As you can see, I have been watching Alex Salmond talk about the Scottish Referendum for Independence today.
He was talking about
- Scaremongering in regards to banking
- How 100,000 will go into poverty if staying in UK
- How more money is spent on Trident than child healthcare
- How staying within the EU will keep them safe
In his speech today, that was shown on the BBC news channel, that Lloyds main address is in London, and has been for a long time, and that that won't affect banking within Scotland.
- Previously he has also talked about
- No military in Scotland
- England will pay for Trident to be removed
- That they will continue to use the GBP
- That the NHS system will remain as it is
- Taxes will not change by much
- That the monarchy will remain head of the state - e.g. they will remain in the Commonwealth
- That England will take all of the UK deficit
- How 16 and 17 year olds will be allowed to vote on the referendum
- That Scottish ex-pats cannot, but anyone living in Scotland can (there maybe a set number of years, I'm not sure)
- Oil sales, and finding it in the Shetland Islands
Now, I admit, I don't ready know much about politics. I know that there are some policies that I like from a party, and some that I don't. I know that when I could cast my first vote, which was in a General Election - May 2001 - I was 18 and knew very little about what it was I was voting for. But I did know that I didn't like what Tony Blair or Gordon Brown were doing. I did not vote for the Labour Party (unlike most of my relatives, or the members of my constituency or the neighbouring constituency of which would make more sense for the village I lived in to vote for).
I admit it. I vote Conservative. Not everything they do or say I agree with, but I do believe that they are doing the right thing in running the country. And, dare I say it, I think the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is doing a damn fine job.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but of the 59 seats in Scotland, how many are sat by a Conservative MP? Exactly! So shouldn't it be that the Conservative Party would prefer independence? Surely that would greatly increase their chances of an out-and-out win at the next General Election.
And wouldn't having an independent Scotland mean that the rest of the United Kingdom - England, Northern Ireland and Wales - have more mula to "splash around" or pay towards the deficit (depending on which ruling party we have at that time.
But when Prime Minister David Cameron was 'No' campaigning at an invitation only event at Scottish Widows, he stated that he would be "heartbroken" if Scotland broke away from the United Kingdom. The other two major party leaders, Labour's Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrats' Nick Clegg, pretty much had the same sentiments. None of the three major parties want to remain united, a United Kingdom.
From what I've heard (or rather, what my non-political mind has understood) via the news and the grapevine...
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, has stated that Scotland cannot, and will not, being using the GBP (Great British Pound or £). First Minister Alex Salmond keeps making out that Scotland will be able to use the GBP, as Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar do (the use GBP but the notes and coins are issued by their own banks (e.g. not issued by the Bank of England). But, from what I can tell, the reason behind Mr Osborne's decision is that the Bank of England, who regulate the currency, can absorb the debts of any of those countries should they go bankrupt. But it couldn't not, in any way, shape or form, be able to absorb Scotland's. And the Chancellor is holding firm. As he should. Sori Mr Salmond, but you need to create your own currency there - because you can't have the Euro either.
Alex Salmond says that, as an independent Scotland, they will not have a referendum on whether we should continue to be a part of the European Union or not. They just will be a part of the EU, as they currently are a part of the EU. But this is where he isn't being quite truthful. The UK is part of the EU, not all the countries of the United Kingdom separately. And the European Union have said that, should Scotland become independent, then would then need to go through the correct channels for a new country to become a member of the EU. Which is why they cannot automatically use the Euro. And they will be a new country. Sori again Mr Salmond, you're fooling yourself there.
I'm not 100% certain what he means about the National Health Service. I assume that he is planning on Scotland having a National Health Service. He won't go down the Channel Islands route, and make all healthcare and dental, apart from Accident & Emergency, private. He'd get lynched! How does he intend to pay for this? It's expensive. Scotland has the highest NHS costs out of all the countries covered by the NHS - for some reason, people in Scotland have a shorter life expectancy (resulting in higher NHS visits) and need hospitals, clinics and GPs in more remote areas than other countries. They have free GP visits, free hospital visits, free prescriptions - all needs to continue to be free. This needs to be paid for by the newly made independent Scottish government - not to be continued to be covered by the remaining UK countries.
Trident and the Military
They don't want it, but don't want to pay for it's removal.
They don't want any military - so we can declare war and take back Scotland for the UK then, eh? Don't be silly, but they putting themselves out there for invasion.
And what about all the people who currently work for the Armed Forces? Become unemployed? Relocate? Neither scenario is good for Scotland, is it?
Errr, excuse me Mr Salmond, but why should England, Northern Ireland and Wales take all the debt that Scotland help create? Two words come to mind, second one is "off". And I am pretty sure that George Osborne thinks exactly the same.
We're not taught anything about politics in school. So at 18, unless you have done your own research, you have no clue who to vote for - and usually follow in your parents footsteps. By the second General Election, I had taken more of an interest and knew that I was making the right decision in who I voted for. So how does 16 & 17 year olds know which way to vote, or why?
And why are they letting any old soul living in Scotland vote? Will they have any real emotions on the country they currently reside in? Some will, some won't. But then there are the Scots who don't live in Scotland (some short term, some long term). The ex-pats who have real emotions about their country, their culture, their heritage - but they can't vote.
My mother-in-law is Scottish, as is all of her family (other than the bf and some of his cousins). In the 70s she moved to Leeds and in the 80s moved to IoM. She is against independence, as is her brother (who also doesn't live in Scotland any more), and her sister (who does live in Scotland). But the M-I-L is really unhappy that she doesn't get a say in her countries future. Just because she no longer lives there, doesn't mean that she won't ever move back - though I doubt she will if the vote is Yes.
Hmmm, is it? Is it?
As soon as the Yes campaign went ahead in the polls, all the shares concerning the UK fell. The £ dropped against the US$ and the €. The City, Wall Street and all the other financial institutions that deal with that sort of thing are scared - because they know an in dependant Scotland is bad news for businesses.
He mentions Lloyds, who have always had their head office in London. Bank of Scotland had their head office in Scotland. Halifax had theirs in Halifax. BOS merged with Halifax, to become HBOS. Then went bankrupt and Lloyds bought them. So their head office would be London. Lloyds Banking Group also own Scottish Widows. They have already relocated 800 Scottish positions to England, and aim to move almost all non-branch positions out of Scotland.
RBS are planning similar. They've probably already started. They've even started calling themselves RBS in all their signage, rather than Royal Bank of Scotland. Hmmmm, wonder why...?
Aviva have started moving away from Scotland.
From what I can gather, almost all financial companies will move south of the border. Not just banks, but insurance companies too. Once again, this results in unemployment or relocation for Scotland's residents - not good for Scotland, not looking good at all.
100,000 Saved from Poverty
Really? Taxes will go up, unemployment will go up (as the financial sector and military will almost disappear). They will loose the import treaties that the UK have, so won't food prices go up too? The UK already gives them their budget higher than what they put into it - so how will keeping the taxes at their current level help cover the public sector wages, the NHS, Education, maintain the roads? But they expect staying with the UK will create 100,000 into poverty, but independence won't?
Apparently this non-renewable fuel source will finance Scotland forever. Of course, because that's what non-renewable means... *face palm*
And they've discovered oil off the coast of the Shetland Islands. This could be true, it could be a lie. But haven't the Shetland Islands already said that a Yes vote will mean that they will have a referendum so that they can break away from Scotland and go back to the UK (or become part of the British Isles - which I always thought they were, and not part of Scotland. Learn something new and all that) So wouldn't the Shetlands own the oil, this UK own the oil...?
Okay, as I stated, I know nothing about politics. I know nothing that what I have understood from the news and the grapevine. So I could be completely way off base on all these things.
But I do believe in a United Kingdom. I want Scotland to stay in the Union. And that's my two cents.
On an aside.... why is it always just England. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Wish people would recognise this - it's why I get so annoyed when people say "oh, you're English" when I state that I am Welsh British.