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England To Scotland: Hurry Up And Leave!

As Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond prepares for what could be a historic meeting this week with British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the timing and content of a referendum on Scottish independence,  some new poll numbers are shaking up elites on both sides of the border.

The English, the polls seem to be saying, want the Scots out of the United Kingdom, while the Scots want to stay in. 43 percent of the English want the Scots out, according to an ICM poll in the Daily Telegraph, and only 32 percent want them to stay.  Since 52 percent of the English want a referendum “as soon as possible,” it appears they can’t wait for the kilts and the bagpipes to be gone.

The Scots, meanwhile, seem to be getting cold feet. 43 percent want the Kingdom to stay United, and while 40 percent want to go it alone. On one subject the voters in both places appear to agree: Scotland would be worse off on its own.

A separate poll in the Daily Mail showed lower support for Scottish independence in both England and Scotland, but there too the English were more favorable to the idea than the Scots.

Dr. Johnson would have known what to say.

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  • Mrs. Davis

    They both know who is doing the giving and who is doing the taking. Same as the Quebecers. Won’t stop the SNP from their back biting, though.

    • fraoch

      Scottish National Party,,,Fighting to keep in their land what is rightfully theirs!! eg, money per head of population taken to treasury much higher than neighbour England?? Just over 5million SCOTS paying extra to keep over 50million in England {immigrants included} probably lost 5million there,Scots put in more to treasury but get LESS OUT! Sums just dinnae add tae me!!!! If ye wur in ma boat yid be jittered tae! So shut up unless ye ken the FACTS!!!! SAOR ALBA! X

  • Corlyss

    The EU has been trying for years to break up the United Kindom. That alone is more than adequate reason for the constitutent parts to hang together. The Scots never had it so good, no matter how much they think that their hatred for the English is sufficient reason to leave.

    • fraoch

      The EU has NEVER had any interest in breaking up the UK,,,, What Bullshit!

  • Hu Ngu

    A recent poll found that 60% of Jamaicans held
    the view that their country would be better off
    under British rule; 17% said worse off, and 23%
    didn’t know.

  • Walter Sobchak

    This one is easy. Most of Scotland is on the dole. If they split from England, they will have to go to work. The idea makes the English smile, and the Scots reach for a bottle of usquebaugh.

    • fraoch

      Some people are really uneducated dimwits!

  • gringojay

    Those 21,500 immigrants last year probably will soon be costly to the 5+ million independent Scots. But since the Scots average age is low (35 yrs. for urbanites) most can eagerly look forward to paying increased taxes during a long working life.

  • CJ

    The salient differences between Quebec and Scotland are that (1) removing Scotland wouldn’t split England into two parts and (2) almost everybody in Scotland is a Scot. As in Czechoslovakia, this could happen fast.

  • Charles Eaton

    All if the Northsea oil is in Scottish waters.

    • fraoch

      It IS!!!!!

  • Micha Elyi

    Most of Scotland is on the dole.-Walter Sobchak

    And that makes Scotland different from England, how?

    • fraoch

      Get a life!!

  • unclebryan

    No true Scotsman would want to leave the United Kingdom. Right? What a conundrum…

    • fraoch


  • JEM

    …and probably another 10%+ of the English would be content to be rid of Scotland if they weren’t concerned about the Jocks [making] off with the North Sea oil.

    I think we can safely assume the English won’t be importing any more Scottish royalty in the foreseeable future.

  • gs

    1. My understanding is that the Tories would acquire a clear majority if Scotland were ejected from the UK.

    2. Scottish indignation at Cameron might be the shocked bluster of one whose bluff has been called unexpectedly. Perhaps Scottish politicians intended to extract all kinds of concessions from the English in exchange for staying in the UK (cf. Quebec).

    3. R.A. Lafferty, who was not a science fiction writer of the first rank but whose work deserves to survive, coined the farewell There will be many a dry eye here when you leave.

    4. Awarding independence to a region whether the recipients liked it or not would set an interesting precedent.

  • Richard

    Yes, I too am reminded of Canada. I made several trips across Western Canada during the height of the Quebec troubles and I spoke to many English speaking Canadians who had been treated rather shabbily in their trips to Montreal. Their attitude was “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” The “First Nations” (their term for Native Americans) people were the most opposed to it and would not join in a separated Quebec. Of course DeGaulle was the trouble maker in Quebec, I wonder if his successors have had a hand in this mischief.

  • http://ViaMeadia r charles

    Mrs. Davis

    You are absolutely correct,
    and BTW, English work, NAH.

  • Arty

    The Scots are just English hillbillies.

    • fraoch

      Arty you are a JERK!

  • liz

    Actually, Scotland has a great deal of oil, so they might be able to mask the problems with their entire economy with money from that.

    It is, frankly, about time for independence. Scotland has been in the position of having a full vote in the UK Parliament, *and* their own Parliament. And they get English money, too. [Get busy] or get off the pot, folks.

    The curious bit is that, if Scotland leaves, its MPs would leave the UK Parliament and give David Cameron a full majority.

    I wouldn’t mourn the loss of the Lib Dems (I hate them more than Labour) but I wonder just how desperate Cameron is for a majority.

  • Charles R. Williams

    The modern welfare state makes places like Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Quebec a liability. Anglophone Canada missed a great opportunity to be rid of Quebec. Maybe the English will be smarter about Scotland.

    These regions are dependent on big government subsidies from more prosperous regions, tilt the political balance to the left and like to poison the political landscape by flaunting their victim status.

  • bobby b

    Yet another case of people voting gainst their own self-interests.

    Just wait until the English housewife goes for her first trip to the grocery store after the referendum, where she learns the brutal lesson everyone has faced: feel-good votes cast with no contemplation or knowledge invariably bring to you whatever it is that you most deserve.

    In her case, she learns that the Scots have decided to ban all exports of Scotland’s most valuable and cherished resource, keeping it all inside Scotland, for Scots.

    See, no one had ever explained to her that there is no such thing as a free lunch, or (equally importantly) that pretty much the entire world market for stomachs ripped from dead sheep come from Scotland.

    It’s only when she confronts the first Sunday dinner with the in-laws without the traditional well-boiled haggis to cleanse the palette of the cloying tastes of the . . . well . . . of the human food courses . . . it’s only then that that she drops to her knees and cries out in anguish to the empty gray sky, “What have we done?!!”

    But they have the short row to hoe compared to the Scots, all of whom despise haggis as only the descendants of the very people who first said “we’re all starving, let’s see if we can eat THAT without puking” can do. Those poor people now have filled-for-the-holidays warehouses full of dead sheep stomachs that can no longer be shipped to England’s stomach-buyers.

    Obviously, they all need to think this thing through.

  • Craig Howard

    “the Scots have decided to ban all exports of Scotland’s most valuable and cherished resource”

    They wouldn’t ban its export. They have neither the capital nor the expertise to exploit the oil. Haggis would be their primary means of income along with the whiskey, of course.

  • http://westerlygalescom Cameron Williams

    Bobby B,your comment (#17) made me snort coffee up my nose!

    I’m a Yank of (some)Scots descent, so I once attended a Bobby Burns birthday dinner. The mandatory ritual taste of haggis made that, for me, a one-time event!

  • Therapists


  • joe davis

    while agree with general sentiment expressed here and love the great dr. J, Scotland was not some backwater but rather one of the central engines (u should pardon the expression) of the industrial revolution.
    It was like Florence or Venice were to art in the Renaissance….still, today’s Scotts cannot have their cake and eat it too and they have made themselves obnoxious to the English people who subsidize their resentments.

    • fraoch

      Where do you get yer information from?? Its almost amusing????Look up Mcrone report from 1970s about SCOTTISH OIL!!! DUH! Official Govt record and how My Country was deceived and lied to by an English Govt!! Set on reaping the rewards for their own gain as usual! Get the FACTS! It always will be a funny old biased WORLD! (with lots of greed and self gain and importance in the recipe!}

  • dpratt

    @bobby b – “she learns that the Scots have decided to ban all exports of Scotland’s most valuable and cherished resource, keeping it all inside Scotland, for Scots.”

    For a second you had me scared – I thought you were talking about Whisky. If it’s just haggis, I don’t think anybody will care.

  • MarkJ

    Oh well, if the Scots run into economic trouble after independence they can just name Sean Connery as their king and he can bail them out.

    Then again, Sean is having so much fun in retirement he might decline the job….

  • Blue Hen

    “4. Awarding independence to a region whether the recipients liked it or not would set an interesting precedent.”

    This isn’t the case. Great Britain coerced Newfoundland into joining the Canadian federation after World War II, pre-empting a possible move for US statehood. And Britain tried several times to cede sovereignty of the Falklands to Argentina, but the residents clearly did not want to go. Negotiations had broken down less than a year before Argentina attacked.

  • mcm

    “They can’t take away our freedom! … But we’ll happily give it away in exchange for some really awesome welfare programs!” Poor poor William Wallace.

  • Roy

    Don’t underestimate Scottish resourcefulness. David Hume, Adam Smith, and James Clerk Maxwell, the latter of whom Einstein rated the second greatest physicist after Newton, Alexander Fleming, discoverer of Penicillin, and Alexander Graham Bell, are just some of the most prominent Scottish scientists and intellectuals. It has been remarkable fertile soil for major thinkers.

    • fraoch

      Agree. We have historic INFLUENCE in nearly every Country in the modern world! Small poor Nation we were,but PROUD and INFLUENTIAL we Are!!
      ALBA GU BRATH!!!!!!

  • Jrr

    The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft a-gley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    Robert Burns

  • gs

    Blue Hen #24, in contrast to the extract from my #11 which you quote, both of your examples involve transfers of sovereignty rather than grants of independence.

    Moreover, a quick look online indicated that there was considerable complexity in the situations you mentioned. Thanks for bringing Newfoundland and Falklands history to my notice, but hyperlinks would have helped me to better understand what you are getting at.

  • DonM

    Richard I sold Scotland to finance the front half of his Crusade, and then England was saddled with higher taxes to bail him out. Perhaps Cameron can find a buyer.

  • Oofy Prosser

    I had an English friend in college – a Londoner and a Marxist. When he talked about “Northerners”, he sounded like George Wallace talking about blacks.

  • Michael

    As an American of Scottish decent(having my family leave in the 1750’s for obvious historical reasons) I am sadden by lack of Scottish independence. Seeing they fought the English for it for over 200 years. Only to loose in the 1740’s.

    Perhaps what King George I could not do,breaking the Highlander spirt, English socialism did.

  • SheilaG

    Re #26, Roy, I agree with you, but the difference is that those great thinkers tended to emigrate already. The Scots that came to Canada and the United States were very resourceful and tended to do quite well. But I think the risk takers and entrepreneurs left at the end of the last century, leaving a very different population than the one that inspired the great men of history you mentioned.

  • Curmudgeon Geographer

    If Scottland goes, the Labour Party will wither and disappear. Scotland has been the center of Labour power for decades, England will likely become a Tory stronghold for decades with Labour decimated by a Scotland separation. Now if only Tories behaved like Tories.

  • richard40

    The scottish seperatist party is doing the same thing the quebec party has always done in canada. You constantly threaten to secede, figuring the rest of the country wil cave in and give you special handouts to stay in.

    But Cameron and the rest of the english are wisely calling their bluff. You want to secede, then go right ahead and have a vote on it, as soon as possible. We can do without you a lot better than you can do without us. Once they face a real irevocable choice, they will stay in, taking most of the wind out of the seperatists sails.

    The US has always followed that wise policy on Puerto Rico. If you want to secede, then vote for it, and goodbye. It takes the wind completely out of the seperatists sails, since most Puerto Ricans realize that their colonial status gives them large economic and trade benefits. Of course this policy works less well for core parts of the country, like the confederate states or new england.

  • Roy

    Interesting SheilaG. In the case of my wife’s family, in the early twentieth century, and my sister and brother-in-law, a microbiologist, it was the weather, exacerbating familiar asthma in the first instance. Sounds mundane, by way of an explanation, but I wonder if it hasn’t always played a role.

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