Referendum Scotland Quotes

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Opinion polls suggested the Scottish referendum on independence on September 18th was now too close to call. The three leaders of Britain’s main political parties rushed to Scotland to urge voters to say no, and offered the promise of new tax and spending powers. Many big companies, including Royal Bank of Scotland, warned that they would move their operations to England if Scots vote to secede from the United Kingdom. Jean-Claude Juncker, the new president of the European Commission, announced
Irrespective of the result of the General Election, I believe it will be possible to argue that Scotland has voted for more democratically accountable control over Scottish affairs. Scotland's inalienable right to self-determination includes the right to decide how to exercise that right. In the General Elections of October 1974, May 1979 and I believe in the forthcoming contest, and in the referendum on the Scotland Act, the Scottish people will have expressed the wish to remain in the United Kingdom, but with a substantial measure of Home Rule. Mrs. Thatcher would have no right to ignore that expression. Repeatedly stated, it would be the clear wish of the majority of the Scottish people. To deny it would be to say that of all the nations of the world today we had no national right to self-determination.
George Galloway (Radical Scotland, April / May 1983)
It may seem strange to call this slow collapse invisible since so much of it is obvious: the deep uncertainties about the union after the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament the following year; the consequent rise of English nationalism; the profound regional inequalities within England itself; the generational divergence of values and aspirations; the undermining of the welfare state and its promise of shared citizenship; the contempt for the poor and vulnerable expressed through austerity; the rise of a sensationally self-indulgent and clownish ruling class. But the collective effects of these inter-related developments seem to have been barely visible within the political mainstream until David Cameron accidentally took the lid off by calling the EU referendum and asked people to endorse the status quo. What we see with the mask pulled back and the fog of fantasies at last beginning to dissipate is the revelation that Brexit is much less about Britain's relationship with the EU than it is about Britain's relationship with itself. It is the projection outwards of an inner turmoil. An archaic political system carried on even while its foundations in a collective sense of belonging were crumbling. Brexit in one way alone has done a real service: it has forced the old system to play out its death throes in public. The spectacle is ugly, but at least it shows that a fissiparous four-nation state cannot be governed without radical social and cconstitutional change.
Fintan O'Toole (Scotland the Brave? Twenty Years of Change and the Future of the Nation)
To this day, the story of Darien is one that divides Scotland. During the 2014 referendum on independence, it became a metaphor for both sides. For the nationalists, a parable of how England had always sought to sabotage and oppress Scottish hopes; for the unionists, a lesson in the dangers of abandoning stability in favour of unrealistic ambitions. As a tale, it lends itself to metaphor. I mean, it’s the story of a country turning away from a political union with its closest geographical trading partners in favour of a fantasy vision of unfettered global influence promoted by free-trade zealots with dreams of empire, who wrapped their vague plans in the rhetoric of aggrieved patriotism while consistently ignoring expert warnings about the practical reality of the situation. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything that could be a metaphor for right now.
Tom Phillips (Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up)
All this is merely internal Labour Party politics of course. And Labour Party politics in opposition at that. The real power of the state, as opposed to the skirmishing line of the establishment which is the Labour right, will be deployed later. We have not yet even seen the forces that were deployed to stop Scotland voting Yes in the referendum. There has been no public statement by the banks and the bosses of the supermarkets, no speech by the Governor of the Bank of England, no moment when the politically neutral Queen ‘lets her views be known’~all of which happened during the referendum campaign. Nor, since a Corbyn led Labour Party is still a long way from government, has there been the kind of moment where the governor of the Bank of England tells a Labour prime minister to dump his economic policy, as Lord Cromer instructed Harold Wilson in the 1960s, or where the IMF imposes austerity, as it did on an all too willing Denis Healy in the late 1976s. Anyone who wants an analysis of how this will all work can still do no better than read two books by Ralph Miliband, Parliamentary Socialism and The State in Capitalist Society. Or to read how the left wing rapture for former Nye Bevan supporter Harold Wilson turned to despair there is no better account than the one written by Paul Foot. For a contemporary example of the same disastrous process we need look no further than the defenestration of Tsipris’ Syriza in Greece. These are endgames, not the immediate prospect of the coming months. But they should warn us that we need to prepare alternatives now and not allow the excitement of current advance to blind us to the real dangers ahead. They should also serve to warn us that if we are to avoid these dangers it will be mass movements and political organisations outside the Labour Party which will play a decisive role.
John Rees
perhaps as profoundly as the original had in 1688.2
Iain Macwhirter (Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won a Referendum but Lost Scotland)