For fifteen hours, we hold sovereignty in our hands
September 17, 2014 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Polls will open in less than twelve hours for a referendum to end the 307-year Union between England and Scotland. With an unprecedented 97% voter registration, including hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17 year olds, there are predictions of turnout well over 80% across the country.

The polls have narrowed from an initial lead for the Better Together campaign averaging 22 points. After a sudden reversal that showed the Yes campaign overtaking No for the first time, there has been a frenzy of activity by Westminster politicians, including trips north by the three Westminster party leaders and pledges of more powers and preservation of the controversial Barnett formula. Rhetoric from both sides has grown increasingly passionate, with street rallies, debates, and even hillsides being co-opted into the struggle for Scotland's future.

With first returns expected around 3am on Friday morning and (barring multiple recounts) a result expected some time after 7am, there's one thing for certain. The nights are fair drawing in, and this will be a long one.
posted by Happy Dave (1073 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite
 
Good luck Scotland. There's a future there waiting to be written, whatever you decide.
posted by Thing at 2:01 PM on September 17, 2014 [20 favorites]


For those needing to catch up on the issue in an entertainingly way, Last Week Tonight has put their explanation of the election (15m) up on their YouTube channel.
posted by JHarris at 2:03 PM on September 17, 2014 [31 favorites]


The larger an organization, the more places for corruption and inefficiency. Its been clear for quite some time that the interests of the Scots are placed well behind those of money and power. I can't see any sane reason a Scot would want to stay in the union.
posted by MikeWarot at 2:04 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


For theories on how this decision may affect a beloved fantasy world, see this recent thread and the absolutely killer assessments by kyrademon.
posted by phunniemee at 2:08 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Good luck, Scotland. We're all counting on you.
posted by schmod at 2:09 PM on September 17, 2014 [38 favorites]


It feels like Christmas Eve here in Edinburgh. But one where one is not entirely sure if the mystery parcel contains what is hoped for. I met a tide of happy Yes supporters streaming down the Royal Mile to surround the media village at Holyrood. But the newspapers in the shops have headlines which make it seem like Salmond's cause must be in disarray.
posted by rongorongo at 2:09 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I walked along Princes Street in Edinburgh this evening, watching people from both sides standing in the street debating. My heart felt like it was going to burst. It's been an incredible thing to witness, this slow shift towards direct, participatory democracy and the genuine feeling that, maybe just this once, each of our individual votes will actually matter.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:10 PM on September 17, 2014 [53 favorites]


No Scotsman would vote yes.
posted by COBRA! at 2:10 PM on September 17, 2014 [18 favorites]


At least one hundred of you remain alive. Leave English rule behind!
posted by corb at 2:11 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The larger an organization, the more places for corruption and inefficiency.

My sense (of the US) is totally different. The federal government is bad, localities and state governments are a thousand times worse. I can't imagine what we'd do if the car salesmen and soon-to-be-indicted ex-mayors we send to state legislatures suddenly had armies to play with.

I can't see any sane reason a Scot would want to stay in the union.

I'm a skeptic here too. Scotland burns a ton of money creating an entire new governmental artifice out of scratch, and the payoff is they lose a ton of banks and tourism dollars while England gets to offload debt on them? England will probably keep the North Sea drilling rights too. I can't really see how this pays off for Scotland other than the obvious, universal human pleasure of sticking a thumb in England's eye.
posted by gerryblog at 2:11 PM on September 17, 2014 [34 favorites]


I'm trying to understand why I'm intensely interested and I think coming down on the "You go, Scotland!" side when I live in a country where a province has been trying to secede for yoinks. I suspect it's because it seems like the "Yes" campaign was orchestrated with everyone who lives in Scotland in mind, instead of deciding who was really a Scot and arguing over who could claim the nationality. So yeah, it feels like it was done with resorting to xenophobia.
posted by Kitteh at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


I am really fascinated to see how this plays out. I have a sinking feeling that if the answer is No, the UK is in for a couple decades of Canadian-style politics with separation being a constant bogeyman raised for a variety of reasons, and if it's Yes for Westminster to start being really arsy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


All this is giving me a great reason to pull out the old Big Country albums.
posted by dnash at 2:14 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Between this and the potential of Catalan secession I am very delighted indeed.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've been having flashbacks to Quebec in 1995.

Looks like it might be as close in Scotland, too.
posted by yellowcandy at 2:16 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Good Luck Scotland!

It's a good thing I'm not voting in this, as the very real complexities of the choice would be overwhelmed by the chance to send Cameron a great big "Fuck You".
posted by benito.strauss at 2:16 PM on September 17, 2014 [22 favorites]


COBRA!, surely you mean no true Scotsman.
posted by clawsoon at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2014 [23 favorites]


"The larger an organization, the more places for corruption and inefficiency. Its been clear for quite some time that the interests of the Scots are placed well behind those of money and power. I can't see any sane reason a Scot would want to stay in the union."

The larger an organization, the more ability it has to ameliorate inequality and provide justice. Yours is an extreme anti-federalist view, and seems to ignore a lot of practical considerations.
posted by klangklangston at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2014 [20 favorites]


dnash, we've just had an official Yes! car driving around the neighbourhood .. playing Big Country (I'm in Glasgow). I kid you not.
posted by kariebookish at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


thank you, clawsoon
posted by COBRA! at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


"I've got to get out of here..."
posted by Rhaomi at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


If it's yes, they'll hold the vote again due to 'irregularities' or hanging chad type stuff.
posted by colie at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2014




I've read a few articles on this, and one thing I'm still not clear on is: What happens with a victory for YES?

I mean, I guess I have two questions:

1. Will there be legal challenges to the referendum? Has it already determined to be constitutional (whatever that might mean in the UK)? Is it clear that Scotland has the legal right to secede from the union on the basis of a referendum?

2. Assuming that independence actually goes ahead, what would the process and timeline look like? I'm assuming that Scots won't wake up on the 19th in a self-governing Scotland, regardless. It seems like it would take years (or decades) to untangle all the legislative, administrative, financial, military, etc from one another.
posted by 256 at 2:18 PM on September 17, 2014


I'm with John Adams
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


What will the BBC do if it turns out that the Doctor is now played by a FOREIGNER?
posted by tzikeh at 2:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [31 favorites]


I am so excited for this election. Someone put it very well recently, wish I remember where:

No matter the outcome, this proves that political change can come through the ballot box not guns.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:20 PM on September 17, 2014 [19 favorites]


I could be so wrong, but this feels like a moment when "Yes" is poised to dominate, despite the polls we're seeing.
posted by cell divide at 2:21 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


So won't a UK without Scotland be much more conservative than it is now? If I were a lefty in the UK, I'd probably want them to stick around and not leave me stuck living with a huge right-wing majority.
posted by octothorpe at 2:21 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


There is so much naivety around this vote. Krugman is absolutely right about the economics, they are walking into southern Eurozone kinds of problems with a yes vote. Also, I happen to know through a very good friend very very close to this level of government that Salmond is a truly unpleasant man and the Whitehall mandarins on the other side who dealt with this were idiots.

Also,

FREE SHETLAND!
posted by C.A.S. at 2:21 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]






So won't a UK without Scotland be much more conservative than it is now?

Is Scotland more to the left than the rest of the UK?
posted by corb at 2:23 PM on September 17, 2014


I'm in favor of Yes, though only from an abstract perspective and a Scots ancestry thing.

I know there are some very real practical concerns.

Regardless, I am proud for Scotland and hopeful that everything turns out for the best.
posted by Foosnark at 2:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


The larger an organization, the more ability it has to ameliorate inequality and provide justice.

If that were true, why is it that most of the best-functioning social-democratic welfare states all seem to be relatively small and low-population states like the Nordics and New Zealand?
posted by strangely stunted trees at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Thinking of my favorite quote from "Trainspotting":

"It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by effete arseholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!"
posted by Melismata at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2014 [24 favorites]


The remainder of the UK (rUK) would become more right-wing; Scotland is traditionally more left-wing.
posted by kariebookish at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2014


1. Will there be legal challenges to the referendum? Has it already determined to be constitutional (whatever that might mean in the UK)? Is it clear that Scotland has the legal right to secede from the union on the basis of a referendum?

Yes. It has all been agreed. For all the shit that Westminster (often justly) gets, it has agreed that Scotland has the democratic right to secede.
posted by Thing at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


256: "1. Will there be legal challenges to the referendum? Has it already determined to be constitutional (whatever that might mean in the UK)? Is it clear that Scotland has the legal right to secede from the union on the basis of a referendum?

Yes, it's being held after the Edinburgh Agreement and resultant legislation in both Scotland and the UK as a whole. It's a consensual referendum with both parties bound to a clear result, which is 51% or more.

2. Assuming that independence actually goes ahead, what would the process and timeline look like? I'm assuming that Scots won't wake up on the 19th in a self-governing Scotland, regardless. It seems like it would take years (or decades) to untangle all the legislative, administrative, financial, military, etc from one another."

It's expected to be take about two years, maybe more, maybe less. The Scottish Government has set a date for independence of sometime in 2016. The speed and efficacy of this will really, really depend on how close the vote is and what happens at the 2015 general election. Charlie Stross's post about the Scottish political singularity is a good guide to how many moving parts could influence all of this.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:25 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I can say Saskatchewan without starting to stutter.
posted by Killick at 2:30 PM on September 17, 2014 [12 favorites]


This year has seen one definite change to the global map: a new state of India (Telangana state, created from parts of Andhra Pradesh state). I would be kind of thrilled to see an international one, too.
posted by troika at 2:31 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


this slow shift towards direct, participatory democracy

From way over here it looks more like one brief moment of something resembling direct democracy. If you're among those expecting anything so radical as genuine literal democracy (if that's even possible in a country of millions) to be the permanent result of independence, I think you're expecting too much. Although I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
posted by sfenders at 2:35 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thinking of my favorite quote from "Trainspotting":

Irvine Welsh writing about the independence debate last week: "When I think back to how the Scottish independence debate has evolved in terms of my personal journey, I can see it in three distinct phases. The first was best expressed by the bitter and ugly sentiment “its all the English’s fault.”...

As the 1980’s wore on, I noted how things started to change in Scotland; there was a growing realisation that the problem wasn’t the English, it was our own stupid selves. Whatever our circumstances, they were only existent because we tolerated them. This was what I regard as ‘phase two’ on the evolutionary scale of the Scottish Independence debate. It was progress, for sure, but the downside of it was the self-hating element, which the character Renton identifies with in Trainspotting. Ultimately self-loathing is no more edifying than the scapegoating of others, but in order to make headway it’s probably essential to face up to your own shortcomings, no matter how painful....

As the 1980’s wore on, I noted how things started to change in Scotland; there was a growing realisation that the problem wasn’t the English, it was our own stupid selves. Whatever our circumstances, they were only existent because we tolerated them. This was what I regard as ‘phase two’ on the evolutionary scale of the Scottish Independence debate. It was progress, for sure, but the downside of it was the self-hating element, which the character Renton identifies with in Trainspotting. Ultimately self-loathing is no more edifying than the scapegoating of others, but in order to make headway it’s probably essential to face up to your own shortcomings, no matter how painful."
posted by dng at 2:35 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Salmond is a truly unpleasant man

Salmond's not on the ballot. Neither are the SNP. This is not an election.
posted by IanMorr at 2:36 PM on September 17, 2014 [28 favorites]


I believe in the United Kingdom: in the European Union: and in the United Nations come to that. I hope Scotland votes No. I hope that together is better than apart.

I fear it will vote no, but by a tiny margin, and this is only the start of a long, horrible, bitter process.
posted by alasdair at 2:36 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've stated my opinion on this on other threads and may state it again here at some point. But I wanted to start by saying this:

Registration has been something like 97% of eligible voters. Turnout is expected to be extremely high. Pretty much everyone in the country, on both sides, has been discussing this for weeks. At dinner, over the internet, in the pubs, in the streets. Nearly everyone is engaged, involved, has an opinion, has been debating the issues, has been thinking.

Whatever the result, this is a moment of real democracy in action, and that's something beautiful to see.
posted by kyrademon at 2:38 PM on September 17, 2014 [94 favorites]


sfenders: "From way over here it looks more like one brief moment of something resembling direct democracy. If you're among those expecting anything so radical as genuine literal democracy (if that's even possible in a country of millions) to be the permanent result of independence, I think you're expecting too much. Although I'd be happy to be proven wrong."

Well, I'm not expecting a big Aye/Naw button to be installed in every Scottish house. But I am expecting the two solid years of public meetings, discussions and writing by hundreds of thousands of people to translate into something different from the PR-managed, shiny-suited Westminster status quo.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


It would be exciting to vote in such a consequential election.
posted by Area Man at 2:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


As a Texan of the liberal persuasion, I am well aware of the prospect of oil money not being the cure-all certain politicians think it might be, and the possibility that secession might make things worse instead of better. Having said that, in my heart of hearts, I find that I hope for an independent (and successful) Scotland, if only because all the Scots music I love predisposes me that way.
posted by immlass at 2:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I fear a close vote will be damaging, whichever way it drops.
posted by Segundus at 2:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Whatever happens it is a serious shot across the bows of a complacent London establishment.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


I might as well share the Scottish Composers playlist I've been listening to all week and tonight's more Scottish rock-oriented playlist.
posted by mountmccabe at 2:43 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


fwiw, Ed Miliband's brother posted some truly brilliant analysis earlier today...
posted by effbot at 2:43 PM on September 17, 2014


Good luck, Scotland, but remember, you don't have a currency. Here, let me say it a different way:

You don't have a currency.
You don't have a currency.
You don't have a currency.

The English will hang you with the pound sterling. Keep in mind that you'll be negotiating after you told them to fuck right the hell off.

What's your other choice? The Euro? You just voted for independence -- now you're going to get in line behind the French, the Germans and the Dutch?

Hell, the Irish will be in a better place than you.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:44 PM on September 17, 2014 [17 favorites]


I'm away tae my bed. I'm expecting queues at the polling place across the road from me when it opens at 7am, so I need my democratically engaged beauty-sleep.

See you at the polls, fellow Scots.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:45 PM on September 17, 2014 [13 favorites]


This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I've discussed every issue pertinent to the independence debate with friends, neighbours and total strangers. I've enjoyed some of the most eloquent journalistic pieces and heard deeply personal stories told with passion and honesty. I've campaigned on and off-line and have done what I can to help others answer their questions and allay their fears. Right across Scotland ordinary people have been doing the same and much more. This wee country is ALIVE right now. What has been genuinely frightening is the gradual dropping of the British establishment's veil, a facade that disappeared fully when the first poll to show the Yes vote in the lead was announced. Every major politician left London to suddenly offer us more devolved powers if we voted No, banks and big businesses ramped up their warnings and threats overnight, every major institution predicted catastrophe, financial ruin and disaster. Even the Queen orchestrated the release of her not-so-neutral opinion. Yet in the face of this roar, we've held fast and realised the fear is all on their side, not ours. Yet fear will decide this vote and I'm afraid the majority of my countrymen and women may well decide that it simply isn't worth the risk to try to change things. They'll keep the nuclear weapons that cost billions, they'll keep funding idiotic foreign wars, they'll watch the NHS become privatised, they'll let Westminster squander our natural resources...because the unknown is scary and the recession has crippled us far enough. I'll be voting Yes though, tomorrow will be a great day just because the people will be speaking in their millions and that alone should worry the 1%. The genie is out of the bottle now and, I may be wrong, but there's something in the air, something that might just shock the world when the votes are finally tallied.
posted by Caskeum at 2:47 PM on September 17, 2014 [81 favorites]


Good luck, Scotland. We're all counting on you.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:50 PM on September 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


I feel like the guy at the Superbowl party who's never seen a football game. Which side should I be pulling for? Who has the cooler jerseys? Oh look, three cheese queso!
posted by echocollate at 2:50 PM on September 17, 2014 [35 favorites]


The Globe and Mail had a great editorial wherein they point out that the English bits of Canada were largely built by Scots...

"The first European to cross the continent and reach our Pacific coast was Alexander Mackenzie – a Scot. Our first prime minister and chief Father of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald? Scottish. So too our second PM. Our country’s national dream, a railroad from sea to sea, was realized in 1885 when Sir Donald Smith, head of the Canadian Pacific Railway, drove The Last Spike at Craigellachie – a place named after a village in his homeland. The man who did the most to create Canada’s system of universal public health care, and chosen as “The Greatest Canadian” in a national survey of CBC viewers, was Tommy Douglas. He was born in Falkirk.

At any rate, there are lots of other options besides total separation, primarily an improved UK federal structure. Let each country take over specific responsibilities, give the "provinces" their own ability to raise taxes, etc. There's no reason the UK couldn't be Canada with England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland as coordinated but semi-autonomous provinces. That said, I'm not sure if provincial governments serve any useful purpose in Canada any more.

Which brings me to me main opinion on the matter (in so far as it matters as a non-Scot): I simply can't see why the world needs more duplicated government function. Scotland might not be Westminster's #1 priority all the time, but an entire duplicate governmental system is basically a make-work project for bureaucrats. It may not be a more perfect union, but being a tiny country in the modern world isn't exactly a picnic.

Anyway, good luck to all Scots. Nemo me impune lacessit.
posted by GuyZero at 2:51 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Good luck, Scotland, but remember, you don't have a currency. Here, let me say it a different way:

You don't have a currency.
You don't have a currency.
You don't have a currency.

The English will hang you with the pound sterling. Keep in mind that you'll be negotiating after you told them to fuck right the hell off.


After next year's election they'll quite possibly be negotiating with a government that is only in power through Scottish held seats, though, which will put them in quite a strong negotiating position.

(In my opinion the next general election should really be held next month if Scotland vote yes, but it won't be - and can't be because of the stupid and nonsensical fixed-term system the current government brought in a couple of years ago. Which will also lead to problems in two years time when/if Scotland leave and take all their MPs with them)
posted by dng at 2:51 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Whatever the outcome, I find myself ashamed to be English.

For the way that the combined English establishment have relentlessly bullied Scots with a negative "you will struggle to survive without me" rhetoric, as a dominating and abusive partner does to his partner who wants to leave him.

For the way the main political parties in Westminster did not care about the vote, or Scots, or Scotland, and thought they had it in the bag, until the last few weeks when the polls narrowed. Then, and only then, came the dash to Scotland, the promises and the pledges. Why now? And not at any time before?

For the anti-Scottish rhetoric, often well into the realms of racism, I've had the misfortune to hear in pubs and bars and cafes, in England, over the last few weeks.

For some - not all, but certainly some - of my liberal colleagues on social media who suddenly turned out to be not so liberal, not so tolerant, and with a colonial, looking-down-on-the-Scots attitude somewhat reminiscent of Empire times.

For the repeated statements from all of the above that a nation of less than six million cannot rule itself competently. When nations such as nearby Denmark - also northern European, with a similar population, and also having one land border to the south with a much larger country with a history of aggression, seem to be doing just fine.

I hope Scotland vote yes. And if it is a narrow vote for No, then the process towards independence does not stop.

Scotland is a country.

My personal future is emigration out of England and citizenship elsewhere. I look forward to the day when I am no longer English, nor a citizen of the false and enforced unions of "Britain" and the "UK", and those particular labels no longer appear on maps of the world.
posted by Wordshore at 2:51 PM on September 17, 2014 [60 favorites]


It's a good thing I'm not voting in this, as the very real complexities of the choice would be overwhelmed by the chance to send Cameron a great big "Fuck You".

Or a posthumous one to Margaret Thatcher, whose grave is still being danced over.

Charlie Stross's post about the Scottish political singularity is a good guide to how many moving parts could influence all of this.

Since then he has cast his vote, by post, as Yes—to say "fuck you" to the Westphalian system (and alien invaders).
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:52 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Keep in mind that you'll be negotiating after you told them to fuck right the hell off.

No, that's not what a YES vote means at all. This isn't a divorce. It's one roommate moving out on his own, but to the apartment next door. They can and will still be friends.

The union was initiated 307 years ago without and against the will of the people. There was no referendum, just an act of parliament mainly designed to protect the fortunes of the super-rich facing bankruptcy from the failed Darien Scheme.
This time it's the peoples choice. No matter the result it's a proud moment for this Scot.
posted by rocket88 at 2:53 PM on September 17, 2014 [23 favorites]


I hope the United Kingdom continues to be United, though as a foreigner whose ancestors left Britain a very long time ago that hardly matters much. But I can already see the terrible, lazy history writing if Scotland secedes - capping the downward arc of Empire, etc etc (which is, of course, the most persuasive argument for "No" of all).
posted by Palindromedary at 2:54 PM on September 17, 2014


It's one roommate moving out on his own, but to the apartment next door.

Yes, but only one roommate kept the checkbook...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:54 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


After next year's election they'll quite possibly be negotiating with a government that is only in power through Scottish held seats, though, which will put them in quite a strong negotiating position.

Watch carefully as the negotiation process will be drawn out to a point where the Scottish-held seats won't mean anything.

It's really very easy to negotiate with a lame duck.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:56 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


(In my opinion the next general election should really be held next month if Scotland vote yes, but it won't be - and can't be because of the stupid and nonsensical fixed-term system the current government brought in a couple of years ago. Which will also lead to problems in two years time when/if Scotland leave and take all their MPs with them)

I agree that it should be - and it can be: either through a vote of no confidence in the UK government, which shouldn't take much doing once the recriminations start, or through a 2/3 vote of parliament deciding they want to go to the polls early, as provided for in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
posted by rory at 2:56 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Good luck, Scotland, but remember, you don't have a currency.

Bank of Scotland and Scottish Pound act of 2016. TA-DAH!

Right now they don't have a sovereign currency because they are not a sovereign country. They will almost certainly introduce one. Initially, it'll be tied to the UK Pound to allow Scots to exchange notes and to send those notes back to England, but then it will float, and then they will have a currency. Just like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE GODDAMN WORLD (except the eurozone.)

The idea that this is a problem is just silly. It's pure FUD.

Pure FUD #2 is all the banks will leave for London. Newsflash! The chairman of RBS has already admitted that *they already did.* But when the Bank of Scotland is founded and issues currency, they will be seen as a place that you can make money at.

I agree that trying to stay with the UK Pound, or join the Euro are both bad ideas. But they are *not* the total set of possibilities.

The thing I don't get is why the Tories aren't full bore pushing this. I know why Labour is shitting itself over the idea of Scottish independence, and that the, what, 47 Labour seats that leave the UK Parliament forever?

But the Tories? Scots leave, call election, tell Lib Dems to go to hell, do whatever they want.
posted by eriko at 2:57 PM on September 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


No, that's not what a YES vote means at all. This isn't a divorce. It's one roommate moving out on his own, but to the apartment next door. They can and will still be friends.

I live in southern England - right in the heart of Tory country for my sins - and that's unfortunately not how a lot of my neighbours feel. They absolutely see it as a divorce, and are damned sure to make it as acrimonious as possible. Whichever way this goes, we're all in for a slog.

Bless this little island. We need all the help we can get tomorrow.
posted by generichuman at 2:57 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am Danish but am living in Scotland. When I arrived in Scotland, I was shocked by the poverty - real, damn, desperate poverty - I saw here. I come from a small country with a bit of oil, a bit of renewable energy, no large-scale tourism but a solid farming industry and some knowledge technology .. and Denmark's doing pretty well. So, I began looking around and realising that Scotland should be doing as well as Denmark (and possibly better given the heritage tourism and the blooming whiskey and the potential renewables goldmine, not to mention the oil) but really isn't. "Follow the money," I was taught in school.

And tomorrow I am voting Yes to give this adopted homeland of mine a fighting chance.

And I haven't even scratched the surface here.
posted by kariebookish at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2014 [115 favorites]


So won't a UK without Scotland be much more conservative than it is now? If I were a lefty in the UK, I'd probably want them to stick around and not leave me stuck living with a huge right-wing majority.

yes, that's the argument put forward in this breathtakingly irritating article here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/09/15/the_moral_tragedy_of_scottish_independence_referendum
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2014


Yes, but only one roommate kept the checkbook...

yes, but the other has the haggis!

hmm ... wait ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Has there been any positive outpouring from the rest of the UK for the 'No' side? I remember going to a big rally in Montreal in '95 just ahead of the Quebec referendum along with a few hundred thousand other non-Quebecers to basically demonstrate that I really like Quebec as a part of Canada. Has their been rallies in Glasgow (or where ever) as a sign of positive support?
posted by GuyZero at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


It seems like establishing their own currency would be a top priority. Greece has shown us what it means to be a little fish in the big Euro pond, and relying on the currency of a strong rival seems like a bad move, for all those reasons and more besides. Issuing a new national currency will give the new country the financial agility to get on their feet.
posted by rustcrumb at 3:00 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


You don't have a currency.

That's right, I need to stock up on goats in case I need to buy something on Friday morning...Scotland has a currency, Sterling. Scotland will continue to use that currency post independence either, when common sense prevails, in a currency union, or without one. It's a fully tradeable currency, it's not like we need permission.
posted by IanMorr at 3:01 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


There was a rally in Trafalgar Square in London. It came across as rather tone-deaf.
posted by kariebookish at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Good luck, Scotland. We're all counting on you.

You should have posted that after the vote. </leslienielsen>
posted by JHarris at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here's to hoping Texas finally mans up and tries to follow suit...
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:03 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whatever the outcome, I find myself ashamed to be English.

For the way that the combined English establishment have relentlessly bullied Scots with a negative "you will struggle to survive without me" rhetoric, as a dominating and abusive partner does to his partner who wants to leave him.


They don't call themselves that, and they don't consider themselves that. They say they're "British", and some of them positively resist the idea of being English. It's Britain that is the disease. From as early as the 1500s the elites began to call themselves "British" to justify what they had done and were doing. Kill Britain and we will be much better off.
posted by Thing at 3:04 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


re: Leslie Nielsen tag

nah, they were just setting it up to say it again once or twice during the election. And then once again afterwards!
posted by Earthtopus at 3:04 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Issuing a new national currency will give the new country the financial agility to get on their feet.

Which is the easy answer. The more complicated point, though, is that it'll be a fiat currency, backed only by faith in the issuer. And this will be an issuer that will be involved in years-long negotiation over any number of issues.

So you're China, looking to buy bonds. You want bullet-proof security. What will you choose? Scotland? Or the plain-jane U.S. dollar? In order for Scottish bonds to be tasty morsels, they'll need to offer insane interest rates. Insane interest rates leads to ... insanity.

The Scottish are playing with fire here.

Scotland has a currency, Sterling. Scotland will continue to use that currency post independence either, when common sense prevails, in a currency union, or without one. It's a fully tradeable currency, it's not like we need permission.

You don't need permission, but all it would take is an English pen stroke to ruin the Scottish economy. You'll have a sword of sterling over your head. So, how about we talk about those submarine bases, eh?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


Issuing a new national currency will give the new country the financial agility to get on their feet.

It's a fully tradeable currency, it's not like we need permission.

Lacking the ability to have a managed central bank makes it really, really tough to run a small country. That's what sunk Greece. Without being to set interest rates or attempt to control exchange rates and independent Scotland will have a tough time.
posted by GuyZero at 3:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


You don't have a currency.

excuse you they have galleons, sickles, and knuts
posted by poffin boffin at 3:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [21 favorites]


I come from a small country with a bit of oil, a bit of renewable energy, no large-scale tourism but a solid farming industry and some knowledge technology .. and Denmark's doing pretty well.

This is the comparison that occurred to me recently as well. I've spent a lot of time in Scotland and have friends there, and it always seems to that it belongs in a union with England about as much as Denmark belongs in a union with Germany. After 300 years it's still its own place, with a completely different energy to anywhere south of the border.

In terms of both its economic potential and its native character, there's no reason it shouldn't have as high a happiness index as Denmark, unless that reason is union with England.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is there a way for the "No"s to win but still stick Cameron with a vote of no confidence?
posted by Navelgazer at 3:09 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


So without a lender of last resort our banks couldn't borrow on the cheap and get themselves into a massive debt crisis? How would that be a huge problem?
posted by IanMorr at 3:09 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Except Denmark has a much higher per-capita GDP than Scotland. Scotland seems poor kinda because it is. Maybe. All I know is that there's been a huge amount of debate which way the net flow of money between Scotland and the rest of the UK goes. Some reports say Scotland is being net subsidized, some say the opposite. A no vote is kind of a severe way to resolve this question.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The last polls today have been:

Yes 48%, No 52% - Panelbase
Yes 49%, No 51% - Ipsos MORI
Yes 48%, No 52% - YouGov
Yes 47%, No 53% - Survation
posted by Thing at 3:11 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


the prospect of oil money not being the cure-all certain politicians think it might be

Yes. Tax revenues on a market that fluctuates wildly, making it harder to predict budgets. Proclaiming that you've got a good working, independent economy without acknowledging the increasing tax revenues placed on production, much like Alaska, which taxes up to 75% and affects further development. The large scale ripple effect of the boom- bust cycle. Anyone whose lived in one of the oil revenue dependent states knows what a slippery, slippery beast it is. And this is at a time of STRONGLY declining North Sea production.

I wish Scotland luck in their bid for independence. But I'd feel a lot better about their long term prospects if a partial oil revenue based economy wasn't a large part of it. On the other hand, would they be able to even bring it to the table without that? I don't know. They've been through the effects of running out of a natural resource with coal mining, so surely it's been part of the discussion. Still, it's worrisome.
posted by barchan at 3:12 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


How exactly could the English manipulate the Pound to fuck over the Scots without shooting themselves in the foot, and completely undermining international confidence in their banking system?
posted by schmod at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Shetlands suggest they could try and split from an independant Scotland - that would certainly shake things up some more!
posted by the agents of KAOS at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Except Denmark has a much higher per-capita GDP than Scotland.

Has, present tense. As a constituent part of the UK, with all that that implies. I'm not talking about the present case.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2014


So without a lender of last resort our banks couldn't borrow on the cheap and get themselves into a massive debt crisis? How would that be a huge problem?

Greece's problem was that they couldn't just print their way out of the problem by devaluing their currency which is what would have happened without the Euro. Having a sovereign currency is a really big deal. Why has Canada not adopted the US dollar for the last hundred years? It's not just because we like colourful bills.
posted by GuyZero at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I fear it will vote no, but by a tiny margin, and this is only the start of a long, horrible, bitter process.

As shown in Quebec, a failed referendum just means that it's time for another referendum. If the "no" side wins tomorrow, what's to stop the Parti Écossais from doing this over and over?

Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:16 PM on September 17, 2014


Has, present tense. As a member of the UK, with all that that implies. I'm not talking about the present case.

I'm not sure how Scotland's per-capita GPD changes post-separation. I'm just looking at the numbers in Wikipedia which I assume are more-or-less accurate. Those numbers are Scotland-only, not UK average. How would the economic fundamentals of Scotland change if they were independent? (I mean, there could be a million ways, but what ones are you thinking of?)
posted by GuyZero at 3:18 PM on September 17, 2014


In the very probable absence of this service from the BBC - and since there are some good options - here are some songs for those voting, or planning on voting YES:
Declare Independence: Bjork - She actually wrote this for the Faroe Islands - but it seems seems ok here. Don't let them do that to you!
Cap In Hand - The Proclaimers. As quoted above. Written a good generation ago but still sounding contemporary. They promise not to play it again if Scotland wins - so no-voters could consider that.
Caledonia: Dougie Maclean. "I don't know if you can see, the changes coming over me...."
The Voice: John Farnham.
The Tempest: Real McKenzies
posted by rongorongo at 3:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


If the "no" side wins tomorrow, what's to stop the Parti Écossais from doing this over and over?

Well, this time it took someone as cocky as David Cameron to believe that just holding the vote would be enough to shush them.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


With self-determination they would be free to pursue any economic course they chose. I truly don't know. But I don't believe its present GDP measurement is particularly meaningful long term after independence.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2014


rongorongo: She actually wrote this for the Faroe Islands

Björk dedicated the song to Scotland this morning.
posted by Kattullus at 3:22 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why has Canada not adopted the US dollar for the last hundred years? It's not just because we like colourful bills.

Truth told, Canadian money is far better than American Money.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


After next year's election they'll quite possibly be negotiating with a government that is only in power through Scottish held seats, though, which will put them in quite a strong negotiating position.

That doesn't follow. Constituencies that are about to disappear would have essentially no leverage over Westminster at all; there's nobody you can threaten not to re-elect.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:23 PM on September 17, 2014


IanMorr: So without a lender of last resort our banks couldn't borrow on the cheap and get themselves into a massive debt crisis? How would that be a huge problem?

No, without the Bank of England being a lender of last resort your (our, since I'm Scottish) borrowing rates will be sky fucking high. The idea of running a country's finances without a lender of last resort is nuts, not to mention impossible. And if Scotland's lender of last resort is the BoE, then Scotland's economic future is going to be determined by the Bank of England's policies. I don't think that's the independence that Salmond keeps banging on about, even though he knows what the reality of Scotland using Sterling would really mean.

Panama used (uses? forgive my ignorance) the US dollar as their currency; this never gave them a seat at the Fed to decide monetary and fiscal policy. Why Scotland and Sterling would be any different is anyone's guess.
posted by Len at 3:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


I remember going to a big rally in Montreal in '95 just ahead of the Quebec referendum along with a few hundred thousand other non-Quebecers to basically demonstrate that I really like Quebec as a part of Canada.

For what it's worth, that was at best controversial and at worst actively detrimental (illegal campaign funding) to the cause. So it might not have been that useful in Scotland either.

I was there too, though. <waves at you through the time machine>
posted by jeather at 3:26 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Except Denmark has a much higher per-capita GDP than Scotland.

Actually I should have challenged this. Where are you getting your figures from? Scottish government figures claim Scotland's is higher if north sea oil revenues are included, and rather lower, near that of Japan or Italy, if they aren't.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:27 PM on September 17, 2014


Where are you getting your figures from?

Wikipedia as I am lazy and not a real economist.
posted by GuyZero at 3:28 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Right now they don't have a sovereign currency because they are not a sovereign country. They will almost certainly introduce one. Initially, it'll be tied to the UK Pound to allow Scots to exchange notes and to send those notes back to England, but then it will float, and then they will have a currency. Just like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE GODDAMN WORLD (except the eurozone.)

This sounds like an excellent plan if you want to be fucked over by George Soros or the like.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:29 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


As much as Stross' blog on the topic convinced me of the deeply held disagreements and bad blood, I find myself ambivalent at best.

Texas keeps making vague secession noises and I know that if it ever did secede I'd flee across the border into the USA as quickly as possible. Because I am something of the opposite of a localist. I find that, from my US perspective, localism tends to produce more corruption, and worse bigotry encoded into law.

The USA only ended institutionalized racism of a near South African level because governments outside the South forced it on the South, at literal gunpoint. One of the reasons the arc of the universe bends towards justice is that the petty bigotries of some regions are ground out by other regions that don't share that bigotry (or at least not as much).

So I'm not a localist. I can see why the yes people are voting yes, and if I were a Scot I'd be tempted to vote yes myself if for no other reason than as an upraised middle finger to Cameron and the ghost of Thatcher. But I find the trend towards localism in general disturbing.

And I fear that if it ever catches on I'll have to flee Texas, because there is absolutely no way I could live safely in the Nation of Texas.
posted by sotonohito at 3:29 PM on September 17, 2014 [13 favorites]


As tweeted by Greg Hemphill:

The door's open, the bags are packed, Westminister is sitting there in a string vest, mumbling drunken promises. Don't look back Scotland.
posted by Wordshore at 3:32 PM on September 17, 2014 [13 favorites]


klangklangston: ""The larger an organization, the more ability it has to ameliorate inequality and provide justice. Yours is an extreme anti-federalist view, and seems to ignore a lot of practical considerations."

Ability and will are two very different things. I might be ABLE to walk a mile, but my WILL is not to do so.

On the other hand, the WILL of the Scottish people, currently, seems to be towards ameliorating the effects of Capitalism and push for more security for their people collectively, while the WILL of No.10 and London City and all those ne'er-do-wells seems to be precisely the opposite, AND not only do they have the WILL they have the ABILITY.

So sure, ability is nice if the will is there, but it also cuts both ways, and the will to do evil with that ability is what concerns me as an outsider and I feel concerns many others.

Conversely, the ability of the Scottish people, of course, can be questioned in terms of being able to fulfill their will, but it's not as though Scottish is completely ass broke; a third world nation. They are a fully industrialized country. Is their potential damage what with the whole threat of losing the pound, etc... Possibly, but again - that's more bullying. Why can't the Scots choose their destiny instead of feeling pressured with threats to stay in a union they'd rather not be in, so long as they aren't using it as an excuse to be assholes (i.e. slavery).
posted by symbioid at 3:32 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


In terms of both its economic potential and its native character, there's no reason it shouldn't have as high a happiness index as Denmark, unless that reason is union with England.

On trying to find out what a happiness index might be, I notice that the first one that comes up on google search is the Happy Planet Index, by which Denmark is not ranked highly in the world happiness charts. While the UN one has it very happy. Anyway. Do you see some particular reason why, say, Estonia shouldn't inherently be capable of as much happiness and prosperity as is Denmark? The nature and causes of the wealth of nations can be difficult to discern.
posted by sfenders at 3:32 PM on September 17, 2014


Nick Sutton's got the front pages of the papers on Twitter. Heavy on the Burns, loads of flags. Telepgraph has the best one I reckon.
posted by IanMorr at 3:33 PM on September 17, 2014


I'm British/English. Emotionally, I can see the appeal for the Scots. Salmond is a really excellent politician, even if he seems to have spent as much time running against David Cameron as he has for independence. Plus, the 'No' campaign has been pretty shambolic.

Practically, I think it's not a good idea at all. The currency problem is a big one and the 'Yes' campaign hasn't got a good solution (there will not be a currency union). The Spanish will play rough to prevent Scotland joining the EU because they want to deter the Catalans from trying the same thing. Plus... the UK is weaker than it once was, but it's still a nation with a voice on the world stage. There's the security council seat, there's a big stack of military hardware, there's a strong tradition of diplomacy. Scotland goes from one part of a small nation whose opinion matters to all of a tiny nation which can be ignored by everyone.
posted by Urtylug at 3:34 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also on the ballot, a less polarizing measure to look at the size of that boy's head which is expected to pass easily.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:35 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's one roommate moving out on his own, but to the apartment next door.
Yes, but only one roommate kept the checkbook...


True - but not necessarily the one you might think.
posted by rongorongo at 3:36 PM on September 17, 2014


> "If the 'no' side wins tomorrow, what's to stop the Parti Écossais from doing this over and over?"

As far as I know, there's no mechanism in place for them to do so.

This referendum is occurring because of a one-off deal called "The Edinburgh Agreement". To hold another referendum that was binding, another such agreement would have to be negotiated. While this is possible, it's not going to happen immediately in the wake of this one.
posted by kyrademon at 3:37 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


For everyone shouting about Scotland not having a currency, history can be a good guide.

When Ireland departed from the UK in the 20th century, it had a new currency. Called the Pound. It was, of course, the Irish Pound, rather than the English pound, but it was held pegged at the English Pound Sterling for quite a while, and then allowed to float. And later Ireland joined the EU.

As far as I'm concerned, Ireland's departure from the UK is a good historical lesson: there was a lot of turbulence, but Ireland as a polity and as a nation has not become a basket case, crawling on hands and knees back to London and begging for readmission.

If I had a vote, I'd vote yes.
posted by chimaera at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [23 favorites]


I live in Angus, which is traditionally a real SNP heartland. Earlier tonight I was speaking to a Better Together campaigner who has been out knocking doors and speaking to people and roughly 65% of the voters whose doors he's knocked on (according to him) said they're going to be voting No. Given that, I'm fascinated to see what the final tally ends up being.
posted by Len at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2014


Is it too early to start wearing a Democratic Republic of Wales 2016 button?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jacque Parizeau, Quebec sovereignty leader and economist, argued that for a small state (like Quebec, or Scotland) to try to create a new currency would be financial suicide, since (as one more dead town's last parade said), it would be quickly cornered and crushed by the George Soros types. He said that an independent Quebec would have to stick with the Canadian currency (or use the US currency) for that reason.

On the other hand, not being able to denominate debts in your own currency takes away the option to a) gently devalue your debts at your pace, and b) encourage manufacturing by pushing the currency down, as rustcrumb and others have pointed out was a problem for Greece.

It's quite a difficult dilemma.
posted by clawsoon at 3:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, this time it took someone as cocky as David Cameron to believe that just holding the vote would be enough to shush them.

Yeah, I can't see any future UK governments agreeing to another referendum, after what is likely to be a near-miss with this one. I'm guessing probably not quite as near as the current polls, but still enough to scare them.

Which if I were Scottish and wavering, might be the thing that might push me to vote Yes. The promises for more devolution are fairly obviously vapor and lies, and there's a nasty potential path where a future marginal Conservative government buys an UKIP alliance with promises of stripping away the existing devolved Scottish parliament and a referendum to take the UK out of EU.
posted by tavella at 3:41 PM on September 17, 2014


Earlier tonight I was speaking to a Better Together campaigner who has been out knocking doors and speaking to people and roughly 65% of the voters whose doors he's knocked on (according to him) said they're going to be voting No.

That might be good news for people with Unionist sympathies, though the cynic in me says that maybe those people told him that to get him off of their porch.
posted by dhens at 3:42 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


While this is possible, it's not going to happen immediately in the wake of this one.

Of course not. The two Quebec referenda were 15 years apart, and if the Parti Québécois had not been routed this year, there probably would have been another one 20 years after the second. But if the "no" side wins, especially if it just barely does, this will remain an election issue for decades.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:42 PM on September 17, 2014


When Ireland departed from the UK in the 20th century, it had a new currency. Called the Pound. It was, of course, the Irish Pound, rather than the English pound, but it was held pegged at the English Pound Sterling for quite a while, and then allowed to float. And later Ireland joined the EU.

As far as I'm concerned, Ireland's departure from the UK is a good historical lesson: there was a lot of turbulence, but Ireland as a polity and as a nation has not become a basket case, crawling on hands and knees back to London and begging for readmission.


The Irish economy was a wreck for years. Decades even. You can hardly throw a stone in England and not hit somebody who had to leave Ireland because they had no economic future. Now, Scotland won't become that for a number of reasons, but Ireland is really a bad example.
posted by Thing at 3:46 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


I fear a close vote will be damaging, whichever way it drops.

Yeah, that's my fear - whichever way it goes, if it's 50.5% or 51% or something like that. The legitimacy of whichever outcome comes out ahead could be called into question for a long time on a vote that close. It'll be messy.
posted by nubs at 3:47 PM on September 17, 2014


Having carefully evaluated both outcomes, I am pro independence. I don't think either outcome will cause huge hardship in either nation, and a 'yes' is more historic.
posted by poe at 3:48 PM on September 17, 2014


dhens: That might be good news for people with Unionist sympathies, though the cynic in me says that maybe those people told him that to get them off of their porch.

Respectfully, this is an area which is as staunchly SNP as it gets. 'Round here, the quickest way Nationalists would think to get a No campaigner off their porch would be to tell them to fuck off back to England (even if they live round the corner), and not to give them some mealy-mouthed milquetoast response about probably thinking that we're better together.
posted by Len at 3:48 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thing: The Irish economy was in bad straits for many years NOT because of its currency, but because its economy was a wreck before it left the Union in the first place. The currency as a specific variable was not, as far as I'm aware of, significant compared to its other issues (not least of which, its infrastructure and debt issues related to the battles and violence leading up to the departure).
posted by chimaera at 3:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


> The Globe & Mail had a great editorial ...

Wait, did we read the same article?

All the great Scottish Canadians they mentioned: they all had to leave Scotland to find their niche. Sure, many of them left for financial reasons, but a whole bunch of the Cape Breton NS settlers were forced to leave, as the Gaelic-speaking Western Highlanders were systematically moved off the land during the Clearances. It would be nice if Scots had more of a chance to be successful in their own country. Not that we'd likely let ourselves, though ...

To be honest, “[S]ome advice on how to avoid unmaking yourself” is just patronizing from a country that has such a diverse and huge resource extraction economy that it could be (and frequently is) run by a numpty and still do tolerably well. Canada exists because of a craze for waterproof hats, f'ranysakes.

Scotland ≠ Quebec. I wasn't here at the time, but it seems that separatists at the time of the referendum in Quebec were mostly anti-immigrant, so you had to be this much French to be acceptable. Also, since about ⅔ of the area of the province is under First Nations treaties with Canada, this land could have been lost to Quebec had it separated. There's no comparison that I can see. The independence movement - which isn't just solely the SNP - has got way past identity politics

And as for “practising and perfecting” federalism for a century and a half versus Scotland's “decade and a half” … want to ask Canadian First Nations how well federalism's working for them? Canada's neglect of its aboriginal people is a disgrace. Scotland's been pretty unhappy about the deal for the last 300 years (the bells in Edinburgh apparently played "Why am I sad on my wedding day?" on the day of union in 1707) but the nobles were pretty keen on it, as they'd just bankrupted themselves on an ill-advised colony in Darien, which promptly failed.

I'm glad that some folks are making the Denmark comparison here. When I left Scotland, my publishing job was inherited by a bloke from Denmark. He's been writing some very good articles on Denmark and Scottish independence here: Arc of Prosperity. I'm glad that he's got ‘my’ vote.
posted by scruss at 3:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I might be ABLE to walk a mile, but my WILL is not to do so

I dunno, I think I could walk, oh about five hundred miles....
posted by The Whelk at 3:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [34 favorites]


eriko: The thing I don't get is why the Tories aren't full bore pushing this.

The Onion captures beautifully how desperate Cameron has been in the last week or so. He really, really doesn't want to go down in history as the Prime Minister who lost Scotland. The full name of his party is actually The Conservative and Unionist Party. Keeping Great Britain united is pretty fundamental to their beliefs. Also, the Queen will probably feed Cameron to her corgis if Scotland votes yes.
posted by Kattullus at 3:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


51.6 yes to 48.4 no would be fine by me. Anyone for a meet up tomorrow in Glasgow ?
posted by stuartmm at 3:50 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Along those lines, I've been perversely hoping to see an escalating series of "hey if you stay, you can get a dog, and we'll take you out for ice cream every day" offers/concessions from Cameron, maybe in a telethon, with him looking more and more like Rodney Dangerfield as the hour approaches.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


there's a nasty potential path where a future marginal Conservative government buys an UKIP alliance with promises of stripping away the existing devolved Scottish parliament and a referendum to take the UK out of EU.

Boom. There's my other reason for voting Yes tomorrow. I left Denmark for a variety of reasons - one being the emergence of a xenophobic, right-wing party with far too much influence. Now the UK has one of those too.

UKIP is utterly terrifying with its combination of wilful ignorance, casual xenophobia and smug grasp of power (basically, the UK equivalent of the Tea Party) and it'll be a kingmaker in the next UK general election. (An election, incidentally, I cannot vote in. So tomorrow's vote will be my only chance to stop the rise of UKIP. )
posted by kariebookish at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


This sounds like an excellent plan if you want to be fucked over by George Soros or the like.

So declare the relevant George Soros type to be an Enemy of your (brand spanking new) State, and take whatever steps to curb their financial terrorism prove necessary.

If it can't be done - if we're at the point where one or a handful of rich dudes can simply strangle entire nations at will and nothing can be done about it - well then "nation states" is pretty much entirely fucked as a concept at that point, so it doesn't much matter which way you vote, it's all a farce anyways.
posted by mstokes650 at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


effbot: "fwiw, Ed Miliband's brother posted some truly brilliant analysis earlier today..."

Holy. Fucking. Shit.
posted by symbioid at 3:53 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


They should really be calling this the Haggis Revolution.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:54 PM on September 17, 2014


My big question is: Will an independent Scotland put a Jacobite on the throne?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:59 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Plus, the 'No' campaign has been pretty shambolic.

The SNP were voted into power in Scotland by about 30% of the Scottish electorate. At the start of the campaign the clear majority of Scots favoured sticking with the UK. Current polls indicate that the Yes campaign have around 50% of the vote. Those extra voters have mostly moved from Labour and they appear to have done so over the last few weeks - despite heavy backing for Better Together across main stream media and by corporations. The tactic of combining "we love you" with "we will hurt you" and "you are too stupid and small to stand on your own" is maybe perhaps not the most sure-fire vote winner.
posted by rongorongo at 4:00 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


The tactic of combining "we love you" with "we will hurt you" and "you are too stupid and small to stand on your own" is maybe perhaps not the most sure-fire vote winner.

Works pretty well for domestic abusers.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:02 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Why I joined YES and why I changed to NO
"The Yes camp have managed to make it seem like criticism of their politics is an attack on the individual’s right to imagine a better self. To do this, the Yes campaign has had to be emptied of almost all actual political content. It has had to become a form of faith."

Scotland and the SNP: Fooling yourselves and deceiving others
"The main reason in the near term is that [the SNP] have more optimistic projections for North Sea Oil.... In my youth I did a lot of forecasting, and I learnt how to be very suspicious of a series of individual judgements all of which tended to move something important in the same direction. It is basically fiddling the analysis to get the answer you want. Either wishful thinking or deception."

Why this optimist is voting No.
"The SNP prides itself on the positivity of their election strategies but this only started before the 2007 election following a workshop with the Really Effective Development Company where, amongst other things, they learned about Martin Seligman's research on how it's the most optimistic candidate in American presidential elections who usually wins."

Rebuttal to Stiglitz on Scotland: Reality of Independence Is Frightening
"The overwhelming majority of macroeconomists who have commented on the impact of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom have said that the economic costs to Scotland so doing would be very high... This professional consensus includes such notable progressives or Keynesian commentators as Paul Krugman... [SNP advisor] Joseph Stiglitz, however, has published a contrarian view, claiming “there is no basis for this scaremongering.”"
posted by Bwithh at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


My big question is: Will an independent Scotland put a Jacobite on the throne?

I nominate myself on the basis that I look vaguely related to everyone north of Manchester.

It will be hard to leave the country of my birth but if God has chosen me to rule over I must accept.

(open the windows at Holyrood and get the old person smell out.)
posted by The Whelk at 4:05 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


The tactic of combining "we love you" with "we will hurt you" and "you are too stupid and small to stand on your own" is maybe perhaps not the most sure-fire vote winner.

It's a Thin Line between Love and Hate
(Bonus Scottish version)
posted by dhens at 4:06 PM on September 17, 2014


It's a consensual referendum with both parties bound to a clear result, which is 51% or more.
Is this an accurate statement? That is, more than a minimal majority is needed for independence? For example Yes 50.9% / No 49.1% would not officially count as a result for independence?

In case it's not clear, I'm not asking this to rhetorically pick a nit; I'm unaware of, and interested in, the answer.
posted by Flunkie at 4:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


> "I dunno, I think I could walk, oh about five hundred miles...."

Oh, yeah? Well, I could walk five hundred more!
posted by kyrademon at 4:13 PM on September 17, 2014 [14 favorites]


Women and older people are more likely to be "no" than other groups. They are groups more likely to vote. At this point, no conventional interpretation of the polls suggests that "yes" is going to overturn the trend indicated by the massive weight of the polling, even if most polls are quite close. But we'll see.

I think a strong independent Scotland would be good for everyone, but my caution makes me fear a weak independent Scotland. That would be a disaster for the UK.
posted by howfar at 4:14 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Flunkie: Is this an accurate statement? That is, more than a minimal majority is needed for independence?

According to the UK government: "If a majority of those who vote want Scotland to be independent then Scotland would become an independent country after a process of negotiations." So, no... getting a simple majority is enough.
posted by Kattullus at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2014


Omnivore: Why does Scotland want independence?
posted by homunculus at 4:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


What are the benefits to leaving the union, besides national pride? It seems like a lot of possible downside for questionable upside. People talk about self-determination and freedom from Westminster, but do Scots really feel "unfree" or oppressed under the UK government? A few commenters here mentioned the poverty in Scotland; is there anything objective I can read that explains why that would be caused by union with England / fixed by independence?

From an outsider's point of view, the independence movement sounds exciting, but might ultimately be a headache for everybody.
posted by pravit at 4:21 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


kyrademon: "> "I dunno, I think I could walk, oh about five hundred miles...."

Oh, yeah? Well, I could walk five hundred more!
"

Just to get away from David Cam'ron.
posted by symbioid at 4:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


The UK generally isn't well governed. Far from "oppressed", Scottish people, like Welsh, Northern Irish, South Western, Northern, and so on, are ignored and neglected.
posted by Thing at 4:24 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Here's to hoping Texas finally mans up and tries to follow suit...

Oh when the fence goes up and cuts off El Paso from the rest of the country. That will be the sweetest day of all.
posted by Talez at 4:26 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought this was a good article by Pew Research on the polling methods. I was surprised to read that most of the polls are opt-in online only. Given the elderly population is more likely to vote "NO" and less likely to be included in opt-in online polls (and vice versa for young voters), I'd think this skews the "YES" count.
posted by pravit at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh when the fence goes up and cuts off El Paso from the rest of the country. That will be the sweetest day of all.

Yes, but then you'd have to start airlifting supplies into Austin.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


My main reaction to the whole "Oh wait, top journalists are saying it's totally a horserace now, if we look at the polls this way anyone could win!" is... would you guys like to borrow Nate Silver for a bit? You could tell him they have great burritos in Edinburgh, kind of lure him in.
posted by ormondsacker at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2014 [16 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, Ireland's departure from the UK is a good historical lesson: there was a lot of turbulence, but Ireland as a polity and as a nation has not become a basket case

The 250 young Irish people emigrating EVERY DAY may disagree with you. Since joining the Euro in 1999 they had 15 years of a ridiculous bubble and are now very probably looking at 15 years of decline, thats what happens when you can no longer control the economy by setting sensible interest rates.
posted by Lanark at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


"I wish Scotland luck in their bid for independence. But I'd feel a lot better about their long term prospects if a partial oil revenue based economy wasn't a large part of it."

So long as they don't camp on their oil money and invest it in education they'll be ok. This might not happen but I think the Scots are allowed to fail.

I'm quite amazed at people defending the UK government "oh there you are" position. Really this is a battle for oil, [money] not self-determination. Decline has been the history of the UK for hundreds of years and I welcome the sun setting on UK colonialism.
posted by vapidave at 4:33 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


You could tell him they have great burritos in Edinburgh, kind of lure him in.

This would be the biggest basest lie ever spoken in the history of man.
posted by The Whelk at 4:33 PM on September 17, 2014 [21 favorites]


Guys, please talk to this American like I'm stupid. I don't understand why an independent Scotland would still recognize the Queen as a constitutional monarchy. What's the reasoning behind this? Is it because it would give them some kind of leverage at the devolution bargaining table?
posted by mostly vowels at 4:35 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not discounting the trouble Ireland has had with the Euro -- what I'm saying is that a Scottish Pound is likely to go no worse for Scotland than the Irish Pound did for Ireland. Ireland's considerable problems didn't arise because they pegged the Irish Pound to the Sterling, or otherwise "not having a currency."

Ireland fought a war from 1919-1921 and had repercussions for decades directly as a result of that. Since joining the Euro there were a couple good years and some very bad years, and the bad years were as a result of believing in a bubble.

These problems are not traced to Ireland leaving the Sterling, but other factors.
posted by chimaera at 4:36 PM on September 17, 2014


Getting near the end of my second decade living in the UK, I'm really sad at the possibility of Scotland leaving the union, although if my spouse had been Scottish instead of English, I'd probably be encouraging him to give Westminster the finger. Not my decision to make, which is exactly right, but whatever happens, I have been enjoying the shit out of watching Cameron freaking out, and can at least look forward to the Tory bloodbath if you go.
posted by skybluepink at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why an independent Scotland would still recognize the Queen as a constitutional monarchy.

James I of England was James VI of Scotland. In a way, the Scots took over the English monarchy. That's basically why.
posted by chimaera at 4:38 PM on September 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


Guys, please talk to this American like I'm stupid. I don't understand why an independent Scotland would still recognize the Queen as a constitutional monarchy. What's the reasoning behind this? Is it because it would give them some kind of leverage at the devolution bargaining table?

The lineage of the monarchs of Scotland and England merged in James VI of Scotland and I of England. He inherited both crowns and his heirs still have the right to do so.
posted by Thing at 4:39 PM on September 17, 2014


Between this and Outlander, I have a feeling I'll be buying some plane tickets to Scotland next year.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


mostly vowels: Two reasons: One, it would be similar to what happened in Canada and Australia. Second, Scotland and England shared a monarch for over a century before the union.
posted by dhens at 4:40 PM on September 17, 2014


Watching with great interest but woefully underinformed here across the pond, and I have a question about the environmental ramifications of essentially relying on oil production to keep the new independent Scottish economy afloat. Can anyone point me to any articles from Scots that address this? Has that been a point of contention in the debate given the current climate crisis? (I know that obviously there's oil production going already and in many other parts of the globe, but as someone who'd like to see it all phased out it's troubling to see a country proposing to double down on it, if I'm gleaning things correctly).
posted by TwoStride at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't understand why an independent Scotland would still recognize the Queen as a constitutional monarchy. What's the reasoning behind this? Is it because it would give them some kind of leverage at the devolution bargaining table?

Probably not. Someone has to be the head of the government. If it works for the considerably more independent Canada & Australia, why not Scotland? (although I realize that's not really an answer - I suspect it's that it's an independence referendum not a fundamental re-constitution of the entire nation)
posted by GuyZero at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why an independent Scotland would still recognize the Queen as a constitutional monarchy.

This article might add to the comments by chimaera and Thing (and others).

An independent Scotland could eventually become a republic, but that would be a separate issue and one imagines they would certainly want to have a referendum on it.

(There's some debate as to whether Elizabeth would reign directly in Scotland or whether she'd have to appoint a Governor-General, like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc have.
posted by Pink Frost at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, um, while we're sitting here waiting, can someone answer something I've long wondered about?

While completely acknowledging the long, long historical legacy of seeking independence, how much did the movie Braveheart influence the most current independence movement? As in, year before movie a little discussion, year after movie, lots and lots of discussion? Or nothing at all except outrage at the gross historical inaccuracies?

In other words, dear hive mind: did Mad Max break up the UK?
posted by barchan at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


No Island is an Island: Why I Hope that Scotland Stays in the United Kingdom

editorial by an American whose business it is probably none of.
posted by weston at 4:46 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Texas keeps making vague secession noises and I know that if it ever did secede I'd flee across the border into the USA as quickly as possible.

Even during its brief independence, Texas was basically already a US state (or territory if you prefer). It does not have any history of independence comparable to Scotland's. It was not conquered, but begged the US to take it in. And bloated politician posturing aside, Texas will never secede, even if the US was willing to let us without a fight.
posted by emjaybee at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was surprised to read that most of the polls are opt-in online only.

You can do just fine with that kind of poll IF you reweight the respondents ex post.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2014


IT'S NOT JUST OIL!

Folk may want to look into Scotland's other economies. Shipbuilding, whisky, meat, clothing are all well known. But amongst many, many other industries there's also video games. The first academic video game course was in a university in Dundee, which is a centre for video game development. If you've heard of Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings, then...
posted by Wordshore at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


At least in England, Braveheart was the moment we realized that Mel Gibson is a tendentious dickhead.
posted by Thing at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


since about ⅔ of the area of the province is under First Nations treaties with Canada, this land could have been lost to Quebec had it separated

The separatists did not believe that.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


In other words, dear hive mind: did Mad Max break up the UK?

More like Mad Margaret.
posted by davros42 at 4:51 PM on September 17, 2014 [17 favorites]


WHOM RULES BARTER TOWN?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:54 PM on September 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


VOTE #1 QUIDNUNC KID! I will immediately place Scotland in a sealed box along with new constitutional arrangements that will be triggered by the decay of an atom of a radioactive element, thus creating a quantum superposition of independent and non-independent states in which Scotland can have the "best of both worlds". Also, you may never leave the box. And there will also be a cat in the box, because I'm not really sure about getting a cat, but my wife was all, "no, let's get a cat" and we agreed on this as a compromise. Also, you may want to all bring cat litter before you get in the box. Like, a lot of cat litter; you are going to spend a lot of time in there. Get the clumping kind if you can. But anyway - the important thing is to vote #1 quidnunc kid.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:55 PM on September 17, 2014 [94 favorites]


What are the benefits to leaving the union?

The Wee Blue Book has a consise and pretty well cited summary.
posted by rongorongo at 4:57 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


No one has yet asked if the new Scottish Doctor Who has had any influence on the independence question.
posted by GuyZero at 4:57 PM on September 17, 2014


If David Tennant hadn't masked his accent this all would have happened years ago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:02 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


WHOM RULES BARTER TOWN?

One goes in, two comes out.
posted by barchan at 5:02 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm predicting No will have the majority, narrowly edging out Yes, Aye and Nae.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Those talking about the potentially ruinous economic impacts of secession need to understand that current British fiscal and monetary policies are what is causing the misery in the first place. Scotland could live up to its potential without the parasitic City draining it with austerity and tax cuts and laws for the wealthy only. This article, Scotland isn't different, it's Britain that's bizarre, explains very well just how awfully the elites of Britain have constructed a society in which the rich do exceptionally and everyone else gets sold out by Murdoch for ideology.
posted by wilful at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2014 [20 favorites]


Looking at what's happening in Scotland from my home in the north of England, I feel a little heartbroken. Not because I have a desperate longing for the Scots to stay in the Union - that's up to them - but because I feel very deep envy at the real vibrancy and colour of the political debate that's taken place in Scotland over the past year or so, and particularly in recent weeks and months. There's a genuine feel, certainly from the Yes camp, that they're on the cusp of something positive, the birth of a better country and way of life, and that's such a refreshing change from the years of grim, austere, grey bad news emanating from Westminster.

Here in the North, surrounded by cuts, underinvestment, crumbling public facilities, exhausting political apathy and thin excuses, I only wish we had similar movements, a similar prospect of breaking free from the tiny, moneyed, privately educated cabal that makes up the nepotistic and incestuous politics, media, and business world of London that bleeds our region dry and sucks investment and money southwards. We're forgotten and apathetic - we're not Scotland, with a distinct national identity; but we're not London and the South East, with money and power. We need change, we need investment, we need a positive, vibrant political discussion about the future of our wonderful region. We could be so much more and yet we are stifled by a media and a political class that ignores and scoffs at any suggestion of a Northern English breakaway.

Britain needs to change - we need to get away from this small-minded, small-island mentality and wrest power back from those in the financial elite who are stealing it from us daily. Murdoch and his mates would love us to believe that the economy's fixed, that everything's fine, that we're amazing, soaraway Great Britain because it means we take our eyes off the ball - well, that can't happen anymore. Whatever happens in Scotland, we simply can't stay as we are - a country run for the benefit of the few. With the extra powers promised to the Scots in exchange for a 'no' vote (which, let's be real, seems the most likely outcome) we aren't going to be able to stay with the status quo here in the forgotten non-London regions of England.

Good luck, Scotland. Whatever happens, I hope this is the catalyst for a real change and improvement in this beautiful, big-hearted country I truly love. I fear for the future if it isn't.
posted by winterhill at 5:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [50 favorites]


I am reminded of Canada's major referendum for Quebec separation decades ago, and how close it was, and how fervently I hoped that the vote (as it turned out, narrowly) would end up being 'no'.

In this case -- though I'm Canadian, and only lived in Scotland for a few months many many years ago, so my opinion isn't worth much -- I'm much closer to hoping they vote yes, if only because the English government is so comprehensively loathsome, and leaving aside what would happen to Scotland if they gained independence (good things, one hopes), a major event like that might actually help to stir up the future governance of England in a positive direction.

Ever the eternally disappointed optimist, me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:15 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


From way over here it looks more like one brief moment of something resembling direct democracy. If you're among those expecting anything so radical as genuine literal democracy (if that's even possible in a country of millions) to be the permanent result of independence, I think you're expecting too much. Although I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
This kind of shit is why democracy in the US is broken.

I mean, just listen to yourself. 97% voter turnout. People debating the issue in the streets. An informed electorate.

And you dismiss it all, ALL of it, root and branch, with the same faux-cynical doom-laded bullshit meme of "it's all so pointless" that the American media has pushed at the behest of the 1%.

Christ. We as Americans have been told that democracy is pointless and useless for so long that we've actually started to believe it.

So. One has to ask. If our votes are so useless, if there's nothing we can do to change anything: why, exactly, do the disproportionate efforts to disenfranchise voters, to crack down with terrifyingly disproportionate force on the poorest among us seem to be increasing?

I'll tell you why. It's very simple, and it's encapsulated in an apocryphal aphorism often (mis)attributed to Gandhi:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
We've seen them ignore us. We've seen them laugh at us. Now we're seeing them fight us.

The entire edifice of the 1% is predicated upon goods and services provided by the 99%. And people are finally starting to wake up to that. American capitalism is economic apartheid: a tiny minority ruthlessly exploiting a majority.

Its days are numbered. And the Scotland referendum should give us great hope on that front: ten years ago, if you had asked anyone in the UK whether today would come to pass, they'd have told you some variation of what's being said now in the US: why bother. There's no point. Westminster is too strong. It's all sewn up. There's nothing you can do.

They were wrong. Simply. They were wrong, and it's being proven out, and, by God, as an American, my blood is stirred by this. Forge ahead, Scotland, and go with God.
posted by scrump at 5:24 PM on September 17, 2014 [103 favorites]


This may just be my ignorance speaking, but it seems a lot of 'no' supporters here are assuming that if Scotland secedes, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be tempted to reexamine their own deals with London.
posted by Poldo at 5:35 PM on September 17, 2014


You could tell him they have great burritos in Edinburgh, kind of lure him in.

Haggis is a kind of burrito.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


Rough Wooing -- bit of a tradition, this whole sort of abusive husband/bullying thing Westminster seems to have going on.
The Rough Wooing (December 1543 – March 1550) was a conflict between Scotland and England. War was declared by Henry VIII of England, in an attempt to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between his son Edward and the infant Mary, Queen of Scots.
...
The phrase appears to derive from a famous remark attributed to George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly by Patrick Abercromby in his edition of Jean de Beaugué's history of the war: "We liked not the manner of the wooing, and we could not stoop to being bullied into love," or, as William Patten reported, "I lyke not thys wooyng."[4] The historian William Ferguson contrasted this jocular nickname and the savagery and devastation of the war:
English policy was simply to pulverise Scotland, to beat her either into acquiescence or out of existence, and Hertford's campaigns resemble nothing so much as Nazi total warfare, "blitzkrieg", reign of terror, extermination of all resisters, the encouragement of collaborators, and so on.[5]
Just something interesting I found whilst trying to wrap my whole head around this whole "Union of the Crowns" stuff.

There's a reason Crusader Kings apparently is not my cup of tea. *ouch*
posted by symbioid at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


There was a documentary a few years back contrasting the diverging fates of Iceland and Newfoundland after the war. Both started out "desperately poor"; the documentary argues that it was the choice of Iceland to become independent vs. the choice of Newfoundland to join Canada that made their economic outcomes over the following decades so different.

The documentary didn't dive deeply into economic analysis, but it did raise interesting questions.
posted by clawsoon at 5:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


davros42: "In other words, dear hive mind: did Mad Max break up the UK?

More like Mad Margaret.
"

Mad Mags
posted by symbioid at 5:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Why aye, man!

(Yeah, not exactly Scotland, still fun)
posted by rustcrumb at 5:42 PM on September 17, 2014


And you dismiss it all, ALL of it, root and branch, with the same faux-cynical doom-laded bullshit meme of "it's all so pointless"

I'm dismissive only of the idea that the result will be anything like a re-invention of the long-extinct form of government now known as "direct democracy." That is not the same as the best of the present forms of government we call democracy, nor is it a more enthusiastic and informed electorate in the same.

Of the idea that they might nonetheless come up with something substantially better than the present system I am merely skeptical.
posted by sfenders at 5:46 PM on September 17, 2014


My understanding is that Iceland didn't become truly prosperous until the post WWII period when it began to develop its potential to generate basically free electricity. I want to say something like 20-30 percent of the world's aluminum, for example, is refined in Iceland as it is so energy intensive. Newfoundland doesn't have any such happy geography.
posted by absalom at 5:46 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okay, so you're skeptical. To what end?
posted by scrump at 5:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


English policy was simply to pulverise Scotland, to beat her either into acquiescence or out of existence, and Hertford's campaigns resemble nothing so much as Nazi total warfare, "blitzkrieg", reign of terror, extermination of all resisters, the encouragement of collaborators, and so on.

While not Herford's campaign, Peter Watkins (the filmmaker responsible for The War Game and Threads) directed a telefilm called Culloden, which describes the brutal English suppression of the Jacobite Rebellion.

Like his other films, it's a sad thing to watch, especially at the end, when the victorious English troopers ransack the villages of Scotland.
posted by Nevin at 5:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


It appears Andy Murray has decided to support the Yes campaign. Finally we get the actual answer to the Andy Murray-o-meter which measured his nationality on the basis of how well he did on the tennis courts (clue: if he did well, the press was more inclined to call him British. If he lost, it was back to calling him Scottish).
posted by kariebookish at 5:50 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


"Henry, the new King of France, tenderly conscious of the Emperor's power and hostility, felt his way thoughtfully towards a small cabal....
He observed Scotland, her baby Queen, her French and widowed Queen Mother, and her governor Arran.
He observed England, ruled by the royal uncle Somerset for the boy King Edward, aged nine.
He watched with interest as the English dotingly pursued their most cherished policy: the marriage which should painlessy annex Scotland to England and end forever the long, dangerous romance...

Pensively, France marshalled its fleet and set about cultivating the Netherlands, whose harbours might be kind to storm-driven galleys. The Emperor, fretted by Scottish piracy and less busy than he had been, watched the northorn skies narrowly. Europe, poised delicately over a brand-new board, waited for the opening gambit."


If you have any interest in the Rough Wooing or the history of English and Scottish antagonism and partnership, I cannot recommend Dorothy Dunnett's The Lymond Chronicles enough. They are amazing historical fiction full of extremely rich and accurate political detail during the pivotal period from Scotland's horrific defeat at Flodden following on up to the death of Mary, Queen of Scots and the final concession of Scottish independence. For a small country, Scotland has had a surprisingly large role in world affairs at times.

Anyway, for myself, I don't feel informed enough to understand what Scotland wins and loses if it gains independence. But knowing even a little bit about Scots-English relations in history, it's hard not to be pleased that, at long last, Scotland is at least loudly making its voice heard. It's easy to forget since Americans, I think, tend to think of the UK as "civilized", but Scotland fought annexation as hard as any small nation does now, and the price for independence was paid a long time ago in my great-great-great-great-grandparents' blood. I'm glad the Scots are getting what sounds like a real, fair chance to decide for themselves.
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:54 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]



Haggis is a kind of burrito.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:36 PM on September 17 [+] [!]


Flagged as offensive.
posted by asra at 5:54 PM on September 17, 2014 [33 favorites]


We are all using this as an excuse* to drink our favourite scotches, right? Either in celebration or commiseration, as things turn out. Our usual is Laphroaig 10 year.

*we don't need excuses actually
posted by curious nu at 5:57 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Okay, so you're skeptical. To what end?

Well, lucky for me I have the option to remain undecided since I don't get to vote. If I did, I'd be wanting a lot more details than have appeared in anything linked here about how exactly the new government would work, if there are going to be big changes, before deciding it was worth the risk.
posted by sfenders at 5:59 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


absalom, Newfoundland has one of the largest hydro plants in the world, plus plenty of mining (though I'm not sure if the mining would be enough to match Iceland's output). Control of those resources was taken over by the Canadian government when Newfoundland joined Confederation; there's suspicion that the Canadians didn't manage those resources in the interest of Newfoundlanders until they were forced to by more assertive recent premiers.

It's interesting to learn of Iceland's aluminum industry, though; that's something I wasn't aware of.
posted by clawsoon at 5:59 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's all the odds on one page for Scottish Independence. I last looked at it about a week ago and it looks like the bookies have actually widened the odds since then, with No having a notable lead.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:05 PM on September 17, 2014


> Here in the North … I only wish we had similar movements

Start one, then.

Start a movement about being here and wanting to make it better. Don't blame them or there; concern yourself only with us. You'll quickly find that there are more of us than you thought, and pretty soon, we're everywhere!
posted by scruss at 6:08 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


#PatronisingBTlady votes no.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:11 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


but Scotland fought annexation as hard as any small nation does now

The first attempt at union was initiated by James I almost immediately upon taking the throne of England.
posted by Thing at 6:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


#PatronisingBTlady votes no.

It's the political equivalent of Apple's years-long "You're too dumb for Windows, buy a Mac" campaign.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Mad Mags

Maggie Messer
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Our usual is Laphroaig 10 year.

An excellent choice. My favorite whisky. And, thanks to a Laphroiag marketing campaign ten years ago, I was given ownership of a tiny sliver of Islay.

Here's to hoping my sliver will be part of an independent Scotland.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:30 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


The first attempt at union was initiated by James I almost immediately upon taking the throne of England.

The first attempt at union was certainly not James I. The Treaty of Union came only after many of the Scottish stalwart houses were greatly reduced in power by bad investments and even then it wasn't exactly popular. Also, my understanding of the historical situation was at that point Scotland was no longer being supported by the French against England. It might also be significant that James I was the son of Lord Darnley, whose own parents were, uh, somewhat fluid when it came to the idea of Scottish independence, since a united Kingdom meant a double-claim for their descendents on the throne.
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:30 PM on September 17, 2014


The first attempt at union was certainly not James I.

Indeed, it was Gnaeus Julius Agricola.
posted by Thing at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


> I'd be wanting a lot more details … before deciding it was worth the risk.

Here's the thing, though; Westminster has refused (until about a week ago) to even talk about this. The only vision is the one put forward by Salmond et al, but it's untested because no-one took it seriously until it was too late to come up with anything much more coherent than this.
posted by scruss at 6:54 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ed Balls
posted by maggieb at 7:02 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


I have ancestors on both sides of Hadrian's Wall, so I'm torn on which way I'd like the vote to go. I sincerely hope the country isn't torn apart by bitter recriminations over a close vote.

In any case, it is inspiring to see so many people motivated to go to the polls and vote. No matter the outcome, I hope that spirit carries on for years to come.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:04 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have a theory. Why the fuck not? The UK isn't managed well by any standard. And fuck the Queen.
posted by vapidave at 7:05 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


For the anti-Scottish rhetoric, often well into the realms of racism, I've had the misfortune to hear in pubs and bars and cafes, in England, over the last few weeks.

Whereas we English never hear any anti-English rhetoric from you guys at all, do we?

Vote "yes", sod off and good luck. We're tired of your whining and your anti-English "racism" too, you know. It'll be fun seeing how you do when you only have yourselves to blame.
posted by Decani at 7:13 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


More Than Scottish Pride: "Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself."
What the Scottish independence referendum has exposed, unexpectedly but enthrallingly, is not so much a vein of support for nationalism, or even for independence in its own right, but rather a vein of political imagination that upends everything we’re usually told about politics today. It’s exposed a rejection of gradualism in favor of more ambitious, and even radical visions of change...

The hope for many is that regardless of the referendum outcome, this mental gear shift could seep across the border; as indicated by the rise in England of the self-styled “anti-establishment” U.K. Independence Party, which tacks firmly to the right, a hunger for alternatives to the political status quo can be discerned right across the British Isles. “The campaign for independence is actually about reconnecting people to decision-making and breaking a political consensus that’s not just more right-wing than I’d like, but fundamentally doesn’t serve the common good,” Patrick Harvie, a member of the Scottish parliament for the pro-yes Green Party, told me. “It serves big business interests, the City of London. I think we've got a broken political system, I think the connection between people and power is broken, and the same outrage and anger about that exists north and south of the border.”

Should a yes vote prevail, it seems highly likely that an independent Scotland would boast a political center to the left of Westminster. Many of the decisions that the country could take, like removing the U.K.’s Trident nuclear weapons program or renationalizing the postal service, would inevitably prize open meaningful debates in the rest of the U.K. as well; desiccated swathes of the political landscape could suddenly become sites of battle once again. “I honestly believe an independent Scotland—proving there’s another way than neoliberalism—is going to produce a political earthquake across these islands,” insists Alex Bell. “Dreams are back on the table.”
posted by flex at 7:22 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


You don't need permission, but all it would take is an English pen stroke to ruin the Scottish economy. You'll have a sword of sterling over your head. So, how about we talk about those submarine bases, eh?

The really beautiful thing about the past few months in Scotland is how little the tone of the debate has been bullshit black-and-white I-know-the-obvious-answer cock-posturing like this.

Scots are well aware of the risks and complications involved in all the currency options available to them. They've had a campaign literally called Project Fear shouting at them about it for about a year.

The wind was finally taken out of its sails at a recent debate when it became obvious that the currency boogeyman was the only weapon in their arsenal. When pushed to make a positive case for the Union, about all their representative had was "well, if you leave it you won't have the pound".

The lead for No started collapsing dramatically afterward. Why? Because for some of Scotland this is about more than money, or short-term gain, or being £500 a year better off in independence. It's about self-determination, so far as that goes in a globalised world. It's about governments that are likely to represent you and those who think like you, not governments that only coincide with your views when the pendulum swings past once in a generation.

Scots are aware of the gravity of this decision. They're thinking what it means for their relationship with England; what it means in the long- vs the short-term; what it means for the economic prospects; what it means to be a nation in a modern world.

It's a yes or no question, but it's not a simple question. That's why it's going down to the wire, that's why there's debates breaking out everywhere you look. To pretend it's trivial or obvious is to do this whole process a deep disservice.
posted by bonaldi at 7:22 PM on September 17, 2014 [34 favorites]


Anecdotally, as an American, the No side seems to be way more represented on the internet by vicious, nasty, hateful people.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [21 favorites]


I came to the UK on an ancestry visa based on my grandmother having been born in Dumfries. One part of me, the proud Scottish side, fervently hopes for a yes vote. The other part, the side currently living in England, desperately, selfishly hopes for a no vote. Please don't leave us Scotland! We'll be stuck with a lifetime, and my children's lifetime, and probably my children's children's lifetime, of Tory governments.

The undecideds were reported as eight to 14% earlier tonight - that's a massive margin. It's entirely anyone's call at the moment, but a high proportion of undecideds usually results in maintenance of the status quo.

I hope they have jus sanguinis citizenship.I would love a Scottish passport.
posted by goo at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really liked the background info in this talk from Scott Manley, who taught me everything I know about Kerbal Space Program.

Fly safe, Scotland.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:24 PM on September 17, 2014


An anarchist perspective on the prospect of Scottish independence: Beyond the Scottish referendum
posted by Neilopolis at 7:25 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have a theory. Why the fuck not? ... And fuck the Queen.

Ah, the great works of Thomas Paine: Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Why the Fuck Not? I hear that before his death he was still working on the nearly complete Oi, King, You're a Cunt.

Anecdotally, as an American, the No side seems to be way more represented on the internet by vicious, nasty, hateful people.

Read Decani's comment again. He's clearly a Yes voter.
posted by Thing at 7:25 PM on September 17, 2014 [19 favorites]


Playing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and looking at scrapbook pictures of Scotland and the UK when they were young and in love.— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) September 18, 2014

posted by orrnyereg at 7:40 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Looking at the bookies it seems No but within the margin of error.
posted by vapidave at 7:41 PM on September 17, 2014


Alex Salmond's SNP has a vision for Scottish. Britain has no vision for England, certainly not one anyone wants, much less anything for Scotland. And fundamentally there is no timeline and no specific for separation so Yes merely gives Scotland a negotiating chip. All the English can manage is fear mongering, but truthfully Yes winning has almost no downside.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:52 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Unsurprisingly, war-chief Dougal Mackenzie supports independence.
posted by homunculus at 8:04 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


An anarchist perspective on the prospect of Scottish independence: Beyond the Scottish referendum

So, anarchist position is...neither yes nor no? No wonder those folk can never get any traction.
posted by MikeMc at 8:10 PM on September 17, 2014


davros42: "In other words, dear hive mind: did Mad Max break up the UK?

More like Mad Margaret."


During a particularly lively production run of Ruddigore, our stage manager would get us all to shut up and listen by bellowing "BASINGSTOKE!" in his loudest baritone, a la Despard to Mad Margaret in the show. Worked like a charm and has continued to be a thing in that theatre company ever since.

I just wish it worked in real life.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:18 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


For the record, the Irish pound/punt was pegged at 1:1 with GBP until 1979, fifty-seven years after independence and six and a half years after joining the EEC. The link was broken when Thatcher forced sterling to diverge too much in value for IEP to stay in the newly-formed European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

But Scotland's Naysayers insist that this could not possibly have happened because doing so is impossible.
posted by genghis at 8:24 PM on September 17, 2014




some nsfw txt, predictably
posted by poffin boffin at 8:26 PM on September 17, 2014


Should The U.S. Deploy Troops To Scotland?
Can the United States stand idly by as Scotland descends into civil war?

Scotland has just 5,000 combat troops, hardly enough to defend its government against the more than 1 million rebels claiming allegiance to the radical group YES who already are taking to the streets in droves.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 8:33 PM on September 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


grindr users on scottish independence:

Did I just get polled?

Hiyo!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:38 PM on September 17, 2014


Another perfect example of nationalism run amok!
posted by Vibrissae at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2014




Only a mile to go
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:35 PM on September 17, 2014


This thread needs more Camera Obscura.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:46 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have learned many interesting and useful things from this thread, like:

- tiny fat ponies and skilled knitters may also want independence
- the Muggle liason has not yet updated the Prime Minister on what the Ministry of Magic will do
- Canada exists because of a trend involving waterproof hats made from the hides of American mammals named after a slang term for ladybits
- The Doctor has not yet issued a statement


I don't know what the right thing in this situation is, but I hope that the people who do know what it is proceed to do it. In the meantime my American self will be giggling at the Queen because, you know, we like to do that in America.
posted by cmyk at 9:51 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


grindr post
posted by Greg Nog at 9:56 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


grindrz
posted by Greg Nog at 9:56 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


greg nog you are drunk
posted by poffin boffin at 9:58 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


grindr users on scottish independence

I...I feel like I've completely misunderstood the purpose of Grindr, somehow.
posted by Pink Frost at 9:59 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


greg nog you are drunk

no
i'm voting no on this
posted by Greg Nog at 10:00 PM on September 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


we value your input
posted by poffin boffin at 10:01 PM on September 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


#YesBecause greg nog is drunk
posted by scruss at 10:02 PM on September 17, 2014


IF LOOKS COULD KILL
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 PM on September 17, 2014




Mods vote NO on independence for Greg Nog's thread.
posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]




Outlander actors Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, who play Jamie Fraser and Dougal MacKenzie respectively, both support independence.

Meanwhile, Tobias Menzies, who plays Black Jack Randall, retweeted this.

Life imitates art, I guess.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on September 17, 2014 [6 favorites]




I'm English (although with family in Dundee) and deeply hope that Scotland votes Yes. I do think Scottish politics is different, and I want to be able to move to a left-wing, English speaking country with a respect for public ownership and the common good.

This is especially true as since Labour stopped bothering to be left wing and the press moved to the right English politics has become tragic in how much it is dismantling the things that used to benefit everyone. It's also become xenophobic and rabidly anti-EU. It truly disgusts me to see what we are becoming.
posted by jaduncan at 10:46 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Good morning, Scotland. Good luck.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:04 PM on September 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


If Scotland becomes independent, it will be interesting to see what happens with the Armed Forces. Much talk has focussed on Trident, but it is way, way bigger than that. Firstly, there are a lot of British Military bases in Scotland, and with the drawn-down from Germany some of the planning has been to put those units in Scotland. Where do they go now? What happens to the towns and communities that are financially supported (some would say propped up) by the British Military being there? Does Scotland have any claim to the military hardware on their land? What does a new Scottish military look like?

Then there is the personnel issue - do UK serving personnel leave to join a Scottish Armed forces or stay on in the British military? And if they do, do they now serve as 'Foreign and Commonwealth'? As the wife of a F&C officer I would love it if there was an influx of Scottish F&C to the British Armed forces for at least that might mean that F&C stop being ignored (even though they are 13% of the British Army for example) and their issues are considered. But if (and frankly it is a small if) there was an exodus of Scots from the Army that would have huge implications for manning, especially considering the British Army has just gone through three large tranches of retrenchment for a huge draw-down of numbers (I don't know what it would mean for other branches of the military).

I am not saying the Armed Forces should be a reason to vote yes or no. But it is just one of the many, many issues that would have a major impact on both Scotland and the remaining UK if Scotland becomes independent.
posted by Megami at 11:16 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]




Just back from voting. There was a queue at 7am. Never seen anything like it. I'm in a random wee polling place in North Edinburgh, and there were Catalan journalists outside and a queue out of the door within a couple of minutes of them being open. The bigger polling stations near us are being reported with 100+ queues within a few minutes.

I am, quite literally, overcome with emotion. This is the most inspiring and incredible thing I've ever seen in my life.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:39 PM on September 17, 2014 [58 favorites]


538 article saying that lots have voted early, and those likely are 'no' votes. They may tip the balance.

But now that they were close, why wouldn't they try again? And doesn't this possibility have at least some of the putative negative effects of a 'yes' vote?
posted by persona au gratin at 11:48 PM on September 17, 2014


I hope if it goes through that the Scots adopt their own currency and let it float, like the Swedes do. It was really beneficial during the financial crisis/ recession.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:52 PM on September 17, 2014


If Shetland has a word with them maybe Norway will let them use the Krone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:55 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'll be voting this afternoon, and taking the baby along even though she's far too young to understand just so that in the future I can tell her she was there. It's been such an amazing atmosphere here in Glasgow recently - I only hope that the passion and momentum of a population that cares so much about this vote, where it really feels like we have a say in our own future, carries on after tomorrow whichever way the referendum goes.

For myself I've gone from 'probably no' to 'probably yes' over the past few months, for various lengthy and boring reasons. Had the No campaign been run differently from the beginning, had devo-max been an option from the start rather than a vague last-minute "oh shit, they might actually vote yes" set of wooly promises thrown our way, had Labour got their act together earlier, then maybe it would have been different. As it is, it feels like Westminster assumed that nobody really wanted that much change, and has only woken up too late to how people really feel.

I hope that even if it's a No vote in the end today, we're seeing the start of a different kind of United Kingdom - one where people feel like their voice actually matters.
posted by Catseye at 12:22 AM on September 18, 2014 [18 favorites]


I believe David Miliband wins the prize for most succinctly expressing the essence of the No campaign :

"US thought/fought about secession and separation 150 years ago. #bettertogether was the answer then and logic holds even stronger today."
posted by jeffburdges at 12:40 AM on September 18, 2014


Yeah, about that David Miliband quote...

Comparing Scotland's potential secession to the Confederacy seems to be spectacularly missing the point, as slavery is not really an issue here.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 12:44 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Damn those neo-confederates, with their desire to support universally free at the point of use public services and encourage a more open immigra...wait, what?
posted by jaduncan at 1:13 AM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Re the question of a future Scottish military, this is a topic that's interested me for a while. Although I'm English, I served in the UK armed forces for 17 years (RAF) and am married to a Scot, so in the event of a Yes vote I would presumably in due course become a Scottish citizen by marriage. I lived in Edinburgh for several months, and have plenty of friends who are Scottish or live permanently there.

My strong perception is that the SNP is very deeply split on the whole question of what an independent Scotland's defence posture should be. There is a strong left-wing isolationist faction in Scottish nationalism that favours overt neutrality, opposed membership of NATO and, in so far as it has a view on the shape of Scottish armed forces, sees no need for anything more than a coastguard and maritime protection force. There is also a strongly nationalist and traditionalist faction that regularly bangs the drum for the full re-establishment of all the traditional Scottish regiments, which have been progressively merged and consolidated to form the single Royal Regiment of Scotland. In the event of independence I suspect that the compromise between the two factions will be an infantry-heavy Scottish Army that reestablishes the Black Watch, the Argyll and Southerland Highlanders and so on, but is employed substantially on ceremonial duties. It will be the world's best-funded historical reenactment society, but it won't be an army in any real sense.

As for air and naval forces, I've seen so-called white papers that count how many ships and aircraft the UK has and apply a pro-rata split based on population to decide that Scotland will have, for example, two frigates and eight jet fighters. But as anyone who has been involved in military logistics and support will tell you, you can't treat a nation's armed forces as some sort of homogenous cake that you can carve into slices. Yes, Scotland has ports and airbases. But the UK's military training establishments and engineering support bases are overwhelmingly in England and Wales. Furthermore, it does not cost 1/10th as much so support one ship and its crew as it does to support ten; simply having that capability costs money. It will be very expensive for Scotland to set up its own support infrastructure for a relatively small force, and I suspect that in reality it will follow the example of New Zealand, which didn't replace its A-4 fleet and decided not to have combat aircraft at all. (I remember the influx of ex-RNZAF pilots into the RAF that followed.)

I fully support Scotland's right to determine its future. But the question of what an independent Scotland's military would look like is very open and murky, because the truth is that there is profound disagreement within the Scottish nationalist movement on that point.
posted by Major Clanger at 1:15 AM on September 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


The yes campaign has been really really positive, it's been great fun to see people out dancing for yes on leith walk and so on. I was in the us when Obama got in and it seems similar to that.

I'm not addressing the most important issue here though - I can confirm, having researched on behalf of all you lovely mefites that Los cardos in leith walk sell HAGGIS BURRITOS and they are delicious.

#takingonefortheteam
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:22 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]




If Scotland becomes independent then Wales and the non-South East parts of England will be decidedly worse off.
So, as a Welshman in Wales, it would break my heart to see them leave.

I hope they vote Yes.
posted by fullerine at 2:20 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


The remainder of the UK (rUK) would become more right-wing; Scotland is traditionally more left-wing.

It's a bit more complicated than that. Scotland traditionally had a solid conservative tradition, between the religious conservatism of the Presbyterians and Calvinists (the same elements that form a big component of the red-state conservatism of the US) and an ethic of nowt-fancy financial prudence and disdain for ostentation, and many Scots were solid functionaries of the British Empire. The impression that Scotland is solidly left-wing comes largely from the fact that (a) Thatcher decided to use Scotland as a testing ground for her more extreme policies (calculating that they don't have many votes to offer, so fuck 'em), and (b) Scottish conservatism has diverged somewhat from the tripartisan financialism and casino-capitalism of London and the south-east, to the point where the gap between it and the notion of the small-c-conservative Scandinavian welfare state could be argued to be less of a leap.

If Scotland seceded, we would soon see a natively Scottish right wing forming, quite possibly out of large parts of the SNP.
posted by acb at 2:33 AM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Vote "yes", sod off and good luck. We're tired of your whining and your anti-English "racism" too, you know. It'll be fun seeing how you do when you only have yourselves to blame.

What a pointlessly unpleasant comment.
posted by dng at 2:45 AM on September 18, 2014 [32 favorites]


Fish - Internal Exile
posted by PenDevil at 3:02 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


So the irony of this vote is that Charlie Stross, an English science fiction writer living in Scotland has voted yes, but Ken MacLeod, arguably Scotland's greatest living sf writer, will be voting no.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:03 AM on September 18, 2014


So the irony of this vote is that Charlie Stross, an English science fiction writer living in Scotland has voted yes, but Ken MacLeod, arguably Scotland's greatest living sf writer, will be voting no.

Especially as a Yes vote will be the first tiny step into our inevitable Star Fraction-esque microstate future.
posted by dng at 3:07 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm deeply baffled by Ken's stance. I've tweeted at him a couple of times and it seems to be the same kind of weak tea 'we can do unspecified amounts of more social justice in the UK' argument my good ol' socialist uncle makes.

He wrote a blogpost on it, but it seemed to be 50% grousing that he thought Yes wasn't legitimate because there were too many points of view within it and 50% 'can't abandon our brothers and sisters down south'.

For a man that has imagined so many possible futures for Scotland, I see it as a major failure of imagination.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:13 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Last weekend I was in Leith and talked, as one does, to people about today. No one I met intended to vote Yes, there was one undecided but she was inclined to No, no one was wearing a badge. Some of the polls (the online ones) are in some measure self selecting and therefore utterly meaningless. There is, I believe, a huge silent majority out there who have kept their intentions hidden because they don't want a brick through their window or to be accosted in the street.

Anyway, the andecote. One guy I met has a daughter who is about to turn 18 and will be voting for the first time. She is voting No. She gave 2 reasons, firstly Salmond supports Hearts and she supports Hibs (two local footbal teams), secondly and more importantly she had been told that if Scotland votes Yes then One Direction (a popular musical group, m'lud) had said they will never come to Scotland. I said "she is winding you up, she must be", "no" he said, "she is serious". It would amuse me greatly if giving 16 years olds the vote backfired as they all vote No.

The real problem is that I believe there will be a No result but that the Yes camp will not accept it because they had no intention of honouring their promise to do so.
posted by epo at 3:19 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]



I'm deeply baffled by Ken's stance. I've tweeted at him a couple of times and it seems to be the same kind of weak tea 'we can do unspecified amounts of more social justice in the UK' argument my good ol' socialist uncle makes.


Isn't Ken a Libertarian Trotskyist or something similarly noneuclidean and incomprehensible?
posted by acb at 3:24 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


As a quick note, it would be a mistake to confuse the rhetoric of the official Better Together campaign with the actual beliefs and intentions of everybody voting No.

The Better Together campaign has been one of the worst-run political campaigns I've ever seen, both out of touch and inarticulate. (I have also found the official Yes campaign, which again should not be confused with Yes voters, to be unconvincing and disingenuous -- although one thing they are not is inarticulate, and it is impossible not to see that they have run a much, much better political campaign than their opponents.)

But in any case, No voters aren't voting for the politicians making the speeches, they're (in general) voting on what they think is best for the country, and most can explain why much better than the Better Together campaign has been able to do. For what it's worth, the majority of academics at Scottish Universities, in general a liberal and articulate demographic (although, yes, we can all think of counterexamples) have been polled as intending to vote No.

That is not intended to imply that Yes voters are not thoughtful or sincere, I absolutely believe they are. I just wanted to say that Better Together is not necessarily a good representation of what the No side actually thinks, or even who is voting No and why.

(And neither, for that matter, are the words of internet trolls. Please don't judge either the Yes or No side by YouTube comments, arg.)
posted by kyrademon at 3:25 AM on September 18, 2014 [15 favorites]


I hope in the event of a tie they give the deciding vote to the spirit of Iain Banks.
posted by dng at 3:27 AM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


acb: "Isn't Ken a Libertarian Trotskyist or something similarly noneuclidean and incomprehensible?"

No idea, but he tweets about anti-smoking legislation a lot. Nice guy, but his politics baffle me.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:27 AM on September 18, 2014


dng: "I hope in the event of a tie they give the deciding vote to the spirit of Iain Banks."

I thought of Iain Banks as I marked my X. He would have roared with laughter at the whole thing, I'd imagine.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:28 AM on September 18, 2014


I hope in the event of a tie they give the deciding vote to the spirit of Iain Banks.

They'd have to give it to the spirits of Iain Banks and Iain M Banks, and they might split on the issue. Just for the sheer heck of it.
posted by Major Clanger at 3:30 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I didn't meet anyone in leith....

Leith is absolutely covered in yes signs,flags etc - the proposition that hardly anyone in leith is voting yes is laughable. Also the idea that no one is going to yes voting stalls is pure hokum, easily debunked with a quick google/twitter search.

This has been the dynamic throughout the campaign: bettertogether post some hokum- then five minutes later it's been proved untrue with the no campaign falling back on accusations of cybernattery.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:38 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


If you're jonesing for Nate Silver, then Alberto Nardelli, the Guardian's data frood, makes for decent methadone. His take is that the polling trendlines have showed a clear narrowing, down from a twenty percent lead for No at the beginning of the year, to a four percent lead just before the election. In a regular election, he'd be happy to call it for No, but there is so little historical data for elections like this that there is a non-trivial chance that Yes will win (around 20%).
posted by Kattullus at 3:56 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


epo: "The real problem is that I believe there will be a No result but that the Yes camp will not accept it because they had no intention of honouring their promise to do so."

I'm deeply tired of people acting like Scotland's about to break down into civil war. It's total horseshit. The Scottish Police Federation had to step in yesterday and tell off a bunch of folk stoking rumours of impending disorder.

I can't control other people's reactions to my politics. If someone looks at me, a middle class speccy web twat in a checked shirt, and sees a thug because I'm wearing a Yes badge, that 'threat' is in their head.

The mere existence of an opposing point of view is not a threat. And if divisions in Scottish society are being exposed by the referendum, good. Because they were already there. Fundamentally, many of us are not happy with how this country is run. But we're working to change it through the ballot box after 307 years of Union, and the only people I see handwringing about civil disorder are No voters. It's irresponsible and it's patronising.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:58 AM on September 18, 2014 [23 favorites]


I have to say that I've found the number of usually progressive / vaguely-leftish people supporting the Yes campaign quite disheartening. In general I didn't think we were on the side of nationalist division and the drawing up of new barriers between peoples. The old lie of "them and us" doesn't seem any more picturesque to me for being draped in the Saltire.

I reject the notion that there's something so fundamentally different between the average person in Dumfries and the average person in Carlisle (or Manchester or Cardiff or Newcastle) that they can't exist in the same polity.

In particular, although Better Together has been ineptly run, Yes has been staggeringly and cynically dishonest. It's been the most depressing thing I've witnessed in British politics since the run up to the Iraq war a decade ago. The lies on currency and the EU ought to be enough to sink them, without even getting into the NHS, oil, and so on. When your currency Plan A is something that's impossible and you refuse to say what the real plan is, something is clearly wrong with the supposed "open debate". When you're denying basic European law and claiming you have legal advice from the EU which doesn't exist, and to have had meetings with France, Italy, Belgium and Spain which never actually happened, you've tipped over from general spin into contempt for the Scottish people and the democratic process.

The tragedy is, I think, that there's a genuine desire for change and reform across the entire UK and it's been channeled in a direction in Scotland that's fundamentally reactionary and divisive. The best outcome from all this would be a decisive No and then an energetic move towards comprehensive constitutional reform and a Federalised UK.

And for Cameron and Salmond to be slingshotted into the sun, but that's just a personal preference.
posted by sobarel at 4:04 AM on September 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


Oops! I meant to link to this article by Nardelli. It's worth reading because he's one of the few people I've seen commenting in the British media on the referendum who has a basic understanding of statistics. Here's an excerpt:
A three-point gap may sound small, but as the votes mount up the margin of difference may become insurmountable before some of the big cities declare. The Press Association anticipates that Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, which together are home to about 25% of registered voters, will be the last three councils to announce results on Friday morning, between 5am and 6am.

If Edinburgh were to declare and one side or the other were to be three points ahead with only Glasgow and Aberdeen remaining, the side in second place would need to win an unlikely 60% of the votes in Glasgow on a constant turnout to even up the race.

Should that three-point lead be maintained after Glasgow declares, then any Aberdeen result would quite probably be irrelevant to the outcome. In other words, a referendum is not like football where a three-point gap can be turned around in one game.

A difference of one more percentage point would have a more profound impact. Should one side or the other have a lead of at least four points before Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen declare, then unlikely results would need to emerge in the three big cities for the trailing side to win.
posted by Kattullus at 4:17 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


This seems to be a referendum on Westminister rather than on union. In the UK last year we protest-voted for UKIP (I hope that's why people voted for them) and in Scotland you now have the chance to jettison them altogether. I think England would do the same given the chance but there isn't a "none of the above" option in general elections.

The whole political system is rotten and I can't blame people for voting Yes, though as a left-wing London resident I'd prefer all the sane Scottish voters to stay. If we get regional devolution in England maybe we can get shot of the nasty Tory heartlands instead, like a forcible Atlas Shrugged.

My assumption that a No vote would not be accepted by the SNP is based on some woman from the SNP getting on radio 4 yesterday to say they wouldn't accept it and would be seeking another referendum if they lost (I thought it was Nicola Sturgeon, but I was in the bath and not listening all that closely). Have there been scottish civil war rumours? That sounds laughable.

Anyway, I wish Scotland the best whatever they choose. Just keep the borders open, ok?
posted by tinkletown at 4:27 AM on September 18, 2014


The best outcome from all this would be a decisive No and then an energetic move towards comprehensive constitutional reform and a Federalised UK.

A federalised UK would be an interesting idea; the problem is that splitting it along the lines of its constituent countries is not viable, for the simple reason that England would have 85% of the population. That would result not so much in a federation as England plus some dependencies and/or special regions, which are either marginalised due to their small size or else have disproportionate amounts of voting power (which would annoy a lot of people among the 85%).

The only way a fUK could work would involve breaking England up into states; perhaps Yorkshire and Cornwall would be the first to go, with the rest of the north, midlands and such going later. The states should probably be significantly bigger than counties.

Another option might be just to float London as a Dubai-style global city-state of deregulated white-hot capital and predatory oligarchs, and let the rest of Britain make its own way. (They could even expand the Corporation of London into a fashionably postdemocratic legislature for it.)
posted by acb at 4:27 AM on September 18, 2014


They'd have to give it to the spirits of Iain Banks and Iain M Banks, and they might split on the issue. Just for the sheer heck of it.

No, both current and future Mr Banks would jump all over no more Tories. In the Culture I think the Tories might actually be viewed as mentally ill.
posted by jaduncan at 4:32 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


tinkletown: " My assumption that a No vote would not be accepted by the SNP is based on some woman from the SNP getting on radio 4 yesterday to say they wouldn't accept it and would be seeking another referendum if they lost (I thought it was Nicola Sturgeon, but I was in the bath and not listening all that closely). Have there been scottish civil war rumours? That sounds laughable."

There's a difference between contesting the outcome of this referendum and agreeing to never asking for another one. The Scottish Government has committed to the former, but not the latter, despite how much David Cameron may mumble about settling things 'once and for all'.

The main issue that may face any future referendum is that David Cameron basically gambled on this being a shoe-in for No and lost. They were not expecting a successful Yes campaign or a narrowing of the polls, hence the scramble in the last couple of weeks and the bevy of bribes offered to us (which has really annoyed backbench Tories who already think we're a bunch of scroungers). Given that, it's extremely unlikely that another straight Yes/No referendum vote will ever be multi-laterally agreed on again, without some kind of fundamental change in Westminster itself.

As for the civil war rumours, no, that was hyperbole, but not by much. I've seen tweets and rumbles from No politicians voters saying how much they fear breakdown of order.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:33 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The only way a fUK could work would involve breaking England up into states

The old kingdoms of Mercia, Wessex, Northumberland et al could make a comeback! Or, more seriously, the system of Länder within a Federal Republic seems to work pretty well for Germany.
posted by sobarel at 4:34 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


sobarel: "The old kingdoms of Mercia, Wessex, Northumberland et al could make a comeback!"

Vote Mitta Romenig in 752!

A Better Mercia. I'm with Mitt.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:40 AM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Bloody Saxons coming over here, drinking our mead and ransacking our bountiful woad fields.
posted by sobarel at 4:46 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


> The only way a fUK could work would involve breaking England up into states; perhaps Yorkshire and Cornwall would be the first to go, with the rest of the north, midlands and such going later. The states should probably be significantly bigger than counties.

We could just use the existing European parliamentary regions - North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber, etc. They already exist on the map, they're a reasonable size, and are generally fairly cohesive.

Also, I think the abbreviation needs a rethink.
posted by winterhill at 4:48 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a difference between contesting the outcome of this referendum and agreeing to never asking for another one. The Scottish Government has committed to the former, but not the latter, despite how much David Cameron may mumble about settling things 'once and for all'.

Though the only way I can see another referendum happening within the next, say, 20 years is if the Westminster parties are feeling particularly unmagnanimous and decide that, now that the window has closed, the boot's on the other foot. The Barnett Formula is scrapped, Scotland's budget is cut, the Scottish NHS is made into a case study for radical privatisation (“reform”), or even the Scottish Parliament is dissolved (which Westminster has the power to do) and devolution is rolled back, culminating in unrest and protest of the sort which (after the tear gas runs out) forces concessions.
posted by acb at 4:54 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


acb: "Though the only way I can see another referendum happening within the next, say, 20 years is if the Westminster parties are feeling particularly unmagnanimous and decide that, now that the window has closed, the boot's on the other foot. The Barnett Formula is scrapped, Scotland's budget is cut, the Scottish NHS is made into a case study for radical privatisation (“reform”), or even the Scottish Parliament is dissolved (which Westminster has the power to do) and devolution is rolled back, culminating in unrest and protest of the sort which (after the tear gas runs out) forces concessions."

I genuinely dread that future.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:57 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I woke up this morning to the dulcet sounds of a baritone bellowing "Flower of Scotland". This is a deeply, deeply weird day with a lot of people not meeting each other's eyes. The real political process starts now, though.

(On the other hand, some friends I thought of as sure Nos have just said they've voted Yes. What's happening is anybody's guess. )
posted by kariebookish at 5:00 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


A genuine question: should Scotland vote No, will Cameron keep his promises of giving them more autonomy?
posted by Kitteh at 5:00 AM on September 18, 2014


> "Also, I think the abbreviation needs a rethink."

Federal United Kingdom (FUK)?

United States of the United Kingdom (USUK)?

Federally United, Scotland Wales Ireland (Northern) and England (FU, SWINE)?
posted by kyrademon at 5:04 AM on September 18, 2014 [37 favorites]


Kitteh: "A genuine question: should Scotland vote No, will Cameron keep his promises of giving them more autonomy?"

Well, many of his MPs are saying they'll vote against it, and a few are even calling for his resignation even if it is a No.

The big problem is that he explicitly lobbied to take Devo Max off the ballot (which probably would have won by a wide margin) because he thought No would win and didn't want to open the Pandora's Box of real federalism, which would likely not be great for the Tories in the long run.

So the 'Vow' etc was hammered together at the last minute out of months worth of havering by three different political parties, and none of it is actually a formal offer by a sitting government.

I'm guessing it'll fall apart pretty quick and anyone who voted No purely because they believed it will feel pretty daft.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


"A genuine question: should Scotland vote No, will Cameron keep his promises of giving them more autonomy?"
Cameron seems to have only made the promises knowing that the more radical Tories won't let his smarmy ass keep them. For a sense of his sincerity, listen to what he thought of the question of devolution just a couple of years ago.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The old kingdoms of Mercia, Wessex, Northumberland et al could make a comeback!

All well and good until Northumbrian nationalists start agitating for the return of Edinburgh to their kingdom.
posted by ambrosen at 5:11 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


sgt.serenity: I'm not addressing the most important issue here though - I can confirm, having researched on behalf of all you lovely mefites that Los cardos in leith walk sell HAGGIS BURRITOS and they are delicious.

I'm not sure if I can order a nuclear strike via metafilter but here goes:

Coordinates 55.966392 by -3.173820. 50 megaton yield, please write something pithy on the bomb casing too.
posted by dr_dank at 5:20 AM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


So the 'Vow' etc was hammered together at the last minute out of months worth of havering by three different political parties, and none of it is actually a formal offer by a sitting government.

It wouldn't matter if it was, they not only can't bind successors but also can't bind the House at any later vote. It's not a manifesto pledge, and so backbenchers aren't bound to agree to anything (and, indeed, notably haven't even been consulted). It means precisely fuck all until it's an Act, and even then all that R (Jackson) v Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56 says is that constitutional Acts must be expressly repealed (setting aside the controversial obiter regarding really serious human rights breaches). It's not exactly a high bar.

Without a written constitution, Westminister can legally remove devolution. Even the pledge itself is carefully non-specific. Let's hope a Tory rebellion doesn't happen, eecause WM could devolve responsibility for paperclip acquisition and various other things, not increase the budget, and then look on as nothing really changes. They'd be dumb to do it, but they still may.
posted by jaduncan at 5:21 AM on September 18, 2014


What do I know, but UK politicians' bizarre comparisons with the US Confederacy just seem so totally tone-deaf. Not only is it a stupid comparison because the context is waaaay different, but it's irrelevant, because the UK's political system isn't the same as the US's. But I bet it also plays into a perception that recent British governments have been too influenced by the US, and that seems like the kind of sentiment that is fueling the Scottish independence movement.

For what it's worth, in 1919, alarmed by the success of Irish nationalist propagandists in the US, Irish unionists sent some representatives to try to make their case to American public opinion. They were really fond of comparing advocates of Irish independence with the Confederacy. As best as I can tell, that comparison didn't even get any traction in the Northern US, where it might be expected to resonate.

I've spent enough time in Ireland to know that as an American, I officially have no right to an opinion on such matters, which is good, because I actually am not sure which side I think is right. I predict that no will win, and it won't even be super-close, because my impulse is to say that people fear big change and that some people will balk at the last moment. But as I said, what do I know. I just hope that however it goes, it works out well for the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:21 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "What do I know, but UK politicians' bizarre comparisons with the US Confederacy just seem so totally tone-deaf."

You're not wrong. Especially because the South being #bettertogether, as Miliband put it, was accomplished via a brutal, years long war. Never mind the whole slavery thing.

But the overall Better Together campaign has been almost laughably tone-deaf. Just staggeringly so. Of the people who have told me in person that they've switched from No or Don't know to Yes, I'd say well more than three quarters of them have cited the absolute shower of shite from the Better Together campaign as a primary motivator.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:25 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cameron seems to have only made the promises knowing that the more radical Tories won't let his smarmy ass keep them.

It's only a few loopy hard-right backbenchers saying that stuff - and they hate Cameron and all his works regardless of what he says or does. Further devolution was announced in (I think) March this year, well before the last-minute panic, and has cross-party support so I'd say it's fairly certain, especially if it's a tight result. Miliband will likely be PM next year and electorally needs to keep Scotland onside more than the Tories, so that's another factor in making a fair settlement more likely.
posted by sobarel at 5:28 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


kariebookish: I woke up this morning to the dulcet sounds of a baritone bellowing "Flower of Scotland".

If the election was about which national anthem to have, God Save the Queen or Flower of Scotland, I don't think the election would be close at all. Scotland the Brave, Highland Cathedral, Scots Wha Hae and (especially) A Man's a Man for A' That are also much better than God Save the Queen too and would probably win handily too. I guess my point is that God Save the Queen is a terrible, terrible song.
posted by Kattullus at 5:30 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm interested in whether the UK flag would be changed to remove the Scottish flag.
posted by Area Man at 5:33 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


God Save the Queen is a terrible, terrible song.

Something that English, Welsh, Scots, Manx, Channel Islanders and Shetlanders can unite in total harmonious agreement with.
posted by sobarel at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2014


A genuine question: should Scotland vote No, will Cameron keep his promises of giving them more autonomy?

If they're not given Devo Max powers, as have been promised by all three major political parties there may well be riots in the streets
posted by brilliantmistake at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2014


I'd switch to Yes as well if it was just based on the Better Together campaign - David Cameron is absolute voting poison. I simply cannot comprehend how anyone can hold their noses to vote for him and Osbourne. Complete mystery, they are just so obnoxious.

Milliband did flounce off to Washington when he lost his leadership election, so presumably this is his "Look look I'm in America" effort. Hell, why stop there? Why not go the whole hog and compare Scotland to 1930s Germany? Don't we need a bit more Lebensraum down here in the south east to cool down the London housing market? It couldn't be any more tone deaf.
posted by tinkletown at 5:36 AM on September 18, 2014


brilliantmistake: "If they're not given Devo Max powers, as have been promised by all three major political parties there may well be riots in the streets."

They haven't promised Devo Max. They've 'promised' a weird subset of it. This blog post has some good detail on that. See the chart half way down.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:38 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm interested in whether the UK flag would be changed

The Guardian has a good rundown on Union Jack options.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:43 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: a middle class speccy web twat in a checked shirt

If Yes wins, then:

Good news - No more Gordon Brown who has heaped hundreds of billions of pounds of PFI debt on my people

Bad news - Permanent Tory Government.

If I was Scottish I would vote yes, but I hope they vote no for the above Bad news reason. Someone on the BBC texted in and said that they felt things would get way worse for a long time before they got better, so he was voting yes for his children.
posted by marienbad at 5:46 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


marienbad: "Metafilter: a middle class speccy web twat in a checked shirt"

FEAR ME I AM LEGION
posted by Happy Dave at 5:47 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Re Flag - please not the black white and red option - these are manu's colours ffs!
posted by marienbad at 5:47 AM on September 18, 2014


The reason everyone likes Devo Max (and the reason it couldn't be on the ballot) is that everyone has a different definition. Scotland already has more autonomy than any other part of the UK though, and will certainly get more in a post-No negotiation.

It strikes me that the independence that Salmond is offering - keeping the head of state, the currency, the state broadcaster, etc, etc - is more like Devo Max than true independence, so a decent settlement might well settle the issue for a generation or two.
posted by sobarel at 5:51 AM on September 18, 2014


sobarel: It's only a few loopy hard-right backbenchers saying that stuff

Claire Perry, the rail minister, has criticized the pledge for further devolution in a newspaper column.
posted by Kattullus at 5:52 AM on September 18, 2014


I like this referendum because we're actually waiting for the outcome rather than just the numbers. So often they're foregone conclusions as the polls tell us clearly what will happen. But here we genuinely don't know. It looks more likely to be No, but there is a serious chance of Yes.
posted by Thing at 5:56 AM on September 18, 2014


Isn't Ken a Libertarian Trotskyist or something similarly noneuclidean and incomprehensible?

it gets confusing because "libertarian" in Europe translates roughly to "anarchist" in the US. The "Star Fraction" books are a hoot because they feature a Leninist '5 year plan' which has achieved sentience and become a sort of stealth hedge fund as the MacGuffin. But his later books seem to be basically Libertarian in the American mode, along with a weird obsession with imagining Scots as the direct descendants of some paleolithic race (cavescots!)... which is kind of depressing.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:04 AM on September 18, 2014


Claire Perry, the rail minister, has criticized the pledge for further devolution in a newspaper column.

She seems to be making a slightly more subtle point about not rushing into a poorly thought-through agreement rather than damning the whole idea of further devolved powers. But, fair enough, there will clearly be a rebellious faction on the Tory benches - as there always is amongst that back-stabbing shower - but it doesn't seem large and Labour and the LibDems are on board.
posted by sobarel at 6:05 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: more likely to be No, but a serious chance of Yes.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:06 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


They've 'promised' a weird subset of it

Interesting reading, so they have. It is amazing how mainstream Westminster just doesn't get it.
posted by brilliantmistake at 6:08 AM on September 18, 2014


By the way, I should have said hello as I'm new here, although a long-term lurker. I hope I'm not posting too much for a newbie on this thread, but I'm enjoying the civil discourse - not to be found elsewhere on this issue.
posted by sobarel at 6:10 AM on September 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


This morning's twitter trending map was both interesting and pretty.
posted by Wordshore at 6:12 AM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Nah, you're doing fine. Welcome!
posted by Happy Dave at 6:12 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


From 1970s Antihero's link:
"Part of the problem, according to Charles Ashburner, the chief executive of the Flag Institute, is that the current flag "fell into use" rather than ever being formally adopted, so "nobody controls the union flag". Successive governments have declined to sort out the constitutional anomaly, he said, meaning that "potentially on Friday morning in the post-apocalyptic nightmare that Scotland is going to have after a yes vote, all these questions are going to come home to roost"."
Post-apocalyptic nightmare, eh? I'm guessing he's a Tory.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:14 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


In I-don't-quite-know-what-to-make-of-it news, the Guardian's Are the Scots Indepenent Yet? website features a graphic that looks for all the world like Scotland and the rest of the UK are rutting.
posted by Kattullus at 6:14 AM on September 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


sobarel: By the way, I should have said hello as I'm new here, although a long-term lurker.

Oh wow! Signed up in 2002, first comments in 2014. That has to be some kind of record. Welcome onboard!
posted by Kattullus at 6:16 AM on September 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


Berwick-upon-Tweed is, as ever, getting shafted.
posted by sobarel at 6:17 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


In I-don't-quite-know-what-to-make-of-it news, the Guardian's Are the Scots Indepenent Yet? website features a graphic that looks for all the world like Scotland and the rest of the UK are rutting.

Good lord it really does.
posted by winna at 6:19 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh wow! Signed up in 2002, first comments in 2014. That has to be some kind of record. Welcome onboard!

I've been very busy. Also, I'd forgotten I even had an account.
posted by sobarel at 6:20 AM on September 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


The Donetsk People's Republic comes out for Yes. This could be the clincher.
posted by sobarel at 6:27 AM on September 18, 2014


All of Scotland’s 32 councils will be counting separately, Severin explains...but all the results will be sent to Edinburgh for announcement by Mary Pitcaithly, Scotland’s chief counting officer. She will also announce the final official result, probably about 6am [BST]

fyi, that's 1 AM EDT in the US.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:28 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]




sobarel welcome. I too am so grateful for having Metafilter's civil take while this is going on. Two threads about this ago I got carried away in the heat of the discussion and I am still grateful for the polite and civil call out I got. I realised in horror* that I probably never really tried to argue on here for anything I care a lot about and how little I was prepared to handle it. It was a good lesson. Metafilter for the win!!
(*the feeling "OMG what have I done, faith in level discussion on mefi is just about one of my highest goods and I messed up" not being one I want to repeat)
posted by yoHighness at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Milliband did flounce off to Washington when he lost his leadership election, so presumably this is his "Look look I'm in America" effort.

Actually, he's in New York City....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 AM on September 18, 2014


marienbad: If Yes wins, then:

We can finally settle the question of whether it's much better be an owner of a lonely heart or an owner of a broken heart.

posted by dr_dank at 6:50 AM on September 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


From way up in the thread: I agree that trying to stay with the UK Pound, or join the Euro are both bad ideas. But they are *not* the total set of possibilities.

Actually, should independent Scotland want to join the EU, the euro *is* their only choice, at least in principle: to join the EU, they must join the economic and monetary union, for which the eventual adoption of the euro is mandatory.
posted by daniel_charms at 6:58 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks yoHighness. Emotions have certainly been stirred during all this - I wonder how easily they'll be put aside once it's all over. It's been much more upsetting for me than I ever imagined.
posted by sobarel at 6:58 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't really know what Scotland should do, but I love the way politics looks there right now. It's a real participatory moment, and they seem to have discovered what Arendt called the "revolutionary treasure" of intense and effectual citizenship, deliberation, and activism. Even without (or before) independence, they're practicing isonomy. I wish more of their and our politics looked like that.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:04 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]




The funny thing is, though, anotherpanacea, that as utopian as it seems from across the ocean, people I know in Scotland are finding the whole thing really unpleasant. It's creating rifts in relationships that they're afraid they won't be able to repair. On one level, it's awesome when people are really engaged in serious questions, but on another level, it lends an intensity to things that isn't always welcome.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:08 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]




to join the EU, they must join the economic and monetary union, for which the eventual adoption of the euro is mandatory.

Indeed, and you can't join the EMU without a central bank and having demonstrated a few years of fiscal compliance. Exactly the sort of complex issue the Yes campaign has dissembled on.

Adopting Schengen and 5% EU VAT on food and children's clothing will be mandatory too.
posted by sobarel at 7:11 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm reading that as an explanation of what will happen *if* there is 100% turnout, not a statement that there has been. (But I can well believe that this might be one of the few ballots that achieves that without having been called by someone with a title like Glorious Leader of the People).

The reason for staying open is that turnout is calculated on the basis of registered voters less those who have requested and been sent a postal ballot form. So all the people who are registered to vote and who didn't get a postal ballot might vote by, say, 8pm, but the polling station will stay open in case someone who asked for a postal ballot didn't actually post it but now wants to hand it in directly.
posted by Major Clanger at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The reason everyone likes Devo Max (and the reason it couldn't be on the ballot) is that everyone has a different definition.

So, you might say Devo Max is... Something For Everybody?
posted by sfenders at 7:16 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


On one level, it's awesome when people are really engaged in serious questions, but on another level, it lends an intensity to things that isn't always welcome.

I understand that, though I think Scots have mostly acquitted themselves very well on this. I guess I'd say: politics should be that intense and consequential. The fact that it's mostly not that intense in the US and UK is evidence that most elections aren't really that consequential.

If your friendships and civility matter more to you than the fate of your country, then you're ignoring how the regime makes friendship and civility and all the other components of human flourishing possible. The kind of politics that never gets too intense is the kind of politics that mostly expects citizens to ignore the decisions that most deeply affect their lives.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:17 AM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Also, nitpicking, some polling stations have very small areas and achieving 100% isn't all that incredible. So 100% on Rum is one thing, but 100% in Paisley would be quite another.
posted by Thing at 7:17 AM on September 18, 2014


Dear Scotland. I'm completely willing to share my birthday with you and will toast you later with your own delicious spirits. Go get 'em tiger.
posted by echocollate at 7:18 AM on September 18, 2014


Adopting Schengen and 5% EU VAT on food and children's clothing will be mandatory too.

Given how large and unique the circumstances of accession to the EU are, it will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis. And given that joining Schengen would impose unreasonable hardships (i.e., border controls with the rest of the UK and Ireland), I imagine that waiving it will be part of any settlement, unless someone (Spain?) really doesn't want the Scots in the EU.
posted by acb at 7:19 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd love - LOVE - this amount of political engagement if it weren't for people walking into polling stations today and voting Yes on the understanding there'll be a Currency Union and seamless EU membership. A narrow Yes vote on this false prospectus is an unhappy prospect.
posted by sobarel at 7:22 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thing: "Also, nitpicking, some polling stations have very small areas and achieving 100% isn't all that incredible. So 100% on Rum is one thing, but 100% in Paisley would be quite another."

Turnout in Muirhouse, Edinburgh reported at 80% and had reached 2010 turnout level by 09:30 this morning.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


including hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17 year olds

Hey pundits, turns out young people aren't apathetic about politics if you don't *bar them from participation*
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:25 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


unless someone (Spain?) really doesn't want the Scots in the EU

The Spanish PM said independence would be "tremendously negative" and accession would take many years. The Spanish Europe minister said accession had "more ifs than a poem by Rudyard Kipling".

I doubt they'd veto Scottish membership, but they really, really won't make it easy. Salmond's claim this will all be sorted in 18 months is absurd.
posted by sobarel at 7:30 AM on September 18, 2014


Turnout in Muirhouse, Edinburgh reported at 80% and had reached 2010 turnout level by 09:30 this morning.

Edinburgh is, IIRC, fairly strongly No (being fairly wealthy, somewhat conservative and having always had, beneath the shortbread-tin tartanry, a British identity with close ties to the Home Counties). I wonder what the turnout is in Glasgow?
posted by acb at 7:30 AM on September 18, 2014


I'd love - LOVE - this amount of political engagement if it weren't for people walking into polling stations today and voting Yes on the understanding there'll be a Currency Union and seamless EU membership.

The fundamental problem of democratic politics is the obvious ignorance that pervades the demos. But, honestly, I think this is an argument for more democracy, not less. We're ignorant because our choices don't matter: there's no point in educating ourselves. When our choices matter, we spend the time to figure out the right answer. (With the caveat that for many matters of public concern that ought to be democratically decided, there's very little evidence that the experts are better than the amateurs, anyway.)
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:32 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have some Scottish ancestors, part of the swirl of nationalities that make up my American pedigree, so I've always had an interest in this one of my family's homelands. I have visited Scotland twice, once with my family, second on honeymoon, and twice absolutely loved it. A part of me wants to see an independent Scotland, based on the county's history and the powerful dynamo it has been intellectually and a history of never quite giving up on that idea since the Act of Union. Another part of me feels the world as a whole would probably be better off with the United Kingdom united, but that's probably the English ancestry in me. A third part of me doesn't have a stand on the matter and feels everyone should just do whatever the heck they want to do, and that's probably the Irish and Mannish ancestry in me.

Yeah. My national genetics probably should have resulted in me exploding spontaneously upon first reading about the vote from the beginning. None the less, I watch from across the sea with excited breath for any result to be revealed.
posted by Atreides at 7:33 AM on September 18, 2014


...some polling stations have very small areas and achieving 100% isn't all that incredible. So 100% on Rum is one thing...

When I lived on an island in the Outer Hebrides from 2004-09, voting was a pleasant experience. I took some pictures on my walk to and from the polling station in 2007.

(Though my favorite of the many Hebridean beaches was a couple of islands to the north. Other people's pictures of it.)
posted by Wordshore at 7:34 AM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


sobarel: "The Spanish PM said independence would be "tremendously negative" and accession would take many years. The Spanish Europe minister said accession had "more ifs than a poem by Rudyard Kipling".

I doubt they'd veto Scottish membership, but they really, really won't make it easy. Salmond's claim this will all be sorted in 18 months is absurd.
"

Ehhhh, I dunno. The EU is a big organisation. I found this video of Pat Cox, Irish former President of the European Parliament pretty convincing. His contention is that the EU essentially exists to facilitate peaceful, democratic change among European nations, and as such, since this is a consensual referendum and the summary ejection from and drawn out re-integration of Scotland back into the EU would serve nobody's interests, it's actually pretty likely to be facilitated quite quickly.

I also really enjoy the video generally, because it's a complex subject explained beautifully and non-condescendingly, and we need more of that in this debate.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:38 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The fundamental problem of democratic politics is the obvious ignorance that pervades the demos

It's not ignorance; it's an organised campaign of disinformation.

We're ignorant because our choices don't matter: there's no point in educating ourselves

This choice matters. It's not an election where another opportunity will roll around in a few years. A Yes vote will have consequences when we're all gone to dust.
posted by sobarel at 7:38 AM on September 18, 2014


acb: "Edinburgh is, IIRC, fairly strongly No (being fairly wealthy, somewhat conservative and having always had, beneath the shortbread-tin tartanry, a British identity with close ties to the Home Counties). I wonder what the turnout is in Glasgow?"

Muirhouse is probably none of those things, in any great numbers. It's a large post-war housing estate on the northern edge of the city and, I think, usually a Labour stronghold.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:39 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Spanish delay or veto would mean Spain would have to suck up quite a lot of Spanish fishermen going apeshit/bankrupt due to the sheer amount of EU-permitted fishing they do in Scottish waters.
posted by jaduncan at 7:39 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


sobarel: The Spanish Europe minister said accession had "more ifs than a poem by Rudyard Kipling".

That's a slight mistranslation of what Minister Mendez de Vigo said. Here's the Spanish-language quote: "El regreso de Escocia a la UE tendría más condicionales que If [Si], el poema de Kipling."

If my remedial Spanish isn't deserting me, then a closer translation would be: "The return of Scotland to the EU would have more conditions [conditional sentences] than Kipling's poem 'If'."

While I suspect that I would disagree politically with the right-wing Baron Mendez de Vigo about most everything, that has to be my favorite simile used by a politician in recent years.
posted by Kattullus at 7:43 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


If it happens, maybe they'll need some foreign workers to come in and help grow their new economy. And I HAVE been looking for a good excuse to leave New York...
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:48 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the clarification, Kattullus, I hadn't seen the original quote in Spanish. I think the point remains that this would be a complicated and time-consuming business, with Spain playing hardball to avoid doing anything to encourage the Catalans.

And, yes, more literary references from politicians please!
posted by sobarel at 7:50 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]




grog! that is perfect how have I never thought of that
posted by likeatoaster at 7:50 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Atreides: "and that's probably the Irish and Mannish ancestry in me.
"

It's "Manx."
posted by Chrysostom at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> "... drawn out re-integration of Scotland back into the EU would serve nobody's interests ..."

Except it very probably does; the governments of several European countries are deeply concerned about secessionist movements within their own borders, and it's within their interests to show that secession and reintegration would be difficult and complex.

And given the EU rules, they can do so without looking particularly nasty and obstructionist; all they have to do is insist that the regular rules are followed without special exceptions, and the process could take years. If they don't care about looking nasty and obstructionist, it could take even longer.
posted by kyrademon at 7:52 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Atreides: "and that's probably the Irish and Mannish ancestry in me."

It's "Manx."


OR IS IT?
posted by dhens at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2014


barely relevant but i don't care

I always think Scotland looks like it's leaning into a kiss with N. Ireland...
posted by sobarel at 7:58 AM on September 18, 2014


There was threatening graffiti scrawled on a church hall near Dumbarton being used as a polling station, which had to be painted over lest any voters see it. I'm thinking it was a ploy by the vestry to get a new lick of paint for free.
posted by Thing at 8:08 AM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


ireland is a little dragonet that the old lady is about to kiss on its forehead.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:10 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Scotland, no matter what you decide today, I will still love your brogue.
posted by malocchio at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I always think Scotland looks like it's leaning into a kiss with N. Ireland...


Coooonstant craaaaaving
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Came looking for a Referendum thread, wasn't disappointed. It's been a stimulating discussion so far.

I'm an expat Brit, living in Canada, but in oil & gas so I have a significant interest in how the Referendum turns out as it affects friends and family, not to mention that it may heavily impact my company in the future. I hope that whatever the decision, we hold on to the sense of empowerment that the electorate has found and it flows south to England so we no longer tolerate the NHS being dismantled, the banks getting off scot free (heh) and the destruction of industries and jobs by the Conservatives.

This may well be the UK's "Yes We Can" moment, let's not squander it.
posted by arcticseal at 8:26 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The confusing thing for me is that I am anti-secession in the larger sense. I don't want Scotland to leave the UK and I don't want the UK to leave the EU.

So I'm not sure what to make of voters like this.

Sarkar supports independence after what he describes as a year of research into the numbers. The clincher for him was the threat of the UK leaving the EU.

“For my business it is absolutely critical to be in Europe. I do not want an in or out referendum on that,” he says. “For me this is the safer route to staying in Europe and maintaining the status quo … It will take time but we will be in Europe. And the relationships will be different. The UK is not the flavour of the month in many countries.”


Cameron really f***ed things up, didn't he?
posted by vacapinta at 8:26 AM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


CTRL-F for "Clusterfuck"...no results? In that case, please allow me to be the first to use that fine word to describe this entire situation.
posted by Optamystic at 8:33 AM on September 18, 2014


> that is perfect how have I never thought of that

The UK's OSGB projection makes the British Isles look way less slouchy than WGS84. Definitely a case of "Does this map make my bum look big to you?"
posted by scruss at 8:35 AM on September 18, 2014


Yes, I don't think Scottish independence is a good idea, but if it happens and they join the EU our family will get our citizenship by ancestry ASAP
posted by Megami at 8:36 AM on September 18, 2014


Voting Yes to maintain the status quo seems ... an odd choice. iScotland would be out of the EU for a few years at least, and I don't think it's at all likely the UK would vote to leave.

And, yes, Cameron has maintained his immaculate record of misjudgment and incompetence.
posted by sobarel at 8:36 AM on September 18, 2014


Nice interactive here:

How The Yes Was Won or Lost
Over the last six months we have been tracking the hashtag #IndyRef and collected over 4.7 million tweets to listen to what the world is saying...Oil, the NHS and pensions were the key issues...It also makes sense to look at whether people have hope or fear about what awaits them. The interactive has a visualisation showing whether hope or fear were dominating following key moments such as the two campaign debates and the release of Alex Salmond’s white paper on Scotland.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:39 AM on September 18, 2014




Iain Banks, the most famous Scot on my bookshelf, was mentioned upthread. Here's short piece on why he supported "an independent Scotland on the best possible terms with its big English neighbour".
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The guardian has a neat animated roundup of the whole thing for foreigners

They fluffed the bit on the West Lothian Question. For a start, everybody knows what it is and many care very deeply.
posted by Thing at 8:55 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


As much as I love Iain Banks, the Celtic generosity of spirit vs English meanness thing is quite ridiculous, and the sort of thing that would be - rightly - pilloried if it was reversed and coming from some Little Englander type. Travelling around northern Britain I've never found myself deducing a link between ethnicity and quality of spirit.
posted by sobarel at 9:01 AM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Take English people and weigh them immediately before and after death. The observable change in weight is due to the loss of the spirit. Now, do the same thing with Scottish people. Compare the results stastically. You'll find that people in Scotland tend to have more spirit. It is just good, sound science.
posted by Area Man at 9:11 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


iScotland

oh lord don't give apple any ideas
posted by poffin boffin at 9:11 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ah, but it's quality of spirit he talks about, not amount. Maybe the Celtic spirit is the equivalent of a fine single malt and the mean English spirit is something in a plastic bottle from the offy. Only a spiritual spectrometer can tell.
posted by sobarel at 9:15 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


So is there no sort of exit poll going on? As an election junkie I really need someone giving me very shaky information that one side or the other is eeking ahead.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:16 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


So is there no sort of exit poll going on? As an election junkie I really need someone giving me very shaky information that one side or the other is eeking ahead.

Not in the UK while voting is taking place. Expect BBC, Sky, possibly ITV, to release exit poll data at 10pm UK time.
posted by Wordshore at 9:17 AM on September 18, 2014


So is there no sort of exit poll going on?

Nope. It's not an election. Final result by 6am local time though.
posted by sobarel at 9:19 AM on September 18, 2014


Dateline Scotland voting day special!
posted by Happy Dave at 9:22 AM on September 18, 2014


Is this whole "you'll have had your tea" thing part of the generous Celtic spirit?
posted by Area Man at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2014


They should have given a vote to the descendents of those who had to emigrate as a result of the Clearances as well. I mean, it's not like they chose not to be in Scotland or anything.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:25 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fucksake, that's only Morningside.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:26 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


This may well be the UK's "Yes We Can" moment

In 7 years from now an independent Scotland will be launching indiscriminate drone attacks?

I would vote Yes if I could
posted by threeants at 9:26 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]




threeants: "In 7 years from now an independent Scotland will be launching indiscriminate drone attacks?"

The only drones in Scotland will be those of the PIPES!
posted by Happy Dave at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2014 [16 favorites]


"Not in the UK while voting is taking place. Expect BBC, Sky, possibly ITV, to release exit poll data at 10pm UK time."
Apparently none of the media powers that be bothered to set up the expensive exit polling apparatus not expecting it to be anything like a close vote. It sucks, not just for the shaky and unreliable information we would otherwise get when the polls close, but also for the invaluable demographic data we would otherwise get on voters and be able to analyse as a historical artefact.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The only drones in Scotland will be those of the PIPES!

There should be a Geneva Convention against those things!
posted by Thing at 9:30 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Apparently none of the media powers that be bothered to set up the expensive exit polling apparatus not expecting it to be anything like a close vote. It sucks, not just for the shaky and unreliable information we would otherwise get when the polls close, but also for the invaluable demographic data we would otherwise get on voters and be able to analyse as a historical artefact.

And. come to that, to offer some level of verification of the result.
posted by jaduncan at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2014


The lack of exit polls gives me an excuse to go and get good and drunk instead of shouting at the TV for twelve hours.

So, there's that.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


When you drive north from England the M6 changes into the A74, the whisky improves immensely, the soft drinks get more lurid, the rain gets more horizontal, and the prevalence of Tunnock's Tea Cakes increases exponentially. The people though - they stay pretty constant. Just as many saints, sinners, misers and arseholes. S'humanity.
posted by sobarel at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


Happy Dave - should I have Balvenie or Bruichladdich? I'll let you decide in a spirit of fraternity.
posted by sobarel at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The lack of exit polls gives me an excuse to go and get good and drunk instead of shouting at the TV for twelve hours.

The difficulty exit polling the independence vote (twitter joke)
posted by gladly at 9:37 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tunnock's Tea Cakes

Well now I want one of those.

Tunnock's teacakes sales 'soar' after Glasgow 2014 show

And now I want six of 'em.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tunnock's Tea Cakes

You can't get the dark chocolate variety south of the border. See - it's the English who are really suffering in this union!
posted by sobarel at 9:41 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


sobarel: "Happy Dave - should I have Balvenie or Bruichladdich? I'll let you decide in a spirit of fraternity."

Bit of Balvenie, but only if it's a 12 year or more. Otherwise the Bruichladdich.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:42 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


They're nice! If you eat more than two in a sitting, just be prepared for instant onset diabetes.
posted by forgetful snow at 9:42 AM on September 18, 2014


I had one just last night. I like to eat half and then lick the marshmallow out the other half.
posted by Thing at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2014


Tunnock's Tea Cakes.... Mallomars.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:48 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bit of Balvenie, but only if it's a 12 year or more. Otherwise the Bruichladdich.

I shall open my last bottle of the (sadly discontinued) 12yo Signature.
posted by sobarel at 9:48 AM on September 18, 2014


Well jealous.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:57 AM on September 18, 2014


For US viewers, C-SPAN is simulcasting the BBC coverage online, starting at 5:35PM, EDT.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:58 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tunnock's Tea Cakes.... Mallomars.

Well that's disappointing.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:59 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


So - if I'm reading the times right, I'm posting this at noon my time (Central US), which I believe is currently GMT -5. UK Time is +1, so right now it is 6pm UK Time. So in 4 hours we should exit poll data (4pm Central, 10pm UK); and actual final results at 6am "Local" time (Is this "UK Time" or something different? if it's UK Time, then that means Midnight should be the actual results?)

GAH! I JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW LONG I'M GONNA HAVE TO STAY UP, IF AT ALL, TO FIND OUT!!!!
posted by symbioid at 10:02 AM on September 18, 2014


There will be no exit poll. Just the result by 6am UK time / GMT+1.
posted by sobarel at 10:03 AM on September 18, 2014


Think a Glendronach 12 or 15 year would be good? I'm not much of a scotch drinker, and have only tried it a couple times. Glennfiddich, IIRC. The Glendronach sherried sounds especially tasty to my sweet tooth. Aye or Nay?
posted by symbioid at 10:04 AM on September 18, 2014


Time Converter
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:04 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Guardian reporters in Glasgow just posted a short video interview with Oxford University polling expert Steve Fisher. The interview is informative though it's taken with a camera that mimics the sort of effect you get in 90s British gangster films when the protagonist has taken too many drugs and is about to vomit on the dancefloor.

Basically, Fisher says that if you want to read the early result tea leaves, pay attention to East Lothian, which should be fairly close to the median, and Inverclyde, which is a heavily working class area of Glasgow. If either trend Yes-ward of the expected result, then that would indicate a better result for Yes than latest polls predict.
posted by Kattullus at 10:07 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Good luck Scotland. You've been an inspiration to watch.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera currently reporting a VERY HIGH voter turnout.
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:30 AM on September 18, 2014


Wait, has no-one yet posted the Scots word for 'independence'?

Unthirldom.

The etymology's here. It relates to which mill you're obligated to mill your corn at. I can't express how much I love it.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:32 AM on September 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


Apparently it's not quite so easy to deprive people of EU citizenship as it might look.

Ian Merrilees: Excluding Scotland from the EU: Definitely Difficult; Probably Impossible

"The weakness in the unionists’ reasoning is that there is nothing in the EU treaties – neither the Treaty on European Union nor the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union - that would allow anyone to revoke the rights of Scotland’s people. The EU can only do what the Treaties authorise it to do. Attempts to pass legislation which cannot be traced back to a Treaty provision can and have been struck down by the Court of Justice. Any attempt to revoke or even restrict the rights Scotland’s people currently have under EU law could easily suffer the same fate. "
posted by Flitcraft at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Despite the perennially popular hate-on for Westminster, I do think it's worth giving them credit for the way the independence movement has been handled, regardless of how the vote turns out tonight. The referendum was offered without rancour, the Edinburgh Agreement was reasonably and quickly drafted, the terms were fair without any punitive requirements for excessive majorities, the elections are seemingly free and uninterfered with so far, and (although often clumsily run and with sometimes blatant scheming on both sides) the campaigns have been mostly clean and above-board, without much heat or violence between different sides.

If this is the last night that I can say this phrase and include our kin to the north, so be it: this has been a great display of British fair play, and I hope that the relatively honest way in which everyone has conducted themselves can act as an inspiration to the hundreds of independence movements and their parent governments around the world.
posted by forgetful snow at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


For those who are confused, this website will help simply things.
posted by Fizz at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Despite the perennially popular hate-on for Westminster, I do think it's worth giving them credit for the way the independence movement has been handled, regardless of how the vote turns out tonight.

Well yeah, they've had over 200 years to learn from their mistakes.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2014


Regardless of the outcome, of late the world has badly needed an exemplar of how civilization is supposed to do things. Even if it doesn't gain full independence I think Scotland has stepped to the forefront of nations today.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:44 AM on September 18, 2014 [18 favorites]


This thread is ace, thanks everyone. (And I'm not even Scottish!)

It really does feel like a historic moment, and I have a strange feeling "Yes" will win (sorry, dr_dank) and then everyone will feel strange, like their sister left town or something. I do think that seeing as it takes years after independence for a country to be truly independent, the Yes side is in a strong position. I don't see what the No side has to offer in the long term.
posted by marienbad at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


British time is five hours ahead of North American Eastern Time, so results should be in by 1 AM here.
posted by Small Dollar at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2014


I feel very strongly about the right of people to choose how they're governed so I'm wearing my actual ass-ugly family tartan tie and not the much better looking "Scotland forever" one. I am clashing with my own outfit for you Scotland, don't let me down.
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't vote, but I'd be voting yes. It's tough being an expat.

For what it's worth, I'm glad — and proud — that this has been so civilised. The Independent had a picture of some "Vote yes or else" graffiti on a polling station, but that also had "YT" written on it, which signifies "young team" (i.e. the junior division which may or may not be affiliated with an older gang) so it's just stupid kids. Attributing it to "yes campaigners" is a bit rich.

I will totally feel genuinely sad for the union - some of the best and worst years of my life were spent in England, and some of my best friends are there. But there comes a time to move on and move out, and I think both sides will ultimately be better apart.

I'm not The Whelk, I don't have a tie, but it's lucky tartan boxers here. Fingers crossed for a Scottish passport!
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 10:56 AM on September 18, 2014


The Whelk, we need pictorial evidence of your sacrifice. Or we'll keep all Tunnock's Tea Cakes to ourselves.
posted by kariebookish at 10:57 AM on September 18, 2014


Aren't Tunnock's just jumbo mallomars though?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:01 AM on September 18, 2014


the hideous family tartan
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


> Tunnock's Tea Cakes.... Mallomars.

Well that's disappointing.


Nah -- just think of it as "cultural appropriation" and dig in!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:07 AM on September 18, 2014


> Aren't Tunnock's just jumbo mallomars though?

Please don't force me to commit the only documented act of violence in this referendum. Mallomars are a mere snack, TTCs are a cultural icon.

Fun fact: I (in Canada) live downwind on the Mallomar factory. You can't buy Mallomars in Canada, but we can get both kinds of TTCs, Snowballs and Caramel Wafers here. Not that I eat any of them ...
posted by scruss at 11:08 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whelk, I had no idea tartans came in Caution Yellow. Learn something new every day.
posted by cmyk at 11:09 AM on September 18, 2014


Dateline Scotland: Referendum Special
posted by frimble at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2014


I don't know if it portends anything, but today an injustice over a quarter-millennium old came to an end in Scotland; The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews will finally allow women to join.
posted by Kattullus at 11:12 AM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


> Tunnock's Tea Cakes.... Mallomars.

Well that's disappointing.

Nah -- just think of it as "cultural appropriation" and dig in!


I don't know if they still have them, but there used to be a German version of the same basic biccy/mallow/choc thing that had an insanely racist name. I remember being quite shocked encountering them as a child. They were horrible too - nasty plasticky chocolate.
posted by sobarel at 11:12 AM on September 18, 2014


I can't be alone in thinking that Cameron and Millband's efforts in the last week have been overwhelmingly to the benefit of the Yes side. It is very difficult to picture a no-leaner drawing further resolve from anything they did, rather the opposite. But the effect on the Yes side was positively energizing and their credibility was almost unreasonably strengthened by it. The icing on the cake was when the Tories in government couldn't hold their tongues for even a single day about their desire to repudiate everything Cameron did right down to the tie his manservant put on him that morning.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


YES! So glad they came through at St. Andrews!
posted by blurker at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2014


the hideous family tartan

Ha. Before I looked I thought "I bet it's one of the yellow ones."
posted by Jalliah at 11:16 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


also technically mallomars are just sadly halved moon pies
posted by poffin boffin at 11:16 AM on September 18, 2014


I am also, of course, immensely interested in how the independence vote turns out, and truly amazed at how civil the whole discussion has been in the UK. None of the football hooliganism I expected to see - you guys are really doing it right. However it turns out, I think this has been an example of the way political change should happen.

You go, Scotland!
posted by blurker at 11:17 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't be alone in thinking that Cameron and Millband's efforts in the last week have been overwhelmingly to the benefit of the Yes side.

Well, not overwhelmingly since the polls have barely moved for weeks (aside from one rogue one that got people spooked) but, yes, they've handled it badly. To be fair - there's a tension between wanting to be seen to defend the union, but also needing to not be accused of interfering in a Scottish poll. Whatever they did would probably have been wrong.

Gordon Brown gave, by far, the best and most stirring speech for No - and who would have thought that beforehand? If he'd been in charge all along maybe Salmond would have been forced to be a bit more honest.

All irrelevant now! The die is cast and all that.
posted by sobarel at 11:23 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm not *totally* surprised that a No argument came across better from a Scot than from Englishmen.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:28 AM on September 18, 2014


The surprise is more that it came from the same Gordon Brown who was so stumbling and awkward when he was PM. He finally found something he really believes in I suppose.
posted by sobarel at 11:31 AM on September 18, 2014


I'm still confused as to when to expect the results.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2014




Brown always struck me as a classic perfect #2 person who got promoted one step too high.

[Disclaimer: I am not from the UK]
posted by Chrysostom at 11:35 AM on September 18, 2014


Leaving the Titanic and then tethering themselves to the sinking hulk with a currency union.
posted by sobarel at 11:36 AM on September 18, 2014


Brown always struck me as a classic perfect #2 person who got promoted one step too high.

He struck a tragic figure - striving all his political life to be PM, and then being destroyed by the role when he got there. Although, tbf, Blair did leave him with a poisoned chalice.

He seems to have rediscovered himself recently though, and it'll be interesting to see if the rumours of him entering Scottish politics are true. He'd make mincemeat of the sleekit Salmond I suspect.
posted by sobarel at 11:41 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Leaving the Titanic and stepping aboard the Hindenburg of the European Union!
posted by Apocryphon at 11:43 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ah, Gordon Brown.

In his 13-minute oration, Mr Brown spoke passionately without notes and said the vote was about whether 'you want to break every last link with the UK and I say I don’t want to end UK pensions, UK passports, the UK pound, the UK welfare state, the UK funded health service or the UK minimum wage.'

But no mention of the UK gold reserve. I wonder why.
posted by Wordshore at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Queen's "I Want to Break Free" just blasted VERY, VERY loudly from the Tesco parking lot not far from my humble abode. I am beginning to think it's the unofficial anthem of this referendum.
posted by kariebookish at 11:49 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Looks like Buchanan there, Whelk; aka the tartan that's always remaindered.
posted by scruss at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


For some reason I now have "the tartan that's always remaindered" going through my head to the tune of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


Three beers down. A man in this bar has announced he's staying up until the result is announced. He's got a much nicer tartan for his kilt than Whelk's tie (but thanks for wearing it).
posted by Happy Dave at 12:20 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]




Looks like Buchanan there, Whelk; aka the tartan that's always remaindered.

my proud shirtless ancestors
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on September 18, 2014


If I'd have thought about it I'd have worn my Mac Laren tie today.

and also if I ever wore ties when not compelled by threats of grievous bodily harm
posted by Foosnark at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2014


Or as I said to the Whelk on Twitter earlier, my family has Moffatt ties. Great tartan, crap Doctor Who showrunners.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:33 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ever been to Scotland?
posted by yoHighness at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Leaving the Titanic and stepping aboard the Hindenburg of the European Union!

Some say the world UK will end in fire
Some say in ice.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:36 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Good luck, Scotland. We're all counting on you.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:41 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am never going to manage to stay up and watch the results come in tonight, and that is really infuriating. I don't want to go to sleep not knowing what kind of future we'll be waiting up to!

Plus I am too English to appreciate Tunnock's tea cakes (also tablet is sickly and foul THERE I SAID IT) so off to check the cupboards to see what whisky we've got in. Here's to the future, whatever it looks like.
posted by Catseye at 12:43 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh for fucks sake. Not again. It's looking increasingly likely that the Outer Hebrides (old home) will be the last to declare, as they can't fly the ballot boxes from one end of the archipelago (Barra) to the capital (Stornoway, population 8,000) for the count.

So it looks like Donald will be taking the ballot boxes by fishing boat over to Eriskay, then a road trip to the top of North Uist, then a boat to either Leverburgh and onwards by road, or straight to Stornoway.

They can't go all the way by road as it would require two ferry connections and the Comhairle resisted Norwegian tunneling technology in better years. They can't do it all online as the Comhairle got conned into installing a hideously expensive broadband that is so rubbish it still doesn't work at low tide in some places (I'm misquoted in this piece).

So, again, it's ballot box delivery to the counting centre at least partially by boat. (Un)funnily some of us were speculating earlier as whether this might happen so the returning officer (who likes being on TV) can do the decisive announcement if every other council of Scotland has declared and it's close.
posted by Wordshore at 12:47 PM on September 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


BBC Live Results coverage stating at 10pm BST.

When do they estimate the count to be in? 6am tomorrow morning?
posted by marienbad at 12:48 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm away for a snooze and then getting up at 2 and heading up Calton Hill with a bottle of Ardmore. I have made a hybrid jimmy/tinfoil hat and have a couple of Nick Robinson masks. Should be fun.

Here's to a new dawn.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 12:48 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


George_Spiggott: For some reason I now have "the tartan that's always remaindered" going through my head to the tune of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

If you want mixed-up lyrics running through your head, I recommend jumping over to this thread.
posted by clawsoon at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Euan McColm on twitter: "i have lifelong friends on both sides of the #indyref debate. after today, it is my very dear hope that i never see any of them again."
posted by sobarel at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Moffatt ... Great tartan, crap Doctor Who showrunners

... and most revolting candy in Scotland. It's a beautiful sweet outside concealing a core of seemingly solidified battery acid. It's vile.

Catseye, as I'm the compiler of likely the oldest Tablet recipe on the internet (check the profile if you need it), we will never be friends.
posted by scruss at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wordshore, the MV Isle of Lewis also running late from Ullapool. Won't arrive before polls close. Though, if you were relying on a 9pm arrival to get you to the polls for 10 you don't know CalMac.
posted by IanMorr at 12:51 PM on September 18, 2014


So it looks like Donald will be taking the ballot boxes by fishing boat over to Eriskay, then a road trip to the top of North Uist, then a boat to either Leverburgh and onwards by road, or straight to Stornoway.

So what you're saying is that this referendum is basically mimicking the plot of I Know Where I'm Going.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:52 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]




Donald will be taking the ballot boxes by fishing boat over to Eriskay, then a road trip to the top of North Uist, then a boat to either Leverburgh and onwards by road, or straight to Stornoway.

I am still not entirely clear why the boxes cannot be counted on location.
posted by jeather at 12:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


So what you're saying is that this referendum is basically mimicking the plot of I Know Where I'm Going.

If that is true, it must be history's greatest referendum. (Even better than the Norwegian independence referendum of 1905, though don't let my wife's relatives know I've said so.)
posted by Area Man at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the Canadian elections I've been involved with, ballots were counted at the polling place within minutes of the close of polls, with results telephoned to central offices immediately afterward. Ballot boxes were then re-sealed and delivered to official offices for safe-keeping and possible recount, but even the most remote polls could be counted immediately without resorting to traveling by boat.
posted by rocket88 at 12:56 PM on September 18, 2014


One hour left to go!
posted by Thing at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


They also release the results ballot box by ballot box for Canadian elections (though they don't say which box they have released).
posted by jeather at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2014


Referendum Declaration Times (BST)
posted by marienbad at 1:01 PM on September 18, 2014


I just looked up a transcript of the Gordon Brown speech which was being greatly lauded to us last night by a pleasant very well-off Edinburgh banker type. For starters it caricatures the Yes campaign and absolutely ignores the appeals to patriotism and flags which have been a recurring feature of the No campaign ( saltires over 10 Downing street and Labour town halls anyone?). It sanitises Scotland's imperial history (let's not mention how much of that Enlightenment wealth which made all the good things possible came from slavery and exploiting colonies - or how that wealth helped to kick off the industrial age with all those inventions. Not a model for the Union today.) Worst of all, it doesn't mention the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and its dangers to the NHS and BBC which means that the key point he puts up near the top is, as far as I can see, absolutely not true.

"And proud that with the powers of the [Scottish] Parliament we can guarantee that the National Health Service will be in public hands, universal, free at the point of need, as long and as ever as the people of Scotland want it."

He also mentions the supermarket price raising canard which Robert Peston found to have been orchestrated by David Cameron. He can't possibly be unaware of these issues, so if you're going to call Alex Salmond sleekit, I'm afraid that works both ways.

The reason the Yes vote is even close is because Labour voters are defecting in large numbers. I see this in my own family who are in Gordon Brown's own constituency - including people who should be core Labour voters who have never voted before and who are voting for the first time. They don't trust them to defend the welfare state or the NHS anymore. They have seen the Scottish government over the past seven years do its best to defend them where they can. They have seen Labour line up with the Tories and the bankers. This sort of thing will come back and bite Labour in Scotland. It remains to be seen exactly how that will play out.
posted by Flitcraft at 1:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Irish government just announced some very strong economic forecasts for the year so far. There's a minor conspiracy theory bubbling that the news was delayed because of Westminster pressure not to let the Yes campaign have Ireland as a postive economic role model. I doubt it's true, but the offical Irish government position on the outcome has so far been deafening silence. I hope there's at least a chorus of Caledonia in Galway and Dublin if Yes wins -- we owe our brothers and sisters in Scotland that much.
posted by rollick at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2014


I'd like you all to know that earlier I heard someone ask, "how did he vote?", and managed to answer "by putting a cross on a small bit of paper, but that's not important right now".
posted by sobarel at 1:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [48 favorites]


I stand firm, Scruss! Sixteen years here and it still hasn't won me over.

Passed one of my neighbours in the street today. He hasn't voted in any election for the last seven years - didn't see any point - but he was out at the polling station first thing this morning.
posted by Catseye at 1:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd like you all to know that earlier I heard someone ask, "how did he vote?", and managed to answer "by putting a cross on a small bit of paper, but that's not important right now".

It reminds me a of friend who likes telling the story of visiting his parents' birthplace in the Inner Hebrides. While waiting for the ferry the harbourmaster asked him, "What takes you across the water?"

In his guilelessness he could only answer, "Well, that would be a boat."
posted by Thing at 1:11 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Worst of all, it doesn't mention the TTIP

That's the TTIP that Salmond and Sturgeon said would be "especially good news for Scotland". I think we're all in trouble with that one whether it's the Westminster or Edinburgh elites calling the shots.
posted by sobarel at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2014


Twitter has just reminded me that if Scotland goes independent, it means more points for Ireland and rUK every Eurovision.
posted by rollick at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Flintcraft is spot on. No matter what happens tonight, it is going to be Squeaky Bum Time* for Labour for a very, very long time. I wonder if they have even begun to realise this.

Incidentally, the only report of a scuffle at a polling station took place at Shettleston, Glasgow where Labour councillor for Merseyside Marie Rimmer was arrested and charged with assaulting a woman inside the polling station. Let's go over that one again.

"Marie Rimmer, who has been on St Helens council for more than three decades, was held after, the LIVERPOOL ECHO understands, a woman was kicked at a community centre in the Shettleston area of Glasgow around lunchtime as Scots turned out to cast their vote in the landmark referendum.

She was among droves of Merseyside politicians in Scotland to support the 'No' campaign, urging Scotland not to abandon the union during today’s historic vote."

A fellow Labour politician described Mrs Rimmer as "a real fighter".

(*official UK political term, I'm told)
posted by kariebookish at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"That's the TTIP that Salmond and Sturgeon said would be "especially good news for Scotland". I think we're all in trouble with that one whether it's the Westminster or Edinburgh elites calling the shots."

That's the TTIP that they have made clear that an independent Scotland would seek an exemption for the NHS from. You can only get those exemptions at nation state level - as France has done for its film industry. To pretend that Holyrood can get one is untrue - if the Tories sign the treaty for the UK then no matter what Andy Burnham says or what Gordon says or what the Scottish parliament says, it is game over.
posted by Flitcraft at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2014


I dunno - I've always thought Rimmer was a real git.
posted by symbioid at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I AM EATING A FRIED HAGGIS. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:38 PM on September 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


I AM EATING A FRIED HAGGIS. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.

"It's like all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare!"
posted by dnash at 1:40 PM on September 18, 2014


Actually the Scottish thing you could eat tonight is probably chicken tikka curry
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on September 18, 2014


If I eat deep fried mac and cheese balls it counts, right?
posted by poffin boffin at 1:46 PM on September 18, 2014


I want a munchie box.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2014


You have to literally eat a thistle.
posted by gilrain at 1:48 PM on September 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


If I eat deep fried mac and cheese balls it counts, right?

Aye; just put them on wee sticks and that's Scots-Yankee fusion cuisine, laddie.
posted by Wordshore at 1:49 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I had the most astonishingly day-glo chicken tikka masala in Glasgow one time. I still feel a bit bilious even thinking about it.
posted by sobarel at 1:49 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm deep frying fine highland heather as a bold new form of tempura.
posted by The Whelk at 1:51 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Deep fried Mars bars are the Scottish tempura.
posted by sobarel at 1:52 PM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Number 6 I had for a while for breakfast, during my low work productivity months there. Still an awesome way to start the day, though.
posted by Wordshore at 1:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I never like to see the state of Scottish cooking attacked. For as somebody from Northern England I know we're next.
posted by Thing at 1:53 PM on September 18, 2014


There's some great cooking - and amazing produce - in Scotland and the North. Our junk food is a different matter.
posted by sobarel at 1:57 PM on September 18, 2014


by god i will hear no aspersions cast upon deep fried mac and cheese
posted by poffin boffin at 1:59 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's 10 o'clock on the evening of voting day. If you aren't at least in a queue at a polling station to vote at this point, then you can't vote.

It's time.
posted by Wordshore at 2:00 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Guardian Results Liveblog
posted by marienbad at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Now is, quite literally, the reckoning.
posted by Thing at 2:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


SOVEREIGNTY PERIOD IS CONCLUDED. YOUR SOVEREIGNTY MAY BE RETURNED TO YOU. PLEASE CHECK BACK DURING BUSINESS HOURS.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


All aboard, all aboard whoa-oh!
posted by rollick at 2:04 PM on September 18, 2014


Is Spain against Scottish independence because of Cataluña?

You'd think they'd be used to it after losing 10+ independence wars with the colonies.

Protip: don't treat people like shit if you don't want them to leave you.
posted by Tarumba at 2:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is Spain against Scottish independence because of Cataluña?

Yes, pretty sure that's the primary source of their whinging, the precedent it will set for potential future Catalan and Basque independence.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:07 PM on September 18, 2014


You know what time it is?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:08 PM on September 18, 2014


There's ane end of ane auld sang
posted by IanMorr at 2:09 PM on September 18, 2014


YouGov have announced they will release the results of their on-the-day poll at 22:30.
posted by Wordshore at 2:10 PM on September 18, 2014


The Irish government just announced some very strong economic forecasts for the year so far. There's a minor conspiracy theory bubbling that the news was delayed because of Westminster pressure not to let the Yes campaign have Ireland as a postive economic role model. I doubt it's true, but the offical Irish government position on the outcome has so far been deafening silence. I hope there's at least a chorus of Caledonia yt in Galway and Dublin if Yes wins -- we owe our brothers and sisters in Scotland that much.
posted by rollick at 1:04 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


I've not heard the Yes/SNP side make any reference to comparing an independent Scotland to Ireland. They usually refer to Norway or other Scandinavian countries as models for indy Scotland. An Ireland comparison would be odd because of a) the painful turbulent history of Eire/Northern Ireland 's birth (in contrast, Scotland independence is supposed to go super duper smoothly if you believe Salmond/SNP); there are historical religious tensions (Catholic vs Protestant) in parts of Scotland too and noone wants to dig that up either ; and 2) Ireland's problematic bubble economy crisis in the 2000s - I don't think upbeat recent economic figures for this year as Ireland recovers is going to wipe that memory out.
;
Bonus trolly Londonista politico wag comment: Cameron should have made Salmond agree that a Independent Scotland would take Northern Ireland with it. Historically, most of the Protestants who settled there came from Scotland.
posted by Bwithh at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2014


Is it Time to Get Away?
posted by rustcrumb at 2:13 PM on September 18, 2014


there are historical religious tensions (Catholic vs Protestant) in parts of Scotland too and noone wants to dig that up either

Oh, the Orange Walk in Edinburgh had that one covered.
posted by kariebookish at 2:13 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, I have just been hit with a wave of utter sadness. Now reality sets in and all the goodwill and hope and lively, informed discussion cannot change that. Crap.
posted by kariebookish at 2:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


They used to use Ireland as a model before it all went pear-shaped over there. They (SNP) still want to cut corporation tax to undercut the UK as the Irish have done though.
posted by sobarel at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, I have just been hit with a wave of utter sadness.

I feel the opposite. It's been horrible and I'm glad it's all over, and resigned to whatever happens. It's relaxing.
posted by sobarel at 2:18 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Catalonia more like Cataleft-you-we're-overia
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Estimated 90% turnout in Dundee.
posted by Wordshore at 2:20 PM on September 18, 2014


The only winner is the makers of Buckfast.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:23 PM on September 18, 2014


Dammit. Sudden lurch in the betting markets. Bet365 and BetFair have suddenly quite shortened their odds on No, lengthened them a lot on Yes. Someone knows something.
posted by Wordshore at 2:23 PM on September 18, 2014


Is Spain against Scottish independence because of Cataluña?

Yes, pretty sure that's the primary source of their whinging, the precedent it will set for potential future Catalan and Basque independence.


Already started in fact; the Catalan government is trying to pass a law allowing for an independence referendum. The Spanish government is saying that its unconstitutional. The Catalans explicitly point to Scotland as a model in this article (Guardian).

But yes, Spain has been warning for some time that Scotland would have a hard path into the EU, in order to discourage its own independence movements.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:24 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dammit. Sudden lurch in the betting markets.

The bookies think a very high turnout is good for No for some reason. I'm not sure anyone knows what's really going on with this one.
posted by sobarel at 2:27 PM on September 18, 2014


Yeah, the odds are shifting quickly. Looks like that YouGov poll has possibly been leaked. Or someone with a lot of money has some other data.
posted by Wordshore at 2:27 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]




According to Sky the YouGov poll (an online panel of people who said they've voted) says 54% No, 46% Yes.
posted by Kattullus at 2:32 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


:(
posted by Tarumba at 2:33 PM on September 18, 2014


"let's go live to our Wicker Man on the scene..."
posted by The Whelk at 2:33 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


CNN have reported 52% No 58% Yes. Bless their innumerate hearts.
posted by sobarel at 2:34 PM on September 18, 2014 [41 favorites]


I suddenly want Irn Bru. Ideally with a vat of vodka.

(Getting drunk on proper Scotch makes me pray for death in the morning.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2014


sobarel, do you know where I can find that (or a screenshot of it)? I require it for my own purposes.
posted by dhens at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2014


"Green for go, and red for no."

BBC Scotland is fab.
posted by Thing at 2:40 PM on September 18, 2014


Nevermind, here it is.
posted by dhens at 2:41 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here dhens.
posted by sobarel at 2:41 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


fnord
posted by yoHighness at 2:42 PM on September 18, 2014


It's interesting to note that the YouGov poll is based upon contacting previously polled voters. People are announcing it for No already, though.
posted by kariebookish at 2:45 PM on September 18, 2014


Ruth Davidson just said, "The status quo has been thoroughly smashed!" I guess in Scotland Conservatives sound like revolutionaries.
posted by Thing at 2:45 PM on September 18, 2014




symbioid:
"Think a Glendronach 12 or 15 year would be good? I'm not much of a scotch drinker, and have only tried it a couple times. Glennfiddich, IIRC. The Glendronach sherried sounds especially tasty to my sweet tooth. Aye or Nay?"
Very much Aye.

And the 15 is what you want.

Maybe follow up with an Aberlour A'Bunadh (whatever the current batch no is) for the extra cask strength punchy-ness.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:53 PM on September 18, 2014


There have been some great photos from Scotland during the referendum debate. This one by Murdo MacLeod is probably my favorite.
posted by Kattullus at 2:54 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


"President of YouGov Peter Kellner says whilst he once said there was an 80% of a 'No' victory, now believes is a 99% chance" BBC Newsnight via Guardian
posted by marienbad at 2:55 PM on September 18, 2014


Right; bed for me. Whether Yes or (looks like) No, the sun will still rise in the morning, the world will still turn, and there's still things to be done and life to be lived.

Goodnight, MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 2:56 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Aberlour A'Bunadh (whatever the current batch no is)

#48 I believe. Lovely stuff.
posted by sobarel at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I almost envy you going to bed now, Wordshore. I am both scared to leave my room and feeling especially strongly tonight that 'reality is being celebrated elsewhere'. A mate is stopping by though and I might go out there. Scotch will be drunk. Some accordion may be played.
posted by yoHighness at 2:59 PM on September 18, 2014


Some accordion may be played.

Look, I mean, if you're concerned about the side you favour losing that's one thing. No need to punish yourself for it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:00 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


the sun will still rise in the morning, the world will still turn

That really depends on what John Uskglass, The Raven King, thinks of the outcome.
posted by The Whelk at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


There's been no exit polls. On what possible basis are pollsters calling this?
posted by Happy Dave at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


We have opened the Balvenie 12
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The yougov exit poll is apparently based on them re-contacting the people they polled in their previous phone polls.

(polls polls polls polls polls)
posted by dng at 3:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I need the catharsis, fffm
posted by yoHighness at 3:04 PM on September 18, 2014


There's been no exit polls...
YouGov bases its prediction on the responses of 1,828 people after they voted today, together with those of 800 people who had already voted by post. Today’s respondents had previously given their voting intention earlier this week. By recontacting them, we could assess any last-minute shift in views. Today’s responses indicate that there has been a small shift on the day from Yes to No, and also that No supporters were slightly more likely to turn out to vote.
from the Guardian website
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Think of it as self bondage in my personal nana to kaoru to accordion
posted by yoHighness at 3:05 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm in Southern England, and I agree with a lot of sobarel's posts up thread.

The number of people I've seen on Facebook, blogs, forums, etc who are voting "Yes" on the basis of the White Paper in its entirety and the unrealistically smooth vision in it are terrifying. More and more economists, unions, academics, business groups and the like come out saying that a currency union would be against the UK's best interests, the three parties who will form the next UK parliament rule it out, and the Yes campaign is still getting away with insisting that's what will happen. European Commission heads, politicians who will be involved, constitutional experts all say that an independent Scotland will have left the EU member state (the UK) and thus the EU itself, and the Yes campaign still gets away with saying Scotland will be fast tracked with a number of conditions waived. The White Paper would have been torn to shreds much earlier if this was a Westminster manifesto, but they've got away with dismissing criticism from any quarter as bullying, scaremongering or bluffing. I'd feel better if there'd been more honesty in the case for yes. "We think Britain is broken, and we think we can do better alone. It will be difficult, it will be hard work, and we could see a decline in the short term, but we think that this will be worthwhile." That, rather than the rose tinted sales job some seem to be voting on the basis of.

On a selfish basis, I don't want the Scots to leave on the grounds that it will consign the rest of us to a further right wing government. On a non-selfish reason, I don't want them to leave because I think they'll get shafted. It won't even take an effort from the UK to do it, it'll just take the UK government and associated institutions to work for the UK's best interests now that they won't be taking Scotland into account at all. I fear the Scots will still be towed in the wake of the UK economy, but will have lost any influence upon it.
posted by MattWPBS at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Interesting, because earlier I saw a tweet or possibly a Guardian liveblog post (I'm losing track at this point) saying Ipsos Mori had said if turnout was over 80% they basically had no idea what would happen.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


We have opened the Balvenie 12

It is flowing freely here too. One of many, many reasons to love the Scots and all their mighty works.
posted by sobarel at 3:08 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]




Did the BBC Scotland presenter just say that there was a lot of depravity in Fife?
posted by Thing at 3:15 PM on September 18, 2014


"We think Britain is broken, and we think we can do better alone. It will be difficult, it will be hard work, and we could see a decline in the short term, but we think that this will be worthwhile."

That would have been an honest pitch. The problem is that the Scots don't think Britain is broken: they overwhelmingly want to keep the pound, the BBC, the NHS, the cushy EU opt-outs and most of the trappings of the UK state. Hence we got the dishonest mess of claiming you could keep all that while also being a new, independent state.
posted by sobarel at 3:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Is there any reason that an independent Scotland couldn't join EFTA and not the EU? Seems to have worked out for Norway and Switzerland.
posted by orrnyereg at 3:17 PM on September 18, 2014


thanks so much for the CSPAN3 nudge - which is where it's live on cable.
(I'd been miserably checking C-SPAN where Speaker Boehner is holding forth with a bad case of dry mouth….).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 3:17 PM on September 18, 2014


Did the BBC Scotland presenter just say that there was a lot of depravity in Fife?

This isn't news if you've ever passed through Dunfermline.
posted by sobarel at 3:22 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am going through all the stages of grief without a single vote having been counted. First the sadness, now the anger. By the time an actual result is announced, I'll probably have reached acceptance.
posted by kariebookish at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just gotta say, as a disinterested observer, both of the post-Union Jack flags are gonna be dull as hell
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:24 PM on September 18, 2014


My faith in humanity is such that I fear Scotland will get screwed no matter the vote, but the voter turnout is truly inspiring.

(I also love that Chuck D supports independence and really wish there were some Public Enemy/bagpipe mixes.)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:24 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


All I have is 10 year Glenmorangie, but here's to you, Scotland!
posted by wintermind at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2014


Just want to say that this thread has been awesome and really informative; special thanks to all the Scottish/rest of UK folks that have chimed in. Good luck, Scotland.
posted by lalex at 3:29 PM on September 18, 2014


The bookies think a very high turnout is good for No for some reason. I'm not sure anyone knows what's really going on with this one.

Older people are more likely to vote and for some reason are also more likely to vote no.

I'm wondering how the results will split between the east and west coast, I suspect that Glasgow is much keener on independence than Edinburgh.
posted by Lanark at 3:31 PM on September 18, 2014


The whisky, tea cakes, tablet, and the horrors of Moffat toffees have been my favourite parts of this thread. I woke up this morning tense and headachey with worry, and this has all been a tonic.
posted by sobarel at 3:31 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


As there's nothing much going to happen for the next 2 hours or so, I'm going to post a link to the most beautiful (scottish or indeed even non-scottish) song of all. My Favourite Girl, by King Creosote.
posted by dng at 3:31 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm wondering how the results will split between the east and west coast, I suspect that Glasgow is much keener on independence than Edinburgh.

This Guardian blog post has analysis of how likely each region is to support independence (as well as share of electorate and when votes are expected to be counted). No idea how accurate it is....
posted by Pink Frost at 3:36 PM on September 18, 2014


The Whelk:
"We have opened the Balvenie 12"
Hm...

*eyes bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail in drawer*

*eyes clock: 3:34pm *

*sighs heavily expressing depth of internal conflict*
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:36 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Older people are more likely to vote and for some reason are also more likely to vote no.

They've got pensions in sterling. Women and the young are also less keen on Indy - men in the 24-39 age group are the only demographic strongly in favour.

I suspect that Glasgow is much keener on independence than Edinburgh.

That's a dead cert.
posted by sobarel at 3:37 PM on September 18, 2014


*sighs heavily expressing depth of internal conflict*

10 hours @ 2oz/hour. Requires a little discipline but not much.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:42 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


John Redwood: "I'm willing to stand behind the Prime Minister."

Only so long as you have a knife in your hand!
posted by Thing at 3:42 PM on September 18, 2014


I feel sorry for you sleepyheads. It's mid-morning in Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides!) and I anticipate an exciting work day of watching the returns and getting exactly nothing done.
posted by orrnyereg at 3:43 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, sobarel: You're hilarious! I wish you'd started posting sooner.
posted by orrnyereg at 3:44 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Guardian's polling expert Tom Clark analyses the latest YouGov poll (quote: "I don't think it proves absolutely yet that no has won, and that's because the sample is the same one, the same base sample, that they've been using in all their opinion polls so far, so if that were to be biased, then I guess that bias would still be in this YouGov poll.")

I'm no polling expert but from what I understand, the more often you poll someone, the less representative they are going to be of a general voter. That said, it's broadly in line with immediate pre-election polls.
posted by Kattullus at 3:44 PM on September 18, 2014


Oh, thanks, orrnyereg. I've not been feeling very hilarious today.
posted by sobarel at 4:00 PM on September 18, 2014


Seconding that. It's been nice seeing the Scots lurkers representing in this thread.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Just to be clear: I'm from northern England. Scottish and Irish grandparents, German parent, and I've worked in Scotland. Not Scottish though.
posted by sobarel at 4:10 PM on September 18, 2014


Unable to sleep due to too many Christmas mince pies. Tesco ones are actually quite good - a box of 6 for a pound. Eat by October 20th, though.

{checks where the ballot boxes are in the Outer Hebrides}

"The plane has landed in Benbecula. If the skies stay clear, the boxes should be collected from Uist and Barra and loaded aboard by midnight - ballots should arrive in Stornoway by 00.30.

If the fog closes in again, Plan B is to take them across the Sound of Harris by fishing boat.

If the plane can fly, the count will be done by 02:30. If not, the count would be done by 05:00 or 06:00."
posted by Wordshore at 4:14 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The "Independence Live" livestream is interesting (and hilarious, and inspiring, and kinda sad as all that hope and enthusiasm and belief that Margaret Meade was right is gonna die a death in the AM): out on the streets, which seem well populated and eloquent tonight - including a Palestinian contingent out in support of Scottish home rule. [pro-Yes biased reportage, natch.]

They're now broadcasting from the count at the Velodrome while the street guy goes for a slash and a pint.
posted by Buntix at 4:15 PM on September 18, 2014


Going to sleep for three or four hours, because the episode of Adventure Time I was watching made more sense than the punditry on the telly.

See you in a bit.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:18 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Fingers crossed for No, and a more federal UK as a result.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:19 PM on September 18, 2014


Turnout of 89% in Clackmannanshire. Total turnout for the initial devolution referendum in 1997 was 60% - much more engagement this time.
posted by sobarel at 4:20 PM on September 18, 2014


Pitch: The Count of the Velodrome. It's like Nosferatu meets Breaking Away.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:21 PM on September 18, 2014


I've just caught up on this thread after spending the whole day out and about volunteering for the No campaign.

Some observations, which are more anecdotal stories than attempts to argue this or that view:

I'm in Brechin, in Angus. Three polling stations in town, with a few more up the surrounding glens. By 7:30pm, every single one was reporting more than 80% turnout, which is staggering.

10am: arriving at the house where everything was being run from. Coffee everywhere, bacon rolls for all, particularly those coming back from the nearest polling station who had been out there since 7am. A few quick phone calls to prospective No voters.

11am: the Mechanics' Institute (one of the polling stations) was extremely busy. Yes voters were vocal with the Yes volunteers outside about how they would vote (or had just voted); No voters either nodded with a smile, or briefly grasped my elbow and said a quick couple of words.

2pm: back at the house where the Brechin campaign was being coordinated. A bunch of people working through voter lists, mobile phone in hand, calling people to ask if they'd voted, and if not, were they going to be doing so later - and if so, did anyone need a lift to their polling station.

4pm: up in Edzell, with mist descending on Inglis Hall, the polling station. A quiet but steady trickle of voters. There were no Yes supporters at the entrance. We said hello to everyone arriving; Yes voters mostly gave a polite but circumspect hello, No voters were enthusiastic but subdued, or waited until after they came back out to say (as one woman did) "you can add another one to your exit poll!"

6:30pm, back in Brechin. Quick cup of tea and a fag.

6:45pm: back in Edzell, a bit wet, and getting dark. Apparently a bus was meant to pick up 17 pensioners living in a residential care facility and take them to vote at 3:30. It never arrived, and one of them walked half a mile, with the aid of a zimmer frame, to the polling station to vote. Turns out this was a slight over-reaction from the presiding officer, who assumed that because 16 people hadn't turned up to vote from that address, they must have all been waiting for said bus, which never existed in the first place - and the 16 in question were elderly residents whose critical faculties were not what they once were, and were therefore unlikely to be voting at all. Still, we give a couple of other people a lift to the polling station.

By 8:30pm, the Yes and No campaigns called it a friendly truce outside the Damacre polling station in Brechin, on the basis that it was dark, everyone arriving was driving in past us and parking their cars beyond where we were allowed to stand before going in to vote, and we could all do with some chips. Chips duly ordered from the chippy at the end of the road, and shared between both campaigns.

By 9:00pm, one of the Yes supporters outside another Brechin polling station went to his house two doors down and made all the volunteers (Yes and No campaigns both) coffee/tea (as applicable). Proper mugs, and all, no styrofoam nonsense. Whisky top-up available on request.

9:30pm: Yes and No campaign signs loaded back into cars from outside the polling stations.

10:00pm: Pub. It's all over now, bar the counting.
posted by Len at 4:21 PM on September 18, 2014 [66 favorites]


By 8:30pm, the Yes and No campaigns called it a friendly truce outside the Damacre polling station in Brechin, on the basis that it was dark, everyone arriving was driving in past us and parking their cars beyond where we were allowed to stand before going in to vote, and we could all do with some chips. Chips duly ordered from the chippy at the end of the road, and shared between both campaigns.

By 9:00pm, one of the Yes supporters outside another Brechin polling station went to his house two doors down and made all the volunteers (Yes and No campaigns both) coffee/tea (as applicable). Proper mugs, and all, no styrofoam nonsense. Whisky top-up available on request.

9:30pm: Yes and No campaign signs loaded back into cars from outside the polling stations.

10:00pm: Pub. It's all over now, bar the counting.


Best possible actual communty result, regardless of ballot result.
posted by chapps at 4:26 PM on September 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


Well done Len. That's a proper day's work. The turnout has been amazing, and I'm glad relations between the campaigns has been cordial!
posted by sobarel at 4:26 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


> "This Guardian blog post has analysis of how likely each region is to support independence (as well as share of electorate and when votes are expected to be counted). No idea how accurate it is...."

Well, if you multiply the Yes ratings on that chart by vote share (e.g., Eilean Siar: 0.5% share of vote * Yes Rating 2 = 0.01) and add them up, you get an overall Yes rating for Scotland of 5.037, on a scale of 0 to 10.

Which is ... probably a completely meaningless number, since I think "Yes rating" is simply a vague estimation based on SNP support in the last election, but I found calculating it strangely soothing.
posted by kyrademon at 4:27 PM on September 18, 2014


This has been fascinating to watch from the outside in; I have to thank all of you for the excellent commentary (I knew I could count on Metafilter)—especially to those of you in the thick of it, sharing your own experiences as events have unfolded.

My husband and I honeymooned in Scotland a little over two years ago, and I fell utterly in love with everything that we saw and experienced during our all-too-brief travels through Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the highlands. I have been dying to return since the moment we left. And I will some day—perhaps now to a new, independent Scotland. What a marvel, whatever the outcome. Godspeed, fair land. You stole my heart, and all I have to offer in return are the very best of wishes for a bright future.
posted by cellar door at 4:36 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The "Independence Live" livestream is interesting

I've just switched over to that after watching BBC News report for an hour on the zero results so far. It looks no less informative and much more entertaining.
posted by sfenders at 4:43 PM on September 18, 2014


Supposedly 77% No in Edinburgh West postal vote. Could be a big Yes for Glasgow and a big No for Edinburgh.
posted by sobarel at 4:52 PM on September 18, 2014


Christ on Nessie! This has been a roller coaster ride.

Was living in Czech when Indy vote scheduled. Felt like it was an issue for those still there.

Moved back. Speaking to friends (in oil business) and family (in dire straits or divorced from existing politics), seeing how little the incumbent Labour politicos cared, or even knew, about their constituents led me towards 'Yes' as only answer as to how to reconnect people and politics.

The longer the campaign has gone on the more I have been forced to face the fact, known, but not grok'd, from 5 years living in South East England, that we have different ideas about equitable distribution.

It has been shocking, in the sense of a dip in an ice cold stream, how foreign "BBC" coverage is... The first time I watched Newsnight on my return from abroad I was faced with one of "our" impartial journos stating to camera- "Given that the Welfare State has failed, what now for..." Had I missed a referendum? When had we decided that the Welfare State had failed? When did the BBC get so red in tooth and claw?

I am not a nationalist. However I see in Scotland an opportunity to build on a consensus of sharing and caring. The consensus in the wider UK does not lead me to believe we can do it in this joint venture- tied to outmoded beliefs in imperial superiority, of capitalism without conscience.

Brothers and sisters in Liverpool, Manchester, London, Newcastle... We couldn't save you by staying, and going by the polls tonight we didn't even save ourselves and provide an example of how things could be.

Scotland will be punished for threatening revolt and not following through.

Tonight I cry.

Tomorrow? I don't know. I'd like to cry defiance rather than tears, though that seems a stretch tonight The wind is out my sails just now. Still- chin up, whisky down, and forward.
posted by Gratishades at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


While I wait impatiently for sleep to come, a few more pictures I took while a resident of the Outer Hebrides / Western Isles / Eileanan Siar / Innse Gall / Long Island (all the same archipelago) for five or so years...

My local supermarket - on the next island, ten miles away.
Snow.
A stroll towards North Uist - and another stroll.
The west coast of the island of Harris.
The west beach on my island.
My daily walk route.
Our garden went to the shoreline. Occasionally, it would be a good time to get scallops. One particularly good haul.
The islands of Barra and Vatersay.
Local life, from around my island.
Best birthday ever; a boat trip out to the magnificent island of Pabbay.

Oh, a last individual picture that is political. The leaflets we got through the door for the 2007 election.
posted by Wordshore at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2014 [16 favorites]


Raising a glass for the future of Scotland, no matter the outcome, being in Scottish hands today.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brothers and sisters in Liverpool, Manchester, London, Newcastle... We couldn't save you by staying, and going by the polls tonight we didn't even save ourselves and provide an example of how things could be.

Mate, we're all on the same small island together. We'll save each other.
posted by sobarel at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2014 [16 favorites]


Long before Google Street View, there was a very cool Stornoway website where someone had taken photographs looking in each direction at every intersection, and you could take an online walking tour of the town by clicking the images.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Who needs to remove nuclear weapons and foodbanks from your country, when you can all have chips in Brechin ?

Unbelievable mindset the yes campaign had to overcome here.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:09 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


"....and much more entertaining."

Some of the street interviews they were doing were beer-out-the-nose funny (it was Glasgow after 11pm after all).

marienbad: This sort of thing will come back and bite Labour in Scotland. It remains to be seen exactly how that will play out.

James Forrest puts it well in "To my friends in Labour"

I sincerely hope that if nothing else this leads to Labour going the same way as the Tories in Scotland. Not that I am not very much of the left, or opposed to Labour as was (Richard Tawney is /my/ co-pilot), I just think that http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/pages/history is depressing... it starts with Kier Hardie creating this party with a radical agenda to enfranchise and enable the working man [and woman] -- including as a primary tenet, home rule for Scotland -- and ends with Tony Blair, the son Thatcher wished she had.

[Thankfully the modern independence movement doesn't share Hardie's distinctly UKIP views on immigration]
posted by Buntix at 5:11 PM on September 18, 2014


Also it's unbelievable the no campaign are pulling this "let's all be mates" line after their reps have told immigrants they'd be deported in the event of a yes vote and labelled half the population as feral, egg throwing, window smashing savages.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:13 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I sincerely hope that if nothing else this leads to Labour going the same way as the Tories in Scotland.

Labour are finished in Scotland.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


It would be unbelievable if any of that was true.
posted by sobarel at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2014


Margaret Curran being patronising and condescending towards a question about a condescending & patronising Labour-led campaign isn't helping.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
posted by kariebookish at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2014


"I would love to see an independent Scotland, so I voted No."

It's 1.20am and I am THIS close to shouting incoherently at the TV.
posted by kariebookish at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

I really need to learn Gaelic, I have no idea what this is! I can't even make it come out right in my super-accurate Scottish accent.
posted by curious nu at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Who said that kariebookish? That's up there with the bloke on the Guardian liveblog who was voting Yes to preserve the status quo.
posted by sobarel at 5:22 PM on September 18, 2014


"I would love to see an independent Scotland, so I voted No."

It's 1.20am and I am THIS close to shouting incoherently at the TV.


That's not quite what he said. He said that he would like Scotland to be independent, but felt that the Yes campaign didn't provide the answers he needed to be reassured that independence would be a success.
posted by Thing at 5:22 PM on September 18, 2014


Did he not read the wording on the ballot? "Should Scotland be an independent country?" That's the entire thing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:26 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


BBC: Apparently problems in the count in some constituencies, as they open ballot boxes to find not voting papers, but somehow copies of the new U2 CD.
posted by Wordshore at 5:29 PM on September 18, 2014 [37 favorites]


BBC: Apparently problems in the count in some constituencies, as they open ballot boxes to find not voting papers, but somehow copies of the new U2 CD.

Wordshore, wouldn't that help the pro-independence camp? YEAH YEAH YEAH
posted by dhens at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2014


Did he not read the wording on the ballot? "Should Scotland be an independent country?" That's the entire thing

Yeah, they didn't go with my suggestion to have an extra box to tick if you wanted to see David Cameron encased in concrete and dumped at sea.
posted by sobarel at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Clackmannanshire: Yes 46%, No 54%
posted by Thing at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2014


First results: Clackmannanshire.

Yes: 16,350 (46.2%)
No: 19,036 (53.8%)
posted by Pink Frost at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2014


Never liked Clackmannanshire.
posted by Wordshore at 5:37 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Just now on the independence live channel: a couple of police helping out by taking a group pic for some of the crowd in the square with their camera... :D


*sigh* I was part of that 46.2% in Clackmannanshire, I was hoping for better... Alva for e.g. had more Yes signs than road signs.
posted by Buntix at 5:37 PM on September 18, 2014


"Should Scotland be an independent country?" That's the entire thing.

IIRC, the question on the 1995 Quebec referendum was something like, "Should or shouldn't Quebec not unseparate from Canada or not, and if so how much shouldn't it?"
posted by Sys Rq at 5:38 PM on September 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


Never liked Clackmannanshire.

People or hills? If you have something to say against the Ochils then we have a problem... :P
posted by Buntix at 5:39 PM on September 18, 2014


The first law an independent Scotland must pass is that no person or entity can own more than 3 whisky distilleries at once. Down with Diageo!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by RakDaddy at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Buntix: I'll be more precise. There's 53.8% of the population there I'm grumpy with at this exact moment. The rest of it - people, hills - all fine.
posted by Wordshore at 5:41 PM on September 18, 2014


People or hills? If you have something to say against the Ochils then we have a problem... :P

Yes, the Gorbals. I love them too. A lovely couple, lots of fun.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:42 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's not a good sign anyway, this was one of the stronger Yes areas...
posted by Buntix at 5:42 PM on September 18, 2014


Depressing how near that is to Bannockburn.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:42 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Down with Diageo!

If Islay declared independence and nationalised all the distilleries it would be the wealthiest country on earth.
posted by sobarel at 5:43 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


IIRC, the question on the 1995 Quebec referendum was something like, "Should or shouldn't Quebec not unseparate from Canada or not, and if so how much shouldn't it?"

I just tried to translate that into French in my head, and it broke my brain.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:44 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've moved on to the stage where I'm thinking: "So, all the weight of the mainstream media and all the mainstream political parties and the financial establishment pushing for a NO .. and they couldn't manage more than 54% of the vote between them? Bloody hell."
posted by kariebookish at 5:46 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hopefully Nova Scotia and New Caledonia are doing better with their referenda tonight.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:49 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Apparently Clackmannanshire was supposed to be a yes stronghold. If that's true, I think this is all over.
posted by crazy with stars at 5:49 PM on September 18, 2014


Is this when I start to dip into my beginner's scotch bottle of Glennfiddich 12?
posted by symbioid at 5:51 PM on September 18, 2014


You haven't already? For shame.
posted by sobarel at 5:52 PM on September 18, 2014


To my recollection the Quebec referendum was more like "Are you in favour of a sovereign Quebec strengthening its relationship with Canada through a new and improved partnership that will lead to a better future for everyone?" But it probably didn't matter much; "Yes or no?" would've done.
posted by sfenders at 5:53 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm an alcoholic, once I dip in, I ain't gettin back out, so I try to not start too early ;)
posted by symbioid at 5:55 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Apparently Clackmannanshire was supposed to be a yes stronghold. If that's true, I think this is all over.

Lol. That's silly. Even if Clackmannanshire had voted 100% Yes, it'd still be less than 0.01% of the vote. There's a reason their results came in first.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like the fella on the Guardian blog right now - wrapped in the Saltire, wearing a "stick yer union up yer erse" t-shirt, and complaining about the cartoonish debate coverage.
posted by sobarel at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


This thread is making me feel really bad that I finished my last bottle of scotch a week or two ago and have yet to replace it.
posted by DynamiteToast at 5:59 PM on September 18, 2014




wikipedia has it - "Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?"
posted by pyramid termite at 6:01 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Forgive me for not reading the whole thread, but why does it take so long for votes to come in? Or is the supposed live results site I'm watching not actually live? Is there somewhere to see the current results?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:02 PM on September 18, 2014


"BBC currently Clackmannsplaining the the early results" - tweet from just now
posted by Flashman at 6:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


I may have been joking about the Quebec wording. I was 14 and in Nova Scotia at the time.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:03 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Forgive me for not reading the whole thread, but why does it take so long for votes to come in?

They have to be counted.
posted by Thing at 6:03 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


wikipedia has it - "Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?"

With just one box to tick labelled "bof".
posted by sobarel at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Forgive me for not reading the whole thread, but why does it take so long for votes to come in?

They're being counted by humans.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well yes, but around here there are typically results coming in 30-60 minutes after polls close and it's all over in 2-4 hours and those have to be counted by humans too. These can't be terribly complicated ballots.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2014


67.2% No. Never buying whiskey from the Orkney Islands again.
posted by klue at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


And some seem to be having romantic adventures being transported by fishing boats through the foggy night.
posted by sobarel at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


I quite like this.

And this.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2014


Well yes, but around here there are typically results coming in 30-60 minutes after polls close and it's all over in 2-4 hours and those have to be counted by humans too. These can't be terribly complicated ballots.

They have to be transported to a central point for each district, not counted at the polling stations.
posted by Thing at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2014


Lol. That's silly. Even if Clackmannanshire had voted 100% Yes, it'd still be less than 0.01% of the vote. There's a reason their results came in first.

Only if Clackmannanshire were totally uncorrelated with the rest of the country and were 1% of the size it is. I'm not a statistician, but I can't see any way it's an outlier.
posted by ambrosen at 6:07 PM on September 18, 2014


There should be a third choice: "not proven".
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:07 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


They're being counted by humans.

Some of whom may have possibly had a fortifying tipple earlier, or at the very least far too much tea.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:08 PM on September 18, 2014


They're being counted by humans.

I don't care if it's being counted by dolphins. I'm dying to know how this turns out.

I may also be more than a bit tipsy.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


They have to be transported to a central point for each district, not counted at the polling stations.

Huh...ok. thanks.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2014


There should be a third choice: "not proven".

That's a deep cut right there.
posted by dhens at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just hope we don't end up with a situation of hanging rabs.
posted by Flashman at 6:11 PM on September 18, 2014





I was down the bar tonight talking to anyone who would listen or made comment about my pins and Harris tweed and tartan wool tie about how important it is that so many people voted and what this can mean in a larger sense and etc. etc. I put on Some Annie Lennox on the jukebox and drank half the bar's bottle of Balverine and now I'm back home cause my Stupid Fucking Ankle Injury is acting up and I want to know WHAT IS HAPPEN.
posted by The Whelk at 6:12 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Only if Clackmannanshire were totally uncorrelated with the rest of the country and were 1% of the size it is. I'm not a statistician, but I can't see any way it's an outlier.

Surely all districts are correlated, but it's interesting how vastly different the results are in the two districts reported so far. That seems like a HUGE spread.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:12 PM on September 18, 2014


Oh, nothing's changed. Same old thing.
posted by kariebookish at 6:13 PM on September 18, 2014


Balverine: a Balvenie served to you by a bloke with muttonchops.
posted by sobarel at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was surprised to learn that the 70s group Seals and Crofts weren't from the Hebrides.

I'm sorry I don't know why I said that
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


I don't care if it's being counted by dolphins.

you should - if there's any hanging shads, they'll eat them instead of counting them
posted by pyramid termite at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Balverine: a Balvenie served to you by a bloke with muttonchops.

Well he is Canadian, which is full of Scots-Ancestry....
posted by The Whelk at 6:15 PM on September 18, 2014


Flipper could use the work. When's the last time you saw him get a telly gig?
posted by sobarel at 6:15 PM on September 18, 2014


it's my understanding he's retired on the royalties from bally tables
posted by pyramid termite at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


pyramid termite: "it's my understanding he's retired on the royalties from bally tables"

Oh, man, we're all basically delirious with anticipation. Keep it up, Metafilter, you're always there when I need you.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:30 PM on September 18, 2014


>> Even if Clackmannanshire had voted 100% Yes, it'd still be less than 0.01% of the vote. There's a reason their results came in first.

> Only if Clackmannanshire were totally uncorrelated with the rest of the country and were 1% of the size it is.


Oh. Right. Fuck. You gotta times it by 100 after you do the divide part. Fuck. FUCK. And to think I sometimes actually wonder how I could have possibly failed easy-track high school math twice.

But under 1% ain't much to sneeze at, either. (Still, it's worth trying.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:34 PM on September 18, 2014


"Never buying whiskey from the Orkney Islands again."

Highland Park and Talisker ain't what they used to be anymore anyways. The curse of depleted stocks.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:34 PM on September 18, 2014


It's interesting how vastly different the results are in the two districts reported so far. That seems like a HUGE spread.

Unlike Clackmannanshire, Orkney is an outlier, though. For example, it was part of an independent Scotland for less time than it's been part of the UK and pretty much as close to Norway as it is to Edinburgh as the crow flies. Clackmannanshire is a fairly typical rural Scottish county, notable in this context only for its smallness.
posted by ambrosen at 6:35 PM on September 18, 2014


Ah, I found a live video stream of results here. HOwever, it's the most boring thing ever, and never have I appreciated Peter Mansbridge's role in delivering election results more.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:38 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


how much did the movie Braveheart influence the most current independence movement?

Estimate revised upwards from none at all: The Independence Live stream just found one person willing to say she voted yes because Braveheart.
posted by sfenders at 6:39 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thanks, Ambrosen. I know nothing about Scotland but what I observed during a brief trip there. It's beautiful, but I didn't follow the politics.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:41 PM on September 18, 2014


Holy crap, is Shetland islands an outlier, too? That's pretty damn decisive.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:41 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm waiting to see if anyone says they voted based on Renton's speech about what it is to be Scottish (five letters, starts with s) from Trainspotting.

penguin, Shetland is about as out as you can lie.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:43 PM on September 18, 2014


Talisker hasn't declared yet. (Skye not Orkney)
posted by IanMorr at 6:43 PM on September 18, 2014


Ah whoops, wrong Island. Doh.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:48 PM on September 18, 2014


WHAT IS HAPPEN.

Someone set them up the vote!
posted by curious nu at 6:48 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Has Michael Gove got a new accent? Sounds stronger than it used to be.
posted by Thing at 6:50 PM on September 18, 2014


Launch All VIG!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:50 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Has Michael Gove got a new accent? Sounds stronger than it used to be.

Firmware upgrade.
posted by sobarel at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Why didn't Better Together get Jim Murphy at the helm in stead of Alistair Darling? He's clearly very personable.
posted by Thing at 7:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Outer Hebrides): 46.58% Yes, 53.42% No
posted by Sys Rq at 7:07 PM on September 18, 2014


Why didn't Better Together get Jim Murphy at the helm in stead of Alistair Darling? He's clearly very personable.

And he looks pleasingly like an Easter Island statue.
posted by sobarel at 7:08 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Interestingly Jim Murphy came across much better tonight than he has in the past month.

He's always struck me as a good guy - and there is much goodwill towards him after the Clutha helicopter disaster. Why he didn't lead the campaign? No idea. I'm in a snarky mood, so I'm wondering if he was deemed too Glaswegian to appeal to the middle class on the East Coast? I'd love to hear better explanations as mine's probably horribly wrong.
posted by kariebookish at 7:11 PM on September 18, 2014


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar: 46.58% Yes, 53.42% No

If Yes can't win in the Western Isles I think this is over.
posted by sobarel at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


...and Labour breathes a quiet sigh of relief.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:18 PM on September 18, 2014


Forgive me for not reading the whole thread, but why does it take so long for votes to come in?

Because instead of giving the results ballot box by ballot box, they are giving them area by area. The counting by hand isn't that big an issue, and even the transport isn't, just the waiting until everything is counted before any info is given out.
posted by jeather at 7:18 PM on September 18, 2014


penguin, Shetland is about as out as you can lie.

One interesting thing to me about Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides and Highlands is that the regular people of those places were so thoroughly and extraordinarily fucked over (even by Britannic standards) by so many different asshole elites for so many centuries, it's impressive that 84% of their descendants would vote for anything any politician ever promises. The human will and ability to look forward really is indomitable, I guess.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:21 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


"A haggis in every driveway" on BBC1 just now. Everyone's tired and getting silly.
posted by sobarel at 7:22 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


With the Shetland's and the Orkney's isn't it a vote against being Scottish rather than a vote for England?
posted by JPD at 7:26 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


No one is voting "for England".
posted by sobarel at 7:27 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


That was David Coburn, UKIP. Total arsehole.
posted by IanMorr at 7:30 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sorry. I forget my tribal nomenclature. Britain.
posted by JPD at 7:32 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the vote winds up being No, then what will be different, if anything? Any chance that the close vote would trigger more de facto independence for Scotland?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:32 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


A No vote will not lead to independence. It will, however, still lead to a big shakeup in the UK constitution. It seems that every is talking as though that is a foregone conclusion.
posted by Thing at 7:34 PM on September 18, 2014


I suspect that Shetland and Orkney see Scotland as even more inclined to treat them as a mere oil claim stake and windmill platform than the UK does.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:34 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


That was David Coburn, UKIP. Total arsehole.

I liked him saying that UKIP was the least racist party because they'd allow immigration "from the colonies". It's nice when right-wingers are comical villains.
posted by sobarel at 7:34 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh jesus. Oh, I share my birthday with Sarah Palin, Alex Jones and now James Coburn of UKIP. And Jennifer Aniston but I think she's an outlier.
posted by kariebookish at 7:35 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


From BBC:
"There have been two quite remarkable and contributions to the BBC's programmes from Conservative spokespeople this evening.
First of all Ruth Davidson, who once described the 2012 Scotland Act as a "line in the sand that should not be crossed" has indicated that Scotland requires considerable further devolution.
Meanwhile Lord Forsyth, once one of the principal opponents of the Scottish Parliament, has now declared that he thinks Holyrood should be given even more devolution than it has been promised by any of the Unionist parties so far.
It looks as though one consequence of this campaign is to have brought the Scottish Conservatives very firmly into the devolution camp."
posted by rocket88 at 7:37 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, maybe the UK will finally get around to writing down its constitution!
posted by orrnyereg at 7:37 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


It will, however, still lead to a big shakeup in the UK constitution. It seems that every is talking as though that is a foregone conclusion

It's amazing how quickly that's happened. Everyone's agreeing! Maybe this has been the kick up the arse that the country needed.
posted by sobarel at 7:40 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any chance that the close vote would trigger more de facto independence for Scotland?

In the last few weeks the three main UK parties have been talking about devolving more powers to Scotland, notably in terms of taxation powers (so called "devo max"). Salmond actually wanted the referendum to include three options, including devo max. So if the UK parties follow through on these offers, Salmond may actually come close to getting what he wanted, even if it's not full independence.

Any Scots or other Brits care to speculate on how likely the parties are to honour these promises? I'd imagine there's no benefit for the Tories in doing so (no-one votes for them in Scotland anyway) but maybe some benefit for Labour, as breaking a promise to the Scots would hurt them electorally.

orrnyereg: Hey, maybe the UK will finally get around to writing down its constitution!


And then we can convince Israel to write down theirs and New Zealand will be gloriously alone in our non-written-constitutionalness :)
posted by Pink Frost at 7:42 PM on September 18, 2014


One interesting thing to me about Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides and Highlands is that the regular people of those places were so thoroughly and extraordinarily fucked over (even by Britannic standards) by so many different asshole elites for so many centuries, it's impressive that 84% of their descendants would vote for anything any politician ever promises.

Well, for what it's worth, nowhere close to 84% of their descendants even live in Scotland. The vast majority of us lie over the ocean.

(Cleared from Kilchoman, Islay, as it happens. Stop drinking my peat!)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:44 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fiscal policy with no monetary policy is pretty bad. Its basically a currency union between two disparate economies. Either go all the way or don't. Half measures end badly.
posted by JPD at 7:46 PM on September 18, 2014


Any Scots or other Brits care to speculate on how likely the parties are to honour these promises?

Very likely, unless they want this to happen again in a few years with very different results.
posted by rocket88 at 7:46 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Inverclyde: 49.92% Yes, 50.08% No.

So close!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:46 PM on September 18, 2014


Stop drinking my peat!

NEVER!
posted by sobarel at 7:47 PM on September 18, 2014


Well, for what it's worth, nowhere close to 84% of their descendants even live in Scotland. The vast majority of us lie over the ocean.

Good point. I meant 84% of the still-resident-in-the-islands-and-voting descendants, but your point is a much more salient one.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:48 PM on September 18, 2014


Is this when I start to dip into my beginner's scotch bottle of Glennfiddich 12?

Another scotch beginner here, opened my Laphroaig 10 because of this thread... tastes like someone set an old waterlogged wooden ship on fire and I love it.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


Estimate revised upwards from none at all

ha, thanks, sfenders. I realize it's a ridiculous question, but I have wondered, not being in Scotland and all. I've heard so many comments this last week who from pretty conservative US folks who - suddenly aware of the vote - now want to take a page from Scotland's example of REBELLION and SECESSION (their words) and "pull a William Wallace" and just being Braveheart quoting shit machines.... glad to hear from actual Scots that it's laughable and use that knowledge on them.

Ok back to listening to all y'all talk about insane things like not written down constitutions. . .
posted by barchan at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2014


Laphroaig is a brave choice for a beginner. I salute you sir.
posted by sobarel at 7:52 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Renfrewshire! In the past week or two my father has begun to drop the fact that his nan was from Renfrewshire in Scotland. While it's something we've known for a long time, he's only just found reason to talk about it.
posted by Thing at 7:53 PM on September 18, 2014


If Renfrewshire swings that much to No, that nails it for me.
posted by kariebookish at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2014


Anyway, they voted No, which is bad news for Yes.
posted by Thing at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2014


Dundee City: 57.35% Yes, 42.65% No

That brings the total count so far to 50.91% No to 49.09% Yes, a difference of some 6000 votes. Is it possible they're intentionally releasing the results in the most dramatic way?

*fingers crossed*
posted by Sys Rq at 7:58 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


More results. Not including this comment and not counting quotes:

Whisky: 8 uses in this thread
Scotch: 7 uses in this thread
Whiskey: 2 uses in this thread (One is from a Danish poster, so it's forgivable.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


SNP was hoping for 60-70% in Dundee, a key city for the Yes vote.
posted by Bwithh at 8:07 PM on September 18, 2014


The BBC commentator said it's "squeaky bum time" now.
posted by dhruva at 8:08 PM on September 18, 2014


*intentionally misspells aquevit*
posted by Sys Rq at 8:08 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


We should have had the thread sponsored by Balvenie.
posted by sobarel at 8:08 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Whiskey: 2 uses in this thread (One is from a Danish poster, so it's forgivable.)

And the other from a Norwegian.
posted by klue at 8:08 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The BBC commentator said it's "squeaky bum time" now.

I kind of want someone to explain what the heck this means, but I also kind of just want to imagine.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:09 PM on September 18, 2014


(Oh, just checked, the other whiskey-speller is Norwegian, so it's all good.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:09 PM on September 18, 2014


West Dunbartonshire: 53.96% Yes, 46.04% No.

Yes and No are now less than 2000 votes apart.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:10 PM on September 18, 2014


Let Squeeky Bum remain a mystery and the name of my next band.
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey, maybe the UK will finally get around to writing down its constitution!

Because that's worked out so well for Canada and the USA? I really do think that an unwritten constitution allows much more for honouring tradition while responding a bit more nimbly to current questions, rather than referring to a centuries-old document that was written before such modern inventions as antibiotics and evolution.

Also I'm biting my nails waiting for the final numbers.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:12 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Squeaky Bum Time (see the quote for "on the 2003 title race")
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:14 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Midlothian: 43.70% Yes, 56.30% No

9000 apart. Bugger.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:14 PM on September 18, 2014


"it's squeaky bum time" is a quote from the former Manchester United manager (and Scot!) Alex Ferguson. Talking about the end of a football season, where things are very close and it's tense, and you're squirming around back and forth in your seat, and it's squeaking. (Beaten on preview, bah!)
posted by Pink Frost at 8:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey, maybe the UK will finally get around to writing down its constitution!

I was surprised to learn that Canada didn't enumerate rights in a constitution until 1982.
posted by telstar at 8:15 PM on September 18, 2014


Is the Stirling logo in Comic Sans?
posted by Thing at 8:17 PM on September 18, 2014


We were still technically ruled under the UK constitution until then.

Thanks, Pierre!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:17 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I remember the first time I saw him. He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind."

I... just.... this man is a national treasure and I hope you guard him carefully.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:17 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Midlothian 56% No
E Lothian 62% No
Stirling 60% No
posted by sobarel at 8:17 PM on September 18, 2014


East Lothian: 38.28% Yes, 61.72% No
Stirling: 40.23% Yes, 59.77% No

15,000 apart.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:18 PM on September 18, 2014


Falkirk 53% No

The SNP bod on the BBC looks quite tetchy.
posted by sobarel at 8:25 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to learn that Canada didn't enumerate rights in a constitution until 1982.
posted by telstar at 8:15 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


mainly because of delaying/resistance from the Quebecois French. Quebec still hasn't quite fully signed off on the Canadian constitution if I recall correctly
posted by Bwithh at 8:26 PM on September 18, 2014


Wait, Lothian is real? I thought Tolkien made this "fairest forest realm" shit up. So ... elves are Scots? This changes everything. I'mo have to re-read the trilogy. This vote thing is really helping us Americans learn something about the world.
posted by komara at 8:27 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's Lothlorien.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:29 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


West Dumbartonshire just weighed in at yes.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:29 PM on September 18, 2014


I've broken out the malt (Dun Bheagan 2002 Single Cask), mostly to keep the tears back.
posted by scruss at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2014


(Also Sindarin was based on Welsh Gaelic, and IIRC Galadriel speaks mainly Sindarin. Not Quenya, the first language derived, which was based on Finnish.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2014


Angus 56% No
Dumfries 66% No
posted by sobarel at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm hoping that the Scots vote "Yes." But I'm predicting they vote "No." It feels like betting against your favorite sports team.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


All of you swilling yer fancy whiskies, can you actually pronounce those names? I'm voting NO.
posted by orrnyereg at 8:32 PM on September 18, 2014


Listen, my Scottish partner and his mum cannot even agree on how to pronounce the name of our street.
posted by kariebookish at 8:33 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Its interesting. The 538 guys were trying to use relative SNP vote share to try to come up with a rough estimate. It's not really working. Like Angus should have been a pretty strong yes while West Dumbartonshire should have been a weak no.
posted by JPD at 8:35 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


E Renfrewshire 63% No
E Dunbartonshire 61% No
Aberdeen 59% No

It's all over for Yes.
posted by sobarel at 8:36 PM on September 18, 2014


All of you swilling yer fancy whiskies, can you actually pronounce those names? I'm voting NO.

Brian Cox is here to help
posted by jason_steakums at 8:38 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aw man. It was really, really close after Dundee City declared. ):
posted by Quilford at 8:38 PM on September 18, 2014


Listening to Radio Four. Heard a good talk by an SNP rep about the likelihood of SNP being involved in further discussions of devolution (devo-more?) in event of a No vote.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:38 PM on September 18, 2014


It is pretty much over for Yes. That's democracy. But I'm glad Scotland has had it's voice heard.
posted by Thing at 8:39 PM on September 18, 2014


Can someone give me a quick rundown on what devolution means in the context of UK politics? I'm seeing the term thrown around a lot in media but haven't actually found a definition yet.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:40 PM on September 18, 2014


Is camerons promise to ban scottish mps from voting on english only laws a legit thing, or is he being vindictive?
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:41 PM on September 18, 2014


WidgetAlley: devolution
posted by Quilford at 8:41 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Heard a good talk by an SNP rep about the likelihood of SNP being involved in further discussions of devolution (devo-more?) in event of a No vote.

In the wake of this vote, what possible reason do the Conservatives have for giving the Scots anything at all?
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:42 PM on September 18, 2014


Is camerons promise to ban scottish mps from voting on english only laws a legit thing, or is he being vindictive?

It is a real possibility, but it's not vindictive. It is in fact SNP policy that they themselves don't vote on English only matters. It seems to be a reasonable solution to the West Lothian Question.
posted by Thing at 8:43 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is camerons promise to ban scottish mps from voting on english only laws a legit thing, or is he being vindictive?

It's a long-standing issue: West Lothian question. Basically if certain powers are devolved to the Scottish parliament, but there is no English parliament, just a UK one, then Scottish MPs in the UK parliament get to vote on local English issues, which isn't very fair.
posted by Pink Frost at 8:43 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is hard to see how it's vindictive if paired with devo-max.
posted by JPD at 8:43 PM on September 18, 2014


Thanks for the link, Quilford, but I meant more in the specifics of UK politics. Is this what Cameron means by banning Scottish MPs from local votes? If so, does he intend it to go the other way too (banning English MPs from votes about Scotland? Or does that already happen?)
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:44 PM on September 18, 2014


North Lanarkshire: 51.1% yes
posted by infinitewindow at 8:45 PM on September 18, 2014


South Lanarkshire: much more of a margin for no
posted by infinitewindow at 8:45 PM on September 18, 2014


English MPs will not be members of the Scottish Parliament, so they definitely won't be voting on devolved matters.
posted by jaduncan at 8:46 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


What possible reason do the Conservatives have

To avoid a rerun in 5 years with another fresh betrayal by Westminster to point to
posted by IanMorr at 8:46 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also now I'm imagining a row between Galadriel and Celeborn after he's announced he's going down the pub with some dwarves...

It's all over for Yes.

Y'know, this makes me sad in a way. There are good relatively factual arguments on both sides. And I don't live there--my Scottish ancestry is a couple generations back--so maybe it doesn't matter what I feel anyway. But I'm struck by Toronto's motto: Strength Through Diversity (or Through Diversity, Strength. Either way). I think the UK is better for having Scotland in it, in the same way Canada is better for having Quebec in it. But that means a pretty shitty deal for the Scots, being largely ignored by Westminster. So...

What would be really awesome would be for the Scots to take all this political engagement, spread it country-wide, and get the whole island to vote in a government that cares about people who make less than a few hundred thousand quid a year.

Independence movements come, I think (and seems to be borne out here by the stuff the Yes campaign was saying; essentially "we'll keep all the good bits but we'll be in charge"*) only through perceived bad treatment. It would be wonderful and inspiring to see the Scots spearhead a movement towards equitable treatment for all; I doubt there'd be any rumblings about Scottish independence except at the fringe if they weren't getting a raw deal from Westminster. Seems to me like the federated notion floated above, modeled on Canada--the UK of GB made up of constituent provinces of e.g. Scotland, Wales, England, N. Ireland--would go a hell of a long way towards giving the Scottish people what they want and deserve while maintaining the strength that comes from diversity.


* Not discounting at all that the No side has also been spreading FUD.

Basically if certain powers are devolved to the Scottish parliament, but there is no English parliament, just a UK one, then Scottish MPs in the UK parliament get to vote on local English issues, which isn't very fair.

Keep the national (federated) capital in Westminster--that's where all the national-level governmental machinery is anyway. Edinburgh and Cardiff already have parliaments; put the (new) English one in, I dunno, Manchester or something.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think it's crucial to note that yes didn't lose to no so much as lose to Devo-Max.
posted by jaduncan at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes there are things already decided at the Scottish Parliament that English MPs are not allowed to vote on. Things like education policy, healthcare, etc. Devo-max would increase the the amount of self determination.
posted by JPD at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Guradian's vote map is shaping up to look like every US election map ever. A few outposts of vote-rich blue in the progressive cities surrounded by vast swathes of conservative (and in this case maybe if-it-ain't-broke-why-fix-it) red in the countryside.
Although the Highlands aren't reporting yet; we don't yet know if 'the hills have ayes.'
posted by Flashman at 8:48 PM on September 18, 2014


Thanks for the link, Quilford, but I meant more in the specifics of UK politics. Is this what Cameron means by banning Scottish MPs from local votes? If so, does he intend it to go the other way too (banning English MPs from votes about Scotland? Or does that already happen?)

Scotland has a devolved Parliament with only Scottish members who vote on Scots-only issues. England doesn't have an English Parliament, so any England-only matters get dealt with in the UK Parliament. If Scots members of the UK Parliament get to vote on those while all non-Scots members don't get to vote in the Scottish Parliament, there's a fundamental unfairness.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


(banning English MPs from votes about Scotland? Or does that already happen?)

Scotland has its own devolved parliament, with limited powers. So there are certain Scottish issues that English MPs can't vote on. Whereas England doesn't have its own parliament, so all UK MPs get to vote on English issues.

So basically: UK wide issues: UK parliament.
Some Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish issues: the parliaments of those countries
The equivalent English issues: UK parliament

On preview: Keep the national (federated) capital in Westminster--that's where all the national-level governmental machinery is anyway. Edinburgh and Cardiff already have parliaments; put the (new) English one in, I dunno, Manchester or something.

Yeah, I think you'll see something like this. Or even regional parliaments, so there'd be a North-West parliament in Manchester, a Cornish one, etc.
posted by Pink Frost at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


England doesn't have an English Parliament, so any England-only matters get dealt with in the UK Parliament. If Scots members of the UK Parliament get to vote on those while all non-Scots members don't get to vote in the Scottish Parliament, there's a fundamental unfairness.

Oh, okay! That makes so much more sense now in terms of the usage of "devolution", and why everyone in England has been scared that Scotland's breaking off would take much of the non-Tories with them. Thanks y'all, I feel much better informed.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:51 PM on September 18, 2014


The Yes guy on the BBC has shades on. It's 5am.
posted by Thing at 8:51 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can we not have this notional English parliament in Manchester - the traffic's bad enough already.
posted by sobarel at 8:52 PM on September 18, 2014


> But I'm struck by Toronto's motto: Strength Through Diversity

Which would be a lovely analogy if I didn't get eyerolls and "Ooh isn't it so dangerous there" when I say I live in the part of Toronto older people call "Scarborough". It's always been Toronto for all the time we've lived here, but we're definitely never invited to any urbanism parties.
posted by scruss at 8:52 PM on September 18, 2014


Is it really possible to declare it over for Yes if Edinburgh and Glasgow haven't declared yet, though?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:52 PM on September 18, 2014


where's the Guardian vote results map (or any other updated voting map) - can't find a link... thanks
posted by Bwithh at 8:52 PM on September 18, 2014


Glasgow 53.4% yes
posted by infinitewindow at 8:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Glasgow 53% Yes. Lower turnout than average for the night.

The enthusiasm for Yes just isn't there.
posted by sobarel at 8:54 PM on September 18, 2014


Not enough of a margin but I f*****g love you, Glasgow x (sorry)
posted by kariebookish at 8:55 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Glasgow 53.4% yes

oof, Glasgow is Yes vote central, so that's coming in low; relatively low turnout too
posted by Bwithh at 8:55 PM on September 18, 2014


Bwithh, I'm using this one at the Guardian.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:55 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks WidgetAlley!!
posted by Bwithh at 8:56 PM on September 18, 2014


Some of my ordinarily-sane Yes-supporting friends are on Twitter calling their fellow Scots "stupid", "disgraceful", "traitors", "bastards" etc... That's what this horrible campaign has done to us.
posted by sobarel at 8:57 PM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


And that Glasgow result is a massive, massive headache for Labour.
posted by kariebookish at 8:57 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm using this one at the Guardian.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:55 PM on September 18


Eponysterical.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:58 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Glasgow's the only place so far that turnout's been below 80%. At 75%, that's a turnout I would commit acts of extravagant evil to see here in Canada.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:59 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


It has to be close to 58% yes from here on in for the result to change now. Which is impossible, essentially
posted by dng at 8:59 PM on September 18, 2014


Switched over to Five.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:00 PM on September 18, 2014


Dundee was 78.8%
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:01 PM on September 18, 2014


NO needs 517,554 votes to win, according to the BBC.
posted by Quilford at 9:02 PM on September 18, 2014


sobarel: They are having their country denied to them. People will calm down, but as it stands they have fought extremely hard and come very close to winning against a No campaign they see as having used dirty tricks and FUD. I'm not surprised they are a little intemperate.
posted by jaduncan at 9:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


At 75%, that's a turnout I would commit acts of extravagant evil to see here in Canada.

Don't worry, the last large scale election in the UK had a turnout of 10.41% (from an electorate of 2 million).
posted by ambrosen at 9:03 PM on September 18, 2014


There was shocking little left in the Ardbeg bottle so I guess now I will switch to the Bruichladdich.
posted by rtha at 9:03 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


As an American, I don't really have a horse in this race, but I have to admit that I'm more than a little depressed by the results. I was hoping for "Yes," but I'll take whatever the will of the people of Scotland is.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:03 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


If nothing else, watching on BBC World Service is worth it just to see Hardeep Singh Kohli resplendent in his teal Dastaar, purple t-shirt, and Yes Scotland kilt.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I expect Edinburgh to go No.

Sobarel: they are going through the same stages as I did a little while ago - I hope they end up thinking like me - that is the start of something new and exciting and I want to be a part of that.
posted by kariebookish at 9:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


People will calm down, but as it stands they have fought extremely hard and come very close to winning against a No campaign they see as having used dirty tricks. I'm not surprised they are a little intemperate.

Parizeau blamed the "immigrants" when really he should have respected the will of the electorate.
posted by Nevin at 9:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Even if it's a "no," it's still awfully close, isn't it? Closer than one might have guessed a year ago even?

It seems (to me, knowing little) that Scotland still stands to get a lot of good out of this anyway, just as Quebec has been able to get various concessions to their autonomy by periodically making a credible threat to secede. (May be a bad analogy for some reason I'm overlooking though)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Quebec had a similar referendum, was there a large turnout?
posted by Aranquis at 9:06 PM on September 18, 2014


They are having their country denied to them.

Scotland hasn't gone anywhere. But, yes, it's late and people will calm down.
posted by sobarel at 9:07 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Quebec had a similar referendum, was there a large turnout?

On googling, 93\% if you believe wikipedia.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:08 PM on September 18, 2014


When Quebec had a similar referendum, was there a large turnout?

Wikipedia says it was 93.52% in 1995 and 85.6% in 1980.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:09 PM on September 18, 2014


Parizeau blamed the "immigrants" when really he should have respected the will of the electorate.

I'm not sure why you'd offer that as a response, given the acceptance by all sides that Scots are defined as people living in Scotland. Disliking Westminster isn't the same as disliking people for not having been born in Scotland.
posted by jaduncan at 9:09 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope Catalonia learns from Scotland's experience how to gain concessions from the central government.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 9:10 PM on September 18, 2014


I think it's crucial to note that yes didn't lose to no so much as lose to Devo-Max.

This needs repeating. The NO vote isn't a vote for the status quo. Not by a long shot.
More powers were promised in return for a NO vote and that bargain was accepted by the people.

This is democracy as it's supposed to be practiced. Scotland can proudly claim a small victory tonight and after the initial disappointment I hope both camps can recognize that.
posted by rocket88 at 9:12 PM on September 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


The BBC is now projecting a "no" victory.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:14 PM on September 18, 2014


Sobarel: they are going through the same stages as I did a little while ago - I hope they end up thinking like me - that is the start of something new and exciting and I want to be a part of that.

That's lovely to hear. I really think the differences between the peoples on these islands are trivial compared to our commonalities. We have to try and work together for the future, even if it's messy and complicated and sometimes infuriating.
posted by sobarel at 9:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


just as Quebec has been able to get various concessions to their autonomy by periodically making a credible threat to secede. (May be a bad analogy for some reason I'm overlooking though)

It's a bad analogy because, IMHO, it elides a lot of truth in the situation: for every reasonable concession that has been granted Quebec, there've been three decades at least of holding the rest of Canada hostage to a potential Constitutional crisis, and stoking racist fires in Quebec.

Don't get me wrong--Quebec is a wonderful place filled with wonderful people. But a lot of ideologues use secession as a club to beat the rest of Canada with, and a way to garner support from xenophobes and racists. Not that there aren't people in Quebec who believe in secession for other than xenophobic motives (I can think of an Anglo I know who believes in secession in theory, isn't xenophobic, but also recognizes that in practice Quebec would be screwed), either. But it's used often as red meat for what would be termed 'the base' in US politics.

And for what it's worth, from what I've seen of the Yes campaign from this side of the pond, not much if any of it has been predicated on xenophobia-against-PoC. Xenophobia against the English, yeah, but hey--colonized by wankers and all that.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


What's the story with Dundee? They went 57% Yes, the greatest of any council area.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:17 PM on September 18, 2014


This is democracy as it's supposed to be practiced. Scotland can proudly claim a small victory tonight and after the initial disappointment I hope both camps can recognize that.

More powers for Scotland and an attempt at sorting out the UK's ramshackle constitutional arrangements. This is a much better outcome than might have been expected.
posted by sobarel at 9:18 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


sobarel: "Some of my ordinarily-sane Yes-supporting friends are on Twitter calling their fellow Scots "stupid", "disgraceful", "traitors", "bastards" etc... That's what this horrible campaign has done to us."

I'm sure the "no" camp would never say such things, either.
posted by symbioid at 9:18 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


What's the story with Dundee? They went 57% Yes, the greatest of any council area.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:17 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


SNP was hoping for 60-70% though
posted by Bwithh at 9:19 PM on September 18, 2014


The BBC has ucked up their bloody votals.
posted by Quilford at 9:20 PM on September 18, 2014


If no ends up north of 55 it really isn't a close election. That would basically be a bigger margin than any us presidential election since Reagan -Mondale. Depending how you want to measure things it's about as big as the swing to Labor in '97. The margin there was 7% in a three party race.

I'd want a good look at the polling data before thinking devo-max actually happens the way its been described. Giving up fiscal policy to the devolved parliaments is not a very easy idea to implement without a lot of thoughtful controls. Especially if the central government loses its ability to levy taxes. In a lot of ways its repeating the issues with the euro.

Honestly you need to copy the US or maybe the Germans.
posted by JPD at 9:20 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh and I should have added... it seems to me the analogy is bad also because it's not like Scotland wants to beat Westminster into giving them special treatment. They just want something other than being kicked like a stray dog and being expected to be thankful for scraps, far as I can tell.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm sure the "no" camp would never say such things, either.

Honestly I don't think there's been the passion behind the No campaign to generate much of this sort of ire.
posted by sobarel at 9:22 PM on September 18, 2014


Yeah, I wasn't saying 'special treatment' just an effective lever where the Scots and Westminster may have felt previously they didn't have a lever. 'Treat us right or we might actually leave.'
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:23 PM on September 18, 2014


More powers were promised in return for a NO vote and that bargain was accepted by the people.

So the Scots No voters have lived up to their end of that bargain, and the eyes of the world are watching you now, Westminster.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:24 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I know nothing of Scottish politics, so I was just curious if there was any characteristic (economic, religious, ethnic, whatever) that would make Dundee stand out like that.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:24 PM on September 18, 2014


Dundee is a young city. It's working class and poor - but it's also the home of Scotland's burgeoning computer games industry (Rockstar Games originated in Dundee). It's young and progressive.
posted by kariebookish at 9:28 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think another interesting outcome of this is that the Tories have a sudden new interest in heavy devolution. If there is now to be an English votes for English laws rule (and there should be, even though I'm not a big fan of the Tory shires) then they have a much bigger opportunity to get through their agenda with the Scottish MPs not included. I think we'll see a lot of devolution concessions from the Tories as compared to Labour because of that, and it will be interesting to see how that affects Scottish politics in yes-voting places like Glasgow.
posted by jaduncan at 9:30 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


If no ends up north of 55 it really isn't a close election.

You vote between two parties with basically fuck all difference between them. This was a vote on creating a whole new country. It's been a hell of a run and despite the entire establishment and all the media being against us it was a close run thing. If an old Highlander whose name escapes me after this many whiskies will forgive me nicking, and probably fucking up, his quote, "There were moments when nothing seemed impossible"
posted by IanMorr at 9:30 PM on September 18, 2014 [20 favorites]


So the Scots No voters have lived up to their end of that bargain, and the eyes of the world are watching you now, Westminster.

Oh, they'll sure be happy they voted No when after the next election they have a Tory/UKIP coalition that closes up shop on the NHS entirely and eviscerates every left-wing UK policy, and makes honest efforts to un-devolve powers back to Westminster. It'll be Little America over there, and the Scots who fell for Cameron's promises will be expected to eat it all with a smile.
posted by chimaera at 9:31 PM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


If no ends up north of 55 it really isn't a close election. That would basically be a bigger margin than any us presidential election since Reagan -Mondale.

This is not accurate, not when Cameron offered the election expecting something like 70/30. It only got close recently and shocked everyone. You can't compare this to presidential elections.
posted by JHarris at 9:32 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


On reflection, I think this was the best opportunity for Independence that's likely to pop up for quite some time - if ever. We've just come out of a major recession, there's been painful austerity, an expenses scandal, a Tory government populated by caricature English toffs, and the oil is still flowing for a few more years. If they couldn't win now - and with a very calculated and slick campaign to boot - can they ever?
posted by sobarel at 9:32 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


If they couldn't win now - and with a very calculated and slick campaign to boot - can they ever?

They'll never be given the chance again. It was too close this time.
posted by chimaera at 9:34 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I wasn't saying 'special treatment' just an effective lever where the Scots and Westminster may have felt previously they didn't have a lever. 'Treat us right or we might actually leave.'

Unfortunately in Canada it's turned more into "We'll hold our breath until you do what we want" a lot of the time. Also it's not clear, I think, if it's even Constitutionally possible to secede from Confederation. Looks like Westminster has answered that particular question already, which gives the Scots some actual teeth.

Really, like I said above, I think it's time to federate. Nothing national will change, while devolving power over local issues in a reasonable way. Only real problem with devolution is that government would become more expensive--no functions would be duplicated of course, but actual representatives (and machinery to support them) would need to be increased. On the other hand, it's possible that one could shrink Westminster representation, maybe? Fewer MPs per county, maybe, at the national level. But then you'd get into problems with different electoral borders and it'd all be a mess.

And maybe not Mancs, but what other cities would be reasonable candidates? Somewhere in the Oxbridge area, maybe, leverage academics as fact-finders for government? Liverpool?

And and, yeah maybe Cornwall too... so perhaps the UK could be made of Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Home Counties, South England, North England, N. Ireland? Regionial Assemblies and a national Parliament?

I dunno. Just seems to me the problems can be fixed without splitting up into totally separate countries. Requires Westminster to stop being asshats though, so...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:34 PM on September 18, 2014


You know, I was wondering how many years Scotland will have to bide til they get another referendum. If it's ten years, then things may look very different by then. A new constitutional arrangement for the UK, less oil, maybe the vanquishing of the UKIP threat. A lot could add up.
posted by Thing at 9:35 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


after the next election they have a Tory/UKIP coalition

There will be no such thing. UKIP will be lucky to get 2 or 3 MPs, let alone enough to make a powerful bloc in parliament.
posted by sobarel at 9:35 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and just the no vote today is more than everyone who voted Labour, Tory and Lib Dem combined in the last Holyrood election
posted by IanMorr at 9:36 PM on September 18, 2014


If they couldn't win now - and with a very calculated and slick campaign to boot - can they ever?
posted by sobarel at 9:32 PM on September 18 [1 favorite −]


and also Cameron agreeing to all kinds of concessions to SNP on the referendum - Salmond and SNP got to set the date, write the wording of the question, extend the franchise to 16-17 year olds, exclude Scots living in the rest of the UK (!!!) and abroad etc etc
posted by Bwithh at 9:41 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


If it's ten years, then things may look very different by then. A new constitutional arrangement for the UK, less oil, maybe the vanquishing of the UKIP threat. A lot could add up.

The time to go for it would have been in the 1970s when the oil would have made a real difference, but support for independence was barely 10% then.
posted by sobarel at 9:43 PM on September 18, 2014


Actually the higher the turnout the more meaningful it is.
posted by JPD at 9:44 PM on September 18, 2014


and also Cameron agreeing to all kinds of concessions to SNP on the referendum - Salmond and SNP got to set the date, write the wording of the question, extend the franchise to 16-17 year olds, exclude Scots living in the rest of the UK (!!!) and abroad etc etc

Do you have any idea how much it would cost to identify and limit the vote to Scots living in the rest of the UK? That's a per voter determination.
posted by jaduncan at 9:44 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also the fact it was straight PR rather than FPTP means the spread says more.
posted by JPD at 9:45 PM on September 18, 2014


I heard something about the 16-17 year olds seeming much more likely to vote No than expected. SNP coud have shot themselves in the foot there. Although there were no exit polls so we won't know for sure I suppose. And it seems pretty awesome for future civic engagement to let them vote on this issue.
posted by joeyh at 9:47 PM on September 18, 2014


Do you have any idea how much it would cost to identify and limit the vote to Scots living in the rest of the UK?

Yeah, I think the voting criteria were fine - and probably didn't help Salmond as students, foreign workers and such were all more likely to vote No. The other stuff though: that's just Cameron demonstrating his legendary lack of bargaining prowess.
posted by sobarel at 9:49 PM on September 18, 2014


This is interesting, but surely Salmond can now agree to allow England, Wales and Northern Ireland a vote on whether they want to stay in the Union too. And Cornwall. I mean, it's fine for the Scots to tell everybody else what country they should belong to, but I think the people of those nations and nation-bits should be allowed to express their views on the matter too. And what about the Crown Dependencies? Are they still dependent? Maybe they would like to be less dependent, or more! No-one even asks them! I say give the Manx, Channel Islanders and even the British Overseas Territories their own BBC infographic for a change. And maybe America has had enough of independence, and would like to come back home! If you don't ask, you'll never know! So Vote #1 quidnunc kid and I promise endless referenda for all peoples of the world to continually answer one simple but vital question: am I annoying you? Am I? No, am I? What about now? Am I annoying you now? How much am I annoying you right now? A lot, right? Am I? No seriously though - am I?
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:50 PM on September 18, 2014 [39 favorites]


I vote Let's Go Have A Pint, quidnunc.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:52 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I heard something about the 16-17 year olds seeming much more likely to vote No than expected.

Most of the polls showed that, yes. Maybe the kids see nationalism as one of those old-fashioned things that embarrassing grown-ups do. Wouldn't that be grand.
posted by sobarel at 9:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I will also note in passing that introducing the prospect of UK elections/other votes being based upon the place of birth of the person rather than the constituency they reside in would be a terrible, terrible idea.
posted by jaduncan at 9:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


And maybe America has had enough of independence, and would like to come back home!

Where would we put you?
posted by sobarel at 9:54 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


You mean it isn't bigger on the inside?
posted by orrnyereg at 9:56 PM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Quidnunc kid wins the thread, hands down. I just soiled my pantaloons.

Anyway, independence-minded jocks, take consolation from this: you can still keep blaming the English!
posted by Decani at 9:56 PM on September 18, 2014


Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute all said no BIG TIME.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:56 PM on September 18, 2014


And with that I'm going to bed. I never for a second thought I'd stay up for the whole thing. Thank you to everyone on the thread for your wit and wisdom.
posted by sobarel at 9:57 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Where would we put you?

Back into the Highlands Sys Rq's folks got diaspora-ed out of!
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:58 PM on September 18, 2014


It is especially interesting to me that oil city Scotland - Aberdeen - also said "no", big time. Food for thought for the nationalists, that.
posted by Decani at 9:58 PM on September 18, 2014


jocks

Dude, that is not the preferred nomenclature.
posted by sobarel at 9:58 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Aberdeen was always going to be No territory, Decani. Big oil companies, very affluent, rather Conservative.
posted by kariebookish at 10:00 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


And with that I'm going to bed. I never for a second thought I'd stay up for the whole thing.

I'm still awake, and might just wait til the last result for the sake of saying I saw it all. Although in three or four hours I expect to be woken by a three year old hitting me.
posted by Thing at 10:00 PM on September 18, 2014


Yeah, but a big part of the "Yes" campaign's shtick was bigging up the benefits of owning the oil wealth.
posted by Decani at 10:01 PM on September 18, 2014


Decani: "Anyway, independence-minded jocks, take consolation from this: you can still keep blaming the English!"

Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about the Scots.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:01 PM on September 18, 2014


you can still keep blaming the English

No, we can't. We just agreed to subject ourselves to whatever the fuck they decide.
posted by IanMorr at 10:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Now Scottish people get to blame themselves! This is a great step forward in English-Scottish relations!
posted by Thing at 10:03 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


A big part was using the oil wealth to help the whole country. Everyone in Aberdeen is doing just fine. Bet Torry voted Yes though.
posted by IanMorr at 10:03 PM on September 18, 2014


From the Guardian live blog:
5.36am BST
The BBC’s Norman Smith has posted this on Twitter.

Sources say new powers for Scottish parliament will be "an extenssnion of existing responsibilities" - not Devo Max #indyref

— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) September 19, 2014
It is not entirely clear what this means, but, at first sight, it does look as if Number 10 might be having second thoughts about all those further devolution promises.
If they do this there will seriously be riots.
posted by jaduncan at 10:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Decani: "Anyway, independence-minded jocks, take consolation from this: you can still keep blaming the English!"

Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about the Scots.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere


Love 'em dearly. Lived there for a while. My sister married one about twenty five years ago and has lived there ever since. Any more lazy assumptions based on a lack of humour you'd like to make?
posted by Decani at 10:06 PM on September 18, 2014


[Couple comments removed, please cool it.]
posted by cortex at 10:22 PM on September 18, 2014


Any more lazy assumptions based on a lack of humour you'd like to make?

Given how much has been riding on this vote, I'd say it's a bit lazy to assume everyone's in good enough spirits to enjoy your "jokes" at the moment.
posted by Quilford at 10:27 PM on September 18, 2014 [16 favorites]


I'm still not 100% clear on what "devo max" specifically entails, but did the party leaders ever actually promise it? Their open letter sounds quite vague, apart from not going after their parliament or the Barnett formula and promising Scottish control over (regional?) NHS spending.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:43 PM on September 18, 2014


I'm good with this.
posted by Palindromedary at 10:49 PM on September 18, 2014


Name Deirdre Skye
Rank Lt. Commander
Position Chief Botanist/Xenobiologist
Country of Origin Free Scotland
DOB 05-28-2025
Height 170.1 cm
Weight 52.2 kg

Try again in a decade, then?
posted by Apocryphon at 10:52 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


That was certainly the impression they sought to give. There is now going to be the mother of all bunfights over what that letter actually means, especially given that the Barnett formula does mean that reduuctions in UK public expenditure affect Scotland too.

Salmond's speech just pointed out all the major parties promised a Scotland Bill second reading by March, so the clock is ticking.
posted by jaduncan at 10:53 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


PS: Devo Max originally referred to full fiscal autonomy.
posted by jaduncan at 10:58 PM on September 18, 2014


Good morning all. Thank you for keeping the candle alight while I slept in a stupor. Turns out getting drunk and then getting up at 5am for a result you didn't want is not a winning plan.

I'm obviously hugely disappointed. My home town went 61% No, which shouldn't really surprise me, but did. Those empty windows were, many of them, the homes of No voters it seems.

So far my No friends and folk on social media have been reasonably restrained in their relief. I doubt the Tory backbenches will get that memo though, and I expect to see some fairly ugly triumphalism down south.

I really hope I'm wrong about devo max, and the Westminster parties. I hope they come through. I hope we see real federalism and a written constitution emerge from this. But I suspect the No vote will mean the opposite, and they'll see it as a rubber stamp to continue just as they have been doing. And I think real people, including many who voted No, will be hurt by the results.

But I'm also going to put my money where my mouth is and join a political party and keep working on this. No more apathy from this Scot.

Wordshore: "While I wait impatiently for sleep to come, a few more pictures I took while a resident of the Outer Hebrides / Western Isles / Eileanan Siar / Innse Gall / Long Island (all the same archipelago) for five or so years..."

Thank you for posting these, Wordshore. When I got over the initial shock and loaded up this thread, opening every one of those Flickr sets and seeing a part of the country I love deeply really, really helped. It's a reminder that the people and the land will go on, and things we think of as permanent really aren't. Thank you.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:05 PM on September 18, 2014 [27 favorites]


Happy Dave, you might enjoy The Tide Goes Out
posted by jaduncan at 11:11 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Been a long night. Trying to sleep, getting up periodically to see what's been going on. Checking Metafilter has helped keep me sane.

We'll see what happens from here.
posted by kyrademon at 11:18 PM on September 18, 2014


So basically, you take the Euro election results in Scotland from June, and add SNP first prefs to Green first prefs, and that's Yes. Then you take CON/UKIP/LibDem and that's No.

Back of my envelope says that the difference between those (percentage) totals in every single council area in Scotland is that all the ABC1 Labour voters went no, and all the C2DE Labour voters went Yes.

UK Labour were worried that if Scotland left they'd start 14 seats in the hole at the next election. On these results it's actually now a fuck sight worse than 14. And the Labour Party's vote among C2DE voters -- which is where Scottish Labour believes in its heart it exists to represent -- is now as close to zero as makes no difference.

Keir Hardie's dead, and Tony Blair has his final victory. Now nobody poor votes Labour in Scotland anymore. Maybe they should ask the Labour Party in Ireland where this ends for them.

On the plus side I just watched Alistair Darling's speech live on TV, and that's the last time I'll ever be able to do so before one of us dies.
posted by genghis at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Back of my envelope says that the difference between those (percentage) totals in every single council area in Scotland is that all the ABC1 Labour voters went no, and all the C2DE Labour voters went Yes.

Just look at Glasgow and Dundee vs Edinburgh.
posted by jaduncan at 11:26 PM on September 18, 2014


Clarification of ABC1 and C2DE, if the abbreviations are confusing like they were to me.
posted by frimble at 11:27 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ochon, ochon, ochrie! Another USian here who really has no horse in the race, but in my heart of hearts I guess I was pulling for Yes. At any rate, the voter turnout is such an amazing thing! This is how you do democracy. It's been phenomenal and inspiring to watch, even from afar.
posted by Brak at 11:28 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the UK is better for having Scotland in it, in the same way Canada is better for having Quebec in it. But that means a pretty shitty deal for the Scots, being largely ignored by Westminster. So..

Just picked this up as an example of something that keeps bothering me. Scotland's already got a devolved government with tax varying powers, is over represented in Westminster based on MP to population ratios, receives higher per capita funding via Barnett, etc. That's not a region that's getting ignored or given a poorer deal than others.

Anyhow, relieved and glad to see a No. Hoping we won't see too much bitterness.
posted by MattWPBS at 11:31 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


is over represented in Westminster based on MP to population ratios
Not since the extra 14 were removed post-Scottish-parliament-establishment, no.
posted by genghis at 11:33 PM on September 18, 2014


Name Deirdre Skye
Rank Lt. Commander
Position Chief Botanist/Xenobiologist
Country of Origin Free Scotland


If Diedre was in charge of Free Scotland, her best strategy would be to burn off all the North Sea oil and gas in as polluting way as possible so that Planet Earth becomes sentient and blindly vengeful and starts angrily pumping loads of giant moving balls of tentacle fauna and then she can take the balls over with her psychic mind control or whatever and invade the rest of the world with them
posted by Bwithh at 11:34 PM on September 18, 2014


Bwithh: aka 'Plan C'
posted by jaduncan at 11:38 PM on September 18, 2014


MattWPBS: "Just picked this up as an example of something that keeps bothering me. Scotland's already got a devolved government with tax varying powers, is over represented in Westminster based on MP to population ratios, receives higher per capita funding via Barnett, etc. That's not a region that's getting ignored or given a poorer deal than others. "

It's representation, sure, but the purse strings are still held in London. And you can be as represented as you like, but when you can't raise your own tax and have to divvy out what you're given, often by governments hostile to you, it's hamstrung representation.

Watching carefully to see how this might change, but I'm not hopeful. David Cameron can give all the speeches he likes this morning, but he has to get his party re-elected and get his proposals past his own backbenchers. I can't see it happening.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:03 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our freedom, but they'll never take... oh. Nevermind.
posted by markkraft at 12:07 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I did not know Scotland could not levy their own income tax. Seems like in America, every level of government gets the chance to take a cut. Federal tax, most states have an income tax, and some major cities do (although nearly every city is funded by state funds and property taxes).

Seems like this would be an easy thing to give them.
posted by sbutler at 12:09 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The whole thing about No = "We want to take the deal that Westminster is offering instead of full-on independence" is nuts. You can't negotiate once you have given up your leverage. Hypothetically, if you were holding hostages, and you said to the police, "Send in some food, or I'll kill a hostage!" And the police reply, "How about we trade you some food for your gun, instead?" ... Once they have your gun, do you really expect that you'll be having dinner?
posted by rustcrumb at 12:09 AM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Not since the extra 14 were removed post-Scottish-parliament-establishment, no.

Quick Google figures check - Scottish MPs represent an average of 89k people, compared to a UK wide average of 98k people.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:09 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


On the first of HappyDave's threads on the referendum - back in the deep past of August - I speculated that the coming weeks would be a good time to plan a lengthy holiday to escape the whole affair. That's what I thought personally then; the campaign seemed to have already been dragging on for ever. Then I started the process of trying to get myself aware of the issues. It is always nice have one's mind changed by information and events and I would - in the end - not have missed the electric atmosphere of the closing stages of the campaign for anything. It has made me think so much about the country of my birth that, even as a half English hybrid, I love so much.

Many Scottish people have a garrulous aspect to their temperament that reveals itself best after a drink or too - the side the helped bring the world dancing teacakes. But we also have a more sombre side that brought the world banking and logarithms and John Knox. Generally the Yes supporters have been those in the first camp: out in the streets with broad smiles and window stickers and the best one-liners. The Nos have been the ones in the background - worrying about risks. And there were more of them.

As a disappointed "Yes" my biggest hope for those on the other side is that they were driven by motivations for the British union that were better than the abusive spouse manifesto foisted upon the country by "Better Together" -(there are many). Earlier in this thread I spoke about it feeling like Christmas Eve - where we have a present waiting for us of unknown content. Today feels a little like January 2nd (ask anybody who has been in Scotland on the 1st). And sure enough we do, as a nation, have a present waiting for us. It is labelled "Vow", it does have the appearance of being bought at the filling station. I hope it is not what we call "a jobby in a box".

But for somebody who can sum up the feelings better than me I will re-link to the article "Who Wants to be Comfortably Numb?" - not me - and not any of us - I hope. It is a time for reaching out to the opposite side.
posted by rongorongo at 12:10 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


sbutler: "I did not know Scotland could not levy their own income tax. Seems like in America, every level of government gets the chance to take a cut. Federal tax, most states have an income tax, and some major cities do (although nearly every city is funded by state funds and property taxes).

Seems like this would be an easy thing to give them.
"

We have a thing called the SVR - Scottish Variable Rate, which is due to be replaced by the Scotland Act 2012 and has never been used, in part because I'm pretty sure the Scottish Government didn't want to give Better Together any ammo for the indyref campaign.

It allows us to change our income tax rate by 3p in the pound, up or down. But that income tax is still collected, sent to London and then divvied back out to us.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:13 AM on September 19, 2014


Sbutler - they do have some income tax related powers, they've just never used them.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:16 AM on September 19, 2014


England and Scotland... it's gonna work out fine!
posted by markkraft at 12:18 AM on September 19, 2014


jaduncan: "Happy Dave, you might enjoy The Tide Goes Out"

Thank you, I did. That helped.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:41 AM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Should Scotland be an independent country: the informal GRINDR poll.
posted by markkraft at 12:44 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm away for a walk on Portobello beach. Get some clean air in my lungs. Thanks everybody for your contributions. Metafilter remains my free-floating supranational home on the internet. I'm Scottish, British, European, Edinburghian, but I'm a Mefite too.

Here's to the next Edinburgh meetup.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:48 AM on September 19, 2014 [19 favorites]


I'm relieved. I was pretty sure it would go no after seeing that bit on 538 about early voting.

I'm also inspired by the Scottish people--their democracy and love of nation. They truly are the heirs of Hume and Smith.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:55 AM on September 19, 2014


Scotland decided it was not oppressed and had no need to be liberated.
posted by Segundus at 1:32 AM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Disappointing to wake up to the news that fearmongering has won and the braying classes will get their confidence back. Here was a chance to do good for both Scotland and the rest of the UK, wasted.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:41 AM on September 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


On the other hand, Martin, encouraging to wake up to news that fear of the neighbours has lost and democracy has got its power back. There was a chance to embark on the most incoherent economic programme ever devised, prudently avoided.
posted by Segundus at 2:01 AM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]




I feel like fear of a neighbour that could have been has won but I'm enjoying seeing both sides interpret the same outcome in different ways. Interesting how the prediction about the "quiet majority" seems to have come through and it currently seems as if the first time I hear a bunch of people speak up is to be smug after their side won.
posted by yoHighness at 2:48 AM on September 19, 2014




I woke up with A Man's A Man For A' That stuck in my head this morning. I can't but hope that Burns' song will prove a guideline for the next few years and Scotland, and the UK as a whole, will move in a more egalitarian direction. And Europe and the World too. If this election proved anything, it proved that a lot of people want that very badly and are willing to work for that goal. And I'm not saying that it was only Yes supporters. One thing that struck me was that I saw a lot of No supporters give as a reason a version of: "We can't just abandon the English, Welsh and Northern Irish to the Tories." I'm pessimistic enough by nature to think that things will change slowly and that there will be ups and downs, but at least this referendum campaign opened the floor to different voices than are usually heard. Of course, right now in my head, what I'm hearing is Sheena Wellington singing A Man's A Man For A' That. If my eyes are getting a bit moist, these are tears of hope.
posted by Kattullus at 3:04 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am always reluctant to claim membership of any one tribe, group or cause - I simply see the world in too many shades of grey - but I do see where I am going and I can see I am not the only one travelling down that thorny road.

That is possibly the most startling outcome for me, personally.
posted by kariebookish at 3:46 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


They made it their Disnaeland.
posted by yoHighness at 3:59 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really wish this picture had not been the last thing I saw before falling asleep last night. Because that is one dream I never want to have again.
posted by Wordshore at 4:03 AM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Lord Ashcroft has filled some of the void in exit polls with an overnight poll of 2000 voters on why they voted how they did, with a demographic and party breakdown.
posted by rory at 4:28 AM on September 19, 2014


Reminds me of this picture, Wordshore.
posted by yoHighness at 4:29 AM on September 19, 2014


Scotland’s ‘No’ Vote: A Loss for Pollsters and a Win for Betting Markets.

Time to start making bets on the UKIP vote percentage in the next election. Can they beat the 'Sweden Democrats' 13%?
posted by ennui.bz at 4:43 AM on September 19, 2014


> fear of the neighbours has lost and democracy has got its power back

I dunno, I'd say describing independence movements in terms of phobias is a bit offensive and not at all democratic.

As for democratic power, there's also the bit where the "devo max" alternative was added at the very last moment, which means that No voters don't actually know what "No" they voted for; see e.g. the Telegraph today:

...that's the third reason it was smart of Cameron not to include [devo-max] on the ballot paper. Had it been an option, the three big parties at Westminster would have had to spell out exactly what it would look like so the Scots had a clear idea what they were voting for.

followed by a discussion how to remain true to the letter of your promises while completely ignoring their spirit, all in order to keep those pesky socialists at bay.

(see various ScotCen studies for how people's opinions on various devo levels break down)

There's a reason the UK uses the concept of "don't stack the deck" pre-election "Purdah" periods in general elections, but that apparently didn't apply here...
posted by effbot at 4:53 AM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Heartbroken here in Toronto. Guess I'll just have to rehearse my role as the grizzled, bitter Scottish expat engineer you'll find littering the bars of the world. Thought I'd never become one, but they were my tribe all along.

I hope Scotland likes the shiny toys they've been promised. But when the battery goes flat or the head breaks off, they can come crying, and I will comfort them. But I will whisper gently, "Ah tell't ye."
posted by scruss at 5:17 AM on September 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


For the first time ever the People of Scotland have chosen to be in the UK. The 1707 Act of Union was an act of parliament and was never ratified by popular vote. Now it has been, and the choice should be respected.

In my view this was never about hating the English. We grumble and complain about them and they joke about us but in the end our two nations are quite friendly. I predict the devolution expansion negotiations will go well and while not everyone will be happy, a better UK will result.

I'm slightly disappointed with the vote but as an ex-pat maybe my views don't and shouldn't mean much. I wouldn't be the one living with the result, after all. I just would have enjoyed the national pride with none of the turmoil.
posted by rocket88 at 5:34 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


I predict the devolution expansion negotiations will go well and while not everyone will be happy, a better UK will result.

I really hope so, and trust some of the momentum for change over the last months will be kept up.

It's worth pointing out that powers were devolved to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, and then further increased in 2005, 2007 and 2012. The SP has various powers already - including tax-varying ones - that it has never used, so it's not like it's been horribly constricted. Westminster has also devolved powers in recent times to Northern Ireland, Wales and London. There's a bill going through the house now to increase the Welsh Assembly's powers.

There's a general trend for more devolution, and when it's been promised it has always been delivered.
posted by sobarel at 5:50 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope that arguments over English devolution will push the EU into the background at the next general election and so take the sting from UKIP. Further, the tension between a UK parliament and an English parliament might make Labour see city and county region assemblies as a surer bet for future government.
posted by Thing at 6:30 AM on September 19, 2014


I am not a Scot, so forgive me my rank speculation, but...isn't this thin No victory arguably still a fine result? Even with the No vote winning, Scotland has done a fine job of asserting itself - nobody is ever going to forget this. As an indirect result of this referendum, there's going to be more devolution, with no risky business about currency and whatnot. If things improve, then not only is that good in and of itself, but it will also be an obvious result of the referendum kicking everyone in the butt. If things don't improve, or if they don't improve enough, then the Yes supporters still come out looking spiffy - if anything, their position might appear even more persuasive than ever.

Apologies if I seem glib - I just keep looking at this situation like a negotiation, even though it is obviously also about many other deep things.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:13 AM on September 19, 2014


It's a shite result. Westminster will continue spending Scotland's natural resources on nuclear submarines, illegal wars, high speed trains that don't come anywhere near Scotland and bread and circuses for the masses down south.
posted by IanMorr at 7:20 AM on September 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


If it's any consolation to Yes voters disappointed at still being United in the same Kingdom as England that they're still capable of producing a pretty good satirical audio news podcast, The Bugle is back. Much of it devoted to Scotland, recorded before the vote.
posted by sfenders at 7:23 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am with IanMorr, this is a bad result for Scotland, especially as many tories are saying they will vote against the things Cameron has "promised" (like he promised to "ring-fence the NHS" whahahahaha) and things will not really get better. This was your one chance to be free of the ruling elites of the UK, elites who are from the same families that have been on top for 500 years, and you blew it!

And lets be honest, all the tories are interested in is selling state assets on the cheap to their rich mates. Forensics, probation service, National Emergency Oil Pipeline (that supplies army/RAF etc), NHS services, schools - its a fire sale! Everything must go! And Scotland is still stuck with this.
posted by marienbad at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


For the first time ever the People of Scotland have chosen to be in the UK. The 1707 Act of Union was an act of parliament

By that formulation, no act of parliament is ever the will of the people. That doesn't make any sense.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:47 AM on September 19, 2014


Speaking of West Lothin, Russian poll observers are complaining that the results are suspect because the referendum did not meet international standards.
posted by Flashman at 7:50 AM on September 19, 2014


Good luck, Scotland. We're all counting on you.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:52 AM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


I doubt the Scottish parliament in 1707 was particularly representative, though, fffm.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:53 AM on September 19, 2014


I was working on a reply but it started to turn into a treatise and if you recall I was a wee bit scotched, so I ended rambling and faded, but it has to do with a conception of how to get federal representation right and it's mostly brainstorming.

Basically DevoMax for all the UK countries. Find a new way forward for all. I fear Westminster/Tories/London won't let that happen, but it'd be nice and I think the vast majority of the UK countries might appreciate it - and reduce resentment between each country such that one getting "special" privileges over another wouldn't cause as much.
posted by symbioid at 7:58 AM on September 19, 2014


high speed trains that don't come anywhere near Scotland

This is an incredibly odd complaint. There are many areas in England that still don't have high-speed rail service and are both more populous and more densely populated than any urban area in Scotland.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:05 AM on September 19, 2014


Russian poll observers are complaining that the results are suspect ... because the rooms they voted in were too big. If I hadn't seen the comments last night on the livestream praising RT as a credible source of news, it would be pure black comedy.
posted by sfenders at 8:05 AM on September 19, 2014




Sure, AAC, no argument there. But to hold up 'will of the people' and 'act of parliament' as opposite things is just weird, you know? The whole idea of democracy is that the people elect representatives to enact their will.

because the rooms they voted in were too big.

...and therefore observers couldn't see what was going on. If substantiated--by which I mean if it's true that international observers couldn't actually see what was going on--it's a pretty valid complaint.

As long as scrutineers from both sides could get closer and see what was going on, though, I don't see a problem.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2014


BBC reporting Salmond is stepping down as First Minister.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:11 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is an incredibly odd complaint. There are many areas in England that still don't have high-speed rail service and are both more populous and more densely populated than any urban area in Scotland.

...and they also complain about that and the heavy emphasis on spending in London and the Home Counties. Spot the running theme.
posted by jaduncan at 8:15 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't always agree with Alex Salmond (understatement!) but he did a braw* job with the campaign. He worked hard and got a really, really good result. Respect.

(* crap, I really am going native. soon I'll start saying 'outwith' all the time)
posted by kariebookish at 8:18 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


...and they also complain about that and the heavy emphasis on spending in London and the Home Counties. Spot the running theme.

That (in general) is a pretty common complain in many areas of the world. National/provincial/state/whatever level. Hell, I'd wager if Scotland had gone independent it wouldn't take too long for complaints to rise about unequal spending between regions. Which is not condoning it, but merely pointing out that if that was a primary cause for independence the level of balkanization would be epic.
posted by edgeways at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2014


"Should I have to pay for $THING?" is a fundamental running question throughout all kinds of governments. Sometimes there's a good reason why you should pay for $THING; sometimes there's not a good reason why you should pay for $THING; much of the time, the answer is complicated. There is nothing inherently good or bad about the fact that people pay for things they will never personally use. Answering this difficult question is one of the most basic functions of government, both in terms creating a "good" give-and-take, and in terms of communicating how "good" this give-and-take is. The extent to which the UK does any of this to the satisfaction of Scotland is well beyond my ken: it's obvious that many people are dissatisfied.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:30 AM on September 19, 2014


Russian poll observers are complaining that the results are suspect ...

Not nearly enough tanks and soldiers in fake uniforms.
posted by sobarel at 8:31 AM on September 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


high speed trains that don't come anywhere near Scotland

Er, the high speed trains will come to Scotland! Services using HS2 will terminate at Glasgow and Edinburgh, knocking about 50 minutes from the journey times to London. Come on, Scotland has enough to complain about that you don't need to make things up.
posted by Thing at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2014


The key word you are looking for is "potentially". The HS2 trains will potentially come to Scotland. There have been a lot of potentials on the table before that never came to fruition.

Now, let's look at the massive clusterf'ck that's the No Pledge to More Powers - Ed Milliband seems particularly determined to undermine his voters' faith in him.
posted by kariebookish at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2014


On the BBC website, it says:
Alex Salmond says when he asked David Cameron about the timetable for more powers, the prime minister said it was a meaningless process.
If I'm reading this correctly, did the prime minister just admit that the whole pledge to hand more powers to Scotland and to the other parts of the UK is 'meaningless'? If so, isn't this kind of a bomb?
posted by winterhill at 8:50 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, they won't. There's no proposal, anywhere, that extends high speed rail north of Leeds. I notice you're not arguing about Trident though.
posted by IanMorr at 8:56 AM on September 19, 2014


The next UK general election is set for 7 May 2015. A second reading of the proposed bill at the end of March 2015 (which is what Salmond says Cameron said would be "meaningless") would fall in the middle of an election campaign.
posted by rory at 8:57 AM on September 19, 2014


By that formulation, no act of parliament is ever the will of the people. That doesn't make any sense.

It makes sense in every multi-party first-past-the-post parliamentary system in existence. Is the Harper government in Canada currently enacting the will of the people after being elected with 39% popular support?

Major constitutional-level changes should always be put to referendum.
posted by rocket88 at 9:00 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the Digital Economy Act 2010 taught us anything, it's that last-minute acts of dying governments aren't a great basis for moving forward. Better to put the pieces in place to make it the first act of a new parliament and government.
posted by rory at 9:00 AM on September 19, 2014


A constitutional convention certainly sounds like a better idea than some bodged process overseen by a cabinet sub-committee or some such thing. Devils in the details though...
posted by sobarel at 9:07 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, they won't. There's no proposal, anywhere, that extends high speed rail north of Leeds.

So no trains running on and benefiting from HS2 will come anywhere near Scotland?

I notice you're not arguing about Trident though.

No, because otherwise I agree with you. I'm not arguing with the sensible stuff, just challenging the falsehoods.
posted by Thing at 9:09 AM on September 19, 2014


The next UK general election is set for 7 May 2015. A second reading of the proposed bill at the end of March 2015 (which is what Salmond says Cameron said would be "meaningless") would fall in the middle of an election campaign.

Pretty misleading to state it was his plan and make a vow to do it then, eh?
posted by jaduncan at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2014


Telegraph, Mail and Guardian banned from Salmond’s press conference.
posted by Nevin at 8:10 AM on September 19 [+] [!]


Apparently the Mail, Telegraph, Express, Sun and Financial Times were all banned. The SNP tried to hand pick the Guardian's reporter, and the Guardian decided to boycott the press conference instead.

Good on the Guardian, and disgusting behaviour from the SNP.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:21 AM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Then maybe stop nitpicking my points. It's not a fucking falsehood to say that a train that terminates in Birmingham doesn't come anywhere near Scotland.
posted by IanMorr at 9:22 AM on September 19, 2014


Then maybe stop nitpicking my points. It's not a fucking falsehood to say that a train that terminates in Birmingham doesn't come anywhere near Scotland.

Stop changing what you said to suit your politics. You're complaining that HS2 won't "come anywhere near Scotland" when it will. HS2 trains will go to Scotland. Train times from Glasgow and Edinburgh to London will drop. HS2 benefits Scotland. Everything else is just empty SNP pity-posturing for the sake of winning a referendum. But that was yesterday, so just cut the bullshit and concentrate on the real issues. There are plenty enough of them, for crying out loud.
posted by Thing at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Don't be unfair to the 0.01% as they wouldn't hesitate for a moment to give the money back if everybody just voted on this, right? Where is the deep fryer for this hamburger
posted by yoHighness at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


BBC - Salmond steps down
posted by marienbad at 9:35 AM on September 19, 2014


Apparently the Mail, Telegraph, Express, Sun and Financial Times were all banned. The SNP tried to hand pick the Guardian's reporter, and the Guardian decided to boycott the press conference instead.

Nothing says committment to the principles of democracy like banning the press.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:35 AM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Evening Standard FP - Now the voices of England must be heard
posted by marienbad at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2014


Then maybe stop nitpicking my points. It's not a fucking falsehood to say that a train that terminates in Birmingham doesn't come anywhere near Scotland.

Well they don't go anywhere yet considering they're not starting building HS2 phase 1 til 2017 - and there's a general election between then and now, with a number of the current shadow cabinet being against it. Considering even phase 1 won't be complete for 20 years assuming it goes ahead, it's a bit early to complain that it doesn't go to Scotland yet.

And while we're at it, if a UK-wide per capita average were a notional 100%, identifiable per capita expenditure on services in England would be 97%, yet 117% for Scotland - around £1500 a head extra spent in Scotland vs England. And lets not forget the English bailing out the Scottish banks, under a Scottish Prime Minister and Scottish Chancellor. Or that Scottish MPs can vote on English-only matters that they can't vote on for Scotland! Then you factor in the ship building contracts shifted north at the cost of English shipyards.

And Holyrood doesn't even use its existing revenue raising powers; not even when the fully devolved and entirely Scottish managed Scottish NHS is going to be underfunded by £400m.

We can certainly talk about how much representation 8.3% of the population should get in Westminster, and how many powers should be devolved, but Scotland certainly isn't getting stiffed on its share of public spending.
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:50 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Now the voices of England must be heard

Shouldn't they be allowed to vote to leave the United Kingdom too, if they want?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:57 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some thoughts on the day after:

If you were following the polls closely over the last few days, it had become extremely difficult to believe that Yes could win. The polls were showing that the swing to Yes had stalled, and as poll after poll came out it was clear that the two showing Yes ahead were outliers. The only way to believe Yes would win was if you believed the polls were simply wrong.

That being said, the Yes voters may have had some reason to believe that the polls could have been wrong. Referendums are notoriously difficult to predict and weight because they have so little precedent. There is a long history of inaccurate polling of such things.

In addition, there was a definite swing to the Yes side in the final weeks, which was reflected in the final vote (the 10% difference probably would have been a 20% difference a couple of months ago.) And if you went by the visibility of the campaigns, you could be forgiven for thinking that Yes might have a lead. The Yes campaign was everywhere: posters, booths, marches, literature. The No campaign was barely visible in that way -- although if you got your news from TV and the papers, instead of the internet, you probably heard more of the No side of things than you otherwise would have.

As it turns out, the polls *were* wrong -- but in the other direction. They overestimated the Yes vote. This pretty much tallies with the history of independence votes. Polls tend to underestimate the "Yes" side if the vote for Yes is polling at 60% or more, and overestimate the "Yes" side if it's polling at less than that.

However, voters who are used to close political campaigns between two parties, where 51% to 49% is considered a decent margin, may be underestimating how close this actually came. Nine out of twenty people, with most of the electorate involved, voted for a change that would have been vast and difficult to predict. That's not a small number.

The demographics have been discussed a bit -- older voters and women more likely to vote No, etc. In some ways this was about Labour voters. SNP and Green voters almost all voted Yes, Tory and Lib Dem voters almost all voted No. It was Labour voters that were split down the middle. Some people think this is going to cause a rift in the Labour party in Scotland which it could have difficulty recovering from.

Something that has not been commented on much is that in the real strongholds of Yes votes, Glasgow and Dundee, turnout was actually lower than elsewhere. I'm not sure why that is, or what effect it had on the overall vote.

Here in Edinburgh, right now the overall mood is subdued. The Yes voters seem disappointed, the No voters seem somewhat relieved. I think if the vote had been reversed, the Yes voters would have been jubilant and the No voters nervous. This difference in moods (or possible moods), in victory and defeat, paint something of a picture of the differences between the two groups -- which isn't meant as a negative comment about either one, incidentally.

I think some No voters are even sad and sympathetic for the Yes voters. Many No voters think the Yes side had some valid points; I'm a No-leaning nonvoter (I'm an immigrant who didn't have the right to vote in this, since I'm not from the EU or Commonwealth and I'm not a citizen yet), and I certainly did.

One thing that seems clear is that the vote has caused something of a shakeup in the UK system. A No vote doesn't necessarily mean the status is going to remain completely quo. Whether that will have any real effect, and whether it will be good or bad in the long run, is something both sides of the issue were trying their hardest to predict. A majority thought it would be better to do it this way, at least for the time being.
posted by kyrademon at 10:01 AM on September 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


>> Now the voices of England must be heard

> Shouldn't they be allowed to vote to leave the United Kingdom too, if they want?


The tiny-island Englanders at the UKIP can join the queue behind Yorkshire First, then Cornwall and Wessex.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:25 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is the Harper government in Canada currently enacting the will of the people after being elected with 39% popular support?

He's enacting the will of some people in China, at least.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is a long history of inaccurate polling of such things.

Early in the summer The Courier had an Indy roadshow going round the country with a "high tech ping pong ball poll." Turned out to be pretty much spot on!

in the real strongholds of Yes votes, Glasgow and Dundee, turnout was actually lower than elsewhere

I'll try and find the link, but there was a last minute poll which asked if you would be disappointed if your side didn't win the referendum. It was something like 40% of Yes voters said they'd be disappointed by a No, and 70% of No voters would be disappointed by a Yes. It's not what you would expect from seeing the very energetic and omnipresent Yes campaign.
posted by sobarel at 10:29 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The tiny-island Englanders at the UKIP can join the queue behind Yorkshire First, then Cornwall and Wessex.

Freedom for Tooting!
posted by sobarel at 10:30 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm back from meeting up with two veteran Yes campaigners (neighbours of mine) who both felt the campaign in the last week was co-opted by campaigners coming up from London - no shock there, really. We've all seen the politicians.. but then my neighbours said they both felt the Yes campaign was disrupted by non-local radical leftist movements staging rallies and photo opportunities that really had nothing to do with the actual politics of the Yes campaign. The disruption definitely caused the local grassroot movement to lose some momentum - and certainly gained more than its fair share of media attention and scared a few voters away.

Not a conspiracy theory - just interesting to note how others' political aims can possibly disrupt and divert attention from the things that need discussed.
posted by kariebookish at 10:37 AM on September 19, 2014


Freedom for Tooting!

Something something gas reserves.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2014


Reports of scuffles on Glasgow's George Square. Judging by photos (and the chanting outside my window), it just looks like sectarianism is raising its old weary head once more.
posted by kariebookish at 10:48 AM on September 19, 2014


"tears of hope"

Jesus suffering fuck does democracy and unsuccessful idealism make me sappy in the morning

posted by Kattullus at 10:56 AM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to argue facts, figures or trains any more. I've been doing that for two years. My hangover is wearing off, my despair is lifting with it. Looking at the demographics, it seems clear that the old and or rich voted No, the young and or poor voted Yes. So, change is coming. One way or another. Let's see what they can do to deliver these new powers. Let's see if they make any difference. If they don't, this'll come again and the old then will be the ones who already made the choice to leave and were denied. They'll be online and they won't fall for lies and scaremongering from Walmart and bankers,
posted by IanMorr at 11:04 AM on September 19, 2014


Er... weren't people saying above that young people were more likely to vote no?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:07 AM on September 19, 2014


The 16-24 group voted 51% Yes.
posted by sobarel at 11:20 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Meant to link (PDF)
posted by IanMorr at 11:33 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I had thought there were no exit polls? How do we know how any demographic voted?
posted by Chrysostom at 12:04 PM on September 19, 2014


Overnight poll of 2047 voters
posted by IanMorr at 12:08 PM on September 19, 2014


Er, the Evening Standard pic was meant as a joke because the Standard is owned by a rich, ex-Kgb Russian ex-pat, who also owns the Independent. Ah well, nevermind. Maybe should have specified this, I just loved the irony.
posted by marienbad at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2014


Well, I'm genuinely heartbroken. That same physical pain in the chest when your relationship ends or someone dies. I have friends, men and women, who have been crying throughout the day, likewise teachers in class and folk in offices. Pubs are subdued, social media full of Yes voters trying to grasp some sort of positive to what has passed. On the news we watched Alex Salmond, a man many of us greatly respected for bringing our dreams of a better Scotland to the ballot box, resign after decades of hard work. In between times we see the Westminster politicians who hightailed it over the border to promise an array of timetabled powers start arguing and backtracking about their vows and promises. Their focus seems to be on more powers, ironically, for England. Yesterday in George Square people were singing Proclaimers songs and making speeches that exuded hope and new vision, tonight it's full of right-wing bigots wrapped in Union flags and hurling abuse at our city's ethnic minorities. I've been drinking whisky most of the day to try and numb the anger but it isn't even making a dent in my sobriety. I'll go to sleep tonight hoping #the45 hashtag bring things back together, offering new directions, restoring some of the confidence and power we felt in recent months. 1.6 million people in this small country are not British any more, we do not trust our state broadcaster and we're hurting. This won't go away any time soon.
posted by Caskeum at 12:39 PM on September 19, 2014 [15 favorites]


The Queen has said she believes Scotland will unite in a "spirit of mutual respect and support" following the independence referendum. She said she understood there would be "strong feelings and contrasting emotions".

But she had "no doubt" this would be tempered by "an understanding of the feelings of others".

BBC: Row brewing over pledge for more English MP powers
posted by marienbad at 12:48 PM on September 19, 2014


I rarely say this, but fuck the Queen. She continued to consolidate power and should be shutting up and letting people mourn.
posted by corb at 12:54 PM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


high speed trains that don't come anywhere

Not that it's a good benchmark, but most areas of the US would kill for rail services as fast and efficient as the East Coast Main Line, or as frequent as the (four!) Glasgow-Edinburgh lines.
posted by schmod at 1:01 PM on September 19, 2014


If nothing else, at least more people in the rest of the world now understand the difference between the UK, Britain and England, and maybe will stop using the terms interchangeably in future.
posted by rocket88 at 1:02 PM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Queen has, in practice, exactly zero actual power. And even if Scotland did leave, she'd still be Queen of both countries.

Point being, she has no power to consolidate, and what she was saying wasn't consolidating power anyway. It reads to me much more like "This was hard, emotions run high, both sides need to respect each other."

I'm trying to puzzle out what exactly is the problem with expressing sentiments like "mutual respect and support" and "understanding of the feelings of others."

Some people are mourning, some people are celebrating, some people are planning next steps. Her point is that all of those feelings need to be respected, no matter where you land when it comes to the decision that the Scottish people made.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:03 PM on September 19, 2014 [16 favorites]




The Scottish vote was a class war and the rich won.

Only if the Yes side was clearly in the interests of the poor and against those of the wealthy. The only evidence they give for either is a frankly insulting "poor people like welfare" and pointlessly obvious "Tatler is absurd". The conclusion is a very weak opinion based on unconnected data about the demographics of Yes voters.
posted by Thing at 1:13 PM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


She continued to consolidate power
that's really not how the British political system works.
posted by Bwithh at 1:17 PM on September 19, 2014 [12 favorites]


That Vox piece has a potentially interesting theme for analysis (needs more data clearly) but just got silly with the Tatler thing.
posted by Bwithh at 1:22 PM on September 19, 2014


The Tatler thing is a silly link, but there's no doubting that land ownership reform would have come pretty high up the agenda of things that an independent Scotland would have changed, and that's something that strikes me as being pretty much impossible under devolution.
posted by ambrosen at 1:29 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The aristocracy angle is a little strained. As is land reform as an issue.

Its probably better said that the strongest yes votes came from areas that have born the brunt of the impact from de-industrialization, and the accompanying decline in relative wealth - whether you want to say that begins with Thatcher, or earlier is a bit irrelevant.

The yards in Dundee employed 35k workers in '79 and 8k today - in a city of like 150k.
posted by JPD at 1:41 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean, yes, power does not go directly to the Queen. But for people like that, it's all about the power of the empire and the legacy. If she was the Queen that lost Scotland - and there is no guarantee they would have, in fact, kept that monarchy around - it would be a huge black mark for her. It's false to say she's disinterested or this isn't about the power of the state.
posted by corb at 1:56 PM on September 19, 2014


Yes, the queen's tyrannical reign of cutting the ribbons on things, asking people what they do for a living, and waving by tilting her wrist slightly will continue unabated. The blood truly runs cold at the possibility of such awesome power being further strengthened.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 2:09 PM on September 19, 2014 [21 favorites]


and there is no guarantee they would have, in fact, kept that monarchy around

Everything I've seen on the issue indicated that yes, in fact, they would.

It's false to say she's disinterested or this isn't about the power of the state.

Good thing I said neither of those things then, isn't it? You said The Queen was consolidating power. She wasn't, because she has none. You said she should be letting people mourn; she is. In fact, she's explicitly saying that all feelings on both sides need to be respected and understood.

You're welcome to your opinion that she should shut up, but it's not really adding much to the discussion.

To get back on topic, I think it's probably unhelpful to frame this in terms of class war, or old vs young; it doesn't seem from the numbers that votes map that drastically onto financial lines.

Plus, I think framing the discussion in such ways allows for easy dismissal of reasonable and rational arguments on both sides. "Oh they're just rich" obliterates more nuanced reasons for people voting No; "Oh they're just young" does the same in the opposite direction.

It's probably more useful, and I suspect it's going to take some time to really see good analysis on this, to examine the specific reasons why people voted as they did. That is, the actual votes cast, not intentions stated about future voting preferences. Close to home example, I may find myself having to vote a conservative twit (John Tory) into the Mayor's office next month to help ensure that Rob Ford's meaner brother doesn't get in, depending on how the numbers look; two weeks ago I would have answered a poll saying I'd vote for Chow come hell or high water. Intentions change after the pollster hangs up, so the real analysis needs to be on votes cast.

In fact, I think it's essential for both sides to investigate, in a deep way, why people really voted as they did. People speaking in this thread, and news reports, show that there really was a respect between both Yes and No; everyone wanted what's best for Scotland while having differing opinions as to what 'best' is. Drilling down to specifics could very easily, if that atmosphere of respect continues, help lead towards both sides working together to achieve compromises.

I don't think I'm being a Pollyanna here; I truly believe we saw a conflict of ideas here, and not adversarial politics--no matter what those at the top may have been trying to brew. It is my hope that those feelings can continue now that the referendum is over, and people can (to steal the US phrase) reach across the aisle to work together.

Step 1: vote the idiots out of Westminster in May.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:17 PM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Scottish vote was a class war and the rich won.

Another headline that has nothing to do with the study in the article.

Yes, there is a strong correlation between NO votes and disposable income, but the 760,000 voters in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, and Edinburgh are hardly "The Rich" from a class perspective.
posted by rocket88 at 2:19 PM on September 19, 2014


I think some No voters are even sad and sympathetic for the Yes voters.

That's my own feeling today - I don't feel smug or triumphant or gloating or anything of the sort, I feel sad that so much passion and enthusiasm was channeled in a direction that came to nought. I personally disagreed with it, but that passion was important. Today feels anticlimactic.

Last week when it looked as if it was swinging to Yes, I felt that same physical pain in the chest, the tears, all of it, because I honestly thought that the disruption following independence could be the end for my family's chances of staying on in Scotland. It's what drove me to break my own silence here and elsewhere, and spend the last two weeks writing about it. I was writing and arguing as someone on the left who had been reading and hearing the arguments for two years, hundreds of thousands of words on the subject, and still wasn't convinced, but was still open to argument, even as a longstanding No. I went through the stages of grief when the polls swung to Yes, but without any anger at Yes supporters, as I count among them some good friends. By the end I was resigned to the possibility of Yes, even as I was regaining my instinctive feeling that it would be No after the late polling suggested that the Yes momentum had stalled.

I've been part of a 45% loss before, and it sucks. In 1999 my side lost the referendum on an Australian republic, a much simpler proposition than independence, which would have involved very little disruption in practice - it was about as symbolic as it gets - and yet we still couldn't swing it. I took some solace then from knowing that my city was one of the few places voting yes, but knew that that was it for many years, and so it's turned out; there isn't much chance in 2014 of an Australian republic any time soon. But you just get on with things and bide your time.

I wouldn't lay any bets on when the issue of Scottish independence might arise again. If I were Yes I wouldn't take solace from demographics, thinking that it'll be more likely once the current older generations die, because the wholesale change that independence would bring is always going to be less appealing to the old than the young, whatever the old might have thought when they were young; some of today's Yes voters will turn out to be future No voters. On the other hand, I wouldn't feel pessimistic about having missed the best chance to do this, with the UK under a Tory prime minister and suffering the effects of austerity. Ever since the credit crunch hit I'd felt that the SNP had missed their ideal timing for a referendum, because difficult times make people with something to lose more risk averse. Some of the things I've read today about Salmond make me think he felt that way too. ("Something to lose" doesn't mean the Duke of Sutherland's vast estates in the north. The rich were never going to lose, whichever way this went. The people with something to lose in 2014 are the squeezed middle.)

What could make a real difference in the long term is the UK not settling for the status quo ante, which is why I'm encouraged by the talk today about constitutional conventions and even the F-word. A proper federation that everyone can sign up to could dispel a whole raft of the complaints Britain has faced for years: the West Lothian question, the Barnett formula and so on. Westminster knows that it's been put on notice: a 30-70 yes-no result could have been shrugged off, but not 45-55, not for something as fundamental as this. If it doesn't want to face fresh calls for independence every ten years, it needs to make a better offer that really does feel better to the great majority of people in Scotland, and Wales, and Northern Ireland, and all the regions of England. An Untied Kingdom could be a more united one.
posted by rory at 2:30 PM on September 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


I take back everything I wrote about the George Square scuffle. It is worth following the George Square hashtag to keep track. This looks like a big pre-organised rally/riot for the right-wing side of the Unionists. Nazi salutes, reports of Saltires burned and yes supporters beaten.

After a week of blanket coverage of the indy reference by the mainstream media, the sudden lack of coverage of a capital-N Nationalist rally/riot feels a bit ... bitter together (yes, i went there).
posted by kariebookish at 3:06 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've been part of a 45% loss before, and it sucks. In 1999 my side lost the referendum on an Australian republic, a much simpler proposition than independence, which would have involved very little disruption in practice - it was about as symbolic as it gets - and yet we still couldn't swing it. I took some solace then from knowing that my city was one of the few places voting yes, but knew that that was it for many years, and so it's turned out; there isn't much chance in 2014 of an Australian republic any time soon. But you just get on with things and bide your time.

Australia has voted yes in a referendum only 8 of 44 tries. We're very resistant to change unless things are really uncontroversial like "IN THEORY are black people actually people?", "should people in territories vote in referendums?" and my favourite, "is taking care of the poor, the sick and the old a good idea?" which was the most controversial thing to pass in referendum history.
posted by Talez at 4:07 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]




The aggressive anti-Yes protests today/tonight (and possible arson attack on a generator at the Glasgow Herald newspaper) is more specifically attributable to Loyalists who are a small extreme fringe subset of the Unionist side unwanted by the Unionist mainstream (Scottish journalists will distinguish between the two) , with roots in violent Protestant (loyalist side is Protestant) vs Catholic sectarian rivalry and football hooliganism (also with a right wing vs left wing dimension) which has been a problem in Glasgow for a long time. Similar to Northern Ireland tensions but on a smaller scale.
posted by Bwithh at 4:32 PM on September 19, 2014


It's worth noting that Glasgow City Council in their infinite wisdom have scheduled several Orange Marches AND a republican rally for tomorrow.
posted by kariebookish at 4:35 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


oh my god, kariebookish, that is... i just can't even...
posted by marienbad at 4:38 PM on September 19, 2014


Presumably that's "Glasgow's permitted" several Orange order marches tomorrow, which is somewhat more forgivable, because it is pretty much a nightmare to justify refusing permission to march, and IIRC the Orange orders have kicked up a gigantic fuss when refused.
posted by ambrosen at 4:48 PM on September 19, 2014


I guess what I was trying to say is that there's no guarantee for the council that refusing to permit the march would lead to a more peaceful outcome.
posted by ambrosen at 4:52 PM on September 19, 2014


Fuck the loyalists, and I'll just be clear that isn't the same as saying anything about no voters as a whole. It's the Orange Order/UVF/Rangers hooligan element (you can tell because of the no surrender chants and Rangers songs) in very slightly nicer clothes, and I'm utterly unsurprised that they have come out to cause trouble. Non-coincidentally there are no big celebration marches in Ulster, so I guess I can tell who has been on the ferries recently.
posted by jaduncan at 8:05 PM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


...and there it is.
posted by jaduncan at 8:12 PM on September 19, 2014


Some people will take any opportunity for violence. The only decent response is for the good people of yes and no to join together and denounce this kind of opportunist bullshit, and refuse to participate in any generalizations based on these idiots' behaviour and their violence. I'm sure many have already done so.

The whole world sits in awe right now at how Scotland held a such an amazing civil discourse, with such high participation, and respect among neighbours, even when passions run high and opinions are so divided. I have found it very moving, stirring, to watch from afar. Seriously, it makes me proud of you, especially those who have shared campaign stories on the blue. Don't let these idiots steal that from you. I say go out and share a beer with your political opponents instead.

sorry if that sound pedantic, but you really do democracy right and it makes me jealous and weepy
posted by chapps at 9:48 PM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]




@jeffburdges: the first of those links rapidly goes down the rabbit-hole of barking mad conspiracy theory. A staunchly pro-independence Scottish friend of mine is already fuming mad at attempts to portray the vote as having been fixed; as he puts it, absolutely the worst possible prospect for the Yes campaign would be to adopt its own Dolchstoßlegende rather than actually looking at what it achieved and how the push for independence can be taken further.

(It's also staggeringly insulting to the Yes campaign. This isn't like Florida in 2000, where a few hundred votes could swing the entire election outcome. Some 200,000 Yes votes would have to have been converted into No votes to have taken even a knife-edge balance into the 45/55 split we saw. Given how public the count was, and that statistically about half of the thousands of tellers and voting station staff would have been Yes supporters, such a fraud would have relied on the Yes campaign either being stupid or corrupt from top to bottom.)
posted by Major Clanger at 11:57 PM on September 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


Jeff, that first link is a bunch of anecdotes wrapped around a batshitinsane core. The MI5 offed John Smith, Robin Cook and Margo MacDonald? Suuuuuure ...

(Tho an alternative history where Smith didn't die and provided an electable alternative to Blair is one of the great what-ifs of UK politics)
posted by scruss at 12:05 AM on September 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


The entertaining thing regarding many consipiracy theories is that they assume that the intelligence services (of various nations) are superhuman forces that never fuck up and can maintain massive networks of people without information leaking. This is, charitably speaking, not quite true.
posted by jaduncan at 2:59 AM on September 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


kyrademon: "Nine out of twenty people, with most of the electorate involved, voted for a change that would have been vast and difficult to predict."

I think that is an interesting way of looking at the situation. Nine voted yes and eleven voted no. The nine were younger and more passionate - when they left the celebrations yesterday morning everything seemed a bit quiet and dreary to the rest. Now the nine will go away and necessarily bide their time - they will not forget their passion but they may regret their naivety. And they will notice that they are no longer a small minority but a mainstream group. They will consider how to win over at least 2 of their opponents next time. The eleven were cautious, older, a little more staid -but some of them were wavering over which side to jump to and maybe feel a little guilty right now. Some were lured by promises - and it remains to see whether they are happy with their delivery. Many were flat out scared - and it remains to be seen whether they now consider their fears were well founded and better than those associated with stasis. In terms of momentum the nine have less mass - but they have more energy. I see their eventual victory as being inevitable.
posted by rongorongo at 3:25 AM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


The next 20 months will be interesting; in some ways, the Scotland referendum vote was the beginning act of a heightened period of UK political activity (or turbulence). The next two - known - major votes are:

May 2015: UK general election
May 2016: Scottish Parliament general election

... though before that there is, on October 9th 2014, the Clacton by-election which could be damaging to Cameron, at least one more by-election, the SNP have to elect a new leader (and the Scottish Parliament a new First Minister). Interesting times.
posted by Wordshore at 3:38 AM on September 20, 2014


Not to mention the potential EU referendum in 2017
posted by vacapinta at 3:54 AM on September 20, 2014


The weather is awful in central Glasgow together (even by our standards) so I am hoping it'll deter some of the chancers hoping on the bandwagon.

The voter fraud thing is ridiculous noise.
posted by kariebookish at 4:05 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


May 2015: UK general election - a.k.a which party do you want to sell off state assets to the rich for the next 5 years.
posted by marienbad at 4:48 AM on September 20, 2014


The Irvine Welsh piece in the Guardian today is inspiring.
posted by scruss at 4:50 AM on September 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


With regards to the organised violence by thugs in Glasgow chasing down the remnants of the yes street campaign, a friend had something interesting to say:

"This was a symptom of their political and social identity having collapsed. They lost Glasgow. The whole Orangeman/'Unionist'/Rangers-supporter thing, the toxic social identity around which I grew up, has finally been left behind."
posted by yoHighness at 7:06 AM on September 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


It will be very interesting to see how both sides re-group after this particular skirmish. On the no side - as Irvine Welsh's piece points out - there is a shit-ton of urgent and complex political work needed to demonstrate to Scotland - and to the rest of the UK - that "better together" has a grain of truth about it. On the Yes side you can look to articles such as "Wipe yours eyes, on your feet" that starts to lay out what the Yes campaign (at least the more leftist bit of it) will need to do.

Yes campaigners also have to try to sell their story to those in the rest of the UK. I have a couple of sisters living in England who have been incredulous that Scotland should be suddenly seriously thinking about setting up its own shop: suddenly Scotland has its bags packed and is heading for the door; why did they not say anything! Wasn't it only back in August that they were being so charming to us at the Commonwealth Games? In England they will not have been able to look to newspapers or TV to give them much in the way of insight on the matter - and they will probably have been unaware of the social media universe which has grown up around Yes in Scotland. The nationalists could argue that the English did not get a say in the referendum and that they do not hence matter. They could also see it that the English will never support their independence since they would lose out by doing so. This may be true of the political elite in Westminster - but it is not so true of the rest of England. It will be very interesting to see how that pans out too.
posted by rongorongo at 7:32 AM on September 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


> "Wipe yours eyes, on your feet"

I just spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how I could use my feet to wipe my eyes. I think we Americans don't use the phrase "on your feet" by itself, but usually say "get on your feet".
posted by benito.strauss at 10:17 AM on September 20, 2014


I just spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how I could use my feet to wipe my eyes.

Yoga. Wipe Eyes With Foot is a gatekeeper pose to learning the foot behind the head poses.

I didn't realize yoga was so widely practiced in Scotland.
posted by homunculus at 10:51 AM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


We have some comments from no voters here that make Maurice Johnston look like a Titan of fidelity. I'm glad we still at least have access to joy division to cheer us up after this.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:51 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


With regards to the organised violence by thugs in Glasgow chasing down the remnants of the yes street campaign, a friend had something interesting to say:

"This was a symptom of their political and social identity having collapsed. They lost Glasgow. The whole Orangeman/'Unionist'/Rangers-supporter thing, the toxic social identity around which I grew up, has finally been left behind."


yoHighness, would you mind providing a little context for this clueless Yank? How are those concepts related and what has that meant in recent history (i.e., the last 20 years)?
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:41 AM on September 20, 2014


National Collective Statement: How We Won And How We Will Win.
posted by Wordshore at 11:49 AM on September 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


If anyone is interested in how things are evolving after the last two posts I made, I feel great today. It is clear that the Yes movement is back on its feet and thinking very ambitiously. Yes Scotland has handed the reins of its 320,000 strong Facebook page over to a group of several large and very well organised grassroots campaigns, each of who are coming out fighting in their own ways and as a cohesive unit. This simply isn't going to go away. And it's more than independence as a means for change now, it feels very revolutionary at this stage. If the UK is to be our battlefield then we'll change the whole place if we have to.
posted by Caskeum at 12:01 PM on September 20, 2014 [8 favorites]


Excellent Caskeum! I'd love to hear more.
posted by JHarris at 12:41 PM on September 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yes campaigners also have to try to sell their story to those in the rest of the UK. I have a couple of sisters living in England who have been incredulous that Scotland should be suddenly seriously thinking about setting up its own shop: suddenly Scotland has its bags packed and is heading for the door; why did they not say anything! Wasn't it only back in August that they were being so charming to us at the Commonwealth Games? In England they will not have been able to look to newspapers or TV to give them much in the way of insight on the matter - and they will probably have been unaware of the social media universe which has grown up around Yes in Scotland. The nationalists could argue that the English did not get a say in the referendum and that they do not hence matter. They could also see it that the English will never support their independence since they would lose out by doing so. This may be true of the political elite in Westminster - but it is not so true of the rest of England. It will be very interesting to see how that pans out too.

I can't speak for your sisters (obviously), but part of it down here was to do with The White Paper. Read the analysis of it, looked at a few bits around it myself because I couldn't believe the gaps people were talking about, thought "nah, no way they'll be getting a majority with that fantasy". Turned out we were close to being wrong - no idea if the Scottish press just failed to interrogate the Yes campaign on it in the meantime or what, but I really was shocked they were still able to make the same arguments in the run up to the vote.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:14 PM on September 20, 2014


GrammarMoses: Sectarianism in Glasgow will go some way to provide context.

In short: old school discrimination against Irish Catholic immigrants who settled in Glasgow due to poverty in Ireland - an old story that developed into an us vs them narrative that's divided Glasgow for a very long time. People have been trying to educate people out of continuing this divide but it's very visible every time the Glasgow Rangers football club play the Celtic Football club - the two big sport teams on either side of the divide. It's nasty, it's violent, and no sane person want any part of that bullshit.

When Glasgow voted yes to independence on Thursday, it was implicitly rejecting the Unionist fraction that revolves around the Glasgow Rangers and Protestantism (I'd argue pretty much 0.001% of the hardcore idiots realise it's about religion and not about throwing punches).

Personal anecdote: I'm an immigrant to Scotland but I've never had any problems. The only time I faced discrimination was the time I wore a green coat (green = Celtic) in a blue area (blue= Rangers). I solved it by telling the guy I was Danish just like a famous ex-Rangers player, Brian Laudrup. And then I got the hell out of there.
posted by kariebookish at 2:31 PM on September 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


Much appreciated, kariebookish. Will use that as guidance for future reading.
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:09 PM on September 20, 2014


the social media universe which has grown up around Yes in Scotland

I don't think it's been very healthy really. It feels a bit like the parts of the US political scene which live in their own liberal or conservative blogospheres and see anything outside as biased ("lamestream media" and all that). I know people who only read Wings and Bella throughout the campaign, and that's not been very conducive to maintaining a balanced view of things. Wings in particular had some pretty crazy and unpleasant stuff on it at times.
posted by sobarel at 3:55 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wings in particular had some pretty crazy and unpleasant stuff on it at times.

You're not wrong there, I was reading their Twitter the other day. Loads of telling people to fuck off and similar, even people who hadn't tweeted at them.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:23 PM on September 20, 2014


grammarMoses I see kariebookish did all of the work here. So a small example from a friend I discussed this with today: Let's say you go visit your folks back home. While you sit there watching TV your uncle whom you haven't seen for years walks up to you. "You still support Rangers?" - "Aye" - "Alright then" and he walks off again.
posted by yoHighness at 5:49 PM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Damn. That's a sad story.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:31 PM on September 20, 2014


But there's also this.
posted by yoHighness at 9:11 PM on September 20, 2014


sobarel: what did you think of the Wee Blue Book?
posted by jaduncan at 11:04 PM on September 20, 2014


>the social media universe which has grown up around Yes in Scotland
>>I don't think it's been very healthy really.


The various pro-Yes blogs were, aside from the Sunday Herald, pretty much the only place where lucid pro-yes material was able to get any exposure. That is what was unhealthy. If Yes had been some minority concern then there would be a reasonable case for the mainstream media to limit its coverage. Given that it grew to represent a proportion of the electorate considerably higher than that which voted for the Westminster government the reporting bias shown against them was remarkable.

If it wants to be heard by a wider audience then, as pointed out by "How we won and how we will win" above - the Yes campaign will have to control its own mainstream media outlets - not just partisan blogs. A daily newspaper and a TV channel would do the trick. Again, this is something that a narrow interest campaign could only dream of - but it is very achievable if you are aiming for an un-served audience comprising at least 45% of the electorate.
posted by rongorongo at 3:09 AM on September 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


And, to explore the above in more detail - this piece from "The Drum" (magazine/website for Scottish media types) gives more details and interviews with people from Bella Caledonia and Wings.
posted by rongorongo at 3:27 AM on September 21, 2014


Personally I have really enjoyed National Collective - then again I'm a creative and swathes of it speak to my mindset.
posted by kariebookish at 6:03 AM on September 21, 2014


sobarel: what did you think of the Wee Blue Book?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if Yes had managed to articulate a credible currency position they would quite likely have won the referendum. The fact they got 45% without one is pretty staggering when you think about it. So, since I'm sad enough to spend my Sunday morning re-reading the WBB, lets have a look at what it says about this:

The No campaign’s most repeated scare story is that an
independent Scotland wouldn’t be able to keep the UK
pound. This is a categorical lie. Sterling is what’s known as
a “fully-tradeable” international currency, which means that
any country can use it if it wants to, without requiring the
UK government’s permission.
So even if the threats made by George Osborne (and
backed by Ed Balls and Danny Alexander) that Westminster
would refuse a formal currency union were to turn out to
be true, nothing could stop Scotland from continuing to
use the pound.


We're straight in to a conflation between Currency Union and Sterlingisation. There was no "repeated scare story" about this. A CU was - right up to the end - the official Plan A of the Yes campaign. That's what they mean by "keeping the UK pound". All three main parties at Westminster and the Governor of the Bank of England categorically ruled this out.

The WBB goes on to say that this position is "a bluff". But why? For the rUK it would mean shouldering all the risks of the economy and banks of what would now be a foreign country. There wouldn't be any benefits to the rUK, other than ease of trade across the border, and if that was a primary concern the UK would be better adopting the Euro since it trades far more with the Eurozone. For Scotland it would mean becoming independent and then immediately handing over control of fiscal policy to another state. The economy of Scotland would be dependent upon the goodwill of its much larger neighbour to the south. This isn't independence.

A CU would, in my opinion, be impossible to arrange in a manner that was acceptable to either country. So, the WBB goes on to suggest, in that case Scotland could carry on using the pound anyway:

Many economic experts actually believe that using Sterling
“unofficially” would be a BETTER plan for Scotland. In
February this year Sam Bowman, research director of the
world-renowned Adam Smith Institute, said:


I'll quibble with "many". The best they can do here is to provide the voice of the Adam Smith Institute - a hard-right ultra-libertarian thinktank dedicated to the ending of the Welfare State, the eradication of the NHS, and the shrinking of the power of the state. The reason they like the prospect of Sterlingisation is because it would increase the possibility of all those things coming to pass.

Sterlingisation would mean Scotland would have no control over its fiscal or monetary policy. There would be no central bank, no lender of last resort. Banks would find it difficult to exist in such a state. The EU would not accept as a member such a state. Scotland would be unable to issue bonds or to borrow at reasonable rates. It would therefore have to run a balanced budget, necessitating either huge tax rises or appalling, eye-watering levels of spending cuts. The austerity of the last few years would pale into insignificance.

This all is, in a nutshell, what I've found so dismaying about the Indy debate. I heard Salmond on the radio the day before the vote still conflating these two options. He's an economist, he knows the difference, he knows he was misleading the Scottish people.
posted by sobarel at 7:35 AM on September 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


If you believe the rhetoric surrounding the value of the energy reserves from the Yes supporters (that they can be used to underwrite a scandy style welfare state) then the currency issue is moot. Scotland could very viably have its own currency NOK style. Indeed the issue would be a strong current account leading to issues of having too hard a currency.

If you believe that the North Sea Fields decline is inevitably going to decline and that decline is getting closer by the day, so therefore there are benefits to a currency union - well it doesn't really matter - because then the whole project won't work.

I'm not quite sure how the currency thing was allowed to become such an issue.

Economically to me the only argument that should matter is what are the revenues that can come from NS Fields and then what will we spend that on for when the fields run out.
posted by JPD at 7:57 AM on September 21, 2014


The currency is such an issue for me because a) it fundamentally defines what sort of state an independent Scotland would be. A Eurozone Scotland would be a different beastie from a new free-floating currency Scotland or from a Scotland trying to carry on with the pound. Different constraints, different opportunities.

And b) it's something Salmond & co have been terribly dishonest about, and that bugs me something rotten.

Regarding oil. It's clearly going to decline at some point in the not-too-distant future, and it's very volatile in any case, so I don't think it should be a central plank of an economic model. The time to Do A Norway was probably 30-odd years ago.
posted by sobarel at 8:53 AM on September 21, 2014


Surely if Scotland had continued/re-joined the EU they could have used the Euro? I doubt France or Germany would be against that!
posted by marienbad at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2014


The Euro was Plan A before the financial crisis. Salmond used to talk about the pound being "a millstone around Scotland's neck." It's deeply unpopular in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) these days though so there had to be some attempt to sell a version of indy which would keep the pound.
posted by sobarel at 10:22 AM on September 21, 2014




So all three main UK party leaders (and UKIP) said categorically no currency union. A large majority of economists said really bad idea. 63% of english and welsh against a currency union with an independent scotland, only 27% for - making it a political suicide pact in the rUK post yes vote. Who after all, would not really have an incentive to be particularly accommodating to iScotland in negotiations, and plenty not to.

All that, vs one un-named minister's opinion? That seems kinda... thin to base a campaign on.

If you believe that the North Sea Fields decline is inevitably going to decline and that decline is getting closer by the day

North sea oil and gas production has been falling heavily since 1999, at 5 to 10% a year.
The profile of North Sea oil and gas operations has changed since its heyday. In the last 20 years, the number of UKCS fields has increased from 90 to 300, with nine out of 10 current fields producing fewer than 15,000 barrels per day. The average discovery is now fewer than 25 million barrels. Many fields are marginal and very interdependent and there is strong competition for capacity in the infrastructure bringing the product ashore. Keeping these ageing assets in safe operational order is a perennial challenge.
...
While the North Sea contains mature fields which have been in production for decade, a fifth of the UK's remaining oil and gas reserves lie under the ocean between the Shetlands and the Faeroe Islands. This deepwater area, known as West of Shetland, the Atlantic Frontier or the Atlantic Margin, is on the edge of the UK continental shelf and exploration and production present substantial challenges. The geology of the area is complex, the water is deep, there are strong currents and high winds and the area is a long way from existing infrastructure. Deepwater drilling is more demanding and hazardous than conventional offshore drilling, as operations take place at high pressures and extreme temperatures. Deepwater wells can take months to drill and operations are more expensive.
So there is oil and gas next to shetland, untapped, but expensive to get to. I wonder why Salmond slapped down so quickly the Shetland's desire to determine its own future in the event of a Yes vote?
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:25 PM on September 21, 2014


If you believe the rhetoric surrounding the value of the energy reserves from the Yes supporters (that they can be used to underwrite a scandy style welfare state) then the currency issue is moot. Scotland could very viably have its own currency NOK style. Indeed the issue would be a strong current account leading to issues of having too hard a currency.

If you believe that the North Sea Fields decline is inevitably going to decline and that decline is getting closer by the day, so therefore there are benefits to a currency union - well it doesn't really matter - because then the whole project won't work.

I'm not quite sure how the currency thing was allowed to become such an issue.

Economically to me the only argument that should matter is what are the revenues that can come from NS Fields and then what will we spend that on for when the fields run out.


The reason it became such an issue is because the Yes Campaign couldn't give a solid answer to "what are your currency plans?" once a currency union had been ruled out. The only thing they were able to come up with was muddying the waters between that and Sterlingisation (see Salmond crowing about Darling saying they could use the pound without UK permission in the second debate).

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with your second paragraph as well. There were obvious benefits to a currency union for an independent Scotland, but the only slim chance they would have to get one would be to accept massive fiscal and monetary controls, which would then stymie half the other proposals that were in the White Paper. It becomes a structure where each beam is dependant on a second beam, which needs to pass through the same space as the first beam (and so on). You get to a certain point and it doesn't matter, because then the whole project won't work.

After that, the currency union and the European Union membership become brown M&Ms. First thing you check when you're reading someone arguing for a Yes vote is if they think there's any problems with the Yes Scotland position on those two issues. If not, then you know you've got to be more careful with anything else they're saying.
posted by MattWPBS at 3:56 AM on September 22, 2014


Question for those who have been following the Yes blogs closer than myself - has anyone seen a discussion of the weak points like Currency/EU following the vote?
posted by MattWPBS at 4:18 AM on September 22, 2014


"How should the SNP have handled currency?" is a great question. Since the issue is rooted not just in politics but also in tricky areas of economics and constitutional law - it is probably not a topic the average blogger (or mainstream journalist) could be trusted to nail. If Yes had won then a currency solution would have had to have been thrashed out rapidly - but the Yes strategy of saying basically "trust us - they're going to blink first (and if not we'll work something out)" was a hard sell to the electorate and markets. The tendency of wealthier people and businesses to vote "No" was probably more because of this fiscal uncertainty than it was about fear of a more re-distributive state or a love of Britishness.

I'm not sure the Westminster's tactic showed great wisdom either: the policy of stating that Scotland could not use the pound - but then having Darling admit Westminster was not in a position to stop it from doing so - came over as having its bluff called to many viewers (who tended to agree Salmond had won that debate). Since it was the Bank of England who had offered to honour the UK's national debt- and since Scotland was leaving the UK - it is possible the tactic of refusing a currency union (in return for sharing the assets and the debt) could have backfired against Westminster.

In reality, both sides were facing substantial danger and uncertainty from a Yes vote - and that the painful negations in the aftermath would have done further harm to relations between Scotland and the rUK (who would have been each other's biggest trading partners and would thus have lost out by bankrupting or pissing off the other party).

In the event of a future referendum I think both sides would do well to thrash out an agreed tactic for currency beforehand. In the end, this is the same kind of advice that is often appropriate for any couple considering a divorce.
posted by rongorongo at 6:35 AM on September 22, 2014




This is Going to be Good...
posted by rongorongo at 7:45 AM on September 22, 2014


ArkhanJG: "So there is oil and gas next to shetland, untapped, but expensive to get to. I wonder why Salmond slapped down so quickly the Shetland's desire to determine its own future in the event of a Yes vote?"

They already have their ponies.
posted by symbioid at 8:18 AM on September 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


@rongorongo - I meant more has there been any detailed discussion about what issues there were with the Yes campaign, the White Paper and the like on the various Yes blogs. Self assessment, rather than blaming the No campaign. I haven't really seen any, and I'm wondering if I'm looking in the wrong place.





The "This Is Going to be Good" link misses a few things with the crowing about how the Tories linking the additional powers for Scotland with restrictions on Scottish MPs voting in Parliament is going to destroy the union, and how no other party would want it.

1) The Tories have had to accept a break between the linking of "powers for Scotland" and "English votes for English MPs" that Gove was clearly after.
2) Labour's been caught on the hop, but would definitely be well served in a federal UK, just not one where a single England federal block exists. It'd need a number of English regions. That's why they're now joining in calling for a constitutional convention with...
3) The Lib Dems, for whom devolution of powers to regions within a federal UK is part of the constitution. A federal UK is the Lib Dem vision of a stronger union, not a weaker one.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:45 AM on September 22, 2014


has anyone seen a discussion of the weak points like Currency/EU following the vote?

I don't think anyone on either side bought that EU membership would be an issue. Ashcroft's polling showed it influenced only 15% of No voters when asked to name 3 factors that helped them decide. It was really a loser to bring it up - everyone's seen the EU expand rapidly over the last few years. In trying to convince people they'd have no interest in Scotland, No gave the Yes campaign a clear bluff to point to as scaremongering.
posted by IanMorr at 9:11 AM on September 22, 2014


In the event of a future referendum I think both sides would do well to thrash out an agreed tactic for currency beforehand. In the end, this is the same kind of advice that is often appropriate for any couple considering a divorce.
Any concrete post-independence plans would be a massive boost to a Yes campaign.

It looks like the Yes campaign will win in the long run as England appears to be getting independence fever too.
posted by fullerine at 1:26 PM on September 22, 2014


How dreary and unimaginative it sounds to me the implicit notion -“ach well, they’ll aw be deid soon ‘n we can get Independence then….”

I loved this comment which addresses why many of those over 65 voted "no" - and how they might be won over.
posted by rongorongo at 12:04 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


@rongorongo - I meant more has there been any detailed discussion about what issues there were with the Yes campaign, the White Paper and the like on the various Yes blogs.

Not in a blog, but Frances Coppola's article in Forbes Magazine: "What Scotland Should Have Done (And Still Should Do)" addresses the particular issues of how an independence manifesto might deal more credibly with the issue of currency.
posted by rongorongo at 4:30 AM on September 24, 2014


Link's broken, rongorongo - here it is.

Claiming that they represent the future, because the 55% are mostly elderly, supporters of independence have started a new campaign called “The 45”

"Mostly elderly" is an annoying misrepresentation, whether it's from The 45 or from Frances Coppola. "Tended to be older" ≠ "mostly elderly".
posted by rory at 5:32 AM on September 24, 2014


[Fixed rongorongo's link.]
posted by taz at 6:15 AM on September 24, 2014


The 45 seems like an interesting choice of name.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:45 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Astonishing that this technology was only invented in the last six days.
posted by IanMorr at 12:05 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well you know what the Scottish are like with inventing stuff.
posted by marienbad at 12:08 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Eh. It's not the amount of reserves its the amount of reserves that can be extracted economically. The level of proven reserves at 75 a barrel is a lot lower than at 120 a barrel.
posted by JPD at 3:44 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]




For months we heard oil was going to run out any day now. Sir Ian Wood's "15 years of oil left" was trumpeted over and over by the Unionists. Now, miracle of miracles, there are decades worth.
posted by IanMorr at 6:52 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


The 45 seems like an interesting choice of name.

I'm sure that's not completely unintentional.
posted by corb at 9:54 AM on September 25, 2014


Astonishing that this technology was only invented in the last six days.

It's not surprising that this news is being treated as evidence of some sort of BBC plot to withhold The Truth (to go by those Twitter comments), but as far as Google News indicates there was no reporting of this anywhere before two days ago, when it appeared in the industry mag Offshore. Seems to me that people's beef about its timing is with Prof Sohrabi and his colleagues at Heriot-Watt. But then all they're doing is announcing a promising line of research - it isn't as if they're ready to press the big green button on a whole new production method.

Personally, though - and this isn't some sort of retrospective justification, because it's what I said before the referendum - I don't care if there's 10-15 years' worth of oil left or 50, because what we can afford to produce probably isn't even 10-15 years' worth. I don't mean "we, the people of Scotland", I mean "we, the human race". I can't cordon off my consideration of Scottish independence from the enormous environmental challenges facing us all; I can't imagine how, knowing what we know now, and facing what we face now, we can possibly continue using fossil fuels at current or increasing rates for decades without paying an unacceptable price as a global civilisation.

A related point - which factored into my own thinking before the vote, but I didn't post it in this thread or the previous one on the 17th because I was running out of steam - is that all that lovely oil could turn out to be one big stranded asset, and relatively soon. The carbon divestment movement is gaining pace, and renewables are improving so quickly, that before long it just won't be worth building the West Shetland equivalent of Deepwater Horizon. Why $100bn invested in wind or solar will produce more energy than oil:

French investment bank Kepler Chevreux has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. It estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil. ... "If we are right, the implications would be momentous," writes Kepler Chevreux analyst Mark Lewis. "It would mean that the oil industry faces the risk of stranded assets not only under a scenario of falling oil prices brought about by the structurally lower demand entailed by a future tightening of climate policy, but also under a scenario of rising oil prices brought about by increasingly constrained supply."

I know that some would respond that Scotland will be a renewable energy powerhouse exporting electricity to the rest of Europe. I know this, because a Scottish Government leaflet to that effect came through my letterbox months ago as part of their softening-up of voters before the official referendum campaign. But exporting electricity is a lot harder than exporting oil: you can't just put it on a ship, you need great long cables and wires, and because wastage increases with distance you have to send out more of it to reach the far end the further it's going. Renewable power generation is going to be largely local, using whatever technologies best suit local conditions (wind here, thermal in Iceland, solar in Australia, microgeneration everywhere). Scotland might be able to power the north of England as well as itself, but that will be about it.

When I look 20-30 years ahead, I don't envisage a world where everything is the same as now except there's an independent Scotland more responsive to local democratic demands. I envisage a world where long-distance transport means travelling by ship again, rather than planes; where we have enough local power generation to meet more modest needs - enough to power our computers, phones, whitegoods, and (fingers crossed) electric vehicles and trains for domestic transport - but where globetrotting will once again be the preserve of the richest. In that world, there will be more than political pressure for localisation, there'll be practical pressure, because goods from elsewhere will be harder to get. That world may well see an independent Scotland for practical reasons, because the south will feel that much further away. So maybe we will end up in Charlie Stross's post-Westphalia world of large states broken into smaller ones, for those practical reasons. We'll still be able to wave to each other over the internet, but we won't be able to visit in person as easily.

But that world is one of the better-case scenarios. If we're to have any hope of getting there, we need to use the best resources we've got to make it happen, which aren't primarily oil and coal, they're people, working together, in large organisations and in collaborative networks. And that's one thing the union has given us: a society larger than the sum of its parts, where Scottish minds working with other British minds have produced a great many things of benefit to us all. It's created institutions that can deliver far more than equivalent institutions from smaller countries.

Take the BBC, subject of much bashing in the past week by people focusing on one narrow part of its output. I don't rely on the BBC to tell me what I should think about the news, but I do know that the quality of its output in general would be impossible to achieve in an organisation a tenth the size. Name one world-famous series produced by TVNZ. This list might help.

Or think about the research networks between universities across the UK, which would be harder to maintain in a post-independence environment. The Heriot-Watt Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery could be seen as an example, not of Scottish invention, but of the strength of university research within the UK, and the benefits of sharing the research resources of the entire UK out to the places where they're most relevant and needed.

Bigger isn't better for everything, but it's better for some things, and those things could make the difference between now and our post-carbon future.
posted by rory at 5:14 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Surely, though, even in a 100% renewable energy-fueled world, there would be demand for oil for other purposes? Lubricants, plastics, etc.?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:58 AM on September 26, 2014


Sure, a little. From How much oil is used to make plastic?: in the US in 2010, "about 2.7% of total U.S. petroleum consumption" and "about 1.7% of total U.S. natural gas consumption" went towards plastics.

It would certainly be a good idea to keep any new methods of extracting more oil from existing wells for those purposes, not least because drilling new deepwater wells to feed our plastic addiction would be horribly uneconomic. Would that fraction of current oil demand sustain an independent Scotland? I dunno.
posted by rory at 7:08 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that academics in Scotland have been pretty strongly skewed No if only because of the out-sized portion of Research funding that Scottish institutions receive. Sure this could be cynical timing, but that wouldn't necessarily need to involve some sort of massive conspiracy.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:01 AM on September 26, 2014


I can't believe that people were taken in by that EOR story being a conspiracy. EOR has been a thing in North America for some time; there's been a Wikipedia article about it for eight years. It's one of the promised useful side-effects of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS): extract CO2 from coal stacks, pump it into the ground to re-pressurize/liquefy oil-bearing formations, …, profit! Heck, it's the whole reason for the Boundary Dam (and that link is to a government news release from 2010) CCS project in Saskatchewan.

Of course, some greenie economic killjoys point out that the oil recovered by this process should count against the original carbon sequestered, but the industry has declared that to be No Fun, so standard practice is not to net out future emissions. It's almost as if they haven't heard of externalities at all ….
posted by scruss at 8:29 AM on September 28, 2014


Many of the residents of eastern central Scotland - including those of Falkirk, Edinburgh and areas of Fife - were in "no" majority areas. As such they may be interested to hear that the land on which their houses stands is in the process of being sold for Fracking, that recent Westminster legislation means they have little say in the matter, or that one of the front-runners in the initiative is the Wood Group - which is run by Better Together's favourite billionaire oil forecaster, Sir Ian Wood.
posted by rongorongo at 9:33 AM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wrote a thing about Icelandic support for Scottish independence for a Reykjavík alt-biweekly.
posted by Kattullus at 2:32 AM on October 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thanks Kattullus. In the British media there has been some discussion about how Scotland sees itself as more ideologically aligned with the Nordic countries than it does with England but it is interesting to hear that this feeling may be shared by people in those countries themselves.

Several years ago Alex Salmond chose to cite Iceland as an example of what the Scottish economy could achieve if freed from the shackles of the rest of the UK. That rather back-fired after the credit crunch - but these days Iceland may offer some useful lessons on how to recover from having its economy damaged by an over-large banking sector.
posted by rongorongo at 9:59 AM on October 5, 2014


Yeah, I think Iceland would be pretty keen on including an independent Scotland in the various inter-Nordic treaties and organizations. I don't know enough about the other countries to say for sure, but I think any of them would be dead set against them.
posted by Kattullus at 11:30 AM on October 5, 2014


The past shared between Scotland and the Nordic countries was one of the most surprising aspects of Scottish history I discovered when I picked up a book on its history. It makes complete sense for the nations to be aligned.
posted by Atreides at 1:02 PM on October 5, 2014


...but I *don't* think any of them would be dead set against them.

the edit window can't save us if we don't bother to read what we write

posted by Kattullus at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Having a shared Viking past doesn't mean anything today, in terms of a Nordic "pact". In fact, Scotland also had quite a history in the Baltics as well, prior to Union.

It doesn't make sense to discuss the Nordic countries being "aligned" with Scotland, as they have quite different trade patterns. Trade flows can't be ordered off a menu, they are forces of nature.

Also, remember, even the devolved Faroe Islands won't be allowed in by the Nordics

Also, the most important point about the Nordics is that it is misunderstood as a social philosophy when it is something more basic than that. I quote someone called Ian James Pasley

The “Nordic Model” is misunderstood because it is perceived to be a socio-economic model. But actually it is a cultural model. It is underpinned by Lutheranism, and the basic sense of social responsibility which that brings. When the vote was given to landowners in 1832 in the British Isles, that enfranchised just 5%; in Norway in 1815 a similar law enfranchised 45%. The Nordic countries were already instinctively more equitable and more responsible to each other (while arguably as a consequence being less individualistic and innovative). As a result, the whole relationship with the “State” is perceived differently – in Scandinavia, broadly, the State is trusted, politicians are held in reasonable regard and the tax authorities are seen as being there to help you make your contribution


Unless you grew up with a Scandinavian background, its hard to explain how they remain quite different in mindset about society. These cultures have different ways of thinking almost on the atomic level to the anglo-american one, in the same the way that Asian societies have. The whole relationship between the individual and the society is different, before government even comes into it, based on centuries of history differing significantly from British history.

It is true that Scotland is closer to the Nordic mindset than England, and more egalitarian-minded socially than England. But that is more like halfway there, the way that the UK is halfway between a continental European mindset and a North American one on these issues.

The BBC did a show about some of the issues, an interesting listen.

BBC Does Scandinavia Want Scotland?
posted by C.A.S. at 4:02 AM on October 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Estonia's been clamouring to be recognised as Scandinavian-not-Baltic for a good long while now (having a good deal more in common with Finland than with Lithuania and Latvia), but nothing doing. Not sure why Scotland would be any more appealing.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:43 AM on October 8, 2014


C.A.S: Also, remember, even the devolved Faroe Islands won't be allowed in by the Nordics

I don't know where you get that from but that's complete nonsense. If the Faroe Islands declare independence they will almost certainly be made full members of the various inter-Nordic bodies and treaties. It might take a a couple of years in some cases where treaties would need to be negotiated, but as they already are junior members of most of them already it will be very simple to add them. Same goes for Greenland.

Sys Rq: Yeah, Estonia's been clamouring to be recognised as Scandinavian-not-Baltic for a good long while now (having a good deal more in common with Finland than with Lithuania and Latvia), but nothing doing. Not sure why Scotland would be any more appealing.

Scandinavia and the World comic on that very issue.

I think the thing that the English media doesn't understand is that there's an incredible amount of goodwill towards Scotland in the Nordic world. The Nordic countries would make every effort to add Scotland to their number.
posted by Kattullus at 2:43 PM on October 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I got that from the fact that the Faroes only hold associate status, not full membership, and they were admitted in 1970 under the Danish delegation, although they are largely self-governing. Maybe they would get full membership if they declared full independence, so point taken there. Let's see.

The truth remains that goodwill does exist for Scotland, but that's not enough to power an alliance or trade pact. Most of Scotland's exports are to the rest of the UK first at a level of twice all the rest of the world, then about 5 other countries first, ahead of exports to any Nordic country. I still think the Nordic ties will be there, but any formal alliance, trade pact, or admission to the Nordic Council is a fantasy.
posted by C.A.S. at 4:47 PM on October 8, 2014


Well, plenty of high-level Nordic politicians are on record saying that they would welcome Scotland into the Nordic Council. Of course, now we're talking about hypotheticals, given the outcome of the vote, so it's a bit of a moot point to discuss what would've happened if the vote had gone the other way.
posted by Kattullus at 12:30 PM on October 9, 2014


It is still very interesting to read, Kattullus. So thanks, and also to everyone for an amazing thread.
posted by marienbad at 1:41 PM on October 9, 2014


Yeah, this was one of the best current-events-as-they're-happening threads I can remember.
posted by Kattullus at 11:16 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


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