Archive for September 17th, 2014

Scottish independence: Final day of campaigning ahead of vote

Robert Pigott reports on the last hours of the campaigns
17 September 2014

Both sides in the Scottish referendum debate are making their final pitch to voters on the last day of campaigning.

It comes as the latest polls suggested the result remained too close to call, with a slender lead for a “No” vote.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has written to voters appealing to them to vote “Yes”, saying “let’s do this”.

Key figures from the pro-Union Better Together campaign were out meeting nightworkers into Wednesday, ahead of a Love Scotland, Vote No rally.

Three new polls, one by Opinium for the Daily Telegraph, another by ICM for the Scotsman and a third by Survation for the Daily Mail, were published on Tuesday evening.

With undecided voters excluded, they all suggested a lead for “No” of 52% to 48%. Read the rest of this entry »


Pak Lah’s inaugural blog most welcome but is he prepared to consistently take up the cudgel to champion moderation against baneful developments like the upsurge of intolerance and extremism and the sedition dragnet which have created a climate of fear

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s inaugural blog on Malaysia Day yesterday is most welcome, especially as it addressed the biggest issue haunting Malaysia since his premiership – the rearing of the ugly head of intolerance and extremism among a raucous few preaching the politics of hatred and falsehoods, causing the worst racial and religious polarization in the history of plural Malaysia.

As a result, we have the sad spectacle yesterday of the former Higher Education Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM), which is one of the initiatives of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who have to ask for no media coverage of a forum on the country’s future co-organised by GMM because of the climate of fear engendered by the recent selective and malicious sedition dragnet.

Although the “no media coverage” was to protect the participants at the GMM forum from falling victim to the current sedition spree, there is the feeling that even Saifuddin himself may not be safe from the sedition dragnet, although he was former Deputy Minister and hand-picked by the Prime Minister himself to be the CEO of GMM!

It would appear that the only persons who need not fear the sedition dragnet are those who had since Abdullah’s premiership and who have become more blatant in the Najib premiership been inciting racial and religious hatred and conflict through lies and falsehoods, the very people who had succeeded in forcing Abdullah’s early retirement as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scotland Independence Vote Raises Specter of ‘Ununited’ Kingdom

ABC News
17th September 2014

Of all the many crises this summer — from ISIS, to Ukraine, Ebola to Libya — who’d have thought jolly old England would be on that list?

Technically, it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But for how much longer? On Thursday, after 307 years, Scotland may vote for independence and with it, potentially change the world order that has lasted since the end of the Second World War. Decisions taken across the highlands and lowlands of Scotland will echo far beyond the shores of a disunited kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scotland Chooses: 10 Factors for Independence Referendum Voters

By Dara Doyle, Ben Sills and Svenja O’Donnell
Sep 17, 2014

Here are some of the fault lines in tomorrow’s referendum on Scottish independence.

The Currency

“Yes” side: Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond says the pound is just as much as Scotland’s currency as the rest of the U.K. Retaining the pound as part of a formal currency union is the best option for the nation after independence, a panel of advisers has told him.

The “yes” side argues that Scotland is the second-biggest market for the rest of the U.K., which would be damaged if the pound was taken away from the Scots. The currency would also continue to benefit from being backed by North Sea oil.

Salmond said the Bank of England will continue to decide monetary policy day to day, with Scotland seeking input in the bank’s remit and governance.

“No” side: the Better Together campaign, led by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling and backed by the three biggest U.K. political parties, says that if Scotland leaves the U.K. it loses the pound. It says Salmond can’t guarantee what money Scots would use, and it’s not clear if an independent Scotland would seek to adopt the euro, set up an unproven national currency or use sterling unilaterally without any input into monetary policy making.

They say uncertainty will push up Scottish interest rates, meaning consumers and companies face higher borrowing costs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scottish referendum splits families, beer drinkers

By Mark Phillips/CBS News
September 16, 2014

EDINBURGH, Scotland – In the lead up to Thursday’s high-stakes referendum in Scotland, everything is political — even drinking.

A bar in Scotland is holding its own independence opinion poll.

At the Twa Dugs pub, you can order a “Yes” beer if you’re for independence. A “No” beer if you’re against it. It’s pub owner Bob Shields’ private opinion poll.

“I am calling it vote with your throat,” Shields laughed.

At the bar, the yes vote is ahead. But across Scotland polls show the vote is too close to call. Read the rest of this entry »

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