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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Independence will bring positive opportunities around Helensburgh - YouTube

Amy McKechnie is from Helensburgh. She's voting Yes to bring more opportunities to her local area, using money saved from Trident to invest more in jobs and ...
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How a Scotland ‘Yes’ Vote Could Challenge the UK Nuclear Weapons Program

How a Scotland ‘Yes’ Vote Could Challenge the UK Nuclear Weapons Program | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The entire Scottish independence movement is firmly against nuclear weapons," Jimmy Watson, a resident at Faslane Peace Camp, tells me.
At 32 years old, Faslane is one of the world’s longest-running p
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Independence: Keith Brown warns over Trident costs

Independence: Keith Brown warns over Trident costs | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
TAXPAYERS in Scotland will face a multibillion-pound bill to pay for a new generation of nuclear weapons if plans to renew Trident are backed, Veterans Minister Keith Brown has warned.

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Minister 'determined' to axe Trident

Minister 'determined' to axe Trident | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Scottish ministers want immediate discussions to remove Trident from Scotland if there is a referendum "Yes" vote, Keith Brown has said.

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The chocolate teapot

The chocolate teapot | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The UK Trident programme encompasses the development, procurement and operation of the current generation of British nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them. It was announced in July 1980 an...

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Map Ref. 55°N 5°W

Map Ref. 55°N 5°W | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
About 11 minutes and 30 seconds into last night's Scotland 2014, Labour MP Gemma Doyle repeated one of the strangest arguments Labour use against independence. Having first denied that she'd ever s...
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More stuff that doesn't matter

More stuff that doesn't matter | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The big story in most of today's papers is the British Social Attitudes survey, which has discovered a whole bunch of stuff of absolutely no importance whatsoever. The Scotsman, for example, highli...
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Trident: survey shows Scotland and rUK are split on its future

Trident: survey shows Scotland and rUK are split on its future | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
MORE Scots believe Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent should continue to be based north of the Border after ­independence than want it removed, research published today shows.
Peter A Bell's insight:

A survey appears which can be spun as suggesting most people in Scotland want to keep Trident and all of a sudden removing the British state's WMD becomes the SNP's "flagship policy". Does that mean currency union and continuing EU membership are no longer important issues? Or have they only been relegated temporarily - until somebody points out that (a) we are not told precisely what question was asked; and (b) the difference involved is within the margin of error.

And so another "blow" to the SNP is manufactured. It would be comical if it were not for the fact that these are important matter. Far too important for the British media to be playing silly wee games.

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Scotland ‘will use nuclear weapons to bargain with’

Scotland ‘will use nuclear weapons to bargain with’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland might be forced to postpone banning nuclear weapons from its territory in exchange for an easier passage into Nato and the European Union, a leading defence expert has claimed.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is interesting, if not at all surprising, that The Scotsman chooses to hurriedly gloss over the main finding of Professor Malcolm Chalmers's report, namely that plans for Scotland's defences are perfectly viable. Instead, we get this focus on the issue of nuclear weapons.
 
Professor Chalmers is wrong about one thing. There has been no "softening of the SNP position” on Trident. All there has been is a statement of what was already obvious. There was never any possibility that Trident would be removed overnight. The nature of the referendum campaign has made it necessary to spell out things that would normally be taken for granted simply to minimise the extent to which the anti-independence mob are able to misrepresent SNP policy and the Scottish Governments plans.
 
The time-table for removal of Trident is something that was always going to have to be negotiated. And it was always going to be impossible for the Scottish Government to force early removal. To do so would leave them open to accusations of compromising safety for political reasons.
 
But while Professor Chalmers and the anti-independence mob persist in the notion that Scotland comes to these negotiations empty-handed, the reality is that the British state's obsession with Trident, and Nato's obsession with WMD in general, puts Scotland in a strong bargaining position.
 
The rUK will desperately need time to arrange the relocation of its nuclear arsenal. It is the needful buyer and Scotland is the seller. It will be Scotland that sets the price that rUK will have to pay for any leeway in the time-scale for the removal of Trident.
 
Likewise, geopolitical factors make Scotland's cooperation crucial to Nato. The clue is in the "North Atlantic" part of the alliance's name. It is both simplistic and insulting to maintain that Scotland will be the only party to negotiations required to make concessions. Both rUK and Nato will be under considerable pressure to make accommodations that the Scottish Government can live with.
 
In the end, nobody will get everything that they want. That is ever the way with such negotiations. Trident will probably stay longer than most people in Scotland would like. But this concession will not simply have been extracted. It will have been bought. And, as an independent nation, Scotland will be in a position to freely negotiate the price.

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Disappointing response from Johann Lamont regarding Trident

Disappointing response from Johann Lamont regarding Trident | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament works for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in Britain as a step toward the global elimination of these weapons of mass destruction.
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Allan Massie: Trident is a Catch-22 situation

Allan Massie: Trident is a Catch-22 situation | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A more flexible attitude to nuclear would reassure Nato and others that the SNP takes defence seriously, writes Allan Massie
Peter A Bell's insight:

You have to admit that some of the anti-independence propaganda has become more subtle. The attempt here to suggest that there is a possibility of the Scottish Government abandoning its commitment to rid Scotland of WMD is rather well done. Dishonest, of course. This is, after all, the British press. But almost artfully dishonest. Which is, if nothing else, a change from the usual brazen lies and inept scaremongering.

Not all of it is quite so artful. The implication that Alex Salmond's attitude can be characterised using the phrase, “Stop the world, I want to get off”, is more typically transparent in its purpose to deceive. The implication is, of course, totally false. Independence is not about isolation, it is about engaging with the world on our own terms.

If Scotland's independence movement was characterised by the kind of unrealistic detachment that Allan Massie tries to suggest its supporters might be prepared to meekly accept the argument that we need to stockpile WMD because the future is uncertain. We might succumb to the notion - every bit as alluring as “Stop the world, I want to get off” - that we have no control and therefore no responsibility. But we do not.

Were Mr Massie less interested in caricaturing Scotland's independence movement and more intent upon analysing it, he would note that its message is one of engagement with the world and with the future. It speaks of a Scotland unwilling to passively accept the imperatives of the old order. A Scotland bold enough to shape the future rather than be twisted by fear of the future.

That's the kind of nation I want to be part of. Which is why I will be voting Yes.

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SNP’s nuclear weapons ban ‘unacceptable for Nato’

SNP’s nuclear weapons ban ‘unacceptable for Nato’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE SNP’s plan to scrap Trident would cast a “dark shadow” over the international reception given to a newly independent Scottish nation, according to a dozen high-ranking defence veterans.
Peter A Bell's insight:
Apparently, a bunch of mothballed military types have seen fit to write a threatening letter to Scotland's First Minister.

Where have these people been for the last two years? Why are they talking about negotiations on currency etc. being "complex and difficult" when the UK Government has already ruled out negotiations? Well, the UK Government except for Philip Hammond who seems not have have received the memo.

Why are they talking about a risk of these these negotiations being soured when they have already been turned rancid by the UK government's belligerent, antagonistic attitude?

Why are they purporting to speak for NATO? Nowhere do I see any of these people identified as having any particular standing within NATO.

By what authority do these people presume to speak for the US? Or France? Or any of the other member nations of NATO? Or, for that matter, the entire international community?

What exactly are these people proposing? Are they suggesting that some kind of pressure would be brought to bear in an effort to force the Scottish Government to allow Trident to remain on Scottish soil? Wouldn't that be illegal?

What kind of pressure do these people envisage being used? Economic sanctions? Military intervention? Wouldn't that also be illegal?

Where, in all of the pompous posturing from these blimpish buffoons, is there any indication that they have taken due account of the value of Scotland to NATO? Are they unaware of Scotland's geopolitical significance? Or are they merely intent on portraying Scotland as powerless in the face of a petulant and spiteful British state? Is their purpose to convey the impression that Scotland comes to the independence negotiations with no bargaining chips at all? Is that down to their ignorance? Or is it wilful dishonesty?
The UK Trident system represents only around 1% of of NATO's nuclear capability. In military terms, it is an expensive white elephant. Scotland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), by contrast, represents a massively significant and increasingly important section of the Northern Atlantic. Is there any doubt that Scotland's strategic position is frequently used by the British state to bolster its position?
Are we supposed to believe that. like our oil reserves, this national asset suddenly becomes worthless when it is no longer administered by a British state which has shown itself to be neglectful and incompetent in this regard? Are we supposed to believe that NATO would not look favourably on the Scottish Government's defence plans relative to the badly managed decline of the U' imperialistic pretensions?

Why would rUK's problems with how to dispose of its WMD be a consideration at all for those voting in the referendum? We know, do we not, that Scotland's problems in being used as a dumping ground by the British state were never a consideration?

Why are these people trying to give the impression that the Scottish Government is making unreasonable demands? The SG has bent over backwards to stress its willingness to cooperate fully with rUK in the matter of removal of Trident, as it has in all other matters. What is unreasonable about declining to host another nation's WMD? Indeed, would doing otherwise not contravene various international protocols?

Are these people claiming that some way could be found to circumvent such protocols? If so, why would Scotland want to start its new life as an independent nation in such a way? Would that not seriously tarnish the nation's reputation and standing with the international community? Arguable more so than standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the vast majority of nations which possess no WMD, desire no WMD, abhor them, and will not permit them on their territory?

Who the hell do these people think they are?
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Scotland Office minister insists: No deal on Trident

Scotland Office minister insists: No deal on Trident | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A UK Government minister has conceded there is "no deal to be done" over Trident and the UK's nuclear deterrent would be expelled from ­Scotland in the event of independence.
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Nuclear warhead facility could be built near Falmouth

Nuclear warhead facility could be built near Falmouth | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE people of Falmouth, and more specifically Flushing and Mylor, have more to fear than most if Scotland gains its independence in September, according to a new report from the Royal United Services Institute.
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The case for Trident is absurd. Scotland may help us get rid of it

The case for Trident is absurd. Scotland may help us get rid of it | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Simon Jenkins: Prestige, not defence, is the only reason to keep this £100bn albatross. We may yet give thanks for Alex Salmond’s posturing

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Trident removal would send 'monumental' message | Scottish National Party

Trident removal would send 'monumental' message | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Scotland’s potential to lead the way on nuclear disarmament has been highlighted again today – after the Director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project and the former Mayor of Hiroshima backed calls to remove Trident from Scotland after a Yes vote.

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UK Government slammed after secret nuclear deal exposed

UK Government slammed after secret nuclear deal exposed | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Scottish National Party has slammed the UK Government for committing to a secret decade-long agreement with the United States on nuclear weapons.

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Embarrassment for Labour as party members vote to scrap Trident

Embarrassment for Labour as party members vote to scrap Trident | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Labour party has come under pressure from its own members to scrap Trident after 50 party branches - including 5 in Scotland - called for the nuclear weapon system to be binned.

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Scotland's £3.5 billion independence dividend

Scotland's £3.5 billion independence dividend | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
An independent Scotland will save money that can be spent on building a better economy. This is because with independence Scotland will no longer fund services in London or policies that Scotland doesn't need. The main areas which lead to savings are nuclear weapons and defence, the London civil
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Trident polls

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament works for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in Britain as a step toward the global elimination of these weapons of mass destruction.
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Trident to stay on Clyde until at least 2026 says Hammond

Trident to stay on Clyde until at least 2026 says Hammond | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

An independent Scotland could not "unilaterally" expel nuclear weapons, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has warned, as he rejected the SNP's plans to get rid of Trident by 2020.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Hammond has blundered badly here. The UK Government's line has always been that it is not planning for a Yes vote. But Hammond has let slip that they have actually been planning for removing Trident from Scotland. Unless, of course, he just plucked the 2026 date out of thin air on the basis that any date would do so long as it was significantly later than the Scottish Government's target.

You have to love Hammond's petulant, foot-stamping insistence that Scotland could not "unilaterally" expel nuclear weapons. Er, yes we could! That's what being independent means. It means that warmongering wannabe imperialists don't get to "unilaterally" decide to dump their stockpiles of WMD on your territory.

Scotland is perfectly within its rights to demand removal of the British state's obscene war toys. The Scottish Government has clearly signalled its intention to be reasonable about the time-scale for getting Trident out of Scotland. Hammond and his masters in Washington are going to have to accept that any leeway on that time-scale will have to be bought at a much, much higher price than a bit of comically unconvincing British bluster.

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Senior Tories back US plan for Trident if Scots vote Yes

Senior Tories back US plan for Trident if Scots vote Yes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
INFLUENTIAL senior ­Conservatives believe Trident should be housed in the US as a "stop gap" measure in the event of Scottish independence.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is a measure of the sickening hypocrisy of British politicians, as well as the contempt in which they hold Scotland, that they are quite content to have their obscene WMD based in France or the US while reacting with furious indignation to any suggestion that their warships might be built in Scotland. Apparently, there are degrees of "foreignness", with Scotland lying at the extreme while pretty much any other country is no more foreign than expedience demands.

What we must recognise is that this contemptuous attitude towards Scotland exists now. It pervades the British state and all its dealings with Scotland. It is not something that is merely in prospect if we have the temerity to vote Yes. It is the reality with which we live on a daily basis. We are being asked by the anti-independence campaign to vote in September to hand power to people who regard Scotland as a possession to be used as they see fit.

Who can argue that this is a sound basis for a relationship? Who can dispute that independence offers an opportunity to forge a better relationship?

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To the Waste and Illusion of Trident we say No

In 1979 Lord Mountbatten said “The nuclear arms race has no military purpose.  Wars cannot be fought with nuclear weapons.  Their existence only adds to our perils because of the illusions they hav...
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Drone Warrior

Drone Warrior | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Philip Hammond arrives in Glasgow today to visit a Drones factory and champion Weapons of Mass Destruction. En route he was keen to spread the usual selection of apocalyptic stories. Let's not focu...
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We will be rid of Trident as fast as possible, says Sturgeon

NICOLA Sturgeon has underlined the SNP's determination to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons as quickly as possible if the country votes to become independent.
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