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Scotland seceding?

by SW VandeCarr
Tags: scotland, seceding
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Ken Natton
#19
Jan23-12, 08:55 AM
P: 272
Quote Quote by ferrelhadley View Post
Because we do not live on land expropriated only a couple of hundred years ago....
....

Quote Quote by Ken Natton View Post
...distortion and manipulation of accounts of past events occur where there is no serious history.
MarcoD
#20
Jan23-12, 09:11 AM
P: 98
Quote Quote by Ken Natton View Post
Huh. So let me understand MarcoD, history is not taught in non-European schools and colleges?
Of course history is taught, but from my perspective, the world is made out of individuals and most believes they hold are, when thinking about it, utterly absurd. A nation is a social construct, so it has some pragmatic value, but most ideas associated with it seem to fall in the 'romantic hogwash' category.

To put it to an extreme: ponder on those individuals from the Roman era. They were about half your size, had bad teeth, a foul breath, were disease ridden, almost completely illiterate, full of bigot ideas, and most of them were barely surviving. If people like that would move next to your house, you would be tempted to move out. I am clueless why I would relate to them?
ThomasT
#21
Jan23-12, 09:53 PM
P: 1,414
I don't have any opinion on whether or not it's a good or bad thing for Scotland to become independent of the UK, or whether the the breakup of the UK is a good or bad thing. Only that it seems to me that contiguous political entities would seem to maximize their stability via common goals, and being, in some important senses, united. I think I can understand, given historical ethnic imperatives, why Scotland, Wales, Alabama, or any particular geographically circumscribed population, might desire a particular independence.

Thanks to Ken Natton for some interesting historical stuff that we aren't exposed to in American schools.
ThomasT
#22
Jan23-12, 09:58 PM
P: 1,414
Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
To put it to an extreme: ponder on those individuals from the Roman era. They were about half your size, had bad teeth, a foul breath, were disease ridden, almost completely illiterate, full of bigot ideas, and most of them were barely surviving. If people like that would move next to your house, you would be tempted to move out.
I'm not sure I understand your point, but I definitely agree with your statement.
Ken Natton
#23
Jan24-12, 04:21 AM
P: 272
Quote Quote by ThomasT View Post
I'm not sure I understand your point, but I definitely agree with your statement.
As best I can understand it Thomas, his point appears to be that because our ancestors did not enjoy the same convenience of available health care as we do, we should despise them.

Whatever, I know I started it, but this defence of the value of history is now too far from the subject of this thread. So let me try to drag it back.

Believe me, I claim no particular insight into the thinking of those who advocate Scottish or Welsh independence, but one obvious difference between England on the one hand and Scotland and Wales on the other is the balance of political opinion. We had eighteen years of Conservative government from 1979 to 1997 and there can be no doubt that independent Scotland and Wales would have had governance much further to the left. It has not always been the case, but there are currently no Conservative MPs in either Scotland or Wales. That does not mean that there are no Conservative supporters in those two countries, but they are very much in the minority. So much in the minority that it would seem that neither Scotland or Wales would ever have an essentially right-wing government. A government of England alone would probably still fluctuate between right and left. You have to understand the large imbalance of population between the constituent countries of the UK to see why this would be the case.

And on the matter of independent Scotlandís and independent Walesís position in the wider world, there is the whole business of membership of the European Union. Despite the obvious contradiction with the fundamental notion of nationalism, the way that both The Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru deal with the argument that countries with such a small population would suffer significant disadvantage on the world stage, is to advocate membership of the European Union, independent of the UK. As a notion, it might well have some merit. But if the populations of Wales and Scotland feel themselves marginalised within the UK, there has to be some question marks over their likely contentedness with governance from Brussels.
ThomasT
#24
Jan24-12, 04:45 AM
P: 1,414
Thanks Ken, I'm going to study and think about your statements. At this time I can't pretend to understand the politics of the UK. I don't really understand the politics of the US and I've lived here for over 60 years.
MarcoD
#25
Jan24-12, 09:18 AM
P: 98
Quote Quote by ThomasT View Post
I'm not sure I understand your point, but I definitely agree with your statement.
To Thomas and Ken. No I agitate against some 'romantic' historical perspectives of Nationalists. Like 'We the X fought off them Y for centuries.' Those romantic perspectives are often popularized in movies.

But if you look at the facts, it is chance you're part of a certain population, a nation is a social construct, it is highly debatable what kind of relation people have -or should have- with something as abstract as a nation, your genes probably have been that much diluted that it makes no sense to really 'establish' a relation with historical figures or individuals, you have little responsibility wrt to the accounts of other individuals, and if you would look at those particular historical individuals, you probably wouldn't particularly like them.

Most of the feeling or rhetoric is hogwash. It just appeals to people who like to play 'megalomaniac' games on world maps.
SW VandeCarr
#26
Jan24-12, 07:19 PM
P: 2,504
Quote Quote by Ken Natton View Post
And on the matter of independent Scotland’s and independent Wales’s position in the wider world, there is the whole business of membership of the European Union. Despite the obvious contradiction with the fundamental notion of nationalism, the way that both The Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru deal with the argument that countries with such a small population would suffer significant disadvantage on the world stage, is to advocate membership of the European Union, independent of the UK. As a notion, it might well have some merit. But if the populations of Wales and Scotland feel themselves marginalised within the UK, there has to be some question marks over their likely contentedness with governance from Brussels.
Instead of governance from Brussels, there is more and more talk of de facto governance from Berlin. Germany is really driving the issue as the country with the deepest pockets and a public which is increasingly unwilling to lend money to troubled economies. As such, Germany, acting thorough the EU, is in a position to influence the European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF to impose unpopular, but probably necessary fiscal measures. Germany is pushing for more centralization of powers in the EU.

It's not clear that Scotland and particularly Wales would be immediately admitted to the EU. Why should they be? How would their credit be evaluated? There are still countries like Turkey which have long been waiting to join and whose economic record in recent years has been fairly good; certainly better than Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Turkey's interest in EU membership has correspondingly declined. That doesn't mean that the EU would be ready to welcome Scotland and Wales as members, especially if, like the Cameron government, they're not very willing to help the PIIGS.
Ken Natton
#27
Jan25-12, 03:14 AM
P: 272
Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
It's not clear that Scotland and particularly Wales would be immediately admitted to the EU. Why should they be? How would their credit be evaluated? There are still countries like Turkey which have long been waiting to join and whose economic record in recent years has been fairly good; certainly better than Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Turkey's interest in EU membership has correspondingly declined. That doesn't mean that the EU would be ready to welcome Scotland and Wales as members, especially if, like the Cameron government, they're not very willing to help the PIIGS.
Hmmm. Itís a very telling point, SW VandeCarr, and one that, I confess, I hadnít considered. Perhaps the nationalist parties are also guilty of assuming that, as former members of the UK, they would be shoe-ins for independent membership of the EU. Even if membership was, eventually, granted to them, the length of time it would take to get to that point might present genuine difficulties for them as independent nations. Exactly what their trading position would be in the interim, I really donít know. I can see this being a strong line of argument for those campaigning for a ĎNoí vote in referenda on independence. My, I confess slightly cynical feeling has always been that the whole line of argument by the nationalists of independent membership of the European Union has been a matter of political convenience, rather than genuine conviction. As I previously suggested, the whole idea is entirely contrary to nationalist principles. It would be up to those campaigning for the no vote to expose that particular hypocrisy.
Vagn
#28
Jan25-12, 03:57 AM
P: 295
Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
Instead of governance from Brussels, there is more and more talk of de facto governance from Berlin. Germany is really driving the issue as the country with the deepest pockets and a public which is increasingly unwilling to lend money to troubled economies. As such, Germany, acting thorough the EU, is in a position to influence the European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF to impose unpopular, but probably necessary fiscal measures. Germany is pushing for more centralization of powers in the EU.

It's not clear that Scotland and particularly Wales would be immediately admitted to the EU. Why should they be? How would their credit be evaluated? There are still countries like Turkey which have long been waiting to join and whose economic record in recent years has been fairly good; certainly better than Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Turkey's interest in EU membership has correspondingly declined. That doesn't mean that the EU would be ready to welcome Scotland and Wales as members, especially if, like the Cameron government, they're not very willing to help the PIIGS.
There's also, on this issue, the fact that other major EU countries have their own independence movements, Spain in particular has threatened to veto any bid for an independent Scotland being admitted into the EU, as it fears that it would strengthen the Catalonian and Basque nationalist movements. France could also be affected as they have their own Basque and Corsican movements.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...p-6292846.html
ThomasT
#29
Jan25-12, 07:23 PM
P: 1,414
Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
To Thomas and Ken. No I agitate against some 'romantic' historical perspectives of Nationalists. Like 'We the X fought off them Y for centuries.' Those romantic perspectives are often popularized in movies.

But if you look at the facts, it is chance you're part of a certain population, a nation is a social construct, it is highly debatable what kind of relation people have -or should have- with something as abstract as a nation, your genes probably have been that much diluted that it makes no sense to really 'establish' a relation with historical figures or individuals, you have little responsibility wrt to the accounts of other individuals, and if you would look at those particular historical individuals, you probably wouldn't particularly like them.

Most of the feeling or rhetoric is hogwash. It just appeals to people who like to play 'megalomaniac' games on world maps.
I agree with the essence of your points, which I take to be the view that unmitigated nationalism, and the appeal to historical conflicts and separations, only perpetuates divisiveness to no good purpose. On the other hand, if the creation of an independent political entitiy would benefit the lot of the common people involved, then it would seem to be a good thing to pursue.

Wrt the big picture, mankind is divided enough, too much, imho. Eg., it really annoys me that commentators on, say, Olympic events, tennis tournaments, etc., are constantly pointing out a competitor's home country. Who cares? These competitions shouldn't, imho, be translated into national competitions. We are, all of us, citizens of the world, and it would be truly wonderful if we developed and embraced some common goals for the good of humanity ... not just the interests of one nation or another.
Astronuc
#30
Sep10-14, 09:37 AM
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Why the world should care about Scottish independence

LONDON (Reuters) - An opinion poll showing Scottish independence campaigners have a slim lead nine days before a crucial referendum has highlighted reasons for the wider world and investors to pay heed to the Sept. 18 vote, which could see Britain lose 5.3 million Scots.

Foreign governments and financial markets had long assumed Scots would view independence from the United Kingdom as too risky a leap but the sudden swing, confirmed by another survey showing the two camps neck-and-neck, has exploded such complacency.
It seems to be close.

http://news.yahoo.com/why-world-care...--finance.html
SteamKing
#31
Sep10-14, 02:06 PM
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It's not readily clear who are the losers should Scotland go its own way. Certainly, the Scots have inflicted grievous harm on the rest of the UK due to their strong support of recent Labour governments and their attendant follies. It's also not clear who would pick up the tab for supporting the Scottish appetite for receiving all sorts of bennies at the expense of the government.

The Queen might lose a home or two should the Scots chuck it in, but the rest of the UK might just say "Good Riddance!"
AlephZero
#32
Sep10-14, 02:54 PM
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All the Scottish bleating about "government from "Westmiinster" is a bit rich, if you consider how many government ministers, and even prime ministers have been Scots. Blair was born and educated in Scotland, though he lost most of the accent somewhere along the way. His government was stuffed with Scots, e.g. Darling, Reid, Dewar, Falconer, and Brown (later prime minister) . Cameron isn't exactly an English name, either.

The "English" Labour party have most to lose form Scottish independence, since they have always been boosted by a high proportion of Scottish Labour MPs.

If the Scots vote yes, IMO all members for Scottish constituencies should be excluded from the Westminster parliament forthwith as a temporary measure, pending sorting out the legal situation before the scheduled 2015 general election.
Ken Natton
#33
Sep10-14, 04:31 PM
P: 272
As an Englishman, I do not align myself with the views expressed by either Steamking or AlephZero. I find it difficult to understand how either of them think that their comments are helpful. For my part, I think that what the UK seems to be headed for will be nothing short of tragedy. I am as sure as I can be that this is a decision that the whole of the UK, not just Scotland, will live to regret.
SteamKing
#34
Sep10-14, 07:54 PM
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Quote Quote by Ken Natton View Post
As an Englishman, I do not align myself with the views expressed by either Steamking or AlephZero. I find it difficult to understand how either of them think that their comments are helpful.
I'm not sure what a 'helpful' comment would mean on this issue.

The fact is, should Scotland vote for independence, there will be winners and losers as a result. The Scots in favor of independence might feel they are the winners if the vote goes their way, but events have a nasty habit of turning on people.

There are those who say that independent Scotland can live comfortably off of oil and gas revenue from the North Sea. There are others who say that the future may not be so rosy:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...resources.html

With oil and gas revenue from the North Sea in decline, and with the previous windfalls already spent, will an independent Scotland be a new Northern economic colossus, or a windswept economic basket case? Only time will tell for certain.
Ken Natton
#35
Sep11-14, 03:38 AM
P: 272
Quote Quote by SteamKing View Post
I'm not sure what a 'helpful' comment would mean on this issue.
Well, I am wholly with you on the questionability of the benefits to Scotland of independence. But it does seem clear that, at the very least part of the imperative for independence among the Scottish people is resentment at their perceived treatment by the English. I might like to try to argue that such a feeling is not justified and is more a question of their paranoia than of any actual circumstance. The kind of condescension you displayed in your previous post rather undermines that argument.

My real take on this is that it is not actually true to say that this is only a matter for the Scottish. This vote is going to have a profound effect on the whole of the UK but the vast majority of us have no say. If the whole of the UK was voting on whether to maintain the union or to break up into constituent parts, that would be a fair and democratic vote. But I do get the point that if the strong majority of Scottish people voted for independence, but they were denied that independence because the majority of UK citizens voted against it they would find that hard to take. But that does not change the point that it is a complete fallacy to suggest that this is a matter only for Scottish people. We are all going to have to live with the consequences of their persecution complex.
Zarqon
#36
Sep11-14, 03:43 AM
P: 231
There was a recent NY times editorial from Paul Krugman where he indicated he thought the scots would be clearly on the losing side of a split, at least economically. Here is the article.


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