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Question:  If the referendum were held now, how would you vote?
YES to independence
NO to independence
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Scottish politics

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Bevc
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #705 on: October 30, 2012, 11:34 PM »
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Also surprised with some fees for healthcare:
http://www.europe-cities.com/en/633/norway/health/

from page 2:There are relatively few fees in for healthcare in the state system. Inpatient hospital treatment is free to all who qualify, but visits to doctors and specialists as well as prescription medicine incur charges. Citizens must also pay for radiology and laboratory tests and for non-emergency transportation. There are a number of exemptions e.g. for people who suffer from chronic disease, pregnant woman and those who have just given birth.

There are significantly high charges for dental treatment for adults, although some citizens receive subsidised dental care for prioritised patients. Under eighteens are entitled to free dental treatment.

The cost of prescription medicine falls into one of two groups termed the white class and the blue class. White class medicines are free, whilst blue class are subsidised.



I have an aunt and uncle that lived in Norway for several years with their kids - cost of living was very expensive according to them and he had a very good job out there.
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Bevc
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #706 on: October 31, 2012, 02:19 AM »
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Came across this during my afternoon break:-

Major investment will be needed in Aberdeen long before North Sea assets become depleted, a leading oil executive has warned.

Sir Ian Wood told BBC Scotland he believed North Sea oil would be in "reasonably strong shape" for the next 20 or 30 years.

But he said the city needed to attract new industries long before then.

He explained: "My roots in Aberdeen are that my father's father and his father and his father were fishing in Aberdeen, and the last thing I'd like to see is future generations looking back and saying: 'they did very nicely for themselves, thank you very much, but what did they leave for us?'

"That's a grave danger because Aberdeen's got a huge amount of plusses just now: it is a highly enterprising city, cosmopolitan, good quality of life, two super universities.

"But it's got a major Achilles heel - it's dependent largely on one industry, and that's a depleting industry because North Sea oil is a depleting asset.

 
Sir Ian believes Aberdeen will benefit from North Sea oil for another 20 to 30 years "Without overdramatising that, I believe we'll have North Sea oil in reasonably strong shape for the next 20 or 30 years - that's a long time.

"But what we mustn't do is wait until 25 years' time when it starts going down and say 'Oh god, what are we going to do now? - we'd better start investing'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-20140345

Seems that this gentlemen would be confirming that you weren't actually talking pish, Phil  Very Happy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #707 on: October 31, 2012, 01:17 PM »
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Came across this during my afternoon break:-

Major investment will be needed in Aberdeen long before North Sea assets become depleted, a leading oil executive has warned.

Sir Ian Wood told BBC Scotland he believed North Sea oil would be in "reasonably strong shape" for the next 20 or 30 years.

But he said the city needed to attract new industries long before then.

He explained: "My roots in Aberdeen are that my father's father and his father and his father were fishing in Aberdeen, and the last thing I'd like to see is future generations looking back and saying: 'they did very nicely for themselves, thank you very much, but what did they leave for us?'
"That's a grave danger because Aberdeen's got a huge amount of plusses just now: it is a highly enterprising city, cosmopolitan, good quality of life, two super universities.

"But it's got a major Achilles heel - it's dependent largely on one industry, and that's a depleting industry because North Sea oil is a depleting asset.

 
Sir Ian believes Aberdeen will benefit from North Sea oil for another 20 to 30 years "Without overdramatising that, I believe we'll have North Sea oil in reasonably strong shape for the next 20 or 30 years - that's a long time.

"But what we mustn't do is wait until 25 years' time when it starts going down and say 'Oh god, what are we going to do now? - we'd better start investing'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-20140345

Seems that this gentlemen would be confirming that you weren't actually talking pish, Phil  Very Happy

mmm.
All this guy is saying is that Aberdeen should diversify and he believes it can. Seems pretty sensible & positive to me.
The reality of the situation is that Scotland would probably do fine for itself with or without Oil.
Ignore boogers doomladen scenario, the extra money that the Scots get is actually based on political manipulation and the distortions of the barnett formula, which was devised on predicted population numbers that never occured. It should be scrapped & a new regional payment mechanism be introduced.
In my view the Scots should not be getting any extra money over the rest of the country despite their oil contribution and I say that as a fan of Andy and Scotland. We are borrowing far too much money as it is & we will have to stop doing it sooner rather than later. The terrible third world Scotland that boogers patronisingly believes will occur if the union ended, however, wouldn't happen. They would just have to pay their own way at the end of the day, either in higher taxes or decreased governement benefits or both.
Scottish kids & their parents might have to, gasp! actually have to pay for their university courses. And their medical outcomes and prescription rates would more or less fall in line with the rest of the country. As they should anyway, for if they are to stay in the union it is simply not acceptable that Scotland should have these benefits when the rest of the country doesn't & can't afford them.
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #708 on: October 31, 2012, 03:19 PM »
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All this guy is saying is that Aberdeen should diversify and he believes it can. Seems pretty sensible & positive to me.

because the oil will run out:

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North Sea oil is a depleting asset.

As I said earlier.

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The reality of the situation is that Scotland would probably do fine for itself with or without Oil.

The facts and figures I've presented do not support that supposition. All I've seen from you is hand-waving and claims that these are biased, without anything substantive given in return.

The terrible third world Scotland that boogers patronisingly believes will occur if the union ended, however, wouldn't happen.

Blatant mischaracterisation.

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They would just have to pay their own way at the end of the day, either in higher taxes or decreased governement benefits or both.
Scottish kids & their parents might have to, gasp! actually have to pay for their university courses. And their medical outcomes and prescription rates would more or less fall in line with the rest of the country. As they should anyway, for if they are to stay in the union it is simply not acceptable that Scotland should have these benefits when the rest of the country doesn't & can't afford them.

Whilst I agree with the sentiment, the cuts required would be rather deeper and wider ranging than that. I don't think those on the "yes" side really understand that.
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Bevc
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #709 on: October 31, 2012, 04:48 PM »
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I was referring to the oil running out and yes, they do need to invest in other things. That particular gent wanted to invest £50m in some local scheme there but that scheme has now been scrapped. Hopefully he will find something else he considers worthy.

Increasing outgoings for the Scots will not what the SNP want to do - their publications/comments are how better off Scotland will be without England (et al) dragging them down. Their website mentions how they have frozen council taxes until next the general election.
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #710 on: October 31, 2012, 05:32 PM »
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because the oil will run out

Yes yes the oil will run out, eventually. But if they have a 30 year start on that time by developing their own fund it will be better than nothing I suppose. At this stage that would make them not much further than half way through this whole thing and is the oil depletes it will get more expensive, less might mean more for a time financially speaking. Lets hope we are all off fossil fuels by then in any instance.

And please stop with with the hand wringing nonsense. I accept the small number of  figures you presented (I've looked at the report) what you seem to miss, & I'm not sure whether it is on purpose, and what was my original point to begin with is, namely, that Britian is now running deficits in excess of £150 billion. The interest alone on our debt is nearing £50 billion & we are lucky the money markets still think we are good for it or the above deficit would probably put us in Italian and Spanish territory. In fact in or out of recession only 6 out of the last 40 years worth of bugets have reported a surplus or balance. Don't delude yourself, this is not just a Scottish problem. Government spending is a British disease and a western one in general with a seemingly endless number of Governements refusing to tell their people NO for short term advantage.
And i haven't mentioned private debt in all of this but at present we are only just behind Greece and Ireland in the amount of debt the government has racked up, without being able to take unilateral fiscal action thanks to our non membership of the euro I would not be surprised if we had eventually suffered the same fate of these countries.

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The facts and figures I've presented do not support that supposition. All I've seen from you is hand-waving and claims that these are biased, without anything substantive given in return


No No, No.
Do you understand the barnett formula, its history and what it was originally planned to do?
Your argument that Scotland needs this extra money more than anyone else is blatantly false as the spending figures have nothing to do with need. The calculations were based on a spending model that put projected population growth relative to the growth of England's population. Not per capita GDP or "needs". But Scotlands population hasn't grown as fast as Englands and they have received too much money as a result. I suspect it is a way for successive governments to keep the Scots in the union as it should not have been continued and its author Lord Barnett has said as much. If regional spending was based on actual need rather than projected population growth that hasn't transpired there are a multitude of regions that would come before the Scots. No hand waving, my point is your central argument is innacurate as to how these things are actually done & why Scotland must stay in the union
You have given some hard facts about expenditure relative to GDP but the conclusions you have drawn are innacurate. Scotland clearly lives beyond its means and should adjust accordingly, but then so should everyone else.
My real concern is the future of the Pound more so than the Scots leaving the union. Although that is also a concern.
Its the vagaries of the present spending policy that have produced these
regional distortions and they are simply not supportable in the long term or medium for that matter.
And for the record I am not necessarily arguing for austerity per se as that can cause bigger deficits, rather government should be reformed and people's expectations changed in the long run.
I don't think I can make this any clearer really.
[ Last edit by theycanbillme October 31, 2012, 05:59 PM ] IP Logged
boogers
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #711 on: October 31, 2012, 08:13 PM »
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Yes yes the oil will run out, eventually. But if they have a 30 year start on that time by developing their own fund it will be better than nothing I suppose.

Which misses an important point: all of those oil revenues are needed to keep the economy afloat. That horse has long since bolted the stable, fled to London, lived a long and happy life, died and then been ground up for glue.

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At this stage that would make them not much further than half way through this whole thing and is the oil depletes it will get more expensive, less might mean more for a time financially speaking.

The rate of depletion is not linear, as that graph I posted a few pages back demonstrates - the majority of revenues will have been realized within another decade or so.

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Lets hope we are all off fossil fuels by then in any instance.

Extremely unlikely, at least without the political will to invest in large scale nuclear power projects.

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Do you understand the barnett formula, its history and what it was originally planned to do?

I perfectly well understand the "Barnett formula" and it's implications. It is not pertinent to my argument.

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Your argument that Scotland needs this extra money more than anyone else

That isn't my argument.

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No hand waving, my point is your central argument is innacurate as to how these things are actually done & why Scotland must stay in the union

As above - this is not my argument. A post-independence Scotland would have an economy dangerously over-reliant on oil revenues

This is further compounded by falling oil production, an aging population (more so than the rest of the UK), a sparse population distribution, a new economy which would be battered on the bond markets... it's complicated.

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You have given some hard facts about expenditure relative to GDP but the conclusions you have drawn are innacurate.

Nonsense.

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Scotland clearly lives beyond its means and should adjust accordingly, but then so should everyone else.

Agreed.

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My real concern is the future of the Pound more so than the Scots leaving the union. Although that is also a concern.

Explain.

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Its the vagaries of the present spending policy that have produced these regional distortions and they are simply not supportable in the long term or medium for that matter.

The "vagaries of the present spending policy" are not the primary or even major cause for this. "Regional distortions" are a simple fact of life. Money will always flow from the richer regions to the poorer ones on macro and micro levels.

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And for the record I am not necessarily arguing for austerity per se as that can cause bigger deficits, rather government should be reformed and people's expectations changed in the long run. I don't think I can make this any clearer really.

As I said previously - start a thread for a discussion on the merits of post-Keynesian economics. It's not nearly as simple and clear cut as the simpletons believe.
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #712 on: October 31, 2012, 08:37 PM »
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Missed some points in among the poorly formatted wall of text:

Britian is now running deficits in excess of £150 billion.

That figure is out by 60 billion. 90 billion is a lot, for sure, but I don't understand why you feel the need to present inaccurate figures. There seem to be two related issues which concern you with the deficit

It's too high

As a percentage of GDP, the UK's deficit is high. However it's (surprise!) more complicated than "OMG TEH GUBBERMINT IS SPENDING TOO MUCH DOSH!" The largest driver of the deficit increase is accommodated revenue loss. ie. a drop in revenues caused by the financial crisis. This makes sense when you think about it: job losses, trade reduction and loss of consumer confidence result in less tax receipts.

The quickest way to drop the deficit is to increase tax receipts. Now a proportion of that is out of our control as the recession is an international one, but there's a definite argument to be made for stimulus spending and quantitative easing measures. A knee-jerk austerity drive would actually make things worse, as the Greeks are discovering.

We have a deficit at all

The UK has had a public debt since 1692; it's not a real problem when viewed on long timescales (hint: inflation)
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #713 on: November 01, 2012, 02:16 PM »
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That figure is out by 60 billion. 90 billion is a lot, for sure, but I don't understand why you feel the need to present inaccurate figures. There seem to be two related issues which concern you with the deficit

lol actually we are both wrong its £126 billion apparently
see this


http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/psf.pdf

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The UK has had a public debt since 1692; it's not a real problem when viewed on long timescales (hint: inflation)

I didnt argue for a knee jerk austerity either, Japan before Greece has taught us that is not always the way to handle this and I believe growth is the most important factor in dealing with debt. There is an argument for quantitative easing and stimulus spending in the short term as there is for doing nothing and letting the markets correct themselves. But these things are best done when the government doing them is not already up to its eyeballs in debt.
There comes a point when acountry is spending more on debt repayments than on major services and that is a point we have already reached, sadly.
But never ever inflation as a fiscal lever. Please don't tell me you think we can just inflate our way out of this debt this time without any consequences at all. That is just too deluded. The constant long term devaluation of our currency shall have consequences far more serious than any one recession.

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The rate of depletion is not linear, as that graph I posted a few pages back demonstrates - the majority of revenues will have been realized within another decade or so

lol correct it is not your graph showed two spikes not one there may be a third and a fourth etc.
10 years seems a very short time for this, why all the new investment in the fields if that is the case.
Anyway when all is said and done the Scots should not base the decsion on leaving the UK on the oil, I agree it would be a rather short sighted thing to do.

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Extremely unlikely, at least without the political will to invest in large scale nuclear power projects

It will be necessary eventually although I suspect they will develop other ways to mine for oil, perhaps ransack the Antarctic too.

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That isn't my argument

Your argument was that Scotland would be in a terrible situation if it left the union due to its excessive spending budgets and its dwindling oil reserves unable to support them ergo it should stay in the union because it needs the money from the rest of us. Correct? My argument is that they would have to adjust the spending and it was an achievable goal as they are spending far too much anyway but so is everyone. There is no alternative as the debt mountain is too high to inflate away and is growing rapidly every minute. A shift in the culture is what is required ultimately. What happens when the debt doubles in a few years time? Perhaps you would recommend hyperinflation to save us all from bankruptcy. We certainly arent growing as a country like we used to when we had an empire to offset our excesses.

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I perfectly well understand the "Barnett formula" and it's implications

Your posts would indicate otherwise, this one for example;

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The "vagaries of the present spending policy" are not the primary or even major cause for this. "Regional distortions" are a simple fact of life. Money will always flow from the richer regions to the poorer ones on macro and micro levels

But this is not what is happening and the barnett formula is entirely pertinent to your "argument" as it is the convention that is used to apportion said monies to Scotland, N Ireland, and Wales.

I find the haughty arrogance of your posts more amusing than tiresome. Its difficult to take someone so seriously who is this sure of themselves and their position and considers any other opinion as missing the point or not relevant.
Honestly its not all that complicated what you have to say or particularly revelatory so it might be a little pointless to continue debating with you, if it ever was to begin with.
We should just let people who read this decide on what they think is correct from either of us, if any of it, and leave it at that.
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Joe
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #714 on: November 01, 2012, 03:05 PM »
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Guys, fantastic points from both sides. Genuinely enjoying watching this to and fro. However, it's beyond many people, including certain dogmatic nationalists on this thread, to understand what you're talking about and make an informed decision.

Let's just boil it down to 'do you like being told what to do by the English?' Yes/No

All of the economic debate is wasted really.
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #715 on: November 01, 2012, 04:29 PM »
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For your information Joe I am not a rampant nationalist. I have always voted Labour. However the Labour Party in Scotland has no "independence" they are controlled by London. Because of this they have lost votes and until they start to make their own policies they will continue to lose votes. Perhaps you could make time to think about this instead of jumping to conclusions about people. Just because they do not share your point of view. Whistle
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #716 on: November 01, 2012, 04:42 PM »
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I didnt argue for a knee jerk austerity either, Japan before Greece has taught us that is not always the way to handle this and I believe growth is the most important factor in dealing with debt. There is an argument for quantitative easing and stimulus spending in the short term as there is for doing nothing and letting the markets correct themselves. But these things are best done when the government doing them is not already up to its eyeballs in debt.

Hilarious. Your flip-flopping makes Romney look consistent.

Would you please actually describe what your grand economic master plan is?

There comes a point when acountry is spending more on debt repayments than on major services and that is a point we have already reached, sadly.

No we haven't. We're predicted to spend ~50 billion on interest payments this year, which is  approximately 7% of total expenditure. More hyperbole.

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But never ever inflation as a fiscal lever. Please don't tell me you think we can just inflate our way out of this debt this time without any consequences at all. That is just too deluded. The constant long term devaluation of our currency shall have consequences far more serious than any one recession.

No, I don't think we can "inflate our way out of this debt without any consequences".

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lol correct it is not your graph showed two spikes not one there may be a third and a fourth etc.

The mechanics of oilfield depletion are well understood. Additionally, it's worth remembering that new discoveries in the North Sea tend to be smaller and rarer and old fields are becoming less productive but more expensive to maintain.

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10 years seems a very short time for this, why all the new investment in the fields if that is the case.

Because it's profitable to do so for now?

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Your argument was that Scotland would be in a terrible situation if it left the union due to its excessive spending budgets and its dwindling oil reserves unable to support them ergo it should stay in the union because it needs the money from the rest of us. Correct?

That's a simplistic characterisation of one strand of my argument, yes.

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My argument is that they would have to adjust the spending and it was an achievable goal as they are spending far too much anyway but so is everyone.

Your argument is not backed by reality. Without oil revenue, Scotland's expenditure would have to fall by 30%. Just think about that for a moment.

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But this is not what is happening and the barnett formula is entirely pertinent to your "argument" as it is the convention that is used to apportion said monies to Scotland, N Ireland, and Wales.

Is English not your native language? It's a fundamental reality of economics. The fact that the Barnett forumla (or indeed the Goschen measure before it) codifies this doesn't alter that fact.

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I find the haughty arrogance of your posts more amusing than tiresome. Its difficult to take someone so seriously who is this sure of themselves and their position and considers any other opinion as missing the point or not relevant.

The hypocrisy here is astounding. You continue to wave your hands and make grandiose pronouncements without a shred of supporting evidence and, when faced with facts and figures which contradict your position, you simply change the subject.

Perhaps you'd like to make amends by forming a coherent argument (hopefully including how the deficit problem is solved) to discuss?
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #717 on: November 01, 2012, 04:44 PM »
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Let's just boil it down to 'do you like being told what to do by the English?' Yes/No

All of the economic debate is wasted really.

lol
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #718 on: November 01, 2012, 05:04 PM »
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For your information Joe I am not a rampant nationalist. I have always voted Labour. However the Labour Party in Scotland has no "independence" they are controlled by London. Because of this they have lost votes and until they start to make their own policies they will continue to lose votes. Perhaps you could make time to think about this instead of jumping to conclusions about people. Just because they do not share your point of view. Whistle

So you were just dicking about when advocating that Scots vote yes to independence based on emotion rather than having a grasp of the facts?
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #719 on: November 03, 2012, 06:47 PM »
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The main objection to an independent Scotland as far as I am concerned is the incompetence of the politicians who would be running it. I don't believe they have the slightest idea what they are doing.  Bagpipes
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