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Author Topic: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?  (Read 1374 times)

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Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2014, 12:10:14 AM »
Honestly I'm not clear - and I suspect they're not either - on the point of the SNP now.  Devo max in some form or another seems to be a given, independence isn't happening...what are the SNPs policies?  What is their platform?  Continuing to exist as the Scottish National Party seems to be nothing more than a constant reminder that they overwhelmingly lost the only battle they've ever really fought.  Salmond's position is untenable, I think, but I really could see this dragging the existence of the party down with it.

The generous view is that the SNP has moved beyond being a single issue party (despite retaining the name) to be a more "normal" political party with their own ideals and positions. It's something UKIP have been trying to do, moving beyond simply being a single issue get-out-of-the-EU party to being a somewhat libertarian minded fully fledged party. Whether that's actually the case is a further point to consider... as is the question as to what's the point in the Scottish Nationalist Party if it can't deliver independence?

(Side note... Salmond can't even carry his own constituency)

Salmond's strength and weaknesses are one and the same; he built and ran a very effective cult of personality. But how does a cult of personality work when the person it was built around is defeated? Salmond is far from popular with the powers that be in his own party and, having restrained themselves till now because of the referendum, they will be starting to sharpen knives. However that same cult of personality means that outside of Salmond and Sturgeon most SNP figures are basically unknown. As such the SNP is stuck behind a rock and a very hard place; it's raison d'ętre is seemingly gone, it's leader and figurehead is a lame duck and there is no-one seemingly in position to replace him.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2014, 12:15:52 AM »
National

But yes, this is my point.  Regardless of whether they are, on paper, more than a single issue party their name - in exactly the same way as UKIP - says otherwise.  They can never really be viewed as a wider party under that name, I don't think.  Changing the name is an admission of failure and is exactly the same, in practical terms, to disbanding and reforming the party. 

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2014, 12:21:30 AM »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2014, 12:22:46 AM »
Ah my apologies.  My friend and I had a text argument (which I lost) about it earlier so I'm probably super sensitive.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2014, 12:31:11 AM »
When discussing the result it's also worth noting the advantages the Yes campaign had coming in:

1) They got to choose the question to be asked (a huge one on referendums)

2) They got to choose when the referendum was held.

3) The got to choose the constituency who could vote in the referendum.

I'd argue that such things are worth at least 5% in any referendum and possibly even more. Without exit polling it's hard to get any quantifiable data out of the voting patterns but I'm fairly confident that with a little cunning and a little skill if the No campaign had got to set the above things they'd have pulled 60-65% of the vote.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2014, 12:37:02 AM »
Yeah, I've seen Cameron criticised for allowing his preferred option to be "No" not "Yes" if that makes sense.  "Should Scotland be an independent country" vs. "Should Scotland remain part of the UK"

I'm going for a run.  I had dared to dream that one day I could raise my children in a world free of Scotland. 

That if foreigners asked whether we were the same country I could stand tall, look at the horizon and say "No" rather than shuffling my feet awkwardly and saying "It's a little complex.  Technically: we're the same sovereign nation but the UK government, the UN and a variety of other international bodies describe the UK as two countries, one principality and a province.  The thing you have to remember is..." and so on - such discussions inevitably devolve into Venn diagrams and complicated explanations of long dead monarchs that really could have been avoided if Scotland had voted to release us.  Ah well.

Offline Hades

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2014, 04:04:05 AM »
So what is this "federalized" United Kingdom I kept hearing the BBC talk about while covering the vote results?

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2014, 08:21:56 AM »
So what is this "federalized" United Kingdom I kept hearing the BBC talk about while covering the vote results?

It's an attempt to answer the West Lothian question.

The West Lothian question is this; under devolution (and certainly under the sort of devolution max that is now being talked about) Scotland and to a lesser extent Wales and Northern Ireland have their own parliaments and powers separate to MP's at Westminster. As such an MP representing a Scottish constituency can vote on issues at Westminster that don't have any impact on his constituency, because that policy area is controlled by the Scottish parliament. This seems self-evidently unfair; if a law would only (technically and practically) apply to England and/or Wales and/or Northern Ireland why should a Scottish MP get to vote on it?

The currently favoured solution is generally called "English votes for English laws" and essentially means that if a law would only impact on England, only English MP's could vote upon it, in essence turning the House of Commons into a de facto English Parliament for such measures (how the House of Lords would work is still an open question). This would seemingly federalise the UK; laws that only impact Scotland decided by a Scottish parliament, Wales a Welsh parliament, England an English parliament and the whole UK the current UK parliament. Following the UK's proud political tradition it's a bit of a fudge (Scotland would have seperate MP's and MSP's, England would only have MP's) but on the face of it it's a fair solution.

Offline Hades

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2014, 08:53:54 AM »
It's an attempt to answer the West Lothian question.

The West Lothian question is this; under devolution (and certainly under the sort of devolution max that is now being talked about) Scotland and to a lesser extent Wales and Northern Ireland have their own parliaments and powers separate to MP's at Westminster. As such an MP representing a Scottish constituency can vote on issues at Westminster that don't have any impact on his constituency, because that policy area is controlled by the Scottish parliament. This seems self-evidently unfair; if a law would only (technically and practically) apply to England and/or Wales and/or Northern Ireland why should a Scottish MP get to vote on it?

The currently favoured solution is generally called "English votes for English laws" and essentially means that if a law would only impact on England, only English MP's could vote upon it, in essence turning the House of Commons into a de facto English Parliament for such measures (how the House of Lords would work is still an open question). This would seemingly federalise the UK; laws that only impact Scotland decided by a Scottish parliament, Wales a Welsh parliament, England an English parliament and the whole UK the current UK parliament. Following the UK's proud political tradition it's a bit of a fudge (Scotland would have seperate MP's and MSP's, England would only have MP's) but on the face of it it's a fair solution.

That sounds somewhat analogous to the division here in the US between the state government and federal government then.  Which works well in principle, but I suspect that making it work in practice is where the whole thing has the potential to explode like a giant powder keg.  Still, it does sound on the surface at least like a reasonable and fair direction to go. 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2014, 09:04:52 AM »
It's an attempt to answer the West Lothian question.

The West Lothian question is this; under devolution (and certainly under the sort of devolution max that is now being talked about) Scotland and to a lesser extent Wales and Northern Ireland have their own parliaments and powers separate to MP's at Westminster. As such an MP representing a Scottish constituency can vote on issues at Westminster that don't have any impact on his constituency, because that policy area is controlled by the Scottish parliament. This seems self-evidently unfair; if a law would only (technically and practically) apply to England and/or Wales and/or Northern Ireland why should a Scottish MP get to vote on it?

The currently favoured solution is generally called "English votes for English laws" and essentially means that if a law would only impact on England, only English MP's could vote upon it, in essence turning the House of Commons into a de facto English Parliament for such measures (how the House of Lords would work is still an open question). This would seemingly federalise the UK; laws that only impact Scotland decided by a Scottish parliament, Wales a Welsh parliament, England an English parliament and the whole UK the current UK parliament. Following the UK's proud political tradition it's a bit of a fudge (Scotland would have seperate MP's and MSP's, England would only have MP's) but on the face of it it's a fair solution.


Wouldn't England (a "rump England" constituency, though still being part of the UK along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) need a setup with two tiers of parliaments as well? One for "only English" affairs and one for "larger British/UK affairs"? I agree it sounds very strange though - it would both serve to sneakily drop the status of Westminster, in popular perception, and bring with it ordinary people thinking, we don't want all these new politicians and their henchmen and assistants.

No doubt that the top people in British politics and the royal family (still the figurehead of the nation and a kind of uniting bond) are very wary of stirring the idea of a "federalized kingdom". Thrones and lifelong offices ´don't sit too easily together with the outline of a federal state.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 09:09:01 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2014, 09:40:33 AM »
Wouldn't England (a "rump England" constituency, though still being part of the UK along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) need a setup with two tiers of parliaments as well? One for "only English" affairs and one for "larger British/UK affairs"? I agree it sounds very strange though - it would both serve to sneakily drop the status of Westminster, in popular perception, and bring with it ordinary people thinking, we don't want all these new politicians and their henchmen and assistants.

That's what I mean about it being a fudge; there's seemingly little support for the idea of a separate English parliament with a host of new politicians. Instead the current MP's representing English constituencies would essentially take on two roles; when purely English matters were being voted for they would be Members of an English Parliament while when matters that covered the whole UK came up they would be full Members of Parliament, essentially condensing the roles that a Scottish MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) and MP into one.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2014, 11:31:07 AM »
I was just thinking the same.  Not only have people actively voted against change, but they've voted against it in numbers far exceeding what anyone thought.
Uh, welcome to humanity.  Where change is looked at as the worst thing that can happen to anything.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2014, 11:37:14 AM »
Uh, welcome to humanity.  Where change is looked at as the worst thing that can happen to anything.

I think you're kinda missing the point, there?  Not entirely certain what you mean?  We were discussing Sturgeon lauding people's desire for change and her saying so many people wanting it was a positive thing when in fact people had said they didn't want it. 

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2014, 11:45:52 AM »
Anyway.  The "problem" with English votes for English laws is that it could create two classes of MPs.  Imagine if Labour won a general election but failed to secure a majority in England itself - that would lead to the situation where Labour could create laws that applied to the UK as a whole, but not to England specifically.  Some people seem to think this is an undesirable situation, I personally don't see an issue with it.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2014, 12:42:59 PM »
Anyway.  The "problem" with English votes for English laws is that it could create two classes of MPs.  Imagine if Labour won a general election but failed to secure a majority in England itself - that would lead to the situation where Labour could create laws that applied to the UK as a whole, but not to England specifically.  Some people seem to think this is an undesirable situation, I personally don't see an issue with it.

It's the same with Scotland already though; the Conservatives/Liberal Democrats can create and pass laws that apply to the UK as a whole but not for Scotland specifically. If the SNP vote holds up it will be the same for Labour if they get into power. All the fudge does would make it a single MP rather than MP and MSP.

Salmond's resigned as leader of the SNP. I wouldn't be surprised to see him try for a Westminster seat for the next election with a brief to be an attack dog for getting more devolution for Scotland... interesting to see if the rest of the SNP let him, especially if Sturgeon doesn't get the leadership.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2014, 01:36:30 PM »
I agree totally, as I say I think its a weak argument.

50,000 signatures demanding a recount.  Because of course there is.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2014, 01:44:35 PM »
50,000 signatures demanding a recount.  Because of course there is.

If at first you don't succeed...

...claim the vote was rigged...

Offline Zakharra

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2014, 07:08:56 PM »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2014, 08:40:26 PM »
No doubt that the top people in British politics and the royal family (still the figurehead of the nation and a kind of uniting bond) are very wary of stirring the idea of a "federalized kingdom". Thrones and lifelong offices ´don't sit too easily together with the outline of a federal state.

Um. The Queen of England already sits the throne of a federal nation, as the Queen of Canada.

As to the SNP's point... well, I'm reminded of the Parti Quebecois here. They came into power on a platform of independence for Quebec, lost the referendum, and basically became a spoiler party that screws with national issues by voting solely in Quebec's interests. Eventually, their voter base fled, mostly for the mainstream centrist and left-wing parties, and now they exist pretty much in name only.

Offline Polymorph

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2014, 05:14:56 AM »
Um. The Queen of England already sits the throne of a federal nation, as the Queen of Canada.

Several countries that the queen serves as head of state are federal I believe. Australia certainly, not certain how many others are.

As to the SNP's point... well, I'm reminded of the Parti Quebecois here. Eventually, their voter base fled, and now they exist pretty much in name only.
We can but hope!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 05:16:59 AM by Polymorph »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2014, 07:53:49 AM »
What I find quite amusing - and both the lateness of this thread's creation and it's relative lack of participants are examples - is how few shits anyone who isn't Scottish seems to give about this whole thing.  Independence seems like it would have been greeted with the same deafening "Meh.  What else is on TV" as lack of.

Offline Hades

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2014, 08:22:53 AM »
What I find quite amusing - and both the lateness of this thread's creation and it's relative lack of participants are examples - is how few shits anyone who isn't Scottish seems to give about this whole thing.  Independence seems like it would have been greeted with the same deafening "Meh.  What else is on TV" as lack of.

I think part of that is because it lacks the sensationalism that the American media system thrives on.  There's the perception of "Well they voted to keep things how they were, so on to the next story about the Kardashians" or the like.  The time of the news being informative rather than entertainment has long passed in this country.   I think if the vote had gone the other way, at least for a few days the media would have covered it a bit more until they got bored trying to explain complicated things and gone back to business as usual.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2014, 08:33:52 AM »
Over here as well though.  At least to my eyes.  I live just north of London which is, granted, some way away from Scotland, but while the media has been full of it, people's conversations and suchlike don't seem to have been.  I stayed up to watch it and it seems like consortium11 did to, but we are massively in the minority.  In the run up, and even more so now we're in the post match, noone seemed to actually be interested.  Let alone care.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2014, 08:39:16 AM »
I wasn't even intending to stay up... but as I went to bed I thought "you know what, there's an outside chance it may be history, I probably should watch", so I lay in bed with the TV on.

I put more focus into the local elections than this.

For much of the rest of the UK this referendum happened to a silent chorus of shrugs.

Offline Hades

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2014, 09:54:46 AM »
I admit the only reason I watched the results come in was because I was working the midnight shift that night and while flipping through the channels I came across the BBC coverage of it.  If it had been a night I was off, I wouldn't have stayed up to watch and would have just read the headlines in the morning.