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 Post subject: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:26 pm 
Who's country is it?

I hope, as Alex Salmond suggested, we can have a sensible discussion on the independence of Scotland without personal insults and racism rearing their ugly head.

It's a topic forced on the population of Scotland, England, the whole UK, even the EU and of interest to millions of individuals spread around the world who are proud of their birth nationality, their parental and family origins or other connections to the land called Scotland.

So who's right is it to determine the future of this land? Who's country is it?

It seems the decision may be limited to "the permanent population" of Scotland, to those only named on the electoral register, although this will have to be altered to include those over 16, if Alex is to have his way. But why only them?

What about all the Scots around the world, members of famous clans, who have emigrated to Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere across the globe, people who often celebrate more of their Scottishness at Highland Gatherings outside Scotland, than the Scots do in the home nation? Why can't they have some say in the future of the land of their fathers?

What about all those 'Scots' who were born in Scotland but moved to England or further afield perhaps purely to get a job, but might at some stage return 'home'? Are they to be denied some say?

What about those who have one Scots parent (or perhaps one Scots grandparent, making them eligible to play for Scotland's Football and Rugby teams) but have lived outside Scotland all their life, why shouldn't they get a vote?

What about individuals with one Scots parent who spent much of their life in Scotland but travelled south for work, but intend to return to Scotland in the future, why shouldn't they have a vote on the future of the land they might be a part of soon?

What about those who might be referred to as English, Welsh, and Northern Irish? Why shouldn't they have a vote on the future of Scotland as it is an issue that will affect them too?

Why should any person in Scotland over the age of say 65 be allowed a vote? Afterall it would take a while to separate Scotland if the vote went that way and a sizeable proportion may not live to see the changes separation might bring?

Why should anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 be allowed to vote, if they might leave Scotland and not be there to enjoy/regret the decision?

Should you give the vote to migrant workers, such as many of the eastern Europeans, who may have the means to live as long as they wish to in Scotland under EU rules, but a significant proportion of whom may move home or to another country reasonably soon? In other words they may have a vote but neither have the "Scottish" heritage or care to worry what the outcome is?

For me, it is a 'conversation' I wish the SNP had never started. As far as I am concerned there are far more important issues in the UK, and Scotland, risks costing us all a fortune and destroying a united nation. For what?

I was born with the nationality of 'British'. It says that on my passport. I live in a nation called the United Kingdom (or Great Britain), a state recognised by the United nations and EU. I've lived in many parts of this country, in England, Scotland (the longest I lived in one place) and in Wales. I currently live in England, but have always hoped to return to Scotland and may still do one day. I have blood roots in that part called Scotland. I'm proud to be British, living in the United Kingdom. Who has the right to split up my country (which is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) without asking me? Is that democratic?

I like the romantic idea of an independent Scotland to see Rob Roy dashing through the heather, beautiful glens bathed in sunlight or crisp snow, the skirl of the pipes drifting with the wind from a high castle turret. But there it ends.

It's true that local government is a good idea on many levels but it has its limit. It's great to be on your own when times are good and have the freedom to have your own choices. But when the crap hits the fan, boy, it's nice to have a few friends you can lean on. Yes voters are told that Scotland's independent viability is assured based on just two resources, oil and green energy in the form of wind and tidal power. This is so risky. Oil and other sources of energy are not the rare commodities they were only a short time ago. Huge new oil deposits have been found in more accessible parts of the world and risk making North Sea Oil comparitively expensive and difficult to extract. This could mean the demand for North Sea Oil falls once more reducing income and jobs in that industry. Wind power fails to perform and a new report has found that turbines only last half their anticipated life. Tidal power simply hasn't got past the experimental or small scale stage. Should either of these perform poorly, what income has Scotland got to feed a whole nation? Banking? What would have happened if RBS and HBOS had been in an independent Scotland? Could Scotland have afforded to bail them out? It's a clear example where being part of a 'bigger' nation has saved the day.

So according to Alex Salmond Scotland will be a separate member of the EU. Will it? What do we know the EU for? Red tape, beaurocrats and silly rules. Do you think they will change the rules just for Scotland, just like that? No, Scotland will have to reapply. And that can take years and years. The Catalans want independence from the rest of Spain but the EU are desperate to stop Spain from falling apart. It could bring the EU to its knees. So it is likely the EU would refuse Scotland EU membership to encourage the Catalans they are walking into a dead end. And does an independent Scotland really want to join the EU when there are now more countries making noises about leaving it than joining it? Does Scotland want to start paying for failing economies in Greece, Spain, Italy and possibly France soon?

And if Scotland left the United Kingdom and became independent, how would it fare if at some stage the rest of the UK left the EU? Scotland would be so isolated. Costs on all imported goods are likely to rise, even if they came straight across from Holland. The rest of the UK could free itself of so much of the EU red tape and get back to trading more freely. (For decades Europe has been Britain's biggest export market. This changed just a few months ago when Britain started doing more trade to the rest of the world than Europe). Scotland could end up with an even worse neighbour (if they feel that way about England already) sucking up its labour talent, taking business and making it difficult for Scottish business to compete in England. Let's not forget the rest of the UK has nearly 10 times the population of Scotland, a great market for Scottish business that may be closed out to 'foreign' competition from Scotland.

The list of things that would change can go on and on.

My question to the Scots who vote YES (bearing in mind I consider myself British with Scots blood) is, "Why?". Well actually, it isn't. It's actually, "WTF do you think you are doing?"

Forget Bannockburn and that rubbish movie filmed in Ireland with a crass Australian. Have you erased Culloden out of the wonderful kilt flying romantic idea of Scottish history? Look at how England, with Scotland, Wales and Ireland went on to create the greatest empire the world has known. Even today we are stronger together, in a difficult and uncertain world. Why are some Scots prepared to take a risk? For what? Why do they follow a leader who doesn't really care what happens, like Tony Blair? He wants to leave his legacy, get his name in the history books, no matter whatever that means for those that come after him.

I would vote, "No!" to Scottish Independence. But it seems I am denied a vote on the future of my country which is the United Kingdom.


Discuss!


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:29 pm 
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.To take a few of Pentland's points and briefly examine them:

Expat Scots and voting

If you care enough, move back to Scotland. The future of the country should only be decided by those who choose to make it their home.


The EU

The current Westminster government seems hell-bent on taking Britain out of the EU. It may be that independence turns out to be Scotland's best hope for staying in. At least with the government in Edinburgh, whether we are in or out (whatever the terms) will be up to us and not the Eton Mess.


Financial scare stories

No-one can predict the future. At the moment - in an article published today in the Herald - the unionists are claiming that we would be £1 per head per year worse off. Seems that is the worst their number crunchers can come up with, and it depends on very low predictions of future oil prices. Many would consider a penny a week a small price to pay for kicking Trident out, building a fair and just society and getting rid of the old-style Tory party for good.

Isolation

Our neighbour Norway seems to manage OK. Other independent countries round the world - many much poorer than Scotland - seem to survive. Do you really believe Scotland is too wee, too poor, too useless to survive as an independent country? Even the 'Bitter Together' campaign have been unable to say that with a straight face.

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:44 pm 
Expat Scots and voting.

The country I choose to live in is the United Kingdom, a nation of 60+ million. That nation includes a part called Scotland. What democratic process is it that allows a small minority to vote on the future of my country without me having a say?

The EU.

It takes just one member country to veto the entry to the EU of a new member. Even if the referendum gives a 'Yes' what chance that country to veto Scotland's entry to the EU might be the rest of the UK?

Financial scare stories

You can't predict the future. But what would happen if the RBS or HBOS situation happened again in an independent Scotland. What happens if oil prices fall and Scotland's oil becomes unwanted? What currency will Scotland use? If they can get into the EU, do they really want to use the Euro and be tied to the woes of the Central Bank which looks like it is serious problems? Does Scotland wish to lose the protection (and jobs that go with it) of its stronger neighbour, when history tells us that a Europe made up of many small states that runs into major economic problems has lead to two world wars? And what is wrong with a Tory government? The UK has only prospered under conservative government and repeatedly been bankrupted by socialist/labour governments.

Isolation.

Yes, some small nations survive and get by. And nobody is going to start slagging off Scotland as too wee, too poor, too useless..... Of course not: Scotland is part of US, irreversibly intertwined historically, culturally, industrially, genetically and we won't insult ourselves.

I can't help but repeat the question, "Why?" What is the wonderful benefit that will be gained that will be worth the risk and the cost? The upheaval of a separating Scotland would be enormous especially if the rest of the UK and Scotland go on separate paths of currency, taxation and EU membership. It will open one enormous can of worms.

And I can't help but think that Alex Salmond is beginning to realise this without admitting to it. I'm starting to wonder if he is hoping the referendum will return a 'NO' to independence. He gave in too easily on Devo Max. I think he's wishing he'd never started this......................just like millions of other Scots, and those who care about our country, the United Kingdom


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
The country I choose to live in is the United Kingdom, a nation of 60+ million. That nation includes a part called Scotland.


So you don't recognise Scotland as a nation. We are not off to a good start in this discussion. Perhaps we should just stop right there.

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:03 pm 
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And a few more on Pentland's Points.

This 'topic' was not forced on the people of Scotland. Everybody know the SNP's raison d'etre is independece for Scotland.

The party was voted in with their majority despite the voting system designed, but only in theory, to avoid one party in govenrment. I believe the Scottish people wanted the debate and overwhelmingly voted appropriately.

When the Scottish Labour Party was formed in the 1920's it stood on a Scottish independence ticket before the SNP, as it exists at the moment, was formed.

I don't really want to go down the historical route but Burns's 'Parcel o' Rouges' were responsible for the union of the crowns - the 'common' people were never given a say and from what I've read, there were calls for independence shortly after the union.

Now we have the opportunity to engage in sensible debate where there are no grey areas - it's either 'Yes' or no, and everybody will have their say and vote.

I also would give the vote only to those who have choosen to live in Scotland. Where would a line be drawn to include expats etc. I get the impression that if it were opened up to those with 'Scottish descent' there would be a landslide in favour of independence!

I imagine people coming to Scotland to live realise that we are a different people and country from the rest of the UK and I hope when they register their vote they will accept and respect this.

Let's shoot all the pensioners who won't live to see the benefits to their families, grand/children etc of a separate Scotland. Pentland, you seem to be excluding all those over the age of 16 from voting anyway!

Quote:
Why should any person in Scotland over the age of say 65 be allowed a vote? Afterall it would take a while to separate Scotland if the vote went that way and a sizeable proportion may not live to see the changes separation might bring?

Why should anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 be allowed to vote, if they might leave Scotland and not be there to enjoy/regret the decision?


We all have to be patient for the SNP white paper towards the end of the year. It's very frustrating. I'm sure this forum will be rife with opinions when it does appear!

As for Europe, I'm not sure if membership is a good thing for Scotland. We will not lose our trading partners at a stroke if we don't join. The jury is out on that one for me.

What it's not out on is the assumption that the British created the greatest empire the world has ever known.

The British and many other European nations destroyed the way of life of many native peoples around the world - North America, Australia etc. Sometimes it went under the banner of 'civilisation.' I don't think it is something the British should be proud of!
The empire, the colonies have gone and this country, in my opinion, is no longer 'Great' and is, like all other conquerors, empires and colonial powers etc very much on the slide. It still thinks it can influence and impress other parts of the world - I no longer think so. Such arrogance!

Scotland is perfectly capable of governing its own affairs for the benefit of its population.

Rant over,

P.S. I'll be voting 'YES'

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:23 pm 
Quote:
It still thinks it can influence and impress other parts of the world - I no longer think so.


The Queens Jubilee......The Royal Wedding.....The London Olympics. It's been a good year for the UK to impress the rest of the world, and show the Pride of Britain.

No, I don't think the SNP was voted in based on it's promise to strive for an independent Scotland. It was voted in because the alternative parties were so bad. And even judged on governing with their devolved powers the Scottish Parliament isn't making a great job of things. What chance when they have to taken on all the responsibilities of running a country?

I still ask the question, "Why?". The reasons given by YES voters only seem to be based on sentimentalism and parochialism.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:17 pm 
Nick, Scotland, by definition does not meet the criteria to be a nation or state. However, the Scots are a nation, but most of them live outside Scotland.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Pentland,

Quote:
The Queens Jubilee......The Royal Wedding.....The London Olympics. It's been a good year for the UK to impress the rest of the world, and show the Pride of Britain.


Do you really think the world is impressed by a monarch celebrating 60 years 'doing her duty' and a wedding. Both involving very much outdated pomp and ceremony.

The Olympics were awarded to the city of London - not the nation - despite the National Lottery contributions. Were you really inspired by the final, out of tune concert - really impressive stuff!

Quote:
It was voted in because the alternative parties were so bad.


I know of a few people who said to me they did vote in the above way but all those who voted in the SNP by that majority could not all have been thinking that way.

Whether the Scottish Government is doing a good job is, of course, a matter of conjecture. No government anywhere will please all the electorate all the time. If they are not considered efficient then the next Scottish elections will tell.

Do you buy your spurtle from the same shop as Longshanks? :stir

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
Scotland, by definition does not meet the criteria to be a nation or state.


It is not a state, not yet - but that is what we are addressing. However, it meets any and all criteria to be a nation.

The Scottish diaspora, on the other hand, is NOT a nation - it is an ethnic grouping.

If you think a state and a nation are the same thing then I find it hard to take you seriously in this debate.

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:23 pm 
Donnie, I have no idea what Longshank's thoughts are on the subject, but I would be interested to hear them.

I disagree. Whilst the games were awarded to London the whole UK contributed to its success, and I think you are wrong about the monarchy. It may be old, but that is its strength. It is more popular now than it has been for a long time. It has provided great stability to the nation (UK). Yes, there were parts of the closing ceremony where the music sounded out of tune, but the Olympics were too great a success to only be remembered for a few wrong notes.

Steady on Nick, you are already insulting my intelligence, and I thought we could make a fresh start. Yes, I'm wrong to make the statement I did. Scotland does not meet the criteria to be State but it is a nation. As an existing nation it could not currently join the United Nations.

Regarding intelligence, is it a fair point to suggest that many people entitled to vote in the referendum do not have the intelligence to make a reasoned and informed decision on which way they vote? Wishing to be better informed on the subject, I ask again, "Why?" Why do some people in Scotland, who may not even be Scottish, want to break up MY country (the UK), and what right do they have to do so without asking all the people who live in the UK?


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:32 pm 
OK Nick, you changed your previous reply while I was writing my response so clearly you thought better of your wording and changed it. Thank you.

But I'm surprised you now call the Scottish spread all over the world an ethnic grouping. But that doesn't seem right either. There are people of a wide range of ethnicities in Scotland who would say they are Scottish by birth or naturalisation but their ethnicity could be Asian, Afro-Caribbean, Bangladeshi, etc, etc?

But still no hint of an answer to the question, "Who's country is it?" and "Why?" do some people want to break up MY? country


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:39 pm 
Nick..Pentlandpirate started a very interesting debate. Please don't let it get nasty and cease [you CAN be a little 'sharp' at times] . I wholeheartedly agree with your view that people who live here should have a vote, regardless of their ancestry/origins.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
But still no hint of an answer to the question, "Who's country is it?" and "Why?" do some people want to break up MY? country

The principle that sovereignty rests with the people is enshrined in the Declaration of Arbroath. For practical modern electoral purposes some sort of franchise has to be created. The only logical one is one where the main criterion is residence. This could conceivably be extended to include long term residents recently departed for foreign climes, as is the case with UK general elections where recent expats do get a postal vote.

However, the logical franchise is the one that has applied since devolution to elections for Holyrood, and that is limited to residents currently on the electoral roll. Some expats find that harsh, but they do always have the choice of establishing Scottish residence for the duration - not beyond the wit of most who still have relatives up here. A bit of an effort required, but if they feel strongly enough then that is an option open to them.

Most im[portantly, as I stated earlier, I believe it is also morally right that the future of the country should be decided by those who have chosen to make their future here.

The idea that the criteria for voting in the referendum should be the same as those invovled in deciding whether you can play for Scotland is taking devotion to our national game a little too far I feel - and simply seting up such an electoral register would be a beauracratic exercise that would probably bankrupt us befiore the referendum was held. There is no electoral precedent for this anywhere in the modern world.

Interestingly, some Westminster MPs have promoted the idea that all expats and 'ethnic' Scots should have a vote because all the evidence is that expats are overwhelmingly against the idea of independence for their homeland.

--------------------------------

Part 2 - Why do some people want to break up the UK

The YES movement does not exist to 'break up the UK', it exists to achieve self-determination for Scotland. Using language that protrays the Scots as home-wreckers is not helpful.

You also ask 'What gives them the right to break up the UK' and suggest that a UK-wide vote would be fairer. If we were joining the Union that would be quite right, but I don't know of any other clubs where, once in, you cannot leave without the consent of all the members. Ironically, if you held a UK-wide referendum right now then polling suggests that the English would vote to expel Scotland from the Union. Would you regard that as fair or just?

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:08 pm 
See you have removed all the posts since last night....realised you were wrong?. Oh to have such power! Not very fair though is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Foxglove wrote:
See you have removed all the posts since last night....realised you were wrong?. Oh to have such power! Not very fair though is it?

The only post not here that was briefly visible last night is my post which led to you accusing me of being 'nasty' and too 'sharp' (sic) with the Pirate. Posts once deleted are gone forever, so I do not have the original text of mine, but I have covered the same ground in more detail my most recent post.

I had the exact text of your post because I copied it to you in the PM I sent - hence I was able to replace it.

And yes, of course, you are right - I am power-mad, CRAZED, DRUNK WITH IT

HahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahaHahahahaHahahahaHahaha

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Any chance of keeping this thread on topic now? Use the other thread for slagging me off please.

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:20 pm 
Yes, there IS a certain likeness :) , also knew drink was involved!.However...perhaps if we ask PP VERY nicely he will resume the debate...


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:33 pm 
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:lol: 8) When I've been living abroad for long periods doing good deeds, climbing skyscrapers etc, I have always strongly felt that I should not vote in Scottish and UK elections/referenda as it has just seemed morally wrong to do so; also because absence results in lack of understanding of domestic day-to-day issues. It's a kind of respect thing too, respect for those staying in the country to actually make their own decisions. I wish all the exiles currently moaning would show the same respect. KAPPPPOOOOOOW! 8) :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:37 pm 
Quote:
However...perhaps if we ask PP VERY nicely he will resume the debate...


I did, but my most recent post has disappeared too.

Are we having a sensible discussion as Alex Salmond suggested or not?


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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:46 pm 
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You found chances in this place
To build upon your affluence and build upon your grace
You'd have come sooner if you'd known
Now you're brushing up the velvet and the beads upon your throne

You come thundering in
You come thundering in
You want and you're taking plenty
And all the things that we knew
You've plundered them through
And you'll drink till our cup is empty
Blindly thundering

Once the old ones used to meet
With stories told before the fire the whisky tasted sweet
You did not want them to be seen
Now you're polishing the vinyl and your video machine

You come thundering in
You come thundering in
You want and you're taking plenty
And all the things that we knew
You've plundered them through
And you'll drink till our cup is empty
Blindly thundering

How can you repay them for stealing their pride?
For stealing the place that they keep deep inside?

So you'll move these ancient stones
You'll cut away these green and spreading towers that have grown
And when we ask you where they've gone
Well, you polish your excuses for the made man must move on

You come thundering in
You come thundering in
You want and you're taking plenty
And all the things that we knew
You've plundered them through
And you'll drink till our cup is empty
Blindly thundering

Dougie Maclean.

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 Post subject: Re: Who's country is it?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:48 pm 
I'm in...as an 'undecided' voter I hope to glean some ideas of what independence will mean.


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