Referendum 2014
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WHY ARTISTS WILL VOTE YES

WHY ARTISTS WILL VOTE YES | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It should come as no surprise that most Scottish artists that express an opinion on Scottish independence are Yes supporters. Artists are so often at the forefront of political engagement and their job is to offer an interpretation of our everyday experience with their imagination and creativity. A new nation, uncharted, and ours to build, is something that is therefore immediately attractive to the artist, and the many possibilities it presents an obvious opportunity.

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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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Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Are You Sitting Comfortably? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Are you panicking? Getting desperate yet? There seems to be a line from the No fantasists that it’s in the bag and the whole of Yes is frantically searching for a game-changer. Or is that itself ju...

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The unlikeliest places

Investors Chronicle (part of the Financial Times group), 25 July 2014: "In the 12 months since we recommended EnQuest (ENQ) as a speculative buy option, the share price of the North Sea independent...

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A useful idiot

A useful idiot | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Alert readers will doubtless have noticed that a post yesterday was disrupted by a series of strident and increasingly ill-tempered comments by a particular user, themed around their insistence tha...

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Return of Donorgate: Westminster works for the few | Scottish National Party

Return of Donorgate: Westminster works for the few | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it


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Yes Songs - Citizen Smart

Yes Songs - Citizen Smart | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Yes Songs is my best shot at putting the case for Scottish Independence in song. A good song can at times put things better than the best of speeches or articles, But certainly, song is another way...


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Independence: Darling warns of ‘Yes’ camp tricks

Independence: Darling warns of ‘Yes’ camp tricks | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
“INCREASINGLY desperate” Scottish nationalists will pull any trick they can when Holyrood returns to business for its unprecedented summer session after the Commonwealth Games, according to Better Together leader Alistair Darling.

Peter A Bell's insight:

You'd hardly think it possible for Alistair Darling to appear any more flustered, vacuous and hysterical than he has for the past several months, but somehow he manages to do so with every utterance he makes. Here we have David Cameron's stooge attacking the SNP, not for anything they have done, but for unspecified acts that exist only in Darling's fevered imagination.

Look at the contradictions and the inconsistencies that spew out of the anti-independence campaign. They bang on about how the Scottish Government has allowed the referendum to distract it from the business of running the country (While whining about every bit of legislation the SG supposedly has no time to pass.), and simultaneously greet like chastised bairns when arrangements are put in place to ensure that the Scottish Parliament is not hampered by the referendum.

And we have the ludicrous spectacle of Alistair Darling criticising the Tory UK Government - albeit in the mildest of terms - while he is serving as the officially appointed spokesperson and fall-guy for the leader of that same Tory UK Government.

Clearly, Alistair Darling lacks any sense of the ridiculous. Or any awareness of his own ridiculousness.


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Independence: Murderers lose court battle for vote

Independence: Murderers lose court battle for vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
TWO Scottish prisoners have lost a legal battle to get a vote in the independence referendum.

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The non-political Games

The non-political Games | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
For at least a year now long-suffering newspaper readers have had to endure dire warnings from Unionist politicians about the dastardly Nats turning the Commonwealth Games into some sort of evil re...

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Calls for Darling to hand back cash from tax-avoidance firm donor

Calls for Darling to hand back cash from tax-avoidance firm donor | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The company, run by one of the biggest donors to the anti-independence campaign, has avoided paying tax on billions of pounds of profits, it has been reported.


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David Cameron: Any win in independence referendum would do - Telegraph

David Cameron: Any win in independence referendum would do - Telegraph | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Prime Minister warns Alex Salmond he would have to accept defeat even if the Unionists' margin of victory is narrow.

Peter A Bell's insight:

A No vote of any size in September cannot possibly resolve anything. Cameron is completely deluded if he seriously imagines that the union will be strengthened by a win for the forces of British nationalism. Does he really suppose that something close to 50% of the people of Scotland are going to give up so easily on their hopes and aspirations?

Has he actually fooled himself into believing that the two-thirds of the people of Scotland who are dissatisfied with the current constitutional arrangements will be silenced by a No vote?

The fact is that the union is irreparably broken. No amount of half-hearted constitutional tinkering will fix it.

British politicians such as Cameron and his British Labour allies are such strangers to the concept of an issue of principle that they cannot recognise one even when it is right on top of them. Restoring Scotland's rightful constitutional status is a matter of fundamental principle. The campaign to rectify the existing anomalous constitutional situation will not stop until it is successful.

A spirit of progressive political activism has been awakened in Scotland. A spirit which is anathema to the British state just as much as austerity fetishism as anathema to Scotland. That genie is not going back in the bottle. If Cameron thinks we will sit down, shut up and turn overnight into biddable little Brits, then he is an idiot.

A No vote in September will not kill the independence campaign "stone dead" as one of Cameron's fellow British nationalists once supposed devolution would. A No vote will do no more than postpone the inevitable to a time when conditions for an amicable dissolution of the anachronistic, dysfunctional political union may not be as good as they are now.

Cameron's attitude hints at the ugly triumphalism with which British nationalist will greet a No vote. That, the anticipated failure of the British parties to deliver meaningful devolution and the expected punitive response of the British state will all serve to sour relations between Scotland and England while fuelling demands for another referendum - which will result in a landslide victory for the independence movement.

I have argued elsewhere (http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/vote-yes-to-save-union.html) that those who wish to preserve what is good and functional about the union should vote Yes. That advice becomes more relevant every day as the anti-independence propaganda descends ever further into dishonesty and the rhetoric of divisiveness and hatred.

To those intending to vote No I say, if you value the best of the old union, then think of how it will be put in jeopardy by failure to take this opportunity to forge anew the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Think how much better together we will be if we create a new union. A reformed association which preserves all that is desirable and effective about what has been developed over the years but places this in the context of a political relationship fit for our times and the future. A relationship that is strong, not in the facile sense subscribed to by British nationalists, but in the sense of being robust and durable. A relationship that respects the differences between nations while cherishing the social and cultural ties among people. A true partnership of equals.
All of this is possible. It requires only the goodwill and commonality of interest that already exists. And the confidence to vote Yes.


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Commonwealth Calendar of Independence

Commonwealth Calendar of Independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Sick of unionist commentary and attempts to hijack the games? Try this handy Commonwealth calendar of independence. With thanks to Colm Gallagher ‏@blissapp [click to embiggen it]



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SNP accuse Team Cameron of being feart again

SNP accuse Team Cameron of being feart again | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A ROW has broken out over the UK government's decision to send a fisheries minister to Scotland to debate rural affairs with his Holyrood counterpart.


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Infrequently Asked Questions

Infrequently Asked Questions | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Wee Blue Book is extremely close to finished now, readers. We're just buffing the corners. But we thought you might like to get a head start on one bit of it. As well as trying to answer all th...


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fazzledown: Another Union Dividend.

fazzledown: Another Union Dividend. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

First of all, I don't think any one wouldn't be moved by Ross Murdoch getting his gold medal - scooped in the 200m breast stroke which I am given to understand is a swimming thing. The favourite - Michael Jamieson - looked gutted, but that was more than off-set by the look on the winner's face.


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Episode 8: An Audience with Patrick Harvie

Episode 8: An Audience with Patrick Harvie | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP took centre stage in this week’s Bateman podcast, explaining the thinking behind his advocacy of a Yes vote in the referendum.


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Crowdsourcing the Constitution - Lessons from Iceland

Crowdsourcing the Constitution - Lessons from Iceland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Back in June we brought Smári McCarthy to speak about post-Yes constitutional options and learnings from Iceland. If you missed his talk here's the full length of it. Special thanks to Andrew Crow ...

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Yes vote is ‘the key to tackling poverty’ | Yes Scotland

Yes vote is ‘the key to tackling poverty’ | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it



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Independence is the only sure way to deal with the ever-growing gap between Scotland’s rich and poor, two leading figures in the Yes campaign will say today.


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No campaign donor is accused over firm avoiding tax

No campaign donor is accused over firm avoiding tax | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A COMPANY whose chief executive is a significant donor to the Better Together campaign has been accused of avoiding paying billions of pounds in tax.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The list of dubious and downright disreputable organisations and individuals backing the anti-independence mob should be enough to make anyone think twice about voting No. You may think that you are (inexplicably) voting against independence, folks, but you really need to take a long, hard look at what - and who - you are voting for.


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The Commonwealth Games may boost the yes vote for Scottish independence

The Commonwealth Games may boost the yes vote for Scottish independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Alan Bissett: The visibility of Scotland on TV, plus sporting success, could well give us the confidence to vote yes in the referendum


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Red Arrows smoke sparks row

A ROW has erupted amid claims the Defence Secretary slapped down proposals for the Red Arrows to trail smoke in the blue and white colours of the Saltire during the Commonwealth Games' opening ceremony.

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It is imply untrue to say that the Red Arrows always trail red, white and blue smoke. They created a red and white St George's cross to celebrate England in the World Cup.

All of this reminds me of an occasion when I had to sign in to an MoD facility to do some work. Having put my nationality as Scottish I was told to try again. When I insisted that this was my nationality I was told that only British or English would be accepted.

I thought the days of the Greater England project were over. I thought we had seen the last of attempts to eradicate Scotland's identity as a nation. Apparently, I was wrong. Apparently, even an event such as the Commonwealth Games must conform to the dictates of British nationalist ideology. It can be an English event. Or it can be a British event. But it cannot ever be a Scottish event.


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Gary Wilson: My journey to Yes

When folk say that Scotland is a village, they really do mean it. It's funny how people you know through contact in a certain sphere, turn up again somewhere completely different and totally unexpe...


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Cameron's colleagues try to hide him from campaign | Scottish National Party

Cameron's colleagues try to hide him from campaign | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

David Cameron’s plans to be based in Scotland for the final two weeks of the referendum campaign have been criticised by his UK Government colleagues – amidst concerns that his unpopularity will damage the No campaign.

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Independence and the Economy - The Facts - YouTube

Share the video that proves Scotland will be a wealthy independent country. Scotland can more than afford to be independent and independence will make Scotla...


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Independence: Supreme Court appeal for prison vote

Independence: Supreme Court appeal for prison vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
TWO prisoners have taken their legal battle for a vote in September’s Scottish independence referendum to the UK Supreme Court.


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I approach the question of votes for prisoners in the same way that I did the matter of votes at 16. If we aspire to a truly inclusive, participative democracy then the default position must be that EVERYBODY gets a votes. Rather than debating who should be entitled to vote the onus should be on those who would have certain groups or categories of people excluded from the democratic process to justify such exclusion.

It is fairly easy to justify the exclusion of infants and young children who cannot be expected to have a sufficient understanding of the process itself, never mind the issues. It is increasing difficult to justify exclusion as people get older. By the time we get to 16-year olds the justifications disappear to be replaced by rationalisations that cannot be sufficient grounds for denying the principle of inclusiveness.

With regard to prisoners, it is not possible to justify a blanket exclusion for the simple reason that prisoners do not constitute a homogeneous category in anything like the way that age-defined groups do. They are, as a group, every bit as diverse as the general population.

And the same can be said of the reasons for their incarceration. A blanket exclusion from the democratic process equates those imprisoned for rape and murder with those locked-up for shoplifting and non-payment of fines. It treats first-time offenders the same as hardened criminals.

And we have the anomalous situation where an individual given a custodial sentence for a particular offence is excluded while someone given a suspended or non-custodial sentence for the same offence is still allowed to vote.

It may well be possible to justify exclusion of certain individuals, But the general rule must be that as many people as possible are brought into the democratic process.


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Alex Salmond under fire over Freedom City claim

Alex Salmond under fire over Freedom City claim | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Politicians hit out at Alex Salmond yesterday accusing him of playing politics on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games when he said Glasgow would be called “Freedom City” after voting Yes in the independence referendum.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Let's face it, the British nationalists were going to put on a show of righteous indignation whatever Alex Salmond said. Just as they were always going to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear as David Cameron and his British Labour pals tried to hijack the Commonwealth Games for the unionist cause. It's no more than the unabashed double-standards and hypocrisy that we've seen from the anti-independence mob throughout the referendum campaign.

All of this would be easy to dismiss but for the fact that it is symptomatic of a very disturbing trait that seems to be pretty ubiquitous among those determined to deny the sovereignty of Scotland's people and defend the ruling elites of the British state. I refer, of course, to the conviction among propagandists for the union that they can do no wrong. That anything they do or say, however reprehensible in any other context, is fully justified when it is in defence of the structures of power and privilege which define the British state.

There are few things in politics more dangerous than the combination of fervent patriotism and a sense of righteous mission such as pervades British nationalism.


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