Referendum 2014
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Darling tells voters: don't buy Salmond's 'indy-lite ad gimmick'

Darling tells voters: don't buy Salmond's 'indy-lite ad gimmick' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Campaigners fighting to keep Scotland in the UK "cannot afford to be complacent for one moment", former chancellor Alistair Darling will warn.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It seems that Alistair Darling has decided to join his Tory ally, Ruth Davidson, in cranking up the anti-independence rhetoric from inane scare-mongering to thinly veiled threats of punitive measures against Scotland by the government of rUK. What else can his ill-considered utterances mean? There is no inevitable reason why two independent countries cannot enjoy the benefits of close relationships. There is no necessary reason whatever why two neighbouring sovereign nations should not trade freely with one another without either of them relinquishing their sovereignty. Especially where there are pre-existing links that have been developed over centuries.

Unless, of course, one of nations decides to erect barriers. And that is what Project Fear is now hinting at in the crude and clumsy way that we have come to expect.

What else could create problems for trade between Scotland and rUK other than deliberate malicious and unquestionably illegal action by the rump British state petulantly seeking retribution for Scotland's temerity in asserting its independence? Certainly not anything that the Scottish Government is doing or is likely to do. By Darling's own admission the Scottish Government is seeking to create a post-independence situation that keeps the bits of the relationship which work well for both nations while ending or amending the bits that don't work well for either one.

The irony is that while British nationalist bandy terms such "separatist" it is only they who show any sign of thinking in terms of the kind of absolute severing that they seek to imply. It is only they who insist that the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status can only be achieved at the cost of completely ending all ties between the two countries.

Scotland's civic nationalist movement seeks only a more appropriate form of association based on a recognition of the rights of both nations to freely negotiate the terms of their relationship. It is only British nationalists who are saying that there can be no relationship unless it is one defined entirely by the British state for its own purposes and imposed on Scotland without our democratically expressed consent.

And it is only British nationalists who are threatening sanctions against Scotland should we refuse to accept the supremacy of the British state and the sovereignty of the British parliament and choose instead to assert the sovereignty of Scotland's people.

I will not be intimidated. Not least because I know these to be meaningless threats. Shutting down trading and other ties would be as damaging to the economy of rUK as it would be to Scotland. Unless he is a complete moron, Darling knows this. So his threats are dishonest as well as empty.


And Darling's dishonesty does not end there. There's all this drivel about "indy-lite" as well. Unless Darling actually believes that having economic and cultural ties with another nation cannot be achieved without forfeiting independence then he is talking utter garbage. And he is dishonestly representing the arguments of the SNP and the Yes campaign. Those of us who advocate independence are in no doubt about what it means. It means bringing our government home. It does not mean slamming and bolting the door behind us when we do so.

In his abysmal shallowness Darling cannot even begin to envision a newly forged relationship between Scotland and rUK based on the partnership of equals that the union signally failed to deliver. He can see only a relationship based on the existing structures of power and privilege, or no relationship at all. What a sad and petty little man he is!

I know that this sad and petty little man does not speak for Scotland. The question is whether in making these threats he is speaking for the British parties. Are we to take it that it is now their policy to introduce economic sanctions if Scotland should vote Yes? I think we are entitled to know. And if there is no such intention, then maybe Darling and his Tory allies should stop talking as if there were.

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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
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Control

The Scottish NHS is not, by any means, fully controlled by Holyrood. And nor are any of the other areas it has 'control' over.

It is the duty manager of the shop to Westminster's board of directo...

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Dateline Scotland: Episode 4 - YouTube

This week's headlines: Technological breakthrough allows us to look into a post referendum future; a terrifying hostage situation on board Scottish Labour's ...
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Eilidh Whiteford MP for Banff & Buchan: Whiteford: YES Vote is One Opportunity to Secure NHS for the Future

Eilidh Whiteford MP for Banff & Buchan: Whiteford: YES Vote is One Opportunity to Secure NHS for the Future | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has urged undecided voters to take the opportunity of independence to secure the future of the NHS as a free and open health service – and to consider the implications a No vote would have for Scotland’s future funding.

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One month to go - one opportunity to protect the NHS and build a better Scotland | Yes Scotland

One month to go - one opportunity to protect the NHS and build a better Scotland | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The opportunity Scotland has on September 18 to protect our NHS, free us of nuclear weapons and build a better and fairer country is too good to miss, Yes Scotland Chief Executive Blair Jenkins said today.

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Leading nursing trade unionists back Yes to protect our NHS | Yes Scotland

Leading nursing trade unionists back Yes to protect our NHS | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

A number of leading nursing trade unionists in Lothian today declared their support for a Yes vote as the one opportunity to protect the NHS in Scotland.

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Salmond: I would quit if it meant a Yes vote

Salmond: I would quit if it meant a Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Alex Salmond has admitted he would be prepared to give up his political career and see the SNP abolished if that was the price of gaining independence for Scotland.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is interesting to compare the mature and worthy attitude expressed by Alex Salmond to the puerile and petty response from Better Together.

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Scottish independence: English backlash warning

Scottish independence: English backlash warning | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN ENGLISH backlash against Scotland’s demands for greater political power is looming, whatever the outcome of the independence referendum.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It has been obvious for some time now that Scotland simply cannot afford a No vote. This research merely underlines the fact that the consequences of voting No would be appalling. If there were any lingering doubts that the political union between Scotland and England is unsustainable then those doubts must surely now have vanished.


It could all have been so different. Supporters of independence have always viewed the referendum as a positive and enriching thing. A peaceful, democratic process that offered the opportunity to redefine the relationship between Scotland and England and create a new formulation of the union between our two nations which is fit for our times and the future. A robust, resilient partnership of equals founded on enlightened self-interest and mutual respect.


It has not turned out that way. History will recount how this lawful constitutional process was soured and corrupted by a cabal of hard-line British nationalists who bitterly resented the people of Scotland being "permitted" to exercise their democratic right of self-determination. The Yes side in the referendum campaign has sought a constructive, pragmatic debate which aimed to develop an aspirational vision for Scotland while being mindful of the practicalities of our situation. The No side has sought to create an atmosphere of uncertainty, trepidation and acrimony.


However much we might wish that it had been otherwise, we must now accept that the British state regards as its enemies those who would have Scotland's rightful constitutional status restored. Nobody in Scotland can now afford to disregard the implications of a No vote which empowers those who would punish us for having held this referendum and who will surely stop at nothing to so cripple our democracy as to ensure that we can never again express our will on the constitutional question by democratic means.


The very act of asking the constitutional question has provoked such unreasoning rage among British nationalists that there is now no hope of any kind of viable constitutional settlement short of independence. We do not have to wonder what the British state will do to Scotland should we hand them the power to vent that rage against us. The threats are not subtle.


The act of asking the constitutional question has irrevocably altered the relationship between Scotland and the British state. Or, perhaps more precisely, it has revealed the true nature of that relationship. What has been exposed is not pretty. It is not healthy. More importantly, it is not sustainable. We simply cannot afford to vote No and lock ourselves into that unhealthy and inevitably deteriorating relationship for years and possibly decades to come.


The only way to break out of that corrosive relationship and have the opportunity to forge something better is to vote Yes.

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Here comes the love

Here comes the love | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Telegraph: "If independence is rejected, large majorities of voters south of the Border support cutting Scottish public spending to the UK average and banning Scottish MPs from voting on Englis...
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Why our NHS needs a Yes - YouTube

Scotland's health service could be damaged by the knock on effect of NHS privatisation in England. The Labour Party in England say the NHS is being broken up...
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For Fairness & Social Justice! Anne-marie Monaghan

For Fairness & Social Justice! Anne-marie Monaghan | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Anne-marie works as an independent consultant. She has been working in the social care and community development sector for nearly thirty years. Outside of work Anne-Marie has a love of all things ...
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Press Conference: RIC canvassing evidence shows No campaign have lost working class Scotland

Press Conference: RIC canvassing evidence shows No campaign have lost working class Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) revealed today(1) (Tuesday) the evidence of their canvassing in working class communities across Scotland, and argue that “the results show the No campaign i...
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An opportunity that's too good to miss | Yes Scotland

An opportunity that's too good to miss | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
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Vote Yes to protect Scotland's National Health Service

Vote Yes to protect Scotland's National Health Service | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Dr Philippa Whitford says vote Yes for the NHS Independence protects Scotland's National Health Service from Westminster cuts and privitisation. Scotland's NHS remains dependent upon a reducing funding settlement from London. George Osborne has steadily cut Scotland's funding – which is
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How Scotland will be robbed

How Scotland will be robbed | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
As we've already noted, today's newspapers "reveal" something this site told you nine months ago - that a No vote in the independence referendum will see Scotland punished with a massive cut to its...
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Scottish referendum: shared values matter more than where the border lies

Polly Toynbee: The Tories have not won an election for 22 years – this is no time to be giving up on a British social democratic future
Peter A Bell's insight:

Polly Toynbee was doing rather well as she avoided the facile errors and woeful ignorance that characterises most of the output of the metropolitan meeja. What a pity she let herself down with the reference to "a beggar-my-neighbour cut in corporation tax in a deadly race to the bottom". Something for which there is absolutely no evidence here in the real world outside that London bubble. One might hope that a journalist of Toynbee's experience would have learned how to avoid the intellectual aridity of thinking in clichés.


Toynbee's criticism of "free" tuition, prescriptions and personal care also comes across as shallow and ill-thought. It doesn't seem to occur to her that the principle of universality needs to be defended because when it is undermined then it is the poor that must ultimately suffer. Nor does she recognise the value of universal benefits in creating social cohesion. Instead, she opts for what has come to be the "British way" of dividing society into competing groups where the economically powerful must always have an advantage.


Which brings us to her most glaring error - the idea "shared values" alone can hold together an otherwise massively dysfunctional political union. This idea of "shared values" has been a favoured meme of the anti-independence campaign. It has been peddled hard as a counter to a unionist straw man argument which portrays the Yes campaign as claiming that people in Scotland have different political values to people in England. In reality, what is actually said is that Scotland has a distinctive political culture. The point that Toynbee misses - along with all those who trot out similar versions of the spurious "solidarity" argument - is that identical social and cultural values can give rise to very different political cultures depending on the nature of the democratic institutions and process through which those values find expression.


Nobody is claiming that people in Scotland have significantly different values from people in England - or, for that matter, most of the rest of the world. What independence campaigners are saying is that the electoral and political system in Scotland is relatively better able to reflect those values while the structures of power and privilege which define the British state at best disregard the social and cultural values of society if not actually working to deny and suppress them.


We are not better people in Scotland. We just have a better politics. We want to build on that. We want to take what we have and make it better.


We do not show solidarity with our neighbours in England by abandoning our project to create a better, fairer society. We do not show solidarity by joining them in a polity that is increasingly incapable of making manifest the values which we share. We show solidarity by leading. We show solidarity by demonstrating that there is a better way.

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Scots Actor Graham McTavish explains why he believes on Sept 18 Scotland will #VoteYes

Scots Actor Graham McTavish explains why he believes on Sept 18 Scotland will #VoteYes   in the #indyref  

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Canon Kenyon Wright: A No vote dooms us all

Canon Kenyon Wright: A No vote dooms us all | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This is the latest in a weekly series of indyref essays in which influential figures explore ideas related to the Scottish independence referendum
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Defence and Foreign Policy in an Independent Scotland

Defence and Foreign Policy in an Independent Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
In 1985 Thatcher signed off theAl-Yamamah arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia worth an estimated £20 billion. In 2008 JosephStiglitz published details of the worlds first 3 Trillion Dollar W...
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The NHS, Shipbuilding, Boris Johnson and the Grassroots Movement #IndyRef Weekly Review #11 - YouTube

This week I take a look at the NHS in Scotland, Boris Johnson's comments on more powers for Scotland, the Shipbuilding industry and the grassroots campaigns ...
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English reject Alex Salmond's plan to share the pound - Telegraph

English reject Alex Salmond's plan to share the pound - Telegraph | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Research shows the English want the Government to take a "hard line" with Scotland whatever the independence referendum result.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It seems that the bilious, resentful anger which characterises British nationalists in Scotland is reflected among their counterparts south of the border. We surely have to ask ourselves how it can possibly be in Scotland's interests to remain in a political union which is so eager to lash out at us for nothing more than the exercise of a fundamental democratic right.

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Six ways we can strengthen our NHS with independence | Yes Scotland

Six ways we can strengthen our NHS with independence | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
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Green leader claims independence good for the British Isles - Press and Journal

Green leader claims independence good for the British Isles - Press and Journal | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Londoners have heard that a Yes vote offers the best chance of showing that a fairer society across the British Isles is possible. Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie took the referendum campaign south last night as he argued that independence will not mean Scotland turning its back on its neighbours. He told an audience... Read Full Story
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Scottish independence: Salmond invokes Bruce

Scottish independence: Salmond invokes Bruce | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond has unveiled his own Declaration of Arbroath, seeking to “invoke the spirit of Robert the Bruce”, as he urged Scots to back independence.
Peter A Bell's insight:

As ever, the Tory/Labour alliance speaks to the people of Scotland with a forked tongue. While British Labour's mouthpieces in Scotland dutifully parrot the protestations of their Tory partners, in England they sing a different tune - berating the coalition for their vandalism of the NHS.


Neil Findlay asserts that the Tories' assault on the NHS poses no threat to Scotland. But he also lies about the amount being spent on private health-care services in Scotland. In order to get his figure of £400 million he has included things such as locum cover for doctors and the use of agency nurses. These are NOT contracted services. They are part of the normal running of our public health services. It is downright dishonest of Findlay to claim that the Scottish Government's spending in the private sector is in any way similar to the wholesale privatisation of the NHS in England.


If he is prepared to lie to us about this, why should we trust anything he says? Why would we risk our NHS on the word of people who so casually seek to deceive us?


I'll take the word of Unison, a major source of funds for British Labour and the union which represents health workers in Scotland:

"David Cameron and George Osborne might not run NHS Scotland, but that doesn't mean that they aren't attacking it. We must fight to save it.


Devolution means they can't run down and privatise our NHS directly, the way they are doing in England. But what they can do is starve it of resources. They are cutting back on the money provided to the Scottish Government and this puts the health budget under pressure."


There is absolutely no doubt that a No vote puts NHS Scotland at risk. Only a Yes vote can safeguard our health service.

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The 'Missing Million' ... most will say Yes

The 'Missing Million' ... most will say Yes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The question of Scotland’s ‘missing million’ has been a recurring one during the referendum campaign. According to the Electoral Commission Scotland, turnout at the 2011 Holyrood elections was 989,540 lower than the 1992 general election. So, where have all these erstwhile voters gone?

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Will a 'Yes' vote save the NHS?

Will a 'Yes' vote save the NHS? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Alex Salmond and the independence campaign have been increasingly vocal with their argument that voting 'Yes' in the upcoming referendum will save the NHS from privatisation. Paul Cairney explores ...
Peter A Bell's insight:

Paul Cairney misses a crucial point. He fails to recognise that, in the wake of a No vote, NHS Scotland will become a political target. Arguably more than anything, NHS Scotland symbolises Scotland's distinctive political culture. Eradicating this distinction will be a political priority of the UK Government regardless of who wins the 2015 UK elections. Looking at the past and examining current trends tells us nothing useful about a political environment that will be markedly changed by a No vote and the ensuing triumphalism of the British state.


The British establishment feels threatened by Scotland. They will do everything in their not inconsiderable power to eradicate differences between Scotland and England which pose a real or potential embarrassment to a UK Government ideologically committed to dismantling the welfare state and putting healthcare in the hands of profit-takers. If Scotland votes No, the UK Government will use its control of the purse-strings to impose their "One Nation" dogma.

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