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Old December 2nd, 2016, 01:14 AM   #14261
Quirinalian
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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
I'm honestly bored of this. Both companies have had extensive dealings with the UK government, and the Welsh government. Either all of them did due diligence, or none did. Either way, I don't honestly give a sh*t, because at the end of the day all you care about is SNP=bad.
Nice to see we're at that level. If the only answer to a genuinely peculiar state of affairs is to deflect, then I'm not really sure what we're bothering about here.

It does seem that you genuinely don't give a shit.

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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
Complete BS, again. Becoming an autonomous region, or a Crown Dependency, would both leave Scotland within the UK.
Crown dependancies are, as a point of fact, not part of the United Kingdom.

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Says you? With no evidence, and no legal backing?
The first two sentences were relatively straightforward statements of fact, the third was a conclusion. If you genuinely think that the UK Government should make a commitment before a referendum to retain Scotland within the United Kingdom and then go back on that, I'd strongly question your motives.

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Norway is not realistic for several reasons. It is not realistic to have unfettered free movement [/QUIOTE]
Technically Norway has the option to apply brakes to immigration that we do not have as part of the EU. I say unfettered free movement is completely realistic, you say otherwise because you're a Tory.
Nope. I support free movement from a political perspective. I do not think it is realistic because of the referendum outcome. Despite being one of the strongest Remainers going, I have accepted the result of a referendum; I wish rather more Scottish nationalists took a leaf out of that book rather than expressing bafflement that someone could take such a view.

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Again, your personal opinion. Both would completely satisfy the vote to "Leave the European Union"
So, in essence, you think the referendum outcome verdict would be satisfied by changing absolutely nothing other than removing our democratic right to a say in how EU legislation is made? I don't think I'm being controversial in suggesting that's not what the majority of people voted for.

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Honestly, this "bespoke" deal BS has gone on long enough. It doesn't exist
That's kinda the point behind something being bespoke, yeah...

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, and tt isn't possible, if it were Switzerland would have gotten there decades ago. Unless you can explain what the "bespoke" deal is, and exactly how it is to exist completely without free movement, and regulations, and a central arbitration court, and without funding, then we cannot discuss this
I think a bespoke arrangement will have to involve some sort of financial arrangement. Free movement would need to be restricted - that does not mean simply putting EU nationals on the same plain as every other foreign citizen. Regulations apply in any arrangement in some way, certainly. As for an arbitration court, that's more complicated: Switzerland does not have this, but equally the EU does not see that as a positive situation and wishes to tighten up this institutional structure. Whether they get their way in a Swiss or British sense will remain to be seen.

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Originally Posted by anonymous_redrum View Post
Of course it would, not like people can change their political opinions or anything. You would take the word of a former SPAD making clickbait headlines in newspapers as gospel, would you? Surely that would mean i must take as gospel that Gordon Brown said(made a promise) that Scotland will have federalism(true home rule) after 18th September 2014?
Yes, that would no doubt represent his views - if he actually bloody said that!

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You can go on about conspiracies all you want, the facts are staring you right in the face. Nobody takes QT serious anymore.
Except, of course, they do. It is one of the most watched political programmes going and has remained consistently popular for many, many years. The format works well.

Last edited by Quirinalian; December 2nd, 2016 at 01:22 AM.
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 03:56 PM   #14262
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
Crown dependancies are, as a point of fact, not part of the United Kingdom.
The point is that they are not independent states, which was what the independence referendum was about. And it is impossible to have an autonomous region still within the same country? Other countries manage it.

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If you genuinely think that the UK Government should make a commitment before a referendum to retain Scotland within the United Kingdom and then go back on that, I'd strongly question your motives.
The UK Government makes and breaks commitments dozens of times a day. The referendum was on independence, not "retaining Scotland within the UK". Crown dependency, or autonomous region, or British Oveseas Territory, or Special Group Just For Scotland and NI, or further devolution to the point that we could retain a closer relationship with the EU would be fully within the terms of "NOT INDEPENDENCE". Unless you are stating that the Isle of Man is an independent country? Or Gibraltar? As always you're trying to weasel out on technicalities, the referendum was not "should we become independent or should we remain exactly as we are with no changes in devolution, no autonomy, no federal structure, no devo max?"

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I have accepted the result of a referendum; I wish rather more Scottish nationalists took a leaf out of that book rather than expressing bafflement that someone could take such a view.
No, not really, I accepted that I lost the PR ref, and still pushed for a move away from FPTP. I accepted that I lost the indy ref and pushed for further devolution. I accept that we lost the EU ref, and am pushing for Scotland/UK to not throw the baby out with the bath water and move towards an EEA deal, prefereably with some special status for NI and Scotland.

There is a difference between accepting the outcome, and actively pushing for the most extreme interpretation. By the way, I'll remember this when we have our next referendum.

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So, in essence, you think the referendum outcome verdict would be satisfied by changing absolutely nothing other than removing our democratic right to a say in how EU legislation is made?
No, I think that the referendum outcome verdict would be satisfied by us leaving the EU.

EEA nations do have a say in the first stages of EU legislation, and do not adopt all EU legislation. As someone who loves technicalities, this satisfies everything - more "sovereignty", less EU regulations, a bit stronger restrictions on free movement, and we're not in the EU.

Your point is mute any way, there is no conceivable relationship where we maintain our democratic input to EU legislation without being in the EU. Therefore, every single Leave voter voted to remove our input into EU legislation. If we are to trade as freely as possible with goods and services with the EU then that will require us accepting EU regs/legislation, the EU isn't going to sit down and design their regulations with us - we'll have to put up with it, or shut up and not trade. Or our manufacturers will have to make one version of their product that they can sell to the EU and one for domestic consumption. Some will, at a cost to consumers. Most will move, or just manufacture one that abides by EU rules.

If the majority of people don't understand this, then the majority of people are idiots.

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That's kinda the point behind something being bespoke, yeah...
So you think that the UK will succeed where 31 EEA states have failed? You think the UK will succeed where the rest of the world has failed? The only country with a "bespoke deal" is Switzerland, and their deal is sh*t. Pretending that we're a special snowflake and deserve better is not going to magically take back the last 40 years of the EU.

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I think a bespoke arrangement will have to involve some sort of financial arrangement. Free movement would need to be restricted - that does not mean simply putting EU nationals on the same plain as every other foreign citizen.
Restricting free movement immediately puts us in a looser relationship that Switzerland. Isn't going to happen. Switzerland has been trying for years, what makes you think that we can do so in a strict 2 year deadline, when Switzerland has failed for more than a decade? Malta just has to object and we're out without any agreement.

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Regulations apply in any arrangement in some way, certainly.
Nope, you just said above that the good voters of Britain will not have us accept any EU regulations without a say in making them. We won't get a say, as we won't be in the EU. Leave the club, but get to decide on the rules for everyone else? BS.

We can't shape regulations outside the EU. Accepting those regulations here apparently goes against the EU vote. Therefore we can't be in the single market, which will damage the UK economy due to the level of goods and services which we trade with the EU. My proof?
1)How many companies and businesses have said they will move if the UK is out of the single market? Lots
2) How many have said they will move here only if we leave the single market? None.

As for practical solutions, the UK government could move Scotland (and NI) into some new autonomous region/federal setup. Not independent states, but just a further push of devolution as has happened across the UK since the Indy vote. I think in practical terms, this will mean an agreement where EU citizens (and UK citizens in turn) are allowed visa-free travel, but will only be able to live and work in Scotland and NI.

Sure, such an arrangement doesn't currently exist, but the reverse pretty much does which makes it far more likely as a "bespoke deal" than your "have cake, eat cake, make up the rules for when others eat their cake" deal. There is the added bonus that the Rep of Ireland, and NI, and the EU, will want this (and Westminster will be pressured into it thanks to the GFA) as it removes the need to have a hard border between NI and the Rep.

Last edited by DaeguDuke; December 2nd, 2016 at 04:02 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 01:19 AM   #14263
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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
The point is that they are not independent states, which was what the independence referendum was about. And it is impossible to have an autonomous region still within the same country? Other countries manage it.


The UK Government makes and breaks commitments dozens of times a day. The referendum was on independence, not "retaining Scotland within the UK". Crown dependency, or autonomous region, or British Oveseas Territory, or Special Group Just For Scotland and NI, or further devolution to the point that we could retain a closer relationship with the EU would be fully within the terms of "NOT INDEPENDENCE". Unless you are stating that the Isle of Man is an independent country? Or Gibraltar? As always you're trying to weasel out on technicalities, the referendum was not "should we become independent or should we remain exactly as we are with no changes in devolution, no autonomy, no federal structure, no devo max?"
Simply saying that one actor should completely repudiate all the principles that they stood on in the most high-profile exercise in electoral participation in a country's history simply isn't going to cut it. It is not credible for the UK Government to interpret the 2014 referendum result as saying that Scotland should rest outside the United Kingdom, or indeed exist as some sort of autonomous region in the vein of semi-failed states like Iraq.

During the referendum, there was indeed talk about further devolution - and the UK Government made clear that it was open to these suggestions. However that did not extend to undermining the integrity of the UK as a state.

Quote:
No, not really, I accepted that I lost the PR ref, and still pushed for a move away from FPTP. I accepted that I lost the indy ref and pushed for further devolution. I accept that we lost the EU ref, and am pushing for Scotland/UK to not throw the baby out with the bath water and move towards an EEA deal, prefereably with some special status for NI and Scotland.

There is a difference between accepting the outcome, and actively pushing for the most extreme interpretation. By the way, I'll remember this when we have our next referendum.
"The most extreme outcome"? I'm not really sure what that is. Unilateral withdrawal, no trade arrangements and a declaration of war against the European Union? I'm certainly not advocating anything of the sort.

What matters is a sensible approach. For example, if Scotland had voted yes in 2014, I'd certainly not have been advocating using the pound sterling. It quite clearly wasn't a credible solution. Yes, that was perhaps more "extreme" than the nonsense the SNP was peddling but, frankly, it would have been a better option.

If we're outside of the EU, then there comes a point where of course we should be pushing for a bespoke outcome that recognises the particular interests of the UK. Anything less is by virtual definition not within the UK's national interests. How that evolves during a negotiation is another matter, of course, but that's beyond the control of the UK Government.

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No, I think that the referendum outcome verdict would be satisfied by us leaving the EU.

EEA nations do have a say in the first stages of EU legislation, and do not adopt all EU legislation. As someone who loves technicalities, this satisfies everything - more "sovereignty", less EU regulations, a bit stronger restrictions on free movement, and we're not in the EU.

Your point is mute any way, there is no conceivable relationship where we maintain our democratic input to EU legislation without being in the EU. Therefore, every single Leave voter voted to remove our input into EU legislation. If we are to trade as freely as possible with goods and services with the EU then that will require us accepting EU regs/legislation, the EU isn't going to sit down and design their regulations with us - we'll have to put up with it, or shut up and not trade. Or our manufacturers will have to make one version of their product that they can sell to the EU and one for domestic consumption. Some will, at a cost to consumers. Most will move, or just manufacture one that abides by EU rules.
The point is that Leave voters did not vote simply for an objectively worse position. They voted Leave because of the opportunities that leaving the EU could present. Simply entering what you seem to be suggesting (an EEA-plus, without the areas of derogation that those states utilise, and in the customs union) does not provide any of those opportunities. It simply puts us where we were, with less influence.

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So you think that the UK will succeed where 31 EEA states have failed? You think the UK will succeed where the rest of the world has failed? The only country with a "bespoke deal" is Switzerland, and their deal is sh*t. Pretending that we're a special snowflake and deserve better is not going to magically take back the last 40 years of the EU.
Ultimately, yes. Switzerland does indeed have a bespoke arrangement - I'd say that even the EEA countries' arrangements are a bespoke package that has evolved not for an individual state, but for the bloc: it recognises particular concerns that the states concerned have (and they have several in common: they're all small states, they all have a certain level of isolation, etc).

The UK is in a materially different position. It is a very sizeable economy, and the most successful in the EU of late. The EU's relationship with the UK is of enormously more consequence than its relationship with the EFTA countries.

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Restricting free movement immediately puts us in a looser relationship that Switzerland. Isn't going to happen. Switzerland has been trying for years, what makes you think that we can do so in a strict 2 year deadline, when Switzerland has failed for more than a decade?
By not being part of the Schengen Area, the UK and Ireland have already had their unique positions on borders and migration acknowledged for a long time. You say Switzerland has been advocating for changes to its free movement agreements, but that's only been true since the constitutional referendum in 2014.

Indeed, the other changes it has adopted were unilateral and have effectively operated and been long-standing. The bilateral on free movement came into force in 2002. From 2004 the "flanking measures" started to come into play. In reality, Switzerland has had limits on free movement since then that have simply operated.

Other exemptions exist. The Swiss bilateral, for example, exempts social security payments.

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Nope, you just said above that the good voters of Britain will not have us accept any EU regulations without a say in making them.
I don't think I did say that. Not to mention that the EFTA countries have a formal role in the early process of making new regulations in consultation with the Commission. The problem then is what happens in the parliament and the council.

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I think in practical terms, this will mean an agreement where EU citizens (and UK citizens in turn) are allowed visa-free travel, but will only be able to live and work in Scotland and NI.
We have visa-free travel to Brazil, Haiti, Mexico... the in fact, dozens upon dozens of countries outside the EU. The idea the we'd require visas for travel to go to the EU is nonsense.

That's quite different however from requiring a visa to work. If we were to impose any conditions on migrants (ie, they have to work in Scotland or Northern Ireland or whatever) it would have to be done through - quite obviously - a visa system.

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There is the added bonus that the Rep of Ireland, and NI, and the EU, will want this (and Westminster will be pressured into it thanks to the GFA) as it removes the need to have a hard border between NI and the Rep.
I don't think the border in Ireland is really all that big an issue. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland seems to think it's more significant than I do, but ultimately it's something of a pickle really. I wouldn't want to try to square that circle.

Last edited by Quirinalian; December 5th, 2016 at 01:28 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 01:56 PM   #14264
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
Scotland should rest outside the United Kingdom, or indeed exist as some sort of autonomous region in the vein of semi-failed states like Iraq.
Or exist as an autonomous region as those other failed states, like Norway. Anything less than independence by definition means that the 2014 outcome is acknowledged. Its that simple. The principle of the No vote was that we would remain in the UK, if we can do this but with enough autonomy to maintain EU links, then we should do that. If the UK can get a "bespoke" deal from the EU, then Scotland can get a "bespoke" deal within the UK. Simple.

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During the referendum, there was indeed talk about further devolution - and the UK Government made clear that it was open to these suggestions. However that did not extend to undermining the integrity of the UK as a state.
Mere talk was it? Already forgotten The Vow? Devolution to "near federalism". "Devo-max" was officially on the table, and still is.

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"The most extreme outcome"? I'm not really sure what that is. Unilateral withdrawal, no trade arrangements and a declaration of war against the European Union?
The most extreme outcome of the most probably outcomes. Why do you always resort to extreme technicalities? Whilst you're on it, a more extreme outcome could be nuking the planet, and blasting the cabinet into space, that is just as likely as declaring war against the EU.

What matters is a sensible approach. For example, if Scotland had voted yes in 2014, I'd certainly not have been advocating using the pound sterling. It quite clearly wasn't a credible solution. Yes, that was perhaps more "extreme" than the nonsense the SNP was peddling but, frankly, it would have been a better option.

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If we're outside of the EU, then there comes a point where of course we should be pushing for a bespoke outcome that recognises the particular interests of the UK. Anything less is by virtual definition not within the UK's national interests. How that evolves during a negotiation is another matter, of course, but that's beyond the control of the UK Government.
This is going round in circles, at the end of the day you think that we're a special snowflake and deserve something better than the deals that Norway and Switzerland have managed. We can't get that, because any better deal would undermine the existing EU members, the existing EEA members, the existing EFTA members, as well as give FTA countries something to moan about. Canada "why can't we get full recognition of our financial services without regulatory oversight for a few quid?"

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The point is that Leave voters did not vote simply for an objectively worse position.
Where EU trade is concerned, that is exactly what they did.

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They voted Leave because of the opportunities that leaving the EU could present. Simply entering what you seem to be suggesting (an EEA-plus, without the areas of derogation that those states utilise, and in the customs union) does not provide any of those opportunities. It simply puts us where we were, with less influence.
Again, this is your opinion. Earlier you stated they voted to reduce immigration, and to stop accepting EU legislation. If that is all true, then they did not vote for leaving the EU with the opportunity to pursue a Norway, or Swiss-style deal, they voted only for a loose free trade agreement. Something that was not advocated by Leave.

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The UK is in a materially different position. It is a very sizeable economy, and the most successful in the EU of late. The EU's relationship with the UK is of enormously more consequence than its relationship with the EFTA countries.
Yes, but the EU's relationship with the UK does not trump its relationship with its members, nor with the rest of the world. Giving the UK a bespoke deal better than Switzerland, Norway, existing EU members, or FTA countries like Canada isn't going to happen.

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By not being part of the Schengen Area, the UK and Ireland have already had their unique positions on borders and migration acknowledged for a long time.
The free travel area already existed, the UK and Ireland decided not to join the EU-wide visa scheme but to participate fully in other areas such as free movement. Not the same as removing free movement, removing EU regulations and legislation, and pretending we can still trade with the EU as well as we can now.

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We have visa-free travel to Brazil, Haiti, Mexico... the in fact, dozens upon dozens of countries outside the EU. The idea the we'd require visas for travel to go to the EU is nonsense
Ahem.

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I don't think the border in Ireland is really all that big an issue. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland seems to think it's more significant than I do, but ultimately it's something of a pickle really. I wouldn't want to try to square that circle.
If there is a requirement to check people, or goods, crossing the border between NI and the Rep (which, your "bespoke" deal would require), then it would require some sort of checks. There is absolutely no way that will happen without a return to the Troubles. You don't think that is a big deal? Says a lot.

I don't think that voters wanted to cease trading with the EU and strip the relationship down to a basic free trade agreement. Without accepting EU regs and legislation, and paying for that, then that is the best we can get. If there is any material difference either side of the NI/Rep border, then we're back to the Troubles. Did Leave voters want us to return to the brink of civil war? Anything less than an EEA agreement (which does satisfy some immigration controls, and the ability to pursue outside trade deals) means the UK breaks up. I thought the idea was that the Uk left the EU? Maybe just England.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 02:10 PM   #14265
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Disgraceful results for Scotland in the latest PISA

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...itics-38207729

The SNP need to get to grips with this urgently. Mike Russell was incompetent and hated by all that worked with him. Swinney systematically underfunded the schools resulting in the current crisis. Shambolic.

Not only do we have the amongst the fattest kids in the world, now they're not even that bright.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 03:02 PM   #14266
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Not only do we have the amongst the fattest kids in the world, now they're not even that bright.
Well, they're average. Seems like the UK as a whole dropped in most metrics, jump in science in England balancing out falls elsewhere. Heard that the results in England seem to suggest that poorer kids have performed worse and worse since austerity started, which wouldn't be surprising, haven't looked into it though.

We're kinda caught in a trap with regards to new ideas to improve the education system. Education in Wales under Labour is shockingly bad (again) and the current trend of falling PISA scores goes back to 2000-2003 at least. Things seemed to flatline when the SNP came in, but this year they've dropped again. I honestly can't see the Tory plans for academies, grammar schools and cuts to funding improving the situation. Improving funding for schools would help, perhaps by funding education centrally, but (Lab) councils will fight this tooth and nail. At least stopping the council tax freeze will allow a bit more funding to come through.

Are the PISA scores absolute, or relative? Could be we're just coasting whilst other countries are making big improvements..
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Old December 6th, 2016, 05:57 PM   #14267
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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
Well, they're average. Seems like the UK as a whole dropped in most metrics, jump in science in England balancing out falls elsewhere. Heard that the results in England seem to suggest that poorer kids have performed worse and worse since austerity started, which wouldn't be surprising, haven't looked into it though.
In London I thought the poorer districts and poorer students had thrived in the past few years. Don't know about nationally.

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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
We're kinda caught in a trap with regards to new ideas to improve the education system. Education in Wales under Labour is shockingly bad (again) and the current trend of falling PISA scores goes back to 2000-2003 at least. Things seemed to flatline when the SNP came in, but this year they've dropped again. I honestly can't see the Tory plans for academies, grammar schools and cuts to funding improving the situation. Improving funding for schools would help, perhaps by funding education centrally, but (Lab) councils will fight this tooth and nail. At least stopping the council tax freeze will allow a bit more funding to come through.
I think the best thing we could do is go back to basics. Michael Gove is an arse of a man, but one thing he did understand about schools was the decline in teaching foundational knowledge and skills well and the need to tackle 'the blob'. This is what is wrong with curriculum for excellence IMO. Its all touchy feely team-work feel-good crap that doesn't build the basic reading, writing or arithmetic skills people need to function. We seem to be trying to pinch bits of the Scandinavian approach, without fully implementing it, leading to a mish mash of pedagogies. Teachers are also drained from having to implement all the new reforms without any additional resources (in fact, with less resources).

Have any of you recruited recently? I've had graduates come in from good schools and university degrees who can't even compose a letter or do basic fractions.

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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
Are the PISA scores absolute, or relative? Could be we're just coasting whilst other countries are making big improvements..
We've declined in relative and absolute terms unfortunately.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 06:10 PM   #14268
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In London I thought the poorer districts and poorer students had thrived in the past few years. Don't know about nationally.
AFAIK London is the only part of England to have made a significant improvement (from non-PISA metrics).

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This is what is wrong with curriculum for excellence IMO. Its all touchy feely team-work feel-good crap that doesn't build the basic reading, writing or arithmetic skills people need to function.
I don't know much about it, apart from teachers I know despise it. Just looked up, can't believe it took 8/9 years to design and implement :/ I'm not sure that there is any way around it, but the focus from the SNP on improving early learning probably won't be seen in PISA scores for a decade, hard to tell from a snapshot of 15yos what is working and what isn't. John Swinney was addressing Holyrood today, presumably some consultation will be launched..

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Have any of you recruited recently? I've had graduates come in from good schools and university degrees who can't even compose a letter or do basic fractions.
Welcome to the internet generation :/ I teach a couple practical uni classes, it is shocking how many students come in unable to use spreadsheet software (not a Scottish problem per se, international and other Brits seem just as bad for it). After a term of dodgy graphs I caught a student in a practical IT exam using windows calc to work out averages and S.D. to graph in Excel *facepalm*
Universities don't teach letter composition, or fractions, students are expected to be able to do that before they even arrive. I'd expect them to be able to use word/excel too (hell, I was taught mail merge a decade ago, never used it but it was part of the state school IT classes).

IMO there probably needs to be a stronger emphasis on reading and writing in primary schools (any improvements made now we probably won't see for 5/6 years), then the focus should shift in high school. I'd prioritize math, IT and a science (but I'm obviously biased due to my profession).
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Old December 7th, 2016, 12:03 PM   #14269
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Oh, look, federal UK setup now favoured by Labour (they flip flop more than a fish out of water). If SLab, Greens, SNP, LibDems all favour a more federal setup, then obviously the vast majority of people believe that would satisfy the outcome of the independence ref. It really doesn't matter if we call it devo-max, or federalism, or autonomy, as long as we are not an independent state then it is possible. I suspect the Tories will end up being told that they can have their hard Brexit and the UK breaks up, or a soft Brexit with further devolution and deals with the devolved governments.

If the UK can get a "bespoke deal" which doesn't exist, then Scotland and NI can get their own "bespoke deals".

Holyrood gets more powers, NI gets to keep their border open.
England gets to leave the EU (but most likely stay within the EEA). Adopts fewer EU rules and regs, emergency break on EU immigration, although this will have to be coupled with a reduction in non-EU immigration too, I wish the Tories all the luck in the world keeping the economy ticking along with "tens of thousands" of migrants. Just give the Tories/UKiP/BNP enough rope to hang themselves.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 12:52 PM   #14270
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Soft Brexit/Hard Brexit is all meaningless guff, the EU has spoken and yer out on your arse in 18 months pronto.

Tory arses will be flapping and Labour are clinging on to mere existence. Dugdale and Labour are about as relevant as Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog.

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Old December 7th, 2016, 01:19 PM   #14271
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Yes, that would no doubt represent his views - if he actually bloody said that!



Except, of course, they do. It is one of the most watched political programmes going and has remained consistently popular for many, many years. The format works well.
He did and Dugdale is repeating it this week(again, getting like Rocky 5000).

Aye it's a great impartial programme:

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BBC reprimands Question Time producer over far right social media posts

THE AUDIENCE PRODUCER for the BBC news debate show Question Time has been “reminded” by the BBC of the corporation’s guidelines regarding social media use, after she shared Facebook posts by the far-right group Britain First.


https://www.commonspace.scot/article...al-media-posts
Beiber is popular, doesn't mean he is good.

Last edited by anonymous_redrum; December 8th, 2016 at 09:47 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 03:52 PM   #14272
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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
I appreciate the rest of your post and share some sympathy with the idea of finding a solution that is the most acceptable to most people. It's worth noting at this point that the UK Government has repeatedly said there will be one deal, but that it can be flexible to address different needs across the country (things like Horizon 2020 and Erasmus are the low-hanging-fruit here).

My concern here is a technical one. The UK Government has also stated it wants the maximum possible access to the single market. There's no great divide there. The problem arises when people suggest that there a status of membership of the single market independent of membership of the EU. There quite simply isn't.
Yes, I've seen you write this before, but you are wrong. The single market is the EEA. Membership of the EEA comes about by membership of either the EU or EFTA.

http://www.efta.int/sites/default/fi...Aagreement.pdf

It is currently the case that EFTA membership is only possible for sovereign states. There has been a lot, A LOT, of contact between the SNP and EFTA member states in recent months. My guess is that there are a number of possible options being explored:

1. Their willingness to change this rule.
2. The possibility of the UK joining EFTA as the UK, but only on behalf, and only covering / having effect in, the territories of (probably) Scotland, NI and Gib)
3. The possibility of Scotland joining EFTA in the event of an indyref2 yes vote

(just a guess)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
There are issues like the customs union, sure, but the idea of Scotland being in the EU customs union rather than having custom-free trade with the rest of the UK is makes no sense because - at risk of sounding like a broken record - the relative levels of trade with the two.
I don't think there's anyone suggesting that Scotland could remain in the EU customs union while the UK leaves it - this is all about EEA membership, not the customs union. In effect, what is being explored here, is whether Scotland could remain in both the EEA and the 'UK single market' and the 'UK customs union as it will be'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
On the point of a middle way though, I'd like to do a bit of a reach-out here across the constitutional divide. The Unionists worked to create a Scottish Parliament, they have taken several moves to increase its powers to the point that it really is a very autonomous body, the Scottish Government is extensively consulted on reserved issues (not just foreign affairs and Brexit, but things like energy policy too).

I'd suggest a middle way is being pushed by unionists, but there is no similar offer from nationalists. It's been a long time since the likes of Mike Russell were talking about a "new union" or Andrew Wilson was seriously talking about respecting and embracing British identity and co-operation. If anything, the Yes movement killed any remaining embers of that sort of thinking. Isn't it perhaps time if nationalists are going to talk about solutions, they have to have a little bit of give as well as take?
Now, it might not be as 'middle' a way as you would like, but I would say that this is exactly what the pro-indy camp are doing.

1. They are admitting (albeit quietly) that if the UK remains a full member of the single market there will be no justification for indyref2 - and I personally agree with that. Leaving the EU but somehow staying in the EEA, and retaining a number of other areas of cooperation is probably not enough of a 'material change' to justify indyref2, and in those circumstances I would personally prefer to respect the outcome of 2014 and see how things go in the long term.

2. If the UK as a whole does not retain full EEA membership then the next pro-indy camp offer is to keep Scotland in the UK, but find a way to also keep Scotland in the EEA. Now this might not be simple, or even ultimately possibly, but I suspect the Scottish electorate will judge the UK government not on whether or not it succeeds, but on whether or not it even bothers to try - and in my view that is entirely fair.

So that's a 2 stage, middle ground offer, and that's precisely what you are asking for, no?

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Originally Posted by Quirinalian View Post
Our fishing industry is not a homogeneous whole. Look to Norway: fishermen like the current status, fish processors and fish farmers (and some related industries, like logistics) do not - they're more concerned with market access. To simply equate fishermen with the whole fishing industry is to ignore a variety of interests.
Fair point, I'm no expert, I may have chosen a bad example. I was merely suggesting that EFTA membership those parts of the UK that are prepared to accept the four freedoms, in exchange for EEA membership, might suit more people overall, than any other path that might be chosen. And since it would allow Scotland to enjoy the benefits of current levels of migration, while England could take more control of immigration (and appears to value that more than EEA membership) then it also stands to make more voters happier, UK wide.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 08:45 PM   #14273
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So, how does so many in Labour abstaining actually get anyone anywhere?
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Old Yesterday, 11:48 PM   #14274
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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
Or exist as an autonomous region as those other failed states, like Norway. Anything less than independence by definition means that the 2014 outcome is acknowledged. Its that simple. The principle of the No vote was that we would remain in the UK, if we can do this but with enough autonomy to maintain EU links, then we should do that. If the UK can get a "bespoke" deal from the EU, then Scotland can get a "bespoke" deal within the UK. Simple.
I hardly think emulating an "autonomous" group of islands, hundreds of miles distant from the mainland, with a population of under 3,000 and administered by a Governor appointed by the mother-country's government is really anything to be emulated.

The point here is that we created a rational constitutional framework through the Smith Commission. I'm not sure quite what the proposed merits of what you are suggesting are that would make us want to devolve further powers that we decided to maintain at UK level for good, justifiable and evidence-based reasons.

Scotland already has a bespoke arrangement within the UK.

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Mere talk was it? Already forgotten The Vow? Devolution to "near federalism". "Devo-max" was officially on the table, and still is.
"Devo Max" was never on any table because not a single unionist party would support it, and nationalists only support it as a mechanism to break up the United Kingdom. It is an inherently unstable and fundamentally silly constitutional arrangement.

In case you haven't noticed, we already surpass a great many federal states in the level of devolved power available to the Scottish Parliament.

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The most extreme outcome of the most probably outcomes. Why do you always resort to extreme technicalities? Whilst you're on it, a more extreme outcome could be nuking the planet, and blasting the cabinet into space, that is just as likely as declaring war against the EU.
Indeed, so I would recommend toning down the hyperbole. No-one here is pushing for an "extreme outcome" and frankly discussing being outside of the customs union or any issue like that is far from extreme.

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This is going round in circles, at the end of the day you think that we're a special snowflake and deserve something better than the deals that Norway and Switzerland have managed. We can't get that, because any better deal would undermine the existing EU members, the existing EEA members, the existing EFTA members, as well as give FTA countries something to moan about.
I think the EU's current model is quite possibly doomed to failure anyway. It's certainly logically incoherent: you cannot hold up "ever closer union" as a constant principle. I could do with a bit of undermining.

The EU recognised this in some areas. That's why the UK and Denmark were given opt-outs from joining the Euro. Yet of course that's one of the key components of the modern single market. So too, the EFTA countries were essentially allowed to have differential sectoral arrangements on agriculture and fish, recognising their own desires. If it wasn't for that, we'd have left a long time ago.

So the suggestion that this isn't a pick-and-mix situation is bunkum: it already is, and there's no coherent reason it shouldn't be. The single market is far from a perfected system, it's a hodge-podge.

I'm offering a solution that would not only suit the UK, but actually resolve the constitutional problems that the EU is experience in relation to Switzerland.

Quote:
Earlier you stated they voted to reduce immigration, and to stop accepting EU legislation.
I'm not sure where you got this idea that I've ever claimed that there is some sort of bar against accepting EU regulations. I haven't.

Quote:
Ahem.
I point out that we have visa-free travel to many other countries and will undoubtedly have it with the EU under any arrangement - and you try to rebut that by pointing to a website about a visa-free travel arrangement for the EU that extends to a great many countries across the globe? I'm afraid you're rather making my case here.

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If there is a requirement to check people, or goods, crossing the border between NI and the Rep (which, your "bespoke" deal would require), then it would require some sort of checks. There is absolutely no way that will happen without a return to the Troubles. You don't think that is a big deal? Says a lot.

I don't think that voters wanted to cease trading with the EU and strip the relationship down to a basic free trade agreement. Without accepting EU regs and legislation, and paying for that, then that is the best we can get. If there is any material difference either side of the NI/Rep border, then we're back to the Troubles. Did Leave voters want us to return to the brink of civil war? Anything less than an EEA agreement (which does satisfy some immigration controls, and the ability to pursue outside trade deals) means the UK breaks up. I thought the idea was that the Uk left the EU? Maybe just England.
I don't think Northern Ireland is suddenly going to descend into civil war over a quick check of goods at a border. You seem to think it will. I, frankly, find that a bit ridiculous. The image of Gerry Adams, holding an Armalite on the Falls Road, calling the people to rise on the basis of customs declarations is however one at at least gives me a chuckle if nothing else.

There aren't absolutes here. We have maintained an open border with Ireland for a long time on the basis of fairly sensible agreements. Yes, de facto it has meant that Ireland has had to limit their autonomy on immigration issues and essentially follow the British lead, but they've accepted that.

Equally if Ireland wanted an open border then sensible arrangements have to be found between the British, Irish and EU administrations. It's not as simple as suggesting the only options are a Donald Trump style border wall or being within the customs union. Although I'd also point out that an EEA arrangement would put us outside that customs union anyway.
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Old Yesterday, 11:55 PM   #14275
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Originally Posted by DaeguDuke View Post
I honestly can't see the Tory plans for academies, grammar schools and cuts to funding improving the situation.
The Conservatives in Scotland don't support grammar schools. Neither the Conservatives in Scotland or England support funding cuts to education: indeed, it should be pretty obvious that English schools saw increases in their funding when John Swinney oversaw cuts in Scotland.

I'd also point out that many of the policies you have proposed around life skills, STEM education and ensuring a solid early focus on the fundamentals are in fact Conservative policies. Are you sure you're not a Tory underneath it all?

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Improving funding for schools would help, perhaps by funding education centrally
Which is of course one of the main features of academies...
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