Referendum 2014
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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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Yes vote can lead to a greener, more sustainable Scotland | Yes Scotland

Yes vote can lead to a greener, more sustainable Scotland | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

A Yes vote can lead to a greener, more sustainable Scotland. That is the argument made in Yes Scotland’s response to Scottish Environment LINK’s Referendum Challenge.

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Hammond admits Scotland to inherit defence assets | Scottish National Party

Hammond admits Scotland to inherit defence assets | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Scottish National Party has said Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has questions to answer on Defence assets in Scotland.

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How it's done

How it's done | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
If you're one of our non-Luddite readers and possess a Twitter account, you'll probably  have noticed a flurry of comment a couple of weeks back about a debate at Abertay University in Dundee (the ...
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Stupidity beyond parody

Stupidity beyond parody | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Not for the first time, we had to check that this really came from “Better Together”, not some cybernat satire site, but again it’s bona fide hypocrisy par excellence.

This really is what the No camp is trying to shovel, in the guise of a pseudo-socialist appeal made in the name of three political parties in hock to big business up to their eyeballs, in a campaign funded chiefly by a multi-millionaire oil executive with links to Saddam Hussein and the genocidal Serbian war criminal Arkan.


Peter A Bell's insight:

The staggering hypocrisy of Better Together!

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The Fear Factor: 'The Artists, the Press and the Black, Black Oil' (5 of 6)

Scared at the prospect of running your own country? Terrified about what the future holds? Haunted by nightmarish visions of deep uncertainty? The Fear Facto...
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Talks from Yes Leith

Talks from Yes Leith | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
There’s a story you’re being told that politics is dead and this is just the same old politics. Nothing will change. Nothing ever changes. It’s a form of social control. Don’t believe it. The importance of live public events is...
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Kevin Bridges snubs Downing St invite to St Andrew's Day party

Kevin Bridges snubs Downing St invite to St Andrew's Day party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
It is the national day of our patron saint, and will doubtless feature powerfully different messages from either side of the great indyref debate.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Perhaps Kevin Bridges recalls all those celebrities who allowed themselves to be sucked into New Labour's "Cool Britannia" stunts at Downing Street and came to regret it.


Respect to the man, anyway, for taking a principled stance.

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Tom Peterkin: Tory plan not such a mad idea

Tom Peterkin: Tory plan not such a mad idea | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
It would be rather tempting to add the idea of the Conservative Party trying to persuade people without a vote in the Scottish referendum to make the case for staying in the UK to the long list of pointless political exercises.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Tom Peterkin attempts a stout defence of Ruth Davidson and her boss, David Cameron. Unfortunately, he does so by glossing over the glaring hypocrisy of them exhorting the people of the rest of the UK to become involved in Scotland's referendum campaign while, with one of their many other faces, they insist that the debate is for the people of Scotland alone and not something the UK Prime Minister should be engaging with.

And there is a very good chance this latest British nationalist  ploy could backfire badly. A quick perusal of the comments accompanying any item about Scottish independence in The Telegraph, for example, gives a fairly clear impression of what we might expect to hear from the voices Cameron and his lackey want raised in defence of the union. And it's not quite the message of unity and comradeship that they hope for.

The reality is that for decades the British parties so effectively peddled the myth of Scotland as an ungrateful subsidy junky sucking on the teat of the English taxpayer that they have stoked the fires of an animosity that would not be easily quelled even if we didn't have the likes of Simon Heffer and Alan Cochrane continuing to fan the flames.

Divide and rule has always been a favoured strategy of the British state. No lessons seem to have been learned from the often terrible price that has had to be paid as a consequence of the conflicts that have been contrived to serve British imperialist ambitions. Cameron seems as blind to this as any of his predecessors. And Davidson? Well, she probably isn't even aware. She just says whatever she's told to say.

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Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, October 4, 2013 11:24 AM
Tried to read the article and I am "denied service" again.
Peter A Bell's comment, October 4, 2013 11:36 AM
I am getting access OK. Perhaps it was a temporary glitch.
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What's Left of the Union?

What's Left of the Union? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
What's Left of the Union? Part 1 - by Christopher Silver Last week the Labour Conference came and went with some carefully choreographed nationalist populism. It was made clear that, however the pa...
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morning rant....

morning rant.... | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

So I am reading my London Times while breakfasting and find myself spluttering into my soft-boiled duck egg when I read of Ruth Davidson being allowed to speak at the Tory conference just ahead of David Cameron as… “proof of Cameron’s determination that the Tories will fight ‘tooth and nail’ for the Union…”


Tooth and nail??!!


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The Positive Case for the Union

The Positive Case for the Union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

he Tory Party has been meeting in Manchester blaming poor people, young people and unemployed people for the countries woes. This mixture of forced labour and a lurch to the right in a full-scale assault on the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society may not imediately appeal to you, but there’s good news. They’ve put the positive case for the Union, with David Cameron giving over 50 seconds to the question in his big speech.


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Growing older

If we've been a bit quiet this morning, it's because we're wading through 120-odd pages of this, the Scottish Government's extensive paper on "Pensions in an independent Scotland". We'd have reprin...
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Official statistics 'Bible' to help 2014 voters

THE referendum campaign has been dogged by complaints that voters have not been given the information they need to make their decision.
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Actor Peter Mullan confident Scotland will say Yes | Yes Scotland

Actor Peter Mullan confident Scotland will say Yes | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Peter Mullan, who stars in the new movie Sunshine on Leith, has spoken of his confidence that Scotland will vote Yes in next year’s referendum.

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Coffee and a chat

I was just sitting outside my favourite coffee shop when a friend of a member of staff came and sat beside me, falafel panini in one hand, peppermint tea in the other. An older guy than myself, probably in his fifties, and a little disheveled looking.

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Scottish independence: Harvie ‘radical vision’ claim

Scottish independence: Harvie ‘radical vision’ claim | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH Green Party leader Patrick Harvie will today claim that only a “radical vision” of independence will deliver a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I suppose it is only to be expected that a career politician will find it difficult to break out of the mindset that this implies. Patrick Harvie is far from alone in making the error of approaching Scotland's independence referendum as if it was an election. As if it was about a raft of policies rather than a single, simple question on the matter of Scotland's constitutional status. As if it was a debate where party political sniping and bickering was appropriate.

Don't we get enough of that tiresome petty politicking from the British parties in Scotland?

Of course, the "attack" on the SNP is almost entirely a product of media spin. But it has to be said that Patrick Harvie has an unfortunate tendency to make it easy for those who would deny Scotland's rightful constitutional status to portray his comments as indicating a "split" in the independence campaign.

There is no such split, of course. The Scottish Green party remains as committed to securing a Yes vote as ever it was. What we have is merely a difference of emphasis. The difference between two distinct strands of the Yes campaign's case. The difference between becoming independent, and being independent.

The Scottish Government is, quite rightly, focused on the former. It is, as it must be, concerned mainly with the process of restoring Scotland's status as an independent nation and the immediate implications that this will have for the people of Scotland. The current administration has no mandate to implement the kind of radical changes that Harvie and others understandably want to see.

It would be at least misleading and arguably dishonest for the Scottish Government to talk of a Yes vote in the referendum as representing a vote for particular policies when all it can ever be is a vote for the power to choose such policies in the future.

All the Scottish Government can properly do is set out an honest vision of where we will be on day one of independence. If that vision is less than inspiring for some it can only be because they fail to raise their eyes to look beyond the end of the process of becoming independent to see the possibilities of being independent.

There is no disagreement here - no matter how the unionist-dominated media try to portray it. Patrick Harvie is right. We need a radical vision for Scotland's future. A vision that will inspire people to vote Yes. But the SNP is also right. Because we also need to be reassured that the process of becoming independent is being handled in a pragmatic and efficient way. These are not opposing arguments, but different and equally essential parts of the one argument which holds that Scotland not only can become an independent country again but, for the sake of future generations, it must be an independent country again.

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Balls fires warning over use of sterling post-independence

POTENTIAL Labour chancellor Ed Balls has confirmed he could seek to veto Scottish use of sterling, stressing he is
Peter A Bell's insight:

This is Ed Balls making his own feeble contribution to Project Fear. His hope is that people will pick up on phrases such as "massively destabilising" and "absolutely no guarantee" and be deterred from reasoned consideration of the issue.


The choice facing the people of Scotland is not a choice between security and insecurity; between certainty and uncertainty; between the known and the unknown. The choice facing us is a question of trust. It is a question of who we will rely on to deal with the day-to-day business of running our country. Will we put our faith in people like Ed Balls, who sees only problems he acknowledges he is unable to resolve? Or will trust in our own ability to be like any other nation and manage our own affairs?


Like so many other issues around the debate about Scotland's constitutional future, the matter of what currency we use is inflated and distorted by British nationalists whose sole concern is the preservation of the British state and the power and privilege that the British state affords them. Their purpose is to take the ordinary and make it appear monstrous. Sensible people will look past the self-serving rhetoric and ask themselves what all the fuss is about.


Regardless of the irresponsible scaremongering from British Labour and their Tory allies in Project Fear, one thing is absolutely certain. Scotland will have a fully functioning currency after independence. How could it be otherwise? Who would be able to prevent it? Who would be served by preventing it even if it was possible to do so?


Ed Balls does not speak for any future UK Government. He speaks only for the campaign to deny Scotland's rightful constitutional status. More to the point, he does not speak for Scotland's future. Only the people of Scotland are entitled to do that.

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Ed Balls: I'm not bluffing that independent Scotland may not get the pound

Ed Balls: I'm not bluffing that independent Scotland may not get the pound | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Ed Balls has warned Alex Salmond “I’m really not bluffing” that the English may decide not to share the pound if Scotland negotiates independence while he is Chancellor.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Is this really the guy who wants to be Chancellor of the British Exchequer? Someone who doesn't know that sterling is as much Scotland's currency as it is England's?  Someone who is unaware that the pound is a fully tradeable currency?

Someone so brainlessly hypocritical and duplicitous that he will in one breath argue that the existing currency union is good for both Scotland and the rest of the UK and in the next say that the rUK will end it for no better reason than petty spitefulness?

If there are any thinking people listening to Balls they will have serious concerns about this person ever seeing the inside of 11 Downing Street.

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Balls rejects 'sterlingzone'

ED Balls has hinted a future Labour UK government would a reject currency union with Scotland if there was a Yes vote in the independence referendum.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Ed Balls exhibits that curious detachment from both reality and Scottish politics that we have come to associate with British politicians. For a start, nobody is talking about a "eurozone-style sterlingzone". The circumstances are entirely different. Not least because we already have a functioning currency union. which is why we don't have to wonder how it would work.


The problems with the eurozone arose from the attempt to shoe-horn divergent economies into a monetary union. That simply isn't the case in respect of Scotland and the rest of the UK (rUK) for the simple reason that the economies of the two, while distinctive in many ways, have not yet diverged to the point where monetary union becomes untenable.


What we urgently need to bring home to Scotland is control of fiscal and social policy where there already exist very significant differences between Scotland and rUK in terms of the needs and priorities which inform those policy areas. Control of monetary policy is less important and less pressing because the constraints of the global financial machinery mean that there is little or nothing that an independent Scottish central bank would do that differs from what the Bank of England is doing.


That situation will change in time. But there is no point in disrupting the bits of Scotland's relationship with rUK that work to mutual advantage in a fit of pique over Scotland choosing to end those parts of the relationship that are harmful to the interests of Scotland's people. Which seems to be what Ed Balls and other unionist politicians are suggesting.


Independence is about redefining relationships. Why is it that British nationalists can only ever see it in terms of severing relationships?

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What's Left of the Union Part 2

What's Left of the Union Part 2 | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
What's Left of the Union Part 2 - by Christopher Sliver Arguing for a socialist Yes: reclaiming the local The last century was one in which numerous macro solutions to humanity’s ills were tried an...
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Young people next in line for Cameron’s welfare cuts | Yes Scotland

Young people next in line for Cameron’s welfare cuts | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

David Cameron had only one new policy to announce in his speech to Tory conference this week:  our young people are in line for an added dose of austerity in the form of benefit cuts.

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The long way around

The long way around | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
My journey to Yes is probably a rather unconventional one. I'm from an establishment background: military family, English public school, Oxford. I've spent a lot of my life abroad and in England. M...
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The oil funds we could have had - and could still have | Yes Scotland

The oil funds we could have had - and could still have | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

While there is a debate to be had about how best to use our oil reserves, there is no doubt that the Westminster way is nothing short of a national scandal. A policy of exploiting reserves, but blowing revenues without saving a penny for the future has sold Scotland short.

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Scottish Independence: Armed forces kids get vote

Scottish Independence: Armed forces kids get vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Children of armed forces personnel living abroad with their parents will have a vote in the independence referendum under legislation likely to be approved at Holyrood today.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is heartening to see the Scottish Government doing everything in its power to ensure that the referendum is as inclusive as possible.

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Appeal to ignore Salmond remarks

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has appealed to the English to ignore Alex Salmond as he tried to
Peter A Bell's insight:

Given that Ruth Davidson is generally ignored by her own party bosses as wells as pretty much all of Scotland, it's difficult to see why she should suppose the people of England are going to pay her any heed.


Even the few who might have been minded to afford her a moment's attention will be offended by the patronising manner in which she discounts their ability to make their own judgements. And they will be left wondering why she isn't criticising something Alex Salmond has actually said, but instead resorts to talking about something she only imagines he might say at some unspecified point in the future.


Two can play at that game. But what would be the point in appealing to people to ignore Tories intent on getting up their noses? Surely they know enough to do that already.

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