The Leverage of Beverage

In this short, six-minute educated podcast, a discussion between three students debate the current drinking age in the UK and the US which currently sit at 18 and 21 respectively.

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The independence question – you decide

When it comes to the Scottish independence referendum, I’m not sure. It’s not a case of a lack of information as such, but probably a bombardment of disinformation.

When the original idea of an independence vote came around I was prolifically no. But really it was because I was thinking of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’. But that’s a pretty shallow argument, so it took a bit of thinking to arrive where I am now. I would say that I’m on the fence, leaning towards yes. My lean is attributed to one section of arguments: politics. The reason for that is because the way I see it the only spectrum in an independent (or not) Scotland that can truly be predicted is political.

The current state of affairs isn’t particularly desirable as Scotland is under a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition that we specifically didn’t vote for. I come from an area of Thatcher wasteland so for my community being ruled by Conservatives is a huge injustice. So, at least if we were independent we would be ruled by a government that we actually voted for. Thin argument if that’s your only one though.

The other side of the coin is that if we vote no then how would Scotland be treated as part of a country that we tried to escape. I dread the thought.

For me, that ends all viable arguments. For there is no models to compare of an already developed country in a similar situation. Because Scotland and the rest of the UK are so similar, I can’t see there being many social or economic arguments either way. This is unlike the situation with the Catalan region of Spain, which with the huge tourism industry in the region, if they were to become independent, and follow other small countries in installing a duty free law, could see their area turn into a country or principality such as Andorra or Monaco. The way I see it Scotland will remain indifferent.

Scotland’s Big Decision

To leave the UK or to stay, that is the question on the minds of the Scots. Will we be better off as a independent county or will we fall apart? Can we stand on our own two feet? Will we survive without England? Those are a few questions you’d find yourself asking if you are a Scottish citizen in 2014.

You’d think that people in Scotland would want to be independent but as it turns out, a lot of Scots want to stay part of the UK. This really surprises me. Maybe it’s because I am from the US and being free/independent is what I’ve grown up with. England is nothing like a dictatorship towards Scotland, Scotland does make their own decisions involving education and health care. So maybe staying part of the UK is the best choice.

If Scotland did end up leaving, could the country survive without the help from England or would they crumble under the pressure?  Does Scotland have enough resources to keep the country going strong or would it only be a matter of time before they would go running back to England? It’s hard to say what the future would hold for Scotland if they did receive their independence.

Don’t get me wrong, Scotland might become a great country on it’s own and be just fine. Really , it could go any way and there is always that fear of the unknown and the what ifs with every huge life -altering decision. But you have to risk the bad to see if the good will follow.

Patriotism also plays a role in the Scottish Referendum. Obviously there are people in every country that feel proud to be what they are and this applies to Scotland. I’m sure some people want to be independent just because they can be.

It’s hard to form an opinion on whether or not Scotland should stay or leave the UK because I have only been here for 3 weeks. A few Scots that I have talked to are leaning more towards voting no and staying part of the UK. Maybe it’s because all their lives they have lived with British influence and couldn’t think of any other way of living. Or because they don’t think Scotland can survive alone.

I guess the only thing to do now is wait for the vote and see what Scots choose to do. Take a risk and become independent or play it safe and stay in the UK.

Pro- Union or Pro- Independence?

With what can only be described as one of the most historical propositions in Scottish politics to be presented to Scots in over three- hundred years, Scottish Independence is a topic on everyone’s lips. Having been part of the United Kindgom for over three hundred years, the outcome of this event is likely to alter the country, over the coming years, forever.

It is apparent that the majority of Scots remain undecided as to whether they are pro- independence or pro union. Many are still not convinced by the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) proposals. One Twitter user tweeted “I hear a lot of SNP buzzwords, exaggeration and speculation, but no answers to attract economic questions to do with #scottishindependence”. It is clear that the SNP must be most specific in what they hope to achieve if they wish to convince the Scottish public that independence is the way forward. Continue reading

Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation

Corri Allan, Alice Cruickshank, Rebecca Barrett and Steph Gray discuss the recent cases of child abuse in the media, society’s attitude and sexual exploitation in every-day life. ZOOM0004