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Referendum in Scotland

     
10:54 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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How many people outside of the UK are aware of this year's independence referendum in Scotland (and its implications)?
1:13 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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scotland is no more a country than england

Scotland is no less a country than England.

The United Kingdom is legally a sovereign state.

It originally consisted of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Ireland voted to opt out in 1918 and fought a war of independence to become another sovereign state.

Northern Ireland opted back in, and is generally referred to as a UK province.

Scotland votes this year on whether to become another sovereign state.

Whatever the outcome it will still be a country.

Hope this helps.

...
1:14 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Apart from the road to England, Tunnock's caramel logs, and Groundskeeper Willie, what good things have come out of Scotland?


hmmm well...

Condensing steam engine: James Watt
Television: John Logie Baird
Telephone: Alexander Graham Bell
Refrigerators: James Harrison
Finger Printing: Dr Henry Faulds
Decimal fraction: John Napier
Penicillin: Alexander Fleming
Tubular steel: William Fairbairn

Lots more, but those are the ones that spring to mind.

Mack.
1:45 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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James Clerk Maxwell, worthy of any list. He's considered one of the top physicists of all time. Adam Smith, 'father of modern economics'. Scotland has always pulled its weight, for a small country. I'm proud to be Scottish and the nationalists don't have a single way to make me any more 'Scottish'.

I've heard a lot of cliches about back home whilst in Canada, which has a pretty big ex-pat population. On Christmas Eve they had a mock "UFO" broadcast and their radar correspondent in Scotland sounded like Groundskeeper Willie. Och!

One place they are familiar with the referendum is in the French speaking area here, who are somewhat in a similar situation short of Scotland's longer history and perhaps stronger national identity.
2:34 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Literature:
Arthur Conan Doyle
John Buchan
JM Barrie
Kenneth Grahame
Walter Scott
Robert Louis Stevenson

Music:
Bert Jansch
Donovan Leitch
John Martyn
Gerry Rafferty
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
David Byrne (Talking Heads)
Ian Stewart (Rolling Stones)
Jack Bruce (Cream)

...
7:31 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The Krankies
9:02 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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i thought we didn't discuss politics here on WebmasterWorld? quite honestly this is a very emotive subject although to be fair this thread hasn't got out of hand (yet) but there are lots of brits on this board and it could do.


As long as the thread stays on topic (what people outside the UK know about it, rather than which way the vote should go).

It also have some educational value, as hopefully some people will get a better understanding of the UK by reading this. We should really explain crown dependencies while we are about it.
9:07 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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slightly tongue in cheek >>> ... quite frankly as a top rate tax paying londoner, i'd be happy for london to be independent ... we are subsidising the rest of the UK by the bucketload.

Slightly less tongue in cheek, Scotch whisky and oil revenue that came from Scotland paid for a large proportion of the Jubilee line, the Channel tunnel, the M25, your airports, the Thames Barrier, the M25, the Olympics and the Crossrail project, all unbelievably expensive projects that offer no benefit whatsoever to Scotland.

London has no natural resources and little else to commend it. It would not have been able to support itself without bleeding the rest of UK dry so I for one would be absolutely delighted to see it going independent. Let's see how successful it is by itself. Actually the policy to concentrate wealth in London and the south east is one of the main reasons so many Scots want to separate.

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 9:21 am (utc) on Feb 15, 2014]

9:14 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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OT ... i thought we didn't discuss politics here on WebmasterWorld?
Just to explain, one of the reasons I felt OK in starting this thread is that it is not about politics per se. It is a straight vote for independence, in or out. No one is voting for any political party.

One of the things sure to rile YES supporters in Scotland is when they hear people saying that they would not vote for Alex Salmond (leader of the SNP). He is very unpopular amongst Unionists because as a politician he can out debate anything they have to offer. They have to be told that they are not voting for Alex Salmond. They are voting to stay in or leave the UK. If we do leave the party politics would start at the first Scottish General election after this. ;)

(And it's nice to be able to help people outside the UK understand what is happening and what we Brits think about it.) :)
10:39 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@BeeDeeDubbleU, on the other hand, London has a massive net positive balance of payments with the rest of the world. London has lots of talented people, is attractive to tourists, is a great place for corporate headquarters etc.

As for Cross Rail etc. how much money money does the government spend in Scotland? How much is it per head given that it has a smaller population than London?

Oil will not last forever, has clean up costs when it runs out, and is not an unmixed blessing because of its effect on things like exchange rates (look up Dutch Disease).
11:21 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Graeme, you are mistaking me for someone who has not heard any of these arguments. ;) We all know oil will run out but the smart money tells us that there are forty years of it left.

There is no doubt remaining that Scotland pays more than its fair share to the exchequer. Even the Unionists have stopped using this as an argument. Have a look at this graphical representation of the situation from the very pro-unionist Financial Times. ;)

[blogs.ft.com...]
11:54 am on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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That shows Scotland would be slightly better off than the rest of UK independent, assuming independence does not have a significant economic impact, and making an unstanted assumption over the maritime border (as it is, or further north following international norms).

However,

1) Potential GDP may be 11% greater, but public spending is already 27% higher than in England. [scotsman.com ].

2) Scottish GNI, including oil is only 8% higher: [snp.org ].

3) Even on the (less relevant) GDP numbers, Scotland is well behind London or the Southeast

4) Your graph does not prove "Scotland pays more than its fair share to the exchequer". For that you need absolute numbers comparing increase in oil revenues to the increase required in tax revenue.

5) Dutch Disease!
12:04 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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We could talk numbers here all day Graeme but it will prove nothing (certainly not when created by the Scotsman) and I doubt that anyone else is remotely interested. Let's stick to known facts. ;)
12:41 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Numbers are known facts! In fact, if you are making an economic argument they are the ONLY known facts.

[edited by: graeme_p at 12:42 pm (utc) on Feb 15, 2014]

12:42 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal is on it!
[blogs.wsj.com...]
2:07 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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London has no natural resources and little else to commend it

It probably has more Scots per square mile than Scotland has.

...
3:28 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The point being?
4:35 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The point being?

Something to commend it?

Very few Londoners are actually politicians or power-brokers.

...
6:13 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Very few Londoners are actually English but that's another story. ;)
4:58 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm not entirely English - three of my grandparents were either half or fully Scottish. As a child and an adult I have spent approximately 90% of my time in England and 10% of my time in Scotland.

Consequently I'm not bothered if Scotland votes for independence or votes for union - as long as she decides with so much enthusiasm that the referendum ends up re-invigorating the democratic political process. (Which is, surely, the whole point of pro-actively declaring your civic national identity?).

FWIW I predict a 45% vote in favour of independence.

I think, truth be told, I'd be more excited if the pro-independence movement actually achieves its aim.
5:42 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One of the problems with the campaign is Confirmation Bias.
[en.wikipedia.org...]
7:47 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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i wonder what difference these things actually make for normal everyday people. (i'm not just talking about scotland here, but any region which might undergo the same thing.) you're basically just swapping one group of politicians for another. that's about it you will still have to pay your taxes. you will still have to do all the same stuff as before. your life probably won't change at all. maybe you'll get an extra bank holiday every year to celebrate independence. that's about it.

i read something interesting in the paper the other day that said if scotland does vote to leave then we will have to change our name. We won't be able to call ourselves the UK or Great Britain anymore, because both those names are tied in with Scotland. (it would be a bit dumb to carry on calling ourselves the united kingdom anyway, if one bit split off)
So we will have to dream up a new name for ourselves! that is something that i hadn't thought of
7:49 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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> if one bit split off

instant reminder of a monty python scene right there.
8:16 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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you're basically just swapping one group of politicians for another

Scotland will have exactly the same politicians after the Referendum as before it.

....
8:50 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what difference these things actually make for normal everyday people.


The (theoretical, if not always actual) benefit of nationalism is the greater sense of common purpose between the people and their elected representatives. Under nationalism, elected representatives are from the same place, speak the same language, enjoy the same culture and experience the same environment as the people who vote them in as public servants.

These benefits are less obvious for Scotland in 2014, but if you were a Slovene as the Austrian Empire collapsed or Tito's Yugoslavia fell apart, they are more obvious.

We won't be able to call ourselves the UK or Great Britain anymore, because both those names are tied in with Scotland. [...]
So we will have to dream up a new name for ourselves!


Yeah. I have long figured it will be something like the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (open to question, since Wales is a principality and Northern Ireland a province).

The flag is going to look a bit odd with all the blue stripped out, though.
9:15 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Wales is a principality

Only part of Wales was ever a principality, and that ended in 1542.

...
9:29 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The whole thing raises a wide range of questions if there is a Yes vote, ranging from 'where is the Queen going to go on holiday now ?' to 'will Alex Salmond get his own back by imposing a property tax for non-nationals ?'

Of course there are many education/defence/infastructure/economic and many other questions. I like the one ' will the roads suddenly be better maintained in Scotland than in England ?'

Personally I think a 'yes' vote will be a real problem for the rest of the UK and Scotland.
9:51 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Only part of Wales was ever a principality [...]


Eh?!

Runs to the fount of all knowledge...

The governments of the United Kingdom and of Wales almost invariably define Wales as a country. The Welsh Assembly Government says: "Wales is not a Principality. Although we are joined with England by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right." The title Prince of Wales is still conferred on the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. However the Prince of Wales has no constitutional role in modern Wales. According to the Welsh Assembly Government: "Our Prince of Wales at the moment is Prince Charles, who is the present heir to the throne. But he does not have a role in the governance of Wales, even though his title might suggest that he does."

Source: Wikipedia's entry on Wales


Ah. Thank you, Samizdata, I stand corrected.

Back to Scotland.
10:06 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Ronin I heard the new name for the UK will be the former UK or as it will become known the FUK.
10:15 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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EWNI-ted Kingdom imo.
8:06 am on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure that the UK will require a name change. In effect Scotland would leave the UK, leaving England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In a side note, what about the union jack. it's comprised of the 4 nations flags. Would that change?

In all honesty, I sure hope the vote is a NO!

Mack.
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