Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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We Need To Talk About Keqiang

We Need To Talk About Keqiang | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Chinese premier’s entry into the Scottish independence debate offers an opportunity to ponder what yes voters are really rejecting. By Susan Evans. Two years ago, David Cameron’s tête-a- tête w...
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Chinese PM speaks out for Union

Chinese PM speaks out for Union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The 25th anniversary of the massacre was just two weeks ago, and little has changed about China's attitude to dissent since then, but when you're desperate pretty much any celebrity endorsement wil...
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Alex Salmond seeks trade boost with China visit

Alex Salmond seeks trade boost with China visit | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has arrived in China, hoping to build on growing trade with one of the world’s leading economies – and a mutual interest in whisky and golf.
Peter A Bell's insight:

There are few things better contrived to get the British nationalist bile flowing than the Scottish Government acting like a real national government, or the First Minister conducting himself in the manner of a national political leader. To those who cannot see Scotland as anything other than a subordinate region of the British state such things will always be an affront to their sense of proper order of things.

To these people I say, "Suck it up!". Scotland has changed. And we're not going back.

Not even a No vote in next year's referendum will destroy our new-found confidence. Arguably the most significant thing that the SNP has done, next to delivering our referendum on independence, has been to demonstrate that we can have a real government of our own. We have grown comfortable with having a distinct political identity. We are now accustomed to a status that is more than the architects of independence ever intended for us. A No vote may be a blow to that confidence. It may undermine our standing in our own eyes and the eyes of the world. But there is no way that genie is going back in the bottle.

Scotland can no more be taken back to its pre-devolution condition than an adult can become a child again. All future devolved  governments of Scotland within the UK will be judged against the standard that has been set by the current administration. The people of Scotland will expect those governments to be more committed to a distinctive political identity that the British state will be intent on suppressing. The result can only be increasing frustration on the part of those who want to turn back the clock, and growing resentment on the part of those who are determined that the gains of devolution should not be lost.

Things such as Alex Salmond leading a trade delegation to China have political significance as well as practical value. Failure to recognise the implications of this political significance would be a grave error.

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See no evil

See no evil | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | News Net Scotland, uniquely Scottish...

 

"In response to the many questions asked of Alex Salmond's administration about Scotland's relationship with China, and any perceived duty to raise concerns about human rights, he stated that Scotland should promote social progress in China through economic co-operation rather than "jump up and down from a distance" about human rights."

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China in boost to No camp as premier backs UK

China in boost to No camp as premier backs UK | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The premier of China has suggested that the fastest growing economy in the world would prefer a
Peter A Bell's insight:

Premier Li Keqiang of China says he will respect the choice of Scotland's people. Let us hope that the British state manages to demonstrate the same regard for democracy.

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An independence riddle as Salmond returns to China

It was one of the defining moments of the "triangular diplomacy" conceived by Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, the point at which the US President touched down in what Westerners then called Peking to meet Chinese premier Chou En-lai.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Some seriously confused stuff from David Torrance. In the space of a few sentences Alex Salmond goes from having no foreign policy to "continuing a long tradition of foreign policy" to being "ahead of the curve".


There's something rather weird too about his thoughts on the SNP's attitude to sovereignty. It's not clear whether it's naivety or double-standards or some combination of the two. At one point he seems to suppose that the SNP's ideas on Scotland's sovereignty should be extrapolated to other places where there are independence movements in some simplistic way that takes no account of different constitutional circumstances, or anything else. Almost in the next breath we find Mr Torrance acknowledging the importance of "pragmatism" and "realpolitik".


If this article was supposed to offer any insights into the foreign policy thinking of the SNP or Alex Salmond then it's a pretty comprehensive failure. But, having read it, I do feel that I know a bit more about David Torrance's attitudes.

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A tale of two contracts

A tale of two contracts | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Do you remember this little story spread all over our press and the BBC a couple of weeks back?


THERE should be a review into the “disgraceful” decision to give a contract to supply steel...
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