Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A SCOTTISH ENGINEER'S VIEW OF THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

Hi Folks,

I'm not vastly politically motivated, but being of an engineering background/profession I tend to see/prefer things in black and white. Deal with/anticipate things based on factual information and act on it accordingly etc.

Now, I'm all for independence, the only slight snag is that the "Yes" camp has no formal, factual, researched/detailed solution to address:

Monetary/funding of an independent currency;
Pensions, Healthcare, Welfare.
Defence, Nuclear Decommissioning, Nuclear Assets in general.
Ownership/division of North Sea Oil/Gas.
Potential loss of Jobs in sectors where confidence is being lost by outside investors.
Border Control, Immigration.
Postal Services, Communications services, etc.

If they [the "yes" camp] were to go and spend say 3-5 years on a full Option/Scoping mission, getting the appropriate buy-in and support and producing a real and viable package, then I would be motivated to consider/vote towards it.

Until then I see no reason to vote towards breaking a working,(reasonably harmonious)Union. A clear-cut vote to give license to consider the options/produce a reasonable package in the first instance would have been far better. As it is, there are a large cross section of the people who are taking it for read that if it is a yes vote we shall be splitting up.

In any event the country shall not be the same again; this cause has created endless debate, division and resentment to some. I hope whatever the outcome we can,(especially the more militant in each camp),live happily and work through any resultant policy changes that will no doubt occur.


Thursday will be interesting, as will the aftermath, times they are a-changin......

Alec.


Post reproduced in its entirety with permission from the writer.

10 comments:

Vincent said...

I like your engineer's assessment, can relate to it perfectly.

As I respond to you I'm wrestling with a close analogy, in that my computer has been acting strange of late, mostly trivial things but increasingly it gives out the message "Windows Explorer has stopped working" so I have to restart, sometimes losing some important data that wasn't saved.

So there is a defined problem, and a known but drastic solution: to back up all the data and reload Windows from an empty computer. This is an option with unknowable consequences that might be regretted forever. At the very least it could interrupt my work for days and create agonising choices. At worst I could never return to the 90+% equilibrium I enjoy at present, for it is extremely complex and has taken years to achieve.

So I go with your engineer, who proposes that one works over a period of time to analyse problems, solutions and outcomes in a properly worked out modelling situation.

Devolution via evolution rather than revolution.

The difficulty is, one cannot leave Scotland in the hands of a few engineers. That is not democratic.

But the referendum is starting to appear like an inescapable no-win trap, a motor-race without the brakes having been tested first.

At least with my computer, I can tread carefully and postpone the fateful day. (touch wood)

flightplot said...

Another interesting post. The most pertinent point being that for all of us it won't be the same again.
A period of such uncertainly doesn't bode well given our present political system.
Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Hi Vincent,

I am in tune with your analogy; my printer is playing up. At least I know I can power it up, however, I now have to resolve the issues to get it functioning, sweetly. Failing that and following assistance from a friend, if it doesn't respond, it'll have to be superseded by another device.

In your case, a full system backup should be safe enough; at the least, a full filing system backup to go with a reloaded system, should not cause major eruptions, it will take up a fair bit of time though.

Though voting today, I am yet to understand what system back ups we have. As to which of them we would need, without doubt, is down to what the individual cares about I think.

ZACL said...

Hello Mr F.

Thank you.

I agree with your point. In addition, I would say,the uncertainties in our current political state all add to the dysfunctionality we are perceiving and experiencing. It gives, in all likelihood, grist to the separatists mill in various parts of these islands.

Vincent said...

I have a bad feeling about the whole thing. It's as though one's parents are divorcing. Even if they decide not to, it will never be the same. A betrayal. I blame Cameron, I blame Salmond equally. A can of worms has been opened quite independent of what you describe as "the dysfunctionality". In politics nothing is ever perfect, don't you think there are problems in England too?

Now I don't know if the original problems will be solved at all. Nationalism is a corrosive thing, based on blame of others & consequent hatred.

I hope I am wrong.

ZACL said...

Of course there are things adrift, and quite badly, in England, Wales and N. Ireland, not just in Scotland.

I am tired of the blame culture: i don't defend any politician, i do wonder why there was such a long lead in time to the vote. Although, coming to think of it, it does take between four and five years lead in time between general elections, so maybe, two years was short. How well the time given was utilised by all interested parties will be grist for analyses and counter analyses.

Blame and scapegoating are interchangeable, our socialisation and the systems generate this ugly facet of society at every level. Politics and the politicians on the whole, have been demeaned. If the truth would be accepted, it could be seen it is a sham. Big business, corporations hold the real power, politicians and Governments are, or appear to be in hock to them.

There are many,many ugly faces of intolerance, abuse and injustices. Society is very imperfect. So are politics.

ZACL said...

Just off to bed; wanted to say something about 'betrayal' I finding responding on the tablet less straightforward than using a keyboard and vdu.

I am curious why you consider offering a vote of self-determination to Scotland is a betrayal. Do you see it as a betrayal to England?

The marriage analogy is not helpful in some respects. To follow the procedure through, in the first instance,the co-respondents could be requested to attend conciliation meetings, which, appear to have already been scuppered before they have been ordered.

Vincent said...

The sense of betrayal was an overwhelming feeling, and now, the next morning I can explain its source precisely.

I'd spoken of Salmond and Cameron. They appeared to represent threat and appeasement, respectively. That seemed ugly to me. We Brits are not appeasers. We take principled stands. For example, we don't negotiate with ISIS to save their hostages from beheading.

But that dread feeling is all history now. The whole UK can be proud again, proud to show how our democracy works, the lengths it is prepared to go for peaceful democratic solutions.

I see this morning that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Immediate steps are being taken to ensure that Scotland has no special political privileges over other parts. It can take pride in taking the lead in a push for constitutional reform which will benefit England, Wales, Northern Ireland and various outlying smaller territories.

This is not a time for saying anything negative, but to embrace one another and give thanks.

ZACL said...

With all due respect, I find your take on SOME of British history interesting and confusing. My following thoughts have no connection to how I voted. How I voted is between me and the ballot box.

My husband was treated as a foreigner in England when he was studying, even though he was entitled to a British/English passport, as a birthright. I had no thoughts that I was forming an official personal relationship with a foreigner, nor that as a reault, I was going to live abroad, in Scotland. I did inderstand I was going to live among people with, in the main, model cultural values. Having lived most of my life in England's capital city it was not easy to compartmenalise from the rat race life I had known and adapt to my new life, where people had time for each other and where all the resources I had seen and known of, were non-existent. There were huge social disparities and very many years later, there still are.

A similar picture can be drawn for other parts of Britain, where there is a range of cultural diversification that has been ignored, totally walked over, by the ruling classes to maintain the status quo in the bubble of Westminster, London and its outer heartlands.

Suppression is nothing the be proud of, I am not proud of it. Appeasement continues around us, (even today) not be confused with conciliation, both of which, in any case, are in the political armoury. None of this should be confused with making a moral stand, they are not the same.

Vincent said...

Let's hope we can feel more united as Brits anyhow: if not now, as an aspiration.