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David Hood

Author and speaker, Global Marketing Network

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Scottish Independence: confidence, courage and ambition

Scotland, one of the oldest, yet newest, Nations on earth is moving towards an epoch and deciding whether to become Independent. It needs considered reflection to enable it to make this momentous decision, before the Independence Referendum in autumn 2014.

For far too long, and despite the reality of what Scots have given to humanity, our small Nation has been developing a 'cant do' persona. Other Nations have managed to adapt and pursue freedoms and self-respect and progressively moved to a natural, independent state. Its time we did the same.

Strangely, we live within the UK state that is continually discredited. The UK lacks the ability to work on behalf of Scotland and its interests; the UK cannot behave as either a 'good world citizen' or in line with the aspirations of the people of Scotland. Indeed, in the UK, it is arguably the only modern 'democratic' state that tells its own people that they are too stupid, small and impoverished and should not be in charge of their own affairs.

That is not simply the fault of the UK powers-that-be. We allow ourselves to be oppressed into thinking of ourselves as second class citizens within our own 'united' kingdom. We suffer indeed, arguably, from a national 'Stockholm Syndrome' in a captive and dysfunctional UK.

What we need is a real, immediate, and concentrated dose of self-respect, courage, and with it, ambition. Ambition to join the rest of the naturally organised nation-states. Ambition to put right the old wrongs. Ambition to act as a good citizen of the world - and find our age-old guts and determination to make the best of it. We also need friends, family and thinkers from outside of Scotland to stand with us and show us what can be achieved.

For centuries now, many countries have broken free of the 'British' constraints - and none have looked backwards since. Its up to us - and we'd like to hear from you!....

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    Mar 11 2013: (I totally read your conversation description with a Scottish accent in my head lol)

    In Canada, in 1993, when the 85% Inuit population in the Northeast got their dream of self-government (don't know if this is the exact same thing as Independence) everyone was glad that it was going to be a more By-the-People, For-the-People type thing for them...but high unemployment (at least 3x national average), lack of sizable industry and ability to retain crucial talent to build up the state etc. have been problems indeed. 20 years on! Things like, no industry and no jobs mean that everyday products need to be shipped in, causing the cost of living to be very high. In a depressed economy! And I think the Arab Spring revolutions are all realizing similar treacherous sinkholes on the road to new nationhood...

    So, aside from the good traditional / emotional / political reasons for self-determination, poor economic planning will cause a new independent state to have:
    - no viable industry to support itself (who knows what savings had been pooled in admin costs, or wholesale deals there've been from being part of the UK?)
    - a confused and inadequate starting political mandate (whose effects last years)
    - and a dejected populace :(

    I think Scotland needs to rebrand itself as a separate entity from the UK well in advance of the referendum. The world needs to know why they should travel there, do business and set up presences in both London and Edinburgh. I'm not sure that it's beyond a side-trip from London (sorry!), in many minds yet. There needs to be full confidence of business and tourism, regardless of the referendum result. All future Scottish politicians need to be able to prophesy a sequence of economic plans, stimuli and legislation in order to hit the ground running.

    Hire consultants! My boss is a Scottish one, for government! :) He wears kilts and plays rugby etc.
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      Mar 13 2013: Most of the former Soviet republics experienced the same in the early nineties, after Gorbachev has let the Soviet Union rattle and fall into pieces. Soviet Union had "planned economy" where supply chains were mandated from Moscow, not determined by the market. E.g. Lviv in Ukraine assembled buses for the whole country where all components may have come from different republics. Consumers had to buy the buses - not because they were good, but because they were allocated for a certain region by the government. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, people in other republics no longer had to buy buses from Ukraine. They preferred to buy German and French buses. Likewise, bus component manufacturers did not have to sell components to the bus plant in Ukraine, especially as it became bankrupt. The whole economic supply chain broke. Overlay this situation with endemic corruption and widespread stealing and "privatization" (i.e. buying with stolen money or using fraud and corruption) of the property of the former state enterprises, and you will get the picture what Ukrainian "independence" looks like now.

      But the nationalistic hype was very high. People marched with national flags, tore down monuments of Lenin, set monuments to Ukrainian leaders who fought communists in Western Ukraine in the 1940s (often on the side of the Nazis), renamed streets, enacted legislation to restore Ukrainian language in the government system and schools, etc. That's not freedom, really. At least, there is no war. Fortunately, the people have enough civility for that.

      Don't want to rain on your parade, though. Again, I am fairly ignorant of what situation in Scotland is. Just sharing my experience of living in a newly independent state. Independence takes a great national spirit like in the U.S. 200 years ago. When people are not ready and independence "falls on their heads" as it was in Ukraine, people often don't know what to do with it.
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        Mar 13 2013: A planned economy is quite different from economic planning. A circumstance of forced buyers has all kinds of issues--the scope of which I wouldn't even be able to start with here. By economic planning I meant leaders should consciously cultivate / identify viable industries, allocate adequate resources to market them, and ensure that regulations align intelligently with their safe and successful roll out.
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          Mar 13 2013: I did not mean to criticize economic planning. I meant to illustrate the danger of severing established economic ties.
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        Mar 13 2013: Oh I see. Then I think our points are similar in that there needs to be an economic plan alongside political change where necessary.

        It wasn't that the Ukraine went from communism to free-market, in particular, that made it run into trouble because the Bolshevik Revolution from Tsarist rule also had massive supply chain failures as do other historical sudden switches in leadership etc.
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          Mar 14 2013: Yes. I think, China is doing the transition a lot wiser than the Soviet Union. I believe, it was Gorbachev's mistake to loosen the grip so quickly.

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