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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All that pooling and sharing and little to show for it

Having just read the speech Gordon Brown gave on Monday, it’s now clear why Scottish Labour took a while to post it.  Let’s just say it’s not one of his finest. And that’s being charitable.


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Panelbase bans new members from independence polls

Panelbase bans new members from independence polls | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A LEADING polling organisation has banned new members from contributing to future polls on Scottish independence amid concerns that it has been swamped by Nationalists seeking to “influence” the results.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Yet more rash and wholly unfounded allegations from Project Fear. They doubtless hope we've forgotten the lies they told about a supposed "co-ordinated" campaign of "dirty tricks" against them. As ever, the Tory/Labour/LibDem alliance, lost for anything honest and meaningful to say to the people of Scotland, resorts to their usual tactic of smears and fears.

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David Briggs's comment, September 7, 2013 5:57 AM
Just signed up with panelbase. We shall see.
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Scotland’s food and drink has got what it takes

Scotland’s food and drink has got what it takes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scotland’s food and drink industry is yet another of the many success stories of our economy.
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Singer, 80, assaulted by woman

POLICE are hunting a woman who attacked an 80-year-old Canadian gospel singer outside the former home of John Knox in Edinburgh.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Why no mention of the fact that the victim was a Yes campaigner and his attacker a unionist fanatic who assaulted the elderly gentleman while trying to remove a pro-independence placard that he was holding?


And why describe the victim as Canadian when he was born in Scotland, now lives here and clearly defines himself as Scottish?


One would almost think that The Herald was trying to conceal the true nature of this vicious crime.

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Back to the future

Back to the future | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Anas Sarwar’s boorish embarrassment of a performance on last night’s STV debate doesn’t deserve a post of its own, frankly. As the Glasgow MP who thinks Scotland is a dictatorship oafishly shouted idiotic slogans over the top of Nicola Sturgeon non-stop for 45 minutes, all we could hear were the same old hollow canards Labour have been repeating for months on end, and which haven’t changed a bit in all that time.


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As Others See Us: The View from Belgium

IT's an old line but we all know it.
Peter A Bell's insight:

David Leask quite fairly notes the existence, up to a point, of a "multi-national identity" within the UK. But in a curious, and possibly telling slip, he attributes this phenomenon to something called "Britain". Which is ironic because the very concept of a synthesised pseudo-nation called Britain was devised as a way of subsuming all the national identities of these islands into a single entity the better to serve the interests of the ruling elites concentrated around the city-state of London.


The Britain to which David Leask refers exists, not primarily as some kind of joint expression of the individual identities of the nations of the British Isles, but as an alternative and wholly contrived identity intended to supplant them.


For Britain, read greater England. And for England, read London.

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Catalan News Agency - “Plebiscite” election in 2016 if Spain refuses to allow a referendum in Catalonia

Catalan News Agency - “Plebiscite” election in 2016 if Spain refuses to allow a referendum in Catalonia | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Catalan President, Artur Mas, argued on Thursday that “plebiscite-style” elections should be held in 2016 – when the current term finishes – if the Spanish government does not allow the independence referendum to take place next year. In an interview with Catalan radio, Mas said he aims to finish the term and would prefer not to have to call early elections. Mas is waiting for an answer from the Spanish government about the possibility of organising a referendum next year.


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Peter A Bell: Of flags and feelings

Peter A Bell: Of flags and feelings | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

As someone with a bit of a passion for live music, one of the highlights of my year is Perth's annual Southern Fried Festival - a superb celebration of American roots music over the course of what, for me, is now a lost weekend every July. I love it! But there was one incident this year which caused me some consternation.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Like it or not, the union flag is the emblem of a political cause - the cause of preserving the union.

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Why the left outside Scotland should start cheering the independence campaign

Why the left outside Scotland should start cheering the independence campaign | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Some on the English left, including Owen Jones, think a yes vote in the independence referendum would be bad news for the rest of the UK. The typical reasons include the fear of a perpetual Tory-led administration at Westminster, and a general view that nationalism is a distasteful ideology with which the left should have no truck, working class solidarity (“a working class resident of Dundee has more in common with a working class resident of Doncaster than with his middle class neighbours”).

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Borderers still frozen out of referendum coverage | Scottish National Party

Borderers still frozen out of referendum coverage | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has condemned broadcasters for continuing to leave Borderers frozen out of the referendum TV coverage.


The South Scotland MSP has written to Michael Jermey, Director of News, Current Affairs and Sport at ITV, condemning ITV Borders for leaving some people living in the area unable to watch the new STV series Road to Referendum.

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Assets and liabilities

The results of some of the questions in this week’s Panelbase independence poll are so striking we just couldn’t help ourselves. Let’s have a quick delve.


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Scottish Independence campaigner, 80, attacked

Scottish Independence campaigner, 80, attacked | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A PRO-INDEPENDENCE campaigner has been assaulted on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile by a woman who was outraged at his Yes placard.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Who the hell is this Ian Swanson? The story is of an independence campaigner being attacked by someone who is evidently a unionist fanatic. But this Swanson character twists it around firstly by referring to "both sides" and then by going on about "so-called Cybernats", labelling them "notorious" while offering no more justification for this than has been provided by any other so-called journalists.

We may disagree profoundly with those who would deny Scotland's rightful constitutional status. But what comes closest to rousing independence campaigners to actual anger is the blatant bias and sly dishonesty of the mainstream media.

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Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, September 6, 2013 11:28 AM
Another site "denied access" still can trust Peter to give an honest answer to it.
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Osborne has a nerve to say Scots would be worse off

TALK about an open goal.
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Jim Arnott's curator insight, September 5, 2013 6:24 AM

I hope Osborne comes to Scotland every month until the Referenduim. The twaddle he spouts helps convince more and more Scots to Yote Yes. His remarks are so outrageous that Scots see yet again how out of touch Westminster is with the aspirations of Scotland.

 

Vote Yes in the 2014 referendum on independence for Scotland

 

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Scottish Secretary seeks Holyrood meeting to discuss disgraced MSP

Scottish Secretary seeks Holyrood meeting to discuss disgraced MSP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Michael Moore writes to presiding officer and party leaders as officials explore possible solutions.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I'm sure that most people, upon reading that "disqualification of MSPs is determined by UK legislation", will be wondering why. Once again we see amply illustrated the fact that power devolved is power retained.

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Scottish Labour noncommittal over bedroom tax

Scottish Labour noncommittal over bedroom tax | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
LABOUR has stopped short of a commitment to abolishing the bedroom tax if it wins power in the next election in 2015, prompting claims thatthe party is “mired in confusion” over the controversial policy.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It now becomes clear that Anas Sarwar's statement on the bedroom tax was a calculated attempt to deceive the public. Nicola Sturgeon says she reckons Sarwar is a "decent man" who has somehow found himself defending Tory policies. That he is aiding and abetting the UK Government in its onslaught against the powerless is beyond doubt. In the light of his wilful efforts to mislead the people of Scotland, it is less easy to see him as a decent man.

But he is not alone, of course. All of British Labour in Scotland is more concerned with attacking the democratically elected Scottish Government than with defending the people of Scotland against the policies of a UK Government we rejected at the polls. Jackie Baillie's Bill is a cynical attempt to embarrass the SNP administration by demanding that it fund Tory welfare cuts from Scotland's budget.

British Labour at Holyrood do not say where the £50m cost of supporting their Tory allies is to come from. They do not say what vulnerable people are to pay the price of their obsessive hatred of the SNP. They are silent on the question of where the next £50m, will come from when, encouraged by the assistance they are receiving from British Labour, the Tories come up with "Son of Bedroom Tax", as they surely will.

The exposure of Anas Sarwar's lies; the continued dithering of Johann Lamont and the sly opportunism of Jackie Baillie all tell the same story. British Labour care nothing for the victims of the Tories' ideologically-driven onslaught against the poor. They care only about pursuing their petty vendetta against the party that the voters of Scotland spurned them for.

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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.

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Then they come to fight you

Then they come to fight you | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It’s not even a fortnight since we started to document the increasing levels of bullying, intimidation and dirty tricks employed by the No campaign against the far more numerous grassroots activists of Yes Scotland. We must admit, we weren’t expecting it to descend to outright physical violence quite this soon.


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Borderers still being frozen out of referendum TV coverage

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has condemned broadcasters for continuing to leave Borderers frozen out of the referendum TV coverage.


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Scottish housing market strengthened by Independence

Scottish housing market strengthened by Independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Having been a domestic conveyancing solicitor for 35 years I have witnessed the booms and busts of the domestic property market throughout Scotland; the scramble for limited mortgage funds of the late 1970s to the over abundance of paper money in the 2000s; from mortgage interests rates of over 17% to today’s artificially low ones; from no separate charge to arrange mortgages to the grotesque mortgage arrangement fees endemic in the current system.


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Anas Sarwar: Future Labour government 'will abolish bedroom tax'

Anas Sarwar: Future Labour government 'will abolish bedroom tax' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Anas Sarwar, deputy leader of Scottish Labour, made the pledge during a debate on Scotland Tonight.
Peter A Bell's insight:

An appalling performance from Anas Sarwar who was clearly there, not to participate in debate but to prevent Nicola Sturgeon being heard. Apart from the disgraceful spoiling tactics all this thoroughly odious little man had to offer was a catalogue of lies and deceit.

Sarwar says, "...we wouldn't have the bedroom tax because we wouldn't have introduced it."

But we all know that British Labour DID introduce the bedroom tax.

Sarwar says, "We have been clear. If we were in power tomorrow, we would abolish the bedroom tax."

This is a lie. British Labour have been anything but clear about whether they would abolish the bedroom tax. Miliband and his minions have assiduously avoided making any commitment. And Sarwar is no less evasive. Note the qualifier, "If we were in power tomorrow...". They cannot possibly be in power tomorrow. He might as well have said, "If I have an original thought that wasn't fed to me by British Labour's spin-quacks...".

When other British Labour figures are quizzed about this "pledge" they will have an easy get-out in that they can say Sarwar was talking about a hypothetical situation. And if his words are thrown back at him when British Labour fail to abolish the iniquitous tax that they introduced, he will simply say, "That was then. Things have changed.".

Surely after listening to this oleaginous little creep everybody will be aware that British Labour are no more to be trusted than their Tory allies.

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Call Yersel’ A Scotsman? | A Cybernat Writes

Call Yersel’ A Scotsman? | A Cybernat Writes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Northbriton have fairly been at it hammer and tongs over the last few days.  Anyone would think a poll had just come out showing the Yes side in the lead or something.

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Sticks and stones...

I'm sorry if this entry rubs anyone up the wrong way - and I know it will some - but I feel it's too important. I've hummed and hawed about writing this entry, and I'll tell you for why.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I can't help but be sceptical of the notion that the individual who perpetrated this violent assault was motivated by outrage on behalf of the Normans.

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The Fear Factor: 'This is the Fear Factor' (1 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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On the other side of fear

On the other side of fear | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It’s been a remarkable week in opinion polling, with YouGov calling the independence referendum for No on Sunday, Panelbase calling it for Yes on Monday, and TNS-BMRB, according to Prof John Curtice, calling it for Don’t Know by Wednesday.


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Salmond told to withdraw PM remarks

ALEX Salmond has been called on to withdraw remarks in which he allegedly branded David Cameron
Peter A Bell's insight:

Alex Salmond's remark has, predictably, produced precisely the flurry of mindless knee-jerking that we might have anticipated. After all, he only has to say, "Good morning!", and it's enough to send some people into paroxysms of outrage. If ever a way is found of harnessing the energy in the venting of unionists' righteous indignation - genuine or feigned - then we will have a source of power to rival all of Scotland's hydrocarbon reserves and renewables potential combined.

I'm going to suggest something pretty radical here. Let's think about it! Let's actually reflect on what was said, what it means, and whether it can be justified. For many, this will be a novel exercise.

Alex Salmond challenged David Cameron to "articulate a case against Scotland". What has reduced a fair few to unthinking apoplexy is the suggestion that to be opposed to independence is to be "anti-Scottish". Deftly avoiding the intellectual paralysis that has afflicted others, let us begin by defining terms. What might be meant by "against Scotland"? I would suggest that this would include any deed or action that was contrary to the interests of Scotland and its people. It might also be said to embrace advocating or defending any policy that might reasonably be considered to serve Scotland ill, or be held by a significant proportion of the population so to do.

Can we identify some examples?

Given that independence is the default status of nations, a determination to deny this status to Scotland might, itself, be regarded as "against Scotland" in that it rejects both Scotland's nationhood and its right to be identified as such. In a sense, the entire anti-independence campaign is anti-Scottish in that it seeks to make Scotland an inferior exception to the norm among the nations of the world.

Those who are determined to preserve the union at any cost tend, by definition, to put the interests of the British state, its elites and its structures of power and privilege before the welfare of Scotland's people. It is not at all difficult to conceive of this as being "against Scotland".

Then there are more specific points. How can it be seen as anything other than "against Scotland" to denigrate our Parliament saying that it is not a democratic place, and to decry our democratically elected government, calling it a "dictatorship"?

How can it be regarded as other than "against Scotland" to threaten economic sanctions if Scotland asserts its right to be a nation like any other?


How might it be possible to pretend that it is not against Scotland's interests to implement, advocate or defend policies which adversely affect the most vulnerable people in our society?


In what way can it be other than against Scotland's interests to seek the continuation of a system which means Scotland tends to get government which it has decisively rejected at the polls?


As the people of Scotland face a truly momentous decision concerning the future of their country, the anti-independence campaign resorts to a campaign of lies, deceit, distortion, disinformation, smears and scaremongering. Is it not perfectly valid to regard such contemptuous disrespect as being "against Scotland"?


It has not proved at all difficult to come up with points which illustrate ways in which the anti-independence campaign may justifiably be said to be "against Scotland". I'm sure others will be able to provide their own examples.


I can't help feeling that the reason Alex Salmond's words have upset so many people is that he was bold enough to give voice to a hitherto unspoken truth. Unspoken either because it is a truth about themselves that many find disturbing. Or because it is a truth so obvious as to have been taken for granted until it was said out loud.

It may be that it is possible to articulate a positive case for the union. But, so far, the anti-independence campaign has signally failed to essay such a task. It may even be possible to articulate a negative case against independence which is not also "against Scotland". But this is not what is happening.


On sober reflection, the inescapable fact is that much, perhaps most, of the argument advanced by those opposed to the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status is all too easily, and quite appropriately, characterised as being "against Scotland". If those involved in the aptly named "Project Fear" are uncomfortable with this, then perhaps they should consider a change of tactics.

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