A Fun New Game

The UK government has recently brought back an old idea about plastering “Funded by the UK government” on lots of things in Scotland, with a big Union flag somewhere.

This is supposed to make us forget about the various disasters that the UK govt seem to be hoping will just miraculously disappear by themselves.

However, sticking “Funded by the UK government” on lots of things does seem like a fun idea. Anyone can play, it’s free and it doesn’t take up much of your time.

For example, here are 11 of them I managed to knock out in lunch break. Feel free to download.

Questioning the Questioner

During the 2014 referendum campaign, the Better Together campaign, in such a way that it was difficult to decide whether it had been done with a lot of copy and paste or on the back of a cigarette packet in the pub, produced a list of 500 questions. It was co35951f90a020b286c57719638e566eec.jpgmplete with typos and grammar mistakes too.

Some of them were ludicrous, such as “How much would a first class stamp cost in a separate Scotland?”, or “What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the World Meterological Organisation?”.

As another blogger pointed out, most of them could be answered by “we’ll fill in the application form” or “we’ll do the same as every other country”. However, I took a quick glance at the list again and think about where we are now. Where necessary, play around with the names of the countries and nationalities involved and see where that takes you.

All of the following is their content…

  1. Does the Scottish Government recognise that an independent Scotland would not continue to enjoy a share of the UK European rebate which equates to around £135 for every Scottish household?
  2. How would the Scottish Government fill the financial gap left by the loss of around £135 per Scottish household of the European rebate?
  3. What will happen to contracts involving Scottish legal entities in the rest of the European Union?
  4. What assessment has the Scottish Government done on the impact on whisky producers and other manufacturers if they have to pay import duties to sell their products in other countries during the period in which an Independent Scotland would have to negotiate accession to the World Trade Organisation?
  5. What would be the governance arrangements for the financial services regulator(s), and what degree of independence from government would it have?
  6. What assessment has the Scottish Government made of the likely impact on the cost of mortgage and credit card borrowing from Scottish independence?
  7. How many votes would a separate Scotland have at the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries if it becomes a separate member of the EU?
  8. What assessment has the Scottish Government made of the speed of EU direct payments, given that at present for new member states direct payments to farmers are phased in gradually?
  9. What assessment has the Scottish Government made of whether a separate Scotland would be able to be part of the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy and if it accepts it would be required to accept the acquis communautaire in this respect?
  10. What would happen to those areas of Scotland currently covered by mobile telephone masts located in England? How would you ensure people using these masts don’t face international call roaming charges?
  11. Would you have to pay for a separate Scottish passport and how much would it cost?
  12. Charities benefit from access to EU structural funds, if Scotland separates from the rest of the UK what assessment has the Scottish Government made of the impact of independence?

The Scottish Independence Podcast 180- All You Ever Wanted To Know About Constitutions But Were Afraid To Ask

The 180th episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast is, thanks to Independence Live, a talk given by John Drummond (former convenor of the Independence convention).

In this talk he explains to an audience why he thinks it is a pivotal that we have a constitution prepared and ready to go before a second referendum, and not as something to be decided after.

Hope you enjoy.

You can download the show directly if you click THIS LINK.

You can listen online at the show’s spreaker webpage, or you can subscribe with itunes. We can also be found on youtube and on facebook.

We are also now available on Spotify, Podcast Addict, iHeartRadio and GooglePodcasts.

These podcasts are independently minded and independently funded, you can help to keep them going by making a donation.

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Scottish Independence Podcast 157 – Anna Arqué on Catalonia

anna-cv.jpgThe 157th episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast is the second time on the show for Anna Arqué. Anna has been a long-time campaigner for Catalan independence and also works for the International Commission of European Citizens.

I asked her about the preparations for the Independence Referendum they are about to have and also about the measures that the Spanish government is using to try and disrupt the process.

I also asked her how the people are reacting to some of these measures and what the outlook for the referendum is.

Hope you enjoy.

You can download here if you click THIS LINK .

You can listen online at the show’s spreaker webpage, or you can subscribe with itunes. We can also be found on youtube and on facebook.

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Playing Ball

At the moment polls are still fluctuating between a small lead for independence and a small lead for staying in a rapidly failing state (I know, I know).

That obviously means just over or just under half of the Scottish population support independence, and although people who work in some industries may be more one way or the other depending on the sector, Scottish sportspeople, apart from one or two notable exceptions, seem to be remarkably silent on the matter.

Guardiola.pngWriters, musicians, poets, businessmen, people in trade unions and from many other sectors seem to have no problem declaring that they are supporters of independence, high-profile sportspeople don’t seem to say anything on the matter.

Why would this be? It doesn’t seem to bother them in other countries. What reasons could there be that stop people in this sector stating their opinions on the issue?

Let’s have a look at some of the possible reasons…

  1. Being told not to – At a Yes event, the night before the first referendum, someone who was in a position to know and who I’ll just describe here as an influential person in the movement, told me that a captain of a certain football club, who is also an international player,  was a strong supporter of independence but had been told by his employers to keep his mouth shut about it. Perhaps the threat of losing lucrative contracts is being used to keep people from coming out in support of independence.
  2. Fear of losing funding from other bodies – Elite athletes go into a certain system in the UK. Elite athletes may fear the loss of funding. There is, of course, no reason an independent Scotland could not do the same thing, however there is some debate about if we would want to, as some have criticised the UK system of favouring elite athletes to the detriment of youth and local sports. The justification given for this elite model is usually that it helps to get more medals at the next Britnatfest, sorry, major sporting event.
  3. Fear of abuse – When Andy Murray (and his brother) came out for Indy on the day of the vote it led to some of the more, errrm, fervent unionists sending him an incredible amount of bile and hatred.1411001802017_wps_7_Andy_Murray_Tweet_2_jpgI won’t reproduce the sort of things they were saying about him as you’ve all seem them, but it was nasty.  As an aside, when Murray said he supported indy it seemed like it was done in a calculated fashion, like a last-minute try to gain an extra couple of percent. If that is true (and I really don’t know), then it was a miscalculation. It would have been great if Murray had declared early and people got to find out about it earlier on, instead of a tweet hours before the polls closed.
  4. Fear of being made a fool of – Most of us know that in the Scottish media in general and in many sections of the UK media, apart from the usual “ungrateful b*stard” type of narrative, any sportsperson who said something on what the media see as the wrong side of this debate would probably be ridiculed on the grand scale by any number of hacks whose jobs depend on them doing just that.
  5. Unionist explanation – With more or less half the population of Scotland supporting full independence, only the Murray brothers out of all the sportspeople in Scotland want to leave the UK. (I think we can rule this one out).

These are the possible reasons I can think of, and what they have in common, except number 5, is fear and some form of intimidation, and that can’t be allowed to go unchallenged, by any of us. We can’t allow fear to be used as a tactic to keep certain influential people’s mouths shut. If we let that happen, we’ve already allowed them to stop one of our best lines of attack, and one that the unionist side used frequently the last time round.

In that spirit, I’d like to say this… If you are a sportsperson reading this and support indy (or you know one who does), you are welcome to come onto the Scottish Independence Podcast and have a chat about it and I’ll get the story out and you will not be harassed on the show. If you’d like to tell a story about what I’ve suggested above anonymously, then drop me a line and provided I can verify you are who you say you are then I’ll do that too, or I’ll give it to someone who can get it out even wider than I can.

Scottish Independence Podcast 150 – Pat Kane

6a00d83452241169e201b8d14e744f970cIt’s the 150th episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast and the 250th podcast I have put together that is about Scottish Independence in some way, so it’s a double sort of anniversary. I hope you’ve been enjoying them.

This time we are back to the interviews and in this universal moment of “what the hell is going on?” I spoke to Pat Kane, who I’m sure doesn’t need any introduction other than to say he isn’t the ice-hockey player that comes up if you search Pat Kane on google (if you found the podcast when you were searching for that Pat Kane…I once went to a Fife Flyers match).

We spoke about the the events of this week regarding the new independence referendum, how we are going to need to campaign, what new allies might come along to the party, what is likely to be against us and how we can fight it.

Hope you enjoy.

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You can download here if you click THIS LINK .

You can listen online at the show’s spreaker webpage, or you can subscribe with itunes. We can also be found on youtube and on facebook.

The Scottish Independence Podcast 140 – Robert Somynne

img_6585For the 14oth episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast I invited journalist, vlogger and self-confessed foreign policy obsessive Robert Somynne to come on the show.

Obviously there isn’t much going on around the world at the moment so we had to talk about that wee thing that happened over in the USA a couple of weeks back.

I think it involved these people, although there have been furious denials about a couple of things.


Hope you enjoy…

You can download here if you right click THIS LINK and “save as”

You can listen online at the show’s web page, or you can subscribe with itunes. We can alse be found on youtube and on facebook too.

These podcasts are independently minded and independently funded, you can help to keep them going by making a donation.