How would Scotland meet the challenge of independence?

Hamish McRae takes a long term look at the challenges and opportunities independence might offer Scotland:

This is not whether Scotland would be successful as an independent country. With the right policies of course it could, as Ireland has done post the late 1980s. With the wrong policies it would be an economic failure, as Ireland was before its boom.

The most interesting thing is how Scotland would cope with success on an Irish scale. How would it cope with the excesses of a runaway boom? How would it cope with mass immigration? Ireland has gone from 2.8 million to 4 million in the space of a generation. Would Scotland draw back and try and stifle growth? Or would it welcome its different position in the world and the people who came to share it?

Adds: Worth contrasting with John Kay’s take on this same question.

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  • Yokel

    It won’t happen…

  • iain

    It will happen…

  • Ziznivy

    A very poorly written article. After raising the issue of identity he then ignores it for the rest of the piece. His economic arguments aren’t particularly convincing. The fact that oil and gas supplies are almost exhausted doesn’t seem to figure.

    I lived in Scotland for a number of years and Scottish nationalism is almost exclusively defined on a day to day basis, by rampant xenophobia against the English. A bigoted gut reaction is no basis on which to form a separate state. The worst elements of the Scottish press propound these tendencies by wilfully ignoring politics and news in the rest of the UK.

    More sober and sensible Scots recognise and value the inseparable cultural and historical ties with their fellow British citizens in the United Kingdom.

  • kensei

    “A very poorly written article. After raising the issue of identity he then ignores it for the rest of the piece. His economic arguments aren’t particularly convincing. The fact that oil and gas supplies are almost exhausted doesn’t seem to figure. ”

    Did you miss this bit:

    “Of course independence is not just about economics. It is about identity. But one of the principal arguments being used by people who want to keep the Union, including the present British Government, is that Scotland would be worse off without the annual transfer of funds from Westminster. But if that argument disappears – as it might were Scotland to become the second “Celtic tiger” – then the country could make a decision based on identity, its true vision of its place in the world.”

    He specifically removed identity from the equation because he is an economist, and was simply looking at the economic arguments.

  • Yokel

    Iain

    I’ve seen nothing that suggests Scotland will go for it when it really comes down to it.

  • Ziznivy

    I read that bit and thought it a cop out, bearing in mind what followed was hardly penetrating economics.

  • Tori

    Ziznivy,

  • Tori

    Ziznivy,
    I’m sorry but I think you aren’t allright.Scottish people should decide about future.I think the best solution is purposing a referendum.I proudly support SNP:how would english people reach if a foreign nation denied them the lawful right to form an independent nation?Why should Scotland remain a settlement, in our modern EU?

  • manichaeism

    Just because Ireland has thrived recently dosen’t mean that Scotland will. Just following the same low corporation tax model certainly won’t insure it. Sometimes these things are a matter of timing. Ireland was very lucky with it’s timing. A lot of countries want to follow the low tax model now though.

  • Munsterman

    Tori :

    If a majority (let’s say 75% v 25 % margin in favour of independence) of the people in Scotland voted for independence, would the 25 % minority have the right to raise a paramilitary militia, illegally import thousands of weapons and threaten civil war in order to force the Partition of Scotland and keep a part of Scotland within the UK ?
    Oh and by the way, do you think the leader of the British Conservative Party would openly support and encourage these actions ?

  • eranu

    munsterman, id say yeah they would.

  • Ziznivy

    “I’m sorry but I think you aren’t allright.Scottish people should decide about future.I think the best solution is purposing a referendum.I proudly support SNP:how would english people reach if a foreign nation denied them the lawful right to form an independent nation?Why should Scotland remain a settlement, in our modern EU?

    Posted by Tori on Apr 12, 2007 @”

    What foreign nation? No foreign nation is denying Scots any right whatsoever. Scotland isn’t a settlement, it’s one of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom.

  • Tori

    Munsterman,
    Obviously,I think only the majority of the people have to decide about their own nation. This is the underlying principle of democracy,supported by some millions of persons,and maybe you are one of those(Unless you prefer a dictatorial government,whose members don’t respect people’s will).If nationalists won,unionists must respect this will.Obviously,if unionists won,I’m sure SNP won’t begin a war…

  • eranu

    id also say that an independant scotland that adopted the republics low tax economic ideas would spell big trouble for the republic. the republic is getting very uncompetitive due to high costs (wages etc) and poor infrastructure (transport etc). if a lower cost option like scotland came along perhaps many of the businesses in ROI would jump ship?

  • manichaeism

    Don’t think they will be jumping to Scotland eranu. More like Eastern Europe or Asia. That danger already exists so I don’t think Scottish independence would affect the Republic economically.

  • Niall

    Scottish identity is pretty schizophrenic as it stands, even more so than the Irish, so I doubt that even if the economic imperative for staying within the union was removed there’d be any kind of consensus for an independent Scotland.

    Identity is never fixed but in Scotland’s case it’s positively mercurial. At the door of the military museum in Edinburgh you’re greeted with William Wallace’s famous words saying as long as 100 Scots remain they will fight the English, while the rest of the museum documents Scotland’s excessive pride in having been the backbone of the British army during colonial expansion. If that’s not an identity crisis I don’t know what is.

  • kensei

    What I don’t understand is – if the result for an Independence referendum is such a foregone conclusion, why do the Lib Dems, Labour and the Conservatives fear the Scottish electorate?

    Surely there is nothing better to spike the Independence movement for another 25 years than a vote that isn’t even close?

  • John East Belfast

    Tori

    “I proudly support SNP:how would English people reach if a foreign nation denied them the lawful right to form an independent nation?Why should Scotland remain a settlement, in our modern EU?”

    Does the fact that Scotland is an integral and important part of the UK mean nothing to you ?

    Including the fact that the next Prime Minister of the UK is likely to be a Scotsman following on from having been one of the most successful Chancellors of the Exchequers in recet years ?

    As a unionist I really dont grasp this Celtic Separatist stuff when you can be part of and shape one of the greatest nations on earth.

    Celtic Separatism IMHO is a manifestation of gross insecurity about past relations with the English from which people should grow up.
    You should purge yourself of petty resentments in your national mindset and recognise that the peoples of the British Isles have much more in common than divides them and should pool their strengths and cover one anothers’ weaknesses.

    We are much better united than divided

  • Munsterman

    Tori :

    “Obviously,I think only the majority of the people have to decide about their own nation. This is the underlying principle of democracy…..”

    I agree with you completely.

    ” If nationalists won,unionists must respect this will.”

    I would not count on that if I were you.
    (See “eranu’s” post no. 11 above for details)

  • manichaeism

    The United Kingdom is mainly run for the benefit of the English John East Belfast. That’s why most of the money is concentrated in the Southeast of England. It’s a very successful nation and fair play to them but I am interested in building my own nation and not just in being a province of England no matter how successful it is.

  • merrie

    There are billions of GBPs invested in financial and insurance companies in Edinburgh. Most of their income is from England. Will they have to move south of the border after Scottish independence?

  • “when you can be part of and shape one of the greatest nations on earth”

    On that basis, JEB, would you support the UK/Ireland becoming states in the USA?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Niall and Kensei.

    Great points.

    >>As a unionist I really dont grasp this Celtic Separatist stuff when you can be part of and shape one of the greatest nations on earth.< >What foreign nation? No foreign nation is denying Scots any right whatsoever. Scotland isn’t a settlement, it’s one of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
    Posted by Ziznivy on Apr 12, 2007 @ 12:53 PM

    Easily changed! as you are about to discover.

    There has been a discernible change in Scottish attitudes toward the union. The economic scare stories have been found to be untrue. Well hidden reports like the McCrone report have been unveiled thanks to freedom of information. British dirty tricks, never! The tories frigged up, we thought labour would be better. No joy.

    We’ll have a go at it ourselves thanks very much.

    Munsterman.

    LOL.

  • FREEEEEEEDOOOOMMM!!!!!!!

    JEB
    ‘Celtic Separatism IMHO is a manifestation of gross insecurity about past relations with the English from which people should grow up.

    We are much better united than divided’

    Well, it would seem that reality would have everyone else believe otherwise, considering the most successful place outside of England on these islands is the ROI. Is that a coincidence, or is it proof that being dependant on the S.E. of Englands success, rather than depending on your own wits and following your own path, is counter productive. You can see Scotlands own self esteem has completely collapsed because it cannot stand on it’s own two feet. If Scotland is ever to become great again, then it’ll have to follow the ROI’s example.

  • iain

    yokel,
    the only constant in this universe is change. The UK will come to an end eventually. Maybe Scotland won’t become indenpendent next May, next year, or even in the next ten years, but it will not be part of the UK ‘forever’. My hope as a Scot is that independence comes sooner rather than later.

  • iain

    To John East Belfast

    “Unionist/loyalist Separatism IMHO is a manifestation of gross insecurity about past relations with the Irist from which people should grow up.
    You should purge yourself of petty resentments in your national mindset and recognise that the peoples of Ireland have much more in common than divides them and should pool their strengths and cover one anothers’ weaknesses.

    We are much better united than divided”

    honestly!!!!

  • Harry Flashman

    Iain

    **My hope as a Scot is that independence comes sooner rather than later.**

    Given that the SNP wish to remain in the EU they will not be remotely achieving an independent state, they will merely be replacing the current UK administrators of EU imposed legislation and social policy (a huge proportion of whom are Scottish anyway) with Edinburgh based administrators, there will be little or no discernible change in Scottish governance.

    Now if the Scot Nats proposed a genuine independence such as that of Switzerland or Norway then I’d be impressed but right now all they are talking about is continued provincial status but to a foreign administration in Brussels as opposed to the disproportionately Scottish administration in London.

  • iain

    harry flashman

    that’s even less convincing than John East Belfast. EU regulation would apply to us as we would continue to be members of the EU (or become new members as strictly speaking it’s the UK that has membership of the EU). Currently much EU policy is determined at the council of ministers (or what ever its called these days). This is effectively the supreme legislature of the EU. Scotland is not represented on this council as it is not an independent state. Post independence we would have our own ministers there fighting for Scottish interests, which frankly are not always the same as English interests.

  • Ziznivy

    “Unionist/loyalist Separatism IMHO is a manifestation of gross insecurity about past relations with the Irist from which people should grow up.
    You should purge yourself of petty resentments in your national mindset and recognise that the peoples of Ireland have much more in common than divides them and should pool their strengths and cover one anothers’ weaknesses.

    We are much better united than divided”

    You do realise that supporting an existing constitutional status quo is not the same as seperatism?

  • iain

    Ziznivy

    Hopefully the difference will disappear soon. Also, I don’t resent the English. I have the greatest respect for the English, and have many very good friends that are English. I simply think Scotland’s interests would be better served as an independent state. I guess ‘Anglo-Saxon’ separatists that want an independent England probably feel the same about English interests. What I do resent is British nationalists like John and others in Ulster telling me i have something in common with them when actually i find Northern Ireland an embarrassment. And, for John’s information, I’m not even sure my ancestry is Celtic, though to be honest I’ve never been bothered to find out.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Are Unionists deep down terrified if Scottish independance happened?

  • Forecast

    ‘If Scotland is ever to become great again, then it’ll have to follow the ROI’s example.’

    errrrr, remind me again, when was Scotland great outside the Union?

    And this from a man with a Scottish missus……

  • Tori

    John East Belfast,
    I totally endorse n.24 statement(by freeeedooom!)
    Moreover,in a possible Scottish Republic,good relationships with England will remain,and they could be improved.I wish to remember we(Scottish,Irish,Welsh)aren’t british.We are celtic(LIKE YOU).We are another population.I only ask Scottish people could express their real will.I think it’s a democratic right.Nobody wants to demonize english people.We want to voice our desire.Then,we’ll be able to be better fellows than now,all together in EU.

  • Is Scottish independence so unthinkable?

    I havent lived in scotland for ten years, but several trips back to Glasgow recently has indicated to me that the zeitgeist has changed.

    people are considering it in a way that they would not have a generation ago.

  • Forecast.

    Scotland was a successful entity in the middleages-a long time ago admittedly,but if you are saying that scotland couldnt “go it alone” then I have to disagree with you.

  • Forecast

    Phil

    You misread my post. Being a ‘successful entity’, does not a great nation make.

    As for going it alone, I think that it would be the heart, rather than the head that would vote in a referendum, and the heart says no.

    Its quite obvious that the SNP will rise on the back of electorate discontent with the current labour administration, not on the constitutional settlement.

    Like the Parti Quebecois in Canada, the canny scots will look for an adversarial (in relation to Westminster) executive in Scotland, but will not vote for independance.

  • K McLaughlin

    Re. the posting by Niall at 16 above about Scottish identity. This infatuation with the military is a closed chapter. Remember Niall, it was a museum you were in.
    This unhealthy military obsession started its decline after WW1 when Scotland (with less than 10% of the then UK population) picked up 20% of the UK’s butcher’s bill. After Russia and Serbia, it was the third worst death toll (in relation to the size of a country’s population) of that war. More recently, it was reported pre-Xmas that the British Army’s new Regiment of Scotland had to be made up to strength by Fijian recruits to the tune of 10%. .
    Two interesting facts about the glorious Union forces you do not hear very often.
    Scottish Independence will deprive Her Brittannic Majesty of some of her more expendable military formations. It should be encouraged for this reason if for no other. Bring it on!
    PS The ‘100 men’ quote is not Wallace but is from the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath.
    PPS Did’nt the 26 counties supply a substantial proportion of many British army infantry regiments before independence? Your people got over it, we will to.

  • John East Belfast

    Tori, Iain

    You totally ignored my post about Scots being at the centre of British political life and the fact that in a couple of months a Scot will be PM.
    Indeed I cant think of a major UK Ministerial position thas has not been held down by a Scot in recent years ?
    Defence (Reid, Robertson, Brown), Home Secretary (Reid), Health (Reid)- I am too lazy to think of more but they have been everywhere – even in NI – Reid gets around.
    Even the Tories had them with Rifkind and McKay.

    Indeed Scots have been running the country.

    Therefore any notion that the UK is run for the English as somebody said above is just rubbish.

    Indeed if you add existing Scottish Devolution within the UK and the fact that a newly independent Scotland is going to throw itself well into the EU club and likely join the Euro and kiss goodbye to setting its own Monetary Policy then any notion of Scottish Independence taking control of its own affairs is just nonsense.

    What you are saying is you want the ability to alter taxes – which in the short to medium term will go up – and have your own limited Foreign & Defence Policy. I suppose you wouldnt be in the Iraq War.

    However there is no practical reason that I can think of for Scottish Independence – it is emotional and based on identity insecurity and prejudice against your English neighbours.
    Mel Gibson paints his face blue and runs up an Irish hill shouting freedom and all the Scots go teary eyed – actually as an Ulster Scot I find it all embarassing.

    My surname derives itself from an old Pictish region so I probably have as much right to the term Celtic as you but that does not preclude me from being British.

    Also you are all way under estimating the economic implications of Independence.
    For starters you will have to plug the £6bn per annum Fiscal deficit.

    It is too simplistic to look to the ROI – and what is often overlooked at the ROI Model is that it took 75 years of sacrifice by at least two generations for the current celtic tiger.

    Are the Scots even prepared to have one generation sacrifice its well being for its grandchildren ?

    Dont think you can get away with slashing CT – that boat is sailing with the rise of Eastern europe.
    There would also be one big difference this time than with the ROI – ie what is left of the UK will realise that a land border with a 12% CT regime will have to be reciprocated. They can live with NI’s CT problems with the ROI but if Scotland started suckng trade and investment from the Midlands upwards do you not think the UK Chancellor would start taking defensive action ?

    Distancing yourself from a 50m population and mature market south of your border by adopting different laws, taxes and exchange rates would be a very silly thing for Scots to do.

    At the minute the Scots have bags of identity within the UK where they punch way above their weight.

    Scottish Independence is an immature and backward looking emotion IMHO

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    To put it bluntly, but London, England ruled the UK and the Empire. The English called the shots. The Irish, the Scottish, the Welsh etc.. were the subjects of the English; they were the cannonfodder, servants and lackeys. Loyalty was to be our motto.
    The Ulster 36th Division in WW1 were treated as cannonfodder and were sent to their slaughter under English orders. England was always the prime concern, the manor house so to speak while Ireland, Scotland and Wales were the servants quarters.
    About time Scotland stood up for herself and called for independance. Rediculous to think that the Scots head of state is an English woman with a strong Germanic bloodline and sits on the thrown in London. Wouldn’t it be better for Scotland to have a President residing in Scotland permanently and not just paying a visit now and again on holidays, in all honesty. The Union was fine as it served the security of England from a possible one time European threat, and that’s all. That threat is now long gone. No need to man the outposts anymore. No need to play the part of the pawn for English in the Empire chess game.

  • Prince Eoghan

    John East Belfast.

    Dry your eyes, you will get over it.

    >>Therefore any notion that the UK is run for the English as somebody said above is just rubbish.< >What you are saying is you want the ability to alter taxes – which in the short to medium term will go up.< >and have your own limited Foreign & Defence Policy. I suppose you wouldnt be in the Iraq War.< >However there is no practical reason that I can think of for Scottish Independence< >actually as an Ulster Scot I find it all embarrassing.< >Distancing yourself from a 50m population and mature market south of your border by adopting different laws, taxes and exchange rates would be a very silly thing for Scots to do.<

  • Munsterman

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín :

    Why, in your opinion, are unionists in the north-east of Ireland so desperately worried about the prospect – and implications – of Scottish independence ?

    Surely they must have every confidence in Scottish unionists to respect democracy and accept Scottish independence if the majority of Scots vote for that.
    Or are they terrified that Scottish unionists might begin to raise paramilitary militia’s and illegally import tens of thousands of weapons and threaten civil war to Partition Scotland and keep a part of Scotland within the UK ? And perhaps even aided and abetted by the leader of the British Conservative Party ?

    Any ideas ?

  • kensei

    “Therefore any notion that the UK is run for the English as somebody said above is just rubbish.”

    “Run for” and “run by” have two different meanings. The idea that the UK is run by Scots is also wrong, count the actual number of Scottish cabinet members, instead of the perception.

    “Indeed if you add existing Scottish Devolution within the UK and the fact that a newly independent Scotland is going to throw itself well into the EU club and likely join the Euro and kiss goodbye to setting its own Monetary Policy then any notion of Scottish Independence taking control of its own affairs is just nonsense. ”

    Yeah, because none of the countries in the Eurozone are autonomous :rolleyes:

  • Prince Eoghan

    Mick.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/18/232646/657

    Daily Kos have done a pretty good synopsis. Pay attention to the hidden McCrone reprt concerning Scotland’s real wealth. Considering estimates range from a very conservative to a speculative 100 years of just one major energy resource. I really don’t think we will be short of a few bob.

    Even nulabour are barking on about uncertainty rather than try the old methods about scaring us about banckruptcy etc.. It just isn’t true.

    As far as ‘meeting the challenge of independence’
    We have some of our worst rogues ‘dahn sarf’ running the soon to be kaput UK inc. I’m sure that we might be able to use the knowledge and expertise, gained while governing the English. To be able to manage our own affairs.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Unionists know only too well and indeed we all do that if Scotland achieved independance that their position would be highly untenable and a United Ireland even more inevitable.

    Pawns of the English are the Unionists as even the Dubliner and leading loyalist Edward Carson finally realised…
    ‘What a fool I was! I was only a puppet and so was Ulster and so was Ireland in the political game that was to get the Conservative Party into office’

    Unionists fail to see this blatantly obvious fact, no doubt blinded by a sense of servile duty, religious fundamentalism and fear.

  • slug

    “even more inevitable”

    Are there degrees of inevitability?

  • Munsterman

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín :

    Very well put – and very accurate.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “even more inevitable”
    Are there degrees of inevitability?

    Lets say it’s a James Joycean way of putting it.

  • Phil

    It appears that the British “nationalists” are using the family ties arguement now that the financial one has been exposed as a myth. It doesn’t wash though, my family in Scotland would be no more “seperated” from their English cousins than the Australian or Irish branches of the family are. It is the desire to have political representation that reflects our own distinctive national identities that motivates most of us to be nationalists (be that English or Scottish) not a desire to put up barriers at Berwick and Gretna.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    The floundering Gordon Brown. Not content with stating that fat drunken Gazza’s goal for Engurland against the fair Scotland was his favourite ever. And that he wanted Engurland to win the world cup.(that went down well up here) has already tried the emotional glass-eyed “but 40% of Scots have relations in England, woe betide us if we were to leave them in the clutches of old blighty.” Ok I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point.

    I don’t know if he thought us so idiotic to believe that we will be forever separated from our relations, or my preferred opinion that you guys are all monsters. LOL

  • Phil

    “or my preferred opinion that you guys are all monsters. LOL”

    You’ve met the wife then?

    Seriously though, yes I do think that Brown, Blair, Cameron, Ming and all the other defenders of the union think that we are stupid. Do they realy think that they can preach to a Scottish audience about the financial implications of independence without questions being asked by the English? Do they believe that we will fall for the barbed wire at Berwick story? Of course they do, because they are hopelessly out of touch with public opinion and think that saying different things to different audiences will mean that they can con all of the people all of the time. The game’s up though and even their friends in the media are struggling to keep the geenie in the lamp.

    As you say in Scotland, it’s time.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    You know that without us you will probably have a Tory government for the disagreeable future;¬)

    That not enough to turn you Unionist?

    Continuing racial tensions will I believe be a massive fixture in future English politics.

  • Cahal

    Would a Conservative British general election win enhance the case for an independent Scotland?

    Seems a bit that Scotland could be governed by a party which polls about 10% in Scotland.

    Was there a rise in SNP support during the Thatcher & Major years?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Cahal.

    It is now being recognised that Maggie T was the architect(not literally) of the Scottish Parly. Due to the trauma of Tory rule, Scots vowed never again. Thus to stymie any independence surge Nulabour pushed ahead with the current under used Scottish Parly.

    Just the thought of unrepresentative Tories ruling us again, allied with a failed Holyrood/Westminster Nulabour party seems to be pushing Scots to the SNP. We are a natuarally left of centre people, another thing that differentiates us from our southern neighbours who are not. The eighties especially have left deep scars on the Scottish psyche, we are now industry less literally. And many of our best leave due to lack of opportunity.

  • Phil

    Prince,

    “That not enough to turn you Unionist?”

    Not really, even though I would probably be a Labour voter were it not for their anti-English policies. I would vote for the party that comes closest to having policies that reflect my own opinions which at the moment is the English Democrats, but who knows, if the Tories morph into the sort of party discussed on the other thread on this subject I may vote for them! I fear that you may be right about future racial tensions though unless the people in power start to promote intergration and a civic English identity rather than multi-culturism.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil

    “reflect my own opinions which at the moment is the English Democrats,”

    What are your numbers? And wouldn’t UKIP morph into a little Englander party in time.

    Re-racial issue. In my opinion it is too late for England. The right are winning the argument, and ordinary decent English people are seemingly being radicalised by the minute. I really fear for you guys.

    Ironically, Scotland has not traditionally been seen as a desirable destination by economic migrants(the Tories made sure of that). It is only lately that the whole of Poland has moved here and we see a lot more black faces, these cannot be allowed to ghettoise or be disenfranchised.

    All are welcome!

  • Tori

    John East Belfast,

    1)Could I be Polish?Obviously I could’t.Being British doesn’t make sense.In that country you call”Great Britain” there are two main ethinc groups:Anglo-Saxon and Celtic.As they will never able to be celtic,we’ll never be able to be anglo-saxon.It’s nature,I’m sorry.
    2)Gordon Brown is a shameful scottish.He’s cynical,opportunist,disposed to bow and give up his “Scottishness and Celticness”,ready to walk all over his country for his own wealth.
    3)I found a dictatorial tone in your statement.Why don’t you want let Scottish people decide about their next story?If you were a democratic man,you should let them this lawful right.
    I don’t criticise you unionism.If you had written:”I don’t support the idea of independence,but I’m willing Scottish people could express their desire.”,I wouldn’t have written anything about you.I only was sorry to find so authoritarian words.

  • Phil

    Prince,

    The English Democrats are growing but are probably at the stage in their development that the SNP were in the 1950’s so there is a long way to go. I think that they and UKIP have similar policies on many things but they differ fundamentaly on the union (although EDP policy at the moment only favours an English parliament rather than independence although there are many in their ranks who would prefer the latter). Who knows what might happen in the future, I certainly wouldn’t rule out a merger if UKIP loose the UK part of their name. There is also the English Independence party but they are too right-wing for most people (not far from being an English BNP in fact) but the danger is that a disenfranchised population could be driven into the arms of the far-right. I know what you mean regarding the race issue as it will be difficult to say to somebody that they must now integrate themselves into English society when for 30 years they have been actively encouraged to stay true to their historical culture rather than embrace the one in which they now live. I don’t think that it is a hopeless cause though, it will just take time to turn it around.

    There is a need to encourage a sense of civic pride in all areas of life from village, town, city and county right up to national level but unless local government is re-structured to reflect our traditional town and county boundaries and while we have no form of national government to promote a sense of civic Englishness then that isn’t going to happen.

  • Forecast

    Interesting take on the Kos comments page that under pressure from the Partido Popular, that Spain and other states suffering from similar separatist/independence tensions in member states would block Scottish ascension into the EU to teach those pesky Catalans/flemish whoever that separation comes at a cost.

    Now that would be a kick in the balls for nationalists.

  • Forecast

    Tori -‘1)Could I be Polish?Obviously I could’t.Being British doesn’t make sense.In that country you call”Great Britain” there are two main ethinc groups:Anglo-Saxon and Celtic.As they will never able to be celtic,we’ll never be able to be anglo-saxon.It’s nature,I’m sorry. ‘

    Congratulations – best primary school essay i have seen in a long time. How many stars did you win?

  • IJP

    FREEDOM

    Actually I’d say over the last 300 years the most successful place in the British Isles is Scotland.

    The Scots’ contribution to technology, politics, world affairs, military and arguably also literature and sport is quite possibly without parallel anywhere in the world, given the size of population.

    Add in Scotland’s capital, the most beautiful mid-sized city anywhere in Europe outside Prague, and you have astonishing success which certainly Ireland (however defined) can come nowhere near matching.

    Hence my horror at the Scots’ rampant Anglophobia these days. Why not be proud of what they have and the astonishing success of their country, rather than envious of others?

  • Forecast

    IJP

    Exactly. Through the Union the Scots were able to excel, innovate and influence the whole globe.

    The British empire probably owed more (proportionally) to Scotsmen (and Irishmen) than to the evil genocidal English.

    Also the lovely capital that Scotland boasts would not be halve as beautiful without the benefits of the Union.

  • Forecast

    Oh, and its not just through empire that the Scots excelled, influenced the globe etc……

  • Tori

    Forecast,
    I’m not touchy.I’m able to joke about myself if someone makes a witty remark.But it must be funny.Unfortunately,you haven’t got sense of humor.My baby(surely more intelligent than you)would understand two different ethinc groups will never coincide.It’s not particularly difficult for wise people(obviously I’ve understood you aren’t).Do you know your idea of imperialism is the first reason that makes poor people slave annd desperate?

    Sincerly,

    A man who has got sense of humor.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil

    On my travels dahn sarf I often get the feeling that I am in not only a different country, but a different continent. I believe big issues need to be spoke about in an adult fashion. History has taught us that people when feeling under pressure react to their fears, and it aint always nice. Honestly I don’t see good times ahead.

    Forecast.

    “Now that would be a kick in the balls for nationalists.”

    The EU have already posited that there would be no problems for both Scotland and England retaining EU membership. Tough shit!

    “Hence my horror at the Scots’ rampant Anglophobia these days. Why not be proud of what they have and the astonishing success of their country, rather than envious of others?”

    Please point out this Anglophobia,and we are very proud of our PAST achievements, just who are we supposed to be envious of?

    Face it you guys by 2010 will be up shit creek without a paddle. Maybe that’s what big Ian spotted in advance.

  • Forecast

    PE
    ‘Face it you guys by 2010 will be up shit creek without a paddle. Maybe that’s what big Ian spotted in advance.’

    And who is we guys btw?

  • Forecast

    Tori
    ‘A man who has got sense of humor.’

    American spelling?
    Sense of humour????

    You must have the irony brain cell from that continent today. Well used!!!

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>And who is we guys btw?<

  • Struan

    Independence- of course it could work- but not with the Socialist/Social Democrat policies of the SNP. You need first of all to greatly reduce the size of the public sector, scrap the inflation-proof pensions imposed by the British state for its turkey army of employees: you need to drop corporation Tax rates to say those in the Irish Republic, personal taxation should be much lower.
    Fewer bueaucrats,a sigficiantly larger private sector, the state being rolled back. We’ll overtake Ireland in months. By the way can we have Berwick on Tweed, Cumberland, Co Antrim and Co. Down back please?
    POLITICAL FREEDOM DOES NOT EXIST WITHOUR ECONOMIC FREEDOM

  • iain

    Phil

    i’d like to see England gain independence too. and hopefully before multiculturalism destroys the concept of Englishness, though i guess that’s not a very pc thing to say

    IJP/Forecast
    Edinburgh’s a kip

    Struan
    If Norway (similar resources to ourselves) or even Ireland (with no significant natural resources) can succeed independently than of course Scotland can too.

  • Forecast

    PE
    Guilty
    Quality
    We wee guys know when to hold our hands up. (wee hands mind) ;o)

  • Forecast

    However……still does not answer the question, within which national, economic or social group do you lump myself and IJP in?

    ‘Face it you guys by 2010…………’

  • Irish Aussie

    By the way can we have Berwick on Tweed, Cumberland, Co Antrim and Co. Down back please?
    POLITICAL FREEDOM DOES NOT EXIST WITHOUR ECONOMIC FREEDOM

    Posted by Struan on Apr 14, 2007 @ 08:58 PM

    Are you really sure that Scotland would want West Belfast and Sth Down within and Sth Armagh on its borders.

  • Phil

    IJP,

    The “rampant Anglophobia” to which you refer comes not from SNP types but from the sort of people who find it easier to blame “the English” for all of their woes rather than take responsibility for running their own country. It is they who are the voting fodder for the likes of Brown, Reid and Darling so that they can head south with a “mandate” to fuck up England without any accountability for their actions by the English people who didn’t vote for them or without their policies affecting the Scots who did. In my experience Scottish nationalists are very much also by definition English nationalists and although we have a different perspective on things, our aims are almost the same.

    Iain,

    It may not be very PC, but unfortunately our English identity is threatened not only by multi-culturism but also by Gordon Brown’s “Brittishness”. If England is to save herself then we must have politicians who speak for England and promote “Englishness” as a strong civic identity. The cries of “racist” from the PC brigade must be ignored because it is they who are the racist and it is their policies that are divisive. I hope that Prince Eoghan is wrong and it is not too late. To an outsider it may appear that it is but I know many people who’s roots are from all over the world (including my own that are from Ireland and more distantly, France and Prussia) and are of many colours and religions yet most of them feel some sort of affinity towards England, whether it be the cricket,football or Rugby teams or celebrating St. George’s day, when I always cook a full English breakfast (with quorn sausages and bacon for the veggies, Sikh’s, Hindu’s, Jew’s and Muslims of course!) for all my work colleagues.

    England is stil a great country but it suffers from a lack of political identity that has allowed our culture to become belittled and ridiculed by people in positions of power who do not have anyones interests but their own at heart.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    A sober view, but probably a middle-class one where certain ethnic groups intermingle and all get on swimmingly. I don’t wish to deride in the slightest, I also have friends who are Sikhs(great people) and a Muslim who lists Celtic, Man U and Engurland as his favourites. Witness however from anecdotal stories of an Irish-English pal of mine from Daghenam/Ilford area of London who felt he had to move his family due to racial issues. Increasingly whites are scared to walk in certain areas, resulting in ghettoisation of whites and increasing influence of the far-right.

    This is not xenophobia on his part, hardly, a more socialist minded person you’ll never meet. In his view it was a horrible situation.

    Forecast.

    If you aint a Unionist, you do a hell of an impersonation! You guys=Unionists.

  • Phil

    Prince,

    Interestingly, many of the people that I work with are from the same part of Essex as your Irish-English pal, spookey eh? I can’t disagree with any of what you say about this area, Barking’s Thames View estate in particular. As for me being middle-class, maybe I am in that I own my own house and have a supervisory job, but by background no I’m not as I grew up on a council estate in Tottenham and my dad was a bus driver, my mum a cleaner at North Middlesex hospital. I prefer to define myself as classless anyway.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>I prefer to define myself as classless anyway.<