Independence for Scotland?

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BJ.
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Independence for Scotland?

Post by BJ. » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:07 am

If this referendum goes ahead, then surely it should be decided by the electorate of the whole of the UK and not just that of Scotland. After all, the decision will affect everybody, not just those north of the border.

Or am I missing something here?
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Kinoulton » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:06 am

Well you're not supposed to declare unilateral independence, as Ian Smith discovered when he declared independence for Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Mind you, look how well their independence has turned out!
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by biffer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:55 am

The rest of the UK should not vote. The principle under international law is the right to self-determination. If you want a divorce, you don't need the permission of the other party to get one. If the UK wanted to leave the EU, would France get a vote?

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Kinoulton » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:01 am

You're not wrong, but historically, any attempt at self-government without the will of the larger state has resulted in war and bloodshed.

E.g. Britain's rather pointless attempts to prevent the independence of places like America and India, Nigeria's :censored: reaction to the Igbos attempt to create Biafra, the break up of Yugoslavia resulting in numerous conflicts in the Balkans, the crushing and forced holding of lots of states by the Soviet Union, China's horrible treatment of Tibet, the bombs and attrocities committed in pursuit of an independent Basque country.

The assumption is that if the Scotts want independence, then the UK will automatically stand to one side and politely say: "Oh go on then." And that may be morally right. But it isn't the way the Wotld has worked up until now.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Rizzo » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:07 am

If they want independence they should vote on it themselves, but equally they should not expect assistance & funding & handouts from Westminster.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by biffer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:19 am

Kinoulton wrote:You're not wrong, but historically, any attempt at self-government without the will of the larger state has resulted in war and bloodshed.

E.g. Britain's rather pointless attempts to prevent the independence of places like America and India, Nigeria's :censored: reaction to the Igbos attempt to create Biafra, the break up of Yugoslavia resulting in numerous conflicts in the Balkans, the crushing and forced holding of lots of states by the Soviet Union, China's horrible treatment of Tibet, the bombs and attrocities committed in pursuit of an independent Basque country.

The assumption is that if the Scotts want independence, then the UK will automatically stand to one side and politely say: "Oh go on then." And that may be morally right. But it isn't the way the Wotld has worked up until now.
The only relatively modern comparison, where there has been a break up of a fairly developed country, is the split of the Czech Republic, which was achieved peacefully and (fairly) amicably. All of your examples have the larger side as either an imperialist or dictatorial / ideological regime (with the possible exception of the Basque country, although the ETA-led violence started during the military dictatorship of Franco). The UK is neither of those, althought there are echoes of holding on to the last bits of Empire amongst a small minority. I think it's a refelection of societal maturity that the only option is tha ballot box.

And just because the World has worked one way up until now doesn't mean we shouldn't try to change it.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by biffer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:25 am

Rizzo wrote:If they want independence they should vote on it themselves, but equally they should not expect assistance & funding & handouts from Westminster.
Don't believe everything you hear about handouts. Yes, Scotland spends more than it collects in taxation, but so does everywhere else in the UK - hence the deficit.

Whether or not Scotland is in a worse position depends on the allocation of oil money - if a split done geographically around international mineral law is included, Scotland has been in surplus over the last thirty years, unlike the UK as a whole which has run at a deficit over that period. I know people bang on about repaying the government's investment in the oil industry, but there's been no government funded infrastructure since the early eighties; given that returns on investment in oil are calculated on 25-30 year timescales, that investment has been paid for (and generally has exceeded the original projections).

I could go on about other things around defence spending and the way it's allocated and how that reflects the way it's spent (this also affects the Midlands and the North of England btw) but I won't just now.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Kinoulton » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:34 am

As an aside, UK currently ranks 22nd in the World in terms of population. Still in punches above its weight in terms of World politics, influence, commercce and miltary capability.

Without Scotland, the remainder of the UK would still be 24th in the World, whereas the newly formed independent Scotland would start off around 116th.

So unless they intend to try to become a major finance area, as Iceland disasterously tried to do, or offer some startegically important geographical positions to greater military powers, as Cyprus and Malta have often done, then they will have about as much influence on World events as does Papua New Guinea, Laos and Togo. i.e., not much.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by biffer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:53 am

Kinoulton wrote:As an aside, UK currently ranks 22nd in the World in terms of population. Still in punches above its weight in terms of World politics, influence, commercce and miltary capability.

Without Scotland, the remainder of the UK would still be 24th in the World, whereas the newly formed independent Scotland would start off around 116th.

So unless they intend to try to become a major finance area, as Iceland disasterously tried to do, or offer some startegically important geographical positions to greater military powers, as Cyprus and Malta have often done, then they will have about as much influence on World events as does Papua New Guinea, Laos and Togo. i.e., not much.
The thing is, most people in Scotland aren't that concerned about this nebulous 'influencing world affairs' concept (and after David Cameron's self-exclusion from the top table in Europe, the UK might not have as much influence as it used to). And population isn't really any judge of a country's influence.

I'd rather be judged by a combination of GNP, Health indices, etc. such as the UN's human development index which looks at life expectancy, national income per head adjusted for purchasing power, and education. Small, northern European countries are placed consistently highly on this index - Norway (1st), Sweden (10th), Denmark (16th), Netherlands (3rd), Switzerland (11th), Belgium (18th). The UK is 28th.

And when it comes to military power, I'd rather not send our young men to die in foreign countries for dubious political reasons.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Old Hob » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:08 pm

Kinoulton wrote:As an aside, UK currently ranks 22nd in the World in terms of population. Still in punches above its weight in terms of World politics, influence, commercce and miltary capability.

Without Scotland, the remainder of the UK would still be 24th in the World, whereas the newly formed independent Scotland would start off around 116th.

So unless they intend to try to become a major finance area, as Iceland disasterously tried to do, or offer some startegically important geographical positions to greater military powers, as Cyprus and Malta have often done, then they will have about as much influence on World events as does Papua New Guinea, Laos and Togo. i.e., not much.
However, they do become eligible for much more English money through their increased EU handout entitlement
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Ze Stade Fan » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:22 pm

Is there any chance that Scotland might decide to annex Corsica? If they are willing to do so I am prepared as a French taxpayer to help them with their independence. It sure will cost me less than the fiction that a mafia-ran territory is French.

And the law about the funny skirt: I can claim some Scottish blood back in the 19th century, but it is on my mother's side, thus I can't wear the funny skirt. If the Scots are ready to let me wear my clan's colours, I'm prepare to write to the City Council or 10 Downing Street any other authority to help them.

By the way : which clan are the Jordan supposed to belong to? :smt017
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Kinoulton » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:56 pm

I think this a solution.

We merge Scotland and Corsica to form the Democratic Republique of Scorcese.

Intsall Martin Scorcese has the head, (or Godfather, if you like)and France and England can go back to bickering with each other.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by biffer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:28 pm

Ze Stade Fan wrote:Is there any chance that Scotland might decide to annex Corsica? If they are willing to do so I am prepared as a French taxpayer to help them with their independence. It sure will cost me less than the fiction that a mafia-ran territory is French.

And the law about the funny skirt: I can claim some Scottish blood back in the 19th century, but it is on my mother's side, thus I can't wear the funny skirt. If the Scots are ready to let me wear my clan's colours, I'm prepare to write to the City Council or 10 Downing Street any other authority to help them.

By the way : which clan are the Jordan supposed to belong to? :smt017
There's no law about the kilt, anyone can wear it if they want to and in any clan colours.

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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Ze Stade Fan » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:39 pm

Thank you biffer. :smt023 I was told by an Alec McMurchy that a bunch of crucial and antique rules ruled the tartans colours, and among those rules it had to be transmitted from father to son.

Myself I'll go for the McKenzie dress, as it is nice and of good taste.
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Re: Independence for Scotland?

Post by Old Hob » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:09 pm

ZSF, you should see the hordes of Japanese tourists clutching their tins of shortcake biscuits and looking for the Hashimoto tartan.
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