John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 154: Aren’t Opinions Great? Now Imagine If Other People Have Them Too

by on Feb.18, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 154th ever Rum Doings, our topic is whether term time holidays should be met with the death penalty.

We begin with some wonderful news about John’s financial windfall, then move on to our expert discussion on primary schools, about which we both know nothing. John has a good moan about his painful arm, and then for some godforsaken reason Nick insists on going on and on about Scottish independence. We abuse more idiots on Twitter, and then introduce a new law that all new immigrants must go to key parties.

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19 Comments for this entry

  • Jack

    Twit! Nick! You’re a twit! Spain cannot veto Scottish entry to the EU because they will lose access to Scottish fishing grounds, and that will devastate the Spanish fishing industry.

    Spain recognizes that Scotland is ABSOLUTELY NOT a precedent for Catalonia, because the Scottish referendum is legal and agreed upon by the UK government while Catalonian independence is forbidden by the Spanish constitution.

    Scotland would only be forced to enter the Euro if it met the entry criteria. It is very easy to deliberately fail to meet those criteria.

    I can’t keep up. Gonna have to transcribe to debunk you further. You twit.

  • Jack

    Suffice to say for now – every single thing Nick says has been comprehensively responded to. I can’t type fast enough on a tablet.

    This site has good content wrapped in clunky JavaScript: A short series of articles on Scottish sovereignty and currency options and negotiations.

    Also the Scottish Government’s white paper on independence.

  • Xercies

    I think from reading around the big thing they want independence for is to get money from their people and spend it themselves. At the moment their budget is controlled by Westminster and Westminster can change it whenever they want and probably will in the future so if they wanted to do their we want to be very socialist they need their own GDP in their own hands.

    The Euro, I wouldn’t doubt that the EU would say to Scotland before going in will you promise to do your best to get in the euro and they could say yes to that but further down the line deliberately not go through the steps. They can’t be forced to go in straight away.

    Also the EU would be insane not to just let in Scotland since humans are generally lazy and it would cause a lot of paperwork and headache to expel them and then have them come back to try and get in again. Why not just get rid of that headache and let them in.

  • Jack

    “Let’s all agree: from now on, anyone who says “An independent Scotland would have to join the Euro!” is either deliberately lying or a dribbling slack-jawed imbecile without the faintest idea of what they’re talking about.” – Rev Stu

  • Geetoo

    My goodness that c’mon Scotland site is a lot of drivel.

  • Jack

    Geetoo do enlighten us.

  • Geetoo

    It’s incredibly badly written. Trying to trawl through the self indulgent, smug rambling to find factual analysis is agonising.

  • SteveE

    Agree entirely with Geetoo. That site is a quite impressive collection of feeble analogies, straw man arguments and poorly constructed rhetoric.

    My particular favourite bit was the assertion that referring to a potential independent Scotish currency as the “groat” (something that a quick Google search suggests no one is actually doing – surprise) is equivalent to “British Empire types calling the people from the nations they invaded “wogs””.

  • NM

    It strikes me that, as ever with those filled with nationalistic fervour, the arguments are tendentious and emotional, but rarely logical. And the reactions as well.

  • Jack

    Nick – I grew up in Kingston-upon-Thames and Bath. I’ve never travelled north of Preston. My support for Scottish independence comes from a horror and disgust in the behaviour of the Westminster government, not from a ‘nationalistic fervour’ for a country I’ve never visited.

    My hope is that 5 million people in Britain will live under a government which aligns with their values, and which doesn’t fritter away oil revenue on illegal wars of occupation and bailing out failed banks and pointless nuclear weapons, and kind of looks like an English-speaking Norway.

    What kind of person do you have to be to look at the behaviour of the Westminster government and NOT have an emotional response?

  • Geetoo

    Governments for all!

  • Simon

    Setting aside the Euro issue for the moment, I think the whole ‘oh pshaw, Westminster is just playing Hard to get, they’ll inevitably give us everything we want’ is a rather short-sighted argument.

    The rUK has absolutely no duty to allow Scotland to form a currency union with it, and whenever the issue comes up, the argument tends to be that it is in ‘both their interests’

    I have yet to see any compelling argument as to why it is in the rUKs interest. A Currency Union with Scotland, rather than Scotland simply pegging their currency to the pound, would require a large commitment from both sides. The only downside to letting Scotland simply the pound for the rUK I’ve seen is transaction fees on changing currencies. Well, the UK seems to manage alright dealing with every other country in the world with those terrifying fees.

    Face it, when all three major parties and the Treasury say a Currency Union is not going to happen, it’s pretty much dead in the water.

  • Geetoo

    Oh and by the way, the two biggest failed banks were Scottish.

  • Jack

    Based in Scotland, regulated in London (or not).

  • mister k

    (reposting because my previous comment is apparently waiting moderation. We shall see if this one survives!)

    Some somewhat sloppy arguments from Nick today. He begins by insisting that Scotland can’t possibly use the pound, then, when John points out that several nations use the dollar without the US’s permission he says they had to stop using it. They did not. He also makes the argument that a nation which does not have control of its own currency is not truly independent. I imagine most countries in the Eurozone would probably disagree!

    I’m not convinced that not having control of ones own currency is a great idea, but being in such a position does not make one non-independent. Scotland (or, I should say, the SNP) apparently wants this, so this is divorced from the question of whether they should be independent or not.

    I’m sure Nick is right about the technical nature of the borders, but I’m also certain John is correct that, in the situation where Scotland becomes an independent nation, England and Scotland will manage a work around.

    Also, from here we have the following quote from the Spanish foreign minister “If Britain’s constitutional order allows – and it seems that it does – Scotland to choose independence, we have nothing to say about this.” But I imagine Nick is more knowledgable about the Spanish’s position on Scotland than Spain’s foreign minister :).

    I have no real horse in this race, but a lot of Nick’s asssertions in this didn’t really strike me as terribly convincing.

  • Geetoo

    The point is that bailing out the banks was in Scottish interests.

  • Iain

    I think Nick is quite spot on about the Independence argument. Most of it is based on empty rhetoric and emotive arguments relating to a Nationalism that is defined in opposition to the English (Braveheartery).

    This amusingly makes the point:

    A currency union can only exist if everyone agrees, you really can’t just demand one is formed.

    Also the argument for wanting a socialist government in Scotland is ludicrous, removing the labour voting block for Westminster would stuff everyone in England and Wales with Tory governments. Great worker’s solidarity that is.

  • Xercies

    By my reckoning we have a Tory government now…even though Scotland voted Labour and always votes Labour. Also even if it did work like that Labour are about the same level as the Tories now so basically your stuck with the Tories either way.

  • IcyBee

    I certainly don’t want to live in “interesting times”. If we divorce it will be too messy to bear.

    It’s a weird debate. Cameron has more to gain from independence and Salmond has more to lose. It’s almost as if each side is trying to throw the referendum.