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14 April 2014


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First Scotland, then Ireland.

Jose L Campos

A bracing piece of manly thinking.


"When Scots see their National Flag fly around the world they will never give it back"

Of course St. Andrew's flag flies in the South. The colors may be different, but it is the core of the Confederate Battle Flag.

As an aside, the Latin-derived "Scot" at first was used to describe the Irish raiders of Roman Britain, then applied to Gaels, and then to the Northern part of Great Britain. Irish and Scots were historically the same race until divided by religion.

"The name of Scotland is derived from the Greek Scotos, the term applied to Gaels. The word Scoti (or Scotti) means dark because of the mist.[citation needed] It is found in Latin texts from the fourth century describing a tribe which sailed from Ireland to raid Roman Britain.[3] It came to be applied to all the Gaels. It is not believed that any Gaelic groups called themselves Scoti in ancient times, except when writing in Latin."


"If you prefer to be a pampered poodle instead of a proud crowing cock you are not fit to vote real Scots into English control."

I've never met a cockerel who could measure up to a standard poodle. They're a fine noble dog. Useful and clever. Though I admit I would prefer a Scottish Deerhound if given the choice.

The noted Pampered Poodle Fitzroy Maclean was a Unionist, whereas, as you say, Alex Salmond is a proud crowing cock.

You make a very good point.


As an English-born American, let me state categorically, "Good riddance."

England will be richer and easier to govern without the other Kingdoms, save Wales.

William R. Cumming

WOW! Time Scots stopped renting cheap their bravery to the English and brains.

Babak Makkinejad


I must say that reading the comments on Scottish independence leads me to conclude that are a lot of people in the Anglo-sphere that have completely taken leave of their senses.

I mean, why stop there, by all means, let us make Wales and the Isle of Man independent states as well, and I am sure that the Chavs would love to see a Free Liverpool.

David Habakkuk


“If you prefer to be a pampered poodle instead of a proud crowing cock you are not fit to vote real Scots into English control.”

Like very many people in London -- probably almost all of us, to be frank -- I have not had strong views about Scottish independence. If the Scots want to stay, that’s fine by us, if they want to go, that’s also fine. My wife, who is a Londoner through and through, unlike me, gets sporadic bouts of impatience, and says: why can’t we be rid of them? but nobody I know has strong feelings.

(Of course, being a Londoner through and through means that you are probably not ethnically English, but that is not the kind of matter I could expect to explain to an American audience.)

By the same token, however, I have always thought that this was a matter on which Scots could, quite rationally, disagree.

If it is actually the case that, confronted by a Scottish unionist, all a Scottish nationalist can do is sneer at him or her as a ‘pampered poodle’, then the conclusion seems inescapable: these people are just one more set of ethno-nationalist scum: like the Likudniks, or the ‘Praviy Sekor’ types.

william R. Cumming

Babak! Its a reaction to a globalized world ruled by bites and bytes IMO! And the banksters!


The scottish people have been used as experimental lab rats by successive right wing conservative governments they did not elect or vote for (fifty odd MPs represent Scotland, at one point only one was a conservative, but Scotland still found itself run by a conservative government)

From Thatcher onwards,economic and social experiments inspired by the Neo Liberals of the Chicago school were always applied first in Scotland.

Scotland lost industry after industry, coal, steel, ship building. Mass unemployment, rising crime and drug problems, debt and poverty followed.

There are some small nations that are extremely successful in Europe.

I doubt that Scotland will be one, located as it is, right out on the fringe of Europe and it's natural assets sqaundered, or sold off long ago by an uncaring, London government which itself was largely subservient to the demands of international bankers, not it's own people.

I'm part Scottish myself, were Scotland to seperate I would be saddened but would understand. I think Its future would be gloomy,but in all honesty, removing itself from rule by the succession of shabby, greedy, gutless, servile, lying governments the rest of the UK has been saddled with for decades may be the best thing for it.


William R. Cumming

David H! Unfortunately England is London which like the Caymen Islands is largely the home for international flight capital often stolen from others. Banksters and gangsters rule as well as the Royals all sucking dry the others.


"The seed of freedom again ripen in young mens hearts . "

Isn't that the same line we've heard in Cairo and now Kiev?

Lord Curzon

Reading that, the only word that came to mind was, "Bullshit!".


I find Scottish Nationalists to be driven by self-loathing and bigotry. They think that divorcing themselves from England will solve their perceptions of diminished importance. They seriously dream of some ethnically pure homeland yet are faced with a reality of decades of immigration? What place in this pathetic state of two lowland cities for those of Indian, Bangladeshi, African, Caribbean descent?

And those people in the islands, Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides, they want no part of this foolishness. They see people such as Alex Salmond and Edinburgh as no less distant than rule from London. Shetland is closer to Norway after all. Perhaps they should seek union with Oslo and take "their" North Sea oil with them.


The Scots had their own nation, I am not sure I have ever heard of the "Republic of Free Scousers" in Liverpool. The Scots have as much of a right to determine their own future and have their own country as anyone else does. They have their own history and their own language. The English did their best to steal all of it, but it is still there. Scotland, then the north of Ireland next. It is poetic justice. All of the places the English invaded and dominated are finding their way forward, as England itself is now full of peoples it once colonlized and these people are forever changing the nature of English society.


That's some lovely, first quality romantic claptrap, if I've ever heard any. It strikes me that some people are resentful that they didn't grow up in a different time and place, so they could be Fenians.

I think everyone understands that the Scots have pride, and tradition and love for their land, and want the ability to live as they choose. I just don't see how they will be able to have the quality of life they think they deserve, without the benefits of future association with England.

Scotland just doesn't have that many viable industries which can provide reliable employment and export income. The English aren't going to hand over the North Sea oil fields and cancel BP's contracts. The Energy Minister just said that England will buy cheaper electricity from Europe and Ireland, and doesn't need any from the Scots. The English can also establish tight border controls, reducing tourism and hampering investment and trade. That leaves Scotland with some shipping, timber, fisheries, whiskey, salmon, sheep, grouse and golf. Perhaps they could boost their financial industry, and become another Luxembourg, but England already has tax haven islands. England may also choose to saddle Scotland with the enormous debts of RBS.

Scotland has many legitimate, current grievances with England, and they deserve more scope and autonomy, particularly to manage their economy and social programs as they see fit. And it's in England's interest to help them do this. Westminster needs to be much less London-centric. This is a clear situation where the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts.


A very important point that is being glossed over in this discussion:

"There are two correct ways to spell it: Whisky and Whiskey. Whiskey refers to whiskeys distilled in Ireland and the United States. Whisky, on the other hand, is generally used for whiskies distilled in Scotland, Wales, Canada, Japan and other countries."

All ultimately from the Latin "aqua Vitae"- living water. The source of wodka, vodka, whisky, whiskey.


To enlarge upon this most important point, the etymology is interesting (well, to linguists). 'Whiskey' and 'vodka' look nothing like 'aqua vitae,' but they are derived from it. Aqua vitae was a medieval distilled spirit, the father or mother of all booze. It actually means 'water of life,' though every online authority seems to want to make it more complicated than that. Whiskey is derived from a Gaelic translation of that term: 'uisge beatha.' 'Vodka' takes it one step further. It also contains the root for 'water,' but uses the diminutive form of it, 'little water.'


My cousins in the Highlands and Inner Islands think the idea is a screwy idea of the lowland elites, and the cousins are by and large not for independence. But the question will be decided by the lowlanders of Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the vast majority of the population resides.

My personal view is for a gloomy outcome also. But the Scots have always had a inclination toward gloomy outcomes. The economically dynamic Scotland of the industrial revolution is long gone.

This event is just a continuation of the slow motion unraveling of the great nation states, which has been underway for the last 30 years.

William R. Cumming

Is there a consensus on world's best single malt?



Lagavulin. pl

nick b

Another vote here for Lagavulin.


I beg to disagree, Colonel Lang.

Talisker has my heart, though I have been known to be unfaithful with a drop of Blair Athol now and then.


Macallan 18. But give me time, I'm still young.


At some time I read a very interesting economic history book that suggested the largest efficient economic unit was the city state (and surrounding agricultural lands). Her thesis was that inevitably, in any country, one city outcompeted all the others (usually by capturing the govt and adjusting policy), and the others largely die and disappear. Examples abound in Europe.

In that regards, Edinburough has been slowly dying compared to London (from Wikipedia - I chose a century after the plague)

1560 - population 12000 50,000 x4
2012 - population 482640 7.850.000 x16

short term is gloomy, but long-term, the Scottish govt can set its own policy and then its future is its own. I have known a lot of very smart scottish gents, and there is no reason scotland could not focus on software and marine technologies like Ireland and Norway.

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