Scottish independence
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Scottish Independence. We will consider facts and data on: history p opulation e conomy opinion. Scottish Independence. 844 Irish settlers and Picts formed kingdom of Alba (north of Forth and Clyde) 1018 south-east stolen from England in Battle of Carham

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Scottish Independence

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Scottish independence

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence1

  • We will consider facts and data on:

    • history

    • population

    • economy

    • opinion

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


A separate state with a separate identity

  • 844 Irish settlers and Picts formed kingdom of Alba (north of Forth and Clyde)

  • 1018 south-east stolen from England in Battle of Carham

  • 1034 south-west obtained from England by marriage

  • 1266 Western Isles obtained from Norway by treaty

  • Shetland and Orkney obtained from Norway by marriage

  • A separate state with a separate identity?

    • no obvious frontier between north and south Britain

    • no physical barriers within Scotland

    • differences of race and language among its people

    • contrast between Highlands and Lowlands

    • affinities between the Lowlands and England

    • Picts and Britons, Scandinavians, Angles and Normans laid aside memories of the past and adopted the mythology of the Scots, who came as Irish invaders

A separate state with a separate identity?

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Some more dates

  • 1603 Union of crowns – James IV/ I (incl. Ireland & France)

  • 1707 political union following the Darien adventure

  • 1745 Jacobite rebellion – Bonny Prince Charlie

  • 1746 Culloden – rout of Jacobites

  • 1885 Scottish Secretary and Scottish Office established

  • 1886 Gladstone Irish Home Rule Bill introduced

  • 1913 Scottish Home Rule bill introduced

  • 1921 SNL set up in London

  • 1928 NPS formed

  • 1934 SNP formed – NPS + Scottish Party (Conservatives)

  • 1967 Winnie Ewing wins Hamilton seat for SNP

  • 1974 11 SNP MPs

  • 1999 Scottish Parliament – devolution

  • 2011 SNP majority government

Some More Dates

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence some data

  • UK, pop 60 million, GDP £1500 billion

  • Scotland, pop 5.3 million, GDP £150 billion

  • Consider other countries

    • Ireland, pop 4.5 million, GDP £110 billion

    • Finland, pop 5.4 million, GDP £120 billion

    • Norway, pop 5 million, GDP £170 billion

  • Number of Scots in England 800,000

  • Number of English in Scotland 400,000

Scottish IndependenceSome Data

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence2

  • Voters will be asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

  • The Scottish government's original version of the question, "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?", was dropped after the Electoral Commission raised concerns it could lead people into voting "yes".

  • Past incarnations of the referendum question have proved far more wordy.

  • The SNP previously said people could be asked to vote "Yes I agree" or "No I disagree" to the statement: "The Scottish Parliament should negotiate a new settlement with the British government, based on the proposals set out in the white paper, so that Scotland becomes a sovereign and independent state."

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence3

  • When?

    • Referendum 18 September 2014

      • 2014 the Ryder Cup golf tournament and the Commonwealth Games - are being held in Scotland.

      • 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, English army defeated by Robert the Bruce, during the wars of independence.

      • But 100th anniversary of WW1

  • Effective if approved May 2016

  • Why? An SNP obsession?

  • Who votes?

    • Scottish residents over 16

  • What do Scottish residents think now?

    • 80% of people we met were against even having the referendum

    • 60% in a recent poll think too much money is being spent on the referendum

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence4

  • Do Scots understand?

    • 14% claim to understand what the Scottish Parliament does after 14 years of devolution

  • The opinion polls

    • yes 27 to 30%

    • no 41 to 45%

    • don’t know 22 to 33%

  • Scotland’s Future white paper

    • 81% of over-55s have heard of it

    • 45% of 16 to 34 age group have heard of it

  • What would it mean to the England?

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence5

  • The protagonists

    • SNP and Green Party (Alex SalmondMSP, First Minister) – tax funded

    • Better Together campaign, (Alistair Darling) - funded by donation

  • Scotland’s Future white paper – 670 pages

  • A new poll reveals that almost 60% of people in Scotland believe Alex Salmond is spending too much public money advertising his White Paper manifesto for breaking up the UK.

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence snp promises

  • Children from age 1 will have free care for 1140 hours a year

  • Trident to be removed

  • Income tax will not increase

  • No border checks to England

  • Immigration encouraged

  • 90% of oil and gas = £22 billion

Scottish IndependenceSNP Promises

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence6

  • Is it like Britain and the EU?

  • Is it practical?

  • What is Scotland?

  • How would you decide?

    • Economics

    • Religion

    • Defence

    • Religion

    • Identity

Scottish Independence

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence potential advantages

Scottish IndependencePotential Advantages

  • Decisions taken more locally

  • Greater sense of identity

  • Would not be ruled by English Tories

  • Could be neutral and avoid defence spending

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence potential disadvantages

  • Would become parochial and insular, less tolerant

  • Taxation would increase or services reduce

  • England may be disadvantaged ( and most Scots have family in England)

  • Currency in doubt (SNP has no plan B)

  • Credit rating not likely to be AAA as UK

  • EU membership in doubt

  • Lots of uncertainty

  • Would be a minor nation

  • Loss of identity

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Scottish IndependencePotential Disadvantages

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence conclusions

  • If the British have the right to succeed from the EU, the Scots have the right to succeed from the Great Britain

  • It’s good that Scotland has the choice

  • Symptom of the failure of central government to be sympathetic to those living away from Whitehall

  • Scottishness is an arbtiary identity

  • More to do with people wishing for local autonomy than for identity

  • Clannish, tribal, family ideas should be obsolete in a diverse and tolerant world

  • It will be a setback for civilisation if it says “Yes”

  • Irish independence is a mistake

  • I blame the Catholic Church

Scottish Independence, Conclusions

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


Scottish independence conclusions1

  • It’s good that Scotland has the choice

  • The referendum will decided more on emotion than on a careful analysis of the data (how many of us would take the time or be capable of assessing the likely credit rating of the country , making a sensible estimate of declining oil revenues?)

  • It will be a setback for civilisation if it says “Yes”

  • Irish independence is a mistake

  • I blame the Catholic Church

Scottish Independence, Conclusions

U3A PPS, Jan 2014


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