View Full Version : Scotland 'independent in 10 years' ???

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007, 05:44 PM
Scotland 'independent in 10 years' :rolleyes:

By Laura Clout
Telgraph . 14/11/2007

Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, has predicted that Scotland would be independent within a decade.:rolleyes:

Simon Heffer: The Union is over ( see below) --#2

The surprise forecast is the first time the SNP leader has set a concrete deadline for the break up of the 300-year Union since his party took power six months ago.

Mr Salmond told journalists in Glasgow that his 10-year strategy for boosting Scotland's economy depended on achieving independence by 2017. Setting a series of targets to boost the country's growth, he said: "What you can take from the 2017 target is that we are confident we are going to have the [economic] levers by the time we get to 2017.

"It would be much easier if we had the full powers of an independent country. Therefore I was anticipating being in that position by 2017."

The SNP took power on a manifesto pledge to hold a referendum on independence by 2010. But Mr Salmond's assertion suggests he no longer expects to put the issue to public vote before election in 2011.

Opposition parties poured scorn on the prediction, with Labour accusing Mr Salmond of taking Scottish people for granted. Cathy Jamieson, Labour's deputy leader, likened the forecast to previous SNP predictions that Scotland would be "Free by '93", or in "Independence heaven by 2007".

Writing in The Daily Telegraph this year, Mr Salmond called for "equality of status" between Scotland and England. "Being dragged into an illegal war in Iraq, having a new generation of nuclear weapons dumped in Scotland, and being lined up for unwanted nuclear power stations has persuaded record numbers of Scots that it's not enough to have control over health, education and housing.

"We also need to control the economy, our voice in the world and energy policy."


Weell, would you believe it ??

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007, 05:54 PM
The Union of England and Scotland is over

By Simon Heffer .

Telegraph . 14/11/2007

Pity, for a moment, the most interesting man in the world, Alistair Darling. Last Friday he had an impossible mission, and I apologise in advance for teasing him about it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer went to Stirling University in his - and much of the Government's - native Scotland to celebrate its 40th anniversary. His mission, however impossible, was simple: to say to his fellow Scots that, at a time when the Scottish National Party is using its mandate to press ever more strongly the case for independence, they were far better off staying in the Union.

Alistair Darling made much of Labour's generosity to Scotland (!!!)

He is, of course, right. At least £11 billion of English money heads for Edinburgh each year, the better to soak the Scots in their dependent relative status. My revered colleague Alan Cochrane wrote, entirely speciously, on this page three weeks ago about why he thought the English should not mind. His argument was that the affluent parts of England subsidise the English regions as part of a national scheme, so why (given that we have a Union) should not this subsidy extend to Scotland? As you will have appreciated, the answer is obvious.

We English have a conception of our nation as acute as the Scots now have of theirs. Scotland has signified it does not want English meddling in its domestic matters, as is its right: so much for the Union. The English regions, by contrast, are an integral part of the English nation. Short of balkanising England - something Labour has been keen to do, with its failed plans for regional assemblies - that will remain so: and English people will, therefore, always have a claim on English money that is infinitely more legitimate than any the Scots can make on it.

It was against this troublesome backdrop that Mr Darling went to Stirling. Labour is desperate not to lose Scotland, because it would lose 40 of Scotland's 59 MPs. Bang would go its working majority at Westminster and the jobs, salaries and perks of the Scottish Raj that rules England. You see the problem, don't you? So Mr Darling laid it on with the proverbial trowel. He boasted that Scotland has the highest income per head of anywhere outside London and the South-East. He said that in 2010 Scots would have £30 billion a year to spend as they wished, thanks to Labour's generosity. Addressing his specific audience, he said that Scotland wins more than its share, given its population, of university research funding. If all this is true - and we know how ministers bend statistics - then the porkometer is off the scale.

Yet herein lies the difficulty. Every time Mr Darling, or any other member of the Raj, brags about the largesse Scotland gets from London, the English get angrier and angrier. Look at a story in this newspaper yesterday, if you seek a cause of this rage. Eleven drugs available on NHS prescription in Scotland, treating such awful conditions as lung cancer, brain tumours, bone and bone marrow cancer and Alzheimer's disease, are denied to NHS patients in England. Now, it might reasonably be supposed (and indeed many in England do suppose it) that if £11 billion of their money were not going to Edinburgh, there might just be a few bawbees available for such unimportant things as alleviating the sufferings of the English sick. I know it is bad taste to point this out, but let that not stop us.

Mr Brown, in his squalid and anti-democratic way, has since the first devolved parliament opened in 1999 firmly resisted any suggestion that the West Lothian question needs an answer. He sees no reason why Scottish MPs (and indeed Welsh ones - Labour has 29 of them) at Westminster should not be allowed to continue to vote on matters that affect only the English. Since the Welsh Assembly has recently received a new tranche of powers, expanding its areas of competence, this means that at Westminster Labour can technically deploy 69 MPs to vote on questions that do not affect their constituents one jot, but which can change the course of law in England. That Mr Brown blithely affects to be unmoved by this outrage causes one to question not merely his intelligence but his sanity.

Back in the 1950s, in the two or three years before Suez, there was a strong constituency in the Tory party that blathered on about the need to maintain the British Empire: the Suez Group was the main focus of this. They were absurd, because the empire had ceased to exist in 1947 when India went. Once the jewel in the crown was lost, the rest of the structure would fall apart inevitably. So it is now with some in the Labour Party. The Union is over, morally at least. When Scotland voted for devolution in 1997 the Union fell into a coma. When Alex Salmond's SNP administration was elected in May the last rites were read, and the final process of sundering got under way. All that remains is for the Scots, in a referendum, to vote to stick the coffin in the grave, with the Union flag still on it, and pile on the earth. (??)

This is the last thing Mr Brown and the rest of the Raj want. Because of Scottish separatism they are already illegitimate in the eyes of many English, which is why they bang on with such dishonesty and vulgarity about "Britishness". If Scotland became independent, Labour's chances of ever again ruling the key country of the Union - England - would vanish. Mr Brown and his fellow nabobs would either have to take English citizenship, and find English seats, if they wished to have a political career in a big, serious country, or they would have to settle for running Scotland. Oddly enough, they have hitherto shown a remarkable lack of keenness to do that.

It is a horrible thing for Labour to admit, but thanks solely to its actions and initiatives Britain is now more a term of geography than of politics. This provides, though, an awesome opportunity for the Tories. Sir Malcolm Rifkind's recent plan for English votes at Westminster on English laws has some promise, and Mr Cameron would redeem himself considerably if he chose to embrace it. It would, after all, be but a recognition of the reality of the status quo, and a means of compensating the English for the severe wrongs done to them democratically in recent years. Mr Cameron has nothing to lose by ending the pretence that the Union has a future, and dismissing the Suez group of MPs who, for cynical reasons, pretend it has.

Indeed, the honest position for the Tories - learning from the horrors contingent upon the rejection of Gladstone's Home Rule Bill in 1886 that gave us 120 years of misery with Ireland - is that if a part of the Kingdom wishes to go its own way then nothing should be done to stop it. I would go further. I feel England and Scotland will only ever be happy together if they are politically apart. I am sure from the Scots' point of view independence would be a mistake - the Luxembourg of the north they are not - but grown-ups must be allowed to make their own mistakes. For the moment, the Tories should take the lead and announce that, as far as they are concerned, the Union, like the empire, is over.


The Raj -- The British rule!! --- but the logic of European Federation is a regionalization of the entire landmass of Britain . Is that not our destiny --- who is there to stop it ??


Wednesday, November 14th, 2007, 06:03 PM
Good luck to them, I really wish them luck, Scotland would be better off in the long term if let go. There's no point in drawing it out until 2017. (oh and as a bonus, half the Labour ministers will disappear back to Scotland, and we'll never have a Labour government again.)