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August 15, 2007

Scottish Independence

A pity:

English voters will be given no say over proposals that could end the 300-year-old union with Scotland, the leader of Edinburgh's new nationalist administration said yesterday.

We'd say yes, bye bye, whether the haggis wearers wanted it or not.

August 15, 2007 in The English | Permalink


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Isn't this simply fixed by our English Parliament putting a white paper together for a referendum on staying in the union?


Posted by: Kay Tie | Aug 15, 2007 11:05:41 AM

Ah well, that's that then. Be seeing you.

I have been wavering for some time - but thanks for helping me make up my mind.

By the way, here's a thought for you all while you're dancing round the maypole - have fun trying to keep your place in the G8. And on the Security Council.

Your retention of these little pearls is by no means a foregone conclusion. The Brazilians could be doing with a permanent seat.

And should Scotland ever become independent, I'm sure one of the first laws it will pass will be a freedom of speech law protecting Scottish citizens resident in Scotland from prosecution or threats of violence for speaking against a matter of Scottish public policy with they disagree, no matter how unpalatable their view might be - protections which current legislation does not seem to offer.

And we want the same deal that the Irish got.

You know, I'm really quite looking forward to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Scotland and Russia...

Posted by: Martin | Aug 15, 2007 1:36:18 PM

just being an interested outsider,who is a scot?? ...one who lives in scotland ,or has the right genes and lives in england??

Posted by: embutler | Aug 15, 2007 2:12:53 PM

"have fun trying to keep your place in the G8. And on the Security Council."

Why would anyone want a place in a centre of excellence for giving away taxpayers money, and a "security council" which does sweet fanny adams? In fact the whole UN is a laughing stock. It has achieved nothing of value, and has been mired in scandal for years. Trading blocks are all very well, up to a point. But political blocks are risible. They allow politicians to cavort about on the "world stage", "brokering" peace (ha ha!), and preening themselves on their compassion for the worlds poor. Neither the English or the Scots need this charade.

I wish Scotland would decide, once and for all, what she wants. Personally I want an independant, sovereign state. England's rather a nice name....

Posted by: Monty | Aug 15, 2007 5:13:09 PM

"And we want the same deal that the Irish got."

Now there's another good reason for England declaring UDI.

Posted by: Monty | Aug 15, 2007 5:18:36 PM

why should England get a say in Scotland's future? let them decide. it's their country.

Posted by: pommygranate | Aug 15, 2007 5:19:10 PM

No, pommygranate, the United Kingdom is not just the Scots'c country and that is what they intend to break up. Mind you, I agree with Tim - England would probably vote for independence and no more money to the Scots. But the decision to break up the Union should be taken by all.

Posted by: Helen | Aug 15, 2007 6:33:38 PM

Londoners deserve a plebiscite on independence for London.

Our population is far bigger than Scotland's and, as the official figures show, we have the highest unemployment rate of all the UK's standard regions:

With their continuing massive net annual contribution of funds to the national exchequer, London resident taxpayers are subsidising all the grant junkies in the rest of Britain:

"London is a major net contributor to the Exchequer: Our estimates suggest that London continues to be a substantial net contributor to UK public finances, by between £6 and £18 billion in 2003-04, despite the deterioration in public finances at a national level, with the mid-point of the range of estimates implying a net contribution of £12.1 billion."
Oxford Economic Forecasting: London's Place in the UK Economy 2005-6

Posted by: Bob B | Aug 15, 2007 7:23:30 PM

I reckon the whole independence movement is a complete joke. By all means hope for an independent England or Scotland, but it's really missing the point. If neither is free from the EU then there is little to be gained bar political grandstanding and rampant nationalism. If Scotland were serious about independence, real independence, it would give up its uneven political power and shed the shackles of economic reliance. In contrast, it wants the same subsidies that the Irish got, ergo further dependence and to a less accountable political structure. No fun to be had in that at all.

Posted by: Philip Thomas | Aug 15, 2007 9:28:43 PM

> I wish Scotland would decide, once and for all, what she wants.

She has, repeatedly. Survey after survey shows support for independence is sub-30% (most recent numbers are getting closer to 30% than ever before, and that's cause for celebration in SNP land). The SNP got in because that was the most efficient way to kick labour repeatedly in the balls, not because there's been a sudden upsurge of pro-independence sentiment. It's a classic case of the incumbent losing an election rather than the opposition winning it.

I don't really have an opinion either way, but it's clear that the SNP victory (by one seat) means they're now in a position to start sawing at the ropes holding Scotland in the UK. Which is exactly what they're doing. You've got to admire the strategy even if you don't necessarily agree with it.

Bit of a tangent: am I just visiting at bad times, or are 99% of the people who inhabit Scots newspaper websites' comment sections (a) unemployed, (b) hardcore nationalists and (c) drunk?

Posted by: Gary Marshall | Aug 16, 2007 12:05:09 AM


A quote from the official website of the Office for National Statistics:

"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)."

"A UNITED Nations report has labelled Scotland the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America. England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest."

Just the facts.

Public service information supplied by LIP.

Posted by: Bob B | Aug 16, 2007 1:59:42 AM

> Just the facts.

In addition to a hard-drinking culture, we have some of the poorest areas in Europe. The links between living in a shithole and alcohol/drug abuse are well established.

Posted by: Gary Marshall | Aug 16, 2007 8:14:56 AM

"In addition to a hard-drinking culture, we have some of the poorest areas in Europe."

The question is about how much of that has been self-inflicted by mindless politics, especially in Glasgow. Building 30-story residential tower blocks in the 1960s wasn't clever urban planning.

There are very affluent areas around Edinburgh, which still has one of the largest and most flourishing financial centres in Europe - even though London has the largest capital market in Europe.

Posted by: Bob B | Aug 16, 2007 11:00:05 AM

> Building 30-story residential tower blocks in the 1960s wasn't clever urban planning.

Indeed. It's a fascinating bit of history - the motives were good enough (get rid of the slums, offer the housing of the future), but they let their optimism blind them to some of the real dumb things they were doing.

Posted by: Gary Marshall | Aug 16, 2007 11:36:11 AM


Out of interest - ever thought of the consequences that independence would have for the broader Commonwealth? What impact it might have on the constitutional settlements of Canada and Australia?

Tim adds: No.
Now I have.
I'd hazard a guess at nothing.

Posted by: Martin | Aug 18, 2007 6:59:38 AM

Hmmm....not so sure.

Ain't their Queen "Her Britannic Majesty"?

So there might be a wee bit of a problem if Her Majesty becomes slightly less Britannic than she used to be.

Tim adds: Not wholly sure. But certainly, as far as Canada and Australia go, she's Queen of those places independently of being Queen of the UK.

Posted by: Martin | Aug 18, 2007 11:01:11 AM