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The Scottish Referendum: What's Happening Now
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: The Scottish Referendum: What's Happening Now Reply with quote

Is anyone else following the events for the upcoming vote for Scotland's independence from the UK? Although the no votes had been leading in the polls, a recent debate has raised hopes along with poll numbers for those voting yes for being an independent country, although the no's still have the edge. Like some U.S. elections a lot of hope is focused on the undecided, and it seems as if a sizable number of the undecided may be women. My Orcadian and Scots friends are voting yes for independence, while some English friends who live in Scotland are voting no. The vote on the 307 year union occurs on Sept.18.

A couple of quotes:

The Sept. 18 vote, the first of its kind in British history, has thrown up unique circumstances which make forecasting the outcome unusually difficult. Surveys are consistent on trends but diverge when it comes to the size of the gap between the two campaigns.

The minimum voting age for British national elections is 18. For the referendum, it has been lowered to 16. For pollsters, the voting intentions of teenagers are uncharted territory.

"A missing million" of mostly poorer Scots who do not usually vote but will this time, it says, are not necessarily reflected in polls. Experts are skeptical of the 1 million figure, but agree that some people who do not usually vote will do so this time.


Also of note as the Scots weigh independence, apparently Wales and Cornwall are keenly watching what happens.


Last edited by Eliza on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:12 am; edited 7 times in total
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An article from the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/scots-independence-england-scotland

Title:
Scots voting no to independence would be an astonishing act of self-harm
Sub-title:
England is dysfunctional, corrupt and vastly unequal. Who on earth would want to be tied to such a country?

Intriguing (to me) first paragraph:
Imagine the question posed the other way round. An independent nation is asked to decide whether to surrender its sovereignty to a larger union. It would be allowed a measure of autonomy, but key aspects of its governance would be handed to another nation. It would be used as a military base by the dominant power and yoked to an economy over which it had no control.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vote is almost here and the yes vote seems to have gained an edge with some calling it a nail-biter. It has been interesting to see which articles feature no or yes buttons for the referendum. Also of interest is that in pro-yes articles the focus is more on self determination and better gov't representation than flag-waving nationalism, while the pro-no articles seem to focus on what would happen to the UK on various fronts without Scotland. There's even a "debate" on the timing of the royal baby announcement (as well as the Outlander series). Before some recent articles, a recent joke first:

Scotland : "I'm leaving you..."
Britain : "You can't!"
Scotland : "I'm leaving. It's over."
Britain : "... I'm pregnant!!"

CNN: Scottish independence campaign gaining ground, polls suggest
http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/08/world/europe/uk-scotland-independence/

Wall Street Journal: U.K. Pound Slumps After Scottish Independence Poll
http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-k-pound-slumps-after-scottish-independence-poll-1410155540

Reuters/UK: Why the world should care about Scottish independence
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/09/uk-scotland-independence-world-idUKKBN0H40ZZ20140909

BBC: Scottish independence: How do the English in Scotland feel?
But polls suggest one in four will vote for Scottish independence. And some are actively campaigning for an end to the 307-year union.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29052665

BBC: Scottish independence: Yes vote 'means big Scots EU boost'
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29126385
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently read that the BBC-UK airs only anti-independence Scotland videos, while BBC-Scotland has both yes and no views.

I think it's ironic that the Outlander series still isn't shown in the UK even though Scandinavia just started showing it. But then I just saw Scottish writer Peter May (new book: The Blackhouse) on Craig Ferguson saying that his book is published everywhere except London ( at which point the two Glaswegians made similar faces and remarks about London).
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Article: Police guard on BBC's Scottish headquarters as hundreds of nationalists descend on studio to protest against 'biased referendum coverage'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2755428/Scottish-independence-referendum-Hundreds-nationalists-descend-BBC-headquarters.html


Article: The British Media Has Been Totally Freaking Out Over Scottish Independence

http://mashable.com/2014/09/13/scottish-independence-movement-unites-the-usually-contentious-uk-media/
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

U.S. remains a wild card in Scottish independence vote
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/us-remains-a-wild-card-in-scottish-independence-vote/2014/04/12/6afb39f3-96d2-487a-ab4f-cde8de596424_story.html

"...given the United States’ own revolutionary origins."

"The Scottish independence movement is built on centuries of grievance toward London, which is seen as imperious and indifferent to the welfare of Scots. As London’s closest ally, and the world’s only superpower, the United States is often viewed in the same light — as overbearing."
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 677

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I promise it said on the 5.30 pm news bulletin on Radio 4 something like 'Alex Salmond says the No campaign has been very negative.'

Very Happy
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1208

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diana Gabaldon noted on her FB page that she finally gave in and wrote something for the Telegraph but advised folks not interested to ignore it. As do I. If you are, though, read on.

Here is her FB page for the intro which I suggest reading first: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDianaGabaldon

The actual article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/11099511/Outlanders-Diana-Gabaldon-What-the-Jacobite-risings-can-tell-us-about-Scottish-Independence.html

Of note to me, various paragraphs:

...writing a series of novels, beginning with Outlander, for the last 20-odd years, rooted in the 18th century history of Scotland and following the threads of Jacobite politics from the ’45 (also known as the second Jacobite Rising, in 1745) up through the American Revolution 1765-1783, in which one colonist in three was from Scotland.

(I bolded this because the role of the Scots and Scots-Irish in the American Revolution was never taught when I was in school, and I wonder how many people to this day are aware or have read anything about it! Sorry but it's a peeve of mine that far too many likely don't know their own history.)

Putting aside cultural judgements, though, you can discern a political pathway from the Risings to the American Revolution which led to independence for America from British rule, if only because a good many of the same people were involved in both of them. And while it might be stretching things to make direct comparisons between that revolution and the current referendum, there are common elements: an objection to perceived economic exploitation, and a desire for self-determination in government.

It’s worth noting that at the time of the American Revolution, no sane person would have given two cents for its success. No more than 15% of the population was actively in favour of it, it was badly organised and without funds, and it tottered on the verge of military defeat for the first two or three years. The majority of the population regarded its leaders as dangerous radicals at best, dangerous idiots at worst. Independence for America seemed much less likely then than it does for Scotland today.


Me? It isn’t my country. But I do have a country; I’m an American. Given our own cultural and historical background, Americans on the whole are deeply sympathetic toward people who feel (rightly or wrongly) that they have been oppressed by government, and we tend always to want to support people seeking democratic self-determination. Aye or Naw? Put me down as “Mibbe” - but with the best wishes for the future of Scotland and her people, however the present vote goes.
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 677

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But with that sort of argument, it just depends what bits of history you deign significant.

I think we were taught (I certainly knew it from somewhere) of what would be from our geographical/historical perspective the role of Ulster-Scots during the American War of Independence:

"Ulstermen played a major role during the American War of Independence which lasted from 1775 to 1783. Twenty-five of the American generals were of Ulster Scot descent as was half of the revolutionary army"
(Obviously, I've no idea if those figures are accurate, but it's just an illustration of the kind of claim that is made.)

And clearly these Ulster Scots would have been, for the most part, Presbyterian and equally clearly the modern Ulster-Scots Presbyterian would be pro-union.

You could therefore, if you were so inclined, argue that you can discern a political pathway from the Scottish Enlightenment to the ideas behind the American Revolution, to intransigent support for the Union
- it just depends what bits of history you choose to cherry pick.

I also think she's on shaky ground in that - and maybe I'm misunderstanding her - she seems to suggest 'the desire for democratic self-determination' is peculiar to the 'yes' campaign.

The argument isn't about whether self-determination is right, it's only about what constitutes the 'self'.

Having said all that, I do agree with her conclusion that it's not my country, and I can't imagine how I would vote if it was, and good luck to everyone making that decision tomorrow. (Today! Gosh, it's late...)
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I ask how much research you've done on this? For my part I had both English and Scots ancestors in the Revolution and I've studied the American Revolution most of my life. I deign it significant because I've traced family lines from the 1680s to the present time, with both Scots and English ancestors being right in the middle of the action, losing some to the war, and others having to migrate because of devastation of the land. It should also be noted that some Scots under oath to the king--generally highlanders--had to fight for the Loyalists. Some of them and other Loyalist groups migrated to Canada after the war; some stayed here. Here are a couple of books you may want to give a go since I can't replicate decades of study in courthouses, libraries, churches, and archives throughout what were the early colonies.

The Scotch-Irish: A Social History by James G. Leyburn (University of North Carolina Press)
Dispelling much of what he terms the 'mythology' of the Scotch-Irish, James Leyburn provides an absorbing account of their heritage. He discusses their life in Scotland, when the essentials of their character and culture were shaped; their removal to Northern Ireland and the action of their residence in that region upon their outlook on life; and their successive migrations to America, where they settled especially in the back-country of Pennsylvania, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, and then after the Revolutionary War were in the van of pioneers to the west.

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: A Cultural History) by David Hackett Fischer (Oxford University)

The Great Wagon Road: From Philadelphia to the South by Parke Rouse
Historian Carl Bridenbaugh wrote that "In the last sixteen years of the colonial era, southbound traffic along the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road was numbered in tens of thousands; it was the most heavily travelled road in all America..." and Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson marked its route on their map of Virginia in 1754 as "the great Wagon Road from the Yadkin River through Virginia to Philadelphia distant 435 miles." Over the years the Road led countless Scotch-Irish, Germanic, and English settlers southward from Philadelphia to settle the Appalachian uplands from Pennsylvania to Georgia.

The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783 by David Dobson

Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America by James Webb


ETA: I'm not sure where Presbyterianism or any other religion fits in this discussion since the Revolution split church groups back then, with even some Quakers choosing to fight while others did not. In some ways it has been considered a civil war since the population was divided within communities. Somewhat like Scotland now, perhaps, except by vote instead of war, right? Another suggestion: It's fiction of course but read The Fiery Cross where Gabaldon gives a take on the pre-war North Carolina Regulator Rebellion. I don't agree with every single thing naturally but the author did terrific research by my reckoning.
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
May I ask how much research you've done on this?


LOL. None at all.

I clearly haven't managed to say what I wanted to, but I'm not sure how to reword the post to make my points clearly.

The example was frivolous, was intended to be read as light-hearted, and I'm sorry that wasn't clear.

Enjoy watching the results.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ten ways the Scotland referendum is like the American revolution and three ways it isn't"
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/18/scotlands-referendum-american-revolution


"On Road to Scotland’s Referendum, Big Gambles and Fateful Steps"
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/world/europe/scottish-independence-poll.html

On the long road to the Scottish referendum, three other moments stood out, historians, political scientists and officials said. All were the result of political miscalculation as much as shrewd leadership: The decision in 1989 by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, already unpopular after shutting down steel mills and coal mines, to roll out a regressive tax in Scotland before the rest of Britain; the decision by the Labour prime minister Tony Blair to allow Scotland to hold a referendum on greater autonomy in 1997, which led two years later to the establishment of a Scottish Parliament for the first time since 1707; and the crushing 2011 victory of the Scottish National Party, which won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament and with it a mandate to call a referendum on independence.

Mrs. Thatcher’s combination of heavy-handedess and neglect north of the border hardened the Scots’ liberal resolve and hamstrung the Tories here: David Mundell is now the only Conservative among the 59 British lawmakers elected from Scotland.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scotland opts to stay with Britain
http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-scotland-referendum-results-20140918-story.html#page=1

Scotland Rejects Independence From Britain in Historic Vote
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/world/europe/scotland-independence-vote-no.html

Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/upshot/scotland-independence-vote.html?abt=0002&abg=1

UK to make changes after Scotland vote keeps union
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/09/19/3309726/uk-to-make-changes-after-scotland.html
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMcA wrote:
Quote:
May I ask how much research you've done on this?


LOL. None at all.

I clearly haven't managed to say what I wanted to, but I'm not sure how to reword the post to make my points clearly.

The example was frivolous, was intended to be read as light-hearted, and I'm sorry that wasn't clear.

Enjoy watching the results.


Frivolous and light-hearted, heh?

The Ulster Scots? You mean those hilarious Calvinist Lowlanders who were "settled" on state-sponsored settlements--those lands confiscated from the Irish? Are those the ones you find worth a joke?

And because there are different areas of culture and political opinion in Scotland (e.g., Glasgow vs Edinburgh, nevermind anywhere else), like, oh say, England where the poorest of the UK live in the north (as well as Wales), while the richest live in the south, is that also a reason for frivolity?

Since you mentioned Radio 4, does that mean you won't acknowledge any charges of biased coverage by the BBC? And since you find Salmond funny, are you likely to agree with what many Scots think of Cameron's "performance"?

What I didn't find funny at all was any Scot who cast a vote either yes or no for the future of his/her own country.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friday morning quarterbacking/ Several scenarios could result.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2014/09/scottish-referendum-0
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