Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Laboured choice

So tomorrow Thursday is the "big" vote in Scotland. Simon has written some thoughts on the matter, and I thought that I might as well copy his idea follow suit.

Independence has become a key issue this time, and because of this I am going to change the way that I vote for the first time. I'm proud to be both Scottish and British; I like to live in a country that has a strong regional identity but also like to live in Britain. I feel that we have done well out of the Union (it could even be argued that it saved us from a theocracy) and will continue to benefit. I work within the oil industry, and know that the cash will stop flowing from the North Sea within my lifetime (unless I am killed in a tragic yet comedic accident in the next few months).

So I have decided to vote Labour this time. I've always voted for the Liberal Democrats, who are closest to my own politics, but this election seems to be all about lining up a vote on independence. In my mind, a vote for Labour is a vote for the party most likely to be able to form a pro-union government. I'm also not too keen on the way that Charles Kennedy was ousted.

Plus SNP leader Alex Salmond is is a bit pervy-looking.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justin, you say that you're proud to be Scottish and British and like to live in Britain. Independence won't stop that - it's a political/economic process, and it has nothing to do with the forces of identity and the fact of geography. In an independent Scotland you'll still be British, you'll still live in Britain, and you'll still be proud of that - potentially more so. You have as much capability of being British in an independent Scotland as you do of being Scottish in the UK.

You mention the oil. Yes, I've heard there's about as much left as there has already been extracted. But why should that stop Scotland being independent? Surely by that logic, an independent UK will not be viable either, if oil is so central to its economy. And in any case, if there is finite oil, let's use independence to cash in on it and invest it in our economy before we lose it.

Oh, and it's not tomorrow - it's Thursday.

10:33 pm  
Blogger swishfish said...

Oops, so it is. I'm tired, OK?

The oil is our best tangible asset (and there is much, much less to extract than has already been extracted) and after that I'm not sure what other surefire national industries we've got. That's my point: the oil is NOT central to the UK economy but would be to Scotland without a far higher tax burden. We are already subsidised by the Westminster government, and on a UK scale we are relatively poor and unhealthy.

On the political side, the Parly is yet to impress me. They've done great work with the smoking ban and free eye tests, but I really don't feel that they have made anywhere near as much of a difference as they should have.

Plus Nichola Sturgeon is really, really annoying.

11:42 pm  
Blogger Jenny said...

How can you still be British and yet be independent?

3:46 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

Pedants might argue that every island in Great Britain and Ireland is part of the British Isles. I would tend to say that it's a state of mind, rather than a geographical question. Maybe it's similar to Quebec: if they gained independence, would you expect them to still consider themselves Canadian? I don't think so.

8:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you feel British, Justin, no passport or national government can change that. Many Scots feel British and always will do, many Quebecers will still see themselves as Canadian, and many people in the ex-Yugoslav countries still call themselves Yugoslavs in censuses because of the impact that united country had on them.

Oh, and according to treasury statistics published in 1997, Scotland has subsidised the UK to the tune of £27b since 1979. We are absolutely not subsidised.

9:01 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

The £27B statistic speaks for itself that we have had a positive impact on the UK as a whole. I would, however, be interested to see a graph of that money against time, and wonder when it crossed or will cross into negative.

I do understand your point on Britishness, but I don't want to be British in Scotland: I want to be Scottish in Britain. I honestly don't think that the people of Scotland think that they are being dominated by the rest of the UK; we already have a strong national identity that I don't believe will be enhanced by independence.

On a side note, I wonder if (after independence) the Conservitives would become like the Irish Unionists: terrorists with slogans like "no surrender to the SNP"? I could see Annabel Goldie in a balaclave with a Kalashnikov...

9:30 am  

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