Referendum 2014
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Timely thoughts on referendum

Timely thoughts on referendum | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The man once regularly cited as Scotland's most senior civil servant, Sir John Elvidge, established himself as someone worth listening to both in and out of office.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Is Sir John Elvidge "worth paying attention to"? Certainly not if we look at the content of his remarks rather than his admittedly impressive background.

This is a man who, in his comments about Orkney and Shetland, gives credence to the dangerous partitionist drivel spouted by Tavish Scott and a handful of other such pathetic attention-seekers. So he's not exactly taking an early lead in the credibility stakes.

Even worse, he actually seems to believe that Westminster will graciously deliver devo-whatever in the event of a NO vote despite there being neither incentive nor imperative to do so and despite the fact that all the British parties have already set their face against any further devolution. Both British Labour and their Tory allies have had ample opportunity to deliver meaningful additional powers. They signally failed to do so.

The whole story of devolution within the British state has been one of making the minimum concessions in response to growing support for the SNP while keeping ultimate power at Westminster. At every stage, up to and including the Calman Commission, the overarching priority has been to preserve the power of Westminster rather than deliver a settlement that addressed what was best for the people of Scotland.

More recently, when offered the opportunity to put a "more powers" option on the referendum ballot, the British parties rejected the idea with a vehemence that was a clear statement of their attitude to further devolution.

And now, while some in the British parties attempt to deceive the people of Scotland with empty talk of talks about considering the possibility of perhaps some further constitutional tinkering at some undetermined date... maybe, others are openly advocating the emasculation and even the abolition of the Scottish Parliament.

In the face of all this, how can anybody imagine that devo-whatever will be delivered despite our leverage being forfeited by a No vote?

So how much store should we set by Sir John's talk of "toxic polarisation" given that he is so misguided about other aspects of the referendum campaign? What is this polarisation other than the natural and inevitable outcome of a democratic process in which there are two opposed and mutually incompatible positions? Are we to abandon democracy simply because it leads to a contest between opposing views? Is that not what democracy is supposed to do?

We are living with the "toxic legacy" of a system which means that Scotland all too often ends up with a government at UK level which we have rejected at the polls. The only way the independence referendum might leave such a legacy is if the outcome were similarly grossly unfair. It is generally agreed that the Referendum Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament will establish a framework that will ensure that the referendum is fair in all its practical aspects. Any perception of unfairness will therefore be likely to arise from the manner in which the campaign is conducted. For example, if the UK Government fails to respect the 16 week "purdah" period. Or if the people of Scotland feel that the result is based on distortion, deceit, dishonesty and scaremongering of the sort that has led Better Together to brand itself Project Fear.


Independence supporters will accept a No vote with appropriate good grace for the simple reason that they will be aware that this is only a setback to their cause and not a defeat. In the event of a Yes vote, the anti-independence campaign will, by contrast, have to swallow total and irrevocable defeat. The conduct of Project Fear so far does not suggest that they will take this defeat well. But, for the most part, pragmatism will prevail even where goodwill is in short supply.


Whether or not there is a "toxic legacy" therefore seems to be very much a matter for the London government and the anti-independence campaign. Let us hope they can rise to the occasion.

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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
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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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IT'S THE GOVERNANCE, STUPID

IT'S THE GOVERNANCE, STUPID | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It’s the governance, stupid. This’s what should be printed on every Yes activist’s clipboard, bag and canvass sheet as we get into the business end of the referendum. Because, in the last few weeks...

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48 Days to Go! 50 Reasons to Vote YES: Choose Our Own Governments - A Working Class Man

48 Days to Go! 50 Reasons to Vote YES: Choose Our Own Governments - A Working Class Man | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
48 Days to Go! 50 Reasons to Vote YES: Choose Our Own Governments. The most basic argument for Independence is self-determination. The power of citizens in a nation to control their own future through the use of democratic processes and institutions

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A strangely familiar ring

A strangely familiar ring | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This is Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary, earlier this week: "'Commissioners have been ordered to put all services out to the market, NHS spending on private and other providers has g...

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Missing: one plot

We can only assume the No campaign and media are in a growing panic about the imminent TV showdown between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling or something. Even by the high previous standards of ins...

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The Times (in Scotland) v the World's Fastest Man

The Times (in Scotland) v the World's Fastest Man | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

All is Spin. Never mind the bollocks about 'keeping politics away from sport' everything is political: from the England teams Union Jack helmets to insisting a democracy movement is a...

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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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Alex Salmond accused of a 'huge deception' over his plans for a currency union after a Yes vote

Alex Salmond accused of a 'huge deception' over his plans for a currency union after a Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
TWO leading figures from the banking industry have hit out at Scotland's First Minister following his insistence that Westminster will agree to a deal for pound.

Peter A Bell's insight:

In what possible way is the Scottish Government's position on currency union a "deception"? It is simply a statement of what the Scottish Government, perfectly reasonably, considers to be the best option when the interests of all parties are taken into consideration.

Neither is it unreasonable to suppose that, when the Yes vote is in and the British parties no longer have any reason to indulge in their idiotic macho posturing, good sense will prevail and the UK/rUK government will decide that retaining the currency union is a good idea after all.

If there is any deception going on here it is on the part of George Osborne and his British Labour allies. They are the ones refusing to acknowledge the consequences for rUK of abolishing the currency union. They are the ones trying to dupe the people of Scotland into believing that abolition of the currency union would be some kind of disaster for Scotland when the reality is that it would have very little impact at all.

Worst of all, they are threatening to end the currency union for the pettiest of reasons and in the full knowledge that they will almost certainly be unable to carry out that threat.


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Use Your Loaf

Use Your Loaf | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Picture it, if you will. I am standing in a short shop queue waiting my turn to be served, when a man runs past me at full tilt, dropping something as he goes. I tend not to star...

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Radical Independence Canvassing | Vote Yes in 2014

Radical Independence Canvassing | Vote Yes in 2014 | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Radical Independence is a grassroots, non-party affiliated network of Scottish independence supporters. This website is about its canvassing campaign.

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Yes to a Richer Future

Yes to a Richer Future | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

I will vote Yes on 18 September because I am a Scot and want my wonderful multi-ethnic, multilingual mongrel nation to draw on its rampant egalitarian traditions and create a country w...

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New Statesman | Better Together vs the truth

New Statesman | Better Together vs the truth | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Who runs the No campaign and why are they trying to insult me?

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