The Scottish Independence vote

October 10th, 2012 at 11:45 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

will hold a vote in 2014 on independence in what could result in the eventual breakup of Britain, a British government minister said on Tuesday.

The announcement ended months of stalemate between the Westminster government in London and the Scottish devolved administration in Edinburgh.

‘‘What will happen is that Westminster will devolve the power to the Scottish parliament to hold a single-question referendum on whether Scotland should be in or out of the ,’’ Scotland Office minister David Mundell told Sky News.

‘‘We anticipate that happening in autumn 2014.’’

A straight up and down vote is a win for David Cameron. The SNP wanted an in-between option which would have seen them gain powers without responsibility.

Support for independence is well under 40%, and hard to see that changing. Personally I’m not sure it would be an entirely bad thing, as losing Scotland would mean Conservative Governments almost always in the rest of the UK. And the SNP would then have no reason to exist, once Scotland was independent.

What chance Scotland would join the Euro  or even the EU, based on the current situation in Europe? Pretty low.

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54 Responses to “The Scottish Independence vote”

  1. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    The less than 40% figure might well change. North Sea oil royalties might well focus some intentions.

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  2. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    What chance Scotland would join the Euro or even the EU, based on the current situation in Europe? Pretty low.

    It was one of Salmond’s more serious knockbacks when Barrosso said that Scotland would have to apply to join and wouldn’t just sale blithly on under continued “UK” membership.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/12/barroso-doubt-scotland-eu-membership

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  3. anonymouse (704 comments) says:

    I am fairly sure that an independent Scotland would join the EU in a flash, Otherwise connections to Europe would become a much more difficult process for its inhabitants and businesses.

    As for the Euro, well yes I think it would be a hard sell.
    I suspect they would stay with the current situation of having a scottish pound fixed at 1:1 with the English one (very similar to what Ireland did with its punt)

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  4. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    @anonymouse – I think Scotland might find that if they want to join the EU, then adopting the Euro will be the price they have to pay.

    Pity they won’t give the English the vote, Scotland would be independent in a heart beat.

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  5. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “…Pity they won’t give the English the vote, Scotland would be independent in a heart beat…”

    Would the English also pay Scotland back for the trillions of pounds of North Sea oil they have stolen?

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  6. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    I’ll they have their own currency. Probably. And what share of the UK debt?? Salmon will want none. And armed forces?? Finance that?? NATO? UN?? Security council for England. Nuclear deterrent. The list goes on. The queen??

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  7. grumpyoldhori (2,205 comments) says:

    James Stephenson you are an evil man :-)
    Hmm, with Scotland not in the EU Scots would have no right to work in England, a customs barrier would work well.
    And their head of state would be whom, any spare Catholic princes around ?

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  8. smttc (767 comments) says:

    Every Englishman should be hoping the Scots vote to go their own way. Scotland is a drain on English taxes.

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  9. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    @fish_boy – two words “Barnett formula”.

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  10. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    I think we could quite easily let them have Berwick back if they promise to keep their politicians North of the border.

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  11. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    The porridge wogs would revert to cannibalism within months if the flow of English money dried up

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  12. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “Personally I’m not sure it would be an entirely bad thing, as losing Scotland would mean Conservative Governments almost always in the rest of the UK”

    I can’t think of a single instance, other than Feb 1974, since the second world war when the UK election was decided on Scottish seats. I.e where there would have been a different PM, if the Scottish seats weren’t included.

    I did consider 1950 as an example but the conservatives won as many seats in Scotland as Labour.

    so, just for 6 months in the last 70 years

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  13. Kevin (960 comments) says:

    If you want to see the future of New Zealand just look at the future of European countries like the UK or Yugoslavia.

    Why has the US been immune to this?

    One way NZ could avoid this is to stay on the straight and narrow modern democracy path where everyone is treated equally. Start by signing the declaration of equality and get ready to support more action against National adopting a racist constitution if they win again (which they won’t).

    http://www.nzcpr.com/petition_EqualRights.php

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  14. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Also, when north sea oil is included, Scotland contributed 11.7bn GBP in taxes, with spending of 10.5bn, leaving it clearly in the black.

    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-who-loses-if-scotland-goes-it-alone/6524

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  15. RRM (10,097 comments) says:

    I’ve been watching a series of documentaries on Youtube called Engineering Britain’s Superweapons about Britain’s efforts to become a major cold war power using entirely in-house technology… and about how close they came before political elements intervened. Episode 1 is about the V-Bombers, Episode 2 is about the British Hydrogen Bomb testing, and Episode 3 is about the Blue Streak ballistic missile.

    Sorry this has nothing to do with the topic of Scottish independence 2014…
    But there’s something just admirable about the optimistic spirit of the planners, designers and pilots as they went about their work that must have seemed like they were preparing for a futuristic science-fiction war of annihilation. And then at 23:59:57 hrs the politicians would swoop in and scrap the most audacious, brilliant and resourceful of engineering projects with the limp-wristed stroke of a pen.

    I guess the stakes are just lower now, and that’s why the urgent pursuit of excellence just doesn’t seem to be there any longer…?

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  16. alwyn (438 comments) says:

    @fish_boy 12.12pm
    Will the Scots refund the non-Scottish taxpayers the cost of bailing out Scotlands two largest banks? They were RBS and HBOS.
    @anonymouse 11.54am
    There isn’t really a Scottish pound you know. Apart from a very small (I think about 2 million) amount of notes the banks that issue Scottish notes must hold Bank of England notes for the excess amount they issue. They aren’t legal tender I believe although they are always accepted in Scotland. The further south you go in England the harder it is to use them and the best thing to do is to change them, at a bank, immediately you leave Scotland.
    For anyone interested the Economist of 12 April 2012 had a number of articles on the subject of Scottish independence. Most of them are on line. They are a great deal better informed than are most of us wild-eyed commentators.

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  17. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    @fish_boy 12.12pm
    Will the Scots refund the non-Scottish taxpayers the cost of bailing out Scotlands two largest banks? They were RBS and HBOS.

    Banks and money don’t have nationalities, but both these banks traded on the London stock exchange, and were largely owned by Uk pension funds.

    Having a head office in Edinburgh, when the UK is a unitary doesn’t make them in anyway intrinsically “Scottish”

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  18. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Alan, did you actually read through your link?
    One year in the last thirty and it was four years ago.
    The reality is that Scotland is a client state of English charity.
    The overwhelming majority of Scottish households would collapse if they were granted freedom from English charity.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9593815/Scots-are-paying-with-their-lives-for-free-benefits-says-Scottish-Tory-leader.html

    Everything the state touches is Cheaper if you live in the land of the grey drizzle.
    Medical care, prescriptions, university education. Everything that the state provides in England is cheaper in Scotland and easier to get faster.

    Using North Sea Oil as a “but” will not wash either. There are more than 20 oil companies working up there, not all of the oil is north of the ginga line and it would have to split between the United Kingdom and a free from succubus status Scotland.

    If a vote were to be held including English voters two things would happen.
    1. A massive vote to kick Scotland out
    2. A massive exodus south before the lights went out.

    If only it would happen soon.
    Cameron should run a vote on EU membership at the same time.

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  19. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Further proof that they should be cut loose and Hadrians wall rebuilt without a gate.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/scottish-politics/9593135/Nine-in-ten-Scots-living-off-states-patronage.html

    90% dependent on English taxpayers.

    The Scottish make Maoris look like the Swiss.

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  20. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Yes, I read the link.

    It’s also not as straight forward as you think, due to the centralised tax reporting of large companies.

    Here’s an example, Tesco has it head office in London, it pays it’s taxes there. But the profits are generated throughout the UK. All the profit is recorded against the south eat in the tax stats.

    There really isn’t massive wealth transfers from England to Scotland;

    “None of the economists FactCheck contacted thought there was a serious risk of an independent Scotland failing to survive.”

    Scotland would be fine; In fact I think removing the crutch of blaming the English for all their woes would be a great thing for Scotland and it could once again become that economic power it was before it was crushed by socialism.

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  21. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Bill, what proportion of English households fail the same test ?

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  22. B A W (100 comments) says:

    The SNP would still stay around, like Sinn Fein in Ireland.

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  23. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    46%

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  24. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Source ?

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  25. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Would the English also pay Scotland back for the trillions of pounds of North Sea oil they have stolen?

    Idiot, a large proportion of the north sea oil area allocation is off the English coast. Regardless when the north sea area oil rights was allocated between the surrounding countries, the UK was allocated a zone – it could be argued then that the remainder of the UK (England and Wales) is entitled to 2/3 of the zone when Scotland bugger off.

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  26. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Allan, you wrote;
    “Scotland would be fine; In fact I think removing the crutch of blaming the English for all their woes would be a great thing for Scotland and it could once again become that economic power it was before it was crushed by socialism.”.

    I agree, sort of.
    Removing the blame England factor would be good. But they have been completely broken on the wheel of welfare.
    The place would hollow out.

    My feelings about this are due mainly to the fact the Labour tartan Mafia led by Blair and Brown took Britain into Iraq on a lie, Brown gave the gold away and they set England back 50 years.

    Tony Blair and Gordon Brown should be dragged to the Hague and tried for war crimes. Instead we have Gordon Brown drawing a massive wage for three days work in two years and Blair along with his letter box mouthed Cunt of a wife are now multi millionaires from all the favours.
    They were a Scottish led government of thieves that make Helen Clarks reign of terror over us look like a Disney movie by comparison.

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  27. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Telegraph site is where I got the 46% number from Allan, sorry I cannot find the link. I will keep trying to find it and post if I do. (I hate comments with numbers and no verification, I did not pull it out of my arse :), I will keep looking).

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  28. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    Not a great finacial problem – the new Scottish Reserve Bank will just print money – easy ask Greenpeace New Zealand Branch – they are experts (backed by Labour and Winston Parties).

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  29. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    They will not need many notes. There will only be Alex Salmond and three hundred or so people left in the whole country. The rest of them will be screaming down the A1 to find new digs near a dole office.

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  30. peterwn (3,332 comments) says:

    And what about the Shelties – they seem to hate the Scots.

    See this:
    http://www.udallaw.com/
    “The fascinating side of Shetland and Orkney’s history that makes it completely unique in the world is the 1468/69 pawning of the islands by King Christian of Denmark to King James III of Scotland. King Christian had agreed to provide a 60,000 florins dowry on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter to the Scots King.”

    The effects of this were staggering – as far as I can see it basically extinguished all existing land tenures which James III then most probably gave to his cronies. Similar would happen if the Argies succeeded in invading the Falkland Islands.

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  31. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Scotland was £131,163 million (26,766 per capita = $52,349NZ), including oil and gas produced in Scottish waters, for 2009-10

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Scotland

    New Zealand GDP US$135.723 billion (2010 est.)( NZ $37,395 per capita)

    May not be as good as the United Kingdom as a whole…..but it sure as fuck beats New Zealand economically

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  32. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “I agree, sort of. Removing the blame England factor would be good. But they have been completely broken on the wheel of welfare.The place would hollow out.”

    I see your point, but you need to understand that Scotland isn’t a homogeneous place, any more than England is.

    There are some areas of Scotland, mostly outside of the central belt that are economically more similar with rural England than urban Scotland.

    The problem occurs in the welfare belt of eastern / northern Glasgow, and some of the surrounding counties (nth Larnakrshire, dumbartonshire, renfrewshire, nth ayrshire) which have much more in common with the urban cities in northern england (tyneside, merseyside, yorkshire, gtr manchester). The population weighting in Scotland tends slightly more towards these people than in London.

    No reason these imbalances can’t be fixed, you write as if there will be an economic apocalypse in Scotland, I don’t see it. Even in places where there has, like Ireland and Greece, they are surviving.

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  33. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Alan, Successive UK Labour governments have made them welfare junkies. The fall would be much harder than Ireland and Greece.
    Anyway it is moot because turkeys never ever vote for an early xmas. And the tartan variety is no different.

    Personally I would like to see England alone without Wales or Scotland or N.I
    Out of Europe as well.
    If a vote were to be held in England this would happen.

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  34. tom hunter (5,133 comments) says:

    And then at 23:59:57 hrs the politicians would swoop in and scrap the most audacious, brilliant and resourceful of engineering projects with the limp-wristed stroke of a pen.

    Years ago I was bemused by the pommy accents of several members of NASA’s Mission Control team in the 1960’s, particularly John Hodge, who was a flight director on several of the big missions.

    It was not until I read one account of the time that I found out the history. He and a number of others had moved from the British scene, following the decisions you describe, and gone to work in Canada on the Avro Arrow jet interceptor project. Like the British weapons projects, that Canadian effort was real cutting edge stuff, but it ran out of justifications and got canned in the same way. As a result Hodge and company moved across the border to NASA, where he spent most of the rest of his working life.

    I wonder if ever reflected on the sad truth that his work as an aerospace engineer was dependent upon the whims of politicians from start to finish? Given the worthwhile fun he had on once-in–a-lifetime projects, he probably did not.

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  35. RRM (10,097 comments) says:

    Tom Hunter – no I doubt he did…

    (They’ll probably take my NZ citizenship away for making this remark, but HOLY F*CK testing hydrogen bombs or ballistic missiles would have been an AWESOME job! It has everything – massive explosions, jet aircraft, military security and a sense of national importance… and like all the best industrial testing you had to run and take cover. I would have been all over that job if I could have been! :-D )

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  36. RRM (10,097 comments) says:

    Oh and there’s a little photo circulating on the internet of a stock image of a Saturn 5 rocket going supersonic with a vapour cloud forming around the top of the second stage, photoshopped into the background sky behind an American flag.

    Any number of small-government type political bloggers/nutters have picked it up and placed it on the sidebars of their sites, seemingly oblivious to the Government funding on a grand scale that made that project possible.

    I guess the general awesomeness of big rockets is awesome enough to override even political hobby-horses about rampant taxation and state spending… :-)

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  37. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    I thought most of top level NASA guys in the space program were former Nazis that cut their teeth on the V2 project.

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  38. tom hunter (5,133 comments) says:

    Any number of small-government type political bloggers/nutters have it on the sidebars of their sites, seemingly oblivious to the Government funding on a grand scale that made that project possible…

    It’s a fair point and one that I’m not immune to. In other words, give me a repeat of the Apollo program and the chance to participate in it on just about any level – and I’d probably be willing to join in hunting down the last of Mitt Romney’s wealth myself!

    I’d sign my soul to the devil for a chance to walk in the valley of Taurus-Littrow.

    Sigh!

    Having said that I’m well aware of the right-wing criticisms of the Apollo program – that it stuffed human space exploration both at its beginning and end – and I agree with those arguments. Where the USA is going now with SpaceX and the like has better, more solidly based prospects, even for deep-space human missions.

    It’s just that we all have our little foibles – and we’re talking intellectual vs. emotional engagement. Speaking of which:

    They’ll probably take my NZ citizenship away for making this remark, but HOLY F*CK testing hydrogen bombs or ballistic missiles would have been an AWESOME job!

    A number of atomic scientists and engineers have said that nuclear explosions were some of the most hauntingly beautiful things they’d ever seen, even aside the terrifying impressiveness of them.

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  39. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    Are you Scottish if you have an ancestor who was born in Scotland and you feel Scottish, or do you also have to wear a dress and drink whisky?

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  40. tom hunter (5,133 comments) says:

    I thought most of top level NASA guys in the space program were former Nazis that cut their teeth on the V2 project.

    That was most of the rocket engineers, they mostly hung out in Huntsville, Alabama, and their focus was on the big boosters that got the whole shebang off the ground.

    The rest of the program – the spaceships, the computers, the heatshields, the inertial navigation and electronics and the rest of the technologies that made the whole thing go, not to mention the gigantic efforts on the ground to build a command, communication and control structure that could handle the effort – that was pretty much an All-American affair.

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  41. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    Personally I would like to see England alone without Wales or Scotland or N.I

    May as well do a proper job, People’s Republic of Yorkshire under the benevolent dictatorship of Harold Bird.

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  42. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    RRM 2:42. Me too!

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  43. SPC (5,664 comments) says:

    Nice delay of such a referendum while the North Sea oil was exploited. And great timing now while the Euro zone is in crisis. The numbers actually voting for independence now should be lower than in the polls. The variable is the turnout, but I suspect some of those who poll as in favour will be the ones who do not turout to vote.

    Why not just trial separating the city of London from the rest of the island and see what happened to England, to silence those suggesting England would be better off without Scotland, Wales and north eastern Ireland.

    The island is better for all united as it is.

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  44. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    I think Scottish independence would be beneficial to both the UK (no more Labour governments ever!) and Scotland (who would suddenly have to take responsibility for their own economy and would probably stop voting for Labour as a result).

    In response to Alan Johnstone, the Conservatives would have won the election in 2005 if it were not for Scotland. Michael Howard would have been Prime Minister, and would probably still be Prime Minister now.

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  45. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Nice delay of such a referendum while the North Sea oil was exploited.

    I really wish some people would educate themselves. The UK’s allocation in the North Sea Oil exploration area runs from a large area to the north of Scotland down the nation and around to the West corner of the English coast. This allocation area is split up into regions, basically North, Central & South with a few other areas centered around inlets, firths etc. The North is clearly off the Scottish coast, the south clearly off the English coast. The North Sea Oil exploration area does not solely belong to Scotland.

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  46. SPC (5,664 comments) says:

    You do not appreciate that sharing the oil field would have much more impact on one area than the other given the difference in population and other income?

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  47. peterwn (3,332 comments) says:

    Tom Hunter – remember that a Kiwi had a very prominent role in the American space programme.

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  48. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Blairm @ 6:55 You are entirely wrong, in the 2005 election, labour finished with 356 seats, compared to the Tories 198. Labour won 41 seats in Scotland. Plus 29 in Wales. That 286 seats in England vs 193 Tory ones (they won 1 in Scotland and 4 in Wales)

    Do the maths bro.

    Your post is farcically wrong.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/vote_2005/constituencies/default.stm

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  49. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,495 comments) says:

    Was following this debate in the dailys and they were saying Scotland have been schmoozing with the Scandinavians for many years in order to help their transistion to an independent state. However there are so many factors that will count against them.
    The banking bailouts are still a sore issue, and are technically “Scottish” banks.
    The oil proceeds may help their cause but considering it is so heavily reliant on welfare and handouts from Westminster, an independent Scotland would be the poorest state in the EU, of which it has signalled it would join.
    Remember, the Scots voted for themselves free tertiary education, funded by the English, who do not get it. They are milking the system like theres no tomorrow and would find themselves in major shite if they leave.
    By saying that, I am 100% in favour of independence.

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  50. Left Right and Centre (3,007 comments) says:

    If Scotland becomes independent, does that mean Andy Murray takes his US Open win with him and the English men’s tennis grand slam drought reverts back to being three centuries long with no end in sight?

    And at Wimbledon… the poor bugger will go from home hero to just another frickin foreigner. Hoots man, that’s ages away.

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  51. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Porridge wogs…I am off to the human rights commission..

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  52. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,760 comments) says:

    Alan Johnstone says on October 10th, 2012 at 12:58 pm:

    Source ?

    Here is a link that highlights it:

    How Many Britons Are Net Recipients of the State?

    46%

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  53. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill proving that sometimes stereotypes are correct.

    It is often said that Yorkshire folk are racist, knuckle draggers and in his case that seems to be about right.

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  54. dauntless111 (2 comments) says:

    So much ingorance in this thread.

    RBS and HBOS are UK banks. They have always existed under the union, have customers all though the world (and union) have always been taxed by the union and always been regulated by the union.

    Yet they suddenly became Scottish only in 2008?

    Anybody arguing about the North Sea Oil needs to read about the UN Law of the Sea and recognise a few facts about the UK Exclusive Economic Zone. The Scottish Zone will be established under UNCLOS upon independence, and using the principle of equidistance it’s not difficult to estimate what this zone will be.

    It’s huge. It’s larger than England, Wales, and Northern Ireland fmrUK zone combined.

    The subsidy myth has been rebuked heaps of times over the years, yet I see the little Englanders still peddling that myth on this thread. Guys, just google it and try reading it, instead of repeating this ‘common knowledge’ you’ve heard in the pub all these years.

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