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Business leaders urged to back UK

NICK CLEGG will tonight urge ­Scottish business leaders to speak out in support of Scotland staying in the UK.

Via Peter A Bell
James Cammeron's insight:

Why does every utterance from Project Fear cast Union supporters as subject to "Possible attacks" from Indi Supporters.

 

And what was the  smear against Wings over Scotland, national Collective, LFI members , if not attacks because of their indy support.

 

Come on PF, practice what you preach.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 5, 2013 5:26 AM

Claims by Rupert Soames that business leaders risked "rains of bile and ire" if they revealed their position on the constitutional question appear to have been totally unfounded. Many hundreds of business people have declared their support for independence by joining Business for Scotland. I am not aware of any of these people having been the subject of any disapprobation whatsoever.

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Apocalypse Naw

Apocalypse Naw | independence | Scoop.it
We were going to take the night off until we read this drivel. Gah. And if we're being honest, we were just too pleased with the pun. It seems that Unionist journalists writing doom-laden "We might...

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Comment: Building better future more independently

Comment: Building better future more independently | independence | Scoop.it
The argument that the Union offers a utopia of jobs and growth fails to stand up to any real scrutiny, writes Jim Mather

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 16, 2013 7:57 PM

A masterful dismantling of unionist arguments from Jim Mather.

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Scottish independence: Sterling zone plan ‘flawed’

Scottish independence: Sterling zone plan ‘flawed’ | independence | Scoop.it
THE SNP’s plan for Scotland to share a “sterling zone” with the rest of the UK after independence has been dealt a serious blow after one of the country’s leading bankers warned it is “perhaps fundamentally...

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 29, 2013 5:54 AM

If what is being offered by the mainstream media is an accurate reflection of Professor Quinn's views on Scotland's post-independence currency options then it appears to be founded more on the distortions and myths of Project Fear than on the kind of rational assessment that we might expect from an academic.

Apart from anything else, I find it a little strange that someone who "rose to deputy governor of the BoE" should have so little confidence in the ability of established financial institutions to cope with the regulatory and managerial responsibilities that are their very purpose.

None of the difficulties that Professor Quinn identifies are insurmountable. Neither are they generally unique to Scotland. And, given his lack of confidence in the existing UK financial institutions, along with their less than glorious record, we must wonder if remaining in the union is the better option that Professor Quinn seems to imagine it to be.

When all is said and done, we are left with one nagging question that unionists are never able to answer or even willing to address. Why should Scotland be an exception? Every other nation in the world is assumed to be worthy and entitled to manage its own affairs regardless of questions of competence. Why is it only Scotland whose right to the normal constitutional status that other nations take for granted must be conditional on some test contrived and manipulated by those who, for ideological or self-serving reasons, would deny Scotland's standing in the world as a nation like any other?

Answer that one, Professor Quinn.

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Timely thoughts on referendum

Timely thoughts on referendum | independence | Scoop.it
The man once regularly cited as Scotland's most senior civil servant, Sir John Elvidge, established himself as someone worth listening to both in and out of office.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 27, 2013 6:56 AM

Is Sir John Elvidge "worth paying attention to"? Certainly not if we look at the content of his remarks rather than his admittedly impressive background.

This is a man who, in his comments about Orkney and Shetland, gives credence to the dangerous partitionist drivel spouted by Tavish Scott and a handful of other such pathetic attention-seekers. So he's not exactly taking an early lead in the credibility stakes.

Even worse, he actually seems to believe that Westminster will graciously deliver devo-whatever in the event of a NO vote despite there being neither incentive nor imperative to do so and despite the fact that all the British parties have already set their face against any further devolution. Both British Labour and their Tory allies have had ample opportunity to deliver meaningful additional powers. They signally failed to do so.

The whole story of devolution within the British state has been one of making the minimum concessions in response to growing support for the SNP while keeping ultimate power at Westminster. At every stage, up to and including the Calman Commission, the overarching priority has been to preserve the power of Westminster rather than deliver a settlement that addressed what was best for the people of Scotland.

More recently, when offered the opportunity to put a "more powers" option on the referendum ballot, the British parties rejected the idea with a vehemence that was a clear statement of their attitude to further devolution.

And now, while some in the British parties attempt to deceive the people of Scotland with empty talk of talks about considering the possibility of perhaps some further constitutional tinkering at some undetermined date... maybe, others are openly advocating the emasculation and even the abolition of the Scottish Parliament.

In the face of all this, how can anybody imagine that devo-whatever will be delivered despite our leverage being forfeited by a No vote?

So how much store should we set by Sir John's talk of "toxic polarisation" given that he is so misguided about other aspects of the referendum campaign? What is this polarisation other than the natural and inevitable outcome of a democratic process in which there are two opposed and mutually incompatible positions? Are we to abandon democracy simply because it leads to a contest between opposing views? Is that not what democracy is supposed to do?

We are living with the "toxic legacy" of a system which means that Scotland all too often ends up with a government at UK level which we have rejected at the polls. The only way the independence referendum might leave such a legacy is if the outcome were similarly grossly unfair. It is generally agreed that the Referendum Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament will establish a framework that will ensure that the referendum is fair in all its practical aspects. Any perception of unfairness will therefore be likely to arise from the manner in which the campaign is conducted. For example, if the UK Government fails to respect the 16 week "purdah" period. Or if the people of Scotland feel that the result is based on distortion, deceit, dishonesty and scaremongering of the sort that has led Better Together to brand itself Project Fear.


Independence supporters will accept a No vote with appropriate good grace for the simple reason that they will be aware that this is only a setback to their cause and not a defeat. In the event of a Yes vote, the anti-independence campaign will, by contrast, have to swallow total and irrevocable defeat. The conduct of Project Fear so far does not suggest that they will take this defeat well. But, for the most part, pragmatism will prevail even where goodwill is in short supply.


Whether or not there is a "toxic legacy" therefore seems to be very much a matter for the London government and the anti-independence campaign. Let us hope they can rise to the occasion.

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Cameron pledges to hold Cabinet meeting in Scotland

David Cameron is to bring his Cabinet to Scotland later this year as the Coalition Government steps up its campaign against independence.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 15, 2013 12:50 PM

If David Cameron on his own manages to look like a three-legged duck on a bike when he comes to Scotland how ridiculously out of place is the entire Posh Boys club going to appear?

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George Osborne urged to apologise after report demolishes 'damaging uncertainty' claims

George Osborne urged to apologise after report demolishes 'damaging uncertainty' claims | independence | Scoop.it
George Osborne urged to apologise after report demolishes 'damaging uncertainty' claims

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Colin Fox SSP Co-Spokesperson

Colin Fox speaking at a Yes Scotland public meeting in Edinburgh

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Alistair Darling paid thousands by NHS Privatisation Company

Alistair Darling paid thousands by NHS Privatisation Company | independence | Scoop.it

Labour MP Alistair Darling was paid thousands of pounds by a company heavily involved in the privatisation of the English NHS, it has emerged.

 


Via Peter A Bell
James Cammeron's insight:

Nothing new there then!

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Business leaders urged to back UK

NICK CLEGG will tonight urge ­Scottish business leaders to speak out in support of Scotland staying in the UK.

Via Peter A Bell
James Cammeron's insight:

Why does every utterance from Project Fear cast Union supporters as subject to "Possible attacks" from Indi Supporters.

 

And what was the  smear against Wings over Scotland, national Collective, LFI members , if not attacks because of their indy support.

 

Come on PF, practice what you preach.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 5, 2013 5:26 AM

Claims by Rupert Soames that business leaders risked "rains of bile and ire" if they revealed their position on the constitutional question appear to have been totally unfounded. Many hundreds of business people have declared their support for independence by joining Business for Scotland. I am not aware of any of these people having been the subject of any disapprobation whatsoever.

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An alternative vision | Holyrood Magazine

Over the past year, despite the mudslinging, I’ve actually enjoyed the early stages of the referendum debate. It’s slowly beginning to dawn on people just

Via Peter A Bell
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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 28, 2013 10:32 AM

It is always disappointing, not to say distressing, to find an advocate for independence echoing the lies and fallacies of the anti-independence campaign. Not through malice or even stupidity, but through an excessive focus on the relatively petty concerns of party politics. This is particularly true when the individual in question is someone who has a very significant role to play in the effort to restore Scotland's rightful constitutional status.

Let's deal first of all with the rather silly notion of the "Better Together parties" coming up with a proposal for further devolution. Forget it! It's not going to happen! And, what is more, it would be meaningless even if it did happen.

In the first place, Better Together/Project Fear is no more a political party than Yes Scotland is. But where the latter is the umbrella organisation for a huge and hugely diverse grass-roots movement, the former is merely a loose and increasingly fractious alliance of the three main British political parties whose only common interest is preservation of the constitutional environment in which they thrive.

This cobbled-together cabal is simply not capable of forming a coherent proposal on further devolution that would gain the approval of all three parties, far less the myriad factions within those parties.

And even if they could concoct such a proposal, what value would it have without the means to guarantee delivery? Better Together/Project Fear could "put their cards on the table" tomorrow. But there is nothing to prevent any of its members simply tearing up those cards the day after a No vote. Such a proposal would lack even the very dubious binding power of a manifesto promise.

Each of the parties might give an assurance that their proposal would feature in their manifesto for the 2015 UK elections but, again, what is to stop them reneging on that promise - either before or after the election? And what is to stop their London bosses vetoing it any proposal for further devolution once Scotland has forfeited its leverage?

The British parties have belatedly realised their grave error in opting to try and sell the status quo - the least popular option by far. They are now frantically trying to pretend that a No vote is a vote for the very thing that they insisted should not be allowed on the ballot paper, because they were childishly more concerned with denying Alex Salmond a "consolation prize" than with seeking a settlement that would suit Scotland's people.

However honourable his intentions, it is not fitting that Patrick Harvie should play along with this attempted deception by implying that a "more powers" proposal from Better Together/Project Fear is feasible and/or credible. The ONLY way to ensure more powers for the Scottish Parliament in line with what the people of Scotland have indicated that they want is to vote Yes. Let nothing distract from this incontrovertible fact.

The second fallacy we have to deal with is the notion that the SNP and/or the Scottish Government can or should be more radical in its offering to the people of Scotland. The nonsense of this should be obvious. Which makes it all the more surprising that this particular fallacy should find so much traction even among supporters of independence and/or the SNP.

Firstly, the SNP is the party of government. Governing parties do not do "radical". It's not their role. Its not appropriate to the niche that they occupy in the political environment. There is much more that could be said on this, but this is not the place and it is. in any case, a more general point about the nature of politics that is superseded by more immediate reasons why the SNP and/or the Scottish Government cannot be more radical.

It's summed up in one word. Mandate! The SNP cannot propose, or even discuss, the abolition of the monarchy in Scotland - as an example of radicalism - for the simple reason that it has no mandate to deliver a republic. And the referendum cannot provide such a mandate. The referendum is about one thing and one thing only. It is about who will make the decisions about whether Scotland should retain the monarchy. It is not about actually making such a decision.

It is great that we have the Scottish Greens and others talking about how different an independent Scotland could be. It's great that we have people coming up with a range of different ideas and proposals on matters such as the constitution, local democracy, defence and much else besides. Seldom has political discourse in Scotland been so rich and so lively.

But the role of the SNP/Scottish Government is to state as clearly and accurately as possible what a Yes vote WILL mean on day one of an independent Scotland. It is for others to speculate about what independence MIGHT mean in the longer term. Absent a mandate to make any of the changes that Patrick Harvie and others would like to see, day one cannot be other than barely distinguishable from the days that went before. What will be different - and it's a huge difference - is that we will have the power to set about tackling that more radical agenda.

Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, August 29, 2013 7:28 AM
Thanbks Peter,once again you have said what is need to be said and probably what a lot of us think and maybe ,like me, just cant get the words together to say it.Focus must be kept on the objective or as the saying goes "eyes on the prize" thanks for the nudge keeps me out of the nonsense debates and my sometimes thinking at a tangent.
Peter A Bell's comment, August 29, 2013 7:41 AM
Thanks, Charles. I do what I can.
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Henry McLeish: Unionists sunk by a perfect storm?

Henry McLeish: Unionists sunk by a perfect storm? | independence | Scoop.it
The rise of the political right south of the Border coupled with complacency among the unionist parties may sink the Better Together campaign, warns Henry McLeish

Via Peter A Bell
James Cammeron's insight:

Independence IS THE NORM, no the exception, or extream

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 20, 2013 4:46 AM

Henry McLeish offers a reasoned and insightful analysis. I would take issue with only one point - his characterisation of independence as "extreme".

Independence is not extraordinary. Independence is the default status of all nations. Independence is normal. It's the contrivance of inequitable devolution within an asymmetric union which is anomalous.

To describe the aspiration to restore Scotland's rightful constitutional status as a form of extremism is either to misunderstand the nature of the proposition, or to misrepresent it.

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Scotland's energy future in Scotland's hands

Scotland's energy future in Scotland's hands | independence | Scoop.it

Whatever way you think we should use our immense oil and gas resources, one thing is increasingly clear – they would be better managed in Scotland than they currently are from London.

 

We know there is much more to Scotland’s economy than oil and gas.


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Scottish independence: Oil predictions ‘too low’

Scottish independence: Oil predictions ‘too low’ | independence | Scoop.it
UK GOVERNMENT predictions for the future of North Sea oil are based on “very low” forecasts which are well below independent analysis, an expert in the field said yesterday.

Via Peter A Bell
James Cammeron's insight:

Just a repeat of the 1977 / 1997 UK Gov Strategy - Lie and talk Scotland oil down. Just all so sadly predictable, and something that is being seen through by the voting public. 

 

And what happened to the Project Fear positive case for the union announced in the last week or so -  Short lived inititive (as expected)

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, July 23, 2013 2:56 AM

These "oil figures" make no difference whatever. I'll be voting Yes.

Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, July 23, 2013 11:58 AM
I'm for independence even if I end up homeless,I'd rather be that way.
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Coalition claims it has won battle for No vote in referendum

Coalition claims it has won battle for No vote in referendum | independence | Scoop.it

DAVID CAMERON'S Government believes it has already won the battle over Scottish independence 14 months before the referendum.


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Peter A Bell's curator insight, July 15, 2013 4:52 AM

There's an interesting and, perhaps, informative contradiction in this re-hashed press release from the anti-independence campaign. On the one hand the possibility of a Yes vote is dismissed with that arrogant contempt for the people of Scotland which is so characteristic of the British establishment.

On the other hand we have a tacit acknowledgement that there may well be a "narrowing of the polls" between now and the referendum. This anticipated shift in opinion is then pre-emptively discounted, with similar arrogant disdain for Scotland's voters, as evidence of nothing more than a "protest vote".

In all of this there is the pompous braggadocio that is ever symptomatic of profound insecurity. The British nationalists are seeing their campaign to preserve the British state slipping away from them. And they are afraid for the power and privilege it confers.

Jim Arnott's curator insight, July 15, 2013 5:01 AM

Let the self-delusion continue.

 

Vote Yes in the 2014 Referendum on independence for Scotland

James McLaren's comment, July 18, 2013 4:15 AM
Never interrupt the enemy when they are making a mistake--Napoleon.