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Scottish Independence

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WF the Hobgoblin
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#61

Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:00 PM Edited by WF the Hobgoblin, 18 October 2012 - 04:05 PM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Thursday, Oct 18 2012, 15:18)
Also, you can't serve in a combat role at 16 in the armed forces. Not until you are 18.

That's what I thought but wasn't sure, yet I've definitely heard the "they are old enough to fight/die for our country" malarkey being bandied about on tv.

Melchior
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#62

Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:50 AM

I've always been pretty indifferent towards this, but my cousin came to visit from Scotland the other week and she said she was an SNP member and when I brought up some of the points in this thread, she tore me a new arshole in our debate. I get the impression that (save for nationalists and anglophobes) it has less to do with "pride" and more to do with self-determination. Westminster decides what business can operate in Scotland, and Scotland's budget comes from Westminster meaning they can't set up the taxes and infrastructure the way they like.

The British government has a huge bias towards finance, corporate management etc. which mainly benefit the south of England (and only part of it, at that), but if Scotland could arrange its economy the way it liked I think it would be much more economically strong. Look at it like this: if a "British" firm is managed by people in the south of England, and the factories are in China, and the call centres are in India... how does Scotland benefit from that? I mean, look at the Scandinavian countries (Norway in particular because it has the same population and comparable resources- mainly oil and is right next to Scotland) they do great because they have comprehensive infrastructure, strong economic planning and a government and economy that isn't totally geared towards supporting people who don't even live their. Combine that with institutionalised support for foreign investment, and whatever else Scotland might like to do and I think Scotland will do pretty well.

When talking about this issue people always compare Scotland to Ireland, and I'm not sure why. Because their accents sound alike (they don't even)? Because their diasporas happened at the same time, and fed into the same places? Or is it because they're "celtic" (I don't actually know what that is supposed to mean, because it doesn't mean anything- most of the people who settled Scotland before it became a kingdom were Anglo-Saxons and when Ireland was "celtic" it was sparsely populated, most of the Irish population is descended from the Normans and the English)? Ireland is a dogmatic, incomparably conservative country, where as Scotland is very liberal has a strong inclination towards left wing economic policy.

A lot of people in Scotland are sick of Britain- of paying taxes for wars that benefit a weapons manufacturing industry and other corporate interests, that Scotland never sees a dime of, while the people who actually maintain the country bicker about the EU and how "immigrants 're dole bludging innit." They want to actually turn their country around, and they have a perfect template for the process, right across the North Sea.

Thoughts?

sivispacem
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#63

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:01 AM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, Feb 20 2013, 05:50)
A lot of people in Scotland are sick of Britain- of paying taxes for wars that benefit a weapons manufacturing industry and other corporate interests, that Scotland never sees a dime of

Can I focus just on this point? The average Scot pays less tax than the average Englishman, because of free higher education, free prescriptions and lower average salaries and employment rates. I also question the directness of the link between government action, defence contractors and rates of taxation, but that's a separate issue entirely. What I'd like to focus on is the idea that their activity does not benefit Scotland. If anything, the inverse is true. Most of the large defence contractors have extensive operations north of the border- I can scarcely count the additional opportunities that I could have taken had I been willing to move to Scotland permanently, particularly the area around Glasgow. Of course, these opportunities tend to be high-skilled technical ones but they also tend to favour people who already live on that side of the border, purely for logistical reasons.

Remember, your sister is a member of a very small but very vocal minority, and does not speak for a large minority, much less a majority of people in Scotland. Much of the rhetoric I've heard spouted by the Scottish Nationalists is very aggressive but a great deal of it is wholly, factually inaccurate. Just look at the whole debacle with Scotland and EU membership as a prime example- Alex Salmond insisting that historic connection to the EU via the wider UK being enough to guarantee automatic entrance into the EU, every European bureaucrat and EU power player disagreeing with him. As I've said in previously posts, current support for independence sits at about 22%. At it's highest ever point, during the tail end of the last Labour government, it was 30%. I just hope that the abject failure of their referendum in 2014 is going to finally put the whole thing to bed and silence the angry minority who more than anything are motivated by historic bigotry.

Melchior
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#64

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:49 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Feb 20 2013, 18:01)
What I'd like to focus on is the idea that their activity does not benefit Scotland. If anything, the inverse is true. Most of the large defence contractors have extensive operations north of the border- I can scarcely count the additional opportunities that I could have taken had I been willing to move to Scotland permanently

I wasn't claiming that the industry provides zero employment opportunities for Scots, that's besides the point. I was saying that the people who profit from it tend to be situated in the south of England, and so they aren't exactly breathing life into the Scottish economy with their money- despite the fact that their industry is heavily dependent on a defense sector paid for buy taxes from all over Britain. That money could be going towards turning the economy around in a way that benefits all of Britain, since that's seemingly not on anyone's mind (apparently working next to a Polish man on a building site is a much more pressing issue) seceding does seem like a reasonable option.

It's not just the defence industry, it's hard to dispute that a disproportionate number of corporations, financial firms etc. are situated in the south of England, that's probably why the rest of Britain is so stagnant and depressing. Scotland was the world's first commercialised nation, and the birthplace of the industrial revolution, it's obviously got a lot to offer the world, but for some reason it's become a dump with a stale economy and a lot of social problems, while the comparable Scandinavian nations are prospering.

QUOTE
Remember, your sister is a member of a very small but very vocal minority, and does not speak for a large minority, much less a majority of people in Scotland. Much of the rhetoric I've heard spouted by the Scottish Nationalists is very aggressive but a great deal of it is wholly, factually inaccurate. [...] I just hope that the abject failure of their referendum in 2014 is going to finally put the whole thing to bed and silence the angry minority who more than anything are motivated by historic bigotry.

Did you come to the conclusion that the entire idea is based around aggressive nationalism by seeking out information, or was it just from watching the news? The news always reinforces preconceived notions- not necessarily in an intentionally sinister way- it's just that people in Britain want to feel good about themselves when they turn on the news, that's why every headline is about radical Islam or "Scottish nationalism" or the BNP; dialogue has become a bit of a self-validating circle where attention in the media is mainly given to fringe minorities so they can be ridiculed, I've never actually seen this issue presented properly in the news; the points I brought up are rarely mentioned.

And I think the reason people who want independence are a minority is because people have the knee jerk reaction that it is something to do with nationalism, ego or pride. The second she made a comparison with Norway I thought "hey yeah, Norway is cold and has oil and a population of five million as well, it stands to reason that Scotland should be doing at least as well as them... come to think of it, Britain isn't too different from Scandinavia but they are being lauded for their safe streets, liberal approaches to social issues, thriving economy etc. while every time I go to Britain I worry about stepping on a used needle or being stabbed to death for my iPhone." I was instantly convinced.

I guess the focal point of all this is that Britain has stagnated while her neighbours thrive, and I think it very much as something to do with a very small part of the population profiting from the status quo, and throwing the public chew toy issues like the ones that come from "Daily Mail culture" like "prisons are too cushy, illegal immigrants bludge on the dole, the EU is run by gays and blacks and pakis" or whatever, so that nobody questions why Scandinavia is doing so well why Britain is such a dump.

QUOTE
Just look at the whole debacle with Scotland and EU membership as a prime example- Alex Salmond insisting that historic connection to the EU via the wider UK being enough to guarantee automatic entrance into the EU, every European bureaucrat and EU power player disagreeing with him.

It would be absolute madness not to allow Scotland into the EU, what are they going to do, hand Scotland back their fishing rights, send all the highly educated and skilled Scottish workers home, and make sure everyone in Scotland with an EU passport gets brought back?

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#65

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

How the hell have I missed this thread? I will post my own thoughts in more depth later, but a couple of points to address presently:

QUOTE (Melchior)
When talking about this issue people always compare Scotland to Ireland, and I'm not sure why.


We have a common ancestry and similar societies. The "Scottii" were an Irish tribe who migrated to Scotland ~1200 years ago; you see the remnant of this heritage in Gaelic languages, similar cultural traits etc. Also, Scotland and Ireland are effectively the only Western countries where sectarianism still causes issues, but it's not as bad as the media would have outsiders believe. I am not sure we are very comparable in economic terms though; as you pointed out Scotland has been highly commercialised for a long time, whilst Ireland has only seen such a transformation in the past 50 years or so.

As for what polls say, I am disinclined to pay much heed to them as they vary widely depending on who/where you question, and what question you ask. There is still much talk of people being unsure what independence "means" (either because of Unionist media spin, or because the public are morons. Probably a mixture of both) and this has rendered many people cautious. The SNP pander heavily to the Loyalist community (and that is what they are, only subtler than their Irish cousins) with visions of independence retaining the Queen as Head of State and a "social union" with the remainder of the UK. This has undoubtedly created confusion, but the policies are pretty straightforward to anyone who actually bothers reading them.

QUOTE (sivispacem)
2014 is going to finally put the whole thing to bed and silence the angry minority who more than anything are motivated by historic bigotry.


I do not believe a 'No' vote would put anything to bed, it will simply spawn more constitutional chaos for the UK. There is majority support for greater devolution in Scotland, and this desire will only grow should a move to independence fail. What the "unsure" brigade (who will determine this referendum, as I do not believe any credible poll has indicated majority support for either Yes or No) fail to recognise however, is that rejecting the referendum will result in Scotland being forgotten about for another 30 years by London, pulling further devolution off the table. Unless the regionalisation movement in England gains momentum and actually begins pressuring for change.

As for motivation of bigotry, it simply is not present. I have yet to see an argument advanced based on some desire to escape the "English bastards". There is a definite desire to escape the clutches of South-East England, but this is based on notions of legitimacy, representation, fairness and self-determination, not hatred. The only bigotry I have seen in this campaign is from Unionists - an extremely self-deprecating mantra of a Scotland which is "too wee, too stupid and too poor" to venture into the world on its own. For some (see Loyalists) history started in 1707, and thus any break from the UK would be an insult to that legacy. What a great legacy it is, eh?

More later.

Melchior
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#66

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

QUOTE (Straznicy @ Wednesday, Feb 20 2013, 21:48)
We have a common ancestry and similar societies. The "Scottii" were an Irish tribe who migrated to Scotland ~1200 years ago; you see the remnant of this heritage in Gaelic languages, similar cultural traits etc.

Do we have common ancestry? The Scottii were from Ireland, yes (hence "Scotland" land of the Scots), but they were simply the conquering people, and a small minority. Almost everyone in Scotland were Anglo-Saxon, hence they spoke Scots, a language near-identical to English, where as the only other sizeable minority would have been the Vikings in the North who were conquered by Scotland a few hundred years after it became a kingdom.

The aristocracy would have been ethically Celtic but 1) it only takes about four hundred years- if that- for an ethnic group to be absorbed by the majority 2) they didn't really hold onto their culture, in fact, they associated themselves as best they could with French culture. For most of Scottish history, like many European nations the elites spoke French and that was considered fashionable, while other languages were considered to be lowly, this changed with England's renaissance of literature (Shakspeare etc.), relations between England and Scotland became more friendly and anglicanisation became fashionable, Scots was absorbed by English and the nobles started to speak English. Recently we've seen a "gaelic restoration" but that's just a bit of fun- it's a fallacy to say that we are "Celtic" by any measure.

As far as "similar societies" goes, I disagree. What's so similar about Ireland and Scotland? If anything, Scotland's culture is most similar to the north of England: matriarchy, working class pride, similar music and humour etc. Ireland really has more in common with the south of England.

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#67

Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, Feb 20 2013, 12:30)
Do we have common ancestry? The Scottii were from Ireland, yes (hence "Scotland" land of the Scots), but they were simply the conquering people, and a small minority. Almost everyone in Scotland were Anglo-Saxon, hence they spoke Scots, a language near-identical to English, where as the only other sizeable minority would have been the Vikings in the North who were conquered by Scotland a few hundred years after it became a kingdom.

Think you have some confusion there. The Scotii began raiding/inhabiting around the time of the Romans - the native population of Scotland at the time were the Picts (whose origins historians admittedly know little of) in the north and other Brythonic tribes (who are Celtic) in the south. The languages they spoke would have been Celtic. It was not until later that Anglo-Saxons/Vikings arrived, and as far as I know, the former never achieved any significant presence outside south-east Scotland. Scots arrived around this time, and since then until the modern era, Scotland had a linguistic division of Gaelic/Scots.

We have always been a patchwork of cultures and languages, but for the past 1500 years at least, an image of a Celtic Scotland has predominated. If people believe that to be their heritage, which I'd say most Scots do, then that is the reality of it. Celtic cannot be an ethnic distinction, because if it were, most of Western Europe could be considered at least partially Celtic.

I'll come to your other points later, my coffee-shop WiFi is about to pack in haha.

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#68

Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE (Straznicy @ Wednesday, Feb 20 2013, 16:19)
QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, Feb 20 2013, 12:30)
Do we have common ancestry? The Scottii were from Ireland, yes (hence "Scotland" land of the Scots), but they were simply the conquering people, and a small minority. Almost everyone in Scotland were Anglo-Saxon, hence they spoke Scots, a language near-identical to English, where as the only other sizeable minority would have been the Vikings in the North who were conquered by Scotland a few hundred years after it became a kingdom.

Think you have some confusion there. The Scotii began raiding/inhabiting around the time of the Romans - the native population of Scotland at the time were the Picts (whose origins historians admittedly know little of) in the north and other Brythonic tribes (who are Celtic) in the south. The languages they spoke would have been Celtic. It was not until later that Anglo-Saxons/Vikings arrived, and as far as I know, the former never achieved any significant presence outside south-east Scotland. Scots arrived around this time, and since then until the modern era, Scotland had a linguistic division of Gaelic/Scots.

We have always been a patchwork of cultures and languages, but for the past 1500 years at least, an image of a Celtic Scotland has predominated. If people believe that to be their heritage, which I'd say most Scots do, then that is the reality of it. Celtic cannot be an ethnic distinction, because if it were, most of Western Europe could be considered at least partially Celtic.

I'll come to your other points later, my coffee-shop WiFi is about to pack in haha.

I think I've weighed in rather sparsely on my opinions regarding Scottish Independence already, but I'm here to quickly address the ethnic points being made.

I believe, from DNA research previously conducted, that the majority of Britain's genetic population actually have their roots in Neolithic Britons, of the sort who had migrated to Britain before the Bronze Age and possibly beyond (my memory of this is slightly hazy so do forgive the odd mistake). The classic Anglo-Saxon "we're all German" point that Brits mention a lot is considered to a fallacy - although they undoubtedly did have a large effect (both in terms of migration numbers and in the rule of Britain, by then weak to defend itself from foreign domination due to centuries of Roman peace), it was not as significant as many would have you believe. Other important groups to be noted are Scandinavians (particularly in the Hebridges, Shetlands, North of England, etc.) and of course the Celts.

The Scots are most probably a mixture of the pre-Celtic Britons, and as Straznicy has said, a very large Celtic influence. I'm not too sure about the details as I am about England, but I'd say Straznicy's points for Scotland are mostly accurate. Even hazier in my understanding are Irish, but I would refute Melchior's claims that they are mostly Anglo-Saxon and Norman; the latter had an insignificant impact (bar in the nobility) genetics wise, the prior concentrating in England.

Melchior
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#69

Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:58 AM

The Anglo-Saxons had a much bigger impact on Scotland than the Celts did- hence Scots is an Anglo-Saxon language- even if the Celts were the ruling class for a number of years, and as I poitned out, it only takes a few centuries for them to be absored into the ethnic majority, and they largely abandoned their customs in favour of French culture anyway. My point still stands that Germanic culture had a bigger impact on Scotland and Ireland than Celtic culture did, and most Celtic customs that can be observed in Ireland and Scotland today are mostly a product of romantic revivalism.

Also, Ireland was sparsely populated before being settled by people from England and it's culture became almost entirely anglicanised after the Tudor Conquests.

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#70

Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:24 PM

I heard recently that more Scots would vote independence if the UK left the EU since we Scots are in general more pro EU

Question for y'all to answer

What would be better for Scotland?

- Independent country & member of the EU

OR

- Part of the UK & independent from the EU

sivispacem
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#71

Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:32 PM

Doesn't that rather assume the idea of Britain leaving the EU is actually probable? It simply isn't going to happen, the drivers of the economy such as international businesses have far too much staked on the continued membership of Britain to the EU to ever let the ignorance and thinly veiled xenophobia of the vast majority of Brits actually dictate policy.

Though in answer to your question, both would be disastrous but a Scotland independent of the UK but still part of the EU would be least so. Shame it had become increasingly clear that the EU has precisely f*ck all interest un having Scotland as a member outside of the union.




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