Freedom – to vote

Having spent quite some time complaining about Alex Salmond’s disenfranchisement of expatriate Scots – me, Sir Sean and Sir Alec among many, many others – I was delighted to see this article in today’s Sunday Times.

I don’t know how the Chariot’s resident jurist, JM, would rate the chances of success, but any pushing and shoving that might be required south of the border I shall happily assist.

15 thoughts on “Freedom – to vote”

  1. Sheona,
    This will, quite fairly in my opinion, open a huge can of worms. If expats are given the right to vote, do their children also inherit the same right even thought they may not have ever been a resident of Scotland? How can it be proved that a person has the right to vote? It’s going to be either a legal nightmare or a monumental bodge up. I suspect the latter

  2. I would be quite happy to turn up at the Scottish Office with birth certificate and proof of residence, jhl. But if the “monumental bodge up” can throw Salmond’s plans out of kilter, that’s OK by me as well. I suspect that only those expatriates who feel strongly about it would make the effort to get a vote, but I see no reason why their children who have never been resident should get one. Of course we would all have to abide by EU diktats, wouldn’t we?

  3. Just another facet of denying people the right of self determination!
    Hope they win.
    I never understood how immigrants can turn up and vote in the first five minutes but any expatriate who still owns property, pays taxes etc etc can cheerfully be denied a postal vote as I am!

  4. Since this is of interest to those of us who live in Great Britain, or whatever it is called these days, I would like a say in this matter too.

    I would vote against the motion. In fact, I would abolish the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh one too. Much too expensive and absolutely unnecessary, in my opinion. We are better off sticking together.

  5. Hear, hear, Araminta! I also support scrapping Blair’s House of Lords deforms and returning it to its pre-1997 state. It was far more functional than what has replaced it.

  6. Yes, Christina, that is what I object to as well. All sorts of odds and s*ds deciding the fate of my country just because they happen to be receiving benefits there at the time. And as you say, Araminta, it is not just Scotland that would be affected. If the Scottish parliament stays, I see no reason for Scottish MPs to sit at Westminster, making decisions that affect England only.

    Yes, Christopher, I would dearly love to undo quite a lot of Blair’s work. That man destroyed almost everything he touched, but it now seems that some chickens are coming home to roost as regards Ulster. The HoL used to be full of peers with the interests of the country at heart – and the countryside too in many instances. Now it’s full of placemen, puppets manipulated by party leaders.

  7. Speaking as an experienced immigrant in an EU state, I would point out that I as a British citizen I can vote here in DK only at local and European elections. Surely that is equally true of my fellow EU immigrants in Scotland, Wales and England? (If not, I’m confused.)

    So I think it unlikely they will qualify to vote in referenda.

    Do non-EU immigrants get similar rights in GB?

  8. Generally speaking, on the akshull thread here, I agree with #4 and #5.

    If communities want independence they should be compelled to fight for it. After all, that’s how they lost it in the first place. Similarly if Spain wants Gibraltar and Argentina wants the Falklands they should put up or shut up too. Good old Putin understands the principle, innit?


  9. Salmond has extended the vote to sixteen year olds in Scotland, Janus, so goodness only knows just who else is included. Certainly people working in Scotland for a year or so can vote, from what I’ve read.

  10. Mrs J who is Paisley born and bred is ‘n’ p155ed off because she feels that her home country is being sold out from underneath her and she has no say. I sympathise with her because this is a totally different thing to a local or general election, the result of which can be reversed in four or five years.
    What has happened to Scotland is tragic, what was once an entrepreneurial and hard working culture has been turned into a socialist basket case. I think it’s gone past the point of no return and that England would be better off without them and their 58 leftist MPs (1 Tory).

  11. I know exactly how Mrs J feels. I hope that the socialist basket case state could still be reversed though.

  12. Hi Sheona. It’s a worry!

    According to the infamous ‘White Paper’ on Scotland’s Future, both you and I will automatically become Scottish citizens on the day of independence – you because you were born in Scotland and i because I am a British citizen who is habitually resident in Caledonia.

    As I read the wording, I would have missed out on this exciting opportunity had I not been so resident. My Scots-born parents were inconsiderate enough to produce me furth of Scotland and then die before they have the chance to become automatic Scottish citizens in the same way as you will. Probably just as well that they have already gone before as the mere thought would have killed them anyway.

    Said wording also means that all of the 420,000 or so ‘White Other British’,and any of the 200,000 or so Asian, Afro-Caribbean, African and mixed race who are British citizens will also become Scottish citizens on Independence Day because of habitual residence even if they do not want the honour.

    It’s all right though, because the White Paper sort of says that we’ll probably get to carry on being British citizens as well :-

    ‘The UK allows dual or multiple citizenship for British citizens.If a British citizen acquires citizenship and a passport of another country, this does not affect their British citizenship, right to hold a British passport or right to live in the UK. The Scottish Government will also allow dual citizenship. It will be for the rest of the UK to decide whether it allows dual UK/Scottish citizenship, but we expect the normal rules to extend to
    Scottish citizens.’

    No guarantees, of course, and a future Scottish Government could change the rules any time it chooses.

    Sorry for the lengthy preamble but you are right that it is an absolute disgrace that Scots such as yourself and Mrs J are being denied a vote on something that will affect their citizenship. It would have been quite easy to determine who should have had the vote by reference to the birth records maintained in Register House in Embra. Mrs J and you are there by right because you were born in Scotland and I am there because I was born outwith Scotland of Scottish parents who made sure that my birth was registered there and not down South in Somerset House.

    But that didn’t happen and it’s probably a bit late to challenge who gets to vote now. The Edinburgh Agreement forced the SNP to have only one Yes/No question instead of a shopping list but also agreed that the Scottish Parliament would decide who could vote. They voted for British, EU and Commonwealth citizens who are on the Electoral Roll in Scotland adding the 16+ vote.

    The ex-pats will need at least £100,000 to fund their application for a judicial review and I will contribute if they launch the appeal but I am not confident that they will succeed if their main or only ground is infringement of their right to free movement within the EU.

    I am still confident that those of us who can vote will kick Sleekit Salmond and the Nats where it hurts with a resounding No vote in September. After that there will have to be changes with the most important one being that the English should have their own Parliament free of any Celtic input when English legislation is being debated.


  13. Thank you, JM, for your detailed response. I have no great hopes of a ballot paper coming through my English letter box. What does cheer me up is the idea that Salmond, having been shown as deviating from the truth as regards EU membership and telling fairy tales about the future Scottish currency, may also have this embarrassment of this question of disenfranchisement. Anything that makes his life more awkward is to be welcomed.

    I am glad to know that I will become a Scottish citizen, so that any jobsworth asking to see my passport because I have approached Scotland from the south may well have a Glasgow kiss bestowed upon him, prefaced by the words “See you, Jimmie?”

  14. Just love to see #13 in action!!!
    One could positively guarantee that they would defraud indigenous WASPs of citizenship and fall over themselves to give it to those of duskier hue they found lurking in the environs!

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