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Michael Folkesson
03-03-12, 20:58
With the strong support of the SNP and First Minister Alex Salmond's promise, it seems as if there will be a Scottish referendum on independence in the autumn of 2014.

Has devolution in the UK gone too far, or not far enough?
- The Scottish, English and Welsh might belong to different nations, but aren't they all British?
- Quebec stayed in the Canadian confederation by a hair. Is the support for Scottish independence strong enough?
How will the possible outcomes affect the UK?
- Would Scotland leaving inspire Wales and NI to follow?
- Is this the beginning of the end of the UK, or the beginning of a stronger more asserted equal union?
Should expatriate Scotsmen be able to vote on the issue?
What would Scotland becoming a sovereign country mean in the context of the European Union?
- Would Scotland bring it's current membership with independence or would they need to apply as a new member?

What are your thoughts on this?

hope
03-03-12, 22:50
Hi Michaell. Yes, Scotland England,Wales and Northern Ireland all are part of Britain and each do have their own identity besides. I have strong ties to Scotland and respect the long and wonderful history of the country and also the fierce independent nature the Scotch have always had. However I feel this is not a good time for it to go independent, the economy is weak and I don`t believe it`s due to being held back by Britain. I worry if Scotland were independent now it might financially crumble. I also wonder how Scotland might fare within Europe at the moment.

LeBrok
04-03-12, 01:05
Let’s see the big picture. For last 2k years we see a big success of Nation States and Empires (State of Nations) in Europe. I’m willing to bet on it, that the main reasons of their success was securing stability, peace which positively influenced economy, increased population growth, and ing eneral, made a Nation or Empire stronger and stable. Surely there were ups and downs, but the concept of Nation State must have been very beneficial for citizens, therefore it exists strongly few thousands years after first conception.
Funny thing is that it never mattered how it began. Many states have beginning in megalomaniac ambitions of leaders, invasion of foreign tribes, greed of elite, excitement of warfare, or even peaceful unifications. What mattered at the end is that benefits of stable state kept the State together. But I digressed.

In short, a state secures stability, economy, and wellbeingof citizens. It secures peace within its borders, and protects citizens against external threads. It evolved from city states, to regions, to nations/countries, to empires or more recently to unions. It means that size matters for a state; even greater protection against foreign threats, and greater economic stability for citizens.

It is not clearly visible in Europe right now, mainly because of recent economic mess, but the process of unification of Europe will continue, to the scale of USA consolidation, or even beyond. This also means that current status of Nation States will diminish. It’s hard to say if they will eventually go away, but it is a strong possibility in a scale of 200 years, and gradually diminishing influence and role of traditional county/state. Instead of nations, we will see a stronger dominance of regional politics and economy. It will be more “organic” division, with people united by geography and local economy more than by language, religion or creed. I can imagine European Union as the main state, with regional governments next in line, taking care of local unique issues.

So, what does that mean for Scotland? Scotland, either in today’s UK union or future EU membership, it will always remain as strongly defined region, with its local governance in many aspects. I don’t think they will strive for monetary independence ever. They might vote for independence now, just in spite of English, or from pure pride, but they return to some union later on, most likely to EU.
Who knows maybe after 50 years and more independency votes of other UK nations, UK will disintegrate? Or maybe sooner if England votes to separate from UK, lol.
Having said that, I’m probably least qualified to have my voice meddling in Scottish affairs, as I’m lacking in basic knowledge of Scotland politics and culture. My writing is based mostly on my observations of political and economic trends, and general understanding of forces of nature.


PS. Welcome back Michael, any updates to South Sudan thread?

zanipolo
04-03-12, 11:38
Let’s see the big picture. For last 2k years we see a big success of Nation States and Empires (State of Nations) in Europe. I’m willing to bet on it, that the main reasons of their success was securing stability, peace which positively influenced economy, increased population growth, and ing eneral, made a Nation or Empire stronger and stable. Surely there were ups and downs, but the concept of Nation State must have been very beneficial for citizens, therefore it exists strongly few thousands years after first conception.
Funny thing is that it never mattered how it began. Many states have beginning in megalomaniac ambitions of leaders, invasion of foreign tribes, greed of elite, excitement of warfare, or even peaceful unifications. What mattered at the end is that benefits of stable state kept the State together. But I digressed.

In short, a state secures stability, economy, and wellbeingof citizens. It secures peace within its borders, and protects citizens against external threads. It evolved from city states, to regions, to nations/countries, to empires or more recently to unions. It means that size matters for a state; even greater protection against foreign threats, and greater economic stability for citizens.

It is not clearly visible in Europe right now, mainly because of recent economic mess, but the process of unification of Europe will continue, to the scale of USA consolidation, or even beyond. This also means that current status of Nation States will diminish. It’s hard to say if they will eventually go away, but it is a strong possibility in a scale of 200 years, and gradually diminishing influence and role of traditional county/state. Instead of nations, we will see a stronger dominance of regional politics and economy. It will be more “organic” division, with people united by geography and local economy more than by language, religion or creed. I can imagine European Union as the main state, with regional governments next in line, taking care of local unique issues.

So, what does that mean for Scotland? Scotland, either in today’s UK union or future EU membership, it will always remain as strongly defined region, with its local governance in many aspects. I don’t think they will strive for monetary independence ever. They might vote for independence now, just in spite of English, or from pure pride, but they return to some union later on, most likely to EU.
Who knows maybe after 50 years and more independency votes of other UK nations, UK will disintegrate? Or maybe sooner if England votes to separate from UK, lol.
Having said that, I’m probably least qualified to have my voice meddling in Scottish affairs, as I’m lacking in basic knowledge of Scotland politics and culture. My writing is based mostly on my observations of political and economic trends, and general understanding of forces of nature.


PS. Welcome back Michael, any updates to South Sudan thread?


2K ? .................nations only first appeared in the middle of the 18th century.

As for scotland and any other culture ( basques, frisians, bavarians, catalans, etc etc ) that wants independence...........give it to them. I would hate to see another Yugoslavia happen. Better a bloodless seperation like what happen with czechoslovakia

Franco
07-03-12, 00:44
2K ? .................nations only first appeared in the middle of the 18th century.

As for scotland and any other culture ( basques, frisians, bavarians, catalans, etc etc ) that wants independence...........give it to them. I would hate to see another Yugoslavia happen. Better a bloodless seperation like what happen with czechoslovakia


It could be even worse and a conflict like the one between Hutus and Tutsis might arise. I hope every town can decide sovereignly. In the end there may be unionists municipalities in Scotland that have no less right to stay in UK than the whole Scotland to commit secession.

Yetos
07-03-12, 01:54
I wonder what kind of independence ???

independence like Australia? Like India? like Jamaica? total independence from crown? or member of common-wealth?
does that independence means another king-queen? or just a more free self-determination?
does that independence allow Scotland to have its own army? or just to gain more autonomy in economical and political affairs?

Yorkie
07-03-12, 16:49
Hi Michaell. Yes, Scotland England,Wales and Northern Ireland all are part of Britain and each do have their own identity besides. I have strong ties to Scotland and respect the long and wonderful history of the country and also the fierce independent nature the Scotch have always had. However I feel this is not a good time for it to go independent, the economy is weak and I don`t believe it`s due to being held back by Britain. I worry if Scotland were independent now it might financially crumble. I also wonder how Scotland might fare within Europe at the moment.

Were it not for massive [and I mean massive] subsidisation by English tax-payers Scotland would 'financially crumble' now, never mind via independence. Don't worry though, if Scotland ever does get independence and inevitably falls flat on its face, it will be the English tax-payers who will be asked to bail Scotland out. That might just stick in the throat of not a few hard-working English people, not least because all we seem to hear from 'fierce' and 'brave' Scotland is how resentful they are of the 'Anglish'. The levels of anti-English racism are very high in Scotland, yet so many 'proud' Scots don't seem to mind taking the proverbial 'high road' into England to live and work.

I , like millions of English, would be happy to see Scotland gain independence. Just don't come running to us for the cash when you get yourselves 'in hock', whilst bad-mouthing us at the same time.

Franco
07-03-12, 20:43
Were it not for massive [and I mean massive] subsidisation by English tax-payers Scotland would 'financially crumble' now, never mind via independence. Don't worry though, if Scotland ever does get independence and inevitably falls flat on its face, it will be the English tax-payers who will be asked to bail Scotland out. That might just stick in the throat of not a few hard-working English people, not least because all we seem to hear from 'fierce' and 'brave' Scotland is how resentful they are of the 'Anglish'. The levels of anti-English racism are very high in Scotland, yet so many 'proud' Scots don't seem to mind taking the proverbial 'high road' into England to live and work.

I , like millions of English, would be happy to see Scotland gain independence. Just don't come running to us for the cash when you get yourselves 'in hock', whilst bad-mouthing us at the same time.


I've read somewhere that the plan of Scottish nationalists is to finance the independence with the oil of the North Sea. Norway is the model to follow for them, so I guess that includes not joining the EU after their hypothetical independence.

Yorkie
08-03-12, 01:00
I've read somewhere that the plan of Scottish nationalists is to finance the independence with the oil of the North Sea. Norway is the model to follow for them, so I guess that includes not joining the EU after their hypothetical independence.

You will find, Franco, that a lot of Scots pay lip service to the idea of independence. However, the majority [admittedly, a reduced majority] realise that even with oil they are not going to emulate Norway. It is a gamble to plan survival and prosperity largely on one source, if that is the plan. As I say, even with the revenue from North Sea oil, the country would sink without the safety-net provided from the 80% of the United Kingdom who are English tax-payers.

Please don't misunderstand me, I would be happy to see the Scots 'go it alone'. We English do not need them in the political sense, and many of us grew tired of Scottish political influence in English affairs under Blair's New Labour government and especially under the unelected and widely detested Gordon Brown. I would be quite happy to see Hadrian's Wall built as high as the old Berlin Wall. If the Scots don't want to be part of the Union, let them leave. ASAP.

I say to the Scots, stop whinging about England and do-it-yourself. Stand on your own two feet, and then you won't be able to blame 'the auld enemy' for everything. It is called growing up. We might just take you seriously then..

sparkey
08-03-12, 02:29
I'm unlikely to be as informed on this issue as some native Britons, but nonetheless, I'll contribute my gut feelings on the original questions:


-Has devolution in the UK gone too far, or not far enough?

Narrowly not far enough. Wales (now that the Welsh devolution referendum of 2011 has passed) and Northern Ireland seem to be in the right spot. Cornwall should be devolved, probably like Wales was (a limited assembly). England needs a devolved lawmaking body of its own. Scotland, I'm not as sure.


- The Scottish, English and Welsh might belong to different nations, but aren't they all British?

Yes, but "British" is more of a pan-ethnicity than anything. It's like other pan-ethnicities such as "Arab" or "Latin American."

I think the concept of a "constituent country" works well to maintain both the closeness and full political cooperation of the participants, while allowing ancient, ethnically-defined countries a real ability to define themselves as countries. It works well for the Kingdom of Denmark, as well. But it's also right to point out that being a constituent country isn't the same as full sovereignty.


- Quebec stayed in the Canadian confederation by a hair. Is the support for Scottish independence strong enough?

It doesn't seem to be to me. At least, I've yet to see a poll that puts it as something that a clear majority wants.


- Would Scotland leaving inspire Wales and NI to follow?

Wales, no way. Wales has stronger ties to England than Scotland, and Plaid Cymru is much less influential than the SNP. They don't have the resources of Scotland, either.

Northern Ireland is an interesting case, as they have strong ties to Scotland. They don't have the resources to be an independent country, so they'd be presented with an interesting choice of which neighboring power they'd most want to be linked to: England & Wales, Scotland, or Ireland. I have a feeling that the default option (England & Wales) would satisfy them for the time being.


- Is this the beginning of the end of the UK, or the beginning of a stronger more asserted equal union?

Why not neither? If the referendum fails, the status quo will win (at least, for now).


Should expatriate Scotsmen be able to vote on the issue?

I think they should be able to. I'm not familiar with the laws, though.


- Would Scotland bring it's current membership with independence or would they need to apply as a new member?

I'm interested in the correct answer to this, as well. I assume that they'd need to apply, but would be accepted quickly.

Brett142
17-03-12, 17:37
The British royal family is also the Scottish royal family, so how could they break away from the UK completely? It most certainly is not going to be a repeat of Yugoslavia....we're civilised people.

To be completely honest I really don't see Scotland voting for full independence, much like Quebec didn't in Canada.
However I think the current organisation of the UK is a total mess. Scotland, Wales and NI all devolved to varying degrees, counties like Cornwall crying out for some sort of national identity, England with absolutely no recognition at all. I fully support a US or German style Federal system, whereby Scotland, Wales and N.I. would be their own state within a state, free to make their own laws and have power over their taxes etc etc.

If a model like this were created it would also give Cornwall the opportunity to apply for statehood and others (maybe Yorkshire, Northumberland etc) could also apply for statehood. I think this would be a fantastic solution that would please both the regionalists and the nationalists and the UK could finally be content in not have people crying out for independence.

Scotland would gravely fail if it became independent anyway.

Aindriú Pádraig
09-04-12, 06:29
With the strong support of the SNP and First Minister Alex Salmond's promise, it seems as if there will be a Scottish referendum on independence in the autumn of 2014.

Has devolution in the UK gone too far, or not far enough?
- The Scottish, English and Welsh might belong to different nations, but aren't they all British?
- Quebec stayed in the Canadian confederation by a hair. Is the support for Scottish independence strong enough?
How will the possible outcomes affect the UK?
- Would Scotland leaving inspire Wales and NI to follow?
- Is this the beginning of the end of the UK, or the beginning of a stronger more asserted equal union?
Should expatriate Scotsmen be able to vote on the issue?
What would Scotland becoming a sovereign country mean in the context of the European Union?
- Would Scotland bring it's current membership with independence or would they need to apply as a new member?

What are your thoughts on this?

Firstly on your mentioning the North of Ireland. It is not actually called Northern Ireland as the English think, but Ulster or Uladh in Irish. It is a province of the Irish republic and it is occupied by the English army the same way Israel occupies Palestine(although admittedly the war finished well over a decade ago). It is not part of Britain.

Scotland is in a very fortunate situation in that they can finally put the nail in the coffin of this terrible outdated wannabe empire. Wales would be answered better to follow in their stead. Isle of Man as well. The English will moan about losing territories because they consider other countries part of their 'kingdom', but sure what matter. The sooner we do away with the farcical notion of 'Great Britain' the better.

Aindriú Pádraig
09-04-12, 06:31
Hi Michaell. Yes, Scotland England,Wales and Northern Ireland all are part of Britain and each do have their own identity besides. I have strong ties to Scotland and respect the long and wonderful history of the country and also the fierce independent nature the Scotch have always had. However I feel this is not a good time for it to go independent, the economy is weak and I don`t believe it`s due to being held back by Britain. I worry if Scotland were independent now it might financially crumble. I also wonder how Scotland might fare within Europe at the moment.

The North is part of Ireland. It's not called Northern Britain.

Aindriú Pádraig
09-04-12, 06:37
Were it not for massive [and I mean massive] subsidisation by English tax-payers Scotland would 'financially crumble' now, never mind via independence. Don't worry though, if Scotland ever does get independence and inevitably falls flat on its face, it will be the English tax-payers who will be asked to bail Scotland out. That might just stick in the throat of not a few hard-working English people, not least because all we seem to hear from 'fierce' and 'brave' Scotland is how resentful they are of the 'Anglish'. The levels of anti-English racism are very high in Scotland, yet so many 'proud' Scots don't seem to mind taking the proverbial 'high road' into England to live and work.

I , like millions of English, would be happy to see Scotland gain independence. Just don't come running to us for the cash when you get yourselves 'in hock', whilst bad-mouthing us at the same time.

That's a very racist quote. Typical high minded ignorant Englishman. No wonder half the Scots hate ye. Scotland actually pays more than its fair share of tax, and due to its fisheries and energy resources it should be more than capable economically of surviving. This 'subsidising' nonsense implies Scotland is a region of England. Also, I'm pretty sure if you knew how much oil they had, you wouldn't be so keen to be shot of them. I envisage another carve up here whereby England will take a chunk of Scotland and invent a parliament there just like they did in Ulster. I'm sure Salmond's well prepared.

Aindriú Pádraig
09-04-12, 06:42
Being taken seriously by England? Nobody cares what England thinks of them. My family and friends back home in Ireland definitely don't, and nor do my Scottish relatives. Have you ever actually been outside your royal monolingual backwater?

Aindriú Pádraig
09-04-12, 07:11
It's quite funny to see people refer to 'Northern Ireland' and 'Ireland'. It's one island of over 6 million people. Excluding our many friends who have recently moved to the island, 82% of the native population is native Irish, and about 18% of the population is Scotch Irish which was scaremongering into sectarianism by various English governments. For those people who do not know here is a brief history: For over 800 years England has occupied Ireland or more recently, just Ulster. Ulster was traditionally the most Gaelic region, most resistant to English rule. To ethnically cleanse the province of Ulster, the English crown decided in the early 1600s after a failed Irish rebellion called the Nine Years War to plant Scottish and English settlers in Ulster. The native Irish speaking population were murdered out of Counties Antrim and Armagh in the very North. The idea was create a population loyal to the crown that had no interest in being Irish.

The plantations didn't exactly work out. Despite centuries of prolonged ethnic cleansing, starvation and deportation of the native Irish and the supression of the Irish culture and language, the Irish natives continually reached across the installed English divides that were artificially created to above all else stop a United Irish rebellion. In 1798 a joint Catholic and Protestant uprising in Ireland led by a Protestant republican called Wolfe Tone almost succeeded in uniting Ireland. The Irish flag is Green for the native Iris, orange for the Scots Irish and white for peace and unity between us.

From 1916-22, the Irish revolution took place. Today is the 96th anniversary of the declaration of the Irish republic. Most of Ireland was freed from English rule, but under threat of warfare from the English if they did not accept the partition of Ireland, the Irish voted by a narrow margin to approve the Anglo Irish treaty which was 'democratically ratified'(the joke being how can any country have democratic elections or referenda on its' freedom when its threatened by war if it votes for full freedom). Irish people voted(over 80% of us) in 1918 for independence in an election.The subsequent creating of a 'Northern' Police state where sectarianism was fostered, and the repression of over 40% of Ulster's population took place for over 80 years. Irish Catholics or anyone calling themselves 'Irish' in this state was refused the right to vote, to housing, to public service work and the police and Army and English funded UDF constantly burned Irish people out of their homes in the six counties, leading to an armed uprising by the IRA which was the longest war in Irish history(over 30 years and despite what English history says, it was started by the burning of Republican communities as well as the shooting and beatingd ead of Irish civilians by Loyalist paramilitaries and the English Army and the brutal suppression of the Ulster Civil Rights movement).

England has a lot to apologize for but like it did with Scottish history, it whitewashes everything. 33 people, all civilians, were killed by British funded bombing campaigns in the 26 counties in both Dublin and Monaghan in the seventies. The English Army also shot dead 14 civilians in Derry in 1972 and on many other occasions it killed Irish people who were not armed during the war, including as I said those who were based in the neutral 26 counties south of the border. The most prolonged oppression in European history has been that of the English against the Irish, and their oppression of the Scottish is not far behind.

In recent times an uneasy peace has developed between the Scotch Irish and the native Irish. Unionists hope to create a peaceful state within the so called UK. Republicans hope to peacefully persuade the Unionists to reunite the country. In many people's view in Ireland, as Scotland gets its independence, the Ulster Irish(the collective name for both aformentioned groups in the province), the largely Scottish descended unionist community will not be able to maintain a position of 2% of the fragments of the UK. In a real Irish republic they would be a much more valued 20% of the population, most likely with devolved legislating powers in Ulster anyways. Many Irish people of the south have no problem with unionists and see the differences between the two communities as 'fostered by an alien government' to deliberately divide us from uniting in peaceful co-existence on our own island.

The reality is without Scotland, Britain will crumble, and Ireland will re-unite(sooner or later). Even a referendum held tomorrow in the North would hand back large parts of Ulster to the Irish state. Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh as well as south Down come to mind.

LeBrok
09-04-12, 08:10
Being taken seriously by England? Nobody cares what England thinks of them. My family and friends back home in Ireland definitely don't, and nor do my Scottish relatives. Have you ever actually been outside your royal monolingual backwater?
Aindriu, welcome to Eupedia, though I seriously ask you to tone down your attitude. We are all friends here, and we take this friendly connection to all people of Europe, no exceptions to nationality or religion, or lack of either. If you are interested in building great new Europe for all Europeans, or making new friend, then you are welcome here. Otherwise take a long hike over rolling hills of Ireland...

hope
09-04-12, 12:38
The North is part of Ireland. It's not called Northern Britain.
I know where the North is, I live in it. It is a distinct country from Ireland even though it is one land mass..just as Canada and America are one land mass but two countries! It is also an island which has always been invaded since the dawn of time and like it or not those who call themselves native Irish are in fact no more than the decendants of another invading race. Your idea of Irish history is not full or complete.
Also you seem to be stuck in a "time warp" with your examples of Northern Ireland to-day. May I add your tone and attitude is more akin to that nonsense one would see on pages such as "Youtube" and whatever your political opinions may be you do no service to N. Irish people with that attitude.