Craig: “Are you a libertarian or something, because I’m not sensing any clear political philosophy behind your position?”

Alec: “No, I’m not a libertarian. I’m from the Internet. I’m here to help.


“Scottish” Voices, on Devolution and Independence, on Reddit

From Reddit:

IAm Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development in the Scottish Government, AMA

Hi, I’m Humza Yousaf and I’ll be here to answer your questions live from SNP Conference in Perth at 17:30 BST (12:30 ET).

This afternoon will see First Minister Alex Salmond deliver his speech to conference from 15:00 BST, days after the signing of the historic Edinburgh Agreement paving the way for a referendum on Scottish independence. I’ll be happy to take your questions on this, Scottish politics or other topics.

My verification tweet is here and my web page is here .

Update 15:00: You can follow First Minister Alex Salmond’s address to SNP Conference live on the BBC here. Keep the questions coming in the meantime and I’ll be back at 17:30 to start answering them!

Update 18:30: Sorry everyone I didn’t get the chance to respond to, but I’m afraid my time is up as there are other conference events I need to get to this evening. Thank you for all your questions and for the chance to discuss these issues with you.

That’s the intro to what he wrote, and you can review it yourself; however I’m just going to clip some questions from the comments to see what people were asking. It’s not a fair selection, just stuff that caught my eye for whatever reason, often lunacy.

Attribution elided. If you want to find them, use the browser search button.

I’m sixteen years old and live just outside of Glasgow. Explain to me, as one of the people the SNP are so keen on to vote, why I should vote for Independence when I can’t really see what change from what we are now.

Why do you think it is that Canada has more Scottish people than any other country in the world, besides Scotland? Why Canada?

What are you planning on doing when the British Government steals all the oil?

Assuming Scotland will vote for independence, would the SNP still honor Schengen? Is the SNP in general set for a greater involvement in the EU or would you look for bilateral alliances? And could Norway have Orkney back if we pay our late debts plus interest? More seriously, would the SNP support/not oppose a movement, if it were to start, that Orkney could vote for independence from Scotland, or for applying to become part of Norway?

I am a Canadian from a Scottish background. […] I am a supporter of the Scottish nation but I am absolutely and unequivocally against an independent Scottish nation state. Feel the government of the UK isn’t fair? Want your independence? Fine, form a new state that includes ALL peoples who wish to live in Scotland. Include these peoples as full Scottish citizens, irrespective of their ethnicity, language,religion, etc. Do not place YOUR idea of a ‘proper Scot’ on a pedestal and demand others conform. These are the ideals of the past and they have caused (and continue to cause) considerable pain and suffering that makes the ‘overbearing UK government’ seem like a picnic. Celebrate your culture, share it with the world, don’t demand others conform or worse, accept that they ‘never will’ and regulate them to 2nd class citizens or ship them out.

If, come 2014, Scotland does choose to become independent, how many years do you think it will take for it to be implemented and official? As an 19 year old Scottish guy, I voted in the 2011 elections, I voted SNP, and I intent to vote “Yes” come 2014.

How then would an independent Scotland support itself should there be a Deep Water Horizon like event in the North Sea or if the global oil market becomes even more volatile?

How do you feel about Scottish people who are not presently living in Scotland being unable to vote in the referendum?

Maybe I’m just an Ignorant American but how would an Independent Scotland work? I realize that Scotland is in an economic boom and they deserve their independence after being at the least oppressed by the british for hundreds of years.

If asked today, the likelihood is that Scotland would vote no to independance, along with that fact, 16 and 17 year olds will be given the vote, and I can tell you that near every pupil in my class does not want independance including me. How does the SNP plan on convincing us otherwise, when most of us already have our decision set in stone?

If Scotland becomes independent, and therefore will not receive funding from the UK (as it were), how will the welfare state be funded?

I am dentist from India. I wish to pursue a post graduate course in dentistry. Could I get a scholarship or a grant.

As an international student, what would happen to my UK visa if the referendum went through?

Don’t you think your parties obsession with national borders and nationality is outdated?

How will an independent Scotland treat censorship and digital rights?

Do you think england will try to give us a rough deal if we were to vote yes?

If a vote for independence is successful, how do you think it will affect other parts of the UK? Namely Northern Ireland.

how could you help the palestine people!? what can you do for them? how can the world just stand and see whats going on in there? what can you do in your position in goverment to help?

I was born in Elgin (but live outside Scotland). When will I get my Scottish passport? Also, will all mineral/oil resources from the North Sea suddenly be transferred to Scotland from London?

What is the point of swapping one Union (the United Kingdom) for another Union (the EU)??? We have more control over our affairs being one of 4 countries in the UK than being one of 27 in the EU.

No-one appears to have asked this, but if Scotland gets independence, then what would the political landscape be like? Ultimately, the SNP is the largest party partially because it stands for independece.
But if it succeeds, then who becomes the opposition?

Will a devolved Scotland have a different foreign policy from the current UK government?

What proportion of the UK’s national debt do you propose Scotland assumes? Will this be weighted in recognition of the sums of UK tax payers’ money which were required to bail out the Scottish banking sector and the continuing losses of these companies?

Do you honestly think that Scotland can survive on it’s own? Also, I’m curious as to how you will claim the lion’s share of the North Sea Oil business, was it not paid for by the UK government in the first place?

No question here, just thanks for Irn Bru.

What proactive ways are you pursuing to mitigate the effects of rampant drug use among the Scottish population?

Why do you think that Scottish Independence is more popular among the English than the Scots?

Would Scotland allow Scottish members of the UK armed forces to continue serving? Do you predict job losses in an independent Scotland’s defence industry?

If Scotland does gain independence will I still be a UK citizen or just Scottish? Will we have the option for dual nationality if this is the case? / How could an Independent Scotland guarantee this? It’s rather like saying an Englishman can have French dual nationality.

Surely Scotland would have to join the Euro at some point if it wants to stay or join the EU. All Member States (except UK and Denmark, who secured opt-outs in the Maastricht Treaty) are expected eventually to join the Mechanism and to adopt the Euro. All the new Member States (after 2004) are legally obliged to adopt the Euro at some future point (with no opt-out clauses). An independent Scotland would not inherit the opt-out the UK negotiated for the Treaty of Maastricht.

I imagine if the independence referendum fails, a few years down the line the SNP will be pushing for devo max, which is far more likely to succeed. I’m actually hopeful this will happen, because it could lead to each constituent country of the UK having its own highly devolved parliament, with Westminister deciding only issues of national importance like monetary policy and defence.

What wll the establishment of an independent Scotland do for the working class? Isn’t the sole purpose of the independence campaign to enrich the Scottish capitalist class, and allow it to manouver on the internationa arena as a minor imperialist power? The working class has had plenty of experience with independence movements, in areas as diverse as the former Yugoslavia, East Timor etc. In each case, local elites have been enriched by carving out their own cheap labour platform to global capital. Why shouldn’t Scottish workers unite with workers in Britain, and internationally, in a struggle against the profit system, including its Scottish representatives?

Do you think it is feasible that the BoE would create a permanent Scottish seat on their MPC?

Do you wear a kilt to work?

Vietnamese refugee’s last-ditch bid to save his beloved pet sheep ‘Baa’ | Herald Sun

A VIETNAMESE refugee with an almost nonexistent knowledge of Victoria’s legal system will represent himself in the state’s highest court in a last-ditch bid to save his beloved pet sheep.

Despite already facing legal costs of more than $200,000, Vu Ho has single-handedly launched a Supreme Court appeal for the right to keep his pet, Baa.

But without a legal team in Melbourne willing to take the matter on, the Springvale mechanic has been forced to learn the law on the run.

Continues at Vietnamese refugee’s last-ditch bid to save his beloved pet sheep ‘Baa’ | Herald Sun.

HT Kim.

Threatening to shoot someone for farting is bad, but is it “terroristic” ?

A 72-year-old New Jersey man has been charged with threatening to shoot his neighbor for farting in front of his home.

Instead of waving off Monday night’s flatulence attack, Daniel Collins of Teaneck pulled a .32-caliber revolver and threatened to “put a hole” in his gassy neighbor’s head, cops said.

The stink apparently stemmed from an ongoing dispute between the two men over noise, police told The Record of North Jersey.

Collins told cops his 47-year-old neighbor cut the cheese so loudly in his vestibule he heard it inside his apartment before he smelled it.

Collins was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and making terroristic threats. He was released without bail.

via Man threatens neighbor with gun for flatulence attack in front of his home – NY Daily News.

HMRC issues £100 penalty for failure to file return; but my accountant has the receipt for doing so #thisshouldbefun

Anyone else ever had this?