Referendum 2014
Follow
Find
499.4K views | +1.1K today
Scooped by Peter A Bell
onto Referendum 2014
Scoop.it!

Errors and omissions expected

This just in: Labour policy clarification on the bedroom tax, from the horse's mouth. (No, really. We're not being satirical, although they might be.)

Peter A Bell's insight:

Anas Sarwar slapped down by British Labour on bedroom tax.

more...
No comment yet.
Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

The Courier Referendum Roadshow: We want to hear your views

The Courier Referendum Roadshow: We want to hear your views | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Courier Referendum Roadshow: We want to hear your views
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Nationalism

By Robin McAlpine A simple guide for people who want to write about nationalism: Ethnic Nationalism: is the belief that the nation is based (wholly or in large part) on people from the same ethnic ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

The flexibility of words

The flexibility of words | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This is the new "positive" campaign poster from "Better Together": There's a lie in the picture, but it's probably not the one you think. Because while it seems at first glance like a heinous and c...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Disappointing response from Johann Lamont regarding Trident

Disappointing response from Johann Lamont regarding Trident | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament works for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in Britain as a step toward the global elimination of these weapons of mass destruction.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Brave creator urges Scots to back Yes vote

Brave creator urges Scots to back Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The creator of Brave, the Disney Pixar animation set in Scotland, has backed independence - and said a sequel to the popular film is inevitable.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Robertson hits back at critics of his independence warning

Robertson hits back at critics of his independence warning | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Former Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson of Port Ellen has defiantly hit back at the critics of his outspoken remarks against independence.
Peter A Bell's insight:


Robertson just gets more and more ludicrous with every utterance that slips out of his warped wee head. The "Prepare To Meet Thy Doom!" shtick was hilarious. Now he is trying to top it by playing the oppressed prophet and martyr for truth. Beatification is surely in the offing.


What prompted the biggest laugh, however, was Robertson's plaintive whine that his critics were responding to things that he actually said. How very dare they!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Apocalypse Naw

Apocalypse Naw | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We were going to take the night off until we read this drivel. Gah. And if we're being honest, we were just too pleased with the pun. It seems that Unionist journalists writing doom-laden "We might...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Scottish referendum: the UK is on shifting sands – we can't assume survival

Scottish referendum: the UK is on shifting sands – we can't assume survival | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Martin Kettle: A yes vote is becoming a real possibility – but we are woefully unprepared to deal with the psychological impact of Scotland rejecting the union
Peter A Bell's insight:

I suspect that Martin Kettle was so enamoured of the phrase "conspiracy of decorum" that he sought an excuse to use it even if that meant denying observable reality. Either that or he is observing some referendum campaign other than the one that is proceeding in Scotland at the moment. For those who are actually watching the behaviour of Better Together and the British parties in Scotland, absent the distorting lens shared by London-based journalists, "decorum" is the very last word that might spring to mind.

To characterise the inane scaremongering of Project Fear as "legitimate and mostly rational warnings" speaks only of the abject failure of critical analysis which is so sadly typical of mainstream media coverage of the referendum campaign. To put it bluntly, British journalists have, with a few notable exceptions, shown themselves to be incapable of questioning even the most patently dubious assertions made by unionists. They can, quite literally, say anything that comes into their pointy wee heads without fear of challenge from people such as Martin Kettle.

It is as if, when it comes to the constitutional question, the "chip" that makes a journalist a journalist somehow gets short-circuited.

How else to explain that fact that Osborne and his cronies can commit to abolishing the currency union without anyone from the British media interrogating them on the consequences for the people, businesses and economy of the rest of the UK? (A nod here to STV's Bernard Ponsonby who chased the British Chancellor down the street after his "Sermon On The Pound" trying to get an answer to that very question.)

Martin Kettle would have us believe - and, we must assume, sincerely believes himself - that the No campaign has been showing restraint. That it hasn't chucked every conceivable scare story at the people of Scotland in an attempt to intimidate them - from being denied Dr Who to having our airports bombed by the RAF.

He would also have us believe that the Yes campaign has failed to properly rebut these scare stories. Again, what referendum campaign is he watching? While mainstream journalists have largely been woefully derelict in their duty to examine the claims made by the anti-independence mob, online commentators and the diverse organisations which come under the Yes Scotland umbrella have not been so neglectful. Every scare story that's oozed out of Project Fear has been comprehensively and repeatedly debunked. It is simply not true to say that the Yes campaign's only response to the scare stories is to "monster the Tory". What is true is that the mainstream media simply refuses to properly report the Yes campaign's responses to the scare stories.

I have noted how blinkered commentators such as Martin Kettle are when it comes to the constitutional question. We see this in the way he casually suggests that the British parties might trample all over the the democratic will of the people of Scotland, and the way he appears to relish the prospect of the UK/rUK government trying to impose punitive terms on newly independent Scotland - without any thought as to the impact on rUK.

I have to assume that Mr Kettle is not the sort of person who would normally be so enthusiastic about abuse of the democratic process. I have to assume that he would, in any other circumstances, be highly critical of even the suggestion that the British state might ride roughshod over the democratically expressed choice of Scotland's people. I have to assume that his normal preference would be to urge that politicians conduct delicate and crucial negotiations in a spirit of reasonableness and goodwill rather than rancour and antagonism. Perhaps Martin Kettle should be asking himself why his customary standards go out the window when it comes the the issue of Scotland restoring its rightful constitutional status.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

An embarrassment to journalism

An embarrassment to journalism | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Scottish media displays such a remarkable uniformity of thought when it comes to the independence debate that you'd think it'd be the easiest thing in the world for them to at least all get the...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

'Ethnic' Cleanse

'Ethnic' Cleanse | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

According to the Herald journalist David Torrance he is an ‘ethnic nationalist’. To the composer James Macmillan he is a ‘Blood Scot nationalist’ and ‘motivated by hate’. To the Lab...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Rum, sodomy, and the lash

It's another of Project Fear's carefully coordinated frightnights. It's another drive-by Tory. This time it's Tory Defence Minister Philip Hammond, again. Phil has come to Scotland to make a positi...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Agenda:

Agenda: | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
On a good day, standing on the roof of my building allows a view over to the historic Mount Herodium and, even further away, the Dead Sea and the dramatic mountain border with Jordan.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Overwhelming majority want more positive campaign from 'No' - poll | Yes Scotland

Overwhelming majority want more positive campaign from 'No' - poll | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

And bigger majorities among No voters and women


Yes Scotland published new findings from an opinion poll commissioned by the pro-independence campaign and conducted by Panelbase. The poll was sampled among 1,024 people aged 16+ in Scotland, from 4-9 April, and is the most recent poll.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

The Scottish Independence Podcast 67 - Margo MacDonald

The Scottish Independence Podcast 67 - Margo MacDonald | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A few months ago, after I'd interviewed a couple of MSPs (John Finnie and Jean Urquhart), I asked them and their assistants if they would be able to put me in touch with Margo MacDonald or her assi...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Independent Scotland ‘should have own currency’

Independent Scotland ‘should have own currency’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
LABOUR leader Johann Lamont has said that the “only logical place to go” for a currency option in an independent Scotland would be to have a separate Scottish currency. in a speech to the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).
Peter A Bell's insight:

Johann Lamont is, of course, a fool. And not just because of the wholly inappropriate comparison with the eurozone. She is a fool because she totally fails to recognise that everything she says about the sterling currency union applies to the situation we are in now - with the added disadvantage that we have neither any say in the matters she refers to nor any way of getting out of the currency union.

As always, there is the sneering contempt for Scotland that pervades everything that oozes out of Better Together. Lamont evidently finds it inconceivable that Scotland can possibly have any power or influence at all. It also demonstrates her belief that the institutions of the British state will always seek to do Scotland down. She can neither imagine Scotland having being a significant party to negotiations nor can she envisage the rUK being reasonable.

The reference to the eurozone suggests that Lamont might have some understanding of the issue of economic divergence within a currency union. But this is the same clown who is trying to convince the people of Scotland that a No vote will lead to something akin to full fiscal autonomy (FFA). Which means that the governments of the main participants would be free to follow the different fiscal policies that lead to economic divergence. So, either she is lying about meaningful devolution or she is proposing the very combination of fiscal autonomy and monetary union which she condemns as illogical.

What is truly insulting, though, is the fact that Lamont doesn't even bother to think these things through. She thinks so little of the people of Scotland that she just says the stuff that pops into her head which seems to fit the Project Fear template.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Torrance Response

Torrance Response | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Bella agreed to a right to reply for David Torrance to Alan Bissett's article 'Ethnic Cleanse'.


It seems my use of the word ‘ethnic’ in the context of a column exploring the balance between civic a...

Peter A Bell's insight:

David Torrance offers a mealy-mouthed rationalisation of his smear attempt.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Why the economic arguments against independence are wrong | Scots Politics

Why the economic arguments against independence are wrong | Scots Politics | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Given the evidence showing just how viable an independent Scotland’s economy would be, where has the opposition come from? Does it hold any credibility?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

I won't be shouted down by the people who call me scum

I won't be shouted down by the people who call me scum | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Whatever decision is taken by the people of Scotland in September, it is an indisputable fact that it will not just affect those of us who live here. Others in the rest of these islands and beyond will have their lives changed as well. The whole foundation of the United Kingdom will be altered and its place in the world will be changed.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Calm down, George! Nobody is trying to shout you down. People are criticising your overblown rhetoric. People are mocking your "Prepare To Meet Thy Doom" shtick. But nobody is trying to shout you down. You yourself claim that many have offered support for your "cataclysmic" prognostications. (Although, somewhat conveniently, these supporters and sympathisers decline to come out from under the cloak of anonymity due, we're told, to fear of the bogeyman.) And it is certain that independence campaigners have no desire to silence you. On the contrary, it suits us just fine when some British nationalist  shoots his silly mouth off. It is always helpful to the independence campaign when British politicians demonstrate their complete detachment from the referendum debate and comprehensive failure to grasp the issues.


You complain that Yes supporters have failed to address what you like to think of as your "material point". I'll take a stab at that. Although I expect you'll wish that I hadn't.


Your "material point", as I understand it, is that the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status will have implications beyond Scotland. You appear to flatter yourself with the notion that you are the first to stumble upon this glaringly obvious reality, and seem convinced that others' acceptance of it as something quite unremarkable is somehow an attempt at concealment.


The truth is that anybody who has thought about the issue for more than a few minutes will surely have realised that the constitutional question is very much more than the little bit of nonsense that unionists tried to portray it as in the early days of the referendum campaign. Very much more than the political project of one party. Very much more than one man's "vanity project". It is unionists who have sought to play down the significance of Scotland and its place in the world. It is unionists who continue to sneer at Scotland's "pretensions" to be a nation like any other with its own voice in the world.


It is unionists who have hosed with disdain any talk of Scotland having a role in international affairs outside the UK. It is unionists who have always insisted that the UK is the major player and that it would continue to be so. The argument has always been that Scotland would sacrifice influence because all of that influence belongs to the British state and the British state would keep it all, leaving independent Scotland bereft.


Had you actually been listening to life-long independence campaigners such as myself, George, you would have heard us insist, repeatedly and as forcefully as we might, that changing the British state was one of the more important secondary objectives of independence. Far from denying that Scotland leaving the UK would alter the British state and its standing in the world, we proclaim this as a worthy aim in itself. Not all of us share your absolute conviction that the British state is an unalloyed force for good in the world. Not all of us see challenging the British state as some form of heresy.


This is because not all of us see the instability and insecurity in the world as something we should be seeking to preserve. The British state, as much if not more than any other actor, has created this world of instability and insecurity. Your plea that the British state serves as a stabilising force, dubious at best, has the ring of the arsonist seeking plaudits for trying to control the fire he started.


You refer to various "hotspots" in the world. What you fail to acknowledge is that the tensions involved are invariably the discordant echoes of past imperialism of the sort that the British state pursued with particular ruthlessness, and to which it still has more than a modicum of pretension.


You, George, are anxious to preserve the very global order that is responsible for all the instability and insecurity in the world. Not least, one suspects, because this global order provides you with a role and status that you find very gratifying.


Here's a thing, George! Why should Scotland be diminished in order to preserve what you imagine to be the righteous power of the British state? Why would anybody who truly has Scotland's interests at heart make such an argument?


You demonstrate your ignorance of Scotland's aspirations when you petulantly assert that "nationalists' entire reason for being is to undermine the United Kingdom". I would suggest that this silly statement tells us more about your own attitude than it does about the perspective of those who seek to restore Scotland to the normal constitutional status of a nation. It is a comment which appears to hold up a mirror to the grinding negativity of the anti-independence campaign.


You demonstrate your detachment from Scotland's politics when you claim that the referendum campaign has "moved the political focus away from poverty, education and health". The reality to which you seem totally blind is that political discourse in Scotland has been enlivened and invigorated by the referendum and is now more rich and diverse that it has been in decades. You make an embarrassingly big issue of your "Scottishness", but you show no signs whatever of being in the slightest way connected to Scotland's politics. You clearly know nothing of a political culture in which progressive, radical thinking is part of the normal, everyday language. A political culture which is increasingly distinct from and at odds with the British political culture that you represent and seek to preserve in the face of pressure for change.


And there we have the nub of it, George. What you fear and hate is not the idea of Scotland as an independent nation. It is change itself which holds only terror for you. The prospect of change terrifies you - as it must always terrify the comfortably complacent - because the odds are that change will affect the comfortably complacent adversely. Driven by your base instincts you seek to defend your cosy status quo by projecting all your fears for that condition onto the world at large. When you say that Scotland's independence will have unfortunate consequences for the world, you're really acknowledging your fears for how it will affect you.


Sorry to have to say this, George, but the status and rewards that you enjoy as part of the British establishment are not the overriding concern that you suppose they must be. To be perfectly blunt, I can very easily live with the prospect of you, and others like you, being diminished as an incidental by-product of independence.


I know full well that Scotland leaving the UK will have certain geopolitical implications. Unlike you, however, I do not quake in fear at the thought. Being more concerned with rational analysis of the situation than with feeding the Project Fear propaganda machine, I see absolutely no reason why Scotland restoring its independence should by catastrophic - or "cataclysmic". Frankly, if international relations are as fragile as you suggest, George, then we can only conclude that you and your kind have done a pish-poor job and it's high time things were shaken-up a bit.


Not that I expect there to be much in the way of the global tremors that you have been trying to scare us with. If every diplomat from every nation was as self-absorbed and fearful as yourself, I'd think there might be cause for concern. But they're not. After a Yes vote, hysterical types such as yourself will be side-lined and more sensible heads will prevail. Scotland will change a lot. The world will change a little. And you, George? You will be left behind.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Missing Inaction

Missing Inaction | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision-making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.

- Jimmy Reid, Glasgow University in 1972

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Better Together’s ‘positive’ new advert drive

Better Together’s ‘positive’ new advert drive | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The pro-union Better Together campaign has launched a “powerful, positive” case for rejecting independence as it steps up its referendum campaign with a new advertising drive.
Peter A Bell's insight:

All the anti-independence campaign has succeeded in doing with this panicky revamp of its propaganda is prove that, however frantically it may scrabble around in its bag of dirty tricks, it simply cannot find a positive message. Instead, all it does is repeat the same old vacuous drivel with, perhaps, a token change of wording or emphasis.

Slogans such as "Best of both worlds" and "Better Together" remain no more than glittering generalities with a superficial emotional appeal but absolutely no substance.

The thing about "more job opportunities" also seems superficially positive - until you actually think about the real message. Then you realise that it is just the same old scaremongering and threats of low-level economic warfare that we have been hearing for months. The clear implication is that voting Yes will somehow pose a threat to jobs in Scotland and/or opportunities for people from Scotland to work in England.

There is no explanation as to why independence should have any adverse implications for employment. It is just the usual empty scaremongering. And why would people from Scotland be unable to work in England just as they can anywhere in the EU? The suggestion seems to be that the rUK Government would impose some sort of ban on people crossing the border to find jobs. It's an old threat given a transparently thin veneer of positivity.

The lies continue as well with the claim that more powers for the Scottish Parliament are guaranteed. There is no guarantee! There aren't even any meaningful proposals on the table. And no way for the people of Scotland to approve those proposals in a vote even if the proposals actually existed. Claiming that there is a guarantee of more powers is, quite simply, a lie. A lie that the anti-independence campaign hopes to get away with because they can be confident that the mainstream media will totally fail to point out the brazen dishonesty of the claim.

Nothing has changed. Project Fear continues.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Unionism's Credibility Gap

Unionism's Credibility Gap | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The distinguished psephologist Professor John Curtice has suggested that we may expect the turnout for the Scottish Referendum on 18th September to be around 80% (78% according to th...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Scottish Independence | Dissident Voice

Scottish Independence | Dissident Voice | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
There is an argument for not politically splitting the territory of a small island. But when the advantages are examined, as some of them are here, it becomes
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Votes of No confidence

Votes of No confidence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
"Sod it", we thought, "let's compile a list after all". Clearly we're not impartial judges of how the No campaign is being conducted. To assess its performance with any degree of fairness, we must ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Richard Godwin: It’s the Great British Brand Corporation

Richard Godwin: It’s the Great British Brand Corporation | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Poor Britannia! These isles can have rarely known such peace and prosperity — but according to the British Attitudes Survey, national pride is at an all-time low. “Somewhat proud” is as much enthusiasm as most of us can summon for the land of Maria Miller and Jimmy Savile, where our sovereignty always seems to be under threat, our institutions in crisis and our generations at war.
Peter A Bell's insight:

In Scotland no moderately well-informed person sees "all this Great British nonsense" as an anti-SNP conspiracy. They see it for what it clearly is - the BBC's contribution to the anti-independence propaganda efforts of the British state.

Or does Richard Godwin seriously imagine that it is mere coincidence that this near 40-fold increase in "Great British nonsense" is happening just as Scotland is holding an independence referendum?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Peter A Bell
Scoop.it!

Soaring foodbank use “the tip of the iceberg in terms of UK food poverty” | Yes Scotland

Soaring foodbank use “the tip of the iceberg in terms of UK food poverty” | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
more...
No comment yet.