My prediction on Scotland

September 18, 2014 • 12:45 pm

I don’t really know much about this, though I lived in Edinburgh for five months. But I’m predicting, based on purely subjective criteria, that the Scots will vote to remain with Britain. I say this simply because it’s the tradition and because the economic and logistic uncertainties are so large.

I have no dog in this race: I love Scotland and if they want independence, that’s their call.  If that happens, I’ll celebrate it. After all, it’s a democratic vote.

Your guess?

UPDATE: A bulletin from CNN:

Polls close in the vote to determine whether Scotland will become independent or remain part of the United Kingdom.

Those in line to vote when polls closed were allowed to cast ballots. Results are expected to be announced over the next few hours.

259 thoughts on “My prediction on Scotland

  1. The Scots seem really peeved at the Brit elites right now. And I will admit it’d be fun to see Cameron the morning after Scotland secedes.

    1. So are the English!

      I’d hazard: No.

      I hope so, too, for Scotland’s sake. The “Yes” camp just seems too fragmented, wanting independence for different reasons, which doesn’t bode well for its future outside the UK.


      1. I’m an Englishman and a long time resident of Scotland. I always thought Picard knocked Kirk into a cocked hat. Mind you, Patrick Stewart and I were born within four miles of each other.

    2. Technically, aren’t the Scots as “British” as the English or the Welsh or even the Irish? They all live in the British Isles, after all and still mostly be on the island of Great Britain.

      1. It depends on who you ask. The Welsh, Scots and Irish are of Celtic background (as are their respective languages), with a heavy influx of Scandinavian. The original Britons were also Celtic, but were largely displaced by continental Germanic people (the Angles and Saxons). English is basically a Germanic language with a strong influence from Norman French (which is where we get all the Latin-derived words). Of course there’s been a lot of mixing among the populations, but whether or not you call the non-English citizens of the UK depends mainly on how picky you want to be and which side of the border you’re from. (One of my favorite musicians, John Cale, is Welsh.)

        1. “Britain” was a Celtic name (iirc), cognate with “Brittany” and Welsh “ Prydain”, but that only referred to the area south of Caledonia, and didn’t included Eriú/Eire/Ireland.

          The English – Anglos-Saxons, mingled with their Norman-French overlords (from Scandinavia via France – Norman = Northman) – are recent immigrants.

          But the Celts themselves were! Pushing the earlier Picts and such like into the least hospitable areas and into mythology. The Irish Book of Invasions is a mythologised but essentially accurate account of waves of immigration in Ireland (contentiously part of the “British” Isles).


          1. Don’t forget that the language “Scots” is a Germanic language descended from Old English, even though the word “Scot” is derived from the name given by the Romans to 5th century Celtic invaders from Ireland.

            Broadly Scotland derives from q-Celtic invaders from Ireland (the Scots) and Germanic invaders from Europe via England (Anglo-Saxons) added onto the natives (Picts, Caledones) who may or may not have been Celtic. Followed by Germanic invaders from Scandinavia (Vikings).

            Certainly its a myth to describe Scotland as Celtic in the way that Wales and Ireland are. Just ask any Rangers fan.

              1. Indeed. Britain was where everyone found they couldn’t go any further, and realised to their horror that they were stuck there.

                Why do you think emigration to north america and australasia was so popular?

        2. I’m British, born and bred in Wales and tired of the independence minded minorities who harp back 1000 years and more in their descriptions of their heritage without taking into account the obvious intermingling of the ‘nations of Britain’ which has occurred since then. I am from a large family and have brothers and sisters across the UK including Scotland. Am married to a Welsh woman who can go back only two further generations before it becomes obvious that they were ‘English Migrants’ into Wales. My brothers Scottish wife can go 4 generations before she hits her English great great grandfather.

          Don’t tell me that Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Island have any validity other than names tags for geographic areas of land in the same way as Cornwall, Hyde park and coney beach do. The people that inhabit these areas are just the same as one another.

  2. Does voter turnout predict “conservative” vs. “liberal” outcomes in election? Intuitively, it seems like higher voter turnout favours a vote for change, whereas low voter turnout would favour a “stay the course” outcome. If that’s true, I would predict Scottish independence.

    1. Mexico is already a “united states” of its own. The official name of the country is not “Mexico”, but the “United Mexican States”.

    2. Including Mexico in the USA wouldn’t solve any problems. Now giving Texas and Arizona to Mexico – that has great possibilities…

      1. HEY!

        Yes, we have problems here in Arizona, but a disproportionate percentage of regulars at WEIT are here, and my own Congressional Representative is the least religious person in Congress (an atheist but not openly) and she (yes, she) is openly bisexual.

        There are definite patches of sanity here, even if we are governed by Janet “Papers Please!” Brewer.


        1. I think Ben constitutes ‘a disproportionate percentage of the regulars of WEIT’ all on his own.

          That’s not a complaint, by the way. 😉

    1. That is a pretty solidly negative position by the bookies. As a contrast, in the 1995 Quebecois independence referendum it was 50% No (stick with Canada) and 49% Yes.

      The most interesting policy thing to come out of that event was the Canadian ruling that if Quebec was legally separable from Canada, then all the same arguments and rights would imply that different ethnic enclaves in Quebec must also legally be separable from Quebec. IOW the Canadian government said “if you are allowed to secede, then smaller political units are allowed to secede from you.” As near as I can tell, that basically killed the movement (at least for the time being), because the francophile nationalists really don’t like the idea of non-francophile communities having the power to secede from their proposed country. I guess secession is good for me, but not for thee. Heh.

      I wonder if the same situation attains here. If Scotland secedes, are there going to be smaller political units in Scotland that say “hey, the self-determination argument you just made to England applies to you too” and try to secede from Scotland?

      1. Oh yes .. Orkney and Shetland have already muttered about seceding from Scotland. If that happened then all the SNP economic calculations are blown further out of the water.

            1. Indeed, they feel more like Scandinavia than mainland UK does. Beautiful in a horribly damp, windy, treeless sort of way.

              We were in Orkney and Shetland in August. About 80% of the time, we had (light) rain coming in at about a 45-degree angle to the ground. In August. Right about 10°C the whole time (imagine that, sitting in the middle of a 10°C sea!)

              We asked a local (Stromness), if it’s like this in August, what’s it like in December and January?!

              A: “Aye, I’ll liv it tah yer imagination!!”

              1. Well, that would be a long post. But most of the labels are fairly self-explanatory, I’m guessing…

                Glad to know you’re in a state of confusion, Ant. 😉

            1. That is hilarious Ant!

              And the Scotish Highlands (Nobody Lives Here): Seemed quite true to me. I rode a push-bike from top to bottom of the UK and up there: We’d go all day seeing only a handful of buildings. Kind of spooky really. But looking around, you could see why. Amazingly desolate.

        1. In the voting, Orkney and Shetland returned some of the highest “No” percentages of any of the count areas.
          During the campaign Alex Salmond and the Nationalists made much of the distance (in policy and outlook as well as literal geographical miles) between Westminster and Scotland and I guess that the Orcadians and Shetlanders may have felt that they are just as distant from Edinburgh and therefore would not especially benefit from Scottish independence. I am just speculating – I have not heard anyone from these areas say as much, but it is true that Orkney and Shetland do not have a great deal in common with the Edinburgh-Glasgow belt.

      2. To put this in perspective for Americans, the bookies actually gave Mitt Romney a slightly better chance than they are giving “independence” for Scotland (Obama was 2/9 to 1/3 and Romney was 3/1 to 10/3).

    2. Yup, and these prices aren’t just set by a couple of bookies in a backroom guessing. Betting on major events is an efficient marketplace nowadays, so the prices are set by weight of money – it’s effectively what the “wisdom of crowds” says about the probabilities.

      Likewise, the financial markets are now pretty much completely discounting victory for the “No” vote. Sterling is back near recent highs against the Euro.

  3. If you are right and Scotland votes No, maybe it will change the political scene in England for the better. It might ditch the Tories since Scotland is more liberal and will have much sway, after such a close call. It will be that, and England has promised changes.
    Getting rid of nukes might be enough to make me vote Yes….tho nukes anywhere are a threat everywhere.

    1. A Canadian Prime Minister told the US to get their BOMARCs out of Canada during the Cold War. I can’t recall what pissed him off but there haven’t been nuclear warheads here since though we have them all over our military vessels.

      Maybe Scotland can do that – find somewhere else to store your warheads.

  4. I was born in Edinburgh and have lived in Scotland all my life. I proudly cast my Yes vote this morning, and I’m full of hope for us becoming a self-governing, sovereign nation once again.

      1. Agreed. Late to the party here as I’ve been up all night, followed by a long lie in bed. Happy with the result; separation would have been a retrograde step.

  5. As an Irishman I’m a little jealous that the Scots get to do this in such a civilised manor and hopefully that will continue no matter what the result. Voting for your independence rather than drawing blood or having immortal martyrs clawing you back to the past.
    I put a €1 on with my Dad for a Yes vote mainly due to my view that they have underestimated lowering the voting age to 16 for the referendum. He thinks that the older people will vote to remain within the union for stability.

    1. Urggh deep waters there. The answer is … t depends. If you take the UK’s view that oil is a UK resource then, yes, Scotland receives more than it contributes in tax. If you take the SNP’s view that oil is a Scottish resource then the reverse holds true. ( Having said the latter, it must be said that the oil boundaries will be subject to intense haggling)

    2. The tourist you were talking to was probably thinking about the Barnett Formula. Lots of references if you do an internet search.

      1. The Independent had some quite good graphs around all this a couple of days ago particularly as they also broke the figures down regionally within England. One thing that was clear was the “London Effect”

    3. London and the south east are the only UK regions that run at a ‘surplus’. Scotland (the oil helps a lot) is the most economically self sustaining region outside London and the SE. We run at a deficit of about £12bn. Pro rata it’s similar to the UK as a whole. Your tourist from Devon? Probably gets his opinions from the Daily Mail. (Little known fact – Scotland was, for a spell, the sixth highest oil producer in the world).

    1. Canada has its own currency, as does the US. Scotland is talking about staying on the UK pound, which is a recipe for disaster.

      1. But note that J. Parizeau told the seperatists in Quebec the last time (1995) there that they might be able to use the C$. Of course, this shows how mendacious the guy is, because that would *reduce* Quebec’s “sovereignity” …

    1. This is so 21st century:
      Kingdom with state religion and defenders of the faith without election in the parlament.

      1. That is somewhat irrelevant to this particular subject.
        Yes, the UK needs to get rid of its state religion. But you will be hard pressed to find evidence to show life in the UK is less secular than in the US where there is no state religion.

  6. My strong suspicion is that the answer will be “No”. All the recent opinion polls have pointed in that direction and today’s have been giving the No about a 6% lead. There is a huge caveat: there are no previous referenda for the pollsters to base any corrections on and there is a huge turnout but even saying that I suspect that the Noes will win.

    Having said that, even if there was a No then the political landscape in the UK will never be the same again with possibly a move towards a more federal basis possibly on something like the Canadian model which is based upon the Westminster system. There are just too many inconsistencies in the current setup for it to be sustainable – the West Lothian question for example. ( This is an anomaly where MP’s from the devolved countries can vote on purely English affairs but not the other way around).

  7. It appears to me that a “yes” vote is for Scotland to establish a Scandinavian type welfare state, as opposed to the English neo-liberal mess, but at possibly great economic cost. So “yes” is the the right vote ethically, “no” the right vote economically. Glad I am not a Scot – a tough choice to make.

  8. So Scotland will keep the British pound if independent? That sounds incredibly risky. They would basically have little control over their monetary policy; what happens if a financial crises happens and they need to print money? A Spain-style depression could ensue.

    Also, so much of the projected future economic prosperity of Scotland is based on oil revenues, yet some reliable sources have stated that reserves in that North Sea region will be used up within 20-30 years. The reply from the secessionists is that new technology will somehow uncover new reserves. This might be true, but it sounds very much like a gamble.

    For these two reasons alone, I would vote no if I could. Perhaps Scotland’s leaders don’t really want independence, but rather want a very close vote that they can use as leverage. If Scotland can get more attention paid to its grievances such as urban problems and health issues, while remaining within the UK, then that would seem to be the best for all parties.

    1. Additional to that is the question of EU membership. The SNP have been told in no uncertain terms that an independent Scotland will not be fast tracked – the process could take years. Also, all new members have been told that they would have join the Euro and Schengen, which would result in customs posts at the border – something which is just unthinkable

        1. The Yes lobby,IMHO, have seen no need to have solutions to difficult problems. They’ve made an emotional appeal. The currency question should have killed them. It should be noted that the NO campaign has been pathetic. They shot themselves in the foot by agreeing to a YES/NO question. It’s more difficult to promote a negative.

    2. Pre-oil Scotland was the poorest country in Europe. It has no other natural resources except a few fish and some malnourished sheep. The soil is not great and the climate is terrible. It is a very poor long term prospect for independence. Much as I can understand their desire for a more socially equitable country, I doubt that leaving the union is a good idea. I predict the uncertainties will be too great and the union will stand.

  9. No, by a whisker, IMO. Not that I know anything. I heard a lively debate/discussion on it on the BBC yesterday which I enjoyed.

    I’m having a hard time seeing the advantage to it (separation) to the typical Scot. Other than pride and basic nationalism. (Listen to The Proclaimers’ “Cap In Hand”)

    It seems like the Yes lobby think Scotland will receive all the offshore oil. This seems very unlikely to me. I imagine there are many (hard to quantify) benefits the Scots derive from being part of the UK. And the question of currency seemed like a mess to me, based on the expressed positions of the Yes lobby.

  10. Robb Stark declares himself the King in the North. The Others invade. The Lannisters face hard truths about each other and themselves. Hodor hodors. Sansa and Arya grow, each in her own way.

  11. I will celebrate democracy, any which way this goes.

    Even if it would be status quo in Scotland, they may put a mark on history. Seems England has no parliament of their own as Scotland, Wales et cetera has, a fact that I hear has hit home at last. Apparently there are discussions on changing that.

    1. “Seems England has no parliament of their own “. We’ll England has 90% of the UK population so the Westminster parliament mainly represents England in numerical terms. An English parliament might be in constant conflict with the UK parliament. Regional parliaments were proposed but defeated in local referenda. It was opposed by the tabloid newspapers. They said it was a French (or EU) plot to break up the UK.

      1. We are cursed with some very poor rabble rousing newspapers that appeal to the lowest instincts of the electorate.
        An English Parliament is problematic but the present arrangement is also problematic given that Scottish members of the UK parliament can currently vote on matters that only effect England (i.e. matters that in Scotland are devolved to the Scottish Parliament) which seems anomalous and unfair. This will be made even more problematic given that Scotland has been promised that more powers will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament following the No vote (arguably one of the reasons why many voters opted not to go for full independence).

  12. The other thing that’s interesting to me is that this question is of vital interest to the entire UK; but only the Scots get to vote on it.

    In fact, on the BBC program I heard yesterday, they said that forgein students who are resident in Scotland will get to vote; but not English native, life-long citizens of the UK.

    Something seems fishy about all this. Not sure how one would cut the knot though!

    1. And only Scots who are resident in Scotland, any living in the rest of the UK get no say even though it could have profound effects on them.

  13. Best outcome would be that Scotland narrowly decides to stay. I think the UK is stronger together but we are so dominated, culturally, economically and politically by London you’d think the rest of us don’t exist . More devolution of power to Scotland would set a president that would benefit Wales, the North and the South East.

    1. This was a good chunk of the discussion yesterday on the beeb: Domination by London and not just London; but the City. (Feels that way for us in “over-flight” country in the US regarding Wall Street.)

      They noted plenty of discontent in “provincial” England, Wales, and N Ireland for the same reasons.

      As you note: A near miss might positively affect this situation. I hope so.

      1. The question is academic now since the results are in and the ‘No’ campaign has won, but had the vote gone the other way I don’t think anything would have happened to Balmoral. As far as I understand it the Scottish National Party were proposing that an independent Scotland would have retained the Queen as head of state.

        1. She is, after all, descended from Scottish royalty through several different lines. In any case, no-one is suggesting that the English would not be allowed to own property in Scotland, even if we had separated.

  14. Spoke to a British oil rig worker today. Concerns about the vote: can 16 yr olds really understand the complex economic realities of separating? Can Scotland afford to fund their own armed forces and other resources they use? Change the currency? Can’t count on oil money if the reports of 20 years left on reserves is true. Big decision with consequences for every citizen.

    1. Britain spends a fair amount on armed forces because we wan’t to remain a ‘world player’. An independent Scotland would spend about the same as Ireland, Denmark or Norway. i.e. not very much.

        1. Huh? We have an army, navy and air force. All 3 are just large enough to provide a token force in support of whatever military adventure by the US or UN our government decides to endorse, or not as the case may be. Wikipedia will fill you in on the details.

            1. Probably an impression you got from the ANZUS stoush when NZ declared itself nuclear free and that was considered to make the ANZUS (Oz-NZ-US) ‘treaty’ for military co-operation inoperative.
              There was a lot of grandstanding about it, in fact more illusion than substance e.g. Operation Deepfreeze (the US presence in Antarctica) continued to be supplied through Christchurch without a blip even while the parties weren’t officially talking to each other.
              NZ did, however, mothball its antiquated and probably useless Skyhawks and decided not to afford F16s as replacements. We still have Orion maritime patrol planes which are much more useful.

              1. You also bought some LAVs from Canada. Thank you for supporting the Canadian manufacturing economy. 🙂

              2. I still have the Blackberry I bought 7 years ago, and it still has the original battery. I think I’m doing my share to keep the Canadian economy afloat.

                Now, do the Canadians have plans for a referendum for separation from the USA?

              3. Well if they wanted me to buy a new one, they shouldn’t have built the old one so damn well. This is what happens when you have high manufacturing standards. Now, are there still stores that sell Blackberries?

  15. The polls have it at about 50/50, just slightly in favour of ‘no’. But they make no mention of the undecideds. I think someone said they constitute about a third of those registered to vote.

    I’m guessing that if you are undecided as you go into the polling booth then there’s a greater likelihood you’ll decide to play safe and stick with the status quo when you put pencil to paper. If a big proportion of the ‘undecideds’ do that then it could result in a bigger ‘no’ vote than the polls indicate. Based on that bit of total guesswork I’m going to guess that it could be a ‘no’ vote with a slightly bigger lead than most people are expecting: say 55% to 45%.

  16. I’ve been campaigning (to save The Union) for the last few weeks. Today I’ve spent 8 hours outside polling stations in Perth. I’ve been leafleting, I’ve manned street stalls and canvassed. It will be an overwhelming “No Thanks” to Alex Salmond and his plot to cleave the country I love in two.

    1. Thanks Graham. If I’d been aware of an active ‘YES’ campaign I would have joined you. They’ve been pretty invisible.

  17. My best guess is “no” perhaps by a greater margin than is predicted. Perhaps the bookies have the same feeling. I wish Scotland well whatever, but I think they are digging themselves a hole if they leave.

  18. If Scotland does secede, that’s basically triggering the final demise of the British Empire. I’d expect Ireland to follow not long after (and maybe even split north and south?), and perhaps even Wales after that. At that point, no more Britain…just England.

    Be interesting to see how the militaries get split up, who stays in NATO, who gets the nukes and the navy ships and the fighter jets….


      1. No, I’m suggesting that all of Ireland would split from England, and that, in so doing, Ireland itself might split into not one separate-from-England state but two.


        1. Well I was under the strange impression that Ireland split from the UK in 1921 and then declared a republic in 1949. Head of state is Uachtarán na hÉireann Micheal D Higgins.

          Yep I’m confused on this as well, am I missing something obvious?

          Sinn fein will push for a border poll if Scotland goes for independence aiming for a united Ireland something at present I would vote against.

          1. Aarrgghh!!

            No clue what the fuck I was thinking yesterday. Total, repeated, painful brainfart.

            So sorry, all, for the confusion — and, if any insult was inferred from my idiocy, please rest assured it was, indeed, pure idiocy on my part and no insult whatsoever.


        2. Ah. Thank you. I think I understand the source of my confusion now.

          Kieran (whose name alone has the ring of expertise here) knows whereof he speaks. Interestingly, Ireland went so far as to leave not only the U.K. but also the Commonwealth, to which even Canada, Australia, and several other countries still belong (mostly because they like putting QEII’s face on some of the currency, I suspect). 🙂

          1. John Costello had a hissy fit at one of the commonwealth dinners and pretty much unilaterally declared Ireland a republic leaving the commonwealth through the repeal of the external relations act. Okay not quite true the decision had been made he just announced it at a meeting in Canada.

            There is talk with the better relations between Ireland and the UK that we would re-join.

            1. I suspect that one potential stumbling block is the status of the Queen as being head of the Commonwealth. Maybe some form of “associate” membership which is full membership but without accepting Liz’s role might work.

              I, personally, would be delighted to see the republic in the Commonwealth.

          2. Kieran, why has there been no referendum in Northern Ireland since 1973 and why would you vote to stay in the UK (I’m guessing (from your name) that you may come from a ‘nationalist’ background.

            1. I’m from the south (or mexico as they delightfully call is in the north) and would not want to have to deal with issues that would arise from a border poll at present, currently it costs the uk around 5 -12 billion a year to run northern Ireland.

              There are still issues over parades, flags and there are still peace walls in areas. There is low level but continuous dissident activities. The current model for the Northern executive is everyone is in government and there is no opposition.

              I believe if a vote was run it wouldn’t pass in Northern Ireland and there would actually quite a large No vote from the south as well. As many people don’t really care about partition any more due to the good Friday agreement and the improvement in relations east west between the governments.

              I also think that we currently are moving towards a fairly secular country in the south but in the north the dominant unionist voice is the DUP which is basically the party of the Free Presbyterian, who are creationist, anti lgbt, anti equality and very anti catholic as well. While some have mellowed in age others are just getting more bitter. We also have the fringe parties like the TUV etc.

              In the south before we even think of having a border vote we would need a secular constitution and we don’t have that yet.

  19. For a group of people choose to become a smaller political unit is foolish in today’s world. Most everyone else wants to be bigger to better compete with the US and China.

    1. Not really. Most European countries have populations smaller than most states in the US, and yet are doing pretty comfortably for themselves.

        1. Incorrect. The EU was formed as an anti-nationalist countermeasure to prevent the sort of international wars that had devastated Europe in the early 20th century. In any case, most of the impetus for the union came from economic concerns, as demonstrated by the fact that most of the early nations were united under committees for industrial sectors like steel and coal. In any case, while it is similar to a federation of states, it’s never been formally designated as such, and functions more like an international organization.

          The notion that they formed it to better compete with the US is, at best, unlikely.

          And that’s before we rope in non-EU members like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Andorra, as well as some East European countries.

          And that’s before we look outside Europe at Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and New Zealand. It is not obviously foolish to be a small political unit unless you assume beforehand that bigger is better. That is, of course, assuming the US and China are actually good models of political success to begin with.

      1. Not so, reasonshark, only California has anything like the population of a Western European nation (Texas could make about half of one). All the others are The Netherlands,Belgium or Luxemburg.

          1. “Texas could make about half of one [a w. European nation] . . . .”

            But Texas’s self-regard, a particularly virulent version of Amuricun Exceptionalism, is several orders of magnitude higher.

  20. The UK is still a substantial country in world affairs. A separate Scotland would have little clout. Also, the currency and business problems of independence would be destabilizing for a long time.

    1. Russia (China) is still a substantial country in world affairs. A separate Ukraine (Tibet) would have little clout.

  21. Being used to the U.S. system of requiring a 2/3 majority for any changes to the Constitution, I’m surprised an issue as important as seccession can be decided by a simple majority. I mean, staying united is just the status quo, like the vote had never taken place at all. Secceding is a huge step. And if it just squeaks by, that means Scotland will be divided, with half of the population disagreeing with the drastic new course of action.

    And I’m shocked they’re letting 16 and 17 year olds vote on this issue. I hadn’t heard that before reading this comment thread. Who thought that was a good idea?

    1. The separatists thought it a good idea. They thought they would be more likely to vote YES. As it happens it seems they are split at least evenly and perhaps even slightly for NO.

    2. During the Quebec referendum of 1995, Lucien Bouchard crowed that 50% +1 was all that was needed. Non-Quebeckers were pretty pissed over that, as the effect would be severe on the other 26 million or so of us who had no say whatever in the process.

    3. Absolutely agree on the simple majority decision. As it turned out, the status quo is maintained but had the Yes campaign won with a tiny majority it would have been a recipe for years of rancour with such a large proportion of the population dragged into a massive, permanent change they did not want. I can only assume that when they agreed the details of the referendum the Prime Minister ans his advisers were over confident about the likelihood of independence being rejected. They won the bet but must have felt pretty uncomfortable in the later stages of the campaign.

      1. He’s so funny. The one episode where he put up the video that was on the home page of a police department where they were showing them testing a military vehicle they acquired while the metal tune, “Die Motherfucker Die” played, was priceless. When he added the lyrics, “we’re gonna stop a burglary at Little Caesars” and stuck his tongue out, I laughed so hard. I get that song stuck in my head sometimes now.

  22. Same here… no view to push; however, during my visits to Scotland I found their gigging the British to be great intramural fun… not sure the hard core Scot wants to give that up.

  23. I was born in the UK on the English side of the border and have always considered myself British. And by being British the whole of the UK is my country. I love Scotland and the Scottish and cheer for Scotland whenever in sporting contests the English are not there. Many of my friends are “scottish” even though they have lived in England for many years.

    Those who do live in Scotland are the result of inbreeding between the two nations over the past 300 years and so are no more Scottish than many who live in England, Wales or NI.

    It is a shame that these few people are taking away part of what has always been my country and I have no say in the matter.

    I will be very disappointed if part of my heritage is lost.

  24. I’m guessing no, and that it’ll be a pretty big majority who say so. The guys who want independence don’t strike me as having made many converts to their cause, and most of the people I’ve talked about can list plenty of reasons (mostly the ones seen in comments above mine) why independence would be problematic at best.

    1. “most of the people I’ve talked about can list plenty of reasons”

      Typo. Let me correct that:

      “most of the people I’ve talked to about this can list plenty of reasons”

  25. They’ll stay. When faced with the option of bold change, or shrinking back to what they’re used to, no matter how crappy, the ‘comfort zone’ wins.

  26. First districts have reported turnout rates of around 87%. Unprecedented in UK elections or referendums. No results yet but early indicators suggest a “NO” win.

    1. Too bad we don’t get turnout like that in the US. I’m a poll worker, and in the last election we got 20% and considered that good.

      1. “Ditto.”

        Here in Arizona, mail-in ballots are becoming the publicly-preferred way to vote. It’s a busy day when we have triple digits show up in person.

        I’m curious to see what turnout is going to be like in the general election in November. Our polling place is located in an elementary school band room half a mile into the next precinct to the east (precincts here are about a mile square). Frankly, I’m kinda hoping in-person turnout is on the light side because the facilities we’re in just can’t handle all that many people. We may well have to route people out onto the multipurpose room and out through the cafeteria….


  27. Dundee votes YES
    No 42.7% Yes 57.3%

    Dundee was always going to be YES. Along with the relativley low turnout here this won’t be enough for the YES campaign.

  28. The first result from Lothian

    Midlothian votes NO
    No 56.3% Yes 43.7%

    This is regarded as a “bell weather” authority. A great result for The Union.

  29. Of the authorities still to declare only North Lanarkshire & Glasgow have a chance of voting YES. Not enough to swing it back.

    After 17 of 32 declarations:
    Yes 521,441 (43.8%) No 670,354 (56.2%)

  30. After a patchy nights sleep …. It looks as if the “No” will win – and probably more comfortably than expected.

  31. My spy”: “Looks like it’s down to Edinburgh, and they will call it last.” Could be a diff of 200,000 votes.

    “…and they’re coming around the corner, and it’s cabbage by a head [CABBAGE BY A HEAD!!!], closely followed by assault and battery [ASSAULT AND BATTERY!?!}… and there Beetle bomb!!

    1. …forward to the 65-second mark, if the link does not put you there. (unless you’d like to hear William Tell on cowbell & clown horn for a minute, followed by gargling and other madness)

    2. Quick table napkin calculation at the last second says that the 200k difference (assuming that to be true), means Edi has to pull out more than a 70% Yes for the Yes’s to carry.

      Based on that, I’d have to wager “no”, late in the game. (but it will be close – within 100k votes, very roughly) Now it’s back to work…

    1. If the answer had been Yes the UK would have done okay, although that situation would have been loss-loss on both sides.

      I hope that they give it a rest now and don’t keep agitating.

  32. I’m glad Salmond and his associates lost as there’s not much of an economic basis for an independent Scotland, especially when the income from North Sea oil runs out in the not too distant future.

    They also wouldn’t have been able to keep the Pound without the agreement of the rest of the UK.

  33. I never considered that No had any chance and am gutted that they won. Another victory for fear over hope. I know the arc of the moral universe is long, but I wish it’d bend a little more noticably.

  34. Arguably, Scotland as a nation has played a blinder, bluffing the three main Westminster parties into promises of much greater devolved powers with threats of secession. The UK is bound to change as a result of this referendum, IMO for the better, with a move towards a form of federalism.

    One winner today is democracy, with an incredible turnout of ~85%.

    1. According to our (Scottish) head honcho, that was indeed the whole point of it. Salmond didn’t really want secession, but threatening it was the best way to get Devo Max.

  35. Although born in England I think of myself firstly as British, secondly as English and thirdly a Yorkshireman; the order of the last two may change! Bearing this in mind you will not be surprised that I am pleased the Scots voted to stay with the Union. I love Scotland and for better or worse we share a long history but I believe we are stronger together.

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