21 Mar 2014

LIFESTYLE: Scottish Independence Month One

(image source)
There's just under six months to go now, and things are really starting to heat up independence wise. It's all over my Facebook feed (thanks to some slightly opinionated people that I can't bring myself to delete yet) and constantly on the news. It's also been just over a month since I started my little quest in to the facts about Scottish Independence. A couple of days ago I heard a women on the radio say that she was voting for independence "because she liked the sound of it". I'm not one to be overly disrespectful of other people's opinions, however that kind of attitude just comes across as idiotic - especially in such an important situation. That kind of outlook has just made me even more determined to do as much research as possible.

I mentioned in my last post that I was heading to an independence debate that was being held at my university and it was a pretty interesting experience... There were participants from both sides who were involved with a variety of campaigns, projects & companies, it was a pretty decent mix. I think it's fair to say that this debate cleared up a lot of things for me (I've ended up with four pages of notes!) on both sides. Both sides did make some valid points however I felt like the Yes side made quite a lot of invalid points, one woman kept nattering on about Eurovision. As much as I love Eurovision it's really not something I care about in this context.

Key points gathered from the debate (not necessarily pros, just the points from my notes) :
Yes Campaign - Westminster does not have Scotland's best interests at heart (this was repeated a lot) // Scottish citizens did not vote for the current WM government // Avoids the "Rise of UKIP" // Removal of Trident from Scottish soil - saves £100 billion // Lots of money in oil industry // There would be a separate Scottish Pound // David Cameron doesn't represent our interests (basically the thing about WM) // we can decide against joining the EU

No Campaign - £5 million of taxpayers' money spent on producing the White Paper (more on this later) // lots of uncertainty regarding currency and what markets we will operate in // cutting corporation tax means less money for public services // no guaranteed EU membership // Oil is a volatile industry and cannot be relied on // a lot of the proposed changes are very dependent on negotiation // We get more out of WM than we currently put in // our health service is already devolved // If a yes vote happens there will need to be £6 billion in cuts to public spending // the UK is a G8 nation, we can participate at a high level on a world stage // High set up costs from embassies etc

I also attempted to read The White Paper on Scottish Independence. Which was a difficult one... I personally feel like it was full of a lot of assumptions based on uncertain terms as well as SO. MUCH. REPETITION. I gave up about 20% of the way through (according to my Kindle) as it just felt like such a pointless read. Nothing about it seemed certain and if anything it quite put me off the idea of independence. A fair majority of the content was useless scaremongering, and a good portion of the rest was just hypocritically accusing the Better Together campaign of doing the same thing! It doesn't need to be anywhere near as long as it is and just comes across as a waste of money.

Aside from this, I've also been reading a few random articles as they pop up in my news feed but nothing is really standing out to me. Out of interest (and nosiness) I put together a quick survey to find out my friends & Twitter followers opinions on Independence which you can answer here. As of yesterday, the voting stood at 1 unsure, 5 yes and 26 no with 32 participants.

So far, based on what I've found out this month, I'm starting to lean towards voting no. I'm planning on attending more debates at my university as well as doing a bit more reading, so if you have any interesting articles please send them my way.

What are you thinking in regards to Independence at the moment? I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep it as respectful as possible and allow other people to voice their opinions too!
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7 comments

  1. I think it's great that you are taking such an interest in this. I really think that more people should start educating themselves about Politics - it affects our lives in such a huge way that it seems silly not to understand exactly what you're voting for!
    Beth
    swallows and skylines.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Glad you are carrying this series on! There's so many conflicting things that make it seem like a good idea but then a bad idea. Also, is the debates open to anybody to watch or is only uni students?
    Lauren | OhHay Blogs!
    xxx

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  3. This is just so great to read! As an American, we don't have this same kind of interest in politics as young people. It is very inspiring to see! Can't wait for the next post!

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  4. If the no vote wins then Scotland will go for Devo Max (maximum devolution) which devolves all powers to Holyrood apart from Defence and National affairs. Scotland would still be part of the union and have the stability of the pound. This seems a better option to me.

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  5. I'm not Scottish, but my opinion is no. I think the main threat is Scotland will have to loose the British Pound which will be BAD- just look at poor Greece when then went to the Euro! That's the one thing that makes me 100% supportive of staying in the UK...however there are benefits I guess. I just think it's more trouble than it's worth being independent xx

    Sharlotte | UK Beauty Blog

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  6. Much appreciation for this post. I find myself in the same boat as you- determined to educate myself on both sides and not to have an 'it sounds good' mindset. I'm thankful that I'm studying Politics in school this year- I feel like it gives such an essential insight into the workings of the political system- this is stuff that this time last year, I didn't have a clue about.

    I too am leaning toward no, but still have a lot to look into. Its been a gut instinct from the beginning but as time has went on, I feel like the yes campaign rests on a lot of presumption. Did you see the debate between Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont? It made for very interesting (and slightly cringe worthy) viewing. I also had a flick through the White Paper. I didn't realise how much it had cost to produce, but considering you can request a free one to your household, I should have. I gave up after a glance at a few pages. I actually thought it would be too high brow for me to grasp but, in actual fact, I thought it was all a bit 'up in the air' and based on things that all sounded great, but seemed more like wishful thinking than actual hard facts.

    I could talk about this all day so I'm going to take a rain check. What I hope most of all is that people take the time to learn about both sides. Like you say, its such an important decision, and its essential that everyone makes it informed.

    Julianne | julzobsessions.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

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  7. This is so interesting!! And not something I know very much about it at all but as a complete rank outsider I'm not sure I think it would benefit Scotland in much more than a superficial, identity kind of way. Which is important...but maybe not as important as the economic, future stability of the country kind of way. But as I said, I know not a thing about it, really look forward to reading more about it though, it's quite the hot potato! Thanks for sharing :o)
    M x Life Outside London

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