Scottish independence

 
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Scottish independence Reply with quote


Sunday Herald is first paper to back Scottish independence
3 May 2014
heraldscotland.com

The paper declares its editorial position this weekend with a front page designed by Alasdair Gray, the famous artist, author and advocate of a Yes vote. In its editorial, the Sunday Herald states: ''Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country. On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country's governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens.''

The paper supported the SNP in the 2007 and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections, but has said it will not automatically favour the SNP or other parties in its news reporting of the Yes campaign during the referendum, and will remain independent and balanced in its reports. The Herald & Times Group, publisher of the Sunday Herald, The Herald and the Evening Times, is giving the titles' editors freedom to take their own editorial position on the constitution. The company is non-political and neutral.

The Herald has not declared an opinion on the referendum question. It will be up to its editor to decide when and if to do so.

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It's about time at least one of the news sources in Scotland showed some bollocks. Good news.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the Scottish go, I hope [where I live] (exact location edited out due to a Twitter stalker - 14th April 2015) follows. I don't want to live in Toryland forever.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The prize is a better country. It is as simple as that: why the Sunday Herald supports a Yes vote
Sunday Herald
Sunday 4 May 2014

ON September 18, Scotland must decide whether to remain within the United Kingdom or become an independent country. No-one should find the decision easy. There is nothing simple, clean, or clinical about ending a union that has endured for better than three centuries. Nevertheless, having considered the arguments, the Sunday Herald sincerely and emphatically believes that the best outcome is a vote for independence. We state our opinion not in an attempt to persuade our readers. That would be presumptuous and arrogant. We are well aware that there is good reason to assume the vote will be close. However, we are determined, as the debate enters its final, feverish stages, when emotions will doubtless run high, to make our position clear.

We believe that now is the time to roll up our sleeves and put our backs into creating the kind of society in which all Scots have a stake. Independence, this newspaper asserts, will put us in charge of our destiny. That being the case, Scots will have no-one to blame for their failings, no-one to condemn for perceived wrongs. We will, for the first time in three centuries, be responsible for our decisions, for better or worse.

The proposition is this: We believe independence offers Scotland an historic opportunity to choose the kind of country that might allow its people to prosper. Decisions affecting our lives will be made on our doorstep, by the people who live here. By us. A vote for independence says that a small country is not helpless in a big, troubling world.

At the Sunday Herald we want a Scotland that cares about others, everywhere, as much as it cares about its own. We believe in a society that is altruistic and compassionate, that looks after everyone in need irrespective of their ability to pay. But we also want a society that is meritocratic, that rewards work and encourages entrepreneurialism. Above all, we want a progressive, fair society in which the gulf between haves and have nots is no longer unbridgeable.

Come independence, the sky may still be blue (well, possibly not in Scotland in September) and the grass green, but there is no magic wand. Scotland will not overnight be transformed into a land flowing with milk and honey. A referendum cannot immediately wash away the legacy of the past. September's vote is not a straight choice between that past and an already-formed future. What is offered is the chance to alter course, to travel roads less taken, to define a destiny.

As for that future, much remains unknowable. We cannot be certain the pound will be retained, that existing terms will be easily forthcoming, that the price of oil will be higher tomorrow than it is today, that pensions will dwindle or increase in value, that businesses big and small will stay or go. We can never know the future. Few saw the financial crash coming. You never know what is - good or bad - around the corner. The best we can do is take informed and educated guesses and create a stable, well-structured society that is able to weather whatever is thrown in its direction. Scotland has that opportunity.

We therefore believe that a currency union is probable. Likewise we are confident that Scotland will be a member of the European Union. Moreover, we are sure that Scotland, through the talent of its people and its natural resources, can not only survive economically but can thrive, bringing lasting benefits for the common good. We view the referendum not as a choice between the status quo and an uncertain future, but as between a bankrupt, political structure and the chance to remake our society in a more equal, inclusive, open and just way.

That seems to us to be a more exciting, imaginative and inspiring proposition than the alternative proposed by the No campaign. That it has been remorselessly negative need not detain us here. Its leaders have told us constantly what we can't do, aren't able to do, must avoid doing at all costs. Scotland removed from the Union, they insist, will be a poorer, parochial, rather pathetic place, with no voice in the corridors of power. These tactics have given the media much fat on which to chew. While polls have consistently shown there to be strong support for independence - albeit not enough yet for a majority - this has not been reflected in the press. Some newspapers are against independence, others merely unsympathetic to the notion. We do not believe this to be healthy. Scotland's media should reflect the diversity of opinion within the country. We believe that in a real democracy the public should have access to a wide range of views and opinions. The media should not speak with one voice.

Diversity of opinion is reflected within the Sunday Herald's staff. Some of our team support independence, some do not, and others are still considering the arguments. Some are unconvinced by the merits of supporting a Yes vote. Far from regarding this as a weakness, we welcome it. The Sunday Herald has always been a broad church. We consider the fact a strength which we will always protect.

Nevertheless, this newspaper's view is that independence is the right course for the country to take. Another auld song, 300 years in the singing, has come to its end. The stratagems of Better Together seem only to confirm that the United Kingdom has too little to say for itself, and too little to say to Scotland. We can manage matters better on our own account, and make a future for ourselves. The prize is a better country. It is, truly, as simple as that.

That the Sunday Herald has decided to lend its support to independence does not mean that its sister papers, the daily Herald and the Evening Times, will do likewise. That is a decision for their editors to make. Nor does our decision reflect the position of our owners, the Herald and Times group. Tim Blott, managing director of the Herald and Times group, says: "Our policy is to give individual editors the freedom to decide their own newspaper's position on this hugely important constitutional issue but our own official company stance will remain non-political and neutral in the independence debate."

Meanwhile, the Sunday Herald's advocacy of independence does not mean it will support unquestioningly the Scottish National Party or its allies. We have in the past published stories and views critical of both the SNP and the Yes campaign. We will continue to do so, and to break stories and report the news, whether or not it touches on our opinion. As a newspaper, we too are proud of our independence.

And we will continue to seek the views of Better Together to maintain balance in our news stories. Clearly we do not share the views of the No campaign but we respect their right to their opinion and believe that they are as passionate about Scotland's future as we are. This is not an argument which should be mired in personal hatred.

Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country. On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country's governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens.

Scots have never been afraid to astonish the world. A small country has made a habit of producing big thinkers. The Sunday Herald says that it is time to think big once again. And to think for ourselves.

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Chairman, Scotland has had very little numerical influence on UK elections in the past. Scotland not being there wouldn't change what the majority of England prefer...
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scotland should go it alone
Domhnall Iain Domhnallach
14/06/2014
oxfordstudent.com

I am not a nationalist. I am neither a British nor a Scottish nationalist. I merely believe that independence is the best way to create a fairer, more socially conscious, more democratic society in Scotland.

Thus, as a Yes voter, I don’t view myself as breaking Britain. The truth is – Britain is already broken. We live in a state with a deepening chasm of inequality – the top 1% of earners now own 10% of the wealth, compared to 7% in the 90s, while the bottom 50% own just 18%. We live in a state where one in six children grow up in poverty and where the number of people using food banks has increased 400% over the past year. And we live in a state where an inward-looking and racist nationalist party just won the European elections on the back of popular discontent at the professional political class. This is a state where over a quarter of MPs went Oxbridge, and where even a catastrophic financial crisis wasn’t enough to loosen the stranglehold of the city of London on the economy.

You see, the Yes campaign isn’t a blood-and-soil nationalism fueled by hatred of the English. Rather, it is civic nationalism, driven by fury at the Westminster elite and its regime of austerity, by a desire to create a more equitable, internationally-minded Scotland. No wonder then a recent poll found 64% of Scots Asians are planning to vote yes. Compare the open-minded pro-immigration Yes campaign to the unionists. British nationalism is not a cuddly, conveniently neutral identity – just look at EDL marches, or UKIP, or the BNP, or the Orange Walks that flood the city of Glasgow each and every summer weekend.

Voting yes to independence is not anglophobic – it is a statement that the people who happen to live in Scotland deserve better than Westminster. Voting yes means voting no to nuclear weapons, no to the bedroom tax, no to the all-out assault on the welfare state which has become almost axiomatic within the London parties. And voting yes doesn’t even necessarily mean a vote for the SNP. The wider Yes Campaign is the most vibrant grassroots movement in the UK today, dominated by young and idealistic Scots who shun Westminster’s callous ideology of cuts. While the unionists have the three parties of the status quo plus a ragtag band of quasi-fascists, we have the Green Party, the Scottish Socialist Party, the Jimmy Reid Foundation, the Radical Independence Campaign, National Collective, Women for Independence, Farming for Yes, Scots Asians for Yes, Yes Alba, Yes LGBT…

The point is: people can rightly criticize Alex Salmond for being an ex-banker, for getting into bed with Donald Trump, for wanting to slash corporation tax in Scotland. And we can slam the Scottish people for voting in a UKIP MEP. But at least the SNP, and the Yes Campaign, and the massive chunk of the Scottish electorate that voted the nationalists in, work to defend the classical, compassionate British welfare state. The harsh reality is that Scots still wish to elect a progressive government, but we are denied this right at Westminster and ruled by Tory governments we never voted for.

Scotland would prosper with independence. We are not subsidy junkies. Scotland contributes 9.9% of the UK’s tax revenues, while receiving only 9.3% of spending. Besides oil, the country is resource-rich, particularly in renewable energy and fisheries. A report from the Office of National Statistics last week showed Scotland is the most highly educated country in Europe, a good sign for key hi-tech industries like IT and life sciences. Yet Scotland is constantly belittled by Better Together’s Project Fear and by a national media of unionist propaganda, almost wholly owned outside Scotland, with only one (broadsheet) newspaper actually supporting independence.

Devolution has allowed Scotland to diverge politically from England, better reflecting the views of the people. Independence is the next logical step, with Scotland’s separate legal, education and health systems implying Scotland is just a nation in waiting. Scotland has a cohesive history and a culture beyond tourist-shop Tartanry, with three indigenous languages – Gàidhlig, Scots and (of course) English – plus the myriad of languages spoken by the ‘new’ Scots. Compare this to the stale Britishness of those still wet for Empire. Indeed, personally, as one of the few remaining first language Gàidhlig speakers, I abhor Britishness as an identity of colonialism and forced Anglicization.

It is not the Yes Campaign, with its vision of remaking an engaged social democracy, that is parochial. Rather it is the United Kingdom that is parochial, with its perpetual imperial hangover, obsessed with punching above its weight and sticking one up at Brussels. It is an arbitrary state whose governance works to benefit only folk like us – to advantage the wealthy, the well-educated, the future politicians and bankers and wonks and wankers.

I make no apologies for arguing for independence on the premise that fighting for fairness and undoing oppression are key policy goals. But others on the Left will likely question why I want to entrench imaginary geographical boundaries, why I want to curse the people of the rest of the UK to perpetual right-wing government? But in only three of the eighteen general elections since WWII did the Scots vote matter a jot, demonstrating that a London-centred first-past-the-post-system of parachute candidates and middle England swings voters disenfranchises Scots. Moreover, a United Kingdom is just as much of a construct as a separate Scotland, and indeed independence does not preclude the creation of a positive trans-national Britain à la Scandinavia.

So when I vote Yes on September 18th, I do it not due to some vague feeling of national pride or resentment. I do it because the UK has failed the protect the weak, the poor, the alienated. I vote for an independent Scotland because that is the only way people living in Scotland can gain back their independence, their dignity, their hope for the future.

Read the other half of ‘The Conversation’ on Scottish independence here

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A great article.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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