Scottish Independence Referendum
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Unionists be warned. Negative campaigning against Scottish independence is not enough | YES for an Independent Scotland

Unionists be warned. Negative campaigning against Scottish independence is not enough | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scottish Independence Referendum | Scoop.it
A warning shot against unionist complacency in Scotland… Backing for independence among voters aged 18 to 24 stood at 58 per cent, according to the latest Ipsos MORI survey on voting intentions for the 2014 referendum…There were 34 per cent who...
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Video: 'Would you vote for Scotland to join the Union?'

Video: 'Would you vote for Scotland to join the Union?' | Scottish Independence Referendum | Scoop.it
Blair Jenkins(Chief Executive YesScotland) turns the argument about Independence for Scotland on its head. http://t.co/0T635DRs
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Scottish Independence Offers Us More Than Money | National Collective

Scottish Independence Offers Us More Than Money | National Collective | Scottish Independence Referendum | Scoop.it

Scottish Independence Offers Us More Than Money
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Posted by Rob Connell on February 14, 2013 in Magazine · 1 Comments
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The received wisdom is that people decide on how to vote for government, and will decide how to vote in Scotland’s independence referendum, according to which choice they believe will serve them better financially. Indeed, this time they have even put a figure on it – apparently surveys say that being 500 quid a year better off would convince a majority to vote ‘Yes’.

Apart from my reluctance to believe that most of my fellow citizens are quite so shallow and grabbing, this proposition doesn’t ring true with experience. Granted, the economy is accurately quoted as a major concern for most, but this tends to be about much bigger impacts than slightly-better-or-slightly-worse-off. Most people you speak to who shift parties on economic grounds do so to as they fear for their job or their house or their children’s welfare; to borrow Herzberg’s terminology from the workplace, hygiene factors rather than motivators. Life-changers. The idea that we would decide the question of a lifetime on the basis of a tenner a week, for me, doesn’t pass the smell test.

Ask most folk about their politics and, if they vote, they vote for those with whom they believe they have most in common – the people who they feel that they align with on an emotional level. They haven’t made any calculations. And, by and large, this common ground is mostly around what they are against; what makes them angry or fearful, and the hope that it could be made better.

Troubled by benefit fraudsters or the work-shy, immigration or Brussels? Fat cats, benefit cuts, and private schools get you on your high horse? Outraged by too much, or not enough, gay rights, contraception, or godlessness? Chances are you vote for those you perceive to make the same complaints. Partially because they’re your best hope of seeing the change you want in society, and partially because if they agree with you on your pet peeves then they must, by extension, be a better bet to decide everything than the other lot. It makes sense to believe in people who agree with you, and it’s certainly more admirable than voting with your wallet. It’s how I’ve mostly voted and, I think, if you’re honest, you too. (Ok, not you. Yes, you, exception-to-the-rule boy there. OK, we’ve all seen you. You can sit down now.)

You might legitimately ask what all this has to do with the referendum. After all, we’re not voting for a government. None of those issues will be resolved, or even addressed, in 2014. Politicians will next canvass for our votes on policy matters for Westminster in 2015, and Holyrood in 2016. Until then, we have our executives and legislatures in place in at both parliaments.

Well it begs the question, what are our emotional responses to the idea of independence? We won’t all of a sudden become rational, analytical, well-informed judges just because it’s a referendum rather than an election. It feels like we should, it feels more important. Certainly, a damn sight more of us are seemingly intending to vote to decide who will elect our future governments (the people of Scotland or the whole of the UK), than take a blind bit of interest in voting to actually elect our governments. Still, it seems optimistic to hope that most will actually find the time and the inclination to become sufficiently informed to decide on the merits. Crucially, what are the hopes and fears around the independence question of people who have lived most of their lives without feeling committed either way? And how will these affect what, and who, they choose to believe?

Based on the extensive but unscientific research of many ‘vox pop’ sessions, some typical ‘Yes’ drivers are: Scottish patriotism; feelings of disenfranchisement or powerlessness; anger at perceived lack of ‘fairness’ at Westminster; hope of a new beginning; opportunity to make a better life and society. Common ‘No’ drivers are: British patriotism; fear of the unknown; feelings of loss of a sense of togetherness or Britishness; security of the familiar; desire to be a part of something bigger, not ‘out on our own’.

Of course, most people will be subject to both sets of emotions, and all of them, as feelings rather than rationales, are equally valid. Overall, they point to a default position among those who don’t have a strong previous preference: “I’m insecure about change, and unless I can see tangible and sizeable advantages, I’ll feel safer with no change, thanks.”

But here’s the rub. The Yes campaign are at pains to point out that we will retain the Queen, the Pound, the EU, NATO, that things will be as normal. And we are fed a daily diet of imagined worst-case scenarios about what could go wrong if Scotland finds itself all alone, without a friend or ally in politics or business, as if they were realistic probabilities.

The Yes campaign can win as many arguments as they like, for the few who are listening. But which side is successfully pushing people’s buttons?

Rob Connell
National Collective


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Adam Ramsay: Why I Support Scottish Independence | National Collective

Adam Ramsay: Why I Support Scottish Independence | National Collective | Scottish Independence Referendum | Scoop.it
Adam Ramsay: Why I Support Scottish Independence | National Collective http://t.co/9hzXlrXL << I can relate to a lot of this.
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Stiglitz: only independence will let Scots tackle income divide | Herald Scotland

Stiglitz: only independence will let Scots tackle income divide | Herald Scotland | Scottish Independence Referendum | Scoop.it
RT @Weegiewarbler: Stiglitz: only independence will let Scots tackle income divide | Herald Scotland http://t.co/8GiHUCvo via @hsnewsbreak
epoch2014's insight:

The UK is the 4th most inequal country in the world.  I know this doesn't sit well with the majority of Scots because it's not in our cultural identity, our DNA.  In fact, in Scotland, it is quite the reverse.  The not often referred to 'tall poppy syndrome', which is a culture of ensuring that no one rises above their 'station' and everyone in Scotland is given a reality check.  This can be both a positive and negative cultural aspect, but a cultural aspect that can be identified with the Scots.  This is one of the plethora of cultural identities that make the Scots different to the rUK.  One of the multitude of reasons we should embrace a "Yes" vote and deal with this dispiriting income inequality, which makes Scotland one of the most grotesquely fasciniating countries in the world, with regard to poverty.  How can a nation with such proportionately vast resources be witness to such innercity/town squalor?  It doesn't make sense.  it is widely recognised that resource rich countries often suffer from the 'resource curse'.  This is the idea that countries with significant natural resources perform worse economically than those with less.  It's a paradox that the Scots have not had the fortune to witness as the vast majority of resource income in Scotland is funnelled to the UK Treasury.  Norway is an exception to the resource curse and has managed it with spectacular results.  A similarly blessed country steeped in oil, has managed it's sovereign fund to the extent that Norway now holds an estimated 1% of the world's equity investments.  I repeat: Norway owns 1% of world stocks!  Incredible.  Scotland has been more charitable.  We have funded a UK welfare state for over 30 years with our resources.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a charitable guy, but it does irk me somewhat when you see that the Trustees of the charity (ie the UK government) are now removing the funding of the welfare state, piece-by-piece and attacking the very people that oil has supported for decades.  The resource income that Scotland has sportingly donated to rUK is now being channeled towards paying mammoth interest payments on mountains of debt, that originated in the global financial centre, that is London.  London is a world financial powerhouse that was poorly managed prior to the economic crisis.  It became a speculative bubble in itself, while providing the South East of England with significant wealth.  The resource money is now funding their mistakes, without impedement.  So, we use our resources now to fund interest payments, on debts that are only getting bigger as the UK borrows more, and the people in control of this unsteady ship are the ones who have secreted vast wealth from it.  Seems a little unfair, doesn't it?  The UK is overwhelmingly London-centric.  I know, I live in London.  People in London generally seem a little 'ignorant' of Scotland, and the other 'regions'.  Why would you bother looking to troubled areas when times are good for yourself.  It's only natural, I don't blame them.  The trouble is that we have a government that also does this.  London is a tool that is used by the UK government to ensure the UK has stature in the world.  Scotland has an opportunity, to remove herself from this spiralling debt circle that is inreasingly ignoring of the most vulnerable in society.  There is no longer any substantial debate regarding whether Scotland can go it alone economically.   The UK government and David Cameron have even acknowledged this.  Yes, an independent Scotland will have debt obligations as its share of the settlement with rUK, but we have a massive opportunity to use the remaining [significant] oil wealth wisely to help our most vulnerable, while simultaneously embracing the vast renewable energy resources we have to begin the transition towards an agile, democratic, fair, society, with a focus on clean energy and a bright future for our children.  Scotland can be a beacon for the rest of the world, to show how we share our wealth, not just of natural resources, but of ideas surrounding social justice and fairness.  I agree that everything above has been written as a simplistic outpouring, probably in a flawed sense of argument, and more in a ranting manner, but for goodness sake Scotland, wake up!  Me, I'm an intelligent, open minded individual.  I live in London now, but I want to return and be a part of a Scotland that I (and many, many others) believe we can aspire to, and someday, we will be.

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