The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

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John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

1.
"No Scotland cannot survive as an independent nation in the way that the SNP are telling the Scottish people"

However, this is not the question, the question is.......

Can Scotland stand alone as an independent country and succeed?

Maybe! but only by increasing PAYE rates by about 15%, after first paying off its indebtedness to the remainder of the UK, and even then only for a short time untill the first serious financial crisis strikes

2.
Are you saying that the EU will not accept Scotland?
Are you saying that the BoE/Westminster will point blank refuse Scotland the use of the currency pound Sterling?

a) If the EU grant membership status to an independent Scotland, then it set a disturbing and destabilising precident for the break up of several existing member states for instance Catalunia & Galicia in Spain, The border region of the Czech Republic which is a German speaking region formerly known as the Sudetenland,and Sicily would love to be independent of Italy.

b) The UK Government would have to defy the objections of Plaid Cymru and those of most English people to the prospect of maintaining a currency union with an independent Scotland as this would carry a risk of the B of E acting as a Banker of last resort for a country that no longer contributed to the UK economy,


3.
Why is there no direct answer from Westminster or the EU making an officially clear statement saying......

No Scotland WILL NOT GET TO USE POUND STERLING CURRENCY!!
Ask David Cameron

No Scotland WILL NOT BECOME A FULL MEMBER STATE OF THE EU!!
Ask Herbert Von Romploy

4.
Do you agree that by leaving "DOUBTS" in the Scottish peoples minds they assume their "SCAREMONGERING" will force the Scottish people to vote against independence...... Why do that when a straight answer on the currency would end Alex Salmond's claim to retain the pound Sterling currency it's a Win Win reply and would encourage a No vote from the Scottish people

Are you saying that the Scottish people give a toss about the stance of the British Government?

A couple of valid reasons why Westminster wants to keep Scotland in the Union.

5.
Loss of the North Sea oilfields would mean George Osborne would never be able to reap the benefit of a windfall tax on the North Sea operators like the one introduced in the last Budget.

I have no doubt that if George Osbourne needs more money from the North Sea Oil and Gas operators that little rat will still find a way to do it.

6.
Most of the UK’s renewable energy resources like sites for wind and wave power stations are in Scotland, so the potential market for exported electricity would be out of Whitehall’s hands.

No, Peter No! the UK does not need the paltry amount of energy derived from wind power, as for wave power that is still an unknown quantity as far as energy production. Scotland would have to have a wind turbine in every back garden in Scotland to become self sufficient for 30% of the time.

7.
No economists contacted thought there was a serious risk of an independent Scotland failing to survive........ Do you agree with this or disagree if you disagree what evidence do you base your alternative views

Who is paying the economists?

8.
David Cameron signalled this week, Unionists need to move past “threats or by saying that small countries can’t make it”........ Do you agree with this or not and if not why not!!

Yes

9.
Control of North Sea oil has been a constant refrain for the SNP, but experts think it may be a mistake either to bank on oil or to assume that an independent Scotland would fail without it...... Do you agree with the point of view or not if not why not!!

No , I think Scotland would fail anyway.

10.
The latest opinion polls mean Mr Cameron may have a harder job convincing English and Welsh voters that they need Scotland, despite analysis that shows that the contribution Scotland makes to the rest of the UK has been underestimated........ Do you agree or disagree with this and if you disagree why!!

That depends on the data used by the analysts, I do think that the SNP and many Scots underestimate the size and value of the Barnett Formula.

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David A David A
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

I will summarise the Scottish question in two sentences:

Scotland cannot afford the luxury of Independence.

Britain cannot afford to allow Scotland that luxury.

Simples! As a Scot, I wish there to be no barriers or battles between us and our English, Irish and Welsh compatriots except on the playing fields!
 
While I watch the events of the past week unravel, I see the wisdom of Carney not pandering to Washington over stimulus (aka QE) - he has achieved the same by making the City an attractive centre for world business, and the pound has never been stronger as a result. Now he must take advantage of the low interest rates which will continue until the Fed ceases their drip feed of the US economy, supposedly 7 months from now barring catastrophes, after which interest rates will I imagine rise alongside GDP and GNP. In the meantime, it is beholden upon the City and Wall Street to get their acts together and root out rogue traders and their institutions who continue to conspire to give their respective cities a bad name. The byword for business must for all our sakes return to "My word is my bond". It will not be an easy road. It never is; but the rule of GB Law needs to be reasserted for the nation including the Square Mile where shields such as Diplomatic Immunity need not to be exploited for individual or institutional gain, ditto unscrupulous money lenders. Osborne and Carney have a duty to respect this.

Season's Greetings all, and may this Brave New World actually begin doing something about its preservation in 2014 to mark 100 years since the Great War, in the hope that we will finally have learnt from that monumental mistake, and start instructing our children accordingly.
David A
John Kelly John Kelly
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This post was updated on .
A sobering thought for those considering voting yes for Scottish independence, the SNP pledge that Scotland would automatically be accepted as a member state of the EU is a lie, the Spanish Prime Minister, the Irish Prime Minister, the Croatian President, the Latvian President have all stated that Scotland cannot apply for EU membership before independence, then it must meet all the necessary membership criteria, it must adopt the Euro and accept subsidiarity to the European Court's jurisdiction and the dictates of the EU parliament and Commission.
The typical timescale for this transition is on average Eight years, that's eight years without the fiscal crutch of the Barnett formula, that's eight years of much higher personal taxation to fund childcare pensions and higher education, thats eight years of depending on diminishing Oil and Gas supplies.

As the rest of the UK reaps the benefits of cheaper shale gas energy Scotland will see sales of Scottish electricity south of theborder falling away so Scottish energy prices must rise.

The price of Alex Salmond's ego driven ambition is ruin for the Scottish people.
David A David A
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As a fellow Scot, John, I fully agree with you, and you are painting the brightest possible scenario; the reality after a banking crash will be destitution and misery for millions of Scots, and the aftermath of the 45 will look like a vicar's tea party! Alex Salmond, I hope you and your utopian cronies are reading this, and are prepared to shoulder the responsibility for your recklessness and stupidity.
David A
Peter. C Peter. C
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Peter. C Peter. C
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John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Scottish Tax And Spend
Today the Scottish Government published a two-page document providing a summary of trends in total Scottish tax receipts since 1980-81. The summary allocates to Scotland a geographical share of North Sea Oil revenues and draws from experimental statistics of Scotland's fiscal balance which are published on the Government Expenditures and Revenues Scotland (GERS) website here.

The data are not new. The fiscal balance estimates were updated for the GERS exercise to include 201-2 fiscal data and published on 5 March. Nevertheless, the Herald thought the information to be of sufficient importance to run the story as its main feature under the headline "New Report: Scots paying more tax than rest of UK" Given prominence in the story was a quote by Finance Secretary John Swinney from the government Press Release accompanying the report:

These figures confirm what we have known all along. Scotland more than pays her way in the UK. They show that the average tax receipt per person in Scotland has been higher in each of the last 30 years than it has been across the UK as a whole.

As the chart below shows John Swinney's comment is correct.



However, what was not reported in the Herald, wisely in my view, was John Swinney's further comment in the Press Release:

With the full control of our finances we could have invested this money for the people of Scotland, creating jobs and investing in public services.

The 'new report' does not contain any information on spending. An examination of the spending data on the same per capita basis as the tax data and taken from the GERS website reveals the following:



Yes, spending per person in Scotland has also been higher in each of the last 30 years than it has been across the UK as a whole.

So, broadly, these greater tax receipts were invested for the people of Scotland, creating jobs and investing in public services.

The Scottish people have received a significant dividend from North Sea oil revenues, much more than people in the rest of UK.

Now, it is clear that oil revenues were exceptionally high in real terms in the 1980s - as the tax receipts chart indicates. The Scottish people might legitimately note that the greater spending received in that period was much lower than the tax receipt surplus.

A sense of this can be gained from the final chart, which expresses per capita spending in Scotland and UK as a ratio of per capita tax receipts. This is really another way of expressing the fiscal balance data as I did in this post.



The large scale of oil revenues in the 1980s meant that Scotland would have been in surplus - ratio less than one. But from 1990 the spending to tax ratio has tended to be similar in Scotland as in the UK, in fact a little higher in Scotland at 1.11 compared to 1.10 in the UK.

So, if we are to talk about a country 'paying her way', we need to bring into account spending as well as revenues. Public spending per capita has averaged more than ten per cent (10.86%) higher in Scotland than in the UK since 1990/91, while tax receipts (including a geographic share of oil revenues) have averaged less than ten per cent (9.67%) higher in Scotland than in the UK since 1990/91.

With the independent Office of Budget Responsibility predicting (page 102 of its March Economic and Fiscal Outlook) a sustained decline in future oil revenues from £11.2bn in 2011-12 to £4.3bn in 2017-18, Scottish tax receipts are set to fall relative to the UK.

And of course I have not brought into this discussion the issue that an independent Scotland is likely to have to pay higher borrowing costs than the UK as I noted in this and this post. It is not just the size and relative size of a government deficit that matters.

Funding costs must also be considered.
Peter. C Peter. C
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John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

Peter C

I understand the fervour of your national pride, however it has blinded you to the realities involved both fiscal and political in the SNP rush for independence, like any other salesman Alex Salmond excentuates the "Benefits" and ignores the disadvantages, the buyers in this case are the Scottish people, my people, and someone should fully explain the meaning tothem of the the Latin term 'Caveat Emptor' before the independence referendum.
I have tried to put forward the argument concerning the true costs to our people of separation from the union, and the facade of that independence in real terms if EU membership for Scotland was achieved as a counterbalance to the SNP claims of fictional wealth for all in a land of milk and honey, sadly in your case to no avail.

We will all know the truth one day, sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow, until then I shall not waste any more time on this matter that will be resolved one way or another by the ballotbox, from which all Scots living in England are barred from participating in as are any Scots in the armed forces serving abroad at the time of the vote.
Peter. C Peter. C
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John Kelly John Kelly
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Re: The vote on Scotland is becoming interesting

By Simon Johnson, The Telegraph Scottish Political Editor3:17PM GMT 18 Mar 2013

Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, has published legislation to draw up a separate and confidential electoral register for minors who will turn 16 by the time of the autumn 2014 referendum and every household in the country will be asked to provide details.
However, no similar special arrangements have been made for Scottish members of the armed forces who are serving abroad or in the remainder of the UK.
Soldiers can apply for a “service vote” if they do not live in Scotland but not while registered as an “ordinary voter” on the electoral roll in other parts of the United Kingdom.
This applies to thousands of Scottish servicemen based in other parts of the UK who are registered to vote where they live.
Although a special effort has been made to extend the franchise to teenagers, the same rules will apply to soldiers in the referendum as to any other election

But senior servicemen argued last night the independence referendum marks the most significant vote for centuries as it will determine whether Scotland leaves the United Kingdom forever.
Major General Andrew Mackay, the British Army’s retired GOC Scotland and Prince Harry’s former commanding officer in Afghanistan, said last night: “It seems incongruous that as a born and bred Scot you can serve your country yet be denied a vote.
“Soldiers never like to stand by passively particularly when they have made so much sacrifice themselves.”
Jim Murphy, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “Those who have volunteered to serve our country are genuine patriots and should have a say in the future of our country.
“In all the excitement of 16 year-olds getting the chance to vote it is unacceptable that servicemen and women posted outside of Scotland are being overlooked.”
Frankie Caldwell, a former captain in the Royal Tank Regiment who now lives in Inverclyde, said the lack of special provision for the armed forces and their families was a “betrayal”.
But unveiling the legislation, Ms Sturgeon said: “No one has a bigger stake in the future of our country than today's young people and it is only right that they are able to have a say in the most important vote to be held in Scotland for three centuries.”
Under the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill, British and EU citizens resident in Scotland will have the right to vote along with armed forces personnel registered for a ballot north of the Border.
Soldiers posted outside Scotland can apply for a service vote in the referendum if they can provide an address north of the Border where they would be living if they were not in the armed forces.
If they cannot say where they would be living, they can provide their last UK address before they took up their posting.
However, they cannot simultaneously be on the electoral roll in a constituency elsewhere in the UK and have a service vote in Scotland.
The rules governing a service vote may also not give a ballot paper in the referendum to Scottish soldiers who have moved around a lot during their careers or whose families are now based south of the Border.
The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are scheduled to move from Edinburgh to Belfast next year.
The Highlanders, 4th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are based in Germany and will still be there when the referendum takes place.
The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Black Watch, 3rd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland, will be continue based in Edinburgh and Fort George respectively.
However, many more Scottish servicemen in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will not be able to vote on the referendum because they are already on the electoral roll in England.
The Electoral Commission said they could make an application to switch to a service vote in the referendum but this would require them to obtain and return a special application.
They would then have to switch back if they wanted to vote at their home address in the Westminster general election six months after the referendum.
In contrast, under the SNP’s plans a form being sent to every household in Scotland to create an entirely new register for teenagers who are 15 but will reach 16 by the time of the referendum.
Their details will be held on a separate Register of Young Voters (RYV), which will be used to give 16 and 17-year-olds a vote.
Amid concern about gathering the personal details of children, including their dates of birth and addresses, the information will not be made public so it cannot be accessed by the likes of marketing companies.
Prisoners are to be denied a vote despite the European Court of Human Rights ruling that a blanket ban on inmates taking parts in UK elections is unlawful.
The Bill applies only to the referendum, the date of which is expected to be announced by Alex Salmond this week, meaning the minimum voting age will revert to 18 for the 2015 general election.

Peter if a Scot living elsewhere in the UK where he was a registered voter arranged through a relative or friend resident in Scotland to use their address to register for the right to vote in the Scottish referendum they would have committed electoral fraud and those assisting them would be guilty of aiding and abetting that fraud, are you recommending such criminality?
Peter. C Peter. C
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David A David A
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Dear Peter and John K,

Forgive me, I have been out of circulation for nearly 30 hours - we had a power outage at the worst possible time with severe blizzards and external temperatures last night at minus 30C! A transformer blew at Sunnyside (irony!) substation which sent a mains surge to the main generator at Holyrood (also ironic!) which blacked out the entire island! Sadly we have no coal to warm us in our Condo!, and getting the car started last night in minus 30 was an experience I never want to repeat, but a warm sandwich and coffee at Tim Horton's was very welcome indeed! This is proving to be a raw old winter in Newfoundland, already surpassing records and it's barely started!

I've just read your heated exchanges, but John is right about the main anomaly! If I as the rightful Laird of Aikenhead were to vote in the Scottish referendum I would be committing fraud! because, I was born in Westminster Hospital and my father in Manchester Royal infirmary. The title is not recognised because after Culloden our lands were forfeit to the Crown, though ironically if Scotland goes independent we can do something about getting South Glasgow back! That's how utterly daft this stupid referendum is! And personally, for Scotland's sake, I don't want the auld rivalries to resurface, and Glasgow can keep Aikenhead house for the seniors if it helps them and Glasgow, same goes for Rangers football ground! as far as I am concerned - yet when it comes to a vote, I'm a leper!
David A
Peter. C Peter. C
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David A David A
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Peter,

You are perfectly correct! We lowlanders are very good at shooting ourselves in the foot. We weren't highlanders until Forbes of Forbes asked my ancestor for help albeit for a futile cause! Scarcely a family escaped being pitted against elements of their own family! Same story with Grant, and MacGregor and Rose. MacDonald backed off at the last minute as did Campbell! so that just left Maclean and a few other clans solid. As to rights - yes, ours went to the Crown and the tenure of Lord Cosmo (Gordon! despite, the myths, families did NOT enjoy shedding their ain blood. )! - ironic since we fought under his brother's banner (Lord Lewis, who in vain tried to get his brother to come round until the last minute - sadly he did not, because he knew the way the wind was blowing, a bit like my Talisker Whisky! Still, when Cumberland started his butchering, the Gordons very sensibly reunited and took a back seat like the other lot, MacLeod and Hamilton included)! ! Yes, we too have plenty of ancestors abroad, mostly Nova Scotia, and Eastern USA, and yes, in my view, they have just as much right as I to claim back what Queen Victoria herself acknowledged  as "a travesty"! So when we talk of lands ceded to the Crown, this was done by right of conquest, and no other. If Independence happens, you can be assured that those who lost so much will be reasserting their claims amidst a sea of discontent. Go figure out the rest! As for our gracious Majesty, she might well think of doing a James I in reverse! Scots appear just as loyal to her, as her English subjects, possibly more so! It's all such a nonsense this Independence thing. Scots, English, Welsh and Irish should all reunite to face the gathering storm together, because come it will! Happy New Year!
David A
Peter. C Peter. C
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