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

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Author Topic: Scottish politics  (Read 26235 times)
Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #75 on: September 17, 2012, 09:53 PM »
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Andy did more than dream.    He made his dream come true.
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Iris
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #76 on: September 17, 2012, 09:55 PM »
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^Yes but look how long the dream took before it became reality
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Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #77 on: September 17, 2012, 10:46 PM »
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Yes.   It will be too long a wait for me I'm afraid.    Andy's dream coming true has been worth the wait though, for him and for us.
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Fiverings
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #78 on: September 17, 2012, 10:51 PM »
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I'm a great believer in tipping points  - nothing happens for what seems like ages then all of a sudden the world turns and you find yourself in a new era. There are countless examples in the lives of both individuals and communities.  Some you can see coming, others not.
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Iluvandy
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #79 on: September 17, 2012, 11:32 PM »
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I'm a great believer in tipping points  - nothing happens for what seems like ages then all of a sudden the world turns and you find yourself in a new era. There are countless examples in the lives of both individuals and communities.  Some you can see coming, others not.

I'll keep hoping!!!
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scotjules
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #80 on: September 18, 2012, 12:16 AM »
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This is a really interesting thread which admittedly I've only skim read so far. I would think the different povs mentioned here are fairly representative of the split in views across the country. Just today they were quoting a British social attitudes survey which indicated 1/3 of Scots now support independence but a far higher proportion support further powers for the parliament.

Myself? At the moment I remain to be convinced that independence is the way ahead. I fully admit to voting SNP at Holyrood but for pretty much the same reasons as Aileen outlined. I haven't voted for them in a UK General Election though for some years. I studied Politics and History at University, including a module on Scotland from 1702-1707 and, whilst I think at the time it was a case of "bought and sold for English gold" the union evolved over time.

I was concerned by the reports today about Alex Salmond refusing to reveal whether he's taken legal advice on the issue of Scotland in the EU. There seemed to be the suggestion he was doing something underhanded, refusing FOI requests etc. I don't know enough about the ministerial code to know if that is likely to be the case but it worried me all the same.

I've probably rambled on without saying much but basically I would vote for more powers (given the option) before I would vote for full independence. On this I'm quite happy to let my head rule my heart!
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Aileen
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #81 on: September 18, 2012, 04:42 AM »
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This is a really interesting thread which admittedly I've only skim read so far. I would think the different povs mentioned here are fairly representative of the split in views across the country. Just today they were quoting a British social attitudes survey which indicated 1/3 of Scots now support independence but a far higher proportion support further powers for the parliament.

Myself? At the moment I remain to be convinced that independence is the way ahead. I fully admit to voting SNP at Holyrood but for pretty much the same reasons as Aileen outlined. I haven't voted for them in a UK General Election though for some years. I studied Politics and History at University, including a module on Scotland from 1702-1707 and, whilst I think at the time it was a case of "bought and sold for English gold" the union evolved over time.

I was concerned by the reports today about Alex Salmond refusing to reveal whether he's taken legal advice on the issue of Scotland in the EU. There seemed to be the suggestion he was doing something underhanded, refusing FOI requests etc. I don't know enough about the ministerial code to know if that is likely to be the case but it worried me all the same.

I've probably rambled on without saying much but basically I would vote for more powers (given the option) before I would vote for full independence. On this I'm quite happy to let my head rule my heart!
The latest figures for independence show a substantial drop to 32% of Scots in favour, and (ahem!) an increase to 28% of English - no doubt the ones who are always bitching that Scotland is leeching off England.

I'm interested in the fact that you studied the period from 1702-1707 because some years ago I helped to do research on the Union for a friend (an Englishman, by the way) who was planning to write a book on the subject based on long-ignored material in Scottish archives.  Sadly it never came to fruition, but at least I got a detailed insight into what was going on in the Scottish Parliament at that time.  I'm not so sure it was a case of "bought and sold".  The Scots negotiators, as you know, were adamant that Scotland should be allowed to keep its own Church and also its own legal  system, and valuable trading rights were also extracted from the English.  Although the idea of a union was generally unpopular at the time with what was known as "the Mob" (and serious rioting did take place in Edinburgh whilst the terms of the treaty were being debated by Parliament), it did become apparent by the following year that Scottish merchants were benefiting greatly from the trading concessions.  The fact that the Union came perilously close to being dissolved only five years later is another story, but fortunately it did survive because Scotland was a poor country and desperately needed an alliance with England in order to prosper.  Scotland may no longer be poor but I think that to sever our union with the rest of the UK would be potentially disastrous.  Quite frankly, it's a risk that isn't worth taking.

Yes this issue of Scotland's position in the EU worries me too because, like you, I don't know what the ministerial code is, but I can't understand why Salmond isn't being forthcoming about the legal advice situation.  If he wants people to trust him about independence, surely it's in his interests to be totally transparent about things?  There are times when I get the feeling that he has his own agenda in this, and that it's one that isn't necessarily in the best interests of Scotland.

Anyway, on a more positive note, at least he met Andy in Dunblane on Sunday to give him his Royal Mail stamp and also to discuss with him and Judy their ideas for the setting up of a tennis academy - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/09/FMmeetsAndyMurray17092012

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Bevc
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #82 on: September 18, 2012, 04:57 AM »
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Not being an economist I'm not sure about keeping the pound but I don't see the problem with an open
border.   There is one already with the Republic of Ireland.

I didn't know about that (border) and having looked further, I can see that's what the SNP are hoping for.  Though someone might throw in a small spanner for this one. 

There is one area which could cloud this situation - the Schengen Agreement.

It is a common travel area which numerous European countries are signed up to - but not the UK and Ireland.


Regarding the EU, I found this on the beeb:-

4) Will Scotland be a member of the European Union?

The SNP is in no doubt that Scotland would be part of the European Union after independence.

It says: "Scotland is part of the territory of the EU and Scots are EU citizens - there is no provision for either of these circumstances to change upon independence."
Continue reading the main story

The 2009 white paper says: "Settling details of European Union membership would take place in parallel to independence negotiations with the United Kingdom government and would cover areas such as the number of MEPs and weight of Council of Ministers."

However, a document produced by the House of Commons library said there was "no precedent" for a devolved part of an EU member state becoming independent and having to determine its membership of the EU as a separate entity.

It said the question had "given rise to widely different views".

A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond has previously said: "Legal, constitutional and European experts have all confirmed that an independent Scotland would continue in EU membership.

"And how could it be otherwise, when Scotland has the lion's share of the EU's energy reserves, including oil and renewables?

"The fact is that the last major EU expansion in 2004 saw 10 new countries join - six of them smaller than Scotland, and six of which have become independent since 1990."

In May 2012, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told a BBC debate that an independent Scotland would automatically gain EU membership, but did not need to use the euro.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson produced a letter from the European Commission that she said showed the SNP had never asked it what status an independent Scotland would have.

Ms Davidson said: "The fundamental question that the SNP haven't answered when it comes to Europe is that they don't accept, or won't admit, that a separate Scottish state would have to apply to join the EU.

"One of the rules for applying to join the EU is that you have to adopt the euro. That is the law, so it may not be within the choice of an independent Scotland."

Owen Kelly, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: "Nobody actually is arguing that Scotland would not be a member and I have certainty picked up no vibe in Brussels that there would be anything other than acceptance of that."

He said the real question was on the terms of joining.

Mr Kelly said: "If an independent Scotland would simply inherit all the UK's obligations, opt-outs, international treaties and everything else, fine.

"But if it doesn't, if that is not what is going to happen, then we really need to know because you are then looking at a period of accession and a period of negotiation."

He said: "If we had the political will I think we could find that out now. We know the terms of the referendum and the timing, what else do we need to know before asking and answering that question?


Then someone asked a question about pensions, that was interesting reading too:-

5) What would happen to state pensions?

Your Scotland, Your Voice says: "On independence benefits, tax credits and the state pension would continue to be paid as now in an independent Scotland. It would be for future Scottish administrations to deliver improvements to the system designed for Scottish needs."

An SNP spokesman said: "People would get their full pension entitlement from day one of an independent Scotland, that is the government's guarantee.

"National insurance would continue to be paid in line with the current arrangements.

"There are EU rules in place to regulate the payment of pensions in different countries and these would, of course, be followed."

Pensions expert Malcolm McLean, from consultants Barnett-Waddingham, said: "The devil is in the detail of pensions. It's not as simple as it sounds."

He said a change of currency would cause "all sorts of problems" for the division of pension liabilities between Scotland and the rest of the UK. However, Scotland intends to continue using the pound Sterling so that difficulty may be avoided.

Mr McLean said he thought people drawing their state pension at the time of independence, if it happened, would notice little difference, especially if Scotland was an EU member.

He says: "Existing pensioners would probably be treated as overseas pensioners in the same way as UK pensioners living in other EU countries are."

The difficulties, according to Mr McLean, would come with people who have been paying national insurance contributions to the UK treasury.

He said the social security system was based on national insurance contributions, with the details held on a computer in Newcastle.

Mr McLean asked, would the Scottish government set up an equivalent database for Scotland, or would the Newcastle system be used as a base for all UK and Scottish pensions after independence?

Then there is the issue of "accrued" rights, he says, and how they would be transferred from the UK to Scotland and who would be responsible for paying the pensions.

A big problem with state pensions is that they are "unfunded", said Mr McLean.

Despite taking in the money in national insurance contributions, the pensions are paid on a pay-as-you-go basis straight out of the Treasury.

There is no state pension pot to draw on or divide up between the rest of the UK and Scotland, states the pensions expert, who argues the question of pension liabilities is a huge one which still has to be addressed.

On the issue of private pensions, Mr McLean says - although a currency union may remain - the different tax regimes in Scotland and the rest of the UK would be extra complication and cost for pension providers.

Dr Jim McCormick, of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, thinks the division of state pension schemes is something which needs to be done "with caution".

He said it was "certainly not something you can do quickly or neatly", arguing that one way forward could be operating different pension pots for pension liabilities from the UK before independence and Scotland afterwards.

He added: "It would make perfect sense for an independent Scottish government to do some cost-sharing with a UK government for people close to the state retirement age. They could gradually move others to a new system. They would want to move with a lot of caution and partnership."
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Bevc
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #83 on: September 18, 2012, 05:11 AM »
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Apologies for the long post above. sorry

Also, it was something I saw in my International Express this week about the voting age being lowered for the referendum.  Can Mr Salmond do this?  Change the national constitution before Scotland have/should become independent?

Also, who will be paying for the referendum?  Would that be the British taxpayer?  Is there an overall cost being banded about?

They do put figures on referendum's here - 11 million dollars for the last one, which basically voted for no change doh
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Caz
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #84 on: September 18, 2012, 07:07 AM »
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No need for an apology Bev. It was a very interesting, so thanks for taking the time! Yours was too Aileen!
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Elena
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #85 on: September 18, 2012, 03:40 PM »
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Re the EU, this was in the Guardian last week:

Barroso casts doubt on independent Scotland's EU membership rights

José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, has thrown fresh doubt on claims by Alex Salmond that an independent Scotland would automatically remain within the EU.

Barroso said new states that hoped to join the EU would have to apply for membership in their own right, appearing to quash Salmond's assertions that an independent Scotland would inherit its share of the UK's membership.

Full article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/12/barroso-doubt-scotland-eu-membership
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scotjules
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #86 on: September 18, 2012, 04:22 PM »
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The latest figures for independence show a substantial drop to 32% of Scots in favour, and (ahem!) an increase to 28% of English - no doubt the ones who are always bitching that Scotland is leeching off England.

I'm interested in the fact that you studied the period from 1702-1707 because some years ago I helped to do research on the Union for a friend (an Englishman, by the way) who was planning to write a book on the subject based on long-ignored material in Scottish archives.  Sadly it never came to fruition, but at least I got a detailed insight into what was going on in the Scottish Parliament at that time.  I'm not so sure it was a case of "bought and sold".  The Scots negotiators, as you know, were adamant that Scotland should be allowed to keep its own Church and also its own legal  system, and valuable trading rights were also extracted from the English.  Although the idea of a union was generally unpopular at the time with what was known as "the Mob" (and serious rioting did take place in Edinburgh whilst the terms of the treaty were being debated by Parliament), it did become apparent by the following year that Scottish merchants were benefiting greatly from the trading concessions.  The fact that the Union came perilously close to being dissolved only five years later is another story, but fortunately it did survive because Scotland was a poor country and desperately needed an alliance with England in order to prosper.  Scotland may no longer be poor but I think that to sever our union with the rest of the UK would be potentially disastrous.  Quite frankly, it's a risk that isn't worth taking.

Yes this issue of Scotland's position in the EU worries me too because, like you, I don't know what the ministerial code is, but I can't understand why Salmond isn't being forthcoming about the legal advice situation.  If he wants people to trust him about independence, surely it's in his interests to be totally transparent about things?  There are times when I get the feeling that he has his own agenda in this, and that it's one that isn't necessarily in the best interests of Scotland.

Anyway, on a more positive note, at least he met Andy in Dunblane on Sunday to give him his Royal Mail stamp and also to discuss with him and Judy their ideas for the setting up of a tennis academy - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/09/FMmeetsAndyMurray17092012



That's a real shame about your friend's book. I work in Archives and know from experience that there's plenty there just waiting to be discovered! Maybe (possibly due to the time I was posting) I was being a bit over dramatic using the 'bought and sold' quote and not using much to back it up. I agree the country was in financial trouble over Darien. Admittedly my memory of my honours history is quite hazy now but it was a very interesting class.

Great to see the tennis centre getting the First Minister's backing. I never would've gone beyond the plastic racquets and sponge balls in the back garden as I'm not the most co-ordinated (!) but I'm sure there's plenty who are more than capable, inspired by Andy's success.

Re the EU, this was in the Guardian last week:

Barroso casts doubt on independent Scotland's EU membership rights

José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, has thrown fresh doubt on claims by Alex Salmond that an independent Scotland would automatically remain within the EU.

Barroso said new states that hoped to join the EU would have to apply for membership in their own right, appearing to quash Salmond's assertions that an independent Scotland would inherit its share of the UK's membership.

Full article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/12/barroso-doubt-scotland-eu-membership

Thanks Elena I'll need to read that article. This is one of my big concerns about independence.
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #87 on: September 18, 2012, 04:59 PM »
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Re the EU, this was in the Guardian last week:

Barroso casts doubt on independent Scotland's EU membership rights

José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, has thrown fresh doubt on claims by Alex Salmond that an independent Scotland would automatically remain within the EU.

Barroso said new states that hoped to join the EU would have to apply for membership in their own right, appearing to quash Salmond's assertions that an independent Scotland would inherit its share of the UK's membership.

Full article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/12/barroso-doubt-scotland-eu-membership

I would tend to agree with this article. After Croatia joins in July 2013, we will see the EU's new set of criteria and newfound scrutiny over new members, and legally, Scotland as an independent nation will be a new member.
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #88 on: September 19, 2012, 01:38 AM »
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Apologies for the long post above. sorry

Also, it was something I saw in my International Express this week about the voting age being lowered for the referendum.  Can Mr Salmond do this?  Change the national constitution before Scotland have/should become independent?

Also, who will be paying for the referendum?  Would that be the British taxpayer?  Is there an overall cost being banded about?

They do put figures on referendum's here - 11 million dollars for the last one, which basically voted for no change doh
Excellent read, Bev.  I found the bit about the State Pension very interesting, especially as I'm dependent on it!  It all goes to prove though what I said in an earlier post - independence (if it ever became a reality) could never happen quickly because there are so many issues to be sorted out, and all the wrangling involved could see decisions being dragged out for years, and possibly even cause the whole thing to collapse.

To answer your questions -

(a) Alex Salmond cannot change the voting age.  That has to be decided by Westminster - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-19322804 - and quite frankly I hope it isn't lowered to 16.  True, 16 year olds can get married or join the Army, but that only affects their personal lives.  Deciding what could be the irrevocable future of their country is a far different and too important an issue to be placed in their hands.  In fact I'd go as far as to say that the voting age for this referendum should be raised to 21, given that a good degree of mature thinking is going to be required here.

(b)Who will be paying for the referendum?  The Scottish Government.  From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_independence_referendum,_2014 which gives loads of other info as well that you might be interested in, and from which you'll see that the cost of the referendum is "likely to be around £9.5 million" - although given the Scottish Parliament's history when it comes to calculating costs (huge under-estimations), I think that figure should be taken with a good pinch of salt

Campaign funding and costs

Based on the 2010 Draft Bill, for each specific proposal outcome that can be campaigned for, there would be allowed to exist one 'designated organisation', permitted to spend up to £750,000 on their campaign, including expenses, but they would also be entitled to one free mailshot to every household or voter in the poll.  Political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament would be limited to a campaign budget of £100,000 including expenses, in addition to any activity through affiliation with one of the designated organisations.

According to the Scottish Government's consultation paper published on 25 February 2010, the cost of holding the referendum would "likely to be around £9.5 million", mostly spent on running the poll and the count. Costs would also include the posting of one neutral information leaflet about the referendum to every Scottish household, and one free mailshot to every household or voter in the poll for the 'designated organisations'. There is to be no public funding for campaigns, which would also be subject to spending limits
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Re: Scottish politics « Reply #89 on: September 19, 2012, 02:26 AM »
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Thanks for the info Aileen.  I would agree that 16 is too young to vote (join army and marry in some cases) since you have to be 18 to buy alcohol and see an 18 rated movie, which in some cases, takes very little thought, though consequences from too much alcohol can have lasting effects.

That's rather steep for the referendum - population of Scotland isn't much more than here in NZ but we appear to do the same for about half the price.  I'd be very interested to see what's in the neutral mailshot. Think

Also, I didn't know that there's going to be some new criteria for joining the EU, so thanks for that Veronica. Very Happy

Pensions are a law unto themselves - minefield of rules how you can or cannot claim it here and in Australia. confused
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