I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

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Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:22 pm

Scotland agreed grudgingly to unite with England because it had been virtually bankrupted by failed investments. England wanted Scotland united with England because it feared Scotland supporting the French in any war with England. Scotland wanted an independent Scottish Parliament at the time but that was rejected by England who had the upper hand in the negotiation. Funny how somebody always has the upper hand in any negotiation? Perhaps a lesson there for the EU negotiations? The desire for independence has been festering ever since. Perhaps if England had agreed to a Scottish Parliament 300 years ago that desire might have faded away by now. Perhaps if England had allowed the promised boundary commission in Ireland around 100 years ago we might never have had the troubles. Perhaps another lesson there? If you are the one with the upper hand it may be wiser to think long term rather than using it for short term gain?

I think you need to be careful in deducing that the majority in Scotland want an independent Scotland on the basis that they have sent a huge majority of SNP MPs to Westminster. I suspect that people in Scotland think that, when it comes to representing Scottish interests in Westminster, SNP will do better than the other parties as MPs from the other parties will inevitably be swamped by the views of their English colleagues. I suspect that they are right.

If you look at the devolved parliament in Edinburgh, however, it is a different story. As far as I know SNP have never achieved an overall majority in Holyrood. They are currently the biggest single party but they do not have an overall majority and govern in coalition with other parties. Again, using seats as the metric, more people voted against the nationalist party than voted for it, although by quite a small margin.

In the last independence referendum there was a 10 % difference between Leave the UK and Remain in the UK. That is quite a big gap to close but even that does not tell the whole story. If you look at the voting map you find that the strongest leave vote was between 55 % and 57.5 % while the strongest remain vote was between 65 % and 67.5 %. Also look at the area of the map that is dark pink/red, i.e. remain, compared to the palest pink/green, i.e. leave.

I suspect that if a second independence referendum was held today it would still return a remain result but if Brexit does have a badly negative economic effect then that might change. For Sturgeon it is a gamble. Every SNP First Minister wants to go down in history as the one that delivered independence. If she waits she might increase her chances if Brexit is badly negative but if Brexit is only mildly negative then she might miss the opportunity. Do you feel lucky, Nicola? Well do you?

Warwick

Mixos
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Mixos » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:04 pm

Thank you Warwick. As usual you have articulated far better than I did, the point I was making on the previous page. I would only add that I think Johnson has made a tactical mistake by rejecting Sturgeon's demand so soon after the election. If Brexit is NOT badly negative -- to borrow your phrase -- then the case for Scottish independence is weakened, but we are not there yet, so pragmatic Scots might prefer to wait and see. By saying No to Sturgeon at this stage he's just reinforced her position.

Keltz
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Keltz » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:17 pm

Warwick, a balanced view but I would correct a couple of things.

"Scotland agreed grudgingly to unite with England because it had been virtually bankrupted by failed investments."

The general population of Scotland did not agree with the Union they were against it but had no say in the matter. It was the wealthy Lairds in Scotland who had bankrupted themselves with the failed Darien project who agreed to sign the Treaty with England. The country of Scotland was not bankrupt, however, England was heavily in debt with ongoing wars and as you say the conflict with France being the latest skirmish. It was the newly combined parliament in London that took on English debt and Scotland assumed a share of that debt along with recovering from Darien losses.

"As far as I know SNP have never achieved an overall majority in Holyrood."

In 2011 the SNP won a majority with 69 seats, Labour 37, the Tories 15, the Lib Dems five, and others three. The type of proportional representation system used in Scotland is designed to discourage any one party having a majority so this was considered exceptional.

"using seats as the metric, more people voted against the nationalist party than voted for it, although by quite a small margin."

However members of parliament are choosen on seats won not vote share and the current parliament in Scotland has a majority of Independence supporting MSP's. Hence they insist they already have a democratic mandate to hold a referendum on independence.

"In the last independence referendum there was a 10 % difference between Leave the UK and Remain in the UK. That is quite a big gap to close"

Purely on numbers a swing of 5.31% would have won it for Yes voters. I don't think the whole story can be told simply through numbers but to put your argument in perspective the Yes vote was polling less than 25% before the two year run up to the referendum. That is quite a significant move from No to Yes by the time the vote took place.

The question I would put is why is Westminster so keen to keep a hold of Scotland, as Maud put it she thinks Scotland cannot afford to leave the UK and be on its own, adding significantly to UK debt apparently. I don't believe that for one minute as Scotland must be the only country in the world that has discovered oil and become poorer as a result. It goes back to my point a few days ago that Norway with the same oil resources in the same geographical location has a $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, while the UK has £2 trillion of debt all under the control of Westminster. Not to mention that Scotland exports more than it imports outside of oil & gas and has an abundance of natural resources the most significant being renewable energy. I think Westminster needs Scotland more than Scotland needs Westminster and they do not like to admit it.

Maud, Brexit is not the reason it is a symptom, that has made it very clear where previously it was perhaps not so obvious that a vote in Scotland doesn't matter to Westminster. They can use the 85% of votes from England to run Scotland is it sees fit where Scotland hasn't voted for the Tories in over 60 years, so not a Union at all.

From my discussion with people from Scotland that is the nub of the matter made worse when the last Independence referendum looked like moving past a 50% win for Yes to independence the 3 main party leaders in Westminster travelled to Scotland and signed a pledge to put Scotland at the centre of UK politics as an equal partner if they vote No and promised that the only way for Scotland to remain in the EU was with a No vote to stay in the UK. Good Brexit or bad Brexit that is not what Scotland voted for.

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:23 pm

Johnson won’t agree to another Scottish independence for at least a couple of years.....and my guess is it will be even longer. By then we will all have a better idea of how things are panning out after the election, plus with Brexit. I think this will be a good thing, as it will help the Scottish people focus on what they really want for their future.

Incidentally I didn’t say that Scotland could not manage financially on its own Keltz, just that I had reservations about it. I love Scotland, and I wish it well, but Scotland’s oil fields are not ‘green’ and the world is moving away from fossil fuels as much as possible. Two of my closest friends are Scottish, and both of them (like me) have reservations about Scotland becoming financially totally independent. I still think it is a choice for the Scottish people though, not something to be dictated from London.

BST
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby BST » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:17 pm

In terms of seats gained, there's only England where the majority of constituencies are Conservative! Feel like the Conservatives are taking the UK out if the EU and dragging Scotland, Wales and NI with them!

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:56 pm

Wales voted to leave, just like England, so they probably don’t need to be dragged out, unlike Scotland. I haven’t got a clue what the Northern Irish think - does anybody?

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:21 am

No old article, and in the Guardian, but it is worth a read.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... t-research

TweetTweet
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby TweetTweet » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:33 am

Maud wrote:It is not that people are stupid.....just that many are not interested, and will do as their daily newspaper or friends advise them. (Like the woman in the West Midlands).

For me, that would = one definition of stupid.

Keltz
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Keltz » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:58 am

Maud wrote:Incidentally I didn’t say that Scotland could not manage financially on its own Keltz, just that I had reservations about it. I love Scotland, and I wish it well, but Scotland’s oil fields are not ‘green’ and the world is moving away from fossil fuels as much as possible. Two of my closest friends are Scottish, and both of them (like me) have reservations about Scotland becoming financially totally independent. I still think it is a choice for the Scottish people though, not something to be dictated from London.


I think I got that Maud, my reference to oil was to emphasise the mismanagement of it by London. Oil is less than 15% of the Scottish economy and as you say moving into greener technology is the future which Scotland has many options to develop offshore wind, tidal and wave power sources. I understand that hydrogen vehicles are advancing as well https://www.cleantechloops.com/scotland ... -vehicles/.

Annual GDP of the Scottish economy is referred to as the GERS report produced by the Scottish government from figures given to them by Westminster and are mostly estimated amounts that include Westminster attributed Scottish spending on Trident, Hinckley point, HS2, London Crossrail, UK debt interest payments....none of which Scotland wants or needs and would not form part of their economy when independent. England does not produce a similar report on GDP so there is no transparency across the U.K..

I was in Scotland at the time of the last referendum where it became apparent that there is no Scottish media in Scotland only London based papers who are all against Scotland becoming independent, except for 1. The economic case is strong but under reported.

BST
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby BST » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:12 am

Guy M wrote:Wales voted to leave, just like England, so they probably don’t need to be dragged out, unlike Scotland. I haven’t got a clue what the Northern Irish think - does anybody?

Judging by the Welsh news and relatives who live in Wales, many of the people who voted leave have changed their minds realising that the huge subsidies they have received from the EU....upto 2/3rds sheep farms could go bust impact on landscape etc....

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:17 am

I wasn't suggesting that people are well informed, Maud, simply that the information exists now that didn't exist at the time of the referendum. The argument that people didn't know what they were voting for in the referendum is an accurate statement because nobody knew then how Brexit would turn out. It may well be an accurate statement today but not for the same reason. We know in great detail the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement and we know in outline what sort of future relationship we will have with the EU. If many people did not know this when they voted in the general election those same people would not have known it in a second referendum.

I think the vast majority of people are rarely well informed and in many cases that is because they don't have time to be. My son typically works 10 to 12 hours per day in the week and spends another 3+ hours commuting. During the week his only other activity is eating and sleeping. At weekends he spends all his time with his son taking him to football, rugby, cricket, swimming, cycling, running, parkour etc. all participation, not watching. Those activities are more important to him than following the detail of political debate. Not being well informed because simply living takes up all your life does not equate to being stupid, TweetTweet. He is intelligent, well educated and in a well paid job. If you take all the people who are struggling to survive, perhaps working several jobs, perhaps in the gig economy on zero hours contracts, perhaps a single parent family, I don't see how anybody can expect them to keep well informed. Not being so does not make them stupid.

I worked between 50 and 100 hours per week when I was his age and also didn't consider myself particularly well informed on politics. Now I am retired I have the time to dig much deeper into topics that interest me and the training to do so by seeking out original information rather than relying on reports. Even then I make mistakes, as Keltz pointed out. I stated that SNP have never won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. I should have said that out of the 5 elections held for the Scottish Parliament since the devolved assembly was formed in 1999, SNP have only won an overall majority once, in 2011. I have no idea if Scotland would vote to leave the UK in a second independence referendum. I simply made the point that you cannot infer that they would because they sent most MPs to Westminster. Voting within Scotland is far more divided and it is not clear that the SNP would win such a referendum.

I totally agree with all the arguments put forward why it is better to resolve the issue of EU membership in a referendum than a general election. I have made such arguments myself, with the proviso that I am not sure a second referendum would work. But, given the outcome of the general election and the way it was conducted, I still think that, in this particular case, it does act as a proxy second referendum on the EU. If the result had been much closer, for example, or Lib Dems/Greens/Plaid Cymru had made massive progress then I agree it would not be a mandate for Brexit. The massive majority for the Conservatives, the complete collapse of Labour and the total failure of the England/Wales pro-remain parties to make any gains is very significant. Conservatives fought a single issue campaign and won - that cannot be brushed aside. Obviously Scotland and Northern Ireland are different since they were pro-remain countries so you would expect them to support pro-remain parties.

Whatever people's views, Brexit will now happen. From the point of view of us expats there will be a Withdrawal Agreement which should protect our right to remain. Whether there will be reciprocal agreements on healthcare and pensions is still undecided so some of us may not be able to exercise our right to remain if these are withdrawn at the end of 2020. We live in hope.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:28 pm

Our daughter is in the same position as your son Warwick. She has a very demanding job, works long hours, then has a young daughter to take to ballet, horse riding, gymnastics etc at weekends.....as well as trying to fit in spending time with a husband who works away from home all week. I know she is it not as well informed as she would like to be about politics, but at this stage in her life, she just doesn’t have the time for it. She is not stupid either Tweet Tweet. I am surprised you read my previous post as such, - but of course it was one of the ‘arguments’ put forward encourage ‘leavers’ to be even more enthusiastic about their convictions. - ’Remainers think you are stupid....so they are the enemy.’

There are also people out there that do not wish to be better informed. They feel politics is not important to them. Once again, they are not stupid.....just not interested. I would never call anyone stupid, but it is a fact of life that we all process information differently, and have different interests. - If not we might all want to be Prime Minister of the U.K!

I totally agree with you by the way Warwick about the information being out there re Brexit for those who want to read it. Sadly my paragraph above, plus your comments re your son, show that not everyone has the time or inclination to do so. I still believe Brexit influenced this election more than anything else, but I think Corbyn was almost as big a problem. People didn’t want Brexit, but they didn’t want Corbyn as PM either. This was even the case in the strong labour voting areas.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... SApp_Other

This proves if anything Tweet Tweet that people are not stupid. Most people do not believe all they are told if it is clearly not the truth. Unfortunately, when people voted for Brexit they believed what the ‘Leave’ contingency told them at the time. - It seemed credible. I think from the first paragraph in the link above, many people have now seen what leaving the EU possibly entails and have had second thoughts. (Hence Johnson and his cronies objection to a second referendum. - Nit that I am convinced that such a small margin again would have healed the wounds!). I hope the same doesn’t happen with this Tory Government three and a half years down the line re promises made to the electorate about their livings standards, jobs, hospitals nurses etc. - Time will tell.

I see today that Gove has said on Sky News that he thinks Caroline Flint would make a good leader of the Labour Party. - Unfortunately for them she no longer has a seat in the House of Commons! Of course he is going to think she would be an ideal person.....she is a ‘leaver’ and voted against her own party whip on a number of occasions. I see that Johnson is going to spend the next 100 days touring the U.K. to thank voters for their support. In other words, he will not be leading the party and making decisions. He will be the ‘front Man’ as usual with others pulling the strings. That won’t bother him, as long as he has the adulation of the public, and can remain as PM. What the U.K. needs now is a strong ‘opposition’ to hold Johnson and his mates to account.

I accept the Brexit battle is over as far as the U.K. leaving the EU is concerned, but the important matters are yet to be decided.....trade, long term relationships with the EU, the UK’s relationship with the USA etc. We now need to focus on doing what is best for the U.K. and its citizens, (wherever the live), not just on the word BREXIT.

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:42 pm

Absolutely correct BST. The Government has only made ‘loose promises’ about subsidising these farmers for two years after we leave the EU. The NFU has repeatedly claimed Hill Farmers, such as those in Wales, will no longer be able to function without the subsidies. They will not be able to sell their sheep in the U.K. as they cannot afford to keep their meat prices competitive without help. They will not be able to sell them abroad, especially in the EU, and compete with the price of NZ lamb etc if tariffs are introduced.

On top of that, we now know that sheep grazing is good for climate change.....so two problems there.

evansmr1
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby evansmr1 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:58 pm

Why are you all so concerned with UK Politics?. Especially now that the Conservative Party have such a large majority and will eventually get the UK out of the EU.

Surly the concern should be in the Country that we live in, Greece. I, and am certain the majority of those expats that use this forum, left the UK for a better life here. So why the concerns of the Country that you all left?. I could not give a toss about what happens in the UK. What ever changes that will happen once the UK leave the UK I and many others that I know, will live with those changes and get on with our lives in Greece. Personally I believe that the UK will be better off. I do not intend to return. Greece is now my Country.
Mike
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Sic parvis magnaike

Keltz
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Keltz » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:40 pm

evansmr1 wrote: I could not give a toss about what happens in the UK.


Good for you. I have a family in the UK I care about. I have children in the UK I care about. I still pay all my taxes in the UK. There is a corner of the UK I still call home as that is where I was born.

Johnson has pledged to "enshrine" into law the transfer of £45 billion of our taxes to the national health service to make us all feel good about ourselves.

In the near future the NHS will be on the table of trade negotiation with the USA where the enhanced value of the NHS through this tranfer of funds using our UK taxes will boost the equity shares value for multinationals to make profits and draw dividends into their private offshore funds.

Local government funds are currently being transfered to private equity funds through government sponsered PFI now PPP schemes. Johnson has now secured the ownership of the NHS through a large majority at Westminster and the collapse of any real opposition in the next 5 years.

I care.


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