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Brown is the new Blair! [UK Politics]

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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Blair's foreign policy wasn't a complete failure by any stretch of the imagination, the Iraq thing just overshadows everything else.

    Fair enough. Outsider looking in, and all that.

    Has anyone heard what the SNP's plans are? Is there going to be a referendum on sovereignty (ala PQ 1980/1995) for Scotland, or anything like that? The question of national unity is a perennial one here in Canada, and I know the last three major Prime Ministers since the first referendum in 1980 have been Quebecker (Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien), and during each referendum the Prime Minister was francophone. Do you think that the possibility of Scotland leaving the Union, or forming some kind of new sovereignty-association (federal? confederal?) with Britain/England could allow Gordon Brown (a Scot) to gain support from the electorate to stave off the possibility of seperatism?

    Perhaps I'm misreading Scottish calls for independence. Having grown up with the constant spectre of the Quebec sovereignty movement hanging over all national discourse in Canada, I have this bad habit of ascribing more importance to such movements than is necessarily deserved.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    saggio wrote: »
    Has anyone heard what the SNP's plans are? Is there going to be a referendum on sovereignty (ala PQ 1980/1995) for Scotland, or anything like that? The question of national unity is a perennial one here in Canada, and I know the last three major Prime Ministers since the first referendum in 1980 have been Quebecker (Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien), and during each referendum the Prime Minister was francophone. Do you think that the possibility of Scotland leaving the Union, or forming some kind of new sovereignty-association (federal? confederal?) with Britain/England could allow Gordon Brown (a Scot) to gain support from the electorate to stave off the possibility of seperatism?

    Perhaps I'm misreading Scottish calls for independence. Having grown up with the constant spectre of the Quebec sovereignty movement hanging over all national discourse in Canada, I have this bad habit of ascribing more importance to such movements than is necessarily deserved.

    That's a very interesting and, in my opinion, worrying question

    The SNP want Scotland to be a nation - they've said as much, although they haven't actually claimed they were going to try anything this (Scottish) Parliament. Also, as far as I know, they're outnumbered by people who think it's a stupid idea - it's something like they've got 47 seats, Labour has 46, and the Lib Dems are opposed as well.

    Personally, I don't think it's much of an issue. The SNP were a protest vote against the war as far as I'm concerned, I don't think a majority of Scots want a separate nation. It just doesn't make much sense - they're better off in a number of ways within the UK - they *are* British. This whole English/Welsh/Scottish thing is unnecessarily divisive. On the other hand, I think the general model they were implying for Scotland as a nation was the Republic of Ireland, which is doing very well economically in the EU.

    Also, it kind of is a federal system at the moment - with the national government giving certain local powers over to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland while retaining powers than are important to the entire nation, sounds like a federal system to me. The difference being that the "state" of England hasn't got a separate Parliament, and its laws and stuff are dealt with entirely by the national government. A lot of people are complaining about letting non-English vote on only-English matters (like education stuff), but that's just divisiveness again - it's not like British MPs are going to be saying "oh, we'll vote to put rat poison in school food just for a laugh." The *other* reason people are kicking up a fuss, funnily enough, is that in Parliament the Tories have absolutely no MPs from Scotland (Thatcher legacy again), so if only MPs from England can vote in those matters, the Tories essentially close the gap with Labour on some issues

    Additionally, the SNP have power in the Scottish Parliament, they might be able to hold a referendum on separation, but legally they can't do anything about in - that's for the national Parliament to decide, which could, frankly, just dissolve the Scottish one and tell them to stop being stupid. Really, no one'll be taking up arms over it, it's not that important

    edit: also I should point out that Scotland probably gets less investment from the national government in various forms than England - same with N. Ireland and Wales. Funnily enough, though, within England, everywhere gets less attention than the South-East. Take the Millennium Dome as an example: the government holds a contest to see where it'll be, some city that's not London looks like it'll be successful (possibly Birmingham or Manchester, I can't remember the specifics), government cancels the contest and employs the would-be-winner's bid team, puts it to work on the London "bid" instead. Various other things such as the Olympics have been complained about, but basically it's not just the Scots, Welsh and N. Irish getting the short end of the stick. I'm not exactly calling for Mercia to split from England, though

    BernardBernoulli on
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    Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Actually the south east gets the least amount of government spending because it is so affluent, whilst the Scots get the most money. This also reminds me how Tory heartlands get less funding so that the conservative councils have to raise council taxes.

    One of the yougov polls (I think) showed that most Scots wanted greater independance from England, but didn't actually want to go their seperate ways.

    Anarchy Rules! on
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    JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I have little hope for Gordon Brown since he's screwed up the pensions and generally I can't remember him doing anything positive. Our economy may be strong right now but with the housing prices being what they are and with a complete lack of faith in the pensions system, NHS and a whole range of other social services I see no hope for the younger generations.

    Anyway, thank goodness Tony Blair has finally gone; it's only a pity that it wasn't the public pushing him out.

    Scotland and Wales can piss off if they want to; I really don't mind or care. If it would lead to better relationships between the countries and less bitterness, I'm all for it.

    Tony Blair is a pretty smarmy man whose speeches have always made me cringe and come across as highly hypocritical.

    The only party's policies I have liked are the Lib Dems, but they have faded into obscurity since Charles Kennedy left.

    Janson on
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    Shakey1245Shakey1245 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Janson wrote: »
    The only party's policies I have liked are the Lib Dems, but they have faded into obscurity since Charles Kennedy left.

    It was a shame that they ousted Chuck for his drinking ('cause y'know no one else in Britain drinks to deal with there crappy lives!) he was funny and a very friendly face in politics and could make quite a noise in parliment when he wanted to. Sadly though the only reason I'm voting for Lib Dem next time round is because of the choice between the Tories, the New Tories *cough* sorry Labour or one of the fringe parties and it's worth voting to deny the BNP any chance they may have of getting a foot hold in this nation.

    Shakey1245 on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Janson wrote: »
    Scotland and Wales can piss off if they want to; I really don't mind or care. If it would lead to better relationships between the countries and less bitterness, I'm all for it.

    Janson, you're usually a respectable voice around here, I'm disappointed with you

    This is exactly the kind of attitude I don't like. Britain's existed as Britain for more than 300 years - England, Scotland and Wales haven't been separate nations for centuries, they've dealt with the same problems, fought the same enemies, developed in the same way. We've got the same language, we've got the same culture, we get on well together. I say "we", I mean the British as a whole. There's about as much sense behind the idea of Scotland and England and Wales separating as there is behind the idea of Northumberland and Wessex and Mercia separating.

    Britain's better off as a whole - we can exert more influence internationally, within the EU, we have a stronger military and economy. I imagine Britain would have a lot of problems if it started slicing off parts of itself - questions about the military, laws, borders, nationality, etc. Also, for all the English nationalists out there - Scotland and Wales as independent nations would probably be demanding England cover the cost of all the separation, and chances are they'll demand financial support for a while, too.

    Devolution isn't an awful idea, although I don't think it's necessary in the way it's been done (obviously, turning powers over to entities which are entirely concerned with a smaller area can get more positive results, but you could easily argue about dividing England as well). It certainly doesn't need to head towards separate nations, though

    BernardBernoulli on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Janson wrote: »
    Scotland and Wales can piss off if they want to; I really don't mind or care. If it would lead to better relationships between the countries and less bitterness, I'm all for it.

    Janson, you're usually a respectable voice around here, I'm disappointed with you

    If Scotland wants independence, let them have it.
    We've got the same language, we've got the same culture..

    ?

    Gorak on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    If Scotland wants independence, let them have it.

    Even if that's negative for everyone involved, at least in the short term?
    Gorak wrote: »
    We've got the same language, we've got the same culture..

    ?

    Erm... I mean the separatist sentiment makes less sense than in a lot of other places. Britain's hardly some cobbled together nation in the same way Iraq is, for example. It's also nothing like the EU, which has numerous differing languages and cultures people point to as a reason to stay separate.

    BernardBernoulli on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    If Scotland wants independence, let them have it.

    Even if that's negative for everyone involved, at least in the short term?

    Yes. If they held a referendum and enough people wanted independence they should get it. It's called self-determination. You can't assume that none of them have thought of the consequences.

    Gorak on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Yes. If they held a referendum and enough people wanted independence they should get it. It's called self-determination. You can't assume that none of them have thought of the consequences.

    Well, if they vote in favour, that kind of suggests it should happen, but it doesn't mean anything will actually come of it - there are plenty of people in Parliament who like the nation the way it is, they might not vote in favour.

    And my problem isn't so much that they might be in favour of starting their own nation, it's that there are plenty of people who're just shrugging their shoulders and saying "well, they can do what they want" as though it'll all work out fine, when it'll impact everyone

    BernardBernoulli on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Yes. If they held a referendum and enough people wanted independence they should get it. It's called self-determination. You can't assume that none of them have thought of the consequences.

    Well, if they vote in favour, that kind of suggests it should happen, but it doesn't mean anything will actually come of it - there are plenty of people in Parliament who like the nation the way it is, they might not vote in favour.

    And my problem isn't so much that they might be in favour of starting their own nation, it's that there are plenty of people who're just shrugging their shoulders and saying "well, they can do what they want" as though it'll all work out fine, when it'll impact everyone

    Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who respond like that to any question.

    As far as parliament is concerned - fuck 'em. If the people of Scotland want it, they should get it regardless of the opinions of politicians.

    Gorak on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited May 2007
    scotland and wales wanting independence is hilarious. NEWSFLASH: YOU ARE NOT REAL COUNTRIES. THE WHOLE OF BRITAIN FITS INTO QUEENSLAND LIKE SIX TIMES. GET OVER IT.

    Tube on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who respond like that to any question.

    As far as parliament is concerned - fuck 'em. If the people of Scotland want it, they should get it regardless of the opinions of politicians.

    True... it's still worrying, and we've seen it already in this thread

    Thing is, Parliament regularly does things a lot of people don't like - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. Iraq, ID cards, "we should be able to lock up whoever we want forever for no reason" are bad examples... but, the pro-Civil Rights stuff in the US, congestion charging, banning hunting can be seen as good examples.

    Scotland is hardly going to turn into a Chechnya if they can't get independence, but I think there's no one around advocating Britain. The British nationalists are generally Nazis and spend more time saying how evil the non-whites are, and mainstream politicians (as it came up at the local elections this month) kind of act like "silly children, that's just a stupid idea." No one in the public eye seems to be saying *why* it should continue existing, while the Scottish nationalists are saying "hey, you get more say over stuff that happens to you, those evil English are nothing but bad for us" and people seem to love that sentiment
    scotland and wales wanting independence is hilarious. NEWSFLASH: YOU ARE NOT REAL COUNTRIES. THE WHOLE OF BRITAIN FITS INTO QUEENSLAND LIKE SIX TIMES. GET OVER IT.

    Exactly

    But, to be fair, the UK has like twice the population of the whole of Australia

    BernardBernoulli on
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    Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Thatcher wrecked the NHS, privitised the railways, wrecked the coal mining industry, upped unemployment, among other things.
    And your economy became vastly stronger because of it.
    In the same way that the housing market is "strong" because house prices are too high for most people to get on the property ladder.
    False.
    The economy would also become stronger if we re-introduced slavery.
    Also false.

    Salvation122 on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Thatcher wrecked the NHS, privitised the railways, wrecked the coal mining industry, upped unemployment, among other things.
    And your economy became vastly stronger because of it.

    Going back a page, but the economy becoming stronger was meaningless to those in the lowest income brackets. Thatcher destroyed the social safety net that the government provided. I'm not a "pure" socialist in that I don't think everything should be provided by the State, but I do think there are certain public services that can't be practically run privately because they are, by definition, not capable of providing a reasonable level of service and running profitably. Public transport, Healthcare, Higher Education, and the Royal Mail spring immediately to mind.

    Regarding Scottish Independence; I don't want it. I have to many ties to other countries in the UK to really consider myself anything other than British in the political sense. I worry that a lot of people are taking the (generally) good-natured rivalry of the football field into international politics without thinking it through. I also don't trust the SNP not to fudge the numbers when figuring out whether the Scottish economy is capable of standing on it's own. And I really wish people would stop bringing up North Sea oil as if it was the ultimate trump card. At this point, oil isn't a wise thing on which to base a modern economy, and most of it's owned by the Dutch and the Scandanavians anyway.

    japan on
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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    BB wrote:
    Personally, I don't think it's much of an issue. The SNP were a protest vote against the war as far as I'm concerned, I don't think a majority of Scots want a separate nation.

    In Canada, when the Parti Quebecois first formed, they couldn't get elected to the National Assembly. The Union Nationale and the Quebec Liberal Party was able to effectively paint a vote for the PQ as a vote for independence. When one of Rene Levesque's lieutenants (his name escapes me) proposed a new strategy of "one step at a time", the PQ was swept into power in the election of 1979. The PQ had pledged a referendum on independence, and if elected, they would not unilaterally declare independence (Rene Levesque was opposed to this; he advocated something called "sovereignty-association").

    Now, for the last thirty or so years in Quebec (up until this last election when the earth moved, politically speaking) the PQ has pursued a strategy of governing effectively and not advocating another referendum until the "winning conditions" were present. Indeed, when Andre Boisclair, the now resigned leader of the PQ said that he would call a snap referendum as soon as he was elected, he and the PQ completely tanked in the polls. Before Christmas the PQ was hovering around 49% approval (due to the unpopularity of Jean Charest's Liberal government), but there only 20-25% of the francophone population of Quebec that are the hardline nationalists.

    I imagine there is a similar situation in Scotland. 20-25% of the Scottish population may favour independence, while another 40% or so may favour a better constitutional arrangement within the Union. That's what it's like in Quebec - the province has elected seperatists at the provincial level since the late 70's, and seperatists at the federal level since 1993 consistently. But that's not necessarily because they want seperation - most just want to get more handouts from Ottawa and more "special status".
    BB wrote:
    Also, it kind of is a federal system at the moment - with the national government giving certain local powers over to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland while retaining powers than are important to the entire nation, sounds like a federal system to me.

    Unfortunately, that isn't what a federal system is. Britain is still very much a unitary state. The Parliament sitting in Westminster is still supreme in all matters of lawmaking. If they wanted, they could tomorrow dissolve the Assembly in Wales, the Scottish Parliament, and the Assembly in Northern Ireland (which I believe just recently started sitting again after being suspended by London). In Canada, the Federal Government in Ottawa cannot dissolve the Provincial government in Victoria, or Edmonton, or Quebec city. They are sovereign political entities with equal stature to the federal government, they just happen to have seperate (constitutionally guaranteed) responsibilities and rights. It wouldn't surprise me if many of the voters of the SNP that did not support outright independence would support a federal arrangement such as this.
    BB wrote:
    We've got the same language, we've got the same culture, we get on well together.

    Ah, this little snag pops up again. Let me preface what I'm about to say with this disclaimer: I'm the son of a family of Scottish immigrants to Canada. My father and uncles were all born there, as were my grandparents. The family on my mother's side also comes from Scotland, but they left during the Clearances and moved to Saskatchewan, and then to BC later. I've been brought up to appreciate the distinctiveness of Scotland and Scottish culture, specifically in relation to English culture and history.

    From what I've been taught and what I've read myself, there is a long current of dissatisfaction felt by the Scottish people in the Union, mostly caused by the utter dominance and institutionalized racism by the English against the Scots. I'm not accusing anyone on this board of doing that, but it's important to note when looking at the current situation re: the SNP. You mention, BB, that Scotland, England, and Wales have been "Great Britain" for the last 300 years - but during the 300 years, there has been an organized and effective campaign to destroy and/or suppress the distinctiveness of Scottish society. If you look back through history at the various rebellions post-Act of Union, you see the '45 rising and it's fallout, but also the Proscription Act, which effectively banned the speaking of Scots Gaelic in Scotland, as well as traditional dress. Along with the influx of English capitalists and absentee landlords (which contributed to the downfall of the traditional highland way of life), you have had a situation that smothered native language rights, prevented traditional music and culture from being expressed, and allowed anglo-businessmen to dominate the economy of Scotland.

    If I remember correctly, the teaching of Gaelic in school didn't start again until 1970, along with the use of bilingual road signs and the like. I also remembered reading that Scots wasn't recognized as a seperate language until a few years ago (as I understand it, it was regarded as a "wrong" dialect of english).

    Scotland, at least from my perspective, has been subjected to the same sort of domination as Quebec has been. They both have been part of the British (and then later, for Quebec, Canadian) state for approximently 300 years. It does not seem unreasonable to me that Scotland would demand autonomy and recognition that it's culture and history is seperate and distinct from that of England, Wales, and Ireland. Quebec has demanded it - and, rightly so - has gotten it. Why shouldn't Scotland?

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
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    JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It seems entirely ridiculous to me, really.

    Very few people these days are truly 'English' or 'Welsh' or 'Scottish'. You want to delve into your history; you'll find that nearly everybody has at least one fairly recent ancestor who's Scottish or Welsh if you're in England or English if you're in Wales or Scotland. Which is to be expected; the UK is geographically tiny, and people can cross the borders and move extremely easily.

    You want to actually live in or visit Scotland to appreciate that whatever past transgressions have happened, Scotland celebrates its own culture and history in many, many ways and is not oppressed in doing so.

    Often the worst Scottish/Irish nationalism comes from people who claim Scottish/Irish ancestry in other countries and who do things like fundraising for the IRA without even having set foot on Irish soil. It's ludicrous and probably doesn't fall under the topic of UK politics but would've been better discussed in the British thread we had a while back.

    Basically I would support devolution for the sole purpose of shutting everyone up for once and for all and for stopping to demonise my family and friends. It gets all a little bit too much personal for me.

    Janson on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I meant to add earlier that I'm a Scot, and I don't feel in any way oppressed by the government of the UK.
    Janson wrote:
    Often the worst Scottish/Irish nationalism comes from people who claim Scottish/Irish ancestry in other countries and who do things like fundraising for the IRA without even having set foot on Irish soil.

    One of the biggest contributors to the SNP is Sean Connery, who I believe lives in the States these days.

    japan on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote:
    The economy would also become stronger if we re-introduced slavery.
    Also false.

    Labour without wages.

    Gorak on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    saggio wrote: »
    snip

    So, you're saying the SNP might not get popular enough to get independence, but might manage to wrestle more power from London? As I said before, giving power to local authorities so they can deal with local problems isn't necessarily a bad idea, but I don't really understand why things like education policy are local issues. In theory. In practice, you have things like the "city academies" (which are partly state-funded, partly private-funded, entirely private-run, and they're basically allowed to be religious schools), so less control the current government has, the better. Which is another thing Blair's done - I disagree with stuff in theory, but agree in practice as long as it takes power away from him
    saggio wrote: »
    snip

    True, there's nothing saying they're allowed to exist or what power they have, but that's kind of true of the whole British government. Because the UK and the countries it developed from are so old, the way the government works was developed as the people in charge went along. There wasn't really a PM even in the 19th century, and I don't think it's even really official today. So, I'm not even sure if a traditional federal system would be possible here
    saggio wrote: »
    snip

    Well, I have to admit I'm a bit ignorant of Scottish culture. The thing is, I feel that for the last 300 years there hasn't been any development of Scottish or English culture - it's been British culture. I think there are plenty of Brits who feel the same. I will admit, though, like I said earlier, the UK isn't entirely fair to all its people. The South-East is much wealthier and considered the "posh" part, and this isn't just an England vs. Scotland thing. Scots whining about how they get a bad deal because they're worse off seems ridiculous partly because you can say the same thing about parts of England.

    Additionally, while we've got a single British culture, we've all got local cultures as well, it seems fine to be interested in both. And historic complaints shouldn't be reasons either, as long as they're addressed in the present and future. Like I say, if you go back far enough, England was a whole load of separate nations, it'd be ridiculous to go back 1000 years and start saying we should divide every nation because they were once separate. Giving them more responsibility is one thing, trying to convince people they aren't British any more just seems stupid. More so than convincing people that races exist or nationalities are a reason to hate other people
    Janson wrote: »
    Basically I would support devolution for the sole purpose of shutting everyone up for once and for all and for stopping to demonise my family and friends. It gets all a little bit too much personal for me.

    Devolution has happened already. Also, why do you take the English-everyone rivalry personally?

    BernardBernoulli on
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    RocketScienceRocketScience Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    japan wrote: »

    One of the biggest contributors to the SNP is Sean Connery, who I believe lives in the States these days.

    A sunny tax haven in the Bahamas, actually.

    RocketScience on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    If Scotland wants independence, let them have it.

    Even if that's negative for everyone involved, at least in the short term?

    Yes. If they held a referendum and enough people wanted independence they should get it. It's called self-determination. You can't assume that none of them have thought of the consequences.

    Yeah, that's nice and all, but we don't and never have run things according to this principle. I'm sure you could get a vote for independence for themselves from quite a few towns and cities in various countries, but no-one's going to let them because it would be stupid.

    Æthelred on
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    Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Gorak wrote:
    The economy would also become stronger if we re-introduced slavery.
    Also false.
    Labour without wages.
    Smaller markets.

    Salvation122 on
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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    BB wrote:
    So, you're saying the SNP might not get popular enough to get independence, but might manage to wrestle more power from London?

    Essentially. Allow me to draw once again on my Canadian perspective, if you will...Quebec "nationalism" is something that has existed since before Confederation (Papineau, Cartier, etc) and has been a growing force within Canada since the end of the last (19th) century. Prior to the Quiet Revolution, it was a force that was principally concentrated in Quebec and focused on family, religion, and "traditional values." In short, it was very much inward looking. Since the 1960's, nearly all Quebecois and Quebecker politicians have been nationalists, but this nationalism has become more about asserting the rights of Quebec on the national and international level. The Quebec nationalist that essentially began the Quiet Revolution, Jean Lesage, was deeply devoted to Quebec culture and the French language - but, and this is important - in no way advocated outright seperatism. Today, this is essentially the divide in Quebec politics - "soft" nationalists, who are more inclined to be federalists vs. "hard" nationalists, who are more likely to be sovereigntists. They both demand more power for Quebec and recognition of it's distinctiveness, but the "soft" nationalists do not necessarily advocate a separate and independent Quebec.
    BB wrote:
    And historic complaints shouldn't be reasons either, as long as they're addressed in the present and future.

    Boy, I wish people here in Canada would think like that. It seems one of the staples of debate in Canada is dealing with all of the past transgressions of the government and the divide between the various ethnic and linguistic groups that resulted from those past transgressions.
    Janson wrote:
    Often the worst Scottish/Irish nationalism comes from people who claim Scottish/Irish ancestry in other countries and who do things like fundraising for the IRA without even having set foot on Irish soil.

    I think that's fairly common everywhere there is an active ex-patriate community. Just look at Israel in the late 40's, early 50's.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
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    Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    scotland and wales wanting independence is hilarious. NEWSFLASH: YOU ARE NOT REAL COUNTRIES. THE WHOLE OF BRITAIN FITS INTO QUEENSLAND LIKE SIX TIMES. GET OVER IT.

    I agree with you, but I just grabbed some rough (i.e. wiki) population figures;

    Queensland: 4,070,400
    Scotland: 5,116,900
    Wales: 2,958,600

    So really, in population density, they're quite different.

    Zetetic Elench on
    nemosig.png
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    saggio wrote: »
    snip

    See, this is something I'd be okay with. Having separatists in power isn't necessarily a bad thing - as long as they don't try to engineer a situation to try to get independence - and having people campaigning for the wellbeing of certain areas of the country can be useful. The SNP were talking about independence, but they actually dropped this line at the election, probably because they were worried about it harming their chances. As long as they stay this way, and settle into a position where they're perhaps trying to get more powers from the national government, I won't mind them too much. Saying that, it will cause more problems with the English whining about not having their own Parliament
    saggio wrote: »
    Boy, I wish people here in Canada would think like that. It seems one of the staples of debate in Canada is dealing with all of the past transgressions of the government and the divide between the various ethnic and linguistic groups that resulted from those past transgressions.

    I wish *everyone* thought like that. There are conflicts all over the world because someone's grandparents forgot to return the cup after borrowing a cup of sugar or something stupid. I'm just thankful Native Americans and Scots aren't blowing people up for this stuff

    BernardBernoulli on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Æthelred wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    If they held a referendum and enough people wanted independence they should get it. It's called self-determination. You can't assume that none of them have thought of the consequences.

    Yeah, that's nice and all, but we don't and never have run things according to this principle.

    I'm not saying we have. I saying we should.

    japan wrote: »
    One of the biggest contributors to the SNP is Sean Connery, who I believe lives in the States these days.

    I think I heard he said he'd come back if Scotland became independent - you could rinse him for taxes.

    On a personal note, please demand independence. I'll agree to any subsidy you want, just please take back Gordon Brown and we'll never mention it again.

    Gorak on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    If Scotland wants independence, let them have it.

    Even if that's negative for everyone involved, at least in the short term?

    Yes. If they held a referendum and enough people wanted independence they should get it. It's called self-determination. You can't assume that none of them have thought of the consequences.

    Yeah, that's nice and all, but we don't and never have run things according to this principle.

    I'm not saying we have. I saying we should.

    So you think anywhere that wants to be independent should immediately? Do you not draw a line anywhere?

    Æthelred on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    One of the biggest contributors to the SNP is Sean Connery, who I believe lives in the States these days.

    I think I heard he said he'd come back if Scotland became independent - you could rinse him for taxes.

    On a personal note, please demand independence. I'll agree to any subsidy you want, just please take back Gordon Brown and we'll never mention it again.

    God No.

    I think I'd feel better about the SNP if they could actually present a coherent case for independence. As it is, they seem to go for the kind of jingoism normally reserved for football fans, which makes me suspicious. I get the feeling that if they could lay everything out and say "Economically and Culturally, an Independent Scotland would be better for the following reasons ... " they would.

    The fact that they haven't really bothers me. I don't trust them not to fudge the numbers to make it look more feasible than it actually is.

    japan on
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    jgresham wrote: »
    I doubt the Scottish thing will help Brown much though. The English won't like it much, and we've just handed over the majority up here to the SNP.

    This probably deserevs a thread of it's own but over the last year or so my blood has began to boil more and more at the overtly racist coverage of Scottish ministers in the British government. The 'Scottish' problem in politics is openly discussed. I'm curerntly reading about Germany during the Weimar republic and now every time I hear the word 'Scottish' used I substitute 'Jewish' and I don't like what I end up hearing.

    Try it with these recently heard phrases from 'respectable' BBC broadcasts:

    "Should a Scotsman lead the country?"
    "Why are there so many Scottish ministers in cabinet posts?"
    "Is this a Scottish takeover of the county?"

    Alistair Hutton on
    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    This probably deserevs a thread of it's own but over the last year or so my blood has began to boil more and more at the overtly racist coverage of Scottish ministers in the British government. The 'Scottish' problem in politics is openly discussed. I'm curerntly reading about Germany during the Weimar republic and now every time I hear the word 'Scottish' used I substitute 'Jewish' and I don't like what I end up hearing.

    Try it with these recently heard phrases from 'respectable' BBC broadcasts:

    "Should a Scotsman lead the country?"
    "Why are there so many Scottish ministers in cabinet posts?"
    "Is this a Scottish takeover of the county?"

    Oh, please. Kudos on Godwinning the thread, though. Smartly done.

    Bogart on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    This probably deserevs a thread of it's own but over the last year or so my blood has began to boil more and more at the overtly racist coverage of Scottish ministers in the British government. The 'Scottish' problem in politics is openly discussed. I'm curerntly reading about Germany during the Weimar republic and now every time I hear the word 'Scottish' used I substitute 'Jewish' and I don't like what I end up hearing.

    Try it with these recently heard phrases from 'respectable' BBC broadcasts:

    "Should a Scotsman lead the country?"
    "Why are there so many Scottish ministers in cabinet posts?"
    "Is this a Scottish takeover of the county?"

    Comparing Scots to Jews *is* pretty stupid, but you kind of have a point. There seem to be quite a few mentions of Brown being Scottish, far more than there should be (zero). I think it's more machinations of various people in opposing political parties than anything, and the media is so incompetent they'll go on about anything that means they don't have to try being journalists for 5 minutes - even if it involves mentioning the latest irrelevant controversy or baseless allegation or whatever else. It's not like the British have a hatred towards the Scottish, because, obviously, Scottish are British

    BernardBernoulli on
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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I've not seen so much of the 'Brown is a foreigner!' stuff (but then I avoid the Mail and the Sun/Star), most of the people commentating on him being a scottish MP usually referenced the SNP's big push for independance in the run up to the election and the possibility (even though there isn't one) of the PM being from another country.

    Most of it the critism is about him being a bit of a tyrant and not being able to take people disagreeing with him well (plus a ton of weirdness about class).

    Tastyfish on
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I've not seen so much of the 'Brown is a foreigner!' stuff (but then I avoid the Mail and the Sun/Star), most of the people commentating on him being a Scottish MP usually referenced the SNP's big push for independence in the run up to the election and the possibility (even though there isn't one) of the PM being from another country.

    That's the thing though, and what particularly angers me. It's not just shitty tabloid rags that are doing this but the BBC. I watched, about a year ago now, an edition of the Politics Show, a one hour Sunday mid-day discussion/package show on BBC One that focused on the question "Is it right for a Scot to lead Britain?". I was simply gob smacked. Since then I've noticed, what BernardBernoulli rightly points out as the gratuitous use of the word Scottish when discussing Gordon Brown (or indeed any Scottish minister).

    The thing is, there are many fascinating things that can be said about the legislative make-up of the United Kingdom yet they're ignored in favour of focusing exclusively on the tedious issue of "fairness". They[1] weren't that bothered with it during the previous 300 years of the union so I don't see why they are so upset now[2]. As a result, instead of intelligent debate, we get have joking references to a Scottish political mafia and a 'foreign' takeover. In my view that kind of language is corrosive, a long term drip-drip-drip of poisonous thought that leads down the avenues of the worst kind of exclusionary nationalism.

    [1] The media in general
    [2] I do understand why, it's due to the boot being very marginally on the other foot. However they still ignore the fact that purportedly English (and Wales and Northern Ireland) only legislation can deeply affect Scotland in a way that is adverse to the Union as a whole.

    Alistair Hutton on
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    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
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    ColdredColdred Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    *Thread re-animate*

    Brown is UK's new prime minister

    So there we go. Blair is out, Brown is in. Question is, when will Brown call the next election?

    Coldred on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Four years after the last election is my bet. Basically, he doesn't need to call an election anytime soon, but I think he needs to become more popularity before the election's held, and he needs to establish a government and make it clear what he stands for

    My main worry is people are saying how they like Cameron more than Brown because Cameron seems nicer and friendlier. Complete idiots, but it could cost Labour the next election

    Also, I'd like to say how happy I am that Blair's gone - I really hate that bloke, shame he couldn't have been forced out sooner

    BernardBernoulli on
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    Bob The MonkeyBob The Monkey Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I like pretty much everything Brown has said so far. Which is just going to break my heart more when it turns out to be vote grabbing bullshit.

    woe, disillusionment with politics

    Bob The Monkey on
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    Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I agree with Bob, Brown sounds goods, but'll probably be exactly the same as Blair. I only hope he at least reduces the amount of spin.

    Anarchy Rules! on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    My main worry is people are saying how they like Cameron more than Brown because Cameron seems nicer and friendlier. Complete idiots, but it could cost Labour the next election

    Brown's banking on the public favouring his no-nonsense style over Cameron's charisma. I think it's a decent bet. Cameron is styling himself after Blair at the very time when the public (however unreasonably) hate Blair's guts. For Brown to contrast himself against Blair by talking of resoluteness, steadfastness and conviction is a solid strategy to take.

    Æthelred on
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    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    Seriously, I'd kill for an independent to win but its not possible in our system. I hate all the parties, they're all out to screw us over so much and if you tried to fight back, youd go away for a few months as a terrorist or be registered for life as a sex offender for peeing in public.

    DarkWarrior on
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