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Pat

New Parliament in May

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I have always felt that the issue of Independence for Scotland was an important issue to explore and debate and I have been a long term supporter of the SNP for that very reason. That said, I think it is important to question and challenge the issue every step of the way to ensure that the future of Scotland is based on sound economic factors. I think it is good to hear the arguments for and against and the people of Scotland shouldn't be afraid to say no, if the final analysis, it will do more harm than good.

I think that SNP have a fair chance of winning this election. All in all they appear to be competent. You make the point that Salmond seems to have the respect of politicians down South, harper, but perhaps he needs to shake their cage a wee bit more.

The notion of Independence appeals to many on an emotional level but why is it important to be a Nation? When in London, having a wander around Canary Wharf, I tend to wonder if Scotland could really survive if parted from the financial heart of the UK?

I think having our own parliament is fine but Independence I'm not at all sure. I'm probably unclear on the arguments but really I'm more concerned about the apparent disintegration of the Welfare Sate.

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Love him or loath him, Salmond is probably the most capable politician Scotland has. You talk of the cult of personality then dismiss him because he has a smug looking face :blink:

I look forward to a new SNP Government with an increased majority; its the only chance we have.

My interest in Scots politics is sporadic -- indulged in most frantically during my annual State Visit, when I obsessively try to catch up by watching Holyrood on the telly.

To me Salmond comes across as a brilliant professional politician, on a par with Clinton for canniness. The smugness and self-regard seem to me endemic to the species. You're ironic comment about 'cult of personality' is bang on target, BRW.

I too look forward to following a new SNP government. I'm sick to death with this lot over here.

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I thin there is a great need for a party that looksafter the interests of Scotland. The SNP belong at the heart of Scottish Government, IMV and I would like to think that would continue even if the referendum resulted in a vote against Independence. Their concern should be the future growth and sustainability of their policies, IMV.

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Interesting points.

I was about to take issue with Borderlass's about populist policies, until I read Sam's statement about the SNP untimately making itself redundant and that worries me about the future sustainability of Scotland. Will the SNP lead Scotland to a status of Independence only to decalre "job done" and leave some other administration to patch things up? I had always assumed there was a long term commitment to the governing and sustainability of Scotland?

I understand the issue of resource allocation and I thin that is fair comment. England will just have to huff and puff on that one but it seems there is descent within Scotland as to whether these policies are sustainable. Are they just short term gains designed to win votes or has the SNP the will and the finances to sustain them long term?

What makes you think Scotland is unsustainable? What makes you think things will need patched up?

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I am not certain either way, Sam, tbh, but it seems the financial recovery of the whole country is precarious and I would have thought that included Scotland - unless you now different. ^^ I would like to think the SNP had a long term commitment to the future of Scotland beyond any referumdum on independence.

You have raised a really interesting issue about the raison d'etre for the SNP. If they hold a referendum and the people of Scotland say no, what happens to the SNP beyond that? Do they work out their term of office and disband?

I hope they are retuirned to power too, btw.wink.gif Actually, I think I only feel that about Alex Salmond. dry.gif I loved his interview on Radion 4 on Saturday when he was asked whether he would ever enter into any Coalition Government. "Totally inconceivable..." I just felt the question was astonishing. laugh.gif

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The notion of Independence appeals to many on an emotional level but why is it important to be a Nation? When in London, having a wander around Canary Wharf, I tend to wonder if Scotland could really survive if parted from the financial heart of the UK?

I think that's it in a nutshell Pat - many Scots (myself included) get turned off with the anti-Scottish bias that is often apparent on the BBC and in Westminster and react on an emotional level. Interesting though that we no longer hear from Salmond about the "Arc of Prosperity" i.e. Ireland, Iceland & Norway about which he harped on for years. Ireland in particular was held up as a shining example of what Scotland could become, conveniently ignoring the fact that Ireland was in abject poverty for a great many years until they joined EU and received huge handouts. Once again their economy has collapsed and they are being bailed out by the EU. And as for the great institutions of Scottish Banking - yep,total collapse and bailed out by Westminster.

The only country in the "Arc" that is still doing well is Norway, which if I'm not mistaken is also independent of the EU - and Salmond wants to stay in. According to one of my neighbour with a good friend in Norway, their taxes are astronomical in comparison to the UK.

I think having our own parliament is fine but Independence I'm not at all sure. I'm probably unclear on the arguments but really I'm more concerned about the apparent disintegration of the Welfare Sate.

That would have been my position too Pat, and I did vote for devolution but I'm now beginning to wonder if it has been a good thing as it's opened up a power vacuum for the independence lobby, due to the main players in the main parties being more interested in Westminster. At the time onen of the arguments of the anti-devolution lobby was that a Scottish Parliament would simply consist of "jumped up councillors" and that seems to be what's happening.

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I think that's it in a nutshell Pat - many Scots (myself included) get turned off with the anti-Scottish bias that is often apparent on the BBC and in Westminster and react on an emotional level.

I think that's definitely one aspect of what triggers the appeal of Independence, borderlass. I think there may also be an element of Rob Roy romanticism.

Interesting though that we no longer hear from Salmond about the "Arc of Prosperity" i.e. Ireland, Iceland & Norway about which he harped on for years. Ireland in particular was held up as a shining example of what Scotland could become, conveniently ignoring the fact that Ireland was in abject poverty for a great many years until they joined EU and received huge handouts. Once again their economy has collapsed and they are being bailed out by the EU. And as for the great institutions of Scottish Banking - yep,total collapse and bailed out by Westminster.

The only country in the "Arc" that is still doing well is Norway, which if I'm not mistaken is also independent of the EU - and Salmond wants to stay in. According to one of my neighbour with a good friend in Norway, their taxes are astronomical in comparison to the UK.

Probably wise not to mention it given that there is no longer any such 'Arc'.

That would have been my position too Pat, and I did vote for devolution but I'm now beginning to wonder if it has been a good thing as it's opened up a power vacuum for the independence lobby, due to the main players in the main parties being more interested in Westminster. At the time onen of the arguments of the anti-devolution lobby was that a Scottish Parliament would simply consist of "jumped up councillors" and that seems to be what's happening.

I think there have been some good measures taken by SNP, borderlass. I also think we've had some no bad councillors quite capable of jumping up. Some of them had a tremendous amount of power in the days of Strathclyde Region and immense local support. Probably a bit more accountable to the electorate mind you.

I am warming to Patrick Harvie and good for him on Newsnight reminding the other politicians that there were concerns other than the GDP, including "social justice and equality".

The Green's have also got the best election advert.

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Look at Canary Wharf and ask yourself why so much wealth of 4 nations is based in the one area of one country? Had Scotland taken independence in the 1970s and we had followed the Norwegian model with regard to oil we would have a sovereign fund of between £500 billion and £1,000 billion in our coffers. Instead, we allowed oil revenue to be wasted bring tax cuts to the super rich and keeping a generation on the dole.

Scotland is again on the cusp of an energy boom; we have at least 30 years worth of oil to come out of the North Sea, we have 25% of Europe's wind energy, 15% of Europe's tidal energy and 10% of its wave energy around us. Does our cringingly fearty attitude and 30 years of unionist lies mean we will again be left to tug our forelock and thank Westminster for giving us some of our money back. Why in the name of God is it okay for Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Papua New Guinea, etc to be independent, to be grown up enough to look after their own affairs, yet when it comes to Scotland its hand wringing time and best if we hide behind our mammies' skirts.

Meanwhile we will be told we are subsidy junkies by the London media - which as usual conveniently forgets to actually research the position and finds out that guess what, London gets more public expenditure per head of population than anywhere in the UK. So the next time you look at Canary Wharf just remember, that was bought at the expense of a generation of people and freedom of your nation. Oh well, best just settle for being managed and milked like cows in the field.

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I think there may also be an element of Rob Roy romanticism.

I certainly agree with you there Pat.

I think there have been some good measures taken by SNP, borderlass. I also think we've had some no bad councillors quite capable of jumping up. Some of them had a tremendous amount of power in the days of Strathclyde Region and immense local support. Probably a bit more accountable to the electorate mind you.

I agree that there certainly are some reasonably good councillor and others who have been elected to Holyrood, but I think there's some pure chancers as well. And even amongst the the reasonable MSP's I can't think of any who inspire me with confidence - maybe I'm just particularly hard to please :) Also can't think off the top of my head of any SNP measures that have impressed me - maybe if I think long enough and hard enough I'll come up with one or two :)

I am warming to Patrick Harvie and good for him on Newsnight reminding the other politicians that there were concerns other than the GDP, including "social justice and equality".

The Green's have also got the best election advert.

Didn't see Newsnight but I certainly agree with a lot of what Patrick Harvie says, though not everything. I certainly like their plan to introduce a land tax in place of council tax & business rates, but there's not a snowball's chance of that ever happening - the Green will never win enough power and the others are all too busy sooking up to the wealthy landowners and businessmen. Likewise the Green plan to re-regulate buses. The current system is a scandal with public subsidies going to the big private companies, and all the profits going to the shareholders :blink: No chance of that ever changing under the SNP when their biggest single donor is Brian Soutar.

I hope the Greens do reasonably well (apparently some polls are showing them gaining more seats than the Lib Dems). They certainly appear to have more integrity than the rest of them. Think Martha Wardrop is 2nd on their list - she's certainly a very good, hard-working councillor and puts the other 3 in this ward to shame. Would be sorry to lose her tho' as a local councillor.

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Look at Canary Wharf and ask yourself why so much wealth of 4 nations is based in the one area of one country? Had Scotland taken independence in the 1970s and we had followed the Norwegian model with regard to oil we would have a sovereign fund of between £500 billion and £1,000 billion in our coffers. Instead, we allowed oil revenue to be wasted bring tax cuts to the super rich and keeping a generation on the dole.

Scotland is again on the cusp of an energy boom; we have at least 30 years worth of oil to come out of the North Sea, we have 25% of Europe's wind energy, 15% of Europe's tidal energy and 10% of its wave energy around us. Does our cringingly fearty attitude and 30 years of unionist lies mean we will again be left to tug our forelock and thank Westminster for giving us some of our money back. Why in the name of God is it okay for Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Papua New Guinea, etc to be independent, to be grown up enough to look after their own affairs, yet when it comes to Scotland its hand wringing time and best if we hide behind our mammies' skirts.

Meanwhile we will be told we are subsidy junkies by the London media - which as usual conveniently forgets to actually research the position and finds out that guess what, London gets more public expenditure per head of population than anywhere in the UK. So the next time you look at Canary Wharf just remember, that was bought at the expense of a generation of people and freedom of your nation. Oh well, best just settle for being managed and milked like cows in the field.

I don't think Scotland does itself any favours by protraying itself as the powerless victim of Westminster, Sam. I think the SNP have achieved too much to pull that off with any credibility. The devolved Parliament is an outstanding achievement which, if present indications are correct, will continue to gain more powers and rightly so.

No point going on about what people didn't do in the 70s. The SNP need a strategy to harrness the country's resources and make this energy boom a reality and if they can't do that, they should be kicked out on their backsides, IMV.

I think the stance that things can't be achieved until we are independent is a red herring. There have been too many gains which show that just isn't true. Perhaps your analogy of "mammies skirts" is true in the sense that these parties always need someone to blame and that is usually Westminster/London.

Whichever Party is returned to power, they need to get in there and challenge on the issues that are right for Scorland but they also need to be open the the challenge of their own people in determining what is right for Scotland's future. I do think people have been fobbed off on the issue of independence and that the SNP deserve to be challenged on this and the future sustainability of their policies, as much as any other party.

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Had Scotland taken independence in the 1970s and we had followed the Norwegian model with regard to oil we would have a sovereign fund of between £500 billion and £1,000 billion in our coffers. Instead, we allowed oil revenue to be wasted bring tax cuts to the super rich and keeping a generation on the dole.

That's a VERY big "if" Sam, if you're meaning that by following the Norwegian model none of the capital was spent, but only the interest? As I said previously, Norway does not belong to the EU and does not therefore have to pay out huge sums of money to Brussels. Incidentally, Ive never been able to understand why the SNP objects so much to being subservient to Westminster (as they see it), but will happily hand over control to Brussels if Scotland is ever independent :unsure:

Scotland is again on the cusp of an energy boom; we have at least 30 years worth of oil to come out of the North Sea, we have 25% of Europe's wind energy, 15% of Europe's tidal energy and 10% of its wave energy around us.

Constantly repeating the mantra that "it's Scotland's oil" does nothing to convince the sceptics - as Harper says, the SNP have to show that they have a practical strategy to manage the natural resources. . I would also point out that some of the predictions are being disputed, such as "100 percent energy from renewable sources by 2020". Salmond is very good at making all kinds of confident predication about matters great and small - the proof of the pudding, as they say. Just a year ago the SNP were going to return 20 MP's at the general election and have "Westminster dancing to a Scottish jig" - what happened there?

Does our cringingly fearty attitude and 30 years of unionist lies mean we will again be left to tug our forelock and thank Westminster for giving us some of our money back. Why in the name of God is it okay for Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Papua New Guinea, etc to be independent, to be grown up enough to look after their own affairs, yet when it comes to Scotland its hand wringing time and best if we hide behind our mammies' skirts

So anyone who is NOT in favour of independence is just gullible big fearties who have been duped by uninionist politicians, while those who ARE in favour are intelligent people able to think for themselves, full of confidence for the future ??

I'm not familiar with current state of affairs in all the independent countries across the globe, but I was startled to see Papua New Guinea being held up as a shining example - certainly not a country that springs immediately to mind as an economic powerhouse :blink: A quick glance at Wikipedia informs me that only 18 percent of the population live in urban centres and that many people in the country live in "extreme poverty". Anyway, whether or not other countries do well or badly as independent nations is totally irrelevant to the Scottish debate UNLESS you are able to show that the comparisons are relevant i.e. that there are similarities between the countries other than the size.

Meanwhile we will be told we are subsidy junkies by the London media - which as usual conveniently forgets to actually research the position and finds out that guess what, London gets more public expenditure per head of population than anywhere in the UK. So the next time you look at Canary Wharf just remember, that was bought at the expense of a generation of people and freedom of your nation. Oh well, best just settle for being managed and milked like cows in the field.

See, that's exactly the kind of language and victim mentality that turns me off the SNP and makes it difficult for me to take their arguments seriously :( Likewise, this blaming Westminster for everything and asserting that everything in the garden will be rosy if only Scotland was a totally independent nation is just SO simplistic IMO

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Everything she said. Put more eloquently than I ever could.

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That's a VERY big "if" Sam, if you're meaning that by following the Norwegian model none of the capital was spent, but only the interest? As I said previously, Norway does not belong to the EU and does not therefore have to pay out huge sums of money to Brussels. Incidentally, Ive never been able to understand why the SNP objects so much to being subservient to Westminster (as they see it), but will happily hand over control to Brussels if Scotland is ever independent :unsure:

Why should Scotland not be part of the EU; is France's or Germany's nation status diminished by being part of the EU. I also suspect, like Ireland was for many years, we would gain a great deal of money from the EU as it assisted putting in place decent infrastructure

Constantly repeating the mantra that "it's Scotland's oil" does nothing to convince the sceptics - as Harper says, the SNP have to show that they have a practical strategy to manage the natural resources.

Have you demanded that of any other party or of the UK Government? And if not, why not? .

I would also point out that some of the predictions are being disputed, such as "100 percent energy from renewable sources by 2020". Salmond is very good at making all kinds of confident predication about matters great and small - the proof of the pudding, as they say. Just a year ago the SNP were going to return 20 MP's at the general election and have "Westminster dancing to a Scottish jig" - what happened there?

Is this serious? You are linking SNP performance at the last general election to predictions about renewable energy.

So anyone who is NOT in favour of independence is just gullible big fearties who have been duped by uninionist politicians, while those who ARE in favour are intelligent people able to think for themselves, full of confidence for the future ??

Please list me three reasons for staying in this union; try not to repeat the same one - we cannae afford it, three times

I'm not familiar with current state of affairs in all the independent countries across the globe, but I was startled to see Papua New Guinea being held up as a shining example - certainly not a country that springs immediately to mind as an economic powerhouse :blink: A quick glance at Wikipedia informs me that only 18 percent of the population live in urban centres and that many people in the country live in "extreme poverty". Anyway, whether or not other countries do well or badly as independent nations is totally irrelevant to the Scottish debate UNLESS you are able to show that the comparisons are relevant i.e. that there are similarities between the countries other than the size.

My point was that even Papua New Guineans had the courage to run their own country, make their own mistakes, make decisions that suit their country's needs. Are you suggesting that wee Scots cannot do that, that we are not capable of standing on our own two feet?

See, that's exactly the kind of language and victim mentality that turns me off the SNP and makes it difficult for me to take their arguments seriously :( Likewise, this blaming Westminster for everything and asserting that everything in the garden will be rosy if only Scotland was a totally independent nation is just SO simplistic IMO

And your language, the oh I don't really no so best we don't take the chance turns me right off. Absolutely, everything in the garden will not be rosy in an independent Scotland, but by God it has not been rosy being part of this accursed union and never shall

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I am fearful regarding the idea of an Independent Scotland, samsc. Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen would have a very long way to go before they attracted the amount of business to be found in global cities such as London, Paris, New York and Rome.

We don't have the power, the infrastructure nor the population.

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Sam, I don't think you are even attempting to understand the points that I am trying to put across, and are simply turning them into what you consider all "unionists" to think. Either that or I'm just not putting my points across very well. Whatever it is , I think we'll just agree to differ :unsure:

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I am fearful regarding the idea of an Independent Scotland, samsc. Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen would have a very long way to go before they attracted the amount of business to be found in global cities such as London, Paris, New York and Rome.

We don't have the power, the infrastructure nor the population.

Aberdeen is the one of the worlds oil capitals. It has skills and knowledge regarding deep water oil recovery that Houston can only dream about. Why would Glasgow or Edinburgh be even trying to compete with such cities? We have comparible populations with Scandinavia and Denmark and 20 times the population of Luxembourg. They seem to manage okay but for some reason we Scots won't???

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Sam, I don't think you are even attempting to understand the points that I am trying to put across, and are simply turning them into what you consider all "unionists" to think. Either that or I'm just not putting my points across very well. Whatever it is , I think we'll just agree to differ :unsure:

Borderlass, I scream with frustration at fellow Scots who think so little of this country and its people that we are deemed incapable of looking after ourselves. Give me a coherent, factual based reason why Scotland cannot go it alone. All I see is a series of non evidenced cliches that look to maintain the status quo out of irrational fear. I understand where that comes from, we have had 35 years of propaganda from Westminster undermining Scotland (a fact that had to be admitted under FOI).

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Aberdeen is the one of the worlds oil capitals. It has skills and knowledge regarding deep water oil recovery that Houston can only dream about. Why would Glasgow or Edinburgh be even trying to compete with such cities? We have comparible populations with Scandinavia and Denmark and 20 times the population of Luxembourg. They seem to manage okay but for some reason we Scots won't???

I think it's a big leap, samsc. The population of Glasgow is characterised by high levels of poverty, including child poverty, an unskilled workforce, including many long term unemployed and a population with well publicized health issue. Not the whole picture, of course, but there are many problems. It seems to me that Scottish Parliament, whoever may the leaders be, have a helluva lot of work to do regarding health, education and housing to create a country placed to govern itself.

I'm quite happy to hear reassurance that such fears are misplaced. :unsure:

On the bright side the population has increased - not just down to immigration but also more births than deaths. Immigrants are attracted more to Edinburgh and Aberdeen than to Glasgow.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5ieQuz9URDimQ1DTWmLDInvMWZXWQ?docId=N0140741303897950723A

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Borderlass, I scream with frustration at fellow Scots who think so little of this country and its people that we are deemed incapable of looking after ourselves. Give me a coherent, factual based reason why Scotland cannot go it alone All I see is a series of non evidenced cliches that look to maintain the status quo out of irrational fear.

Sam, that is exactly my concerns about the SNP position - I see a lot of emotive statements, anti-English sentiment, unfounded claims about what Scotland could achieve if it was not "shackled" to Westminster etc but absolutely NOTHING rational that convinces me that indpendence would benefit the Scots. Just a few of your comments as an example

I also suspect, like Ireland was for many years, we would gain a great deal of money from the EU as it assisted putting in place decent infrastructure

So we could hold out a begging bowl to the EU - that's your idea of a proud, independent nation :unsure:

My point was that even Papua New Guineans had the courage to run their own country, make their own mistakes, make decisions that suit their country's needs.

Whether the decisions they are making "suit their country's needs" is open to question when

the majority of the population lives in abject poverty earning the equivalent of just over a dollar a day. You seem to suggest that is irrelevant - what really matters is that they have "courage" (in your view that is - I would describe it as "naivety")

but by God it has not been rosy being part of this accursed union and never shall

That's your view Sam and you're entitled to hold it- I think you need to accept tho' that not everyone shares your view, and not simply because they've been "duped". There are lots of reasons why I hold my views on independence, but I just don't have the time or the inclination to sit and type it all out on a computer, especially as it would achieve absolutely nothing.

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I think it's a big leap, samsc. The population of Glasgow is characterised by high levels of poverty, including child poverty, an unskilled workforce, including many long term unemployed and a population with well publicized health issue. Not the whole picture, of course, but there are many problems. It seems to me that Scottish Parliament, whoever may the leaders be, have a helluva lot of work to do regarding health, education and housing to create a country placed to govern itself.

That is one of the HUGE obstacles imo Pat - as you say, it's not the whole picture but certainly a significant part of it. I would doubt if the small countries that do well (such as Luxembourg) have the same number of families where nobody has worked in 3 generations, that we do in Scotland.

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All that aside. If an Independent Scotland is viable and sustainable, why do the SNP not just present an outline strategy to satisfy the concerns of people who have yet to be convinced? I would have thought that would be a good way of increasing support? No point preaching to the converted.

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I think it's a big leap, samsc. The population of Glasgow is characterised by high levels of poverty, including child poverty, an unskilled workforce, including many long term unemployed and a population with well publicized health issue.

And yet many want to stick with the status quo that after 300 years has delivered the above?

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All that aside. If an Independent Scotland is viable and sustainable, why do the SNP not just present an outline strategy to satisfy the concerns of people who have yet to be convinced? I would have thought that would be a good way of increasing support? No point pretching to the converted.

They have provided a budget several times showing Scotland in surplus. Unionists have argued its difficult to be accurate about Scotland's income (and so they claim it must therefore be a deficit). People choose to believe what justifies their stance.

Latest poll of polls suggests a 13 seat gain for the SNP and 60 seats. Seems people are being convinced.

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