Skip to main content

A lot of international observers have long written off Scottish Independence as something that simply will not happen. Financial markets, political betting websites, all of them have been expecting Scotland to vote "No" on the question "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

That calculation has been blown out of the water in the past week, as the polls have narrowed significantly. The most recent poll shows a yes vote trailing no by six points, with 10 percent still undecided.

A bit of background: In a country of only 5 Million, at minimum, 170,000 new voters have registered to vote since December of 2009. That's the equivalent of registering 12 million voters in the US.

And those numbers do not account for voter registration drives which have happened this year, in Scotland.

Homeless advocacy organizations like Shelter Scotland have been leafletting the country and are registering the homeless to vote. More than a thousand canvassers who are part of a group called the Radical Independence Campaign have been working their way through Scotland's poorest and most deprived areas, registering people to vote, and convincing them to vote yes. These are people who never vote, and who pollsters never talk to, because they aren't expected to vote.

Voter registration ends Tomorrow, Tuesday Sept 2nd, just 17 days before the September 18th referendum.

Margaret Curran, one of the leading figures in the Scottish Labour Party has called the Radical Independence Campaign's activities "appalling" because of how effective they have been at encouraging a yes vote.

According to the RIC's own numbers, of the 18,000 people they canvassed in the last month, about 60-70% of them are expected to vote yes. That's not a poll, those aren't weighted numbers, those are the people that they talked to across the deprived parts of Scotland.

Those are numbers from people who simply do not vote.

And a note on the polling: every single poll conflicts. The Financial Times had a great article the other day on the fact that polling on Scottish Independence is showing conflicting data.

I've looked at the numbers myself and there does appear to be a clear trend. The longer the independence campaign goes on, the more people support independence.

And that's because the independence campaign is a real grassroots movement, which has been fighting for Scottish Independence before the Treaty of Union was even signed.

If you search youtube right now, you'll find pro independence flash mobs, flash rallies essentially, leafletting campaigns, on twitter you'll find people begging for more copies of independence literature and leaflets because they have simply run out.

There's nothing like this level of energy and activation coming from the no campaign, because the no campaign is essentially an orchestrated attempt by the big three London parties to keep their well paying jobs down in England.

The YES campaign has all these disparate groups are working together quite well, even though they really don't like each other that much. You have the SNP activating the center left, the greens activating the intellectual left, the RIC activating the poor, the nonprofit sector activating the homeless, and the no campaign is falling in on itself. On the No side, you have a number of groups trying to work together that can't stand each other, and that most people in Scotland can't stand.

The No campaign has the Tories, and Liberal Democrats standing beside the Labour party. The Labour party is the second largest party in Scotland, sure, and there are a lot of people who share their economic views, but as for the Tories and LibDems? Well, the line is that there are more Pandas in Edinburgh zoo than there are elected Tory MPs in Scotland. And that's true.

Just to be clear for any readers who don't follow British Politics at all, the Tory party is the Conservative party led by David Cameron, in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

That alliance with the Tories, by the way, has led a lot of Scots to abandon the Liberal Democrats. In the most recent Scottish Parliament elections, the LibDems were completely wiped out in mainland Scotland.

But the Yes campaign's relentless positivity, and refusal to divide itself over internecine differences really should be a lesson for the world. If we could achieve this kind of political activation in the United States, we could sweep away the plutocracy forever.

In contrast, the No Campaign, which has been widely lambasted as "Project Fear" or "Bitter Together" lost control of the argument during the debate last week.

Their entire scaremongering campaign circled around whether or not Scotland would be able to use the pound after independence. Now, Scotland already has the right to print its own pounds, and if you've ever taken Scottish pounds to London as my family once did on vacation, and attempted to pay with them, many English shopkeepers react as if you've just handed them a dead baby.

Scotland can continue to use this money, legally, or they can peg the Scottish pound to another currency, as banking centers like Hong Kong continue to peg their money to that of other nations, without any problems. Depending on your definition of what constitutes a nation, there are over a hundred nations involved in some kind of currency union, most of them are fine, and some of them are fantastically wealthy.

Where the No campaign went wrong was admitting that they'd been lying about taking the pound away. Alistair Darling admitted this during the debate, "Of course Scotland can use the pound!" he said, having been flustered by Alex Salmond. From that blow, the No campaign may never recover.

At the same time as Alistair Darling was undermining the Better Together campaign by pointing out that he and the Better Together campaign had been lying to the Scottish people about the pound, Unison and the CWU of Northern England revealed that Alistair Darling and many of his friends in the Labour party were heavily invested in companies profiting from and driving the privatization of the national health service.

Some are directly invested, as is the case with Frank Field, who is now a director of Medicash, a new start private insurance company. He's currently on the payroll of Medicash, and is paid over £1,000 a month for his efforts on their behalf. The unproven assertion that he's giving this money to charity is cold comfort to those watching the largest left-wing party in Britain profit from the privatization of their National Health Service, while the United States marches forward, attempting to expand Medicare.

Imagine if Dick Cheney was actively being paid by Halliburton while in office instead of just expecting a golden parachute when he left,, and that's the level of corruption we're talking about here.

Others are politically invested, like Alistair Darling, the leader of the No Thanks/Better Together campaign, who according to the financial times, has been paid more than £81,000 to rub shoulders with executives of the Cinven investment corporation, which has been buying up pieces of the newly privatized NHS. This is something he was accused of by an elderly woman during the television debate. In reaction to this corruption, she implored everyone "Not to believe a word that comes out of Alistair Darling's mouth."

Darling has said that this isn't true, but the facts speak for themselves.

And then, after all of this, the Better Together campaign released an ad so terrible  that even the Italian press has been lambasting it for sexism. Remember, in Italy, it's acceptable for a prosecutor to call a female defendant a "She Devil" in court. When these are the people calling you sexist, you have made a mistake. The ad consisted of a woman sitting in her kitchen, drinking tea, and announcing that because she didn't have the time to think or do any research, she was going to vote no, and go wash some dishes.

That's not hyperbole. That's the ad.

This was thoroughly mocked on twitter, and a number of women, just random scottish mothers, posted responses on twitter and youtube. The meme, called "Patronising Better Together Lady" sparked a viral marketing campaign from the Yes Scotland camp. Here's two responses from Scottish mothers.

The most recent poll shows a six point swing to the independence campaign. While still behind by about six points, we've already discussed how volatile and inaccurate the polls are.

There's too much noise to draw any accurate conclusions from these polls, and the only thing that any of them are saying is that, while there may be blips, the Independence Campaign does better over time.

In this situation, it is very difficult to do any kind of effective polling. The opinion polls are asking voters what they did in 2011, and attempting to use results for that Scottish Parliament election to determine the likely voter count for the independence referendum. This year, there are no candidates on the ballot. The independence referendum is not some ballot initiative locked into personalities.

The question of Scotland's independence is the only question that Scottish Voters will be deciding.

For pollsters, this creates an impossible situation, and has led to a situation where each polling company's data conflicts with every other polling company's data, according to the Financial Times.

The fact remains that if the Yes Scotland campaign keeps doing what it's doing, stays positive, stays active in the streets, in the villages, and in the cities, they have a real chance to win this thing, even though they're largely being written off.

But of course, the No Campaign is once again focused on ruthless negativity in response.

Labour Party MP Jim Murphy was egged in Kirkaldy Fife over the weekend, and since then, the better together campaign has been screaming about organized intimidation. because of one egging incident.

There have been a great deal of incidents of violence from supporters of the No campaign.

Here are a few choice examples:

Jim Sillars, a former Labour party member, and member of the SNP,  was threatened with notes that said he needed to watch his back, and that people wer glad that his wife was dead.

The scrawled note went on to say: “Thank fxxx Margo the mouth is dead”. Another message written on a Scottish Government pro-independence leaflet said: “We want you bxxxxxxx out of Fife. Watch your backs”. The note on the leaflet was signed “Scots Vets anti-SNP group”.

Mr Sillars described whoever was behind the threat as “nutcases” and said he had “no intention of staying out of any part of Scotland”. He added: “I never worry about what people say about Margo and me. It’s water off a duck’s back.”

Jim Sillars has also been egged, if that makes a difference to the BBC.

An 80 year old man was attacked while campaigning for independence, and had his arm broken.

A woman, who is said by activists to be pregnant, was kicked in the stomach by a man from the Britannica party in Glasgow, a group that is associated with the neo-nazi "British National Party." I can confirm that he was campaigning against independence, but Yes-Camp activists who were on the ground are telling me that he was NOT associated with Better Together.

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, Essentially the Scottish Prime Minister, has received death threats, and in one case a no supporter drove erratically and aggressively towards his car, tailgating, speeding up, getting in front of it, slowing down, if you'd done that to the governor of a state in the US, the police would shoot you.

Instead, he gets his smiling face in the Scottish Sun under the headline "Better Tailgater." Considering what's happening in the US right now, I'll happily chalk up the reluctance of Scottish Police to shoot people as a good thing.

Now, the Yes campaign, despite all of these incidents of Violence from or among the no campaign, have not claimed that there is an organized campaign of intimidation from the No camp. Because these isolated incidents, spread out over five million people over the course of a few months, are simply isolated incidents.
just the handful of incidents we've seen.

Nevertheless, the British press is now running with the No Campaign's nonsense about an organized intimidation campaign, and are calling "Yes" supporters thugs, which is factually untrue.

And that's proven by the fact that the YES campaign has already become a global model for independence and constitutional change, according to an article in the Scottish Herald by David Leask. Both the Basques, who actually have had troubles with violent independence campaigns, and the Quebecois, have sent delegations to Scotland to observe the process, so that they can figure out how to repeat it in their own countries.

If this campaign really were violent, you wouldn't have activists from across the world showing up.

And the YES campaign has already done their part to by asking them to focus on undecided voters instead of debating the No camp.

But that won't stop the British press printing articles about "Fears" of "Mass Carnage". Which is completely baseless, and doesn't reflect who the Scottish people are whether they support Yes OR No.

So long as the Yes campaign sidesteps these distractions as they have done all along, and focuses on the ground game they're running in Scotland, the widest reaching ground game of any political movement this century, they have a chance, a real chance, of achieving independence for Scotland.

Watch this space.

3:03 PM PT: This is the written companion to my half of today's Netroots Radio After Show.

The podcast can be heard here.

4:15 PM PT: Wow.

So Netroots Radio is going viral in Scotland.

6,000+ Views so far.

5:59 PM PT: Some Scottish folks on Twitter have asked me to set up a GoFundMe page to fly me to Scotland to report on these issues. If you'd like to contribute, here's the link:

7:18 PM PT: The Scottish Police Federation has appealed for an end to inflammatory language about violence from whichever campaign, warning that such language can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Their full statement:

1st September, 2014

SPF Media Release – Independence Referendum

SPF Media Release – Independence Referendum


5 Woodside Place, Glasgow, G3 7QF


The Scottish Police Federation represents all police officers in the ranks of constable, sergeant, inspector and chief inspector, police cadets and special constables, over 18,500 people, 98% of all police officers in Scotland.

To: News Editor

Date: 1 September 2014

Subject: Independence Referendum

In response to the suggestion of absolute carnage in and around polling stations on the 18th Sept Brian Docherty, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation said;

“The independence debate has been robust but overwhelmingly good natured and it would prove a disservice to those who have participated in it thus far to suggest that with 17 days to go, Scotland is about to disintegrate into absolute carnage on the back of making the most important decision in the country’s history

Politicians and supporters of whichever point of view need to be mindful of the potential impact of intemperate, inflammatory and exaggerated language, lest they be seen to seek to create a self fulfilling prophecy”


For further information contact Lesley Stevenson at 5 Woodside Place, Glasgow, G3 7QF Telephone: 0141 332 5234 Mobile: 07967 104173 Fax: 0141 331 2436


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  The British Nuclear option is stationed in (8+ / 0-)

    Scotland. If Scotland regains nationalism does the big five lose a member?

    Europe has two vetoes in the Security Council.

    •  Probably not. (6+ / 0-)

      My current understanding is that in the event of a YES victory, the "rUK" ("remainder" or "rump" UK) is the likely successor state under international law and will thus retain the UK's Security Council seat.

    •  More broadly, (7+ / 0-)

      how does disentangling any government property work in the event that Scotland declares independence? From what I've read, a big motivator for declaring independence is that people in Scotland want to protect the NHS while the powers that be in London are trying to dismantle it. Obviously buildings such as hospitals aren't going to be packed up and moved south of the border, but what will happen? Can the case be made that any government faclities in Scotland were paid for by Scottish taxes and thus will stay?

      If it were a "hostile" independence (e.g. the US in 1776) presumably they'd keep everything, especially any military assets. But that's not the situation, so what happens?

      •  Ukraine. (0+ / 0-)

        Just saying.

      •  Scottish NHS (6+ / 0-)

        The NHS in Scotland is a devolved function and is run by Salmond. Any suggestion that the UK government is trying to run it down is a nonsense. Scotland gets more than any other part of the UK per head under the Barnett formula (something the Welsh have noted).

        The Scottish Parliament also has its own tax varying powers although it has never used it. If UK collected taxes are down or the total budget reduced, the Barnet formula amount reduces but there is nothing to stop Salmond raising taxes in Scotland to pay for the shortfall he complains about.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:52:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Scottish Parliament has extremely limited (5+ / 0-)

          tax raising powers, and does not have access to all of the taxes raised in Scotland, including over Whisky, the UK's largest food and drink export.

          And that's just on-shore taxes, we're not even talking about off-shore economic activity like oil and fisheries here.

          To say that Scotland has control isn't accurate. London still controls almost all of the purse strings for the supposedly separate Scottish NHS.

          •  Also, too: (6+ / 0-)

            Scotland's tax raising powers are a bit of a Potemkin Village in that if Holyrood ever were to raise Scotland's tax rate while still within the UK, businesses would simply move to England or Wales since those are legally simply other areas of the same country.

            As an independent country, Scotland could set taxes to maintain the levels of service its people choose, while businesses would suddenly have to face the prospect of relocating across an international border. In this situation, assuming the rUK remains in the European Union -- itself no sure thing at the moment -- that's still a bureaucratic headache.

            If the Conservatives win, or opt to govern in coalition with the UKIP, then the odds are very likely that the rUK holds the proposed "in/out" referendum on remaining in the EU. And the rUK votes to leave, I suspect Scotland will reap the benefit of thousands of businesses relocating to Edinburgh and Glasgow and other Scottish cities to remain within the EU.

            Some U.S. banks are already making plans for just such a turn of events, although they're looking at Ireland.

          •  Limited powers and spending without benefit (12+ / 0-)

            There's a lot of "UK/English" taxes that are counted as raised by them in the non-Scots books but the actual economic activity to create that wealth or gather the money was done in Scotland. This includes things such as Scottish law court fines (yup, they even claw in that, despite a seperate legal system here) and a chunk of the Scottish whisky exports. Also includes all taxes paid by companies that have head offices in England/London, despite them having economic activity in Scotland (whereby clearly in an independent Scotland it can tax companies operating within to its own benefit if or to the level it wishes and benefit from that). There are quite a few different examples of this and it's just what we know of so far from research. The tangled web of the UK gov's books could well have more. All of this fudging of the figures artificially inflates the English (or "UK") contribution and deflates the Scottish contribution on paper, meaning the current situation where Scotland pays so much but gets so little is even more absurd. When they compare Scotland and UK/England spending and raising in official UK figures they fail to take that into account, of course.

            Other "bonuses" Scotland gets as part of the UK -

            Scotland pays billions of pounds towards the defence forces. Current navy protecting Scottish waters? Zero. None. Nada. That's right, we pay billions and UK Gov don't even bother having a boat patrol and protect our waters, fishing industry, oil rigs, etc.

            This was highlighted in recent times when the Russian navy parked a boat off the coast of Scotland. How many boats were there to rush to save us? NONE. NO NAVY AT ALL. It took over 24 hours to get a boat to puff it's way up to Scottish waters. How did the Ministry of Defence know about it? Some sort of high tech radar? Spy sattelites? No. The MoD only knew to send the boat because someone contacted them through social media to point out the Russians were sat off the coast for some time. Probably laughing their arses off at the Royal Navy and the UK.

            Can anyone in the USA imagine the reaction in that situation? In the UK is was largely swept under the rug as a low priority news story as it was an embarrassment and highlighted yet another reason for Scottish independence and that the UK's boasts of protecting us were weak.

            Remember also this is money that counts towards what is "spent on Scotland's behalf", our budget, etc. but clearly we are not benefitting from it. Billions spent and we're left open.

            Let's not forget the embarassment of the two carriers being built by the UK Gov. Currently the only carriers the Royal Navy will have. Yet more billions spent and they've not got any planes for them! They had to have the launching ceremony recently with a dummy plane on it! So for years we'll have two very large targets that do no good whatsover other than suck down more money and they hope one day it'll be sorted. They've promised planes after some YEARS, but they have not spent the money for the firing software as budgets are tight...I guess we can just have them fly around looking menacing and hope that does the trick. Another pointless UK gov attempt at the penis measuring game.

            The EU increased farming subsidies to our area specifically to aid Scotland as Scotland gets very little of the share of that money. Unfortunately the UK gov represents Scotland in the EU as we're ruled by them and it gets the money, so it decided to spend the money on farming outside of Scotland instead, despite it clearly being given to them for Scotland. Perfectly legal, but clearly not in the interests of Scotland, which gets almost exactly half the farming aid that the rest of the UK gets as £ per acre/hectare/etc.

            Many projects are considered as "UK spends" by Westminster's view. This meands that it comes out of everyone in the UK's pockets and counts towards what is spent on Scotland's behalf. This includes London's sewer upgrades, London's underground rail extensions, South of England's high speed railway, London's Olympic Games, London's future infrastructure upgrades...notice a pattern here? Yes, Scotland is forced into paying billions of pounds towards London and southern England projects that do not benefit it at all. All this counts as part of our spending. They benefit from the contracts, construction jobs, etc. and the finished project itself while Scotland simply sees money vanish.

            Scotland has balanced it's budget for years now. No borrowing is possible in the Scottish system right now so it's the only way. In turn though Scotland is also forced to pay billions a year in UK's debt repayments and the interest on it. Remember Scotland is a net contributor and balances its budgets, so Scotland is paying debt that it would not have if it was independent. Paying debt that was run up by Westminster, frequently to benefit London and the SE, but Westminster uses the UK purse instead of the England/London/etc. one. When Westminster or England borrows yet more billions, Scotland pays more interest on that.

            In turn for this the added insult are events like the Glasgow Commonwealth Games were paid entirely out of the Scottish purse! Scotland was forced to pay for London's games but Westminster/London had nothing to do with helping us for our games in Scotland. Likewise for projects like building bridges in Scotland or other public infrastructure projects.

            If anyone is interested I strongly recommend reading the Wee Blue Book -



            It's available for free at those locations in several formats (ebook, pdf, website, etc.).

            Many of us have been inspired by the USA and others who have broken free of Westminster rule and dream of ruling ourselves and with a written constitution. It'll be hard work, but it will be our work and us that benefits from from the fruits of our labour and what more can someone ask for.

        •  Interesting. So what is the motivation to (0+ / 0-)

          declare independence? (Both for ordinary people planning to vote yes, and for those pushing the campaign).

        •  Scottish NHS (9+ / 0-)

          This is entirely misleading nonsense by Lib Dem FoP.

          The NHS in Scotland's entire funding is set from Westminster and ALL of Scotland's funding comes from the Westminster pocket money sent up. If Westminster reduce funding, there's no money to pay for the NHS in Scotland, ergo it's run down. This is basic facts and logic.

          In turn for this "favour" Scotland pays ALL it's tax straight to Westminster.

          For at least the last 30 years this has been BILLIONS of pounds more than Scotland has got back in spending or budgets, even by the UK gov's own figures. Essentially the UK is a constant drain on Scotland and Scotland is held back from developing and growing as this money isn't being invested in Scotland as it should.

          UK Gov figures from the period 1900-1921 (long before oil was known about) also show Scotland paying vastly more to UK purse than it got back in spending. During that period it never got even half of what it put into the pot. UK Gov ended publishing of these figures after 1921 due to outrage caused by them - showing that Scotland was being drained by the parasite Westminster and held back in development even back then.

          What the sneaky Lib Dem FoP also does here is the misleading claim of Scotland getting more than other parts of the UK (but noteably Lib Dem FoP avoids mentioning LONDON, a huge money sink compared to the very deprived and neglected areas of the north of England which Westminser governments have simply watched run down), when Scotland pays far more in than it gets out.

          So resentful Lib Dem FoP suggests that Scotland should get even less of the money it raises! And the solution from them is to add EVEN MORE taxes to the burden Scotland bears as part of the UK, just to make up for the shortfalls from continued robbery of Scottish purse! Why should Scotland - the net contributer by UK gov's own figures - be forced onto a spiral of continually raising taxes to make up for a shrinking pocket money return from Westminster's dipping into Scottish purse? A fool's choice compared to simply ruling yourself and running your own affairs.

          Watch out for misleading Wormtongue types like Lib Dem Fop, for they'd have the shirt of your back and the food off your plate and have you beliving it was never there to start with.

          •  haha, say there young whippersnapper.. (0+ / 0-)

            LibDem is a long and well regarded member here, so I hope there's a twinkle in yer eye when yer raggin on him:>

            and thanks for your well detailed arguments. This is all pretty dang interesting...

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 09:03:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So to expand your points... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            If Westminster reduce funding, there's no money to pay for the NHS in Scotland, ergo it's run down.
            Would it be possible to "run down" the NHS in Scotland only? If Cameron's government desires to "run it down" as part of the neoliberal agenda, wouldn't it want to run it down everywhere? Why just in Scoltand (if that's possible).

            (And if they indeed want to run down the NHS everywhere, it's not only the Scots who are screaming and kicking back, but everyone else too).

            UK Gov figures from the period 1900-1921 (long before oil was known about) also show Scotland paying vastly more to UK purse than it got back in spending. During that period it never got even half of what it put into the pot.
            To me, that's not justification by itself for independence; Blue America pays for Red America similarly , just as wealthy tax-payers, the childless, the young, and others pay for government services they don't use or may even never use. It is normal that we as groups and as individuals pay for things we don't or won't receive.

            If Scotland did gain its independence, and if southern Scotland got more in government goodies than northern Scotland per capita, how long would this have to go on before northern Scotland got the "right" to secede? How far does your ideology allow for this balkanization to continue?

          •  The great whisky fallacy (0+ / 0-)

            Ah yes the old whisky revenue claim again. For US readers that seems simple however these are sales taxes raised on the sales of all alcohol products. The economic activity to pay for the purchase is in all four constituent countries.

            To claim that the Scottish economy should benefit from these sales taxes post independence is like them claiming that the taxes on it in the USA must be remitted to Scotland or that the taxes on burgundy wine drunk in Scotland must be sent to France. It's one of Salmond's slight of hands in the economic part of his platform. The headline sounds great but the reality of the detail is somewhat different.  

            It's like his claim that Scotland can continue to use the pound without a fiscal union or another agreement. He is perfectly correct in that but he does not mention that it would tie Scotland into using rUK's interest and exchange rates without having any say about them or the policies driving them. There would be nothing to stop the rUK government giving the Bank of England instructions to set its monetary policy in ways which would damage the Scottish economy to be benefit of rUK. So much for independence.

            "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 10:20:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Scot2014 (0+ / 0-)

            The money under the Barnett formula is not hypothocated and it is entirely down to the Scottish Parliament and Government how it is spent. In fact they have decided to spend sums on eliminating the prescription charge rather than spending the income from it on patient care within the Scottish NHS and are now complaining that not enough is left over to pay for it properly.

            The same applies to the higher education sector where Students' Contributions are nil rather than the £9000 charged to students from England.

            Why should Scotland - the net contributer by UK gov's own figures - be forced onto a spiral of continually raising taxes to make up for a shrinking pocket money return from Westminster's dipping into Scottish purse? A fool's choice compared to simply ruling yourself and running your own affairs.
            The same argument applies to the London region which contributes even more in terms of population. Why should people living there subsidize the NE? (Or in US terms, why should people in New York subsidize those in Alaska). In reality your argument over taxes and spending is a false one. Currently national services like tax collecting are organized UK wide and that distorts the figures. Tax offices are no longer local to the employment of the tax payer - mine for example is in Newcastle even though I worked in London. Successive governments moved out central government functions from London to the regions to save money and increase jobs in those areas - so the DVLA is based in Swansea and the National Mint at Llantrisant, Wales rather than London (Llantrisant is un-affectionately known as the hole with the mint in it). Most BBC production has moved out of London, principally recently to Manchester.   Scottish shipyards got the contracts to build the new aircraft carriers - something I bet is not included in the calculations you have been quoting.

            Under the Barnett formula, Scotland gets more back per head than is available to spend in the rest of the UK on the same devolved items. The formula is now so out of date as to be irrelevant to current conditions but I suspect a logical  re-calculation of it would mean Scotland loosing. As I said, it is not allocated in a prescriptive way, the government has the choice to allocate more to health, if reductions are made elsewhere. What you cannot do is deliberately eliminate a source of income and then complain that you do not have enough to spend. Elections have consequences and the result of the Scots electing the governments they have is a poorer quality service from their NHS. Rather than complain about UK governments degrading the Scottish NHS, maybe you should be looking in the mirror.

            "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 10:54:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The Edinburgh Agreement between Cameron and (5+ / 0-)

        Salmond comes into play.

        Which is that Scotland and England would sit down at the negotiating table and hammer things out, as quickly as possible.

        Neither side wants chaos in the financial markets, so they'd want to dispel the uncertainty about the settlement as quickly as possible.

  •  It'll be close, whatever the result. (8+ / 0-)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

    by terrypinder on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:10:00 PM PDT

    •  doubt it. for all the talk from the yes side (6+ / 0-)

      virtually all polls show no winning relatively comfortably

      •  Um, you might want to take another look... (4+ / 0-)

        YES is closing to within 6, according to YouGov. And this latest is not the only one to show rapidly converging trend lines.

        •  yes, yougov is tightening up. (4+ / 0-)

          I'm doing the Good Judgement Project and just changed my forecast based on this.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

          by terrypinder on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:46:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting (5+ / 0-)

          For that poll, YouGov excluded English born respondents from their calculations however only those resident in Scotland have a vote. That includes English who happen to be living there but disenfranchises Scottish born people living outside the country who would become citizens of Scotland without being asked.  So for all the sporran swirling Sean Connery does to support the Yes campaign, he cannot vote because he lives in the USA.

          The poll appears to have been commissioned by the Yes vote campaign and the pollers look like they are living up to their name of "WhateveryouwantGov.

          "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:01:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is that actually how it works? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If Scotland leaves the UK, I would assume that doesn't automatically kick out British citizens. Does the UK currently internally track ethnicity on some national ID card!?!?!

            I would assume that Scottish born people living outside the country would, in fact, be asked if they want to become citizens of Scotland or retain their British citizenship.

            If this is already known to not be the case, I'd very much appreciate a response telling me so.

            •  No. People can take what citizenship they want. (0+ / 0-)

              My understanding is that people can keep or take what citizenship they wish: Scottish or British, it won't matter.

              An independent Scotland within the EU will remain subject to EU law regarding the movements of people and goods.

              And unless Westminster cuts off its nose to spite its face, Scotland will remain in the "Common Travel Area" that currently exists between the UK, Ireland, Man, and the Channel Islands.

        •  It's not enough.... (0+ / 0-)

          Just like with initiatives here, you need to be leading significantly on election day in the polls, since people who are willing to say yes to pollsters often chicken out in the voting booth.  There have been tons of propositions in the US that looked like they were going to win only to lose, and sometimes lose big, at election time.

          "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

          by LordMike on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And they've been wrong on referenda before. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike, Railfan, BvueDem

            The Devolution Referendum of 1997 undervalued the yes vote by 10-20 points.

            The actual results were much higher than those polls suggested they would be.

            The question is what happens as the polls continue to tighten?

          •  6-point gap means YES is within 3 of a tie... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike, OllieGarkey

            And YouGov is perceived to be one of the two most NO-friendly pollsters (like Rasmussen is seen here vis-a-vis Republicans). Given the trend lines and the momentum, I'd say that YES is peaking at just the right time.

            •  Maybe... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BvueDem, Railfan

              ...or maybe it's an outlier while people finish up their holidays. I have seen too many "close" polls for referenda go completely South on election day. So, don't be disappointed if that is the case.

              And peaking at 3 weeks to go may be too early. That gives time for the opposition to mount a comeback.

              I don't know enough about it to make any real predictions. I'm just going by what happens here in the states.

              "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

              by LordMike on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 09:52:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except every poll since the Debate a week ago (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LordMike, Railfan

                has seen a 6-point gap.


                I say Every. What I really mean is Both.

              •  There's also YES's ground game. (0+ / 0-)

                YES seems to have very consciously emulated President Obama's 2008 campaign in that its created an amazing, countrywide grassroots network. YES has tens of thousands of volunteers on the ground; NO has no such equivalent.

                So, an energized grassroots movement that senses it is the change it's been waiting for, versus TV ads and fear. We've seen more than once how that played here. I won't be surprised to see it work again on Sept. 18.

  •  Some fantastic YES websites and blogs: (15+ / 0-)

    Check these out:

    Wings Over Scotland
    The Rev. Stuart Campbell has "crashed the gates" with a site that is reminiscent of a certain U.S. politics blog, and Scottish journalism should never be the same again (especially since he seems to be doing much if their job for them).

    SCOT Goes POP!
    James Kelly doing poll analysis that Nate Silver should read before he spouts off again about Scottish politics.

    Wee Ginger Dug
    Paul Kavanagh, a gentleman from Glasgow whose prose is a delight to read and whose dissection of the NO campaign is as searing as his personal observations on his own life, as his 25-year partner succumbs to dementia. He'll make you laugh your ass off then bawl your eyes dry, often within the same paragraph.

    There are plenty of others that are linked from those sites, but those are the absolute must-reads for the next 18 days.

    Meanwhile, the Common Weal  seems like something U.S. progressives should take a long, hard look at; while it's clearly a Scottish answer to Scotland's situation, its approach seems like one that could transplant well here.

    Also, too: Some in our own House of Representatives are looking to stick their noses into the referendum on London's behalf with House Resolution 713, titled "Recognizing the friendship between the United Kingdom and the United States and expressing the support of the House of Representatives for a united, secure, and prosperous United Kingdom."

    Introduced on Aug. 4, it's in the Foreign Affairs committee for now, but the House reconvenes on Sept. 8. Please contact your representative and tell him/her we should mind our own business in this affair.

    •  Scotland is more progressive than England (9+ / 0-)

      If the US broke up, you would have Red states banning women and blacks from voting, and selling people into slavery as a cheaper alternative to prison. Americans are barbarians; Brits and Scots are not. It doesn't translate to the US.

      American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

      by atana on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite what I had in mind. (9+ / 0-)

        Indeed Scotland is. And the U.S. isn't breaking up any time soon (though periodically there are states I'd love to contemplate ejecting). My thought is that the Common Weal approach is one worth examining to see if/how it could be adapted here. It's our job as progressive Democrats to tug the country further left, isn't it?

        As for your fatuous statement, "Americans are barbarians; Brits and Scots are not." Do you really want to go there? Shall we review English and Scottish histories over the centuries, or even just last century? There's not a nation, state, or people who are spared from barbaric behavior. Tell me your nationality, and I'll be glad to offer examples from your particular closet.

        •  Proof: they don't death penalties (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          George3, bananapouch1

          We do.


          American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

          by atana on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:17:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah? well our crooks don't give "Glasgow Smiles" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zornorph, native, OllieGarkey

            to their victims at a pace of 3-5 a week in Glasgow alone.....

            Our sports fans don't beat each other to death nearly as often nor is basic violent crime even close here compared...

            No citizen here would put up with what their muggers and thieves and just general thugs and bullies get away with.

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:23:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Since they are not awash in guns (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              testosteronal males have to find other ways to express their nature. In London they worry about kitchen knife crimes.

              American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

              by atana on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:31:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I bow to your superior intellect. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                buddabelly, OllieGarkey

              •  Yikes. (0+ / 0-)
                A Glasgow smile (also known as a Glasgow, Chelsea, or Cheshire grin) is a wound caused by making small cuts on the corners of a victim's mouth, then beating or stabbing him or her until the muscles in the face contract, causing the cuts to extend up the cheeks to the victim's ears. This leaves a scar in the shape of a smile, hence the name.[1][2][3]
                Think I'd rather be shot.

                (Rethinking that whisky tour after reading this.)

                •  Glasgow Smile? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mommymusic, OllieGarkey

                  I've lived in Glasgow for 40 years and have never before heard of this.  No idea where this info came from but it doesn't happen here, we do have 'Glasgow kiss' which is a euphemism for a headbutt but even that is a throwback to the dim and distant past.

                  This summer Glasgow staged the commonwealth games, probably the most notable games after the olympics.  The event was known and will be remembered as 'The friendly Games'.  Which is a little unlikely if random mutilations were occurring.

                  Do some fact checking and then come visit us in an independent Scotland - I'll maybe even buy you a dram :-)

                  •  Really, I found more than a few healed examples on (0+ / 0-)

                    google or youtube...

                    Neds Culture in Glasgow

                    Glasgow Ned seems to have one as well as Tommy Flanagan....Now granted according to the newspaper articles, knife crime is slowly dropping.....I hope so for y'alls sake....Though last I read, Glasgow is still the most violent city in Europe....though the peak seems to be 07-08, at least that's when it was most in the news....

                    I tell you though I'd rather be shot and shoot than to cut or be cut...though I do agree on the utility of a good knife, always have one or two myself.........

                    Even the hardest crims fear a knife....and a knife in close quarters is considerably more dangerous than a gun.....

                    BTW, we held the 84 Olympics in LA in the middle of the crack wars......just because the city has a violent and dangerous subculture, doesn't mean no one is just means the odds of a slice or 2 is a bit elevated......

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for that (0+ / 0-)

                    Glaswegian perspective. (That has to be my favorite adjectival form, so thanks as well for the opportunity to use it ;-}).

                    Glad you could join the daily kos conversation today.

                    Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
                    ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

                    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                    by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 04:46:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  One consideration (4+ / 0-)

        One matter that has had some discussion is the fact that rUK would be left with a permanent Conservative majority due to the large number of Labour MPs it returns. However historically that is not the case:

        On no occasion since 1945 would independence have changed the identity of the winning party and on only two occasions would it have converted a Labour majority into a hung parliament (1964 and October 1974). Without Scotland, Labour would still have won in 1945 (with a majority of 143, down from 146), in 1966 (75, down from 98), in 1997 (137, down from 179), in 2001 (127, down from 166) and in 2005 (43, down from 66).
        Recent history is not necessarily a precedent (as 2010 showed) and the poll positions nationally are indicating another hung parliament (complicated by UKIP's current popularity). Next year's general election could well result in a Labour government or Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition loosing its majority when the Scottish MPs are abolished if there is a Yes vote.

        Nevertheless those two occasions do point to the reverse of the Scottish argument - that the English did not get the government they voted for (and the argument gets stronger and over longer periods if you take Wales into account). So despite those few occasions; decisions on devolved matters like the NHS have been made by Labour governments that do not reflect the political character of England.

        There appears to be a small but growing English sentiment around the observation "nobody's asking us if we want to keep the Scots".  Despite the hype of the diary, the reality of the polls is that although closing, there is still a huge gap to overcome and postal votes have already started. The more likely outcome is a No vote.

        With that will come negotiations over "Devo +" with more powers being devolved. Again that will, in the months leading up to the elections, mean more concentration on the "West Lothian Question". At the very least I would expect serious consideration to an "English Grand Committee" in the  Commons to consider matters only of interest in England (a well as the NHS, another example is education policy) along the lines of a similar special committee used to consider Scottish matters before devolution.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:48:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was wondering (0+ / 0-)

          aren't there scheduled elections next fall?

          I have a vague recollection that if Yes wins, the UK Parliamentary elections would be delayed for a year. Is this true?

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

          by terrypinder on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:50:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  May 7 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Delaying would require new primary legislation which is unlikely to get through in time. The only time elections have been suspended is during wartime.

            Under new election law, there are fixed term five year parliaments unless a super-majority (60% IIRC) of those voting in the Commons votes for a early one.   Contrary to some arguments against, that does not preclude a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister who would be obliged to resign. If he were the leader of a party with an absolute majority in the House, he or she could be replaced as both leader and PM.

            If the Scottish MPs left and there was a Labour government which thereby lost its overall majority, the Prime Minister would remain (unless of course they were from a Scottish constituency) until such a vote of no confidence. That could precipitate a change in government either by replacement with the new majority party in the Commons or (more likely) by a new coalition. Negotiations would be more leisurely than in 2010 when there was an absolute imperative to form a government before the markets opened on the Monday after the Friday results.  

            "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 06:03:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think devolution and federalism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Is the better option. There are a lot of mutual security interests that can be better resolved with a federal system vs complete independence. (Does anyone remember the cod wars between the UK and Iceland?) North Sea oil resources? Trade? Employment law?

          I happen to think the mutual interest crowd will win simply because the kingdoms have been melded together for over 300 years. There are scots who have never lived in Scotland just as there are English and Welsh who have never lived in their putative countries.

          I just finished the Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell so I am hearing Saxons, Danes, Welsh and Scots voices in my head.

  •  Those notes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empower Ink, OllieGarkey

    Notes printed by the banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland are printed under licence from the Bank of England. They are backed pound for pound with deposits by the printing banks at the BoE.  For this purpose, the BoE produces £1 million and £100 million notes rather than having huge vaults of £50 notes (the largest in circulation).

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:44:30 PM PDT

  •  I don't know what the people in my homeland are (10+ / 0-)

    thinking, but it is must better to be tied to the Pound than to the Euro.  If you stay part of the UK you have some influence over the pound.  If you peg to the Euro, you really become dependent on the Germans, who have shown no hesitancy at all in forcing austerity down a country's unwilling throat.

    Politicians - "You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too"

    by fladem on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:46:40 PM PDT

    •  staying in the UK (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, tommymet

      just makes it english tories who stuff austerity down your throat.

      •  the UK is a union with fiscal transfers (6+ / 0-)

        the Westminster government transfers money from richer portions of the UK to poorer ones in the form of various government programs. This is not true in the EU.

        As bad as the Tories are for the UK, it could never get as bad as in Greece, which has been held hostage to demands for EU austerity.

        The Scottish can vote in British elections. They can therefore exercise some control, however imperfect, over the central government. And it is harder for the central government to target specific nations within the UK for austerity, because of the fact that there are these transfers of money and resources.

        The Greeks cannot vote in German elections. That's why Germany, which has de facto control of the euro, can demand whatever it likes of the periphery nations as the price of being bailed out in euros. They pay no political price whatsoever. These mechanisms to transfer money from one nation to another don't exist in the EU, and no one can make the richer nations spend money on the poorer ones, so the periphery countries languish.

        Perhaps those Scottish nationalists who want to join the EU should pay attention to the fact that more and more are wanting to leave, or at least drastically change, that union.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:50:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't need either currency. (0+ / 0-)

      There are plenty of successful small nations whose currency aren't tied to any other currency e.g. Denmark.  The argument about Sterling is just a bogus distraction.

  •  Hoping for Scottish Independence (10+ / 0-)

    And Northern Ireland next.

    Until then please do keep sharing the Single Malts.

    "Things are not as they appear to be, nor are they otherwise." - Buddha

    by US Blues on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:52:02 PM PDT

  •  All the Best to Them. (5+ / 0-)

    Despite numerous connections there, I'm certainly not one of them so from this perspective can just hope for the best.

    I'm on more solid ground hoping a tentative plan I've hear of comes true for Scotland to become an electricity exporter to Europe, of wind generated power. That would benefit all of us and obviously them too.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:58:04 PM PDT

  •  Please explain to me (6+ / 0-)

    (because I'm largely ignorant here)

    What are the expected benefits of independence?(Especially those benefits other than the emotional high of nationalism.)

    •  North Sea oil revenues (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gordon20024, Chi, old wobbly

      I've heard that most of the UK's oil is under what would become Scottish territorial waters.

      I also remember hearing that, far from Scotland being a net recipient of UK transfer payments, they actually pay more to England than England pays back to them, which makes sense since England's share of the UK's expenses is going to be greater period.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:24:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gordon20024, Chi, BvueDem

        So it's kind of like when unincorporated parts of California counties that have a shopping mall form a city so that only they get to benefit from the sales tax and the rest of the county gets less?

        The second part seems a bit more attractive. Don't like the UK's high defense bill? Form a new country with a military limited to border patrol.

        •  eh, seems like an honest motive to me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gordon20024, Chi

          If the money's getting made in your neighborhood but gets spent somewhere else, pretty much anybody would want to change that if they could.  Worse if other people spending the money you made manages to create more jobs and higher standards of living in their neighborhood than it does in yours.

          But oil has a tendency to make big money everywhere except where it's pumped out from; even Norway that invests its oil royalties in a national fund is still drawing the short stick compared to the people who get to sell the oil itself.

          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

          by Visceral on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:05:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Need something in this field? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, BvueDem

            Well as to the first part... yeah! That's pretty much the California incorporation analogy, isn't it? Better "we" have that money than "they" do, just putting in different "we" and "they." Scots/British; Arcadians/Sacramentans.

            "But oil has a tendency to make big money everywhere except where it's pumped out from; even Norway that invests its oil royalties in a national fund is still drawing the short stick compared to the people who get to sell the oil itself."

            Yeah, I also expect this to continue to be true regardless of the upcoming vote.

        •  As I understand it, Scotland's also heavily Labour (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 it would be a way of getting the conservatives off their back.

          Sort of like if the Northern US separated from the Confederacy.

    •  North Sea oil profits for one. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, OllieGarkey

      Scotland feels it's funding much of the English economy and receiving little in return.

      IMHO that's the main rub. That and a long standing feud and mistrust of anything south of the border.

      For all the oil money profits going into the English coffers they don't feel they get the respect/representation they deserve.

      As a Virginian of Scottish descent I can identify with their motive.

      "Give me liberty or give me death..." rang out on March 23, 1775. Cherish those words and the tremendous courage of the man who in speaking them knew his life could be forfeit as a result.

      As a graduate of Patrick Henry HS (Roanoke, VA) I had to recite the entire speech. It resonates within me to this day.


  •  Not a major problem either way (14+ / 0-)

    As someone from southern England, who has visited Scotland just once, I do not see that it makes much difference to the ordinary people of England what the inhabitants of Scotland decide.

    I am happy for the union to continue, but in modern circumstances the original purposes of the union have disappeared so its end would not be a catastrophe.

    At the start of the union the English got the added security that Scotland would not form alliances with England's enemies or support the exiled Catholic Stuart pretenders to the English and Scottish thrones. Apart from the two Jacobite risings, in the 18th century, that part of the deal worked.

    The Scottish people got the economic advantages of free trade with England and its colonies, which they would not have got in any other way during the age of mercantalism. On the whole Scotland prospered during most of the union. It is now a far richer country, relative to England, than it was before the union.

    Time has erased the context of the original deal. I have no idea where the future balance of advantage, for Scotland, is. I suppose that is what the inhabitants of Scotland are being asked to decide.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:25:20 PM PDT

  •  None of my beeswax and I don't care. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winston Sm1th

    I have my own preference nut it's purely esthetic and not even worth expressing.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:30:40 PM PDT

  •  The pound and the EU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, LordMike

    1.  Leaving aside the EU question, Scotland could keep the pound just as there are other countries that use the USD as their currency.  However, monetary policy would be set without any regard for Scotland and there would be no one with bailout ability for Scotland's banks.  I'm not sure how big a deal that is, because I am not sure whether Scotland's major banks or effectively English for all practical purposes anyway.

    2.  The EU is the bigger question.  As noted above the RUK will be treated as the successor to Great Britain for purposes of international agreements, thus, for example,  the RUK will hold what used to be the British veto on the UN Security Council.

    This means that RUK would be a member of the EU.  Whether Scotland would automatically be a member or not is clear as mud.  If not, it will have to adopt the Euro to join. Even if it were, it is unclear whether the British opt outs will be extended to Scotland.

    3.  TL;DR:  An independent Scotland may not get to keep the pound whatever Darling says.

    •  Currency nonsense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are 5-nations including Sweden who don't even have adoption dates for the Euro.  Were Scotland to become a "new" EU member, its Euro adoption date could be so far in the future as to be irrelevant.  And after it joined the EU, how would other nations force it to adopted the Euro?  Scotland could easily argue that it would be ready to join the EU when it's southern neighbour joined as their economies are so intertwined.

      The currency argument may have some bases in legal fact; but is just stupid in practice.

  •  Who is eligible is problematic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, askew

    You have to be living in Scotland. So,

    1. An Englishman living in Scotland can vote
    2. A Scotsman living in England can't vote
    3. Scottish expats can't vote, even if they hold a UK passport.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:56:56 PM PDT

    •  This seems reasonable. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      1) An Englishman living in Scotland can presumably become a Scot if he doesn't want to become an expat.

      2) A Scotsman living in England can presumably remain a British citizen if he doesn't want to become an expat.

      3) A Scottish expat outside the British Isles will presumably decide whether or not to become a Scottish or British citizen.

      So the people eligible to vote are the people likely to be Scottish citizens if the referendum passes.

  •   but I thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CoyoteMarti, Another Grizzle

    this DID happen:

    Imagine if Dick Cheney was actively being paid by Halliburton while in office instead of just expecting a golden parachute when he left,, and that's the level of corruption we're talking about here.

    ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

    by glitterscale on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 06:09:55 PM PDT

  •  You don't like having to support the (0+ / 0-)

    English defense costs. But y'all share an island, so by not chipping in you'll be doing what Canada does when it counts on the US to protect the entire continent from attack. Plus, you want all the profits from the North Sea oil. Sounds fishy to me. And this strategy of getting the homeless to vote -because for the homeless it matters greatly what the name is of the country they're homeless in. Fishy.

  •  Hoping for yes, expecting no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, radarlady

    If it wasn't for the uncertainties surrounding economic separation (played up by the no side, natch), I'm sure independence would prevail.

    "I understand, Mr. Spock. The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

    by brainwave on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 07:34:51 PM PDT

  •  it's not the currency, its the debt (0+ / 0-)

    if scotland gets stuck with the debt from RBS
    it  will be bad

  •  I've been to Edinborough (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, cville townie, Septima

    One thing I remember is going to a bar to drink some whisky and not understanding a word they spoke.  But we made friends.

    Another other thing I remember is going to a museum where I learned about the Battle of Culloden

    The battle and its aftermath continue to arouse strong feelings: the University of Glasgow awarded Cumberland an honorary doctorate, but many modern commentators allege that the aftermath of the battle and subsequent crackdown on Jacobitism were brutal, and earned Cumberland the sobriquet "Butcher". Efforts were subsequently taken to further integrate the comparatively wild Highlands into the Kingdom of Great Britain; civil penalties were introduced to weaken Gaelic culture and attack the Scottish clan system.
    What Wikipedia does not say much about is the massacre of Scots following the battle.  The museum had pretty graphic descriptions.

    The Scots are a different ethnic group.  Hadrian built the wall to keep the Scots out of the Roman Empire because they were not into being slaves.

    I lived in London for one year and I remember the Scot football fans, mostly young, descending in London by train and taking the underground by the thousands to go to a match.  A Scottish friend of mine supported Uruguay when it beat England in the Brazil World cup.  Anybody but England he told me.

    There is a distinct identity that has survived thousands of years.

    As the British Empire evaporates and as the EU is the new reality, Scotland can envision joining the EU and adopting the Euro as its coin.  

    My money is on Scotland going its own way.  Good for them.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:17:13 PM PDT

    •  Just be be historical (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, radarlady, cville townie

      Scots did not exist at the time of the Roman Empire. Hadrian built his wall against Pictish raiders. And the wall wasn't there to keep the Picts out of the Roman Empire because they didn't like to be slaves... the wall was built so that Pictish raids had a harder time getting back home with a bunch of loot from raids into the richer Roman Empire.

      The "Scots" began as an amalgamation of peoples, most notably Picts & (probably immigrant) Celtic peoples. The Picts & Celtic peoples (Celtic here = Gaelic speaking) fought a lot, with one group usually dominating another.

      Due to being in the cold, unattractive (and more remote by sea) north of Britain, the Picts & the Gaelic peoples avoided most of the German invasions. But Northumbria, politically dominated by the Germanic Angles, ruled much of what is today southern Scotland.

      The various groups might have remained different peoples, but the chaos of the Viking invasions shattered the existing political structures at the same time the Gaelic language was spreading from its relatively small geographic location.

      Ultimately, a Scottish identity emerged from the amalgamation (& Christianization) of, for the most part, Celts, Picts, Vikings, and Germans (probably in that order of population). (The 'English' identity would arise about the same time from an amalgamation of Celts, Romans, Germans, and Vikings.)

      So "there is a distinct identity that has survived thousands of years" is incorrect, I'm afraid. But there's still a good thousand years of Scottish identity you can fall back on.

    •  The Euro is no picnic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Shockwave

      I'm not even so sure that keeping the UK pound is such a great idea, but I think it's the best short run solution.

      A lot of what's screwed up in Europe right now is related to the common currency.  Places like Spain and Portugal would be better off if they could devalue their currency, which would help get real wages adjusted down enough so that employment would improve.  Which it really needs to do.  Letting the Germans set your monetary policy doesn't help people in the European periphery at all.

      I think that an independent Scotland's situation will be a lot like the European periphery, except that they can't devalue right now because Cameron and Idiot Osborne don't run the system to Scotland's benefit.  Ultimately, a Scottish pound may be a better fit than continuing to use the UK pound.

      To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.

      by mbayrob on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 11:49:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm...not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Scots are a different ethnic group.
      Really, given all the varied invasions of the British Isles since the fall of Rome (gawd knows how many before) I suspect you'd be splitting DNA-hairs in distinguishing between the Scots, the English, the Welsh, and the Irish. On language you'd be on somewhat firmer ground, but then I remind you that India and China are unitary states and are considered unitary cultures despite having encompassing many languages.

      Even history is a poor guide; Germany and France both could be divided up into gosh-knows-how-many provincialities based on shared history and allegiances, as indeed they once were.  Plus states most accept as unitary states have undergone periods of civil war (the Swiss, the US, France, England, etc.)

  •  There were also stories about this (0+ / 0-)

    in Sunday's NYTimes.

    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

    by ceebee7 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:36:55 PM PDT

  •  My clan is Jacobite... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, MisterFred

    ...and fought for Stuarts and independence.  One of my ancestors has the distinction of being the last person ever to lose his head in the Tower of London for his troubles.  Even so I back union.  I don't have a lot of strong reasons, but the burden of proof IMO lies heavily on those advocating secession in instances like this one where they are fairly represented in the national government and not being oppressed by the majority.

  •  My mother's side ancestors arrived in U.S. from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, radarlady

    Scotland some time around 1750... two brothers.  Their father, a wealthy Scots land-owner, disinherited them when they refused to return.  They settled in Maryland and South Carolina, and were Union officers in the War for Independence.  This is seven or eight generations ago...  My great-great grandfather, John McCracken, put it all down in a booklet, copies of which my mom distributed to my siblings and me shortly before passing in 2009.  The line was originally descended from the Douglas clan.

    So I'm fer the Scots doin' whatever they vote to do.  Even though, like Shockwave, I've never been able to understand the dialect very well (don't do that well with the Irish one, either).  Plus I've never understood nor supported that royalty bullshit.

    The NYTimes quoted a woman who's engaged in the movement for Welsh independence addressing the Queenie as "Mrs. Windsor"...  She was asked to leave the room.  Tut tut.

    Somethin's comin'...  People all over the world are saying "Kindly remove your bootheel from my throat."

    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

    by ceebee7 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:58:06 PM PDT

  •  Why let someone else rule your land? (6+ / 0-)

    Who better to rule a people and land than the people who live there?

    Independence will come either with this vote or a few years later. The momentum is with the pro independence. People are learning and spreading the word. There's a political awakening and activity going on that's never been seen in living memory in Scotland and many of us have long memories to draw on... This is a peaceful revolution and enlightenment.

    There are people who have never voted out of a sense of apathy and powerless for years who have been organising meetings in packed town and village halls, printing and handing out leaflets, etc.

    There are more people registered to vote than ever before. Hundreds of thousands of new voters. There are huge queues appearing at registration officies being reported in the news. This kind of thing is unheard of. A new thirst for democracy as people realise that another Scotland is possible. Something different from the dreary spiral downwards, the "managed decline" by Westminster and being only a largely powerless and forgotten sideshow to a much larger neighbour.

    Currently Westminster and it's MPs have made clear that the Scottish Parliament is considered by them to be a temporary instution (those very words said on video by a mainstream party politician) that can be abolished at any time by Westminster. Under UK Westminster system this is true and legal. They can snatch away our powers or wither them away as it suits the whims of each successive government as that is the UK system. Even the existance of the Scottish government as it stands is at the mercy of the whims of a government outside Scotland.  This is not a system I would want to live under.

    This is why so many have spent fortunes from their own savings to pay for leaflets, websites, renting town halls, etc. or produced them themselves and then spending their own time to implement it, hand out leaflets, organise, etc. In turn the unionist opposition is largely funded by Tory Sir/Lord millionaires, big business, mainstream media owned by and run from London (BBC included), UK gov, etc. and the unionists have virtually no grassroots effort. They really have only astroturf paid for by the wealthy absent landowners and the distant 1% (that and the violent British nationalist/fascist groups they try to avoid being associated with). They pay for people to hand out leaflets, canvass, campaign, manage and direct campaigns, media, etc. They also bus up (and pay) large numbers of people from outside Scotland to campaign in Scotland under various banners despite the Prime Minster David Cameron promising it "was up to the Scots to decide" - a promise that has been broken again and again in this campaign.

    The difference on the ground between the two camps is startling as the pro-indpendence side has masses of local people working for free and filling halls for meetings everwhere and has support and leaders from the whole diversity of Scotland. There are folk of USA origin here too helping out and they've said it was an amazing feeling and experience here too. I'd hope everyone could experience it one day. Political education and engagement of the people can only lead to better government.

    I've never been so proud of my own people, all Jock Tamson's bairns, the people living in Scotland.

    •  I assume you also would break up NYC? (0+ / 0-)

      Why should the people in Brooklyn be ruled by people in Manhattan?  Or, for that matter, why should Staten Island have more clout than Queens?

      •  Pretty bad analogy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Though, I suppose, if Queens wants to try to run itself without Manhattan's/Wall Street's tax revenue, it can go at it.

        A better analogy might be "Why should the Northern US and the Southern US stay together, when their cultures and political positions are diametrically opposed to each other?"

        To which I would say, why indeed?

        •  Putting on my anthropology hat... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Charles Hall
          A better analogy might be "Why should the Northern US and the Southern US stay together, when their cultures and political positions are diametrically opposed to each other?"
          They're not different cultures; their differences probably don't even rise to the level of being different subcultures. As for politics, political positions can and do change. Maybe 100 years from now the South will be the liberal part of the US and the north conservative. Already we see red states like NC and Virginia and one day, Texas, trending purple.
    •  As a US Southerner... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Who better to rule a people and land than the people who live there?
      I'm quite happy we're not independent. As lousy as our local yokels are now, they'd be even lousier if not restrained by the Feds.
  •  Independence would have risks (0+ / 0-)

    What if the rump UK decided to leave the EU, but Scotland stayed in it? How messy would that be?

    Also, the balkanization of the UK could threaten the Northern Irish peace process.

  •  I'm sorry, Ollie, no. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Quite fond of the UK as is, and I sincerely do not see the point of breaking the Union. It works, and Scotland doesn't have the resources or wealth to make independence work as I see it.

    In especially as we're looking, should the referendum succeed and Scotland secede, at basically independence lite. Same currency as before, same head of state, same international treaties – provided the UK doesn't veto Scottish participation – what would the change be?

    I'm not seeing a healthy balance between the pros and the cons to make the effort worthwhile. Sorry.

  •  Hi Olly, I am too lazy to read through this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diary and have zero clue what the reasons may be for Scotland to separate from the UK? (Sorry for that, but I am busy reading other stuff like The Baltics wanting their own NATO base and Germany calculating how long they can live without Russian gas and who should eat German apples....

    Is that separation necessary? Is that good and if so why?

    Can you just gimme a short answer as to yes or no  and a little because ... one or two sentences.

    Thank you.

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:37:23 AM PDT

    •  Sure, Mimi! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      An Independent Scotland would be able to solve its own problems, regarding things like poverty, housing, and the economy. London has ignored most of these problems for about a century.

      Scotland would be able to become an English-Speaking Nordic-Style democracy, which would then be able to spread those Nordic-Style democratic ideas to the rest of the English speaking world.

      Ultimately, it's good for Scotland, and good for everyone else.

      In the same way that Canadians with Adbusters started the Occupy movement. Scots will be able to reach across the globe, and affect serious democratic change. With their own government they will prove that progressive ideas actually work, and provide the evidence-based opposition to austerity.

  •  I'm sorry... (0+ / 0-)

    This bruhaha about "changing the flag" bit is rather tiresome and pointless.

    Changing the flag does not affect the direction the world is currently heading, nor solves any of humankind's problems, a whit. In fact, it often is positively detrimental. My observation is that people in groups make better decisions than individuals, and people in larger groups make better decisions than in small groups. In fact, that's largely part of the whole r'aison d'etre behind Gandhi's and King's civil disobedience, to make an appeal to others who are outside the circle of people doing wrong, to get them involved.


  •  Scottish Independence (0+ / 0-)

    Let them eat haggis!!    On second thought, how will this affect the price of scotch?

  •  If Scotland Can Do It... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Maybe Cascadia can be next?

    Maybe it's time to ask for a referendum.

  •  IMO bad idea (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not a fan of the idea of Scottish independence.  Truth be told, it's not really my business- I'm not a UK citizen and none of my ancestors are even from the UK.  But this piece was posted here for Americans to comment on, so I think it's fair game.

    Many of my reasons have already been given by other commentators here.  I'll list them briefly.  But I also have serious concerns relating to the economics of this.

    1) The argument I've read in various places that Scottish independence is about democracy or local control- no. That same argument can be used to support breaking up any nation or state. It can be used to argue that, as someone else suggested, Manhattan should be independent of the Bronx. It's currently being used by a weirdo California billionaire to try to break up California. The argument doesn't work because there's no end to it, until you've reached the total dissolution of the state itself- every individual a sovereign entity. I don't think that's something people who are left-of-center should like. I know I don't.

    2) The argument that Scotland will become a Scandinavian-style social democracy, a paradise with no social problems. Well, maybe. Or maybe part of the reason why so many Scottish voters currently vote left is because the Tories are seen as culturally English. (I think we see a lot of this in the US, with wealthy Northeasterners voting for the Democrats and poor whites in Mississippi voting for the Republicans.) I think it's hard to say for sure what policies an independent Scotland would adopt. I do think it's likely that the remainder of the UK would be more conservative. So Scotland would be a better place, but the rest of the UK would be worse? How is that clearly a better outcome? (The same argument, again, was used by Democrats in blue states- after 2004, let's secede from Jesusland!  But do we really want to leave poor and non-white people in the South behind, even if our own states might be better for it?)

    3) The apparently selfish reasoning that is one motive for independence. We have lots of oil and gas and whisky, let's secede! But we're good leftists- we're nothing like that California billionaire who wants to make Silicon Valley America's richest state and the Central Valley America's poorest!

    4) My biggest peeve- the economics of Scottish independence don't make sense, and don't seem to have been well thought out. Yes, Scotland can continue using the UK pound, the same way that Ecuador and Zimbabwe use the US dollar. But there are good reasons why there are hardly any modern-day countries that are not economic basket cases that have chosen to use a foreign or defacto foreign currency as their own. Excluding the Eurozone itself, the only major example I can think of is Hong Kong. So Scotland could continue to use a foreign currency, with no control over interest and exchange rates, and no ability to rely on the now-foreign Bank of England as a lender of last resort- and all the pitfalls that implies. Or, Scotland can have its own currency. (All this assumes Scotland's allowed to stay out of the Eurozone indefinitely, which seems likely, because other countries like Poland have gotten away with this so far.) If Scotland has its own currency, trade and transactions within the former UK that were once as effortless as trade between New York and New Jersey will be much more like trade between the US and Canada. It'll be bad for business, especially considering the small size of Scotland. The Euro isn't a way out, because of it's broken design. (The funny thing is- if you wanted to design a working currency union for the current territory of the UK, while avoiding the problems of the Eurozone, what you'd end up with would be a single state that would look pretty much like... the UK.) Also, what if the oil revenue isn't what's expected?  Maybe, because of the threat of global warming, the world actually develops and uses new green technologies soon?  Scotland would be a small, much poorer country. Or- if the oil revenue is as expected, then the country develops a serious case of Dutch disease, and non-oil businesses are squeezed out of business, at least until the new green economy comes decades later, wiping out the country's only industry. By being part of the much larger UK, Scotland benefits from economic diversification and stabilization.

    To me, it just seems like a big risk, with serious economic consequences, for little clear gain. I don't like the idea of breaking up high-functioning states into smaller pieces. If anything, I think people who are left-of-center should want the opposite.

    I get that you guys don't like the Tories. I hate them too, and I have no real connection to your country. (BTW, you can keep Jim Messina, I don't want him back here.) But just because of one bad election, you shouldn't give up hope in your country, and break it up just to push the bad guys into a foreign nation. Like Obama's said, the arc of history tends to bend in the right direction. I didn't want the US to break up after 2004, and you shouldn't want the UK- with its even longer history, and much success- to break up now.

    •  I'm not sure that using a US lens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for evaluating the pros and cons is a particularly effective form of analysis here.  Clearly there are pros and cons, but its probably best to examine those pros and those cons with a culturally appropriate set of indicators, rather than those borrowed from US political culture.

      Scotland's position in the UK vis-a-vis Westminster is not analogous to a US State's position, either historically or governmentally, so I'm not sure your reasons against would necessary hold.

      But thanks for joining the daily kos conversation today.

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's going backward (0+ / 0-)

    I don't care in the slightest who is running sexist ads.  Fragmentation into yet more "nations" is not the way for humans to achieve some measure of actual understanding of one another.

    There may be (and I'm sure is) a lot wrong with the U.K.'s politics, as there is with ours.  But breaking up, while apparently not so hard after all, is not intelligent.

  •  Debt (0+ / 0-)

    The union of England and Scotland was initially prompted by the bankrupt status of Scotland. Now, it's true that was over 300 years ago, but I wonder how that should affect the distribution of UK debt? I don't think the Scots would accept enough debt to restore their bankruptcy, but ...

  •  I think the organisations pushing for"Yes" are ... (0+ / 0-)

    I think the organisations pushing for"Yes" are selling pie-in-the-sky. The reality will not be as wonderful as they promise. The transition will be a painful process, and the final outcome is unlikely to be anything close to the comfort level of the present. My opinion is that there will be more poverty and some buyer's remorse.

  •  It should be independent (0+ / 0-)

    I found out that my ancestry on my father's side is Scottish. I'm all for Scotland being INDEPENDENT!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site