Could someone or anyone clarify why they think Scotland is a joke?
Ok, that's a fair question, and I apologise for repeating that term in quoting LoveUni's comment. I did not intend to suggest that Scotland or the Scots themselves are "a joke", however I do feel that the time and effort expended on this issue are deeply misguided, at a time when there are common threats (economics, international politics, crisis of democracy, crime) to be tackled which IMO, should be faced by the UK together, not by fragmenting into constituent parts.
I think my second comment better summed up my view that behind all the posturing and politics on both sides (some of which IS a "joke" in a sick sort of way), the possibility of Scottish independence is a looming tragedy for all parts of the United Kingdom.
If the pressure is maintained by pro-independence Scots and they successfully rouse enough support for another IndyRef by selling this idea of some kind of anti-English "break the yoke" utopia in which Scotland can then somehow slot neatly back into a union with the EU, then of course a referendum cannot be put off indefinitely in a democracy, but it would be massively wasteful and damaging to the whole of the Union IMO, and so that is why I would prefer to see desire for the whole thing fade among Scots themselves, and that in turn is why I am not sorry to see divisions and flaws in pro-independence parties exposed.
While the SNP appeared to be riding high, they were able to fool many voters into thinking they had the answers, but now let those who think independence is some sort of ideal end goal see the reality. I know of, and see comments from many pro-union Scots who have been very worried at the direction that Scotland has been taking under the almost total grip of the SNP, and so will be relieved to see a light shone on their activities. I don't know whether the SNP really are/were pro-independence or were just using that for leverage (as some of the more radical/committed pro-Indy Scots seem to believe), but either way, I feel they have been playing with fire by stoking up the whole IndyRef issue.
Sadly, the UK is so divided politically now (as discussed on the Brexit thread) that I don't see the possible shrinking of the SNP's power leading to much more rallying around the Union though. It seems polling on the Scottish independence issue in Scotland is usually very close, with no more than about 8-10% either way (and up to 10% undecided, enough to possibly tip any result), which means whatever the outcome, if a referendum is forced through it's likely to be very divisive and damaging to the body politic, just as the EU referendum vote was. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_on_Scottish_independence
Really I think the people of this island would be much better together than fragmented, especially if it did come to trying to change or rebuild the damaged political system that we currently have. My fear though, is that the "me and mine first, and stuff the rest of you" principle which we've all been fed on since at least the Thatcher years of the 1980s will predominate, and for me, the demand for Scottish independence is just one symptom of that. Ironic really, since the modern resurgence of Scots Nats was fed precisely as a counter-reaction to her policies.