Referendum 2014
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Votes at 16 Bill introduced!

Votes at 16 Bill introduced! | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A Scottish Government bill that will give every 16 and 17 year old the right to vote in next year’s independence referendum has been introduced in a historic day for the Scottish Parliament...
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Young Scots for Independence convener, David Linden: “I am proud of an SNP Government that is bringing forward this exciting extension to the democratic process in Scotland, and I hope that it receives cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament."

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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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A job done well - YouTube

A patriotic Scot convinced of his own people's uselessness by the No campaign and decades of media cringe. From "Disunited Kingdom", Al Jazeera, 10 July 2014.

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A sad product of the Better Together propaganda mill.


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50,000 Scots lose £90m under UK pensions changes

50,000 Scots lose £90m under UK pensions changes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
TENS of thousands of older Scots who have saved for their retirement have lost out under a UK Government pensions cut, figures show.

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Robin McAlpine - YouTube

Robin McAlpine is closing down the Ministry of Common People on Your Knees, the Ministry of Stupid and the Ministry of Failure

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It Takes Two To Tango

It Takes Two To Tango | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
It’s the start of a new month as we count down to voting day. I’m inundated with invitations from all corners of the Yes campaign to take part in everything from a mass canvas, speaking events and ...

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Hats off to the good guys

Hats off to the good guys | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We're big fans of Kevin Bridges. Not only is he one of the finest comedians Scotland has produced in many years, it turns out the Glasgow comic is also a top fella. On seeing a tweet last month fro...

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Yes or No? The Idiotic question with the intelligent answer

Yes or No? The Idiotic question with the intelligent answer | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The real political meaning of a Yes vote is to give a mandate to start a conversation that can save democracy. The real mandate is for a Scottish government to start the conversation that can save ...

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Songs for Scotland

Songs for Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This to share and download everywhere, with special thanks to Mike Gunn ... [go here to buy your tickets or support the project]

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A respectable scumbag

A respectable scumbag | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This man is still regularly invited on TV by both the BBC and STV as a serious pundit. Were anyone to be unsure of the fact that different rules apply to Unionists and Yes supporters, we invite the...

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Surely Ian Smart must be a leading contender for the title of the most detestable individual in Scotland.


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Independence vote ‘too close to call’ claim

Independence vote ‘too close to call’ claim | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE result of the Scottish independence referendum is “still too close to call”, according to an academic’s study of the polling data ahead of September’s vote.

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Unchaining the heart

There's a common Unionist argument, most often espoused by those who fondly believe they're supporting a progressive politics, that Scotland is not any more left wing than the rest of the UK. We've...

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Fans told to remove ‘Yes’ badges at Glasgow Green

Fans told to remove ‘Yes’ badges at Glasgow Green | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
COMMONWEALTH Games fans attending Glasgow Green have hit out at officials who told them to remove their Yes badges.

Peter A Bell's insight:

This just strikes me as wrong-headed pettiness. The referendum, despite the best efforts of British nationalists to turn it into some kind of nasty inter-ethnic squabble, is a lawful, constitutional, democratic process. It is something which has engaged people and drawn them into the democratic process as a whole. It is a positive thing. Not even the lies, fears and smears of the No campaign have been able to detract from that positive impact to any significant extent.

The independence movement is not a protest against anything so much as it is an aspirational cause. By what right does some officious functionary deny individuals the right to proclaim their aspirations?


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New report claims Yes vote could hit stocks

New report claims Yes vote could hit stocks | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish independence could have significant consequences for the value of stocks across a broad range of industries, a report from market analysts has found.

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"A Yes vote in support of Scottish independence on September 18 could have a modestly negative impact on the UK stock market."

So can the weather.


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A Public Press: Reclaiming the Media

A Public Press: Reclaiming the Media | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
With Edward Snowden in exile, and Andy Coulson in Belmarsh and in the heat of the referendum debate it seems an ideal time to look again at the problems of freedom of expression, privacy and media ...

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OAPs ‘worse off’ since Tory benefit cuts, say SNP

OAPs ‘worse off’ since Tory benefit cuts, say SNP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THOUSANDS of hard-saving Scottish pensioners are worse off since the Tory-led government started cutting benefits, according to the SNP.

Peter A Bell's insight:

That British nationalist politicians lie to the people of Scotland is now something of a given. Otherwise we might be generous and allow that Steve Webb is merely being disingenuous when he says that "the state pension is currently at its highest level relative to earnings since 1992". But, knowing the unionist agenda and the methods of the anti-independence campaign as we do, we must acknowledge that he is being deceitful and dishonest.

The stark reality is that the state pension is high relative to earnings only because earnings have been massively eroded over a prolonged period. Wages have been falling in real terms by over 2% a year. That pensions are "high" relative to declining earnings is not a measure of how well pensions have been protected. It is a measure of how severely workers have been hit by Westminster's austerity fetishism.

If we want to get an idea of just how good the UK state pensions is we would do better to make a comparison with other countries rather than with stagnating earnings in the UK. That comparison is summed up in the headline over a November 2013 item on financial website, thisismoney.co.uk, reporting on the findings of an OECD study -

"UK has second-worst state pensions in the developed world at just a THIRD of work income - and only Mexico's are worse"

That is the reality that Steve Webb is trying to hide from the people of Scotland with his weasel-words.


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Pure Class

Pure Class | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It’s one of the dirty words of politics. The thing that our political culture doesn’t want us to talk about and, worse, wants us to think has gone away. The dirty c-word of all ...

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MacNeil counters Better Together Range 'scaremongering'

MacNeil counters Better Together Range 'scaremongering' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil has hit out at claims by Jim Murphy MP during his visit to Uist that the Hebrides Range would not survive a UK break-up. Mr MacNeil said: “This is not the first time Jim ...

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My Brother Ian Smart - Time to Act Johann

My Brother Ian Smart - Time to Act Johann | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

I spent a real good day and night at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday 31st July soaking up the atmosphere and doing a bit of busking both at the SECC complex and later at Hampden. I...

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Up close, Scottish nationalism looks a lot like other nationalisms | Left Foot Forward

Up close, Scottish nationalism looks a lot like other nationalisms | Left Foot Forward | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Nationalism has many potential outcomes, but they are all based on a concern for ‘our people’ not ‘the people’.


Peter A Bell's insight:

Stephen Low's problem, of course, is that he is not "up close" to Scottish nationalism at all. He cannot get "up close" to Scotland's civic nationalist movement because his British Labour tribalism will always intervene. Like so many other British nationalists, Low purports to offer a reasoned, objective analysis, but actually ends up doing no more than dragging on stage that warped caricature of Scotland's independence movement born of an unsavoury mix of resentment at a sense of denied entitlement and the need to rationalise both British Labour's alliance with the Tories and the often quite appalling conduct of the anti-independence campaign.


The selective, out-of-context quotes from various figures on the independence-supporting left are certainly the stuff of crude propaganda rather than dispassionate political commentary. One might have thought that denouncing people with the impeccable left-wing credentials of Robin McAlpine and Billy Bragg as proponents of "less favourably looked on nationalisms" (a mealy-mouthed euphemism if ever there was one) would have given Stephen Low pause. But no! He is on a mission to smear those who challenge his "One Nation" British nationalism and is not about to be deterred by the possibility of looking foolish in the process.


But it is when he launches into his rant about the currency union issue that Stephen Low truly abandons all pretence of rationality and enters that curious Orwellian mode in which truth is totally turned on its head. Just as those who protest the proven bias of the BBC become, in Stephen Low's mind, the enemies of freedom of expression, so George Osborne is miraculously elevated to the status of a hero of the Labour movement while Alex Salmond is cast in the role of virulent reactionary.


Low refers to Osborne's "sermon on the pound" as if the threat to abolish the currency union was an act of clear-headed economic calculation instead of an act of wrong-headed political desperation. Alex Salmond's response was not "howls of anguish" but a calm, measured reiteration and defence of the Scottish Government's position. The "howls of anguish" came from British nationalists deeply irked by the fact that Salmond had not succumbed to the panic and confusion they had hoped would be induced by their bullying bluster.


The threats from Osborne, his LibDem puppet Danny Alexander and his British Labour ally Ed Balls were not dismissed merely as "attacks on Scotland" or on the basis that "assertions by the UK couldn’t be valid in themselves". Nor was there the slightest suggestion of Scotland's interests being the sole concern. On the contrary, sound reasons were laid out as to why retaining the currency union would benefit BOTH Scotland AND the rest of the UK.


How can we suppose that Stephen Low could get "up close" to Scottish nationalism when he can't even get with hailing distance of reality?


What Stephen Low is actually doing here is peddling the specious "solidarity" argument favoured by British Labour spin-quacks. The utterly defeatist argument that, if we can't improve the lot of all, then it is wrong to seek to improve the lot of any. The wholly irrational argument that we must forego the opportunity to implement progressive policies in Scotland in the hope that one day we will be able to implement those policies everywhere. Although it is worth noting that, for "One Nation" British nationalists such as Stephen Low, "everywhere" stops at the UK border.


This is not the Labour movement which inspired millions. This is not the Labour movement which transformed an entire society. This is not the Labour movement which gave rise to the welfare state and socialised healthcare. This is a cruel mockery on that Labour movement. A dessicated, shrunken thing that seeks only to excuse its failures and rationalise its lack of ambition.


Not only does Stephen Low have no aspirations for Scotland, he clearly despises those who do. Those who would build in Scotland a better, fairer society in the hope of inspiring progressive change elsewhere are reviled as enemies of "The Party" because they pose a threat to the structures of power and privilege which define the British state. British Labour has become the staunchest defender of the old order and the old ways.


Whilst I naturally resent Stephen Low's grossly slanderous misrepresentation of Scotland's independence movement, it is possible to feel some sympathy for him. Somewhere, buried deep beneath suffocating layers of unthinking party loyalty, there must surely be at least a small fire of frustration burning when someone with any kind of socialist leanings finds themselves in the situation of fervently opposing genuinely progressive politics for the sake of partisan expediency.

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Standard Life not seeking London headquarters move

Standard Life not seeking London headquarters move | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
STANDARD Life has denied reports that it is looking to purchase a flagship headquarters in London.

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Lib Dems: conference in event of No vote would heal indyref wounds

Lib Dems: conference in event of No vote would heal indyref wounds | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A conference to bring political leaders together in the event of a No vote on independence would heal divisions caused by the referendum, according to the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Peter A Bell's insight:

There is bitter irony in British nationalists such as Willie Rennie talking about "healing" divisions which they have striven so hard to create. It demonstrates, quite redundantly, the extent to which the anti-independence campaign is unaware of the deplorable manner in which it has behaved.

But, of course, all this talk of healing and forgiveness from unionists is entirely self-serving. British politicians in Scotland know that they are going to have a very hard time after the referendum. Regardless of the result, their scaremongering and smears will be remembered, and their lies will be exposed.

Think about it. How can the people of Scotland be expected to trust those who have spent the last several years first telling us that we are not worthy of the democratic right of self-determination and then telling us that we are not worthy of the normal status of a nation.

People like Willie Rennie want us to simply erase all of this from out minds. They want there to be no consequences for them as they talk Scotland down at every opportunity and insult the people of Scotland on a daily basis. They want the assurance of knowing that they can continue to lie to us with impunity.

I, for one, am not inclined to oblige them in this way. I believe that, for democracy to work, politicians must be held to account for their words and deeds. If the likes of Willie Rennie get a free pass what kind of a signal does this send?


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Cancer charity chief ‘optimistic’ on independence

Cancer charity chief ‘optimistic’ on independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A SENIOR cancer charity fundraiser has said he is “very optimistic” for the future of the sector if Scotland votes for independence.

Peter A Bell's insight:

With so many people, from all walks of life, optimistic or excited by the prospect of independence it is increasingly difficult to understand why unionists are so pathologically incapable of finding a single positive thing to say about it.


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Just how politics-free are the Glasgow Games?

Just how politics-free are the Glasgow Games? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Referendum, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | Newsnet Scotland, uniquely Scottish

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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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Independence: 84% of firms ‘have no plan for Yes’

Independence: 84% of firms ‘have no plan for Yes’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
MORE than eight out of ten businesses in Scotland do not yet have plans in place to deal with the result of the referendum if the country votes for independence, a new survey has revealed.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The fact that 84% of firms are not yet making any plans for independence would seem to suggest that they are fairly relaxed about the whole thing. It certainly doesn't fit in with unionists' attempts to persuade us that every business in Scotland is terrified of the prospect and totally without confidence in their ability to cope.

Could it be that the anti-independence campaign has been lying to us yet again?


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Bolt dismisses Glasgow comment claim as ‘nonsense’

Bolt dismisses Glasgow comment claim as ‘nonsense’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE world’s fastest man yesterday issued a swift rebuttal of claims he had made disparaging remarks about Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, describing the reports as “lies”.

Peter A Bell's insight:

I really don't understand how The Scotsman can claim that this affair has "cast a cloud" over Usain Bolt. Surely it is The Times which is under a cloud, along with much of the rest of the old media, after their despicable attempt to undermine the popularity of this great athlete.

I think we all know what is behind this. The British nationalists are desperate casting around for something that will spoil the Glasgow Games and tarnish Scotland's reputation. How I despise these fanatics!


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