Archive for août, 2014

Why the French Government doesn’t want a « Yes » Vote in the Scottish Referendum

lundi, août 25th, 2014

Here’s a useful article by journalist Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris on why the French government doesn’t want a « yes » vote in the upcoming Scottish referendum.


« Nothing unites different nations quite like mutual enemies. But the « Auld Alliance » between Scotland and France – both historic rivals of England – doesn’t mean that the French government favours Scottish independence. Far from it. »

« France is not Spain, where the precedent Scotland might set for Catalonia is very real. Here the regions make a lot of noise, but there is no risk of separation. »

« No, for France the argument against Scottish independence is our dream of a strong United Kingdom, fully engaged in Europe, whose purpose is to counter-balance a Germany that gets more powerful every year. »

« Anything that detracts from that strong United Kingdom – as Scottish independence would do – goes against French ambitions in Europe. »

The problem of Scotland

mercredi, août 13th, 2014

Here’s an interesting article by Andrew Smithers writing in the on-line Financial Times on 13th August, 2014 and from which an extract is quoted below.

« Scotland is anti-Thatcher. The stated objections to Thatcher are that she was nasty and divisive. But the Scottish admire divisive people such as Nye Bevan, who called Conservatives ?vermin?, Arthur Scargill, who aimed to bring down an elected government and succeeded in bringing down an industry, and Alex Salmond, whose style is often divisive and his aim always. The real objection to Thatcher is that she seems to have been right and her opponents therefore wrong. Her economic policies were aimed at increasing the pot rather than worrying about its division. If, as I expect, devolution weakens Scotland?s dependency culture, its government will shift in this direction. It will be fascinating to observe Scotland becoming more Thatcherite while pretending not to do so. Thatcherite policies will have to be relabelled, but this will be easy for good marketing men and, if you are in politics and not good at marketing, then you are in the wrong job. »