Monday, 3 September 2012

Independence And 'Yes Scotland'

A guest post by Apogee.

The more I read about this the more I feel I am being asked to sign a blank cheque. The more I read the less I know.

I still do not have a clue what the aim of independence is apart from changing the captain in the middle of the sargasso sea and the ones on the boat are as slippery as the eels in the water and with as many teeth.

If I am asked to jump out of the frying pan I want to know what I am jumping into.  Where are we going with this country?

There is too much that they don't want us to know; faith means having trust and I would not turn my back on any of them, of either side, without first removing my wallet from my hip pocket and keeping it gripped tightly in my hands.

If they cannot tell the population what they intend to do about the EUSSR and the euro, is it because they haven't a clue or they know we will not like it?

Before faith I want to see some answers and some truth.  Remember what the result of blind obedience was for the troops at the Somme.  I would like to know that the wannabe leaders at least know what the aim of the campaign is - so far they seem to want to surrender to the enemy.  And no one is saying otherwise.

Blind faith and generally inept leadership defeated us in 1745 and this is looking to be a replay.  There is not even anything to inspire the troops.  Seriously, who is going to lead this army to be?

And what are the aims of the 'Yes Scotland' campaign we are being asked to support?  For that matter, what are the aims of the 'No' campaign?  A general idea of keeping the status quo and possibly taking things back?  Both sides are as fuzzy as each other.

So is independence to be just a means to escape Westminster but stay locked into the EU?  That is not independence; that is allowing a situation where, in a very short time, every natural asset we have/had would be transferred to EU control.  The commission rules allow this scenario.

The only sure way of regaining what we used to have - fishing waters for a start - is complete independence under international law and then make mutually beneficial treaties as we wish.  Maybe Iceland is a good example.

Never again should we hand our Sovereignty to any other country or power on a 'one-way' deal. Never again the stupidity that got us into the 'United Kingdom' that started this off.  But then, we have to stop trusting politicians with fancy plans and follow the money trail in all this, because it is not government money it is your money they are spending.

See who is getting the pay off, because whatever is agreed to or not agreed to, the money to pay for it comes out of your pocket.  Make sure you know what you are signing up to and be sure it is worth it.

Why do we not just declare UDI and walk away?

Yes, I am royally pissed off with this business. We would be wise to trust none of them and their fuzzy schemes.

A final thought - or is it just me?- would it be convenient for some if the Coalition collapsed in mid-2014 and wrecked the independence referendum because of the necessity to hold a general election?

It would be another example of the EU and a 'beneficial crisis' of which there have been many.


Captain Ranty said...

Good post.

I have been saying this from the beginning.

Nats say to me "First, we leave the Union, then we look at our place in the world".

Utter stupidity. It shows a basic lack of planning. It reeks of hatred of the Union (which is OK, as a motivator) but it underpins a giant lack of thought.

Imagine this on a personal level: you are about to leave the company you have worked for for many years. Do you simply resign and walk away? Or do you find a new job before you hand in your resignation? And, do you ensure that the new company offers better pay, perks, conditions etc? Do you check out the new company, its history, its strengths and its weaknesses?

I'm all for independence but it has to be done correctly.

"Correctly" does not mean shrugging off one (perceived) yoke for one that will strangle Scots and all their ambitions in their haste to get away from the Union.

I have asked Alex Salmond this EU question. No reply. I have asked his replacement, Eilidh Whiteford. No reply.

I despair at the lack of thought. Like you, it worries me deeply that we will leap from one frying pan directly into another, much worse frying pan.

The EU is dying. Its currency is dying. Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece are in a great deal of pain.

Do we really want to join them?


The Last Of The Few said...

Well done Rosie/Apogee.

A great post which indeed makes many think.

I have asked my local MSP very similar question but suffice to say I have had no more of an acknowledgement to my email let alone a full reply.

I have my own opinion but the thing is many sheeple love the hatred, the constant "Thatcher agruement" and use it as a basis for their Independance case when really there are much bigger fish to fry right now should we be able to go it alone.

Until these questions are resolved support of the independance question may not be as good as we think.

JRB said...

Hallelujah !

Thank you Apogee. For vocalising what so many of us have been thinking and fearing for some time now - that this entire so-called ‘debate’ has descended into a confused, befuddled and whimpering non-event.

My vision of Independence remains in my heart and in my head, but I have to question if the current ‘Yes’ campaign is really offering me anything which approaches my hopes and ambitions for Scotland.
In honesty I don’t really know what they are offering because they won’t tell me, and that makes me worried, very worried.

Sobers said...

"Why do we not just declare UDI and walk away"

Because there are a millions ways in which Scotland and the rest of the UK are intertwined, on an administrative level. If you say 1st Jan 2013 Scotland is independent, who is going to administer the tax regime, the NI system, the pension system, the energy grid system etc etc etc? One cannot unilaterally walk away from something and expect the other party to continue to organise your 'stuff' for you afterwards. And you can't get all that organised in advance, because you don't have the authority under devolution to do it. So UDI is a rather drastic step. Far better to negotiate and get agreement how its all going to work, then cut the ties. Doing it the other way around is a recipe for disaster.

Key bored warrior. said...

If people do not understand what it means to be an independent country then they are demonstrating a remarkable ignorance of the world in which we live. That ignorance may be genuine or in a lot of cases as I think we see here feigned.

I understand perfectly what it mean to be an independent country and if I did not, I would not bring shame on myself by trying to say I did not. I would only have to spend a few minutes on Google to find out what it means. I will not even shame myself and play this daft game by explaining it on here.

There are 195 independent countries in the world, it is not hard to find the answers amongst them.

It seems to have escaped the notice of commentators above that we are already in the EU. We will not be forced to be any further involved. Ie. joining the Euro, check that other independent country Sweden who recently joined and are staying out of the Euro, no forcing taking place.

The referendum has been set for the latter part of 2014 for very good reasons, not the least of them being for the SNP to set out for the people who will vote in that referendum to publish a white paper on the matter after having consulted and analysed their consultations, a process that is now in hand. If we were daft enough to listen to Westminster and her self interested politicians we would rush ahead and have it now. These people have blown any credence they thought they might have had by first opposing this with all their might for four years in Holyrood, and now calling for it's immediate referral. Hypocrisy does not even come close to describing their antics.

Captain Ranty said...


There are a lot of confusing stories out there.

One that isn't confusing is this: the United Kingdom is a member of the EU. When/if Scotland leaves the UK, the rest of the UK has to re-apply to join the EU.

It's very simple.

Salmond and his familiars are all europhiles. I believe the EU to be a corrupted pool of failed politicos, interested only in domination and their own wealth and power.

I will campaign long and hard to ensure that Scotland stays away from that rancid club.

If you really want independence then you must do the same.

Either Scotland can stand on her own two feet and succeed in the world, or she needs a (very dodgy) crutch.

Which is it?


scribblercraig said...

Some fair comments here but I think we need to consider what the options are. The 2014 election is for one thing: "Should Scotland remain part of the UK electoral/taxation set up or be an independent state?"

That's it. Being in Europe, NATO, having VAT, speed limits, a BBC - all of these things are for the parties to differentiate themselves post-election. Yes, that means two elections at some point but the odds are that at some point people will vote for someone other than SNP.

Yes, at the moment the SNP, Greens and a few smaller parties are the only ones pushing for independence but if independence happens then all the parties suddenly can play to their strengths.

I think for LibDems, Tories and Labour types this would actually be quite invigorating - it's a chance to start afresh with policies for Scots and not policies that might help Scotland, might help England.

English Pensioner said...

This tends to support my view. As an outsider (whose only interest in Scottish Independence is because it could lead to English Independence) I have tried to look at the situation impartially, and however I look, I fail to find any real advantages to Scotland. The idea sounds nice and attractive - we all like independence _ but I've never seen any real assessment of the financial consequences other that the claim that they will have considerable income from "Scottish" oil.
Let's see some logical assessment of the situation and real answers to a number of vital questions, not the least being that of defence and Faslane.

Key bored warrior. said...

English pensioner on the one hand seems to desire English independence, yet seems to suggest their is no advantage to Scotland on having independence. A very strange opinion.

Visit the SNP web site and read some of the policy. The answers you seek are there.

Independent England said...

I'm also confused by English Pensioner Key bored warrior so, without trying to hijack a Scottish site, perhaps I could ask English Pensioner to briefly state his or her reasons for wanting English independence?

Joe Public said...

@ KBW 10:41

"There are 195 independent countries in the world,........"

Such as North Korea, Zimbabwe, Syria etc.

Independence is not a universal panacea for the people.

Dubbieside said...

Joe Public

Why did you leave out the other 192?

Whats wrong with the Scandinavian countrys for example?

So among independent countries there are some dictatorships, so that is a reason for Scotland to stay dependant. Why?

Dubbieside said...

Im already an EU citizen my passport tells me this, however being a Scottish EU citizen we are unique in being the only EU citizens that does not have its own government looking after its interests.

If you want one example the country with the largest fishing stocks in the EU has no representation on matters pertaining to fishing. Land locked countries in the EU do however have a say and a vote on fishing matters.

If this is a satisfactory state for any country to put up with, could someone please tell my why this is good for Scotland?

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say, and have raised the EU issue with the SNP in the past.

The other elephant in the room (lucky Scotland gets two!) is the question of the useless, pointless, bloodsucking windmills. But that seems to be the equivalent of Pandora's box these days. I really HATE to agree with ridiculous Trump (and maybe that's what the SNP are banking on), but he's right.

Apogee said...

Hi Captain.Thank you. Like yourself, I get a feeling that no one has thought it through, we are being shepherded to a particular position, that of being handed to the EUSSR,almost as a gift and looking at the place at the moment,and extrapolating far into the future, its not a place I want to be gifted to !

Apogee said...

The Last Of The Few, Hi there, fully agree, without a lot more detail,most people likely to vote will will back away until they know a whole lot more.

Apogee said...

Hi there, JRB. As you suggest we should all be shouting at our MPs and MSPs until they are thoroughly conversant with the message we are sending,in some cases they are deaf, but in others they have there own agenda, we have to change this.

Key bored warrior. said...

"Independence is not a universal panacea for the people." said Joe Public. On that basis Scotland should stay dependent then Joe? Another bizarre notion.

The facts are against you Joe. Independence is the natural order of things for most countries in the world.

The people best placed to make decisions regarding Scotland are the people who live and work here not some foreign government 400 miles away.

Do you hand your salary to your neighbour every month and wait for him to hand you back some money as a block grant? And then tell you that you cannot end this state of affairs because it could be open to legal challenge? How humiliated would you be? Would you not feel the pity or bewilderment or contempt of your other neighbours?

Apogee said...

HI there, Sobers. I would agree that negotiation is the best way, but there has to be good will and honesty on both sides.Look at the history of the countries that have "won" independence, even within the Commonwealth there has been very few countries that got Independence without a fight,which doesn't show much good will on the part of the ruling/colonial power. How has the negotiations been here, so far?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

In a few days Westminster through the mouth of Osborne will announce £40bn of investment in projects of national importance.

Not that he wants to invest the £40bn, just that enough of his venal backers want the money invested in projects that will suit their simmering cook books.

Two things to look out for - the projects of 'national importance' will be predominately to the benefit of London and the South East.

The second is it will be paid for by an acceleration of welfare and benefit cuts. In fact they have already enacted a 10% cut in council tax allocation remits for 2013 giving local councils the Hobson's choice to either decrease the benefit allowance or increase council tax.

This is underhand governance Westminster style -you have no option Westminster is sovereign and you're the pig in its poke.

2014 is scheduled for a referendum, not an election on whether you would like to change the swine herder, but whether you want to get out of the poke and claim your sovereignty as a sentient being.

That is the only offer Independence affords you, the right and opportunity for the very first time in modern history for Scotland to be shaped as a democratic Nation under its sovereign people.

Success at the referendum only allows you entry to the starting line.

Apogee said...

And Sobers, on the point of UDI , we are in a treaty with England et al, and we could just walk away if the people so wished it. Messy,but it could be done and seemingly, legally!

Apogee said...

KBW. Good evening and your points are noted.

Apogee said...

Captain Ranty. That seems a fair assessment of the situation.

Apogee said...

Scribblercraig, Some good points but I would suggest that the primary point is Independence means exactly that, not being beholden to, or in the thrall of another power or entity. It means starting with a clean slate,other than that then you are not free, you are not independent.

Apogee said...

English pensioner, good evening.
I think a lot of people would like England to be independent, of the EUSSR for a start. A lot of Scots would like that too. How we would fund independence, well now a lot of people are telling Scots how poor they will be, I am still waiting for the first appraisal of how rich(or poor)England will be if/when Scotland leaves,no one talks about it?Why not?

Apogee said...

Joe Public ,Hi.The 195 might not all be free, but Independence is a good place to start from, remember that Rhodesia(as was) was handed over to the bad guys, as we found out, by the British Govt. after a protracted war in which the rebels were aided by...
the British government! Could the same happen here?

Apogee said...

Dubbieside ,Joe also left out the USA, they had to fight for their independence as well!

Apogee said...

Robert George, good evening to you.
The EU many agree on, the windmills are the result of politicians not understanding what they are being told, and not knowing enough to recognise a scam when they see one,and then buying buying it.Its the people who are paid to vet these things that didnt tell them the real truth that should be.....fired?

Apogee said...

Crinkly, good evening to you. Very well said, totally agree with you.
Would make the point that it only works if the right question is asked.
Westminster will be doing its best to ensure that the wrong question is asked, it will need very careful vetting by the best of Scotlands constitutional lawyers because it will have a booby-trap somewhere,that is the nature of the beast.

J. R. Tomlin said...

So a political party that may not even be in power after independence is supposed to decide exactly what the people of Scotland will vote on after the fact. Does it not occur to you that that wouldn't be exactly democratic?

Do you really think the US knew all their coming policies when we became independent? That Canada did? Australia? Of COURSE not. The US didn't even decide on a constitution until seventeen years after declaring independence.

The point of independence is that the people of the nation vote to decide those things. Now if you'd rather leave it up to Westminster, that's another matter.

But if you are independent, then the people of the nation decide. They aren't told in advance and not given a choice.

Apogee said...

J.R.Tomlin, good morning.If I understand your points correctly,what you are saying is that Scotland should be completely independent after a successful referendum,free to make her own decisions.That would be the ideal, but there are a lot of strange definitions of independence in our ruling classes, and vested interests as well. Imagine Texas wanting to leave the Union.....!

pa_broon74 said...

One of the most attractive things about having an independent government for Scotland in Holyrood is our ability to kick the buggers out if we don't like them, as evidenced by the rout of labour front benchers in 2011.

I'm not sure about the EU, I think there are advantages to some sort of cooperation although, not as we are experiencing at the moment under Westminster stewardship.

My point on independence would be, I think its a wee bit disingenuous to say you 'don't know what it means' when its really quite obvious.

The SNP are the governing party at the moment and are the main force behind the independence referendum (although they're trying not to be,) those who say the SNP/Alex Salmond should be outlining what they'd do after a Yes in 2014 then using it as a stick to beat them with are falling into a unionist trap.

It doesn't matter what Alex Salmond says now, but it does matter when people start muddying the waters on independence with talk about being dragged into the EU and/or windmill fixation.

Those are political ideals, independence is much more important than that and, people seem to be putting the cart before the horse and unionist love it because its playing right into their barn, so to speak.

And no, I'm not 'blindly' voting Yes in 2014, I'm voting for the ability to choose.

Captain Ranty said...


The EU question is a central plank. Wee Eck refuses to give a clear answer.

Unlike the windmills. He never fails to mention them. They are a huge part of his "sustainable Scotland" pitch.

It is right for a country to seek independence. It is right for a nation to make its own way in the world and I have never doubted Scotland's ability to do just that.

But I am horrified at the thought of Scotland ridding itself of Westminster only to willingly and blindly follow the diktats of the EU.


pa_broon74 said...

I think Salmond is basically holding his weesht at the moment, there are those who are keen on the EU (not me as it happens, at least not in its current form.)

I also think the SNP are keen not to rock the boat or scare people, currently we're in the EU, to say outright that would change would be rocking the boat.

We've seen it with the chat about NATO, the other parties are hardly ever questioned about policy, when the SNP have a rethink, according to the press its as if the sky has fallen in.

I would also be horrified at the thought of blindly entering the EU, I just don't think it'll happen or at least, I think we'll be given the choice.

If we're not, then I'll be pissed off.

Sobers said...

pa_broon74, if you think the politicians (of all hues) will give you a vote on whether a newly independent Scotland is in or out of the EU, I'm afraid you are in for a big disappointment. Such a decision will never be allowed anywhere near 'the people'.

English Pensioner said...

Why do I want English Independence?
I regret to say mainly because of the Scots as a nation. From my point of view, they get a higher per capita share of the national income than the English. They have a higher per capita representation in the House of Commons. What is most resented by the English is that the Scottish Parliament votes one way for Scotland (University fees, NHS, elderly care, etc) and their MPs come to Westminster and vote against the English having the same things.
Furthermore, I believe that England could stand on its own feet as an independent country.
My ideal solution would be a US type of set up, with the four parts of the UK having the independence that the individual States have in America, with the UK parliament (at Westminster or elsewhere) dealing with common matters such as foreign policy and defence.
Incidentally, the US States have far more independence from central government than we have from Brussels!
Incidentally, I have nothing against the Scots as individuals (My son-in-law was born in Edinburgh), I have always found them friendly and helpful and enjoy holidays in Scotland - but the prices seem to have gone through the roof this year!

pa_broon74 said...

Sobers, I think you're measuring a future Scottish political environment against the current Westminster political environment.

This is one of the things that will be first to go and with not having FPTP voting at Holyrood, I still have some optimism.

What ever government wins the first Scottish General election, I don't think they could afford not to offer a vote on the EU.

English Pensioner, we in Scotland get a higher per capita spend than parts of England, its not higher than London for example. From memory I think Scotland lies third after NI and London, its also a fact we pay more in tax as a country than we get back.

As for voting intentions re Westminster and Holyrood, that isn't Scotland's fault, its the morally bankrupt politicians and the daft whip system in place. SNP MP's don't vote on English only issues.

I would've thought the main reason for wanting English independence is the same as for those wanting Scottish independence; to be away from westminster style politics and the grasping entitlement of the british state.

And yup, everything costs a bloody fortune these days. When I fill my car up (I say fill, I mean put a dribble of fuel in it) I often go home and sob myself to sleep.

J. R. Tomlin said...

Apogee let me remind you that Texas along with a number of other states were kept in the union by military force, not a situation I happen to approve of.

What if the majority of citizens wanted to leave the union? I say, they would have EVERY RIGHT TO DO SO. So does the UN.

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