Opinion: I’ve changed my mind on Scottish independence

I’ve changed my mind over Scottish independence and so on which way I would vote in the referendum on 18 September.

Although a Liberal and Liberal Democrat, I welcomed the SNP’s election progress from the 1967 Hamilton by-election to their first administration in the Scottish Government.  As a school and college student, trying to be different, I would talk to girls about Scottish independence.  As a chat up technique it was a total failure!  Only a few years ago, I wrote in an email about wanting to be on the northern side of the border when Scotland became independent.

I displayed a sham certainty that melted several years ago before the prospect of a referendum after the SNP’s election victories.

In fact all along I was arguing for federalism with a passion that persists.

Why when, Liberal Democrats are jostling to explain why they are voting Yes, have I abandoned my flirtation and do I passionately want a No vote?

First, because I am a Liberal, not a nationalist.  I was inspired to join the Liberal Party by a plain and dull party political broadcast that talked about federalism.  I liked the idea of changing the constitution to make all the parts of the United Kingdom equal and properly able to work together.  I am half Welsh and Wales is, constitutionally, the least equal of all.  Independence creates competing unequal nations.  It doesn’t matter that a No vote will not create federalism.  That is not the question in the referendum; but if we are together, we Liberal Democrats can go on working for federalism.  We have achieved devolution and other great things, why should we not also achieve Gladstone’s great dream of federalism?

Second, if I were to vote for independence, I would have to do it for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, come what may.  A Yes vote should only be cast if I could live with an independent Scotland not getting into the EU, NATO, OECD and all the other international bodies Scotland belongs to as part of the United Kingdom; if there was no currency union; and if I could live with none of the liberal policies in the 650-page White Paper being implemented and an independent Scotland swinging to the right, with a government with no commitment to the White Paper, as might happen when a Yes vote removed the SNP’s reason for existing.  In other words, I could not make the only honest vote, which is an unconditional one.

Third, although people say this is not about Alex Salmond and the SNP, the truth is that it is.  They are intolerant.  The do not debate with opinions at odds with their own.  They denigrate, denounce, wrap themselves in the saltire, bully and belittle.  If it is not about Salmond and the SNP, then the whole Yes campaign, non-nationalists included, must be like that.  I don’t what such illiberal people in charge of a new country or even an existing one.

Fourth, a Yes vote will destroy the United Kingdom from the moment the result is declared and I don’t want it to be destroyed.

None of this matters – I don’t have the vote in the referendum.  I am one of the millions of Scots for and against independence who are disenfranchised by the first minister and the Yes campaign’s manipulating the franchise to increase their chances abetted by Westminster’s craven surrender.

But, if you do have a vote in the referendum, please think about what I say and vote No.

* Ian MacFadyen is a Liberal Democrat member. He is a co-editor of The Leeds Yellow Book: Essays on a Liberal Future for Leeds. He was formerly the chair of Leeds East North East Liberal Democrats.

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45 Comments

  • Jean Wallace 10th Sep '14 - 9:16am

    And this is exactly why LibDems are a failing party who need to get into bed with the Tory elite to have any influence. The Yes campaign in Scotland is grassroots, crosses party political borders and is engaging more people in politics than has happened for over 30 years. There is expected to be an 80% turnout on the 18th of September. When was the last time that many people turned out for a Westminster election.
    In your writing you dismiss and denigrate the people of Scotland. This is not about the SNP or Alex Salmond but he has shown more statesmanship over this last 2years than Cameron, Clegg or Milliband will ever hope to achieve collectively.
    Try arguing some of the actual points of debate rather than stick in to the same old rhetoric.
    Scotland will be part of the EU which is more than can be said for the ruk in a few years if UKIP have their way. We will be part of all the organisations you mention as an independent country.
    Scottish LibDems are finally waking up and are pinning their colours to the YES mast and good on them.
    Don’t come cap in hand on the 19th of September because its people like you who have Britain in the state it is in today.
    Saorsa Airson Alba

  • John Roffey 10th Sep '14 - 9:22am

    It is a pity that the UK will possibly be broken up – but the Scot’s have done us all a great favour.

    Even if they vote ‘No’ they are being promised virtual independence from Westminster – and things will be changed permanently. This change will burst the Westminster bubble – at least to some extent – as the Party leaders are being obliged to wake up to how much they are disliked, that the people see through their empty words and how they want a government that governs for the benefit of the people – not a small clique of extremely wealthy individuals.

    They must know that Wales, N Ireland and the Regions will start pressing for greater independence after Scotland has shown the way to escape from being governed by an elite group whose primary interest is those living in, or operating from, London and the surrounding area.

  • Simon McGrath 10th Sep '14 - 9:25am

    Excellent article.
    Salmond is deeply illiberal man – you only have to look at the way he has centralised policing and brought it under political control to see that.

  • @ Jean Wallace

    “In your writing you dismiss and denigrate the people of Scotland”.

    Ian does no such thing. Part of his piece is critical of Alex Salmond and the SNP but it is definitely not critical of the “people of Scotland”. Of course sometimes when I listen to Alex Salmond he appears to believe he is the incarnation of “the people of Scotland” and this is where the confusion may have arisen.

  • @ John Roffey

    “They must know that Wales, N Ireland and the Regions will start pressing for greater independence after Scotland has shown the way to escape.”

    Possibly but also possibly not – have you seen the way the First Minister of Northern Ireland has floated the idea the powers over welfare should be returned to Westminster from Northern Ireland because they cannot find a way forward in the Northern Irish Assembly/Government.

  • The loss of Scotland won’t make much difference for Labour – they would still have won three of the last four elections without it – but it would be a key loss for the Lib Dems as it’s where ~20% of your MPs have their constituencies. Then again, the support the Lib Dems have built up far from London is going to take taking a kicking due to your leader’s Londoncentricity.

  • @Simon McGrath
    “Salmond is deeply illiberal man – you only have to look at the way he has centralised policing and brought it under political control to see that.”

    There is nothing inherently liberal about centralisation/de-centralisation and your party, in coalition, was responsible for the introduction of the disastrous politicisation of the police through elected PCCs, so I haven’t got the foggiest idea what you are talking about.

  • Excellent and succinct comment from Jean Wallace. Thank you, Jean.

    As for the original post from Ian MacFadyean — he reminds me of the joke by John Cooper Clarke who said he was such a loyal Man Utd fan that he moved house away from Manchester to prove it. 🙂

  • John Roffey 10th Sep '14 - 9:54am

    @ Richard

    I did hesitate before including NI, who do have some extremely difficult problems to overcome – because of the past. However, this is not the case for the rest of Britain.

    The key point is that the closeness of the vote must bring home to the party leaders that they are despised – as polls show – and that they had better start living in the real world, out of the Westminster bubble, if they want to hold the rest of Britain together.

  • @Jean Wallace

    “There is expected to be an 80% turnout on the 18th of September. When was the last time that many people turned out for a Westminster election.”

    Not comparing like with like – this is vastly different and more important. When was there 80% for the Holyrood elections? Last time it was 50%, compared to 65.1% for Westminster.

    “The Yes campaign in Scotland is grassroots, crosses party political borders”

    Is Better Together not made up of more than one party and crosses political borders?

    “In your writing you dismiss and denigrate the people of Scotland.”

    The people of Scotland do not stop at the border. Ian is a Scot, and so am I. Arguing that people are stronger together does nothing to dismiss or denigrate Scotland. I’d feel as passionately about England leaving the Union as well.

    “This is not about the SNP or Alex Salmond but he has shown more statesmanship over this last 2years than Cameron, Clegg or Milliband will ever hope to achieve collectively.”

    Well, let us just call that opinion. Not sure thought that a statesman would ever use an occasion like a Wimbledon final to score political points…much to the annoyance of the player he was there to support.

    “Try arguing some of the actual points of debate rather than stick in to the same old rhetoric.”

    Ok, there will be no currency union without political union. That is just a fact, an actual point and not old rhetoric. Feel free to dismiss this out of hand as everyone in the Yes campaign has done, but no one – the Bank or the Treasury – are bluffing. An independent Scotland would have no say over currency or interest rates – what would the next move be? A new currency? The Euro? This is not ‘fear’, just reality.

    “Scotland will be part of the EU”

    Tell that to the EC or the EU, they have a different view. But, it seems they are bluffing to?

    “We will be part of all the organisations you mention as an independent country.”

    Apart from Alex Salmond, says who?

    “Scottish LibDems are finally waking up and are pinning their colours to the YES mast and good on them.”

    A majority of the Scottish party support Beter Together/No Thanks.

    “Don’t come cap in hand on the 19th of September because its people like you who have Britain in the state it is in today.”

    Why would we be cap in hand? People like us?

    “Saorsa Airson Alba”

    My family and Scottish and British. We have always been free.

  • @JohnTilley

    But John, this isn’t a joke. Hundreds and thousands of Scots live throughout the rest of the Union. My family moved for work and family reasons, but never left their country behind – they we are always in their country. Next Thursday that could be taken away from them with no say whatsoever.

  • JohnTilleyBi 10th Sep '14 - 10:04am

    Billy Bragg gives a good English perspective in his song TAKE DOWN THE UNION JACK

    Take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset
    And put it in the attic with the emperors old clothes
    When did it fall apart? Sometime in the 80s
    When the Great and the Good gave way to the greedy and the mean

    Britain isn’t cool you know, its really not that great
    It’s not a proper country, it doesn’t even have a patron saint
    It’s just an economic union that’s passed its sell-by date
    Take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset

  • Sam Irthlingson 10th Sep '14 - 10:43am

    Voters in rUK should vent their opposition to a currency union with an independent Scotland. It must never be viewed as a negotiating option. Why not? Because if a key financial institution in an independent Scotland (or Scotland itself) ever needed rescuing then this arrangement would oblige the Bank of England to act as lender of last resort in order to protect sterling. In other words for the same reasons that RBS was bailed out but this time it would be at the expense of the rUK taxpayer for the benefit of a foreign company in a foreign country. Of course, it also means that the Scots would be obliged to assist rUK if the latter required help. That’s what the Yes campaign means by being ‘in the interests of the UK’. But with the rUK economy nine times that of Scotland this is just not going to be acceptable to rUK citizens.

    Independent Scotland would continue to use the pound under the sterlingisation principle without protection from the rUK taxpayer. It’s that protection that the Yes campaign craves, not the denomination of the currency. Without this protection, financial markets would not endorse independence and will react accordingly. The Scots will not want to go down in history as being responsible for the 2014 financial crash (like to 2008 rehearsal but this time with serious money).

    By the way, you are going to hear a lot about sterlingisation so what is it? It’s the sterling equivalent of dollarisation whereby countries such as Ecuador, Panama and Zimbabwe make use of the US dollar but without formal currency union and with therefore no obligation for the USA to bail them out. Remember UK banknotes were still in circulation in Ireland decades after independence, but there was no currency union between the UK and Ireland.

    If you are not yet persuaded by this argument, ask yourself this. If you were asked to act as guarantor for a neighbour’s mortgage, would you agree?

    If ever a Westminster MP even breathed the possibility of currency union with an independent Scotland, let’s tell them they would be political toast next May.

    You can do your bit for Britain by copying the contents of this response in an email to all your friends.

  • jedibeeftrix 10th Sep '14 - 11:06am

    A commendable, if belated, return to good sense.

  • Eddie Sammon 10th Sep '14 - 11:17am

    We should get Salmond and co to agree to devo-max and call off the referendum.

  • Peter Chegwyn 10th Sep '14 - 11:58am

    Eddie – Wasn’t it politicians in Westminster who refused to allow devo-max on the ballot papers, not Alec Salmond?

    Cameron & Clegg have completely mis-judged public opinion in Scotland and if they seriously think that their day trip north of the border is going to help the ‘No’ campaign then that just shows how out-of-touch they are.

  • @ Peter Chegwyn

    Well said – they must realize that their trip is counterproductive – but feel they must take the risk in the hope of reducing the likelihood of being kicked out as party leaders – leaders who were in place when the UK became disunited.

    We know that the Tories are hated north of the boarder – so Cameron’s presence can only make maters worse. Unfortunately this also applies to his companions!

    Popularity of Miliband and Clegg falls to lowest levels recorded by ICM poll

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/17/ed-miliband-nick-clegg-fall-lowest-popularity-guardian-icm

  • Matthew Huntbach 10th Sep '14 - 12:16pm

    I’m concerned that the “Yes” to independence campaign in Scotland sounds very much like UKIP in England. It seems to involve a whipping up of emotional sentiment, in which rational debate is silenced by the suggestion that if you aren’t cheering them along you’re some sort of national traitor who’s on the side of the political elite against the people. The Union is put as the cause of all the people’s problems, and that drowns out the real discussion that is needed around the way that there are many forces pushing up what needs to be spent on what we have come to expect the state to provide and politicians of all parties are caught in the trap of facing hostility if they raise taxes to pay for it, so they squirm about looking for cost-saving things that cost more in the long run. Pulling out of the Union is put as the easy-peasy cost-free solution to this, when it won’t be easy-peasy, and it certainly won’t be cost free. The populist line “all the mainstream parties are the same, just in it for themselves” is used, but underneath this is an anti-democratic line, it ignores the difficult issues that whoever was in government would have to face, and is being pushed by powerful forces who have a vested interest in seeing democracy undermined by lack of participation.

    I don’t think the SNP is as dangerous as UKIP, because so far as I know it doesn’t have the hidden extreme right-wing economics line that UKIP has and hides from its gullible grass roots supporters but not from its fat cat funders. However, yes, from what I’ve heard there does seem to be quite a lot of bullying bluster coming from the SNP and some of its supporters, resulting in those who have doubts about what they are saying being afraid to express those doubts. That is not a good atmosphere to have when making a decision like this.

    I don’t feel it’s my part as an Englishman to tell the Scots what they should do. It seems to me how this should have been handled is for all English politicians to have kept out of it. Instead, we can see they have blundered into it, and their involvement has just helped the “Yes” types do more to whip up cheap unthinking anti-English attitudes. I don’t agree with the line that we English are somehow naturally much more right-wing than the Scots, so the Scots need independence from that. Rather it seems to me that one would naturally be more favourable to the left if one were in a part of a Union which has a net benefit from state spending over the Union. To be honest, there is a part of me which resents what seems to be more generous spending per head on the Scots than on us. However, I can also see there are good rational reasons for it, including the much greater land mass per person on Scotland than England. Pull out of the Union, and this sort of balancing no longer happens. Will the Scots remain so attached to the political left when it’s their politicians alone who’ll have to push through higher taxes to pay for higher state spending?

    The concept of the nation state and the power attached to it reached its peak in the 20th century, but started declining at the end of the 20th century as the power of global finance increased. The result is that the power of the nation state is nowhere near what it used to be, and so the issue of where the boundaries are drawn and “independence” is nowhere near as critical as it used to be. As a consequence, my feeling is that if Scotland does get independence, there will be a brief honeymoon period, and then a disillusionment when it is found that was not an easy-peasy solution to everything, the country will still be pushed around by global financial issues, there will still be politicians having to make decisions which are easy to shout down with an all-purpose populist anti-democratic line that can be thrown whatever way the decision-making goes.

  • Eddie Sammon 10th Sep '14 - 12:25pm

    Hi Peter, I know Salmond wanted devo-max on the ballot paper, but he bears ultimate responsibility for trying to take the UK away from millions of Scottish people. His top priority should have been devo-max, not dividing the country.

    I feel a sense of foreboding if the outcome of this is anything other than devo-max.

  • Steve are you sure about that, my calculations suggest they would not have been well short of a majority in 2005 without Scotland. The 1997 and 2001 elections were really exceptions to the rule when landslides occurred, more due to the Blair influence before Iraq. Generally speaking if you take Scotland out of the equation Labour will be in trouble..

  • @Peter Chegwyn

    ” Wasn’t it politicians in Westminster who refused to allow devo-max on the ballot papers, not Alec Salmond?”

    A referendum cannot have three options. 40% could have voted for Indy, 30% for Devo and 30% to say the same. 40% would have won and the 60% who still wanted to be in the UK, but differed on how, would have lost.

  • A lot of very fuzzy thinking in this article, I have to say. Surely a No vote would also have to be’in sickness and in health’, to continue with this patronising and irritating marriage metaphor? Or do you give the status quo an easier ride than you’re willing to give change?

    The only thing that you said with which I can agree is that a No vote will not create federalism. Correct. In fact, a No vote will not create anything. It will simply leave us with a more entrenched version of what we already have, which for me and many others just isn’t good enough. A Yes vote on the other hand reinforces the call for change, and in the unlikely event of it winning, well, we have the President of the European Commission’s view that Scotland is welcome, NATO will be open and membership of the OECD is not in doubt. The sky will not fall.

    And finally, Ian, you are not disenfranchised. You just don’t live in the right constituency to vote on this matter. To limit or extend the referendum franchise to people who fit the ethnic or birthright definition of Scottish would be to presume the outcome of the vote and would engage in exactly the sort of exclusivist nationalism you profess to oppose.

  • @ ATF

    “A referendum cannot have three options. 40% could have voted for Indy, 30% for Devo and 30% to say the same. 40% would have won and the 60% who still wanted to be in the UK, but differed on how, would have lost.”

    Hardly an insurmountable problem as L/Ds should know! Do you recall STV?

  • Eddie Sammon 10th Sep '14 - 12:52pm

    I’ll change my tone. I’m backing a No vote, but I wish the Yes campaign all the best (besides the vote). Only Scotland should vote on it, but I feel I’ve had things to contribute.

    Regards

  • jedibeeftrix 10th Sep '14 - 1:22pm

    @ Eddie – ” We should get Salmond and co to agree to devo-max and call off the referendum”

    No we should not.

    First principles: “are you my family, will to look to the welfare and wellbeing of me and mine, as I would for you and yours?”

    Everything else comes after that.

  • @John Roffey

    STV is right for governments, but for very nature of a country – like In/Out the EU – it has to be binary.

    What perhaps should have been added is that the debate should have been in two stages with potentialy two votes: 1) Should Scotland be an Independent country and then 2) DevoMax – Yes or No?

  • @ John Roffey

    “A referendum cannot have three options. 40% could have voted for Indy, 30% for Devo and 30% to say the same. 40% would have won and the 60% who still wanted to be in the UK, but differed on how, would have lost.” Hardly an insurmountable problem as L/Ds should know! Do you recall STV?”

    STV works in multi-membered constituencies where you are trying to reflect the range of opinion within that constituency.

    We could have had an AV-style referendum with three options but one problem with that is if the “compromise” option gets discarded at the first round of voting because whilst being most people’s second preference it is not enough people’s first choice. Another problem with that is that the concept of AV has recently been decisively rejected.

  • John Roffey 10th Sep '14 - 2:00pm

    @ Richard

    I don’t profess to be an expert on these various systems – but, in the example given – wouldn’t STV have come up with the right answer [for the Scots]?

  • @ John Roffey

    “wouldn’t STV have come up with the right answer”?

    I can’t use the exact example given by ATF because s/he has one option with an equality of votes. [There is a procedure for this but it is technical]. Let me try two very small variations on ATF’s example. If the vote had been 40% separation; 31% devo-max and 29% stay the same I would expect the vast majority of the second preferences of the stay-the-same to have been for devo-max “Better-together-only-better” and Devo-max would have “won” the referendum. A perfectly acceptable position from a Liberal viewpoint. If however the position had been only slightly different with a vote share of 40% separation; 29% devo-max and 31% stay the same then the outcome would rest on whether the majority of those who wanted Devo-max would plump for separation or staying-the-same. Either outcome would be democratically legitimate but as I have pointed out elsewhere separation would be generally a less good outcome.

    Ian’s article points to potential downsides to separation eg potentially not being admitted to the EU on favourable terms, the possible political dominance of a rather authoritarian party etc etc. My article endeavours to look at something which has received much less attention during this debate – ie what would be the consequences for those not living in Scotland of a YES vote.

  • I think we should follow the example of King Edward 1 – he knew how to deal with Scottish rebellions.

  • @Richard

    Many thanks for expanding my point and improving it no end!

  • John Roffey 10th Sep '14 - 5:08pm

    @ Richard

    I did post ‘wouldn’t STV have come up with the right answer [for the Scots]’ – and since democracy is considered to be ‘the will of the people’ – their view is all that is important.

    We know full well why the three options were not offered initially – it was because the party leaders, as all too typical of today’s career politicians, did not want to give away an iota of power if it could be avoided. With devo-max included, the almost certain result would have had ‘yes’ and ‘devo-max’ leading the poll.

    The party leaders had obviously believed enough had been done to ensure a ‘No’ vote and, as Salmon says, this new offer and the leaders mission to Scotland are just simply panic measures [particularly because many votes have already been cast] and a desperate attempt to avoid being kicked out by their parties.

    I do think it a pity that the union is in danger of being broken. However, if this does lead to a genuine devolution of power throughout the rest of the UK with the Westminster bubble being burst – then the Scots will have done this nation a huge favour.

  • re: ATF 10th Sep ’14 – 1:35pm

    “What perhaps should have been added is that the debate should have been in two stages with potentialy two votes: 1) Should Scotland be an Independent country and then 2) DevoMax”

    Also the current debate is being framed by the way the question has been put – an advantage that I’m sure Alex Salmond and are not unaware of. I wonder what the campaigns would of been like if the question was phrased as being a ‘Yes’ for the union…

  • Survation polling last 4 days, No 53 Yes 47, or 47 No, 43 Yes 10% undecided. That was obviously the surprise, No in the lead. Do we all go back to our slumbers?,

  • @Roland

    Quite so – ‘Do you want Scotland to be part of the United Kingdom?’ would feel very different. Most be more fun to carry a sign saying Yes than No!

  • Steve Comer 10th Sep '14 - 7:05pm

    Have you noticed how every speaker on the media from ‘bitter together’ talks about Salmond and the SNP? Yet from what I can see the YES campaign is so obviously broader based, as it has to be if it has any chance of winning.
    Jean Wallace makes many sound points, but yrt again the NO camp resort to nit picking about the currency, and scare mongering about the EU.he same EU that readily acceptec Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia,Coatia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia into membership

  • Steve Comer 10th Sep '14 - 7:12pm

    Apologies, post sent without spellcheck and proof read (the joys of the Samsung Galaxy!).
    The point I was making was that none of these countries existed when the Liberal Democrats were founded. A couple of decades on which of these feel they would have been ‘better together’ with their former parent countries? Not many I suspect.
    Still I’m sure the fact that Dave, Ed & Nick cancelled their weekly playtime to go and lecture the Scots will make all the difference!

  • @Steve Comer – the currency isn’t not picking, it is serious. I do not know a single person in England who wants currency union if the political union is dissolved by a yes vote.

    I think the rUK government will be under great pressure to play hardball when it comes to negotiations. The rUK government would hold veto powers over Scottish membership of bodies like the EU, and the people of the rUK would expect these to be used either as threats or in fact to make sure we got a good settlement.

    Remember, Scotland will have dumped the rest of us, and being dumped rarely fills people with goodwill towards the dumper.

  • @ATF
    “What perhaps should have been added is that the debate should have been in two stages with potentialy two votes: 1) Should Scotland be an Independent country and then 2) DevoMax – Yes or No?”

    There is no reason whatsoever why these two questions could not have both been asked in next week’s referendum, just as the 1997 devolution referendum consisted of two separate questions.

    Supposedly Cameron nixed any suggestion of including more devolution as an option. This was a colossal clanger that could ultimately lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom next week. If further devolution (I refuse to use the horrible mongrel word “DevoMax”) had been an option from the start then the Yes campaign would not be looking like the panic-stricken shambles it is now, and it’s fair to assume that a lot of the people who are contemplating voting Yes with a feeling of nervousness would have been satisfied to stick with the middle option.

  • @Stuart

    There absolutely is a reason, in that the leaving of a country from a political issue isn’t just part of a wider debate – it is the very matter at hand. The same is true of the EU, it has to be in or out. There has to be a clear answer, we are either in our out. What would a 40% Out, 29% In, 31% Further Devolution result actually mean when it comes to leaving the union? Supporters of both the Union or Independence could claim, with strong ground, to have ‘won’.

    “Supposedly” really doesn’t matter. We are where are, and until I see hard facts about such matters they only cloud the debate even further.

  • Steve Comer is right — this is not a referendum about Scotland’s first minister or his party.
    The YES campaign is a broad, multi party and non party community based campaign.

    The top down, London dominated unionist campaign is epitomised by the Cameron, Miliband, Clegg day trip to Scotland.
    Anyone convinced by this panic day out from the Westminster Bubble?

  • @JohnTilley – I am afraid to say that the way that you put it makes it sound like it’s a referendum on the leaders of the three main Westminster parties.

    To me a “yes” vote means the loss of my national identity (British), and the prospect of that makes me feel physically sick.

  • Steve Comer 11th Sep '14 - 9:45am

    JUF: You may not know anyone in England who wants a currency union witha free Scotland, but most people I speak to are quite relaxed about it. Personally I feel both nations would be better off with the Euro, but sadly Blair bottled that decision back in 1999.

    And HOW is your national identity lost? I back a YES vote but I’m English, I support England when I watch Football and Rugby. I’m also a UK & EU citizen, none of that changes if Scotland votes YES.

    We have to acept that nations evolve and change over time, that should not matter in a Europe of people’s, the links between people remain though seats of government may change. Presumably JUF has told the people of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia they’d be “better together” though I doubt that the people of those nations would agree.

  • @Steve Comer – I wouldn’t dream of telling Bosnians, Serbs or Croats that they would be better together. But I don’t think any of them regard themselves as Yugoslavs any longer.

    And that’s my point – if Scotland votes “yes”, none of us will be citizens of the UK any longer. I will be a citizen of the remains of the UK – rUK or a diminished UK – dUK (or even former UK, diminished – fUKd)?

    I also think you might find that the “links between people” living in the different parts of the former Yugoslavia have changed somewhat since that country broke up. Not exactly sweetness and light.

  • JUF
    How about — “SOUTH BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND”. ???

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    We have not been explaining to people why we should remain or why a hard Brexit will harm our country, I said this in a...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 20th Oct - 12:24pm
    @Martin Up to now she has done well, but we are heading into a dangerous phase and we need to move on and positively promote...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 20th Oct - 12:21pm
    Let's be honest every Tory government from John Major onwards has always looked over its shoulder at the far right of their party any middle...