"I am all in favor of the skeptical mind. Do not believe anything unless you have experienced it. Do not believe anything - go on questioning, however long it takes." - Osho

Friday, 6 May 2011

The SNP make me want to hit stuff. ):

Great, just great. A landslide victory for the Scottish National Party in our elections was announced today. I am not overly happy about this, because Alex Salmond is not someone I love and the SNP are not a particularly likeable party. To give them some credit, for anybody that doesn't know- they're in no way involved with the BNP, who are a significantly less likeable party. Just in case you maybe thought they were, like, the Scottish counterpart. 

I just read their manifesto, and they do have a couple of good policies. Loving the free education thing, obviously. No university fees for little old me = yay! On the other hand, their main focus is making Scotland independent. We would fail at independence. I shall now proceed to tell you why... But feel free to tell me why you disagree.

If Scotland was separate from the United Kingdom, it would lose most, if not all, of its political influence in the world. For example, Alex Salmond campaigns for fishing rights, but if Scotland was separate it would have to give in to the European Union and accept the common fisheries policy. Scotland is a small country, with a population of only 5.09million people. This is only 8.5% of Great Britain’s population. There are fears among many Scottish voters and some political parties that Scotland may not be taken seriously as a single independent nation.

Secondly, Scotland cannot afford to become an independent nation. There is a gap between public spending of £40billion and revenue of £27billion raised here. This means that a Scottish government would have to choose between raising our taxes and cutting our public services, neither of which would be beneficial to the people. The truth is that Scotland does receive subsidies from the UK government annually to boost our economic growth. We receive more from the government than we gives to it. The income from oil reserves alone would certainly be insufficient to maintain Scotland’s current growth rate, and as oil is a fossil fuel, the reserves will run out eventually, so we cannot rely on this as our sole income. If we want to climb higher up the economic ladder, an independent Scotland would not help to propel us to greater heights. The integrated British economy is much more capable than an independent Scotland would be of meeting the challenges of globalization. Likewise, having independent defence and security structures in Scotland would put far too much strain on Scotland’s resources. 

AND A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF. <- most intelligent part of my argument.

But I've been distracted, because I've been asked by Teen Skepchick to become a contributor. This makes me incredibly, utterly happy. Also, I should credit my brother- he forwarded my blog on without my knowledge. (= best brother ever)

But yeah. Gimme your opinions on independence people! 


  1. wow? Interesting read thanks! Rather surprising also (not that im well informed when it comes to Scottish politics) Did this SNP say as to why they think Scotland should become independent? And why now?. On a lighter note congrats on the blog its always refreshing to see a teenage sceptic, being one myself we are far to rare! And I hope this site continues! :)

  2. Thanks for the comment first off- and yeah, I know! It's sad that there aren't most of us, but I guess we can just try to convince all of our friends!

    Secondly, The SNP essentially think that Scotland should be independent because other countries are, and they do just fine, thank-you-very-much.

    They argue that if we devolve, it will magically improve our standard of living and our economy, but I can't see any reason why that would be the case.

    And I'm not sure of why they want independence for us now, but I'm guessing it's something to do with a rising number of countries becoming independent in the last century.

    Course, politics is politics, and everyone is entitled to their own view, I just don't think a devolved Scotland would be in the best interests of the people. :)

    Thanks again for reading!

  3. Yea I've gotten two of my mates interested, but they're not crazy about it yet, I'll get'em though, but that's it im afraid ever since i got into science and scepticism pretty much everyone i knew stop having anything to with me, shallow and scared of new things is unfortunately what All! The teenagers in my entire state are like. Sorry to give you my life story but i could rage about most of humanity and there decisions. Anyway the SNP believes magic i don't see anything wrong with that.. HA! All they have to do is quickly skim over your article you wrote and BAM! they'll suddenly spawn a headache cause of how wrong they are im sure their only doing it cause they are ashamed of their penis size, that all politics is!
    Sorry about the rantings, and again nice work so far and if you ever need it id be more than happy to Write or research anything if you need the help ive done a little work online at young Australian sceptics and if you need to no anything when it comes to astronomy or space since I guess that's my feild, id help out as best I can.

  4. You gotta watch when you're broaching the subject with friends- remember, a lot of them will have their sacred cows. Just cos you're super cool and sceptical doesn't mean they are- and their belief in ghosts might be too important for them to let go of straight away. Just be gentle on the subject whilst still remaining sceptical. (:

    Also, would love to talk to you about astronomy/space- I'm really interested in physics, but I just can't get my head around most of it! I'm more of a biology person by nature, I think.

  5. Trust me i was more than careful with what I said, id never bring up anything science/scepticism related, but they still had a problem with it apparently.
    And I reckon I could go for talking to you about it! unfortunately those word are never ushered towards my direction enough, oh yeah! I must admit there have been a few theories/equations were my entire head has started throbbing and numbing trying to wrap my head around them, especially since im not really a genius in the math area.
    Any particular specialty? I wouldn't mind delving into a little bit of marine biology, I love the idea of swimming with all kinds of sea life! But alas I regrettably believe that I've to little time and money to go through both collage and university more than once, but maybe when im older! :S

  6. Ah- in that case, narrow mindedness sucks. ): (On their part, apparently) And cool! I know how you feel about the maths thing- I loathe maths- I'm not bad at it, it just doesn't interest me. But it's a pretty integral part of physics. However, it would be cool to talk about it without going into maths-y detail!

    Awesome! Hey, you live in Australia right? Get thee to the Great Barrier Reef! Apparently the snorkelling there is immense. I've been to Sharm-el-Sheikh, and swam in the Red Sea- the sea life there is amazing. The fish aren't shy at all! I bet you would love it- I don't even like swimming in sea water, and I adored it. One day you'll have the oppurtinity I'm sure!

    And lastly, my particular sceptical interest is actually alternative medicine, including anti-vax. I think it interests me more because it annoys me the most. It often involves harming children and the vulnerable, which really bothers me as they're unable to make their own decisions about healthcare.


  7. I've had the same thoughts about Quebec's separation as you have with Scotland. There are advantages to teamwork, both for people and for "nations", and the close partnership of Scotland and England mirrors that of Quebec and the rest of Canada. It's one thing to want a pride of independence, it's another thing to separate yourself from a powerful friend and ally.

  8. Absolutely. Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to independence for small countries- I just feel like the disadvantages hugely outweigh the benefits. It seems a bit of a false dichotomy that some politicians present to us- "Are you Scottish, or British?" Well, both, to be honest. I would imagine you're presented with a similar problem?

  9. Yes, the problem is quite similar. My mother is from Quebec and while I don't consider myself Quebecois, I still feel like I could be. But many Quebecois don't really consider themselves to be Canadian, or else, they're Canadian second and Quebecois first. But to be honest, it boils down to a matter of nationalistic pride and nothing else (here, anyway) since they are not an oppressed minority and they benefit greatly (sometimes disproportionately) from membership in the Canadian federation.

    The fallacy committed by nationalists here and there is that of putting too much weight in history, or sunk costs. Sure, Scotland was its own nation once, and Quebec wasn't ruled by the English (from England), but what matters is the future. The fact that the Queen of England (who is also the Queen of Canada) rules Quebec is really a cosmetic detail, and the Quebecois need to focus on the goals of the future.

  10. Agreed. I often feel as though the Scottish nationalists' policies boil down to utterly anti-English sentiments.