Well I will say one thing, this Tory/Liberal coalition has been more radical in the last couple of years than the Labour Party has been since the introduction of the welfare state. Referendums on electoral reform and now Scottish independence.
Is this really an issue or is it really actually relevant to the UK scene?
Is it likely to succeed, is it something the Scottish people want or is it an interesting sideshow to maudling British politics.
Is independence good for the Scots? Better for the rest of the Union?
It would change the face of Westminster politics forever that’s for certain. Labour can kiss goodbye to 40+ MPs currently supplied to the party apparatus from north of the border.
Then again the oil is all but gone, the yards on the Clyde couldn’t service a naval force, Scotland couldn’t support universal healthcare from its own resources. On the other hand you will still be able to get English television broadcasts!
Yeah it’s a hot topic now, especially as the ground rules for the referendum have been agreed I expect the campaign will begin to gear up properly, say next year.
Recent opinion polls aren’t actually good for independence: I haven’t got one to hand but I haven’t seen a single one that gives YES (to independence) a majority, and very few I’ve seen pushing upper 30% or lower 40%.
This wouldn’t be happening if the SNP (the Nationalists, who want independence) hadn’t won an absolute majority in the last Scottish Parliament elections. It surprised everybody, most of all the SNP I think!
It appears that the SNP itself is popular for its general policies (it’s left of centre and quite liberal, and adheres to civic nationalism), I don’t think independence is actually as popular. People voted for the SNP because they were fed up with Labour, but the Tories are despised in Scotland.
I think the arguments for and against are convincing to you if you like London or Scotland more, really. As a self-identified Brit from England I’d be very sad for Scotland to leave, but I would respect their decision in a free referendum. But I can’t see Scotland going for it - they have devolution, and it’s there to stay, and the classic SNP boast that small countries do well has been deflated by the catastrophes of Iceland and Ireland.
“Last year Scotland contributed 9.6% of U.K. taxes, yet received only 9.3% of U.K. spending in return with just 8.4% of the population”
One should be careful of reading too much into things like that, because such figures can always be bent to make a point, but nevertheless I think it’s fair to say that the jury is out on the extent of Scotland’s net gain or loss from UK tax coffers. You might be right that there is a *perception *in England of Scotland soaking up a disproportionate amount of benefits expenditure etc.
As a Scott and a supporter of the SNP and independence I have had to re-think some of my support issues based on the things I have heard of late. (note I am not into politics in a big way just someone with strong feelings about my own country)
Devo Max has been mentioned – What’s the point – Yes or No to Independence. If most don’t want it then fine but ask the straight out question.
Yes to independence - but like Canada we should retain the monarchy.
No to Joining the Euro. If it’s between the English or the European then No to independence - I have more in common with the English than those in Europe. Bugger giving up the English Government with its own biased agenda for a foreign one that I don’t support.
How’s it going to work though, using the currency of another country? The UK government would be setting interest rates without regard to the needs of Scotland’s economy (I can hear the heckles of “what’s new?”, but the existing fiscal union of the UK presumably keeps Scotland reasonably in step with the rest of the country, at the moment). Similar problem to those faced by peripheral countries in the euro.
Oh, I was going by the OP’s link to the Independent, which suggests they would keep the British pound. But I guess that article is mostly conjecture, because nothing’s been decided yet other than that there will be a referendum.
Also remember we use the GBP and some places in Engiland still dont accept Scottish notes. So we won’t notice - when I went down a couple of months ago I was advised to get English notes to ensure I would have no problems paying - so the GBP in Scotland is treated as a foreign currency by some (not all) places in England. Although the last time I was abroad I got 5% less exchange rate if I used Scottish Notes compared to English - it was a few years back though.