The debate on independence for Scotland has suddenly come to life. UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said any referendum should be held as soon as possible, and only consist of the question: independence, yes or no. The Scottish Government, which is led by the Scottish National Party (favouring full independence) had pledged a referendum for independence by the second half of the current parliamentary session, i.e. by 2014 or 2015. They were also planning to include a third option in the referendum question, namely "Devolution Max", which means full fiscal autonomy, but defence and foreign affairs remaining the prerogative of the Westminster administration. It would appear that a lot of political games will be enacted before any referendum is held, but it would appear to be fully on the cards.
It is my personal opinion that full independence for Scotland is not a good idea, for economical and political reasons. The bank bail-out for the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland some 3 years ago required £50bn; the GDP for Scotland is £137bn. Had the bail-out fallen to the Scottish Government, it would have wrecked the Scottish economy. The British GDP is £2,500 bn. Furthermore, the current debate is highly polarised, placing English vs Scottish. The Czech Republic and Slovakia parted on amicable terms in 1993. If Scotland and England were to split up, I don't think it will be as amicable.
Monday, 9 January 2012
Awoke to blue skies and sunshine this morning, but through the afternoon cloud thickened and this was followed from sunset onwards by rain. It didn't really feel cold today, so I was tempted to go on an amble around town. I also looked up some more service records for Australian servicemen with roots in the Isle of Lewis.