September 11, 2014

Independent Scotland will play the Irish card and steal our investment strategy

Posted in Irish Independent · 67 comments ·

My earliest memories of Castle Street, Dalkey, were Saturday mornings in Dom McClure’s barbershop with my father. Dom had cut my Grandad’s hair, my Dad’s hair and now mine.

As usual when I peeked into the shop on a Saturday morning, Dom put on his best Scottish accent – which he called “Scotch” – gently mocking my grandfather, who came from Scotland to Dalkey in the 1920s. According to Dom, both my grandparents, who I never met, had “shocking Scotch accents”.

They must’ve been the only people to emigrate to Ireland back then, when it seemed that half the nation was leaving. After independence in Ireland, being in a Scottish “mixed marriage” might also have brought its own difficulties, but if it did it was never talked about. Growing up, my Dad always told me that I was half-Scottish and the Scottish dissenter gene was something to be proud of. I think he was getting at the endemic sleeveenism that he saw all around him.

This bond with Scotland was made flesh in the form of Ally’s Army in the 1978 World Cup. Scotland’s side was the dream team, with Dalglish, Buchan, Gemmill, Robertson, Jordan, McQueen, Souness and the like. They were going to win the World Cup – until they crashed against the giants of Peru and then Iran. Having Scottish grandparents was enough to allow me follow Scotland openly without compromising my loyalty to Johnny Giles’ Ireland.

My Scottish cousins have always had a huge sense of being Scottish, yes British too, but Scottish first. Talking to them in the past week, they referred to the Yes campaign as a “national movement”.

The Scottish vote is a referendum between a cause and a country.

The country is the No side and the cause is the Yes side.

The No side has cornered itself into trying to run an ordinary general election, with lots of negatives about economics and finance. This is the ground it has decided to fight on, maybe because its ranks were stuffed with party apparatchiks.

But when you are up against a cause, technocratic arguments get on people’s nerves. The No side is taking the “if you knew how difficult all this was, you’d come to your senses” approach. The difficulty with this tactic is that this morphs into a patronizing lecture very quickly – particularly when one of the aces of the other side, is that the ordinary Scot is being lectured by remote, disinterested technocrats and Tory toffs.

In contrast, it is much easier to galvanise people around the emotion of a “cause”, with its unifying common historical bond. The Yes side is appealing to a romantic, one-off dream rather than the dull day-to-day, week-to-week book-keeping exercise of running a country.

Put simply, Scottish identity beats accounting identity any day.

Looking at the polls, among committed voters it’s a dead heat. This is a huge gain and movement for the “cause” in the past few weeks. However, this means that more and more undecided voters are going to choose to vote Yes as they convert their electoral ambiguity to a voting intention. This is crucial in determining the final days. If the conversion rate of the-don’t-knows continues in the next week as it has been doing in the past few days, its all over for the Unionists. The nationalists will win easily.

My sense is that the momentum is with the nationalists. It’s hard to see British Prime Minister David Cameron or Labour Party leader Ed Miliband moving the Scots in the No direction. Both constitute a red rag to even the undecided.

One is an Etonian who tried to bully them for months and the other is only campaigning because he knows that without Scotland Labour hasn’t a hope of winning in a rump UK.

Now to the economics. The Jesuit-educated, Canadian/Irish, Bank of England boss Mark Carney claimed yesterday that a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would be at odds with sovereignty. This is simply scaremongering. After all, an independent Ireland had a perfectly functioning currency union with the UK from 1922 to 1979. It lasted 57 years and was only broken when we decided to hitch our wagon to Germany.

As for the EU – a friend of mine in the EU told me they have the new Treaties in a drawer marked Scotland. All this about the Spanish veto is scaremongering, too.

Should Ireland be worried economically? Do you remember when Ireland simply painted over red British post boxes in a lovely emerald green and claimed a new post service? The Scottish can do the same. They have an economic blueprint for direct foreign investment, and it just means taking the IDA’s brochure and putting the St Andrew’s Cross on it and heading off to the United States to look for business.

They will give the same tax breaks, with a workforce that is a fraction of the price.

That’s the truth.

In one move, “the only English-speaking, corporate-tax-friendly country in the EU, with good schools and golf for senior management blah, blah” unique sales pitch goes out the window. Worse still, when the Scottish become Scottish and not British they might even become as well-liked around the world as us! They are good at marketing, national brand management and re-writing imperial history if they have to.

An independent Scotland will play the Irish card all over the world in terms of investment. With sterling as its currency, it will probably be more flexible than us in the Euro – and when England leaves the EU then Edinburgh as an investment location for all those fleeing American banks could look a much more attractive alternative to Dublin.

Worth thinking about?

  1. independence-yes!! sovereignty-Yes

    • The above is something worthwhile for the Irish to think about too.

    • Independence – yes.

      Sovereignty – doesn’t mean shit – a made up word.

      I sincerely hope that Scotland votes yes and takes control of their own business as the criminals in Westminster don’t give a monkey’s uncle about them.


        Seems that to be independent as a person there is no allegiance to a state.?
        In order for a state to exist (a country ) it must be sovereign.
        The trick is to have a sovereign state that also recognizes the sovereignty of the individual.

        Sovereignty appears to mean a great deal!!!For Scotland to take control of its own affairs it must by definition be sovereign!!!

        • ” There are only two fundamental questions, or two aspects of the same question, that determine the nature of any social system: Does a social system recognize individual rights? — and: Does a social system ban physical force from human relationships? The answer to the second question is the practical implementation of the answer to the first.”
          - Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

        • I have no allegiance to any ‘state’.

          ‘States’ are also fake constructs, just like sovereignty.

          However, every person and every group of people should have the opportunity to be independent.

        • “Sovereignty is one of the most essential and unique features of the state. It is the ultimate and supreme law and policy making authority of the state. It is the soul of the state.”

          What a load of nonsense Tony, you should have more sense at your age.

          Nobody or no thing has ‘authority’ over me except my own self.

          • Fabricated crap.

            If you want to believe this outrageous propaganda that is used to control you and pit you against your fellow man then be my guest but leave me out of it.

          • Well Adam now you resort to ageism??Ha Ha what a brash young fellow you are.

            No state can function without a rule of law. No people can function with an overriding despotic state.

            There must be structures in place for people to interact with each other but those structures must allow for the maximum of individual freedom of the individual.
            Getting the right balance is the trick Adam.
            A sovereign state can enact its own laws(as decided by a sovereign people) without interference of other states.
            A sovereign person can live its own life without interference of others or the state.
            A sovereign person within a sovereign state.
            This is where all free people freely associate, free to also cooperate.

          • Haha no, not ageism. You know that Tony.

            You’re a wise man, partly (but not only) because you have been around longer than I have.

            You’re wrong about this sovereign business though, independence is enough on a personal and societal level, but lets put it down to semantics – we both want the same thing in general.

        • Reality Check

          Tony, how much Physical Gold do you recommend owning?
          I feel a crash is coming something uneasy in the air> ISIS> Syria etc> Markets are toppy
          Reality Check.

          • Good question

            Only put into PM what you can afford not to have to spend.Prices have been forced down this last three years. 32.% from top. Silver is more volatile and of over 60%.

            PM are the rainy day fund not to be cashed in until the need is there. It is your insurance against a monetary and inflationary collapse. That’s it!!

            It would seem that you sense what MacBeth’s witches called “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble ……something wicked this way comes”!!!

            If you have limited funds get silver. both PM’s are artificially low as the stock market and bond market are artificially high.
            The advice I have received is to
            Get all savings out of the banking system .
            Be rid of all paper assets especially bonds and stocks
            Do not have any paper gold or silver as the funds are suspect and take delivery in hand of the physical PM’s
            Other hard assets such as farmland and antiques will do you well too.
            If you get PM’s, get minted coins. Best are Canadian Maple leafs. Recognised around the world.
            I now carry a couple of coins with me for emergency cash if I need it. I only have enough cash in the banking system for day to day operations.
            Subject to robbery yes but who knows who has a couple of coins in a pocket.

            Protect yourself from the inflationary depression we are in. In yet the formative stage.

            This is my personal opinion gleaned from many hours, months and years of reading. I am not an investment counselor and any actions you take are your own responsibility.

            sorry about the disclaimer but that is the way it is these days. Collectively we are all on our own.

  2. Waxing Lyrics

    This article fails in its objectivity because it was written at the recent peak of the Full Moon that has been the nearest to Earth in a long time and using evidence collected by ‘yougov’ during the 7 days prior to the Full Moon and all of this is waxing emotional waste that is only fit for a cartoon show .

    Currently (subsequent to this article appearing )in a waning moon reality arrives and the ‘Yes’ vote will flounder as revelations show to the voters next week what is really happening and dreamers will dissipate in droves.

    Also it is not possible to compare Scotland with Ireland and similarities of survival in Banking when Scotland has no Central Bank unlike Ireland .

    There will be no rump UK and the Queen is continue to shoot her deers in Balmoral Estate and in good time we will see more BUCK UK than before .

    I suggest the readers ‘to pinch themselves’ .

    • I suspect that you are probably right on this occasion John.

    • CitizenWhy

      Yes, the most likely vote is NO. For now. Yes or No, there will be buyer’s regret among the Scots.

      If the vote is no, the SNP could form a political party dedicated to getting “a better deal for Scotland” from Westminster. A lot of No voters would support that push. And such a push would keep the idea of independence percolating among the Scots.

      • We had the same vote in Canada a while back as Quebec voted on secession.
        There was the same balance in polls a week before the vote which narrowly went to the NO by 51%
        Quebec is a massive receiver of federal largess receiving a 100 billion more from the federal government (read the rest of Canada (ROC)or the taxpayers of ROC, than it contributed.
        Many in the West hoped they would go because of the financial drain of supporting bilingualism and the Quebec social programs.

        There is an equalization formula in Canada which supports the “have not” provinces at the expense the “have” provinces.

        Alberta has donated 100 billion more than received from the Fed over the same time period and so is fond of the gripe that they support Quebec. The Quebecois are fond of the social programs they can not afford that are paid by others. Given another vote they are likely to remain.

        Scotland has the oil so the result may be different!!!We will see.

        • CitizenWhy

          Not just oil. Scotland is capable of working out a healthy economy and social democratic state. But it must be cautious about using the Euro and falling under the austerity dictates from Berlin (as Ireland has), worse than London.

          I’d prefer that Sciotland become a Scandinavian country, with its own currency or in currency union with a Scnadinavian country that does not sue the Euro. Or in a currency union with the Swiss Franc.

          • The central banking system of monopoly currency must be abolished or all votes for independence are illusory.

            A country is not sovereign if its currency is controlled by bankers . Particularly bankers with allegiance only to themselves.

            Legal tender laws must be repealed to allow the use of any currency or money the people decide.

          • cont…
            The country can issue its own currency free from debt and interest by issuing from treasury.

            Being free of interest avoids the ponzi scheme nature of all current fiat currency. It allows for a stable currency.

            Repeal of the legal tender laws allows people to settle trade in any way they wish and provides competition to the state currency which will help keep it honest.

            A country cannot decide to have a union with another currency unilaterally. It can use another’s currency but then is not sovereign or it can peg its currency to another currency and again gives up control.

            A free sovereign country must be independent fiscally and monetarily or it is not free or independent.

          • Yeah fair enough Tony. Sovereignty as applied to an independent currency is fine, but none of this ‘sovereignty is the soul of a country’ crap thank you very much.

            You didn’t say it anyway but many people talk a load of shite about allegiance to a flag and patriotism and nationalism and all that nonsense.

          • CitizenWhy

            Tony, Abraham Lincoln financed the US Civil War by issuing money directly from the US Treasury to pay war vendors. No government debt taken on. This resulted in an economic boom in the North following the Civil War. Talk about an effective way to stimulate an economy.

          • Adam, I know we walked and talked together in mutual respect. we will continue to.

            CW re Lincoln that is correct. a treasury issued money does not avoid the problem of over production of the money supply, that is inflation. Neither the printing of money to finance a war or anything else.

            Only basing money on a substance of limited supply will do that. Gold worked well for this as it has all the main characteristics of sound money as demonstrated over the ages.

            The only other way to curtail inflation is to allow the people the free use of any currency or money they wish. That is to repeal the legal tender laws and put government sponsored money in direct competition with other money.

            Prohibition of fiat paper money world wide would be one way of ending the ability of anyone to finance any war of consequence anywhere in the world. A socially responsible and moral thing to do I would venture to say.

  3. westbrit

    Interesting but assumes Socialist Scotland (SNP) will adopt a FG/FF approach to inward investment from the USA. Yes, England will exit the EU, but given that England is the largest trading partner of Ireland (north and south), Wales and Scotland, what makes you think that an English EU exit will not automatically mean the “Celtic Fringe” nations can survive in the EU/Eurozone without exiting too?

    The future will be a confederation of the Isles, otherwise England unleashed (under foreign kings since 1485 – welsh Tudors, scottish Stuarts, then hanoverian Germans) will be interesting to us all.

    At least here in Connaught (yes, spelling) we can blow the bridges again one supposes.

    • StephenKenny

      I think that the real fear that the English have is the without Scotland they will be seriously weakened. Scotland has all the potential to rise as a very significant member of the EU.
      England unleashed will, at some point, have to face it’s post Imperial reality. It’s economy is a franticly spinning cloud of smoke and mirrors, kept aloft through over £100bn a year in extra debt, and a lot of questionable book keeping.

      Scotland, after a brief period to sort themselves out, will rise as an impressive niche economic player.

      • westbrit

        Possibly. But the real fear the English may have is that the Scots vote No and continue to feast on the English taxpayer (much as Ireland had enjoyed nigh 40 years of EU recycled UK funds (net contribution to Brussels then sent by them to Ireland). Perhaps next time the UK can subside IE direct so we can see Union Flags rather than EU flags all over our supposed EU sponsored infrastructure sites throughout our Republic?

        • iearmand

          @westbrit Scotland is a Net contributor to the UK as a whole. they do not feast on anything getting less than they actually put in. so you assertion is incorrect. England fears because of what they will lose. Why else would they argue “better together”?

  4. Deco

    The level of deliberate fear mongering from the London based media, is itself an indication, of their inability to understand economics.

    Because much of that fear-mongering is loaded with “you will pay” “it will cost you” type arguments.

    Scotland was far wealthier in 1922 than the RoI. And people left here to gain employment in Scotland. Now young Scots leave to get career opportunities.

    Scotland has a brighter future on it’s own, than being tethered to an England that is prone to great delusions. In fact the entire political landscape in England since the 1950s has been a serious of misplaced illusions. As evidenced by the massive debts taken on by the British exchequer, this continues under Osborne and Cameron. In fact the entire economic program in England for decades can be summed up as “living beyond the means”.

    Scotland also needs to get out, from the perspective that while England has been deluding itself, Scotland has been lethargic outside of the hydrocarbon sector.

    In other words, Scotland needs to produce another intellectual golden age. Similar to what it produced between the Six years war and 1815 – when it peaked as an economic and intellectual entity. Tagging only behind Westminister, and having that ended might kick produce something novel, and creative in Scotland.

    Not sure if euro membership is in Scotland’s interest. ECB interest policy has proven to be the root of all disaster, in the past decade. And it is causing problems for everybody.

    My advice to the Scottish people, would be
    I) ignore the media.
    II) you need to improve the quality of your political representation
    III) you need to figure out where you stand with respect to hydrocarbons
    IV) Don’t end up fighting amongst yourselves.
    V) Make a serious effort to awaken the Scottish intellectual dimension (something that has been dormant, and needs awakening).
    VI) Don’t beg to join the EU – the EU needs endorsements far more than you need nonsense from Brussels.
    VII) If the referendum is defeated, it is not the end of the world.

  5. Deco

    Without North Sea oil, the Pound Sterling will be much weakened.

    Also….of the British owned element in the City of London, much is dependent on Scottish capital, or Scottish labour.

    If that went to Edinburgh, London would be in a worse position. [ though presumably, London would have to drop it's arrogant dismissiveness towards other English cities, and be more co-operative towards them. That would be a good thing for England !!!].

    No wonder Boris Johnston is upset at the prospect.

  6. iearmand

    David hits the nail on the head. The economica arguement revolves around fear.

    Scotland has (with regards to the UK)
    32% of the land area.
    61% of the sea area.
    65% of the natural gas production.
    96.5% of the crude oil production.
    47% of the open cast coal production
    62% of the timber production
    46% of the total forest area
    92% of the hydro electric production
    40% of the wind wave and solar energy production
    60% of the fish landings
    30% of the beef herd
    20% of the sheep herd
    9% of the dairy herd
    10% of the pig herd
    15% if the cereal holdings
    20% of the potato holdings
    …obviously 100% of the Scotch Whiskey industry.

    yet only 8% of the population

    It also has
    17 billion pound construction industry
    13 billion food and drink industry
    10 billion business services industry
    9.3 billion chemical services industry
    A 9.3 billion tourism industry
    7 billion financial services industry
    5 billion aeroservice industry
    4.5 billion pound whiskey exports industry
    3.1 billion pound life sciences industry
    Scotland still has 350 million pounds worth of textile exports

    With resources like that how can Scotland not stand on its own, shape its own destiny and at least work to address some of the social issues they see so differently from those in London?

    As a west Clare man living in Scotland, my vote will only go one way. To vote no is to put no faith in the country and people I have called home for 12+ years.

    • Deco

      Contrary to claims by the English Tories, Scotland would be well able to manage on it’s own.

      In fact Scotland would be loaning money to England, so that Londoners could be playing property games.

      If Scotland got out, it would make it all too obvious. The London economy (and the tories that depend on it) would be the big losers in all of this.

    • DB4545

      Scotland seems more culturally aligned to a scandinavian social and economic model. It has a civil law legal system and it is the home of the Kirk and seems more in tune with Lutheran scandinavia. Why join the EU when they could look for a similar relationship that Switzerland has with the EU? I think Scotland will seriously embarrass Ireland with its speed of progress to take its place as one of the wealthier Countries within Europe like Norway within ten years if it chooses independence.

    • CitizenWhy

      Thank you for this. My parents were from East Clare. Not fans of the rule by deValera or the privileging of the Catholic Church, or any church. But practicing Catholics, as few of their grandchildren are.

      • DB4545

        No need for thanks it’s just an opinion equal to anyone else but not better. I know the Kirk is more Calvinist than Lutheran but I’m sure you know where I’m coming from. Change comes from the strangest places after all Martin Luther was a Catholic priest at one time.

  7. Scottish Farmers

    During the summer my niece 15 years old went to Scotland representing Ireland as an individual and in her team for the Pedigree Cattle Handling Competition of the Isles of Britain and Ireland …and her team won and she won too as the individual .The age limit was 25 years old .She mixed with many farmers from all over when there .

    Late in August I drove with my daughter to Belfast and Ballycastle and Portrush and along the way I bought the Scottish Farmers Journal .It said that the Farmers in Scotland will vote ‘YES’ . This I found confusing as that would not be the consesus of the Irish Unionist .

    Upon my return home and after giving the Scottish Journal to my niece she was delighted . She noticed photos of three of her friends holding bulls and told me that each one was going to inherit almost a 1000 acres each ..Scottish farming is so different to Irish farming .

  8. Common Laws

    Laws of Tort and historical rights of the English will have to be compensated in the event, if any ,that a Yes vote arises ( eyes rolled up #) – these costs will have to be factored in by Scotland ‘to pay ‘England & Rump’and these costs will be prohibited and non practical .This is said before we mention Security Costs and Foreign Affairs .We are also ignoring the Shetlanders who are pro-unionists and they own a sizable chunk of Scotland too .

  9. Pat Flannery

    “With sterling as its currency, it will probably be more flexible than us in the Euro – and when England leaves the EU then Edinburgh as an investment location for all those fleeing American banks could look a much more attractive alternative to Dublin.”

    Really? David, you are just fixated in talking Ireland out of the Euro and into the Sterling. You have nothing to support these assertions. Indeed the facts indicate the exact opposite.

    Fact one: the American banks you refer to, indeed most banks worldwide support a strong Euro as a safe strategic alternative to the Dollar. They regard Sterling as a minor currency. If there are any American banks fleeing London it will be to a Eurozone country. Why would international banks or investors flee the Pound to a mere linked Pound?

    Fact two: you argue as if Scotland can make Sterling its currency. It can’t. It can only LINK its Scottish Pound to the English Pound. And England cannot stop Scotland doing so any more than America could stop Scotland or any other country LINKING its currency to the Dollar. They are still separate currencies.

    Fact three: you are wrong when you say “After all, an independent Ireland had a perfectly functioning currency union with the UK from 1922 to 1979”. The Irish Pound was merely LINKED to the British Pound. There was never a British/Irish “currency union”.

    Your fixation with getting Ireland out of the Euro and into the Pound repeatedly leads you astray.

  10. CitizenWhy

    The Scots are fed up with London for many reasons, one big one being the blind pursuit of austerity and the determination to “privatize” and shrink the National Health AND the protected forests and other public – that is, common – assets.

    BUT if Scotland were to adopt the Euro it would fall under the even more austerity-mad rule of Berlin. Scotland needs to have its own currency or enter into some kind of currency agreement with a Scandinavian country.

    Scotland can succeed economically. The real hysteria against independence is the effect it would have on the global financial system )London at the top, even ahead of NYC) and on regions in Europe that also want independence form their central governments.

    Another source of panic is that Scottish independence will legitimatize what Russia has done in Crimea and would argue for the independence of eastern Ukraine.

    I made the same point about Scotland taking te Irish corporate tax strategy ina comment in the NY Times followingbteh Krugman article agianst Scottiosh indepependece.

    • Deco

      Scotland can succeed economically. The real hysteria against independence is the effect it would have on the global financial system )London at the top, even ahead of NYC) and on regions in Europe that also want independence form their central governments.

      Exactly. Scotland and other regions of Britain are placed down the pecking order, due to the priority given to the Financial sector in SE England, in national policy making.

      Scotland getting out of Britain’s debt driven economy, undermines it’s (suspect) credibility.

    • Any sovereign nation requires its own currency issued from treasury free of debt.
      A truly independent country with a free population will also revoke the legal tender laws and allow people and business the right to used whatever money they wish.
      That is,Scottish independence is an opportunity to revoke the rule of the central banking system of feudal economic slavery.

  11. Deco

    I have seen all the scare headlines coming from the London media, and the London financial sector, and I am getting insights into Britain’s economic state.

    The fact is that Britain is addicted to debt.

    The provinces, are not near as addicted as the south east/capital district. We know this, because the debts are not as ridiculous.

    Scotland pulling out is a credibility blow to a certain economic philosophy that has predominated in Britain fro decades. If the SNP (or any new Scottish political movements) can envisage a new economic strategy, then they will provide a badly needed example to Britain. Ireland, Denmark, and Norway provide some options in this regard.

    The Scottish Labour Party, who spent over a decade in the wilderness under Blair and Browne, are caught on the wrong side of this fight. They had no strategy for England in the 1980s. They had no strategy for Britain outside of the SE of England in the decade before 2010. And they have no strategy now, except that they are opposed to the Tories.

    I have a suggestion for the British Labour Party – address the issue of debt. It is the elephant in the room. And it is the source of enormous societal problems. The problem is that the business model of Britain is debt.

    Britain is up a cul-de-sac because of debt. And Scotland might jump out. The Tories had a mandate when they got into power. They have blown it. Osborne’s model has been to rebuild the property market. This is madness. They have learned nothing.

    Amongst some very mediocre options available, the SNP are the least useless. They will try to invigorate Scotland with fresh thinking. There has been no fresh thinking in economics in Britain for decades. And that was faulty and based on flawed assumptions.

    Britain without Scotland would have an absurd trade deficit, a dodgy currency, and enormous debts – with no plan for getting off the debt addiction.

  12. I’m just back from visiting Edinburgh, Glasgow and mountains and one thing that really struck me is that there aren’t signs for the vote on every single lamp post (only a few Yes stickers about the place and on house windows) -a lesson for us where every time there is a vote here, we completely litter the place and sometimes find an old sign dumped when going for a walk in a remote area.
    Obviously everyone in Scotland is talking about the vote but it’s simply not so visual like the votes we have here.
    There is a joke in Scotland that there are more pandas then Tory MPs in Scotland! (2 pandas by the way). Also they haven’t forgotten that Ed Miliband didn’t remember all the names of the leadership candidates for the Scottish Labour Party.

  13. 30somethingHiBrit

    All of this breaks my heart. Background: Born in Surrey, 1971. My father was born 10 miles away in Epsom. Left school at 15, worked for my grandfather. My mother: born in Dublin 1946, emigrated to England in 1964. I’m an Englishman with a large slug of Irish blood (like Noel Gallagher who I do respect – unlike Stephen Patrick.

    Being British is inherently one of multiple identities – Am I London/Surrey and English and British?

    I’m all of them and with two passports (UK/Irish); I would argue the poverty of Norman Tebbit and the Cricket Test.

    My wife is British born. Her parents were for Jamaica and Montserrat. She supports the West Indies but would always say she is British first rather than English (Hey Ian Paisley – are you listening?)

    Nearly 100 years ago most of the smaller island to the right became independent due to the British not listening. And treating our family like idiots.

    Bizarrely, things have changed. I grew up in the 1970s proud of going to Ireland every year to see Nana. And I would have to deal with comments in my private school. “Where did you go on holiday?” “I saw my family in Ireland.” “Oh, you must support the IRA.”

    At which point, things turned violent. Funny that.

    the tragedy of the situation is that the Scots Nats have ignored Irish history.

    70 years of Irish independence resulted in Fiana Fail, the tent at Galway races… and gombeenism.

    If you want real freedom, you need proper scrutiny. For that you need people to shake things up.

    England might have a class system, but by God it has change. Look at the streets of London. Apart from my black people, we have Poles.

    They work like crazy,. They also marry Brits. They prod us. They ask questions.

    The Irish have had a terrible time over the last few years. Why won;t they listen to the Irish?

    Swinney et al should have been to Kilkenomics to understand what being a small state on the edges of a currency union mean.

    But of course, to use a stereotype I grew up with (and makes me very angry) the Irish are just stupid…right?

    • Montserrat is a place close to my heart because my daughter is 1/4 Montserratian. When we lived in the small village of Five Islands, Antigua, we could see Montserrat in the distance from the nearby beach.

    • DB4545

      We’ve more in common than separates us but politics on both Islands needs a radical shake up. I lived in London for eight years and prospered but the South East completely dominates all other Regions and Countries in the UK. I can see why the Scots are fed up but the same applies to the West Midlands, Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent and anywhere outside the M25/ home counties commuter belt. London is a global financial centre and vital to the UK economy but the rest of the UK seems like it’s stagnating. I don’t see the change that gives London its vitality anywhere else in the UK. I was brought up in Dublin 8 not far from the misnamed Fatima Mansions but I’ve been genuinely shocked by the poverty I’ve seen in parts of Glasgow, the Midlands, Stoke-on -Trent and Liverpool. Ireland has serious social and economic problems but the UK is not kind to its poor today(and it was kind to our poor in the past when it could have slammed the door firmly shut). I can see why a more socially cohesive region like Scotland would look to Scandinavia rather than look South.

  14. 30somethingHiBrit

    “My black people”, My wife., And our son. Sean. (named after my mother’s father.

  15. 30somethingHiBrit

    @Deco – you are right regarding personal debt. It is killing all of us. State debt is derived from overspend days from the Gordon Brown/Bertie days. We need to educate our fellow citizens to be Chinese: save, pool savings in credit unions and look after each others.

    We also need to grow up; stop expecting things for free. Trust ourselves. Ireland has an educated workforce and in a world where agriculture is wealth. exploit.

    For the British, trade on our abilities around finance, our language and culture – and the bridge between Europe and Asia.

    If the 19th century was the British Century, the 20th century was the American century, then we are now is the Chinese century.

    Heard of Da Nang?

    Maybe – you might of a character in a film: – you haven’t seen a major resort for Asia.

    How can you have a British/Irish education – and our language – and not make money teaching the Vietnamese (who have beaten in battles the French, Chinese and Americans*) English. And who have great food and a dry sense of humour?

    * I’m English born. I miss Hong Kong.

  16. Adelaide

    Scotland The Brave or Scotland The Knave?

    I have been following the public debates on Scottish TV (via UTV) and the ordinary Joe and Jane ‘NO’ voters really come across as dour penny pinchers. It’s their sole preoccupation, pennies before pride.

    I am very fond of Scotland and the people but if they vote ‘NO’ I would reverse my positive attitude. My Edinburgh friends (all ‘YES’ voters) suspect that on polling day the knaves will show their hand and swing it for the Union. They would take the defeat quite personally after campaigning so long, and going forward claiming oneself to be Scottish would be farcical after the people rejected Scotland, rather as one said the former-Scotland be referred to as “The North of the North of England”.

  17. Worth thinking about.

    How Scotland has the possibility to show Ireland how things are done. How to build an economy on value creation, not value extraction. Ireland, still largely defining itself as “not England”, did little more than paint the post-boxes green post independence.

    FDI has only served to re-enforce the culture of clientelism and gombeenism. It is in fact state-level gombeenism. Its like bloody economic heroin.

    • CitizenWhy

      Right on the mark. Scotland will be served by its history, the way Irealnd has not been. Scotland already has a number of government institutions different from and independent of London )( the legal system, the university system, the church structure). It dissenting congregational church governance (as opposed to rule by an authoritarian hierarchy) has served its citizens well. Even as they secularize they remain communitarian/congregational in disposition, a good foundation for a social democratic state capable of serving the common good.

      And independent Scotland can certainly end up with a corrupt ruling class but corruption can be accompanied by competence, financial astuteness and the realization that the common good must be served for the corruption to be tolerated. Iraland’s corruption is accompanied by incompetence, and its people are too satisfied with the over localism/parochialism of their government representatives.

      • DB4545

        I have to dissent on that last comment. If you read this site on a regular basis you’ll note people are far from satisfied. We are laid back but once a century we manage to do something radical and the clock is ticking.

  18. Those of us interested in the causes and reasons for separatism may be interested in the observations of Hugo Salinas Price as He suggests that fiat central bank money is the problem for all people. an “Independent ” country will be just as impoverished under a fiat money system as it was/is when attached to any other country by force or agreement.

    That is to say that independence for Scotland isno solution until it repeals its fiat money system

    • “Fiat money is toxic for the world. If the world insists on using fiat money, it is going to impoverish itself, and Independence for Scotland will be no remedy at all, quite as surely as if you get emphysema, you are doomed.” H.S.Price

  19. “If you destroy a free market you create a black market. If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.” … Winston Churchill

    I guess we are not quite at this stage yet but getting close.

  20. joe sod

    When Ireland spent the nineteenth century fighting against British imperialism and for its independance, where was Scotland? If Scotland’s desire for independance was so great why did it not look for it 100 years ago when Ireland did. Where was Scotland during the decades long Home Rule movement? the answer is there was no Scottish independance movement then it is really only at most 20 years old. Therefore i would say that the Scottish independance movement is not very deep. Scotland was embedded in the British imperial system then and had a big stake in the spoils of imperialism. Now Britain is no longer the great power it was and Scotland or many Scots now want out. The desire for independance is normally a burning unquenchable desire. This was the case for Ireland, the USA, Poland, the Balkans etc. Is it the case for Scotland?

  21. Why Did This Referendum Start ?

    Stand Up Mel Gibson You Are Accountable .

  22. Brave Hearts , Brave Souls , Brave Minds …..or is this just simply ….LUNACY

  23. Out of the mouths of babes or at least 12 year olds comes the truth

  24. Here is Ellen Brown with much the same comments about independence not being achieved if the shackles of the central banking system are not cast aside.

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