Off-Topic Scottish Independence Vote

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by FirstHonda, Monday 21st Oct, 2013.

  1. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    I think it's about time we started a thread on this subject! Lots of coverage this weekend, driven by the SNP conference.

    The SNP are doing an excellent political job in pointing out what separates Scotland from the rest of the UK, mainly because their very future as an organisation depends on a "yes" vote. The "better together" campaign needs to highlight any economic benefits of remaining united, as well as stressing what unites us as an antidote to the (perfectly understandable) SNP attempts to highlight only what divides us.

    There are historical and cultural factors and arguments that can be made in favour of a vote either way. Over the next year it will be interesting to see which group can get their message across most effectively, as this needs to be a debate about facts AND feelings. Whatever you think about Alex Salmond, he does deliver a set piece message effectively and with passion...

    My personal view is that it would be a real shame for Scotland to become independent - at this point I genuinely believe that we are "better together." However, I am also a great believer in self-determination and localism, and think that the right for Scotland to have this vote is an important one. Perhaps a "yes" vote is exactly what the remainder of the UK needs to hasten a move towards a system of more regional representation as well as a final debate about membership of the EU.

    In the end (and I'm talking 100-150 years here!) I can see a situation where there is a central EU Parliament, with a number of regional assemblies with powers similar to the current devolution arrangements in Scotland. Done properly that would give far more relevant policy decisions, tailored to the economic, social and cultural needs of the regions.

    Anyway, pin out, the grenade is now rolling across the forum...:Wave:
     
    Last edited: Monday 21st Oct, 2013
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  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    I would personally like to know..where will Scotland be when the north sea oil runs out !! where will the money come from, There is a limit of scotch ,tartan and shortbread you can sell..:Smile:
     
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  3. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    Alex Salmond, in my opinion, is nothing short of a megalomaniac. He will ruin Scotland if it goes independent and he has no contingency for income after the North Sea Oil either runs out or becomes too expensive to extract. People forget that he wanted to join the Euro probably because he thought the EU would then throw money at him, which again suggests that he doesn't have an alternative income other than oil. His bluff has been called before and he's used legal tricks to prevent the truth coming out. Patriot? Crap. He just wants the power.

    Scotland has a huge welfare problem thanks to generations of lazy bums. How is he going to pay for this not to mention other perks we enjoy such as free prescriptions. There will be all sorts of business and political deals going on around the world that we don't even know about that keeps us in business with countries. What about immigration? It's already a huge problem for England and it's slowly spreading to Scotland. We are too small to cope. What if our doors are opened? What about the Tartan Tax that he'll probably apply? What about Zero Waste Scotland which he's implanted and is not only impossible to achieve but damn costly for the country. We can't burn our waste to energy with the exception of a few publically run plants. He wants everything recycled even though it costs us more to recycle it than to landfill it. All these costs hit the public because everything creates waste.

    Then there's the windmills. America tried it and it didn't work. China tried it and it didn't work (even when they were placed in a valley which was like a wind tunnel!). So why are we wasting our time, money and landscape with these things? It's costing the public a fortune and they are useless. Tidal power is one way to go I reckon, but whatever we do we need to remove our reliance of power from other countries.

    Then there's Scottish Parliament. They couldn't even construct a building even remotely close to budget. They all started getting self-important and egotistical and demanded thicker windows to keep them safe etc. Then there's the ridiculous tram system in Edinburgh. Another farce which has gone way over budget. Two simple projects which they screwed up - so how on earth can we expect them to run a country?

    But my biggest fear is his persistence to scrap Trident. Our ability to plonk a nuclear capable sub 10 miles off the coast of any country without them knowing it is what keeps us 100% safe because every other country knows it would be suicide to try and invade us including Russia, China etc. We don't know what may happen in 20 years, what is the US collapses (which wouldn't surprise me considering their debt and other social factors). It will be open season for Russia and China and the UK is in a key strategic location. People say it would never happen. I say you never know and it's better to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

    We would need a Government that understands that the key to success for a resource lacking country such as Scotland is to encourage businesses to setup here by reducing Corporation Tax considerably. They will recover funds through PAYE and NIC instead because of increased workforce. The welfare bill will drop because more people are in work and a working population is a happy population, even when taxed because you've still got money in your pocket. We need to start building things again. Other than the obvious tartan stuff the only main thing that Scotland builds (assembles) are computers. When did you last see something that said "Made in Scotland"?

    People in Scotland should look at Scotland and compare it to the rest of the world. It's actually a very safe country, very little gun crime, structured, free Health Service, good education system, no natural disasters, economy is starting to improve again, excellent chip shops hehe and beautiful countryside to explore. Why change a good thing?

    We've got it good up here I believe, so it's a NO from me at the moment. :Smile:
     
    Last edited: Monday 21st Oct, 2013
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  4. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Arcticfire, I agree with you completely on everything you've said!

    Alex Salmond seems determined to be the prime minister of something even if he has to virtually create a country to do it. He's winning votes by playing up to the 'chip on the shoulder' attitude Scots have towards England because of historical reasons, namely a couple of fights and Scotland being denied electing their own royal family. But despite this he wants to retain the current royal family as the symbolic head of Scotland if it's independent. :Unknown: Considering his anti English stance there could only be one reason for this hypocritical U turn, greatly needed income from tourism.

    He keeps saying 'We don't want to be ruled by Westminster.' What he's implying is 'We don't want to be ruled by the English from England.' What he fails to mention is Scottish MP's vote in Westminster, so they're already voting for what they want. In fact they vote against things in Westminster to deny England from such things as free prescriptions then go back to Scotland and vote in favour of them them.

    Alex Salmond stated at the weekend that he wanted an independent Nuclear free armed force if Scotland is devolved. That would include it's own army, navy and air force. How is he going to pay for this and where's he going to get all the personnel from?! Either Scotland is going to end up with a grossly scaled back inadequate armed force, or with a population of only 5m people he'll virtually have to employ national subscription to maintain the same level of protection currently given to him by the combined British forces. If nuclear submarines are removed from the Scottish coast it reduces the effectiveness of the entire royal navy and Britain's armed forces to protect the entire country. But we all know that if it all did kick off on an international scale then the first thing Scotland will do will be to look to hide behind British forces for protection.

    His financial policy has already shown itself to be a complete disaster. His entire financial policy for Scotland relies on oil, (which will run out in 40 years so you can kiss your state pension goodbye by the time your old enough to retire), continued hand outs from Westminster, and income generated from Scottish banks. Alex Salmond was pushing for an independent Scotland before the financial crisis hit in 2008. Based on this if he had got his way and Scotland had been devolved by 2008 then it would have been Scotland who would have had to bail out the Scottish banks not Westminster. Putting it simply this would have been impossible for Scotland to do and Scotland would have had to declare itself bankrupt! Greece would have looked like a picnic compared to the state Scotland would have been in. And they would have had to gone cap in hand back to Westminster to bail them out. Bullet dodged there Salmond, I noticed you kept that little gem quiet!

    Part of me wants to just let him get on with it so I can laugh at him when he falls flat on his face, if he's still around by then to watch his empire crumble. But in the long run it's clear that the whole idea is just a huge mistake, the finances and policies just don't make sense. I hope that common sense prevails, and if the Scottish vote with their head, setting aside any prejudice towards England, they will remain part of the UK.

    But personally I do think the whole political structure of the UK needs to be redrawn. Currently Scotland have their own parliament as does Wales. And England follows suit with what Westminster votes is best for the UK. I think Scotland, Wales and England should all have their own parliaments voted on by MP's from their respective regions only. Then there should be a central parliament like there currently is at Westminster where MP's from across the UK vote on national issues such as defence.
     
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  5. Malibu Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    I can't stand the man- end of story!
     
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  6. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    I agree with everything you say but this last part sounds a little like Devo Max which is my biggest fear - if Scotland does go ahead with Devo Max then I'd bet everything I had that the only thing which would happen is increased taxes for Scottish people. I don't believe enough money is made in Scotland to cover the payments that would be required for Defence, Foreign Affairs etc not to mention cover their own local services. Devo Max would be fantastic for the English at the moment though as they would no longer have to carry the massive amount of lazy gits up here and Glasgow was found to be the worst offenders. How embarrassing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I forgot to mention a pretty crucial point. Alex Salmond and the SNP is all about independence. An independent Scotland. That's their primary political goal and it's also their answer to all of Scotland's problems. So why, if independence is so important, do they then want to join the EU? It's been fairly well established that Scotland would have to apply from scratch and therefore take on the Euro. It's been recently revealed that Brussels want even more powers. So how can the SNP possibly claim that Scotland will be independent when they will actually be ruled by Europe on a greater level than at present? Do they think Europe will actually care about Scotland as England do?

    It just stinks of sod all to do with independence, but more about independence from England - which again leads us back to asinine bigots that feel hard done by. The same bigots that probably don't get their behind out of bed to go to work. Speaking of which, I need to get up early for work tomorrow so off I go! lol
     
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  7. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    No doubt that this vote is very important for Scotland and for the rest of the UK. It is also fascinating to think about some of the questions that it poses.

    If there is a "yes" vote, at what point would there be another referendum to see whether independence is to be maintained or whether Scotland should return to the union? And if so, who should be able to vote in that? The issue with self-determination is that it is seen as the end of the journey rather than the start. As we have seen in the Republic of Ireland, there were repeated "no" votes around EU (Lisbon?) treaty acceptance a few years ago, but no sign of another vote once a "yes" had been achieved. That just can't be right, and we need to have that debate as part of the wider independence debate i.e. is this a once only choice?

    Then, what should happen in the rest of the UK? You will have established from my initial post that I am a believer in devolution, not just at a national level, but at a regional level - and that is why I think this vote, and the debate it will spark, is so important for the future of the country.

    All you need to do is look at the current political map of the UK. The South East of England is mainly "blue", large parts of the North-East and North-West largely "red", with pockets of yellow in the South-West. Wales and Northern Ireland are different again.

    In Scotland there is virtually no Conservative representation at Westminster, and there hasn't been for many years - which allows the SNP to play the "ruled from Westminster" card. I have to admit they are partly right as the Scottish people, when viewed as a region, haven't voted for a Conservative Government any more than large parts of the South-East of England voted for a Labour Government under Blair. That leads to feelings of disenfranchisement, lower and lower voting turn outs, and a general disinterest in politics as "nothing ever seems to change." It allows the SNP to focus on feelings rather than facts. To me there is also little doubt that the involvement of David Cameron in the debate would be a gift to the SNP, as we have seen last week in Alex Salmond's challenge for a joint debate.

    There is now, in my opinion, far too much economic difference between the regions in the UK to be managed by one Government. There needs to be a greater regional emphasis, with policies that work to support what each region needs and can vote for - and I would include tax raising and spending in those regional powers. Yes, such an approach would lead to the break up of what we now know as the UK, but with a national Government to manage key national issues as was suggested above, such as defence, then I see no real issue with that. The biggest potential issue would be a larger political class (with associated costs), but if a tier of local Government was removed then it might also allow more "normal" people to get involved and be able to truly represent their communities.

    In terms of the economic debate, I am in full agreement that the SNP policies seem to be populist and potentially very expensive/unfunded. The interesting thing will be to see whether they are honest enough to go to the poll saying that income tax would need to rise by xx in order to fund their spending plans - and I doubt they will be - but if there is that type of open debate, and the Scottish people choose to vote for it, then fair enough.

    One final point - in the event of a "yes" vote how will the current UK national debt be allocated? What about any funding from the rest of the UK? Defence forces? Will Scotland be charged for using DVLA in Swansea, or have to set up its own? How about HMRC offices and service? Thus far the debate doesn't seem to have gone into this level of detail, and it needs to if people are going to make a truly informed decision...and what happens if the two sides can't agree? Who arbitrates?

    My view is that a "no" vote is most likely, and sensible, at this point once the real facts start to be discussed and debated. I think at that point the SNP case will be further weakened. The "why change a good thing" comment above sums it up perfectly. I just hope that we take this opportunity to start a wider debate about the futures of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and potentially, the regions.
     
    Last edited: Tuesday 22nd Oct, 2013
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  8. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    There was an interview with Paxman where Salmon said the debt that Scotland would take on from the UK was 8%. But that would also mean Scotland would inherit 8% of the assets also - which makes sense. Unfortunately, Paxman was a complete idiot during the interview and basically made Salmond look good.

    There was another interview with Christine Grahame who is an SNP MSP and she was basically shot down in flames by Nigel Farage about the fishery rights. I enjoy watching Farage speak as he always has facts to back his argument and really does seem to know his stuff. He also wants to makes things more fair between Scotland and England in that either both should get free university places, prescriptions etc or none. I agree. It's not fair that we get it but England don't.

    UKIP do seem to be saying all the right things but there's just that underlying worry that they are not quite what they seem. But then I believe the Queen still has the power to remove a Prime Minister and you can't go to war without her consent so there's always fail safe options in place.

    The way I see it is that if Scotland go independent then it won't be a case of England suddenly being England. It will still be the UK, just without Scotland. So nothing will change with their EU rights, but Scotland will now be a new independent nation so I can't see how they think they still have UK rights. Salmond said he had sought legal advice about the joining of the EU after independence, then he used taxpayers money to legally block an enquiry as to the truth of this. He was then found out to have lied and there was no legal advice sought in the first place. So the feeling I'm getting is that he's not only incompetent in not taking legal advice but he's untrustworthy also.

    This is definitely a huge thing for anyone living in Scotland as there will be huge change, most probably in the form of extracting even more money from our pockets. I personally think the best future for Scotland, England and the rest of the UK is for it to stay as one but to get out of the EU pronto. Their threat of blocking trade is nonsense. I believe we are the biggest customer in Europe for BMW, do you really think they'll let the EU tell them they can no longer sell to us? lol

    Germany and UK are the two biggest contributors to the EU without taking into account the rebate. I'm surprised at how much crap we take from Brussels from pathetic fishing coastlines to restricted world trade where we can't even sign our own trade agreements with countries such as China, Brazil and America. It's ridiculous.
     
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  9. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    Salmond's sums just don't add up. The guy can't can even tell the country what currency Scotland will have and has invented this concept of a "Sterling Zone" whilst trying to drag us deeper into the EU that we might or might not have to rejoin. He is not a Scottish Nationalist, he is a Scottish Fantasist. He has been banging on for decades about independence and with less than a year to go he is clueless on these two major aspects. I want the 'Yes' vote to explain to me what their definition of Independence is exactly.


    Remember when he wanted Scotland to be part of the 'Arc Of Prosperity', emulating the Northern European 'tiger economies' of Ireland and Iceland to name two. I wonder if he remembers because he doesn't mention it much anymore.


    Then there is the 'right to independence'. The same right he seems to be ignoring coming from Shetland and Orkney, small island communities with massive reserves and rich fishing grounds shafted by EU, UK and Scottish Governments. Why should they be denied the same right to be independent from Scotland. I'm sure Norwegian or even Russian extraction technologies could do them huge favours. Can you imagine Putin's delight at getting a strategical foothold in Northern Europe with a broken Britain with Scotland's soon to be pansy army and pansy navy.

    Straw Polls suggest a larger percentage of the English population want Scotland out the UK then Scots want out themselves. I hope that's not someway media fueled because all I seem to see in Scotland is Salmond's & Sturgeon's smarmy faces advocating independence all the time. The 'No' vote campaign so far seems feckless yet every poll has supported staying a united kingdom.


    I think the UK is far greater than the sum of its parts. A previous Island Empire, we ruled from a small island and not a huge landmass. Look at the size of us geographically and look at the diversity of our population, look at our world class armed forces, science, engineering, design, art, education and healthcare. I know we are not the best but we can be better. Maybe this vote will strengthen the UK, maybe a future EU vote will strengthen us further.
     
    Last edited: Tuesday 22nd Oct, 2013
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  10. Malibu Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    Very well said !
     
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  11. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    Please correct me if I'm wrong as I only caught a quick news interview on it, but there was a guy saying the Grangemouth's biggest operating costs was it's energy bill to run the plant amounting to over 60% I think. Apparently, it was said that a similar plant in America would have energy costs that were a 1/4 of this to operate. It was highlighted that the energy costs for Grangemouth were so high due to the energy firms having to subsidise all these windmills. The next time I looked at the TV I saw the tail end of Salmond showing his concern at the situation in Grangemouth but I can't help feeling that this obsession with windmills has suddenly backfired here.

    If this is the case then I think he has a lot to answer for as there's an awful lot of comments online from people saying that how does Scotland expect to run a country when it can't even run a refinery!
     
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  12. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Grangemouth is typical union mentality charge up the workers to go on strike and guess what the bluff has backfired.. have the union bosses lost their job hell NO.

    Well they are sat with their feet up with cognac and cigars in one hand. get unions out of the UK full stop.
     
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  13. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    Maybe this BBC News - The tycoon behind the Grangemouth dispute

    "And that global outlook is what should cause most concern about the future of Grangemouth. From Jim Ratcliffe's point of view, there are much better returns to be made investing in North America, where the 'feedstock', or input to chemical processes, is around quarter of the price in Europe due to the shale boom. It's yet another way that energy markets have been turned on their heads by that technology."





     
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  14. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    Who in their right mind would want to setup a large business in Scotland when crap like this happens all the time? If eyebrows had any sense he would push to outlaw unions.
     
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  15. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Oh good the conversation has got round to Grangemouth!

    I have to say that this is the funniest thing I have heard in a while and the union has got exactly what it deserved. Once again the union thought it could hold a company to ransom by threatening to withdraw labour because the company asked the workers to fall in line with what is happening to every other employee in the country. As with the mines they're attitude was we don't care what it costs, even if you end up loosing money. Unfortunately for them Ineos have stood their ground and followed through on their options given to the employees. The unions now severely have egg on their faces and have done a complete back track 'embracing' all the terms (including banning strikes) in a vain attempt to appease the employers. Salmond has now come out practically begging Ineos to hear out the unions and all the unions can do is call Ineos names claiming economic vandalism. It's not the managers of Ineos who have to be convinced it's the underwriters of all the money who have already agreed to pull the plug. Their minds will be harder to change. If the petrochemical plant closes then it's likely the refinery will go as well. Maybe if Salmond had been a bit more proactive in the first place to protect the industry which he so heavily needs to rely on he wouldn't be in this mess. If it shuts it will account for 2% of Scotlands GDP, 8% of their manufacturing industry, will affect 70% of petrol fuel supplies in Scotland, and up to 14,000 jobs rely on the site. I hope Ineos stands by their decision and sends a lesson to all the other unions out there. It's about time these unions got crushed and put an end to them thinking they run this country.

    This puts absolutely no faith in Scotlands ability to be a viable option for any industrial company. And further brings into doubt Scotlands ability to stand on it's own two feet.
     
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  16. Malibu Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


    Here here- very well said !!
     
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  17. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    ^^Afraid you are exactly right. So many instances of this type of union behaviour - i.e. refusal to accept change - causes so many lost jobs and opportunities.

    The history of our country is littered with the debris caused by such hopeless attempts to hold back the tide and maintain "workers rights." The miners strike is the obvious one, but also the print unions at the time the industry was trying to modernise, and News International ended up moving to Wapping to break away from some of the mad restrictive practices that were in place.

    Until workers feel empowered to set up new unions, with a far more pragmatic approach, this will keep on happening. There is absolutely a place for organised labour, but it has to work with management for mutual benefit, rather than trying to operate in its own ivory tower, and be more for the benefit of the members than the leaders.

    Grangemouth is such a shame for the workers involved. With a bit of luck this will be resolved, and the union won't ever again have the power at that site to take it back to the brink.
     
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  18. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Unite union not so united are we now ..they withdraw all their members demands and guess who taking the credit for the saving the day for Scotland?

    I wonder will the workers call the unite union leaders scabs now .:lol::telloff:
     
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    Doc likes this.
  19. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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  20. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Plan B for Salmond is to taunt Cameron on a debate which frankly aint going to happen. let see the application to join the Euro is fast tracked to be declined by Brussels :SOS:
     
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