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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 00:43   #1
All Systems Go
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the Union Forever?

today is the 300th anniversery of the union which saw the formation of Great Britain. there have been a lot of calls for Scottish independance (mostly from the SNP, which the BBC seems to give disproportionally large coverage) and apparantly a growing number of the English want to cut out the 'parasite'.

Being Welsh I don't really care about nationalistic arguments. Personally, I am opposed to the breaking up of the UK (although not particularly where N. Ireland is concerned) as I do not see any real benefits to it.

What do the Scottish (plural?) here think about the Union and would they (he?) like to see it abolished or maintained?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 01:17   #2
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Re: the Union Forever?

I'm Welsh and I wouldn't support the breaking up of the UK, I see myself as Welsh first but also British and European. The nationalistic arguments seem silly and there doesn't really seem to be a huge economic/political advantage to Wales breaking away, besides most of our politicians are incompetent and off knobbing teenage Romanians.

I hope the they hold a referendum and the SNP is soundly thrashed and never speak of it again like Bloc Québécois in the 1990s.

My question is do Scottish people really see themselves as that different to people born in Essex or Swansea ? After 300 years of the union with the world increasingly becoming smaller and more integrated it seems an odd time to bring it up.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 01:20   #3
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Re: the Union Forever?

Sorry, but i dont feel british, and nothing anyone can do or say will change my mind.

Probably stems from my complete and utter rejection of and my distaste for Britain's history, and current foreign policy.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 02:01   #4
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Re: the Union Forever?

I'm not sure what Scotland hopes to gain out of becoming independent.

Sure, it might have been realistic when they could have claimed the North Sea and the oil there as "theirs", but what do they really hope for by becoming independent, now it's pretty much exhausted? How is it supposed to improve the average Scot's life?

It's also hilarious (and yet not at all) how, in a period of time such as this where harmony and cooperation is encouraged across the world with the EU and transport links such as the Channel Tunnel, how the ****ing Scottish are fighting against something which was worked perfectly well for 300 years.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 02:05   #5
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Re: the Union Forever?

Id say the introduction of concentration camps, the toleration of hitler, imperialism, colonialism, the derailing of the european project and tagging on to America's oil wars has worked brilliantly!
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 02:10   #6
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Re: the Union Forever?

Just to be clear, i dont absolve Scotland of blame in any of the above - not that 'Scotland' is or was in any position to object.

Nor do i presume 'Scotland' to be some sort of utopian state that wouldnt act scandalously in the name of self interest.

However, whether people like it or not, the truth is the center ground in Scotland is considerably left of the center ground in Britain as a whole. Scotland as an independant country wouldnt have gone to war with America in Iraq, is a pretty prominent example.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 02:29   #7
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Re: the Union Forever?

I think the people of Scotland were in a position to object to some of the crimes that you listed. Many of those have occurred during a time of considerable political freedom yet I've rarely seen Scottish people out in force protesting against them despite making up a disproportionately large amount of the armed forces.

Scotland as an independent country wouldn't have had the capacity to go to war with Iraq, it would be about as relevant as New Zealand (England wouldn't be much better placed). I also think that it's impossible to make any predictions about how Scotland would have responded to the Iraq war had it been independent, I don't think anyone can say make up of Scotland would have evolved had it not been part of the Union or been granted independence at a much earlier date.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 02:34   #8
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
However, whether people like it or not, the truth is the center ground in Scotland is considerably left of the center ground in Britain as a whole. Scotland as an independant country wouldnt have gone to war with America in Iraq, is a pretty prominent example.
I'm sure they'd be sorely missed too.

Where exactly would this Scottish Army be based and trained?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 02:55   #9
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Re: the Union Forever?

The politics of nationalism are absurd, and anyone who thinks arbitary geographic location within a country absolves or condemns them of whatever their country did is an idiot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
Id say the introduction of concentration camps, the toleration of hitler, imperialism, colonialism, the derailing of the european project and tagging on to America's oil wars has worked brilliantly!
London, certain parts of the thames valley, Birmingham and Cornwall didn't have anything to do with that.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 03:08   #10
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat
I'm sure they'd be sorely missed too.

Where exactly would this Scottish Army be based and trained?
What a typical english attitude.

Without being dragged into british wars, there would be less scope for an extensive scottish army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hicks
I think the people of Scotland were in a position to object to some of the crimes that you listed.


Scotland as an independent country wouldn't have had the capacity to go to war with Iraq, it would be about as relevant as New Zealand .
a/ im talking as an independant political unit outwith westminister

b/ brilliant. If relevance means power projection, then im happy to be irrelevant

Quote:
Originally Posted by milo
The politics of nationalism are absurd, and anyone who thinks arbitary geographic location within a country absolves or condemns them of whatever their country did is an idiot.




London, certain parts of the thames valley, Birmingham and Cornwall didn't have anything to do with that.
Im trying to describe my distaste for Britain without hailing Scots as the master race, but the english get pretty pissy when you try and do that. Nationalists are pretty bad, but i dont see why pro-unionists who are nationalists in their own right should be excluded from this.

Also, what?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 03:12   #11
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Re: the Union Forever?

I'm highly in favour of the union remaining, with devolution revoked and a return to the days of the Scottish office, simply because it's simple, avoids constitutional confusion and wastes less money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
However, whether people like it or not, the truth is the center ground in Scotland is considerably left of the center ground in Britain as a whole. Scotland as an independant country wouldnt have gone to war with America in Iraq, is a pretty prominent example.
This is absurd. Just because Britain votes in absurd right wing governments, doesn't mean the Scottish can't vote in equally absurd left wing ones, like that libdem/labour coalition you have. Crap governments are crap governments whatever wing they are on.

Talk of Independence/devolution from my point of view is just a gimmick to gain votes by playing on nationalism, and nothing more. Ultimately it's a move that would be utterly counterproductive for both sides of the border, probably less so for England economically but more so on the international stage. Scotland would probably come out the better of the two if I had to make a choice.

The fact that labour even allowed the suggestion of devolution in the first place is scandalous.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 03:34   #12
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Re: the Union Forever?

Im somewhat indifferent to nationalisation. I do think however that if the majority of the population votes for it - it should happen. thats the point in having a vote after all, right? to do what the populace wants

Improved devolution is something i do want though. A seperate english, welsh, N.I and scottish parliament which vote on issues which solely affect those countries. there is no sense in scottish MPs being allowed to vote on things which will not affect scotland. Issues which affect britain as a whole should be voted on as normal in westminster.
I think the main reason brown is so opposed to scottish independance is that he would lose the right to vote on issues in england - and as the prospective leader of the labour party this is somewhat embarassing. Furthermore without the scottish labour votes he might have a hard time pushing anything through.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 03:37   #13
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Re: the Union Forever?

Labour policy bites Labour in the arse

Who would have thought FFS
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 03:43   #14
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
Im trying to describe my distaste for Britain without hailing Scots as the master race, but the english get pretty pissy when you try and do that. Nationalists are pretty bad, but i dont see why pro-unionists who are nationalists in their own right should be excluded from this.

Nationalism isn't about being the master race, just being 'unique' and wanting/pointing/declaring the differences between 'you' and 'them', you want to seperate your problems with history with your love for your geographic area, despite that area being an intrinsic part of said history.


Quote:
Also, what?
I thought it was rather obvious
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 04:02   #15
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Re: the Union Forever?

If you don't agree with your nation's foreign policy form your own nation! It's all about small vaguely defined groups getting what they want. God knows we need more of that in politics today.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 04:09   #16
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
If you don't agree with your nation's foreign policy form your own nation! It's all about small vaguely defined groups getting what they want. God knows we need more of that in politics today.
I'm becoming my own nation state.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 04:29   #17
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Re: the Union Forever?

I herby declare war on your nation state lokken, your fists of fury have been a threat to world peace for long enough.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 06:57   #18
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Re: the Union Forever?

The legitimate argument for Scottish independence isn't about foreign policy, it isn't about economics, and it isn't really about representation. It's about self-identification, which does not mean nationalism. Deffeh, for instance, sees himself exclusively as a Scot, and not as part of Britain. Presently, he is compelled to 'be' British, legally and through regularly supplied and moderately harmless propaganda, although this is not something he takes pride in. Were he alone in wishing to resolve this situation through independence it would be time to reach for a small violin. However, given that this is the will of an apparent majority, Westminster is presently withholding the right to self-determination. The same could be said of Wales, Cornwall and so forth if a majority came to wish for independence.


The point about Scotland being to the left of England is facetious though; you may note that there's no 'Scotland and Tyne & Wear' independence movement.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 07:12   #19
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Re: the Union Forever?

Self-determination in terms of geographically based groups is a confused idea which does not hold up*. The question of where and how boundary lines are drawn within which groups exist which can self-determine is nonsensical. Self determination is an individual concept which does not involve others. Deffeh saying he's scottish means he identifies himself as part of a cultural heritage, person X saying he's british means he lives in the nation-state commonly identified as Britain (among other possibilities).


*You can pretty much see this from how the words actually conflict. Decisions you make can't retroactively decide upon pre-existing boundaries. It's circular logic.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 08:40   #20
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Re: the Union Forever?

The reason the bbc is giving it major coverage is because the Labour Party are TERRIFIED of it happening.

Two high level, high profile ministers commenting on it in one week is like a large neon arrow pointing at the story.

And why are these two ministers and their whole party so worried?

... it isn't because unwashed depressives on prescription drugs in Scotland like to say stupid things pretending that an independant scotland would make their life have a point ...

Oooooooooooooh no.

It's because Labour can't win an election without Scotland.

If the union falls apart (which incidentally it's not going to, but the politicians are so worried that their stress is palpable) then England becomes a one party state.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 08:45   #21
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Re: the Union Forever?

On the issue of an 'english parliament' I hope and trust that English people have more sense.

I've read the full newsnight poll and the much publicised question is quite misleadingly phrased. also the rest of the poll questions make it quite obvious that the majority in all 3 countries taking part of the poll do not support breaking up the union (a point not mentioned).

The reason an english parliament is a bad and silly idea is quite simple - it will cost a lot of money. It would require heroic levels of collective irrationality for such a proposition to win a referendum.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 08:55   #22
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Re: the Union Forever?

The Scots traditionally have a more independant mind set, i surmise the whole hadrians wall has something to do with it, along with their monarchy surviving longer, and a clan mind set, their better and longer friendly connections with the french and historically a bit more independant history than other sections of the UK. (i'm ignoring Ireland in that, synopsis)

Now dont get me wrong, i find nothing wrong with that, pride in your culture and history is good, it gives u a sense of belonging and empowerment.
And if i firmly believed that Scotland and Wales were better off without being in the UK, i'd parade up the streets with them in their defence, but i dont, on some points they would be, but on a majority they would not.

(On the Irish issue i dont believe we should still be there and a united Irish Nation would be the best thing for them )
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 09:11   #23
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
The reason an english parliament is a bad and silly idea is quite simple - it will cost a lot of money. It would require heroic levels of collective irrationality for such a proposition to win a referendum.
Why would it cost more money then is already spent on politics?
For scottish issues, scots mps vote in the ( traversty ) scottish parliament building. for english issues, english mps vote in westminster ,etc
Surely it costs roughly the same for them all to be voting in the same place on issues , Its not like you would need a special building for them
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 10:10   #24
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Re: the Union Forever?

This has all flared up because of the constitutional anomaly whereby the entire Westminster parliament (including Scots and Welsh) can vote on issues of, say, health or education, when the policy decided upon would only apply to England (and would only apply in Scotland or Wales if voted for by their own parliament/assembly). This seems to be somewhat unfair.

The answer to the constitutional question is, in my opinion, fairly simple. Westminster needs to give up its role in health, education and other similar policy areas. It has already done this in Scotland and Wales, and could do so in England by devolving such powers down to local government (in a perfect fantasy world, we would also reinstitute the county system of local government and have basically self-governing counties so far as health/education/etc. was concerned).

Departments like Health and Education are, in fact, only fairly recent inventions (in the grand scheme of things) and don't fulfil any vital constitutional function. Local control over services makes vastly more sense than trying to run things from Westminster/Whitehall anyway.

Bingo, West Lothian question answered, because we would never get (as we do now) Scots MPs voting on, say, 'British' health issues which in fact only affect England. If Westminster was only responsible for truly Britain-wide issues such as defence, law and order and the like, there would be no grounds for complaint.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 10:34   #25
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
I've read the full newsnight poll and the much publicised question is quite misleadingly phrased. also the rest of the poll questions make it quite obvious that the majority in all 3 countries taking part of the poll do not support breaking up the union (a point not mentioned).
It was mentioned in everything I've read/seen/heard on the matter.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6264823.stm

Quote:
More people in Scotland wanted the Union to remain rather than break up, Newsnight found
...
In England, nearly a quarter - 24% - thought they would lose out and another quarter (25%) thought they would benefit. Another 44% thought it would make no difference.

Many more people in Scotland thought they would do worse out of separation (37%), while 31% though they would be better off.

The poll also found that 73% of people in England and 56% of those in Scotland wanted things to remain the way they were.

In Wales, 49% thought they would be worse off if the Union dissolved. Only 14% thought they would gain.
It all depends on how you ask the question to Scottish people.

If you ask them whether they want independance then they say yes.
If you ask them whether they want to break up the union then they say no.

I think it was Midge5 who pointed out what a joke the Welsh Assembly is as only 560,000 people voted for it in any case.
(details here)


What noone here has mentioned either is the very amusing story that the French PM proposed a union between France and the UK.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 11:47   #26
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Re: the Union Forever?

I suspect the Union will be a less important issue in the long term, given further EU integration (which seems likely) and likely demographic changes over the next fifty or so years.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 12:57   #27
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistwraith
(On the Irish issue i dont believe we should still be there and a united Irish Nation would be the best thing for them )
I don't really think so. Northern Ireland and it's people have been so ****ed over for so long that there is little left but a chaotic, bitter and resentful populace. This is the kind of damage that will take decades, at the least, to heal.

In 1998 the Irish people washed their hands of the problem and voted overwhelmingly (c. 95%) that they wanted nothing more to do with it. I suppose a lot of that is greed. We are currently a very wealthy nation by anyone's standards but despite this we simply cannot afford the level of investment that is required to run the place. I believe the figure is about £40 billion per annum.

So you guys can keep it. Or give it to Scotland and they can be "independent" together. It won't matter when we all join the Federated States of Europe in 20 years time anyway.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:22   #28
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeRob
Bingo, West Lothian question answered, because we would never get (as we do now) Scots MPs voting on, say, 'British' health issues which in fact only affect England. If Westminster was only responsible for truly Britain-wide issues such as defence, law and order and the like, there would be no grounds for complaint.
You just read this didn't you?:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...991978,00.html
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:28   #29
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
If you don't agree with your nation's foreign policy form your own nation! It's all about small vaguely defined groups getting what they want. God knows we need more of that in politics today.
No, what we need is more groups of people being completely ignored by their representative body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lokken
This is absurd. Just because Britain votes in absurd right wing governments, doesn't mean the Scottish can't vote in equally absurd left wing ones, like that libdem/labour coalition you have. Crap governments are crap governments whatever wing they are on.
Entirely true. But i'll take my chances with a crap left wing government rather than a crap right wing government. Its called democracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phang
Other stuff, and...

The point about Scotland being to the left of England is facetious though; you may note that there's no 'Scotland and Tyne & Wear' independence movement.
Yes, the self-identification issue is a big one, i started off by saying i dont feel British. Thats simply because Britain has failed to encompass the Scottish identity in 300 years, from my point of view and from the point of view of others.

However im treading carefully, because i see myself as an internationalist rather than a nationalist. But each country's political culture is different and for me at any rate is a significant part of what it means to be part of a nation. I very much doubt i would feel as strongly Scottish rather than British, for example, if there was a left-wing government i could identify with in london, and a tory government in holyrood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
I suspect the Union will be a less important issue in the long term, given further EU integration (which seems likely) and likely demographic changes over the next fifty or so years.
EU integration is definitely favourable (though we can argue all day about what course the EU should take). But again, Britain is the problem in Europe as it is in so many other areas.

To clarify my position, i would be in favour of a Scotland outwith the Union of Great Britain, integrated fuller, and deeper, in the European union - with the English and the Welsh.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:32   #30
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Re: the Union Forever?

Also stating my preference for smaller nation states as a norm, especially those with benign national interests such as Scotland.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:32   #31
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
Thats simply because Britain has failed to encompass the Scottish identity in 300 years, from my point of view and from the point of view of others.
What do you mean by this and how has it failed to do this?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:34   #32
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Deffeh
Also stating my preference for smaller nation states as a norm, especially those with benign national interests such as Scotland.
Only benign as you're under the wing of bigger nations who do the dirty work.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:39   #33
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Deffeh
Also stating my preference for smaller nation states as a norm, especially those with benign national interests such as Scotland.

Since this is about fairly arbitary tub-thumping, its worth pointing out a fairly important reason for the union was william paterson practically bankrupting you whilst trying to set up a colony, your interests were only benign within britain, not before.

And what do you mean by small?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:40   #34
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Re: the Union Forever?

Im not dignifying either (ASG) troll with a proper response.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:43   #35
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Deffeh
Im not dignifying either (ASG) troll with a proper response.
I'm deadly serious, paticularly with point one. I've no idea what you mean. Do you want the Queen to wear a kilt or something?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:45   #36
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by milo
Since this is about fairly arbitary tub-thumping, its worth pointing out a fairly important reason for the union was william paterson practically bankrupting you whilst trying to set up a colony, your interests were only benign within britain, not before.

And what do you mean by small?
Im not sure 300 years ago's politics hold much relevance over Scotland's foreign policy in 2007, so thats a dead line of argument.

Im also not getting into a ridiculous argument about semantics about the word 'small'. Obviously, as you well realise, im hinting about the lack of accountability in politics and democracy, and making a reasonable claim that smaller bureaucracy results in less corruption and better representation
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:46   #37
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Deffeh
EU integration is definitely favourable (though we can argue all day about what course the EU should take). But again, Britain is the problem in Europe as it is in so many other areas.
Well, if we're talking about being within a bigger EU "state" then we can approach the question differently. An "independent" Scotland within a fully integrated EU would have no independent foriegn, defence or immigration policy. Currency matters would be handled by the Central Bank and a lot of the more technical issues (e.g. consumer protection, regulatory standards in business & industry) would be a European affair. Given that, do we even need a state as big as Scotland? Perhaps you might have a Scottish group of MEPs, but why not more administrative affairs being dealt with by more local bodies? Why not a range of different bodies acting at different levels?

For instance, I can think of numerous issues which (for myself) are dealt with best by a London-wide authority. I don't want to have to buy different travelcards because I'm crossing over the Lambeth-Southwark border in the morning. But then housing and planning issues might have more of a local input. There's no reason I can think of off-hand why street-lighting would need input from London's townhall, for instance.

There is obviously some sort of Scottish cultural identity, but administratively would the Highlanders be best served by a Glasgow/Edinburgh dominated authority? What would a Scottish statelet actually do?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:56   #38
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Deffeh
Im not sure 300 years ago's politics hold much relevance over Scotland's foreign policy in 2007, so thats a dead line of argument.

It holds a relevance if you want scotland 'absolved' or 'condemned' by what happened in the last 300 years, if scotland's empire building had suceeded its history would be as tainted as that of britain. The scots, and the english formed an empire and did all those things of which you are not proud through britain. Since they all actively took part in what occured it seems fairly pointless to hold up an 'ideal' of those nations and say somehow the nations weren't to blame.

To put it another way, if scotland leaves the union and becomes 'fully integated' in the EU (whatever that means) and in doing so influences the EU to 'commit wrongs' it would be fairly nonsensical for scottish nationalists to then turn around and say it wasn't scotlands fault. Be independant if you wish, but the history of britain is scotlands history, with scotlands participation. I don't turn away from that history but rather accept it and learn from it, trying to absolve scotland by distancing it from what it helped do is shallow patriotism.

Quote:
Im also not getting into a ridiculous argument about semantics about the word 'small'. Obviously, as you well realise, im hinting about the lack of accountability in politics and democracy, and making a reasonable claim that smaller bureaucracy results in less corruption and better representation

Defining what you mean by small is quite important mang, if open border policies of an integrated scotland in the EU allowed, say 30 million immigrants into scotland the 'relative distance' from your political system (however you're measuring that) would be increased.

You aren't implementing any new ideas for making politics more accountable.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:57   #39
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Deffeh
No, what we need is more groups of people being completely ignored by their representative body.
If 110% of all people in the UK wanted the government to focus, to the detriment of anything else, on researching faster than light travel I still don't think they should do it.


Smaller nation states aren't necessarily benign. Smaller nation states are also easier to coerce.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 13:59   #40
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Re: the Union Forever?

This is basically the complicated nature of the dual and not neccesarily mutually compatible ideas of devolving and decentralising power, and pooling sovereignity where its mutually beneficial.

Of course you are right, bringing up the Highlands / Glasgow&Eburg thing. If you talk to phang, you'll find quite a lot of his time is spent lamenting the 'west coast media' in Scotland. As far as im concerned, local issues can be best dealt with at a local level. Im not sure theres actually anything i disagree with you on here. Im probably missing something, but feel free to probe away.

My issue is partly that i feel more comfortable with power being devolved to Brussels, than to London. I dont agree with british power projection, or with the bandwagoning behind America. For Scotland - a country with no real international disputes, and no need for military projection or to sustain a military presence anywhere - a situation where sovereignty is pooled in a multipolar institution is much preferrable than one where its invested in an ex imperial power, with all the things that come with that.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:09   #41
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by milo
It holds a relevance if you want scotland 'absolved' or 'condemned' by what happened in the last 300 years, if scotland's empire building had suceeded its history would be as tainted as that of britain. The scots, and the english formed an empire and did all those things of which you are not proud through britain. Since they all actively took part in what occured it seems fairly pointless to hold up an 'ideal' of those nations and say somehow the nations weren't to blame.

To put it another way, if scotland leaves the union and becomes 'fully integated' in the EU (whatever that means) and in doing so influences the EU to 'commit wrongs' it would be fairly nonsensical for scottish nationalists to then turn around and say it wasn't scotlands fault. Be independant if you wish, but the history of britain is scotlands history, with scotlands participation. I don't turn away from that history but rather accept it and learn from it, trying to absolve scotland by distancing it from what it helped do is shallow patriotism.




Defining what you mean by small is quite important mang, if open border policies of an integrated scotland in the EU allowed, say 30 million immigrants into scotland the 'relative distance' from your political system (however you're measuring that) would be increased.

You aren't implementing any new ideas for making politics more accountable.
My third post i said ' i dont absolve scotland of any of the above '. And then i went to suggest that all nation states would act horrendously. But you didnt read either, so i suppose thats alright. To focus on the future, rather than the past, we can expect Britain to enter into many more neo-imperial wars at the behest of the Americans, whereas i cant see Scotland having the desire in international terms, nor the capability to be obligated to do so.

I wont be accused of shallow patriotism when what you are basically advocating is 'take the good with the bad and like it or lump it'. Looking forward rather than back, what international benefits does Scotland get from being associated with Britain?

When did i say open border politics? And what bizarre world are you living in where Scotland would seek to increase its population by 600%?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
If 110% of all people in the UK wanted the government to focus, to the detriment of anything else, on researching faster than light travel I still don't think they should do it.


Smaller nation states aren't necessarily benign. Smaller nation states are also easier to coerce.
ridiculous examples dont excuse a government of being representative, unless you are advocating pragmatic fascism.

I didnt say they all were benign, but short of a full scale war with Norway happening over fishery disputes, i hardly see Scotland as a Serbia.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:09   #42
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
If 110% of all people in the UK wanted the government to focus, to the detriment of anything else, on researching faster than light travel I still don't think they should do it.
Erm...yeah, but that's not really an argument against more representative states. States which aren't representative of their citizens are probably more likely to undertake policies damaging to their population (or damaging to freedom or the general good or whatever). More democratic governments might tend towards mob-rule from time to time, but in general I'd bet on those against a less-democratic regime*.
Quote:
Smaller nation states aren't necessarily benign. Smaller nation states are also easier to coerce.
Absolutley. This is one of the arguments people have used about the United States (and arguably EU) foriegn policy in recent years. Pushing self-determination abroad (to create ever tinier states - the obvious example being the Balkans) who will be be easier to push around. In this case though, I doubt that applies here though - Northern Europe is hardly the world's whipping boy quite yet.

* = Obviously I'm talking about a government with a constitutional framework of some description.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:17   #43
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Re: the Union Forever?

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Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Erm...yeah, but that's not really an argument against more representative states. States which aren't representative of their citizens are probably more likely to undertake policies damaging to their population (or damaging to freedom or the general good or whatever). More democratic governments might tend towards mob-rule from time to time, but in general I'd bet on those against a less-democratic regime*.
Indeed but then we're back to questions over how states should be decided upon. Banging on about self-determination is missing the point. States which don't fear their citizens are probably more likely to undertake policies damaging to them. As V says people shouldn't fear their governments, governments should fear their people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
ridiculous examples dont excuse a government of being representative, unless you are advocating pragmatic fascism.
Lord no, I advocate anarcho-absurdism.

Quote:
I didnt say they all were benign, but short of a full scale war with Norway happening over fishery disputes, i hardly see Scotland as a Serbia.
In terms of "real" interests, those of Scotland and England are hardly worlds apart.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:24   #44
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Re: the Union Forever?

Im not sure if i agree with that. Blair came out this week and said that it would be a 'disaster' if Britain ever withdrew its worldwide military presence. Were Scotland to be independant, i dont think sustaining troops in the Middle East would be high up the Scottish agenda
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:31   #45
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Re: the Union Forever?

I think you have to recognise here that English interests aren't exactly being perfectly represented in the UK parliament. The fact that the people don't want something doesn't prevent the government from doing it anyways. Tony Blair had a moderately well-known speech in which he acknowledged this and claimed it was a good thing I believe.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:46   #46
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
I didnt say they all were benign, but short of a full scale war with Norway happening over fishery disputes, i hardly see Scotland as a Serbia.
Let's not forget the Cod Wars with Iceland.
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 14:51   #47
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Re: the Union Forever?

The only reason Scottish independence has had so much press recently is because its a world cup year. Expect talk about it to disappear over the next year or so, and come back again in the months around the next European championship. Its almost entirely a football issue, and gets raised periodically at 4 year intervals, lasts a couple of months, and gets forgetten again.

The reasons most people give for supporting independence are so hilariously petty that its extremely hard to take them seriously.



The ideal solution would be for Edinburgh to join England (since they would end up financailly supporting the rest of Scotland if they were to be stuck with them), and for the rest of Scotland to go away and form a third-world country somewhere.

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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 15:03   #48
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Re: the Union Forever?

QUOTE=JonnyBGood]Indeed but then we're back to questions over how states should be decided upon. Banging on about self-determination is missing the point. States which don't fear their citizens are probably more likely to undertake policies damaging to them. As V says people shouldn't fear their governments, governments should fear their people.[/quote]I'm not sure how bigger governments are weaker though, or how the citizens of a (theoretically) more representative state are less likely to rebel/oppose government tyranny. Unless you mean a more diverse state is more likely to avoid despotic governments in the first place (which could be true).

Self-determination can't necessarily be elevated to the position of general rule, but it does serve well as a guiding principle. The issue with Scotland (and Northern Ireland, to an extent) is that the population does not seem to actually want to be independent. With Northern Ireland there's obviously issues around the gerrymandering of the borders, but then it's not clear if the south wants unification either for reasons Achilles mentioned.

OK, Libertarianism 101 : Power is located wherever possible at the individual. Where there are some sort of shared interest which is managed collectively then surely we would want to organise this collective management in a manner which most people can agree with. If East Springfield feel they can organise rubbish collection better then the Springfield Municipality, why would we oppose that? Sure, there are interests where a privileged minority might want to leave a wider state to escape the burden of it's poorer neighbours, but that's more of an issue of solidarity, and right-libertarians don't care about that sort of thing anyway (presumably).
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 15:09   #49
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Re: the Union Forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
My third post i said ' i dont absolve scotland of any of the above '. And then i went to suggest that all nation states would act horrendously. But you didnt read either, so i suppose thats alright.
Then i'm completely confused on how the issue britains past and scotlands role is mapped out in your philosophy. If scotland is to blame, why point to britain?

Quote:
To focus on the future, rather than the past, we can expect Britain to enter into many more neo-imperial wars at the behest of the Americans, whereas i cant see Scotland having the desire in international terms, nor the capability to be obligated to do so.
What if a scottish president enters into the european defence force? and in a similar manner to nato is obligated to help out? The EU has pretty much the same capacity to **** everything up as the US.

You're not advocating any new political systems that will stop whatever it is you have an issue with, the influence of the multinational corporations, of american foreign policy, of EU foreign policy will be just as strong. I honetly don't know what you're trying to say now the juxtaposing of history and nationalism aside, the rest of the people of britain don't want the war in iraq and don't particularly like tony blair.

The failures aren't geographic or because of nationalism but rather institutional, you don't think an elected scottish president would support a war in iraq.

Why?!

Quote:
I wont be accused of shallow patriotism when what you are basically advocating is 'take the good with the bad and like it or lump it'. Looking forward rather than back, what international benefits does Scotland get from being associated with Britain?
You'd have to define what you mean by international benefits, what would be the difference in scottish international benefits in the EU?

Quote:
When did i say open border politics? And what bizarre world are you living in where Scotland would seek to increase its population by 600%?
I assume scotland as a fully integrated member of the EU would sign up to the schengen agreement.

I was trying to point out saying 'small' is ambigious and fairly meaningless term, would a scotland within the same borders but with a bigger population still be 'small'?
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Unread 17 Jan 2007, 15:12   #50
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Re: the Union Forever?

Just think of all the scottish MP's we could get rid of:

Gordon Brown
John Reid
Douglas Alexander
Des Brown
Alistair Darling
Lord Falconer

Plus Tony Blair and George Galloway! (despite them representing English constituencies...)

(also there's Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell... but who would notice?)
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