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June 19, 2013


David Wilson

Laughed at Chris's groan when you were talking about the unionists making pledges now in terms of any moves towards devo-anything/federalism -lite. On that note I'd be interested to hear your thoughts then about the role of the Electoral Commission in the referendum who have stated that both sides must give details on our future in the event of a Yes or No vote.
If you think a marginal Yes vote might be an issue Lesley, imagine a No vote on the promise of more powers that simply doesn't materialise.

I'm worried about this - who isn't ? After the lib-dems U-turned on tuition fees plus the long running promises of 'home rule' for decades from unionist parties that simply hasn't materialised to the extent that was promised, how can we trust the parties to carry out their pledges ?

mike vickers

Lesley is looking for structural change in the UK but doesn’t believe it will happen – ever?
The problem with the Independence debate is that it is still being considered as a general election – will we be better off with Yes or no worse with No straight after the Referendum. We should be looking at 300 year before the next Referendum. Even Alex used to say that if he loses this one the next vote will be at least a generation away.

But here’s the rub – how can we know what the world will be like in 50 years, never mind Scotland. Today the UK is dominated by austerity on the one side and London on the other with 1 millionaire to every 28 citizens. 60 years ago we were looking for the New Jerusalem even though we were even more broke than now – and that was structural change.
What big changes are prophesied for an Independent Scotland - Trident free but listening to all the economists Trident will fade away and will not be replaced anyway, the UK can’t afford it. It’s Scotland’s oil but that won’t, at best, last for more than 50 years. Yes it would be nice if all are energy would be carbon free but where are we to get the capital to develop the tidal / wave power – we do have the windmills but we have to buy them from aboard (and that’s not the rUK). But then of course I too am looking only at the near future – nowhere near a 300 year horizon.

So it’s back to Lesley’s structural change and I accept there will be no such change in the UK for 20 years at least – backward with Farage; but will a Salmond Scotland be any different? Or come the revolution will Scotland be much more egalitarian as most of the elite pay lip service to – I don’t get any impression that Lesley’s youths believe so – where will they ever get a job – here we are again in their near future.

It would be easy for me to vote Yes on the basis of a new restructured Scotland but I am too old to see whether it comes to fruition or not. Not so Lesley’s youths, so what right have I to cast my vote where my heart might be and impact the youth of tomorrow or their great great grandchildren.
Perhaps the voting rules for the Referendum should disenfranchise all over 55.
Ultimately of course none of us can predict the future in any certainty beyond the next 10 years so it all comes down to gut-reaction.

This is clearly a theme that we will need to return to - time and time again over the next 15 months

David Stobie

I have written to the Press on several occasions to point out the obvious (currently at least) that the majority of Scots will not vote for Independence but don't want the status quo either. At present the different countries within the Union have different levels of autonomy, but it is a mess. To me a Federal structure would be a practical and pragmatic way forward. There are however two problems - England wouldn't wear it because they think they have an English Parliament already at Westminster. Secondly the Liberals and others who supported Federation for years appear to have abandoned this in favour of Better Together - Aye -Right!)
It needs someone of political stature to speak up for this silen majority, and for serious commentators such as Lesley to push hard in that direction
David Stobie

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