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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Clarity…..but Confusion

The reverbations resound loud and clear this Sunday morning the length and breadth of Britain – as people south of the border wake up to the realisation that, in little over a week, the Scots will have probably voted for independence.

The Yes or No choice on the ballot paper seemed clear – if you’re not with me, you’re against me. But things in real life are never that cut and dried – particularly in matters of national identity and statehood. As long as Yes seemed a simple protest option, what harm was there in going for it. Who indeed wouldn’t??
But some Scots will certainly this morning be reviewing the situation – and asking themselves what Yes actually means….

Earlier this year one of our constitutional lawyers gave us 11 reasons why a Yes vote left so much up in the air 
But in fact it was 13 months ago when the waters become really muddied – with Scotland’s First (ie Prime) Minister suggesting that we had six Unions only one of which would dramatically change in the event of a Yes vote.
This political union is only one of six unions that govern our lives today in Scotland – and the case for independence is fundamentally a democratic one."A vote for independence next year will address the democratic deficit which sees policies like the punitive Bedroom Tax, the renewal of Trident or Royal Mail privatisation imposed on Scotland against the wishes of Scotland’s democratically elected representatives."But that will still leave five other unions intact.  We will embrace those other unions while using the powers of independence to renew and improve them.
"We will remain members of the European Union – but with a seat of our own at the top table, and without the uncertainty of a referendum on membership, as proposed at Westminster.
"We will still be members of Nato – co-operating with our neighbours and friends in collective security. But we can still decide not to be a nuclear power – like 25 out of 28 current members of NATO.
"We will be part of a currency union with the rest of the UK – but we will finally have the full taxation powers we need to promote jobs and investment.
"And we will retain the monarchy – making the Queen the Head of State of 17 independent countries, rather than 16. However, we will adopt a new constitution, written and endorsed by the people, asserting rights as well as promoting liberties and enshrining the ancient Scottish principle that ultimate sovereignty rests with the people.
"The final union does not rely on the choices made by politicians and parliaments – the social union unites all the peoples of these islands. "People in England will still cheer Andy Murray, and people in Scotland will still support the Lions at rugby. People will still change jobs and move from Dundee to Dublin, or from Manchester to Glasgow. With independence, we will continue to share ties of language, culture, trade, family and friendship. The idea that these ties are dependent on a Parliament in London are and have always been totally nonsensical."
 Most Scottish political parties (except the Nationalists) now support Dev-Max – fiscal federalism. But these parties have lost all credibility with Scottish voters.

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