In 1979 a referendum was held in Scotland to determine whether the Scottish people should have a devolved Scottish Assembly, i.e. home rule.
51.62% voted in favour, with 48.38% voting against.
However, a late (and insidious) amendment to the passage of the Scotland Act 1978 through the UK Parliament (introduced by the Labour MP George Cunningham – who was strongly opposed to Scottish devolution), required the approval of the referendum to be by at least 40% of Scotland’s registered electorate.
So… even although 1,230,937 people voted in favour of devolution and only 1,153,500 voted against – a majority of around 77,400 voting in favour of devolved powers – the democratic will of the Scottish people was denied. This was because the total in favour only represented 32.9% of the registered electorate.
A more blatant infringement of the concept of democracy is hard to imagine (the majority loses, the minority wins). It’s political interference at a level that would be admired by any modern day dictatorship…
On Monday evening, David Cameron held a reception for around 100 business leaders at Downing Street. At that meeting he issued a “call to arms” to encourage these people to speak out against Scottish independence.
According to the Financial Times, he invoked Britain’s defeat of Hitler in the second world war as he emphasised the need to fight to keep the UK together. That’s how desperate he has become.
The business leaders, led by Ian Cheshire – Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc (which includes B&Q and Screwfix) – will be issuing a joint letter warning of higher business costs and threatening “economic consequences” should Scotland vote “Yes” to independence. So it’s business as usual as the Better Together squad steps up its campaign of fear, bullying and intimidation.
As for the banks, a senior banker told the Financial Times that there had been “pressure from the Treasury on the Scotland-based banks to publicly announce plans to move their domicile to London in the event of a Yes vote.” The banker said the Treasury wanted something said before the vote. And they duly obliged.
But the Scottish electorate must be getting a bit tired of the increasingly shrill threats and fear stories emanating from these people in positions of power and influence (i.e. the usual suspects, such as David Nish of Standard Life and Richard Branson of Virgin).
John Lewis is allegedly going to put up its prices in Scotland if people vote “Yes” for independence. Well, here’s some news for their Chief Executive, Charlie Mayfield: The people of Scotland will not be taken in by these puerile and impotent threats. It’s not just about money. No matter how much you threaten to put up your prices, Independence for Scotland is a price worth paying…
Norway discovered oil in the North Sea at the same time as Scotland.
Norway’s oil fund is currently worth around £500 billion. Scotland’s oil fund is zero.
The Darlings of the Better Together campaign repeatedly downplay the benefit of oil to the economy of an independent Scotland. But North Sea Oil revenue has continued to play a very important part in balancing the budgets (not to mention the balance of payments) for people such as Gordon Brown (and many other past and present UK Chancellors of the Exchequer, e.g. Alistair Darling, George Osborne, etc).
Things could have been very different for Scotland – if only the truth had been known in the 1970s and the public hadn’t been duped…
It’s time for a revolution in the living room. And Google’s Chromecast is the device that’s going to do it.
The innovatory new streaming stick is going to change your TV viewing habits forever.
No longer do you have to be subjected to the homogenised, over-priced, mass-market drivel that TV broadcasters think you should watch. Instead, you will now be able to choose your own content: what you want – when you want.
With the release of the Chromecast in the UK (19 March 2014), this means that it’s finally time to ditch the dish and cut the cable…