It’s been talked about a little in the lounge, but thought it’d be worth its own thread, since it’s a white-hot matter in the UK at the moment.
Today is the last public debate regarding Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK, with Thursday being the big day for the “Aye” and “No” voters.
A large portion of Scotland, and the SNP in particular, have been calling out for independence from the UK and there’s been an active campaign over the past year for a referendum. This week, Scotland may well sever its ties, depending on the outcome.
Sorry, by Scots/Brits I was referring to Yes and No voters; the rest of the UK doesn’t get a vote, only Scotland.
Irritatingly, nearly every “expert” and reporter in the media here in England appears to be English and hearing them explain what’s good for Scotland has been really grating on me today.
One of the reasons that the referendum has attracted international attention is due to its potential to inspire other independence/union drives across Europe and elsewhere.
Even in the north of England, where I am now, it’s drawn attention to the lack of Northern representation, politically and financially, in London. A smaller drive is even emerging here.
Personally, I think a federalized democratic system, much like the systems you have in the USA, Canada & Australia would be a better way to represent the different parts of the UK. It’s not a big place, but there are some huge divides in the UK that aren’t addressed/are exploited under the current system.
Speaking as an Englander, I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
But anyway, how I see it, it’s their decision to make, I can understand why they’d want to make it, and I’d hope that an independant Scotland and a now-slightly-smaller UK would have a strong co-operative relationship should that situation come to pass. Incidentally, I’ve heard some speculation around the place (mainly just the Guardian, that’s usually the only place I can be bothered to check) that even if the outcome is a No vote, the strong support that has been displayed for independence will likely spur further devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament. So either way, the SNP might be able to call this a victory. Interesting stuff to consider.
This is a referendum, so it will be decided by the Scottish voting public. I don’t think there are any further requirements beyond being on the electoral register (and, obviously, being a resident of Scotland).
Spain and Italy are having issues too. The best part of Spain is trying to separate. Keep in mind last time they tried to separate, Spain sent in the military to crack skulls, and arrested all local government for 30 years for treason.
There is a select group of people that are going to get stupendously rich off the oil in the North Sea, and this vote is going to have an enormous impact on exactly which office those peoples’ Cayman Island holding company files papers with.
Since I’m someone who’s not too up to date on world events, can you give me the cliffnotes on why you guys want independence and why Brits say no? I’m curious because a lot of Quebecois have been making a parallel to Quebec and of course, fully support the idea of Scotland being sovereign.
mostly, it seems a lot of countries/whatevers realize they could make more money being independent. The Spain independence movement is based around the fact that Madrid and the rest of spain or wasting money and economically in a SECOND recession, and Catalan realizes they make enough money to just move out on their own. Scotland doesn’t want Britain making decisions for it.
Quebec wants out because the french are fucking cowards who should have been left to die when La Belle Province got hit with that ice storm years ago. Fuck them all, let them leave. Give us back all the money we’ve lent you, and change your hockey team name to the Montreal Cock Smokers
Most of the English at work don’t really care either way, and the English governmental parties that oppose Scottish independence are all conservative parties and would have interests in removing Scotland, with matters such as the disassembly and privatisation of the NHS being made much easier (Despite their names, the Conservative party, New Labour and the Liberal Democrats are all, for the most part, conservative parties, especially when compared with their predecessors and the other, smaller candidates).
Alot of the opposition comes from uncertainty, global confidence regarding the UK, the amount of work that will go into restructuring the UK and, like in any break-up, how all the stuff will be divided up.
Scotland holds large(ish) oil reserves, the UK’s nuclear deterrent, some of the UK’s larger military bases (not to mention, roughly 1/3rd of troops are Scots) and a strong financial sector. On top of that many companies have departments on both sides of the border, including the company that I work for, and nobody really knows how independence will affect all of that stuff yet.
The main bargaining chips that the Alistair Darling (Figurehead of the No campaign and ex-British Chancellor) has been throwing in is that Scotland will lose the pound as currency and will have to re-apply for their European Status (as may the rest of the UK).
EDIT: It’s worth noting that there are strong arguments in Scotland alone on the matter. As with a lot of things in Scotland, they’re largely sectarian, with the Catholics wanting devolution and the Protestants wanting union. Others want to stick around out of fear of poverty, with the Republic of Ireland still remaining a reminder to the rest of the UK that the grass isn’t always greener. Regardless of reasons though, a lot of Scottish do want to stay in the UK.
The Eurozone is a fucking joke right now, and most of it’s members are going through austerity measures, or are flat out broke (ie- Greece). They’ll fucking take whatever they can get. The same lousy excuse is being used in the Italy and Spain independence movements, as if the Eurozone would just allow random non affiliated countries in their midst.
So, I spent almost the entire weekend reading up on this because I knew virtually nothing about the situation, other than it appeared to be up for vote and a couple England buddies of mine were almost rabidly opposed to it. They came off a bit imperialist, so I decided to find out once and for all what the deal was.
tl;dr What Scotland has gone through in the last 700 years is pretty fucked up, and English people are assholes for guilt-tripping them into voting against independence.
They were basically invaded in the late 1200s, astroturfed for 400 years, forcibly annexed in the 1600s (including Cromwell parting out the Scottish Navy and just giving all the shit to his friends), then folding Scotland officially into the Act of Union in 1707 that created the UK (which also included Ireland and Wales, but the genesis of the Act pertained to incorporating Scotland). These days, Scotland is granted a modest amount of autonomy, enough that you could argue they’re no more disadvantaged than England, Ireland or Wales within the UK’s constructs… but the reality is that it’s disingenuous and absurd, given the vast majority of interests addressed by the UK as a whole are decidedly British-centric. Queen Anne even retained the crown through the Act of Union transition.
People from England can cough up a myriad of excuses why independence is a bad idea – here’s a laundry list I’ve been read:
They’d have to apply separately for admission to the EU and NATO, and there are no guarantees they’d even be accepted. And even if they did, it would take a while.
England would have to move their TRIDENT nuclear sub base out of Scotland and relocate elsewhere, possibly to an American port. In the meantime, national security becomes an issue because Russia will simply camp off the coast of Scotland with warheads at the ready.
They’re walking over a cliff. Scotland’s economy will take a shit worse than Greece once the North Sea oil runs out. (England: “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!”)
Undoing the Act of Union will make Scotland about as relevant as Kuwait.
Would “diminish the power, prestige and authority of England”, likely leading to them being booted from G8 and leaving their future with UNSC and the EU in doubt.
Since England has already ruled out Scotland being allowed to use the Pound Sterling, that leaves Scotland with only the Euro. That would wreck their local economy and the bond rating of both Scotland and England.
I don’t doubt that a lot of these are fine points, but they make a lot of assumptions that aren’t necessarily givens, and they also carry more detrimental effects to England, rather than Scotland. If your country were invaded by your rude neighbors who then spent the next 700 years telling you that you didn’t know what was best for yourself, wouldn’t you get sick of it? Whether any of the above points are true or not, it’s still not Britain’s job to make that call. It’s the people of Scotland’s to decide their own fate.
Agree with everything above except the pound, and a little with Scotland’s acceptance into the union. (Stories about selling wool to the America’s and debt and stuff. Long and boring.)
Control of the pound, however, is a purely emotional matter and shouldn’t be used, as it has been, in the referendum debate. Although the UK and Scotland will have separate economies, it’s virtually impossible for the UK to prevent Scotland from using the pound as currency. I’d go so far as to say that the UK would be forced to agree to share the pound, as the immediate alternative would be to halt Scottish economy.
Anyone who lives in the UK is fully aware of how well accepted a Scottish banknote is south of the border already. You’re better off buying your groceries with hugs in London if you only have one of these with you:
will Scotland break away and become the ultra liberal (but still openly racist) bastion it so desires, its neighbors’ membership in the EU hanging by a thread based on the Scots’ attempts at trial-and-error self-autonomy
or will it continue to live the lapdog existence under the skirt of the queen
lose - lose?