Scots will vote on independence, but many battles already won

Colby Cosh on the Scottish drive for sovereignty

by Colby Cosh

Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

This has been a big month for the Scottish National Party’s campaign to secede from the U.K., which is still being oddly overlooked in this most culturally Scottish fragment of the old empire. The SNP-led government of Scotland released its white paper outlining arguments and plans for independence, including a projected Independence Day (March 24, 2016) and a date for the first general election in a sovereign Scotland (May 5, 2016). The paper, entitled “Scotland’s future,” nails down the terms of debate for the Sept. 18, 2014, referendum vote on which the fate of the union hinges.

When I wrote about the campaign in August, I observed that the Yes side had not yet garnered 40 per cent support in any major poll. It has since done so, once touching 44 per cent, but the No side is, in general, still well ahead—by anywhere from about 10 to 30 percentage points—when the Scots are quizzed. A clear and consistent split has opened up between the findings of various pollsters, with numbers from the firm Panelbase standing out as particularly Yes-friendly.

It is difficult to see why this should be so, given that the text of the referendum question has been settled (“Should Scotland be an independent country?”). Leaving aside possible differences in poll quality, a subject in which we Canadians have been receiving a series of cruel lessons, it seems as though it might make a subtle difference whether pollsters ask, “How would you vote on independence today/tomorrow?” or “How do you intend to vote on Sept. 18?”

The takeaway from the white paper, for the casual transatlantic Scotland-watcher, is that a lot of the changes one would expect a small breakaway country to be pursuing in a quest for independence have already been won—or, indeed, were never lost in the first place. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond can’t make grand promises about health care; the National Health Service has always been administered separately (and more generously) there, and the political decision-making was devolved altogether in 1999. So it goes with education, which is already managed quite differently north of the border. And the Scots, as every law student knows, were allowed to keep their own quirky legal system.

Moreover, Salmond is backing the monarchy, though he proposes to switch to a written constitution, and he wants Scotland to continue in a currency union with the rump U.K., probably because he has been warned by economists that no alternative is practical. An undecided voter might be justified in asking what is to be gained in busting up the good old marriage so late in life.

One big answer is defence savings. The Scottish National Party wants to chase off Britain’s nuclear deterrent—which takes the form of nuclear-armed subs, whose current home base lies on an inlet of the Firth of Clyde—and operate a zippy small-scale military, more like those of Canada or the Nordic nations. It is hinted that some of the extra money could be ploughed into reviving Scottish civilian shipbuilding (good luck with that, Jock).

The white paper cites the Scandinavian world quite a lot as an important mental model for the Yes voter. Norway and Sweden are, on page 152, upheld as superior to the U.K. in demonstrating that “fairness and prosperity are part of a virtuous circle.” And, needless to say, fans of Norwegian-style endowment funding of the treasury by means of oil revenue will find the paper to be positively pornographic. (Turn to pages 300-302 and 382 and knock yourselves out.)

Interestingly, there is not so much talk about Canada, which is important in the white paper mostly as a model for independent Scotland’s diplomatic representation—i.e., it suggests that Scotland can arrange to piggyback on British legations, the way Canada still does in some places. Canadians are familiar with this style of “It will all be negotiated, and greatly to our advantage, obviously” hand-waving by separatists, and there is plenty of that sort of thing in Scotland’s future.

This style of argument reveals the strategy that Salmond and the SNP intend to pursue, or continue pursuing, in the referendum campaign. Their true adversary, in proposing Nordic models and alliances as a counterweight to the status quo, is perhaps not so much England as it is the octopus of the City of London, with its coarsening, inegalitarian financier influences.

Scotland is referred to repeatedly in the white paper as an “ancient” nation, which is a form of classic nationalist mythmaking very particular to Scotland. Readers of Hugh Trevor-Roper’s The Invention of Scotland, which documents several generations of Scottish antiquarian bogosity, may soon wish the historian was alive to write a new chapter. Much of what we think of first when Scotland is mentioned has a strong scent of bull. (Trevor-Roper argued, for example, that the present-day kilt was invented as a technical convenience by an English factory owner in the 1720s.)

But the Anglo-Scottish partnership is, on the whole, pretty tricky to run against, as the polls so far suggest. The cultural and even genetic ties between Scotland and the north of England run deep—so deep that, by contrast, 1314 and the Battle of Bannockburn might as well have been yesterday. On the other hand, political union has coincided almost perfectly with Scottish prosperity and greatness, with the appearance of Scotsmen as actors on the world stage from the Plains of Abraham to Hong Kong.

The emphasis of the separatists must therefore be on the current gang of hard-hearted men—led, inconveniently for the secessionist case, by a gentleman named Cameron—at Westminster. Much is being made of a Cameronian welfare reform that incorporates a so-called “bedroom tax,” penalizing council-house occupants for having what the government thinks is too much space. Oops, more awkwardness: the minister responsible for welfare is Edinburgh-born Iain Duncan Smith. The SNP is also spending a lot of energy on denouncing the privatization of the Royal Mail. The privatization, needless to say, was quarterbacked by Vince Cable, former Glasgow University lecturer and Glasgow city councillor. Ain’t those Englishmen simply awful?




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Scots will vote on independence, but many battles already won

  1. freedom!

  2. Colby,
    Your article tries to address the complex matter of Scottish independence (it’s not as straightforward as it might first appear) through the current position of the YES and NO campaigns without reference to actual historical fact. The only historian you refer to is the late Hugh Trevor-Roper (the same man who authenticated the so called ‘Hitler Diaries’).
    As for ‘nationalist mythmaking’ -
    ‘One element was this: Picts and Britons, Scandinavians, Angles and Normans, all alike laid aside their particular memories of the past and adopted as their heritage the history and mythology of the original Scots, who had come as Irish invaders…Needless to say the forty-five kings from ‘Fergus I’ to Fergus son of Erc, were a fabrication, typical of the Irish readiness to present claims to territory and allegiance in genealogical form.’
    SOURCE: ‘Scotland: The Shaping of a Nation’ by Gordon Donaldson, pp. 23-24,ISBN 0 7153 6904 0.
    Your use of the words ‘secede’, ‘secessionist’ and ‘separatist’ is something I have come across many times in other articles, blog posts and comments. It is an irritation and I therefore invite you to read the posts on my blog “THE ‘SANITISATION’ OF SCOTTISH HISTORY” http://follonblogs.blogspot.co.uk/
    Particularly -
    ‘Scottish Independence is restoration NOT secession (Parts 1 to 4A)’
    ‘Independence: Scotland is VERY different from Quebec’ (NOTE: I originally submitted this as a commentary submission to the ‘Vancouver Sun’ but as far as I am aware it was not published.)
    ‘Understanding Scottish Independence’.
    If there is anything that you could use in a future article you are welcome to do so.
    Michael Follon

  3. On the ‘Scottish Cringe’………..

    “We regard it as only right and proper that the world sees in the New Year by singing a
    Scottish song. We take it for granted that half the broadcasters on the
    BBC are Scotsmen. We don’t envy the English. We pity them. There is no
    Scottish cringe, in the Australian fashion. There is only the Scottish
    swagger – a swagger inspired by the authentically Calvinist certainty
    that we and only we (by which of course I mean we White Aggressively
    Scottish Protestant males) are the Elect.

    —Niall Ferguson

    • So with this bit, other than being one more shot at trying to prove you’re the World’s Wikipedia King, what’s your point?

      • It’s where Canadian Swagger comes from.

        • Ah Emily, you’re 70 years out of date and if the parade going photo attached to this story isn’t evidence of dead “swagger” I don’t know what is.

          The 48th Highlanders brought us to the height of Scottish swagger in 1945 but it’s since been torn to the ground by Marxist toady like Tommy Douglas who tried to replace honourable Scottish “swagger” with something that looked more like Jimmy “Swaggart” than it did anything else.

          But the death knell for Scottish swagger in Canada came about when Clydeside unionists took over the Post Office in the 1960’s and when Scottish git lawyer Dennis Edney showed up to set free a bloody terrorist like Omar Khadr.

          The whole thing Emily is enough to turn the Scottish aura of my own blood, to effluent.

          • Swagger is part and parcel of the move to independence. And you are loaded with swagger….along with ‘effluent’

            I don’t think you even read the articles you comment on.

          • Take a look at the photo Emily and tell me where the swagger is coming from.

            Many of us are fed up and sick and tired of being pushed around and harped at, day after day after day, ad infinitum, by paid PC trolling Bolsheviks like yourself and your ilk.

          • Old men and young punks. Yeah, all swagger and no brains.

          • Which one of them is you?

          • I’m not in any of your family photos.

          • That’s for sure. They’d have put up with the likes of you for no more than about 13 seconds.

          • That’s the ‘tude that got your family thrown off their land and out of Scotland.

          • The “tude” ???

            Is that a word you picked up from your big 300 pound NDP/Liberal Party brainwashing kindergarten teacher?

            Well done sparky!

          • At least she’s not trying to create new internet memes from Alison Monroe’s writings today. Dropping terms like “Canada’s south coast” and “Sowesto” as though they were in everyday usage. Her desire to appear trendy is one of her most annoying traits. Top ten for sure.

          • Sometimes idiots get it right, and I agree with Scottish getting independence.

          • For what reason?

          • For the same reason Canada is independent – to be able to manage her own affairs. Or would you prefer Canada to be ruled from London again? Or Washington?

          • Oh..? And what country does the Queen live in again?

          • Eh? The Queen doesn’t rule anyone anymore. Parliament does. Or does the Queen rule Canada too?

          • The Queen is Canada’s head of state. All loyalty oaths are taken to her. She, or her vice regal rep, signs all bills or they don’t become law.

          • When I say rule you appear to make a royal connection; I meant

            Parliament – you know where the laws and policies are decided and all that unimportant stuff. I know the Queen’s role in Canada. Canada used to be ruled – or should I say governed – from London you know. Would you prefer to revert to that or are you a Canadian nationalist?

            The Queen is utterly irrelevant. Scotland will retain the Queen much as the rest of the Commonwealth, including Canada, does unless the people decide otherwise.

          • I’m sorry, but Canada is a monarchy. Has been from the beginning. French monarchs, then English ones.

            We aren’t independent….and all the semantic games in the world won’t change that.

          • A strange view. Canada is not independent. I’ve heard it all now. Could have sworn when the UK joined George Bush in invading Iraq Canada used its independent status to decline getting involved.

          • Our ships were there, as were loaner officers….but politics is politics and we looked away.

            I’m sure you want to rant all night….but the fact remains that an English Queen is Canada’s head of state. This is not open to question or debate. Sorry.

          • “an English Queen is Canada’s head of state. This is not open to question or debate. Sorry.”

            Ha! The Queen is more German, and indeed Scottish, than she is English. Try reading a history book or two. The world didn’t start when Canada was formed you know. A whole lot happened before then.

            Apology accepted by the way.

          • Yes, the Queen is German, and Philip is Greek…..they both rule England….and Canada. Sorry.

          • You sound like a very interesting character. I’m glad I didn’t espouse your world view on your fellow Canadians when I entered the country a few years ago or I would never have been allowed to become a resident! I can see it now: “A passport, why would I need that. I’m the Queen of England’s subject from her holiday playground in Scotland; we own you…now let me in!!

          • For much of my life the British in Canada had no need of citizenship oaths, passports or permission to vote….they simply had all those things on arrival.

            Being born in 1946 I was a British subject. ‘Canadian citizen’ was scratched out on my school forms.

          • Ahh. And that’s how things should be, eh. Good old anachronistic entitlement. As I said, ‘interesting character’.

          • LOL you numpty! I never even sang ‘the queen’ when I was in the military.

          • “they both rule England”

            You mean the UK? Or are you already treating Scotland as an independent country. Thanks!

            “Rule” to me and you obviously mean different things. The Queen has zero actual, tangible powers. None. Zip. Nada. Sure she signs things and all that but that’s it. She’s a-political. She can’t set laws. She’s a tourist attraction and a trivial distraction.

            Philip rules even less than the Queen. He really is a sideshow!

          • Like I said, you can talk to yourself all night….but Elizabeth II is our head of state.

            And yes, she has powers. No longer Off-with-her-head ones, but powers all the same.

          • She’s actually Liz the 1. There was never an Elizabeth the 1 of the UK. There was an Elizabeth the 1 of England – but not the UK.

          • Is this like Crosswords for you? Or TiddleyWinks?

          • What’s it like being an actual troll? (You’re obviously not really interested in debating at all)

            Rewarding? Fulfilling? You’re getting on a bit now. Is this really how you want to spend your twilight years? Arguing on the internet for no apparent reason?

          • Just think of me as your beacon of Scottish enlightenment in Canada ;-)

          • The Scots left the Enlightenment long ago. It’s beer and deep-fried Mars bars now.

          • God. It’s like the Daily Mail website. Always thought Canadians were more civilised.

          • LOL says the country with a musical instrument from the ME.

          • Never been to Nova Scotia then?

          • Bagpipes are not from Nova Scotia.

          • They’re not proven to be from Scotland either, but they are popular there and part of the culture – as they are in Nova Scotia. They even have a College of Piping.

          • Sigh….bagpipes are from the ME.

          • EmilyOne, if you don’t mind, could you please list a few of the “powers” you claim this English woman has over us “colonials” and, please, avoid puffing the list with items such as “power to flush the toilet” and “whine to the world about how terrible the past year was on her personal fortunes”, some of which were founded on the abuse and torture of her own citizens?
            Look, when Scotland gets around to ridding itself of its southern scourge and then confiscates those Scottish castles that German-English family “powered” away from good upstanding Scots, you might make a good stand in.
            By that I mean eventually Canada too will bite onto the Caledonian solution and insist the English queen’s Canuckian representative reside in the British Embassy in Ottawa and far away from our tax funded trough.
            Once that is accomplished, I see no reason why EmilyOne cannot be our first Canadian Queen. Heck, I’ve even designed a cool snow castle for you.
            You ability to make vague comments backed up with little more than cheap shots at critics, you’d make a great Don Cherry sort of monarch, especially since you’re already sporting a stuffed shirt.

  4. Another Scottish Independence article by a Canadian publication that finds it impossible to frame the debate outside of two polar perspectives: Canada’s experience with Quebec – and a Scotland/England enmity. Easily digestible for those outside the debate but glaringly naive and ignorant of a more nuanced discourse.

    • Examples of the alleged naivety and ignorance would have been useful.

      • Are you confirming with this statement that your understanding (and the author’s) of the debate looks something like this: Scotland = Quebec and a wish for independence is only about prejudice and/or a perceived sense of persecution?

    • He didn’t actually mention Quebec once. Only alluded to separatists in Canada once.

      • Quebec is all noise and no meaning. Quebec for 57 years now has been a welfare province and can’t afford to seperate.

        Western Canada however would benefit greatly in forming the Republic of Western Canada to ditch Ottawa bloat.

      • So do you think he really meant Cascadian separatists then?

    • One of the huge problems today is huge governemtns don’t work right in practical terms. In ideal terms, big governemtn looks good but fails in how it really works.

      Its good people are being proactive to make their federal governance closer to home. Canada should do the same, and to this day our colonial feudalistic governance holds us back from being all we can be.

      I lived in Scotland for awhile on a work assignment, and I agree with the Scots decision. Long time overdue.

  5. I think this is a useful analogy for a Canadian audience. Imagine that the Americans won the War of 1812 (and excuse me if my history is vague – I’ve only been in Canada for a few years). In this ‘Greater North America’ there was no federal system but a centralized state centred around Washington and the needs of the majority US population. Now cross the Atlantic to the UK. This was the situation until 1999. Scotland had no democratic parliament serving the Scottish people until 1999 – almost 300 years since the doors closed on the last independent Scottish parliament. To this day Scotland has less power than the Canadian Provinces and the Spanish regional parliaments. Surely it is the democratic right that a nation (just like Canada) manages and controls its own affairs and destiny – like so many other nations in the world? Now the significant word and difference here is ‘nation’. Scotland is not a province (Quebec has never been a sovereign nation state) or a region (Catalonia or the Basque region have never been independent states). Scotland was an independent nation state for almost 900 hundred years. This campaign is about the restoration of basic democratic rights so that a country has the responsibility to look after itself once again and create a better future for all of its people. It’s is not about hatred or bitterness or enmity. It’s about confidence and hope. Why would a Canadian (or Scottish Canadian) disagree with this or only view this issue through a Quebec tainted window on the world…

    • You are correct when you say that Quebec is not comparable to Scotland. Quebec was taken by force of arms, whereas Scotland became one with England via negotiations that formed the Act of Union in 1707. Scotland voted to join in the Union, or at least its leaders did and they did so for the usual reasons, access to business opportunities abroad. It is those same reasons that should ensure that Scotland will vote no this time too. It will be too expensive and too difficult to make it work alone and people will be looking to rip Scotland off at every opportunity.
      There was no universal franchise when the decision to merge was made back in 1707 so there will be no restoration of democratic rights at all. What will be created will be new and will never have been seen before.
      As for a parliament that serves Scotland, Scotland was represented in the parliament of the UK as was negotiated and agreed upon by the Scots themselves. England, as far as I know is still governed by that body and while Wales, N Ireland and Scotland have their devolved assemblies England has no such body. So as far as democratic representation goes the much greater deficit is in England. (West Lothian Question.)
      I cringe when misty eyed romanticism leads people to utter the most appalling hogwash in support of their claims. I say this as someone who came to Canada from Central Scotland and I cannot believe that I’m hearing the same rubbish yet again.
      History is not on the side of any of the claims that you make and your appeals to emotion are all you have and they ring very hollow indeed.

      • Appreciate your input. I assure you, I am no misty eyed romantic :-) And I wasn’t making any claims. I was merely trying to redress the balance of Canadian media coverage of this debate (“Scotland is a European Quebec and as such the independence movement should be treated the same way – oh, and they all hate the English) by painting an analogy that I think is more helpful than the narrative created in this article.

        And the West Lothian Question is a problem created by the Westminster system not by Scotland, Wales of Northern Ireland.

        • The West Lothian Question only really came to the fore because of the stipulations of the Act of Union and the creation of the Scottish, Welsh and N. Ireland Offices, then the local assemblies. When a Minister ran the offices then an argument of sorts could be made that all the parts of the UK were run from the centre. With the creation of assemblies that became impossible and there is a lot of weight behind the argument that a separate English assembly should have been formed to deal with Education etc. within England. I did feel for those who were defeated in 2003 and 2004 thanks to the votes of those who had no dog in those races.
          Unlike others who seem to think rejigging the Westminster system to have two tier MPs I believe England should have it’s own dissolved assembly and the separate parts can act like the Provinces do here in Canada. Then Westminster can be for Federal issues like defence, foreign policy etc. We have such a system with a population of 35 million, surely the UK could do likewise with 63 million?

      • And most importantly, Quebec can’t afford to seprate, its all hot air and BS to get the rest of Canada to pay more. 57 years now Quebec has been a welfare province. Yep, 57 years now Quebec hasn’t pulled it weight.

        • Have they ever paided us back for Expo 68 yet? :)

          • Expo ’67?

        • Scotland can’t afford to break with the Union either.
          The EU will rip them a new one and the remaining part of the UK will not make things easy either and why should they?
          Scotland does pull its weight though examples of this are the disproportionate number of Scots in politics and the military.

          • Scotland more than pulls its weight financially as well. Its economy is in a better state than the UK as a whole and it contributes more to the central exchequer than it gets back. An independent Scotland would be potentially a renewable energy superpower when you take into account its massive tidal and wind energy potential. It has established and successful tourism, agriculture, textile, new media and life science industries. On top of that – the cherry on the cake if you will – is oil resources and a gigantic whisky industry (two things many countries its size do not have).

            The main pros for independence are being able to have its own foreign policy – i.e. no involvement in more illegal wars in places like Iraq – and defence – i.e. no billion dollar trident missiles based a stone’s throw from Scotland’s biggest city – and economic policy – i.e. being able to raise and lower taxes according to need and policy.

            These are all things Canada enjoys. Would you give them up to be ruled from Washington? No? Are you a nationalist then, or just someone who values your independence?

          • It all depends on how dirty your external partners will play. The oil reserves are not that cut and dried and given the investment from UK central government initially and since they will want their quid pro quo. As for Europe, good luck surviving trying to do everything without Europe. Geography is a hard taskmaster as Ireland and all the other peripheral nations have found out.

            Maybe a nuclear free option is desirable just like leaving the oil in the tar sands might be, but local economics again will trump doing the desirable thing. The Trident bases employ a lot of folk in some remote areas and a lot of locals ply their trade on the boats.as well.

            After 400 years of union such simplistic talk is just that simplistic. The UK has existed longer than Canada and the USA have been nations and a division will not be easy and will not benefit the Scots. Emotional appeals based on nationalism are all very “Braveheart” but even that was made in Ireland with a diminutive Aussie as Wallace. Pensions, security and a future are what the Scots deserve and with the half arsed manifesto Salmond is touting, that is very much at risk.

          • The oil is not up for debate – no-one is even trying to claim it belongs to the UK. Scotland gets over 90% of it.

            As for Europe, it’s the UK under Cameron that wants out of Europe. Scotland’s best chance of staying in Europe is to become independent.

            Trident does not employ a significant number of people and to suggest that Scotland’s economy relies on housing weapons of mass destruction controlled by the USA is kind of insulting – especially considering Canada has made a conscious decision NOT to have nuclear weapons.

            Scottish independence supporters today are very far from the Braveheart stereotype. Try visiting one day.

            Salmond published a white paper not a manifesto – it’s very long. Have you really read it all? I have. All it can do is paint a vision – and it’s a positive one which makes a change for Scots who are fed a diet of negative stories in the media. Salmond is not the issue here. After the referendum comes elections. Then Salmond or whoever else is in charge can campaign on a manifesto.

            The Union is just over 300 years old by the way.

            Interesting you mentioned Ireland. You seem to have no problem with them, or Canada, gaining independence from London. Why Scotland?

          • Basic tings first, 1707 you’re right, my mistake. Union of the Crowns was 1603.

            I didn’t suggest that Scotland’s economy relied on Trident, but some very out of the way areas do. The subs also employ a lot of local boys as submariners, two of whom used to drink in my local.

            Visions are dangerous things, especially when they are based on wishful thinking. A referendum based in that before real platforms and policy initiatives are espoused is asking people to vote without full appreciation of the situation and that is hardly democratic.

            Ireland and Canada did not sign a treaty joining themselves to London to form the UK. Ireland was invaded and Canada was formed much in the same way as America was.

          • So what I hear from you and others who can’t get their heads around our independent minds is that because we were not invaded or brutally coerced into a union we shouldn’t have a desire to leave that union?

          • What i hear from you is that you wish to break a contract freely entered into because of some ill-thought out dream. Scotland’ll not be anymore independent than it is now, it’ll just be beholding to others for whom democracy means nothing.

          • A contract freely entered by who? Not me. Right, so having a direct voice in the international community of nations will be be just the same as having a semi-autonomous parliament, which has less powers than Nova Scotia that rides the coattails of a centralized state that is 10 times larger than Scotland.

          • Oh not by you hey?
            Well in that case I never agreed to the law of the land, so I’ll keep the right to ignore the bits I don’t like. Is that how it works?

          • So you mean if Scotland hadn’t been so successful at repelling repeated English invasions, us gaining independence would be fine by you!

            Canada and Ireland both gained their independence from London rule because they wanted to run their own affairs. This is EXACTLY the same as Scottish independence.

            Incidentally people in Scotland are more than aware that they are not voting for policies in the referendum. It’s not an election – you are confusing the two. No-one – not Salmond (very very popular in Scotland by the way) or anyone – can make promises about policies in an independent Scotland – all they can offer is ideas and a vision.

          • No
            A contract was signed and both parties have done extremely well.

            Any attempt to overturn this contract needs to have more to it than a pipe dream and blue woad.

            As for the issues. Aye right sure they are.

          • It wasn’t a contract. It was a Union. Under the terms of said Union Scotland can secede if that is the settled will of the Scottish people. What’s left of the UK can do nothing about it, other than invading and annexing – which may not go down too well with the rest of the international community or indeed the people in the rest of the UK who are not on the whole a war-mongering lot..

          • Somebody signed something on behalf of the parties involved, that’s a contract however you parse it.
            And don’t go using the name of the Scots as though they are all on board with the idea of leaving the union, they are not. The will of the Scottish people is far from settled on this.

          • It’s settled enough to vote the only party offering a referendum into power in Scotland and before that to vote for devolution (which would have happened much sooner had the UK gov not fiddled the previous referendum).

            Does that not suggest to you that all is not rosy in this particular marriage?

          • What is half arsed about the manifesto? Where is the No campaigns manifesto? Why is where Braveheart was filmed relevant? Incidentally, Gibson filmed there because an independent Rep of Ireland was able to set its own corporate tax rate aimed at, among many others, film makers. Why is Mel Gibson’s nationality relevant? Incidentally, he is a naturalized American. Why are you obsessed with oil? The whitepaper is not built around an oil-only Scotland. Scotland has existed longer than the UK, Canada and the US. Again what is the relevance? What are you trying to say other than I don’t agree with your stance if you’re a Yes supporter…

          • Do you hear yourself. The no campaign is the staus quo and people already know how that’ll go. It’s the lies and half truths that Slamnd is peddling that is the unknown in this case.

          • “The no campaign is the staus quo and people already know how that’ll go.”

            Too true which is why many Scots are considering independence. The status quo means either the Tories or the Tories Lite (the party previously known as Labour), or even – god forbid – a very right wing party like UKIP.

            All polls show a massive majority in favour of more financial powers for Scotland – powers the UK is unwilling to grant.

      • You really should check your facts before going into print. You write -
        1. ‘…whereas Scotland became one with England via negotiations that formed the Act of Union in 1707. Scotland voted to join in the Union, or at least its leaders did and they did so for the usual reasons, access to business opportunities abroad,’
        2. ‘There was no universal franchise when the decision to merge was made back in 1707 so there will be no restoration of democratic rights at all.’
        3. ‘England, as far as I know is still governed by that body …’
        4. ‘I cringe when misty eyed romanticism leads people to write the most appalling hogwash in support of their claims. I say this as someone who came to Canada from Central Scotland and I cannot believe that I’m hearing the same rubbish yet again.’
        1. (a) There were in fact two Acts of Union – one by the English parliament and one by the Scots parliament. They were the ratifying instruments of the Treaty of Union in 1707.
        (b) ‘On 5 February 1705 the House of Commons in London passed legislation which would help to shape the entire future history of the United Kingdom. The Alien Act recommended to Queen Anne that commissioners be appointed to negotiate for Union between England and Scotland and, if the Scots did not comply and if discussions were not advanced by Christmas Day 1705, severe penalties would be imposed. All Scots, except those living in England, would be treated as aliens and the major Scottish exports to England of coal, linen and cattle would be suspended. This was a naked piece of economic blackmail, designed to bring the Scottish parliament swiftly to the negotiating table …’
        SOURCE: ‘THE SCOTTISH NATION 1700-2000′ by T. M. Devine, p.3, ISBN 0-713-99351-0.
        2. (a) I totally agree that ‘There was no universal franchise’ in 1707.
        (b) There was no ‘decision to merge’ in 1707. A new Kingdom by the name of Great Britain was created (Article I of the Treaty of Union in 1707). What you call a ‘decision to merge’ was more like a hostile takeover.
        (c) ‘greater power can only be granted to Scotland by the UK Parliament and here there is potential for conflict. To take the extreme example, constitutional matters are reserved but it is hard to see how the Scottish Parliament could be prevented from holding a referendum on independence should it be determined to do so. If the Scottish people expressed a desire for independence the stage would be set for a direct clash between what is the English doctrine of sovereignty and the Scottish doctrine of the sovereignty of the people.’
        SOURCE: ‘The Operation of Multi-Layer Democracy’, Scottish Affairs Committee Second Report of Session 1997-1998, HC 460-I, 2 december 1998, paragraph 27.
        3. This statement infers that the UK Parliament does not govern the devolved administrations – nothing could be further from the truth. The Scotland Act 1998 contains the following sub-section in section 28 which concerns Acts of the Scottish Parliament -
        ‘(7) This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to make laws for Scotland.’
        In other words the United Kingdom Parliament can still make laws for Scotland EVEN on devolved matters.
        4. (a) Here are two Scottish sayings -
        Facts are chiels that winna ding. – Facts cannot lie.
        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t-Saoghail! – The Truth against the World!
        Nothing I have written is either ‘misty eyed romanticism’ or ‘hogwash’.
        (b) You seem to be referring to the 1979 referendum fraud. So when did you run away to Canada?
        Michael Follon

        • 1b – And how would that be different today, only it would include the EU as well as the rest of the UK holding the feet to the fire?

          2b – not that hostile, a lot of the Scottish gentry and others did very well out of it. Scots have always been the worst of Scotland’s enemies. Avaricious lairds or misty eyed romantics and it’s always the people who pay.
          2c – once you sign on for a partnership then the rules that you signed up to apply. Why is it odd that one party in a deal has to abide by the decisions of the whole? To insist otherwise is childish and doesn’t account for the work that the other partners have put into the last 300 years.
          3. Of course it doesn’t. The UK government makes laws regarding defence of the realm, foreign affairs etc. It only makes decisions on devolved matter when they effect all three devolved bodies – notice England doesn’t have a devolved body and Scottish MPs along with Welsh and N Irish MPs make laws that govern England on a trivial and day to day basis. NO English MP voted with respect to tertiary education in Scotland; Scottish UK MPs did so in the same area for England. The people who get the power locally and nationally are not the English, they only have a UK parliament deciding their fate in everything.
          4a – Facts cannot lie but they can be made to say what you want via partial truths and selective quotation.
          4b – I never ran away, work took the family here and we’ve all got to put food on the table, just like the many who crossed the Atlantic before me.

          • There is a widespread misunderstanding about what the United Kingdom actually is and, in some instances, a deliberate strategy of maintaining that misunderstanding through the use of misinformation.
            1b – What is different is the manner in which the EU and the UK operate. Representation on the Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) is restricted to the official delegations from the member states, which as far as Scotland is the United Kingdom. Tiny land locked Luxembourg is a member state and has no fishing fleet but has the power to influence decisions that could have a significant impact on the fishing industry in Scotland. On the basis of Scotland’s current status in the EU then only as an independent member state of the EU will Scotland’s interests be served.
            2c – ‘Yet the Scots made a grave miscalculation. They thought of the treaty as a written constitution, and, even with all the concessions they had obtained they would not have accepted that an omni-competent parliament had power to abrogate provisions which they fondly imagined to be ‘fundamental and essential’…But the theories of English constitutional lawyers prevailed, and the union has proved to have no more sanctity than any other statute…The list of violations of the treaty is already a long one and always growing longer…The fact is that, contrary to the beliefs and hopes of those who framed it, the treaty of union has proved to be a scrap of paper, to be torn up at the whim of any British government.’
            SOURCE: ‘Scotland: The Shaping of a Nation’ by Gordon Donaldson, pp. 58-59, ISBN 0 7153 6904 0.
            Now what was that about ‘decisions of the whole’?
            ‘Yet whatever the protestations of Westminster politicians and the wording of the Scotland Act, almost nobody in Scotland believes that the Parliament is a mere subordinate, a creature of Westminster statute. Its claims to original authority are twofold: its basis in the referendum of 1997 as an act of self-determination; and the residual traditions of Scottish constitutional law and practice which never accorded untrammelled sovereignty to Westminster.’
            SOURCE: ‘SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE; A Practical Guide’ by Jo Eric Murkens with Peter Jones and Michael Keating, p. 296, ISBN o-7486-1699-3.
            ’74. …By the time of the Union a well-defined and independent system of Scottish law had been established. This was recognised in the Union settlement, which provided for the preservation of the separate code of Scots law and the Scottish judiciary and legal system. Under Article XIX the two highest Scottish courts – the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary – were to continue, and were not to be subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts. These bodies have remained respectively the supreme civil and criminal courts in Scotland, while beneath them there is a completely separate Scottish system of jurisdiction and law courts, with a judiciary, advocates and solicitors, none of whom are interchangeable with their English counterparts…
            76. …The laws of Scotland and England are, in some respects, tending towards uniformity…this tendency is not objected to in Scotland…Nevertheless the two systems remain separate, and – a unique constitutional phenomenon within a unitary state – stand to this day in the same juridical relationship to one another as they do individually to the system of any foreign country.’
            SOURCE: ‘ROYAL COMMISION ON THE CONSTITUTION 1969-1973′, VOLUME I. pp23-24, Cmnd. 5460.
            3 – The problem of a UK Parliament but no English Parliament could be addressed from an English perspective if there were to be a change in English constitutional law. In 1688 it was decided that the Parliament of England, located at Westminster, was supreme. This came to an end on 1 May 1707 when it became the Parliament of Great Britain, later to be styled the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Article III of the Treaty of Union in 1707 states -
            ‘That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by One and the same Parliament. to be stiled, the Parliament of Great Britain.’
            Since then it has only assumed to be sovereign because of its location within the jurisdiction of English constitutional law.
            The Reserved Matters are clearely specified in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998. Section 29(1) of that Act reads -
            ‘An Act of the Scottish Parliament is not law so far as any provision of the Act is outside the legislative competence of the Parliament.’
            and in Section 29(2)(b) -
            ‘it relates to reserved matters,’.
            If Section 28(7) does not mean what I stated then why is it included?
            Even before 1999, because of legal differences, the UK Parliament had to pass separate legislation for Scotland in the majority of cases.
            4a – The saying pertains to ALL relevant facts, apart from that I agree with your reply. Here is an example of ‘partial truth and selective quotation’ that is common from the anti Scottish independence campaign. The author David Torrance wrote in an article, ‘The curious case of our Acts of Union’, for ‘The Scotsman’ -
            ‘Indeed, the 1707 legislation is quite clear that, in place of Scotland and England, there was to be a new country “by the name of Great Britain”.’
            The following is a relevant extract from Article I of the Treaty of Union in 1707 -
            ‘That the Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall…be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain…’.
            NOTE: Kingdom NOT country.
            Michael Follon

          • 1b – So the EU operates much like the UK Parliament where Scottish MPs get to vote on matters that don’t apply to them just like Luxembourg.You think that’s wrong in Europe but not the UK.

            Scotland is represented by the UK MEPs and the UK
            government in the EU and this sizable clout would be diluted with independence. You would be down to Scottish MEPs and newly negotiated deal that would include compulsory membership of the Euro deal. The potential for this being a case of the Scots making another grave miscalculation would be immense.

            2c and 4a – “They thought of the treaty as a written constitution,” and “NOTE: Kingdom NOT country”

            Maybe you are wanting to have your cake and eat it here? Constitution implies country and it would appear that although they didn’t get what they thought, they clearly negotiated and agreed on the basis that a new country and kingdom would be formed. The quotes you included do nothing to change this and in one case are pure hearsay and a statement about perceptions.

          • 1b – (i) ‘So the EU operates much like the UK Parliament…You think that’s wrong in Europe but not the UK.’
            1b – (ii) ‘…sizeable clout…negotiated deal that would include compulsory membership of the Euro deal…’
            (i) There are two words in what I wrote that you ignore, they are – “member states”. The economic contribution to the fishing industry to the Scottish economy is very significant whereas it is not so as part of the UK economy as a whole. In 1999 the maritime boundary for the Scottish part of the North Sea was moved north thereby removing 6000 square miles (the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999). This meant that Scottish fishing boats which had previously landed their catch from that area had to land it at an English port thereby removing part of the economic contribution of the fishing industry from Scotland. By the way just because I disagree with the way the Council of Ministers (EU) operates in certain circumstances does not mean that I think it’s OK for a similar method of operation in the UK Parliament. Personally speaking, while Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom, I think it is wrong for a Scottish MP to vote on a solely English or other part of the UK matter as long as no part of the proposed legislation contains proposals that could directly or indirectly affect Scotland. As you yourself wrote -
            ‘once you sign up for a partnership then the rules that you signed up to apply’.
            (ii) You write of the “sizeable clout” that Scotland has as a part of the UK in Europe. Let’s just look at that, specifically the elected representation. The total number of MEP’s is currently 766. At the elections in 2014 this will revert to 751 – the maximum allowed under the Lisbon Treaty.
            UK (including Scotland) Pop: 62.43M MEPs: 72
            Scotland (as part of UK) Pop: 5.25M MEPs: 6
            Denmark Pop: 5.56M MEPs: 13
            Luxembourg Pop: 0.51M MEPs: 6
            You also write about membership of the Euro being compulsory. You use that word to infer that membership of the Euro would take effect immediately which avoids the reality of the ‘convergence criteria’. There are five such criteria which a Member State of the EU must meet BEFORE it becomes part of the Eurozone unless it has an opt out to participation in the Eurozone.It is a fact that every Member State is obliged to join the Eurozone once it meets certain criteria. One of those requirements is two years membership of ERM II. Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, almost 20 years ago, but considers membership of ERM II to be voluntary.
            2c and 4a – (i) ‘they clearly negotiated and agreed on the basis that a new country and kingdom would be formed.’
            (ii) “NOTE: Kingdom NOT country”
            (i) For accuracy when quoting any legislation it is important to be precise about what is actually written. You should never include words that are not there or make an interpretation that the actual wording does not support. To do otherwise is ASSUMPTION.
            (ii) The statement is not about perceptions but draws attention to a factual example of ‘selective quotation’ in a particular instance.
            Michael Follon

          • Clout is 72 v 13 or even 6 for a whole country. How much clout will Scotland have with 12 MEPs? And don’t go saying at least they’d be Scottish votes even if we lost every time.
            Right now we as part of the UK do have clout, serious clout. If you want to do you own thing with as many votes as Denmark then that isn’t my definition of clout. With 12 votes it would take 5 of you to outvote the UK that is left and then there are the other mega-members like France and Germany to consider. You are advocating that being part of real decision making is worse than bring ineffectual as a sovereign state. the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory indeed.

            As for being precise about what was written – maybe if the original signatories hadn’t assumed that the treaty was a constitution, then all this could have been avoided.

    • The Basque region has never been an independent state? So the Kingdom
      of Navarre never existed? I mean, seriously, what’s your theory here? That if Maggie Thatcher had passed a law partitioning Scotland into two autonomous administrative entities, maybe adjusting the border with England a little, then Scotland would have been forever disbarred from seeking independence?

      The Spanish are not the slightest bit impressed by the SNP’s efforts at trying to draw a line here. Which is why everything in the white paper that touches on the EU is nonsense. A newly-independent Scotland will be treated at least as harshly as a newly-applying member by current EU members simply to deter their own internal independence movements. Keeping a proportional share of the rebate is not even on the table; the question is how many concessions Scotland will have to make to be allowed to stay outside the Euro and Schengen requirements – or even if such a deal is even possible. And while the Euro is something Scotland could survive, Schengen is a killer, as long as the rest of the island isn’t in it.

      Which is why outsiders assume the Scots are acting from hatred or bitterness or enmity. Because from an outside perspective, the ‘confidence and hope’ amounts to a belief that if Scotland is independent, the clouds will rain single malt instead of water. A drunkard might dream about that, but only an idiot would treat it as a viable political platform.

      • This is a little off tangent. Anyway, no, the Basque Country/Region has never been an independent sovereign state. Navarre was a smaller feudal state a lot smaller than the territory claimed by Basque pro-indies. The majority of people in the current region of Navarre would not vote to become part of a larger Basque state according to recent local elections and polls. Parts of Navarre are very pro Basque but only parts. Again, the current territory claimed as Basque has never been an independent sovereign state.

        I don’t know where you’re going with the EU stuff as this wasn’t part of my initial post. And as for your final paragraph I just don’t understand. Why would you build a campaign around negativity and hopelessness? I almost get what you’re saying but you have to accentuate the positive – and there are far more positives than negatives in my opinion.

    • The Americans would have never won.
      Scotland was butchered by the English in the early times.
      And Quebecor’s are the most patriotic out of us all.

      • Scotland was never conquered by England although a whole lot of butchering did happen while England tried. Even the Romans failed to conquer Scotland. Instead Scotland was essentially forced into a marriage of convenience by a few nobles against the wishes of the Scottish, and indeed English, people. Things have moved on.

  6. ‘The cultural and even genetic ties between Scotland and the north of England run deep…’

    Er, no. That’s rubbish. The north of England does not impinge greatly on Scottish consciousness: the border is distinct. North and south of of the border, people know their nationality. They don’t feel any significant connection with, or interest in, the culture of the other side – though it has to be said that I’ve noticed more interest in Scotland in Northumberland than vice versa. But here is no cross-border meld of music, speech, poetry, etc – if you tried to market a concert of North of England cultural exponents in Scotland, you’d only sell it to their emigre compatriots. There are, of course, some personal ties by marriage, as there are across any border, but by and large the vast majority of Scots have more contact with the south of England than the north.

    • Scotland had the best part of a 1000 years of independence before the 18th century political union including 100 years of sharing the same monarch.
      If Scotland is not a bone fidi nation then no country on earth is and if nations should be independent and self governing then so should Scotland.
      Scotland has title to the bulk of the European Union oil and around a quarter of its fishing waters. The idea that such a resource rich country would be anything other than welcome in Europe is for the birds or London propaganda. The question should rather be does Norway provide a better example for Scotland.

      • “if nations should be independent and self governing”… and there’s the rub. As in Québec, if you believe this then separation makes sense. Many would suggest the history and tragedy of the 20th century tells us otherwise. The best of humanity is shown where nations join together and individuals retain their independence.

        • So will you be pushing for a ‘Greater North America’? I mean, what’s the point in Canada? It’s really just the result of actions taken in the past (I’m being facetious of course).

        • Scotland wouldn’t be separating; it would be reverting to what it was before.

          • No it wouldn’t
            It would be becoming something that didn’t exist then. If it was reverting to what it was before it would be a feudal state with the aristocracy ruling. Any democracy and the universal suffrage that exists in Scotland today came because of the actions of the whole of the UK. 400 years of development happened jointly and not as individual states.

          • It’s reverting to being an independent country with its own Parliament. That’s what it was before 1707 (not 400 years ago). There’s a reason that when Soctland gained devolution in 1997 the Parliament was opened with the words: “The Scottish parliament, adjourned on the 25th day of March, 1707, is hereby reconvened.”

          • And it was pure nationalistic hokum.

            The parliament of 1707 bore no resemblance to the democracy of even a devolved parliament. The Scots have seen more democracy within the UK than they ever did prior to that.

          • Your pro-UK rhetoric is nationalist ‘hokum’. You do see that, right?

          • No.
            It’s a proven system that works.

          • If it worked we wouldn’t be on here debating each other’s point of view.

          • I ask you again – are you against independence for ALL countries, or just Scotland?

            Think of the Union as a marriage. One partner isn’t happy with things – little things like the Tories getting voted in time and time again, the rise of UKIP and the BNP in England, the war in Iraqi, the billions spent on Trident while Scotland has some of the worst pockets of poverty in Europe, the way Thatcher used up most of the oil in Scotland’s waters to fund her tax cuts, the way the City of London and UK regulated banks were at the centre of the global financial crisis.

            Would you advise a friend to stay in a loveless one-sided marriage or would you advise them to seek a better life on their own – even though there would be risk and uncertainty involved with that?

          • One part of one partner isn’t happy with things and it’s a wee bit late to be dragging Thatcher out again. As for the global crisis, there were more than a few Scots and Scottish institutions involved in that dance.

            As for my friend, I’d first make sure that they knew what was the alternative and not just wave my arms and assure them it’d be all okay.

          • Late! You were the one bringing up stuff that happened 400 years ago. Thatcher was 5 minutes ago in comparison and the scars still run very deep in Scotland.

  7. Seems to me the main benefit would to be that Scotland’s good name would case to be tarnished by the UK’s role as US Lackey #1.

    • This is one reason Frank. The majority of Scots did not want to go to war in Iraq and the majority of Scots do not want the UK’s nuclear arsenal hub on their door step – the Clyde…

  8. Given the mythology of Scots parsimony, you would think the first topic of such a divorce would be the dollars! Like in Canada, the basic dollar question is unspeakable despite the great financial dependency of both Quebec and the Scots.

    • Can you elaborate on this further: “the great financial dependency of…the Scots”? Scotland pays more in tax than it receives through our ‘block grant’ from Westminster (yes, we get pocket money from the UK Govt.) and our GDP is the highest outside of London and the SE of England. Again, another myth to wrap things up into a nice and tidy compartment comparing Scotland with Quebec and as a drain on the UK state.

      • My remark related to the lack of debate over the numbers in the article itself. . Possibly my anger at the Quebec situation is a part of it as the dollars are never discussed and thus misinforms the discussion. . I am not personally involved as my ancestors left in the early 1800′s. If the vote gets close to 50% then they should separate because of the energy wasted in the debate. A warring marriage is a waste of energy and the constant argument over who gets what is destructive.
        . My information heavily depended up the “Institute of Fiscal Studies, which stated “On November 18th, however, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a non-aligned think-tank, published a study looking at the prospects for an independent Scotland’s tax revenues and public spending over the next 50 years. It analysed three scenarios, including the one predicted by Mr Salmond: that oil revenues will be healthily buoyant over the next decade, that Scotland will get a generous deal when Britain’s national debt is divided up, and that it will not pay any more for government borrowing than Britain does. It also assumed increased productivity and a tripling of net migration, to 26,000 a year.

        Alas for Mr Salmond, this would not work out well. Assuming a relaxed
        austerity target of trimming national debt to 40% of GDP by 2062-63, the IFS says Scotland would need to narrow the gap between taxes and spending by the equivalent of 1.9% of national income—twice as wide as the 0.8% fiscal gap it says Britain faces. Reducing defence spending from the current notional £3.3 billion (as part of the United Kingdom) would save 0.5%. So the IFS thinks another £2 billion has to be found, either by spending cuts, raising basic-rate income tax by 6p, or lifting the VAT rate to 25%. That would fall on top of the tax rises and spending cuts being made by George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer.

        In bleaker circumstances—lower oil production, a bigger share of the
        national debt, higher interest charges and lower gains from productivity and migration—Scotland’s fiscal gap could become a 6.3% income chasm, requiring tax rises or spending cuts of £9.4 billion.

        Nationalists disagree. Oil wealth, they say, would make Scots the
        eighth-richest people in the world, with per person GDP of £26,000 ($42,000). Britain would be in 16th place with £22,000.

        True, says the IFS, but Scotland’s population is growing more slowly and ageing faster than the rest of Britain’s. Fewer working people means a smaller tax base paying for a large elderly population”

        • You were referring to the actual fiscal state of affairs in your initial post. The data you have just posted are ‘projections’. Not only that but projections based on the current UK framework.

          It is no surprise that projections based on the UK’s economic position show a long term deficit when the Office for Budget Responsibility states that the UK’s economic strategy is ‘unsustainable’ and that the UK will run a fiscal deficit in each of the next 50 years.

          The IFS themselves admit their projections in this report are ‘inherently uncertain and could evolve differently if Scotland were independent rather than part of the UK; in addition they could be substantially effected by the policies chosen by the government of an independent Scotland’.

          The whole point of independence is to give Scotland the competitive powers we need to make the most of our resources and detach ourselves from the damaging economic decisions made by Westminster, which are the basis of this report.

    • Scots are not dependent on the UK. It’s the other way around. Scotland subsidises the rest of the UK. The figures are easy to find – they are the UK gov’s own figures.

      • How many Scots work in England? How many businesses based in Scotland are beholding to the city?
        The whole is greater than the sum of its parts any other point of view is wishful thinking.

        • How many Canadians work in England? And who cares about England anyway? The UK is made up of four countries not two. The “city” as you call it is practically an independent state itself – a world financial centre populated by people from everywhere and home to businesses form everywhere. Many in England would like that city to have less power over them; not just people in Scotland.

          The Scottish independence debate is not about nationality or ethnicity no matter how much the media tries to make out it is; it’s about politics and empowerment.

          • That’s why it’s all tartan and bagpipes. It may be politics to some, but for the many it’s being sold as a faerie tale.
            There is nothing of substance in the white paper/manifesto beyond dreams and it will cost us dear if we forget about reality and indulge in some rose tinted view of the past.

          • I assure you it’s more than tartan and bagpipes. Good night.

          • I’ve heard that rubbish many a time before.

          • Likewise. “Independence is all just a load of tartan-tinged misty-eyed romanticism” is a cornerstone of the No campaign. Which is why the No campaign will lose unless it starts painting a more positive vision of Scotland’s place in the UK.

          • No. If it loses it will be because of that.
            If folk stop and think on it and look at reality there is no way that they will vote with Salmond and the snake oil salesmen of the SNP. They offer nothing but pipe-dreams and wishful thinking

        • The ‘whole’ used to be a lot larger than the existing UK. However, there is no empire any more. Things change for a reason. Get used to it.

  9. This is what Western Canada should do with Ottawa and central-east Canada.

    Time to get our own destiny and not just be a net tax colony of feudal parliament. Time for a better democracy and less taxes for Ottawa bloat.

    • Sure separate!
      The east doesn’t care just pay back past debts/transfer payments highway builds etc to Ontario! We here are finally close to broke and still baring the grunt of this country without any help back. Each Province is big enough to be individual countries. Ottawa collect and pay us back all we are owed and let us look after ourselves!

  10. Just do not take on too much of the English pyramid debt.

  11. Scottish independence is about control of Scotland’s future.

    Scotland joined a Union with England for access to English and colonial markets.
    The former is achieved with the EU and latter no longer applies.

    Would Canada want to be run from Washington DC? I think not, you have enough issues with NAFTA…

  12. An incredibly ignorant article. Scottish independence is nothing to do with Scotland vs England. It’s written as if somehow Scottish independence is a bad or strange thing. Yet try suggesting to a Canadian that they give up their government in Ottawa, and indeed their independence, and instead be ruled from Washington as part of a United Kingdom of North America and listen to their “nationalist” responses…

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