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Post by George Carlin Mon 25 Aug 2014, 9:34 am

606v2 Rugby Fans Scottish Independence Thread Alex2010 v 606v2 Rugby Fans Scottish Independence Thread Alista10
Let me start this off, then. I have printed and read all literature which either side has published on this debate over the past 2 years (including the main policy papers from the SNP and from Better Together/UK Treasury and the Wee Blue Book).
 
If I had the chance, I would think hard about it, but ultimately I think that I would vote 'no'.
 
It seems to me, with my pea brain, that:
 
1. As a professional economist, Alex Salmond has had his entire political and professional life to make a waterproof financial case for an independent Scotland. Provided that there isn't something I've missed, I cannot see that he has done so. How can we still be fishing for answers to very fundemental questions so close to the actual voting date? Surely if it was the case that Scotland had a solid long term financial future, there would be a far greater volume of published consensus? If the financial case for independence cannot be clearly and verifiably made (without optimistic financial projects which strain credulity), then this is where this debate begins and ends for me. What do we tell our kids otherwise?
 
2. I entirely understand and appreciate that stepping into the unknown cannot in itself be a reason to say 'no'. You cannot have opportunity without risk. However, is anyone else disappointed with the quality of verifiable information that has been made available to us throughout this entire debate? Whilst I don't expect all answers to all questions, surely it is better to err on the side of caution until such time as policy can be firmly established.
 
If this was a trial, the verdict would be 'not proven'.
 
What I don't believe is if Scotland votes no, the chance to do so again would be lost forever. I think that we may see another vote on this topic within a generation (20 years) if a 'no' vote does not have a clear majority amongst Scottish people. I would be happy with that.
 
Discuss. 606v2 Rugby Fans Scottish Independence Thread 1347041234 For the love of feck, please be nice.


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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 11:14 am

I think the last point is an interesting one, which is if we vote "no", when would the opportunity arise again?

One of my concerns is the "Neverendum" issue. What cannot be disputed by either side is that the whole process of asking the question has cost Scotland money. Businesses have held back to wait and see, some have already planned the logistics of re-locating elsewhere, others have planned the logistics of exploiting new opportunities, considerable money and time has been spent on campaiging, our First Minister has been almost entirely distracted from his main job of running the Scottish Government etc. etc.

What result would put this issue to bed, and for how long? What happens if the result is 49/51 in favour of "No"? Do we just end up asking the question again in 5 years' time? I think this would be hugely damaging. I sincerely hope that those in favour of independence are prepared to accept the result.

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Post by Derbymanc Mon 25 Aug 2014, 12:33 pm

I think the biggest problem is Alex Salmonds insistance on the pound and fluffing his lines over everything.

He stated that they'd definately keep the pound besides being told by every man and his dog that that won't happen. Doesn't seem to have a plan B and the more I hear off him the more clueless he seems without it to fall back on.

He stated Scotland would immediately be a part of Europe and was then told No you won't, you'll join the back of the queue like everyone else, seemed to again state that 'yes we will' got told no and then everything went quiet.

Think he's done horrendous with trying to sell this but seems to have gathered a lot of yes's does make you wonder what would have happened if he'd have had a couple of plan b's.

(Also I didn't realise he was a professional economist which makes his stance over his own economy even worse............ or he knows if they lose the pound that it's crunch time.)

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 1:22 pm

He has promised to "clarify" his position on currency this evening, and it'll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

My hunch is that he'll come out fighting, and declare that his "Plan B" is to use the pound without a currency union, and without Bank of England support, quoting the Adam Smith Institute Paper which suggests that this is a feasible option, and could in fact be beneficial (the so called Panama Plan). There will be lots of "its out pound as well" chest thumping and a threat not to pay Scotland's share of the debt in the event of Westminster not offering the continuance of a currency union. In short the position will be:

Plan A - continuing currency union.

Plan B - use Sterling anyway, without taking on share of UK debt (the "Panama Plan", as endorsed by the Adam Smith Institute).

This will enable Salmond to claim that he's been saying this all along, and pretend that his assertions that we'll continue to use the pound are not in anyway undermined.

That's where I think we'll go this evening.

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Post by Derbymanc Mon 25 Aug 2014, 2:29 pm

I think he's absolutely nuts if he mentions that they won't pay their share of the debt, that will give the EU and other countries that don't want the split to point out that companies need to be wary of dealing with Scotland as they don't pay their debt.

I don't know why but saying that Scotland will continue to use the pound without permission sounds like the idea of some tin pot state somewhere. The whole plan sounds baffling to me (although that might just be me being a thicko,) and I just cannot stand Salmond who reminds me of my kids when I tell them they can't have/do something.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 3:11 pm

Derbymanc wrote:I think he's absolutely nuts if he mentions that they won't pay their share of the debt, that will give the EU and other countries that don't want the split to point out that companies need to be wary of dealing with Scotland as they don't pay their debt.

I don't know why but saying that Scotland will continue to use the pound without permission sounds like the idea of some tin pot state somewhere. The whole plan sounds baffling to me (although that might just be me being a thicko,) and I just cannot stand Salmond who reminds me of my kids when I tell them they can't have/do something.

Agreed, but he's very keen to start a fight with Westminster, so he can play up the "us vs Tories" card. I think he's been quite disappointed by how little traction he's had on that score, which is why I think he's now trying to make a lot of noise on the NHS, in an attempt to create a "Tory privatisation vs SNP nationalism" battle which he believes will play well with the voters (the fact is that the Tories, SNP and Labour have all in recent years taken certain steps towards privatising elements of the NHS in order to make it cost less and run more efficiently - whether or not they've achieved that goal and whether it has worked is another matter).

His nomination of David Cameron in the "ice bucket challenge" was of course a joke, but it had a fairly political message. What he always wanted, and tried very hard to achieve, was a debate with a Tory Prime Minister (the fact that it's Cameron is actually irrelevant). I think the SNP have always and continue to feel that their biggest chance of success is to draw the battle lines as SNP/left vs Tory/right. It's why they plugged the "bully, bluff and bluster" line for so long, it's why they don't refer to the Coalition Government by name but rather the "Tory-led Westminster Elite" and it's also why in the first debate he referred several times to Alistair Darling "Tory friends" and that Alistair Darling was "in bed with the Tories".

It's why you have to laugh when they also try to claim that theirs is an entirely positive campaign!

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Post by George Carlin Mon 25 Aug 2014, 3:52 pm

What was interesting was the comments from John Curtis, professor of politics at Strathclyde Uni who noted that although Salmond was slapped like a biatch in the first debate (perhaps John didn't use that expression exactly), there was little effect on polls and if anything the 'yes' campaign gained.

This was because they were discussing issues that each camp had already made up their minds about. Salmond banging on about the Tories and social injustice goes down well with people who are already voting yes but undecided voters just roll their eyes. Similarly, people that are scared of the currency issue are apparently already firmly voting 'no'.

So what the candidates actually talk about (rather than just scoring saloon bar macho points) really apparently does matter. Curtis said that "that the one issue which would make a difference was “how Scotland would be economically better off” after a Yes or No vote".

So Salmond is going to have to break the habit of a lifetime and 'go positive' to actually make a difference to voters. I am not sure that he's capable, to be honest.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 4:12 pm

The other interpretation would be that most folk have already made up their minds, and that when you look at the more credible polls, there has been little to no movement over the last few years.

The point Curtis made at the weekend which I think Salmond could and will make more of is the one thing that caught out Darling at the last debate, which is what Scotland will look like after a "No" vote. Salmond and his team have set out a number of things which "will happen" in the event of a "Yes" vote, some of which are frankly ridiculous, but they have at least tried to set out some kind of vision. This is the inherent weakness of the "No" position, which is effectively a status quo option. Although the three parties have promised "more powers", the key details are sketchy at best, largely because you have three parties with entirely different priorities who care about different things. Add to that the fact that Darling doesn't really speak for any of them. At least when Salmond stands up there and promises that Scotland will be "better, fairer, more just and full of free stuff", he does at least have some control over Scottish policy making. Darling has a bigger problem promising stuff he can't deliver.

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Post by RDW Mon 25 Aug 2014, 5:07 pm

Right here goes:

I'm a staunch no voter. In fact, if Scotland becomes independent I don't want to be here any more - Australia and New Zealand will be on the radar (although we plan to move there are some point anyway). Plenty work for a civil engineer out there, and I don't want to stay and witness a country being torn in two.

Taking aside all the wild SNP claims and the fact that you pretty much just have to trust anything Salmond says, I just don't see the point. Even if the whole financial side was a bit more clear but and gave proof that Scotland could thrive, I still wouldn't want it.

I'm Scottish, and proud to be British. I didn't realise how British I was until this all came to being. It has had some strange effects on me though. For example, I found myself loving all the pomp and ceremony around Will and Kate's wedding, the Queen's jubilee and the Team GB aspect of the Olympics. At the same time I found my self singing 'Flower of Scotland' and thinking 'what a load of nonsense this is!'.

I'm not a Tory voter, but I don't see the problem in a Tory government in Westminster. We have these things called elections every 4 years - governments change. What also annoys me is the arrogance from the SNP that they are going to be much better than anything Westminster can do - they are all politicians at the end of the day and I wouldn't trust Salmond as far as I could throw him (which isn't very far).

Some key points that grind my gears:

- Salmond claiming the last Scottish election gave them a mandate for a referendum. 50% of the country voted, and 45% of them voted for SNP. Making the massive assumption that all SNP voters want independence, that means less than a quarter of the voting population. Not exactly overwhelming is it?

- Despite the significant number of industry experts, academics, business leaders and economists saying that it will be a bad idea, the SNP put their fingers in their ears and go 'la la la la - it will all be fine, just trust us!'.

- Trident. My work involved a lot of work at Faslane, and I have been there several times. If we lose Trident, I have to find another job (which won't be that big a deal since I'll be moving to Australia!). Having spoken to plenty people from Helensburgh about it they are overwhelmingly in favour of it, and say it will ruin their livelihoods if it goes. The claims that they can just convert the base to a normal naval base are just ridiculous - it would cost hundreds of millions and would take a lot of time. Plus, where are all the 'Scottish Navy' vessels to fill it?

- Cybernats. There are a lot of them, and they are a complete disgrace to the country.


There are many more issues, but that's the gist for now!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 5:28 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:I'm not a Tory voter, but I don't see the problem in a Tory government in Westminster.  We have these things called elections every 4 years - governments change.  What also annoys me is the arrogance from the SNP that they are going to be much better than anything Westminster can do - they are all politicians at the end of the day and I wouldn't trust Salmond as far as I could throw him (which isn't very far).

This is both their strongest and their weakest argument. The most compelling case for independence is the line that Scotland currently doesn't get the governments it votes for. Sometime it does, sometimes it doesn't. For those who think in terms of "Scotland" only, they can argue that there's a democratic deficit in the Coalition Government being in charge of a country that in no previous election in recent history would have voted for a right wing party.

The weakness in the position is of course (a) Scotland is part of the UK and whatever your thoughts on "first past the post" we currently vote as the UK and therefore the UK does in fact get the government the UK votes for and (b) the assumption that Scotland is somehow inherently left wing and that will never change. Re: (b) I think the political landscape in Scotland will change significantly post-independence, and if left wing policies fail, or Heaven forbid the oil runs dry, voters will look for a solution, and no doubt there will be more centre-right and right wing options appearing on the ticket in due course as credible alternatives to the left. The idea that some socialist utopia will take over for ever more is not credible in my opinion.

On the whole nuclear thing I found Gus O'Donnell's observations interesting at the weekend. rUK is in no position to take Trident as things currently stand, and no contingency plans are in place. What isn't going to happen is a decommissioning of weapons, but rather a moving of them at some point in the future to a different country. Quite how this solves anything I'll never know. It's also interesting, and often overlooked, that the unnamed Govt. minister quoted as saying "of course there will be a currency union" actually suggested that the cost of a currency union would be Scotland keeping Trident and a UK-wide defence policy. The SNP then ruled out keeping Trident, but decided to bang on about the other bit re: currency. Clearly the "unnamed source" is not a credible way to build policy, but even if you do take the source as credible, what was actually suggested was currency union for Trident.

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Post by RDW Mon 25 Aug 2014, 5:39 pm

What are the realities of Scotland banning nuclear weapons, yet wanting to be part of NATO and having other countries look after them (with their nuclear weapons)?

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 5:56 pm

It's an issue that has caused splits in the Yes camp as well. Several SNP ministers resigned over the SNP u-turn on NATO.

My view is that NATO would not support Scotland's membership if Scotland were to be anti-nuclear and demand that all weapons be removed from Scotland. It's one thing not to have nuclear weapons and be a member, but different to be "anti-nuclear" and insist that such weapons be removed and yet be a member of a nuclear organisation. My hunch is no, but Salmond loves his Norway comparisons and they are indeed an anti-nuclear member of NATO - who knows whether NATO will welcome another such country onboard.

Perhaps if Salmond threatens another North Sea blockade, that will help. Everyone loves a show of strength......

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Post by RDW Mon 25 Aug 2014, 6:07 pm

What are they actually debating tonight? Did they not cover everything last time?

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Post by BigGee Mon 25 Aug 2014, 6:09 pm

As someone who considers himself Scottish and Brittish and having lived the great majority of my life in England, I have found the whole affair difficult and painfull and in all honestly I can only imagine how I would feel if there is a Yes vote. I am certainly feel that in being forced into making a choice that i don't want to make it will change the way that I feel about my identity.

I will effectively have to choose between being British and Scottish, wheras now I can be both. In reality I am not going to take up the Scottish option as I live in England and have a family here. I will go from how I discribed myself previously, Brittish and Scottish to being British of Scottish descent. There is a big difference there and while I am sure that I will continue to be interested in and support Scottish Rugby and all other kinds of sport and acheivement, I just don't think it will feel quite the same. That saddens me a lot, as it has been a great big part of my life which may end up being taken away from me.

I do really worry about the after effects of all of this. I have followed the debate closely as well and apart from feeling that the nationalists have not made any sort of case, I worry about the antipahty that will be left over from the result. If you read the comments following any of the newspaper articles then you should be concerned. Vitriolic does not begin to do it justice. Some of the stuff trottted out is absolutely poisenous.

Unfortunately I also think that it has caused many people down here in England to think a little bit about how they are perceived by the Scots. Peoiple down here are just ordinary human beings, some good some bad, but to be tarred collectively as the bad guys is just pure wrong. I don't necesserily pass as obviously Scottish but have never really come accross anti scottish feeling in the way that I have seen and witnessed anti english feeling in Scotland. My parents who are still very obviously from north of the border are very much a part of their community and would never have choosen to live anywhere other than where they ended up. They have been extremely happy there and have always been made welcome. Many ordinary english people, who have the same everyday problems as those in Scotland will be asking themselves the question, what have we done to deserve this attitude from them.

This whole episode has been a dangerous game and there will be no knowing how it will eventually pan out, whatever the result of the referendum.


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Post by George Carlin Mon 25 Aug 2014, 7:20 pm

Very few things happen in politics whereby voters really need to look inwards and decide what sort of people they want to be, both individually and as a collective. I share the sentiments posted above that it's uncomfortable-making stuff to people who have ever called England home (I did, for more than a decade).

I can't agree that Darling needs to set out what happens if there's a 'no vote'. You don't need to justify the status quo - it is what it is and there are far too many variables involved for anyone to answer that accurately. It also doesn't matter. We need to put up with whatever the fallout is. It may be a strengthening of Westminster/Holyrood ties, for all we know.

Even being a 'no' voter, one thing that I will regret if the country agrees with me is losing the opportunity to completely self determine. I feel very strongly that too many Scots live in a bewildering state of enjoying having someone else to blame for their economic/social state. Even when I was a boy, I could never understand anti-English feeling - particularly given that nobody I knew from England gave the situation a second thought.

An independent Scotland may rise or fall and would doubtless have both good and bad times but there is absolute value in advancing as a people to say that the circumstances in which we find ourselves are the fault of nobody but ourselves. Unless we realize that our world and country is genuinely what we make it, then we are not going to get anywhere.

Sadly, the sort of people who prefer to sit and moan about their lot without wishing to take upon themselves the responsibility to change their lives also tend to be the sort of people who (correctly) idolize great Scots like Smith, Kelvin, Stevenson and Hume. All of them men who left their country to learn abroad and then when they returned with what they learned, chose to be pioneers. The irony is awful.

I'm not saying for a moment that you need to leave Scotland to maximize your potential. You just need to get away from the very British perspective that you shouldn't shoot high in case you fall on your keyster.


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Post by RDW Mon 25 Aug 2014, 7:34 pm

What's the quote commonly used I'm science? Something like

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

The SNP are certainly making the extraordinary claims - they're just falling short of the evidence! It also puts the onus on the claiming party to come up with the evidence - not the other side to disprove anything.

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Post by wayne Mon 25 Aug 2014, 8:11 pm

Sorry to impose on your thread, I think I'm the first to comment without any Scottish connection.
How do you feel about the Under 18s having a vote ? I know why Salmond wants these voting, what are your actual views on them having the vote.

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Post by RDW Mon 25 Aug 2014, 8:14 pm

It looks like it has back fired on him spectacularly - a number of schools have had mini referendums and a significant majority of them have voted no!

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Post by Notch Mon 25 Aug 2014, 10:02 pm

Scotland should go for it. All the three main British parties care about is London and the South East and ultimately everything gets sucked into the vortex of London- jobs, money, people. It might as well be floating over the rest of the UK on rockets. Thats not good for, well, most of the country. I have friends who have Poopie jobs and live where they were born and I have friends who have careers and have moved to London or moved overseas. Jobs may be being created, but not evenly across the country. The UK is badly out of balance. But there is no political will to address this at all.

I feel like Scotland has been badly mismanaged in the past and unlike Wales or Northern Ireland has all the ingredients to be a successful small independent nation. It's not the best option for Scotland; that would be devolution max. But that would be such a no-brainer they made sure they didn't get a chance to vote for it. I think the consequences of staying in the UK are potentially worse for them than leaving when I look at how Labour and the Lib Dems have been sucked rightwards and drawn into focusing almost entirely on the South-East. There is no appreciable ideological difference between the parties. Without choice, there is no democracy. The Tory government will change and be replaced with another Tory government, consisting of 'Labour' politicians. They will continue to attack the poor, the disabled, to undermine the NHS and if the devolved institutions refuse to pass their cuts they will simply cut their block grants and suffocate them. This will not change through a general election regardless of the result.

Living in Northern Ireland, I'm incredibly envious of Scotland having this choice and I think that if they choose to vote no, they'll live to regret it- or at least the younger generations will. There's no chance to change the political course of the UK as long as the three parties remain in total consensus, and they simply do not care about large swathes of the population and that includes Scotland. There is a democratic deficit; Scotland simply doesn't have the tools to fully protect itself from the government in Westminster and the three-party political system is broken and offers no real choice. Those of us in outlying regions have no way of using our votes to change policy- except for the Scots in their upcoming referendum. They can begin a process of radical political realignment in their country. It could be a once in a generation chance to actually create something positive. I wouldn't be so keen to waste it if I still lived in Scotland.
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Post by RDW Mon 25 Aug 2014, 10:16 pm

With all due respect notch I think it is massively irresponsible to vote yes purely to get rid of Westminster, given the significant uncertainty and expert opinion suggesting it will be a disaster for the country economically and socially.

Lets face it - if it is a yes vote it will be by a very small margin. That means millions of people will lose their national identity against their own will. I'd personally be distraught if that happened and would only lead to a divided nation ( something that is already happening unfortunately).

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Post by PenfroPete Mon 25 Aug 2014, 11:20 pm

So, apart from ASBO, Scottish Rugby fans say NO ?

'Britishness...is a political synonym for Englishness which extends English culture over the Scots, the Welsh, and the Irish.'

'A ''Yes'' uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ''No'' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.'

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Aug 2014, 11:44 pm

Well the debate tonight was awful. Alex Salmond won, hands down, but the whole thing was a shouting match and avoided any real substance, so it played to his strengths. The BBC also managed to find a total wet blanket to moderate, so the two debaters just shouted each other down. No question really got a proper answer. The audience seemed entirely made up of Separatists, or at least those the wet blanket chose to ask questions.

So depressing watching that.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 26 Aug 2014, 12:09 am

I suppose it is no surprise that I would hope for a resounding vote against separation.  I have always seen myself as a Brit first and English as a pretty distant second.  If not for the sporting, mainly Rugby, context, it would not be on my radar much at all.  Maybe that goes along with not having lived in England until I was 13 or 14, or my time in the Army working closely with people from virtually all parts of the Commonwealth.  

I see an inherent unfairness about this process:  If the vote for independence fails, the SNP can do it again in a few years.  If the vote is successful, then it seems a decision taken which is virtually unchangeable.  Forever.  

Further, independence for Scotland is something which impacts every man, woman, and child in the United Kingdom.  Should not all citizens of the UK have a voice?  Finally, having little confidence in our political leadership concerning such an emotive issue, today's debate as a prime example, I am not comfortable this is entirely about what is best for people.

At the risk of sounding jingoistic or a little BNP-ish (which I absolutely are not), I truly believe we have done great things and made the world a better place mainly through our combined efforts.  How can small (poxy?) islands off the coast of Europe provide the world basic concepts for human rights, the rule of law, and innovations which changed the world?  It is precisely through our combined efforts that we were successful, even if that was not always our aim.  And if not for two of the most ruinous wars in human history, in which we fought and won out as a United kingdom, who knows how our country would look?  I get our failures, but, to me, the balance remains far on the plus side of the ledger.  Too far to break it up.

Besides, if we were never a United Kingdom, would we have really have been able to give Rugby to the world without our combined efforts?  Would the McCaw family have emigrated to New Zealand?  And, if not, would we now be complaining about those darned Scots getting away with always being offside at the breakdown instead of the Kiwis?

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Post by George Carlin Tue 26 Aug 2014, 6:38 am

Seen the debate lowlights and the moderator's wet fart approach meant the whole thing descended into the mud, where of course Salmond is most at home. A fairly partisan crowd too, which didn't help proceedings. I am not particularly proud of that being broadcast overseas.

What was surprising was that Darling completely lost his temper and was largely incoherent for about 20 minutes, it seems.

Makes you wonder whether there genuinely are any of this mythical class of 'undecideds' whose opinions are allegedly available to the side making good points and backing them up. If that's true, they should try and get more of them in the debate audiences rather than the pointy, shouty, hooting polemicists.
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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:01 am

The problem with these debates is that it might swing people’s opinion based on who is perceived to have won, but in reality these debates tell us nothing.  If anyone is interested in the referendum there is a host of information online supporting both sides of the coin, and I really hope that folk actually look into it before voting.

There appears to be a lot of folk in favour of ‘No’ on this thread, but I’m going to buck the trend and come out, in support of ‘Yes’.

When the referendum first came up I was firmly in the No camp, but over time I have come round to yes and now strongly believe that going it alone would be massively beneficial for Scotland.

Now I would never try and convince others as to which way to vote, because it’s not my place, I’m sure the folk on here who are voting ‘no’ are doing so for the right reasons, just as I am voting ‘yes’ for what I perceive to be the right reasons.  However I am looking forward to this being over one way or the other, sadly though if we get the result I want (yes) then it’s going to drag on for another 18 months whilst negotiations take place, but at least it will be something to discuss in between the rugby.

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:02 am

PenfroPete wrote:So, apart from ASBO, Scottish Rugby fans say NO ?

From what I've seen on the 'On-going banter thread' there are more, but it does appear the majority are a no.

And to be fair, in my own personal life it is a resounding No vote.  Just taking into account the entirely accurate measure of how many of my Facebook friends follow Yes Scotland's Facebook page and how many follow Better Together, it is currently 40 NO and 8 YES.

Indeed the vast majority of my friends and family are no voters.  Throw in all my work colleagues, senior management within the company and most people I talk to on site, and my life is surrounded by No voters.

Maybe I'm not the 'typical' generation or social standing of a Yes voter. I am a young (ish) University educated professional who is not old enough to remember the problems with Tory governments in the past, but not a young student who thinks they can change the world and any policy against the establishment is automatically a good policy (not that I ever was like that!).

I have a career, mortgage and pension and worry about what will happen to these in a Yes vote.

I'm not saying there aren't Yes voters in a similar standing (I know a few) but I wonder whether I am surrounded by No voters because of this.

Looking at the people I know to be Yes voters, and thinking of why they are like that, I can break it down into the following:


- Old relatives who have a romantic vision of Scotland, and have little interest in the practicalities and economics of separation

- 'I can change the world' type students who, under debate about the issue, crumble and have very little answer to justify why they vote yes

- One of my friends is the same generation and social standing as me, but he genuinely thinks Scotland would be better, which is fair enough.  The fact he works in renewable energy might have something to do with it (another wild SNP claim is that Scotland will be 100% renewable by 2020).

- People who, and I quote, say "We don't really know what will happen, but we might as well go for it and just give it a shot eh?". Indeed.

- People who genuinely don't have a clue and have watched Braveheart too many times. Seriously.

- People whose parents have been long-standing SNP voters and have been raised to think that Scottish Independence is a good thing



So of all the people I know to be Yes voters, there are very few who I would be able to have a reasoned debate with and be able to defend their reasoning for thinking it would be a good thing. My worry is the referendum is going to be won not by the people who have actually thought things through, but by people who are voting Yes for all the wrong reasons.


Thinking of the famous Churchill quote:

The greatest argument against democracy is to spend 5 minutes with the average voter

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:06 am

EWT Spoons wrote:The problem with these debates is that it might swing people’s opinion based on who is perceived to have won, but in reality these debates tell us nothing.  If anyone is interested in the referendum there is a host of information online supporting both sides of the coin, and I really hope that folk actually look into it before voting.

There appears to be a lot of folk in favour of ‘No’ on this thread, but I’m going to buck the trend and come out, in support of ‘Yes’.

When the referendum first came up I was firmly in the No camp, but over time I have come round to yes and now strongly believe that going it alone would be massively beneficial for Scotland.

Now I would never try and convince others as to which way to vote, because it’s not my place, I’m sure the folk on here who are voting ‘no’ are doing so for the right reasons, just as I am voting ‘yes’ for what I perceive to be the right reasons.  However I am looking forward to this being over one way or the other, sadly though if we get the result I want (yes) then it’s going to drag on for another 18 months whilst negotiations take place, but at least it will be something to discuss in between the rugby.

Fair enough Spoons.

If everyone in the country properly does their research and really thinks long and hard about what independence would actually mean, and it is a Yes vote, then I can just about accept that.

The problem I have is that obviously isn't going to happen, and a large number of people will be voting Yes for all the wrong reasons (as described above from my own experience). These are the people that are going to decide the fate of the millions of people who want to stay in the UK.

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:14 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:


So of all the people I know to be Yes voters, there are very few who I would be able to have a reasoned debate with and be able to defend their reasoning for thinking it would be a good thing. My worry is the referendum is going to be won not by the people who have actually thought things through, but by people who are voting Yes for all the wrong reasons.

I find this to be true of both sides.  I don't personally have any friends who are voting yes because of the 'Braveheart' reasons, but I am certain that a portion of society will be voting based on that criteria, however I do have friends who are voting no because they haven't thought things through.  I think it's a fairly even mix (in my experience anyway) of people who are voting yes and no for what I think are the right reasons.  

When I say the right reasons, I don't mean to suggest I'm some overall authority who can dictate what's right and wrong, I just mean that as long as they have put some thought into it, rather than just "I hate Alex Salmond" or "I've seen Braveheart a few too many times".

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:18 am

It's also worth pointing out that (sadly) No has won in every poll so far, I believe, so I suspect that this will be the way the referendum goes.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:22 am

You also have the bizarre situation where Scottish people living outside Scotland wont get a vote, and non-Scottish people living in Scotland who will. Not to mention giving the vote (very, very cynically) to 16 - 18 year olds.

Personally, I can see both sides of the argument. However, I do think that the nationalistic rhetoric that toad-face Salmond spouts is extremely dangerous. Whatever the outcome of the vote, Salmond's scaremongering have done little else but to drive a wedge between England and Scotland that, in my opinion, can never be removed. I suspect that he knows it as well and should he lose, will continue to attempt to chip away at relations until independance becomes the only course of action.

And by the way, I think we English should get a referendum on whether we want Scotland to remain part of the Union. Personally, i'm fed up with the debate.

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:22 am

Apart from the polls commisiond by the SNP.... Very Happy

It is a good question though - what do people think the result will be? Do we really have a clue?

I am hoping it is overwhelmingly No to remove any doubt about it. If it is a Yes vote I can only see it being by a very small margin.

As it stands, I reckon it will be somewhere in the middle - something like 50% No, 40% Yes and 10% spoilt ballot papers by the Neanderthals who can't follow simple voting instruction!

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:34 am

Jimpy wrote:You also have the bizarre situation where Scottish people living outside Scotland wont get a vote, and non-Scottish people living in Scotland who will. Not to mention giving the vote (very, very cynically) to 16 - 18 year olds.

Personally, I can see both sides of the argument. However, I do think that the nationalistic rhetoric that toad-face Salmond spouts is extremely dangerous. Whatever the outcome of the vote, Salmond's scaremongering have done little else but to drive a wedge between England and Scotland that, in my opinion, can never be removed. I suspect that he knows it as well and should he lose, will continue to attempt to chip away at relations until independance becomes the only course of action.

And by the way, I think we English should get a referendum on whether we want Scotland to remain part of the Union. Personally, i'm fed up with the debate.

Again I realise I'm probably on the verge of pushing my opinion on others here which is something I said I wouldn't do, but I would also suggest that the No campaign is equally guilty of scaremongering, sadly I guess this is what you get in politics.  Also whilst many don't like Salmond (I'm not his biggest fan either), it's really not about him, as Scotland will get the chance to vote on who govens us shortly after the referendum.

RDW – I think a no vote is all but assured, I think it will be tight, but I would be amazed if Yes won.   I think fear of change is a huge advantage No has, whilst many think change can be a good thing, I suspect more will believe in the ‘better the devil you know’ mantra.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:44 am

EWT Spoons wrote:
Jimpy wrote:You also have the bizarre situation where Scottish people living outside Scotland wont get a vote, and non-Scottish people living in Scotland who will. Not to mention giving the vote (very, very cynically) to 16 - 18 year olds.

Personally, I can see both sides of the argument. However, I do think that the nationalistic rhetoric that toad-face Salmond spouts is extremely dangerous. Whatever the outcome of the vote, Salmond's scaremongering have done little else but to drive a wedge between England and Scotland that, in my opinion, can never be removed. I suspect that he knows it as well and should he lose, will continue to attempt to chip away at relations until independance becomes the only course of action.

And by the way, I think we English should get a referendum on whether we want Scotland to remain part of the Union. Personally, i'm fed up with the debate.

Again I realise I'm probably on the verge of pushing my opinion on others here which is something I said I wouldn't do, but I would also suggest that the No campaign is equally guilty of scaremongering, sadly I guess this is what you get in politics.  Also whilst many don't like Salmond (I'm not his biggest fan either), it's really not about him, as Scotland will get the chance to vote on who govens us shortly after the referendum.

RDW – I think a no vote is all but assured, I think it will be tight, but I would be amazed if Yes won.   I think fear of change is a huge advantage No has, whilst many think change can be a good thing, I suspect more will believe in the ‘better the devil you know’ mantra.

Perhaps they are, but Salmond started it, and frankly, most people can see him for the bully he is. Unfortunately, history shows us that he who shouts loudest, promises the most (regardless of the truth) and who plays on nationalistic attitudes (or even racial tension) can easily win the race, despite not having majority support. As has been rightly pointed out thus far, it is an unfortunate reality that the ignorant will have a huge influence.

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:44 am

EWT Spoons wrote:

Also whilst many don't like Salmond (I'm not his biggest fan either), it's really not about him, as Scotland will get the chance to vote on who govens us shortly after the referendum.
.

You say that, but surely he will be at the forefront of the negotiations with Westminster? And how can you hold an election for who is to run the country when you do not know yet what kind of country they are going to have to run? Especially if you don't even know what currency you are going to be using! Surely you have to have everything agreed with Westminster before you can set up a government to run everything.

If you start thinking about the practicalities of becoming independent there is no way this will only take 18 months, and will surely cost hundreds of millions to implement.

Let's not forget the impact it will have on the country during that drawn out process - will Westminster have our best interests at heart if we are leaving them soon? Will businesses invest in Scotland given the massive uncertainty and the fact they don't even know what currency they will be using? Will current businesses stay in the country again given the massive uncertainty? This is business after all - if you can relocate to England and have greater economic certainty they will surely do that over staying in Scotland.  Let's not ignore the countless business leaders that have come out saying this is something they might have to do.

Just what we need in a time of global financial uncertainty....

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 9:59 am

Jimpy wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:
Jimpy wrote:You also have the bizarre situation where Scottish people living outside Scotland wont get a vote, and non-Scottish people living in Scotland who will. Not to mention giving the vote (very, very cynically) to 16 - 18 year olds.

Personally, I can see both sides of the argument. However, I do think that the nationalistic rhetoric that toad-face Salmond spouts is extremely dangerous. Whatever the outcome of the vote, Salmond's scaremongering have done little else but to drive a wedge between England and Scotland that, in my opinion, can never be removed. I suspect that he knows it as well and should he lose, will continue to attempt to chip away at relations until independance becomes the only course of action.

And by the way, I think we English should get a referendum on whether we want Scotland to remain part of the Union. Personally, i'm fed up with the debate.

Again I realise I'm probably on the verge of pushing my opinion on others here which is something I said I wouldn't do, but I would also suggest that the No campaign is equally guilty of scaremongering, sadly I guess this is what you get in politics.  Also whilst many don't like Salmond (I'm not his biggest fan either), it's really not about him, as Scotland will get the chance to vote on who govens us shortly after the referendum.

RDW – I think a no vote is all but assured, I think it will be tight, but I would be amazed if Yes won.   I think fear of change is a huge advantage No has, whilst many think change can be a good thing, I suspect more will believe in the ‘better the devil you know’ mantra.

Perhaps they are, but Salmond started it, and frankly, most people can see him for the bully he is. Unfortunately, history shows us that he who shouts loudest, promises the most (regardless of the truth) and who plays on nationalistic attitudes (or even racial tension) can easily win the race, despite not having majority support. As has been rightly pointed out thus far, it is an unfortunate reality that the ignorant will have a huge influence.

Not totally sure I agree with you here, the No campaign is referred to as Project Fear, even within itself.  It's the main trick in their locker.  They spent most of the campaign, until recently in their defence  (and there are reasons behind it taking so long), focussing on how bad it would be for Scotland if we voted for independence.  That was their game plan and to be fair it's a pretty solid tactic for a lot of people.

I have only seen Salmond and co go that way recently, it’s not something I think is right, but it’s clearly been a strong tool for the No campaign so it would be foolish for the Yes campaign to not try it’s hand at it as well.

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:11 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:

Also whilst many don't like Salmond (I'm not his biggest fan either), it's really not about him, as Scotland will get the chance to vote on who govens us shortly after the referendum.
.

You say that, but surely he will be at the forefront of the negotiations with Westminster? And how can you hold an election for who is to run the country when you do not know yet what kind of country they are going to have to run? Especially if you don't even know what currency you are going to be using! Surely you have to have everything agreed with Westminster before you can set up a government to run everything.

If you start thinking about the practicalities of becoming independent there is no way this will only take 18 months, and will surely cost hundreds of millions to implement.

Let's not forget the impact it will have on the country during that drawn out process - will Westminster have our best interests at heart if we are leaving them soon? Will businesses invest in Scotland given the massive uncertainty and the fact they don't even know what currency they will be using? Will current businesses stay in the country again given the massive uncertainty? This is business after all - if you can relocate to England and have greater economic certainty they will surely do that over staying in Scotland.  Let's not ignore the countless business leaders that have come out saying this is something they might have to do.

Just what we need in a time of global financial uncertainty....

He would absolutely be and considering he seems pretty competent at it, I wouldn’t have a problem with him trying to negotiate on behalf of Scotland’s future.

I think the currency issue is misleading.  Regardless of a currency union or not, Scotland will continue to use the pound, there is no reason why we should change*, so this shouldn’t be a factor.  Also when I said soon with regards to the election, I think it’s due to take place just after the 18 months, so just after the proposed go live date for independence.

I think 18 months is realistic, everything might not be transferred over (one way or the other) by the end of that time, but agreements and timescales should be signed off by then on whatever needs done.

There is absolutely a risk of companies leaving Scotland, similarly companies might decide to stay or move to Scotland, but I can’t predict either way what is going to happen here, I don’t think anyone can, we can both speculate but it would be largely just be a guess at this stage.

*There is currently no reason why we should change, that’s not to say at some point in the future we wouldn’t want to.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:13 am

I agree with EWT Spoons on this. The "No" campaign has accentuated the negative aspects of independence and could certainly have dedicated more time to emphasising the positive aspects of the union. Alex Salmond himself never tires of telling people how prosperous Scotland is in comparison to the rUK, and of course that prosperity has come about with Scotland as part of the UK.

In terms of negative campaigning the "Yes" campaign has only recently turned on the tap, largely as a response to losing the first debate. I think they made a decision following that debate that the gloves should come off, which is why the NHS has suddenly from nowhere become a priority for them, or rather any story which points to Tory cuts vs SNP spending. I was appauled that Darling didn't see this coming, and rather bizarrely at times he was drawn into to defending the Coalition Policies he clearly doesn't support. It was a clever tactic by Salmond, and when Darling tried to point out that he's a Labour man and not in favour of the "bedroom tax", he was shouted down by Alex Salmond screaming "you're in bed with the Tories". Horrible but effective politics. Darling got flustered and he became unable to articulate his key points, and that's where the debate was lost for the Better Together campaign.

Regarding "negative" campaigning, rather like partisanship I have no issue with it. When one side is selling a false prospectus, promising things it can't deliver, ducking any hard choices and cooking the books by inventing oil revenues that Sir Ian Wood is telling them isn't there, you have to attack that and by definition be negative. Nothing wrong with that in my book, it's important to do it. On the other side of the debate I think Salmond is entirely right to attack Darling over the incoherent promises of "further powers". The Better Together campaign needed to pull together a much more concrete devo max style alternative to independence, rather than the cobbled together output of three competing parties. Again, it's negative campaigning but Salmond is entirely right to do it.

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:20 am

Wait, first you say that it's not about Salmond, then you agree that he will be at the forefront of the negotiations! He will be the one representing our best interests and the thought of that terrifies me.

Yes we don't know for sure that businesses would leave and wouldn't invest in Scotland, but given that there would be enormous uncertainty surrounding the country it doesn't take much of a leap of faith to be fairly confident that they would. As I said - business is business! Shareholders don't like risk - if the risk is mitigated by moving out of Scotland, they will do it.

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:28 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:. On the other side of the debate I think Salmond is entirely right to attack Darling over the incoherent promises of "further powers". The Better Together campaign needed to pull together a much more concrete devo max style alternative to independence, rather than the cobbled together output of three competing parties. Again, it's negative campaigning but Salmond is entirely right to do it.

This is a particularly strong tool for the yes campaign because it's labour who are dragging their feet when it comes to additional powers.

I’m sure Salmond knows this and as such can go to town on Darling because it’s his own party that have slowed this down massively, which is why they have only recently started to talk about it as part of the Better together chat, but nothing has been formally agreed yet so they can’t really talk about it in detail.

It’s also concerning that Boris Johnson has also come out and said that Scotland shouldn’t have any additional powers, and for some reason he seems to be the favourite to replace Cameron as leader of the conservatives.  This again makes the better together campaign weaker on additional powers.

I guess this is maybe where the Yes campaign have the upper hand, they have one main party leading this, whereas BT has 3 key parties and they have very different ideas, even within themselves it would appear.

I would stress it’s not the reason I am voting yes, but I really would not want Boris Johnson to be leading the country.  Especially after his other recent chat about money being spent in Croydon is far more valuable than money being spent in Strathclyde

Boris Johnson wrote:“A pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde," Johnson told the Huffington Post in an extraordinary interview this weekend. And in what was evidently an off-day for his internal censor, he went on: "You will generate jobs in Strathclyde far more effectively if you invest in parts of London”


Now I am hopeful this is just because he is the Mayor of London, but I wouldn’t put anything past him.

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Post by George Carlin Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:31 am

Businesses wouldn't pull out - I think that's much more of a hypothetical than a realistic practical threat. They will have been informally promised huge decreases in tax for staying put and once the currency issue is established there won't be a great deal more that they need to know, in terms of 'drop dead' items.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:32 am

EWT Spoons wrote:I think the currency issue is misleading.  Regardless of a currency union or not, Scotland will continue to use the pound, there is no reason why we should change*, so this shouldn’t be a factor.  Also when I said soon with regards to the election, I think it’s due to take place just after the 18 months, so just after the proposed go live date for independence.

I think 18 months is realistic, everything might not be transferred over (one way or the other) by the end of that time, but agreements and timescales should be signed off by then on whatever needs done.

There is absolutely a risk of companies leaving Scotland, similarly companies might decide to stay or move to Scotland, but I can’t predict either way what is going to happen here, I don’t think anyone can, we can both speculate but it would be largely just be a guess at this stage.

*There is currently no reason why we should change, that’s not to say at some point in the future we wouldn’t want to.

I'm sorry but this is just wrong, and Alex Salmond was horribly misleading on this last night.

There is a massive difference between (a) using the pound as part of a currency union (i.e. what we have now), and (b) simply adopting it as your currency without the backing of the Bank of England (i.e. the Panama Plan). Alex Salmond deliberately misled the audience last night by treating them both as one and the same. He said that George Osborne had ruled out Scotland using the pound (when Osborne was talking about (a)), whilst Darling has said that Scotland could use the pound (and Darling was talking about (b)). Salmond pretented that Darling had contradicted Osborne and made some huge concession, when nothing of the sort had occured. Either Salmond doesn't know the difference (which would be terrifying) or he was deliberately misleading the voters. When you have a strong argument, you don't need to resort to such tactics.

(a) is important because it allows the central bank (Bank of England) to control currency supply and support the economy, and in particular the financial services industry in recent times. With option (b) Scotland will not have that support. To say currency "shouldn't be a factor" shows a total misunderstanding of the position. Currency is critical to the economy. I know the nationalist audience are bored of hearing about it, and Salmond tried the glib line of "three Plan Bs" and started rambling about buses to hide his lack of coherent position, but unfortunately he has to pick one option which he can deliver, and then explain why and how it will work. He still hasn't done that, and it is extremely important.

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Post by Biltong Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:32 am

I have no say in this, and have very little knowledge of the history, positives or negatives in this referendum.

I just want to say one thing in the words of Mel Gibson ""They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom! ... "

Think of the movie man!!!!!
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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:34 am

George Carlin wrote:Businesses wouldn't pull out - I think that's much more of a hypothetical than a realistic practical threat. They will have been informally promised huge decreases in tax for staying put and once the currency issue is established there won't be a great deal more that they need to know, in terms of 'drop dead' items.

Whose side are you on! Laugh

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:34 am

Biltong wrote: and have very little knowledge of the history, positives or negatives in this referendum.


You'd be a perfect yes voter then! Run

Sorry

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:41 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Wait, first you say that it's not about Salmond, then you agree that he will be at the forefront of the negotiations! He will be the one representing our best interests and the thought of that terrifies me.

Yes we don't know for sure that businesses would leave and wouldn't invest in Scotland, but given that there would be enormous uncertainty surrounding the country it doesn't take much of a leap of faith to be fairly confident that they would. As I said - business is business! Shareholders don't like risk - if the risk is mitigated by moving out of Scotland, they will do it.

He will be neogtiating, but independence isn't about him, thats what I was meaning.  I have no qualms over him representing us round that table, as despite him coming over as a bit of a d*ck at times, he's certainly capable of putting forward Scotland's best interests.  Again this is just my opinion and equally if you feel he's not up to the job, or that he doesn't represent Scotland's best interests then fair enough.

You're right Shareholders don't like risk, and given a significant portion of the UK's finance (debt) is in part underwritten by North Sea Oil it could be suggested there is a level of risk involved in moving to England, Wales or N. Ireland.  The other side of that is that what would the level of upheaval be for companies looking to relocate?  I mean for smaller companies it might not be massively challenging (in terms of scale), but larger companies, need premises and staff wherever they move to, they would also therefore need to offload old premises and staff who are located in Scotland.  That’s not cheap to do, and a huge risk to the finances of that company, especially if you factor in training of new staff to replicate the work of the ones you’ve just let go.

Sure it’s possible this may happen, but it wouldn’t be a decision taken lightly by these companies, or at least it shouldn’t be.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:41 am

George Carlin wrote:Businesses wouldn't pull out - I think that's much more of a hypothetical than a realistic practical threat. They will have been informally promised huge decreases in tax for staying put and once the currency issue is established there won't be a great deal more that they need to know, in terms of 'drop dead' items.

It depends on the sector, but I can assure you that a very significant portion of the financial services industry in Scotland will re-domicile to rUK in the event of a Yes vote. Some have even said as much.

The Nats response to this has been that most of the major institutions already conduct most of their business south of the border, but of course that misses the point in terms of taxation income that would otherwise be received by the new Scottish treasury and of course the jobs which are currently based in Scotland as a result of HQs and back office support being in Edinburgh.

The Nats assume all this income stays in Scotland for the purposes of their projections, when we know there will be a significant shift south in the industry. These institutions have investors and shareholders who will not stomach the risk, or the capital cost, of being based in a country without a central bank, and the tax income and jobs will move south. The rUK will jump at the chance to woo these businesses south. Cities like Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle will see this as a massive opportunity to capture these companies and these jobs, and I don't think a corporation tax cut will prevent it from happening, as the Bank of England, PRA and FCA are critical to these institutions.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:43 am

Biltong wrote:I have no say in this, and have very little knowledge of the history, positives or negatives in this referendum.

I just want to say one thing in the words of Mel Gibson ""They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom! ... "

Think of the movie man!!!!!

I'm more of a Rob Roy fan personally. Much prefer to have a Northern Irishman playing one of our national heroes than an Australian!

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 26 Aug 2014, 10:56 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I think the currency issue is misleading.  Regardless of a currency union or not, Scotland will continue to use the pound, there is no reason why we should change*, so this shouldn’t be a factor.  Also when I said soon with regards to the election, I think it’s due to take place just after the 18 months, so just after the proposed go live date for independence.

I think 18 months is realistic, everything might not be transferred over (one way or the other) by the end of that time, but agreements and timescales should be signed off by then on whatever needs done.

There is absolutely a risk of companies leaving Scotland, similarly companies might decide to stay or move to Scotland, but I can’t predict either way what is going to happen here, I don’t think anyone can, we can both speculate but it would be largely just be a guess at this stage.

*There is currently no reason why we should change, that’s not to say at some point in the future we wouldn’t want to.

I'm sorry but this is just wrong, and Alex Salmond was horribly misleading on this last night.

There is a massive difference between (a) using the pound as part of a currency union (i.e. what we have now), and (b) simply adopting it as your currency without the backing of the Bank of England (i.e. the Panama Plan). Alex Salmond deliberately misled the audience last night by treating them both as one and the same. He said that George Osborne had ruled out Scotland using the pound (when Osborne was talking about (a)), whilst Darling has said that Scotland could use the pound (and Darling was talking about (b)). Salmond pretented that Darling had contradicted Osborne and made some huge concession, when nothing of the sort had occured. Either Salmond doesn't know the difference (which would be terrifying) or he was deliberately misleading the voters. When you have a strong argument, you don't need to resort to such tactics.

(a) is important because it allows the central bank (Bank of England) to control currency supply and support the economy, and in particular the financial services industry in recent times. With option (b) Scotland will not have that support. To say currency "shouldn't be a factor" shows a total misunderstanding of the position. Currency is critical to the economy. I know the nationalist audience are bored of hearing about it, and Salmond tried the glib line of "three Plan Bs" and started rambling about buses to hide his lack of coherent position, but unfortunately he has to pick one option which he can deliver, and then explain why and how it will work. He still hasn't done that, and it is extremely important.

I'll be honest I didn't notice Salmond trying the ploy you mentioned above, in my opinion he merely called out that we can and will use the pound following a yes vote (clearly the same would apply following a no vote), when I said "it shouldn't be a factor" i was meaning that in terms of actual physical currency it shouldn't be a factor as we produce our own notes and nothing would change in terms of the money we get paid.

In terms of (b) I work in the financial sector and I'm painfully aware of the lender of last resort, and whilst yes it has helped the industry in the past it's not something that I personally think we should be hanging our hats on. If I had the choice between my company acting honestly and prudently (something we used to be half decent at in the past) or being reckless with a safety net, I would much rather the former. I realise that is a massively over simplistic viewpoint, but it shouldn’t deter from the actual currency we use.

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Post by George Carlin Tue 26 Aug 2014, 11:12 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Businesses wouldn't pull out - I think that's much more of a hypothetical than a realistic practical threat. They will have been informally promised huge decreases in tax for staying put and once the currency issue is established there won't be a great deal more that they need to know, in terms of 'drop dead' items.

Whose side are you on! Laugh

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Post by jimbopip Tue 26 Aug 2014, 11:14 am

Good morning gentlemen. Rather like BigGee I find myself as a Scot living in England rather confused (both emotionally and intellectually) by the whole referendum process. As my wife has pointed out to me she has lived more than half of her life in England, never owned a house in Scotland, gave birth to her children in England and has built her career exclusively in England. Yet friends and colleagues still define her as Scottish. But she isn't Scottish enough to vote in the referendum.
Perhaps this being Scottish but not living in Scotland allows me to be objective in some ways and sentimental in others, I'm not sure.
But if you'll humour me I'll try to put my tuppence worth in.
While studying Politics at Glasgow Uni, back in the 80's, we had a weekend away in some country house up in the highlands. One of the key speakers was Bernard Crick. His keynote speech was on Regionalism in a European context. In brief he argued that in any developed economy the effect of centralised government was an inevitable draining of Capital, Labour and Talent to the capital city. One inevitable consequence of this was the relative impoverishment of the regions. In short the further away from the decision making process (the capital) you were the poorer you were likely to be. Crick pointed to the existence of Basque, and Breton as well as Scottish Nationalist movements as evidence of groups feeling disempowered and disenfranchised and seeking a way to wrest back control. One way to avoid breaking up nations would be to devolve political power to the regions in order to staunch the flow of capital and talent.
I think we all recognise that the south east of England is the wealthiest part of the UK and that the further you move from that corner of Britain the poorer people are on average.
Looked at in those terms there is a very strong argument for Scotland managing its own economy: whether the answer is more devolved government or full independence is one part of the argument which seems to be missing. The parliament in Edinburgh at present seems to me to be quasi-autonomous: since we (the UK) have no written constitution then there seems no limits to the control which Westminster exerts over Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Would we want a United States of GB where there was a very clearly defined separation of powers between federal and state governments? My own feeling is yes, but I don't feel that we have been asked this question clearly enough.
Then we move onto the more abstract concept of what does it mean to be Scottish, or English or Croat or Hutu. I'm sure we're all aware of John Major quoting George Orwell on Englishness and while we may snigger at his attempt to define nationalism we should recognise that we all want to belong somewhere and to feel part of a community with shared values, traditions and identity. Is this need for an identity important enough to break up the UK? In an age where popular culture is being shaped by the internet and the world is becoming more homogenous by the day are questions of national identity at all relevant? Or conversely do they become more relevant as we desperately look for ways to reassure ourselves that we have a place of our own?
I'm pretty certain that some exiles, like my wife, consider the question of national identity as pretty irrelevant while others like ASBO consider it to be hugely important. I won't even begin to consider whether one group in a society should be able to say their concept of identity is more worthy than another's because I don't think there is a logical and objective answer.
However, would Scotland be better off (economically and socially) taking control of it's own economy? I believe so, but to me that's about decentralising the decision making process in a capitalist economy and not about abstract notions of nationhood.
One last point: to all the "Better Together" supporters we go to Murrayfield or Hampden to sing our anthems in part to express a desire for self-determination. If we refuse the chance to take control of our own state because we are to venial or timorous should we stop singing and at the start of every match listen to a recording of Boris Johnstone reciting "Wee sleekit, cowran, timourous beastie"?


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