1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Really annoyed at President Obama

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jannert, Jun 6, 2014.

    I woke up this morning to the news that President Obama—with UK Prime Minister David Cameron hanging over his shoulder in the photo—has decided that Scotland shouldn't vote for independence in September. Of course he says that it's 'up to the Scottish people...blah de bla.' But why should he be sticking his nose in at all?

    And WHY should Scotland be the only flipping nation on earth that should not be seeking to govern itself?

    Heck, has Mr Obama forgotten how the USA got started? Or Canada, or Australia or the dozens of other nations that have removed themselves from UK rule? Scotland WAS an independent nation (and a respected one) up to The Act of Union in 1707—which was voted on only by the moneyed classes who had clout. Scotland is a separate nation with separate goals and ambitions. Over three hundred years of being dominated by its much larger neighbour has resulted in a lack of national self-confidence, which Mr Obama has just attempted to reinforce. This is inexcusable.

    Oh, wait ...the present Scottish government has pledged to remove all Trident nuclear submarines from its waters, if Scotland votes Yes. Aha ...the light dawns...
     
  2. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Freeeeeedoooooom!!!!
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Obama doesn't care, he is just returning a favour. The politics of double standards, we call it. When I'm doing something, it's ok, but when you do the same thing, then it is not. There is no sense in it at all, just manipulating public opinion and lack of any shame whatsoever. I hope the Scots decide what's best for them and not care what Obama or Cameron are telling them to do, and that those two will refrain from using brute force to get what they want.
     
  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I know how you feel.

    I had a similar reaction when Bill and Hilary Clinton, and George Mitchell arrived in Belfast just prior to the signing of The Good Friday Agreement. As far as the media were concerned we had been tamed, taken in hand... bollox to that! They would have us believe it was the work of overseas officials and our own politicians (Yeah, right!) that caused the change here. It wasn't, not by a long chalk. We, and by we I mean the majority of the populace, had simply had enough; we who had overturned the education system so that kids from different backgrounds could meet, rub shoulders and learn together. It's easy enough to inspire distrust and hostility when one is purposefully ostracised from the other. It's not so easy for kids to run fowl of bigotry when they have living examples right in front of them that disprove sectarian bias.

    So much work had been done unseen for so long, and then we had to watch the politicians sweep in and take the credit. They didn't make the changes. WE did. Peace would have occurred with or without them, it was only a matter of time. Thirty years of bloodshed is not easily swept under the carpet, but even in my lifetime, it has become patently obvious that it is our children will be responsible for maintaining the peace... not the politicians.

    Stay with Britain, or join up with Ireland? I love how so many outside our shores think it is as simple as that. The factions can't even agree on which counties Ulster should encompass, six or nine. At least Scotland has the advantage of having a clear line of demarcation from its neighbour. That is not true of us.

    I've thought that about the situation here.

    I am an Ulster woman, first and foremost. I feel no particular ties to either Britain or Ireland and would love nothing better than for Ulster to be a state in her own right, but we are a tiny province as it stands, and economic viability and stability is a very obvious concern. Realistically, it will be a long time before that is a bridge we have to cross; so much work still to be done by way of embracing a united identity and building on that. We are only starting to see what the province is economically capable of now that businesses aren't afraid to invest for fear of their holdings being blown to smithereens.

    It's the feelings of the people on the ground that matter, not the politicians, so I wouldn't pay them much mind. If they lose support while taking a stance, they'll quickly change their tune, if what I've seen here is anything to go by. Just pray that those sitting on the fence aren't unduly influenced, or think Obama knows something which they don't.

    I do understand your frustration.
     
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Are not Canada and Australia still part of the 'Commonwealth', or rather, the re-branding of the Empire, it seems to me. I know for a fact that Australia still has the British queen as their monarch.

    Also, might it not be what Obama thinks? He is allowed to have an opinion. I'm half Scottish, and I don't want independence for Scotland. Sorry, I just don't.
     
  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Yes that's true, but there is a growing push in Australia to renounce that tie, and have Her Maj taken off the coinage.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    There is a growing push to have the same done in the UK too, and scrap the Monarchy entirely. Frankly I'm behind it all the way.
     
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  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was in Aus when we were voting for the Republic. Absolutely everyone I knew, people on TV, even vast majority of the politicians, were all pretty sure the Republic would win. It was seen as an overdue process, that we divorced ourselves from the Crown a long time ago, and maybe some elderly people still cared, but that's all. The referendum came, and no, the Monarchy stayed. I still believe those results were rigged.
     
  9. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    One of my mates is an Aussie and she couldn't believe the result. Still, doesn't. She was so sure.
     
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  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can't say I'd know what to think, but I know I see a lot of apathy or dislike of the Monarchy around my part of the UK, and it seems out of touch with apparent opinion polls, or all the flag-wavers I see on the news during any royal event. I don't know what it is, but that form of patriotism just makes me very nervous, and actually a little ill.

    And news that during the royal wedding, Republicans like myself were attacked for voicing their opinions. Heh, you can tell we don't live in a Democracy these days.
     
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  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Lemex : Don't even start me on democracy, or, 'my ignorance is as valuable as your knowledge' type system :meh:
     
  12. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    I think that Scottish people, Basque people and any other minority living in certain area should be allowed to vote about independence and if over 50% of people say yes then action should follow.
    And don't get me started on monarchy:crazy:
     
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  13. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Clearly Obama doesn't want Sean Connery to leave the US.*


    *there is a rumor Connery has said he won't return to Scotland until it has gained independence.
     
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  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    He might be waiting for a loooong time. :/

    To be honest, I'm cool with whatever Scotland wants to do. :D It'd be...hypocritical for me to say, "No! Scotland must never leave the United Kingdom!" when just 238 years ago, my own country made a little document (and fought a little war) that basically broke us from the United Kingdom of Great Britain (Ireland wasn't part of Britain until the 1801 Act of Union.) :p

    So...yeah, I shouldn't be the one talking. :D That said, do they have plans for what to do if they get independence? I'm sure they do, but still, splitting from the mother country to become your own isn't exactly easy once it actually happens. Plus, I'm sure there are many within Scotland/have Scottish ties who feel (like Lemex) that Scotland really should not leave the UK, and their voices should be heard as well.

    Regarding the UK monarchy: I thought they were just there for ceremonial purposes now. They no longer have political power, do they?

    Off-note: I had been wanting to make a topic about this for a while now, but @jannert beat me to it.
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yip, they just don't choose to often exercise it. The queen can still do many things without the consent of Parliament, and can dictate to Parliament what she wants to happen.

    Oh, and before anyone says 'Well, choosing not to use power is the same as not having power' don't.
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    For reasons I have never completely understood, a good many of my countrypersons are obsessed with British royalty...just as long as we don't have to live under that system.

    @jannert - Annoyed at Obama? There's a very long line in front of you, my dear.

    Quick question...is the correct spelling "bollox" or "bollocks"? I've seen it spelled both ways by people I assume should know.

    My impression has always been that it was primarily the women of Northern Ireland - especially mothers - who did the bulk of the work, driven by the fact that children had become entwined in the violence. If so, that's a history that surely deserves to be written.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm always confused by that too, Ed; it is either the monarchy or The Beatles - what is with that exactly?
     
  18. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @Lemex - an extreme aspect of the fascination with "celebs". But then I don't get that, either.
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    The Beatles, I can understand, 'cause they were awesome.

    The monarchy, I don't really get. When they kept plastering the royal wedding and royal baby all over our news stations, I fully understood the irony of it all. Especially when July 4th rolled around. I remember flipping around on TV to find a documentary series about our Revolution on the History Channel...and the Royal Wedding on another.

    I just chalked it all up to our chronic obsession with celebrities. Doesn't matter if they're the British monarchy or an awesome band. If we love 'em, we practically worship them.
     
  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The United Kingdom is not, and never has been, 'the mother country.' It's the result of an Act of Union between two separate countries, Scotland and England, at a time when only the moneyed classes could vote. In other words, a marriage of convenience.

    This is a fact that so many are ignoring. This is a divorce Scotland will be voting on, not ripping off an arm.

    Imagine if you will, the USA and Canada decide to 'merge,' to become equal partners in a new country. Okay, let's go a step farther, and make it an actual democratic decision on the part of both—which it was not for the act of Union in 1707, because only the upper classes could vote. Now this new country of yours decides to call itself 'The New Republic of North America.'

    Note it doesn't call itself "The USA." Nor does Canada become the 52nd state of the USA. One country has not formally absorbed the other. (Some parts of the world like to think of the UK as synonymous with "England." In fact, there are websites where "England" is a choice of country, and Scotland isn't.)

    In due course, the former Canadians realise that because they have a much smaller population than the former USA, that they are constantly being outvoted. They have policies imposed on them they don't agree with, but don't have the votes to defeat. Consequently, their new government is stripping their country of oil revenue and giving very little of it back. The government has also decided that the Canadian territory is best suited to house nuclear weapons, etc. So the Canadians decide they've had enough, and want to split back into being a separate country again. They decide to hold a democratic referendum.

    The former USA doesn't want this, because they will lose their entitlement to the vast oil reserves and dumping ground of Canada, so they embark upon a scare tactic blitz to convince Canadians that they are stupid and their population is too small to make it on their own, that they are much 'better together.' They threaten to forbid a 'breakaway' Canada to use their now-common currency, even though they both have equal ownership of it. They threaten to erect border guards, to not let Canadians visit their American friends and relatives, etc etc. They claim that Canada is a huge drain on public resources, and doesn't have the financial means to stand on its own ...despite the fact that the USA desperately wants to hold onto it, for some strange reason. (If it were such a drain, why not be glad to see it go?)

    However, despite this barrage of nonsense, the Canadians persist in winning the right to vote on the issue. And they are accused of wanting to leave the "mother country" by other worldwide leaders, etc, who also have a stake in wanting to keep control of Canadian resources.

    This, in essence is what is happening here. How Scottish people eventually vote is up to them. Some will fall for the scare stories, some won't. Some genuinely believe the Union has been good to them. But as a so-called 'equal' partner in the original Act, they have every right to withdraw from it, if they so choose. And anyone who suggests otherwise has usually got some other agenda. Like losing access to oil reserves ...or the right to stash nuclear weapons as far away from the centre of power as possible.

    I firmly believe that Scotland is a separate country from England; indeed they've only been yoked together for just over 300 years. Even now, they have a devolved parliament, a different set of laws (which are ancient), a different 'state' church, a different educational system. They want to keep the National Health Service in public hands. (England is trying to privatise it, like they've done to so many other public services.) Scotland would like to renationalise the Royal Mail, keep Scottish Water in public hands, and eventually restore control of utilities and transportation to public hands again. (These were dismantled during Thatcher years, and finished off by subsequent 'UK' governments.) They consistently vote differently, and have rarely got the government they voted for, because England usually votes the other way, and has the greater population.

    If Scotland votes to govern itself again in this referendum, I don't see how any other so-called 'democracy' can possibly object. The right to self-determination is supposed to be the keystone of a democratic nation. It would be great if the so-called 'greatest' democratic nation on earth would keep its nose out, and not do its part to thwart the process. But hey, nuclear weapons are a big deal, aren't they. Scotland will vote to get rid of them. That's not going down well in certain circles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  21. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    BTW, Jan, I was not making light of your OP or of your position. I think the push for Scottish independence is proof of the fact that aggressive nations - or classes - can never fully escape their histories.
     
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  22. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It's going to be an interesting September, I can say that much. Opinion polls taken in Scotland are suggesting that more Scottish people do not want independence - and those are the people who count, as people like me, with strong ties to Scotland, but live in England, are not a part of the vote.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  23. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    'Bollocks' I believe is correct. 'Bollox' is written slang. Here the harder dialect equivalent would be would be 'Ballix' reflecting the local pronunciation:

    "I'll kick yer ballix in, so I will." (And that is a cajoling endearment not a threat.)

    We now hand you back to the scheduled programming. ;)
     
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  24. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    So I gathered. :D
     
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  25. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    More countries need to do what most South American countries have already done: stop getting pushed around by the US. That includes a lot of our "allies."
     
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