Scottish independance

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-09-07, 23:31

Well, I guess that was a little mean-spirited. Let's say I wouldn't wish it on Britain, but if it came to pass, I'd be happy that as a result of it, Britain's power to meddle abroad would be diluted.
Wait, what power to meddle abroad, and how would it reduce it?

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 0:29

Wishful Learner wrote:You didn't answer my question though; would you also welcome other countries being split up, such as America and Russia, to curb their own foreign influence?

I wouldn't welcome it for America, but if it came to pass, I'd be glad to see its capacity to meddle abroad diminished. As for Russia, NATO and China balance against it, so even now it doesn't have the power to, for example, overthrow regimes around the world. So I'm not sure I would want to see Russia even weaker than it is now.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 0:33

mōdgethanc wrote:Wait, what power to meddle abroad, and how would it reduce it?

Scotland has traditionally been less than enthusiastic about having to join in on Britain's overseas adventures. With independence, they would presumably be even less likely to join in, thereby diminishing Britain's power to act. Specifically, I hope countries like Argentina, Spain and Iran can shake themselves of Britain's meddling.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2013-09-08, 1:30

Yasna wrote:Argentina, Spain
How is it meddling to maintain territorial sovereignties which were established centuries ago, and where the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants desire the status quo? The idea that decolonization means being traded from one country to another against your will, as practiced in West Papua, isn't too appealing to me.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 2:20

Lazar Taxon wrote:
Yasna wrote:Argentina, Spain
How is it meddling to maintain territorial sovereignties which were established centuries ago, and where the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants desire the status quo? The idea that decolonization means being traded from one country to another against your will, as practiced in West Papua, isn't too appealing to me.

Those little outposts are a big strategic liability for the country they are located next to, especially considering how unscrupulous Britain has been in using military force to get its way. Does the Suez Crisis ring a bell?
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Saim » 2013-09-08, 4:49

Wishful Learner wrote:
You didn't answer my question though; would you also welcome other countries being split up, such as America and Russia, to curb their own foreign influence?

I certainly would.

Yasna wrote:Those little outposts are a big strategic liability for the country they are located next to, especially considering how unscrupulous Britain has been in using military force to get its way. Does the Suez Crisis ring a bell?

The Suez Crisis does indeed ring a bell. The thing is that the role the British played in the Suez is the same that the Argentines are (trying to) play in the Falklands and the Spanish in Gibraltar.

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-09-08, 7:05

Wait, what? There were Britons living around the Suez Canal who wanted to remain part of Britain? What?
Yasna wrote:Scotland has traditionally been less than enthusiastic about having to join in on Britain's overseas adventures. With independence, they would presumably be even less likely to join in, thereby diminishing Britain's power to act.
Why do you presume that would make a big difference? Does a great deal of Britain's defense budget come from Scotland or something? I wasn't under the impression Scotland made a vital contribution to the UK's economy, what with its small population and all. (As I said, the main sticking point seems to be offshore oil deposits.)
Those little outposts are a big strategic liability for the country they are located next to, especially considering how unscrupulous Britain has been in using military force to get its way.
I don't see why I should care if something is a strategic liability for Argentina, since at least in terms of geopolitics, I don't see any good reason to give a fuck about Argentina.

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Wishful Learner » 2013-09-08, 9:01

Yasna wrote:
Wishful Learner wrote:You didn't answer my question though; would you also welcome other countries being split up, such as America and Russia, to curb their own foreign influence?

I wouldn't welcome it for America, but if it came to pass, I'd be glad to see its capacity to meddle abroad diminished. As for Russia, NATO and China balance against it, so even now it doesn't have the power to, for example, overthrow regimes around the world. So I'm not sure I would want to see Russia even weaker than it is now.


As much as I'd rather the UK focus on its domestic affairs instead of spending money we don't have fighting wars we're never going to win, I don't want Scotland to leave, and I really don't think Britain has that much say in world affairs anyway without having to go to the US for support. The British people in general are slightly deluded that Britain is still up there on the world stage, but I'm really not sure how Scotland leaving would damage us any more apart from economically.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-08, 9:34

I don't really get the "Britain power dilution" thing. To me it doesn't seem that Britain still counts so much geopolitically. Its empire has gone and as for the Commonwealth... does it really have any political influence? Of course Britain is still a very important economy and the City of London has a lot of financial power... but it's not an empire anymore. The countries which would need a power dilution are other in my opinion.

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Wishful Learner » 2013-09-08, 10:20

mōdgethanc wrote:Wait, what? There were Britons living around the Suez Canal who wanted to remain part of Britain? What?
Yasna wrote:Scotland has traditionally been less than enthusiastic about having to join in on Britain's overseas adventures. With independence, they would presumably be even less likely to join in, thereby diminishing Britain's power to act.
Why do you presume that would make a big difference? Does a great deal of Britain's defense budget come from Scotland or something? I wasn't under the impression Scotland made a vital contribution to the UK's economy, what with its small population and all. (As I said, the main sticking point seems to be offshore oil deposits.)
Those little outposts are a big strategic liability for the country they are located next to, especially considering how unscrupulous Britain has been in using military force to get its way.
I don't see why I should care if something is a strategic liability for Argentina, since at least in terms of geopolitics, I don't see any good reason to give a fuck about Argentina.


Trident, our nuclear weapon's programme, is based on the Scottish coast, so that would be something to sort out in terms of defense for the UK and Scotland.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 14:18

Saim wrote:The Suez Crisis does indeed ring a bell. The thing is that the role the British played in the Suez is the same that the Argentines are (trying to) play in the Falklands and the Spanish in Gibraltar.

mōdgethanc wrote:Wait, what? There were Britons living around the Suez Canal who wanted to remain part of Britain? What?

No. The point is that Britain is all too eager to throw around its military weight to protect perceived interests around the world.

Why do you presume that would make a big difference?

I agree it would probably only make a minor difference.

I don't see why I should care if something is a strategic liability for Argentina, since at least in terms of geopolitics, I don't see any good reason to give a fuck about Argentina.

No one is asking you to give a fuck. But I myself don't think it's very civilized or wise to trample over weaker countries' interests just because they aren't a big geopolitical player (generally speaking).

Wishful Learner wrote:As much as I'd rather the UK focus on its domestic affairs instead of spending money we don't have fighting wars we're never going to win, I don't want Scotland to leave, and I really don't think Britain has that much say in world affairs anyway without having to go to the US for support. The British people in general are slightly deluded that Britain is still up there on the world stage, but I'm really not sure how Scotland leaving would damage us any more apart from economically.

Unfortunately Britain does still play a large role. The role of comforting the U.S. population that the U.S. won't be intervening alone. Believe it or not, the British parliament's NO to intervention in Syria reverberated loudly across the Atlantic.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Wishful Learner » 2013-09-08, 14:36

Yasna wrote:
Saim wrote:The Suez Crisis does indeed ring a bell. The thing is that the role the British played in the Suez is the same that the Argentines are (trying to) play in the Falklands and the Spanish in Gibraltar.

mōdgethanc wrote:Wait, what? There were Britons living around the Suez Canal who wanted to remain part of Britain? What?

No. The point is that Britain is all too eager to throw around its military weight to protect perceived interests around the world.

Why do you presume that would make a big difference?

I agree it would probably only make a minor difference.

I don't see why I should care if something is a strategic liability for Argentina, since at least in terms of geopolitics, I don't see any good reason to give a fuck about Argentina.

No one is asking you to give a fuck. But I myself don't think it's very civilized or wise to trample over weaker countries' interests just because they aren't a big geopolitical player (generally speaking).

Wishful Learner wrote:As much as I'd rather the UK focus on its domestic affairs instead of spending money we don't have fighting wars we're never going to win, I don't want Scotland to leave, and I really don't think Britain has that much say in world affairs anyway without having to go to the US for support. The British people in general are slightly deluded that Britain is still up there on the world stage, but I'm really not sure how Scotland leaving would damage us any more apart from economically.

Unfortunately Britain does still play a large role. The role of comforting the U.S. population that the U.S. won't be intervening alone. Believe it or not, the British parliament's NO to intervention in Syria reverberated loudly across the Atlantic.


With the Suez Canal Crisis, that was the 1950s, and France and the UK still had an, albeit crumbling, empire at that point, and were trying to keep up with America and the Soviets. I'm not sure you can apply British action then to now because it's waned so much since.

Regarding Argentina and the Falklands, the Argentine argument is not happening until the Islanders want to be Argentine. And with 99% voting against Argentine rule, I'm not sure we'll see sovereignty change any time soon. That's not to say Britain wouldn't be in the wrong in keeping sovereignty if the Islanders did want to be Argentine, though.

And surely the Commons putting two fingers up at America and its intervention (even though it severely embarrassed the Prime Minister) is a much more favourable decision that has been made than if we had gone along with what America and France want? And America only really cares what the UK thinks when it wants something, the 'special relationship' means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Saim » 2013-09-08, 14:45

Yasna wrote:No. The point is that Britain is all too eager to throw around its military weight to protect perceived interests around the world.

In the case of Gibraltar and the Falklands they are throwing their weight around to defend people who want to be British - no government is legitimate unless it respects the right to self-determination of it's citizens. That's democracy. Spain and Argentine are the one's guilty of imperialism and stupid nationalist posturing, not Britain. Note that these issues are raised during economic crises by Spain and Argentina as a way to create a foreign scapegoat.

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 15:35

Wishful Learner wrote:Regarding Argentina and the Falklands, the Argentine argument is not happening until the Islanders want to be Argentine. And with 99% voting against Argentine rule, I'm not sure we'll see sovereignty change any time soon.

There's a third option. Argentina forcefully reclaims the islands.

And surely the Commons putting two fingers up at America and its intervention (even though it severely embarrassed the Prime Minister) is a much more favourable decision that has been made than if we had gone along with what America and France want?

I think so too.

In the case of Gibraltar and the Falklands they are throwing their weight around to defend people who want to be British - no government is legitimate unless it respects the right to self-determination of it's citizens. That's democracy. Spain and Argentine are the one's guilty of imperialism and stupid nationalist posturing, not Britain. Note that these issues are raised during economic crises by Spain and Argentina as a way to create a foreign scapegoat.

Making self-determination the sole criteria by which territoriality is decided opens all kinds of windows for countries to be undermined by greedy and hostile powers. And when you follow this plot to its logical conclusion, it can lead to unspeakable death and misery. Take note of how Britain is claiming the right to billions of dollars worth of oil off the South American coast just because a few thousand people on some little islands down there wish to remain British. This is just exploitation by other means.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-08, 15:50

Yasna wrote:Take note of how Britain is claiming the right to billions of dollars worth of oil off the South American coast just because a few thousand people on some little islands down there wish to remain British. This is just exploitation by other means.

You could pretty much say this anytime a polity claims the exclusive right to exploit some ancient resource which they had no role whatsoever in creating simply because it happens to be located on some arbitrarily-defined territory. There's a problem here which goes for beyond however you think the UK is gaming international law in this instance.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Wishful Learner » 2013-09-08, 16:24

Yasna wrote:
Wishful Learner wrote:Regarding Argentina and the Falklands, the Argentine argument is not happening until the Islanders want to be Argentine. And with 99% voting against Argentine rule, I'm not sure we'll see sovereignty change any time soon.

There's a third option. Argentina forcefully reclaims the islands.

And surely the Commons putting two fingers up at America and its intervention (even though it severely embarrassed the Prime Minister) is a much more favourable decision that has been made than if we had gone along with what America and France want?

I think so too.

In the case of Gibraltar and the Falklands they are throwing their weight around to defend people who want to be British - no government is legitimate unless it respects the right to self-determination of it's citizens. That's democracy. Spain and Argentine are the one's guilty of imperialism and stupid nationalist posturing, not Britain. Note that these issues are raised during economic crises by Spain and Argentina as a way to create a foreign scapegoat.

Making self-determination the sole criteria by which territoriality is decided opens all kinds of windows for countries to be undermined by greedy and hostile powers. And when you follow this plot to its logical conclusion, it can lead to unspeakable death and misery. Take note of how Britain is claiming the right to billions of dollars worth of oil off the South American coast just because a few thousand people on some little islands down there wish to remain British. This is just exploitation by other means.


Are you in favour of such a third option, considering the outcome of 1982 and the fact that Britain would have some, at least officially legal, high ground in that the Argentines have trespassed and disobeyed international law? You're forgetting the people on the islands, and the recent decision that they themselves have passed - giving up sovereignty so that they can be Argentine is clearly not what they would want; yes, there is oil there, but why should Britain not defend the decision of the inhabitants? I should imagine that that would be 'misery' for them? Argentina are spouting rhetoric about the Falklands because of the government's poor fiscal situation, if things were going well, there would be less political gain in arguing over the Falklands because they know that Britain would most likely win any such hypothetical war. I really wouldn't want any war to happen at all, but the will of the Islanders must be respected; the oil question, perhaps, could be settled more diplomatically and shared (fat chance)?
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-09-08, 18:53

Yasna wrote:The point is that Britain is all too eager to throw around its military weight to protect perceived interests around the world.
Probably - and so is every other great power that ever existed. Blame the people in Westminster for that, not Scotland.
No one is asking you to give a fuck. But I myself don't think it's very civilized or wise to trample over weaker countries' interests just because they aren't a big geopolitical player (generally speaking).
I'm not advocating doing that, though. I think it's Argentina's irrational preoccupation with a couple of tiny islands that is uncivilized and unwise. I really don't see how they are all that important to their national interest in the long run.
There's a third option. Argentina forcefully reclaims the islands.
They tried that once, remember? It didn't go so well.
Wishful Learner wrote:As much as I'd rather the UK focus on its domestic affairs instead of spending money we don't have fighting wars we're never going to win, I don't want Scotland to leave, and I really don't think Britain has that much say in world affairs anyway without having to go to the US for support. The British people in general are slightly deluded that Britain is still up there on the world stage, but I'm really not sure how Scotland leaving would damage us any more apart from economically.

IpseDixit wrote:I don't really get the "Britain power dilution" thing. To me it doesn't seem that Britain still counts so much geopolitically. Its empire has gone and as for the Commonwealth... does it really have any political influence? Of course Britain is still a very important economy and the City of London has a lot of financial power... but it's not an empire anymore. The countries which would need a power dilution are other in my opinion.
Britain may not be a superpower anymore, but it is still a great power, with one of the world's largest economies, militaries, and nuclear stockpiles, as well as a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. It has a lot of influence for such a small country, culturally and politically. (Eg. the Commonwealth.)

IMO, trying to achieve balance by weakening strong countries and dividing them territorially is a recipe for disaster. There always have been and always will be countries that are bigger and stronger than others. The best thing to do is have a balance of great powers so no one country can dominate the rest. (Or, the world since 1991.)
WishfulLearner wrote:Trident, our nuclear weapon's programme, is based on the Scottish coast, so that would be something to sort out in terms of defense for the UK and Scotland.
That is a good point, but I'm guessing it would be a precondition to arrange for the system to be moved elsewhere in the UK, or maybe for both countries to share it. (If you're right next to the UK, you're under their nuclear umbrella, so why not.)
Saim wrote:In the case of Gibraltar and the Falklands they are throwing their weight around to defend people who want to be British - no government is legitimate unless it respects the right to self-determination of it's citizens. That's democracy. Spain and Argentine are the one's guilty of imperialism and stupid nationalist posturing, not Britain. Note that these issues are raised during economic crises by Spain and Argentina as a way to create a foreign scapegoat.
I'm with you, man. Irredentism is just romantic nationalism.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 18:56

linguoboy wrote:You could pretty much say this anytime a polity claims the exclusive right to exploit some ancient resource which they had no role whatsoever in creating simply because it happens to be located on some arbitrarily-defined territory. There's a problem here which goes for beyond however you think the UK is gaming international law in this instance.

There's no clear line you can draw, but some claims are far more reasonable than others. To Norway and its oil in the Norwegian Sea, I say enjoy your good fortune. To Britain claiming billions of dollars of oil off the coast of South America, I say fuck off with your blatant exploitation.

Wishful Learner wrote:Are you in favour of such a third option, considering the outcome of 1982 and the fact that Britain would have some, at least officially legal, high ground in that the Argentines have trespassed and disobeyed international law? You're forgetting the people on the islands, and the recent decision that they themselves have passed - giving up sovereignty so that they can be Argentine is clearly not what they would want; yes, there is oil there, but why should Britain not defend the decision of the inhabitants? I should imagine that that would be 'misery' for them? Argentina are spouting rhetoric about the Falklands because of the government's poor fiscal situation, if things were going well, there would be less political gain in arguing over the Falklands because they know that Britain would most likely win any such hypothetical war. I really wouldn't want any war to happen at all, but the will of the Islanders must be respected; the oil question, perhaps, could be settled more diplomatically and shared (fat chance)?

I'm not forgetting anything. Some of you make it sound like the Falklanders are trying to escape from the clutches of North Korea for Christ's sake. If the Falklands acquiesced to the demands of Argentina, there's every chance in the world that they could negotiate a very generous treaty that would preserve the language, culture, quality of life and substantial level of autonomy that the Falklanders currently enjoy. And don't think for a second that whenever there's an upswing in the Argentine economy, Argentinians suddenly stop believing that the Falklands should belong to Argentina. I would support Argentina forcefully retaking the Falklands (after significantly investing in anti-access capabilities so they actually win this time). They have tried to resolve the matter diplomatically, but a diplomatic solution has proven impossible because of Britain's stubborn insistence that self-determination is the sole criteria for territoriality.
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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Saim » 2013-09-08, 19:23

Yasna wrote:Making self-determination the sole criteria by which territoriality is decided opens all kinds of windows for countries to be undermined by greedy and hostile powers.

If by "country" you mean "sovereign state", then great! All states should be constantly undermined by their own citizenry to ensure that they respond to their needs rather than the other way around.

And when you follow this plot to its logical conclusion, it can lead to unspeakable death and misery.

That slippery slope of yours looks like fun.

How about you use some actual examples where allowing citizens to participate in their own government --> death and misery? As far as I can tell from historical examples, it's been the opposite. Ignoring the right to self-determination leads to war and misery. My mother's home country (Yugoslavia/Serbia) is a perfect example of this. Had people just sat down and allowed plebiscites and engaged in real negotiation over territorial disputes, there would've been no war.

Take note of how Britain is claiming the right to billions of dollars worth of oil off the South American coast just because a few thousand people on some little islands down there wish to remain British. This is just exploitation by other means.

Why is this any different to Argentina exploiting natural resources in its own territory? In fact, I'd say it's worse -- in Argentina there are still indigenous people who are discriminated against the Galician-Castilian-Neapolitan-etc. descended Hispanophone settler population. They, as do other European settler populations around the world, exploit Argentina's resources with little to no consultation from Argentina's indigenous peoples and little regard for environmental impact.

How's that for exploitation?

Yasna wrote: I would support Argentina forcefully retaking the Falklands

Yeah, let's waste money on weapons and then kill people for no good reason!

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Re: Scottish independance

Postby Yasna » 2013-09-08, 20:38

This discussion doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Anyway, it's all somewhat of a mute point since the tyranny of distance and Argentina's unwavering pursuit of The Falklands all but guarantees that they will fall back under Argentine control eventually.
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