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Thread: Most Scots Not Enthusiastic for Independence - Survey

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    Most Scots Not Enthusiastic for Independence - Survey

    heraldscotland staff

    Published on 15 Jan 2010

    Most people in Scotland are not convinced that independence would improve their lives.

    However most want devolution to go further than some of the proposals put forward by the Calman Commission, the Scottish Social Attitudes survey said.

    The survey found that about a third of Scots think independence would have a negative effect on Scotland's economy, and around another third think independence would make no difference or are unsure what effect it would have.

    Around three in 10 people believe independence would improve the Scottish economy.

    Similarly the majority of those questioned did not think independence would increase the standard of education in Scotland.

    Around one in 10 thought independence would reduce education standards but more than half (60%) thought it would either make no difference or were not sure what the impact would be.

    Around a third thought independence would increase the standard of Scottish education.

    However around six in 10 people believe independence would increase the amount of pride they have in Scotland.

    Overall support for independence remains low, at 28%, compared with 56% backing more devolution.

    Six in 10 people believe the Scottish Parliament should take most of the important decisions on welfare benefits, which will remain reserved to Westminster under Calman.

    Similarly, 59% say the same about taxation. Under Calman most decisions relating to tax will still be reserved.

    John Curtice, research consultant to the Scottish Centre for Social Research which conducted the survey, said: "It would seem that neither of the major options currently being backed by the parties in Scotland can satisfy the aspirations of a majority of people in Scotland.

    "Rather it seems that some version of devolution-max would have the best chance of achieving that objective."

    The research showed that people in Scotland appear to be more pessimistic about the perceived consequences of independence than they were about devolution at the time of the 1997 referendum.

    Then, 71% thought that devolution would improve the quality of education, while 64% thought it would result in a stronger economy.

    The Scottish Social Attitudes survey was conducted between late April and early September 2009 and questioned 1,482 people resident in Scotland.

    The Scottish Government hopes to have a referendum on independence later this year.

    And a spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said the findings were "positive and going in the right direction for Scotland".

    He added: "They show that after a decade of devolution, there is now a clear and consistent demand for further constitutional progress for Scotland and extending the powers of the Parliament."

    The spokesman went on: "The debate in Scotland is no longer between change or no change - it is about the kind of change we seek, and the right of the people to choose their future in a free and fair referendum."

    He also said: "The vast majority of people want to extend the responsibilities of the Parliament far beyond the Calman Commission recommendations.

    "The vast majority of people want Scotland's Parliament to have the full economic and financial clout needed to fight recession, support recovery, and build a fair society."

    Labour leader Iain Gray said the survey showed most Scots did not back independence.

    Mr Gray said: "The great majority of Scots are not interested in independence. Well less than a third, only 28% in this poll, are interested in independence and this is bad news for Alex Salmond and the SNP."

    He added: "It also reflects Labour was right to set up the Calman Commission to address further improvements to devolution."

    And Tory leader Annabel Goldie said the survey was "further evidence that independence is a minority aspiration".

    Miss Goldie called on Mr Salmond to "ditch his independence bill, save the taxpayer £12 million and get on with helping Scotland weather the worst of Labour's recession".

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    The survey/study really only re-inforces that which I've said for years: The arguments for Scottish independence are a matter of identity, whilst the arguments against Scottish independence are a matter of economics.

    The Scots will have to decide what is more important to them: To safe-guard their unique identity, or to put short-term economic success and shortsighted standard-of-living above everything else. Undoubtedly there is a good chance that there will be a zealous propaganda machinery coming from both sides of the argument should an actual referendum draw near.
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    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

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