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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Be Who You Are

Be Who You Are | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We are awash with conversations about our national identity right now in Scotland. What does it mean, after all, to be Scottish at this seminal time in our history? A few friends w...

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"Who are the Scots?" (21st Century Edition)

"Who are the Scots?" (21st Century Edition) | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We are a nation. Not "again" but for the very first time. A nation in the 21st century. Who are the Scots? We are. And we are not climbing back in the bottle.


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Anglo-Scottish Anxieties

Anglo-Scottish Anxieties | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

I come from a heavily Anglicised Scottish family. My mother is from Sussex. Although born in Scotland, my late dad was educated in Yorkshire and Cambridge and lived in England unti...

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National identity and party affiliation are set to play a key role in the Scottish referendum, whose result is more uncertain than opinion polls suggest

National identity and party affiliation are set to play a key role in the Scottish referendum, whose result is more uncertain than opinion polls suggest | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

‘DevoMax’ will not be an option on the ballot paper in the Scottish Independence Referendum next year even though it is more popular among the electorate than independence. Arno van der Zwet and Craig McAngus explore how Scottish attitudes to the two options vary according to national and party identity. They find that perceptions of national identity polarises assessments of Scotland’s performance under independence more so than it does for DevoMax. Also, people’s assessments of Scotland’s future do not always match their actual constitutional preferences, suggesting that the referendum result is more uncertain than opinion polls may suggest.


Peter A Bell's insight:

"Labour supporters are more positive about the future performance of an independent Scotland than their actual constitutional preferences would suggest."


We might well infer from this that there is a tendency for who most closely associated themselves with British Labour to put loyalty to the party ahead of the welfare of Scotland's people. Which is unfortunate.


But is it any more unfortunate that prioritising the preservation of the British state over the interests of Scotland and its people?


One way or another, the motivations of many No voters seem highly questionable.

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Bård A. Skjeggestad's curator insight, August 13, 2014 4:37 AM

Samfunnsfaglig engelsk : ADVANCED 

 

Statistics

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The Gareth Bale Conundrum

The Gareth Bale Conundrum | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We’ve had a go at this subject once before, but this time we’ve come up with a less hyperbolic analogy. It was sparked by another Twitter comment from Labour spin-doctor John McTernan, which cropped up last night in the middle of some truly abject cringing from “Better Together” campaign director Blair McDougall.


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Allan Massie: Gaelic will only be a hobby language

Allan Massie: Gaelic will only be a hobby language | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The indulgent pretence surrounding Gaelic does nothing to halt the language’s decline and amounts to intellectual dishonesty, writes Allan Massie
Peter A Bell's insight:

What a magnificently pointless rant! I can only assume that Mr Massie felt a pressing need to lance the boil of his curmudgeonly indignation. Quite why he should think others might benefit from witnessing this operation remains a mystery. But then, I've never understood the urge that drives people to flaunt their gross physical abnormalities in front of the TV cameras for an audience whose motives I find no less incomprehensible.

Don't get me wrong! I can do the grumpy old man thing along with the best of them. Get me started on the subject of dogs and dog-owners and you'll soon discover the truth of that. But I prefer to put my energies into railing against the injustices of the things people are denied or deprived of rather than the the things that enrich the lives of individuals and add something to our society.

I don't see anybody trying to pretend that Scotland is a bi-lingual nation. All I see is an important part of our culture being given the kind of prominence it needs in order to survive. If there is a cost to this then I, for one, am happy to pay what cannot be more than my infinitesimal share. I do not speak Gaelic, and have no particular personal interest in the language. By the same token, I do not play a musical instrument or enjoy the ballet, but I am content that public money should be spent supporting the teaching of music and the performance of ballet because I recognise that our culture is enhanced thereby and that it would necessarily be diminished were support for these things to be withdrawn.

It all comes down to ones concept of society. Whether one sees it as something external to you as an individual. Something which can only be added to by subtracting from the individual. Or whether one sees society as something that we are all part of. Something which connects us all such that, if one part gains, we all do.

I suspect Mr Massie tends to the former perspective. But I don't think that explains his issue with the way Gaelic is treated in Scotland. The clue to what really troubles him is to be found in his remarks about "national identity". While the semantics suggest an acknowledgement of "our distinct national identity", the tone clearly indicates resentment of the fact that this distinctiveness is more than merely acknowledged.

The tone is redolent of that narrow, jealous, supercilious British nationalism which perceives in the tokens and symbols of other national identities only a threat to its own integrity. A chauvinistic and exceptionalistic nationalism that is offended by the sight of the Saltire.

Gaelic is fine, so long as it knows its place. Just as Scotland is OK so long as it does not exhibit any pretension to be other than totally subsumed in a British identity.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:03 AM

What a magnificently pointless rant! I can only assume that Mr Massie felt a pressing need to lance the boil of his curmudgeonly indignation. Quite why he should think others might benefit from witnessing this operation remains a mystery. But then, I've never understood the urge that drives people to flaunt their gross physical abnormalities in front of the TV cameras for an audience whose motives I find no less incomprehensible.

Don't get me wrong! I can do the grumpy old man thing along with the best of them. Get me started on the subject of dogs and dog-owners and you'll soon discover the truth of that. But I prefer to put my energies into railing against the injustices of the things people are denied or deprived of rather than the the things that enrich the lives of individuals and add something to our society.

I don't see anybody trying to pretend that Scotland is a bi-lingual nation. All I see is an important part of our culture being given the kind of prominence it needs in order to survive. If there is a cost to this then I, for one, am happy to pay what cannot be more than my infinitesimal share. I do not speak Gaelic, and have no particular personal interest in the language. By the same token, I do not play a musical instrument or enjoy the ballet, but I am content that public money should be spent supporting the teaching of music and the performance of ballet because I recognise that our culture is enhanced thereby and that it would necessarily be diminished were support for these things to be withdrawn.

It all comes down to ones concept of society. Whether one sees it as something external to you as an individual. Something which can only be added to by subtracting from the individual. Or whether one sees society as something that we are all part of. Something which connects us all such that, if one part gains, we all do.

I suspect Mr Massie tends to the former perspective. But I don't think that explains his issue with the way Gaelic is treated in Scotland. The clue to what really troubles him is to be found in his remarks about "national identity". While the semantics suggest an acknowledgement of "our distinct national identity", the tone clearly indicates resentment of the fact that this distinctiveness is more than merely acknowledged.

The tone is redolent of that narrow, jealous, supercilious British nationalism which perceives in the tokens and symbols of other national identities only a threat to its own integrity. A chauvinistic and exceptionalistic nationalism that is offended by the sight of the Saltire.

Gaelic is fine, so long as it knows its place. Just as Scotland is OK so long as it does not exhibit any pretension to be other than totally subsumed in a British identity.

Alexander Metcalfe's curator insight, October 18, 2013 11:59 PM

Language and politics

Debi Ray Kidd's curator insight, July 21, 2014 4:48 PM

Languages such as Gaelic are being revived but at what cost?

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The Eclipse Of Scottish Nationalism | National Collective

The Eclipse Of Scottish Nationalism | National Collective | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

There are two schools of thought on what it means to be Scottish today.


The first contends that Scottish identity and culture should be treasured, that Scotland is ‘the best country in the world’ as it is, but that the independence movement is only perpetuating regressive ideas of Scotland and cultural cringe.

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Comment: Westminster doesn’t own ‘Britishness’

Comment: Westminster doesn’t own ‘Britishness’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN UNEXPECTED twist in the referendum debate has emerged with the No campaign appearing keen to reduce “Britishness” to little more than a formal legal status.
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Both sides the Tweed

Both sides the Tweed | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Probably the best view of Scotland’s capital city is to be had from Calton Hill at the East End of Princes St: Arthur’s Seat, the Pentlands, the Old Town, the New Town, the Forth, North Berwick Law...
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Scots may choose to be British in wake of Yes vote

Scots may choose to be British in wake of Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Scots could choose to remain British and "reject" Scottish citizenship in the event of a Yes vote for independence, an expert has told MPs.

 

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Politics and that opening ceremony

So that’s the Olympics up and running and the biggest show on earth is underway. Already it seems like the whole nation is gripped on the prospects for team GB and enjoying the spectacle of the wor...
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CanSpeccy: New Labor and the Genodice of the English

CanSpeccy: New Labor and the Genodice of the English | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The leader of the Labour Party Ed Milband has cynically climbed onto the bandwagon which Labour politicians like John Crudas, Harriett Harman and John Denham tentatively started rolling before the last election as they began to fret over losing the votes of the British white working class, the vast majority of whom live in England.

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You Do Not Exist

You Do Not Exist | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

You know they are scared now, don't you? Deeply unsettled. Despite endless proclamations of "I'm a proud Scot but ..." the reality of a deep-seated cultural self-hatred is seeping out...


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Legal expert cited by SNP reveals why he will vote No

Legal expert cited by SNP reveals why he will vote No | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A DISTINGUISHED legal expert, whose views have been used to support Alex Salmond's case for independence, explains today why he will vote No in September's referendum.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Let's ignore the stuff about identity since nobody has ever claimed that "only independence would allow Scots to regain a sense of identity". That's just another of those pathetic straw men that the anti-independence mob relies on so heavily that they are no longer able to tell the difference between what has actually been said by the Yes campaign and what they have merely imagined - or lied about.

The bit about realising Scotland's potential is more interesting. I note that, like pretty much every other British nationalist - and virtually all of the British media - Sir David Edward totally fails to interrogate the arguments of those who would deny the people of Scotland the powers that are a prerequisite to realising our nation's potential. He simply assumes that the present anomalous constitutional arrangement must be ideal because... well... he never does explain why.

Surely it is self-evident that realising ones potential, as an individual or as a nation, is crucially dependent on being able to make choices that are informed by ones own assessment of what that potential is and ones own calculation as to the best way of realising it.

Surely it is equally self-evident that a constitutional arrangement which is entirely concerned with withholding powers from the Scottish Parliament must, by definition, have the effect of preventing the realisation of the nation's potential.

As is so often the case with those who have an unthinking faith in the divinely ordained righteousness of the British state, Sir David Edward just doesn't think through his arguments.


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Tough Love

Tough Love | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Like millions of other people, (John Smith) knew that loving your country and at the same time wanting to be part of something bigger does not make you any less Scottish… That’s right, Prime Minist...
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Hearts and Minds in the MORI poll

Hearts and Minds in the MORI poll | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Referendum, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | Newsnet Scotland, uniquely Scottish
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is worth noting that much of the movement under discussion is within the normal margin of error range for such polls. But supposing we take the results at face value and accept that there is "a degree of polarisation beginning to develop in the debate", should we be surprised? Should we be concerned?

I don't think we should be either surprised or concerned. In fact, such polarisation could be a positive indication as it might suggest that the arguments are being better and more widely understood.

It may seem to some unsatisfactory or even undesirable that the debate should be to any significant extent reduced to a matter of loyalty to the British state versus loyalty to Scotland. But we are not entitled to assume that these loyalties are blind. We must allow that they may be informed by an adequate appreciation of the facts and reasoned arguments.

Except that there are no facts or reasoned arguments coming from the No campaign.

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Large Scale Solidarity

Large Scale Solidarity | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

One jarring conversation in a Highland town this summer led me to reflect on the nature of a Scottish national identity and on what would constitute a just sovereign order in an independent – or, indeed, non-independent – Scotland.

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Why Catholics and Protestants do not need to fear an independent Scotland

Why Catholics and Protestants do not need to fear an independent Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
In chemistry a material in which other elements or compounds can be dissolved is called a solvent. Here's the definition: 'A solvent (from the Latin solvō, "I loosen, untie, I solve") is a substanc...
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Most Scots 'only feel Scottish'

Most Scots 'only feel Scottish' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Most people living in Scotland describe their national identity as being "Scottish only", according to the latest census figures.
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Generation X

Generation X | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

There was an eccentric bloke at the Glasgow Herald many years ago who confused me by changing his style every time I saw him.  Collar and tie one day then tee shirt to work; one day pony tail, next day not.  One of the hacks summed him up: "He opens the wardrobe in the morning, looks along the hangers and selects a persona for the day."

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Andrew Wilson: From Braveheart to Bond: identity politics have no role in referendum

THE potential and power of ­Twitter is well rehearsed. Used well it can inform, amuse and stimulate. Used badly it can bore to the core and often ­offend.
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Wings Over Scotland | What’s wrong with foreigners?

Do Ed Miliband, Tony Benn and George Galloway and now Menzies Campbell (who appeared on today’s edition of The Sunday Politics Scotland) have a problem with foreigners? It sounds like they do.

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Editorial: Finally, Britain is beginning to understand civic nationalism - National Collective - An open and non-party political platform for artists and creatives to engage with the Scottish indep...

Editorial: Finally, Britain is beginning to understand civic nationalism - National Collective - An open and non-party political platform for artists and creatives to engage with the Scottish indep... | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

When the ‘Better Together’ campaign to save the union launched at the end of June, they appeared to have reached the conclusion that the most effective way of exploiting the potent emotions of patriotism to their advantage was through out-Scottishing their opponents.

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Time for Scotland to stand out on the international front

Time for Scotland to stand out on the international front | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

One of the most annoying moments of my life occurred when I was entering the US and an immigration official crossed out “Scotland” which I had written as my country of origin on the registration form and replaced it with “UK”.

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