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Scottish Independence:

 1 Inhopelessguy, Sun, 22nd Jul '12 11:01:06 AM from Birmingham, Greater Europe Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Psych Lad
The topic of Scottish independence has been coming up recently, and as the months go by, it is becoming more and more apparent that such sentiment exists. Therefore, it is only right that it gets its own thread (whether this thread lasts until the actual referendum is a different matter. tongue)

Firstly, Scottish independence feeling has been around for centuries. Historically speaking, Scotland was an independent sovereign state until the Act of Union 1701 came into force, which united both the Kingdom of England (plus Wales), and the Kingdom of Scotland. Therefore, the concept of “Scotland” and “England” ceased to exist – at least as independent states.

This is different from Quebec or Catalonia (in Spain), as they were never independent to begin with.

Therefore, any comparisons between Scottish nationalism and Quebecois or Catalonian nationalism are moot.

Currently, Scotland exists as an administrative region within Britain as per the Scotland Act 1998. i.e. Scotland is autonomous within the state of Britain. If one could say so, Scotland is equivalent to Quebec in that it is an administrative region in a sovereign state. However, the powers of the Scottish Parliament can be ‘suspended’ by the national Parliament with a simple majority of MP’s in favour, however, this is politically suicidal, and has not happened since inception of the Scotparl.

This is the current situation. The First Minister of the Scottish Executive (i.e. the head of the Scottish government), Alex Salmond, is from the Scottish Nationalists Party, who have campaigned since the 1960s for the Scottish withdrawal from the UK (but only reached electoral prominence until the 1980s), has planned for a (non-binding) referendum on Scottish independence scheduled for 2014.

Here is where the real contention occurs.

The unionist parties (i.e. Labour, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats) want to see “Yes” and “No” on the ballot paper.

The Nationalists want to see “Yes”, “No”, and “Devolution Maximum” on the ballot paper. Currently, the powers of the Scotparl are incredibly numerous; from Education to Healthcare. This is not dissimilar to that of various subnational units in other states. Devo-Max will extend the powers of the Scotparl to that of ALL THE THINGS, excluding defence of the realm, and general foreign policy. (The current system gives the Scottish Executive limited powers to pursue foreign relationships independent of Westminster).

It will also give the Scotparl the power to collect all taxes that are levied within the region.

Currently, any tax levied for goods inside Scotland (e.g. income tax, corporation tax) are paid back into the national government. The national government pays Scotland a Bloc Grant to cover the costs of implementing policy.

Currently, 40-50% support D-MAX, with 30-40% supporting independence, and the rest supporting the status quo.

Of course, Scotland (as part of Britain) is part of a whole host of international organisations. For starters, the European Union.

Scotland could become the theoretical 30th State. This is one of the major reasons Salmond wants to leave the UK; Labour and Conservatives are not as pro-EU as the SNP. Scotland is possibly one of the more pro-EU regions in Britain.

The EU has said that they will not push Scotland to the back of the ascension queue (which is painful; it takes decades to become a state), however, this will result in the re-writing of Britain’s membership agreement – which is a boon to that of Cameron, whose party currently support a renegotiation idea).

Salmond (controversially to his party, but not to the public) also wishes an independent Scotland to join Nato - even though nuclear disarmament is a (second to independence) key policy of the Nationalists. However, the majority of British nuclear arms are in Scottish waters (to defend the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Nato charter). Therefore, how the two possible states divvy up the arsenal is fractious (it costs a hell of a lot to move the Trident subs down to English and Welsh waters - which are shared with Ireland on the Atlantic side).

Therefore, this thread is a discussion generally of the future impacts of a referendum of independence, and, I guess, on D-MAX.

edited 22nd Jul '12 11:34:18 AM by Inhopelessguy

There are so many things that I could say.

But they might come out all wrong.

Just that... you're something I can't replace.
I know you don't like the comparisons but I'm curious as to what they mean by independence.

Forgetting whether they "deserve" it or not, I leave that up to the UK to figure out, I'm more interested in how it might work. The devolution max solution sounds incredibly similar to Quebec.

Quebec has rights over everything except what the Federal government handles and receives money just like everyone else. So in the end, they end up being like any other province anyway because it's not like they care THAAAT much about Federal powers (specifically defence). They usually get a few seats at certain UN organisations.

edited 23rd Jul '12 11:17:10 AM by breadloaf

 3 The Bat Pencil, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 11:48:28 AM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
I know you don't like the comparisons but I'm curious as to what they mean by independence.

Exactly what you'd think it means - to be a sovereign, self-governing nation and a full member of the EU, the UN, the Commonwealth and possibly NATO with an equal standing to other member states.

edited 23rd Jul '12 11:48:38 AM by TheBatPencil

I couldn't possibly comment.
 4 Inhopelessguy, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 11:48:34 AM from Birmingham, Greater Europe Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Psych Lad
except what the Federal government handles

This is the major difference here. Scotland has much more power over its region as compared to the other administrations. The Welsh Assembly and the Northern Irish Assembly have major powers, but not to the extent that the Scotparl does (and English councils have literally no powers at all). Although a lot of things for Wales, NI, and Scotland are handled by their respective institutions, Scotland has a lot more devolved powers than the other two institutions do. (I could mention the Greater London Assembly, but that's a silly thing. tongue)

[up]Exactly this.

edited 23rd Jul '12 11:48:55 AM by Inhopelessguy

There are so many things that I could say.

But they might come out all wrong.

Just that... you're something I can't replace.
Well, you have health, education, infrastructure (like transportation) that are usually under provincial powers.

And then you have military and foreign relations.

So from what I can tell, this means...

  • Only taxes from Scottish government
  • Scottish military
  • Scottish diplomacy

 6 Inhopelessguy, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 11:53:53 AM from Birmingham, Greater Europe Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Psych Lad
Devo-Max is basically the same thing as that, but without the last two (although the Scottish Executive has limited foreign policy initiatives outside of the national Government).

There are three contentious issues post-independence:

  • Money
  • International relations
  • The rest of the UK (e.g. naming? Maps? UNSC?)

edited 23rd Jul '12 11:54:46 AM by Inhopelessguy

There are so many things that I could say.

But they might come out all wrong.

Just that... you're something I can't replace.
Do the Scots want the Euro or just their own currency and banking policy? I'm not familiar with how well the UK banks are doing compared with the Scottish ones (I suppose the British look worse now in light of the LIBOR scandal).

Is there any specific contention in international relations or just a vague "go our own way"?

They won't be getting a UNSC seat outside of normal voting, I can guarantee that. I suppose the real question is whether they can get in on the UNSC but hey, if they become a new country and a new UN member, then they will be eligible... if anybody will vote for them.

 8 The Bat Pencil, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 12:07:51 PM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
The current plan is to retain the Pound Sterling as currency.

As for other international relations, it's exactly what I said - EU, UN, Commonwealth and maybe NATO. This is exactly as it is now, just with more control over what we're doing.
I couldn't possibly comment.
The Pound but your own monetary policy?

 10 Inhopelessguy, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 12:14:11 PM from Birmingham, Greater Europe Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Psych Lad
Do the Scots want the Euro or just their own currency and banking policy?

Historically, the SNP wanted Scotland to use the Euro.

But however, they have changed to having the Bank of England (the current British central bank) as their central bank, and have a Scottish Pound pegged to Sterling.

And yes, their own Scottish financial and economic policy.

edited 23rd Jul '12 12:15:17 PM by Inhopelessguy

There are so many things that I could say.

But they might come out all wrong.

Just that... you're something I can't replace.
 11 The Bat Pencil, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 12:16:53 PM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
For the record, we already print our own notes. Which are completely interchangeable with English notes.

It's not broken, doesn't need fixed.

edited 23rd Jul '12 12:17:15 PM by TheBatPencil

I couldn't possibly comment.
 12 Radical Taoist, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 1:36:54 PM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
Please don't leave. I dread to think what the U.K. would be like without the political influence of Scotland. For the rest of the world's sake, stay, please!
 13 Inhopelessguy, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 1:45:41 PM from Birmingham, Greater Europe Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Psych Lad
Oddly, Cameron wins either way.

Status Quo/D-MAX:
  • Cameron becomes the Prime Minister that saved the Union.
  • Looks good to the world!

Independence;:
  • Renegotiation of the European Communities Act 1972 (The ECA would no longer be in force, and therefore EU membership would have to be negotiated), which is what Cameron's Conservative Party wants
  • RUK (rest of the UK, of course tongue) becomes a Conservative-majority state. Labour will be beaten hard, as Scotland is one of the Labour heartlands for national elections.
There are so many things that I could say.

But they might come out all wrong.

Just that... you're something I can't replace.
 14 pagad, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 2:21:30 PM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
Just pointing something out: Labour would still have won the 1997, 2001 and 2005 general elections without Scotland.
 15 The Bat Pencil, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 2:29:25 PM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
[up] But on the other hand, the Labour leader who won them was born in Edinburgh. And his Chancellor was from Giffnock.

edited 23rd Jul '12 2:33:18 PM by TheBatPencil

I couldn't possibly comment.
And all of Canada's good Prime Ministers were born in Quebec.

Hmmm.

I think I would probably prefer a d-max Scotland. Full independence is not likely worth the trouble and it becomes moot once the evil union (EU) takes over everything anyway.

 17 Silasw, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 2:35:12 PM from UK :( Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
[up][up][up] But without Scotland the Conservatives would have won a majority in the 2010 election.
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael
 18 pagad, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 3:43:08 PM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
Yes, but there seems to be this meme going around that the Tories would dominate the rest of the UK practically unopposed.
 19 Caissas Death Angel, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 3:44:45 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
It would be a lot easier for them to dominate, because they wouldn't have to even try appeasing Scots who don't vote for them anyway.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 20 The Bat Pencil, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 4:17:33 PM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
[up] I don't think that the Tories have bothered with that kind of pretending since the 1970s.

And this is really the crux of the problem. The practically universal loss of trust in Westminster has been amplified by the fact that which way Scotland votes doesn't have much baring on national issues on account of their not being that many of us.

The success of devolution hasn't been seen just as giving Scots a stronger voice in their own country but mostly in shielding Scots from the machinations of Westminster parties that no one here voted for. That mindset is quite damaging to Westminster's legitimacy, and that's damage of the irreversible sort.

"Tory" is a bad word in this country, Miliband is even less popular than David Cameron and I don't think that most Scots could identify Nick Clegg in a lineup.

Incidentally this is why I don't think that Devo-Max is the answer; in the end, we won't trust Westminster with whatever reserved powers remain. Alex Salmond, whose party hadn't won shit until 2007, is widely seen as the most competent politician in all of Britain; doesn't that say it all?

edited 23rd Jul '12 4:22:12 PM by TheBatPencil

I couldn't possibly comment.
 21 Gabrael, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 4:28:42 PM from bouncy house of squishy Relationship Status: Gay for Big Boss
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
If Scotland does go, I would much rather them be their own completely independent and disconnected country instead of just another Quebec-like situation.
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." Bertrand Russell
 22 Politruk, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 5:05:18 PM from The Trenches
Fanatic
I'm all for it: Guarantees that no Scot will be ruled by Tories ever 'gain. (And that ain't no small gain grin)

It is not the Scottish people's job to protect reactionary Englishmen from their own idiocy: You can't exactly expect a left-wing nation to accept right-wing foreign governments (or fake-leftist Labour governments that compromise with reactionaries on fiscal and social policy).

edited 23rd Jul '12 5:09:44 PM by Politruk

Our cause is just. The enemy shall be defeated. Victory will be ours!
 23 saintbraeburn, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 5:13:42 PM from Dysfunctional California
Saint Braeburn:
If Scotland goes, could the entire UK fall apart?
Everything is Possible.

But somethings are more Probable than others.
 24 Caissas Death Angel, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 5:28:19 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Nah, legally it's more complex for Wales to gain independence, since their union wasn't originally voluntary. In practice, it makes no difference, but when it comes to the fine print, I have a feeling it could cause issues. In any case, the nationalist movements (led by the SNP's sister party, Plaid Cymru, are largely insipid and have no more support than Labour there.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 25 Joesolo, Mon, 23rd Jul '12 5:28:46 PM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
I doubt it. the only other places that could really leave are northern Ireland and wales. both seem much more loyal to England, especially wales. what else is there? Northumberland?

edited 23rd Jul '12 5:29:35 PM by Joesolo

"Why do you need guns that big?"

"Hitler had a very small penis. "

Le Garcon and Geek Code Red on a German artillery gun
Total posts: 624
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