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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Millions of Scots to be told a 'yes' vote on September 18 is forever - Telegraph

Millions of Scots to be told a 'yes' vote on September 18 is forever - Telegraph | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Telegraph readers can fly the union flag outside their homes, travel north of the Border to campaign, or phone and email friends and family in Scotland to save the Union, says Danny Alexander

Peter A Bell's insight:

It is very considerate of the British Government to inform us that the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status will be "forever". But I really don't think anybody in Scotland was under any illusions about this.


It does, however, reveal a rather strange attitude on the part of British nationalists and yet another of those contradictions and inconsistencies which are such a feature of the campaign to deny the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.


On the one hand we have these British nationalists insisting that the Union is the most wondrous thing in all the world. It is the absolute acme of constitutional arrangements, they tell us. It is "the best of both worlds". It is the most successful political union is history. It is a big shiny thing with nary a blemish nor fault.


Given all of that, you'd think these British nationalists would want to fight to restore the Union. You'd assume that their very first thought following independence would be to start a campaign to return powers to Westminster where they are so adamant they belong.

Does their readiness to give up on their precious union not tell us something about how little they actually value it?


And is it not informative that, while British politicians in Scotland claim - with much pompous proudescottery - that they want what is best for Scotland, they are not prepared to fight for what they assert is best for Scotland.


If these British nationalists had the courage of their convictions; if they truly believed all that they have said about the flawless efficacy of the Union, they would be eager to argue the case for reinstating it.


If the UK Government was firm in its resolve that the Union was best for both Scotland and England it would be prepared to at least make some attempt to restore it.


It seems that they are admitting their inability to sell this corrupt, dysfunctional, anachronistic political union to the people of Scotland. But we already knew that as well.

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University Challenge

University Challenge | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Whenever I mention my respect for academics and how I always think of myself as inferior to their knowledge and intellectual discipline, some of you get in touch to tell me off. I have not to be so...

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The Union as Racketeering

The Union as Racketeering | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We’re witnessing daily now the No campaign and the Unionist infrastructure (what old Marxists would call ‘hegemony’) descend into a base language centred around threats and intimidation. I used to think that devout British subjects were suffering an advanced form of mass Stockholm Syndrome, a nation of Patty Hearst’s.


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The Unions of the United Kingdom are Changing

This week the British media turned its attention to the christening of the Royal Baby with the headlines ‘Gorgeous George’, continued its obsessions with who said what and apologised for what in ‘Plebgate’, and allowed for an occasional airing of the issue which rocked Scotland: the potential closure of Grangemouth petrochemical plant.

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Murray Pittock: 'The nature of the 300-year-old Union has changed'

Murray Pittock: 'The nature of the 300-year-old Union has changed' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

“Scotland is one of the most recognisable nations in the world. Yet if Scotland is a partner in Britain, we are all too often an invisible one,” writes Professor Murray Pittock.

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The State of the Union

The State of the Union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

An issue has been thrown into the humdrum melly of constitutional squabbling by the NO campaign which has raised the debate beyond the lofty matter of soft savoury pastries to questio...

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Witterings of a Weegiewarbler: The Union is pre-ordained to fail.

Witterings of a Weegiewarbler: The Union is pre-ordained to fail. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The question really isn’t if, it’s simply when, as the recent London Olympics so forcibly showed us. Instead of a “feel-good bounce” polling demonstrated some 8% of Scots as registering more antipathy towards the Union.

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Brian Monteith: Prime example of why the Tories must change - Comment - Scotsman.com

Brian Monteith: Prime example of why the Tories must change - Comment - Scotsman.com | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
If there is any doubt that the Conservatives have become a toxic brand, the council election victory of Peter de Vink will dispel it, writes Brian Monteith...
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A Sair Fecht: The Positive Case For Union

A Sair Fecht: The Positive Case For Union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It is perhaps time to hunt down the mythical beast. Like Big Foot or The Yeti, we hear a lot about the 'positive case for the Union' but none of us have yet seen it. Despite a veritable conveyor belt of anti-Independence politicians assuring us they are about to reveal these arcane secrets, it seems that none of them have yet been given permission by the Grand Wizard to reveal the self-evident truths of the Westminster Lodge.

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Scotland and England from a union of parliaments to two independent kingdoms

The UK Government’s advisers claim that Scotland, in the event of independence, would become a new state, while the ‘remainder’ of the UK alone would enjoy Britain’s international privileges. Arguing that Great Britain is best understood as a ‘composite state’, this article explores the history of union to show that the two kingdoms who united in 1707 may now, equally freely, agree to separate as equals.

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The (Os) Bourne Identity

The (Os) Bourne Identity | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Distance can lend enhancement to the view. I suspect that most people here in Ireland were not in the least surprised at the demeanor of George Gideon Oliver Osborne when h...

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The Positive Case for the Union

Many have been been asking, and many have been wanting, The Positive Case for the Union. It is not as far off as we me might assume, and it is not that Better Together hasn’t told us it, for they have!


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Jim Gallagher: Referendum comes down to money

Jim Gallagher: Referendum comes down to money | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Rising to a challenge to make a positive case for the Union, Jim Gallagher looks at Scotland’s trade and the impact it has on the country’s economy
Peter A Bell's insight:

This would only be an argument for the union if the union was a prerequisite of free trade. It may have been 300+ years ago. It isn't now.

What Jim Gallagher is offering here is not the "positive case" that he imagines - or hopes that we'll imagine. What he offers is the same as has been advanced by many other unionists - a thinly veiled threat of low-level economic aggression by the rUK should Scotland have the temerity to normalise its constitutional status.

What else could it be? What else would create the disruption to trade that is predicted?

And it's not the only thinly veiled threat. We also have the old nonsense about how breaking the political union must inevitably also break not only the economic union that allows free trade but the social union that binds families and friends across borders. No explanation of why this should be, of course. No explanation of why, when families and friends maintain relationships across the borders of every other nation on the planet, Scotland/rUK is somehow going to be different.

There is no "positive case" here. Just the same old negativity in a flimsy disguise.

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Wings Over Scotland | Possessed under law

Wings Over Scotland | Possessed under law | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

In an intervention that could in time-worn political terms be described as “brave”, the Secretary of State for Scotland insisted yesterday that recent legal advice to the UK government means an independent Scotland would not inherit the UK’s existing international treaties but would still nonetheless inherit a share of the UK national debt.

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Karin Bowie: 1707, and a nation divided on union

Karin Bowie: 1707, and a nation divided on union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Continuing in collaboration with the University of Glasgow’s Vox Populi series, Karin Bowie considers what ordinary Scots felt on the eve of 1707...
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Unexpected backing for Scottish Independence? « Slugger O'Toole

Michael Portillo with a few truths that dare not speak their names on Andrew Neil’s This Week show last night:

 

On the BBC politics show This Week, he was challenged by host Andrew Neil, who asked: “So for party advantage, you are prepared to break up our country?”

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When Duty Calls

When Duty Calls | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
By Michael Greenwell We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. – George Orwell A while back someone posted on twitter (if it was yo...
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Why there is no pro-union campaign

Why there is no pro-union campaign | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It is evident that there is real and powerful attachment to the British state in some quarters. It may even be that Cameron's fervour is not entirely driven  by a desperate desire to preserve a political establishment within which he enjoys considerable privilege. Or even a dread fear of going down in history as the man who presided over the demise of the UK. So the question remains, what is preventing this passion for the union developing into a pro-union campaign founded in reason rather than emotion? I offer two suggestions.

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