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Author Topic: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?  (Read 1378 times)

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Offline Beorning

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2014, 11:00:32 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.

Actually, I did care about the issue :) I just didn't have time to post... or anything important to contribute.

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. 

So... what did Scotland do to you, Kythia? ;)

Offline kylie

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #51 on: September 20, 2014, 12:16:09 PM »
         Disclaimer:  I haven't read every post (nor most of them).  But mostly since people are saying stuff to the tune of, 'apparently this [lack of posters from other regions] means no one elsewhere cares.' 

         I didn't pick up very much of this in even Guardian headlines until fairly recently...  Maybe it was on more British domestic pages somewhere, or I just spent most of my time time on other International news, what with stuff like Ukraine and now Ebola going down.  I don't pay a great deal of attention to some of the US (or Chinese for that matter) domestic news either, if it's any consolation.  It generally takes something of an explosive policy crisis report (or maybe a really incisive society critique) to get me off the international pages, and even the Guardian was not very eager to turn the referendum into a regular front-page event until it was already upon us.  So, mostly I've just been catching up, and not catching my breath much as it unfolded.

         I was hopeful that Scotland might separate.  It's not every day you see a referendum where part of a country is suggesting vastly different foreign policy and some hope of relief from the neoliberal dystopia that seems to be shrouding the West this past generation.  While I haven't read very widely on it and I'm sure there has been more complexity (both in problems of planning and sometimes, perhaps even in rightist violence against the independence movement?) ...  That has really been something to watch. 

         I'm saddened that so much of the No campaign was led by cynical claims of 'We'll take away all the jobs if you do' or 'Never mind that we haven't been here before, we know Europe won't let you deal with them like that.'  But probably all that was to be expected.  It does seem telling that the establishment had to offer some concessions at the last minute when the polls had been more leaning against them...  And it really remains to be seen whether that is something that anyone is really going to be very serious about actually delivering.

 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 12:17:13 PM by kylie »

Offline Beorning

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2014, 02:28:16 PM »
Speaking of news, I can say that the Scottish vote was consistently on the news during the last few days. So, it's not like anyone here cared about it...

Offline Polymorph

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2014, 03:03:38 PM »
         

         I'm saddened that so much of the No campaign was led by cynical claims of 'We'll take away all the jobs if you do' or 'Never mind that we haven't been here before, we know Europe won't let you deal with them like that.'  But probably all that was to be expected. 

Actually the statements on EU membership came from Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the EU commission. His statements came in response to Mr Salmond's assertions that Scotland would automatically be an EU member, would retain the UK's opt out clauses and would retain British sterling as it's currency. Mr Barroso said all three of these claims by Mr Salmond were incorrect. Scotland would need to apply for membership (which could take years to achieve even if no other country vetoed Scotland's membership), would not as a new member be permitted to have any opt outs and would need to commit to adopting the Euro as it's currency to even be considered. I would assume as head of the EU commission he knew better than Mr Salmond what the EU's rules on membership would be.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #54 on: September 20, 2014, 05:23:01 PM »
While I haven't read very widely on it and I'm sure there has been more complexity (both in problems of planning and sometimes, perhaps even in rightist violence against the independence movement?) ...  That has really been something to watch. 

I'm not certain what you mean here, could you expand a little?  All the violence/harassment/intimidation/etc. I've heard of has come from some of the supporters of independence.  And I'm not aware of any planning problems.

Offline Polymorph

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #55 on: September 20, 2014, 06:54:35 PM »
Violence? Despite the passion felt by both sides in the referendum the conduct of the Scottish has really been a credit to the people. There were a few posters daubed with paint, a table got pushed over and the worst incident I heard reported was a women got punched by another woman in the queue outside one polling station for having an English accent.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #56 on: September 20, 2014, 07:22:49 PM »
I'm saddened that so much of the No campaign was led by cynical claims of 'We'll take away all the jobs if you do' or 'Never mind that we haven't been here before, we know Europe won't let you deal with them like that.'

To be fair here there were likewise a lot of Yes campaign claims that were pretty cynical and based on fear; especially towards the end the battle-cry of the Yes campaign was "save the Scottish NHS from the evil Torys" while not mentioning 1) Scotland already runs its own NHS and 2) the SNP were intending to cut around 450 million from it.

I also think you're misstating some of the Yes campaign arguments; they tended not to be "we'll take your jobs away" and more "there's a chance jobs will leave Scotland". Even in areas where the rUK could have directly taken jobs away I'm not exactly sure why that's unfair or unreasonable... to give a simple example if Scotland had become independant there's no reason for the rUK government to give Scottish shipyards preferential treatment when it came to orders compared to other countries let alone shipyards in the UK.

Likewise most of the comments about how the EU would treat an independent Scotland were Yes campaigners repeating what people either in the EU or who would be involved in any acceptance process had said/written. Polymorph's already pointed out how it was Barroso who poured cold water on most of Salmond's ideas that Scotland would be given unique privileges and treatment.

I'd also be a little cautious about pointing at Salmond and the SNP leading an independent Scotland as a chance to see the "neo-liberal dystopia" broken. While Salmond, the SNP and the Yes campaign in general made a big deal (and were effective at) painting themselves as outsiders attacking the establishment and offering something new, it doesn't really hold up under evidence. Salmond is an ex-banker who's about as establishment as they come and has been deep in Murdoch's pockets for years. The SNP's been the party of government in Scotland since 2007 with a considerable remit... and in that time not a vast amount has changed. Frankly when it comes to policy outside of independence it's not particularly easy to find many differences between them and Labour.

Online Oniya

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #57 on: September 20, 2014, 08:26:51 PM »
Out of curiosity, could someone explain what the term 'rump UK' means?

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2014, 08:34:12 PM »
Out of curiosity, could someone explain what the term 'rump UK' means?

It was used during the campaign/debate for what would be left of the United Kingdom if Scotland became independent; it would be what was left behind (a similar usage of the term to the Rump Parliament)

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #59 on: September 20, 2014, 08:43:03 PM »
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.

I stayed up to watch and leaned a little as a result, but it didn't seem like it would be that big of a deal if the yes camp succeeded. Also, the election looked like it was pretty much decided after the first few counties/districts weighed in. As an American viewer, I really didn't feel any strong sense of consequence either way. 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2014, 08:56:10 PM »
Out of curiosity, could someone explain what the term 'rump UK' means?


The UK after a completed secession/breakout of Scotland - a scenario which didn't happen of course, but it's very interesting as a hypothesis looking at constitutional issues in Britain. Since the UK doesn't really have a unified written constitution codified and set apart at any one time, and the formal lynchpin of UK/British constutional theory is the monarch (an unelected figurehead, even if the PM, the parliament and the cabinet do the effective ruling and roadmapping), the scenario where Scotland opts out would raise some serious questions about the status of Wales and Northern Ireland vs England. Or even the Shetland and Orkney islands - they are more or less a fringe part of Scotland historically, not classic "clan land", and the people there voted overwhelmingly for staying in the UK. If Scotland had opted out they might have lodged a demand to break out of Scotland and keep with Britain, arguing that they had been colonized from Britain, not from Scotland. Edinburgh and the SNP would have hated that; those islands are crucial to the North Sea oil field claims.

Any of those "non-English UK lands" could have said "if Scotland had a parliament of its own as part of the UK, even before it went its own way, we want one too, for each of us! We need to talk about how to balance our rights and duties, and our citizenry, within the UK framework" (because England would have become the giant in the UK family). I understand that's been a non-issue on the national scene up till now, but with Scotland getting even more transfer of powers to Edinburgh, as Cameron promised at the last moment, that kind of constitutional debate could be likely to raise its head within a couple of years.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 09:08:06 PM by gaggedLouise »

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2014, 09:10:46 PM »
Thanks for that - I wasn't sure if it was a slang term for a specific portion of Parliament. 

Offline kylie

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2014, 01:22:49 AM »
I'm not certain what you mean here, could you expand a little?  All the violence/harassment/intimidation/etc. I've heard of has come from some of the supporters of independence.  And I'm not aware of any planning problems.
 
      Well I have to say I've read through overview pieces quickly (mostly just trying to catch up as I said)...  But the gist I gathered was that some feel the Yes campaign had not really spelled out how some policies would be practical...  Although I think some of that is hard to do with much certainty before you actually have independence and see what interests or people actually stay or go.  It's one thing to go on about it before a vote, and quite another to see what actually happens if you're independent.

      While there are examples of violence from the other side (or perhaps both) on the Guardian around now, if not sooner.  And there were some mentions of bullying or beatings in private comments about earlier times, though I'm not all too sure how widespread it was.  My general sense was that things were pretty peaceful, but I'm not too versed in where to look for that sort of thing in the UK media (if it even gets reported well, I dunno). 

Quote from: Polymorph
Actually the statements on EU membership came from Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the EU commission. His statements came in response to Mr Salmond's assertions that Scotland would automatically be an EU member, would retain the UK's opt out clauses and would retain British sterling as it's currency.
      Fine...  Since you put it that way:  I can see that the EU would probably have its own procedures, so Salmond was probably too optimistic on some angles.  Although there's also a fair bit of opposition saying things just 'couldn't' be done because of the size or newness of Scotland.  And there I'm not sure it's all written out in someone else's rules.  Or even that someone else's rules are really unbendable when in fact you would have a new country just beside England on the fringe of Europe.  The rules might feel a bit silly in the actual situation, depending.  Not getting specific I know, but the whole tone of argument there still vexes me a bit. 

Quote from: consortium
I also think you're misstating some of the Yes campaign arguments; they tended not to be "we'll take your jobs away" and more "there's a chance jobs will leave Scotland". Even in areas where the rUK could have directly taken jobs away I'm not exactly sure why that's unfair or unreasonable... to give a simple example if Scotland had become independant there's no reason for the rUK government to give Scottish shipyards preferential treatment when it came to orders compared to other countries let alone shipyards in the UK.

      Well if so, then I'm mostly relating how commentaries I read felt about the tone of those arguments.  But really in a situation like this, it can be quite hard to tell what the intended tone is.  Seems to me it's also often very easy for people in privileged groups to consciously or unconsciously end up invoking a logic of "I don't have any agenda or preference that favors my own interests really, this is just the reality others have to live with."  Isn't it?  Probably it would take some poking around other things that some of the people making those arguments may have said or hinted at.  Certainly some have felt that the intent was to pressure Scotland with unnecessary (or at least, slightly contemptuous even if realistic) warnings of economic collapse. 

      I don't know...  Would it really be more efficient for England to build its ships elsewhere?  Shrug.  But this also happens to often be the language of empire and big business:  You should do what we want simply because we control the jobs.  And some people may justly resent any hint of that tone of argument.  Sometimes it's just preferable to come up with some other line of positive argument for staying...  If one can.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 01:25:17 AM by kylie »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2014, 03:51:08 AM »
Violence? Despite the passion felt by both sides in the referendum the conduct of the Scottish has really been a credit to the people. There were a few posters daubed with paint, a table got pushed over and the worst incident I heard reported was a women got punched by another woman in the queue outside one polling station for having an English accent.

Yes, I certainly don't want to give the impression it was a violent campaign, I was just responding to Kylie's claim that there had been violence against the independence movement.

Offline Polymorph

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2014, 10:40:47 AM »
Yes I understand. Without a link to this "Rightest violence" I can't really imagine where the claim came from. Certain UK newspapers ran stories which frankly exaggerated any minor criminal incidents to give the impression that Scotland was the next Ukraine just waiting to happen. Both sides in the referendum and the Scottish police did step in to ridicule those reports and stress that although passionate both sets of supporters were remarkably well behaved apart from isolated idiots from both camps.