Jeni: what do people in Scotland generally think about Scottish independence?
Question for Jeni B
(34 posts) (20 voices)
In all honesty, the majority of people within my acquaintance are ambivalent.
While in our hearts, I think most Scots would love it, we're also a pragmatic race and realise that it is probably not in the nation's interest.
There was a resurgence in pro-Independence at the time of 'Braveheart', but that was mostly amongst those who were too busy skiving to attend history lessons at school.
I do think the Union as it stands has had its time, that the people are sick of the anti-Scottish propoganda that the rest of the Union is fed about us, and an entire country being treated as a region (which also happens to Wales and NI), but I don't think that his Salmondness' blueprint is the way forward.
I don't know what the answer is, but whatever happens in 2014 the Union will never be the same.
Personally, I don't think we've been given enough information from either side as to what the implications are on fiscal, defence, social security, and other matters beyond political hyperbole, but I do know that without Scotland, the rest of the UK will probably never see another Labour Govt.
probably never see another Labour Govt
The defence bit may be a difficult. We'll have to withdraw from all our RAF stations up there. You may not see the subs so I guess they can stay. Do you get to keep the Royal Highlanders and the Black Watch? Or will Scotland just rely on being defended by its neighbours and not have to foot a defence bill?
I wish England could go for independence. Just shrug and slough off all the dependants.
A couple of points I'll respond to beau, but first, thanks for proving my point about mis-information.
Yes, we would keep our own regiments, but would be rid of your nuclear defences.
In the past 300 years, Scotland haven't picked a fight with any other nation, and prior to that, the only stooshies we were in were against you ;-)
And, to be honest, it's exactly that kind of viewpoint which makes Scots who previously had no desire for Independence to consider it.
I honestly think that all the other nations should be given a vote in the referendum, it has relevance for us all.
And I'm beginning to view it as a marriage where all the true love has gone, and been replaced by bitterness and resentment.
Maybe it is time for at least a trial separation. For the sake of the kids.
Thanks Jen. Just wondered, because all we've heard is all the bullshit from the politicians. Nothing about what your average person in the street thinks.
I personally don't think it would be a good idea, but if you do break away I think it must be for all the right reasons ie not the Braveheart syndrome.
I have two friends at the opposite ends of the spectrum, one madly nationalistic and the other keen to keep the union. The majority however, like Jeni says, don't seem hugely swayed either way.
A lot of people don't really like Salmond, or his attitude, but also most people don't like Cameron and the tories. I think the fact that it is a Tory government at the moment will sway more people towards independence rather than if it was a Labour government.
For me, I am still waiting to get all the facts before I make my decision.
I really don't see the point. This is the 21st century where global organisations dominate everything rather than political boundaries.
So what if we don't always get on? Should Lancs & Yorks declare independence? Should North & South England be separated? Should the Isle of Wight declare UDI ? What is the point?
If the UK is split I'd like to know why 92% of the population don't get to vote on it. So, surely Scotland taxpayers can pay for the entire admin & reorganisation if the vote takes place. Why should I pay if I can't vote ?
And travelling in Scotland, the vast majority welcome English but I have seen some unpleasant anti-English sentiment; like when my lovely but ailing M-in-law was insulted & sworn at by some drunk in the far NW just because of her nationality.
The situation brings to mind a picture of Martin McGuiness, following the Peace Agreement, where he sits smugly behind a shiny desk - I asked myself, is this why so many people were murdered? Obviously, Salmond is quite different, but I can't help thinking it's all just to give him & his croneys a comfy job.
Sorry Jen didn't mean to be at all offensive. And I am uninformed rather than misinformed.
The defence thing is just one difficult area though. As you point out you won't have our nuclear capabity. Unfortunately the clouds of radioactive fallout probably won't recognise where Scotland starts and England ends. Its the same as if the UK disarmed. We would still be defended by America or anyone else with a vested interest. We would just stop paying our way.
Like any seperation and divorce there will be lots of things to divvy up and it won't be cheap!
The serious point I was making though is that N Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall can break away from England but England cannot break away and govern itself. England is the only part of the union which does not have its own assembly (other than Cornwall)
And there are more Scottish in London than in the whole of Scotland!
EDIT: I might have just made that up.
Jeni, for some reason I thought you were an American..
I, personally, would love to see Scottish independence, simply because it would seriously piss off Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams that Scotland managed to gain independence relatively easily whereas around 100 years of armed insurgence in Ireland has still not managed it.
The fact that England does not have its own 'assembly/gov't/fill-in-suitable-name-here' only serves to convince me that Westminster does indeed see itself as the UK but with other sub-areas attached to England. Hmm - think that makes sense. Back to the Whisky.
And now that we have The English Whisky Co in Norfolk we can close the borders.
beau, no real offence taken, and it was not so much aimed at you as the misconceptions created by the media.
You are absolutely correct in emphasising the difference between un and mis informed, as that is just how those in power want us to be.
Scroat, I agree about the 'Braveheart' reference, but the positive thing is is that those who are most likely to be influenced by the film are also the least likely to bother voting. Unless there is the offer of free Buckie and Methadone at the polling station.
Squirrel, agree on all points. I think the reason the SNP have gained so much ground is less to do with Salmond et al, and more to do with the overwhelming sense that none of other parties really offer much choice for the people of Scotland.
Sinnick, I'm truly sorry that your M-i-L suffered abuse at the hands of a bigot, and can only say that the majority of Scots are truly welcoming to visitors where ever they may be from. I hope the experience hasn't put you off returning. And many Scots feel the same about Salmond, and also that he's concentrating too much on the issue of the Referendum, and not enough on the actual running of our country.
Dick, that would be my appalling spelling and grammar. My apologies.
Although I have spent a lot of time there, and have family on both coasts as well as Canada.
Jamesie, as good a reason as any. I take it you're Irish?
dvo, yes, that's my feeling, but nice to see it echoed by an English person.
Seriously, I know from speaking to English relatives, and my cousin who is married to an English girl and has lived in Cheshire almost as long as he lived in Scotland, that the media portrayal of Wales, NI but particularly Scotland is that we are all parasites feeding off the great English wealth, but in a report published either last year or the year before, it was shown that Scotland paid in the third highest regional amount after London, and the south east.
It is in the interests of those in power to create division, lead you all to believe that the rest of the countries are leeching from you, and giving nothing in return. Pretty sure I still have information on the actual percentages somewhere.
As I said before, I think that the other nations should be allowed to vote on this, but only after we have ALL been given accurate, impartial and balanced information of the pros and cons.
Do the people of Scotland understand they will be expelled from the Great British Bake Off?
Right, that's it. Someone stop Salmond....
As a relative newcomer to this place, I may be out of line in offering an opinion on such a weighty topic, but, OTOH, as a person of Scottish ancestry, I feel that I ought to say something.
Nationalism is not a force for good in the world; it is something like the man who loves his wife, but feels he has to hate all the other women in the world just to prove it. My wife was married to a native Scot before me, and lived in Forfar for several years. There, she encountered venomous bigotry on a daily basis. (Not from her in-laws, although they did try). She’s not a trouble maker, she’s a gentle, decent person, who just happens to be English. Her experience of Scotland could have made her write-off the whole nation as a bunch of bigots, but she’s bigger than that. I wish we could all be the same.
On the bigger subject, whatever happens, England will always be Scotland’s only immediate neighbour. The English will always be one of Scotland’s biggest markets; with a population ratio of 10:1, it would be economic suicide to not recognise that - much like the UK failing to recognise the importance of the US market. As for the vicious nationalism, if you want to sell stuff to someone, it isn’t wise to tell them how much you hate them first. (To his credit, my wife’s ex distanced himself from all that. In every other way, he was a total shit). It saddens me that the two nations that did so much to bring about the fall of the most evil nationalist regime in history, Nazism, should now be set against each other for...what? I would vote to keep the union, but improve it for all concerned.
Ah, see that's where she went wrong.
It was Forfar!
It's just 20 miles away from here, but about 200yrs in time.
The best way to describe Forfar is as Norfolk with Bridies.
Again, I can only apologise. It surprises me though, as Forfar and the surrounding area has quite a high number of English people, so I don't know why these inbred morons would target your wife daily.
The vast majority of Scots don't hate English people, but hate how successive governments have treated us.
I suppose we should really be voting for Scottish independence from Westminster, not the UK.
Sport works as a illustrator of national sympathies.I've been to Ireland, Scotland and Wales and heard people ranting about the English. In simplistic terms, they will typically cheer for any team against the English; whereas in England we'd typically cheer for the Welsh, Irish or Scots against anyone else.
As an Englishman I think I've just got a bit bored of the celtic nations not liking me very much (I'm happy to disregard the fact that no-one actually likes me very much as irrelevant to this arguament).
I think the English love to cheer England, or the UK (where we'll happily adopt Hoy and Murray and McIlroy and Welsh members of the British and Irish Lions), or even Europe in the Ryder Cup...without wanting to put our Celtic cousins down. We're over that now.
Ah, there you are. I've been expecting you...
I think you've pointed out what the common denominator is here Id...
I can honestly say that having been to several Scotland/England matches of both rugby and football (admittedly the football was quite a while back...) I heard no anti-English comments.
In fact, any comments were decidedly good natured.
I do believe this 'A.B.E.' thing is part marketing ploy and part media hyperbole.
Jeni, don't get me wrong, I really love Scotland & (almost all) Scottish people - probably more than I do English people. I might even be near Dundee in the next couple of days.
I just wonder, being an old cynic, that Salmond et co are just playing it up so they get a nice desk and power. People like him just off on this stuff. In practice, there are wins & losses, but the bottom line is that we speak more or less the same language, share a lot of history, and mostly get on. So, again, what's the point ?
"Again, I can only apologise. It surprises me though, as Forfar and the surrounding area has quite a high number of English people, so I don't know why these inbred morons would target your wife daily.”
Maybe it was because she worked in Boots - the chemist, not the clothing.
*skidding in far too late as per...*
Jeni B, as a Highlander who loves Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, I'd like to thank you for taking the time and the trouble to put together these 'off-the-cuff' responses. There are no more nutters up here than anywhere else, which is obvious, really, unless you read the papers.
Love to all Biscuiteers, hope you are in your accustomed magnificent fettle...!
There are nutters everywhere who will insult someone for "not being from 'round 'ere". Generally I find that the majority people in the UK are affable, although I'd say London is 50/50 at best. I've had good times with locals in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and quite a bit of the planet. Never underestimate the ability of humans to have a laugh and bitch about their bosses in a unifying way. A joke and the offer of a ciggarette often goes a long way in tricky situations, it certainly got me out of one with the Vietnamese Army at 1am after a long night at the bar. It was a bit harder scaling the locked gate on the hotel though.
From my customary position of total ignorance, it seems a great shame to break up the party - the UK is rather like Christmas lunch with my family, full of booze-fuelled debate with the omnipresent threat of military action, but we'll probably keep doing it every year.
Where I do struggle is this notion of 16-year-olds having the vote. I hardly feel the destiny of a nation should even partly lie in the laps of those who've faced no greater quandary than "should I use my right hand or left?"
I struggle with the idea of 16 year old's voting. On the one hand, no taxation without representation (although given youth unemployment at the mo, there is little taxation going on). And the "Old enough to join the Army" argument doesn't really hold because you can't be sent on active duty until 17, maybe 18 now. I wouldn't have trusted a 16 year old me to vote with a knowledge of the issues, but then again I have met a few over 20's, 30's and 40's that I wouldn't either. Maybe let them practice on X-Factor for a couple of years until 18.
Sinnick, I agree. As I mentioned before, many of us are questioning who is actually running the country as our First Minister seems to be a tad preoccupied with the referendum.
If you are up this way, give me a shout. I may not be able to meet up but can certainly tell you where's good and where to avoid.
Sigmund, that explains things. She should have worn the footwear, particularly wellies. They're very in to that in Forfar. Or rather 'Farf'r'.
Stunts, thank you, I do my best. You are quite right, I think our 'outstanding citizens' outweighs the portrayal of us as drunken, aggressive, lazy, etc etc (yawn) and is media driven. xxx
Quaz, with the tales of your Glaswegian ex, you have demonstrated that you're a Caledoniphile, and I'm sure the hotel was probably trying really hard to keep
youthe bad boys out.
Maz, that's the general consensus. As for the 16 & 17 yr old voting thing, I don't think it's a particularly wise move. From experience, very few 'youths' up to and including 18yr olds are politically knowledgeable or politically active. I was at that age, but was quite definitely in the minority. As Quaz says though, there are many older people who are just as ignorant. Perhaps the answer is to raise the voting age, not lower it.
Also, to respond to an earlier comment regarding there never being another Labour Government if Scotland were to leave the Union: if that were the case, democracy in the UK, such as it is, will be dead. What is the point in having an election if the outcome is already a given?
Or perhaps it will return to the good/bad old days where you merely vote for the candidate with the least scary (to you) manifesto. At least the manufacturers of blue rosettes will be busy...
I'd just like to point out that the government treats everybody like shit, no matter where you live in the UK
I hope we stay together.
I think we just need a little time apart, it's not you, it's us. I think we just need a bit of time to get our head clear and can work out what we want. So if we go and live with Wales for a few weeks then we'll both be better off in the long run.
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