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Poll
Question:  If the referendum were held now, how would you vote?
YES to independence
NO to independence
Don't know

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Scottish politics

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mickeypops
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1725 on: March 15, 2014, 11:58 AM »
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Really?     Explain the absence of Tories in Scotland.

I just noticed this.  Now, I'm no Tory, but it's a misconception to state that there is minimal Conservative Party support in Scotland.

In the 2010 General Election, the Conservatives polled 16.7% of the votes - that's roughly 1 in every 6 voters.  In comparison, the SNP polled only slightly more, at  19.9%

The vagaries of the "first past the post" system left the Tories with just one MP in Scotland.  The Proportional Representation system in use for the Scottish Parliament elections means that there are currently 15 Conservative MSPs in Holyrood.

Just trying to present a balanced view, based on the facts.  It would be easy to get the impression that the Conservatives are as meaningless as the Monster Raving Looneys in Scottish politics.  That simply isn't true.

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Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1726 on: March 15, 2014, 12:13 PM »
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you are trying to have it both ways Iluvandy. You claim devolution did not have majority support for years. But in the next breadth you say we were cheated in the first referendum. I assume here by cheated you are referring to the fact that a majority of voters in the 1970s referendum supported devolution. But if that is true, and it is, then we have clear evidence of majority support before it eventually happened in the late 1990s

It 's probably more accurate to say devolution did not have SUSTAINED support for years.    It has always fluctuated - 1979 was influenced by the cry of "It's Scotland's Oil" and 1997 by Maggie's legacy.   I don't know about the feelings in all the other small countries which have attained independence within living memory but I think in Ireland there was not a lot of popular support at the time of the Easter Rising, but I would guess not many in Ireland would now want Westminster rule.    There is a fear of the unknown.    I want the brave to forge ahead now and later on the others to join them.         
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Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1727 on: March 15, 2014, 12:18 PM »
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@MP.   I think FPTP makes people vote differently.    They are as likely to vote against a candidate as for.
PR is supposed to give smaller parties a chance.
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mickeypops
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1728 on: March 15, 2014, 01:28 PM »
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@MP.   I think FPTP makes people vote differently.    They are as likely to vote against a candidate as for.
PR is supposed to give smaller parties a chance.

I'm sure that you're right ILA.  I'm just pointing out that there is a sizeable minority support for the Conservatives in Scotland and it is a mistake to discount the support that such minded people bring to the "no" campaign.

All of the "Scotland v hated English Tories" hype from Salmon, Sturgeon and co (my observation) is likely to harden Scottish Conservative supporters' attitude to the referendum, and as I point out above there are actually quite a lot of them.  I think this might be a tactical mistake by the SNP.
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althusser
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1729 on: March 15, 2014, 03:24 PM »
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It 's probably more accurate to say devolution did not have SUSTAINED support for years.    It has always fluctuated - 1979 was influenced by the cry of "It's Scotland's Oil" and 1997 by Maggie's legacy.   I don't know about the feelin
It 's probably more accurate to say devolution did not have SUSTAINED support for years.    It has always fluctuated - 1979 was influenced by the cry of "It's Scotland's Oil" and 1997 by Maggie's legacy.   I don't know about the feelings in all the other small countries which have attained independence within living memory but I think in Ireland there was not a lot of popular support at the time of the Easter Rising, but I would guess not many in Ireland would now want Westminster rule.    There is a fear of the unknown.    I want the brave to forge ahead now and later on the others to join them.         
the other small countries which have attained independence within living memory but I think in Ireland there was not a lot of popular support at the time of the Easter Rising, but I would guess not many in Ireland would now want Westminster rule.    There is a fear of the unknown.    I want the brave to forge ahead now and later on the others to join them.         
There was certainly sustained support for devolution for many years before it happened. As the late labour leader John Smith destined it, devolution was the settled will of most Scots by the early nineties. Independence has never had anything like that level of enduring support.
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Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1730 on: March 15, 2014, 04:33 PM »
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We will have to agree to disagree on that, Althusser.     The support for devolution fluctuated wildly.    There is no doubt John Smith's support helped the devolution cause.    He was much loved and admired.     But it could equally be argued that there was a sizeable contribution made by Maggie Thatcher.     Her Sermon on the Mound gave an enormous boost to the campaign.   Before Maggie it was sustained by quite a small group of determined individuals.
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althusser
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1731 on: March 15, 2014, 07:51 PM »
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I agree that there were fluctuations, but over many years it was just a question of how much of a majority it had.

But anyway, we can finish in agreement on Thatcher, I am sure it would not have happened as quick without her! A rich irony but happily true.
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Littlebuddha
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1732 on: March 18, 2014, 07:36 PM »
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If there was ever a good reason for Scottish Independence it was Maggie Thatcher she above all other things made me and other Scots think about Independence. She was loathed then and is still loathed now. That woman did not care a fig about Scotland and we were used as guinea pigs for the Poll Tax. She destroyed all the heavy industries,coal mines,steelworks and shipbuilding. It is the same for this present government (UK) if Labour  did not have it's Scottish seats I think England would have a permanent Tory Government so you would think they would be happy if we voted for independence. Perhaps all they want is money from the oil and the taxes we pay otherwise I am sure they would be happy to be rid of us.
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althusser
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1733 on: March 18, 2014, 10:21 PM »
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The idea that thatcher chose the Scottish as guinea pigs for the poll tax is actually untrue. It has been repeated so often that you would be forgiven for assuming it is true. Indeed David Cameron effectively once apologised for it. But in fact Thatcher wanted it introduced across the whole UK at the same time. She only let it be brought in first in scotland after giving in to the lobbying of senior Scottish tories who thought the policy could win them votes.

Thatcher was not anti Scottish as such, but she was anti social. Her policies affected parts of England and Wales as badly, and sometimes worse than Scotland. And she certainly looked after the wealthy in scotland as well as other parts of the UK.
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mickeypops
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1734 on: March 19, 2014, 10:56 AM »
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Althusser is right of course.  Myth and Hyperbole often take up the vacuum once memory and reason have left the building, and this is at least partly true about the dreaded Poll tax or "Community Charge" as it was properly entitled.

This was't an additional tax to be levied upon the people, but rather it replaced the much-reviled "Rates" as the method of raising taxes on residents to pay for some of the local government services.  There were lots of problems and anomalies with the old Rates, which was based upon some notional valuation of the property that families lived in.  A widow would have to pay the same as a family of four working adults in the same property next door.  Older properties typically wouldn't have been re-rated in decades, and so would pay a fraction of the sum paid by a similar new build property in the same area.  And so on...

The change to a per-person tax (hence the "poll" tax nickname) had been signalled in an earlier general election manifesto that the Tories won.  And, as Althusser refers to, it was brought to Scotland a year in advance of England and Wales not as a punishment, rather, it was felt, so that Scotland could experience the "benefits" as early as possible.  The intention was in fact altruistic.

However the transition to, and the implementation of the new tax was a shambles.  Although the poor and low paid were exempt from paying the Community Charge, the threshold for paying the full amount was very low.  Suddenly, a bus conductor paid the same as bank executive.  There was no sliding scale.  Councils sneakily managed to "up" their budgets along the way so that the total claimed via the poll tax was in excess of what had been raised by the Rates it replaced.  A household of a hardworking couple paid twice as much as single occupier no matter how rich.  One set of anomalies had been brutally switched to another set of real (and perceived) injustices.

The result, as they say, is history.  Once Mrs Thatcher was deposed from power, John Major swiftly introduced the Council Tax, a system not too dissimilar from the earlier system of Rates.  And that's where we remain today.

Thatcher's intention in all this is slightly misunderstood I think.  It was an honest attempt to replace something rotten (The Rates) with something more fairly distributed per person, rather than per property.  The devil was in the detail though and it went horribly wrong, and she never really recovered from its failure.  Her reputation in Scotland was destroyed.  To this date it is generally felt that the Poll Tax was deployed first in Scotland out of badness, whereas in fact the opposite was the intention - it was meant to introduce something fairer that would be of benefit to the citizens, as quickly as possible.

A most spectacular political own-goal, if ever there was one!

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Alis
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1735 on: March 19, 2014, 02:22 PM »
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Thanks for that, Mickeypops, how nice to hear a voice of reason!
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mickeypops
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1736 on: March 19, 2014, 03:19 PM »
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Thanks Alis. The older I get, the more I realise that things are rarely as black and white as they're painted!
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Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1737 on: March 19, 2014, 04:43 PM »
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Althusser is right in that Thatcher was persuaded by the Scottish Tory grandees to introduce the poll tax in Scotland first.    The tax was badly thought out and was obviously going to be a nightmare to collect as people tend not to be as static as houses.   The old chestnut about the widow paying the same as the four working adults next door was much bandied about at the time.    A prime example of how politicians can manipulate the thinking of the voters.    What goes around comes around and no politician bothered to point out that at one time the poor old widow could have been one of a family of X number of working adults, living next door to some other poor old widow.   The rates were not perfect but probably no tax is, but it was a deal fairer then the poll tax.     
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1738 on: March 20, 2014, 07:24 PM »
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Any other English people likely to have confused feelings about Murray if independence goes through in September? Personally, I'll feel like we've lost a Wimbledon champ and it'll be 78 years and counting.
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wimbledonwestie
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #1739 on: March 20, 2014, 07:30 PM »
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Doing my best to help you keep him!
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