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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The triple standard

The triple standard | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

When UKIP’s Nigel Farage was recently made rather unwelcome in Edinburgh, a whole slew of Unionist politicians and commentators – most notably Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie – took to the nation’s airwaves and newspaper columns to piously condemn the protestors who peacefully but loudly voiced their disapproval of Farage’s policies. Angry online No supporters were less measured in their fury at the “suppression” of Farage’s free speech.


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This is the real “Broken Britain” – and it should be our national shame

This is the real “Broken Britain” – and it should be our national shame | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
At least half a million people are going hungry. That number had trebled over the past twelve months as a government’s failed economic policies, inflation, cuts and debt drive many families to destitution.
Peter A Bell's insight:

British Labour bemoans the economically destructive and socially corrosive policies of successive UK governments while insisting that the people of Scotland should meekly accept policies imposed by a government they didn't vote for.

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Listless quality to SNP's case for independence

Is the Scottish National Party still a Scottish nationalist party?

Peter A Bell's insight:

I wonder if Iain Macwhirter's "Road to Referendum" will disregard the wider Yes Scotland campaign as assiduously as this article does. If so, it will be a profound disappointment.

How is it possible to observe that the SNP is at least as focused on the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections as on next year's referendum without also noting that this shift of focus is only possible because the task of prosecuting the independence campaign has largely been handed off to Yes Scotland? (Who, incidentally, happen to be doing a rather good job - http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/yes-success_25.html.)

How is it possible to identify the fact that the SNP's role in the independence campaign has changed without also considering the way that the entry into the campaign of Yes Scotland has facilitated this change?

How is it possible to comment on the way in which the SNP's contribution to the debate on Scotland's constitutional future has adapted to changing circumstances without analysing those circumstances and taking account of how the vision now being advanced by the SNP may be both realistic and required?

To whatever extent it may have been so in the past, the Scottish National Party is no longer a single-issue party. It is firmly established as a party of government and a leading player within the game of party politics in Scotland and the UK. Why then should it be surprising to find it behaving as such? It is the purpose of political parties to win and retain political power. This necessarily entails concentrating on elections. Elections are very different from referendums. So it is hardly shocking that, as both the independence campaign and Scottish politics more generally have evolved, so the SNP has evolved also.

It might be relevant to suggest at this point that the ongoing travails of British Labour in Scotland may be explained by their failure to evolve. This is why the likes of Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown seem so irrelevant to the debate - almost as if they are talking about something else entirely.

Looking at the bigger picture, the "listless" representation of independence being offered by the SNP makes perfect sense. Their role in the independence campaign is defined and constrained by their role as the governing party. Radicalism would be out of place. It would strike a distinctly discordant note with an electorate who, as a whole, expect the government to be fairly (small-c) conservative.

If the SNP's was the only vision on offer there might be cause for concern. If theirs was the only voice, it would surely be disappointing. But this is not the case. By so inexplicably discounting Yes Scotland and the wider pro-independence effort, Iain Macwhirter risks missing the rich diversity of the plethora of ideas that are being explored. As I have noted elsewhere,

"As people are increasingly enthused by the possibilities and potential of independence, Scotland's political scene has become more active and richly diverse than it has been in decades."


The SNP's cautious, conservative vision fits perfectly within this matrix of more radical ideas. Indeed, it is at the very centre of that matrix. Because it describes the easily achievable but absolutely necessary starting point from which all outcomes can be reached.


Independence day plus one should look as identical as possible to independence day minus one, not simply because this is less likely to "frighten the horses", but because the alternative is that the character of newly independent Scotland be pre-defined rather than left for the people to decide.

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New Defence contract blows hole in Better Together claims

New Defence contract blows hole in Better Together claims | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

A defence contract worth £600m has been awarded to French defence contractor Thales in a move that has undermined one of the key arguments against Scottish independence.

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Fiscal Commission 'disappointed' by UK Gov | Scottish National Party

Fiscal Commission 'disappointed' by UK Gov | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie has called on the Treasury to respond properly to the Fiscal Commission Working Group after the leading economists, including two Nobel Prize winners, expressed their disappointment that the UK Government had ignored their work despite it offering answers to the Treasury’s questions.

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Scotland UXB

Scotland UXB | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

What was the point in fighting a War on Terror if your own allies were busy boiling people alive?


The quote is from the book by Dominic Streatfeild, A History of the World since 9/11, published in February 2011 (UK) by Atlantic Books. He’s referring to the United States and Britain’s courting of President Islam Krimov – and it’s worth considering as news about British forces collusion and conduct spills out, however belatedly this week.

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Darling hypocrisy as he attacks Osborne on economy | Scottish National Party

Darling hypocrisy as he attacks Osborne on economy | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Leader of the No campaign Alistair Darling has been left facing accusations of hypocrisy after he attacked George Osborne over the state of the UK economy.

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Jim Arnott's comment, May 29, 2013 12:37 PM
Why did I not know that David. Silly old me. Lol
Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, May 30, 2013 8:20 AM
Darling a hypocrite? I think he surpasses hypocrisy and takes it to a new level.Never noticed him give an answer to a question at any time.
Jim Arnott's comment, May 30, 2013 12:01 PM
Darling never needs to answer a question because the biased BBc never follows up demanding that he answers any questions they might deign to ask him.
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Fair warning

Fair warning | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Herald today reports officially (or at least semi-officially, quoting “a senior Treasury source”) what we’ve been telling you for months:


“Scotland’s annual block grant is set to be cut by hundreds of millions of pounds in a knock-on effect from George Osborne’s attempt to find £11.5 billion of extra savings across Whitehall budgets.”

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Ten things to tell your friends about an independent Scotland

Yes Scotland is a grassroots campaign. This video gives the arguments in favour of an independent Scotland for our supporters to share in their communities. ...
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Hundreds of millions to be cut from Scots block grant

Hundreds of millions to be cut from Scots block grant | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

SCOTLAND'S annual block grant is set to be cut by hundreds of millions of pounds in a knock-on effect from George Osborne's attempt to find £11.5 billion of extra savings across Whitehall budgets.

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David Briggs's comment, May 29, 2013 5:21 AM
Yet another building block added to the pyramid of reasons for the Scots to vote for Independence. They continue to stick the boot into Scotland and yet folk remain to be convinced that we would be better sticking with a right wing English Nation that is tearing itself apart with each passing day. The Union is a decaying limb. For the sake of reason sever us from it before we die.
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SNP's corporation tax plan is cause for concern, think-tank poll shows

A LEADING think-tank has raised concerns about SNP plans to slash corporation tax if Scotland becomes independent.

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For A’ That 26 – Shamrocks And Weddings

For A’ That 26 – Shamrocks And Weddings | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

For the 26th episode of For A’ That, Andrew and I were joined by Peter McColl, who is the Rector of Edinburgh University and a member of the Green Party.

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Comic Boyle calls police over threats on internet

COMEDIAN Frankie Boyle has called in the police after receiving threatening messages online.

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Independence 'no risk' to uni fees

Independence 'no risk' to uni fees | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Students from the rest of Britain could still be charged university fees in Scotland after independence, according to legal advice seen by BBC Scotland.
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Unionists attack Yes campaign for claiming indy start-up would cost only £300m

YES Scotland has come under fire for claiming the costs of establishing a go-it-alone state would be less than £300 million.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Arithmetic has never been the anti-independence campaign's strong suit. And simple logic is, sadly, an early casualty of the kind of muddled thinking that characterises a campaign based on smears and scaremongering rather than any rational assessment of the facts.

The glaringly obvious fact that so sadly eludes British Labour's Ken Macintosh and his Tory allies is that the savings referred to in the Yes Scotland video need only offset NEW costs arising from Scotland resuming its status as an independent nation. Whatever the current cost of running the tax system may be, for example, we are already paying a proportionate share of that cost in full.


And even if there are one-off costs that exceed the £300 million savings identified in the Yes Scotland video, this is, by definition, one-time-only expenditure while the savings are annual. We save £300 million EVERY year. So, even if those initial start-up costs were as much as £1 billion, which I don't think anybody is seriously suggesting, the cost would be recovered in only three years. And this is before we even start to consider the undoubted benefits of bringing control of Scotland's economy back where it belongs.

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Jim Arnott's curator insight, May 30, 2013 3:33 PM

Spot on assessment of the facts Peter (see comment below). When did facts ever get in the way of Unionist fiction? - never. The Better Together people seem to be so steeped in negativity that they just can't help themselves.

 

Vote Yes in the 2014 Referendum on independence for Scotland

 

 

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Nationalists call Sir Chris Hoy a traitor to Scotland

Nationalists call Sir Chris Hoy a traitor to Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Nationalists have accused Sir Chris Hoy of being a “traitor” to his country in a vitriolic barrage of internet abuse directed at the Olympic hero for warning that independence could harm Scottish sport.
Peter A Bell's insight:

As one of British nationalism's more rabid propagandists, Simon Johnson probably can't be expected to acknowledge that freedom of expression extends even to those who criticise views that accord with his own fanatical unionism. When a public figure makes a public pronouncement on a matter of public concern then, unless they are as sadly immature as Mr Johnson, they will expect some kind of response. If the examples given here as supposedly representing "abuse" are the worst of those responses then grown-ups will have little complaint.

It says much about the increasing desperation of the anti-independence campaign that, for the want of any positive arguments or even any fresh negative ones, they feel obliged to return to tired old smears that didn't impress any thinking people any of the countless other times precisely the same article was peddled by some dull rent-a-hack in the service of the British establishment.

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Coach Christopher's curator insight, January 19, 2015 12:29 PM

Should athletes speak freely about their political views, or should the remain neutral and guard their good names?

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MEP renews call for Scottish Government to disclose EU legal advice

MEP renews call for Scottish Government to disclose EU legal advice | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Catherine Stihler claims 'transparency in Scotland is a myth' two years after she made an FOI request.
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David Briggs's comment, May 30, 2013 2:59 AM
The truth is out there Catherine. Is it beyond you to listen to it?
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Migration data and attitudes in the context of the Scottish independence referendum | The COMPAS Blog

Migration data and attitudes in the context of the Scottish independence referendum | The COMPAS Blog | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Earlier this month I had the good fortune to travel to Edinburgh for a conference centered on the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) project entitled The Future of the UK and Scotland. The ESRC project includes funding for research fellowships and additional grants to its existing investments such as COMPAS and the Centre on Population Change. The recipients of these grants have committed to conducting various research programmes that are relevant for the debate leading up to next year’s referendum on Scottish independence.

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Dalton Denmark's curator insight, September 16, 2013 7:31 PM

after reading this i am confused as to why more countries havent adopted canadas policy on migration. it poses a solution to this problem, as well as that for any other country. of course it may pose a popularity problem but in the standpoint of the country wishing to adopt it, it seems almost foolproof. the uk is facing a problem but i believe the answer was right in this very passage.-Dalton

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New Westminster cuts highlights need for Yes vote | Scottish National Party

New Westminster cuts highlights need for Yes vote | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The SNP today focused on the latest round of Westminster cuts coming Scotland’s way – and highlighted the fact that only a Yes vote in September 2014 can save Scotland from years of Tory austerity we didn't vote for.

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Labour stance on Trident replacement non-existent | Scottish National Party

Labour stance on Trident replacement non-existent | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The SNP has called on Labour to make clear once and for all its position on the future of Trident as they continue to bury their head in the sand.

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Expert's views on welfare shows Westminster is out of touch

Expert's views on welfare shows Westminster is out of touch | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee, Professor Alan Miller warned that the UK Government was in danger of breaching human rights legislation with its assault on social protection.

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Scottish independence: Scotland’s Road to Socialism

Scottish independence: Scotland’s Road to Socialism | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scotland’s Road to Socialism, edited by Professor Gregor Gall, includes contributions from left-wing figures who write on their views to “move forward a socialist Scotland” ahead of the referendum next year.
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Scottish independence: currency and tax concerns

Scottish independence: currency and tax concerns | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond’s vision for Scotland falls “far short of any meaningful concept of independence” according to two leading economists, in a major new intervention in the referendum debate.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I have the utmost respect for Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, but cannot agree with them that Scottish voters are not being presented with the option of a genuinely independent nation. In fact, Scottish voters are being presented with every option that there is.

What is true is that not all of those options are encompassed by the vision presented by the Scottish National Party. Frankly, it's ridiculous to expect that one political party might represent everything that everyone wants.

The referendum will not decide the character of an independent Scotland. The referendum will decide what forces shape that character. I'm sure the SNP will be among those forces. But that, like all else, will be for the people of Scotland to decide.

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Jim Arnott's comment, May 29, 2013 12:24 PM
What you say Peter is absolutely true. It will be for the people of Scotland to decide what Scotland should look like. They will have no chance of this if they vote No. The thought of a No vote fills me with dread.
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Being There

Being There | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Seems Margaret Curran is early for the Don’t Know Week – this level of feigning ignorance is unacceptably stupid. By Citizen Smart.

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