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Is it time for the UK to split? 
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Post Is it time for the UK to split?

For those that don't know, under Elizabeth I, England rose from being a relatively poor B-list country on the edge of Europe, to getting on the wealthy predator A-list with France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Prussia etc.. It broke away from the Catholic Church and the power of Rome, sunk a Spanish invasion and saw off the French at Agincourt, Trafalgar and Waterloo leading to an uneasy peace. 90 years later we have Entente Cordiale, an agreement to smile pleasantly at each other whilst each keeping one hand on their wallet at all times, another 100 years later, and I think we at least wave to each other across the English Channel.

Over the years south and middle Wales have become close with England, as have the Scottish lowlands and boarders and the unionist population of Northern Ireland; we’ve gotten on and they have been staunch supporters of the UK union. This has not been the case with the middle Scotland, particularly Glasgow and to a lesser extent Edinburgh who dislike the English, and the highlands that positively hate us, as do the Republic of Ireland nationalists who live in Northern Ireland, so it's a toxic mix that needs sorting out.

But there has been a process of devolution going on for many years and Scotland now has its own devolved parliament, and each nation, especially Scotland, has drifted apart. In 2014 there was a Scottish independence referendum and Scotland voted to remain part of the UK with 55% of the votes, but this result wasn't all it seemed.

Unlike Wales and Northern Ireland, where the majority of the residents actually wanted a union with England because they liked the English, but the decision made by the majority in Scotland was based on the money the union provided, about £13 Billion per year, which allowed Scotland to spend that much above what they collected from their taxes. Leaving the union would mean cuts in services, but money is not the greatest thing to base a relationship on. Then there was the disquiet from the English; no one had asked us if we wanted to stay in a union with Scotland, that decision was made for us by the UK parliament which many believed did not represent England in the matter of the union, and the English were denied a parliament to voice their views.

Then in 2016 the UK (in effect England), voted to leave the European Union which really brought all the Scottish animosity against England into the open, cultural and political, and the money they got from England was now offset by the losses they thought they’d incur from leaving the EU. Suddenly it made economic sense to get out of the union, plus historically Scotland had always had a closer connection with continental Europe than the England, especially France. Although England remains a European country and had only voted to leave the European Union which is a political and economic structure, Scotland felt, and still feels, they were being forced out of Europe.

There are calls now for another referendum and I’m of the view that if someone wants to go, then go with our blessings. In today’s world what is the point in forcing people to stay in a union against their will? Power these days is vested in capitol not land or population size, so splitting up doesn't have to mean a reduction in power if the money is still there if that's the concern. If differences become so great that life together becomes unbearable, then get divorced for both your sanities, but divorce means divorce, no unreciprocated or taken for granted special relationships. Both countries have to agree division of assets, and how they operate in the future; just like a divorce.

There are of course many people in England that want the union, just as there are many that want the UK to stay in the EU and these are not insignificant numbers of people, so there is a lot of noise and anger and protests going on, but I think if England were afforded the same rights as Scotland to decide on the future of the union, Scotland would have left in 2016.


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Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:31 am
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Latest news is a UK government poll has Scotland 53% in favour of becoming an independent nation. The shame is the Lowlands and Boarders areas of Scotland would probably want to stay in the union but are going to be forced to leave by the rest of Scotland. I suspect Wales and Northern Ireland may follow suit in the future, and it would be a shame if south Wales and loyalist areas in the east of Northern Ireland were forced to leave the UK against their will.

Maybe Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should have regional referendums to see if their population want to split into 2; one that wants to stay in the UK and one that wants to leave. Scottish Lowlands and Boarders could join with South Wales and Eastern Northern Ireland as UK nations; we could keep the Union Jack, and the British Army, and we’d still get to see the Scots marching through Canterbury. Hazzah!



Alternatively, to stop any further squabbles and referendums on the matter, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could have a referendum to ask who wanted to live in an independent country and who wanted to become English. Change a few lines on a map and viola! They’d come under the Cross of St George, and their regiments would join the English Army. Surely no one would have a problem with that?

Proposed initiation ceremony for the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish to become English

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They wouldn't have to wear it all the time, just for the first month or so.

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Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:12 pm
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A turn of events!

Within a matter of weeks the percentage of Scots in favour of an independence referendum has gone up from 53% to 55% and is now the reverse of the 2014 referendum which saw a stay vote with 55% for and 45% against.

It has been pointed out that UK expats get to vote in UK elections so why shouldn’t Scots living in the UK get to vote in a Scottish independence election, and we are talking nearly 800,000 Scots, or 15% of the Scotland’s population. The Scottish National Party are having a fit and throwing their toys out of the pram because they think that these Scottish expats might vote to remain in the UK and getting the result they want is far more important that getting a result that reflects the wishes of all of the Scottish people; and MP Michael Gove has said he’s going to consider it! This to me means he’s going to consider a referendum, otherwise why would he consider expat voting.

As usual I don’t think the English will get a say, but we’re use to that. The government needs to be thinking about the Terms and Conditions if Scotland is reborn anooo, like an annual government-to-government charge to use our country for access to Europe, £13 billion a year should do it.

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Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:09 am
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We never forgave the Scots for this. Don't be fooled by the posh arse of a BBC commentator with his calm voice. Englishmen were trying to get at the Scottish invaders through the telvision sets.

That day, when gentlemen in England sat in-chair at home thougt themselves accurs'd they were not there and to this day hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that defended Wembley upon that Saint Crispin's day.

Scottish Fans invade the Wembley pitch after Beating England in 1977


I still bear the scares today, that's why I drink.

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Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:22 pm
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

The planning, the cost, the implementation, the pleasure and the pain

The problem the Scottish National Party has in Scotland is the same problem the Labour Party has in the UK. They both want to govern their respective countries in a radically different social-political way from how it is governed currently, but don’t know how to achieve it economically and don’t want to tell the public the cost and the pain needed to make these changes. Unfortunately, the political system that brings about social-political change sits on top of the economic system, and the economic system sits on top of the ideology, so not having any plans on how to make this new pyramid work is not going to make it work in real life.

A lesson from history – the UK 2019 election

The UK election in December 2019 saw the Labour party lose by a landslide and they lost primarily on economics. During the campaigning, the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn was repeatedly asked how he would pay for the social change policies he was proposing. His answer was to borrow money, as if that was a solution. OK, everyone asked, how would he repay the money he borrowed to fund his plans. Silence was the deafening reply, which made him look like an incompetent, arrogant con-artist.

A post-election poll was held to ask voters why they didn’t vote Labour. They gave 3 reasons;

1. Voters did not support the Labour party’s stance on pro-immigration and anti-Brexit and the labour party would not listen to them. Instead they told them why they were wrong and offered no choice for Brexit in any 2nd referendum.

2. Voters felt the Labour Party had been taken over by radical liberals with a Woke agenda. These people were loud mouthed and aggressive, and were telling people what they can and can’t do, and what they can and can’t say. They found their identity politics quite repulsive and if they got into power, the future would be like Orwell’s 1984. This was a shame as the Labour party has for many years been no different from the conservative party and people wanted change. Traditionally the Labour party may have cut government spending a little less, or cut worker rights not so much, but they never reversed the cuts and policies the conservative brought in. For the first time since the years following WW2 which saw the introduction of the National Health Service, the Labour Party was talking about real change. Some of their policies would have moved the UK to softer form of capitalism, but decent policies got thrown out with the identity politics bath water. Some say the radical liberals were used to make sure such changes were never brought in.

3. Voters saw there was no economic skeleton supporting these uncosted plans. Jeremy Corbyn had a wish list as long as your arm, many items on it were additions from the radical liberals and pretty much appealed only to them, and no mention of how the country was going to pay for it. This made Corbyn look like a fool, and many said they simply didn’t trust him.

The lesson from this is you can’t miss the middle bit outof the Political-Economic-Ideology pyramid.

Costing Scottish Independence

It looks like the Scottish Nationalist Party are making the Labour Party’s mistakes all over again. Ironically a former Labour minister Lord Digby Jones, a peer in the house of Lords, businessman and ex Director General of the CBI, a real man of the people, pointed out Scotland raised £308 less per person in taxes than the UK average last year and spent £1,663 per person more, effectively the gap being paid for by England. Scotland spent £15.1 billion more last year than it raised in taxes, a GDP deficit of 8.7 per cent. Bearing in mind Scotland would have to take a pro-rata proportion of the UK debt when they split away, Scotish debt is going to be much higher post independence.

When challenged about this, and asked how an independent Scotland would cope with such a deficit, they ducked the question and said they’d borrow the money without mentioning how they would cost their plans. No mention on what happens to pay, jobs, pensions to manage this deficit or the interest on the money borrowed to short term cover it. No mention on how they would manage their inherited share of government debt or fund the social changes they desire.

They have to learn from Labour’s mistakes or they will lose just as they did in 2019. Plan, cost, and publish, be damned if you do because you’ll be damned if you don’t. All the ‘Stay in the UK’ campaigners are pressing the point that the Scottish can’t afford to leave; that’s how they won last time, but that’s no basis for a marriage. I won’t say paying for the Scots winds the English up, because that’ll encourage them to stay, but if the misses wants a divorce and wants to leave, then she'll have to work out her finances for herself and live accordingly. Thinking you can’t afford to leave is no reason to stay and live unhappily ever after. Either love the one you're with or work out a budget and go make a life for yourself.

To quote Virginia Woolf “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, referring to her response to the fiction that is written about her, and to the fiction she writes about herself. Substitute ‘country’ for ‘woman’ and they aspiration is the same, but the point is it’s funded and pays for a room of her own.

My main regret if Scotland leaves the UK is they will take Buckfast and Irn Bru with them.


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Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:02 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

An alternative source of subsidy

One of the main arguments for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum is that the Scottish people who voted to stay in the UK in 2014 thought the UK would stay in the EU, but since that referendum, the UK has voted to leave the EU, and the Scottish nationalists feel the Scottish people should be offered the choice again as the goal posts have moved.

One of the reasons the people of the UK voted for BREXIT was because it felt like many of the EU countries were taking the piss. The UK was providing a significant slice of the funding for the EU, but got little back except distain. Most of the countries in the EU dislike the UK, the EU governing body pretty much ignores and disrespects the UK; but they didn’t mind taking our money.

There is a song contest held every year in Europe imaginatively called the European Song Contest, and for many years now it has been more of a declaration of allegiances and friendships rather than who has the best song. All the Scandinavian countries vote for each other, all the eastern European countries vote for each other, all the Baltic countries vote for each other, and the Balkan countries, half of which hate the other half, vote for their allies. The contest has become very political and the UK has come near the bottom or last for years now. It is a barometer of how countries in Europe regard the UK; essentially as a cash cow.

Here’s a graph showing the biggest givers and takers in the EU. The graph shows net contributions in millions of Euros, i.e. what is put in minus what is taken out by each country. The UK actually pays in 20Bn Euros; comprising 13Bn from taxes paid to the EU, 11Bn from contributions, minus 4Bn in rebate.

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Assuming Scotland gets accepted by the EU, and they can negotiate a great deal like Poland and secure 12bn Euros a year in subsidies, that would almost cover the £13Bn annual subsidy from England they lose on a UK SCOXIT. It would greatly help their leave vote if they could secure an understanding from the EU that they would be welcomed with open arms.

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Last edited by Beerman on Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:22 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

North Sea Oil

UK North Sea Oil and Gas refers to the reserves that lay within the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Image

The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway have their own North Sea Oil shelves and you can see from the map, the rigs that operate in each of the sectors. Focusing on the UK shelf, most of the gas reserves are off the coast of England and most of the Oil reserves are off the coast of Scotland, albeit between 200 and 400 miles off the coast of Scotland; with the exception of those around Aberdeen and the Shetland Islands.

The UK Continental Shelf lies outside UK territorial waters but within an area specified under the Continental Shelf Act and recognised internationally; most importantly by The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway who share the North Sea space. Within this Shelf the UK has rights over the seabed, the subsoil and the natural resources therein. Here’s a map showing just how big the UKCS is compared with territorial waters. It also shows the UK's fishing waters which are of significant importance, especially in the North Atlantic regions.

Image

The UKCS is spilt into 4 areas;

1. Scottish Waters and Central North Sea,
2. East Coast Inshore and East Coast Offshore
3. Welsh Waters and Irish Sea
4. English Channel and Themes Estuary.

These areas are named for easy reference in much the same way as the UK names Shipping Forecast Areas and in no way imply UK constituent nation ownership; they are all owned by the UK. In fact the UKCS is divided up and named in numerous ways depending on who’s doing what in it; for instance, the Strategic Environmental Assessment guys divide it up into SEA areas. Dividing up the UKCS will not just impact Oil, what will happen to SEA areas that now fall under Scottish control?

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This map says it all;

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The problem with splitting up North Sea Oil is if you draw a horizontal line from the boarder of Scotland and England at Berwick Upon Tweed and say everything north of that line belongs to Scotland, then Scotland would own nearly all of the UK Continental Shelf and the resources therein, and the UK would own next to nothing; which I doubt would be acceptable to the rest of the UK. Even drawing a line that follows the angle of the Scottish and English boarder, the UK would lose its continental shelf and 80% of its oil fields.

It may also not be acceptable to Norway who could argue the shelf boarder between Norway and the UK is only where it is because the UK is a big country with a big claim, and Scotland is not a big country and does not have the claim that the UK had. Moving the boarder to the west towards Scotland would bring a lot of oil fields under Norway’s ownership.

I think the solution is to negotiate a Scottish Continental Shelf within the UK Continental Shelf. For Scotland to claim the western shelf regions in the North Atlantic to me is a non-starter. Although there is no drilling there, there may be large oil and gas reserves as yet undiscovered and the UK should not give these up in case there is. In the eastern shelf where all the North Sea drilling is happening, the question becomes where the UK/Scottish shelf boarder should be drawn. For a country the size of Scotland to claim its eastern shelf boarder 400 miles out to the Norwegian shelf boarder is also a non-starter. The UK should negotiate at least a 100 mile wide strip of UK shelf than runs north along the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway self boarders, and seek to retain ownership of half its North Sea Oil reserves.

Dividing up North Sea Oil is actually about dividing up the UK continental Shelf which is not just about oil but other resources as well. How the UKCS is divided up may impact the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), UK fishing waters etc, which will be vitally important if Scotland joins the EU and the EU moves in.

Here’s a map showing the UK EEZ, it's very similar to the UKCS. Giving up the western continental shelf to Scotland, especially the eastern part nearest Scotland could well put the UK back where it started before BREXT, with the EU taking 60% of our fish stock.

Image

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Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:49 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

The question is; does the UK actually want its North Sea Oil?

What’s Left? That's a good question to start with. 42bn barrels of oil has been taken from the North Sea by the UK and Norway and about 22bn remain, so half of what’s been extracted so far is left, which is how a lot of politicians like to put it, because half doesn’t sound too bad. A better way of putting it is there was 64bn barrels in the North Sea of which 22bn remain, so it’s two thirds spent and a third remains; and Norway owns 54% of that. So there’s probably less than 10 billion barrels of oil left in the UK Continental Shelf and that includes the dregs, the oil that is beyond technical recovery, and the oil that sits on top of it that is beyond economic recovery.

As the North Sea oil fields age, it gets harder and more expensive to extract the stuff. At some point the money you get selling it for is not worth the cost of getting it out of the ground, especially if the ground is covered by sea. So, there may be 10bn barrels in the ground, but the fields are shut down well before it gets to zero and that’s where the Proven Reserves kick in. They are formulas that tell the oil companies how much they can cost effectively recover and still make a profit. A Proven Reserve is when more than 90% of the oil is still profitable, a Probable Reserves is when only 50-90% is profitable, and a Possible Reserve is when less than 50% is profitable to recover. Oil companies may leave as much as 5bn barrels of the remaining 10bn in the ground as non-profitable; it depends on the technology and the global market conditions for oil when the decision is made.

What's the production? Another good question. UK production varies with demand of course, but it's been around 1.5-1.7 million barrels a day (620 million barrels a year) for a few years now. What with 2020's covid-19 and the great recession it's predicted to be less than 900,000 (330 million) barrels this year.

Assuming it picks up again, in 10 years the UK will have extracted 6.2bn barrels and that I suspect will be the end of it as a commercial enterprise. In the unlikely event it continues to be commercially viable for another 5 years, that would produce 9.3bn barrels, but that would need: (1) production to stay at 1 million barrels a day, (2) more oil to be discovered, and (3) wells not to run dry as predicted.

Here’s a prediction made in 2012 with a 2020 estimate of 1m barrels a day from Norway and 1m from the UK, so not a million miles off considering it was made 8 years ago.

Image


North Sea Oil is a fickle mistress

Having said there's probably only 10 years of oil left, the North Sea oil field production is notoriously unpredictable. Just when you think you can make a prediction on how long the oil will last, the oil in what were thought to be declining fields, starts flowing again. It’s almost as if the oil is held in underground reservoirs that are connected such that as one is drained, it is collapses the wall between it and the next one, and is refilled again (this is pure speculation on my part).

Add to that, just when everyone thought they had discovered all the oil fields in the North Sea, the Norwegians discovered a new one in 2010.

Estimates of when the UKCS oil will run out vary from 10 to 25 years as do the outputs in these later years, as do the revenues that can be expected, as do when the Oil companies will pull the plug on operations.

What's it worth? Another excellent question. Annual revenue from UK North Sea Oil is now about £1.2bn, a far cry from the peaks of £10bn in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012. Here’s a graph showing its ups and downs. Thanks to Covid-19, in 2020 you can't give it away.

Image

The graph also shows how the revenue would be split between the UK and Scotland if it were based on population (shown in green), or simply by drawing a horizontal line across the North Sea from Berwick upon Tweed (shown in red).

What’s it cost? The 64,000 dollar question; and the elephant in the room is called decommissioning. A quick Google search reveals the UK has nearly 500 installations to decommission, 10,000 km of pipelines, 15 onshore terminals, and 5000 wells. By 2065 decommissioning cost is expected to be around £70 billion if all goes well and there are no spillage disasters.

The Oil Industry pays for decommissioning, but as the UK government has agreed to a tax refund on the decommissioning outlay, so you could think of it as some of the decommisioning cost is included in the oil tax, because you're giving that part back again. In theory this is like holding part of the oil company's decommisioning money in safe keeping, so that there shouldn't be any additional cost to the taxpayer when the time comes to decommision. In reality the government has long since spent this money and it’s going to have to find billions to fill the hole that is going to appear in the Government spending budget. One industry decommissioning site mentioned £24bn, but the actual figure is difficult to confirm, it seems to be a secret. I can't find that site now, but here's a Scottish media site that puts the government’s decommissioning bill at £23bn https://theferret.scot/north-sea-oil-250-billion-tax-break/

I've just found another reference from the Guardian newspaper published last year that references a National Audit Office Report, which is where I may have got the decommissioning figure from. It also says the government want to limit decommissioning cost to £60bn, best of luck with that with the contract running. Although I've quoted £70bn, I've read estimates as high as £85bn. Here's the link; https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/25/british-taxpayers-bill-tax-relief-oil-gas-companies

Would you bet your house on North Sea Oil lasting more than 10 years? It’s a brave person that would with so many uncertainties over reserves, demand, oil prices and beyond economic cost of extraction. Predicting oil fields to last anything up to 25 years is pretty optimistic. It would involve such a series of fortunate events; reserves levelling out as wells refuse to run dry, the discovery of new fields, the oil companies willing to take a risk on Probable and Possible Reserves.

I’d like to say the truth lies between 10 and 25 years, but I think 10 years is about right. 10 years at £1.2bn revenue a year equals £12bn. The cost to the government of decommissioning is £25bn, so North Sea Oil is a lemon. Let’s pretend 25 years is possible. 25 years at £1.2bn a year, that’s £30bn, a profit of just £5bn, and that assumes decommission costs don’t skyrocket, environmental disasters don’t happen, and the oil companies don’t walk away or declare bankruptcy.

Owning North Sea Oil over the next decade may not be all it’s cracked up to be; maybe the Scots should have it.

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Last edited by Beerman on Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:38 am, edited 6 times in total.



Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:25 pm
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

The True cost of North Sea Oil

North Sea Oil has been a huge scam played on the English, Welsh and Northern Irish people. The only people who have ever got anything out of it have been the Scots in the form of the annual subsidy paid for by the rest of the UK, local taxation, and onshore jobs; and of course the oil companies.

The nationalist politicians in Scotland have used North Sea oil to sow discontent amongst the Scottish people towards the English in particular, encouraging them to think they are being robbed and disrespected, and in some parts of Scotland this discontent has been encouraged to turn to hatred.

The reality is the UK has spent hundreds of billions subsidising the oil industry to set up operations in the North Sea, hundreds of billions through tax breaks throughout their operations, and will spend tens billions more subsidising them during decommissioning.

It is not surprising that the cost of North Sea Oil to the UK over the past 50 years is a secret. It is estimated that between 2002 and 2015 the UK lost £250bn in tax alone, from 2015 to 2020, the UK Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the UK will lose another £3bn. I would not be surprised if North Sea Oil has cost the UK multiple of trillions of pounds; talk about cheaper to just go buy the stuff off the global market.

Back to Independence

I wouldn’t want to see Scotland sleep walk into North Sea Oil and then think afterwards they have been conned again (not that they were ever conned by the UK in the first place). If they know the risks and they want to take North Sea Oil on, then the UK should breathe a sigh of relief that they’ve got rid of it. They might even consider selling it to Scotland for £1.

What is far more important to the UK is to retain the UK Continental Shelf territory, and the existing North Sea Oil operations could be licensed out to Scotland at zero cost, so that after decommissioning (paid for by Scotland), the UKSC remains integral to the UK. That’s not to say some of the UKCS should not be passed to Scotland, just not all of the northern region of the UKCS. Scotland should reasonably expect to have no more than 50 miles around its mainland coast and 25 miles around the Outer Hebrides, that would keep the EU out of UK fishing waters, and 25 miles around Shetland; and no, they can’t have 25 miles around Rockall. But, that should be the focus of the negotiations.

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Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:37 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Why, why, why, oh why?

Countries divorce for much the same reason as people do; because of irreconcilable differences, or to put it another way, they can’t stand to live together anymore. There are grounds for divorce that prove in a court of law why you must part ways.

Adultery

If a married country screws their partner, then that’s adultery. A country can be unfaithful in financial matters, power, control, as well as having sex with another nation by forming covert allegiances with them behind their partner’s back. However, this only applies if it happens in your living memory; no racking up tales from history books of past battles and tyrannical behaviour that happened before you were born. Adultery only applies to what their partner is doing to them, not what their great granddad did to their great grandma.

Unreasonable Behaviour

This is when the behaviour of your partner means you can no longer bear to live with them any longer. This applies to drunkenness, taking drugs, physical and mental abuse, including threats, insults, and manipulation, refusal to contribute to household expenses, partying all night, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Desertion

This is when your partner locks you out of their house and heart. Chances are it’s because of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, but it could simply be because you’ve grown apart. You may hold different views now to those you held once upon a time, you have different interests, different friends, different priorities in life, your partner just doesn’t meet your needs like they use to. For whatever reason, you simply don’t want to share a life or bed together anymore and it’s time to be partnered with yourself, or look for a union of nations that can satisfy you and make you whole.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

How you part is important. Part as friends, not hating each other’s guts; hatred only festers and so often ends in a cold war. But divorce means dividing up the assets, and parting as friends may not be easy, especially when lawyers are involved looking to take their cut.

The key is each side must feel the settlement is fair and they haven’t been cheated. If one side feel they have been, then they may never talk to you again. Take the UKCS; UK should want to keep 90% of the continental shelf, which is based on population ratio of 67:6, to extract natural resources like minerals, sand and gravel and fish stock. Scotland will probably want to keep 90% for themselves plus North Sea Oil as well, if I’ve not misunderstood the nationalist’s position. So trade the oil for the Continental Shelf and everyone is happy, at least regarding this negotiation point.

If the Scots are not happy getting 10% of the UKCS plus the oil, then maybe up it a bit more in exchange for something they are not so passionate about, just as long as the UK protects its fishing waters and mineral reserves.

Dig your heels over unreasonable red lines and minimum positions and tit-for-tat retaliatory actions are going to follow and nobody wants that. This is exactly what is happening in the BREXIT talks, and although I may be biased, I think the EU think they still run the UK and can demand the UK do what they say; and I think reality is coming as a bit of a shock to them. But I digress, this is about the UK and Scotland, though I suspect the EU may only accept Scotland into the EU if it gets access to the resources the UK agrees to hand over to Scotland in negotiations.

Back to why, why, why, oh why? Why does Scotland want to leave the UK? What are the grounds for divorce?



There's the UK Continental Shelf and the rest you can keep, whooo-o-whooo-o-whooo-o... and we'll have our nukes back as well, should get a good price for them (if we haven't sold them already)

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Last edited by Beerman on Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:14 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Divorce Court

All rise. The honourable Judge Dredd presiding.

Judge: This is an unusual case for the family court in that I will not be making a ruling after the cases have been presented by the petitioner Scotland, and the Respondent UK. Instead it will be the Scottish contingent of the UK people sat in the gallery that will make this ruling, possibly in the near future. Please listen carefully to the evidence and arguments which are presented, and make your decision based on a financial settlement that is fair to Scotland and the UK.

<deafening silence>

Does the Petitioner wish to make an opening statement?

Petitioner: Good morning sir, yes I do.

<turns to gallery>

Ladies and gentlemen of Scotland; this is a case of Scotland seeking divorce from the UK on the grounds of 6 counts of adultery. These are;

1. The UK has shafted Scotland financially.
2. The UK has rogered Scotland over North Sea Oil.
3. The UK have buggered Scotland with its Tory policies.
4. The UK has okey-dokey-pig-in-a-pokey’d Scotland with hard capitalism.
5. The UK has sadistically placed Scotland in bondage.
6. The UK has been having an affair with the USA for years and Donald Trump is the love child of Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher.

And to the ladies and gentlemen who join us from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, this has got nothing to do with you.

Judge: OK, let’s hear the arguments from both sides for each count; off you go petitioner.

Petitioner: Sir, my case for count 1; Scotland believes the adulterous UK has screwed Scotland economically. Scotland does not get enough money from England and as a result cannot give its citizens the standard of living to which they feel entitled. We believe England deliberately wants to keep Scotland poor, to keep the Scottish people subdued and under their control.

Respondent: Sir, Prior to 1998, the UK funded Scotland 100% as a region of the UK. Under the Scotland act of 1998 the UK granted limited power to a new devolved Scottish parliament called Holyrood and turned UK sole support to Scotland in to a subsidy called the Block Grant that would be supplemented from revenue raised by Scotland. The Block grant was, and still is, based on England’s spend on specific essential services proportioned out by population and is updated every year using the Barnett formula.

The idea behind the Block Grant was for England, the largest and wealthiest of the UK regions, to subsidise the smaller and poorer regions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in areas of education, local government, police, welfare and healthcare. The goal being for all regions of the UK to provide the same level of essential services throughout the UK, i.e. a patient in a NHS hospital in Scotland would get the same care as patient in a hospital in England; and it would be the same with pensions and social security etc.

The initial Block Grant was 95% of Scotland’s spending budget, the remaining 5% was raised by Holyrood from non-domestic rates. The 1998 act was Scotland’s first step away from being an integrated region of the UK to being part of a union as a devolved nation, and the Block grant was the financial mechanism to wean Scotland off UK financial dependency.

Under the Scotland act of 2012, Scotland’s Block Grant was reduced to around 80% and further powers were granted to Holyrood to raise the difference, mainly through Scottish income tax.

After a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 which resulted in Scotland remaining in the UK, the Scotland act of 2016 was introduced to further reduce the Block Grant to around 50% of the Scottish spending budget and grant Holyrood more devolved powers, including the right to raise and spend more Scottish Income Tax and VAT in Scotland and the right to borrow up to £1.75bn and a £700m reserve to smooth funding pressures across financial years. Since 2016 the UK Government has committed to more than £4.8 billion of additional Block Grant funding for Scotland.

Scottish tax revenue is now about £62 billion, but Scotland spends about £75 billion, so the UK in effect subsidise Scotland to the tune of £13 billion out of the Block Grant. I’m not sure how they pulled this off, but it seems to me this is black magic performed by Scottish accountant wizards. Somehow they seemed to have managed to put £13bn of general spending against the specific services the Block grant was ring-fenced for, to free up £13bn to spend on other things, that way they get to spend more on the Scottish people, paid for by the English.

The Block Grant Transparency Paper dated Dec 2018, is a financial summary issued by the UK government. Page 8 shows tables that contain the Block Grants to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/767101/Block_Grant_Transparency_2018_PDF_1.pdf

The Block Grant for Scotland for 2019-20 is shown as £20.2bn. This is the true subsidy that England is supporting Scotland with. To put this into context, the Scottish government spending budget for 2019-20 was £42.5 billion, so the Block Grant provides about half of Scotland’s spending budget.

Comparing the Scottish Block Grant of £20.2bn with the Welsh Block Grant of £13.8bn, and the Northern Ireland Block Grant is £11.8bn, it’s about double the other two, even though the other two have a combined population about the same as Scotland.

Scotland’s budget for 2020-21 is up 13% to £49.2bn, and I suspect Scotland has pulled the same accounting trick again. Page 10 of the Block Grant Transparency Explanatory Note dated July 2020, gives a mid-year update and shows the Block Grant for Scotland for 2020-21 is up from £20.2bn to £29.9bn.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904323/Block_Grant_Transparency_July_2020_explanatory_note_.pdf

By comparison, Wales is up from £13.8bn to £17.1bn and Northern Ireland from 11.8bn to £14.8bn, still not far off double the other two.
But to be fair 2020-21 includes extra money for Covid-19 and recession relief. But to be realistic, if Scotland were independent, they would have to find their own Covid-19 and relief money.

<turns to gallery>

Citizens of Scotland, does £30bn a year for 5.5 million people sound like England is shafting Scotland?

<deafening silence>

<respondent sits>


Judge Dredd in action - summing up in a prevoius murder case


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Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:49 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Judge. Let's hear about count 2 of adultery.

Petitioner: Sir, Scotland believes it is getting sloppy seconds when it comes to North Sea Oil. England has robbed Scotland of its rightful petrodollar inheritance. I would like to call the Scottish Nationalist Party to give evidence via a video link. As experts on North Sea Oil you will hear the SNP reveal there are 50% oil reserves still remaining in the North Sea, worth £850bn to Scotland, and it is rightfully Scotlands.



Respondent: Sir, The UK in good faith wishes to make a gift of North Sea Oil to Scotland, all it asks for in return is to retain 100% of the UK Continental Shelf. The UK appreciates this would leave Scotland without its own continental shelf, but as you have heard from SNP experts, there are £850bn of oil reserves for Scotland, £170,000 for every Scottish man, woman and child. It is accepted that this video was made by the SNP in 2007, but since then North Sea oil tax revenue has only totalled £70bn, so by the SNP’s reckoning there still remains £780bn of oil revenue available to Scotland. This is ample compensation for Scotland to relinquish any claims to the UKCS.

The UK appreciates that Scottish Oil reserves would be located on UK territory, but the UK is willing to sell North Sea Oil to Scotland for One Pound to establish their ownership of reserves in existing fields. The UK will also contractually guarantee transit across UKCS territory to the Scottish terminals currently being used by existing fields. This would be a clean break for Scotland and the UK over North Sea Oil. Scotland would have its oil, and complete control and responsibility for all future costs associated with it.


<mumblings of approval from the Scottish contingent in the gallery>

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Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Judge. Count 3, ready when you are petitioner.

Petitioner: Sir, on count 3; Scotland believes its views have been ignored and it has been denied what it needs by England since the act of union in 1707. For centuries, England’s governments, disguised first as the governments of Great Britain, then the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and now as the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, have ridden roughshod over Scotland like a cowgirl riding bareback on a mechanical bull at a circus.

Scotland has voted consistently Labour since the 1970s and yet has had to endure consecutive conservative UK Governments, none of which have shown any interest in solving Scotland’s problems or investing in its future. If anything Scotland has been punished for its traditional working class values and culture by a procession of vindictive Tory Prime Ministers. The UK has made clear through its actions that it is only interested in Scotland for its oil. It is no wonder that Scotland feels greater affinity to the European Union and the government in Brussels than it does to the United Kingdom and the distant government in London.

Remaining in the UK was tolerable when the UK was part of the EU, and this was reflected in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum where the ‘Remain’ vote narrowly prevailed. But since then England’s BREXIT has moved the goalposts, and the people of Scotland demand another vote. England, disguised as the UK is once again blocking Scottish democracy and the right of the people of Scotland to choose their own future, choose their own direction, and stand proud as an independent nation among other independent nations. Sir, with your permission I would like to play a video of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party explaining in detail Scotland’s demands.




Respondent: Sir, since the discovery of North Sea Oil in 1970, there has been 9 Conservative and 5 Labour governments and yet the complaints from the SNP have been consistent regardless of which party has been in power.

This is partly because (1) the difference between the parties is measured in inches not miles, (2) politicians of all parties take their instructions from the ultra rich who own the big corporations. The economic system runs things not the politicians, they don’t have the power to change anything, and (3) the SNP are politicians, and just like the politicians they are criticising, they are self-serving and in it for the power and the money.

Most ministers come from wealthy families and have received the classic education of Eton or Harrow, then Oxford or Cambridge, despite being of average to below average intelligence. They have been earmarked for the job before they left university. 66% of Boris Johnson's cabinet went to private schools, 71% of John Major’s 1992 cabinet, and 91% of Margret Thatcher’s 1979 cabinet also. 28% of David Cameron’s Cabinet of 2010 to 2015 were millionaires. In 2012 money, David Cameron’s cabinet had a combined wealth of £70m and that’s not counting family or inheritance wealth or major assets like property. David Cameron cash worth was about £4m, but counting family and inheritance wealth, it was over £25m. Just two of his properties, one in North Kensington and his home in Oxfordshire were worth £4m. Tony Blair is worth £30m just in case you thought it was just the conservatives that were rich. A few from poorer backgrounds like Margret Thatcher, worked their way up through the ranks, climbing the greasy pole of compliance and back-stabbing to get to the top. She ended up with £10m and living at the Ritz paid for by the Barclay Brothers.

So listen carefully to what a politician tells you before you believe a word. Remember their motivation is personal power and money. Remember what they think of you is absolutely nothing. Remember they lie, just like con artists and bankers (if you make a distinction). Politicians have either been parachuted in from daddy’s country estate, or rise up from obscurity through the political party to a position of power treading on their rivals as they go; first representing a small constituency, then to a larger one, then becoming a minister in charge of a department, then becoming prime minister running the country. That’s the system, but what better way than to make it to the top than to become leader of a devolved government, win independence, and overnight become the leader of your own country, by-passing the system that you couldn’t break in to.

If you couldn’t manage to listen to the 9 minute Nicola Sturgeon video all the way through, you didn’t miss much. She repeated two points, (1) the people of Scotland should decide their own future, and (2) the people of Scotland should decide the direction Scotland takes. She made these points within 2 minutes of the interview and repeated them for the remaining 7; over and over again, without saying what the options were for the new direction of Scotland, if any, and how Scotland would get there. No mention of future tax, public services or pensions, and no substance; a typical politician.

Nationalism is a two-edged sword. Played softly as the English have learnt over the years and it’s quietly empowering, if a little xenophobic in a covert way; played loudly and it can stir rage and start wars; played to its fullest extent and you start feeling superior to everyone else, which is what happened in WW2. The SNP narrative is built on encouraging discontent and disrespect, and the conclusion the English have come to after years of it, is that most Scots really don’t like us. It is not a feeling that is reciprocated, ok, maybe it is by a small group of English nationalists, the SNP equivalent.

The Scottish people face the same problem as the English people do, the choice is between one self-serving political party or another, both fronting a global economic system run by predators, and it’ll be the same for Scotland if it leaves the UK or not, or if Scotland joins the EU or not. The people of England got beaten just as much by Margret Thatcher and the Conservative Party as they did by Tony Blair and the Labour Party. The only real choice that may be permitted, and I stress ‘may’, is to choose how hard a version of Capitalism you wish to follow. The hard version is where everyone is independent of the state and fends for themselves; the soft version is where there is a dependency. If it’s the latter, then you have to decide how dependent you want to be and how much individualism and standard of living you are prepared to give up pay for it. Moving from a hard to a soft economic system is incredibly difficult, requiring incredible administrators and planners, and people who are driven; and will be resisted all the way by those that stand to lose out on the new deal, ideologically and financially.

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Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:36 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Judge. Strike that Count 3 response from the records. I warn the Respondent that any further defamatory remarks about our wonderful politicians, especially the ones that appointed me to the bench, will not be tolerated. I’m annoyed now, really annoyed, and I don’t like being annoyed. Move on Petitioner, move on. Count 4.

Petitioner: Sir, I share your outrage over the scandalous slurring of SNP and the EU politician’s characters and reputations. These are most honourable men and women, who would sacrifice themselves in a moment for the people they serve; and are always, I say always the first to forgo pay rises and expenses when austerity calls. They set an example for us all.

Count 4, I’ll be brief as it would appear the Respondent has done my work for me and agrees the UK has ramrodded Scotland into following a hard, uncaring form of capitalism. Scotland has been forced to bend over and take it, and it will not take it anymore. Scotland has followed the UK like a brave Scottish knight drawn into a limpet pool of naked English water nymphs, under the spell of their sweet deceitful singing, to spend the rest of his days in a dream world; wasting awayyyyyyyyyy.

<pause, silence, cough>

The UK has the most uncaring form of Capitalism in Europe. It is not Scotland’s way. Scotland’s future lies with the European Union. The EU knows how to look after a country.

<sits>

Respondent: Sir, I concur with the Petitioner, we do agree on Count 4. If the people of Scotland do not decide on the severity of the social-economic system that is to mould their lives and the lives of their children, then the politician’s handlers will do it for them. The theory is; the harder the system, the more money there is to be made for those willing to put the work in, and the softer the system the less money there is to be made, because part of it goes to looking after those that can’t make it. It’s a sliding scale of equal opportunity at one end and equally outcome at the other. The big assumption with this theory is equal opportunity and equal outcome are possible in a world where money is power, and power is in the hands of top-tier predators, and the top-tier predators don't want equal opportunity or equal outcome getting in the way of who they place in their power and control hierarchy.

In many ways, Scotland is in the same boat as the UK, just a little behind the UK in the process. The UK has already decided to leave a larger union of countries, the EU, whereas Scotland is still deciding to leave the UK union of countries. The economic future for both of will be uncertain for a while, even if Scotland stays. There may be some short term economic pain, but keeping the family together for the sake of financial security, which in itself is not certain, is not the way forward for either country.

The UK will sort trade out eventually and things will settle down, and that is the mindset needed by Scotland. If the EU denies favourable access to the single market then the UK will buy and sell through bilateral arrangements with individual European countries, and if the EU blocks that, then the UK will trade through WTO rules and require EU do the same with the UK. As for sovereign rights over fishing waters and having the right to bail out or subsidise or do whatever the UK chooses to do with its own businesses, well, that’s the UK business, and is kind of why the UK left the EU in the first place. I’m not getting into the issues here, where they go and how they are resolved, that’s not my point. It is issues like these that Scotland will face if they join the EU and will have to decide their own red lines on sovereignty.

In making a decision whether to stay or leave the UK, the Scots might want to compare Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, one stayed in the UK and one left in 1922. The Republic of Ireland joined the EU as a sovereign state in 1973; Northern Ireland joined the EU as part of the UK also in 1973.

What’s more, the Republic of Ireland has adopted a softer form of Capitalism which is the way of most European countries, and Northern Ireland has adopted the UK’s harder form, so you get a good comparison there. Population-wise the Republic of Ireland and Scotland have comparable populations of about 5m and 5.5m respectively. The major difference between the two is that Northern Ireland suffered ‘The Troubles’ for 2 decades, which obviously constrained its development, and Ireland did not, so they had a 2 decade start on Northern Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland has done alright for itself, but it should be pointed out that one of the reasons is because it had significant financial help from the EU, whereas Northern Ireland as part of the UK, provided significant funding to the EU which helped fund Ireland’s development. To put it another way, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland may have received less money from England, because England was funding the Republic of Ireland (and everybody else that had a negative draw on EU funds). Like a millennial that missed out on the baby boomer’s housing boom, Scotland may find the EU less giving post-BREXIT.

Judge It’s getting late, we had an early 10am start, barely an hour for lunch, and it’s nearly 3pm, so we’ll call it a day and reconvene tomorrow.

Usher All rise.

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Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:52 am
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Judge Respondent, have you finished your response to Count 4? You were going on about the Republic of Ireland being a post-UK example or something for Scotland, or not. Something about hard capitalism, whatever that is.

Respondent With your permission Sir. Scotland should note that Ireland is economically not what it seems and beware SNP politicians who tell you Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world per person since leaving the UK, and a guiding lantern for Scotland to follow; it is not the whole story.

Ireland’s GDP went from a stable £150bn in 2012 to a £260bn explosion by 2019. An unprecedented rise of over 70% GDP in 7 years outdoing China. This was entirely due to the government’s decision to make their country in to a tax haven for multinational corporations, and it worked. There are now 200 multinationals from the US alone, with headquarters set up in Dublin, that declare their profits there to take advantage of Ireland’s low 12.5% Corporation Tax. This denies the country where the profits were made of tax revenue, but it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

Since 2012, some of the big corporations have set up limited operations in Dublin, so Ireland is now seeing some spin off money finding its way into its economy. Ireland has become Dublin plus the rest of the country and because of this, Dublin distorts the overall picture of a country’s wealth, ethnicity and lifestyle.

Dublin is very much hard capitalism with an intense Young Urban Professional lifestyle, but the rest of the country is very much softer and more laid back. I read a recent comment on the Internet that made me smile from someone that lived outside of Dublin; “Ireland is not wealthy in a financial sense, but it’s got riches untold as far as quality of life is concerned. Many Irish having nothing, but they’re happy to share it.”

Of Ireland’s 4.9m population, 1.2m live in Dublin and nearly 1.9m live in the Greater Dublin Area and commute in. 1m are from abroad, drawn to Dublin for high paying jobs with the multinationals. Many are young professionals, highly qualified in technical and financial fields. Incomes are much higher in Dublin than the rest of the country and this is reflected in Dublin house prices which have forced the locals out of the housing market and the remaining yuppies into a culture of roommate house sharing.

Ireland’s GDP doesn’t reflect the wealth of the country; neither does the annual average income or income per person. In 2016 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the average full-time income was €45,256; by 2019 they said it had risen to €49,000, the fastest rate recorded, so the balloon is still inflating. The lowest earned incomes per person by county were in Donegal at €24,626, Monaghan at €24,903 and Leitrim at €25,962. An average of 27% of households throughout the country have no income earners at all, and in 27% of households, social welfare makes up more than half of household income.

Comparing incomes in pounds (note figures vary from source to source); Ireland £44,300, UK £36,600, Scotland: £31,400.

Comparing poverty; Ireland 17% (20% if you exclude Dublin). UK 22% of which 34% are children. Scotland 20% of which 25% are children.

The propose of this critique of Ireland is not to stick my nose in Ireland’s business, but to put the facts before the Scottish people in the gallery so that they can decide; (1) if the EU is likely to be able to afford to give Scotland £54bn like it did Ireland with the UK no longer contributing, (2) if Scotland can become a tax haven to multinationals as Ireland has already taken this role, they would have to undercut them, and (3) if Scotland’s vision for its future follows the same path as Irelands?

There is also the question of what would happen to Ireland should this tax haven bubble ever burst and the multinationals leave, as all their eggs are in this one basket.

There is also the question of what will happen to Ireland now that the UK has left the EU as this is likely to affect trade with the UK and and transit through its territory to the European continent of commercial goods and people. These questions need to be asked by Scotland as well as they are not geographically dissimilar to Ireland with potential loss of transit routes into Europe.

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Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:18 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Judge: Counts 5, that the UK has enslaved Scotland.

Petitioner: Sir, Count 5. Scotland cannot live under the jackboot of the UK’s tyrannical regime any longer. Scotland has been rubber-bound, ball-gagged, and gimp-masked for far too long. Scotland will be free! Scotland will never be conquered! The UK does not have the right to deny Scotland its Scottish Identity or a 2nd Referendum.

Respondent You are absolutely right; no country should be forced to live under tyranny, and if that is the way Scotland feels, and that is the way they regard England, then they should absolutely go.

If the Scottish people feel their Scottish identity is being suppressed, threatened or destroyed by a country or countries they are in a union with, then of course they should leave. That applies to England as well, and that was why England voted to leave the EU. The English should be grateful to the EU for waking them up, it had been dozing for far too long, and now it’s awake things are going to change.

To understand what is going to have to change, you have to understand English Identity; I’ll give you a hint. No other government and no other country is going to have authority over England, and that includes Brussels, and the UK. They haven’t really got that yet. The UK parliament needs to move to 2 daily agendas; English Business and UK Business. England’s politicians need to wake up to the identity of the people they govern and give them their voice back. We know the politicians in Westminster are a useless bunch of parasites, but they are our useless bunch of parasite, not some useless bunch of parasites in Brussels.

Like it or not, agree with it or not, but England has woken to find the EU going through its pockets; handing out its money to countries that are openly hostile towards us. It has looked around only to discover that Scotland has been doing the same. It looks around and realises Northern Ireland is telling England what it can and cannot do not or else the Troubles will start up again.

I’ve heard it said that one way the EU could have got the English to stay, was to tell the English to leave, and that would probably would have worked. It would certainly have been a first step in understanding the English psyche. Instead, the EU has threatened England with trade tariffs, loss of access to the single market, and financial ruin. It has taunted England over the loss of its empire and decline in world influence, suggesting BREXT will further teach England is no longer rules the waves or waves the rules. They never learn; of course the English would like to live in luxury and drink beer all day, but would be quite prepared to live in poverty rather than be told what to do; as was demonstrated during WW2 and for nearly 2 decades of austerity it endured afterwards.

When I talk of being told what to do, I’m not talking about the silly stuff like we can’t call our sausages, ‘sausages’, we have to call them offal tubes, or we can’t put too much salt in our prawn flavoured crisps; it’s issues like immigration, cheap labour undercutting our own workforce, supporting our industry as we see fit, EU fishing quotas that have all but destroyed our fishing industry, policies and regulations that have caused unemployment in working class industrial towns etc. and to top it all off, England has paid for the privilege. It’s a shame it had to come to BREXIT because the EU single market was a good idea, it ought to have been, England came up with it; and the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Law provided means to stop the excesses of our more extreme right-wing governments. The English know there will be sacrifices and things we will miss, but nothing tops the English Identity.

If there is a 2nd referendum, and I hope there is because no nation should have to endure the mental torture Scotland is feeling as a result of its union with England, then I hope an English parliament is formed at Westminster first and England is given a choice as to whether it wants to leave Scotland, and a voice in the financial settlement that will follow.


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Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:26 am
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Judge. And finally, Counts 6; illicit affairs.

Petitioner: Sir, The UK is lazy, he don’t help around the house or with the kids or nothing, he says he does, but he doesn’t. He’s working and earning money but we don’t see none of it. He goes out and we don’t see him until the next election. He only turns up when he wants something; and he’s a cheater, a dog. I was going through his phone and I caught him texting other countries saying “I love you” and “I want to meet up with you”, and “I want to be in a bilateral trade relationship with you”. I confronted him about it and he’d said “oh you read it wrong, you crazy girl” but I got eyes, I can see what’s going on. I said “who was it?” and he said “it was an old conquest who contacted me”. He don’t take me on no dates no more, he don’t take me to no wars no more, he don’t buy me flowers. We use to have sex 10 to 20 times an election, now it’s like once every referendum. In the 70s it use to be like, he’d give me what I want, and treat me like his queen, now it’s like his attention is elsewhere, and all of a sudden we arguing all the time. I told him “you obviously been creeping around; it’s that USA chick ain’t it, you been having quickie deals behind my back?” He says “no baby, I love you”, but we had a argument the other day and he disappears and he don’t answer his phone, so I phone up my home girl the EU, and she pull up and says she saw him coming out the US embassy. When he come home I told him ”this union sucks, and I gone done bleached your clothes”. I don’t want that lying cheater around me no more. I don’t trust him, I don’t love him. I want a real union, one that will take care of me. I’m done with the UK.

<applause from the gallery>

Respondent You been talking with all your EU nation home boys and girls.

Petitioner: That’s a lie.

Respondent I heard you say on the phone to Michel Barnier the other day “no deal BREXIT unacceptable to Scotland”. What’s it got to do with you? You want to leave and you want to talk BREXIT?

Petitioner: That’s a lie. You been talking to the US.

Respondent Sure did. We been working on a US-UK Trade Agreement. Going good as well, that is until someone stepped in trying to mess it up, talking with them Dems over there, three’s a crowd man. Now they saying no US-UK trade deal if we break the Good Friday Agreement. What’s it got to do with them? We ain’t going to have no hard boarder with the South anyway. Last time we tried that we had to deploy half the Army to enforce it and that still didn’t stop the guns, ammo and explosives into the North. All it did was remind everyone there were two tribes at war; and it cost a lot of lives. UK politicians would have to be beyond stupid to go down that path again. OK, they are beyond stupid, but we all know they in love with the USA, they ain’t going to stop hitting on them over some agreement be it Trade or Good Friday. Hell, they’ve got a special relationship, the US bought them UK politician bitches a marriage certificate a long time ago. Maybe when England becomes an independent nation again, they’ll all go and retire in the USA, instead of being oversexed, overpaid and over here.

Petitioner: It ain’t just the US; it’s on the news, you been messing with Japan.

Respondent Ah man. We met at a relative’s house, we had a few drinks, one thing led to another, you know how it is, now we have a trade agreement. Bet you been talking EU membership behind my back too.

Petitioner: That’s a lie.

Respondent Your EU leaders all got the hots for the US as well, keeping it quiet, but I see what’s going on. Letting the US park their missiles in their backyard, and that ain’t no euphemism. Setting up their bases along the Russian Boarder, US say “sanctions” EU say “whatever you say honey doll”. They all getting paid, they all as thick as thieves. If Hillary had got in, we’d have all been dragged into her war with Russia, and we probably wouldn’t be sitting here today. When it comes to the US, the EU is a girl that just can’t so no. You want to join the EU? You want to mess with the US too? You been creeping behind my back.

Petitioner: That’s a lie. How many others you been talking to, dog?

Respondent All fair in love and trade girl, you call me dog, I’m going to be a dog. US don’t want a trade deal, then going to trade with the US without one. EU don’t want a deal, then going to trade without one. Going to trade with them 27 EU member states direct, with Asia, Russia, trade ain’t political, it’s hustle, got to make some Stirling. Trade deal marriages tie you down anyway, you get in to one of these agreements and the only way out is death or mental institutions. You going to pay with your arse if you’re the small fry in one of these. You get pushed around, told what time you got to be home at night. Every time you go out you asked “where you going?” You try to leave, she stands in the door and says “you ain’t going nowhere”.

Petitioner: You been carrying on all this time, is that how it is? Really? You don’t love me; you lying, cheating, good for nothing deadbeat dog.

<gallery boos>

Judge Order! Order! Silence in the court. It’s late, you’re all getting on my nerves. I need a gin and tonic and to see my nieces to calm down. We will reconvene tomorrow for closing statements.

Usher All rise.


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Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:02 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

<the next day>

Judge Let’s hear the closing arguments.

Petitioner: Sir, Scottish ladies and gentlemen in the gallery. Let me summarise why Scotland needs its independence from the UK.

Scotland has the right to go in the direction its citizens choose. Scotland’s direction will not be subject to the will or whim of Westminster. After independence, local government at county level will report direct to Scotland’s Holyrood parliament, which will stand sovereign; not subject to being overruled or dissolved, whenever the English see fit.

Scotland’s direction will be built on its diverse business base. From life sciences, to food and drink, tourism, financial services, creative arts, and the energy industry, Scotland will compete in a global market. International markets offer enormous potential for Scottish companies to grow their exports. The EU is Scotland’s most important international export market, and will remain so. In 2018 Scotland exported £85bn of goods and services, that’s £2.4bn up from 2017, a 3% annual growth. Had it not been for Coronavirus, 2020 exports would be £90bn.

To quote Ian Blackford, the leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons, “UK government figures make it absolutely clear that Scotland has subsidised the rest of the UK in most of the last 40-year period”. It is time for Scotland to put an end to this daylight robbery.

Ireland has flourished since finding its freedom from England, becoming one of the richest nations in the world. It did this by attracting investment and expertise, and Scotland can do the same.

Scotland has the right to elect the government it chooses. The people of Scotland have never voted for the Tories to govern them and yet every four years here they are again. Scottish citizens are outnumbered ten to one by the English, so whatever Scotland says is lost in the noise coming from the English who shout for what’s best for them. A Scottish vote in a UK General Election is a wasted vote. Scotland stands no chance being heard in a UK Government and as far as fairness towards Scotland is concerned, it is not even on the UK government’s agenda.

An independent Scotland will secured North Sea Oil for Scotland. Oil reserves are vast and worth £700-800bn. The revenue and tax made from North Sea Oil should go to Scotland, instead most of it goes directly to Westminster. Scotland will become one of the wealthiest nations in Europe if we become independent. An independent Scotland could use its oil to become a leading supplier of energy and electricity to the EU and to the world.

Jobs will be created as the many UK centralised services and offices, like Tax Offices, DVLA , Job Centres, will be set up in Scotland. The Scottish government have plans for better healthcare, better welfare support, better pensions, and lower taxes. As a society we will close the wealth gap between rich and poor and reduce the wage discrepancy between Scotland and England.

The vast majority of Scots do not want nuclear weapons in Scotland. Scotland does not want to build nuclear weapons in Scotland. Scotland believes nuclear weapons are immoral and wants them gone.

Sir, Scotland finds itself in an unhappy marriage and divorce is the obvious solution. At least then we may part friends instead of growing to resent each other further by staying together. That concludes the case for divorce.

<cheers from the gallery>

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Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:38 am
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Respondent Sir, ladies and gentlemen in the gallery. If the people of Scotland decide to stay in the UK again, then it should be for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health; not necessarily for as long as we both shall live, but certainly not until we hit our next rough patch. We can’t keep having referendums every 5 or even 10 years. Many in Scotland and in England today are asking why have a union at all, and I think to answer that you have to understand how it came about in the first place, why it was needed back then, and then see if it’s relevant today

Back in the 18th century royalty and the aristocracy ruled nations, supported by wealthy merchants and their armies. There was a direct correlation between power and land, as the more land you had the more working class people you controlled to feed the factories and the armies, and the more natural resources you controlled. The union of 1707 was really a peace deal. England and Scotland had been fighting each other for centuries and despite England’s overwhelming military superiority and money, it could not defeat Scotland and end hostilities by suppression. This was as much to do with geography and climate as anything else. Scotland was a vast, empty, cold, wet place to be if you were a hungry working class foot soldier that had been sent there. There were a million places for Scottish resistance forces to hide between their attacks, and the locals hated you. Guerrilla warfare persisted until Queen Anne decided it was costing her more money to carry on like this than to seek a truce. Conflict with Scotland meant it was not easy fighting foreign wars with an enemy at your back, especially when one of those foreign wars was with your biggest enemy, France. By forming Great Britain, England would draw Scotland away from France and gain the power that came with the Scottish land. I doubt if the British Empire would have been possible with Scotland constantly distracting England on its Northern border, with its constant attrition on the army and drain on its finances.

Today power rests with the large corporation money-making machines and the elite who own them. Governments and corporations acquire the natural resources they need by buying them globally from the poorest countries, making ownership of natural resources less important for a rich country than it once was. A big problem the UK has is many of our senior politicians come from aristocratic families, from what is still referred to as the upper class. These rich families have had their wealth handed down from generation to generation, some from the days of the British Empire, some from before that; we are talking old money here. Although the aristocracy no longer control countries, they still feed the political system with prime ministers and cabinet ministers, and they have been brought up to equate land with money and power. They would see their political status, and their self worth, diminish in the eyes of their class peers if they were to lose Scotland on their watch.

Such a challenge emerged back in the 90s when the SNP started to demand independence for Scotland, and in 1998 UK politicians thought devolution was the answer to keeping everybody happy. The Scots would have their parliament and the UK would stay intact, and those first steps were not giving away much. But they had started a process that would inevitably lead to an independent Scotland. Devolution can be thought of as the process of moving a region of a country to being a separate country. A region of a country can’t have its own parliament, it can have an Assembly like the Welsh Assembly, but not a parliament. A separate country has a parliament, but can’t be financially supported or politically controlled by another country’s parliament. So devolution is a transitional process, which means Scotland is already on the path of leaving the UK, and was put on it unwittingly by UK politicians that probably didn’t realise that was what they doing when they agreed to devolution. The idea that Scotland could exist in the UK as a devolved separate country makes no sense. It could exist in an EU-like arrangement made up of separate states, i.e. the UKU but a union of 2 member states makes no sense either, plus the UK has only just gotten out of one of those.

For Scotland to stay in the UK, the process of devolution has to be aborted and the Scottish Parliament renamed the Scottish Assembly to mirror the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies, and their role changed to that of a regional council controlling local councils. If Scotland decides to leave the UK in a 3rd referendum, then devolution should be used as a transitional process to help both countries adjust politically and financially to their new lives, and to set a timetable and roadmap for finally cutting the cord.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the gallery, do you want to continue this union or is it obsolete? If you do, then what should it be based on that’s relevant to today? I suggest the union should be about family. 5 big questions we should be asking are;

1. Does the kinship that holds a country together as one people, also bind the people of England and Scotland together?

2. Is there a sense of duty towards the other, to protect, support, and stick up for them, and be there when the other needs them?

3. Do the people of England and Scotland care about each other?

4. Is there mutual respect?

5. Do the people of each country support the other in the World Cup and the Eurovision Song Contest?

If a country stays in a union solely for the money, then the answer to all 5 questions is ‘No’ and it’s not a union. No country wants to be dumped later down the line when they’re not financially needed anymore.

If the answer to the big 5 is ‘No-ish’, but both want to change, then the solution is to mix more. Tourism is a solution, as are big events, easy cheap travel links and accommodation; there are many ways to get English people up to Scotland and Scottish people down to England. Familiarity helped break down England’s North-South divide, and has put South Wales, Cornwall and East Anglia on the mind-map of many English. It’s something we should be doing with Northern Ireland as well as Scotland, and it would hurt to work with Ireland as well, you can never have enugh friends. You visit, you make friends, you go back, walls, be they physical or mental are good for keeping people out you want to keep out.

I’d be surprised if the answer was ‘Yes’ because nationally we don’t mix enough, but it could be ‘Yes’ locally, near the boarders. Scottish people of the Lowlands get on so much better with English northerners, than those in the highlands get on with English southerners.

<silence from the gallery>

Judge. It’s almost noon and I’m hungry. As the Respondent looks like going on for a bit, I think that’s a good point to adjourn for lunch, I hear we have Coronation Chicken curry today, lovely. We shall reconvene at 2pm.

Usher All rise.

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Last edited by Beerman on Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 am
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Post Re: Is it time for the UK to split?

Judge Welcome back ladies and gentlemen in the gallery. We will now hopefully finish off the Respondent’s closing argument and wrap these proceedings up.

[u]Respondent/u]: Sir, ladies and gentlemen in the gallery, pro and anti union politicians will spin you yarns leading up to the 2nd referendum. Take nothing they say on face value, they seek to line their own pockets, and are masters in using words to deceive whilst managing to just walk that line between half-truth and lie so if they get caught, they always have an escape route.

The Petitioner said the EU was Scotland’s most important international export market. Note the word ‘international’. The actual breakdown is EU 21%, rest of the world excluding EU 19% and the UK excluding Scotland 60%. So the rest of the UK is Scotland's most important export market whilst Scotland remains in the UK, and will remain its most important international export market should it leave the UK.

You may recall the UK’s response to the Petitioner’s claim that North Sea Oil belonged solely to Scotland. The response was 'no it didn’t'. North Sea Oil is on UK territory referred to as the UK Continental Shelf; but the UK would more than likely be prepared to offer North Sea Oil to Scotland in exchange for the UK Continental Shelf. If someone offers you something seemingly valuable for something seemingly worthless, it’s probably too good to be true, and it certainly is in the case of North Sea Oil.

The SNP have made some crazy claims over the value of North Sea Oil tax revenue to sell Scottish independence. You have heard the SNP’s 2007 video claim there to be up to £800bn of oil for Scotland; just 5 years later the UK Office for Budget Responsibility officially estimated tax revenue from 2018 to 2041 was only £56bn. Since then a variety of reputable sources have reduced that 22 year prediction to just 10 years, and tax revenue down to £12bn to £25bn depending on production, price per barrel, and the percentage of the oil that is not recoverable. Currently annual tax revenue is £1.2bn, but is expected to fall dramatically at today’s $28/barrel. It’s so bad in the North Sea that 30,000 jobs are at risk. Do your own research and come up with your own figure, don’t listen to politicians. To put the 2012 £56bn future estimate in to context, that’s less that 2 years worth of the current Block Grant the UK gives Scotland.

The petitioner quoted the SNP’s claim that “UK government figures make it absolutely clear that Scotland has subsidised the rest of the UK in most of the last 40-year period”.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Ignoring the SNP claim that North Sea Oil belongs to Scotland, which it doesn’t, the total tax revenue from North Sea Oil is surprisingly difficult to work out. Either records haven’t been kept or haven’t been made readily available. The data used by the SNP to come up with a 40 year total comes from a 2013 Scottish government report that was pieced together from some UK government rough and ready estimates that were never intended to be official figures. The Scottish report (1) filled in missing periods of data with its own biased estimates, (2) used data it knew to be inaccurate and (3) only covered the boom years of 1980 to 2012 and omitted periods of minimal revenue from 1968 to 1980, and the declining revenues from 2013 to today. The Scottish Government even put a warning notice on the cover saying “This data does not constitute National Statistics, but is suitable for illustrative purposes only”. When challenged about this pile of crap, a SNP spokesman said;

“We have demonstrated to you using official government statistics that Ian Blackford’s comments are correct. The evidence shows that tax revenues per head in Scotland have been considerably higher than the UK. That has unquestionably subsidised UK public spending over the period - There is nothing you have presented that suggests Ian Blackford’s comments were not true”.

I would put it slightly differently; everything Ian Blackford said walked that fine line between half-truth and a lie. Don’t trust politicians.

Finally I’d like to say the UK-Scotland divorce settlement is highly likely to be based on the ratio of UK and Scotland populations, and that would mean Scotland gets about 8.5% of the UK assets, debts and liabilities, When add it all up, don’t forget the negatives.

That Sir, concludes the case for the UK.

<silence from the gallery>

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Last edited by Beerman on Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:51 am
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