Sunday, August 24, 2014

Reactionary And Corrupt DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Opposes An Independent Scotland


Don't bet on an independent Scotland next month. Scottish residents-- anyone over 16 years old-- go to the polls September 18 for a referendum that asks one simple question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Before 1603, when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, Scotland was a fully independent kingdom. In 1707 the two countries were formally joined to form the United Kingdom. Although Scotland kind of did vote for independence in 1979, the referendum failed because not enough people participated. Since 1998 Scotland has had its own Parliament with some degree of local autonomy. Next month they could pull it off-- at least in theory. Betting houses are all offering odds that the referendum will lose-- and most more traditional polling firms show the same thingmost but not all.
YouGov’s latest survey, for The Times, shows that a large majority of Scots intend to reject independence in the referendum on September 18. Among those who take sides, 39% intend voting Yes and 61% No. TNS and Ipsos MORI have recorded similarly decisive verdicts in recent weeks.

However, ICM (45% Yes, 55% No), Survation (47%-53%) and Panelbase (48%-52%) say the race is much closer. What is going on?
Tomorrow evening the two main spokespersons for the pro-Independence and anti-Independence forces, respectively Scottish National Party leader and First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling, face off again for a 90 minute debate that is expected to be widely watched. The media declared Salmond the loser of the first debate, August 5, largely because he "refused to state what his 'plan B' would be if Westminster failed to let Scotland continue to use the pound."

Last week Joseph Stiglitz explained why that argument is nothing but a red herring-- something that would be a bargaining chip between the two sovereign governments… and that would disappear long before actual independence.
The Nobel-prize winning economist, speaking in a Bloomberg Television interview today in Lindau, Germany, said that it’s in the interests of all parts of the U.K. to reach a “stable transition” on monetary arrangements post-independence. Stiglitz is a member of a panel advising Scotland’s nationalist government on the finances of independence which recommended Scotland seek to retain the pound as its currency.

“The position of England today is obviously bargaining, trying to change the politics of the electoral process,” Stiglitz said. “Once they get independence, if that happens, then I think there would be a very different position.”

…“Countries can work with many different monetary arrangements,” said Stiglitz. “The concern here really is can they achieve a stable transition. I think it’s in the interests of the U.K., of England and everybody to have that kind of stable transition. And I think that can be accomplished.”

The chairman of the Scottish advisory panel that Stiglitz sits on said yesterday the proposed currency union remained the best option, though the argument had become political rather than economic. Crawford Beveridge told an audience in Glasgow that the U.K. might not behave “rationally” in negotiations following a Yes vote, the Herald newspaper reported.

…The debate over Scotland illustrates how areas of the country are diverging over issues such as university tuition, which is free is Scotland and not in England, said Stiglitz, who was attending a conference for Nobel laureate economists.

“These are two parts of the U.K. moving in different directions,” he said, also citing spending priorities on such things as defense. “There’s a different set of priorities.”
Celebrities and political figures from all over the world have been weighing in. Establishment figures and conservatives, of course, tend to oppose independence. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Li Keqiang, the Prime Minister of China, and Tony Abbott, the extreme rightist who runs Australia, joined U.K. politicians-- from Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and Ed Miliband to David Cameron and neo-Nazi Nigel Farage-- in urging a NO vote. And plenty of U.S. congressmembers have jumped in-- all opposing independence-- from neo-fascist/domestic terrorist Steve Stockman (R-TX) to DCCC Chairman/Blue Dog Steve Israel (D-NY).

Other anti-independence backers include Sting, David Attenborough, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mick Jagger, Helena Bonham-Carter, Simon Cowell, Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, Richard Dawkins, Anish Kapoor, George Galloway, J.K. Rowling, Cilla Black, Eddie Izzard, Judi Dench, Cliff Richard, Susan Boyle, Simon Callow, Mike Meyers, Bobby Gillespie, and Rod Stewart.

Pro-independence backers are a more interesting group and include Noam Chomsky, Sean Connery, Brian Cox, Billy Bragg, Sigur Rós, Frankie Boyle, Chuck D, and Morrissey who said "They must cut ties with the United King-dumb. I love Scotland, and I love the Scottish spirit and they do not need Westminster in the least."

UPDATE: The Second Debate

This time Pro-Independence leader Alax Salmond won the debate-- hands down. Polls right afterwards showed that 71% of those who watched felt that Salmond won. But will it be enough to overcome Sir Mick Jagger's and Sir Cliff Richard's endorsement of the anti-Independence side.
Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University, a polling expert, also deemed Salmond had won. But he questioned whether the nationalist leader's rhetorical victory would translate into a win at the ballot box.

"A debate doesn't necessarily win you votes," said Curtice, saying it had been notable for its lack of proper discussion about wider economic questions.

"My glance at the flash poll is that while Salmond was the obvious winner, it doesn't seemed to have moved votes at this stage," he said.

Salmond got more cheers in Glasgow, Scotland's biggest city, than Darling, 60, who attracted the odd groan.

…Several recent polls have shown support for independence climbing a few points, but the most recent "poll of polls," on Aug. 15, which is based on an average of the last six polls and excludes undecided respondents, found support for a breakaway stands at 43 percent against 57 percent for staying in the UK.

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At 9:18 PM, Blogger Phil Perspective said...

I wonder why George Galloway is a "No!"

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

Galloway is what he is.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One very interesting Dundonian


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