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Scottish Independence ...

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Seems like the deputy PM will have another chance to floor Alistair Carmichael on tonight's Question Time.

David Dimbleby presents the topical debate from Falkirk, with Scotland's deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Liberal Democrat secretary of state for Scotland Alistair Carmichael MP, former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Annabel Goldie MSP, Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran MP, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie MSP and the singer-songwriter and member of Artists for Independence Eddie Reader.

I am hoping that Eddi Reader downed a bottle of vodka before last nights' Question Time, otherwise that was an embarrassing sober performance.

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Catalonia seems to be getting a wee warning from the Spanish Prime Minister. The Edinburgh Agreement seems to be pretty significant. UK should be entering into negotiations in good faith to avoid putting Scotland in an awkward position.

Goodwill of others seems to be an issue. Is the Spanish Prime Minister going to veto the vote. Might be damaging to Spanish tourism. :blink:

This particular Spanish Prime Minister is a bit of a right wing eejit. Interestingly, Catalunya will press ahead next year with its People's Opinion (referendum is against the Spanish Constitution) regarding independence

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I fell asleep half way through QT but was unlucky enough to catch the first two contribution's from Miss R. :wub: I feel sometimes for the token guest on QT and hope they went on to discuss something that was within her field of knowledge - hard enough to watch the politicians struggle on the complexities of currency. I haven't seen much of Patrick Harvie but I do like his contributions - he seems eminently able and sensible. Actully, your Scottish MPs all come across well, although Annabel Goldie makes me want to check that my gym kit is in order, for the fear of being issued detention from the heidie. :P

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Nope. They can just keep asking and calling Westminster out on it.

It's going to be an interesting 10 months.... mutual brinkmanship and debate - followed by a big sort out in the face of a YES victory and Scotland still in the EU and retaining the pound, come 2016, I'll bet.

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Patrick Harvie was very sensible. God knows what Eddi was thinking. She'll no be asked back.

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It doesn't really take a lot of research to know that at the moment a Scottish vote counts for hee haw.

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I am a huge fan of Lesley Riddoch and her input on the Independence debate has been both fresher and wiser than any of the politicians. Maybe because she isn't caught up in the need for jibes.

I think the questions she asks are spot on:

"Alexander believes the socialist values of “struggle, solidarity and social justice” are the key to next year’s independence referendum. These are indeed cornerstones of Scottish society. But why? The UK is not apartheid-ravaged South Africa nor Communist-controlled Poland. So why is solidarity still vital for citizens with a GDP higher than Japan or Saudi Arabia? Why is struggle still necessary for old folk surviving a winter in the energy-rich UK? Why is social justice still a distant, glittering goal, not an everyday reality in a country governed by the so-called, “Mother of Parliaments”? In short, why is struggle still vital in Britain after 300 years of political union? Why after 40 years of oil and gas income has British society not been transformed? Why do parts of the UK now record worse health outcomes than eastern Europe? Nordic neighbours have achieved levels of social and political equality the British can still only dream about – how come?"

I also like her views on Education, particularly the Finnish model. But it is so far removed from out competitive take and ever striving for 'excellence' that it would take a miracle of probably more than Independence stakes to see a similar model. Scotland already has responsibility for Education and even a few moves in this direction would perhaps inspire more people to consider a YES vote.

Now Lesley doesn't spell that out, not at all, but I think she is wise to drop the seed of this idea into the conclusion of her debate: "Transformational Finnish-style results happen when professionals change their lives to ensure every child matters – not just the high flyers. Is such change ever likely to happen within the elitist, privatising, competitive UK?"

Currently there's a lot of debate around how Finland has slipped down the scales on the International Education Stakes but what remains most significant is not where they stand but where their pupils stand; ". . . in Finland, students’ learning in school is less affected by their family backgrounds than in most other countries." It is this equality in educational opportunity that we should be striving for. To hell with Curriculums for Excellence.

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I don not think alol the competition between schools is a good way to judge or to get best results. I agree about Lesley Riddoch. She is smart and does not come out with all the promises that the politicians make.

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Imagine this.

We get independence.
All the negotiations about what we own and what we owe in GB terms are settled.
Folk with jobs in national, multinational and global companies have their fears allayed because these businesses will recognise the opportunities as Scotland will still need its share of the type of people employed by these type of companies. Civil servants, tax officers, bankers, regional (now national) departments, workers of all types.
We show that taxation won't be too much different up or down from what it is now.
We prove we can attract business, pay the country's bills and be a reasonably secure and stable place to live.

We eventually build the educational, social and welfare structures which offer a better chance for the next few generations to build up business and job ventures.
We take advantage of our geographical position with regard to oil. We retain our EEC membership (because they're not going to throw away the fishing rights off Rockall are they?) and NATO want us because of our strategic position.
We also get rid of nuclear weapons, and this opens up the chance for oil exploration in the waters where nuclear subs used to go
We prove that we can and did set up our own way of doing things to the benefit of the country and its residents (regardless of their own origin)

Imagine.
Imagine austerity til the 2020s.
Imagine the interest rates being kept artificially low to avoid the inevitable crash when people and businesses can't repay their loans.
Imagine 1 in 5 new full time jobs being below the living wage, and 50% of those being minimum wage.
Imagine working til 70 because this generations' lot of bankers and investors blew OUR pensions and savings (whilst shaving off their wee cut to see them alright).
Imagine welfare being cut so that people on benefits have to work to get them.
Imagine getting sacked from a job only to be made to work the same job to get those unemployment benefits.
Imagine being incapable of working, but being means tested and having benefits cut because you never turned up for an appointment you would physically been unable to get to.
Imagine being disabled, and your carers can't afford to help you because there is no financial help forthcoming for the small things.
Imagine being forced out your two bedroomed house because you can't afford the new tax even though your carer slept there on odd nights that you needed it.
Imagine that the good bits of the UK are bought up by foreign oligarchs as real estate investments.
Imagine when the government runs out of money and needs funds to pay bills. Imagine them coming for your savings, taking them and you can't do anything about it.
Imagine regretting missing out on that chance that you were given to do something that improved things for somebody else.
Imagine the huge number of people who are OK just now and don't see any huge benefit for them personally, who would rather sit back and hope things get better because it's easier to do that than make an effort or sacrifice a wee bit to give others a chance at living.

Both of these scenarios are possible.

The things I've mentioned may not necessarily happen at the same time or even at all, but they are all possible.

Only one scenario is possible with the status quo.

Can you tell which one?

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Any plans for the elderly or improved Education? Scotland are in charge of Eductation at the moment. We need more equality. There is talk of more childcare but would be good to some moves in that direction now.

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Vote Yes, get full control of our budgets and decide whether you want to spend £13 billion on trident or on care for the elderly and better education.

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London "is becoming a giant suction machine draining the life out of the rest of the country", Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned.

Mr Cable made the comment while saying that he believed regional airports should be expanded rather than London's Heathrow Airport.

The Lib Dem minister told BBC Radio 4's Today some "more balance" was needed.

Really Vince,....really, you just spotted that did you

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Toss Cameron in beside him. Who's gonna be responsible for old folk dying this winter? Fuel charges, benefit cuts, zero hour contacts. Anybody paying for these crimes?

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