Scottish Independence

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Well, the Scottish independence referendum is up for a vote on September 18.  I suspect that if the referendum supports independence that such a move will be an economic disaster for Scotland, combined with a socialist government whose economic forecasts seem to owe just as much to Groucho, Harpo and Chico as they do Karl.  Having said that I am all in favor of Scottish independence.  Why?

Depriving Labour of 63 Scottish MPs would probably ensure Tory government in England for the foreseeable future and that would be good for the US both in foreign policy and trade.

Socialists are completely dominant in Scotland and probably will be until they have total power to cause the type of disasters that socialists routinely bring about when they govern unchecked.

Scotland has bred since World War II generations who believe that a socialist utopia can exist in Scotland if it were not for malevolent forces south of the border preventing the building of paradise.  They view Mel Gibson’s Braveheart flick as a documentary. Time to put this myth to a test.  Vote Yes for Scottish independence if you have the misfortune to currently reside in the land of some of my ancestors.

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41 Comments

  1. Yes, It’s all the fault of the sassenachs.

    I had an uncle who was Scottish – came to NZ and married my aunt. He was from Edinborough – served in the Royal Engineers in WW2 and was a good bloke- died a year ago. But anyone south of the border in UK was still a sassenach. 🙂

  2. I suspect that if the referendum supports independence that such a move will be an economic disaster for Scotland, combined with a socialist government whose economic forecasts seem to owe just as much to Groucho, Harpo and Chico as they do Karl.

    The problem is not sovereignty per se, which has been conceded often enough in the post-war period without inducing economic disasters, but the dispositions of the Scottish National Party and the impulses behind it (many of which are puerile).

  3. I think deep down the Scottish National Party are pragmatists. If they achieve independence they will wake up to the economic realities, they will realise the price of independence. They will likely switch to being the party of big business interests. Salmond will try to lure foreign investment with the promises of an unregulated economy.

  4. Don the Kiwi
    “Sassanenach” (actually “Sasunnach”) means “Saxon” and, in the West Highland and the Islands, it is used indifferently to refer to English speakers, English and Lowland Scots alike.
    Matthew C
    The SNP are widely dubbed the “Tartan Tories.” Not a few people will support them until Independence and then vote for what they see as more radical alternatives.

  5. I shall be voting for independence
    1) If the UK want Trident nuclear missiles, I would prefer them to be based in the Severn, the Solent or the Thames, rather than the Gare Loch and Loch Long. For too long, Scots have been regarded as expendable.
    2) An independent Scotland is much less likely to involve itself in dubious foreign adventures, from Suez to Iraq and Afghanistan.
    3) There is a strong possibility that the UK, as presently constituted will leave the EU; an independent Scotland will certainly be a welcome member. I am a strong supporter of EU membership for personal reasons (it allows me to practice law in France as well as Scotland), as well as regarding it as good for Scotland.
    4) I do not want to be governed by a Tory government, especially with a neo-fascist party like UKIP, as the tail wagging the dog in a future coalition.

  6. “For too long, Scots have been regarded as expendable.”

    Balderdash. The threat of a conventional nuclear war is close to nil. If there were a nuclear war, the prime target in the British Isles would of course be London.

    “An independent Scotland is much less likely to involve itself in dubious foreign adventures, from Suez to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Considering the way that anti-semitism has taken hold in Left Scotland I would not discount the possibility of a Scottish government getting involved in the Middle East on the side of groups opposed to Israel.

    http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-blogs/social-justice-and-poverty/call-to-condemn-antisemitism

    “There is a strong possibility that the UK, as presently constituted will leave the EU; an independent Scotland will certainly be a welcome member.”

    Scottish nationalists and the bureaucrats in Brussels are definitely on the same wavelength of governments controlling every aspect of life.

    “I do not want to be governed by a Tory government”

    Unsurprising considering that Scotland is now going through a Leftist fever dream. Let us all know how Scotland feels once it wakes up.

  7. “Not a few people will support them until Independence and then vote for what they see as more radical alternatives.”

    Cattle thievery seems to be in the Scottish genetic makeup. It will be less popular I think once the Scots are reduced to picking each other’s pockets and the rich flee en masse south.

  8. Gosh, talk about believing brave heart being a documentary brings a wry smile. I have to say I saw a Brit documentary just last evening on public tv that told us partial and slanted info about Charles 1 and about Cromwell.
    A straightforward press, like an unbiased history seems impossible. The “U” part of the “UK” might never have really been true. Despite all the population sent along to effect that change.

  9. The Scots are a resilient and intelligent but damned hard-headed lot, as my namesake lineage will attest, back through Sarnia, Trenton (where there is still an “Aiken’s Road” out by the RCAF base) and so on, to the forbear who left Aberdeen in 1715, allegedly to avoid prosecution for piracy against the erstwhile un-unified English crown.
    .
    It is hoped that independence is gained and the spankings ensue immediately. Learning the hard way has ever been a great Scottish talent.

  10. Michael Paterson-Seymour does have a rather elliptical point about the Trident missiles.
    Most of the large Royal Navy bases are now in Scotland. There appears to be some sentiment in England that the Trident should be retired should Scotland secede. Most of this sentiment is being driven by the economics of moving the RN bases south, but there does seem to be an undercurrent that the English would rather have the missiles in Scotland than in England. A similar attitude can be found in the U.S., where New Yorkers love the U.S. Air Force – in Nevada.

  11. “Most of the large Royal Navy bases are now in Scotland.”
    Where they have been for a very long time. After 1904 France was no longer a potential enemy so the main naval base became Scapa Flow. In times of heightened tension the Tridents would not be in their bases but rather at sea. London would be a main target of a nuclear strike in any case against the British isles, no matter where the nukes are located. The main reason to attack Scotland would not be the subs but to take out the oil industry.

  12. As far as I can see, there are two or three serious reasons for voting for Scottish sovereignty.

    1. The country’s dimensions, settlement patterns, and general level of affluence are adequate. New Zealand functions passably (and now has a full set of domestic financial markets) with a population just north of 4 million, a key metropolis with a population of about 1.3 million, and without membership in any superordinate bodies. Scotland is more populous, more affluent (near the UK mean in domestic product per capita) and has an urban hierarchy which includes a key city just a shade smaller than Auckland (which would, in an American context, support a university hospital complex), a secondary center, and a half-dozen small cities. The country is overly dependent on oil and gas exports.

    2. A sovereign Scotland could craft an immigration policy in the interests of rank-and-file Scots, not in the interest of rent-seeker business groups, malicious political parties, malicious ethnic lobbies, or the social work industry.
    ==
    3. A sovereign Scotland could craft commercial and healthy and safety regulation better adapted to local concerns, craft better social policies and restructure the institutions of common provision.

    And what do you tell us, MPS? You want to stay in the repulsive EU, which would sabotage the second object and much of the third. (And, while we’re at it, the SNP are ‘tartan tories’ only if you fancy the Kirchners in Argentina are political soulmates of John Major).

  13. Art Deco wrote, “And what do you tell us, MPS? You want to stay in the repulsive EU, which would sabotage the second object and much of the third.”

    Quite a few Scots (including me) benefit from the free movement provisions of the Treaty of Rome. In addition, the Common Agricultural Policy benefits and will continue to benefit Scotland’s hill-farmers (of which I happen to be one).

    The population of Aukland is 1.42 m. The population of Glasgow (Scotland’s largest city) is 0.598 m and that of Edinburgh is 0.495 m) The total population of Scotland is 5.327 m, almost all of it concentrated in the Central Belt, from the Clyde to the Forth. The Highlands and Islands (two-thirds of the land area) contain 232,000 inhabitants, most of them in the two cities of Aberdeen and Inverness.

  14. Don, I don’t think that the English attitude has anything to do with an attack, for the very reasons you list. It’s money (“let’s put the NHS first!”) and fear of nuclear cooties (“oh no, they could drop a missile on the pier and a little plutonium might leak out!”). Yeah, I’m ridiculing nuclear concerns more than they deserve, they are valid concerns, but only up to a point.

    Art, very good points. However, could the Scots really be expected to stick with point #2? Even if they stayed out of the EU wouldn’t they in the end succumb to the importation of people to prop up the social net?

  15. MPS, you’re lost in the distinction between administrative city limits and the whole metropolitan settlement. Demographia puts the Glasgow metropolitan settlement at 1.182 million.

    As has been remarked in many other places, the welfare benefits of liberal trade regimes are real but small. Leaving the EU means you retreat from that tariff schedule to one characteristic of the EFTA states. Switzerland is in passable condition without EU trade preferences. Agribusiness subsidies are bad business bar to counter-act the effect of…other countries’ agribusiness subsidies. You can stop paying for the Brussels subsidies and pay for your own, or attempt to amend your tariff schedule to take account of other countries payments to farmers.

    Your real problems will be to get a Scottish central bank up and running, persuade the corporation operating the bourse in London to open up a Scottish subsidiary in Glasgow, adjust to the loss of service export revenue as the RBS group relocates its headquarters to London, work out a supervisory architecture with Clydesdale Bank &c regulating printing and distribution of pound notes, get a contract with the Royal Mint in Wales to issue Scottish coin; and work out a regulatory architecture for your banks, finance companies, trust companies, insurance companies, and securities firms (maybe just copying extant British legislation). You’ll need the co-operation of the British government and you’ll need to issue bonds to the Treasury in London to take your share of Britain’s public debt (which bonds they might insist be denominated in Sterling with an enhanced coupon). You might also need exchange controls for an interim period until the Pound Scots finds an equilibrium value against Sterling and the Euro and the U.S. Dollar. Then there’s the question of what standards have to be met for EU nationals to retain residency permissions…

  16. This could be really interesting and fun, if Franz, Duke of Bavaria, ascends to the Stuart throne, becomes monarch of Scotland, restores Scotland to the Church, and continues his tradition of dachshund parades on his birthday….there is no down side to this!

    As someone descended from both Scots (Alex Cruden) and Bavarians, I think this is good news!!

  17. Art Deco

    All parties accept that it will take some two years to finalise the arrangements leading u to formal independence.

    I expect an important part of those negotiations would be Scotland’s share of common assets and common debts.

    Scottish coins already circulate and the three issuing banks, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale and Royal Bank of Scotland already hold 100% reserves of Bank of England notes in their Issue Department to cover their note issue. There is no reason why there could not be an informal currency union, of the kind that existed between Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before the advent of the Euro. Re-joining the EU would probably require adoption of the Euro, a requirement for new member states, although a transitional period could be negotiated.

    I have no doubt that the French authorities will give favourable consideration to those Scottish citizens resident or working in France, who lose their EU citizenship as a result of independence – I own a pied-à-terre in the bd Raspail, near the Luxembourg Gardens, which the estate agent described as “a wonderful piece of old Paris, with a wealth of period features” and my Law Agent’s wife (the ex-Minister) as “somewhere Toulouse Lautrec might have stayed – when he was down on his luck.” I am sure the Faculty of Advocates and the barreau de Paris will come to some agreement about rights of audience, for those who already have them as agrégés. In fact, I see myself picking up a fair bit of work from Scottish ex-pats in France (my main client base there), who will want advice on their legal situation.

    Any Scottish government will support hill farmers, for ecological reasons, if no other. The moors need grazing. Anyway, like our Scottish Black-Face sheep, we are a hardy lot!

  18. Crusader

    At the gathering at Glenfinnan on 19 August 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard, the Highlanders, according to one report, “threw their bonnets in the air and huzza’d 3 different times, crying alowd long live K. James the 8, and Charles P. of Wales, prosperity to Scotld and no union.” Stirring stuff!

  19. Donald R McClarey wrote, “In times of heightened tension the Tridents would not be in their bases”

    And their stores and nuclear arsenal would be at Loch Long, about 50 miles from where I stay.

  20. ““threw their bonnets in the air and huzza’d 3 different times, crying alowd long live K. James the 8, and Charles P. of Wales, prosperity to Scotld and no union.” Stirring stuff!”

    Which went down to abysmal defeat, largely with the help of Lowland Scots who sided with the English. Stirring stuff indeed.

  21. MPS wrote: “1) If the UK want Trident nuclear missiles, I would prefer them to be based in the Severn, the Solent or the Thames, rather than the Gare Loch and Loch Long. For too long, Scots have been regarded as expendable.”
    .
    If MPS does not want Trident nuclear submarines, then MPS is not entitled to the protection that their deterrent capability provides. Nor for that matter are the Scots if that too is their wish. But being socialist, their affinity for communist China and ex-KGB agent Putin would be entirely understandable.
    .
    Signed,
    .
    Paul Primavera
    Former United States Nuclear Submarine Sailor

  22. I agree that the indepence of Scottland shouldt be purely based on romantic sentiments and a sortal own impression of history , but who wants to move to segregation does it at least without war now , and the balance between centralisation and decentralisation is still not made as how everyone wants it , so in that prespective I find it interesting think any decesion rissing from this refferendum shouldt go on , and might be tollerable with England it’s stand towards participation to the Europian Union , and hopefully a bordercontrol and costums will not follow from it but new ideas to work on the co-opperative collaborations with still the lovely stereotyping culturale’s I wish Scottland the best and what decision I can not decide as a Dutch but also proud Groninger sometimes realy dissapointed not by Kingdoms but egocentric politics !

  23. Damm hopefully my first comment did get trough mediation , but a not is what went missing in the first sentence of what I wrote my excuse only for that , and hopefully right under it .

  24. Scottish coins already circulate and the three issuing banks, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale and Royal Bank of Scotland already hold 100% reserves of Bank of England notes in their Issue Department to cover their note issue. There is no reason why there could not be an informal currency union, of the kind that existed between Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before the advent of the Euro.

    First Minister Juan Domingo Salmond fancies you’ll all retain the Sterling and the British government refuses to co-operate. You’d best go to plan B which means those three banks are franchiseurs in lieu of a public printing and engraving plant. It should be evident at this point that the Euro is poison.

    Sorry about your condo in Paris, but I’ll wager the frogs’ll steal it from you pour encourager les autres.

  25. If MPS does not want Trident nuclear submarines,

    Striking the same attitudes, just like New Zealand ca. 1985. I wonder of Salmond is planning on dumping his wife if favor of his secretary the way David Lange did.

    Col. Salmond supposedly entertains notions in his head that he should be another ‘soft-power’ pest in the mold of Olof Palme and Pierre Elliot Trudeau instead of doing the sensible thing and contracting with the British Foreign Office to provide diplomatic and consular services most places, maintaining legations in Scotland’s 30 or so principal trading partners, and staying out of the most obtrusive international organizations because they’re rotten to the core.

  26. Apart from Faslane, there are no major naval bases in Scotland; the main RN bases are at Portsmouth and Plymouth (Devonport). Alex Salmond sees Faslane as the base for his proposed Scottish Defence Force which he claims will safeguard jobs there. However, the MoD has no plans to relocate the SSBNs and any attempt to do so would be resisted by NATO (to which the British deterrent is committed and which Salmond says he wants to join) and by the United States. So they’re not going anywhere.

    Similarly, the army component which (apart from the Scots Guards, stationed in England and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, stationed in Germany) consists of four regular battalions (the fifth is only maintained at company strength) and two territorial battalions is part of the British army and will remain so, not least because the officers and soldiers would be unlikely to transfer their allegiance to another flag and be relegated to the status of a Home Guard. The RN and RAF will certainly not transfer any of their assets, so Salmond will be recruiting from scratch, and for some years now it has been difficult to recruit in Scotland.

    An independent Scotland will not get UK defence contracts or be party to shared US/UK intelligence.

    The Labour Party has brought a lot of this upon itself but if it is returned to power next year after a ‘Yes’ vote (as well it might, since Cameron’s credibility will have been seriously undermined, and until 2020 it will still have the Scottish MPs) it will be less conciliatory to the SNP than the Tories would be. I can see it getting nasty.
    Most Scots with skills and talent will no doubt come to England, leaving the rest more welfare-dependent than ever.

    Meanwhile both major Parties are desperately trying to bribe the Scots to stay in the Union (using English taxpayers’ money, of course).

  27. Most Scots with skills and talent will no doubt come to England, leaving the rest more welfare-dependent than ever.

    Most with ‘skills and talent’? You foresee an entire population of unskilled labor and welfare dependents? Is that minimally plausible?

    For the record, gross value added per capita in Scotland hugs the national mean, as does labor-force participation, unemployment rates, and worker productivity indices. Public sector employment is somewhat hypertrophied and extractive industries are more consequential than you’d prefer (if you’re prudent).

  28. Donald R McClarey wrote, “Which went down to abysmal defeat, largely with the help of Lowland Scots who sided with the English. Stirring stuff indeed.”

    The national spirit is, perhaps, best summed up by the war memorial in Glasgow’s Broomilaw, where so many members of the International Brigade embarked; because, for many Scots, the war against fascism began, not in 1939 or 1941, but on 17 July 1936.

    Topped with Arthur Dooley’s bronze statue of La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibárruri), it bears the inscription, “better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.”

    http://womenofscotland.org.uk/sites/default/files/2012/04/68023905030278ed869cb.jpg

    It is the spirit that survived undaunted the defeats of Flodden, Pinkie Cleugh, Killiecrankie, Sheriffmuir and Culloden.

  29. ‘… for many Scots, the war against fascism began, not in 1939 or 1941, but on 17 July 1936’. More delusional thinking. The Spanish Civil War was exactly that, and needs to be understood in the context of Spanish history, not viewed through the distorting lens of 1930s ideologies. It was no more a war against fascism than it was a war against communism. By 1936 Stalinist terror was at its height and had already accounted for millions, whereas Hitler had barely started and Mussolini was hardly one of the 20th century’s mass murderers. Yet the intellectual Left fell over themselves to lick Stalin’s boots.

    Nor was Franco strictly speaking a fascist. Ironically 1939, which saw the end of the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of World War II, also saw the two totalitarian ideologies allied with one another.

    It is true that of the 20-odd battles fought between the English and Scots between 1066 and 1746 most resulted in the defeat of the latter, but then most took place on English soil. By the way, in his list of glorious failures, MPS omits one of the most important, that of Dunbar (3 September 1650).

  30. “many Scots, the war against fascism began, not in 1939 or 1941, but on 17 July 1936.”

    That is understandable. Murdering thousands of Catholic priests, brothers, nuns and bishops would have been popular on both the Scottish far Left and among the extreme anti-Catholic bigots that, alas, have never been in short supply in Scotland since the Reformation.

  31. La Pasionaria in her autobiography wrote of her visit to Moscow in the early 30’s “To me, who saw it through the eyes of the soul, it was the most wonderful city on earth. The construction of socialism was being managed from it. In it were taking shape the earthly dreams of freedom of generations of slaves, outcasts, serfs, proletarians. From it one could take in and perceive the march of humanity toward communism.”

    She wrote this while Gulags were being errected and the Stalin-made famine in Ukraine was taking place.

    Now maybe MPS should have comments about La Pasionaria on the “Evil on the March” thread rather than here.

  32. Topped with Arthur Dooley’s bronze statue of La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibárruri), it bears the inscription, “better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.”

    Why do you have a statue of a Stalinist hag in Glasgow? Shouldn’t that be toppled and sent to the scrapyard?

  33. MPS seems to be a fellow-traveller who would have visited the Soviet Union with the Webbs and enthused about it (ignoring the starving people on railway platforms) and then ostracized Malcolm Muggeridge for reporting the truth. His opinion of Bonaparte reveals his lick-spittle adulation of tyrants. I notice he claims to practise law, and yet is not listed by either the Scottish Law Society or the Scottish Bar. He also claims to be a Scottish hill-farmer and (improbably) a Catholic.

    I would ask him to reveal his true credentials. I am quite prepared to reveal mine, but I must confess I have had my suspicions about his bona fides for some time.

  34. I would ask him to reveal his true credentials.

    The point of using a pseudonym is to restrict the discussion to issues and not discuss yourself. (Ancestry.com draws on British sources as well as North American ones and finds no example of that surname).

  35. Not so. Pseudonymous commentators do discuss themselves. From this thread alone I know more about MPS than he does about me, assuming of course that he is telling the truth. And I don’t hide my identity. Everyone knew who Lewis Carroll and mark Twain were.

  36. Not so. Pseudonymous commentators do discuss themselves.

    No, they discuss fragments about themselves which are not identified with a particular person. I assume from his fragments that he’s retired. There are only about 10 working barristers in Scotland admitted prior to 1975 if you’re all that curious.

  37. “Apart from Faslane, there are no major naval bases in Scotland”
    Well, to quibble, the former Royal Naval Dockyard Rosyth is no longer owned by the government, but it still does all of the refits and decommissioning of Britain’s nuclear subs and is the construction site for the new carriers. The Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment is still operating – for now – in the north of Scotland. Neither should be considered to be not major, especially in regard to their support for the submarine fleet.

  38. Don’s point about sectarianism is a good one. Twenty years ago an intelligent and well-informed Scotsman told me it lurked just beneath the surface and in an independent Scotland would come to the fore. The eminent (Catholic) composer James MacMillan has said much the same thing. Most of the Orangemen in Northern Ireland are descended from Scottish protestants who emigrated there in the 19th century to work in the mills and shipyards. With the possible exception of Liverpool, with its Scots-Irish population, England (which has ten times the population of Scotland) is markedly non-sectarian.

  39. So far from lurking just beneath the surface, sectarianism is on prominent public display in the “Old Firm games” or soccer matches between Rangers (Protestant) and Celtic (Catholic). Witness the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 enacted by the SNP government and which Labour in Scotland is pledged to repeal.

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