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About liminalien

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  1. Since the launch of the "Scotland's Future" white paper, I've always thought that the position on a formal currency union with rUK was a bear trap set for unionist politicians to fall into of their own accord. Many - a great many - independence supporters were openly doubtful of the desirability of the position: "not really independence", "millstone around a newly-independent country's neck" etc. Sensing the hand of a master-tactician at work, these voices quietened in the weeks and months since the white paper, and all have fallen into line behind the formal currency union position, more or less. And now, as the dominos begin to fall, unionists must ask themselves the question - what is it that Britain has that an independent Scotland would really want? The truth is: not that much - all that Scotland wants from Britain is cordial, neighbourly relations. By falling into the bear trap of believing that formal currency union was the sine qua non of an independent Scotland, unionists have allowed themselves to by manipulated by a very able and experienced front-line politician who does and says nothing ever by accident. Bear in mind, this is the culmination of a life's work for Salmond. It's easy to predict that an independent Scotland will peg to Sterling for some time before floating or joining ERM. This is easy to predict because it was always what was going to happen. By pre-negotiating an Aunt Sally, Osbourne has handed Scottish negotiators a free sanction in independence negotiations - Trident, debt, assets, travel area - all now easier to negotiate a favourable position for an independent Scotland. There's another aspect to the question of unionist politician pre-rejecting a currency union at this early stage. The aspect that rUK may, indeed - in the cold light of balance-of-payment collapse - actively seek currency union with Scotland. That application will be dealt with on its merits.
  2. I'd like to see trunk roads and motorways privatised. I'm sick of my taxes bankrolling all those those subsidy junky socialist motorists.
  3. ^ what he said. If you can't find a way to get paid, you're just not talented or creative enough, or *quick* enough. If you're not talented or creative enough, more opportunities exist today to foster these aspects within yourself than have ever existed before, you've just got to get off your ar53 and get on with it and be quick about it. Happens to me all the time (printed textiles - freelance designer). In my business, content (literally) going out of fashion is not a new phenomenon provoked by the digital economy. But the digital economy has increased the speed and diversity of new content coming into the market, and it has significantly lowered the cost of entry for new players. Can't see that being a bad thing at all; keeps me sharp. So, to me, this hand-wringing about the supposed threat that the digital economy poses to content creators doesn't make sense, it just sounds like a lazy non-performer moaning and complaining that it's so unfair, it's not their fault that they can't be bothered to keep up. What have I missed?
  4. This week's YouGov/Sunday Times voting intention poll is online now. Here: http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/lu4hu1in3u/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-170513.pdf Headline figures are LAB 40%, CON 29%, UKIP 14%, LDEM 9% Most tellingly, only 49% of UKIP voters named the issue of Europe. In other words, 51% of UKIP voters don’t even consider Europe to be in the top three or four issues that affect their decision. However 81% of UKIP voters named the issue of immigration. (See page 5.)
  5. Last time I was in Aberdeen, a city-centre gift shop had stuffed toy golliwogs for sale, so - who knows - UKIP might go down well there.
  6. I can't see how it follows that England would be too big to form part of a federal state. If, for instance, the UK federal government took care of - let's see - defence, diplomacy, currency stability pact - that's all, can't see that being a big issue for anyone. But I'm open to hearing points demonstrating that it wouldn't work. The states and territories of federal Canada are highly diverse in population and GDP levels, and have Her Majesty the Queen as head of state, and as far as I know it's a stable arrangement. It would be very interesting indeed to see TPTB trying to prevent it! Suez II, it would be.
  7. Thanks for that - always happy to increase my knowledge. But is it not the case that the Church in Wales was established till 1920, is part of the Anglican communion and has a top-down hierarchical Episcopal polity? The Church of Scotland spent a good deal of blood in the 16th and 17th century to establish and maintain a Presbyterian polity, governed by, for and from the congregations upwards. It's a fundamental difference, and one which feeds into the sovereignty aspect. In Wales and England, parliament (or more accurately "The Crown in Parliament" as they say) is sovereign in the top-down exercise of power to those governed. In Scotland, like the Kirk, the people are sovereign, and the exercise of power flows upwards from the people. This fundamental difference will lead to a constitutional catch 22 eventually (I've speculated that it may be provoked by a UK-wide referendum on EU membership, for instance). So, I think that the Welsh and English people should do what they can to claim sovereignty back from "The Crown in Parliament". How you get there, though, I've not a clue. Interestingly, the EU does not recognise parliamentary supremacy, so there's another bone for the English / Welsh Eurosceptics to chew upon. Reference material for constitutional geeks is referenced in this well -researched letter to a Scottish newspaper: http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/letters/sovereignty-of-the-crown-in-parliament-has-no-counterpart-in-scotland.16465453
  8. Yup, That's just about how I remember it too, and I remember having qualms about the proposed answers to the English Question then (but I also remember there being a great deal of denial that there was and English Question to answer). Disregarding the abortive attempt to set up regional assemblies, the best that was on offer for the English people was a bit like the sort of Grand Committees we used to have to be grateful for when Westminster deigned to empower them. Recent policy initiatives from the LibDems promoting a federal UK make the fundamental category error of coming at the issue as if it were a way to defuse Scottish aspirations. But of course it is not - it's very essence is, rather, the English Question.
  9. Yeah, I should have said "almost exclusively" shouldn't I? UKIP got 0.91% share of the vote in the most recent Scottish Government elections, so that was some folk like your MIL for sure. Forgive me if this is inaccurate, and feel free to correct me - the Welsh relationship with England differs fundamentally, from Scotland's, no? Wales shares many institutions with England which Scotland does not. I'm thinking about law, church, sovereignty of parliament, education system. Any others?
  10. Oooft.Behaving like a victim, they are, these people you speak of.
  11. +1 I've had a look on the IPPR website and found this report (also in part by Richard Wyn Jones who's been referred to earlier). THE DOG THAT FINALLY BARKED England as an emerging political community http://www.ippr.org/images/media/files/publication/2012/02/dog-that-finally-barked_englishness_Jan2012_8542.pdf I've just read it - you all should too. There's a clue in the name that they chose for the report - "The Dog That Finally Barked" - which alludes to the work of Conan-Doyle. They might as well have titled it "No Sh1t Sherlock". It's telling that this survey and report into English political attitudes was commissioned and authored in part by academics in Wales and Scotland. In the context of the rise of UKIP and their Tory appeasers, it is absolutely clear to the people and polity in Scotland (I can't speak for Wales) that UKIP is a party exclusively appealing to (if not explicitly representing) English patriots. English patriotism shouldn't be afraid to speak it's name.UKIP really should ditch the "UK" bit in their name. Were they to more explicitly "wrap themselves in the flag of St George" - their support will balloon further still. It's about time someone represented the legitimate democratic aspirations of the English people.
  12. Straightforward opinions which offer manichean options to resolve a complex multi-dimensional issue will do the electorate no favours.
  13. Well, it was a sort of meta-answer - the point being that debt didn't turn into anti-EU sentiment in Ireland - at least not drastically. I think I noticed that unsecured debt turning into sovereign debt thing elsewhere too, though, didn't I? Not just an EU thing, not at all.
  14. OK, just had a quick google about Irish Euroscepticism, and came across this research paper: The European Irishmen: An analysis of euroscepticism in Ireland From the Conclusion (my emphasis)
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