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Why care about Scottish independence?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Why not just let them leave? I don't really get all of the angst. lol..

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It seems largely impossible to ascertain facts about what Scottish independence would actually mean for both countries - each camp being in possession of their own "facts" as they appear to be.

    I hope the Scottish vote to stay in the union merely to lower Salmond's level of smug.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    danston wrote: »
    Why not just let them leave? I don't really get all of the angst. lol..

    Not everyone in Scotland wants independence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It seems largely impossible to ascertain facts about what Scottish independence would actually mean for both countries - each camp being in possession of their own "facts" as they appear to be.

    I hope the Scottish vote to stay in the union merely to lower Salmond's level of smug.

    The main problem is that no-one knows what the 'facts' will be, though in reality it is unlikely to be anywhere near as rosy as the SNP claim nor as disastrous Better Together view. It'll also depend very much on what future Scottish Governments decide to do, policies over which the current SNP administration has no control (to say nothing of things such as what rUK do, EU decisions, OPEC etc, etc)

    That said I think the facts are pretty irrelevant to this type of debate - they might make you decide whether you want your Govt over the next five years to be Tory, SNP, Labour etc (and even that is more influenced by values), but the decision on whether to Scotland should be part of the UK or independent isn't decided over whether you'll be a few £k richer under one option but your sense of identity , ie if you feel Scottish and British you'll vote to remain in the UK, if you feel Scottish only you'll vote for independence and these don't change readily
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Not everyone in Scotland wants independence.

    Or even, according to most polls, anyone near a majority
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The main problem is that no-one knows what the 'facts' will be, though in reality it is unlikely to be anywhere near as rosy as the SNP claim nor as disastrous Better Together view. It'll also depend very much on what future Scottish Governments decide to do, policies over which the current SNP administration has no control (to say nothing of things such as what rUK do, EU decisions, OPEC etc, etc)

    I find it difficult to believe there are no facts to be known about what a post-independence Scotland and UK would look like. For example, given the EU is one of the most bureaucratic entities ever dreamed into existence, one would imagine there are provisions in place relating to the status of countries seceding from a union. But even straight-forward questions like the currency Scotland would use and whether it would be granted EU membership are hotly disputed.
    That said I think the facts are pretty irrelevant to this type of debate - they might make you decide whether you want your Govt over the next five years to be Tory, SNP, Labour etc (and even that is more influenced by values), but the decision on whether to Scotland should be part of the UK or independent isn't decided over whether you'll be a few £k richer under one option but your sense of identity , ie if you feel Scottish and British you'll vote to remain in the UK, if you feel Scottish only you'll vote for independence and these don't change readily

    When facts are postulated to be irrelevant folly is sure to follow. If this debate hinges on do you feel "Scottish" enough to want an independent Scotland - a question so woolly as to be all but meaningless - then I find the whole thing farcical - not that I believe that is entirely the case.

    The whole thing smacks of nationalism, something that's mostly ridiculous, often dangerous and always difficult to justify.

    If the argument was "Scotland is getting fucked being part of the union and here's why..." then I'd find it easier to engage. But it doesn't seem to be.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I find it difficult to believe there are no facts to be known about what a post-independence Scotland and UK would look like. For example, given the EU is one of the most bureaucratic entities ever dreamed into existence, one would imagine there are provisions in place relating to the status of countries seceding from a union. But even straight-forward questions like the currency Scotland would use and whether it would be granted EU membership are hotly disputed..

    I'm not sure the facts are as simple as you'd hope. A lot of it is forecasting and we struggle to be able to accurately say what will happen if we put a couple of £100m in the economy or take it out, so we've no chance of saying what's going to happen over thirty years and more if you take an entire country out.


    The EU question isn't straightforward , the EU has no rules for this and there's a legal question on whether Scotland is a successor state to the UK or a newly formed state, and the answer to that isn't simple (there are precedents both way, Southern Ireland isn't regarded as a successor state to the UK as the UK continued, as I understand it Czech Republic and Slovakia are both regarded as successor states to Czechslovakia) That's to say nothing of the members differing views, Spain wants to deter separatist states, Ireland would probably support them (as would rUK in my view). Wisely the Commission is saying as little as it can, partially because it doesn't know the answer and secondly because any provisional view would open it to interfering in the domestic affairs of a member state. I suspect in reality after lots of negotiation Scotland would stay in, but on not nearly as good terms as it hoped (and with limited influence going forward)


    When facts are postulated to be irrelevant folly is sure to follow. If this debate hinges on do you feel "Scottish" enough to want an independent Scotland - a question so woolly as to be all but meaningless - then I find the whole thing farcical - not that I believe that is entirely the case.

    The whole thing smacks of nationalism, something that's mostly ridiculous, often dangerous and always difficult to justify.

    If the argument was "Scotland is getting fucked being part of the union and here's why..." then I'd find it easier to engage. But it doesn't seem to be

    But its naïve to think that the only communities we form are purely functional. You may regard it as old fashioned and dangerous (I don't) but people do feel a sense of belonging to a group which is wider than their immediate neighbours and family and which is narrower than the nebulous concept of a citizen of the world (though as an aside those individuals and ideologies which are most supportive of this from communism to radical Islam often seem to be the most keen to remove lots of other citizens from it)

    I'm also not an SNPper (I'm an Ulster Prod, we're not big on the nationalism thing ;) ) but I think we need to differentiate between their civic nationalism, which thinks that all the citizens of Scotland are Scottish whatever their ethnic background and that Scotland would be better governed by a more 'local' Parliament and the blood nationalism of groups such as Sinn Fein and the Nazis where nationalism is based on ethnic groupings and not all the people who live their belong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But its naïve to think that the only communities we form are purely functional. You may regard it as old fashioned and dangerous (I don't) but people do feel a sense of belonging to a group which is wider than their immediate neighbours and family and which is narrower than the nebulous concept of a citizen of the world (though as an aside those individuals and ideologies which are most supportive of this from communism to radical Islam often seem to be the most keen to remove lots of other citizens from it)

    This is precisely my point: in-group and out-group nets are often cast in such an undiscerning manner as to be utterly arbitrary; I don't believe that somewhere between parochialism and jingoism is sensible policy. And to start the process of dismantling a functioning union over a vague sense of unfulfilled patriotism - which by all accounts isn't shared by the majority of their countrymen - seems to me to be utterly bonkers. As I said before, if someone were to say "Scotland, as part of the union, gets completely fucked over in regard to X, Y and Z, which they've tried to address and only met resistance" then I could see the case for independence, if only as a bargaining chip.
    I'm also not an SNPper (I'm an Ulster Prod, we're not big on the nationalism thing ) but I think we need to differentiate between their civic nationalism, which thinks that all the citizens of Scotland are Scottish whatever their ethnic background and that Scotland would be better governed by a more 'local' Parliament and the blood nationalism of groups such as Sinn Fein and the Nazis where nationalism is based on ethnic groupings and not all the people who live their belong.

    I find the notion of an in-group based purely on on geographical location almost as as absurd as one based purely on skin colour or ethnic grouping. I'm hard pushed to think of a situation were tribal thinking has ever ended up in a positive.

    If the SNP were to be able to make a clear and cogent case that the Scottish people would better off under an independent Scotland I'd take notice. As it is Alex Salmond can't even be sure of the colour of the money he'd be using.

    ETA: I've just re-read this post and it sounds curt. It's not meant to be. It's just the whole debate on independence seem so woolly and tainted that I find it frustrating.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is precisely my point: in-group and out-group nets are often cast in such an undiscerning manner as to be utterly arbitrary; I don't believe that somewhere between parochialism and jingoism is sensible policy. And to start the process of dismantling a functioning union over a vague sense of unfulfilled patriotism - which by all accounts isn't shared by the majority of their countrymen - seems to me to be utterly bonkers. As I said before, if someone were to say "Scotland, as part of the union, gets completely fucked over in regard to X, Y and Z, which they've tried to address and only met resistance" then I could see the case for independence, if only as a bargaining chip..

    Well, to an extent I agree - I'm by nature both a Unionist and a pragmatist, I'd cynical about New Jersualems being round the corner if only Scotland (or N.Ireland, Wales, Cornwall etc) were independent. I suppose the counter argument is that Scotland does get buggered on oil, on having a Government which is dominated by English MPs, and which doesn't meet the aspirations of Scots (who the SNP seem to think are more left-wing than their English brethren), and they would argue that the system is inherently unfair - but as I said I'm not a nationalist so I don't buy it myself.



    I
    find the notion of an in-group based purely on on geographical location almost as as absurd as one based purely on skin colour or ethnic grouping. I'm hard pushed to think of a situation were tribal thinking has ever ended up in a positive.

    If the SNP were to be able to make a clear and cogent case that the Scottish people would better off under an independent Scotland I'd take notice. As it is Alex Salmond can't even be sure of the colour of the money he'd be using.

    I think nations can be a force for good. I'm certainly not an expert on prehistory, but most of the stuff I've read on early man (and modern small tribes) paint them as a picture of constant small scale feuding, murder and rape and kidnap (for rape). Nations bring together large numbers of people and keep them together peaceably.

    I also remember you said that if we want greater equality we need to get rid of the Queen, I disagree on that, but I would say if you want greater equality you need functioning states. If I feel some fellow feeling that a poor single Mum in Glasgow or an unemployed welder in Newcastle is British I'm more likely as a relatively wealthy and London based be willing to have at least some of my income go to them in taxes. This isn't true if the person isn't a British citizen (see the complaints the Govt gets on Foreign Aid, which is a paltry 0.7% of GDP or come to that the complaints in Europe about the relatively small wealth transfer from Germany to Greece)

    I think we need to differentiate between patriotism and civic nationalism (pride in your country, a sense of belonging to a wider group etc) and xenophobia and blood nationalism

    ETA: I've just re-read this post and it sounds curt. It's not meant to be. It's just the whole debate on independence seem so woolly and tainted that I find it frustrating

    It doesn't come over as curt to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think the problem stems from the perception that the UK=England, and the other nations are subservient. England is the most populous country, and the UK government is based there, but that doesn't mean the English are the leaders. Surely it would be much more useful for everybody if we tried to ensure the equality of our nations, and worked towards addressing any perceived imbalances?

    I think it's unfair to allow the Scottish to have the sole vote on this issue. The argument is that it's their country, but what about the rest of the UK? Their country is going to be affected too.

    To me, Alex Salmond and his deputies come across as incredibly childish in any discussions on the matter. Independence feels like simply a token gesture to prove a point. Aggressive nationalist posturing.

    I think a great number of the English would quite like independence from Westminster, or at the very least a devolved English parliament.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think nations can be a force for good. I'm certainly not an expert on prehistory, but most of the stuff I've read on early man (and modern small tribes) paint them as a picture of constant small scale feuding, murder and rape and kidnap (for rape). Nations bring together large numbers of people and keep them together peaceably.

    I accept that with a greater pool of wealth to draw from you can provide more comprehensively for the most vulnerable. However, you can easily argue that nation building also allows you to fight conflicts on a scale that wouldn't previously have been achievable using weapons that wouldn't previously have been imaginable or affordable. I find it difficult to imagine the First World War occurring if small tribes predominated.
    I also remember you said that if we want greater equality we need to get rid of the Queen, I disagree on that, but I would say if you want greater equality you need functioning states. If I feel some fellow feeling that a poor single Mum in Glasgow or an unemployed welder in Newcastle is British I'm more likely as a relatively wealthy and London based be willing to have at least some of my income go to them in taxes. This isn't true if the person isn't a British citizen (see the complaints the Govt gets on Foreign Aid, which is a paltry 0.7% of GDP or come to that the complaints in Europe about the relatively small wealth transfer from Germany to Greece)

    As above, I do accept that nation building has the potential for ensuring basic provisions are met, though it seems the independence movement is more about restructuring of nations than building them - perhaps even the destruction of one.
    I think we need to differentiate between patriotism and civic nationalism (pride in your country, a sense of belonging to a wider group etc) and xenophobia and blood nationalism

    They're two side of the same coin: it's arbitrary in-group and out-group blinkered to the myriad of differences between the in-group members as well as to the similarities between the in-group and out-group. The outcomes differ, of course, but the thinking is the same.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Filaks wrote: »
    I think the problem stems from the perception that the UK=England, and the other nations are subservient. England is the most populous country, and the UK government is based there, but that doesn't mean the English are the leaders. Surely it would be much more useful for everybody if we tried to ensure the equality of our nations, and worked towards addressing any perceived imbalances?

    I think it's unfair to allow the Scottish to have the sole vote on this issue. The argument is that it's their country, but what about the rest of the UK? Their country is going to be affected too.

    To me, Alex Salmond and his deputies come across as incredibly childish in any discussions on the matter. Independence feels like simply a token gesture to prove a point. Aggressive nationalist posturing.

    I think a great number of the English would quite like independence from Westminster, or at the very least a devolved English parliament.

    But then isn't this the reason Blair gave it devolution?

    It's still unlikely that it will result in a yes vote, but if it did I don't see how it would damage the UK's standing or prestige. We'd still have a large economy and cultural/military/diplomatic influence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Not everyone in Scotland wants independence.

    A shame.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Or even, according to most polls, anyone near a majority

    As said, let them go lol..
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