Scotland, Brexit & IndyRef2: Implications, considerations and similar (including impact on rail).

Noddy

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
447
Location
UK
I'm not so sure about that, given that a major reason for the SNP's demands for Indyref 2 are that 'Scotland didn't vote for Brexit' !

Yeah, Brexit is a brilliant campaigning tool for the SNP at elections and for IndyRef2. However, once the cold hard reality of the economics, installing border guards etc begins to bite any sensible post-independence government is going to have to gently postpone it. Unless they are willing to put a massive bomb under the Scottish economy.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Gareth

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,449
Location
Liverpool
The CTA is not likely to be dismantled for Scotland. Being in Schengen would neither particularly benefit Scotland nor the EU because there is no land border between Scotland and the EU. It would pose an issue if England remains entirely out, but I would be unsurprised to see England join EFTA in the medium-term future (as it's still "leave" but would solve most of the issues), and if it did that would mean no particular need for a border per-se.

This is where anti-UK people are dreaming, I'm afraid. The so-called Common Travel Area is an informal arrangement which has its origins in the formation of the Irish Free State, back in the 1920s. As the new state was still a part of the British Empire, it wasn't considered foreign and free movement was standard, at least amongst the "white" countries. Inertia and Northern Ireland are what keep it in existence. It's not a British Isles equivalent of the Schengen Agreement and Scotland is no more a member of it than Lancashire is.

As for the EU, it's a centralising force which hopes one day to become a state in its own right. Schengen, along with the Euro, are central tenents to this and no new member state is eligible for an opt out of either. The EU's said nothing about changing these core principles purely to accommodate Scotland and so the sensible starting assumption is that it wouldn't.

And it's not just the EU that would have to consent to such an arrangement but also the UK. Why would the UK want yet another immigration loophole? Ireland's enough of a headache as it is.

And I'm sorry but your choo choos would be affected too, probably quite substantially. Depending on how the checks are done, it's likely there'd be fewer services crossing the new international border with various restrictions for domestic travel on such services.
 

Gareth

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,449
Location
Liverpool
No, your love of breaking up the UK yet wanting your choo choos to remain unaffected is utter zealotry and unrealistic.

Unlike you, I've followed the EU closely over the last 20 years or so. It's not remotely pragmatic when it comes to what it considers its fundamental principles.
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
So there's no anti English sentiment in Scottish nationalism? Living in N Ireland I know only too well how much hatred Nationalism can generate, without any difference in skin colour. Do Scottish Nationalists hate England or not?
As I said above:
When I lived in Scotland I met quite a lot of other English people who had shifted to a firmly pro-independence opinion. Clearly, given most would describe themselves as British or English, they didn't come to that opinion through any traditional sense of Scottish "nationalism".
I would suggest it is unlikely that English people would be enthusiastic supporters of an anti-English project.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
79,417
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
No, your love of breaking up the UK yet wanting your choo choos to remain unaffected is utter zealotry and unrealistic.

I don't "love" the idea of breaking up the UK. I recognise the fact that it appears that the Scottish people no longer wish to be part of it, and I strongly support self-determinism of populations, so if the majority wish to have their own state that should be their right.
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
No, your love of breaking up the UK yet wanting your choo choos to remain unaffected is utter zealotry and unrealistic.
This is very silly. We're just pushing back against the catastrophism which often gets wheeled out when it comes to this issue. Nobody has professed a "love of breaking up the UK", whatever that means. England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are entirely welcome to remain in the UK if they so choose, but that is the important point: it is a choice.
 

A0wen

On Moderation
Joined
19 Jan 2008
Messages
5,667
You obviously don't understand much about Scottish & Welsh culture if you think that just because England, Scotland and Wales all speak the same language and share the same island, that they all share the same homogenous culture. The difference in the politics of the 3 nations is also becoming increasingly apparent, e.g. Scotland is pro-EU, England is not.

The Westminster government's increasing 'muscular unionism' by undermining devolution at every opportunity is not helping relations between the devolved governments and Westminster. "Great British Railways" is just one example of that, the devolved governments were not even consulted on how it would work or affect rail services in Scotland & Wales before the initial Williams-Shapps plan was published.

I think Scotland has fip-flopped on EU membership at least as much as England.

In the 1975 referendum Scotland had the only 2 areas on the mainland which voted no and their Yes/No percentage was 58/42 compared to 69/31 in England.

Scotland with the SNP in charge is just playing the grievance game - to an extent I'm happy to let them go - the impact on the rest of the UK would be far less harmful than it would to Scotland who wouldn't have a sovereign currency and would be hung out to dry by the international money markets. And the London government wouldn't have to consider Scotland in any policies regarding interest rates, tax or value of Sterling, but alot of people are ignoring that.

From a UK rail point of view - there could be huge cost savings - on the ECML 'express' services could be curtailed at Newcastle with a stopper to Berwick on Tweed. Services (and maintenance) of the ECML north of Berwick becomes the Scot Gov's problem. Ditto on the WCML - run to Carlisle on an hourly basis - leave the Scot Gov with the costs of maintaining the network north of Carlisle. Resources in terms of rolling stock and maintenance in the rest of the UK could be focused on the remaining network.

Scotland contributes less than 8% of the income tax revenues yet gets over 9% of the spending (source - Fullfact) - so from a fiscal perspective the rest of the UK would be better off without Scotland.
 

Gareth

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,449
Location
Liverpool
This is very silly. We're just pushing back against the catastrophism which often gets wheeled out when it comes to this issue. Nobody has professed a "love of breaking up the UK", whatever that means. England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are entirely welcome to remain in the UK if they so choose, but that is the important point: it is a choice.

Nobody said anything about holiday entitlement but that didn't stop you making a very interesting interpretation of what I said about the UK's tourist visa policy.

And it's all very well and all to put the word "choice" in bold but choices have consequences and breaking up a centuries old unitary state would have huge consequences not only for Scotland but the rest of the UK too. Indeed, considering the UK's size and influence, it would be a world event many times the magnitude of Brexit.

While I'd rather none of this happen to begin with, I certainly don't want it to happen if those who end up voting for it do so under the impression that nothing will really change; which is the impression far too many gave back in 2014. Many couldn't cope with the idea that Scotland could end up using a different currency. That suggests these people weren't as into independence as they believed.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
79,417
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
And it's all very well and all to put the word "choice" in bold but choices have consequences and breaking up a centuries old unitary state would have huge consequences not only for Scotland but the rest of the UK too.

I don't often agree with @A0wen, but he's right here - it would probably be of considerable benefit to England, because London makes the money and it subsidises the rest of the country. With less to subsidise, England would be considerably financially better off.
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
In the 1975 referendum Scotland had the only 2 areas on the mainland which voted no and their Yes/No percentage was 58/42 compared to 69/31 in England.
And it were still 1975, this might be relevant. As it happens the year is 2022, and you've disproved your own point: Scotland was firmly pro-membership then, as it is now, and the two areas you speak of were island communities with different priorities. Where is this flip-flopping you speak of?

Scotland with the SNP in charge is just playing the grievance game - to an extent I'm happy to let them go - the impact on the rest of the UK would be far less harmful than it would to Scotland who wouldn't have a sovereign currency and would be hung out to dry by the international money markets.
Barring a few years of disruption (as you'd expect) Scotland will be absolutely fine, and to dismiss it all as a "grievance game" is a gross oversimplification. If you're happy for them to go, let them, without resorting to this sort of lazy stereotyping.

From a UK rail point of view - there could be huge cost savings - on the ECML 'express' services could be curtailed at Newcastle with a stopper to Berwick on Tweed.
This is nothing short of a dogmatic fever dream. Will Hadrian's Wall also be rebuilt?

[...] so from a fiscal perspective the rest of the UK would be better off without Scotland.
And yet so many people who live in Scotland still want to leave, including many English people. I wonder why that is?
 

Gareth

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,449
Location
Liverpool
I don't often agree with @A0wen, but he's right here - it would probably be of considerable benefit to England, because London makes the money and it subsidises the rest of the country. With less to subsidise, England would be considerably financially better off.

Financially better off, maybe; considerably so, I doubt it. I certainly don't think I'd see a noticeable rise in my standard of living.

I personally think breaking up our island into two or three parts with their own foreign, defence, immigration & economic policies has more disadvantages than advantages and these all need to be seriously considered by anyone who wants to see it happen, or, like yourself, is ambivalent.
 

A0wen

On Moderation
Joined
19 Jan 2008
Messages
5,667
I don't often agree with @A0wen, but he's right here - it would probably be of considerable benefit to England, because London makes the money and it subsidises the rest of the country. With less to subsidise, England would be considerably financially better off.

It's not just subsidies - there are a multitude of things which are paid for by the UK government which Scotland uses and isn't "paying" for e.g. HMRC, DVLA, DVSA, FCO, Passport Office, Border Force etc etc. A newly independent Scot Gov would initially have to "buy in" these services until they had then got their own set up - and having got their own set up, they'd have the full cost of running them.

To give an example DVLA's expenditure (i.e running costs) are in the region of £ 400m / year


At best the Scot Gov would be charged around 10% of that so there's £ 40m / year without trying.

And bearing in mind such agencies invariably use bespoke systems rather than 'off the shelf' packages the cost of building a Scottish DVLA won't be cheap.
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
While I'd rather none of this happen to begin with, I certainly don't want it to happen if those who end up voting for it do so under the impression that nothing will really change; which is the impression far too many gave back in 2014. Many couldn't cope with the idea that Scotland could end up using a different currency. That suggests these people weren't as into independence as they believed.
I do agree that if and when the next vote happens, everyone should be clear-eyed about what an independent Scotland looks like, and you're right that certainly things would change. Where I differ is that a) I think this often gets overstated for political purposes; and b) a lot of pro-independence voters are much more aware of this than people assume.

I often hear people making lazy assumptions about the Scottish electorate (ie. that they've been duped) and that just wasn't my experience when I lived there. Many pro-independence voters are well aware (particularly after Brexit) that it wouldn't necessarily be smooth sailing, but the costs are worth it to them. I think that's a valid view to have, and lots of them are able to talk quite eloquently about it.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
79,417
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I often hear people making lazy assumptions about the Scottish electorate (ie. that they've been duped) and that just wasn't my experience when I lived there. Many pro-independence voters are well aware (particularly after Brexit) that it wouldn't necessarily be smooth sailing, but the costs are worth it to them. I think that's a valid view to have, and lots of them are able to talk quite eloquently about it.

Agreed.

I think there's a lot more understanding of the consequences of an independent Scotland than there was about the consequences about Brexit, not least because the demographic is quite different. Independence voters in Scotland are very commonly educated, politically-astute, left-of-centre younger people with an aspiration to an EU-member, Scandinavian style social democracy in the long run even if that means some pain in the short-term. This is very different from the stereotypical Brexiteer, even though the situation is in some ways similar.
 

A0wen

On Moderation
Joined
19 Jan 2008
Messages
5,667
And it were still 1975, this might be relevant. As it happens the year is 2022, and you've disproved your own point: Scotland was firmly pro-membership then, as it is now, and the two areas you speak of were island communities with different priorities. Where is this flip-flopping you speak of?

Scotland became more pro EU even the areas which had voted No in 1975 voted yes in 2016 - England and Wales went the other way
Barring a few years of disruption (as you'd expect) Scotland will be absolutely fine, and to dismiss it all as a "grievance game" is a gross oversimplification. If you're happy for them to go, let them, without resorting to this sort of lazy stereotyping.

I doubt it - would you care to name another "new" country with a deficit the size of Scotland's and a no "sovereign" currency which is doing "OK" ?

This is nothing short of a dogmatic fever dream. Will Hadrian's Wall also be rebuilt?

No to Hadrian's Wall - not least because that crosses a large swathe of England. However I think you're wrong on cross border rail. Take a look at the cross border services between France and Spain, France and Italy or even France and Belgium for example - excluding Eurostar. Most of those have an agreed 'switch over' point near the border. That's almost certainly what would happen if Scotland went independent.
And yet so many people who live in Scotland still want to leave, including many English people. I wonder why that is?

Perhaps because they can't add up ? Scotland has been financially mollycoddled by the UK governments for the best part of 50 years (at least since the Barnett formula and arguably before that) yet still it complains.
 

Gareth

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,449
Location
Liverpool
...

Agreed.

I think there's a lot more understanding of the consequences of an independent Scotland than there was about the consequences about Brexit, not least because the demographic is quite different. Independence voters in Scotland are very commonly educated, politically-astute, left-of-centre younger people with an aspiration to an EU-member, Scandinavian style social democracy in the long run even if that means some pain in the short-term. This is very different from the stereotypical Brexiteer, even though the situation is in some ways similar.


Please...

this is too typical of middle class Englishmen, such as yourself. Gap-toothed bogans in Sunderland who don't like foreigners versus gently brogue-tongued Caledonians who desire an egalitarian Scandinavian-style society, which no doubt they'd love to achieve within the UK but they can't because the English, ever the disappointment, don't want it.

I've come across plenty of people who don't want to be in the EU on principle and with reasons as justifiable as any. Likewise, I've come across plenty of Scots, admittedly often weirdos on the internet, who say they want free of the English yoke because, long story short, the English are ****s. Many of these then go onto say absolutely nothing will change, no borders, same currency, even same TV channels. If it's not really about independence but rather disliking the English, then breaking up the UK isn't sensible. The English dislike the English. Disliking the English has been the most British of pastimes since the Norman Conquest.

But, hey, if we're giving them the benefit of the doubt and they want to build Scandinavia on Great Britain and are aware of the consequences of breaking up Great Britain itself, then good luck to them.
 
Last edited:

Sad Sprinter

Member
Joined
5 Jun 2017
Messages
1,046
Location
Way on down South London town
English nationalism and Scottish nationalism come from two very different places, and really aren't as comparable as you're implying. While it is obviously true that there are some Scottish people who do use it as a vehicle for ugly tribalism, this is far from the norm. Scottish nationalism is broadly a progressive project, despite the term implying otherwise.

When I lived in Scotland I met quite a lot of other English people who had shifted to a firmly pro-independence opinion. Clearly, given most would describe themselves as British or English, they didn't come to that opinion through any traditional sense of Scottish "nationalism".

I see this happen time and time again with people who are pro-union (and, for the record, I don't have a settled view one way or the other). English nationalism and Brexit are not as applicable to this issue as many think, and constantly looking at it through that prism misunderstands the pro-independence vote. It really isn't about flags for the vast majority.


Maybe, but that situation was specific to Brexit. The point is that Scotland would have every incentive to make negotiations as straightforward as possible, and there wouldn't be a powerful, hardline anti-EU block trying to sabotage that process in the Scottish Parliament.

You cannot call any strain of nationalism "progressive". Scottish nationalism may think its left-wing and liberal, but its nationalism is defined from the notion that it is left-wing and liberal in comparison to England. Which means it still needs, like all nationalist sentiment, an "other" in order for its national identity to define itself. It's why, as an English/Welsh person, I view Scottish nationalism with deep mistrust and think the Southern left are extremely petty in embracing it as a reflex against Brexiteers. It's also why I don't sympathise with the idea that Scotland is "ruled" from England. It is not. It sends its MPs to what is effectively England's Parliament that have influence over lawmaking that only affects England. Scotland holds the key to power for the victory of the Labour Party. If Scottish nationalists complain about Tory governments imposed on Scotland brought into power by England and Wales, then campaigning for PR is a perfectly reasonable solution to that problem rather than all-out independence. The Scottish nationalist promise that after independence, Scotland and England would be two close chums is complete rubbish for anyone that spends more than five seconds thinking about it. England will control Scotland's main import/export corridors, that alone is a huge flashpoint for tension in Anglo-Scottish relations which could easily turn into a "England is trying to get revenge over Scotland for independence" argument.

In regards to your second comment, I think you're looking at the situation too optimistically. Negotiations between London and Edinburgh after a "yes" vote will be something we need as much as a second sun in the sky. They will be fraught, long and difficult. Aside from the fact I believe a Yes vote would be won on a less than credible nationalist agenda, Scotland would find itself arguing against a UK who has absolutely no interest in being lenient and showing "goodwill" and will, just like the EU, probably play tough. Whilst the nationalist side would likely splinter into more radical factions who will demand Scotland just "walks away" like the hardline Tory Brexiteers and moderate nationalists who will continue to negotiate. I doubt a Yes vote would be won with more than a few percentage points north of 50, so Scottish Unionists would just dig themselves into a fight which the Scottish Tories would have nothing to lose from fighting. It would be an absolute disaster for the people and security of this island and it brings me pain that people like Nicola Sturgeon would rather go down that road rather than use her unique position as a powerful public figure, to strong-arm the UK government into meaningful reform which we would all enjoy across the UK. The reason, of course, is plain old nationalism - its ultimately an "us and them" mindset, not a pragmatic mindset. And no amount of social democracy is going to wash that off the SNP.

Finally, I'm pretty sick of the hysteria around English nationalism. Yes, there is a sinister strain of English/British nationalism, but the broad, sweeping complaints of "English nationalists that voted for Brexit" and "white van men with 'Eng-ur-land' shaved into the backs of their head" smacks of classism and regionalist discrimination. I.e "Anyone not middle class and liberal from North London, Bristol or Brighton are terrifying". I write this because I've heard these views aired completely freely down here in London, often with company, which I find pretty shocking considering those airing these views clearly have a blatant disregard in offending anyone in the conversation. It's extremely disheartening because the same people who hold these views are in the same party as much of the "racists from Sunderland" (all 17 million of them - I didn't know Sunderland was so big) that voted for Brexit, often because their areas have been neglected and left behind for 40 years.

Brexit wasn't a total vote against immigrants (although this was lubrication for the vote), or the Scottish, or anyone else, more so than these downright insulting views from the same people that have dominated socio-economic policy in this country for so many years. It's insane we're still having this argument in 2022 when an A-Level politics pupil could have told you a few days after the vote in 2016 it was socio-economic inequality that ultimately led the vote. It's why I think people who insult Northern Brexiteers as "stupid, racist, ignorant, fascist, awful" or whatever insult you have, just come across as kind of heartless. And why I find it really amusing Scottish nationalists will complain about the past 40 years of British socio-economic policy and vote for something that will ruin their economy, but think themselves morally superior to the English and Welsh, who have literally the same complaints as them and vote for something similarly economically damaging as Scottish independence because of it.
 
Last edited:

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
I think there's a lot more understanding of the consequences of an independent Scotland than there was about the consequences about Brexit, not least because the demographic is quite different. Independence voters in Scotland are very commonly educated, politically-astute, left-of-centre younger people with an aspiration to an EU-member, Scandinavian style social democracy in the long run even if that means some pain in the short-term. This is very different from the stereotypical Brexiteer, even though the situation is in some ways similar.
I don't have anything to add other than to say: exactly this. This is the reality, no matter how determined some are to make it about themselves (ie. it's an anti-English vendetta). I know it's the reality because I lived in Scotland, in various areas, for over a decade, and spent a lot of time listening.

Perhaps because they can't add up ? Scotland has been financially mollycoddled by the UK governments for the best part of 50 years (at least since the Barnett formula and arguably before that) yet still it complains.
There's absolutely no point trying to have a rational discussion with someone whose view of Scotland is so obstinately blinkered and paternalistic. Essentially what you're saying, though you'll deny this, is that people in Scotland are silly, irrational scroungers who should shut up and be grateful for England's charity. You have very little understanding of Scotland and it shows.

[...] this is too typical of middle class Englishmen, such as yourself. Gap-toothed bogans in Sunderland who don't like foreigners versus gently brogue-tongued Caledonians who desire an egalitarian Scandinavian-style society, which no doubt they'd love to achieve within the UK but they can't because the English, ever the disappointment, don't want it.

I've come across plenty of Scots, admittedly often weirdos on the internet, who say they want free of the English yoke because, long story short, the English are ****s. Many of these then go onto say absolutely nothing will change, no borders, same currency, even same TV channels. If it's not really about independence but rather disliking the English, then breaking up the UK isn't sensible.
I don't think that's what Bletchleyite was saying at all. The point is that the two movements, though they appear superficially similar, come from very different perspectives.

When I first moved to Scotland I went up there with quite a lot of (silly, in retrospect) preconceived notions, about it all being a bit Braveheart, and I was quickly disabused of them. And I have to say that I was quite impressed by the quality of life in Scotland as a whole, and the choices they have made with the powers they have. It has immense potential as a country and it's easy to understand why so many people there want to give it a go.

While I don't doubt you've come across idiots on the internet, every political group of every stripe includes some people who are in it for the wrong reasons. That isn't reflective of the reality in Scotland. I discussed this issue with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, and hatred of the English rarely comes into it. They do feel alienated by the political direction of England, but that's a very different thing.
 

A0wen

On Moderation
Joined
19 Jan 2008
Messages
5,667
...




Please...

this is too typical of middle class Englishmen, such as yourself. Gap-toothed bogans in Sunderland who don't like foreigners versus gently brogue-tongued Caledonians who desire an egalitarian Scandinavian-style society, which no doubt they'd love to achieve within the UK but they can't because the English, ever the disappointment, don't want it.

I've come across plenty of people who don't want to be in the EU on principle and with reasons as justifiable as any. Likewise, I've come across plenty of Scots, admittedly often weirdos on the internet, who say they want free of the English yoke because, long story short, the English are ****s. Many of these then go onto say absolutely nothing will change, no borders, same currency, even same TV channels. If it's not really about independence but rather disliking the English, then breaking up the UK isn't sensible. The English dislike the English. Disliking the English has been the most British of pastimes since the Norman Conquest.

But, hey, if we're giving them the benefit of the doubt and they want to build Scandinavia on Great Britain and are aware of the consequences of breaking up Great Britain itself, then good luck to them.

This deserves a 'like' - because it's pretty much spot on.

It conveniently ignores the fact that much of the Scottish electorate aren't well educated, Scotland is much less diverse demographic (96% white vs 85% white in England), it has a lower life expectancy than the rest of the UK, has a higher problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Even by academic measures, Scotland is showing poorer results than England and Wales.

To somehow pretend the Scottish electorate is cleverer and more sophisticated than the rest of the UK is ignoring the facts.
 

GusB

Established Member
Associate Staff
Buses & Coaches
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
4,475
Location
Elginshire
Scotland holds the key to power for the victory of the Labour Party.
This is simply not true. There are very few occasions when any government has had to rely on Scottish seats to form a majority.

The Scottish nationalist promise that after independence, Scotland and England would be two close chums is complete rubbish for anyone that spends more than five seconds thinking about it.
This is nonsense. Why wouldn't two neighbouring countries want to have a cordial relationship?

England will control Scotland's main import/export corridors
Will it? We've already seen that Ireland has found an alternative route for its goods going to and from the continent. We have ports too.

I'm not going to respond to the rest of your post other than to say that you've neatly summed up the reasons for Scottish independence. Keep going...
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
You cannot call any strain of nationalism "progressive". Scottish nationalism may think its left-wing and liberal, but its nationalism is defined from the notion that it is left-wing and liberal in comparison to England. Which means it still needs, like all nationalist sentiment, an "other" in order for its national identity to define itself.
While I do understand this view, and used to broadly agree with it, I think the word "nationalism" is a distraction here, because in Scotland's case it simply doesn't adhere to many of the usual assumptions. A common mistake I see lots of people in England make is that they assume, as you do, that independence must be about the English. It's isn't for the majority.

The core of it is this: many (though of course, not all) Scottish people want their country to move closer to being a European, socially democratic state. That does not require an "other", which is why I think that's a fundamental misunderstanding. Their vision happens to be different from the current direction England is going in, but the latter doesn't define the former. The difference in political direction between the two countries is absolutely a driving factor for independence, but for practical reasons, not comparative ones.

[...] it brings me pain that people like Nicola Sturgeon would rather go down that road rather than use her unique position as a powerful public figure, to strong-arm the UK government into meaningful reform which we would all enjoy across the UK.
Many pro-independence (and quite a lot of pro-union) voters would very much like to see progressive reform throughout the UK, but see no viable way to achieve this. How exactly do you think Nicola Sturgeon could "strong-arm" UK government? Even if she could, what right does she have to do so? The government has very little incentive to listen to a word she says, and that's the crux of this.

Scotland votes broadly progressively in every single election, and has done for a very long time. How much longer should they be expected to wait for England to start voting the same way? If national reform is not possible, local reform is the next best thing, and many in Scotland believe full independence is the best way to achieve that. That seems quite a rational view to me.

It's insane we're still having this argument in 2022 when an A-Level politics pupil could have told you a few days after the vote in 2016 it was socio-economic inequality that ultimately led the vote. It's why I think people who insult Northern Brexiteers as "stupid, racist, ignorant, fascist, awful" or whatever insult you have, just come across as kind of heartless.
For the record, I agree with you! Many areas of this country have been left behind and it's unsurprising they felt alienated as a result, and you'll notice I've been careful not to make the kinds of assumptions you mention. But it is true that the two issues come from different political perspectives, despite the common "nationalist" label.
 

Falcon1200

Established Member
Joined
14 Jun 2021
Messages
1,605
Location
Neilston, East Renfrewshire
I don't "love" the idea of breaking up the UK. I recognise the fact that it appears that the Scottish people no longer wish to be part of it

Slight correction; Some of the Scottish people, less than 50% in 2014 in fact, no longer wish to be part of the UK; Huge numbers, including me, believe that breaking up the UK would be an utter disaster. Should the SNP achieve its dreams of independence and EU membership, the resulting creation of an artificial border and divide between people who share so much, not to mention between Scotland and its largest trading partner, would be madness. and extremely destructive to the Scottish economy.

Barring a few years of disruption (as you'd expect) Scotland will be absolutely fine

A few years of disruption ? No, more like decades to come. I don't think anyone disputes that Scotland spends more than it earns with the shortfall being made up by the UK, so where is that money going to come from ? Certainly not North Sea oil, as per the SNP's prospectus in 2014. And a hard border between Scotland and England would do untold damage to the former.

It's not just subsidies - there are a multitude of things which are paid for by the UK government which Scotland uses and isn't "paying" for e.g. HMRC, DVLA, DVSA, FCO, Passport Office, Border Force etc etc.

Those are very valid points, one which has occurred to me in the past is representation and assistance for Scots abroad; What would the costs of setting up Scottish embassies and consulates around the world be ? These are the kind of hard questions, along with some already mentioned such as currency and borders, that the SNP has never been able to answer, but which will most certainly be asked, not least by me, in the event of Indyref 2.
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
It conveniently ignores the fact that much of the Scottish electorate aren't well educated
That's a "fact", is it? I'll also remind you that whether or not someone has a degree or good results, they are entirely capable of educating themselves and coming to an informed view.

Scotland is much less diverse demographic (96% white vs 85% white in England)
Okay. And this matters, why? Does this mean they aren't allowed to be progressive?

It has a lower life expectancy than the rest of the UK, has a higher problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Even by academic measures, Scotland is showing poorer results than England and Wales.
And therefore, what? It's unreasonable for them to want to improve this by moving to a socially democratic model?

To somehow pretend the Scottish electorate is cleverer and more sophisticated than the rest of the UK is ignoring the facts.
Nobody has claimed this (and "cleverer" is not the same as "well educated", for the record). I will never understand this bizarre inferiority complex which constantly comes out of the woodwork. Scotland's desire for something different is not an attack on you, your values, or England.
 

JamesT

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2015
Messages
1,512
I don't have anything to add other than to say: exactly this. This is the reality, no matter how determined some are to make it about themselves (ie. it's an anti-English vendetta). I know it's the reality because I lived in Scotland, in various areas, for over a decade, and spent a lot of time listening.
I don't think that's what Bletchleyite was saying at all. The point is that the two movements, though they appear superficially similar, come from very different perspectives.

When I first moved to Scotland I went up there with quite a lot of (silly, in retrospect) preconceived notions, about it all being a bit Braveheart, and I was quickly disabused of them. And I have to say that I was quite impressed by the quality of life in Scotland as a whole, and the choices they have made with the powers they have. It has immense potential as a country and it's easy to understand why so many people there want to give it a go.

While I don't doubt you've come across idiots on the internet, every political group of every stripe includes some people who are in it for the wrong reasons. That isn't reflective of the reality in Scotland. I discussed this issue with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, and hatred of the English rarely comes into it. They do feel alienated by the political direction of England, but that's a very different thing.

If we're doing personal experiences. I was born and brought up in Scotland but happen to have an English accent. There is very much a section of the Scottish population that does not like English people, high-minded principles don't come into it.
 

SJL2020

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2020
Messages
65
Location
Rossett
This deserves a 'like' - because it's pretty much spot on.

It conveniently ignores the fact that much of the Scottish electorate aren't well educated, Scotland is much less diverse demographic (96% white vs 85% white in England), it has a lower life expectancy than the rest of the UK, has a higher problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Even by academic measures, Scotland is showing poorer results than England and Wales.

To somehow pretend the Scottish electorate is cleverer and more sophisticated than the rest of the UK is ignoring the facts.
Can you please clarify which data you are relying on to evidence the assertion highlighted in bold? I am afraid it doesn't sit very well with the ONS data I am used to using.

e.g. ONS data from 2020 clearly shows that a significantly higher proportion of the Scottish working age population is educated to degree level than is the case in England. The only English region that exceeds Scotland on this measure is London. For example, in Scotland it is 49%, in England as a whole it is around 43% and in the East Midlands it is just 37.2%.
 

permarquis

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
64
If we're doing personal experiences. I was born and brought up in Scotland but happen to have an English accent. There is very much a section of the Scottish population that does not like English people, high-minded principles don't come into it.
I'm sorry if you've had bad experiences, and you're right: that section of the population does exist, although in my experience it was usually pretty light-hearted stuff, rather than anything especially pernicious. I can imagine it being more unpleasant at school. If anything more serious has happened to you, that's unacceptable, of course.

I do think it's a mistake to assume those kinds of people are a symptom of the independence movement, though. One of the people I had most difficulties with was staunchly pro-union, for example. People like that will always latch onto the thing that seems different about you and exploit it. I'd argue that says more about them than anything else.
 

Top