-rule if the Scots stay.

Pam

Posted by
5461 posts

Interesting article from the London Time Higher Education on Scottish Independence and academics. Check out the regional split.

Pam

Posted by
1239 posts

Just an update as we enter the last few days of the campaign.

The posters are up everywhere, it feels like every lamp post has at least one. I have been getting 'personalised' literature from both sides as I am not a postal voter! Both sides have come up with good points, both comments that are pure daft.

The opinion polls are currently in a statistical dead heat, No slightly leading but only by a few percentage points. This is where it gets interesting. 97% of qualifying voters are registered. Qualifying voters are British, Irish, EU and qualifying Commonwealth citizens normally resident in Scotland above the age of 16 (normally 18) on the date of vote. This is unusually high despite it being compulsory, I cannot recall when anyone has been prosecuted for not registering. The previous expectation of an 80% turn out looks like it might be on the low side.

It is coming to the wire and I am no longer able to call it, I think No will edge a victory one day and Yes the next.

Back to one of Pamela's comments, the Westminster seat of Orkney and Sheltand, like the two Holyrood seats of Orkney, and Shetland, is held by a Liberal Democrat, the current Secretary of State for Scotland, Alastair Carmichael. He is advocating for a No vote, quite strongly, but has already indicated he will quit the Cabinet in case of a Yes to join the negotiating team.

Alastair Carmichael, following the parliamentary expense scandal as a new scheme was being developed was asked 'where is your nearest main line railway station?' He said 'I represent a collection of islands in the middle of the North Sea, where do you think?' 'So where is it?' 'Norway.'

Posted by
3262 posts

MC- I saw a news report at the end of last week that mentioned the inclusion of 16- and 17-year-olds in the upcoming vote, and how enthusiastic the kids being interviewed were. That's definitely an interesting added element, and I do hope The People get what they want.

Posted by
23563 posts

I was interested to see an article last week which showed that something like 70 percent of the 16 and 17s are voting NO.

It makes me laugh to think that it may be just the group that Salmond thought he could get and talk into putting the vote over for him may be the very ones making the vote go the other way.

Time will tell....

Posted by
11681 posts

NPR had a long piece on the vote this morning.

Posted by
8293 posts

As a resident of Quebec, I have lived through a couple of distressing referendums on the subject of separation from Canada. Families and friendships have been torn apart because of them. Each time we think, when the "no" side wins, "Well, that's it then" .... but it never is. There are always people who threaten us with another "when the time is right", I hope that won't be the case in Scotland if the "no" supporters win. It's not fun having a Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads.

Posted by
1239 posts

If this had been offered six months ago, No would be romping home. It is still close and probably too close to call. This offer is really what most people in Scotland wanted at the beginning.

In the event of a No, this is not the end of it. As long as the SNP exists there will be a call for independence, as long as there is a community seeking independence there will be an SNP. There are a number of outcomes after a No vote that can bring us back to a referendum within ten to twenty years. If the SNP can get a majority again.

In 2007 the SNP won a minority government in the Scottish Parliament. They did a good job. In 2011 following they got a majority, in an electoral system designed to keep them out, two thirds first past the post constituencies, one third PR regional list. This was helped by a lacklustre Labour campaign, and a collapse in the Lib Dem vote following the coalition. For the latter the SNP had a manifesto very similar to the Liberal Democrats. In that manifesto a referendum was promised, so inevitable.

To the future, in the event of a No, the three Unionist parties have to deliver, and also they need to start redecorating the constitution for the rest of the UK. If they don't deliver, the SNP will get back in, and the referendum will be back on. If they deliver the SNP is liable to shed votes as all parties do. It should be remembered hundreds of thousands of Scots, probably millions, are happy in the duality of being British and Scottish and it does mean alot to alot of people.Thursday will tell.

Posted by
1239 posts

If you have some time, check out Last Week Tonight with John Oliver from a couple days ago. Very funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YkLPxQp_y0

To introduce our American and Canadian friends to a phrase that causes dread in the UK - 'Except for viewers in....' it usually meant a regional opt out that was usually horrible.

Except for viewers in the United Kingdom (and I think the Republic of Ireland) where the programme is available on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday 16th September 2014 (anno LXIII Elizabethae Secundae Reginae) (and our acts of parliament haven't dated that way for decades, just in a weird mood)

Posted by
102 posts

@emma and MC-I'm so sorry you couldn't watch it yet! I'd really love to know what you thought of the whole piece. Jenny

Posted by
5817 posts

I have now watched it and I think he says what alot of English people are thinking, especially about Mel Gibson and David Cameron!
I don't think either side have come out of it particularly well and the worry is what happens after the result, which ever way it goes. The government are now making a lot of promises to pacify potential yes voters to convince them that a no vote would still be to the benefit of Scotland. That will be pretty divisive if a retained Scotland is seen to get preferential treatment over Wales, Northern Ireland and even Cornwall or Yorkshire.

Not looking good but if it gets rid of Cameron and his cronies that might be a good thing! (Personal opinion obviously and miliband isn't much better, although both their wives seem lovely :-) )

Posted by
5461 posts

I was all set to post the Jamie Oliver piece, but Jenny beat me to it. I have to say that I was practically rolling on the floor laughing at the unicorn. :) As some may know I work for a UK publishing company. This morning when we had a cross-the-pond conference call we suddenly lost the UK. We all immediately speculated about joining the Scots in another departure from England. :) Nigel and Mark, it was all in good fun! But the Scottish vote is much more serious. I have said to friends and colleagues that it seems like a vote of heart vs head, but that is probably too simplistic. But in a world in which there are beheadings, and the Russians force their way into the Ukraine, the Scots and English are to be commended for their civility and adult approach to the situation--yes even with some of the bizarre arguments--at least no one has been beheaded in this century.

Pam

Posted by
1239 posts

I have now watched it and I think he says what alot of English people are thinking, especially about Mel Gibson and David Cameron!
I don't think either side have come out of it particularly well and the worry is what happens after the result, which ever way it goes. The government are now making a lot of promises to pacify potential yes voters to convince them that a no vote would still be to the benefit of Scotland. That will be pretty divisive if a retained Scotland is seen to get preferential treatment over Wales, Northern Ireland and even Cornwall or Yorkshire.
Not looking good but if it gets rid of Cameron and his cronies that might be a good thing! (Personal opinion obviously and miliband isn't much better, although both their wives seem lovely :-) )

I am now waiting to see it! There is a joke about why one of our national animals is the unicorn but probably too crude to place here... I think the status quo is no longer on offer for any part of the UK in the event of a no vote. It can't be.

A little bit about the Barnett formula that comes up. It exists because Scotland is more expensive to run. The top third of the island of Great Britain with a spattering of islands with a tenth of the population and a harsher climate. It replaced decades of under funding. Our motorway network is still unfinished! Secondly it came in as the oil came ashore. The McCrone report, collated for the Heath government then sat on for thirty years as a state secret, said an independent Scotland with the oil would be so rich it would be 'embarassing'. So in part, as with all good government spending, it was to buy us off so Mrs Thatcher could spend the oil revenue in the City of London. The spending per head in Scotland also masks that our public spending includes spending by Scottish Water, still a publicly owned utility, whereas in England and Wales with privatised water it does not.

Hopefully though this has waken Westminster from its complacency, that our constitution, written on the back of a cigarette packet and held together by bits of string, was not working the way it should and needs a serious overhaul for the sake of all parts of the United Kingdom.

Posted by
5461 posts

There was an absolutely, phenomenal number of articles on Scotland in the recent NY Times.

  • One from Dundee with an interesting video.
  • One from Edinburgh on risk vs pride.
  • A great info graphic that shows the party make up Westminster and showing the Scottish Representation by party.
  • An op ed from Alan Cumming.
  • An article on the Undecided.
  • An article on Salmond.
  • An article on energy.
  • A Question/Answer article with a video from Berwick and Coldstream.

Tomorrow is the vote. One Scot in one of the videos shared Neal Ascherman's view, that no matter which way it goes, he thinks Scotland will be better off. This is said despite the likelihood that it will be a very close vote. We'll see tomorrow!

Pam

Posted by
1239 posts

Today is the day. I will be voting on my way home and for the first time in my voting life expecting queues. Finally saw the John Oliver piece and it was hilarious.

Posted by
9110 posts

Most of the papers on the racks south of the border are saying that it's the 'don't knows' who will decide.

Posted by
5817 posts

If it means anything Betfair (an online gambling site) paid out on a "No" vote 2 days ago
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/leisure/11098848/Betfair-pays-out-early-on-Scottish-independence-No-vote.html

I have a Welsh mum and an "English" dad of Irish/Norwegian extraction, and I was born in another commonwealth country so I would definitely describe myself as "British"! Personally I really hope the result is no, but i do think what ever the result is things are going to change, not necessarily for the better.

The one thing I do find particularly upsetting about the possible split is the change to the map. Silly I know. but i have always loved the "shape" of Great Britain, like an old lady riding a stick. That's what my "home" looks like and I don't want it to change.

Posted by
1239 posts

I voted on the way home from work, no queues but a busy than normal Polling Station. From a quick glance at my polling station about 50% had already voted. Whatever the result it is going to take a while for the dust to settle, and the UK is not going to be the same again.

And now we wait.

The results should be declared around 0500 BST on Friday 19th September. Which means because of the time difference, our American and Canadian friends might know before some of us will.

Posted by
3262 posts

If the results are provided, then, by 22:00 Mountain Daylight Time in the USA, they could be announced on our local TV news at that time tonight, except that if it doesn't involve the Denver Broncos football team, a robbery, a shooting, a fire, or a car accident (and sometimes a combination of the above), it may not make the local newscast. I'll be surprised if there's even a mention about the vote in Scotland. Early-morning national news could be different, but it'll be 10 AM in Scotland by then.

Posted by
5461 posts

We had a meeting at work today, where we were looking at sales numbers that are always described as US, UK, or ROW. The sales manager for ROW (Rest of World) was laying claim to Scotland if they split. :)

Pam

Posted by
1239 posts

Previous turn out figures of 80% across the country looks low. One of our council areas, Dundee, is reporting a turnout of 78%. Tonight this is low. Orkney, which seems to be popular on this site, is reporting 84% turnout. These two are on the low side tonight.

In UK terms the last general election was 65% across the UK, the last election for the Scottish Parliament was about 50%.

Posted by
674 posts

The Guardian says ,C-Span are taking live coverage from the BBC.
Orkney by 2 to 1 says,No

Posted by
1239 posts

Orkney is not that surprising given its culture and political history. Alastair Carmichael is only the third MP for Orkney and Shetland since about 1950, and the other two were also both from the same party. Of the three island councils Western Isles/Na Eileann nan Siar is most likely to vote yes. Strangely at one point it felt the old Liberal Party that became the Liberal Democrats seemed to have Orkney and Shetland in Scotland, and Truro at the toe of Cornwall in England, and virtually nothing in between!!

Posted by
1239 posts

Closest result so far, Inverclyde which went no with a Quebec 1995 margin.

Inverclyde is a fairly poor area with some serious problems that Yes expected to win handily.

Refrewshire has gone no, Glasgow airport is in Renfrewshire. The city of discovery, of jam, jute and journalism - Dundee, has gone yes pushing the division in the country to Quebec 1995 levels.

Posted by
1239 posts

Pamela's Scotland has now voted NO. Stirling just declared 60:40 on a 91% turnout.

Stirling Council covers some of the key areas of Scottish identity - the castle, Bannockburn, the Wallace Monument, and links the central belt with the Highlands. Interestingly it came after the vote in East Lothian, birthplace of the Scottish national flag, also declared no.

Posted by
1239 posts

BBC forecast now - No. After two years this referendum is over.

We are staying part of the UK, but 45% of us voted against.

Let there be no tears, no anxieties, no regrets, lets go forward and look into the eyes of our leaders at Westminster and Holyrood and say one word - 'deliver'. Deliver the promised changes for Scotland. Deliver them for England. Deliver then for Wales. Deliver them for Northern Ireland. Deliver them for us.

With an 85% turnout, politics can change the world. And if not the world, our own corners of the world. A world of wonder and glories we can all see, together.

At least the rest of the UK does not need to change the flag to the anaemic asterisk.

Posted by
1239 posts

The First Minister has now conceded defeat, 55:45 No:Yes with one council, Highland, still to declare. Even if every vote in the Highland Council area goes Yes, its not enough.

Posted by
8293 posts

I hope the Quebec separatist politicians who went to Scotland to witness the Yes side win are having a good time.

Posted by
1239 posts

08.40 BST here and the official result has been announced. 2 million no, 1.6 million yes with about 3000 rejected for reasons such as voting for both options (!) and writing something on the ballot to the extent the voter could be identified.

This probably now off the table for a decade or two unless Nigel Farage gets into office in May..

Posted by
23563 posts

Nothing to see now, move along, move along.

(waiting for Salmond to fall on his sword but not expecting it)

EDIT: - He did. Who'd have thought?

Posted by
103 posts

It was good to see the Scottish people exercising their rights and doing it in a peacefu manner. Time to move on for now and work as one. Time for Britain to make good on its commitments to Scotland.
If 85% of population came out to vote yesterday, then there will be a future time to readdress Independence. A new generation of people will be eligible voters. Politics requires patience.

Posted by
9110 posts

Rule One of the World

Express interest in, but not opinions of, anybody else's internal politics.

Posted by
4468 posts

Maybe this forum should take the lead and reunite the UK into a single category. Or at least offer a UK section where topics involving more than one constituent nation can be discussed in a single place.

Posted by
3262 posts

I get the sense that changes on some level will come out of this Scotland vote, unlike last year when some counties in Northern Colorado wanted to secede and become the 51st state -- haven't heard anything more about that!

Posted by
9110 posts

Never happen, Marco.

Mr Steves has rewritten geography. How long have we been chipping at this?

Posted by
23563 posts

Thank you, Marco. I said at the time that Rick Steves had jumped the gun and was clearly wearing his politics on his sleeve. Now that split is not happening it is time for him to paste it back together.

Kate and Andrew, are you listening?

Posted by
9110 posts

And, if you're listening -- does anybody understand the difference between a country and a nation ?

Posted by
1239 posts

Did you mean the "rest of Britain"? In which case I'd be delighted if you could remind me when we Welsh and English were given the choice about making these "commitments" to Scotland. I don't remember offering them anything or indeed even voting for someone who said they would at the last election beyond a bit a minor new powers. Too many of our politicians seem to have decided they can offer Scotland what they want. Well they can't.

Events dear boy, events. In 2010 the SNP did poorly in the Westminster election and looked likely to lose in 2011. In the 2011 they got a majority in a system designed to prevent them getting a majority with a commitment for a referendum. The three unionist parties had to work on proposals for further devolution to answer the SNP. The proposals ranged from good (the Tories!), only an iota off good (Lib Dems) to have you been paying attention in class (Labour). Then the referendum came in and it was clear none of these was what the Scottish people wanted. And then came the Yes ahead poll and panic Monday. The party leaders did what they had to and should have six months before and promise genuine new powers, closer to the Devo-Max which would have romped home like a hyperactive Grand National winner.

They then promised again in the Daily Record. And the No campaign won and they had to deliver.

What is good coming out of this is there is now a proper debate about how we want the UK governed, how further powers can be transferred to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. That the West Lothian question can be finally answered.

To give an example of the complexity of the WL question and how there are problems with some of the solutions when the Home Secretary stands up in the Commons her remit covers: the whole of the UK. England and Wales only.England excluding London, and Wales. England, Wales and Northern Ireland only. England only. England, Scotland and Wales only. And it spreads through out the Westminister Government.

Hopefully over the next few years a settlement will be achieved that is acceptable to all four nations. To quote the First Minister of Wales 'the union is dead, we need to build a new one.' If there is one lesson to take from this it is that we need to look at the constitution and find a solution that makes it better.

Politics, the art of the possible, the science of the necessary.

Posted by
5461 posts

I think that there was a big sigh of relief in England when the no vote one. I've heard this from colleagues in England and I've seen it discussed in articles. I've read about the same promises that MC writes about. They sound like ideas that will benefit all of the UK. It will continue to be interesting times in Scotland. What a great time to visit!

And here's a link to an article about Salmond stepping down.

And that UK sales manager was relieved to not lose Scotland to ROW. He also mentioned that he was happy that he didn't wake up next to a foreigner this morning. His wife is a Scottish lass.

Pam

Posted by
103 posts

Pam, thanks for all the updates and links to this very important geopolitical event in the U.K.

"Keep good on ther promises"......well sadly PM Cameron promised the Scottish much. Will he follow through or just be another politician in an empty suit, or as we say in the U.S. according to Clint Eastwood, and empty chair.

Posted by
5461 posts

Hi all, I didn't think I'd be adding another post to this thread, but I found this piece in the NY Times to be quite interesting. It looks at some issues that our UK contributors have mentioned and gives those of us from other places some insights into the repercussions to Scotland vote.