Scottish Independence Referendum

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Dundee_United
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Aug 22 2007 10:34

This is new Scottish Labour leader in action. 'Independence' is really not far off...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rGdybkDZNH8

Hungry hungry caterpiller. Lol.

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Devrim
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Aug 27 2007 14:02
Volin wrote:
You got a good view of things from Turkey? ;)

Yes, fine thanks. A little better than Dundee's I think:

Dundee_United wrote:
'Independence' is really not far off...

Devrim

Dundee_United
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Aug 28 2007 10:04
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A little better than Dundee's I think:

Perhaps you have missed the fact that prominent Unionists like Michael Forsythe are now stating that an independence referendum would be welcome. In such a referendum the Unionists would blatantly lose. Poll after poll has indicated for years that a majority of Scots support independence. Now the SNP are in government. It's a minority government but they are doing really rather well at the moment. You have clearly missed all that.

Sir George Matthewson supported the SNP to win the last election. That's all that needs saying really. 'Independence' is a question of 'when' not 'if'.

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Volin
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Aug 28 2007 10:40

What's your point though? [edit: to Devrim]

Things are very similar (if not in some ways more advanced) to what's happening in Catalonia - which is described as having a 'political vehicle with no reverse gear' or even a run-away train of devolved power. Going back is quite impossible but where will it stop? - and is this not significant? Perhaps left-communists disagree of the likelihood of new nation-states being formed and that the tendency is rather one of increasingly larger blocks like the EU. But interestingly enough, independence politics is founded on greater ties with Europe through rejecting the UK. It's a roundabout approach that both appeals to certain interests who are held back by London-centrism at the same time as gaining support with an air of more democracy; but we all know ideas of 'self-government' are balls.

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Devrim
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Aug 28 2007 14:34
Volin wrote:
What's your point though? [edit: to Devrim]

Actually, I was just wondering whether the 'Platformists' thought that the 'movement for Scottish independence' was something that they had to insert themselves into. It seems that they don't.

Volin wrote:
Perhaps left-communists disagree of the likelihood of new nation-states being formed and that the tendency is rather one of increasingly larger blocks like the EU.

I don't think that it is something that there is a standard left communist analysis of. My personal opinion is that it won't happen in the foreseeable future.

Dundee_United wrote:
Sir George Matthewson supported the SNP to win the last election. That's all that needs saying really. 'Independence' is a question of 'when' not 'if'.

Well that is your opinion. I can't see it happening. Time will show us who is right.

Devrim

Deezer
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Sep 17 2007 22:39

Oh jesus fuck, independence for Scotland is not on the cards, which explains growing Unionist support. What is on the cards is a form of home rule with greater devolution of certain functions. Something the SNP wil no doubt claim as a step by step process towards 'independence'. While this is balls the extent of and limits on devolution is what the debate will be about. Should we support more power for local capital and politicians (insofar as this is meaningfully possible)? Short answer - no.

But is this even a relevant debate? Perhaps, but only insofar as reactionary nationalist sentiment could be mobilised behind populist calls for 'independence' by people who know that its not even on the cards and the increased financial burden that such an excercise will have on the working class.

The British army will still recruit and have bases in Scotland, there will still be naval and air force bases, the economic relationship will perhaps be altered somewhat (this will be negative for working class people because the most likely course here, in meeting the costs of increased devolution, will be an increased tax burden on working class people).

So basically whatever the result 'independence' is not gonna be it. Scotland will stil remain part of the Union (albeit an altered one), North Sea oil revenue will not be available to prop up any Scots administration. There is no militant republicanism astir, they'll still recognise the British monarchy and they'll stick with the pound as long as the rest of the UK sticks with the pound (local 'currency' will be sterling and underwritten by the Bank of England).

A higher level of devolved administration and a load of populist twaddle is all this referendum will ever amount to. It will not represent a 'blow' to the 'empire' nor will it advance class politics. Which, if some engaged their brains before repeating populist claims, might explain why Scottish Unionists are starting to support 'independence' - because it represents nothing of the sort and won't actually end the Union.

Dundee_United
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Sep 19 2007 22:52

This is blinkered.

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=9750

The liberals are uniting behind the idea that the SNP will win out through time and Labour in Scotland have gone into complete meltdown. I can't be arsed with a pointless argument on this though. From here however it's really fucking obvious.

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Volin
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Sep 20 2007 11:11

Boul, maybe it's the N.Irish style of making an argument but you don't need to be quite so aggressive - we're all class-struggle libertarians who oppose nationalism, no?

Boul wrote:
which explains growing Unionist support.

What? A huddling-together of the unionist parties, doesn't equate to a ''growing Unionist support'' unless you want to believe right-wing tabloids. The majority of Scots do not 'support the Union' but at the same time, and you're right, do not as yet have any militant desire to gain independence. If anything there's an undisputed support for further devolution (from everyone - and this is a weakened position from Scottish Unionists), and a small but growing backing for independence in the long-term. That's the point, the prospects of a referendum in this term are small but successive terms are almost certain. The fact that the leading party has been pushed off the top spot for the first time in more than a half a century has changed the political game permanently, largely discredited Labour and created an SNP which will probably become much like the Catalan nationalist parties who've been in power for ages.

Unlike them, I think Scottish nationalists have greater room to exploit the rifts in British politics as a whole and if they can offer a transition which hangs on to the 'stability of the union' - from having the Queen as head of state to keeping the main benefits of being in Britain, they will down the line create a new state. What you've described is both static and too much in mind of Irish republicanism. The success of nationalism here will not depend so much on militancy as actually a mild liberalism. But it won't happen any time soon.

Deezer
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Sep 20 2007 12:54

Volin, cheers for that. I'd still contest that independence in any real sense is not on the cards, a gradual increase of local power is, but I do reckon that it'll stop short of the creation of a new 'independent' state. On the "growing Unionist support" please read the whole thing and bear in mind that this was not me making an assertion about growing Unionist support but me responding to Dundee United's assertion that there was growing Unionist support for 'independence'/an 'independence' referendum.

Basically I think the word has been used inaccurately to describe the process that is unfolding. Yeah to an extent I am of course informed by the Irish experience but not solely by the record of Irish Republicanism - for a start remember that Unionists in the north-east effectively got home rule (after, ironically, being opposed to home rule) within the Union in 1921 and I'd bet they were given, and took, more power on to their administration than Scotland would either want or be allowed to.

As examples I don't think Scotland would be empowered to create an armed militia (ala a, b and c specials - not that NI was either, they were simply allowed to get away with it), I don't believe Scotland will be empowered to create its own standing army, even if the local parliament could decide to oppose 'British' foreign policy in relation to wars it would in reality be an empty opposition with Scottish regiments still being involved in the British army, nor do I believe that policing would or could in many ways (other than cosmetic) become more separated from policing in the rest of Britain. The trend to greater centralisation, sharing of resources and information across the police is one that will continue no matter how much political power becomes devolved to the Scottish parliament. I'm not convinced at all that there would be no relationship with the Treasury either or that Scotland would cease to send MPs to Westminster as well as to the Scottish Parliament.

But I'll ask you a question. With rolling devolution and the Scottish 'state' getting more powers to raise local taxes do you realy see 'independence' increasing in popularity among those who will disporportionately be expected to foot the bill for the Scottish administration? Increasing populism will, I'd suggest run into some severe difficulty before too long.

Most importantly I don't believe its the role of libertarian communists and anarchists to support 'independence' in a referendum (as suggested in the initial post on this thread), such a position would be naive, as are the assertions made about the outcome of such a referendum in the first post. Scottish 'independence' is a distraction from building working class solidarity against capitalism and all states, a distraction that we should not get caught up in but one that we should seek to be in the position to comment on and analyse as accurately as possible. I reckon most of us agree on this but there needs to be a more serious evaluation of what is actually going on and the likely outcome of that process in terms of its effect on working class people in Scotland.

afraser
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Sep 21 2007 01:00

As things stand, a referendum on independence will not be permitted by the current (2007-2011) Scottish Parliament (BBC's Brian Taylor). So spending a lot of time debating what to do about it now seems pointless.

In general though anarchists / libertarian socialists should support transfers of power from large to smaller, more local, structures. But should do so while avoiding suffering a "distraction from building working class solidarity against capitalism and all states".

Note the "in general" qualification - there would be plenty of exceptions for specific cases.

One relevant specific factor here is that the Scottish population is slightly more socialist than that of Britain as a whole.

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Devrim
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Sep 21 2007 07:58
afraser wrote:
In general though anarchists / libertarian socialists should support transfers of power from large to smaller, more local, structures. But should do so while avoiding suffering a "distraction from building working class solidarity against capitalism and all states".

Why?

Devrim

afraser
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Sep 22 2007 17:28

One aim of libertarian socialism is to see political power moved from large state structures to more local levels, ultimately to autonomous neighbourhood and village councils. The idea is that such small local structures could practice genuine direct democracy. Large centralised states would find it much more difficult to escape from rule by representatives and bureaucrats. Seeing that aim emerging from a process as much as from an instantaneous revolutionary event would mean that steps towards that goal would tend to be encouraged.

That is the general rule, but there are plenty of times exceptions should be made. Three obvious exceptions would be where there was a risk of:
(1) increasing ethnic tensions; or of
(2) economic dislocation; or of
(3) reactionary policies.

Examples of (2) would be the rise of customs barriers across central Europe following the break up of the Austrian Empire, and the break down in cross border industrial production following the break of the USSR. Although maybe those did not turn out to be significant in the long run.
An example of (3) would be much of the motivation behind the States Rights and anti Federal Government movements in the US.
Examples of (1) are sadly too numerous to be listed.

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Devrim
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Sep 23 2007 06:19

Forgetting your exceptions, I still see that there is a big problem with this idea. The point is that however a local level it is on it is still the management of capital, and capital and the state are not going to be overthrown by localising.
Devrim

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OliverTwister
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Sep 23 2007 06:32

we don't get closer to libertarian socialism every time there are smaller governments - we just get possibly more efficient administration of capital and repression of workers.

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Bodach gun bhrigh
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Oct 3 2007 17:46

1. Who cares about the working class? Or the management of capital? As long as people believe and identify with working class politics, they'll always be boring, racist, bigoted Stalinoids. Class politics are based on economic racism and created the biggest genocides of this century. Who gives a fuck what class people are as long as they don't give you shite?
2. Fucking proddy fucks.
3. I agree with afraser.
4. Fucking proddy fucks

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Bodach gun bhrigh
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Oct 3 2007 19:48

Sorry, that should be last century.
And another thing, why do these fuckers persist in opposing Scottish independence? Revolutions happen in the political sphere as well as the economic, institutions change and become more libertarian as well. Or are you all economic determinists? The Anglo-Stalinoids on here seem to want some Pol Pot-esque year zero where everyone who's not quasi-anarcho working class going back seven generations gets a bullet in the back of the neck. Pol Pot's dead guys, get over it for fuck's sake. I also object to Northern Irish protestants, whose importation of the Orange Order to these shores has totally poisoned working-class, and any kind of politics, telling Scottish people what to do politically. If people collectively want to change their lives, surely that's up to them? Independence would open many more political opportunities than what the communards on here are proposing. Opposing democratic change in the name of a revolution that's never going to come and would fuck everyone over at the same time seems a bit backward does it not? It's not as if anyone's proposing a federal Britain or supporting Devolution, which are better than the previous system by a long shot, no it's unflinching, craven support for a Greater England, where everyone speaks English, works in a call centre and reads Mao. Scotland is culturally, historically and linguistically different from the rest of the U.K. and if that offends some people, I'm sorry, but you'll just have to get used to it. Revol might want us erased, and might secretly hunger for his proddy dictatorship, but Scotland is a seperate entity, and no amount of hissy fits over Scottish independence is goint to change that fact. The sheer amount of arrogance on this website is staggering. "The people of Scotland don't know what they want, and we're going to tell them" all this from the most sectarian enclave in Europe! Scotland will be independent, whether it takes 5 years or 50, it will happen, in the meantime, Scottish institutions will take more power away from the British state and British politics might finally become something resembling democratic.
Fuckers

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 4 2007 07:38

wtf are you on about?

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jef costello
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Oct 4 2007 08:48
Quote:
In general though anarchists / libertarian socialists should support transfers of power from large to smaller, more local, structures. But should do so while avoiding suffering a "distraction from building working class solidarity against capitalism and all states".

They should suport such transfers when there is a benefit. For example if local pressures forced councils to use compulsory purchase orders for land for social housing or something, supporting a transfer that is endorsed by the current government is probably not likely to be particularly dangerous to it.

Quote:
One relevant specific factor here is that the Scottish population is slightly more socialist than that of Britain as a whole.

How much is slightly? How do you know this? Do you want to try socialism in one country.

Bodach do you ever wonder why everyone who disagrees with you is an evil prod?

Quote:
it's unflinching, craven support for a Greater England, where everyone speaks English, works in a call centre and reads Mao.

This is genius though.

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welshboy
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Oct 4 2007 10:44
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
If people collectively want to change their lives, surely that's up to them? Independence would open many more political opportunities than what the communards on here are proposing.

In an independent socialist Scotland would there be free buckfast and smack for all?

Deezer
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Oct 4 2007 14:51

Bodach gun bhrigh you are clearly going fuckin mental and besides that your argument has descended into sectarian bigotry and some sorta secret prod conspiracy theory. I've pointed out that Scottish independence is NOT actually what is on the cards politically, what is on the cards eventually is a greater devolution of some powers to the Scottish parliament. There will not be a Scottish national revolution (so neither that revolution nor a social revolution are likely in the foreseeable future). But anyhow, I take it that this Scottish national revolution is one that will exclude the majority population in Scotland, ie the "proddy fucks".

For your information Revol68 is not a "Northern Irish protestant", I am a "Northern Irish" anarchist and atheist from a working class loyalist/unionist background. That does not make me a unionist or loyalist though. Nor did I have any role in 'importing' the Orange Order to Scotland, what with, like very many Northern Irish 'protestants' not actually having ever even been an Orangeman. I also reckon that you are denying agency to a great many local Scottish 'prods' in putting the existence of the Orange Order in Scotland solely down to us evil "Northern Irish prods". I have a wee bit of knowledge around the N. Irish experience of devolution, particularly in relation to the actual negative impacts of locally made political decisions on working class people. I also have not a small amount of historical knowledge about home rule in a largely Irish context. I have also some grasp of the effects of populist nationalism and the "political reality" arguments that set in when local political "representatives" actually have to make real political decisions despite their promises of a more locally accountable utopia.

I am more interested in the working class than your homogonised and fictional "the Scottish people", I have no time for "greater England" arguments. I have not patronisingly said anything like "the people of Scotland don't know what they want, and we're going to tell them".

The rise of nationalism leads directly to sectarianism and racism btw, something you'd do well to learn from Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia and numerous other enclaves in Europe and beyond. Not that I think any level of civil war or violence is on the cards in Scotland at all, but increased bigotry and sectarianism is distinctly likely. Racism and bigotry aren't associated with class politics but clearly whatever politics you are espousing these days are. Given that my view on this topic is automatically invalidated because I'm a "proddy fuck", from the most sectarian corner of Europe (apparently).

Well, basically fuck you, you fucking nationalist bigot. Go choke on a haggis.

Deezer
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Oct 4 2007 16:52
Quote:
Scotland is culturally, historically and linguistically different from the rest of the U.K.

You know that still doesn't make Scotland culturally, historically or linguisitically homogenous don't you? I mean Edinburgh is culturally, historically and linguistically different from the rest of the U.K., so are Archiestown, Glen Loy, Aberdeen, Dundee, Troon, Larne, Belfast, Coleraine, Derry, Swansea, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Bristol, Brighton, Portsmouth, Dover, London etc.

They also share a lot of history, culture and language - so fucking what? Your statement may sound like a justification for a Scottish nation-state but in reality its meaningless just as all nationalisms are meaningless constructs that must be overcome in the class struggle.

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Bodach gun bhrigh
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Oct 11 2007 15:24

Basically Boul, your arguments are all bollocks. And I ain't going mental, sorry to say. 1. I too know a bit about Scottish History and the Orange Order was imported by Northern Irish Protestants fleeing economic hardship in the 19th century as the same time as many Irish Catholics came over, thereby foisting on Scottish working class people a bunch of sectarian attitudes that make political life in Glasgow unbearable. In other parts of Scotland there is much lesser problem of sectarianism even though there is a Catholic presence, largely due to the fact that the Orange Order don't have a foothold.
2. Strange that the arrival of the SNP in power has created a better deal for asylum seekers in Scotland, which was the very reason I voted for them, yes, the SNP are largely dependent on Westminster, but your much-vaunted bigotry has failed to appear in official discourse, making a change from the Nationalist, Racist bilge that scarred the 10 years Blair was in office.
3. Listen, you live in Northern Ireland, stick to commenting on Northern Ireland, and if you do mention Scotland, think before saying, oh Scottish Independence is a totally reactionary phenomenon. It isn't, and I don't care how qualified you think you are to comment, you ain't.
4. Revolutionaries in the past have fought for devolution over wide territories, as in Russia in 1917 and Spain in 1936. One of the aims of these movements was to create federal structures where national minorities/regions could legislate over their own affairs. Why deny Scotland the same chance?
5. One of the reasons for having Scottish devolution/independence is to allow greater representation of the linguistic/cultural diversity present within Scotland. I suggest that your problem with the SNP is based upon a false view of them created by your analysis of history and not the reality of the situation.
6. Scottish independence may actually lessen bigotry, we won't be able to blame the English for everything.
7. Go choke on a haggis? My my, what startling repartee!

Deezer
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Oct 11 2007 17:13
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
7. Go choke on a haggis? My my, what startling repartee!

Ah, quite deliberately just as startling as your bigoted "fucking proddy fucks". At least I didn't repeat it twice.

Dundee_United
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Oct 11 2007 18:35

To be fair to Boul, I don't think that's why he was saying that the SNP and nationalism were a reactionary phenonemon. Clearly in terms of cultural pluralism and tolerance towards minorities the SNP is the most progressive mainstream party (probably including the SSP which is pretty bigoted towards Gaels and full of central beltism). It's their economic policies that are problematical, and the idea that Scotland as an independent state can exist in its own wee island is more than a little silly - something that the leadership of the SNP are very well aware of, hence their insistence on greater European integration and so on.

Boul is wrong however to think overall it'd make any great difference for Scotland to be 'independent' though - very little will change, bar a few policies which would be better in places and worse in others.

Terry
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Oct 11 2007 18:52

Some German power metal for Bodach gun bhrigh:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=C4L3MSS25Xk

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eI7eS8vB_6Y

BTW I like the fact you blame sectarianism in Scotland on colonisation by the Northern Irish.

Dundee_United
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Oct 11 2007 19:31
Quote:
actually that is exactly what Boul was aruging you dishonest prick.

Erm No it's not... What Boul wrote (admittedly responding to Bodach's, ahem, polemical invective) was:-

Quote:
The rise of nationalism leads directly to sectarianism and racism btw, something you'd do well to learn from Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia and numerous other enclaves in Europe and beyond. Not that I think any level of civil war or violence is on the cards in Scotland at all, but increased bigotry and sectarianism is distinctly likely. Racism and bigotry aren't associated with class politics but clearly whatever politics you are espousing these days are.

An independent Scotland would self-evidently lead to decreased sectarianism, bigotry and racism. That's fairly clear. Whether it would lead to lower corporation taxes and a further withdrawal of the remaining social wage however is also increasingly the direction of travel.

Dundee_United
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Oct 11 2007 19:36
Quote:
BTW I like the fact you blame sectarianism in Scotland on colonisation by the Northern Irish.

Lol - yeah. Bodach's quite well read. I'd imagine he's more than well aware that 'we' Scots, sort of, started it in the first place.

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 11 2007 19:42
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
5. One of the reasons for having Scottish devolution/independence is to allow greater representation of the linguistic/cultural diversity present within Scotland.

Who was it who said "when I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my pistol"? It's near meaningless word deployed by every twobit national liberationist politician to justify their irrational kneejerk abstracts. So explain Bodach:

-What "cultural diversity" is there in Scotland? Some people like the Highland Games and some like heroin?

-How would attempting to homogenise this hugely creative, diverse and fascinating (and never whingeing, bitter or irritating) people (sorry, peoples) under the banner of a nation state facilitate sabre tossing and needle using?

EDIT: Btw I'm joking about Scots before anyone accuses me of being a racist or anything. I'm sure Bodach, Dundee etc can differentiate between themselves and Scottish immigrants to England who seem to mainly complain about how shit England is cos the temperature goes above 5 degrees. Is that what Bodach means by "cultural diversity", some complain in Glasgee and some in Lunnon?

Terry
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Oct 11 2007 19:45

It was Hermann Goring what said that.

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 11 2007 19:49

Hahahahaah no way. I'm in trouble now.