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if it's first shown that at no point prior to its discover did Scotland ever rely on its position in the UK to shore it up economically.
Years ago Europe was a vast collection of tiny states that banded together to form big countries because it was economically better.
I'm sure London could be a lot richer overall if it had declared itself a separate state at the right time but maybe it's better if we all work together for a common good.
...as long as London gets to ultimately be in charge of the British Isles?
>"Years ago Europe was a vast collection of tiny states that banded together to form big countries because it was economically better."
This is very close to a simple big=better argument. How big is best? Netherlands/Denmark/Finland big? Or Germany/France/Italy big? As for the much derided 'arc of prosperity' thing, aside from the carping about Iceland is a bit of a unique case (who were subjected to UK anti-terror laws for economic reasons), and to a lesser extent Ireland (big cuts, but bearing up), Norway seems to be holding up fairly well - so it's not all doom and gloom. Greece/Portugal/Spain on the other hand...
And before we start pointing at RBS/HBoS as some evidence of Scottish financial imprudence, they were/are multinantional banks run under UK regulation rather than some kind of representative provincial setup.
Scotland may well have benefitted in some ways over the years. But it has definitely pulled it's weight in others. And England (Wales was subsumed well before modern nation states took hold) wouldn't have entered into a Union 300 years ago if it wasn't seen as being in it's interests in some way. Today though, there's no real debt of gratitue due from or to either side.
Different basis for a legal system, different schools system, different NHS setup, many devolved economic and social issues. If we're not going the whole hog and having full fiscal autonomy up here, then you need to be having an English parliament down there.
But this isn't just a political/economic ideology thing...
There were rumblings of re-building the national football stadium outside of London. That was never ever gonna happen.
This new high-speed rail link? London to Birmingham first (if it ever happens). And then, maybe, on to Manchester/Leeds. Then, when that's done, maybe on to Glasgow/Edinburgh. Maybe in my lifetime.
"But look at London's population" folk will cry. "Of course stuff should be based there". Chicken/Egg?
>"I'm sure London could be a lot richer overall if it had declared itself a separate state at the right time but maybe it's better if we all work together for a common good."
I'd be happy to see the south-east annexed. London's dominance of the south-east, and in turn, the rest of the UK is disproportionate and debilatating. I'm not rabidly pro-Scottish independence - I'd be happy to draw a line from the Wash to the Severn and have done with it that way.
Your anti-London feelings are getting the better of you. I don't really agree that London 'dominates' anything beyond the existence Parliament there. It certainly contributes more to the rest of the country in terms of the taxes it raises so in a sense it's subsidizing the rest of the UK.
Businesses have been leaving London to be based elsewhere for years no: this isn't the 80s any more.
You seem to have completely misunderstood my comment about the North Sea oil, which is merely that it's a red herring to talk about because it's essentially drawing your goalposts and saying, "Hey at this time it would have been a great idea economically autonomous," while if you took it back another 50 years it probably wouldn't have been.
I don't know much about the rebuilding of Wembley and the economics / ease of use for fans involved. I'm going to assume you haven't the first clue either and are just grandstanding against London, but feel free to prove me wrong :D.
As far as high-speed rail links, isn't London to Manchester the first, courtesy of Virgin? Presumably that takes in Brum already and will now be increased to include Glasgow. Thanks to Major we don't really have a nationalised rail system so I'm guessing this isn't really anything to do with London vs. Scotland and more about the demand for such a service and money. Again, I don't see why Scotland being separate nation again would result in an immediate high-speed rail link in and around the country.
>"scotland gets more per capita than north west england, despite being richer."
London gets more per capita than everywhere, despite being richer. And...? That statement alone needs some serious backup.
>"RBS...as england's fault"
I never claimed that. It was at least a UK prob. And (arguably) beyond that a world banking prob.
>"SNP would certainly have copied the icelandic and irish models so RBS would have happened anyway."
A bold claim indeed. Too many factors and suppositions involved for it to be possible to prove that claim.
>"the economic engine of this country"
Another bold claim. Certainly not per capita. More so when you remove the banking game.
>"if london were to do what so many scots want to do and become independent, the rest of the UK would be fucked."
I was being flippant.
>"linking birmingham (and then other cities across the uk) to the economic engine of london is a bad thing??"
Not bad, just that it's another self fulfilling chicken/egg thing.
>"would it be better to link up birmingham to barrow or somewhere?"
We need a high speed Cromer to Kings Lynn canal and we need it now.
It was on Radio 4 recently. It was certainly a bit below NI and it was above the rest of England. Not sure about Wales or Scotland, but given 70% of the Welsh economy is based on Government jobs it's probably high over there.
The point was then made that while less was spent per head in the rest of England, all those areas were councils running at a loss, propped up by London's profits.
London gets more spending per head than Scotland.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/why-the-figures-peddled-by-scotland-s-critics-don-t-add-up-1.868293 (from 2007, so, pre-crash, but the thrust of the article still stands). Yes, London contibutes plenty cos of banking, etc. But the oil revenue from Scotland ain't to be sniffed at.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/why-the-figures-peddled-by-scotland-s-critics-don-t-add-up-1.868293 (to be read with with the caveats mentioned) quotes some figures:
Here's a sample (not the most favourable, but one of the bluntest):
> "Total "identifiable" spending in Scotland came to £41.7bn in 2005-06, including the £22.7bn spent by the devolved Scottish Government, [compared] with £344.7bn for England."
- That's 12% of the England total, for an population that's 10% of England's. Hardly a massive exercise in sponging when you take into account the disparity in the geographical situation of the two areas.
It goes on to say that:
> "There are other funds that are a bit trickier, with "non-identifiable" spending - money that is hard to pin down to one part of the country or another."
- Which maybe brings us to the London-centric spending you mentioned. I'm not convinced that it's healthy for the UK to have such a disproportionate balance of power and population all in one corner. That sentiment applies with the North of England, Wales, the South West, and the Midlands in mind, as much as just Scotland.
[some of this is copypasta from a previous thread, but generic age-old questioning can usually be dealt with using generic age-old answers]
It's more of a shorthand for the wider problem of political power within the UK.
Wembley - assume I don't have the first clue either if you wish. But I was living in Brum at the time and there were (allegedly) serious discussions about various non-wembley locations (e.g. Coventry & Brum) that were definitely much much cheaper and arguably more appropriate in terms of transport issues. Would it really have cost three quarters of a billion pounds to build it anywhere but London? Again, it's just one example. Here's a summary: http://www.wsc.co.uk/content/view/3090/29/
HSR - there's nothing whatsoever to say it'd be a Virgin thing, is there? I thought it was intended as a UK gov led consortium. An independent Scotland would obviously not result in an immediate high-speed rail link in and around the country. But, again, it's an other example of London-led thinking. Yes, population densities might be the argument for the first phase to be LDN->Brum. But that's equally a reason to not do it there. Some reports show that existing rail usage, land prices and the potential for economic (re)generation might mean that Brum->Mcr, Mcr->Gla, or Leeds->N'castle->Ed might be the more forward thinking option. All this is early days speculative rumination. But I'm willing to make a sizeable bet that any HSR project will be linked to London in the first phase.
it's that the disparity in the UK between it's major economic centre and every. other. city. in the country. LDN seems to be like some kind of vortex for attention and central government funds. I don't deny that I bang on about this, but blind LDN-centric thinking on so many levels seems to be so exasperatingly apparent from the outside.
Brings a tear to the eye... *stands, puts hand on heart and belts out the national anthem* ;-)
You know what I'm saying, I overplay it, you keep me in check, I'm played out on this one for today, job done, I'm leaving it there.
As I've repeated elsewhere, I've not been gunning for any equal billing alongside the big 3 for Salmond - that would be daft. And I think getting legal has been to take things a step too far.
I think UKIPs claim is potentially more interesting, because they're standing for hunners of seats. But obviously a cut-off point has to be applied, and any sensible on will not include UKIP in any major way either.
I think it could've/would've been interesting to see the minor parties get a more formal right to reply sesh as part of the debate, rather than the quick soundbite to camera thing they've done so far. Dunno, mebbes the Beeb will pull something out of the bag. It's odds on to be done better than the ITV and Sky efforts.
But if you want to substantiate your claims, feel free to root around at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ and at least do it with some authority on your side.
Sorry, but it isn't.
This is probably because fans see Birmingham as the best option for transport, but in fact it’s this issue that is one of the bid’s major downfalls. It asserts that 80 per cent of the spectators would come by road, whereas at Wembley roughly the same percentage use public transport. As well as making a nonsense of Bir mingham’s claims to be environmentally acceptable, stadium expert Simon Inglis adds: “It could take an hour and a half just to get into your car, never mind get out of the car park. On the transport issue alone Birm ingham’s bid is unsustainable.”
That implies Birmingham wasn't more appropriate. Moreover it's clear that the Government left the decision down to the FA. Not a lot can be done.
As to High Speed Rail: I think we're talking at cross purposes. Virgin already put in a HSR link between London and Manchester, did they not, including the Pendolino trains? I think it shaved the times down significantly and the only thing that's held it up are external factors, like when I was on one coming down from Manchester one Sunday that took about 3 hours but about an hour of that was waiting around in sidings due to it running too fast for the Sunday schedule combined with the rail works.
While it's nice to imagine a high speed rail link everywhere, this country as a whole has spent far too many years running down the railways and making them cost too much for it to be anything that can arrive easily within our lifetimes. It's completely low priority compared to the fact that the whole UK is rapidly approaching being a place that doesn't make anything at all and is going to collapse, surely?
Yup, I know what the claims were re: transport. I chose not to pick selective quotes in the interests of clarity. Transport is one part of a proposal, and one part that could potentially be solved by infrastructure upgrades. It's that chicken/egg thing again. The Government (via various bodies) put a massive wodge of cash into the project, so it'd be surprising if they "left the decision down to the FA".
HSR - I'm talking about the proposed new network, not the improvements to existing lines. It's been discussed for yonks, and likely to involve the best part of a decade of planning before a digger rolls up on site. 'That's-not-so-high-speed', har har har, etc.
Whilst there were some severe cuts on rail spending for a long time, it's been on the up over the past 10 years. The downward trend has been halted. We should support a full scale revival for a whole slew of reasons.
I like the dark humour of your last sentence. There was a prog on the other day about the Brit engineered tilting trains that were trialed in the 80s. Apparently there were a few teething problems that the media blew totally out of proportion. Legend has it that it was in no small part due to the fact that the journos had got trollied the night before and the minor niggles with passengers detecting tilt were amplified somewhat by their sore heads. And that, largely, was that. And 20 odd years later Virgin use trains made on the Continent.
You said when posting that link, "...arguably more appropriate in terms of transport issues." That's why I questioned it. And y'know, there's barely anything in there that implies it would have been better, it's mostly pointing out that Brum didn't get a fair hearing. I'm willing to accept the FA's decision was clearly biased but I don't think it feels like they necessarily made the wrong decision (also see colinzeal's post below).
I know all about the ATS trains of which you talk - I remember them being all over the news. I've never been entirely convinced by the whole conspiracy theory. As I remember, they spent a LOT of money all through the 70s trying to make those rolling trains and failing. And the whole time it was a case of "Hey, we're almost there..." to the point where it was considered they had to cut their losses. Maybe it would have worked and maybe it wouldn't.
I would support a full scale upheaval of the railways but probably the reason there's been so much funding pumped in is because the cost is so PHENOMENALLY HIGH. It's actually unbelievable the sort of prices you can pay.
I was saying I didn't try to (to deliberately gloss over the obvious issues involved), and instead just linked the article.
I'm not gonna claim a conspiracy on the old-skool trains front either. Just liked the (assumed implied) dark humour of your last sentence.
had fucking awful public transport links compared to those *already in place* at Wembley - there's no substitute for three tube lines and two national rail services within a mile of the ground. Also consider the fact that the land at Wembley was already available and effectively paid for and the lack of gurantee of any income from development of the old site - it'd have been another long planning process.
- Brownfield > Greenfield.
- Coventry had no business plan/commerical funding or even a costed design for the stadium.
- Projected income was far higher for Wembley (partly because of the history associated with the name).
In terms of pure geography, yes the Midlands would have been preferable, but economically, environmentally and from the point of view of transport it simply didn't make sense.
They can't be meaning they should be on the whole debate because they don't have anything to do with Wales, NI or England.
So were they suggesting that the debates with the three leaders only should be only shown in England and then extra debates should happen for the other regions?
which is nonsense.
featuring Charles Clarke among others.
The audience were asking questions and shouting: one man was shaking with rage about how bad the A11 was. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.
Is the A11 worse than the A14 though? And are either worse than the Guided Bus Fiasco?
I don't understand the whole 'guided bus' thing. Why not just make it a dedicated road for buses? You clearly still need a driver so what does it gain by having this guidance thing? Also they could just have all the old bendy buses from London for cheap win-win.
I think the idea is that the guided buses are quicker as you can drive faster without compromising safety. it's a massive fail on behalf of the council though and massively unpopular. with the money they've spent so far, they could have reopened the old train line from huntingdon to cambridge.
(blah blah blah partridge-esque bollocks)
That's insane. Surely the cost of rolling stock and specialisation required to run a railway must be an order of magnitude greater than what it should cost to get a few buses and some HGV drivers?
with a guided bus-lane. Very useful when you're converting a disused railway or having to buy land to build it.
I saw it mentioned on the BBC website. wish I'd seen this :'(
Had the deputy leader of UKIP shaking his head vigorously a lot too, but he was only important enough to sit in the audience :)
they were just asking to be represented in some form during the debate. Something more than just a quick soundbite as a response.
Which doesn't seem too outrageous.
They were renamed 'The Prime Ministerial Debates' rather than 'Leaders' debates' to clarify things somewhat.
But we don't elect a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister doesn't even have to come from the governing party as far as I'm aware (I think there's a 20th C precedent for this if you dig into it).
I never expected the SNP to win this (or for UKIPs similar claims to have much success). And I think carping on about it and spend 50k on a legal challenge is to lose sight of the plot slightly.
But I do thinnk that this is just another example of how fractured and irrational our current UK parliamentary setup is.
since hes not even standing in this election and has been drawing an mps salary for the duration of his time as first minister and before
I don't deny that the honourable, 'being-seen-to-be-doing-the-right-thing' option might've been to stand down as an MP when he became an MSP.
yeah Ramsay McD formed a National Government in the 1931 with a cabinet which was Tory/Liberal majority. He was expelled from the Labour party for it, so was not the leader of a major political party, or even the party he was elected in. In this case of course there was no governing party.
But he was also the incumbent PM which has its own constitutional conventions meaning he had dibs on who was going to be the government.
The PM isn't drawn from or elected by the government, but appoints them. So it doesn't matter who is in the cabinet. It's about parliamentary majority. Alex Salmond would never be in this position. He has no viable chance of ever attempting to command a majority in parliament, in the same way independent candidates don't.
It's a fiction that we don't elect a Prime Minister.
Not that I mind about this, just saying: we don't elect a PM but we certainly attempt to elect people who'll put the sort of person we like in that position.
There's always gonna be a 'presidential' element to a general election campaign.
And as I've said, Salmond probably took things beyond cheeky sh!tstirring territory and into slight daftness by going as far as spunking (allegedly) £50k on a legal challenge.
Aside from that, the whole incumbent PM thing is totally intriguing. The "What happens in a hung Parliament" article on http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/2645 describes a whole host of permutations and their constitutional and practical implications. It'll be fun to see how it pans out.
imagine my terror at seeing this image sliding menacingly through the letterbox:
supported the greens.
I've left the leaflet ON THE KITCHEN TABLE