I’m a middle aged distance running ex biological scientist. I live in Dundee, Scotland. I was born here in Scotland but grew up in New Zealand. I regard myself as a Scottish born New Zealander. So Haere Mai to Kiwis everywhere and don’t be surprised by posts on NZ as well as Scots issues. There may be recipes as I continue to explore gluten free baking.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey – I missed your reply to my comment in CiF (http://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/35925482) so thought I’d give you a response here.

    By the by, I’m kind of sitting on the fence when it comes to Independence. I’m from England and live in Germany. Were I living in Scotland I’d probably side towards ‘Yes’, but what I’d really like to see is a highly devolved Federal Republic of the British Isles with England broken up into half a dozen or so smaller states and possibly including a United Ireland (if they wanted this)

    You wrote:

    “WTF has rUK Euro referendum in 2017, after we become independent got to do with iScotland?”

    Very little but that’s not my point. My point is what has the lack of an EU referendum prior to September 2014 got to do with the Scottish referendum – and the anwer is quite a lot. A signifficant number of Scottish people want to be part of both the UK and the EU. If these people were told they could only have one of these things, a certain proportion would prefer the latter – that is to say be an independent country within the EU. An opinion poll conducted last year shows how signifficant this view is: (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/poll-independence-support-would-rise-if-voters-think-uks-leaving-eu.1368959712)

    This is bad for democracy because it means that Scottish voters have to essentially gamble on the future of their own country. Either they vote ‘No’, because they genuinely want to remain in the UK hoping that Farage doesn’t get his way and in doing so run the risk of wishing that they had voted ‘Yes’ when Britain pulls out in 2017. Or they look at the mounting Euroscepticism south of the border and vote ‘Yes’ even though they don’t truly want this. Either way this is bad for democracy. An in-out EU referendum needs to happen first, then an informed Scottish one.

    “The result of a Yes vote in a referendum called by the majority party at Holyrood on the promise of their manifesto so everybody knew it was on the cards will of course be a mandate for the Scottish Parliament to negotiate independence.”

    Absolutely not. You cannot possibly second guess why people voted SNP in 2011. Some will have done so because they hated the Westminster betrayel of the Lib Dems (the biggest swing in Holyrood was by far LD->SNP, Labour essentially stagnated). Others because of the failures of the New Labour Government. Some simply thought the SNP were the most competent to hold office at that time, and yes some – but by no means all – because they believed in independence. One things for sure though – people weren’t thinking “how do I want an independent Scotland to look constitutionally”.

    Why would you possibly argue against there being a fresh election on this mandate – would you not want an independent Scotland to be built on Democracy from the first?

    “It certainly will not be a mandate for the unionist parties who will have lost, their reputations in tatters.”

    Maybe not – but let this be decided at the ballot box, not by some magnanemous gesture of Salmond inviting selected delegates from other parties in on unclear terms.

    And do the pro-Independence Greens and the Socialists not deserve a chance to put forward their alternative visions for Scotland? And yes, Labour may well have backed unionism but that doesn’t stop them being the second biggest party in Scotland and offering an alternative manifesto for the people to vote on given Independence is fait accomplis

    “Who will be left to object? Also if you think after running Scotland down with negative scaremongering that Scots will elect any of the unionist parties in such an election you are dreaming. The SNP lead in every poll from local govt to Euro and including for the first time ever, Westminster. A Yes vote is not going to harm that, one, little, bit.”

    And so surely a fresh election immediately after a ‘Yes’ vote won’t do them any harm either.

    • Your point about the Euro referendum for the UK wrt Scotland does not take into account the democratic deficit here in Scotland which applies to the UK Euro referendum but not the Independence referendum as the latter is a Scottish resident only vote.

      You also ignore the point that after the Independence referendum is won it is perfectly open for Scottish Eurosceptics to push for an in/out EU referendum, just as it would be for us to push for a monarchy/republic vote afterwards or whether or not to make the background of the saltire hot pink or to make MSPs do highland dancing in order to take their seats or anything else we may so choose. So voting Yes in no way disenfranchises Scottish Eurosceptics. Any more than a republican like myself is disenfranchised by the proposal to keep the monarch in the event of a Yes vote.

      The whole point is that it will be the people of Scotland so voting in their own interest without any possibility of being swamped by the very much larger polity of England. These factors apply just as much to a federal system, unless it would include such veto powers as to deny the human right of self determination.

      I do hope that is clear.

    • Hi, sorry it took so long to approve and reply. For some reason the email notification did not show up in my mail software.

      I left Stewarton with the family aged 6 for NZ way back in ’72. Though my memory is still strong of it.

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