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Again I think that this has already gone. There are loads of Labour voters who are now for independence because if the same reasons as you outlined but realising that the only way to bring those policies about are to cut ties with the UK. Those policies will never be brought in thru Westminster because Labour have stopped representing their core supporters in an effort to swing disgruntled Tories and Lib Dems, since Blair took over and got into power, Labour have moved centre right. There has been a lot of "I haven't abandoned Labour, but Labour has abandoned me" sentiment with Labour voters. Plenty people have said they are voting YES but aren't nationalists.

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Scotland the Brave  

I'm hearing you loud and clear Ippy - "love it" isn't the word.   I spoke to my "Best Man" who lives in Fort Augustus and he went into his bank (not sure which one, but obviously one of the banks bl

I've lost any interest in this, mostly due to the complete bullshit that both sides seem to spout out.

 

How people up there in bonny Scotlandland will be able to make an informed and intelligent decision, I do not know.

 

Unless it's just a deep rooted emotional decision of course.

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SNP leader Alex Salmond has admitted he has never been entirely sure what he means when he says ‘independence’.

Scotland’s first minister revealed he has always thought of independence as a ‘play within a play… within a dream’.

He said: “Well, it’s a concept, it’s an idea, it’s a thing.

“In my mind I see it as a tree in the shape of Scotland. Does that make sense?”

Salmond said the idea of independence involving things like a currency and a central bank, was ‘very left brain’, adding: “How would you even do that?”

He said: “I think once independence is here I’ll have a much better idea of what it is.

“Any other questions?”

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Its been messy since Sunday's poll.

 

We've had the leaders of all parties heading to scotland. A train full of labour MPs heading to Scotland. And an endless series of business leaders all telling the world that Scotland is going to implode if they vote Yes.

 

But with less than a week to go, heres the Yes vote across all polls:

 

Sun Panelbase 48%

Sun YouGov 51%

Tues TNS 49%

Wed Survation 47%

Thurs YouGov 48%

Fri ICM 49%

 

Average 48.7%

 

Its right down to the wire. And to be honest, the negativity has hit saturation id imagine. The sky is falling the sky is falling! The more business leaders start shouting it, the more people wil start to actually think "hang on, theyre not in scotland out of charity.. maybe they want something that we have. And maybe, in a weeks time, they'll come back to remind us that actually they've reassessed the situation and feel its maybe in their interest to stay in Scotland and keep those jobs in a first world educated market after all instead of handing it over to their competitors to saunter in unopposed and take up the burden of all their profits and market share".

 

It worked... it did what it needed to do, which was kill the momentum and make people think again. But it wont work a second time. These announcements are starting to feel very very coordinated. And since part of the drive of independence momentum was of course the irrelevance and alienation of policy foisted on scotland from Westminster (via lobbyists in the City of London), youll see a backlash and a resurgence of that momentum as we get closer to the poll. Had they have been less heavy handed perhaps, and had it have been left to politicians alone, i think they would have turned it. But the business interventions in addition to the political sideshow all seem like a coordinated scare campaign, and its that campaign, (project fear), that has scottish people ignoring the message in its entirety.

 

I still think the Nos will take it because i feel that for cataclysmic change on this kind of scale you need that momentum where people WANT to be on the side of history (a la Obama) or you need a strong buffer to counter the 5% or so of people who ALWAYS end up bottling it and voting for the status quo when it counts (the 1992 UK general election). Neck and neck is an amazing (and terrifying) accomplishment for the Yes vote, but they needed to be in the lead since that first debate if it was to bring the more timid to throw caution to the wind. They wont do it. Theres too much benefit to both sides of the argument (complete self determination and high risk vs the status quo, more moderate self determination, and little risk). And if theres no overwhelming reason to change, then why change? Its not going to happen. But the run up is going to scare the shit out of the general public and the international media right up to polling day. I think the British media are playing it up a bit for the soap opera drama of it all, but im sure they know already where this ones going.

 

Im kinda gutted in a way. But not too much. If i was there, id vote yes. Not because im particularly convinced that Scotland will suddenly flourish, but because self determination trumps everything else. Its not a difficult choice for me to make and Id genuinely like to be a part of that. I could see myself going back to Scotland within the next 4 or 5 years in the event of a Yes vote. Which is more than i can say about the UK as a whole. Id like to stay as far as **** away from the UK as i possibly can, to be honest. Im not going back there by choice if i can help it any time in the next 30 years for anything other than a holiday or funerals.

 

But it's the flip thats the problem for the Yes vote. Because the UK IS prosperous. Because the UK is wealthy. Because the UK is successful. Take away the oil reserves and we get out more than we put in. Factor them in and we give more than we take out. But its close. And the fact we can retain free education and control over our health service on top of this (as well as raise tax to go some way to paying for our priorities as a people), isnt a bad trade off. That we're being offered even more power to control our policy as a state regardless of whether we squeeze through a no vote or romp one through the gates, is again, just more benefits than loss. Its that balance thats the worst enemy of the Yes vote. Project fear has always been on a hiding. once you get past that, you see that its really a choice of two great options (theres no such thing as a status quo vote). And in that case, people will be more likely to vote for moderate change over radical change on the day.

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Although I've been an Australian citizen for nigh on 20 years it's hard not to get involved in this debate as it centres around the country of my heritage, birth and upbringing.

 

As a former card-carrying SNP member (and Rangers fan Tubby) I am firmly in the "Yes" camp.

 

Prior to the 1979 referendum the London Government spun the macro-economic wheel to point to doom and gloom for independent little Scotland in the big wide world and sadly the majority of Scots bought the "fear of change" argument.

 

However, I am sure most Scots have seen "Dude Where's my Country" and "Capitalism a Love Story" and fully understand that a Government using the promotion of fear to argue against change has already lost its argument. What makes the argument even more ridiculous is that since the last referendum little countries like Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia etc. (who hadn't even had recent experience of market economics) have had a crack and are doing alright for themselves.

 

Sure there'll be hurdles, but as Mr. Ali says "Impossible is nothing".

 

Most of the "No" campaign is lead by bullshit-spinning @$$holes seeking only to protect their vested interests and followed by gutless sheep for whom fear is the driving force.

 

It's a matter of integrity. Do the Scots really want their place in the world to be as England's bunny ??

 

Even typing this has reminded me why I fell in love with Australia where the national identity is made up of an intricate tapestry of the world's creeds and cultures who share a healthy, robust, rambunctious attitude towards having a go in life.

 

Come on Scotland - grow a pair and get the job done !!!

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A Rangers fan?! R.I.P.....I'm sorry for your loss!! ;)

 

Ippy I disagree.....the momentum is with YES, I believe its gonna be a YES vote next week, and every Lab-Tory-Lib Dem politician they shuffle up there will only tip the balance more in our favour.

 

 

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I really do hope youre right, dude. I want that fait accompli on Friday morning when the manufactured fear stops and people have to come to the table and make it work. Someone on the guardian feed said it spectacularly well yesterday: its perhaps just a trade off with total economic potential for self-determination. And in that calculus, unless youre a greedy ****, its a trade off you should rightly want to take. If less well off countries (without abundant natural resources) can make independence work, its hard to believe that scotland would implode and somehow become the failed state that big business seems to argue.

 

Also, Jim Sillars today was hilarious. Just got in from work, and started catching up on things. What he did on the Today programme will have probably garnered a few thousand extra votes.

 

It forced out this GEM of a reply from the Labour Shadow Business secretary:

 

The SNP's Jim Sillars' threatening comments are a complete disgrace - seek to win by the strength of your argument not through ugly rhetoric

 

I almost spat out my tea :)

 

Also, Orange walk. First time in the history of me ive supprted the orange order steadfast! Keep at it boys and girls! youre doing the No camp a massive disservice. :)

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Because it was incredibly ironic. Now you personally are arguing that the campaign is full of ugly rhetoric on both sides. That will be true of course. Its a political campaign. But the irony comes from pretending that only the YES side are using ugly rhetoric and 'not focusing on the argument'. So why shouldnt i find this statement ironic? I didnt say that one side only has been using dirty tricks or campaigning negatively, the Shadow Business secretary did. It seems fair to laugh at him for saying it, no?

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ippy, honestly..... I really don't care enough* or even understand the issues enough.

 

But I sincerely wish you and yours well whatever the result.

 

:wave:

 

* I will care if the value of my, ahem, portfolio decreases. Bottom line for me! ;)

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Sorry, dont mean to be on the warpath. I like seeing things from all the angles. But i really want independence, so theres going to be invariable bind spots. The sillars thing for example is being absolutely hammered for its cynicism at the moment. I loved it. It made me laugh that he said he did it just to give the daily mail a political orgasm and have the Today programme get him on the show so he could actually make his real attack on the negative briefing of companies like BP to a proper audience (instead of being quietly ignored if he'd have just said "stop distorting the facts, BP"). Incredibly cynical politics for sure. But it appeals to me if only for the mirror it holds up to the assembled media.

 

The Better Together campaign has been incredibly negative. Ive made a few posts about how they should have framed the argument and the choice. Moderate change and the current powers of the Scottish assembly to transform the lives of the Scottish people would really have made the point and kept a very decent buffer. And they should have offered this from the start. But they had nothing. Westminster refused to even negotiate on those powers until last Sunday when the Yougov poll caused a widescale panic. So they were stuck focusing on the negative and how bad its all going to be for Scottish people if they go alone. Fair enough, but its not ringing true, and the more its said, the less people are listening. Its killing their own salient points. Gordon Brown, (whom i LOVE to be honest. Hes a political titan and i would love to see him return to front line politics for the Scottish assembly rather than being quietly shunted upstairs to the Lords), has been making some wonderful speeches and writing some brilliantly positive articles recently. Of course, its all rhetoric, but its POSITIVE. Its a vision of why Scotland would be actually BETTER if it was part of the union. If there was more of this, then maybe the moniker 'project fear' (allegedly coined by Better together initially), wouldnt stick so hard.

 

On the flip though, better together have accused the SNP of plying a dirty campaign of obfuscating the economic realities of the new independent and sovereign currency-less nation by claiming at every turn the better together campaign is deliberately negative in an attempt to manipulate scottish voters into ignoring the positive aspects of independence and obfuscating (im using it twice deliberately) the message that an independent scotland will not only be an economically viable state, but will be successful and raise the living standards of its people.

 

He said-she said.

 

The SNP argue that better together are playing a deliberately coordinated negative campaign to manipulate scottish voters into voting against their interests. And better together argue that the SNP are banging the negative campaigning drum to hide the economic problems a new independent scotland would face. Whilst the SNP argue that better together are playing silly buggers with their economic data to hide that a sovereign scotland would in fact be successful. And better together argue that the SNP are manipulating voters by shouting down their facts with empty promises, mistruths and intimidation. Its a JOY to watch. Its a bigger joy to know that its a country i have a genuine stake in. :)

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Its alright. Ill keep this one shorter :)

 

For me, it doesnt matter who wins because both options mean more power to scotland to decide its own political and economic programmes It also means a kick up the arse to the labour party (im west coast ayrshire labour through and through - though ive never voted for 'new labour' once). Even if Scotland votes No, im delighted that the debate on federalism is now underway.

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Its alright. Ill keep this one shorter :)

 

For me, it doesnt matter who wins because both options mean more power to scotland to decide its own political and economic programmes It also means a kick up the arse to the labour party (im west coast ayrshire labour through and through - though ive never voted for 'new labour' once). Even if Scotland votes No, im delighted that the debate on federalism is now underway.

 

More power either way?!? I think not......federalism isnt on the way, UKIP is and they want to consolidate not delegate. The Tories and the Pink Tories will shudder even further right in an attempt to stop the populist vote of UKIP.....Scotland will be a byword of UK Policy and will be battered and weakened on appeasement to the further shift right of the English electorate.

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What a healthy debate - Ippy, I like the cut of your jib !!

 

One aspect I'm getting from web site rhetoric is that even if there is a "No" result (ie. the sheep have it) this referendum has opened up some stark cultural realities to a new generation and no amount of devolved, federalist (call it what you like) power will put the genie back in the bottle.

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Its alright. Ill keep this one shorter :)

 

For me, it doesnt matter who wins because both options mean more power to scotland to decide its own political and economic programmes It also means a kick up the arse to the labour party (im west coast ayrshire labour through and through - though ive never voted for 'new labour' once). Even if Scotland votes No, im delighted that the debate on federalism is now underway.

 

More power either way?!? I think not......federalism isnt on the way, UKIP is and they want to consolidate not delegate. The Tories and the Pink Tories will shudder even further right in an attempt to stop the populist vote of UKIP.....Scotland will be a byword of UK Policy and will be battered and weakened on appeasement to the further shift right of the English electorate.

 

UKIP are a GIFT to the labour party. For a generation the liberal democrats and SDP cleaved the labour vote in two (well 4/5 and 1/5). It amazes me that Farage is making in roads to labour, but i see this purely as a protest vote and based heavily on a ridiculous scare campaign about EU membership - the bulgarians are coming! the bulgarians are coming! Remember new year? Remember the flood that turned into a single person at an airport?).

 

Theyre buying it because the labour party are doing nothing at all to make the argument against this absurdity lest they lose their general poll lead in the run up to the election. The point, as Marx said, is to change the world. Not explain it. Its Sophie's choice at the moment. They either attack the rise of UKIP and its nonsense, (thus legitimising UKIP and offering it a platform as a genuine political party and not some kind of dumb pressure group), or they leave it alone, and hope the encroachment of the UKIP bandwagon is felt most harshly in Tory dominated areas, splitting their vote and thus allowing the Lib Dems to sneak in as the rational voice of protest. Labour are suffering, but the Tories will be far and away the most terrified by the competition of Farage. And this might force a right lean again from the tories pushing them out of electability.

 

UKIP are a nonsense. An absolute nonsense. There is nothing that would convince me that they pose anything other than a huge threat to the tories. An threat they pose to labour is miniscule in comparison. (And even then, only to non-committed labour supporters looking to either give Milliband/Balls a kick (ie. protest vote) or because they liked Tony Blair and also like Farage because hes 'a bit of a character'. Theyre hardly dyed in the wool labour supporters. Theyre floaters). So long as more of these stragglers for UKIP vote against the Tories than labour, its a gift to labour.

 

Polls bear this out. The tories lose ground as Farage's star rises. I pray to god he isnt a flash in the pan, because the center left split held this country under the sway of the Tories right until my early 20s. I was actually happy that the lib dems sided with the tories if only because the accusation that they were just labour with a yellow rosette really had began to stick in the Tory heartlands. (i just wish theyd had a bit more spine in the coalition). Finally, perhaps maybe, the Tories can now watch their own vote split and enjoy another generation of in-fighting like they did in the entire 90s. I really really couldnt be happier to watch them argue themselves into unelectability once again. I actually liked John Major. I thought he was a man of genuine courage and integrity. I ****ing loved the bastards though.

 

So perhaps not so much a Sophie's choice after all. Its a risk given that it does allow the discourse to remain unchecked. But this is the Tories battle, and any intervention by labour would only benefit the Tories. So let them have at it and then throw caution to the wind in a total cluster**** of in fighting and self destruction with a referendum on the EU. Sadly, i wont get to see that day though because i think Labour are going to romp the next election (despite being about as ugly a looking labour party - in terms of principals - that ive ever seen). And labour are currently hitching their wagons to the federalism train rather tightly. Ed Milliband wrote an article even talking about a cornish parliament in the observer today. The message of the Scottish referendum is that Labour might be finally waking up.

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Hey Mr. Walkers, respectful, disrespectful, it's only words !!

 

During my 1980's travel time I spent some time on a kibbutz where I remember an old Israeli fellah telling me how Scotland was a fine country of fine people but we had one problem; the English. "You must" he said "simply pick up your gun, point it at them and say Get Out!"

 

He'd probably had a personal history involved with his own people carving out their place in the world so probably knew what he was talking about. As he said, the Irish have (more or less) done it so the Scots must do it.

 

Mao Zedong "True political power comes only down the barrel of a gun."

 

My point, Mr. Bag of Crisps, is that whether or not comparing the weak opposition to the nationhood of a people with sheep is disrespectful is hardly up there in terms of potentially inappropriate political activism when such momentous issues are at stake.

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Wonderful day for not having a ****ing clue about any trends. A better together commissioned poll puts the at an 8 point lead. Suggestions of course that this being the case. perhaps SEVERAL polls were commissioned and they cherry picked the worst one. The observer poll reflects a 6 point lead for the No vote (53-47). but the Sunday Times poll put the lead at the more modest 51-49. However, mad polling at the telegraph puts the YES vote at an 8 point lead.

 

Its bizarro world.

 

Also the 2 key features of todays debate:

 

1. Accusations of BBC bias. If this sticks, it could turn some votes to the YES camp.

2. The devo max option is being put under the microscope. Again, the articles in the grauniad, like me, are buying into it wholesale. They love it. I love it. We all love it. But its always the comments section (and forums) where youll find the proper sentiments. And if its to be believed it seems that its not washing. If yes make this case, then honestly itll be HUGE in the run up. Its not a massive vote winner, but its got a few percent in it. If people think its not coming and an empty promise, its more resentment. And resentment is going to push right into the hands of Salmond. Expect to see some concrete proposals come out of the woodwork. Expect also to see some backbenchers being disciplined by the Tory whips to shut the **** up about English resentment at the idea of further Scottish powers. :)

 

Exciting times. Love these developments.

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Whatever happens, Cameron has majorly effed up by allowing the referendum and had no idea that it would unleash the mayhem that it has.

By not putting devo max on the paper as lots of yes people wanted, they've also created more support for the yes camp.

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Campaigners from Okinawa will arrive in Scotland on Monday to seek inspiration from the yes campaign as they look to boost support for making the southern Japanese island an independent nation.

 

While Okinawa's movement is tiny compared with its counterpart in Scotland, activists say they stand to benefit from mounting public anger over Tokyo's plans to push through the construction of a controversial US military base in defiance of local opposition.

 

"We're really interested in seeing how the rest of the UK and the international community react if Scotland does vote for independence," said Masaki Tomochi, a professor of economics at Okinawa International University and a leading figure in the independence movement.

 

"Scotland has every right to be independent and to take decisions about its own future. That's what people all over the world want, including the people of Okinawa."

 

Tomochi and his colleagues, along with a reporter from the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper, will tour Scotland meeting voters, academics and Scottish National party officials. Their group has posted a condensed Japanese version of the SNP's Scotland's Future manifesto on its website.

 

The history of Okinawa, Tomochi argues, is one of bloody sacrifice at mainland Japan's behest, and collusion between Tokyo and Washington, beginning with a secret postwar agreement to allow the US to bring nuclear weapons to the island and maintain military bases there indefinitely.

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