1 EAGLETON NOTES: What Happens Afterwards?

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What Happens Afterwards?

I'm referring, of course, to the Referendum as to whether Scotland should become independent.

One of the first things anyone learns who is doing a job which involves advocacy of any sort is that in order to win an argument you must first know and understand the other person's case or point of view.   So when a friend who was round for dinner last night asked me why some Scots would wish to vote 'Yes' I embarked upon an explanation.  I had little difficulty partly because my head has been here long enough to understand and partly because I spent my early years in the North West of England and people there had a similar view of being dominated by the South who, in our minds, regarded anyone north of Watford as a teuchter.

I should say that unless asked a direct question I always try to avoid the subjects of politics and religion when in company: especially the company of people who may hold strong and differing views from my own.

To cut a long story short one of the party took umbrage at the case I made and left in a towering and apparently uncontrollable rage.

Wind back the clock a few months and I joined Collaborative Scotland whose website started with the paragraph:  "Whatever the outcome in September’s referendum about independence, we all need to work hard to ensure that we can live well together after the referendum. That this is so within Scotland seems fairly obvious and, of course, the same can also be said about our relationships with the rest of the UK."  I'm not sure that the organisation has really got very far although I like its objectives.

How I will vote remains my business and, in any case, whilst I started off with my head ruling my heart, on the day my heart may well rule my head or perhaps my head will have seen reason (whatever that might be!).

Whatever the result I fear that the recriminations and effects will be far more bitter and far-reaching than anyone can at this moment imagine.  I hope that I am wrong.  I very much hope that.

35 comments:

  1. Not living in Britain, I have not really been hearing a lot of details of this debate or even the main arguments for vs against. I do agree with you though that in order to keep a meaningful debate at all, one should try and understand the other party's view. (I've been known to get into a bit of 'trouble' myself sometimes, trying to argue a 'case' for someone else not present on the scene to speak for themselves, so to say - without necessarily 100% sharing that view myself.) And when there is a referendum it is certainly true that it's very rare (if not unheard of) that the outcome of it will please everyone!

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    1. Monica I foresee the problem with this one being the fact that the emotional content is so high and nationhood is so very important to many people.

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  2. Graham, I don't have a vote but I think yes would be good. I think if they shifted the border south it would be good.
    All my life I have had to put up with a narrow minded parochial view of what is good for me out of the mouths of greedy parasites.
    These parasites have lived too long off the labour of the working man......Hey Up...I forgot I've stopped working, got carried away for a minute.
    All I would get excited about is a Republic. Get rid of the royal scroungers and all that they uphold. I wouldn't guillotine them but I would like to see them demoted to commoners like what I am.
    With a bit of luck the royals are not breeding as fast. Airmiles daughters haven't, lets face facts even a drunken hooray would struggle to find his offspring worth the hassle. Zerena has but I think to the good. Katy Kambridge was fit for nothing else but grinning. Should that be gurning.

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    1. Adrian, not all of the greedy parasites live south of the border. We have our own Scots ones. Whatever happens at the referendum, that much will not change.

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    2. I agree with Marcel on this one: politicians are politicians.

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    3. Adrian, I'm getting off the fence just long enough to say that I think the queen is wonderful.

      Right. I'll clamber back up now, out of reach (I hope).

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  3. I so agree about discussionsn/arguments with people who hold a strong, opposing view. It's a total waste of time. Neither will change his or her stance, and people get angry and fall out. I tend to sit on the fence: uncomfortable, but safe. As for Scotland, I too have views, but not living there would welcome a discussion with anyone who doesn't share them. But I'm not saying what they are. Too risky.

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    1. Go on, say. What can possibly go wrong? We live in a land, where freedom of speech is cherished.

      You know what they say about folk, who sit on the fence....they get splinters in their bums.

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    2. There's always the chance of upsetting someone Frances and, unlike Adrian who tries it on deliberately as a blood sport, most of us eschew confrontation. Yes Marcel the land of free speech... until you try to exercise it in opposition to the masses.

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    3. I'm afraid to say that you are right, Graham - certainly in respect of the way the referendum debate has been conducted. In fact, 'debate' elevates it to a status it doesn't merit.

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  4. You're very wise, GB. One of the things I find most disturbing about the current political climate in the United States is the vicious "take no prisoners" approach, which leaves no room for a middle ground. Either you are with us, or you are with THEM. No one will admit to seeing any virtue in the other side. I think the current stalemate proves that just "give no quarter" approaches don't work. We are supposed to be working as a team to solve our mutual problems. So I say to Scotland, good luck with that one, whatever the outcome of the vote. Love, DeeDee

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    1. Yes DeeDee the polarisation of views on so many things and the lack of compromise and centre ground is something that has concerned me since I was young. As I have aged I have come to realise more and more that there is rarely a 'right way' or a 'wrong way' when it comes to matters of religion and politics and, so often, life itself.

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  5. Watching with interest from down here.... The financial implications alone scramble my brain...I understand the desire but doubt all the issues have been thought through. Living in a zone trying to plan a city rebuild is bad enough. I can't imagine dealing with the two islands declaring themselves separate.

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    1. Almost all the consequences scramble one's brain Fiona when one goes into it deeply enough. At the end of the day most of us will vote with our hearts because our heads just can't assimilate all the information that the various camps are putting out. Who does one believe anyway?

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  6. Well said Graham and Yes I agree that whatever the vote Scotland will take a long time to recover from this.

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    1. Thanks Carol. I think we could be in for an unpleasant time.

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  7. Your arguments must have been powerful or your opponent deranged. Either way, he/she had no hope of winning the debate once rage set in.

    If you could use those arguments for me, I'd be delighted. And we'd not fall out about it - even although I am deranged, or maybe you are. Either way, it would be fun, and it's not as though it's about anything important. As we said when we went to Lewis, we hadn't left the rat-race, we just changed rats.

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    1. Marcel I would like to think that my arguments were compelling but I was addressing specific issues upon which I had been asked questions. It is possible that someone better placed could have refuted my 'Yes' points but I wasn't being asked to make the 'No' case. I think what happened does demonstrate my point that many will vote on emotion rather than fact. The person concerned does not, as it happens, reside in Scotland so has no vote anyway.

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  8. I had to Google the term teuchter even though I understood the general meaning. But I am curious GB ~ who gets to vote in the referendum? Current residents only ~ or do people who have moved away, but of Scottish birth, get a vote?

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    1. Carol as Andrea says it's just Scottish residents who get a vote. Anything else would be too impractical to administer. One's place of birth would also lead to lots of other questions such as the status of people with Scottish parents who happened to be living outside Scotland when they (the children) were born and many other scenarios.

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  9. It's just those personages that live here Carol that get the vote. A disaster waiting to happens me thinks. It too worries me about the consequences.

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    1. Don't be coy. What consequences worry you?

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  10. "One of the party took umbrage at the case I made and left in a towering and apparently uncontrollable rage".....this behaviour seems to be the norm these days when discussing political happenings....what should be rational discussions become full scale wars.....hope you and your friend will not become enemies over this.
    Our island became independent from Britain back in 1966, and there are times when I am not so sure we are all the better for it.

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    1. I doubt very much, Virginia, that I shall ever be persona grata again but time will tell. Qui sait? Life's too short for me to worry about that.

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  11. Scottish separation is often compared to the Quebec situation in Canada. The change in relationships between individuals is what I worry about

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  12. In Spain, some provinces also want to separate, they know it's not going to benefit, can not be independent, dependent on the central state to survive.
    Best all be united.
    Good Wednesday.

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    1. Laura I think that the difference may be that Scotland was, and is, a separate country which is part of a union and not a separate sovereign state. Whether it should be a separate independent state is open to debate. Who wins the debate will be know on the 18 September. Enjoy your Wednesday too. I love your photos by the way.

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  13. If Scotland get independence I shall become a freedom fighter for Yorkshire's independence. Dressed in khaki fatigues I will volunteer to patrol our border with Derbyshire - keeping out the southern infidels while my brothers and sisters in arms build a huge wall to keep out the auld enemy from the west - the evil Lancastrians. In our new republic there will be free Yorkshire puddings and beef gravy for everyone and we shall live in peace and prosperity till the end of our days.

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    1. YP I thought Yorkshire had declared unilateral independence centuries ago.

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  14. A bit late but here I am (via YP's blog). I was surprised to hear from two people living in England (one a Scot) that there would be hard feeling and bitterness after the vote - I imagine the positive feeling of the campaigns would carry on, and everybody would accept the outcome - but now I read you too are worried about this possibility. I hope people see sense, and realise that democracy means this, taking a decision and abiding by it - and working for the future.

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    1. Brian I just hope that the UK Government can deliver the pledges made because if it doesn't then I really fear the worst. I just hope that gloating and the sort of attitude Neil espoused doesn't become too openly prevalent. There are two sides to every story and as a person born in Liverpool but having lived in the Western Isles for 4 decades and being of a democratic socialist persuasion I can see both of them with a certain degree of clarity (leastways that's how I think I see it but then I would say that wouldn't I ?). The people have spoken. Let it be thus!

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    2. Hi again. Hmm, expecting politicians to carry out their promises....! I too hope that everyone gets back to working and living together whilst still fighting, peacefully, for whatever their ideals may be.
      The story that Spain feeds Catalonia also is that, if we hold an independence referendum, it would generate splits in communities and hard feelings. Apparently, being allowed to express yourself and decide on your own future does this! A sad state of affairs. The problem being, here in Catalonia, that >80% of people (and MPs) believe the referendum should be held, and at least 87% say they will abide by whatever result comes out. So, what is more divisive, to hold the referendum and get the debate in the open, or to deny these millions that right. It's a tricky situation. You don't want to let the cat out of the bag, but when the cat is too big for the bag...?
      Anyway, as they say, watch this space!
      Regards,
      Brian

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    3. Brian it's very interesting to see things in another country through the eyes of someone there. I shall watch that space!

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