Scottish Independence in 5 points

I have to admit, I grew up thinking that Scottish Independence would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then I started to realise, it’s a bit like separating conjoined twins, it’s not as simple as putting Rabbie Burns head on the £ and getting on with it. I’ve watched the debate so far, and although I was naturally leaning towards Yes! I still had to be persuaded and here is why (so far)  I have been.

Rabbie

Rabbie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OIL

Both sides have been endlessly bickering about how much North Sea oil is left and how much it is worth and while I agree this is important, it’s not the be all and end all. The No campaign would have you believe that there is enough oil to last until 2015 and it’s worth twa bob. The Yes fellas have it at endless and worth a trillion per person. The one fact remains, this planet does not have 40 years worth of oil usage left in it. If we are still producing oil in 2050, this planet will have more to worry about than us like, where did Holland go? Remember we used to be able to see the sun? The future is sustainable energy, solar, tidal and wind. That’s the ace up Scotland’s sleeve and in the words of Meat Loaf  “2 out of 3 ain’t bad.”

Alex Salmond

This is a total non-debate. I’m refusing to make a decision about the long term future of our nation based on the personality of a 58 year old man.  In the event of a Yes vote, he does not become President or King, his position doesn’t change. If you refuse to vote Yes because you don’t like Salmond are you voting No because you like David Cameron? Because that is the logical conclusion of that argument.

No Camapaign

This is one of the most horrid and downright nasty campaigns I’ve ever seen. It’s just scare tactic after scare tactic. It’s an awful, negative debate based on lies and fiddled statistics paid for by corrupt oil money, backed up by Scottish Labour MPs towing the Westminster party line fearful for their own political futures. Guys that are burning their bridges and running down their own nation for their own political advancement. Then there is George Galloway. He wants freedom for everyone, except his own people. That’s because George is a joke in his own country and in the event of Independence worries there will be no place in London for his loud mouth shock Jock shtick.

george

Honestly, if you want to win people over, do it by selling why the Union works not why Scotland doesn’t. Which takes me to my next point.

Why Do They Want Us? 

Now, we have had to watch on for three years as the Tories with their lickspittle Liberal Lapdogs destroy Britain, strip it bare like vultures draining the last profit from the every last available source. The poor are now scroungers, there is a new thing called Working Poor, the NHS is being privatised in all but name, Royal Mail has been sold on the cheap.

They tell us, that Scotland can’t survive alone, they tell us that we take more than we give in this Union. So why would the party of the rich, the party of profit, the party that puts £’s before people, why would they want to continue to subsidise a whole nation, when they won’t even subsidise a disabled person’s spare bedroom?

For me this is the light that shines upon the lie, Scotland is not a drain, if it was they would have cut us loose, they would be leading the Yes campaign. Ask yourself, Why do the Tories want Scotland?

Fairer Society.

This takes me to the crux of the issue. I want, and I know many of my fellow Scots do as well, our children to grow up in a fairer society. A society that cares about the poor, a society that does not send it’s young to all corners of the globe fighting illegal wars, a society that places human dignity higher on the balance sheets than Royal Weddings.

I want English people to have that, I want Welsh people to have that, I want all people in all countries to have that. If it means Scotland separating itself from a broken and corrupt system in order to build this new fairer society, a society that can act as a template for a new way of doing things, a new way of treating each other, well I’m going to vote Yes!

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300 Responses to Scottish Independence in 5 points

  1. Uncle Gordy says:

    If the no campaign say there is hardly any oil left why would there campaign be backed by corrupt oil money. You have a lot of good points just sort out the contradictions.

    • wrumbold says:

      Thanks, I think, what contradictions?

    • BlytheMajors . says:

      Erm, because there is oil. Lots of it. Doh. Is your brain hurting? That comment makes ZERO sense. Bravo.

    • Tony says:

      “Corrupt oil money”? Has any body considered how the oil got here in the first place? A long time ago, some very rich american companys (and others), got together to agree to drill for oil off the coasts of some north sea countries. Permission was asked to land some of this oil on the scottish coast. Permission was granted, and tarrifs arranged for pipe lines to be laid across the country. The amounts paid to scotland for this priviledge constitute the so called “oil revenue” – not the oil within the pipes which belongs to those who paid billions to dig it out! The drilling companies pay to have the oil transported across the country. Ownership of the oil does not transfer to scotland, just because it is on scottish land – in the same way that north sea gas is not the property of england, just because it is excavated off the english coast and transported to the english mainland. The same rules apply – those that dig it out, own it!
      I lived in Scotland for a number of years and would really like to see independance become a reality – but I think that there is a lot of waking up to do? It may also be considered that the whiskey companies own the whiskey and the factories that produce it.Only the revenues from tax belong to Scotland – which means that income from this source will be exactly the same as it is now!
      Revenue from wind and tide is a joke!
      Perhaps if the oil companies are charged more for allowing oil onto scottish land, and it’s transportation across country, this may help to balance the books? At the end of the day, where will the money come from to finance scotland in a satisfactory manner?
      It has been estimated that it could cost each Scottish inhabitant, up to £20 per week to be independant. This is awful, and hopefully is not accurate!
      I am keen to see an independant Scotlant – but please properly thought out?

      Tony Gerard – (English but Scot at heart)

      • Nomie says:

        Scotch whisky has no e in the name, and if I have to pay an extra £20 a week for independence so be it but long term I will be a far richer person. (Scot non English at heart )

      • Jordan says:

        Tony you’ve been listening to the NO camp a little bit too much mate.
        Scotland will not become a little Britain with the exact same expenses as we are presently outputting, there are many degree’s where Britain wants to play at the Big boys table of world affairs thusly forcing Scotland to pay 8.6% of each cost, Military & Defense, International aid, Nuclear Weapons etc etc…
        These are facets for us to ensure a just expenditure for OUR size & economic position, and has the ability to ensure enhanced money to be distributed to areas which matter to US (Job creating, Immigration to balance working populous/ pentioner populous etc etc).

        It has been stated that the Oil revenues we’d receive would balance our budget from Westminster subsities therefore all above mentioned savings would enhance our financial position. Not to mention not having to pay 8.6% in future for London hosting Olympic games or the 400 million pounds we’re paying towards the upgrades to the London sewage system.

        We’re living in an unbalanced and unfair society & Scotland asks for nothing more than what we’re deservant of. Nowhere has the NO camp provided answers of what policys advantageous or otherwise Britain will provide for Scotland to ensure these unbalances are remedied.

      • Howard McCrindle says:

        Revenue from wind and tide is a joke? What planet are you from? The biggest threat to everyone is the use and dependence on fossil fuels. The ONLY constant in the world is the action of the tides. Nothing else is finite, nothing, not sun, wind nor fossil fuel. In the future having a safe and guaranteed source of energy will be the biggest problem facing the whole world. Here in Scotland we are at the forefront of harnessing the power of tides.
        Clean, safe and unobtrusive, it must surely be the most sensible option. I’m afraid Tony you are woefully ignorant of the facts surrounding green energy. Only the revenues from tax on whisky belong to Scotland? Who apart from you thinks anything else? Would it not be nice to use this revenue for creating a fairer society instead of it going into the Treasury and paying for weapons costing billions which will never be used? Furthermore they are detested by the people who live in the shadow of these demonic weapons and Their existence means we are the first target in a nuclear war. Would you like them in your garden? Really? I have no earthly idea where your figures showing Scotland having to pay 20 quid a week extra, the reality is that over time we would be much better off. Where did you get this rubbish from? Please if you are interested in the referendum roll up your sleeves and seek out the truth. If you live here it’s disgraceful you don’t already. This is not a trial run, this is for real. Anyone who votes from a position of ignorance of the facts has only themselves to blame.

      • Davy Young says:

        It’s independent Tony Gerard you cant even spell your language never mind understand the meaning of the word, you obviously penned this for a joke, “independant Scotlant”

        Indyref 2 on its way and to all you hoodwinked NO voters see sense this time.

    • Jixaman says:

      If we are oil rich, which I think we are, then how will the new Scottish government use it? Will the tax at the pumps be slashed? Because if Alex Salmond wants to use the oil as a carrot then why not deliver the crushing blow and do it, if the likes of forty p a litre was the call then its game over, independence here we come… That’s not going to happen though is it? This is what brasses me off. We have oil to make us a rich nation but we will continue to screw you at the pump. Next, will income tax be lowered? Nyet, again we will be a rich nation but we will still be taxed to the hilt… Foreign aid, will you send all of my oil money to countries I will never see and keep taxing me left right and centre to pay for ever spiralling costs for upkeep of the infrastructure?

      We will be independent, no doubt close but we will be, one things for sure, it wont affect me coz I will still be taxed to within an inch…

      Now if I was on the dole, it sounds like I’m on to a winner as our social care system will be cash rich according to the “yes” camp.

      Look, NHS, good, care of the elderly, good, old age pension, good but surely even in a cash rich nation someone on the dole should never be better off than the working man, the culture of habitual unemployed has to end, can be done by reducing taxes…

      Mr Salmond, tell me the the working man how you will spend my oil, my heritage, my vote… I want to believe but its this issue tax that you need to convince me with… Do that and its not just me, you will have a nation…

      • Connor says:

        You do realise petrol isn’t just raw oil? The government can’t just force oil companies to reduce the price because the government doesn’t own the oil or the factories which turn it into petrol/diesel. They also don’t own anything to do with the oil, they only get money from oil because the people who do own it pay for the right to dig it out on Scottish territory. How exactly does reducing taxes reduce unemployment? Reducing taxes reduces the amount of money the government has to spend on- well everything, because tax is the governments income. You can’t just reduce tax and magically expect people to get jobs and continue to have things like the NHS, it doesn’t work like that.

        I would love for Scotland to be able to be independent, but realistically I don’t think it’s viable. Looking at you Southern Ireland.

      • belairvideos says:

        At last somebody understands that Scotland DOES NOT own any oil – if it did, it would have invested the billions it took to get it out! There is no such thing as “Scottish Oil”.

      • wrumbold says:

        You are right, oil should be nationalised. 100% agree.

      • belairvideos says:

        An interesting point – but nationalisation would cost more than the UK could scrape together considering the initial investment costs? Better to leave the oil ownership as it is, and take them for as much as we can in taxes etc etc?

  2. Dave Lawson says:

    I think uncle gordy means that initially you say you’ve said you still have to be convinced to voting Yes, as every valid point you have made clearly puts independence as the more favourable option.

    • wrumbold says:

      It says that so far I had been persuaded and lists the reasons why. I still don’t see it.

      • Esther brown says:

        Well I for one, think it’s a fabulous piece. Especially at the end where you talk of a fairer society. I feel this is an opportunity to start afresh with renewed hope for the future.

  3. Murray says:

    Not sure who you are but as you use the word “jock” assume you are English. And racist incidentally, using the word Jock. But never the less, i think your wrongully undermining George Galloway. He is more popular than you think, simply because he is the only politician who appears to have a heart in the right place and genuinely care about the Scots. I am still on the fence. The whole thing is farcical now. Nobody has a clue and the politicians are having a public slanging match with each other. Its pathetic from both sides.

    • wrumbold says:

      After reading this blog, you assumed I was English??? And Racist???? Are you aware the George Galloway is also a talk radio DJ? They are sometimes called Shock Jocks, rather than disc Jockeys. Also why George Galloway, if he is the only politician whose heart is in the right place, why is he charging £13.50 a head to hear him tell you to vote Naw?

    • Joe says:

      The term ‘jock’ is not derogatory in any way, English regiments used to use it in a effectionate way towards scors regiments.
      It is not used in a negative way like ‘taff’ or ‘mick’.
      The word jock actually shows unity between our countries, don’t sour it’s use mate.

      • belairvideos says:

        Having lived in Scotland for many years, I have heard the term “Jock” used by all classes and in many situations without the slightest offence being taken! It is a term used by Scots – to Scots and is often used with humour! You will frequently hear it used more on the west coast of Scotland, but is generally accepted anywhere. However, it does not go down so well when used by non Scots!

  4. Jean says:

    Everything you said I agree with. I just wish others would catch up that far and think it through. This is our once in a lifetime chance to make our country work for the people, rather than being told by London what we can and can’t do. It is all about Scotland and it’s people, choosing to make our own decisions. Alex Salmond is merely the facilitator of this choice.

  5. Johnny Hosie says:

    We the ordinary people vote in our governments ,then suffer the consequences of their hidden allegiances.We are fed spin and rhetoric incessantly prior to the vote ,but always ,no matter which party wins the same basic agenda pervades.We in naive optimism believe the next candidate is the true leader that will deliver the goods .We don’t need election promises ,We need contracts prior to polling day so we know what were getting and what its going to cost. A free and independent Scotland in my naive optimism sounds like everything Noble and Worthy .We Scots Know we have the Soul for holding humane and ethical principles as an example to the world and we have the skills and ordacity to be our own Nation while being amiable freends with A-body .However we are also as vulnerable as all the rest to corruption and vested interests and as our history of division and treachery may remind us We must be vigilant of extreme personalities with utopian ideologies.So here’s to a independent Pragmatic Scotland, Proudly having a Go..nae bother.

    • Jude M M says:

      VERY well said!

    • brian says:

      Well spoken, knowing that that past does tell us all about our ancesters corrupt ways. We all say we should learn from our mistakes! but we really should have all the bickering put to the side and all that is said should be put to ink and contracted. This way no mistakes..

    • Joe says:

      I agree whole heartedly with you.
      But I’m English & voting yes, so ‘we scots’ doesn’t resonate with me.
      There will be English, Irish, welsh, italians and probably some poles voting yes.
      We are ‘the people of Scotland’, not scots.

  6. Wee Iain says:

    Mark, I read part of you blog but had to say to myself this lad hasn’t done his homework if he thinks that Solar, Wind and tidal is the way forward for Scotland. Take solar. For Gawds sake we live at 56degrees North where leaves don’t grow on trees from October ’til March when it gets dark at 4pm doesn’t get light again ’till 9am. Also, take a Look at your skin colour for a moment and you think we’re going to generate power efficiently and inexpensively? Wind power (Alec’s baby) produces power a piddling amount of power intermittently, variably, needs constant spinning reserve back up by fossil fuel and obscene subsidies taken from those in fuel poverty and given to the Multinationals, landed lairds and men in tight suits which will amount to £3.7bilion a year additional expense for Scots consumers (Civitas report) finally tidal… Google Oyster or Pelamis tidal generators and have a laugh if you have any engineering knowledge. Can you point out any tidal array that is currently deployed and likely to produce meaningful amounts of power ? I know Mr Salmond likes to look to Nordic countries as role models…..well he ought to look to Sweden and Finland. Both countries derive most of their power from Nuclear. Sweden has 10 and Finland 7 Nuclear power plants producing 45% of their needs. This is the way forward (google thorium Nuclear Power)

    We all as you say want a fairer society but you fail to outline how that can be done. I’m proud of the achievements of Britain….Founders of a Parliamentary Democracy, abolitionists of the slave trade, creaters of the welfare state and NHS, Defenders of freedom against the tyranny of Nazism
    And the establishment of a property owning and enterprising democracy where everyone had the opportunity for personal advancement under the protection of the law and in a country able and willing to defend itself. We did this under the Union of four great and proud nations. There will of course be times when the going is tough and Scotland won’t be immune from incompetent leadership or stupid decisions by her electorate. I fear if we vote for independence we’ll wake up on the 19th only to discover that it’ll be a different Day, Different Government….SAME OLD SHIT.

    For these reasons I’ll vote to remain part of the Union and stick it out with my Welsh, Irish and English Brithers for a’ that !!

    • wrumbold says:

      firstly,
      Who is Mark?
      Secondly, I didn’t say we had solar power, I know you said you didn’t read much, but you must have stopped reading pretty quickly, in order to argue with a point I didn’t make.

      • Wee Iain says:

        Sorry whoever you are but you did write in your blog “The future is sustainable energy, solar, tidal and wind. That’s the ace up Scotland’s sleeve and in the words of Meat Loaf ”2 out of 3 ain’t bad.” Didn’t you or am I barking up the wrong tree?
        I’d like to know how you can justify this statement it just doesn’t Stack up without data.

    • “it’ll be a different Day, Different Government….SAME OLD SHIT”

      So you agree that things are shit now? Your argument is therefore, vote no and keep thing as they are, i.e. “shit”. I’ve seen this ‘argument’ a few times now, and it’s completely pathetic. Do you really think that statement will convince Yes voters to change their mind?

      Also, when the author wrote “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”, that was in reference to us not having much sun in Scotland.

    • neil lepick says:

      If you vote no you will wake up on the 19th you will discover that it’ll be a different Day.same Goverrnment……SAME but PROBABLY WORSE OLD SHIT.

      • Bill Greaves says:

        It is true that when you vote ‘Yes’, there will be no certainties, but if you vote ‘No’ there will be certainties – the retribution will be severe and merciless. The Guardian is already claiming that no Scot will ever again be Prime Minister of the UK. – and that is months BEFORE the vote.

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  8. Bryan says:

    On the bottom line the Scots have a CHOICE for the first time in hundreds of years of freeing themselves of Westminster. All this gaff about “we won’t give you the pound is Cameron and Westminster taking their bat home. As far as Europe and Trade issues are concerned…..Well why would you want to continue to “trade” with skint and corrupt countries that form the E.U. if you have a choice. Well invested Scottish manufacturing and engineering can sell anywhere in the DEVELOPING world, China, Pakistan, Brazil for instance? Scotland has a great tourist industry, plenty of land and opportunity to relocate business there and thrive…If you ask me, ( and I am an Englishman) if the boot was on the other foot, I would jump at the chance to rid myself of Feudal Politics that have crippled Britain since Magna Carta when the King gave the Barons and under the table “chip in the game!”

    • Jenny says:

      If Scotland leaves the UK (and the EU and the pound) most of the companies here will relocate as it will be too expensive to stay in Scotland. Also, once Trident goes, what’s to stop anyone invading Scotland for the oil and gas. I’d rather live in Union with the rest of the UK than under the rule of Russia or China!!

      • wrumbold says:

        So we will be invaded by China, brilliant. That’s a new one.

      • wrumbold says:

        Why has china not invaded Norway yet , or Finland or Germany or Spain or Any South American Country or Japan they are closer?

      • theb says:

        I am baffled that you even took the time to write that – oh what am I doing acknowledging it ?

      • Jenny says:

        I see today TSB is relocating to England- and this is even before the vote- Companies will not want to be here if there is a Yes vote.

      • wrumbold says:

        Ok what you have to do is read the whole story and not just the headline, find out what the bank actually did and said.

      • Jenny says:

        Wrumbold, the reason none of those countries have been invaded is that they have a defence system, which Scotland wont have after a Yes vote…

      • Jenny says:

        The army and navy are mainly based in England, and SNP want to get rid of Trident

      • wrumbold says:

        Brilliant, I’m going to have to stop conversing with you now. I can only express opinions and discuss things with people. I refuse to educate people who refuse to learn.

      • Jenny says:

        It’s irrelevant really as it wont happen.

      • earthtracer says:

        Are you a ‘no’ troll Jenny? you certainly come across as one.

      • wrumbold says:

        What gave you that impression was it the china might invade comment?

      • Jenny says:

        Not any sort of ‘troll’ but I am a ‘No’ vote

      • wrumbold says:

        You claimed china might invade if we removed trident.

      • Jenny says:

        Why is it so unlikely?? Russia has just invaded Ukraine for a warm water port!!!! Why shouldn’t anyone invade an undefended Scotland for disputed oil rights??

      • wrumbold says:

        You have both claimed that China could invade us for oil and also that we don’t have any oil. You can’t argue both. Any way I’m breaking the “don’t feed the trolls rule.” So I’m out!

      • Ljmsco says:

        So, you are one of these people who calls anyone who dares to disagree with him/her, a troll? Your own opinion & point of view would be more appreciated! An insult usually means that you don’t have a fair point to put.

      • wrumbold says:

        Not at all over 200 comments on this thread many disagreeing with me, I have authorised every comment to come through here and have only removed one (which was from the yes side.) I think some of the best points made have been from the NO side. So I don’t accept your point at all. Although notice, I have authorised it.

      • Jenny says:

        You wrote earlier that you were no longer going to reply to me as ‘I wouldn’t be educated’!!! What makes you think I need/want educating by you?? How arrogant you are

      • wrumbold says:

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound arrogant, you were just asking a lot of questions that you could have found the answer to on the internet. That’s all I meant.

      • tommy says:

        jenny even if scotland separates from england, would possibly still be in N.A.T.O & your arguement about trident & possibly nuclear weapons, Theres plenty of countries in nato without nukes(which are rather expensive n not the way wars are being fought these days) n the biggest 1 i can think of is Germany. in my eyes the only Q that ye need to ask yerself as i do is, england say were a drain/burden so ask yerself why do they want to keep us???? ye no what it wont happen tomorrow n it wont be easy, but i for 1 think were gonna be worse off if we dont, as u says look at ukraine now(gettin bullied as we have done for years

    • Esther brown says:

      We Scots have a golden opportunity here to break away. I feel sorry for others elsewhere in the U.K who would love this opportunity also.

  9. purplesmurf says:

    CJ – Who cares if Yes voters change their minds? It’s the ‘Yes’ campaign (in the minority) who have to convince some of the ‘No’ voters (who are in the majority) to change.

    Wrumbold, you don’t want to decide the future of Scotland based on Salmond’s personality, but then you invoke a dislike of George Galloway as a reason to vote Yes. And a hatred of the Tories. Both of these are fine, but no more a reason to vote Yes than Salmond is a reason to vote No.

    Independence might work out or it might not. There are huge risks involved, as well as potential benefits (not worth it in my opinion, but it is perfectly reasonable for the Yes campaign to make the second point).

    However the SNP seem happy to ignore the dangers, and when they are pointed out they prefer to pull out of their ass the tired excuse of Westminster politicians being money grabbing arrogant bullies (or whatever) rather than come clean.

    Your last point seems to presume an independent Scotland will be a utopia forevermore. Good luck with that. Remember that it’s only 60 years ago since we voted in a majority of Conservative MPs, although we’ve been a bit smarter than that recently. Past performance however is no guarantee of future returns.

  10. Johnny Broon says:

    Sorry Scots but wake up, it’s not Scottish oil, it’s british oil. That means if the yes vote goes ahead the tax revenue from oil will be divided according to population percentage. Scotland makes up about 8% of the UK, so that’s how much oil revenue they will get. And don’t forget about their portion of the British debt they will inherit, which stand at £1.4 trillion

  11. Mark says:

    Interesting read – except that it’s not the Tories that have destroyed Britain, it was the labour government under Tony Blair with Gordon Brown as chancellor that financially ruined Britain by selling all our gold reserves. Under Margaret Thatcher we had the lowest national debt of any country in Europe. The Tories have just inherited an impossible job.

    • theb says:

      I think you need to research into the source of low national debt in the 80’s and also acknowledge the fact the the Thatcher regime put millions out of work, created massive social unrest, started the move from the most equitable period in British history onto the slipper slope of obscene disparity in income and wealth that continues today, and gave the nation its highest ever level of inflation. Then consider decisions such as war and shoot to kill and I’m sure you be happy to wish for the good old days of Thatcherite Tory rule.

  12. Graham says:

    Of course, the very valid paragraph about Alex Salmond applies equally to the No campaign.

  13. Srd Art says:

    If, in the eventuality of Scotland gainining independence I do not want to be part of the European Union. This has never been allowed to be debated by the Scottish people. Why give up control from London to hand it to Brussels? Scotland you have a NO vote from me unless this question is answered.

    • febersb2013 says:

      It’s not handing over Control to Brussels from London. Firmiluarise yourself with ” reserved” matters. Those are what Scotland would be gaining back. I.e having full responsibilities. We would not be devolving any powers to Brussels simply following the E.U membership rules.

    • Ljmsco says:

      At last someone makes a very valid point! Why swap control from London for control from the Brussels gravy train? No point in keeping the pound either, that just leaves fiscal control with London & they will continue to be blamed for all of our ills. Let’s have proper independence & stand on our own two feet!

  14. Liz says:

    Many of you are talking a load of crap! Alex Salmond just wants to leave his name in the history books. He can’t answer a straight question with a straight answer. What has he done for Scotland over the last couple of years- zilch. All his efforts have gone on the independance argument – and forget everything else.

    • john says:

      What has he and the SNP done for scotland over the last few years during their term in government? Are you for real? If you actually live here in scotland, just think for a minute about what we have and the others in the UK don’t. And, personally I think there is more effort going into anti independence from westminster…that’s cool with me since we are subsidised by them….ho ho ho!

    • febersb2013 says:

      Very cynical! As a consequence of gaining independence he most certainly will go down in the history books but I doubt somehow that’s his driving force. Him and his cabinet have achieved many great things, for example, wind and wave energy creating 20,000 jobs and growing. Turned around the NHS and Education after Labour left them worse than what they got them, not to mention free tuition fees, just to name a few, maybe if your do some research you’ll find a lot he’s done for Scotland!

  15. Gene says:

    A well reasoned argument Liz, soundly based on evidence and fact. This debate needs more sensible, insightful contributions like yours…… cough.

    Actually the issue is NOT Wee Eck. We can vote him out anytime we like. Unlike the current Westminster Govt, which the Scots in overwhelming numbers did NOT vote for.

  16. John Laity says:

    Really nicely written and I like your final reason, a fairer society. There is one key thing missing though and it is not properly talked about by either side (as it is unpopular). Banking and money markets.

    London is a stock exchange and the reason for the UKs wealth…not oil and gas. Which means, a YES in Scottland will create the need to create a money market or remain in monetary union with the UK. The later is the equivalent of adopting the Euro and will require Westminster Parlimentary Approval and most likely an English referendum.

    The former will require a Bank of Scotland…Which there is, but it is currently owned by the UK tax payer and due to be sold off to Qatar. Neither side wants to talk about all this, because both will have to admit that Bankers will decide the final outcome of a Scottish monetary union or a new Scottish currency arrangement. Not Politicians or even the voters. Equally, all sides will have to address what happens to UK bonds and borrowings.

    Osbourne may rattle his sabre about the pound, but in reality a currency has to be traded to have any worth. Thus the danger for Scottland in independance is not in its GDP or oil reserves, but in whether London Currency Traders will allow a Scottish pound to be worth an English pound…or a Penny. Which in turn is related to the price of Govenment Bonds and spread of debt.

    The parallel is Greece, where Banks decide on the countries wealth. Which is of course why English NO campains are so agressive. Whatever happens to a Scottish Pound will also happen to the English pound! You can’t split your GDP and debt through devolution / independance and not then have your finances and credit rating reviewed.

    All of which all means a fairer society may have to be funded by Scottish beanz…As a new currency arrangement may mean the pound in your pocket is worth less than it used to be.

    • Hazel says:

      I think the currency argument is probably the most critical one to pay attention to as monetary policy will have a huge impact on how much freedom Scotland has and how much risk we have to accept

    • brian says:

      Accuracy is in the letter. well said.

    • pa_broon74 says:

      Hello.

      Just a couple of points of order.

      On the question of a lender of last resort of Bank of England equivalent, the Bank of Scotland isn’t the same thing at all, its a commercial entity, a high street bank – not a national bank or LoLR like the BoE.

      Scotland would have some sort of council or committee deciding strategy in terms of currency strategy if there is no currency union. Not having a LoLR just means we’d have to exercise a bit of restraint when borrowing, we couldn’t (for example) mess around with interest rates or do any QE to assuage inflation. (Although it makes little difference, the economies North and South of the border being so similar.)

      I think what I’m trying to say is, ‘bankers’ have far too much of a say for sure, but the type of banker that caused the crunch and messed up so much of everything don’t really have anything to do with the responsibilities of the BoE – they’re two different things.

      A currency like the pound will always be traded, which is why Scotland could just keep on using it. If we decided to use a (pegged) Scottish pound, it being traded is almost a given, there is as much oil wealth in the ground as there was when McCrone wrote his report way back in 1974 – and we have enough of an economy outside oil & Gas to make a Scottish pound viable.

      Comparing things to Greece is never accurate. Greece failed because it had a massive sovereign debt problem (which Goldman Sachs hid) and little in the way of resources AND because it joined a monetary union and economy so diametrically different to its own.

      Scotland’s economy (per head of population) is very similar to the rest of the UK (a wee bit better in fact despite the recent GERS snapshot) for Greece and the EU to ever be a valid comparison.

      You’re quite right about credit ratings being reviewed, what has been said by Standard & Poor but not reported is that Scotland would most probably get a triple A credit rating and could possibly benefit from a downsizing of its financial sector due to its instability. (Not that any financial houses eventually will leave, it makes no sense.)

      Sorry, rambled on a bit there.

      In ending… The fairer society (in Scotland) will be financed by Scottish beanz, spending priorities would be different. (Scotland’s share of defence spending as part of the UK? ~£3billion. Amount spent in Scotland? < £2billion = instant saving and resultant different spending choices.

      The list goes on, International Aid for example because of the way its structured in the UK the FCO and IntAid if done properly (look at the Norwegian model – I know, sorry) Scotland could actually give more to emerging economies but still end up paying less than it does as part of the UK.

      So much opportunity…

      • eyeskyward says:

        Hi pa-broon74, Not a rambling response at all – a very good one! If you read below I also talk about currency and Scotts Banks being the producer of retail pounds. My point on currency is that the Vote is not about currency! A yes vote, will only commence lots of further discussions about possible outcomes, so currency is pretty irrelevant at this stage. However, the elephant in the room will be any future DEAL on currency, which isn’t about the £ at all. To break up the Union, but retain a Monetary Union there will need to be a referendum both sides of the border (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and more importantly a deal on the management of Stirling. At present Stirling is maintained by the Bank of England (which is not Westminster). A Monetary Union will have to address the apportionment of Sovereign Debt and the ability to sell UK Bonds / Gilts. At present Scottish Assembly borrowings are tied up in UK Bonds, which are guaranteed against the issuers (UKs) right to draw taxes, something that disappears in independence. The result is UK Bonds(Gilts) are either devalued (bad for all) or reissued (bad for creditors). Currently, 35% of UK Gilts are held overseas and about 40% by UK Pension and Insurance companies. Only 3% is own by UK banks, with about 18% by other financial institutions. What no politician will admit (in any party, either side of the border) is what will happen if a UK Bond Auction ever fails…Dont think recession, think Economic Tsunami…It will be worse than Greece, they are protected in the Euro Su-Sovereign Market.

  17. Noalltheway says:

    Why do the Tories want us? Very simple to answer..they are a unionist party! The very heart of their belief is a Union of the countries making up the United Kingdom!!

  18. JOHN TOMLINSON says:

    Why are the English not being given a chance to vote on their independence,
    Westminster has more than its share of Labour members( mainly socialist) the English have never been asked what they want, give us our INDEPENDENCE

  19. brian paylor says:

    Purplesmurf … No voters are in the majority ‘AT THE MOMENT’ and not by a huge amount!

    BetterTogether’s whole campaign is based on negativity and fear …. ‘oooooo, you will all be doomed if you vote Yes. The planet will stop revolving!’

    Be positive, believe we can govern ourselves better than Westminster,

    VOTE YES !!!

  20. brian paylor says:

    Johnny Broon … Utter nonsense!

  21. Manager says:

    I have read many accounts of what everyone thinks, feels and believes and it is all relelvant. I live overseas and let me tell you all it is no better than it is in the UK because the world is now being governed by technology with industry and manufacturing being destroyed each day by rising rates. Now governments blame the unions for this but the cost of producing what we eat, drive in and socialise with are all driven by money and who holds the purse strings the banks and those in power. No one anywhere has done anything about how those people worldwide behaved when the markets failed and this to me is criminal and the fallout
    has happened to the people not the bankers because they all walked away with their hands full. To develop a new sense of priority when it comes to seperating the UK needs lots of thought, lots of hard work to give it the start it needs and also the people need to understand that it will not all happen overnight it will take lots of hard work and patience on the part of everyone. I hope Scotland can stand alone and be a Nation Again as it has had to cope with the many slurs and inequalities from London over centuries. So please give the people the answers it needs to make an informed decision on September 18th 2014.

  22. Kelly says:

    This is not Braveheart or Scotland v England at sport . This is a nation being split because the SNP s think oil will support us forever financially . How would we survive with the Euro. SNP would run the NHS… No Hope of Surgery. what about defence. Look what happened when Scotland had the power to release the Lockerbie Bomber because he was supposedly terminally I’ll. He survived a further 2 years in freedom causing condemnation across the globe. Do you really think these people are fit to look after our welfare . They are only after their own glory . Why on earth do they need to enlist 16 year olds to vote but won’t give all Scots that privilege . A Spaniard living in Aberdeen will get a vote but a Scot living in Spain will not. CRAZY CRAZY AND VERY DANGEROUS and irresponsible to vote YES

    • wrumbold says:

      If in doubt make up things to argue with… NHS…. Lol genius…..

    • B says:

      Very uninformed! The whole independence debate is way bigger than the oil. Far more to it than that. Why would SNP run the NHS??? This is not a vote for SNP. This a vote for independence. Everyone will then have the opportunity to vote for which party they wish to govern Scotland…….even if that means it’s Conservative.
      The Lockerbie bomber was being held here at the expense of the Scottish people, not at the expense of Westminster….even though we are supposed to be a ‘united nation’.
      Alex Salmond will not get any glory from independence. It will not automatically guarantee he will be First Minister (which incidentally he is due to a majority swing in votes by Scottish people in an open and democratic vote!)
      If a Spaniard in Aberdeen has the right to vote, that is because they live here and have a vested interest in the country. A Scot living in Spain have chosen to live in Spain rather than Scotland.
      And, by the way, I am Scottish born and bred for as far back as I can
      n trace back my family tree and I am scunnered fed up being led by a government that we did not vote for!
      The only reason there is a coalition government in the UK right now is because neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems had sufficient votes to clinch it on their own. They had to join forces in order to get where they are. This shows that even the English voters didn’t want either of these parties but got stuck with them anyway!!!

      • john campbell says:

        how many times have the rest of this united kingdom had to accept a governing party which it had not voted for due to the scots voters??voting labour mps to fill westiminster??yes the same people who now want independence;what will you have in that event which you dont have now??? incidentally the lockerbie bomber was in a british prison system paid for by all of us not just the scots.i despair for some of the rhetoric i am hearing & reading.this situation will take years/decades to unravel if yes get the vote,in the meantime what a mess to sort out for all of us.good luck ;i am a scot & very proud to be but saddened by this situation.good luck;incidentally my international company has seen a tripling of applications from scotland to deploy to other parts of the company outside scotland,its the fear possibly misplaced but understandable.
        norway is a poor example to quote they have approx 70% higher cost of living although the standard is higher.the money they are saving is to fund the country when oild disapears as they have nothing else & that includes tourism.

        good luck whatever happens i will always be proud to be a scotsman

      • wrumbold says:

        To answer your first question, not once in the last 50 years.

      • Ljmsco says:

        A couple of facts. Scotland has more MPs per head of population. than the rest of the Uk.

      • Ljmsco says:

        (pressed post by mistake) :-). Tony Blair was elected with a working majority with more or less the same percentage of the overall vote as David Cameron. This just proves that we have a vary undemocratic voting system. We did vote for the government in Westminster. If we didn’t, there would be a permanent Conservative government in place with a huge majority.

      • David W says:

        Wrong. There are only 2 elections in the since the war (1964 and the first 1974 election) in which Scotlands votes made any difference. So that means none in the last 40 years. And in any case, rUK can vote however it likes, it will have nothing to do with Scotland and that will be as fair and democratic as it has ever been.

    • Hazel says:

      The NHS is already run from Scottish Parliament

    • theb says:

      I will assume you live in Scotland and have little or no close contact with what is happening to the NHS south of the border. There it is being starved of resources, systematically rundown and taken apart. Much of it will be put in the hands of private parties following the next UK general election. Here the NHS is the responsibility of the Holyrood government however, however the purse strings are tightly held and manipulated by Westminster. So, if you want a better NHS then you need to vote YES and unleash the true potential of a Scottish parliament, nation and its peoples.
      Oh, this is not about a nation being split apart, this is about the dissolution of an unfair and biased union, and that the nations currently in that union are so culturally diverse that the subjugation of one by another can no longer be tolerated. The people of Scotland have a right to self-determination.

    • febersb2013 says:

      It’s not crazy, if you live in this country then you get to decide on its future destiny, regardless of your nationality and where from within the E.U you are from. The line has to be drawn somewhere and excluding those who no longer live here and haven’t for three years don’t deserve to vote, it’s the fairness way!

    • tommy says:

      not gettin your arguement there, this is not about the snp, this is about us…….scotland, dont you think someone that contributes to this country should have a say in its progress?

  23. Alex says:

    Some interesting points. The point about Salmond bemuses me slightly as this is a man who has shown in the last week, with the currency question, that he doesn’t really have an answer to the toughest of political queries. He, himself using the ‘scare tactic’ response is the rebuttal of someone who is stuck. Ultimately if Scotland becomes an independent nation, that will be one of the easiest questions he faces.
    Also i would have to whole heartedly disagree with the point about the Conservative Economy. We could have stuck with Labour for another 4 years and probably now be trading jam jars instead of cash. But the Conservative government whether you like it or not, have slashed the unemployment figures and increased economic growth by a substantial margin. Unfortunately any economic change doesn’t happen without sacrifice and there is no point hiding from that but it has made a world of difference for the British Economy.
    I worry that this great country could be ploughed into the ground by someone who is a fantasist. I know that the average voter (Hence the 16-18 yo rule) will hear the words freedom and oil and get all giddy, but i want firm answers to all of the questions. Salmond is a clever politician who knows who to target his campaign at, but something you may not want to hear is that he is intact blowing a lot of smoke up you. There is no foundation to his policy making. I don’t want answers like ‘we can’t predict this’ or ‘we aren’t sure but…’ because i don’t want to turn around in 50 years time and see what a mess this great nation is in. We need firm responses to this. And the way Salmond is going, God forbid, if independence does make its way our shores, we can’t turn around to Westminster like naughty school kids and ask for our parents forgiveness as they will have walked away a long time ago.

    • Jim Patterson says:

      Alex -if you believe the smoke & mirrors fiddling perpetrated by Cameron’s gov’t then it’s a great pity. They use the most unreasonable,flimsiest excuses to sanction people on JSA – they pay ATOS (£1.6 billion) to find terminally ill and severely disabled people “fit for work” in order to falsify the stats. They have made JSA & ESA so hard to qualify for,in genuine cases that hundreds of thousands are now officially self employed and get tax credits of around £50 per week but as they don’t really have the knowledge,skills and ability to be successfully self employed they have to live on that £50 per wk. Keeps them off the unemployed figures though.
      I assume you haven’t read about the blind lad of 19 who has autism and a mental age of around 5 who,after leaving a specialist school for the blind has been sent countless letters asking him for more information about his claim for ESA or whatever disability allowance he is due. His parents (his full time carers) have answered all correspondence on his behalf,backed up by his G.P.’s info as well as his specialist hospital consultant’s letters and stack of medical evidence. The DWP take none of this into account and continue to send requests for more info. In despair the lad’s father took him to the House of Commons to meet Ian Duncan-Smith but the coward was “too busy” and had “important meetings” to attend to. He then tried taking his disabled son to Downing St. to see Mr. Cameron and say “Well,if you think he’s fit for work – give my son a job” Cowardly Cameron wouldn’t go near that situation with the proverbial 10 ft pole so,of course,the father & son got nowher near seeing Cameron. When the father then took his son to his local DWP office so that the people sending these phoney,time wasting (but money saving) letters – the poor lady at reception just burst into tears. The people who sent the letters wouldn’t come anywhere near reception to be embarrassed at the sad,pitiful farce being played out – all in the name of IDS and his great crusade against benefit fraud. (A tiny amount in the grand scheme of things).
      Perhaps the U.K. £1.2 – £1.4 trillion deficit could be better reduced if the huge multinational corps. paid the real amount of tax they should if they weren’t using the dodgy offshore accounting methods they do but of course the gov’t turn a blind eye in return for huge party political donations which miraculously lead to peerages & titles being waarded for “services to industry” etc. If you still think you’re correct,do a bit of research into these facts and learn the truth. Otherwise,you’ll continue to be ignorant and,sady,deluded. Best regards,Jim.

  24. John Laity says:

    Whatever you believe, Vote. DONT ABSTIAN from the vote. Even if you dont have all the facts, Vote. YES or NO, Vote. Not voting will result in the wrong outcome, whatever it is.

  25. Len Wilson says:

    As an Englishman, Yorkshireman actually, I personally think for the Scots to vote Yes, would be a big mistake, I too, live far from London, but I am governed by what wealth it produces, and so far, although we have some bad times, things are picking up.
    This wealth, as has been said is created by the finance sector, London is one of the, if not the main banking capitols of the world, and is the envy of most of Europe. The pound remains strong, against the euro, just look at the state Ireland, Spain and the like are in? all this because they gave up their own currencies, now they cannot dictate how the euro will change, and have less control of their own future, OK things are not perfect, but for me, the classic saying says it all….

    United we Stand….Divided we fall

    • Maurice Taylor says:

      Euro? Are we joining the euro? I don’t think so, I think you’ll find we are retaining the pound. Wealth produced from the finance centre? Is that the same Finance sector that led us into debt of 1.3 trillion pounds and that borrows another 200 million pounds every day to add to it? United we stand?..United we most definitely fall, time to divide and vote YES.

      • John Laity says:

        You are confusing the referendum with a treaty negotiation to dissolve the Union. A Scottish Assembly seeking Independence (following a YES vote) will still have to negotiate a monetary and fiscal settlement with the Union (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) that it is seeking to leave. The biggest deciding factor on Sterling will actually not fall to the Scottish Assembly or Westminster, but to the same “Finance sector that led us into debt” (as you put it). UK Debt is owned by the self same Finance Sector and traded in London by other countries who have bought Guilts (Bonds) based on the Unions / UK’s ability to raise taxes.

        Split the country, you devalue the bonds…

      • Jenny says:

        Maurice, the pound isn’t being retained!! Just because the SNP say something will happen, doesn’t mean it will- however many times they say it

      • John Laity says:

        You are 100% correct. The referendum has no bearing on whether Stirling is retained or not. The issue of a monetary union would be the subject of a further debate by the Scottish assembly and a possible further UK wide referendum. The regions remaining in the Union would probably get to vote too.

        A UK referendum never happened on monetary union with EURO, because the UK didn’t take it forward. A process similar to that established for the Euro would apply in reverse with an Independent Scotland retaining the £. The whole UK would have to vote to decide on a Monetary Union.

        It is why English Politicians are wading into the Scottish debate. The Euro debate severely divided support for all the main parties.

        The real joke is Scotland is already in a full monetary Union. It is the whole basis for current the Union. Indeed, Scotland is the most independent member of the current monetary union, printing Scottish pounds and retaining a Scottish legal system.

        I suppose that isn’t Tartan enough for some people…

        Please Vote though! People are dying in Syria to be able to cast a fair vote.

    • tommy says:

      john scotland doesnt print its money anymore as theres no scottish banks
      can anybody answer me this, in all the banking crisis that went on, why was it only scottish banks that got hit here.
      my theory n its only mine is, this was westminsters way of dismantling our financial institution, think about it. isnt that possible.

      • pa_broon74 says:

        Barclays got pummeled too. Then bailed out by the US fed – NOT the Bank of England as many would have us believe.

        I don’t think Westminster can see far enough past its own bank-sponsored avarice to be clever enough to engage in such a conspiracy.

        (The main brunt of the bailing out was done internationally, the US federal Reserve bailed out more of RBS than did the BoE.)

      • eyeskyward says:

        Ah, but did you know that the division of Barclays most hammered and jettisoned for risky business was also one of the biggest fund holders of the Parliamentary Pension Scheme?

      • pa_broon74 says:

        Mmm…

        Ouch.

        😉

  26. Barny says:

    My two pence worth is this…

    The economic argument has been completely over played.

    A teenager does not leave home because they believe that they will be richer if they leave home, but, because there heart yearns for freedom, to be self reliant, to find their own standing in the world.

    Scots are not morons (well any not any more than any other country) and would cope as well as any similar country like Denmark or Ireland. Scotland will not collapse or suddenly become third world.

    If people vote no solely for economic reasons then they are whoring themselves and accepting a life living on the crumbs from London’s table. An adult too afraid to leave the safety of their parents home.

    I would urge people to either vote to stay only for the love of a unified Britain, or leave for the desire for an independent Scotland.

  27. Scott Hadden says:

    Len hate to say it but the Euro as a traded economy is stronger than sterling. The Euro is the 3rd most traded economy with Sterling being 4th. Scotland simply wants to remain with sterling as it is an easier transition for all of the UK including an independent Scotland. We can always trade in a stronger tradable economy costing the rUk more?

  28. John Laity says:

    This is a really interesting discussion, but like the political debate is way to focused on the positions of YES or NO and not the PRINCIPLE behind the referendum. Lets be clear, a YES vote dosn’t deliver independance and so dosn’t require a detailed plan for independance. What it delivers is a mandate by the people of Scotland for it’s elected assembly to seek independance from the United Kingdom. Without a mandate, no public money can be spent detailed planning or negotiating routes out of the UK…So you will never know what will happen after the vote, nobody can know!

    This is a simple vote on the Principle of Independance. Even with a mandate, the Scotish Assembly will still have to draw up a plan for independance that will have to be agreed by the Assembly and ratified with Westminster. A NO vote will not necessarily kill the debate either, it will occur as long as the SNP has a Party Mandate to seek independence. My point is this, you can vote YES now and then vote later for an MP and Party to deliver what you want by way of a pound or defence or NHS. THAT SAID, a YES vote means you WILL pay increased Tax revenue to fund indpendance.

    (TRIDENT mentioned elsewhere is actually a good example of this, Scotland is stuck with UK spending policy until AFTER independance, so getting rid of Trident will not pay for indepenance… Yet the money for independance will have to come from somewhere.)

    You know what though, just VOTE, it is vitally important and the Legal Principle is simple.

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SCOTTISH AND AN INTEGRATED MEMBER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM (vote NO) OR DO YOU WANT TO BE SCOTTISH IN A COUNTRY ON ITS OWN (Vote YES)

    Everything else is noise.

    You know what this IS like a DIVORCE, it will be messy and you don’t really know what life will be like after your long Marrage. HOWEVER, YOU HAVE TO WANT TO BE DIVORCED, else it cant happen.

    To be contentious, the referendum is simply a by product of Scottish voting History. The SNP have won enough seats to pursue the referendum. If you dont want independance or are worried about how Scottland will be run as an independant state, then dont vote SNP and make sure you make everyone you know vote for something.

    Voter apathy is the reason you dont have a clearer mandate for independance, or otherwise, so now you have a Referendum.

    In itself the outcome of the vote means nothing, but the Principle behind it means EVERYTHING.

  29. John Laity says:

    LOL, Just noticed where my comment sits. For the avoidance of doubt Lynda.J or the Moderator are not refering to me or my comment!

  30. Tony Gerard says:

    Who actually owns the oil that is in the pipes? The huge oil companies who paid almost as much as the national debt to get it out, or Scotland? Scotlands total wealth multipled many times would not be enough even start drilling. Scottish oil – I think not!

    • Jenny says:

      Well said Tony. SNP drivel on about ‘Scotland’s’ oil. It’s not Scotland’s, or Britain’s, it belongs to Shell, or whoever paid the billions of pounds to invest in the drilling. AND it is a finite resource.

    • David W says:

      Copied verbatim from HMRC report:

      Current UK Oil and Gas Fiscal Regime
      The tax regime which applies to exploration for, and production of, oil and gas in the UK and on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) currently comprises three elements:
      ‘Ring Fence’ Corporation Tax (RFCT)
      This is calculated in the same way as the standard corporation tax applicable to all companies but with the addition of a ‘ring fence’ and the availability of 100% first year allowances for virtually all capital expenditure. The ring fence prevents taxable profits from oil and gas extraction in the UK and UKCS being reduced by losses from other activities or by excessive interest payments. The current rate of tax on ring fence profits, which is set separately from the rate of mainstream corporation tax, is 30%.
      Supplementary Charge
      This is an additional charge, currently at a rate of 32% (increased from 20% from 24th March 2011), on a company’s ring fence profits (but with no deduction for finance costs). A ‘field allowance’ removes from the charge to supplementary charge a slice of production income from qualifying small or technically challenging new fields.
      Petroleum Revenue Tax (PRT)
      This is a field based tax charged on profits arising from oil and gas production from individual oil and gas fields which were given development consent before 16 March 1993. The current rate of PRT is 50%. PRT is deductible as an expense in computing profits chargeable to ring fence corporation tax and supplementary charge.

      Revenues from UK oil and gas production increased from £7.4 billion in 2007-08 to £12.4 billion in 2008-09, an increase of around 67%, mainly as a result of record high oil prices for 2008 pushing up revenues to the highest ever level.
      • Revenues fell in 2009-10 to £5.9 billion, a reduction of around 50% from the previous year, due to falling oil prices, declining oil and gas production and increased capital expenditure for 2009.
      • Although expenditure increased and production continued to decline for 2010, the increase in oil prices led to a significant rise in 2010-11 revenues by over 40% to £8.3 billion.
      • This upward trend continued in 2011-12 with total revenues increasing to £11.3 billion, due to higher prices and an increase to the supplementary charge from 20% to 32% from 24th March 2011.
      • In 2012-13 however, revenues dropped by over 40% as a result of lower production and higher expenditure to £6.5 billion.

      • John Laity says:

        HMRC collects revenues across the UK to reside in the UK Treasury. A YES or NO vote on independence will not change that. The vote simply establishes a political mandate to seek an independent state (NOT ESTABLISH ONE).

        Talk about what happens to revenues after the vote is completely speculative, by both sides!

        There are lots of economic parallels being drawn with Norway. However, Norway split from Sweden prior to the discovery of North Sea Oil and so there were no territorial negotiations. (I was in Sweden a few weeks ago and the Government Officials I met there made it clear that allowing Norway to take the territory it did was a huge mistake for their economy, to quote them “We wouldn’t have let it happen if we knew”). So I dont doubt Westminster is unlikely to part easily with territory when it knows what is there!

        Other than oil and gas, there are other very interesting negotiations to be had about territory. Fore example, fishing rights. Humberside, Hull and the North East are the UK’s biggest fisheries of North Sea Cod. Fancy selling the concept of reduced fishery rights to the North East? Which brings the focus back the the EU and Quotas.

        But, honestly, this is all Political Noise !

        The Vote on a political mandate to seek Independence, is being mistaken for the negotiation on Independence. Mainly because the easiest way to avoid the (costly) negotiation all together is to secure a NO vote.

        However, DEMOCRATICALLY, the SNP have won the Political Mandate by the constituents of Scotland to hold the referendum. Even if the NO vote wins, the SNP will still continue to seek independence. NO will not mean NO, while they are in a majority.

        I am live in England (my Father in Scotland). So I have no right to vote in the referendum. However, I hope all Scottish people do vote and continue to vote in subsequent elections. Voter Apathy is the death of democracy. Whether you trust your Politicians or not, your right to vote establishes the rule of Law that we all survive by.

        The SNP won the legal right to call a Referendum, on seeking a mandate for Independence. So I hope the Scottish Electorate exercises there right to democracy and see pass the noise around what happens after the vote.

        Please remember the Vote is not about Independence, they are about whether you want to grant the right your politicians to seek independence. (It is very different).

        The vote is not about the economics, it is about your TRUST in the current assembly. Vote YES and you give them the mandate to go on. Vote NO and you tell them to go and do more homework.

      • John Laity says:

        Wish I could type and spell at the same time…

      • John Laity says:

        HMRC collects revenues across the UK to reside in the UK Treasury. A YES or NO vote on independence will not change that. The vote simply establishes a political mandate to seek an independent state (NOT ESTABLISH ONE).

        Talk about what happens to revenues after the vote is completely speculative, by both sides!

        There are lots of economic parallels being drawn with Norway. However, Norway split from Sweden prior to the discovery of North Sea Oil and so there were no territorial negotiations. (I was in Sweden a few weeks ago and the Government Officials I met there made it clear that allowing Norway to take the territory it did was a huge mistake for their economy, to quote them “We wouldn’t have let it happen if we knew”). So I dont doubt Westminster is unlikely to part easily with territory when it knows what is there!

        Other than oil and gas, there are other very interesting negotiations to be had about territory. For example, fishing rights. Humberside, Hull and the North East are the UK’s biggest fisheries of North Sea Cod. Fancy selling the concept of reduced fishery rights to the North East? Which brings the focus back the the EU and Quotas.

        But, honestly, this is all Political Noise !

        The Vote on a political mandate to seek Independence, is being mistaken for the negotiation on Independence. Mainly because the easiest way to avoid the (costly) negotiation all together, is to secure a NO vote.

        However, DEMOCRATICALLY, the SNP have won the Political Mandate by the constituents of Scotland to hold the referendum. Even if the NO vote wins, the SNP will still continue to seek independence. NO will not mean NO, while they are in a majority.

        I live in England (my Father in Scotland). So I have no right to vote in the referendum. However, I hope all Scottish people do vote, and continue to vote in subsequent elections. Voter Apathy is the death of democracy. Whether you trust your Politicians or not, your right to vote establishes the rule of Law that we all survive by.

        The SNP won the legal right to call a Referendum, on seeking a mandate for Independence. So I hope the Scottish Electorate exercises their right to democracy (and sees past the noise around what happens after the vote).

        Please remember the Vote is not about Independence, it is about whether you want to grant the right to your politicians to seek independence. (It is very different).

        The vote is not about the economics either, it is about your TRUST in the current assembly. Vote YES and you give them the mandate to go on. Vote NO and you tell them to go home and do more homework.

      • David W says:

        Sorry John, I was just pointing out where the oil money comes from. As you point out at great length, the exact territorial split of that revenue entitlement would be up for negotiation, though Scotland does have a strong case. Also, Scotland may choose to employ a different tax structure, and coupled with volatile profits and declining stocks, the potential revenue is difficult to estimate.

      • John Laity says:

        I like the fact you did some homework ! 😉

        However, I would really like to see some of the smoke screen dissipate. Scotland has the right to Vote on a Mandate. The outcome will not be a deal on independence, revenues, oil or anything at this stage.

        It is all about TRUST and TIMING, which is why all sides are puffing smoke.

        Answer two simple questions:

        1. Do you trust the curent assembly to commence a negotiation on independence on your behalf?
        2. Do you think the time is right for them to discuss independence?

        It is blatantly simple, as the Vote doesn’t make anyone Independent.

        YES will simply allow a process to commence that will look to see if you can make independence work. Independence will require more referenda, more voting, negotiations, white papers, a detailed plan and statutory framework. Most Importantly, it will probably require a considerable c-change in the make up of the Scottish Assembly to actually achieve anything workable.

        The Media and Party machines know this and want you to think much harder than you have to at this stage:

        > SNP needs a YES win to bolster its influence in the Assembly. The Vote also gives them media time and so extra credibility on the run up to the next election. (They can’t loose really).
        > The opposition want a NO, as they can stall things for at least another term of Government. However, the debate allows them to pick away at SNP credibility and potentially win more support at the next election. (They also can’t loose, as people may actually vote and forget about duck ponds).

        It isn’t really about our passports. It is politics.

      • David W says:

        Again, I think you are making it a little too complicated by focusing on the politics. Scotland is being asked one very simple question. Only the response (and not any preceding posturing) will dictate what the politicians do next.

      • John Laity says:

        Yep, I find myself Guilty…Sorry…(day job coming out).

        It should be blindingly simple:

        YES or NO to a Mandate to seek Independence Now.

        My political ramblings were meant to show that in terms of the Process, the detail is pretty irrelevant. Indeed, a YES could actually result in Independence NOT happening (as a plan may never get ratified) and a NO will definitely not see the end to the debate…
        It is all a bit like the Euro debate…

  31. Tony Gerard says:

    It depends whether or not the comment about Ross is true, or untrue. Should he not defend this himself?

  32. Pingback: Why I’ll vote YES this September | diasporran

  33. bjsalba says:

    I an stunned by the astonishing ignorance of international law displayed by people who comment on this site. There are plenty of sites which spell out the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982). It is NOT based on population of the UK. Oil in Scottish waters belongs to Scotland. Period, End of. Check it out.

    But then so many of the mainstream media sites propagate jug-bitten maunderings of celebrity presenters who haven’t a clue and no-one corrects them.

    Pathetic!

    To anyone who disagrees I say again – check it out!

    • belairvideos says:

      Where do Scottish waters end? Is there a millage off shore limit? Some oil drillings are many miles from Scotland, even though they land the product on Scottish territory – and already pay for the privilege. Do Scots really think that they own the oil in the pipes? It cost billions to get it out – was any of this money provided by Scotland?

    • John Laity says:

      YES, a coastal nation has control of all resources on or under its continental shelf. This gives it the right to conduct petroleum drilling works and lay pipelines in its continental shelf.

      However, since 1701, the Kingdom of Scotland entered into a political union with England to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. A second political union then took place in 1801 to create the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. This is not splitting hairs, but the very basis for the Referendum. Scotland is not an Independent Nation, so holds no Independent territorial claim without a Treaty agreeing to the abolition of the Union.

      In plain terms: Scotland exists in union of a treasury and territorial resources.

      Looking at territory, the subject of oil revenues may seem easy. However the issue of treasury debt is not.

      As part of any Treaty / Plan for Independence, Scotland has to negotiate with the Union (England, Wales and Ireland) on the re-valuation and sale of UK Government Bonds (Gilts) = the debts or loans the UK has taken out in Union.

      (The alternative is an economic / Monetary UNION).

      Distributing Bonds on the Basis of Territory, will mean that Scotland, per person, takes on a much larger proportion of UK debt than will the remaining population of the UK. As the Territory is large in proportion to the population.

      Distributing the Bonds on the basis of Population means Scotland takes on a much smaller proportion of debt, per person. As the population of Scotland is small compared to the population of the UK as a whole.

      Even if you factored Industrial output / GDP into the discussions (on the basis of Oil revenues to the UK as a whole), you also then also have to factor in the fact that Scotland is home to the Royal Bank of Scotland, whose losses can actually be directly attributed to UK Borrowings.

      It is all about the Money and Risk…Not your passport or where you live.

      • belairvideos says:

        “squandering natural assets” It is as though these “assets” were discovered just down the road from Edinburgh! How far out do the Scottish waters extend? How much has Scotland paid to get the oil out in the first place it took billions!! Oil rigs are typically over 100 miles out from the coast – is it being said that Scotland has control and rights over this vast distance – because if not, then the rigs are not on Scottish terrritory. Oil revenues are distinct from ownership of the actual “black stuff” which belongs to those that spent a MASSIVE amount to get the stuff out! Wherever the oil companies want to land their oil there would be a price to pay, but this does not mean that their product suddenly becomes the property of the country that accepts the oil terminals. Scotland seems to think that because oil from the middle of the North Sea aquired at the cost of billions of foreign money, and is piped to the Scottish coast, is theirs?? When Scotland has the money to sink it’s own oil well, then that will be the day that the ACTUAL PRODUCT is Scottish Until then, it belongs to those that spent more than the countrys national debt to get it out.

      • wrumbold says:

        Ok, are you just making up your own theories about territorial water because you can’t be bothered to research it or because you want to argue?

      • belairvideos says:

        My understanding from the little research that I have done is that Scotlands territorial waters do not reach across the entire North Sea – and this being the case, some of the oil rigs will be outside Scottish territory – but landing oil within Scottish territory. This is why many people maintain that oil retrieved in this way, does not belong to Scotland – even though it is landed there. Fees/payments etc are paid to the Scottish government for the privilege of allowing oil terminals to exist – but the oil remains the property of those that paid to extract it. Your hostile response is interesting, but un-necessary. Strangely, I thought presenting an argument was the point?

      • Jenny says:

        This supports what I said earlier- Scotland does not ‘own’ the oil!

      • wrumbold says:

        You can’t use another person being as wrong as you to prove you were right. That’s not how facts work.

      • Jenny says:

        I don’t believe either of us are wrong- Salmond is an idiot. Just because he says something will happen (no firms will leave Scotland- proven wrong already -TSB and RBS), Britain will keep Scotland in a monetary union (No they won’t), the oil belongs to Scotland ( No it doesn’t. if so, why are Shell etc investing millions in it, if it belongs to someone else)

      • belairvideos says:

        Jenny.

        I have been trying to make the point that the oil itself belongs to Shell etc who paid to have it extracted in the first place but there have been very few comments in this regard? The constant phrase “Scottish Oil” is all that one can hear! Does nobody understand that the cost of extracting it (BILLIONS) and therefore claiming ownership of it, is beyond the economy of Scotland or England.? Thanks for your comments Jenny.

      • John Laity says:

        The issue isn’t about “Ownership” (Unless Scotland plans to Nationalise the Oil Industry)…The issue is about where and how you tax revenues on North Sea Oil. Producers will have to pay a Scottish Tax on Profits and be licensed to use pipelines that cross territorial waters.

        BUT why would you want to claim the territory? The tax revenues raised is way less than the debt independence will incur!

        I would assume it would be better to negotiate incomes from Oil, to reduce the national debt and thus tax burden of independence?

      • belairvideos says:

        Surely tax will be taken by the country that the oil companies come from? Their earnings can’t be taxed by another country. It would be different if the oil rigs were bought and paid for by Scotland – but they are not and a number of the rigs are not even on Scottish territory, and even if they were, the product remains the property of the oil companies. Fees to allow the pipes on shore, is another matter and has nothing to do with so called “Scottish Oil”.

      • John Laity says:

        See HMRC: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/ns-fiscal2.htm

        The rights to all oil and gas in Great Britain and its territorial sea have belonged to the Crown since the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934. The same Act gave the Government the exclusive right to grant licences to explore for and exploit these resources.

        Oil production is taxed and licensed, creating revenues for the UK.

      • belairvideos says:

        Key words “territorial sea”. Rigs outside these area’s have nothing to do with Scotland beyond paying for the privilege of landing the oil on Scottish territory. Scotland does not receive “tax” related to trading income.

      • John Laity says:

        Unfortunately it is not that simple. The licensing and tax regime considers groups of companies, rights to drill and where oil is “Landed”, not just where oil is drilled. In trying to explain this, lets suppose an oil reserve spans GB and Norwegian territory. Who has the right to charge the companies? The answer for licensing is both, however the taxation on production occurs where the oil is landed ashore, as that is when the production can be measured by the barrel.

      • belairvideos says:

        I understand how the tax is charged on landing of the oil, but Scots seem to be under the impression that the actual product belongs to them? However, it does seem fair to tax according to quantity landed assuming that the oil companies are happy to go along with this – bearing in mind that they will have already paid a massive amount to get the stuff out. Has anybody considered that the companies may consider landing the oil somewhere other than Scotland? As the true owner of the product, they have the right to do so.

      • John Laity says:

        Yes, you can use pipe to avoid Scotland, here:

        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/276877/Infrast_Off.pdf

        However, it is important to note that UK Oil is owned by Crown Estates. Not Scotland OR England.

        It is the Crown (HM Queen) that grants licences to Companies to extract these resources, it is not owned by drillers. Oil Companies are granted the permission to extract and sell the resource. Thus the licence to drill and equipment is the only thing “Owned” by the companies.

        The Independence Vote only Grants Scotland’s Ministers the remit to seek independence. Oil Production, territory, tax, Crown (national) debt and monetary union will ALL be subject to a Treaty to dissolve the Union of Great Britain.

        Treaty Negotiations may even change the very shape of the territory of Scotland. This isn’t the Falkland Islands and Argentina. This is splitting the Union, under the same Crown. Which means HM Queen would have to sign a paper that decides who gets what (and where) under advisement of her Ministers. Ministers will require a very clear remit from people BOTH sides of the regional border.

      • belairvideos says:

        To “extract and sell” surely implies ownership of the oil does it not? Otherwise. what is the point of investing billions in the first place? I am sure that the companies know that they will have to pay considerably to be able to get permissions and pay necessary tax/fees etc to land THEIR product on shore but the average Scot who thinks that he ‘owns’ the oil is sadly mistaken. There is not enough money in the entire Scottish economy to contribute even a tiny proportion towards the cost of extracting the oil – so how can it possibly be their property? I don’t think that the oil billionaires would be too happy to be told that the oil that they have extracted is not theirs at all, and in fact belongs to Scotland because that is where the product is landed!!

        Thankyou for the replies that you have given and the time taken.

      • David W says:

        Maybe we should take a wee breather from the oil argument. Not one Political Party of any note is arguing that the oil doesn’t belong to Scotland (however you want to define “belong”). The 1958 convention split the North sea along median lines, so a president has already been set for how the rights would be divided up, and the vast bulk of what is left of UK oil would be in Scottish waters. Period.

        Yes, North Sea oil is in decline, but even at its current low rate the value of the actual product coming out of the ground is in excess of £32 Billion a year (2012). A chunk of that (£6.5 Billion in 2012-13) came back to the UK as Tax revenue. An independent Scotland would have the right to tax oil however it saw fit, but a likely scenario would be a freezing of the current tax regime, so all these numbers are relevant.

  34. John Laity says:

    Licensed production is an interesting area. The Oil Companies own the license to drill and sell the resource. Not the oil. Think of it like currency. You have a £1 value in your pocket. It is “your” £1 in value only, as it is the Queen’s (UK) Currency. The £1 in your pocket can be exchanged for £1 goods. See you own the value, not the currency. Oil is the same principle, as would be gas, coal or gold. Uniquely, Fish is different, a Nation can’t hold territorial rights to a living resource.

    What this all means is that an Independent Scotland COULD gain territorial rights to the North Sea plateaux. However, this IS NOT be a matter for the Referendum. Rights will be negotiated as part of a Treaty to dissolve the Union. Basically, until a Treaty is signed, the Crown will own all rights to Oil and Territory or otherwise.

    In plain terms, North Sea territory / the rights to licence Oil is NOT a Scottish OR English Right. It is the right of the Crown / Union. As such, the rights to Territory have to form part of a Treaty Negotiation, not an automatic right. Scotland may well have a claim to territory, but at what cost in negotiation…What % of UK Debt will the Scottish People take on, to hold territory owned by the Crown / Union of Great Britain?

    This is the REAL question, not the perceived value of North Sea Oil. Democratically, the people of Scotland can seek Independence. But in the eyes of the Law, Independence will have to result in a fair distribution of cost…The Treaty will have to abide by NATURAL JUSTICE, everything does!

    FYI: Scottish Law is much tougher, than English Law. A settlement under Scottish Law could be truly bad for the Scottish Electorate!

    • belairvideos says:

      Thanks John. You seem to be an expert.

      • John Laity says:

        Did my time and served a short sentence in Westminster ;-(

      • pa_broon74 says:

        Just to say, he’s not overly well informed about this area at all.

        For a start, Scotland is a distinct country with its own system of justice, of education, of health and an actual government, the rights to sea beds and territory are a fact of international law, not negotiation. Scotland is in a union with England, Wales and NI, there are many different legal views on this – whether the union dissolves or whether it goes on without Scotland. The latter seems to be the favoured option, funnily enough, for the ‘Union’. Be in no doubt, rUK could NOT annex parts of Scotland’s territory on independence and expect it to wash (Westminster are currently sanctioning Russia for the exact same thing with Ukraine.)

        A couple of glaring errors, the Crown Estates Don’t own the seabeds out to where oil is drilled, that belongs to the people to be managed by the government of the day (in legal jargon, ‘The Crown’ as in on the Crown’s behalf by Westminster.) The CEC (Crown Estate Commission) control the seabed from low water out to 12 miles (along with loch beds and other bits and bobs.) Oil & Gas extraction is well and truly out of the CEC’s hands. Its note even clear if they charge companies for running pipes across the 12 miles they do control. (Although its well known the CEC rakes in a ton of cash from windfarm development – money going into the pocket of the royal household out of our pockets via energy bills… But never mind.)

        Scotland – it being a country an’ all – doesn’t have an assembly, it has a parliament. The constant use of the word assembly rather gives things away to be honest. Scotland did vote for an assembly in 1979 but a Labour amendment to the rules of the referendum (that non voters be counted as no’s) meant that even although more people voted yes than voted no, it never passed.

        When the Scottish Parly started out, they wanted it to be called an ‘Executive’. The SNP however drove the campaign for it being called a Government (for obvious reasons) and here we are. The new fudged Scotland Act has a line in saying the same thing, they think it’ll add to buying off Scot’s for a no vote.

        I could refute so much of what John is saying, most of it is incredibly misinformed.

        I mean, quoting this from John:

        “The rights to all oil and gas in Great Britain and its territorial sea have belonged to the Crown since the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934. The same Act gave the Government the exclusive right to grant licences to explore for and exploit these resources.”

        I don’t mean to pick on the chap, but if he’s setting himself up as some sort of expert.

        The 1934 Act was repealed in 1999 and we now have the Petroleum Act 1998. If you look at the 1934 act it talks about The Board of Trade which doesn’t even exist any more, its the DECC now.

        I’m not saying you should listen me right enough, but John isn’t half as well read on the topic of Scottish independence and its ins & outs as you think he is.

        Normally I’d let it slide, lots of folk get things wrong on the internet (no irony intended since I’m here on the internet) it took me less than 3 minutes to find out about the Petroleum Act 1998, I already knew about the CEC.

        People need to get their facts right so they do and those reading/listening should be a lot more discerning…

        (Said entirely without irony.)

      • eyeskyward says:

        Wow a pissing contest! I never claimed to be an oil and gas expert, nor have any of of my comments meant to exhibit a bias for either side of the argument (I hope). However, to aim higher and clear my name!

        The Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 was indeed repealed in 1999 and replaced with The Petroleum Act 1998…My error, I am blogging, not being paid and I can’t be bothered to trawl through copies of DeWalts for this. To the point:

        The Petroleum Act 1998 states that all rights to UK petroleum sources belong to the Crown and that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) [sic. Minister of State for the Crown] has permission to grant [Crown] licences to ‘search and bore for and get’ petroleum…[which is what my text said, so no change in content then!]

        Which would kind of mean you are perhaps berating me over the date? [Quite rightly too, very sloppy]. However in my defence:

        In legal reference terms it is practice to use an original Act as reference to statute. The Consumer Credit Act being a great example. Licences are regulated under the 1974 Act, despite the fact that amendments have been passed many years since – 2006 was a huge amendment and 2008 saw the implementation of a whole new credit regime. Indeed, this year will see Regulation of the Act transferred to the FCA from the OFT (again under statute)…This may seem like digressing, but we [sic: Legal Profession] still refer to all Regulation and Licensing under the 1974 Act.

        (Of course that is still in force, so I am still wrong, but hopefully you can see why?)

        Now onto CROWN. Neither side of the referendum can claim legal title or ownership of anything held by ‘the Crown’. However, here I should explain what ‘Crown’ means. It does not mean Crown Estates (as you incorrectly have assumed from my comments). It means by will of her Majesty the Queen. Under Scottish and English law this means us (the electorate). Here is how:

        In Scotland and England, the role of The Queen in judicial matters is symbolic. The Claim of Right of 1689 established the independence of the judiciary and provided for judicial office to be held during good behaviour rather than by the will of the Sovereign. This means the Lord President and the Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland, are appointed by The Queen on recommendation of the Scottish First Minister (as are the Sheriffs). The first Minister also gets his gig from the Queen, because we vote for him (As do all Ministers of State).

        All of which is at the very heart of the debate on independence.

        A YES vote grants the Scottish First Minister the legal right to seek a settlement on independence with ‘Crown’ Assent. This is not the same as Independence, it is the right to “go to Court”.

        Which bring it all back to territory and all the other stuff pointlessly being debated. Scotland owns nothing, England owns nothing…the Crown = Queen owns it all in the eye of the law. She does so for us, her people. Our vote can thus legally change everything – Borders, money, territory, taxes.

        Which all means neither side can claim title over anything in this argument. The electorate (both sides of the border) have the power to decide it all with votes.

      • belairvideos says:

        Hello Eyeskyward

        Just wondered if you have a view on who owns oil drilled beyond Scotlands sea beds? Does it belong to whatever shoreline (Scottish?) the pipes go to, or to the companies that paid billions to get it out? If I was one of these massive companies, I would give Scotland a bypass and land the product somewhere else! Paying rights to land the stuff is one thing – claiming ownership of it is something else if it is drilled many miles from a land mass.

      • Jenny says:

        This is one of the issues. There’s nothing to stop the companies re routing the pipeline to England, or Greenland, if they want

      • belairvideos says:

        So the Scots are playing with fire? Do you know that most of them truly think that that somebody elses property (oil) is theirs?

      • Jenny says:

        Yes, this is what they don’t seem to understand. I can’t believe Salmond doesn’t know this- so he is either stupid, or deliberately manipulative

      • David W says:

        Everyone posting to this thread should read the Wikipedia articles on both “Exclusive economic zone” and “North Sea oil”. There are some nice graphical representations of both which should clear up much of this confusion, as well as references to relevant treaties.

      • eyeskyward says:

        The Sottish Oil fields and rights to licence will very likely go to Scotland. Including the tax revenues for landing. It isn’t Scottish Oil, but it would be a Scottish territory and so a national resource to licence. Equally it is unlikely Shell, BP or others will divert production, it is not profitable….But such detail is all a bit irrelevant.

        The current debate is whether Scotland wants to be part of a Union with the United Kingdom, the result will not decide on anything in detail.

        Yes / SNP are receiving a really hard ride about detail. They perhaps need to take an approach similar to that of Gordon Brown’s three tests on € Monetary Union – Until Scotland decides that it wants to be Independent, the finer detail can’t be worked out..However, a deal on Independence (if sought) will need to achieve (1) Territorial rights to support economic growth, (2) Monetary Union to maintain the value of the currency in Scottish Pockets and (3) market stability for companies operating in Scotland. The reason Scotland hasn’t heard anything like that is that the Referendum is very likely to swing to NO, so SNP get the best short term political return by engaging in the debate until the General Election next year. With a bigger mandate they have a better chance in a future debate and can further champion Scotts reform.

        This is not a criticism – it is Politics at it’s best, with no duck ponds !

        So the big question isn’t about the detail, it is to ask if you want to be independent of the UK. It is the same question as being in or out of Europe and the same agenda/argument of all Nationalist centred parties where ever they are. (We are better of on our own). Put plainly:

        Do you want to be in a larger economy or a smaller one? Do you want access to UK resources or just Scottish ones? It doesn’t have to be a heated technical discussion at all.

        Economically I dont know what is best. But I do know that the small economic recovery being driven by the consumer is biggest in the South East, not the North. Regardless of oil, banking reform or economic stimulus.

      • pa_broon74 says:

        @ ‘eyeskyward’, I was answering ‘John Laity’s’ post – unless you’re using different names… He (or was it you) said:

        “However, it is important to note that UK Oil is owned by Crown Estates. Not Scotland OR England.”

        Crown Estates is different from ‘The Crown’ which you’ve said is the case and I would agree – perhaps wires got crossed?

        A lot of the debate is mired in legal babble, but it presupposes that UK law is superior to International Law. I’m minded of the paper the UK Government produced which said Scotland had ‘ceased to exist as a country’ on signing the 1707 Treaty of Union, something easily refuted by applying International law (or a dictionary.)

        Of course there will be negotiations around areas of sharing out of assets (or not if Westminster is to be believed and NOTHING Scotland has contributed to the union actually counts for anything) but much of it will be in line with International Law as will be the case of sovereign territory.

        To say rUK could some how annex or keep areas of Scotland’s legally recognised territory during negotiations is daft, Scotland just wouldn’t have to. I suppose it (Scotland) could include in any agreement a temporary pass (if you like) for the rUK to use areas for one purpose or another in exchange for other things – say – reduced responsibility for the deficit. but to say The Crown owns everything while legally (technically) correct – its not anything like as straight forward as that.

      • eyeskyward says:

        Isn’t Legal Babble the whole basis for a referendum?

        On splitting the Union, there are no hard and fast International Rules. Countries, Regions and Unions tend to split more often due to Civil War, where territories are decided upon on the basis of ceasefires and peace negotiations. This means there is precedence for some very strange solutions alongside flagrant abuse of Natural Justice.

        Whether the basis od the current Union is a 1700’s charter or the future of Scotland is in enacted by a 2014 Act, there will still have to be a negotiation and legal settlement for any dissolution. Arriving at a final settlement will require a democratic process that can be seen to preserve the interests of all parties.

  35. Mark says:

    Well, I have read some informed debate on Scottish Independence,plus a load of utter tripe. Your misguided meanderings fall into the latter unfortunately.
    1. With regards to the oil debate, the oil borders have yet to be redrawn, it could be years before an agreement is made. They were redrawn with an advantage to England, when Tony Blair gave Donald Dewar devolution. So it is not a forgone conclusion. However, there is no guarantee currently, just some imaginative accounting from the SNP.
    2.Alex Salmond.
    To say that if you vote against Alex Salmond means you are voting for David Cameron is preposterous. They are both politicians who will eventually lose popularity. You are voting to leave the UK or not. Everyone’s choice, not a vote for Dave or Al!
    3. The No Campaign.
    I agree that there is a large amount of negativity. My issue with the Yes campaign is that there is absolutely no evidence or plan. Alex says we will use the pound, be a member of the EU and NATO and to say no-one can say otherwise is ludicrous. Give me facts and a plan, not diverting any response with a shot at Westminster! It is pure arrogance, show me some workable economic answers.
    4.Why Do They Want Us?
    You have shown your colours with your last statement, the Tories! This is not about the Tories, this is about remaining with the Union or not! When Labour was governing, it was a debacle, which culminated in virtually bankrupting the country and giving a generation a dependency culture which is proving very difficult to stop. There are families where 3 generations have never worked and still blame the Tories for closing the coal and steel industries in the 80’s, how long does it take to retrain! On the odd occasion I have had to go to the NHS, I have seen a professional organisation doing there best to make people better, I have not had to pay,so I don’t think your statement about it being all but privatised is a slur. The Royal Mail was sold on the cheap I agree, although it was not making any money, so why should we continue to plough vast sums of taxes to keep it nationalised.We should get rid of RBS, if ever there was an example of greed, it is that company still wanting to pay huge bonuses, whilst losing money faster than we could suck oil out of the North Sea.
    We in Scotland if independent at the time of the banking crash would have become bankrupt like Greece!
    5.Fairer Society.
    We all want your Rose tinted Utopian view, however, despite your obvious militant tendencies, a fair amount of the globe holds the UK up as a shining light of what a fair and decent democratic society is.
    Maybe you should move to Russia,China,North Korea,many of the countries of Africa, Central America or Asia, to see what corruption can do to a society, before tarring the UK with the same brush!

    To conclude, I am unsure how to vote, however I want to make an informed decision based on proper laid out plans and facts, not some Braveheart gut feeling or a better the devil you know decision. That is why, at the moment, I cannot take the SNP’s plans seriously, because they offer nothing but pure conjecture. They seem to want to expect us to believe that everything they say is true with no evidence. Which is a very dangerous path to take!
    I am not a fan of any political party, Tory,Liberal,Labour nor SNP. I am not blind nor stupid, I see they all have faults, though I will not, like you, vote Yes, purely for hatred of the Tory party.

    • wrumbold says:

      Misguided meanderings and tripe: fair enough!
      I was just reading the other day that Academics have never been able to find 3 generations of the one family where no one has ever worked, yet the example has seeped into our national psyche. I found that fascinating as it has been an example that I have previously used.
      It is also a myth about Royal Mail being loss making. It was turning a profit of £450million a year when privatised. It’s funny how these things slip in, it’s almost as if we are being manipulated into believing them.

      • Mark says:

        Hi thanks for your swift response or retort, as these political jousts go.
        In response to the 3 generations myth, I give you,
        Meet the families where no one’s worked for THREE generations – and they don’t care
        Known as the “Shameless” family among horrified neighbours, the McFaddens “boast” three generations of adults who are not working.
        All ten members of the clan share a council house and live off benefits amounting to around £32,000 a year. And very happy they are, too.
        Matriarch is grandmother Sue McFadden, 54. “Our neighbours are so snobby – they call us the “Shameless” family and say that we ought to go out to work. But how can we work when we have all these children to look after?

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-541598/Meet-families-ones-worked-THREE-generations–dont-care.html#ixzz2v1Gi0G2m
        Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

        Ok I know it. Is the Daily Mail, but it took 4 words on google.

        With regards the Royal Mail, I give you this headline from the Telegraph

        MPs say chief executive of loss-making Royal Mail should not have accepted £142,000 bonus for nine months’ work

        So as you can see I did carry out some research!
        So unless the media is all talking utter rubbish, then there is some validity in my statements.

        Sláinte

      • Jenny says:

        I worked as a secondary school teacher in an ‘area of multiple deprivation’ (or whatever we call these now) in Scotland for many years, and we had a number of families where there were 3 generations who didn’t work (although not all necessarily living in the same house). When 4th years were asked by me (naively) what they were hoping to do to earn a living when they left school one boy retorted ‘a bit of thieving Miss’. When I pointed out this wasn’t really a career choice he said it had done his dad and granda for many years…

      • wrumbold says:

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/royal-mail-announces-211m-profits-7899421.html http://www.royalmailgroup.com/sites/default/files/RM_Group_Ltd_Solus_Accounts_2012-13.pdf
        http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alison-garnham/child-poverty_b_4872700.html
        I’m not sure why we are arguing about how many people haven’t ever worked, because surely this is a case for the dissolution of a Union that is clearly not working. I only mentioned the three generations of worklessness, more as an interesting point and not an argument.
        I give you links to the profitability of the pre-privatised Royal Mail again just as a point of interest.
        I don’t think we disagree on anything in my first 3 points, I agree that I get a bit Tory-bashing, had Labour been in power I would have had a pop at their inadequacies.
        In fact I’d agree with most of the points you made, except obviously the “tripe” and “misinformed meanderings” that seemed unnecessarily personal.

    • Len Wilson says:

      Well said, and probably the only true rational argument put!

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Mark- exactly what I feel, although expressed more eloquently than I could 🙂 Although, being English, though having lived in Scotland almost 29 years, I am a definite ‘no’ vote as, although I obviously can see a lot wrong with the Union, I also think there is a lot that’s right!

    • David W says:

      I think you maybe missed the satirical slant of this article. Maybe you need to calm down a bit. I’ll address each point:

      1. His opinion is that oil doesn’t really matter, the future is renewable. You seem to have skipped that and fallen straight into the “who’s oil is it anyway” non-debate.

      2. He makes precisely the same point as you, but again, in your fervour you seem to have skimmed this section without processing it.

      3. There are no facts to give, we are voting on beginning an Independence PROCESS not a constitution. That process begins with the vote, proceeds with extended negotiation and debate and concludes with an Independent Scotland. The Yes campaign can only outline their vision and aspirations, but after a Yes vote is ratified and accepted, it will be a grand coalition of Scots who will shape Scotland. The No campaign offers nothing but a belittlement of Scotland’s value and capability, thinly veiled threats and misinformation.

      4. I’ll agree that in this point, he gets a bit tory-bashy. I would point out though, that this is a widely held opinion in Scotland; the Tories have had very little support in Scotland, ever.

      5. Why shouldn’t we aspire to have a better society? We are talking about a long term separation from UK Politics, a complete re-drawing of the political landscape; one which more accurately reflects the hopes and fears of Scotland, and which can more rapidly and sensitively respond to its changing needs. Isn’t that better than clinging to the gilt-edged coattails of London?

  36. Pingback: If I’m a One Hit Wonder, I’m cool with that! | Universal Service

  37. Dennis John Sharkey says:

    Easy reading, most arguments about independence are usually long and hard to follow and not easy to fully understand. Tell the truth it’s that simple. I already am a yes this five points made it even easier

  38. Linda Murray says:

    Scottish government already has responsibility for the NHS in Scotland under devolution!

  39. Aileen Currie says:

    There is a lot of poorly informed posts here. The bottom line is that we have the opportunity to decide democratically what is important for us as a country to run our own affairs like most normal countries. For a start, do we prefer to have WMDs on the clyde next to 46% of the population who will be badly damaged or killed if there is a mishap when the weapons are being handled by the contractors (this has been warned of)? More food banks springing up by the day is a poor reflection of our society, Would we vote for that?
    I have no idea why some people fall for the idea that it is a vote for Alex Salmond when the ‘Yes’ movement is comprised of people from all political parties and none. ‘Labour for Independence’ is growing by the minute as is the support from the STUC as demonstrated at their conference with many unions such as the HMRC PCS declaring support. There is also the strong ‘Radical Independence’ movement. There are even some Torys who see Independence as an opportunity.

    • Ljmsco says:

      So, people who disagree with your view are poorly informed?? Well I am undecided & people like you don’t exactly help. Try to make your point by not insulting other posters.

  40. shirlz says:

    Independence
    “What does it all mean”
    Are we free as a nation who can choose and decide
    Or too frightened of change, and so run and hide
    Bury our heads in the sand all the time
    And pray that everything will turn out fine

    Are we going to change this or continue to be bound
    Left fighting with friends on a battle ground
    I really don’t know what it means to you
    Please tell me….go on…..give me a clue

    Do we long for the day when we stand tall and proud
    Shoulder to shoulder our voice heard out loud
    Or do we hide and cower …so frightened and scared
    And wait to get rounded up with the rest of the herd

    Do we let our own folk…continue to suffer
    And let those in control keep all the power
    Or do we take what is ours and govern ourselves
    Never again to be left on the shelves

    A vision so unique it’s hard to imagine
    An independent Scotland ….full of pride and passion
    Think hard and think long….listen to your heart
    Are we bitter together ….or stronger apart

    just a wee thought x

    • belairvideos says:

      Stop dreaming and getting poetic – it won’t solve anything! It sounds more like the inane chatter that goes on in the pubs – all anti English and wishful thinking!

  41. Christie Hamilton says:

    I like how you want there to be a fairer society, but why can’t we achieve that by working with England and Wales, surely that would have a bigger impact on the world.

    Also people are complaining about having to “pay 8.6% of each cost, Military & Defense, International aid, Nuclear Weapons etc etc…” do these people not realise that if we are going to become independent we are going to have to pay this anyway for our own “Scottish Military?”

    I have just turned 16 and am sitting the new Scottish qualifications, and I have to say it has been very poorly organised. If this is any indication as to how the country is going to be ran if we get independence, I will be leaving Scotland as soon as possible.

  42. Andrew D Mackay says:

    I like how the Independence minded people are “anti-English” according to certain shallow minded anti-Independence people… just that a lot of Us ARE English- hahahahaha! Nice poem “shirlz”. There is a lot of talk about money and banks on this thread: Real money is the People of Our Nation (SCOTLAND), Our Work and invention and Our Produce: We WILL RETAIN THESE THINGS! There is a lot of legal talk; but the 1707 Act of Union was illegal and I do not recognize it. We should be “Unified” with Ourselves and cast of this thing of disunity that is between us which is the “Union” which some put before their own Nation and People.

  43. Pingback: Why I’ll vote YES this September | Diasporranindyref

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