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Measure for Measure

Eh, naw: Five reasons I am voting No #voteno #indyref

I agree with the basic SNP premise. There is something fundamentally wrong with a voting system that results in a government you didn’t want. But I don’t think independence is the way to go. Here are my reasons why:

1. I think devolution is good, is working and has a future. The English need to get themselves a devolved parliament to match the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish assemblies. The whole thing is unbalanced with the daft West Lothian question hovering about until departments that are devolved elsewhere are devolved in England as well. If there was a DevoMax option in the neverendum, that would have been the way to go.

2. Scotland hasn’t got enough eggs or enough baskets. When there was a stushie at Grangemouth, we were at the risk of being stuffed, refinery-wise. Where’s our backup to Grangemouth? When the banks went horribly wrong, we needed the British Taxpayer to cough up the readies. Where is our financial safety net? Ah, the oil… A bit finite. A bit not terribly eco friendly. A bit hard to quantify. We have a lot of great things, but we don’t have many of a lot of great things.

3. The idea that constitutional change wouldn’t involve sickening spiralling costs is delusional. Spiralling costs are what we do well. That whole tram thing. Brilliant idea – but it all went out of control. Building our parliament building – try not to think about how horribly wrong that went. Lashings and lashings of public money when the CofS assembly rooms might have done – or some conference centre or other could have done. But no. The public purse just isn’t bottomless but it would have to be post-independence… what with all those free things we are getting promised.

4. Then there’s the European thing. As I said at the start – the SNP have a point about the voting system being wrong when we are controlled by a distant government – and they want to trade Westminster for Europe? They are even further away, in a state of flux and might not even let us in so as not to set a precedent the Catalans might use in future. I think that David Cameron perhaps has the right approach: renegotiate, and then think about it.

5. Salmond’s crushing optimisim puts the nail in the Yes coffin for me. Westminster says they won’t give us fiscal union. He says they will. Would they not know? Salmond says we’d get into Europe. Some say there’s a doubt about that and we’d need to reapply. The optimism about everyone being better off afterwards, with not even a ball park figure on the table about how much everything will cost… It’s like having a cross between Obama and Bob the Builder at the helm with the “yes we can”…

I’m sure Scotland will get by, in case of independence – but there will be a brain drain to the south as big business will pack up and leave, and UK funding for research will stop, and the British Navy won’t give the Clyde contracts for ships, and we are left using the pound without any influence, or with the Euro that no one wants. Will we concede to the English and keep Trident for them for use of the pound?

Ach.

Let the English get a parliament in Salford next to the BBC and let Westminster get on with the security of these islands.

As long as Gove disnae get to mess with Scottish Education, I am happy.

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22 thoughts on “Eh, naw: Five reasons I am voting No #voteno #indyref

  1. The most sensible thing I’ve read yet on the whole issue.

    I strongly agree with the idea of a devolved English parliament. I doubt we’ll ever see one.

  2. theotheri on said:

    I have been wondering mightily for several months where you were going to come down on this issue, and hoped that you would tell us.

    As an American living in England, I have absolutely no say in the matter, but I do have my opinions, and I doubt I could have given my reasons with greater clarity than you have. But I have to admit, I’m biased. Because I agree with you 100%. More importantly, I hope that at least 50% of your compatriots agree with you come September. My husband and are spending our holidays in Scotland this summer, and it will be interesting to hear more of what is being said on the ground.

    Sitting here in England being bossed about by Brussels has given me great sympathy with the the Scots’ desire for independence. Even living in the Lake District during the foot and mouth crisis helped. Watching the fires night after night across the fields as a result of instructions from London whose farming experience was non-existent helped me understand the need for devolution of overly-centralized power at the center even within England.

    And yes, devolution. What other possible solution for the mid-Lothian question is there?

    Now for tackling the EU…

  3. I’m with you 😀

  4. I really enjoyed this post. As a Scot, living in England I heartily agree with the idea of there being a devolved English parliament. My idea for the reason that there isn’t already one is that people haven’t realised that there isn’t one. Because the UK parliament is located in Westminster, some people forget that it isn’t actually the English government!

  5. yamanickill on said:

    I feel like this is incredibly disingenuous. It’s all a bit “this is what I think will happen”. There is no proof that there will be a “brain drain south”. It’s expensive to move a company. Infact, a lot of companies think that independence is a good idea.

    Also, we didn’t “need the British government” to bail out RBS. We didn’t ask them to, they just did. Surely if we had just let them fail, new banks would come and take their place, and they wouldn’t be as stupid as the banks before them. Meanwhile, being part of the UK didn’t mean we would be ok without grangemouth. The situation would be exactly the same.

    The EU/UK parallel isn’t the same. The majority of EU regulations are things we would implement ourselves anyway (health and safety etc) whereas the UK means that Scotland doesn’t control it’s own money. The Scottish government has been threatened with a decrease in the block grant several times so that the UK government doesn’t look as bad.

    You really can’t compare constitutional change to physical building. They are completely different. Firstly, the trams were run by Edinburgh council who seem to be inept at doing anything, whereas independence wouldn’t, and also the majority of departments that we would need already exist at least in a small form.

    Buildings very rarely hit their money target. That is not new. You can’t compare the two.

    Finally. On the monetary union, you really think the current leaders can say anything on that matter? Well, they can…but that doesn’t mean it’ll stick. What about this article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/28/independent-scotland-may-keep-pound

    I don’t want to keep the pound, I actually want the Euro, but the fact is that rUK would have no real reason to not create a monetary Union with Scotland. But of course they have a reason to *say* that they wouldn’t.

    Why do you trust corrupt Westminster politicians more than corrupt Holyrood politicians? They are as bad as each other.

    • Thanks for a detailed comment – and for the link also. First up – the post isn’t disingenuous – I have no secret knowledge that I am hiding behind a facade of ignorance – this is really what I think – and I am looking for counterarguments – it’s not a decision we want to get wrong, as a nation.

      When I wrote about the brain drain – I was thinking of individuals rather than companies moving, to avoid any tax increases and to avoid the instability/uncertainty that change necessarily brings.

      I think I might be with you on the bank thing. If a bank is crashing, it should maybe crash – but, then again, I know next to nothing about banking. Perhaps we should have let things bottom out.

      I don’t think I trust any politicians more than others, really. I like to assume that people are sincere in their attempts to improve things for people. I think that the problems arise when people don’t understand or know each other.

      Thanks for the dialogue.

  6. ‘sall Greek to me. Everybody’s got something going on. What a world!

  7. Good post S to which I may well counter if I can muster the mental strength. Intelligent debate has been missing from the coverage I have seen/read thus far, with a few notable exceptions in which I include yours. With some found time appearing in my schedule I have a notion to read the 625 page document. If I do and have anything to add, I will post it.

  8. Pingback: Sailing close to the wind | Wee Scoops

  9. Just re-read this. So to summarise, your 5 reasons for voting No are:
    1. Devolution
    2. Money
    3. Money
    4. Europe
    5. Money
    Hmmm. What would you vote if you weren’t married to an accountant? 😉

    • I am though. No need for the hypothetical.

      • Even given that, you think money is the dominant reason for voting one way or the other? I just looked at all the factors I was weighing up, and money comes in about 5th or 6th place… somewhere below health, education, defence and being nice to your neighbours.

      • Apart from the being nice, the other things need to be funded. If the economy is stuffed the public sector is stuffed. And the public sector is huge. Although the employees are tax payers, their pay is out if the tax. We need a balance from the private sector. If they stuff the private sector, the private sector will… Move to England. Or Canada. Where do you want us to go? You can come on your hols!! Newcastle or Nova Scotia – the choice is yours.

      • theotheri on said:

        As I read Sanstorm’s reasons for supporting the No vote, I don’t see money-hungry reasoning, as if money is all about the luxuries of life. It is a medium, not an ultimate end in itself.

        All the things you list as more important than money themselves costs money. Huge amounts of it. The NHS costs money, education costs money, care of one’s neighbours and the elderly costs money, benefits and care of the disabled costs money, research and defense cost money.

        And the money that pays for the state to provide these things comes from taxes, and taxes depend on jobs, and that is what a productive economy is about,

        If it is true that Scotland cannot generate enough taxes through its own economy to provide these services, how else do you see these things being provided?

      • I don’t see anyone rational saying that Scotland can’t generate enough taxes to provide the services. Of course we can. Many other small countries in Europe can, why on earth shouldn’t we be able to?

        The problem only comes after a big string of hypotheticals – things go wrong, economic downturn, private sector leaves en masse, and so on. There is no reason that this string of unlikely negatives should ever happen. It is entirely possible that an independent Scotland could turn into the sort of place where private businesses set up shop, and our economy could boom.

        And for what its worth, when I mentioned defence – one of the things that costs money – it is pulling the other way. In an independent Scotland there will be less spending on defence and nuclear weapons, etc. (which I see as a very good thing) which opens up the way to spend more on other things (health, education) without having to raise taxes.

        And San, if you’re moving out, then I’ll happily come and visit in Nova Scotia. Newcastle is a bit meh. Whatever happened to the California plan? 😉

      • I never wanted California. I’m not big on fault lines. The tax thing is a thing. Although we collect more tax than we spend, we collect it disproportionately from the public sector, which doesn’t work in the long term. And at the first whiff of a yes lead, millions was sooked out of the share prices and all the financial people went jittery and pledged to move their HQs.

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