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Scottish independence - a serious discussion?
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Should Scotland leave the UK?
Yes (I'm Scottish)
16%
 16%  [ 5 ]
Yes (I'm not Scottish)
20%
 20%  [ 6 ]
No (I'm Scottish)
13%
 13%  [ 4 ]
No (I'm not Scottish)
36%
 36%  [ 11 ]
I don't care (I'm Scottish)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I don't care (I'm not Scottish)
13%
 13%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 30

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RichardD
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Scottish independence - a serious discussion? Reply with quote

I realise that this is an emotive subject and likely to attract the 'wrong' type of debate but I'm genuinely swithering over how I should vote next year and my eldest daughter will be 16 by a couple of weeks and eligible to vote and asking me questions.

Right from the first days of devolution I was wary of the SNP and many of their policies and voted in favour of devolution with my heart in my mouth. Since then I've remained very wary of the SNP but they seem to have proven that they can actually run a [small] Country effectively and efficiently and have also seemed to avoid the scandal laden activities of the other main parties but this does not mean I support them even now.

What concerns me about the current debate is that neither side is actually offering any answers: the Scottish Government (ie the SNP - no one should be fooled into thinking they're not abusing their position of power and influence) is busy publishing an election manifesto claiming they will cure all ills, and make Scotland a haven of economic and social wealth without really explaining how the nuts and bolts would fit together nor how it would be paid for whilst the No Campaign seems simply to point that self evident fact out.

There seems to be an increasing number of questions and fewer concrete answers but mostly I am very curious to hear how those in the rest of the UK feels about it.

Just to be clear, I'm not looking for a history lesson nor a "but the oil money isn't yours" debate, I want to hear how you feel about the reality of a split up UK? On many levels I know that Scotland would be a better place for not having policies designed for London and the SE in force on us but that also applies to the North-East. I also know that as a Country that would simply not register on the world scene our need for an army, nuclear weapons etc would be negligible thus freeing up cash for building a better Society ... but, I wonder if that simply means we would end up paying much more for all the wasters on benefits if Labour get into power at the next election.

What do you all think?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would like to see it stay together but I accept it's up to the people of Scotland. However if they vote split I believe it should be a 100% split. That means politics, currency, NHS, welfare, business revenue generation and spending, education, the EU, boarder control (under the same rules as we have for France at the tunnel if both Scotland the Britain remain in the EU) the job lot. If you thick about each of those areas I believe you can put more arguments forwards to remain as one than to go.

This half and half like we have with the EU at the moment just means it takes twice as long and cost twice as much to do nothing.

Re the oil money revenue that people keep going on about, I believe I read a review by a financial company indicating how long it would last if Scotland were independent. The summary was they would have to find alternatives relatively quickly. Although I don't remember who funded the report Wink

Going completely off tangent was it Finland who put all of their oil money into the pension pot? People are desperate to get them to invest it in something but they won't. I think the interest off the pot alone covers all the pensions Laughing

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RichardD
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cynic-al wrote:

Going completely off tangent was it Finland who put all of their oil money into the pension pot? People are desperate to get them to invest it in something but they won't. I think the interest off the pot alone covers all the pensions Laughing


Norway. It was on TV last night

Economically I don;t think Scotland would need to depend on oil tax revenue long term but I question whether it would last long enough to get income from industry, renewables etc set up in time.

I can see a lot of advantages but I see more disadvantages on a practical level before you even look at big stuff like currency and EU membership. How would car insurance work between Countries, debt collection, contracts, phones .....

On balance I think the UK is better as one Country but I like the idea of being small and having a more accessible legislature. I do get tired of taking the unpalatable medicine designed for London -the idea that housing prices are increasing in London so fast that they fear a housing bubble again whilst the rest of the UK is still seeing price reductions is just part of it.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard
Earlier you mentioned London and the distance, politically, from the NE of England.

Do the Scottish islanders view Edinburgh in the same way ?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure really. I can see some of the attractions but if it is a yes vote --- from talking to people the majority view around here is off you go, you are on your own.

Most folk seems to feel that if it is a yes vote Scotland should be truly independent - no Bank of England, not tied to Sterling, no shared services and no money coming form south of the boarder.

I guess part of the thing is that Yorkshire and Scotland have a similar population & GDP but it is seen that Scotland has been getting more Government funding per capita - disproportionate to the taxes actually paid there.

And the perceived double standards over NHS, prescription charges etc, university funding.

Consensus - is that Scotland has been getting the better deal for a while now - sort of having its cake and eating it and Yorkshire / North Easts expense.

As I say, not necessary my opinion but just a straw poll round about. I know a few big money people that are planning to close their business interests down and move them south if it happens.

Maybe if the SNP really want an independent Scotland they should of gone for a UK wide vote -- I think the English vote would of guaranteed a yes vote.

Personally, I favour no but a complete restructure with the UK becoming a federal state with each part being semi autonomous, with its own assembly . Do away with the House of Lords and having that as a central Federal Parliament

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happens if the Shetlands decide they don't want to be part of a new independent Scotland?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think the current devolution model seems to be working well.
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RichardD
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmgemini wrote:
Richard
Earlier you mentioned London and the distance, politically, from the NE of England.

Do the Scottish islanders view Edinburgh in the same way ?


Last time I spoke to any Shetlanders they were against Devolution because it brought Government 400 miles closer to them!

Essentially I suppose Devolution works quite well but it has opened the door to demands for full independence.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed wrote:
Not sure really. I can see some of the attractions but if it is a yes vote --- from talking to people the majority view around here is off you go, you are on your own.

Most folk seems to feel that if it is a yes vote Scotland should be truly independent - no Bank of England, not tied to Sterling, no shared services and no money coming form south of the boarder.

I guess part of the thing is that Yorkshire and Scotland have a similar population & GDP but it is seen that Scotland has been getting more Government funding per capita - disproportionate to the taxes actually paid there.

And the perceived double standards over NHS, prescription charges etc, university funding.

Consensus - is that Scotland has been getting the better deal for a while now - sort of having its cake and eating it and Yorkshire / North Easts expense.

As I say, not necessary my opinion but just a straw poll round about. I know a few big money people that are planning to close their business interests down and move them south if it happens.

Maybe if the SNP really want an independent Scotland they should of gone for a UK wide vote -- I think the English vote would of guaranteed a yes vote.

Personally, I favour no but a complete restructure with the UK becoming a federal state with each part being semi autonomous, with its own assembly . Do away with the House of Lords and having that as a central Federal Parliament


Interesting points

"you're on your own, good luck"
It seems it is not a simple as that especially over national debt.

"big money people will move"
They also said that if the UK refused to join the euro. I am always cynical about claims about that sort of thing. If Scotland became a tax haven then perhaps more big businesses would move their HQs here?

"Scotland gets a better deal"
Yep, dead right there - per capita but not per sq mile, however. Scotland forms over 40% of mainland UK with the population of Yorkshire which introduces many logistical problems not faced by anyone else.
If we extend that logic to the SE England v the rest of the UK or Wales or NI then the same applies. It really is not a coherent argument any more.

I like the idea of a federal monarchist State but I see it as an excuse for politicians to skim even more money from us Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RichardD wrote:

I like the idea of a federal monarchist State but I see it as an excuse for politicians to skim even more money from us Rolling Eyes


In other words "things would be normal"

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've seen, those who are anti independence are very vocal about the fact. Those who are pro independence are biding their time.

The SNP are focused on one thing and one thing only. Independence of Scotland. In '79 Scotland voted to be independent. It was red tape which stopped it happening.

When Scotland devolved from the UK, the government was set up in such away that it would be nearly impossibly for the SNP to get full power, rather it would always be a hung parliament. What Westminster didn't realize was the amount of people who wanted independence. Hence the SNP having a landslide victory.

I hate politicians. They are all lying scum.

Salmond has been caught in a few compromising situations over the past couple of years and he's no angle. BUT, he's always been set on one thing. Independence for Scotland. He's now the first minister for Scotland, and the population voted him there since they also believe that he'll carry it out.

Another thing which he's done, is in the white-paper noted that there''s to be a general election once Independence has been completed.

The BBC's reporting of the independence debates have been shockingly one sided cosying up with the paymasters at Westminster. They time and time again have missed out on mentioning that the Scots, per capita, pay around £2000 per annum higher taxes than those people south of the border. Scotland only get's a fraction of what it pays into Westminster back as taxes to spend on the country.

The reason Westminster doesn't want Scotland to leave the UK is that Scotland is a cash cow. It's been milked and milked and there's new oil fields being discovered, Scotland is leading the world with renewables, Scotland is capable of supporting it's population with food, it has lower unemployment than the rest of the UK.

One interesting point I was reading the other day. Scotland can vote in Westminster politics, but not visa versa... A well known issue.

Scotland is a two party country, Labor and SNP. I woke up one morning a couple of years back listening to Radio Scotland listening to the head of the Conservative party in Scotland saying how rubbish they were!. When Scotland becomes independent Labor will loose their Scottish vote. This will remove a large amount of power from the Labor party and basically mean that rUK will be in a position of Tory majority. Good luck with that one guys!

Every party in Westminster has also stated that it will significantly cut spending in Scotland in the coming years.

Independent Scotland :-

Free schooling up to and including University
Free child care for all over the age of 3
Nationalizing the post office
Removal of Trident
EU - Section 49, means that we will transfer straight over.
£ - Darling has already said that it would be in the best interest of the rUK to keep Scotland in the Stirling zone.
Retirement age - capped lower than the rUK
NATO - Well, we'll just join the other 30 non nuclear countries who are members of NATO.

Who pays for it? Actually, we'll get more money in the bank at the end of the year. The books don't just balance, they put money back into the coffers. That's how hard Westminster have been milking.

You don't like the SNP politics, well vote another party into Hollyrood. A party which has Scotlands best interests at heart rather than a London / South east of England party.

I'm voting Yes. I think it's a very very exiting time. Many countries have been through this same process over the past years so there's nothing ground breaking happening. I can't see any floors in the plan other than the pile of crap which is going to be left of politics in the rUK.

I'm halfway through reading the white paper. I highly recommend downloading and reading by anyone who has half an interest in politics.

http://www.scotreferendum.com/
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard, you've also just touched on something which has been going through my mind the last few days.

Scotland, 40% of the landmass, about 5 1/4 million people.
UK as a total, heading up to 70M people.

When Scotland gains independence rUK will suddenly have a lot less space and a population which is increasing very quickly.

Food for thought.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed wrote:
...
Maybe if the SNP really want an independent Scotland they should of gone for a UK wide vote -- I think the English vote would of guaranteed a yes vote.



That would be a very very bad idea for Westminster, which is why it's not mentioned. Rather than the odds being 1:1, they would become 1:4

Possible outcomes :-

Scotland 0 : 0 rUK

The UK as it is stands. Nothing changes apart from Devo + perhaps.

Scotland 1 : 0 rUK

Scotland clearly want independence, situation drags out, goes to another vote till there's a 1:1 victory or a 0:0 victory.

Scotland 0 : 1 rUK

What? rUK want rid of Scotland? We not good enough for you? Re-vote 1:1, you ever heard that the Scots don't like being told what to do?


Scotland 1 : 1 rUK

Scotland gains independence. No re-vote needed.


It would be very risky for Westminster to have a national referendum on the subject. Rather they are using project Fear (yes that is the offical name for the keep britain together campaign).

edit : - Numbers above so the 1&0's are the right way around Embarassed


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If, as you suggest, Scotland becomes such a rich haven of work for all, low tax, free healthcare, prescriptions, lots of empty space, plenty of food and education to university age and is part of the EU, will Scotland have the 'open door' policy for migration amongst the EU?
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dxmedia
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cynic-al wrote:
If, as you suggest, Scotland becomes such a rich haven of work for all, low tax, free healthcare, prescriptions, lots of empty space, plenty of food and education to university age and is part of the EU, will Scotland have the 'open door' policy for migration amongst the EU?


From what I understand, the plan is for a freedom of movement between Scotland and rUK, exactly as it is now. No border control etc..

BUT, for immigration from outside of the EU, then plan is a points based system, similar to Canada / Australia... where people who will be an asset to the country will be welcomed in.

As for the EU, that's covered in the Lisbon (is that the right one?) treaty, and as much the same way at the UK currently does, to be an EU member state the freedom of movement part of that.

Also, no mention of low taxes, rather, no change in taxes.

This is all also covered in the white paper - I recommend a read.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Consensus - is that Scotland has been getting the better deal for a while now - sort of having its cake and eating it and Yorkshire / North Easts expense. "


That's an interesting point. The fact, I believe, is that Scotland contributes 9.9 per cent of UK tax revenues with 8.4 per cent of the population – in return for 9.3 per cent of spending.

So yes, we do receive more per head, but we contribute a significant amount more per head.

Does that make me want to vote yes? No......why?
A very recent, independent, review by EY interviewed 140 ioil-industry leaders in Aberdeen. 90% of them have concerns about fiscal stability (in line with the thoughts of everyone else in the industry!). Without fiscal stability, or even the THREAT of instability, I guarantee oil tax revenues will plummet....then the whole gambit falls.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as I said -- its how it is perceived.

Also depends on what facts and figures you use. If you add in EU money it changes -- pro rota England pays a lot more in to the EU than Scotland, but get lot less back in funding..


The funding per capita is a whole can of worms - with so many figures being bandied about by either side. What counts as "tax" what counts as "funding / grants".


Did you know that each Scottish Mountain Rescue team receives £12 000 government funding per year. Those in England & Wales get £0 (although there has been some funny money of £2k the last couple of years - to governing body not individual teams - VAT give back not direct funding).

Is this money to Scottish teams a Government grant, is so which Central of Scottish? It is distributed by the Scottish Parliament but from money form central government money (DEFRA I think).

Just and example of how figures can be manipulated

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DD wrote:
....A very recent, independent, review by EY interviewed 140 ioil-industry leaders in Aberdeen. 90% of them have concerns about fiscal stability (in line with the thoughts of everyone else in the industry!). Without fiscal stability, or even the THREAT of instability, I guarantee oil tax revenues will plummet....then the whole gambit falls.


Quote:
More than three quarters (79%) of the near 140 industry leaders and decision makers polled as part of the professional services firm’s latest Grasping the thistle report, which has been produced in association with Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, anticipate a hike in the tax take from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) in the event of a ‘yes’ vote.


http://www.ey.com/UK/en/Newsroom/News-releases/...mises-on-taxation



Or to put it another way,

...professional services firm’s latest Grasping the thistle report, which has been produced in association with Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce...

A report produced in association with the No campaign supporters Labor party council suggested that prior to any information being announced on the 26th of November, 4 days after this report was announced, that tax prices would go up.


And to quote the article

Quote:
Views cannot be formed without more information


That information has now been released. It would be interesting to see what if there has been a change of opinion now that the Yes campaign has announced the budget forecasts.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an English tax payer.

I pay for a european parliament.
A United Kingdom Parliament
A Northern Ireland Assembly
A Scottish Parliament
A Welsh Assembly.

When asking to buy a National flag. I get offered the Union Flag. Never the Cross of St George.

Stockton Council fly the Union Flag as the English flag.

Cool Embarassed Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should Scotland vote yes? Absolutely.

They'll be better off economically, socially, democratically, financially and many more words that end in "ally."

Anything we can possibly do to end the joke we have for democracy and government in Westminster will be better for the rest of us as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a side point, but I'm curious about comments such as 'joke of a government'. Can I ask what is specifically wrong and why an independent scotland would help change current politics in Westminster.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current politics in Westminster are scary. It's ok to spy on the population and alow the US to do the same? Privatise what's left of the national assests, spend vast sums on money where isn't not wanted, use the money from bailing out the bankers to pay their bonus's, fiddle the expenses system for tens of thousands, commit to a war which no one wanted...

And be currently ruled by a party which wasn't voted in.

The list goes on and on. Draw a line from berwick to Gretna, and leave the Eton boys to their own devices.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more power devolved from Westminster the more you dilute its relevance. Simples.

Let me clarify the "joke" bit.

Every 5 years or so we are fed the illusion of democracy. We can vote and if we don't like them we can kick out our MP's or Government. All very well and good except ....... the senior civil servants and advisors are exactly the same. These are the ones who dictate long term policy and the direction of government. Yes, each majority party (or parties) will introduce legislation or policies but in the long term these have relatively little influence and are mainly designed to garner votes at the next election. Anything that does well is "oh look how wonderful we are" and anything that fails is "a big boy did it and ran away." There is no democracy. It's an illusion, smoke and mirrors, what we have is specifically designed to keep us, the population, relatively happy and therefore quiet. It's got nothing whatsover to do with giving the electorate choice.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But we are, on the whole, "relatively happy", and wealthy, with the choice to stay or go.........what more do you want?

Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DD wrote:
But we are, on the whole, "relatively happy", and wealthy, with the choice to stay or go.........what more do you want?

Smile


For what you put to be true.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DD wrote:
But we are, on the whole, "relatively happy", and wealthy, with the choice to stay or go.........what more do you want?

Smile


And that's what perpetuates the illusion. Generally the "unhappy" are the minority whether it is the unemployed, the poor, the sick, the small business owner, the elderly, the ex-servicemen/women who can't get work. You get my point. While government keeps the rest of us happy there's no chance of any minority having any influence.

Scotland has a chance to reboot the system, to cut out the red tape, the bureaucracy, the bloated civil service management structures, the cryptic and archaic tax system, the whole lumbering dinosaur of British government. I hope they grasp that opportunity.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the major issue is that the vast majority of people in Scotland don't like the politics and policies imposed on them that are decided by politicians in London - and that includes the Scottish MPs.

So what's different for the Scottish - the vast majority of everyone everywhere in the UK feels the same way. Very few of us actually like what London does no matter where in the UK we are. But there is a bit of nationalism coming in here - if you don't like it and live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, then just blame the nasty English. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the the Scottish and others who have every reason to be proud of their heritage but it is just so easy to find a scapegoat who is not a member of your particular group.

Having said all that, I have looked at the material released by the SNP on Tuesday and found it so lacking in detail and explanation and answering NO questions that it must rank as the number one recruiting tool to vote for Scotland to stay in the UK. It does however, raise serious questions to my mind about the intergrity, credibility and true intentions of the SNP.


J
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dxmedia
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jojo wrote:

Having said all that, I have looked at the material released by the SNP on Tuesday and found it so lacking in detail and explanation and answering NO questions that it must rank as the number one recruiting tool to vote for Scotland to stay in the UK. It does however, raise serious questions to my mind about the intergrity, credibility and true intentions of the SNP.


J


Really? We must have different copies since the one I've been reading is pretty full of figures? And the maths balance.

Even Cameron has said that Scotland's books balance and the country is more than capable of being independent.
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ed
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course there is an alternative:

A population roughly similar to Scotland's, a bigger GDP than Scotland's, is in many ways a foreign country in attitude, is a drain on the rest of the UK - not just money but moral, talent, even morality........

Make Londondshire independent - -- would seem to please a rather large majority of the UK

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jojo
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dxmedia wrote:
jojo wrote:

Having said all that, I have looked at the material released by the SNP on Tuesday and found it so lacking in detail and explanation and answering NO questions that it must rank as the number one recruiting tool to vote for Scotland to stay in the UK. It does however, raise serious questions to my mind about the intergrity, credibility and true intentions of the SNP.


J


Really? We must have different copies since the one I've been reading is pretty full of figures? And the maths balance.

Even Cameron has said that Scotland's books balance and the country is more than capable of being independent.


The figures Cameron referred to were actual figures from the real Scottish economy, not the projected assumptions given in the document.

I know Richard asked for a sensible discussion and this may be a little off topic, but the first thing that sprang to my mind was if Scotland goes independant will I still be able to support my favourite Scottish distilleries in the usual way?

J
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