Friday, August 17, 2007

Telegraph Column: Why Should Only the Scots Have a Vote?

You can read my latest Daily Telegraph column HERE. It argues that the Scottish Conservatives have been shortsighted in opposing a referendum on further devolution and goes on to suggest that David Cameron should adopt a policy of creating a UK wide Constitutional Convention. I'm not sure I will be very popular with CCO in Edinburgh...
I'm typing this at London City Airport, as I'm off to Zurich for the weekend. I'm taking my mother, who is wheelchair bound. Naturally the lift doesn't work, so we can't actually go to Departures! Can't say I am looking forward to her getting on the plane using crutches.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

Zurich? What's the matter? don't you have a gnome to go to? Hope you and yer mum enjoy the trip.

Louise said...

Gaaar, London City. The one airport that makes me nostalgic for Heathrow.

Anonymous said...

When Labour wanted to abolish grammar schools "by the back door" they legislated to allow all parents in a catchment area to vote on abolition (whether or not their children attended the school). The reasoning behind this was based on the premise that a the entire community had a vested interest in the areas education system, therefore everyone should be entitled to express a view.

Surely every resident of the UK has an interest in case for Scottish devolution / home rule as such a decision would not only affect Scotland but the entire nation. Therefore, the same rules should apply.

Bring it on !

Anonymous said...

I agree with your sentiments Iain, at times the Conservative Party appears to be incomprehensible and so inconsistent.

Anonymous said...

Iain writes: "There is a wider issue, too. If the Conservatives had agreed to a Scottish referendum, it would have opened a Pandora's box in England. Those of us who support the concept of an English Parliament would have been in full cry, arguing that what's good enough for Scotland is good enough for England"

Ooh yes, let's wreck the UK, break up Great Britain, destabilise the whole country, disrupt millions of lives and families and so on... all for Mr. Dale's own short-term political convenience.

You little Englanders really need to get it into your heads that England has a Labour government because England voted for one - 2005 figures in England alone:

Lab 286 MPs
Con 193 MPs
LDim 47 MPs

You're not going to achieve your much sought Conservative England even if you do succeed in wrecking and balkanising the United Kingdom. Such ill-informed and thoughtless rabble-rousing is utterly despicable and contemptible.

Try campaigning for the independence of Kent, where you live, instead of fanning the flames of ingnorant, malignant and unmerited prejudice against the Scots.

Hughes Views said...

"Naturally the lift doesn't work" - that's the private sector for you!

All the directors are too busy awarding themselves bonuses and hoping their estates won't have to pay inheritance tax on them ‘cos their kids are a bit too limp-wristed to make their own way in this nasty old world...

Anonymous said...

True Brit said...

You little Englanders really need to get it into your heads that England has a Labour government because England voted for one


According to an analysis based on results from all but two of the seats in England, the Tories won 193 seats in the country and Labour won 285.

But this did not reflect the number of votes cast. The Tories picked up 8,086,306 votes, but Labour had just 8,028,512.

Anonymous said...

true brit,
'You're not going to achieve your much sought Conservative England'

English Local Elections 2007:

Conservative 5315
Lib Dem 2171
Labour 1877

Mountjoy said...

You raise a very important issue, Iain, about who exercises the 'consent' for the ending of the Union, Scots and/or English?

As I observe on my Blog today - - Labour are too busy manoeuvring cronies into the Scots Labour Leadership to even consider these important constitutional issues.

Anonymous said...

I say, kick the Scots out and let us English save 21 billion a year in Handouts to them. Then all the crowing that they have been making that they want to tax themselves will become a real experience.

Anonymous said...

The English don't get to vote in a referendum on Scottish independence.

The Scots don't get to vote in a referendum on English independence.

The Germans don't get to vote in a UK referendum to ratify the European constitution.

The Chinese don't get to vote in a UK referendum on quitting the UN.

I hope this has educated some of the wishful thinkers.

Anonymous said...

True Brit - just who was it who brought in the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament? Which Party is dedicated to a Europe of the Regions? And which Party is loathe to confront the West Lothian Question?

Anonymous said...

Anyone wondering what's really going wrong on the financial markets and the likely disastrous consequences for us here in the UK?

Then read on, but be warned, what's happening is a great deal worse than you ever imagined......

Well, it's several years since I said "It ain't a housing bubble it's a credit bubble!" in these hallowed pages and finally, and by Eris it's been a long wait, that credit bubble has burst.

There was the Tulip Bubble, the Wall Street Bubble, the Canal Stocks Bubble, the Railways Bubble, and the grandaddy of all credit bubbles: the South Seas Bubble. You should all feel very privileged that you've lived through the one credit bubble that's been bigger than all of them and this planet's very first global credit bubble.

Better yet: you've reserved a ringside seat for the denoument and already it promises to be spectacular. yes folks, this is a once in three generations event. This is the only time this will happen in your lifetimes. For the Longwaves and Kondratiev fans around you, the first snow of K-Winte ris starting to fall thick and fast.

How's the show so far? Well, entirely as expected, if a little faster than I'd have thought it would be. Naturally the first hole appeared in mortgage credit since mortgage debt is far and away the largest part of the credit pyramid that's been so carelessly put together over the past couple of decades. Sir Printsalot, Alan Greenspan, must be regretting the day he said that derivatives don't need regulation, because part of the fun in this giant game of pass the parcel is that nobody even knows where those trillion-Dollar parcels of bad debt are. Worse, since it's known that there are more credit default swaps insuring corporate debt than there is corporate debt to insure, we can't even put an upper limit on the actual amount of poison there is still floating in the global financial system. Not unnaturally, pretty much everyone is suspected either of holding some bad paper or of having loans out to someone who is.

Meanwhile, remember that little fuss about how the backroom boys of derivatives trading hired to keep records couldn't keep up with the action and were sometimes weeks behind? Well, we'll get to see how they do when the markets get a little excited. My bet is that they'll fall behind and folks will get even more jumpy when they realise that not only don't they know where the bad stuff is, but they don't know either who's trading in it.

Now of course a normal credit bust would take 16-18 years to play out, though history's largest may take a litte longer. We can't expect this sort of mayhem every day for 18 years. There will be days, weeks,months, even years when things seem to be getting back to "normal", only to fall off a cliff again and catch out the unwary. What I'd expect sooner rather than later is for a gigantic fraud or two to be uncovered. Frauds are easy to hide when everything is booming, but not so easy when folks start nervously counting their money. The great Warren Buffet pointed out that it's only when the tide goes out that we find out who's been swimming naked. Needless to say, when these frauds are discovered, there will be a whole lot more nervousness to go around.

Now of course I've been absent from the prediction game (other than that it was a credit bubble and it would bust) because if we could predict when a bubble would bust we would be overnight billionaires. Worse, it gets quite disheartening to keep knowing that it's going to happen and yet see the monster go on and draw yet more people into its maw. I still believe that we would have had a bust and debt deflation in 2003 if it wasn't for Sir Printsalot and Chopper Ben cutting rates to 1% to prevent the coming debt-deflation. Naturally this simply took a mortgage bubble already on a moonshot and gave it a stardrive. Those guys will yet go down in history as the folks who saved a recession at the cost of a depression.

Still, since we have the above bubbles, plus the 1990's Japanese credit bubble to crib from, let's make some predictions about the general structure of what's comng.

The golden rule of credit bubbles seems to be that whatever assets, or Magic Money Tokens, people use credit to bid up in the bubble, are the main areas of price implosion during the bust. I don't think it's any sort of well-kept secret that the main MMT in this one has been housing. The usual margin on a MMT is 90%, that is people put 10% down and borrow 90%. That was certainly true for Wall Street stocks in 1929 and nothing I've read of the other bubbles indicates them as having been grossly different. Housing in his bubble has been unprecedented in garnering 100% loans and even 110% or 120% for pretty much anyone who could fog a mirror. Even the South Seas Bubble, the previous largest, brought in only one third of the UK population. The Millenium Bubble (Hell, someone has to name it eh? Any better suggestions?) has typically involved 70% of the population of those countries affected (and in the advanced westernised countries, I see only Japan and Germany not taking part). The price of the main MMT's will generall fall between 67% and 90% in the aftermath. This fits well with what happened in Japan and it's what I expect to see happening here.

Another firm rule is that the more debt involved, the more people involved and the longer the bubble goes on, the worse the denoument will be. Remember the old saw:

If you owe the bank a million Dollars, you're in trouble, but

I you owe the bank a billion Dollars then your bank is in trouble?

Well, we've just invented a third line:

If you owe the bank a trillion Dollars, we're ALL in trouble.

So there's no escaping that the general economies are going to hit the skids. Pretty clearly the first hits will be in the financial sector. There are going to be swathes of redundancies in banking, stockbroking, estate agencies, builders and petty much anyone else who's been an intermediary in the game. Worse, since everyone is going to need a svapegoat (nobody blames themselves for their financial stupidity and politicians are adept at finding someone else to blame) some of those folks are going to jail. If you're an estate agent, or a buy to let landlord, then keep your nose clean and your head down. I'm serious: some of you are going to the pokey simply because someone has to. All folks need is some sort of chicanery which will suffice as a charge. An unsympathetic jury is already guaranteed.

Next up, people who've been spending borrowed money for a couple of decades are going to have to relearn how to spend only earned money. That's going to guarantee a decline in retail sales. Worse, once the severity of what's happening becomes apparent folks are going to try to pay down debt and save. This will cut retail even further. In western economies, the amount of retail space now is ten times what it was a decade ago. That all got build for the boom and it's all about to be redeployed back to oher uses. A lot of people who got jobs in retail are going to become redndant, and they're going to have trouble paying their debts. Inevitably this will lead to reposessions and more property on the markets.

Since two-thirds of US and UK economies depend on retail and related (and it's close enough for government work elsewhere too) these economies are going to go into recession. In the UK this is going to produce an immediate and interesting result. A whole bunch of people from outside the Uk are here to earn money to send to their families back home to buy or build a house there. When the recession comes and they can't earn money, they're going to take the plane out to wherever they can. This is going to hit retail again. It's going to hit the tax take and it's going to hit the property rental markets. A great many properties are very suddenly going to find themseves missing tenants. This will drive rents down adn it will produce a large number of landlords racing each other to sell first while there are still any buyers. This will be the point that Charles Mackay called"Devil take the hindmost".

Needless to say, by this point housing prices will be falling. This will ratchet them down further.

In the US, 40% of loans in the past 2 years were subprime, 12% were Alt-A, and 8% were Jumbos. None of those markets are making loans now because the bond investors won't buy 'em. Even if someone can find a creditor ready to take a risk, they're asking 3% per annum on top to compensate them for it. There's a great deal of difference in the affordability of a mortgage at 8% and one at 11%. I figure that based on that, more than half the US mortgage market has been shut down. It's time to ask what price properties will sell at if nobody gets credit and everyonme pays in their own cash. The Japanese found this ou the hard way, and we're now headed implacably to the same question.

In the ratcheting up of property price to income ratios as the mortgage interest rates have been falling, properties have been behaving like a bond where the price acts inversely to the yeild. No doubt at some point the central banks would like to cut the mortgage rate to try to head off the carnage. However what the last fortnight showed is that it's not the central banks who decide mortgage rates, and it's not the "lenders" either. Nope, tha pass was sold as long ago as 1998, it's just taken folks this long to notice. Last week US Treasury rates fell as folks sought security. Those are the rates the central banks can affect. However mortgage rates actually rose while Treasury rateswere falling. The bondholders discovered that they control the mortgage rate by setting the price at which they'll buy mortgage-backed bonds and the CDOs based on them, if hey'll buy any at all, which is becoming a less academic question by the day. If property acts like a bond, then as the bondholders raise the interest rate on mortgages, properties must fall in price in response. I estimate that for every percentage point on the rate, prices will fall around ten percent. If the risk premium is to be three percent, we're loking at a 30% fall from the getgo, though due to erosion of availability of credit, I expect things to eventually go much furthe than that. This is the only time in history that credit has been available to everyone, and by the time we're through, I don't think anyone on the planet will be looking to repeat the experiment. Not lender, and certainly not buyer.

Another lesson from credit bubbles past is that they end in "revulsion" (Kindleberger's term I think). Those whose financial lives have been destroyed by debt will refuse ever to countenance taking it again in their lives, which is fine because there essentially won't be any offered anyway - revulsion happens to those creditors who lost their all too. Also, they'll teach their kids not to take on debt. Those kids will grow up and teach their kids the same thing but with the bust becoming history, they'll probably take it out for serious purposes. Their kids will see it as ridiculously old and fogey to be scared of debt and sooner or later they'll find their Magic Money Token. It could be a flower bulb (I know of six flower bulb bubbles in history) or maybe flying cars or AI chips, but there will be one, and the credit cycle will be complete. The only real certainty is that it won't be housing. The token always changes.

So what will the central banks do? Well, they'll try to stop a deflation. That's the reverse of inflation. Cash under the bed becomes more valuable over time. The effective value of debt rises because the money it takes to pay it back becomes more valuable. If enough deflation happens, then wages start to fall. f they don't, as in the 1930's in the uS, then mass redundancies happen and that has even worse implications for turnng the financial screw tighter. As folks wages fall, it gets harder for them to pay their oustanding debts and more defaults happen. That affects debt paper. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The central banks will try more of what they're doing now: printing money and showering it liberally upon the economy. Chopper Ben got his name for a 2003 paper on how to stop a deflation by throwing cash out of helicopters.

There are a couple of problems with the idea though. First, you have to shower ever more money out of the helicopters to keep things going and keeping them going will make any eventual burst worse. Eventually the amount of cash needing rained down is going to be enough that you don't have enough helicopters. Remember those pictures of wheelbarrows in post WWI Germany? That's the end of that story. Eventually people repudiate the currency, as they did in the Mississippi Bubble in France, and run to gold. Needless to say, that's even worse than a deflation. The Japanese tried this. It failed because folks took their cheques from the central bank and duly put them in the bank or paid down debt with them. Paying down debt doesn't cause as much extra deflation as defaulting on debt, but it does cause some.

The second problem is that the more usual way for central banks to shower people with money is to let them borrow it at ultra cheap rates. The Japanese cut heir base rates to zero for a decade (they've only just raised them to half a percent in the last month and some folks think that's too much). Japanese house prices still fell 50% to 90% and the deflation still went gaily on. You can offer people cheap loans, but if the last thing they ever want to see again in their lives is a loan, then it just ain't gonna help.

What might happen with all this money printing is that inflation will rise. Then the bondholders will simply raise their interest rates to compensate them for the inflation risk and property prices will take another large step down.

I expect the central bankers to try it though, so we'll get an inflation, then a deflation, which will almost certainly destroy mre people's wealth than if we cut out the middleman and go straight for the deflation. The great thing about deflation is that it's self-curing. Once the price of money and assets returns to a sustainable level then it stops. Sure, that's likely to see property. art, vintage cars, collectibles etc drop 90% or so in value, but in fact it will be a good thin g that people don't have to go into hock their whole lives to get a roof over their heads. Sure, some people with current mortgages will be in debt for the rest of their natural, but more and more they'll find that their neighbours won't. It will be a far healthier society.

Remember the end of the 1989 housing bubble (interesting that housing bubbes are 18 years in length in the UK, we now have a housing bubble and credit bubble peaking, and busting, at the same time - exciting or what?) where prices fell 50% in real terms but only 25% in nominal terms? That was because we got 25% inflation over the 4-5 years of the bust and that sheltered nominal prices from a larger fall. In a deflation though, nominal prices fall further than real prices because the effect is reversed. Thus a 50% fall in real prices again, plus a 40% deflation (say over 18 years that's not a huge amount per year) and you get a 90% all in nominal values for houses only going down 3% per annum in a 2% deflation.

So enough of the economics. What else will change? There's the famous Hemline Indicator where hemlines go up in good times and down in bad. We can safely assume that they'll be going down and sadly we'll see the demise of the bare midriff and other forms of fleshly exposure. Modesty will make a comeback. People will be more worried about keeping their jobs and social conservatism and conformity will return. People will have less money and so will move from expensive to cheaper pursuits. They'll move away from reality TV to escapism and fantasy (the Potter mania may be an early indication). Romance, Westerns, SF and Fantasy and so on will be back in vogue. People don't like reality when it's grim and want to get away from it in their leisure time. People will mend and make do rather than junk stuff when it's broken. They'll also speak to their neighbours again. People need to know there are other people to help when they're in trouble and so individualism will wane.

In short, times will change, but not all the changes will be bad ones.

Certainly the future just got a lot more interesting and as I said, you have a ringside seat for the most spectacular financial event in this planet's history.

Mulligan said...

Thank you True Brit for reminding us how much the electoral system is skewed towards Labour, since more of us "Little Englanders" (funny how that seems an acceptable term to people who get very offended about similar labels attached to non Englanders BTW) voted Tory than Labour.

Anonymous said...

Well said anon 12:28

if the English have a referendum on leaving the UK union only the English vote.
If any state wants to leave the European union only that state votes not all members.

Can I encourage the Engish to try to be as good as the French or the Germans who can govern themselves without any help from the Scots..or indeed the Irish...

The future is bright the future is an independent England :-)

ps I hope your mother enjoys Switzerland ...let her know in future she won't have to cross the seas to try another proper nation:-)
vive la differance

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you were on crutches

Anonymous said...

What about consulting Scots resident in England? Like me, and a dozen people I know.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

A fascinating piece, grim truth, evern though I didn't grasp all of it.

I am inclined to agree with the bits I do understand, particularly the "pass the parcel" form of speculation. Open the parcel at your peril to find it is not full of diamonds but old pants.

One has to be on very good drugs not to realise that there is a bubble and it is a big one and a lot of little people, who are already buying their groceries with master cards will get burned and lose their jobs and then their homes.

I realised this some time ago and spend only what I have. My stereo is old, my computer wont burn disks and my car is 16 years old. I shop at Lidl.

If there are other people like me, who have cut their cloth in recent times, it has got to have an impact.

I wonder how many on here are doing the same?

Anonymous said...

Why is the plane using crutches?

Roger Thornhill said...

Tricky things secessions. If you allow England to vote, you would also come under (irrational) pressure to allow China to vote in Tibetean independence.

How about if Scotland, NI and Wales secede from the UK into the EU by signing the damned Treaty?

England can then remain IN the UK of One and OUTSIDE the EU Nation.

Jim said...

Spot on True Brit

“”Ooh yes, let's wreck the UK, break up Great Britain, destabilise the whole country, disrupt millions of lives and families and so on... all for Mr. Dale's own short-term political convenience”””

Another thing these short term Tories don’t realise is that if the UK is broken up we will need to get rid of the monarchy. You can hardly have a Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh or the Queen as head of state, if the state no longer exists.

The Hitch said...

Have a nice trip
There have been many ocassions when I have felt like taking my own mother to Geneva , Unfortunately she will never sign the Dignitas forms.
Seeing as how the Conservatives are now commited to abolishing inheritance tax perhaps you should wait?

Anonymous said...

Doh, the Queen is first of all Queen of England, both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have other titles which could be used - by what possible reasoning would Scottish Independence stop us having a monarchy in England?

Seems to me a vote on Scottish Independence should be given to all those on the electoral roll there, regardless of country of origin, and no - those Scots who live in England permanently should not have a vote on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Such a lot of frightened people!

Let the people decide. Surely that is the basis of true democracy.

WHY should a bunch of politicians, with hardly any experience of life outside that place, hold us all to ransom?

Scotland should be allowed self determination as should Wales and Northern Ireland.IF that is what the people of those countries want!

England, likewise, should determine what path it wishes to travel.

Such fear, as expressed by
roger thornhill, makes me wonder just what he really believes in!

Iain got it absolutely right in his article and should be congratulated.

He certainly got it wrong going to London City Airport. I hope his Mother forgives him.

Drew said...

We can't have a UK run by so-called "Celtic" racists. Gosh, there are some bigoted views on here, aren't there?

Down with health apartheid, correct the maritime boundary and away with Scotland, Wales - and Cornwall too - if it really desires it.

These countries (and county) argue illogically (Cornwall and Wales were NEVER nations, for instance), and are quite happy to see the most appalling things happening in England. And before somebody trots out the Scots Poll Tax myth, let me remind them that George Younger, Scottish Secretary, introduced it a year early in Scotland, NOT English MPs.

England is a complex, cosmopolitan nation which needs proper care and attention.

We cannot have this absurdly elitist situation, based on hatred and delusions of ethnic purity in the "Celtic" fringe continuing.

Anonymous said...

Scots living outside Scotland have no right to decide Scotland's future when they are not part of it s present
however Englsih living in Scotland can vote on Scotland's future esp as many of them have joined or vote SNP :-) :-)

Anonymous said...

Judith you make a fascinating but perhaps wrong assertion
The Queen is not first and foremost Queen of England.
{It is probably academic as SNP are only talking of the 1707 parlaimentary Union rather than the 1603 crown union - the diff in which every good Brit knows nothing about:-)}

In 1602 the English monarchy died out with Elizabeth I of England- which is why current Queen is actually Elizabeth I too (of the union) -
Anyway the English Crown then passed to the Scots Monarch James VI who became, James I of the Union
Thus there is a legal argument that says any treaties etc the UK has signed up to through the crown (which is all of them)that Scotland is the lead in this if ever there is a and end to the 1603 union which there prob won't be
but things may also be affected the 1707 union ending which will happen certainly within the next decade .

That is why the SNP have graciously decided to keep the 1603 union as we do not want England again to scour their neighbours for a monarch as happened 400 years ago -- you might have to get a guy stavros or philip from greece :-)
- now that is only gentle fun with you sassenachs so do NOT get upset

all the best
friendly braveheart

Anonymous said...

The Scottish Tories were pretty stupid to allow themselves to be roped in by Labour .

I don't really care much anymore what happens north of the border .
What happnes in England is paramount a
and we need what they have

ie English self rule

and fiscal independence .

Anonymous said...

Dear Grim truth,

I try to simplify where I can because it helps to digest geat posts like yours, so here is my simple take on it.

Boom and busts when they happen on a regular cycle is like a safety valve on a steam engine, as the pressure gets to a certain level the valve will ease the pressure to a safe level. Now if the valve is stuck then the pressure will increase untill the boiler explodes! So what Gordon Brown has done is sabotage the valve to get more pressure in the short term to power his engine and to hell with the consequences! Am I right so far? So the upshot is that far from being a bad thing in itself a mini boom bust cycle is a healthy and regulating economic thing. More like you would prune a rose bush to ensure its health?
Please forgive me for simplifying your complex post!

Anonymous said...

friendly braveheart...

This is not just about Scottish independence, but about the British union as a whole.

A lot of Scots consider themselves to be British as well as Scottish. Many of the live in England, are married to English born citizens but may want to come back to live in Scotland and still have strong family connections. Are you saying our views on our identity should be disregarded? Seems unfair.

UK expats in Spain can vote in British elections. French citizens living in the UK voted in the recent French elections...

If Scotland did go for independence where does it place people like me? I don't want to chose between being Scottish or English. I want to stay as I was born i.e. British.

Tapestry said...

England shares a Queen with friendly braveheart on equal terms. That is by popular demand on both sides of the border. The Monarchy is a truly unifying force.

No wonder the BBC want to get rid of it, so that Beeboids can divide and rule Scotland and England unchallenged at last on behalf of their EUSR masters.

There must be referendums or referenda (what case is it Boy?) on the Scottish and the English and the British questions - the Union, English Parliament and the EUSR Constitution.

The time for refrenda has come. Someone tell Goldie. The Beeboids must not win.

Chris said...

"friendly Braveheart"

Are you referring to your own "sassenachs" in Lowland Scotland as well as those in England? Leave out ethnicities, dear. It's inaccurate and outdated.

Gentle fun? You can across as being hidebound and faintly racist (racism CAN be on grounds of nationality, according to the CRE), with more than a whiff of anti-English bigotry.

English and Scottish are nationalities not pure ethnicities.

For instance, my mother is Scots, but I am English.

Grow up. Move on. You might even enjoy the experience.

Tartan Hero said...

This isn't rocket science. If England (and Wales) wish to vote for an end to the Act of Union, then you can do that any time. You don't need Scotland's permission. Get off yer butts and do something about it.

Anonymous said...

This Union is toast, get over it.

David Lindsay said...

The United Kingdom is my country, and no one has the right to take it away from me. Simply in point of fact, it contains no state except itself. How dare anyone try and hive of a third of its area and a sixth of its population without my consent!

Anonymous said...

Good article in DT Iain. I've always thought that the second chamber- currently the Lords- should be a federal UK chamber. The Commons would revert to being the English Parliament.

Our UK PM would then sit in the Upper House.

Anonymous said...

Um, the English monarchy did not die out with the demise of Elizabeth l, just the House of Tudor in the direct line came to a halt. The Scots King James was related to Elizabeth both through his mother and his father, so was chosen as the most suitable heir to the English throne, an opportunity which James not unnaturally grabbed with both hands and not a backward glance. That it would also bring peace between England and Scotland was a laudable, and successful, objective.

Tapestry said...

grim truth.

The Japan bubbe saw property prices rise in price sevenfold before it broke. Property in the west has doubled near enough so is not in the same league. asset prices have gone ahead of themselves and need a correction. so what. food on the table? good.

Anonymous said...

well Chris Abbott many apologies for rough edges in my last addition

I understand where you are coming from but there are nuances on the 2 points
First you can be British and Scottish .. Britain is only one island and thus as the norwegians are scandinavian you can be scottish and british.
on expats voting they will so long as they are registered at scottish constituencies it is quite simple.

Britain will always continue is nothing internationally at the moment only the largest geographical entity of the UK. In future it may host best part of 2 or three nation states???

British is of course shorthand for UK subjects as American is for US citizens although arguable Argentinians Candians Mexicans are also Americans??

Anonymous said...

and to continue the attempt was made by the English parliament to end the house of Stuart by beheading Charles I (who was also scottish head of state)...luckily after Cromwell Charles II returned through English civil was and covanteer war. a

nyway that was distraction

of course the King of Scots wanted to take over England as well, as the wealth of Kings unlike nations is based on the size of the unit he controls.

today we live in more democratic times and as the Rep of Ireland and Norway shows there are more efficient units to organise ourselves into
all the best

The Huntsman said...

But what is an Englishman and what is a Scotsman?

I have just written a letter to the First Minister on the issue of Nationality (and the absence of any mention of it in the White Paper)and how the issue is one of importance, not just concerning the fleeting moment of a referendum and the right to vote thereon but as a long-term issue affecting the status and rights of millions of people with Scots origins and (in my case) connections.

In it I challenge him to say if we can have a vote in his referendum or not.

See for the letter in full

Anonymous said...

Am I missing somthing here? The Union is just that, a union! Scotland is not a subject state or a colony however much the SNP would like us to think it is! Both Scotland AND england came together to create a partnership. Now if one party wants to end a partnership dont both parties have a say?
I fully support a free and independent Scotland just as Isupport a free and independent England BUT Great Britain is made up of more than two nations isnt it?
This thing about only the Scots are allowed a vote makes me uneasy!
Think of the border regions and the Islands? What if they wish to join with England or vice versa? Would Alex Salmond Force unwilling English borderers to be Scots? That would be a recipe for an IRA type struggle!
NO there are some very tricky issues to be looked at and it wont help if the vote is only for one side.

Anonymous said...

English democrat
but large swathes of England particularly the border regions may wish to be governed from Scotland who knows
but they cannot
what makes a person english scotttish or indeed pakistani does not matter ..those who live in Scotland and currently eligible to vote in Scot parliament can vote for Scottish independence..
For the Englsih clearly f they wish a referendum to end the union that is there perogative and nothing to do with the Scots
a union is between parners if as in the UK union (unlike the Euro Union) it'll come to an end surely when at least one part desires it

when canada ireland australia india left the empire did the othewr partners have a say course not
as Parnell said no one can put boundaries on the advance of a nation ..or some such :-)

Anonymous said...

to save bothering the first minster who is busy improving Scotland :-)-- but other the chaps in Downing strret before they start another illegal war of aggression if you like :-)

if you live in Scotland and/or are registered in a Scottish

Anonymous said...

to contine :-) oops

if you live in Scotland and/or are registered in a Scottish constituency you can vote
if not you can't
-- nationality/nationalities ethnicity does not matter -
it is an open and shut case

Anonymous said...

The United Kingdom is my country, and no one has the right to take it away from me
david Lindsay
..the seed of intolerance ???

Anonymous said...

tapestry: that's a pretty feeble, and innacurate, riposte you made to an excellent post by grim truth. Sounds like you're worried by something. Over exposed to the equity markets perhaps, or have you just bought yourself a new house?

Never mind, it's only money.

Roger Thornhill said...

Anon, 3:10pm: Such fear, as expressed by roger thornhill, makes me wonder just what he really believes in!

What a perverse inversion. No fear, anon, none at all. No surprise you do not know what I believe!

If Scotland wants to detach, then so it shall (regrettably, like a departing cousin), but let it take the EU with it and leave England in peace and Independence.

If you want to know what I believe (if you are unable to work that out), then it is that the Treaty is an act of secession FROM the UK and TO the EU. Further, I believe the best way to keep someone in a room is to leave the door open. If Scotland wants to leave, then so be it, but I for one would not slam the door shut after it, but hope that it fares well, but if it does not and realises, to have it back.

Anonymous said...

Dear Roger

Isn't dublin just mad on being ruled from London again with their higher GDP per capita :-)

Home Rule for England said...

As an English nationalist I'm not interested in voting on Scotland's independence anymore than I am interested in voting in France's internal affairs. I would however like a vote on England's independence. 60% of the people of England want out of the Union with Scotland, but that wouldn't suit Westminster politicians so they ignore the issue.

David Lindsay said...

Yes, Grateposter, I certainly AM intolerant of those who wish to alter the contours of my country without my consent. Aren't you? If not, why not?

And for whom is the Unionist majority in Scotland supposed to vote, now that, with Labour's climb-down on devolution as a "process" (with only one possible conclusion), Scotland has four separatist parties out of four?