Scotland and the referendum on independence

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Paul McKeown
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Re: Scotland and the referendum on independence

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:34 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:On a point of fact, the Tory leadership are not supporting an English parliament.
True, but the leadership wasn't actually mentioned in the post to which Matt has responded.

On a point of fact, the Conservative leadership hasn't actually proposed anything so far, just indicated a democratic deficit that they "believe" should be addressed in response to "perceived" public concern.
Matt Mackenzie wrote:I am none too keen on that, but would certainly prefer it to what they *are* proposing......
Well, the well worn phrase, "English votes for English laws" has been uttered. That could be achieved, given cross-party consensus, as a matter of Parliamentary procedure, rather than requiring statute. The trap for Labour would, of course, be seen to resist what would be portrayed as a matter of basic fairness, for reasons of political self-interest, without themselves putting forward firm proposals on the matter.

It is a logical absurdity, of course, which ultimately could result in a constitutional crisis, caused by a government elected on a UK franchise being unable to deliver government in England. An English Parliament would avoid this, but would, however, spectacularly fail to address the grievances caused by the uneven regional distribution of government spending, which cause some voters to see it as a panacea.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Scotland and the referendum on independence

Post by Michael Farthing » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:46 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:An English Parliament would avoid this, but would, however, spectacularly fail to address the grievances caused by the uneven regional distribution of government spending, which cause some voters to see it as a panacea.
It strikes me that this is the heart of the issue and is inextricably linked with the question of a common currency. But before the question can be discussed any further I would want to know, Paul, what grievances these are, who holds them, and which voters see them as a panacea? [I accept they exist - but I'm not sure if we see them the same way, so this question is just to make sure we know what is being said].

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Scotland and the referendum on independence

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:21 pm

Was reminded of this topic again tonight while watching a programme on the BBC iPlayer in (of all things) Scots Gaelic (I had only been vaguely aware of such programming):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/bbcalba
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Alba

The programme I was watching is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04kg1q1

The Gaelic content focused mostly on the Lewismen serving in the Royal Naval Division and interned in Groningen during World War I. A fascinating story, if rather surreal to hear it in Scots Gaelic with English subtitles. It made me wonder how the language demographics there (in the Western Isles) have changed in the intervening 100 years.

Lerwick Declaration
Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997
Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Scottish Parliament constituency)

Ah, still pretty strong, I see. Though it seems to have fallen from 75% speaking Gaelic in 1921 to 52% in 2011. What really struck me, though, was the bit in the programme that said that some of the Lewismen serving in the RND in WWI would have struggled to speak English. Makes you realise how much things have changed.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Scotland and the referendum on independence

Post by Alistair Campbell » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:49 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: ... various links ...
An interesting collection of (almost) links.

BBC Alba is great for covering the diddy football teams, although now Hibs, Hearts and Rangers are in the first division they tend to be broadcast more.

I note the Lerwick Declaration. I think I said above that the current Scottish Government's attempts to decentralise stop at collecting power in Edinburgh. For those in the Northern Isles, there's not a huge amount of difference between a central-belt dominated parliament in Edinburgh and one in Westminster. And of course, the argument that it is "Scotland's oil" could be adapted (and is) to say it is "Shetland's oil" which could have had interesting implications. Obviously all the island constituencies voted "no" in the referendum - as an aside, I'm pretty sure that the returning officer for the Shetland result was Jan Riise, who played for Edinburgh Uni Chess Club when I was there.

With regard to Gaelic - I'm speculating, but possibly the big change was the introduction of radio (and then more latterly television) forcing English into the homes of the Gàidhealtachd. Many communities would have been relatively self-sufficient and would have minimal contact with the rest of the world (barring periodically having to go and fight for King and country). Even today, English will still be the second language in the villages in the Utter Hebrides, if not in the towns, I suspect.

Attitudes change. It seems Scottish and Gaelic identities were sublimated for years in order to appear more British or more sophisticated. That attitude has reversed, with people being more aware of their roots, although often that is limited to the phrase "Alba gu brath" :evil:

Actually, it occurs to me that there is an Alasdair Macleod who posts on here occasionally - he sounds as if he might have a touch of the Leodhasach about him?!

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Scotland and the referendum on independence

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:07 pm

I keep having to look these words up... :)

Diddy has another meaning to the one I'm finding in online dictionaries? And is 'utter' a dialect spelling of 'outer'? This reminds me of one of the lead editorials in The Scotsman that I read, which used a dialect word that completely threw me. Wish I could remember what it was.

Ah, found it, it was 'thole':

http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland-s ... -1-3537857

"...a political decision that would seem to be difficult to thole if you were an rUK politician."

That is not Scottish Gaelic, but would be Scots or Scots English?

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... lish/thole

"Endure (something) without complaint or resistance; tolerate"

PS. I see what you mean about the 'almost' links, the brackets broke some of them, I'll try and fix that.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Scotland and the referendum on independence

Post by Alistair Campbell » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:08 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:I keep having to look these words up... :)
There are lots of beautiful yet underemployed words out there… :)

Diddy has several meanings (perhaps not all repeatable on a family forum. :shock: ) It can mean “small” as in diddymen. By Jove, missus. Or a "foolish person" such as a numpty, but it can also be used, as above, to parody the mainstream media’s obsession with the old firm (as was). So we’d have approximately 29 minutes 30 seconds of a 30 minutes sports show devoted to “them”, before we’d go over to Paul for “news of the diddy teams”. Some supporters of the larger clubs may redraw the line of diddiness in an arbitrary fashion to exclude their own particular favourites from such a description, although being careful still to include their rivals.

“Utter” was a reference to the Angus Og cartoon strip which was set in Drambeg, fairest (albeit fictional) island of the “Utter Hebrides”.

Gàidhealtachd was originally (I think) the term for the Gaelic speaking areas – now it is more or less synonymous with the Highlands. I believe Southerners from outwith (sic) the Gàidhealtachd were referred to as Sassenachs, another word whose meaning has changed over time.

Is there a difference between Scots and Scots English? There are those who would say that Scots is a separate language, rather than a dialect. Certainly there are lots of non-Gaelic Scots word in everyday use such as thole, the definition of which you give. Whether that constitutes a language I’m not sure. I’ve heard it said that Scots English has a different tense structure, which may explain the popularity of the “footballer’s tense”, a curious mix of past participles, auxiliary verbs and so on (I’m out of my depth here) – as in “He seen the pass, but the lad has went too early” to describe an off-side decision.

Perhaps I should put the moggy amongst the doos and post this in the English language thread?

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