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Scottish Independence:

 551 Last Hussar, Sun, 2nd Mar '14 4:34:32 AM Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Because we all know how reliable S&P scoring is...
I'm right and you're wrong. The reason you think I'm arrogant is that you don't understand how wrong you are.
 552 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 2nd Mar '14 5:10:17 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
The rating agencies aren't idiots. It's hardly an exact science, but you can't just casually dismiss them. They're cautious by nature, and it's very telling that they've said this. I'd have expected the opposite from them, frankly, so this is a pleasant surprise and an important one.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
They might not be idiots, but I don't trust their motivations.

 554 Caissas Death Angel, Tue, 4th Mar '14 10:21:35 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
That's nice. How is that relevant? I can't think of any kind of conspiratorial reason why the ratings agency would speak positively of Scottish independence, when if anything Big Business have more interest in Westminster so seem more likely to oppose it.

I'm not denying the agencies are shady, but dismissing their assessment so casually is pretty damn weak.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 555 Silasw, Tue, 4th Mar '14 1:56:45 PM from The UNITED Kingdom Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
I'm as a big a moaner about the independence side as any but even I can't see anything shady in this, if anything an alternative result would strike me as a bit shady, the old boys in Westminster (do I count as one of those now that I technically live in Westminster?) leaning on their friends in the City to make sure Scotland gets an "appropriate" rating.
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"If the UN can get through a day without everyone strangling everyone else so can we." ~ Cyran
 556 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 4:58:02 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Some good news for the Yes campaign today, several pieces in fact.

A senior EU official says it would be completely illogical for the EU not to automatically admit Scotland in the event of a Yes vote, as it's not a new state joining but one state splitting with both wanting to remain EU members. There is no precedent for this, though Catalonia and Flanders could both be in the same position soon (I admit I'd missed that Flanders was getting a referendum).

A report commissioned by Sir Tom Hunter - who is so far neutral in the independence debate - rips apart Osborne's view that a currency union would not be possible. Granted, it does say that a Plan B is also needed, but even myself and many pro-Yes voters consider that a necessity.

I can't seem to find a non-Facebook link but Yes Shetland are reporting that Alistair Carmichael - one of the leading pro-Union campaigners - was ripped to shreds in the debate last night in his home constituency, a solid Lib Dem area and one of the least likely to be pro-independence. Pre-debate polling had Yes up at 58-57, which had soared to 70-48 by the end of the debate.

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 557 Greenmantle, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:04:48 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
[up] By the way, Brussels is in Flanders.
 558 pagad, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:14:53 AM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
Yeah, a Belgian split would cause a masssive headache for sure. Brussels may be in Flanders, but it's dominated by Francophone Walloons.
Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place.
 559 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:19:23 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Looks like this is a discussion for the European politics thread, but that's very interesting. "Relocate the EU capital, or abandon any hopes that states splitting from each other can be excluded by default from the EU" is a rather nasty choice for more than a few people.

That it's not the first referendum means it can't be used as a precedent for the others though; even the order of these things complicates matters considerably.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 560 pagad, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:22:50 AM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
So going back to the topic at hand, I must admit to a certain bitterness that the No campaign is dominated by fuckwits, to the point that I'm wondering to what extent the Tories are deliberately sabotaging it (not that I'm suggesting that's the case with Alastair Carmichael, woeful incompetence seems to a Lib Dem watchword right now).
Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place.
 561 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:28:53 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
It has been long suggested that the best Yes campaigners are the Better Together leaders - especially since they actually started campaigning (albeit badly) before Yes got off its arse and started doing anything at all. I'm rather relieved to be honest and would be similarly frustrated were I a No fan.

I do wish I could find a non-Yes Scotland link to the debate, but provincial as it it is, we may be reliant on the local press, and Sunday isn't exactly their most active day.

edited 23rd Mar '14 5:29:27 AM by CaissasDeathAngel

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 562 pagad, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:39:29 AM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
Silly as it may sound, and as much as I moan about it, I rather like this United Kingdom of ours and seeing its future entrusted to the likes of David Cameron and Alastair Darling is, as you say, rather frustrating. Equally, the glee among some of the Tories I know at the prospect of ridding themselves of the Scottish left is disheartening. I'm kind of resigned to a Yes vote in September at this point.
Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place.
 563 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 5:50:34 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Since Scotland are very pro-EU, their excision from the British body would rather help anti-EU Tories and UKIP supporters, so they do indeed have every reason to want Yes to win. I'm still of the belief that No will ultimately win, as despite 2014 being the anniversary of Bannockburn and us having the Commonwealth Games (Cameron trying to use those as a reason we should remain in the UK is just pathetic, as no one is questioning that we'd remain in the Commonwealth and there isn't even any "Team GB" sentiment to play from), I don't know that the patriotic feelings those bring will translate into votes.

The SNP has plenty of anti-independence supporters because of its general governance, and Alex Salmond is a highly devisive figure even among supporters of independence and/or the SNP generally.

That said, support for Yes does seem to be increasing, and the leading Westminster politicians have a lot on their plate that doesn't relate to the debate, not least of course the Council elections which are a critical indicator ahead of next year's general election.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 564 tricksterson, Sun, 23rd Mar '14 8:03:11 AM from Behind you with an icepick Relationship Status: I made a point to burn all of the photographs
Never Trust
The Vikings of Shetland and what they might mean for the referendum
If it's an authority figure and it's breathing it's guilty
 565 Caissas Death Angel, Fri, 28th Mar '14 1:49:52 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Even the Daily Fail are openly worried about the state of the Better Together campaign.

This was actually the front page story in the Scottish Daily Mail, and the fact that they have admitted that support for Yes is rising is rather telling. I'll be honest, I don't trust opinion polls on this matter but I believe it more now that the Mail are saying it, simply because of how unlikely it is that they would.

The core message is an obvious one - the BT campaign is negative and focussing on how Scotland is fucked if they vote Yes. This is patronising and insulting, even where there are valid factual points. A more positive message would be far more encouraging. The negative one just shows the discord between Scotland and rUK, but a positive one could show how Scotland can thrive within the union.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 566 Silasw, Fri, 28th Mar '14 2:39:48 PM from The UNITED Kingdom Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
Yeah, the Better Together campaign need to focus more on how we're better together, rather than how we're worse apart. You'd think they'd get that what with the name and all...
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"If the UN can get through a day without everyone strangling everyone else so can we." ~ Cyran
 567 Deviant Braeburn, Fri, 28th Mar '14 2:51:50 PM from Dysfunctional California
Wandering Jew
Nick Clegg has urged opponents of Scottish independence to make the case for remaining with the UK "just as thrilling as the drama of leaving it".

Looking solely at the polls, the question seems less like "Will Scotland vote for independence?" and more like "Will the vote against independence be a landslide?"

But that is just my personal observation.

edited 28th Mar '14 3:00:34 PM by DeviantBraeburn

Everything is Possible.

But some things are more Probable than others.
JEBAGEDDON 2016

 568 Caissas Death Angel, Fri, 28th Mar '14 2:54:27 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
[up][up] You'd think, yeah, but unfortunately for No supporters, the Westminster leaders are more interested in a personal war with Alex Salmond than the actual consequences or the debate itself. Winning is less of a priority than humiliating Salmond, even though Salmond is pretty much irrelevant even as far as Yes supporters are concerned - we like the concept of and arguments for independence, and the idea that Salmond is the crown prince of the country is unfounded. Just because the SNP may get independence doesn't mean they'll be in power after it.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 569 optimusjamie, Fri, 28th Mar '14 5:37:57 PM from Mega-City One Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
The thing is, could Scotland survive on its own? From my understanding, they'd have to join the EU, and Spain(?) seems likely to veto it, probably due to their own issues with separatists.
 570 Caissas Death Angel, Fri, 28th Mar '14 5:42:46 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Spain wouldn't get any kind of a veto that I'm aware of. Scotland wants closer relations with the EU, and has the support in that regard with a lot of nations (granted, the big three of France, Germany and Spain excluded). Such as Holland, Belgium, Croatia, and the like. We have great trading relations with the Dutch, and the Croatians, the newest EU members, see themselves as similar to us.

The legal mechanics though are hotly disputed, though Barroso, who has insisted it isn't happening, has a strong bias against it so I don't trust him.

The simple fact is, there is no precedent here. No nation within the EU has split with both parties wanting to remain in the EU, so how it would happen is very unclear. RUK's status would likely need to be redone, even if only at the clerical level, too. Better Together conveniently ignore that basic bit of logic in all discussions on the matter.

edited 28th Mar '14 5:44:17 PM by CaissasDeathAngel

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 571 The Bat Pencil, Fri, 28th Mar '14 6:00:19 PM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
The debate is whether or not the law would allow Scotland to remain in the EU after independence, or if it would have to go through an application process.

Project Fear aside, there's no serious suggestion that Scotland wouldn't be in the EU at some point. The Spanish government has said nothing about a veto, and in fact said that it'll take whatever position Westminster does (and Westminster's position is that Scotland can, legally, vote for independence and should be in the EU).
And let us pray that come it may (As come it will for a' that)
 572 Achaemenid, Tue, 1st Apr '14 11:41:15 AM from Mitakihara Town, Copenhagen Relationship Status: You can be my wingman any time
Scotland to switch to driving on the right post-independence. Roadsigns are to be replaced with new typefaces and backgrounds, and M and A roads are to be designated S and N, respectively. Large "spiral junctions" are to be built at the Border.

Independence strategists are believed to have sought advice on the plan from the Stirling University professor of transport semiotics, Lana Gocaireachd. "It's exciting, it gives us a clear difference from the English and is a tangible manifestation of a new, vibrant and independent national, " said one official close to the scheme. "A more conscious uncoupling, perhaps."

April Fools
Die Russen seind gefallen in Preußen ein;

Auf, laßt uns sie zeigen, daß wir brave Landeskinder sein!

 573 Silasw, Tue, 1st Apr '14 11:59:16 AM from The UNITED Kingdom Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
S&M roads...

You had be fooled, but luckily I have spoiler tags set auto-open so my confusion did not last.
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"If the UN can get through a day without everyone strangling everyone else so can we." ~ Cyran
 574 Caissas Death Angel, Fri, 4th Apr '14 1:53:14 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
This essay says a lot of what myself and my Yes supporting friends are thinking.

An independent parliament in waiting, Edinburgh’s devolved Holyrood legislature will become the beating heart of Scotland’s democracy if the country backs itself and votes yes in September’s independence referendum.

There is certainly no logical reason why a rich, naturally left-of-center country like Scotland would vote against the best interests of the majority of those who call it home, to pursue the right-wing future offered by both Westminster parties.

For Scotland, independence is about democracy not nationalism; it’s about righting the wrongs of a country living its life as a region.

In a manic desperation to safeguard Westminster rule, British nationalists are trying to con people in Scotland into believing black is white: that more austerity, an increase in the retirement age, pensions being privatized, nuclear weapons on the doorstep of Scotland’s largest city, a lower life expectancy, record numbers of food banks, governments it didn’t vote for, are the best thing for Scotland.

“Die before you retire” would be an apt slogan for the no campaign.

Scotland really is being asked to vote for its very own dystopia; where the poor are to be used as the logs on a roaring Westminster bonfire that’s burning the remaining threads of a fair and progressive society.

The Westminster government in London uses Scotland as a place to house its weapons of mass destruction and for its abundant resources. And it will continue to bleed the country dry for its own ends if the no camp’s message of doom and gloom prevails in September.

Fortunately the ludicrous nature of the scare tactics and threats being imposed on the debate by those determined to control Scotland for their own self-interest is unraveling by the day. The polls show things are pretty much neck and neck, with the no side edging it at the moment. But people across Scotland are only now beginning to fully engage with the debate and they hear loud and clear the lies of the no side.

When the ministry of defense in London says the nuclear submarines housed in Scotland are a little too dangerous to be relocated to certain parts of England, the people of Scotland know they are being taken for fools. They see that Scotland is not a valued part of the United Kingdom; rather, it is a place to be placated with false promises in the hope it will continue to fall for the lies of Westminster millionaires.

The truth is that Westminster is financially, politically and morally bankrupt. The keenness among pro-unionist members of the U.K. parliament from Scotland to push the country toward a no vote is borne from their own self-interest. They want to continue enjoying their inflated Westminster salaries before whiling away their later years in the warm and unelected surroundings of the House of Lords; living the life of the privileged while those they serve starve inside austerity Britain.

Scottish independence can be the beginning of the end for this desperate political construct: the U.K.; it can spark a democratic revolution across Britain.

As a country, Scotland’s natural constitutional state must be independence. For the regions of England, many of whom feel disenfranchised by the elites running what is one of the most centralist states in the developed world, devolution and greater local decision making could be the prize, if Scotland votes yes in September. English democrats will rightly push for more powers closer to home. Indeed there is growing support from liberals in England for Scottish independence, with twitter buzzing in recent months with backing from those south of the border sick of the direction of Westminster rule, many telling Scotland to have courage and “go for it.”

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron tells Scotland it should vote no to independence because “we’re better together, ” but ultimately it will mean being together in isolation. The London regime is planning for an in/out referendum on membership of the Europe Union to try and win back the right-wing conservative voters it has lost to the puerile anti-European UK Independence Party, whose acting chair in Scotland recently attacked Glasgow City Council: saying it was for “gays, Catholics and communists”. This charming party is expected to do well in England at this year’s European elections, and in the next U.K. general election. Yet another right-wing party then with no support in Scotland on course have a say on how the country is run.

When it comes to the EU referendum, opinion polls show Scotland would vote to remain in the EU, while the rest of the U.K. is largely determined to leave. Scotland’s opinion will count for nothing though, as its far larger southern neighbor will ultimately decide, due to the sheer size of its electorate.

With any luck, this democratic injustice won’t come to pass because the country will have voted yes to independence. The polls show the momentum is with the yes movement, who are running an inspiring grass-roots campaign organizing local meetings across Scotland pretty much every day to talk with the public about independence and what it will mean for them. People are listening and want to hear more.

In town halls the length and breadth of Scotland, the pro-democracy independence side are winning debates on a weekly basis. The only barrier to this has been when debates have been canceled because the no side failed to put forward someone to take part.

Sadly Westminster is only interested in democracy as far as it is able to dictate the terms of it. In the case of Scotland’s independence referendum, this has been to stifle proper debate. Cameron won’t even go head to head with Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond; he’s been too busy lobbying Russian President Vladimir Putin and other national leaders: briefing against Scotland internationally while refusing to address the issue on his own doorstep.

Even U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on a trip to Scotland in February refused to speak to Scottish Television after announcing there would be no currency union with the country in the event of a yes vote.

A U.K. government minister has since let slip to the Guardian newspaper there would “of course” be a currency union. The inability of Westminster to treat Scotland with respect has become a hallmark of this campaign.

More worrying than this, though, have been the pronouncements by some senior U.K. government figures that Westminster might not accept the result if the people vote yes. The sheer contempt which some within the British nationalist camp have for the democratic process is beyond belief.

Scotland needs to bring an end to this ridiculous situation and gift its parliament with the transformative powers that come with independence.

If the country votes yes, political parties of all colors will have to respond to its aspirations and come forward with new policies. A no vote on the other hand will leave Scotland in the grip of one party rule for the foreseeable future, as the right-wing Conservative Party and formerly left of center Labour Party adopt the same policies in a scramble to secure the crucial votes of those in the south of England.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has even made clear his ambitions to become the male Maggie Thatcher, pledging to govern like the iron lady herself if he becomes U.K. prime minister. The woman who used Scotland’s oil to finance her thirst for war and to destroy the country’s industrial base, is not the type of role model the people want a potential Labour prime minister to follow. And with Miliband now intent on more austerity if he gets the top job, both Westminster parties are on course to destroy the hopes of future generations, with the Child Poverty Action Group revealing that 100, 000 more Scottish children will be forced into poverty by 2020 as a result of London’s austerity obsession.

The society of Scotland has a once-in- a-lifetime chance to claim the political powers needed to avert this impending, and — in so many parts of Scotland —already existing, humanitarian crisis.

According to the Financial Times newspaper: “An independent Scotland could expect to start with healthier state finances than the rest of the U.K.”

Scotland’s wealth is being wasted by those who don’t care about the well-being of its people. Only independence can reverse this abomination.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 575 Septimus Heap, Fri, 4th Apr '14 1:57:14 PM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
That is awfully optimistic to me.

A question: How ready is Scotland economically for independence? History has mixed results.

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