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Scottish independence

I watched Question Time on Thursday, and I've just been reading the comments on the BBC website. Every time I see or read a debate about Scottish independence, (some, I know) English people push me further along the road to supporting independence just by being such arrogant wankers about the union and Scotland's part in it. Hardeep Singh Kohli, the only non-politician on the panel, made the crucial yet often ignored point that everyone is in favour of other, far away countries being proud of their nationhood and fighting for independence, but when it comes to Scotland, it's suddenly "xenophobia and small-mindedness" to not want to be part of the Best Union Ever. And all the bitching about how "Scots are running the country anyway" just shows a latent feeling that Scots are not an equal part of the union, and everyone would be so much happier if proper English people were in charge. How dare you want to leave the union when look, we're even letting you be prime minister and stuff!?!

Last time I mentioned this donbert pointed me to a BBC programme which showed that even in the '70s, Scotland was not living on subsidies from England - quite the opposite. England benefitted hugely from Scottish oil revenue: Scotland would have been a very rich little independent country, and the government we well aware of it, and were actively covering this up. Things happening today suggest to me that Scotland would still be better off financially on its own - just for a few examples, we wouldn't be spending vast, idiotic sums of money on illegal wars, pointless and dangerous nuclear "deterrent"s, or Olympic Games bids that will help, maybe, some parts of London, while practically bankrupting the country, judging by what's been reported recently.

Most of my other reservations about independence are about stupid little things that can be worked around or will become moot, like access to the BBC (the thought of only Scottish TV forever is a sobering one, but with digital TV, an irrelevant one anyway) or the annoyance of border controls (not really a problem in most of Western Europe, so shouldn't be an issue here, unless England goes to an even greater extreme of conservative isolationism without the Scots' lefty liberal voting block.)

If Scotland did gain its independence, though, I'd feel a bit bad for all the lefty liberal English people I know - without the Scots votes, the chances of them getting a non-Conservative government ever again seem worryingly small.



( 24 comments — Comment )
Feb. 25th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
I'm all for independence as long as I get dual nationality. My Nan is Scottish, y'know.
Feb. 25th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
Hurray! Yeah, I figure that, as for the Scottish sports teams, qualifications will be pretty loose. Probably having been to Edinburgh on holiday once will qualify you for citizenship. But we'll have pretty passports with thistles on them.
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there'll probably be ten times as many Scottish passport holders as people who live in Scotland.

So are you really looking forward to being England's Canada?

Feb. 25th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Hey, Canada's cool :) I'd rather be England's Canada than having everyone think we're just part of England!
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Um, ITYF Canadadaians have a perennial problem with being mistaken for USAians, so indemapendence isn't going to solve that problem, anyway ...
Feb. 25th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know, but at least (to my knowledge) there aren't actual maps in school textbooks that designate all of North America as the US, whereas I've seen textbooks with "England" rather than UK...
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
I think independence is mainly about symbolism, anyway. What does it really mean? Can you be independent of the EU, the USA, Tesco, the World Bank, Microsoft ... well, you get the idea. Culture and economics can't be disentangled from the global skein any more (if they ever could).

That said, if the people of Scotland want independence they can have it, for me. The votes issue, of course, pre-supposes that there is a party with a genuine chance of power us lefty liberals can support. Since there isn't, it's a bit of a non-issue.
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it probably is mostly about symbolism these days, maybe a little about local politics, or choosing how closely you want to be affiliated with the EU and NATO and so on.

England/ the UK needs PR, then there would be some small but vaguely significant socialist parties who'd end up with maybe a dozen MPs. (Judging by the SSP and the Greens up here, anyway). Then they can at least make a fuss about the biggest outrages.
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
What's the betting that if Scotland and/or Wales left the Union, Nu-Labour would suddenly be converted to the benefits of PR?
Feb. 25th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
Hee. Yes, probably, actually.
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
After all, where does it stop? Will Edinburgh want to split from the rest of Scotland? How about Glasgow, after all they have 'distinct identities'. Adam Rickard from Hertfordshire
clearly displays a lot of knowledge on the subject of Scottish nationalism...

where as

There is a national identity - that of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - long may it stay like that. Steven Smith of Bristol appears to be living in cloud cuckoo land thinking there is a unified British identity...

as for Nicky resident of Suffolk

If Scotland wants its own separate parliament, then let them. On the condition they have absolutely no funding from England at all. The same applies to Wales. So much money from England is spent to prop up and support Scotland and Wales. If they want to be alone, let them, and watch them sink.

Seems to be labouring under the misaprehension that areas far apart in levels of economic deprivation, health and social problems should get the same amount of funding. Yes the Scots get more money then the English per head of population(the Welsh don't - but those living in Northen Ireland get even more then the Scots!) but given the state that 300 years of Union has left the country in (it could be in all fairness in the same state without the Union or worse we will never know...) well I leave you to draw your own conclusions...
Feb. 25th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, I particularly liked the one about the UK national identity, because it's a topic that fails even to get much of a debate going on the discussion forum I go on - nobody can ever really think of anything that's culturally UKish.
Feb. 25th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
We have a non-Conservative government now? Gosh, I hadn't noticed.
Feb. 25th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Heh, yes, there is that. But, you know, we THOUGHT we were going to get one.
Feb. 25th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
without the Scots votes, the chances of them getting a non-Conservative government ever again seem worryingly small.

Since the Conservatives hit upon the idea of infiltrating the Labour Party, and managed to get its sleeper agents to the very top, the UK has been condemned to permanent Conservative government anyway.
Feb. 25th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
True, but the backlash of that is the tories have had to get even further to the right, so if they did get in god help us all.

I likes Hardeep. He makes me smile.
Feb. 26th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
He's great. I'd never seen him, and then suddenly he was on everything - comedy stuff, cookery stuff, politics stuff...
Feb. 26th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
So what will happen vis-a-vis the mishmash of authoritarian Scottish ex-tankies and/or ex-trots, merchant-school boys and Glaswegian lobby fodder in the present Westminster government?

I like the idea of Scottish devolution, but unfortunately any thoughts I have of defecting would be scuppered if the government there will be a NuLabr one, of which there's rather more chance as things stand than there is of Scotland being led by someone like kevinwilliamson!
Feb. 26th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
God knows. Hopefully they wouldn't all come crawling back up here finangling for seats in the Scottish government.

The government would be trying to be NuLabr, but they'd have more opposition and probably have to be a coalition, too, so their worst excesses would be curbed.

(My spellcheck doesn't think finangling is a word. Who'd have thought? Mind you, it doesn't like spellcheck either.)
Feb. 26th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
Does your being a Scot and me an Englishman (actually I'm a Man-O-Kent) make either of us less British? If Scotland becomes independent my guess is that it will just be another Monaco at best or a Yankee tourist destination, either way it will be one step further towards both of us being Europians and I hate the EU with its petty buraucracy and financial waste.

PS My maternal Grandfather was a Scot from Edinburgh who served in the Black Watch and married an Irish lass, only my paternal family are Kentish so I am also British and proud of it!
Feb. 26th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Devolution
:) I'm all in favour of the EU and have never felt particularly British, so...I don't think it can make me much less British than I am already!
Feb. 26th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
What I wonder is would Scotland join the Euro, and then what would happen to Scottish banknotes? I don't give a jot about the pound(*), but I'd miss those.

(*) At least not since the John McEnroe tenners went out of circulation.
Feb. 26th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Heh. I hardly ever see pound notes these days, and just find them a bit annoying, though I think I'd miss them in a sort of nostalgic way...
Feb. 26th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten about the 1 pound note. I just meant them all generally.
I always like drawing money out or getting change in Scotland!
( 24 comments — Comment )


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