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Caledonian Mercury: The time for the independence referendum is now

The Caledonian Mercury is politically neutral. The Caledonian Mercury does not endorse any viewpoint over another. The Caledonian Mercury is a forum to celebrate all the voices of Scotland.

The Caledonian Mercury does not have a position Scottish independence.

But I do.

I support Scottish independence. And I want to write about it - as an individual journalist, not as Editor of The Caledonian Mercury - because there are so few pro-independence voices in the media. Those of us who believe the Scottish people are capable of governing themselves have a duty to speak up. Indeed, the anti-independence attacks have started already.

Alex Salmond has called for an end to "fearmongering, negativity and scaremongering" and insults to the intelligence of the people of Scotland.

Aye, guid luck wi' that, Eck.

The SNP should force through the independence referendum right now. (continues)



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 02:08:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't been following the debate on Scottish independence so I can't comment directly.  

I do note the pro-independence side has a major question they need to consider:

What is the SNP's position on the Crown lands?  Those are the Big Wahoonie - IIRC - of land ownership in Scotland.  As long as HRH is Head of State and privileged vis-a-vis the other economic entities - especially local land users - rural economic activity, and how much that activity positively affects the rest of the Scottish economy, will not substantially change.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 02:23:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Crown Estate is a bit of a red herring since the revenues in fact go to the Treasury not Mrs Windsor, who has a separate, much smaller, private estate.

But there is an ongoing initiative to ensure that control of the Crown Estate in Scotland - where the marine foreshore is increasingly valuable thanks to renewables - is devolved through the appointment of a dedicated Scottish Crown Commissioner so that more of the revenues remain in Scotland.

The bigger picture is the completely iniquitous distribution of property in Scotland - which puts the average banana republic to shame. The Community Right to Buy - despite being heavily nobbled from the start - has nevertheless made some progress, but is currently limited to rural areas, and is totally under-funded.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 02:51:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking as an outsider ...

In a way it's a herring of redness.  In another ... it goes to the heart of the matter. Lizzy may, or may not, directly own/control the land but she is the Poster Posh example of a deep-dog serious Scottish problem:  absentee landlordism locking locals out.  It's been 35 years since I talked/studied with the Single Taxers but, as I recall, Scotland was The Horrible Example of land use law and policies gone wrong.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 03:15:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I understand this correctly, this is a legacy of Union with England in the 18th century. The Scottish nobility got a green light to ship their population to the New World at an ever increasing pace and they could move to London.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 04:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I recall it was more a matter of kicking the crofters out and replacing them with sheep so the nobility could move to London.

Immigration to various Imperial lands was an "externality."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 04:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They were a bothersome nuisance and the nobility had wanted them out of the way so they could run sheep more efficiently. This had been an ongoing problem, "enclosure" since the late middle ages. Thomas More described "sheep that eat men" in Utopia. In the 18th century the Scottish nobility hired ships to transport the crofters to the New World. Only some of the 'Scotts-Irish' came from Northern Ireland.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 06:03:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As much fun as an independence referendum would be, it isn't going to happen. The Scottish parliament does not have the powers to introduce one. Legally it can only do things delineated by the powers devolved to it. The power to do anything that would effect the UK constitution is expressly not devolved to the Scottish parliament, and removing Scotland would definitely alter the UK constitution.

If the Scots Nats produce a bill, the presiding officer has  to withdraw it from being laid before parliament, The only way it can happen is if the UK government agrees and votes it through the UK parliament. and the chance of Smiling Daves mob losing all that possible oil seems rather slim


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw Cameron earlier on BBC's webcast saying that if Scotland decides to hold a referendum he would campaign for a no. Sounds to me like they will not challenge it.

As I see it, if you are right, SNP could elect a presiding officer that interprets the devoluation as allowing an advisory referendum, and the Scottish authorities could move on to hold a referendum. If the result is a yes, then the Scottish parliament declares independence. If any step is challenged in court the Scottish government needs only to stall and continue with its actions. An independent Scotland will not fall under UK jurisdiction anyway.

The UK government can at any time stop this by sending in the troops, closing the Scottish parliament and turning it into another type of conflict. But I do not think that would happen.

In general assemblies that declare independence does not have a legal right to do so within the previous state. The crucial point is if they are believed to have the moral right.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:37:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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