BBC BLOGS - Blether with Brian
« Previous | Main | Next »

Taking it to the max

Brian Taylor | 12:53 UK time, Monday, 30 November 2009

In the event, it felt more tactical than evangelical.

The launch of the Scottish government white paper on independence, that is.

Alex Salmond knows extremely well the constituency that is roused by stirring talk of freedom.

Mostly, they are already supporters of the party he leads.

He also knows full well that, to secure a referendum featuring independence, he has to persuade others, firstly at Holyrood, to endorse such a ballot.

Have a glance at the White Paper online - but it is a substantive government document, drawn up by broadly the same civil service team who produced the initial consultation paper published when Mr Salmond first took power.

It canvasses what Scotland does/might look like under four scenarios: the status quo, limited further devolution as per the Calman Commission, devolution max and independence.

World standing

Building upon already published Government papers, it tests these four options against issues such as the economy, energy, defence, foreign policy, benefits.

It will come as no great surprise to regular readers of this blog that the SNP government concludes that independence provides the best option for improving Scotland's economy and building her standing in the world.

The clue lies in the ambition which they have pursued since they were founded seventy plus years ago.

Back to that tactical element, though. Mr Salmond has delivered his share of rousing rhetoric on independence.

He knows the buttons to press. In government, however, he would rather make progress than speeches.

Hence the explicit pitch at the close of the White Paper to others who favour alternatives to indepence.

Intriguingly, as disclosed previously on this site, ministers don't think that Calman quite fits that template.

Enhanced devolution

They note, correctly, that those advocating Calman (or its variants) do not intend themselves to subject it to a referendum.

If we are, though, to have a multi-option referendum (independence versus enhanced devolution), then Mr Salmond suggested that Calman might work, if his rivals argued for it.

However, as forecast here, he appeared notably warmer towards the option of pitting independence against what he called devolution max.

For two fairly obvious reasons.

One, it would mean that the fallback position would feature more clout and thus would be more appealing to Nationalists.

Two, it might be conceivable that the Liberal Democrats might be tempted, in future, to subject their preference for devo max to such a multi-option plebiscite.

Not now. Certainly not now. Tavish Scott is resolutely opposed to such a ballot in 2010, arguing that it would be a costly waste of time in a recession.

Coalition deal?

Mr Salmond's tactical hope is that things could change after the next Holyrood elections in 2011.

What if, he imagines, the Lib Dems have posited devo max in their manifesto for those elections?

Could that form the basis for a coalition deal - or a compact to hold a plebiscite?

Maybe, maybe. Although Mr Scott sounds notably hostile, describing Mr Salmond as leading "a minority SNP with a majority ego".

Still, nothing stays the same forever. As of today, therein lies the SNP strategy.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:11pm on 30 Nov 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    Perhaps now we'll start to find out which Lib Dems really favour Devo Max
    and which ones have only been paying it lip service.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:19pm on 30 Nov 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    1st comment.

    Immediately after the Calman commission published its white paper a direct link for the BBC article was available from the front page link. The link to the Calman White paper is still available on that article.

    The Scottish government publishes its White paper and there is no link whatsoever on the initial article. There still isn't one. Brian at least provides a link buried in this blether blog.

    How does this, in an way or form equate to balanced and fair coverage from the UK state broadcaster as part of its charter?

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 1:20pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    "It will come as no great surprise to regular readers of this blog that the SNP government concludes that independence provides the best option for improving Scotland's economy and building her standing in the world."

    Yeah, that was a shocker. Never saw that coming at all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 1:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, gavin aylott wrote:

    This debate on devolution nevers fails to amaze me. Does anyone really think that with the limited influence that the UK currently has that an independent Scotland would be able to influence anything of any significance. What needs to happen is the Labour Party needs to federalise the entire country which will devolve power to the english regions to. We do not have any significant local devolution so I think its the english that are suffering from the entire system.

    Gavin

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 1:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, Well here we are wrote:

    If Alex Salmond is convinced that independance is the only way for Scotlnd to go, why is he pushing for more Scottish MPs in Westminster?

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:47pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    This will be interesting. Critics of Alex Salmond continue to claim that this white paper is on independence but it clearly is about the constituational future of Scotland, not precisly independence but offers other choices.

    It will be difficult for the opposition to continue to suggest Alex Salmond as out-of-touch, while supporting Calman (well the Conservatives have changed their minded and I don't know about the Liberal Democrats), but its all amusing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:50pm on 30 Nov 2009, Astonished wrote:

    Karennotinscotland : Because until independence a lot of the decisions are made in london. Thus more Scottish MPs = more Scottish influence. I accept that after the feeble fifty this is not the case with Scottish labour mps.



    Brian - I take it you don't you favour a democratic referendum ?


    Finally does bain of Glasgow actually live in london ? And why is no one in the media interested in finding out ?

    Don't worry Brian we all know the answers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 1:54pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Gavin,

    Perhaps is not a question about influence on the world stage but influence within the United Kingdom. If the Scottish Parliament votes against nuclear weapons, foreign wars or nuclear power stations it demonstrates an inability for the people to be represented. Despite all of the above ideas being expensive Scotland can't do anything and despite the importance of energy, we have little influence as part of the United Kingdom.

    England does not have a problem. The issue is that English MPs do little for the people of England, is that Scotlands fault? If the English MPs grouped together the Scottish Parliament could be gone tomorro.


    KarinInScotland,

    "If Alex Salmond is convinced that independance is the only way for Scotlnd to go, why is he pushing for more Scottish MPs in Westminster?"

    It's quite clear. Westminster still has authority over Scotland, therefore its important for the SNP to be represented in order to help with political objectives.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 1:55pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 1:55pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    "It will come as no great surprise to regular readers of this blog that the SNP government concludes that independence provides the best option for improving Scotland's economy and building her standing in the world.

    The clue lies in the ambition which they have pursued since they were founded seventy plus years ago."

    Brian are you suggesting that official government figures can be bent to support the position if the party in power? Surely not. I doubt that this has ever happened before.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 1:56pm on 30 Nov 2009, JohnMcDonald wrote:

    Kicking and screaming they may be. But kicking and screaming Unionists will eventually have to accept a referendum.

    And Scotland will have moved on a further step towards independence.

    Well done the Scottish Government!

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 1:57pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    5. At 1:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, Kareninscotland wrote:
    If Alex Salmond is convinced that independance is the only way for Scotlnd to go, why is he pushing for more Scottish MPs in Westminster?


    Because we are not yet independent Karen - we need as much representation at Westminster as possible until then.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 1:58pm on 30 Nov 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    afternoon , interesting that Brian for one has at last spotted the difference between FULL fiscal autonomy and the silly pretendy version that Callman produced.
    All we need now is someone on the unionist side to admit why the silly pretendy calman version is the best that they can come up with.

    BIG HINT = The UK or more precisely England cannot afford it!

    They cannot afford the loss of all the natural resources nor can they afford to lose the free nuclear dumping grounds .
    but above all they are as close to being bankrupt again. just like the last time Labour got to "run" the UK.
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 2:02pm on 30 Nov 2009, YerketBreeks wrote:

    #4 Poor Gavin, you are so preoccupied with what Scotland could or couldn't do on it's own you miss the point. This issue is about it's people and how they feel represented. The BBCs Scotland's History reminds us that a handful, toadying to the Monarchy, took us into the Union, now ALL voters will have the chance to possibly reverse that decision. A week is a long time in politics so everything's possible in a next year ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 2:05pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    4. Completely agree on the federalist solution.

    However, it is grossly unfair on the English to force a breakup of their country into regions without a national government as enjoyed by Scotland, Wales and NI.

    I would propose the four nations to become states within a federal union, with each state having equal powers. However, the English state could be split again into regions with powers divided between them (regional governments managing internal/local matters and the English government managing intra-regional affairs).

    Scotland, Wales and NI (if so desired) could even be split again to produce our own regional governments (eg. Highlands and Islands and Central Belt/Borders for Scotland, North and South for Wales, Protestant and Catholic for NI?) to cater for our own economic/cultural variations.

    Strange how federalism, which would bring autonomy but also retain mutual social/economic/defence support and international influence, barely gets a sideways glance from the SNP, let alone any sort of debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:06pm on 30 Nov 2009, Shackinup wrote:

    Im all for this.

    We can then pipe what is left of the North Sea oil to Newcastle. After all the oil lies in international waters. It was discovered and developed with English/ Dutch/ Norwegian money - never anything to do with Scotland.

    It was going to be piped into England, however it was agreed to bring it ashore in Scotland to help with poverty/ jobs there.

    Well, with the attitude and 'thanks' from Salmond I think we have done our bit now for the Scots - lets look after the English for once!

    Please Scots, vote for this and do the English a favor!

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:09pm on 30 Nov 2009, MaliceTown wrote:

    Put Salmond and the rest on a boat where they will be independent!Don't we all get educated and leave the confines of Scotland anyway? It's too small as it is, can you imagine BBC Scotland t.v being anymore parochial?

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:10pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    Brian,
    To be honest, I am a bit disappointed with this blog. There is nothing new in it. No pearls of wisdom, or insights into the machinations behind this. Just a token side comment from Tavish Irrelevant Scott.
    There should be some sort of comparison with this process and that carried out by the calman commision (how much did that cost by the way?). Possibly even some analysis on how the paper comes to the conclusion that independance is best. Is the argument flawed? Are their gaping holes in it? or is it watertight? what assumptions is it based upon? are these reasonable? As you said there is no surprise that the SNP have concluded that independance is best, but if that is the only analysis that you have to offer, then why bother.

    I would however like to thank you for providing a forum on which this topic can be discussed without being deemed off topic. It would, however, have been interesting to have started off the discussion with your views/observations (not all of us have time to read the entire white paper in the next few days).

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 2:10pm on 30 Nov 2009, Topher Allan wrote:

    I love Tavish Scott's explanation of his party's policy. Democracy's so good we named our party after it... except during a recession, when it should be suspended altogether.

    I can't believe that he seriously believes that a general election is a good way to gauge support for independence. His own party acknowledges that the first-past-the-post system is corrupt, and the 2007 Scottish election constituency results show the uphill battle the SNP has to fight against the system, never mind the other parties - the SNP gained more constituency votes than Labour but the latter ended up with a majority of constituency seats.

    Not only that, but because an SNP vote is unlikely to bring about a change of government at a UK level, it is likely that those who would support independence would vote for another party in an election that cannot possibly bring about the election of a pro-independence party.

    As for the proposals themselves, I don't think the Calman proposals will resolve anything in the long run, nor will Devolution Max. There needs to be equality between Scotland and the other parts of the UK. Independence is one option. Equal powers for devolved parliaments in Scotland, England, Wales and NI (and constitutionally guaranteeing those powers) is another option that would kill independence stone dead. It's almost a surprise that small mindedness in the unionist parties prevented Calman from considering it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 2:15pm on 30 Nov 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    Initial impressions of the paper.

    I was disappointed by the intro. It is too much of a photo op. for government ministers which detracts from the rest of paper. You could be mistaken for an SNP party political publication. This may put people off reading the report because they may dislike the SNP ministers or MPs/MSPs in general (who could blame them) even if they were interested in the constitutional aspects.

    However when it gets into the details each section and subject is presented well and at enough detail to give a general idea.
    Some aspects are missing important detail, like just how much are we being ripped off through Crown estate revenues going straight to Westminster coffers?

    It was interesting to read that withholding Barnett consequentials is officially called "formula bypass", but is in reality a Scotland bypass, which the UK government decide to adopt as and when they feel like it.
    recently they have felt like 'bypassing' Scotland on a number of occasions.

    An interesting statistic was the 1000s of lost defence jobs in Scotland under Labour in the last decade and our poor and deteriorating relative share of defence spending.

    One thing missing is any analysis of Nuclear power as part of Energy mix, our ability to legislate or not on different energy policies under the different proposals and how to handle existing nuclear waste from a Scottish perspective.

    With devolution we have full responsibility for running certain devolved services. But zero control of the money to run them. How is this good for Scotland?

    Money we should receive from extra public spending going to England and Wales often gets stopped from coming to Scotland. How is this good for Scotland?

    Clearly this system should be changed if we want an accountable parliament, but this is not even proposed under Calman.
    Calman does think we can control Air gun usage defence but not national defence and weaponry.
    Calman thinks we can control speed limits on our second rate A and B class roads but not be given controls to finance modern transport infrastructure.
    Calman thinks we could decide on a safe limit to drink and drive, but not on alcohol taxation or powers to preserve our whisky industry.

    Come UK election, no UK party will implment Calman anyway, so we will a Status Quo.
    Come Scottish election, the SNP will campaign for a simple yes no on indepencence and not opt for a multi option referendum. The other parties will argue some points but Tory policy will be the likely benchmark.

    Devolution Max with fiscal control is dead in the water, while favoured by many it is not proposed by any major party. Calman is dead in the water, was dead at launch in any case, and wont be re floated. A referendum is also dead in the water unless the Scottish voters return a substantially increased share of the vote in both of the next elections.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 2:18pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Shackinup:

    #16.

    The mention of Scotland and independence and oil quickly becomes a topic created by some. Isn't the argument on who owns the oil quite old? There is no English claim, please read up on the UN Sea Laws to understand how one country can claim resources and why Scotland benefits from the North Sea.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 2:27pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Kurisu:

    #19.


    "There needs to be equality between Scotland and the other parts of the UK. Independence is one option. Equal powers for devolved parliaments in Scotland, England, Wales and NI (and constitutionally guaranteeing those powers) is another option that would kill independence stone dead."

    I am interested to learn about the issues that might arise from Devolution Max? However I will warn against the idea that independence can be killed, if Scotland proves to be successful through devolution max, what reason would we have to remain in the United Kingdom? The current argument is that Scotland can't afford to be independent, but devolution max would force Scotland to provide her own services and simply provide her share for UK-wide services i.e defence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 2:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    #17, maybe you should read the white paper and other stats about actual broadcasting spending in Scotland?
    Scotland currently gets less than 50% of what we pay to the BBC spent back in Scotland. Therefore if we had the same level of revenue, 100% parity, actally spent in Scotland I could hardly imagine that quality would go down.

    Is it not more likely that the current dire quality is in part due to this misallocation of funds?

    Elsewhere your unsupported statement that in Scotland "It's too small as it is, can you imagine BBC Scotland t.v being anymore parochial?" is nothing more than cringe. In fact its the very definition of cringe.

    Instead of thinking 'parochial' think 'parity', level playing field, then judge the results. Not before.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 2:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #4 Gavin , afternoon , you shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers and most certainly not what Pravda hits us with daily.
    regions of England were given the opportunity to have some devolved powers not that long ago and knocked it back big time.

    the problem you have is the Lib Dems keep changing what they stand for every time the wind changes direction!
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 2:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, FatherMacKenzie wrote:

    5. At 1:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, Kareninscotland wrote:
    If Alex Salmond is convinced that independance is the only way for Scotlnd to go, why is he pushing for more Scottish MPs in Westminster

    Unless I missed something, I feel I should point out that Salmond is not "pushing for more Scottish MPs in Westminster" but is pushing for more of the Scottish MPs to be from his party. I do not think he is seeking to increase the number of Scottish constituencies.

    15. Reluctant-Expat

    Strange how federalism, which would bring autonomy but also retain mutual social/economic/defence support and international influence, barely gets a sideways glance from the SNP, let alone any sort of debate.

    Devo max would be a form of federalism, but it would not be up to the SNP to say how Wales, NI and England (or parts thereof) would want to proceed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 2:42pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    20. EphemeralDeception: "Some aspects are missing important detail, like just how much are we being ripped off through Crown estate revenues going straight to Westminster coffers"

    And why do you think the SNP wouldn't highlight this if this was indeed the case?

    Of course, it has been pointed out ad nauseum to the nationalists that have annexed this board for their 24/7 pro-SNP/anti-UK propaganda, that Holyrood receives Scotland's geographic share of oil revenues in full.

    Even the SNP accept this.

    That you continue to peddle this nonsense only flags you up as a liar.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 2:46pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    The nationalists' nonsense has predictably moved up a gear today.

    21. Thomas_Porter: "please read up on the UN Sea Laws to understand how one country can claim resources and why Scotland benefits from the North Sea."

    There is no such thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 2:48pm on 30 Nov 2009, kaybraes wrote:

    While I'm not personally in favour of independence without having a long hard look at it, the statements by the leaders of all three opposition parties that the people of Scotland do not want independence is facetious and is an opinion based only on their own political agendas .They do not have the right to decide what the people want. What they themselves want is their affair, but the people of Scotland are the people who have the right to decide what they want, not Gray, Scott or Goldie. They are influenced not by any mandate from the people but by political parties outwith Scotland. If they are so certain what the people want, then let the people have their say. Opposing a referendum is, like Brown's refusal to allow a referendum on the Lisbon treaty based on the fear that the people will not vote as they wish them to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 2:56pm on 30 Nov 2009, loveme2times wrote:

    26,

    Did you mean this place???

    http://www.un.org/Depts/los/index.htm

    UN - Oceans and Laws of the Sea

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 3:02pm on 30 Nov 2009, dear_wendy wrote:

    Brian,

    Not sure of the wisdom of the "tactic" you ascribe to Mr Salmond.

    With Lib Dem electoral support crashing in the polls, will Lib Dem parliamentary support after 2011 provide the majority he seeks?

    I don't necessarily think he's targetting the Lib Dems specifically, just liberal minded (small L) Scots in general.


    I think he's just inching the argument forward, bit by bit, step by step. Moving the argument further into Nationalist territory.

    As he says - it is no longer about whether to change the terms of devolution or not, it is about the nature of the change that will occur.

    With 3 parties in 2007 saying "No Change Required", that is strong progress.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 3:07pm on 30 Nov 2009, eye_write wrote:

    Re Tavish, don't know why believing in independence is having an ego?
    It's just normality, 'cept not here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 3:08pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    #26 R-E
    and as is repeated to you ad nauseum: Just because you keep on saying it doesn't mean it's true. Provide a link or proof.

    And to use your argument back at you:

    Don't you think that if it was true all the unionist parties would be shouting it from the rooftops. I don't hear any of them admitting this (except you) so it can't possibly be true.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 3:13pm on 30 Nov 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    15. Reluctant-Expat

    There is zero chance of a federal UK as long as both the main Unionist parties remain in love with the traditionally centralised model of British government. I suggest you take your proposals up with the two main Unionist parties, not the SNP or other pro-independence parties like the Greens. The SNP and the Greens aren't in the business of saving the Union - that's your job love. If you want your Union to work you Unionists need to fix it.

    I know that Unionists are growing increasingly desperate, but expecting independence supporters to do your work for you doesn't just take the custard cream - it takes the caramel logs and the teacakes too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 3:15pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Reluctant-Expat,

    I would point out that by Googling, 'UN Sea Laws'. You'll see what comes up first.

    There are already rules in place that explain how Scotland and England would divide the resources. This technique has been used for years already, or what would the purpose of estimates be without knowledge of how the resources can be split up be obtained?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 3:23pm on 30 Nov 2009, PickledPete wrote:

    #24 Sidthesceptic:

    "regions of England were given the opportunity to have some devolved powers not that long ago and knocked it back big time."

    ----------------------------

    I think you will find that the call in England is increasingly for NATIONAL devolution like that currently enjoyed by Scotland and Wales. The offer was only for REGIONAL devolution, ie splitting the nation of England up, which would not have addressed the current constitutional imbalance England suffers. How would that have given the English control of their own domestic agenda like justice, education, health etc? These can't be decided region by region, the offer was a nonsense. The English are fed up with the present unfair situation and who can blame them? The least Scots can do as good neighbours is to recognise the injustice, not deny it exists like Thomas Porter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 3:27pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    29. Well done. Now read through the links on that page and prove me wrong.

    32. Are you serious? How many times does this have to be pointed out?
    As said many times before, stop automatically believing and repeating what other nationalists tell you as much has been proven as total nonsense. Challenge it, check it, confirm it.

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/06/18101733/0

    Do you hear the SNP claiming Scotland doesn't receive its oil revenues nowadays? No, you don't. Any thoughts why not?

    However, you can always do what most nationalists have done when shown this: Deny its existence and carry on repeating the lie.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 3:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    PickledPete:

    #35.

    I don't believe I have ever denied the injustice but I see little reason for the English to complain about Scotland and Scottish benefits because English MPs dominate the London Parliament.

    Instead of looking over the border I would look at my own representatives, if I were you. However I would point out that England has advantages over Scotland, which the English appear to not know exist, so there is a price to pay if you seek the same luxury as we are fortunate to have.

    I also believe as a Scottish nationalist and believer in independence that I don't have a right to dictate to England what policies I feel you should support. It's not a matter of not believing that England has some rotten deals but I don't achknowledge it because I feel its not up to what I want, maybe the people of England want something different, I don't know.

    It's quite interesting to point out that England looks set to return the Conservatives to power. The same Conservatives that will not actually prevent Scottish MPs from voting on English-only matters.

    Just what is it that England wants and why does England continue to support the Conservatives despite the fact the Conservatives apparently are not offering the voters their own constituational options?

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 3:38pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    33. We are a lot closer to a federal UK than you realise.

    'Federation: A political unity consisting of a central government, and a number of separate states each of which retains control of its own internal affairs. The rights of the states are protected by a constitution enforced by referenda.'

    We may not have a codified constitution but the rights of our 'states' are clearly protected by referenda.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 3:40pm on 30 Nov 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    As Europe prepares to go forward, they see the UK still engrossed in domestic argument. UK is not sure whether it really wants to be part of Europe, Scotland is not sure whether it wants to be part of UK, and NI not sure whether to be part of UK or ROI. Let's have one BIG referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 3:40pm on 30 Nov 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    R.E, I think you'll need an overtime shift today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 3:41pm on 30 Nov 2009, Keith Roberts wrote:

    There is no credibility in, and no valid reason for, not letting the people have their say. The unionist parties are full of rhetoric of how they belive that we, the people, don't want to separate but adamantly refuse to let us have the right to say so. The White Paper at least lets some discussion take place, puts various options on the table, and allows those willing to think about matters. The ballot box allows us a forum to record our thoughts and elections are coming both in London and in Edinburgh. A third in the form of a referendum would be more decisive and could allow the whole concept of independence to be put to bed for a generation. So why do the unionists not allow democracy to take place?

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 3:52pm on 30 Nov 2009, jobsw32 wrote:

    I don't believe the world is much more than a bunch of live fast die young hard nut hard cases persuade me otherwise.

    I think scotland is a harsh and bitter land and so are it's people and the rest of the uk isn't much different. doesn't take much for tempers to flare.

    People are trading off each other's grudges and that is so unimpressive to me and I am skeptical that there can be any improvement in the standard of life in the uk.

    Always someone banging a line and grinding an ax. All people want is somoene elses head on a block.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 3:53pm on 30 Nov 2009, loveme2times wrote:

    36,

    I have already proved you wrong, you said that there is no such thing as the UN Sea Laws and I posted a link to suggest there was.

    I never argued what it contained in the website just that it does exist so to confirm my point I was right and you were indeed wrong, apology accepted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 3:54pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    Well, it has to be said that I thought the nationalist guns would be blazing today. St Andrew's Day AND the much-trumpeted White Paper on Independence, the raison d'etre of the SNP and every nationalist on this board....and this is the reaction?!

    The SNP's White Paper is, as expected, a weak document full of laughable utopian fantasy and bombast. And it has been heralded in by the same old nationalist conspiracy claims, lies, myths and Brigadoon-style imagery from the 24/7 occupants of this blog.

    With the recent polls showing plummeting support for the SNP, for a referendum and for independence itself, I am astonished to find myself thinking we are already at the fag-end of this SNP government.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 3:55pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    There is a desire for change to the current constitution - it doesn't matter what RE says as sooner or later the Unionists will have to put forward their ideas as to what the change ought to be.

    If they keep behaving like RE then that's fine by me, the people that matter aren't interested in petty point scoring.

    Thus far Labour have laid their cards on the table with their interpretation of Calman - Newsnet Scotland have found the tax/borrowing proposals wanting: read it here.

    The Lib Dems and the Tories are caught in the headlights at the moment as witnessed by Goldie's appearance on The Politics show yesterday.

    The SNP clearly favour independence but have put the ball firmly in the Unionist court by offering a multi option referendum - rigged question excuse blown away.

    Do the Tories and Lib-Dems hold out and hope that the limited and potentially damaging powers proposed by Labour will be sufficient to sway the electorate or will the Calman alliance disintegrate as they fall over themselves to 'better' Labour.

    Meanwhile the SNP can sit comfortably watching them squabble, they have called the Unionists bluff with a white paper than presents all of the constitutional options - the electorate will very soon be ready to order from this constitutional menu.

    RE can shout that the independence 'beef' isn't up to much, but will the electorate opt for the current Unionist 'spam'?

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 3:56pm on 30 Nov 2009, the_pk1 wrote:

    I'm on my hands and knees with fingers and toes crossed praying and hoping that scotland gets independence and we can be free from the lot of you. Oh and by the way when it does come, don't think that the division of north sea assets will follow the 55 degree parallel, that was just a political convenience at the time. It will be done following international guide lines in such matters so you will get around 60% not the 90% you are dreaming of (still a nice chunk though).

    Good luck paying off the RBS liabilities and make sure you have your passport if you want to enter England.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 3:59pm on 30 Nov 2009, freindleonewhocares wrote:

    Very little new in this,personally I would like Scotland to be independent thus excluding any Scottish influence in the English parliament and saving the English tax payers a considerable amount too.
    I have nothing against the Scots except to be tired of their perpetual whinging about how hard done by they are.Please give them complete independence now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 4:02pm on 30 Nov 2009, EarlOfBrigand wrote:

    It’s all well and good going on about Scotland being ruled over by the English etc.. but what about the Orkney and Shetland Isles? From what I understand they don’t want to be governed from Edinburgh and it seems that the Scottish National Party’s share of the vote declined by over 4% at the last election (in contrast to gain’s elsewhere) to a mere 10%

    So – it seems the people of Orkney and Shetland are moving against independence.

    What would happen if Orkney and Shetland remained as part of the UK after Scottish independence? What happens to this much vaunted “Scottish Oil” when no doubt much of it will now be “Orkney and Shetland Oil” instead?

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 4:06pm on 30 Nov 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    26. Reluctant-expat,

    Calling me a liar by completely misrepresenting what I said is something against forum rules. Its better your post remains visible though.

    I was talking about CROWN ESTATE REVENUES, revenues of which go to Westminster. I was NOT talking about oil. Your post starts on this subject, changes to a completely different one and then makes baseless allegations of your own.

    The crown estate is a reserved body, run by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency which determines the use of the seabed eg ports, fish farming, inshore wind in the near future etc. Revenues collected by this agency from Scottish coastal business do NOT stay in Scotland. The paper doesn't break down how much exactly, probably because the stats are not available to extract out the Scottish part.

    Either apologise or come up with something resembling a factual argument.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 4:11pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    #36 R-E
    OK read that link. It does not say what you have said it says. It leaves out the small item of UK expendature in its analysis.

    What it does show is that IF Scotland had its share of North Sea oil, then it would have been in a budget surplus based on estimated revenues and actual spend.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 4:15pm on 30 Nov 2009, a cynic writes wrote:

    I don't have a problem with Scots independence but one thing does concern me:

    What's the nationalist's position on the ownership of the Royal Bank of Scotland and on what used to be HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland)?

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 4:15pm on 30 Nov 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    #14 Expat

    "Strange how federalism, which would bring autonomy but also retain mutual social/economic/defence support and international influence, barely gets a sideways glance from the SNP, let alone any sort of debate.

    True, but then it doesn't get much of a mention from any of the other parties either. Labour don't want it, your tories don't want it and even the supposedly federally inclined, hone-rule advocating lib-dems don't want it.

    I know you like to bash the SNP at every opurtunity, but all parties can equally be tarred with this brush. Ironically, it may just be the SNP, with their drive towards independence, that actually brings a federal UK into being.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 4:17pm on 30 Nov 2009, madmonk wrote:

    The world seems a dangerous and uncertain place, maybe we should stick together. This debate reminds me of the point in the movie 'Alien' where someone makes the bright suggestion "Let's split up!".

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 4:18pm on 30 Nov 2009, EarlOfBrigand wrote:

    re: my earlier post - this article sums up things pretty well

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article5729048.ece

    “On this basis 53 per cent of the oil reserves in existing discoveries ‘belong’ to the Orkney/Shetland islands, 46 per cent ‘belong’ to Scotland and the remaining 1 per cent ‘belong’ to England . . . any consideration of the effects of Scottish separation must take into account the possibility of pressure for the separation of the islands from the Scottish mainland.”

    Can we therefore take it as a written that these pro-independence freedom lovers will welcome the fact that the Orkney and Shetland Isles will take 53% of the oil revenues?

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 4:19pm on 30 Nov 2009, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #15 Reluctant-Expat wrote:

    '...it is grossly unfair on the English to force a breakup of their country into regions without a national government as enjoyed by Scotland, Wales and NI'

    Wales does not have a national government. It has a national assembly and a 'Welsh Assembly Government' with pathetic powers. It even has to have permission from Westminster every time it wants to 'wee'.

    Roll on independence or self-determination for Wales too. We all want independence for England, the sooner the better.

    The UK is a total shambles after 12 years of Blair and Brown. What's it going to be like after a decade of Cameron and his Tory toffs?

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 4:20pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    The_Pk1:

    #46.

    "Oh and by the way when it does come, don't think that the division of north sea assets will follow the 55 degree parallel, that was just a political convenience at the time. It will be done following international guide lines in such matters so you will get around 60% not the 90% you are dreaming of (still a nice chunk though).

    Good luck paying off the RBS liabilities and make sure you have your passport if you want to enter England."

    It's nice to see our English brothers posting nonesense. Here are several points to consider.

    1. The parties of Great Britain are not suggesting or denying Scotlands claim to the oil resources. Please ask why I should ignore the leaders of our country and our highly intellectual civil servents and listen to your opinion, which means its not actually fact concerning Scotlands oil resource? I'd like you to explain where you got the idea of dividing sea resources and explain exactly how it would work if we were to look at our own maps of the United Kingdom, please.

    2. RBS is still and will remain owned by the British Government, and will be shared between Scotland and the reminder of the United Kingdom. If I am not mistaken I also believe if we sold RBS the country would see a 4 billion pounds profits, so wheres the danger? If you want Scotland to accept the entire bank instead of dividing the assets equally, you would have to offer something of equal or greater value, so what are you proposing to offer Scotland?

    3. Your the sole person considering passports at the borders. In fact I suspect Scotland could have a laugh and offer Scottish passports and point the foreigners in the direction of England. You can't stop citizens with European passports, and we all know that the pay is higher in London and the South East ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 4:24pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    #53 Ian Mann
    Who precisely made the world a dangerous place: George Bush and who else?

    Plus: what is to stop us working together on an equal but seperate basis? We would still be neighbours.

    #50 R-E
    I should also add that the analysis did not properly split up gas revenues (only the oil revenues)

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 4:25pm on 30 Nov 2009, tullibardine wrote:

    ‘Why is making decisions for the nation a right of the government and not one of the people’, asks Melanie McDonagh of the Telegraph. She’s talking of referendums all over the place but nary a word of a Scottish referendum.

    http://tinyurl.com/y8z6efu

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 4:28pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    EarlOfBrigand:

    #48.

    "So – it seems the people of Orkney and Shetland are moving against independence.

    What would happen if Orkney and Shetland remained as part of the UK after Scottish independence? What happens to this much vaunted “Scottish Oil” when no doubt much of it will now be “Orkney and Shetland Oil” instead?"

    First of all I wouldn't use SNP election results to predict an areas leaning towards independence or the union, there is no real link.

    The referendum includes Orkney and Shetland because both are legal parts of Scotland. If both vote against independence but the rest of the country votes for independence, both will still have to become independent.

    It's a question for the whole of Scotland, independent or to remain in the union. There is no option for individual regions to be allowed to opt out or it wouldn't be a national vote.

    If Orkney and Shetland seek independence then the process would have to begin but it would be through the Scottish Parliament and not through the London Parliament.

    It's not even an issue to be honest. It's always brought up in independence discussions but there are not political force in either Parliaments promoting this idea or compaign that Scotland had to do for devolution, so please stop creating a fuss where none exists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 4:33pm on 30 Nov 2009, hadrianswall wrote:

    An important day for Scotland.

    Alex is sticking to his timetable and the Unionists are flapping.

    We can now put the options to the people.

    The Unionists go on about this being a distraction during the recession. Is Grey Murphy admiting we are still in a recession? When do they think we will come out of recession? When we come out of recession can we have our referendum then?

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 4:33pm on 30 Nov 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    The reason for having as many SNP MPs in westminster has been well documented for anyone that was seriously interested.

    If there is a hung parliament, which looks quite likely from the opinion polls, the smaller parties could wring concessions from the larger ones by voting with the larger parties to let them get their own policies through parliament. It has been apparent for some time that the SNP will get few, if any, concessions from Labour, nor I suspect, would they get any from the Tories if they have a majority. So in order to move things forward and until Scotland gets its independence, we need to get as many benefits out of Westminster as we can by working the system to our advantage. The N. Irish MPs did this successfully recently, although it was denied by a certain G Brown.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 4:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    51 acynicwrites

    "What's the nationalist's position on the ownership of the Royal Bank of Scotland and on what used to be HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland)?"

    No idea what the SNP's position is, but it's pretty much irrelevant whatever it is. RBS and Lloyds Banking Group (the now 'owners' of HBoS) are publicly listed companies and owned by their shareholders and, I imagine, will continue to be owned by their shareholders should Scotland become independant. Granted, UKFI are currently the largest single shareholder in both Institutions (71% RBS and 43% LBG) but it still doesn't change the fact that they are listed companies and, as such, shares in them can be bought (and sold) by pretty much anyone who wants to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 4:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    50. Read ALL of it and not just the part that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Tell you what, I'll paste it here:

    In 2007-08, the estimated fiscal balance in Scotland, that is the estimated current budget balance plus estimated net capital investment, was a deficit of £11.1 billion (9.8% of GDP) when excluding North Sea revenue...or a deficit of £3.8 billion (2.7% of GDP) when an estimated geographical share of North Sea revenue is included.

    Classic SNP-Speak here. They made a huge deal of having 3,000+ separate Treasury figures re-calculated, delaying the report's publication by 8 months...only to find the results were just 1% different. So then they removed the previous report from the Government website to prevent comparisons and and threw lots of 'estimated's into the report that they had so carefully compiled.

    As I said before, "stop automatically believing and repeating what other nationalists tell you as much has been proven as total nonsense. Challenge it, check it, confirm it."

    This includes the SNP.

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 4:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #44 RE I am astonished to find myself thinking... So are we!

    It is unfortunate that the White Paper doesn't deal with the effects of such discussions and the reults of a referendum on the other partners in this Union. Westminster is hugely unfair to the English as it is their only parliament as well as the Union Parliament. It mighy be that devolution max will turn out to be the passing of a corresponding "England Act" with an even shorter appendix of reserved powers. Perhaps the constitution, UK defence and foreign affairs, nationality and

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 4:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, ambi wrote:

    Wow, a lot of first-time embittered/misguided posters today - I'm sorry your interest in Scottish Nationalism has been supressed hitherto. Please stick around and may your bitterness be salved and your minds broadened :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 4:42pm on 30 Nov 2009, patio-phalangist wrote:

    Why not look at this matter from a different angle ?

    Alex Salmond has never missed and opportunity to rub English noses
    in the dirt over free prescriptions, free university education,
    free hospital car-parking and so on. He clearly sees the English
    as his secret weapon - alienate them enough, and they'll clamour
    for Scottish independence.

    So why not ask the English people whether they want Scotland to be
    independent ? I'm sure the vote would be overwhelmingly in favour
    of it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 4:43pm on 30 Nov 2009, uk_abz_scot wrote:

    I'm surprised Labour isn't sticking to "Bring it on". A defeat in a referendum would leave the SNP core policy in tatters.

    Letting things drag leaves the UK in much more danger as after a couple of the years of the Tory axe desperation may set in and the SNP might win a referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 4:50pm on 30 Nov 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #64 Sorry, it got away from me. 8-(
    ... and national security and emergency powers, with something like a six year transition for the de-reservation of fiscal and economic policy and social security. IMO a lot of people would go for that, in the other parts as well as in Scotland.

    But Wee Eck is right, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back. It's a question of the best way forward and it doesn't help that the "Unionists" have decided now that their Calman commission is not the, or even their, answer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 4:52pm on 30 Nov 2009, quis_separabit wrote:

    22. Thomas Porter - 'There needs to be equality between Scotland and the other parts of the UK'

    Why do you assume that there should be equality? Scotland is not an equal partner in the United Kingdom as a whole so why do you feel entitled to equality?

    The Scottish economy is over 50% state subsidised. To put this is perspective for you, Cuba's centrally planned, state-run economy is estimated to be around 70% state subsidised. The UK public sector employs 1 in every 4 Scottish people meaning the Scottish economy is STATE DEPENDENT.

    The Treasury receives around £12.3 billion per annum from North Sea oil, however, more than £20 billion in treasury funds is contribiuted from Whitehall per annum. I'll leave to work out the deficit...

    Only an estimated 163,000 Scottish taxpayers make any net contribution to the British Exchequer, i.e. pay in more than they take out in subsidies and benefits. This from a population of more than 5 million.

    As a proud Englishman AND taxpayer I fully support Scottish independence, but please, no compromises. Full fiscal and political independence for Scotland now!

    'Alone, Scotland would stagger into economic depression and collapse.' - Tim Luckhurst (former editor of The Scotsman) The Sunday Times, 3rd December 2006

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 4:52pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Patio-Phalangist:

    #66.

    Is Alex Salmond ever in England, thesedays? No, so I expect your overplaying the flute there. Alex Salmond does not provoke the English but perhaps Salmond is proud of his efforts to improve the lives of the people of Scotland? If I made some effort I would be shouting it from the rooftops too.

    I am also disappointed to hear that you wish a referendum to boot Scotland out of the union. The difference in Scotland is that we're asking ourselves, should we leave to follow our own paths.. it's not out of anti-English hatred or plain dislike. We believe in self-determination.. perhaps you should have a good look at yourself in the mirror.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 4:53pm on 30 Nov 2009, EarlOfBrigand wrote:

    Thomas Porter

    "The referendum includes Orkney and Shetland because both are legal parts of Scotland. If both vote against independence but the rest of the country votes for independence, both will still have to become independent."

    That's the case now - but we are really talking about arbitrary divisions of space here .. and of course the sounds of many a Scotsman drooling over "our oil". I say, if it's all about the lucre, then the people of the Orkney's and Shetlands would jump at the chance of becomming the richest per capita region in the western world.

    It's also a bit hypocritical to complain about the English whilst lording it over these islands (who don't have much affinity with Edinburgh). To claim 'they're scottish' is just good old fashioned colonialism under a different name.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 4:54pm on 30 Nov 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    #61 hamish42

    One example, remember the 42 days Counter-Terrorism Bill. I posted the following comment at the time:

    DUP 42 days payoff!

    DUP was rewarded by government for backing 42 days, claims NI first minister

    I could say I am surprised, but hey this is Duff Gordon we are talking about.

    All that dosh and the act did not even reach the statute books. What a waster Duff Gordon is!

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 4:57pm on 30 Nov 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    patio-phalangist re 66

    Can you please explain how SNP policies on free prescriptions (at the moment £4 so hardly free) etc equates to rubbing English noses in the dirt?

    The fact is at present Scotland gets a block grant (ie pocket money) how we decide to use that block grant is a matter for the the people of Scotland and their government.

    If you want free prescriptions vote for a party that will give you that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 4:58pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    #63 R-E
    I actually scanned through the whole of the report. I can't say that I went and checked every figure, but I read enough to get what the report was saying.

    Once again you have used selective quotes to ascribe your own spin to this. It is quite clear what is says, and it is not what you are saying (actually it is not either of the things you are saying). To compound your misinformation you then tack on your own unsubstabtiated statements in an attempt to obfuscate.

    Get another record your current one is broken.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 5:04pm on 30 Nov 2009, Usually-Right wrote:


    For once I am in full agreement with the majority of Scotland’s political leaders, a Referendum is a waste of time and money. Do these people not have better things to do with their time (so says me writing on a BBC blog on the issue).

    If SNP are determined to have a referendum on this they should pay for it not the majority of people in this country who have repeated in poll after poll that we do not want to be in Salmonds world of impoverished bankrupt states.... oh sorry he calls it the "arc of prosperity" doesn’t he.

    Is the use of 4 options a tactical thing so as to split the vote of people who may want to see an enhanced devolution but definitely not Independence? Will the single issue party (I assume they are single issue as they do not seem to be any good at moving any of the other more meaningful agendas along) the SNP disband if the people of Scotland tell them no? I doubt it, but one lives in hope real politics not nationalist propaganda emerges as a result. I do not think they would even stop asking for a referendum it would be a regular thing, in their manifesto at every election. Why let them waste our money on something we know the result of and know they will continue to ask us to fork out for another and another, until they get the result they want. Bunch of children in the SNP, the rationale for an independent Scotland has never been weaker, personally wish Scottish Executive was scrapped in favour of DevoMax which in my book means empowering local authorities and local councillors, not MSP’s.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 5:06pm on 30 Nov 2009, EarlOfBrigand wrote:

    "Why do you assume that there should be equality? Scotland is not an equal partner in the United Kingdom as a whole so why do you feel entitled to equality?"

    Why shouldn't Scotland have equality? Obviously it makes no sense to say that England, Scotland, Wales and NI should have some sort of equal voting power - but perhaps if the UK did become federalised, Scotland would be equal to the North East or London or Wales or wherever.

    That seems fair enough.

    It's all baloney anyway. The entire concept of Scotland is that of a kingdom.. those days are long gone. England is the same.. they are just chunks of land that were owned and fought over by the rich and powerful of the time and the typical 'man on the street' was a downtrodden peasant. Times have changed - we aren't peasants anymore and there is no point in harking back to a time of mythical lairds and barons.

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 5:08pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Quis_Separabit:

    #69.

    "Why do you assume that there should be equality? Scotland is not an equal partner in the United Kingdom as a whole so why do you feel entitled to equality?"

    I didn't write that, please re-read the comment and notice I qouted another persons comment.

    "The Scottish economy is over 50% state subsidised. To put this is perspective for you, Cuba's centrally planned, state-run economy is estimated to be around 70% state subsidised. The UK public sector employs 1 in every 4 Scottish people meaning the Scottish economy is STATE DEPENDENT."

    Is this including UK civil servents in Scotland, the military and other organisations that will not be needed in an independent or even devolution max Scotland? Figures are usually twisted especially old arguments agaist independence.

    "The Treasury receives around £12.3 billion per annum from North Sea oil, however, more than £20 billion in treasury funds is contribiuted from Whitehall per annum. I'll leave to work out the deficit..."

    This is quite a ridiculous claim unless I misunderstood. Are you suggesting the UK pays 20 billion pounds per year to benefit from 12.3 billion pounds from the oil industry?

    "Only an estimated 163,000 Scottish taxpayers make any net contribution to the British Exchequer, i.e. pay in more than they take out in subsidies and benefits. This from a population of more than 5 million."

    Is this because your considering UK spendings like Trident for example. Please remember if Scotland was independent, we'd have alot less world power role-playing and therefore less spending ;-)

    "As a proud Englishman AND taxpayer I fully support Scottish independence, but please, no compromises. Full fiscal and political independence for Scotland now!"

    ... thanks? I do believe in independence...

    "'Alone, Scotland would stagger into economic depression and collapse.' - Tim Luckhurst (former editor of The Scotsman) The Sunday Times, 3rd December 2006"

    Your source is not credible. However I will point it out as a union benefit, if after 300 years the political union has not benefited Scotland then you have alot to answer for, why are we wasters?

    But please remember Scotland exports her people, maybe you should look at the top dogs in the city of London and then attempt to preach that somehow Scotland doesn't have the talent to go it alone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 5:09pm on 30 Nov 2009, a cynic writes wrote:

    "...it's pretty much irrelevant..."

    Really? I'd have thought that a newly independent country would find its banks substantially owned by another country a bit of an issue, an embarrassment even. It's true that RBS is a public company - but it's headquarters are in Scotland and until this year was run by Scots.

    Really, I was interested to know whether all the talk of taking control of Scottish assets extended to taking responsibility for Scottish liabilities. I remain in the dark.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 5:10pm on 30 Nov 2009, EarlOfBrigand wrote:

    "Orkney & Shetland are the most recent additions to Scotland. They were ceded to Scotland by Norway in the reign of James III as a wedding dowry"

    Now that really is ludicrous! They are Scottish because they were given to some long dead royal as a wedding present!

    I'd say that was as strong a case for independence as I've heard all day!

    Free the Islands from the Scottish oppression and let them wallow in their vast oceans of oil

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 5:14pm on 30 Nov 2009, quis_separabit wrote:

    61. Hamish42

    " we need to get as many benefits out of Westminster as we can by working the system to our advantage"

    Is this not what Scotland as a nation has been doing for ages?

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 5:17pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    EarlOfBrigand:

    #71.

    "That's the case now - but we are really talking about arbitrary divisions of space here .. and of course the sounds of many a Scotsman drooling over "our oil". I say, if it's all about the lucre, then the people of the Orkney's and Shetlands would jump at the chance of becomming the richest per capita region in the western world."

    I HATE discussions with the 'what if' situation. If Shetland and Orkney seek independence I will do what I can to ensure its a success because I will never, ever become a unionist. The amount of vile I have put up with for years and the negative attitude, I could never do that to someone or a country, knock their confidence into the ground.

    "It's also a bit hypocritical to complain about the English whilst lording it over these islands (who don't have much affinity with Edinburgh). To claim 'they're scottish' is just good old fashioned colonialism under a different name."

    I suggest you check the history. Shetland was independent for one year before Norway, or Denmark?, I forgot decided to kill some royal competition but even before that it was apart of Scotland, or more accuratly Pictland (first Kings of Scotland were Picts, who lived in Ireland for years before returning and uniting the tribes).

    So please, please don't even attempt to annoy me. I have no reason and I have never heard anyone nationalist claim that neither Shetlands or Orkney shouldn't or wouldn't manage on their own. We've been on the receiving end for years and have no reason to do the same to those people either.

    So, have you anything realistic and possible that you wish to add?


    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 5:26pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    74. Oooh, this one is fun.

    Okay then John.

    "Once again you have used selective quotes to ascribe your own spin to this."

    That "selective quote" is the SNP's own conclusion, in its entirety, to their latest financial report.

    "To compound your misinformation you then tack on your own unsubstabtiated statements in an attempt to obfuscate."

    What is unsubstantiated?...

    That the SNP ordered 3,000 checks of Treasury figures, taking 8 months, prior to publishing their 2006-07 report? Anybody else think I've made this up?

    That the 2005-06 'unchecked' financial report disappeared from the Government website as soon as the 'checked' 2006-07 report was published? Try and find it on the site now, has it reappeared yet?

    Or that the word 'estimated' appears frequently in their conclusions?

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 5:27pm on 30 Nov 2009, Usually-Right wrote:

    71 - Earl of Brigand -

    Totally agree, if the Nats win I am moving to Shetland and will start my own little party called the SNP (Shetland National Party) and when we get a majority in the Council I will organise a referendum and be saying ta ta to the rest of Scotland.

    Not because I think it is the right thing to do, just because I would know that free riding on former UK countries for security would be possible and would want to see Alex Salmond crap his pants (metaphorically you understand) and have the opportunity to make some comment about karma to him (we would be so wealthy on the black stuff we could afford such new age views).

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 5:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    I didn't realise there was a full moon tonight.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 5:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    Earl of Brigand,

    I'm from Orkney and can assure you that you are speaking utter rubbish.

    We regard ourselves in Orkney as a part of Scotland. We've never regarded Orkney, or Shetland, as a nation, a kingdom, or an independent country, or as somewhere that ever was. It wasn't. Never has been.

    There is no precedent for an independent Orkney or Sheland.

    Unionists like to play this little card when it's just facetious rubbish.

    It seems that every single argument in favour of the union these days has to involve some hypothetical or hyperbolic rubbish.

    It's lucky for you you've got the entire Scottish (sic) media on your side, otherwise Scotland would have been independent a long time ago.

    As it is, we're going to get there anyway quite soon after the Tories are elected in England.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 5:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    EarlOfBrigand:

    #79.

    "Now that really is ludicrous! They are Scottish because they were given to some long dead royal as a wedding present! I'd say that was as strong a case for independence as I've heard all day! Free the Islands from the Scottish oppression and let them wallow in their vast oceans of oil."

    I have not said they're Scottish... but remain apart of Scotland. That's quite different to your claims.

    However I explained before the status of Shetlands and Orkney and their relation to Scotland, but isn't ole Angle-Land created through wars and destruction?

    You should seperate into regions since the method in which you created England was not exactly great either.

    You should come back once you do find some high moral ground.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 5:39pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Good to see so many new posters appearing, so much for the claim that Scots don't want to debate the constitution [non Scots notwithstanding].

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 5:42pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    This is all getting very silly.

    Today has been a VERY disappointing anti-climax as I had been looking forward to a day of virtual sword-waving and goblet-clanging from our tartan-clad, Saltire-hugging Braveheartees.

    Instead, all we get to witness is the same tedious claims and lies about public spending and oil, all of which have long discredited by 'Big Boss' himself.

    Weak, lads. Very weak.

    I'm off down the pub.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 5:43pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    GloaminInTheRoman,

    It's rather quite amusing considering the brutality of Angle-Land in the very early years, it gives reason for why every 'English' region should be independent from one another!

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 5:46pm on 30 Nov 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #71 Brigand

    And do you think Orkney and Shetland have an affinity with London. They're Scottish so get over it. I've even met English people who live in Shetland that want Scottish independence so don't get carried away with the fantasy that they want independence from Scotland - its just not being asked for except by Unionist fantasists like you.

    Thomas, you're doing a grand job batting away the unionist misinformation and fantasy today - keep it up. They're starting to panic thats why we're seeing so many new ones on here today.

    And to all of you who write how unfair it is to England - go for English independence, the Scottish Nationalists here will back you to the hilt. We don't want to hold you back so go for it and take out of the UK what you are entitled to, no more no less, just as we will when Scotland breaks away.

    Freedom for England !!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 5:49pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Online Ed,

    Yes. It appears we've seen an increase of the Wikipedia mob :-o

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 5:56pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    It's also quite interesting considering Shetlands and Orkney have benefited from hundreds of millions of pounds for their own oil fund.

    I expect the local population understand these large numbers and it has not sent them all towards independence, yet.

    Perhaps from the unionist perspective the topic should be avoided altogether since its a reminder that a region of Scotland has an oil fund but Scotland isn't allowed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 5:58pm on 30 Nov 2009, FatherMacKenzie wrote:

    75. Usually right

    Is the use of 4 options a tactical thing so as to split the vote of people who may want to see an enhanced devolution but definitely not Independence?

    No the 4 options are something you have made up in order to rail against them.

    The SNP want a single question - Independence: Yay or Nay? but concede that in order to get a referendum they'll offer another question.

    It'll probably end up being something like

    1. The Scottish parliament should have full fiscal autonomy. Y/N?

    2. The Scottish parliament should also have full control of foreign policies. Y/N?

    Two Yes votes will equate to independence, two No votes will be nothing changing and a yes to Q1 and no to Q2 would be devo max.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 6:01pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    88 [Continued]

    And I see Porter has again brought race to the 'debate'. So, it's public spending, oil and race - the staples of the nationalist argument. We're missing the Battle of Stirling Bridge if anyone wants to make a Full House?

    Aye, it's grand that Thomas_Porter has bought race and ethnicity to the table again because we all know Celts, of which every nationalist is obviously a 100% purebred, are originally from Scotland.

    And as they are such a strong and proud race, they have made sure that they totally dominate the extreme western edges of the continent with the Atlantic lapping at their ankles, leaving the weak Anglo-Saxons to make do with the vast centre.

    (I don't associate myself with any ancient ethnic group, thank you)

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 6:04pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Pretty soon the BBC and the Unionists will realise that continually shouting that nobody wants a referendum and that they already know the result anyway will start to wear thin.

    People will eventually tire of the manufactured vox-pops and phone ins (todays attempted hatchet job by the BBC on The Homecoming wasn't even subtle).

    Similarly, the less than civil comments from some new posters are just a sign of frustration that the Union is indeed about to undergo either a dramatic change or be dissolved altogether.

    Proper debate will happen eventually as will the referendum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 6:08pm on 30 Nov 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    For all of you posters who think Scotland has had its fair share - try and watch BBC Scotland Wed 2/12/09 9pm Scotlands Conspiracy Files. You'll see why we want independence after the lies told by the government and media about how much oil wealth there was in the 70's and how we were told that we "were too wee, too poor, too stupid" to be independent then. Unfortunately Scotland believed what was said - its not gonna happen again

    Freedom

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 6:13pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    For crying out loud, I'm trying to leave!

    One more dose of reality because this nationalist post thoroughly deserves it:

    90. fifebirder: They're starting to panic thats why we're seeing so many new ones on here today.

    Latest polling...
    Westminster:
    Labour 39%
    SNP 24%

    Holyrood Constituency:
    Labour 33%
    SNP 32%

    Holyrood Regional:
    Labour 30%
    SNP 29%

    Independence:
    Against: 57% (up from 40% in 2007)
    For: 29% (down from 46% in 2007)

    Should there be a referendum on independence?:
    No: 47%
    Yes: 45%
    Salmond: "There is an overwhelming majority in favour of a referendum"

    What do you consider are the top priorities for government?
    Unemployment: 63%
    Drug abuse: 36%
    Immigration: 26%
    Housing: 23%
    Banking: 16%
    Referendum: 12%

    Yep, fifebirder, spot on!

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 6:14pm on 30 Nov 2009, TheScousePuppy wrote:

    I can't really see why this is happening. I see the Scots, Welsh and Irish (north and south) as people from my country. People I laugh and joke with when I meet them in different countries. People who share the same morals, ambitions and goals. So what's the issue.

    If people aren't happy then let them get a vote on whether they want independence. If they do give it to them. Full independence. Nothing less. No subsidies for the next x years either. Take all the Scots out of our government/armed forces. No best of both worlds. None of we want an independant Scotland but we still want to work in/for the English government. All these watered down versions that are mentioned seem unfair on the English people. And while I'm on the subject the very fact that we have Scottish MP's who have a vote on the English legal system/politics but we we don't have a say with theirs is unfair.

    Give them the independence vote. If the vote is no, then remove these tinpot parliaments because they are just a waste of money. I'm from Liverpool and do you think I feel that the money we get from goverment is fair compared to the south? And if what I hear is correct then the Scottish actually get more. Why?

    It might come across as an anti Scottish reply but I'm not. We are a union of countries which doesn't work badly at all. We have a world class ecomony that punches above it's weight. A world class armed forces which again punches above it's weight. This union of ours still sets the standards in so many ways. I for one am proud to be British. More so than I am to be English. But as I said your either with us you your not. If your not then go it alone but completely. Don't try and stand with one foot on either side of the fence? You'll be asking for dual nationality next so you can have a British and Scottish passport for when it suits you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 6:14pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Reluctant-Expat:

    #94.

    "And I see Porter has again brought race to the 'debate'. So, it's public spending, oil and race - the staples of the nationalist argument. We're missing the Battle of Stirling Bridge if anyone wants to make a Full House?"

    I am not bringing race into the debate. I am educating other individuals who are misguided in their claims.

    "And as they are such a strong and proud race, they have made sure that they totally dominate the extreme western edges of the continent with the Atlantic lapping at their ankles, leaving the weak Anglo-Saxons to make do with the vast centre."

    I don't see the link between explaining the history behind the Scotland-Shetland/Orkney suddenly equals to me preaching superiority of Celts over others?

    Your always banging on about facts so whats wrong with explaining to others why things are they way they are?

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 6:18pm on 30 Nov 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #94 Expat

    I thought you were off to the pub - you should go and drown your sorrows but mind the minimum pricing.

    Scotland is multicultural and all who live in Scotland come INDEPENDENCE DAY wil have the right to be Scottish citizens so you'll not have to worry about your ancient ethic grouping. I thought you were Prickish sorry I mean Pictish.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 6:25pm on 30 Nov 2009, rog_rocks wrote:

    I think it would be very nice and far more in the interests of Scots if the BBC and other media outlets in Scotland were to concentrate more on what is actually in the SNP's white paper rather than using it as an excuse to air the opinions of hostile foreign parties!

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 6:25pm on 30 Nov 2009, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    Terrible precedent he is setting here: carrying out his political party's manifesto commitments! Absolutely outrageous!

    Does he not know that all British political parties are supposed to LIE, SPIN and DECEIVE the voting public at every turn. Salmond has really let the body politic down chaps.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 6:27pm on 30 Nov 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Take It To The Limit.

    Interesting stuff, some ninety odd contributions yet no one is calling for ''the status quo'', not even the die hard Unionists.

    The journey to independence has clearly begun,the duration of journey will be decided by the people of Scotland, it may take longer than some wish, but rest assured it has begun.

    Wansanshoo.
    Nationalist & Anti Theist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 6:27pm on 30 Nov 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    With the prospect of a tory government for a generation I don't think the people of Scotland will send another feeble fifty down south to do absolutely nothing.
    The SNP and independance seems like the best option.

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 6:35pm on 30 Nov 2009, EphemeralDeception wrote:

    93 FatherMacKenzie,

    Yes, No 75 seems to be misreading Labour central propaganda. You can tell because he talks of Scotlands political leaders, when we know there are none in the British unionist parties in the Scottish region, just British leading figures and some regional hacks. In fact he is so confused the poster may even be Iain Gray, whom we already know cannot count to 3 and doesn't know much of what is already reserved or not.

    However I doubt your Q1 will be posed given that nobody or at least no party is arguing or pushing for Dev Max. That may change though as soon as the referendum can no longer be blocked.

    However this may take some time. Even if the SNP double or triple their current MPs it won't change much imo. Then, if the SNP get a bigger majority in the SP they would only get a coalition with someone changing their tune ie. Lib dems. It seems credible that the 3 unionist parties could still block the referendum.

    However I think the lib dems are going to have a disaster and change their current policy and perhaps agree as long as dev max does indeed get added. Are the lib dems a party that change their minds...tricky that one :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 6:35pm on 30 Nov 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    Most reputable economic think tanks say that an independant Scotland would be in the top ten richest countries in the World.
    Under present colonial rule from London we are the most deprived region in western Europe.

    The choice is a no brainer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 6:35pm on 30 Nov 2009, Globaltraveller wrote:

    #85 GloaminInTheRoman - I was just about to post that. As a proud Finstown boy, Orcadian and Scot (sadly living in Edinburgh for most of my life) I didn't know Orkney was such a hotbed of separatism!! What I do know is many Orcadians and Shetlanders resented the divide et impera tactics used by British Unionists during the 1979 referendum on Scottish Home Rule, which is why Scottish devolution was backed in the islands in the 1997 referendum.

    #69 quis_separabit - Can I be the one to upset your little theories. Let's take a look at the most recent fiscal accounts for Scotland (2007-2008).

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/06/18101733/8

    As we can see from this total public sector expenditure in Scotland was £53.3 billion. (That includes everything right from Healthcare spending in Scotland, down to our share of defence, UK debt interest, foreign affairs, social security - even the London Olympics and other miscellaneous expenditures).

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/06/18101733/5

    Scrolling down to Box 3.2, in the same fiscal year, we can see, Scottish GDP was £141.6bn.

    Now 53bn/141.6bn disnae lead to the conclusion that over 50% of Scotland's economy is "state subsidised". In fact, on that calculation only 38% of it is.

    Even if we were to take oil completely out of the equation (Scotland's GDP would be £113bn) and even that disnae come to over 50% (it comes to 46%).

    Wheras for the UK as a whole, well it seems that 43% of GDP is taken up by state subsidised spending:-

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    So perhaps on these calculations, perhaps it is Scottish taxpayers who most to gain from leaving the Union? As for your comment about the number of net taxpayers in Scotland - the only source I can seem to get for that is an opinion piece in a tabloid newspaper!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 6:38pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Keith Larkin:

    #98.

    "People who share the same morals, ambitions and goals. So what's the issue."

    It's quite clear devolution has been success. However parties differ on their ways forward and the nationalist want a referendum on the matter.

    "Take all the Scots out of our government/armed forces. No best of both worlds."

    The Republic of Irelands Irish are allowed in the military. Is there a reasonable explanation why you've discriminated against Scots who might wish to continue their careers?

    "None of we want an independant Scotland but we still want to work in/for the English government."

    Thats ashame for the Scots representing English constinuencies...

    "All these watered down versions that are mentioned seem unfair on the English people. And while I'm on the subject the very fact that we have Scottish MP's who have a vote on the English legal system/politics but we we don't have a say with theirs is unfair."

    Can't you change the Scotland Act? Thats quite powerful, we can't do it without English support...

    "Give them the independence vote. If the vote is no, then remove these tinpot parliaments because they are just a waste of money."

    Now your going against the individuals who supported those Parliaments? I see you have no consideration, none at all.

    "I'm from Liverpool and do you think I feel that the money we get from goverment is fair compared to the south? And if what I hear is correct then the Scottish actually get more. Why?"

    I don't know why Scotland gets more then you, but London gets more then Scotland, so why is London special and why is England the only part of the United Kingdom that postcode matters? In Scotland you get pretty much the same spent on you no matter where you live, why is England different?

    "We are a union of countries which doesn't work badly at all."

    You miss the point of why devolution was created in the first place then...

    "We have a world class ecomony that punches above it's weight."

    Hmm... isn't the UK in debt and the sole G8 country still in recession?

    "This union of ours still sets the standards in so many ways. I for one am proud to be British. More so than I am to be English. But as I said your either with us you your not. If your not then go it alone but completely. Don't try and stand with one foot on either side of the fence? You'll be asking for dual nationality next so you can have a British and Scottish passport for when it suits you."

    If Scotland votes for independence, you can still expect a huge amount in favour of the union. Is it right to deny their right of dual nationality? Perhaps some won't accept a Scottish passport because British is their only identity.

    Some nice points but you should take a bigger look inside the internal issues that surround Scotland :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 6:38pm on 30 Nov 2009, Tom wrote:

    Goodnight all.

    I am off to bed.

    :D

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 6:40pm on 30 Nov 2009, MCL wrote:

    Usually-Right sounds a bit like the Grey man.

    There is no chance you will vere move to Shetland, just more bluff and bluster from a Unionista.

    "If SNP are determined to have a referendum on this they should pay for it not the majority of people in this country who have repeated in poll after poll that we do not want to be in Salmonds world of impoverished bankrupt states"

    The majority of people in this country have never repeated in poll after poll any such thing. A poll usually consists of around 1000 people, probably from Glasgow North. Hardly a majority of the people of Scotland.

    I and many of my friends and neighbours have never been asked to take part in any of these polls.

    Why not have one big poll? Let's call it a referendum...

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 6:54pm on 30 Nov 2009, Globaltraveller wrote:

    #69 quis_separabit.

    Sorry to debunk the myth with facts, but I think you'll find according to the Government Expenditure and Revenue (Scotland) analysis, total public spending in Scotland in 2007/08 was £53.3bn. Total Scottish GDP in the same year was £141.6bn. Now 53.3/141.6 does not come to over 50% of the economy being "state subsidised" - more like 38%.

    Even if we were to take oil completely out of the equation, then Scottish GDP would be £113bn. 53.3bn/113bn, again does not come to over 50% of the economy being "state subsidised" - more like 47%.

    For the UK as a whole, the equivalent figure is 43% according to the IFS. So, even on this measure, Scotland is in a considerably better position than the rest of the UK.

    As for the comment about "net taxpayers", the only source I can find for this is an opinion piece in a tabloid newspaper. Says it all really.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 6:56pm on 30 Nov 2009, snowthistle wrote:

    Welcome back Globaltraveller, wish we could see what you have to say.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 6:57pm on 30 Nov 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #97 Expat

    You would have been better going, I never asked you to stay. Anyway spout all the polls you want (even if you've not made them up), the only poll that matters is the one that the Unionist parties are determined that the Scottish people should not be allowed.

    If the independence referendum votes No then fine but it will be more spot-on and more likely YES.
    Start drinking now

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 7:03pm on 30 Nov 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    #110 MCL

    Why not have one big poll? Let's call it a referendum...

    Yep…. Bring it on!

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 7:06pm on 30 Nov 2009, Globaltraveller wrote:

    #46 the_pk1

    "Oh and by the way when it does come, don't think that the division of north sea assets will follow the 55 degree parallel, that was just a political convenience at the time. It will be done following international guide lines in such matters so you will get around 60% not the 90% you are dreaming of (still a nice chunk though)."

    Sorry to debunk another myth Sir, but may I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the paper below:-

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Noting particularly the conclusion:-

    "The Scottish share of tax revenues was found to be in the range 82% - 87% in the period 2000 – 2007. From 2007 onwards the share becomes higher, generally being in the 88% - 90% range. The higher oil prices and the increasing share of production attributable to the Scottish sector account for the high share."

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 7:08pm on 30 Nov 2009, Allan J wrote:

    If Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems say they are NOT afraid of the Referendum on Scotland's independence, then why are they going to appose the bill, why don't they put their money where their mouths are and give the people of Scotland the chance to vote, or are they really afraid the people of Scotland will actually vote for INDEPENDENCE, all I have seen from the Scottish Labour, Scottish Tories and Scottish Lib Dems is exactly what Westminster wants, opposition to the Referendum vote, If Westminster says to them, they all cry in unison HOW HIGH, they are SUPPOSED to represent Scotland, NOT what their English high masters want.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 7:09pm on 30 Nov 2009, weefifer wrote:

    I was amazed by Tavish Scott's dismissal of the need for Calman to be put to a referendum (this morning on Radio Scotland) if that's the option he supports. It's quite a change to the settlement. I suspect the reasons no-one wants it on the referendum is that next to devolution max it would probably gain little support, given that the fiscal proposals are muddy and their justification unclear, the second reason being that neither the Labour party nor the tories really want it, the Labour party paying minimal lip service and the tories now saying wait and see (hence Annabel squirming under the very gentle questioning of Glenn yesterday). The Calman process had no legitimacy, and as such has been an open goal for the SNP.
    I'm looking forward now to an eventual referendum with status quo, devolution max and independence on the ballot paper, and I am also looking forward to paying close attention to the so-called Calman parties as they try to inch their way back from this with spurious arguments. Unless the Scottish Libdems again have to get new leadership and start putting their federalist money where their mouth is - come on, argue the case!

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 7:10pm on 30 Nov 2009, enneffess wrote:

    I've quickly read the referendum pdf, haven't read a single paper all day (too busy!) and not read any comments on the blog before I post.


    At present, I'm in favour of devolution max; reasons being foreign policy, defence and the possibility of of social/pensions. Pensions are very important to me, since I am due one when I hit 60, but have had no definite answers as who will pay if Scotland is fully independent.


    On a referendum vote with 4 options, full independence would require a total vote for that option that is greater than the sum of the others. The reason being that only that would guarantee a majority supported independence. If that is not accepted by the SNP then the other parties will simply not support it as they will state that it is a ploy to split the unionist vote.


    One phrase of note and concern: "As a full member of the European Union, Scotland would continue to have access to its markets."

    Has full membership been guaranteed, and what of the voters?



    Need about a month to fully understand this document!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 7:12pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #15

    Rejoice. At last, a constructive contribution from RE. I don't happen to agree with it. In fact I disagree fundamentally with it but it is putting an idea or ideas that can be debated.

    Federalism is the latest red herring being dragged across the debate to obstruct the independence movement.
    No Federation can work when one part (England) is over eight times the size of the rest (Scotland, N Ireland and Wales)put together and there is no chance of England giving anysort of equal status to Scotland or Wales in any federation except in matters of absolutely no consequence. England would be idiotic not to expect ten times the voting clout of Scotland in any serious Federation. Further suggestions that England should then be broken up into smaller pieces is another way of saying Scotland and Yorkshire, for instance, should have the same voice in a Federation.
    The more you break up of course the more real power on the big issues remains at Westminster - powers over defence, foreign policy and so on which are the main reasons for an independent Scotland
    None of this is remotely "independence" so why does RE think the SNP should give a sideways glance to what is merely a delaying diversion from its raison d'etre.

    Paradoxically it is much easier to negotiate a sensible Federation from positions of mutual independence and in any case the sensible federation for Scotland would be a nordic and north Atlantic one with countries about our size which are without any idiotic imperial delusions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 7:12pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    16. Shackinup
    "We can then pipe what is left of the North Sea oil to Newcastle."

    Gotta love delusional unionists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 7:12pm on 30 Nov 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:


    If you ignore the rambling in the warm-up this is a reasonable article from Jackie Ashley in the Guardian:

    This St Andrew's Day really matters. A split draws closer.

    Plans for a vote on Scottish independence are laid out today. They could change UK politics radically and forever.

    Alex Salmond, however, is nobody's fool - and a long-term strategist to boot. That's why Scotland's first minister will tomorrow suggest four options for Scots to vote on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 7:17pm on 30 Nov 2009, Globaltraveller wrote:

    #46 the_pk1

    "Oh and by the way when it does come, don't think that the division of north sea assets will follow the 55 degree parallel, that was just a political convenience at the time. It will be done following international guide lines in such matters so you will get around 60% not the 90% you are dreaming of (still a nice chunk though)."

    Sorry to debunk another myth Sir, but may I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the paper below:-

    "The Hypothetical Scottish Shares of Revenues and Expenditures from the UK Continental Shelf 2000 – 2013". Professor Alexander G. Kemp and Linda Stephen. University of Aberdeen, 2008.

    (Easily findable on Google)

    Noting particularly the conclusion from that paper:-

    "The Scottish share of tax revenues was found to be in the range 82% - 87% in the period 2000 – 2007. From 2007 onwards the share becomes higher, generally being in the 88% - 90% range. The higher oil prices and the increasing share of production attributable to the Scottish sector account for the high share."

    #112. Thanks very much Snowthistle!! (I think it is my pesky URLs not getting through the mods).

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 7:19pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    102. excellentcatblogger
    "Does he not know that all British political parties are supposed to LIE, SPIN and DECEIVE the voting public at every turn. Salmond has really let the body politic down chaps."

    Absolutely! Shameful is it not? How dare he?

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 7:19pm on 30 Nov 2009, Florence wrote:

    69 QUIS: Quote from Tim Luckhurst - nuff said!

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 7:22pm on 30 Nov 2009, jonathanbw wrote:

    Good Luck to the SNP!
    I wish we had a government in England with the guts to ask the electorate whether they want to be part of the Union and whether they want to be part of the EU.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 7:22pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    75. Usually-Right
    "If SNP are determined to have a referendum on this they should pay for it not the majority of people in this country who have repeated in poll after poll that we do not want to be in Salmonds world of impoverished bankrupt states.... oh sorry he calls it the "arc of prosperity" doesn’t he."

    Impoveristh bankrupt states... like all the ones that are recovering faster than the UK you mean. The ones that will be back in an "arc of prosperity" while the UK and Scotland still are in dragging strangling debt... Those ones? It would be pretty...

    Ummm Would be a pretty darn good idea to join those actually. The ones that look like they're not going to go down the toilet.

    And you might want to take another look at the poll after poll... that shows that by FAR the people of Scotland want a referendum and to make up their OWN minds, thank you very much.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 7:23pm on 30 Nov 2009, quis_separabit wrote:

    "The Treasury receives around £12.3 billion per annum from North Sea oil, however, more than £20 billion in treasury funds is contribiuted from Whitehall per annum. I'll leave you to work out the deficit..."

    Thomas_Porter - "This is quite a ridiculous claim unless I misunderstood. Are you suggesting the UK pays 20 billion pounds per year to benefit from 12.3 billion pounds from the oil industry?"

    Errr, you did indeed misunderstand.

    How have you drawn this inference? I was simply highlighting the common misconception among some in Scotland that the revenue generated from North Sea oil is so great, that it somehow outweighs the contribution to the Scottish economy from the Treasury...

    I did so to support the argument that there would be massive blackholes in the Scottish economy should you gain fiscal independence. This should be clear to anyone with half a brain given that the Scots economy is so dependent on the public sector?

    "But please remember Scotland exports her people, maybe you should look at the top dogs in the city of London and then attempt to preach that somehow Scotland doesn't have the talent to go it alone."

    And here we are again, more blind patriotism mixed with wanton disregard for reason! Did I suggest that Scotland doesn't produce talented people? No I don't think I did.

    It is a question of economics not national pride, try to understand that. Fiscal independence for Scotland is not a workable solution, and the 'top dogs in the city of London' are well aware of this. That is why you won't hear any of these intelligent, talented and well informed Scotsmen calling for independence anytime soon.

    By the way, I quoted Tim Luckhurst to give you an idea of the calibre of people who are aware of this, however I did not realise that the former editor of The Scotsman was not a 'credible' source in your eyes. If I could have found an intelligent quote from Alex Salmond I would have used one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 7:26pm on 30 Nov 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    How fantastic to have so many new posters, some apparently having swallowed the subsidy junkie lies previously fed to the Scots without even realising it might give them indigestion.

    It's been noted before that the independence high wire was always a precarious one to walk for the unionists. Telling the Scots they were an economic basket case, lucky to be freeloading off a benevolent England kept the sheeple here fearfully voting Labour for years.

    The message was never intended to drift over the border in the way that it did. Now it has and calls to ditch Scotland are the result.

    This leaves the unionists in an awful predicament as all those in positions of power are well aware that Scotland is a valuable asset that the UK cannot afford to lose.

    How to reconcile calls from irate English people to ditch the asset while clinging onto it at all costs?

    Oh dearie me, and that man Salmond at the helm as well. No wonder Gordon bites his nails.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 7:33pm on 30 Nov 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    #72

    Yes, that was the example I was thinking about. Now where is the lady who was wondering why we should have SNP MPs at Westminster? There must be a lot of people like her who don't understand this. Brown proved once again that he doesn't know what "telling the truth" means.

    #80

    If that was the case then we would want to stick to England like glue!
    We want out of this unpredictable arrangement.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 7:33pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    What a lot of silly stuff there is here. I will ignore the contributions of several new English voices. It is not their fault that they have been comprehensively misinformed about the actual fiscal relationship between Scotland and the other UK regions (but if they are interested in knowing the actual truth the last two year's GERS reports has it in easily digested form)but their opinions about Scotland's constitutional future, no matter how interesting, are entirely irrelevant.


    The SNP has laid a nice trap for the unionists and they have walked straight into it.
    They have offered them a referendum on terms that most of their support agree with and their refusal to allow it is untenable.

    By combining in a mutual suicide pact against the SNP they all seriously diminish each other and merely strengthen the political polarisation in Scotland which no longer is anything to do with left and right but between unionists and nationalists.
    Whether they like it or not they are raising the stakes in the debate by taking such a strong position in it and they are all articulating views on the constitutional future of Scotland which are not the unanimous views of their membership or their support.

    The "plumetting" poll support for the SNP that RE refers to was no doubt the reason for a 8% swing to the SNP at the by election in Falkirk last week and an increase of over 27% in the SNP share of the vote.
    I think their is now a large and growing section of the thinking population which now completely discounts what the media says about the SNP and places no real importance on these polls which are presumed to be partial.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 7:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    127. quis_separabit
    'The Scotsman was not a 'credible' source in your eyes.'

    It's not a credible source in my eyes.
    It's ownership is English, It's run from England, It's printed in England and as far as I know most of it's staff are English.
    It no longer delivers news bur labour press releases day after day and, as it's plummeting sales figures show, the majority of people in Scotland don't find it creditable either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 7:36pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    127. quis_separabit
    "It is a question of economics not national pride, try to understand that. Fiscal independence for Scotland is not a workable solution, and the 'top dogs in the city of London' are well aware of this. That is why you won't hear any of these intelligent, talented and well informed Scotsmen calling for independence anytime soon.

    By the way, I quoted Tim Luckhurst to give you an idea of the calibre of people who are aware of this, however I did not realise that the former editor of The Scotsman was not a 'credible' source in your eyes. If I could have found an intelligent quote from Alex Salmond I would have used one.
    "

    Oh, yes, these intelligent men want to keep Scotland in the union because their so CHARITABLE, right.

    AYE, right. *nods snickering*

    As for the Scotsman, anyone who doesn't know what a travesty of trash that people is... and of course that Mr. Salmond, economist that he is, knows nothing about the subject.

    We know you have ONLY the best interests of Scotland at heart and only want to continue giving Scotland England's most GENEROUS charity and that's why they fight tooth and claw to keep it.

    *more nodding and snickering*

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 7:39pm on 30 Nov 2009, Globaltraveller wrote:

    #127 quis_separabit

    "I did so to support the argument that there would be massive blackholes in the Scottish economy should you gain fiscal independence. This should be clear to anyone with half a brain given that the Scots economy is so dependent on the public sector?"

    But as was pointed out to you above - using Treasury and central government statistics - Scotland is even LESS dependent on the public sector than the UK as a whole. An uncomfortable fact that destroys your entire argument, but an easily verifiable fact nonetheless.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 7:40pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Just a little reminder folks:

    History Lesson

    How much can you trust the UK government accounting? You decide.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 7:41pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #36

    "Scotland receives it share of oil revenues in full".
    What utter nonsense. Scotland's geographic share of oil revenues would not be a share of it but all of it.
    This sort of densely silly arguement is only swallowed by half-wits, but then again that is exactly who it is aimed at.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 7:43pm on 30 Nov 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    #128 Grassy
    Good post.
    It's bewildering how the unionist parties, especially labour, get away with telling us that after 300 years of London rule we are too poor and have to rely on handouts yet we must vote for more of the same.

    Crazy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 7:43pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    Of course there's no oil left

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 7:48pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    136. U14153624

    Simples

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 7:50pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    All the unionist defence is predicated on an assumption that the three major parties will remain unanimously unionist and present a unionist majority in Scotland's parliament.
    This is a very careless assumption to make.
    I know of several Labour MSPs, two LibDem MSPs and a surprising number of Tory MSPs not at all steadfast in their adherence to the Union and whose loyalty to the unionist cause is partly party loyalty but more strongly dependent on the maintenance of the union being the demonstrable will of the Scottish people.
    For how long?

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 7:53pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    I had to laugh when listening to radio Scotland this evening. The interviewer's point when questioning Alex Salmond on the referendum/independence issue was what's the point when you have little chance of getting the required support at Holyrood?

    There then followed a lengthy item on how the Lib-Dems were proposing a 'mansion tax' should they form the next Westminster government.

    Oh, the old 'break up the UK' line was trotted out by the ever compliant BBC Radio Scotland reporter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 7:53pm on 30 Nov 2009, Globaltraveller wrote:

    Of course the UK has always been such a stunning fiscal success story (like it currently is).

    In fact, back in September 1976, the UK was so successful at managing its finances that Denis Healey had to go begging cap-in-hand to the IMF in Washington for a bailout to tide the UK over. The first major industrialised and Western European nation to do so.

    So whilst Unionists scoff at Iceland doing that, they tend to forget their OWN glorious Union blazed a trail there some years ago. An even Iceland has a lower fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP than the UK has, according to the OECD - and Iceland is supposed to be bankrupt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 7:57pm on 30 Nov 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    138. JRMacClure

    LOL

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 7:59pm on 30 Nov 2009, roanheads wrote:

    If independence is the only way forward for Scotland as A, Salmond would have us believe then just have ONE question on the referendum paper not any more just to prevent him getting defeated.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 8:00pm on 30 Nov 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @Thomas Porter,

    "Is this because your considering UK spendings like Trident for example."

    With Scottish independence it will be renamed Bident.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 8:00pm on 30 Nov 2009, quis_separabit wrote:

    'We know you have ONLY the best interests of Scotland at heart and only want to continue giving Scotland England's most GENEROUS charity and that's why they fight tooth and claw to keep it.'

    Oh no, JR MacClure, you must have missed my earlier post. Let me clarify - I'm FOR Scottish independence, in fact I couldn't be more for it! In that respect at least I think we are in agreement.

    I am sick of the anti-English diatribe that you and others consantly spout. Its a good thing Scots are said to have a black sense of humour - you'll be needing it if you get independence...

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 8:05pm on 30 Nov 2009, oldnat wrote:

    Personally, I've always been in favour of the Union. I have no problem with the currency and macro-economic policy being handled at the level of the Union.

    Defence and foreign affairs with other continents also are sensibly co-ordinated at Union level.

    Quite why anyone wants Westminster to get in the way of Scotland being represented in the Union is a mystery to me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 8:14pm on 30 Nov 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    71.

    Delighted as we are by your new found concern for the rights of small nations, you do seem unaware of the single occasion when a party aiming for Orkney and Shetland self-determination tested itself at the ballot box. It was during the 1987 General Election when the Orkney and Shetland Movement contested the seat, pulling in just under 15% of the vote.

    The SNP had an electoral pact with the Orkney and Shetland Movement and agreed not to stand in order to give them a clear run. The SNP has always been in favour of self-determination for the Northern Isles - so that kinda screws your thesis right up doesn't it.

    By the way, did you have this concern for the rights of small nations when Scotland was governed by the Tories throughout the 1980s and 90s despite them being as popular here as a severe case of herpes? No... thought not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 8:16pm on 30 Nov 2009, clachangowk wrote:

    #127

    This is the part of the Unionist argument (particularly Scottish unionists)that I do not understand. If - and i do not think it is - but if it is a fact that after 300 years of Unionism, Scotland has reached the stage of being unable to stand on its own, then surely this is a sign that Unionism has failed and its time a completely new course was taken

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 8:21pm on 30 Nov 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    145. quis_separabit

    I am sick of the anti-English diatribe that you and others consantly spout.

    Please give us an example, quis.
    Just one.

    On the other hand have a gander at Guido's blog on the referendum paper and you'll see some real racial diatribe on the comments bit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 8:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting has a guest article by Peter Lynch, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Stirling:

    As always with Jeffs Blog well worth a read.

    I doubt if we will read about this lecturer in the Scottish Media, better to stick to Mr Midwinter, far safer.

    http://www.snptacticalvoting.com/

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 8:39pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    145. quis_separabit
    "I am sick of the anti-English diatribe that you and others consantly spout. Its a good thing Scots are said to have a black sense of humour - you'll be needing it if you get independence...

    "

    And you mistake. I am NOT Anti-English. What I AN is PRO-Scottish.

    You have NEVER seen me say a single bad thing about the English as a people and I have nothing more against English unionists than Scottish unionists. And my ONLY complaint against them, really, is that NONE of them put SCOTLAND FIRST.

    Let me tell you this. I wish the English ONLY the best. I think standing on YOUR feet will be the best for YOU and allow you to once again find your own identity.

    The English, in spite of having gone astray at times, have done much good in the world as well. I hope that is true in the future.

    You will find little here in the way of anti-Englishness and you only think that if you also think that being FOR Scotland hurts England in some way.

    Does it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 8:44pm on 30 Nov 2009, kgm64 wrote:

    What have the Torries, Labour and Lib Dems to fear from a referendum? Labour are still as arrogant as ever and will never listen to what people really want. The Lib Dems are so useless and insignificant, that the only way to get anything in the news is to side with others. Their record of how well they've done in the last 30+ years is on display in the Borders. A Region that has no industry, no major transport links and it gets it's local TV news from England (so they probably don't even know much about any of this). The Torries will always be found out in Scotland for what they really are.
    If they are all so sure that the people of Scotland don't want independence, then let the referendum happen and it can be put to bed for ever.
    To those who say they 'fought for the UK' whilst in the Forces. I fought whilst in the Forces serving the Queen, not a bunch of robbing Westminster MPs. When you join up you swear allegiance to the Queen not parliament. The Queen would still be Queen if Scotland were to be independent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 8:46pm on 30 Nov 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    Will St Andrews Day 2009 go down in political history? No not because the SNP released their white paper on Independence, this day must be the first time in the history of politics that three political partys refused to take part in a referendum or vote because they were positive they would win it.

    Can anyone who follows politics in Scotland really think that Murphy and Gray would miss a chance of a good gloat on the Glen Campbell cartoon cavalcade? So what are they so afraid of?

    Even the Telegraph are trying the spin. The big question here is will both their readers in Scotland believe it?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/6695030/Independence-The-dynamics-have-changed-in-Scotland.html

    You have got to love the desperation of the stick togetherists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 8:47pm on 30 Nov 2009, Independista wrote:

    Excellent post JR MacClure(134).
    The facts are confirmed in the BBC Alba documentary Diomhair (Secret) where George Rosie exposes how Labour and Conservative governments shared a common agenda - stopping Home Rulers and Scottish Nationalists from breaking up Britain and making Scotland independent.
    Both parties have (and no doubt still do) resorted to spying and underhand tactics to discredit the SNP, its members and supporters. In this, they were, and are, aided and abetted by a compliant Scottish media.
    BBC Alba bravely decided to show the film on the Gaelic channel. Despite the fact that the findings are dynamite, not a mention by our brave Scottish journalists, who are very quick to 'expose' anonymous bloggers for swearing at Unionists.The Scottish Independence Convention has uploaded the film to Youtube, http://www.scottishindependenceconvention.com
    Click on the resources button.
    BTW 139.
    Check out Lib Dem peer, Jamie Mar's (Liberal Whip) blog on the same website. Not exactly the type of opinion that Tavish will agree with!

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 9:01pm on 30 Nov 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    As someone noted earlier, Mr Maddox at the Scotsman has shut down comments on his articles apparently for fear of his life. I also hear that the The Scotsman will be charging us for reading its electronic newspaper at the rate of £5 per month on a trial basis. Well they were already doing that on their red title articles and I was never persuaded to pay for them. The last time I bought their paper was because the wee girl who was selling them outside a garden centre we visited managed to get us a big discount off our purchases and the paper was handy for keeping the boot of our car clean. So the loss of The Scotsman and Mr Maddox's biased articles in particular, will be no great loss and I look forward to reading in some other newspaper of the final demise of the Hootsman as it is no good to Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 9:07pm on 30 Nov 2009, dubbieside wrote:

    For anyone worried about the latest opinion polls, the BBC series Yes Minister has the definitive word on opinion polls.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yhN1IDLQjo


    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 9:11pm on 30 Nov 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    I watched a programme on this years ago.........

    http://www.alba.org.uk/scotching/myth.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 9:13pm on 30 Nov 2009, unashamed wrote:


    Why did the BBC select a photo for the headline story on the independence referendum white paper, which appears to show the nationalist leader making a NAZI style salute, against the backdrop of a cropped St Anrew's cross (or is it swastika?).

    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46828000/jpg/_46828813_eckpa.jpg

    The photo only appears on the main Scottish news page and is not carried through to the linked article - if it was of such visual value, why not?

    Who gave editorial approval for this photo, which adds absolutely nothing to the story?

    Is this the BBC's "subtle" attempt to present Mr Salmond to world, as some kind of neo-facsist?

    I think Brian Taylor should investigate and report back on his blog!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 9:15pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    155. hamish42
    Since it is owned and operated from outwith Scotland (*chuckles at sounding like Oldnat*), they could at least have the courtesy to rename the rag. No need though since with its plummeting sales, it will soon disappear or be sold--and if they sell it I just hope it's to someone who has SOME respect for the truth.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 9:24pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    As someone noted earlier, Mr Maddox at the Scotsman has shut down comments on his articles apparently for fear of his life.

    This is a joke right?

    The other joke is that there are sufficient number of people willing to pay £5 per month for The Scotsman newspaper.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 9:26pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #127

    I have just read the infantile piece from quis-separabit.

    He flings figures about in the mistaken impression that he will confuse and he may indeed confuse the easily confused which is where much of the unionist arguement is now aimed.
    I have no idea where he gets the notion that North Sea oil revenues are the total revenues that Scotland raises and I know nobody half sensible in Scotland who would swallow such nonsense.
    That appears to be the main thrust of his arguement and it will come as a surprise to all those Scots who diligently pay their income taxes and NI and all those Scottish businesses that pay their corporation taxes and business taxes and all those brewers and distillers who watch the vast sums accruing to the Treasury in excise duties on Scottish production and all the other ranges of taxes that the Scots, like everbody else in UK, pay into the treasury.

    Taxation raised in Scotland in fact is as high or higher than the total budget revenue of Finland or New Zealand and many other comparable countries BEFORE OIL REVENUES ARE ADDED and these taxes have contributed to the fiscal surplus Scotland has shown virtually every year since such figures were produced from 1954.

    The suggestion that Scotland can't afford to be fiscally autonomous is utter balderdash and quis_separabit should produce figures to support his ridiculous contention to allow us have a good laugh while we blow them out of the water.

    To their credit no respectable unionist figure or economist any longer suggests that Scotland could not be fiscally autonomous and any suggestion that this could be the case,in the words of Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet would indicate "financial mismanagement of Scotland's economy of Zimbabwean proportions".
    As he is one of the world's foremost economic experts I'll take his word for it.

    Doesn't it occur to quis_separabit that his pitiful picture of Scotland as a beggar nation should be leading him to demand from the UK governments which currently rule us why they have so mismanaged Scotland.
    The contention that (a)the Union is good for us and (b)we need handouts is a contradiction that only the daft haven't yet recognised.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 9:28pm on 30 Nov 2009, Andrew Dundas wrote:

    How does the SNP already know that a legally separate Scotland would be admitted to the European Union? So far as we know, neither the EU nor the UK Government has been consulted on their likely terms - or even whether Scotland would be accepted at all? We shouldn't presume automatic entry.
    It's worth noting that neither Germany, France, Italy nor Spain is keen to give credibility to their own separatist movements. Those countries - and others - will not welcome a legal separation of an existing member that they believe would encourage their own separatist movements. So they're quite likely to want Scotland to queue up like all the other applicants have had to do. Moreover, none of the opt-outs won by the UK would applies to any new entrants. That includes, for a new member, the compulsory adoption of the Euro just as soon as the EU decides - not Scotland, mind - that Scotland met the Maastricht conditions.
    Why aren't these considerations included in the SNP package?

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 9:31pm on 30 Nov 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #149

    If I could just echo U141153624's request.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 9:33pm on 30 Nov 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Morgan Stanley fears UK sovereign debt crisis in 2010

    The price of the Union!

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 9:36pm on 30 Nov 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    Okay, I've actually had enough Brian, If I hear Annabel Goldie say one more time that "the referendum is one that no one wants and a waste of money" I will be deeply annoyed.

    She has no right to spout away like that ignoring a large proportion of Scotlands populations views. By saying its a waste of money means she is totally disregarding the importance of popular opinion in Scotland, then again she has no idea what this is or she'd be supporting the referendum. If a poll was done tomorrow asking whats more important " The right of the Scots to decide on there future" or "the right of politicans to block the Scots from expressing an opinion by denying them a referendum" they would get a massive shock. Rather in support of the union or independence its our decision not theres. And we call this a democracy what a joke.

    Its time to start a petition, better that, lets boycott the opposition for not giving us our say. Should you be against independence and SNP but still support the principle of what i'm saying I think its time to abstain from voting. What are they so afraid of ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 9:42pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Just read a Fraser Nelson piece in The Spectator and the thought occured to me that the Unionists are now in danger of believing their own propaganda.

    Nelson apparently truly believes that only 20% of Scots would opt for independence in a referendum.

    Is it complacency or desperation?

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 9:45pm on 30 Nov 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    162 Leftie

    The only separatists are the Unionists. They seem to separate their brains from logic!

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 9:47pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    164. cynicalHighlander - thanks for the link.

    The end of the article says it all really:
    The UK failed to put aside money in the fat years to offset this time-honoured fiscal cycle. It ran a budget deficit of 3pc of GPD at the peak of the boom when prudent countries such as Finland and even Spain were running a surplus of over 2pc.

    "We need to raise VAT to 20pc and make seriously dramatic cuts in services that go beyond anything that Alistair Darling or David Cameron are talking about. Nobody seems to have the courage to face up to this," said Mr Buik.


    Hung parliament at Westminster rearing its head again with the Tories lead now estimated to be 10%.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 9:47pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    161. sneckedagain
    "He flings figures about in the mistaken impression that he will confuse and he may indeed confuse the easily confused which is where much of the unionist arguement is now aimed.
    I have no idea where he gets the notion that North Sea oil revenues are the total revenues that Scotland raises and I know nobody half sensible in Scotland who would swallow such nonsense.
    That appears to be the main thrust of his arguement and it will come as a surprise to all those Scots who diligently pay their income taxes and NI and all those Scottish businesses that pay their corporation taxes and business taxes and all those brewers and distillers who watch the vast sums accruing to the Treasury in excise duties on Scottish production and all the other ranges of taxes that the Scots, like everbody else in UK, pay into the treasury.

    Taxation raised in Scotland in fact is as high or higher than the total budget revenue of Finland or New Zealand and many other comparable countries BEFORE OIL REVENUES ARE ADDED and these taxes have contributed to the fiscal surplus Scotland has shown virtually every year since such figures were produced from 1954.
    "

    Excellent points that need to be emphasized!

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 9:51pm on 30 Nov 2009, P190RSF wrote:

    #159 Hmmm, truth ....

    Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion—and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion ... while Truth again reverts to a new minority.

    Soren Kierkegaard

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 9:52pm on 30 Nov 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    #160

    The comment on Maddox was on #418 of the previous piece by Brian. and the announcement about the Scotsman charging for access to articles was on the news today, a Murdoch initiative which we knew was coming.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 9:58pm on 30 Nov 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    The other piece of (mis)information I read in the Daily Record today was about the cost of the referendum. The figure of £9m (???) which has been quoted at numerous times from several sources was arbitrarily bumped up to £12m in the Record's editorial today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 10:01pm on 30 Nov 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    Try THIS URL - Scottish Government rubbished Calman Commission Report and declared for Independence.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 10:04pm on 30 Nov 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #162 "How does the SNP already know that a legally separate Scotland would be admitted to the European Union? So far as we know, neither the EU nor the UK Government has been consulted on their likely terms - or even whether Scotland would be accepted at all?"

    Oh dear...

    Its all very simple. The treaty of accession was signed on behalf of the United Kingdom - all of it, not just England, including a remote province up north. An independent Scotland means the United Kingdom will no longer exist; therefore either both Scotland and England will continue to be members of the EU as successor states to the former United Kingdom, or both will require to re-apply. If you actually participated in this blog rather than logging on tonight because the Party told you it was your patriotic duty to so, you might understand that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 10:14pm on 30 Nov 2009, Jeff - Dundee wrote:

    Typical of a supposed British TV news program - the BBC (British Biased Channel) - not even a mention of the most significant news today for the whole of the UK.

    Main News

    5 sailors get lost in Iranian water
    Boy gets mauled by dog
    Manuscript
    etc
    etc

    So this really tells you all you need to know about the importance and the contempt that the BBC hold Scotland.

    Can we please get the hell out of this doomed Union as soon as possible. The BBC is disgustingly anti-Scottish and worse supports Labour - nuf said.

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 10:15pm on 30 Nov 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Does it really matter? The other parties aren't going to vote for the referendum anyway.

    Everyone here, and in the SNP, knows that this white paper has nothing to do with holding an Independence referendum next year. Alex Salmond knows he has no chance of winning such a thing let alone getting the parliament to allocate time to it. It's a political stunt to try and paint the opposition parties as being "anti-democracy".

    Such an argument is ludicrous. Very simple explanation: 4 major parties stood for election. 3 of them stood on a ballot of opposing independence and on not having a referendum on independence. The majority of the Scottish people voted for these parties. Unlike the SNP, they are actually enacting the policy proposals they promised the scottish people. If the SNP get elected into a majority in the Scottish parliament then fine, until then, this is democracy.

    I could just as easily stand up and claim that I want a referendum on independence for Aberdeenshire and call the SNP anti-democratic when they don't support it.



    If this referendum is called now it will be the only thing being debated in the Scottish Parliament next year. Independence has no support in Scotland (recent polls I think put it around 25%), and evidence from independence referendums around the world shows that support always plumments on referendum day itself. As such the entire Scottish Government will have to devote all of their time next year to trying to "persuade" us that we're all wrong in what we want.
    This rather than doing sensible things like, I dunno, carrying out some of their election promises that they lied to us all about two years ago.
    This isn't just a waste of money, its a waste of priorities on the part of our government.




    Moreover I have a massive issue with the misinformation campaign being peddled by the SNP.

    1. They paint it as "re-defining the relationship with the UK". This is otherwise known as, we know people don't want to leave the UK so we'll pretend that's not what we're really doing. It's pretty much one step short of lying to the Scottish public. If you're really that confident, why not have the guts to call it what it is?

    2. They pretend that this is about policy issues and not about institution change. I sat and watched Reporting Scotland today and listend to how an Independent Scotland would be "A country that doesn't have nuclear weapons, that doesn't engage in illegal wars, that has low corporation tax". HOW ON EARTH DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE FIRST ELECTED GOVT OF AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND WILL INSTITUTE AS POLICIES. Our current country has lasted for 300 years, a new country could do the same if not more. In that time who's to tell whether corporation tax will increase or decrease. For all we know the elected government of Scotland in 15 years time might well declare war on someone, or build nuclear power plants or whatever.
    Pretending that this is what independence is about is a LIE! Again, the SNP know that the people don't support independence itself, so they try to pretend it's about something else.




    My final point is this. A very large proportion of Scots benefit from being part of the UK in that they easily get jobs in the SE of England. Most of my friends graduating from university have moved to London for jobs. These people, who have benefited from the UK, are not being offered a say in those rights being denied to the next generation. People serving in the Navy, the vast majority based down in Portsmouth/Plymouth are screwed if the SNP get their way, yet they have no say in this because their job has them posted down in England.
    People who are suddenly going to find themselves living in England, and being forced to choose between a Scottish Passport (becoming foreigners) or a British one are being denied a say. This I think is a disgrace and as someone who, by next year, may be in this situation it worries me extremely.
    Those who are benefiting from the union have no say in its future. That doesn't seem sensible to me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 10:19pm on 30 Nov 2009, snowthistle wrote:

    hamish42,#172
    Glasgow Evening Times quotes Tavish as claiming the referendum would cost £12million.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 10:23pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    69. quis_separabit

    Haha haha ha ha ha, Do you really believe the nonsense you just posted?
    I really really pity you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 10:23pm on 30 Nov 2009, Jeff - Dundee wrote:

    Oh for god's sake - let the English have a vote of Europe and let the Scots have a referendum.
    Point is we never got a say into be FORCED into Union with England but we sure would like to have a say on unentangling ourselves.

    We don't need to be enemies but rather good neighbours. It's time those opposed to a vote grew up and accept that it is a matter of time before the vote happens.

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 10:23pm on 30 Nov 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    Caledonian,

    Criticising someone for "coming on because the party told you to" seems a bit laughable given the proliferance of nationalist spammers that exist on this blog.

    To be more accurate though regarding the question on the EU, if Scotland left the UK the UK would not defacto break up, it would still exist. As such the UK would still be a member of the EU, only Scotland would not.

    The actual only known official position on this was that given by the EU president a few years ago, I don't recall which one, who stated that Scotland would have to re-apply, that we'd have to go to the back of the queue for consideration but that we would almost definitely be accepted when we were so considered as we met all of the criteria. The point being (I think quite obviously) that we would be highly unlikely not to join the EU under Independence, although it's unlikely to happen immediately.



    This of course is all a moot issue as neither the Scottish Parliament nor the Scottish people have ANY desire for independence and therefore it's all just hypothetical discussion.

    Can we not talk about something that we actually care about like, fixing the economy/ creating more jobs/ delivering on some of the myriad of promises that the SNP lied to us about at the last election???

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 10:25pm on 30 Nov 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    At #173 I inadvertently contravened the rules by posting a Scottish Government web site URL. Error in good faith. Will not be repeated.

    The Scot Gov Publications web site published a report on 26 November that seems to declare the Scottish Government in favour of full Independence for Scotland. On 30 November, First Minister Alex Salmond seems in favour of limited further devolution - or independence. It is a bit confusing trying to find out who says what in Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 10:26pm on 30 Nov 2009, Robabody wrote:

    Jings, crivvens and help ma boab – the Cyberbrits are fair rantin the nicht! Did somebody just turn the call centre on?? Fair do’s for R-E, he’s never away from this site and sometimes he makes a valuable contribution such as # 15 but then he goes and let’s himself down by using un-parliamentary language in #26 – I mean come on R-E, even the Westmidden crowd, deep in the trough and trousering as much as can be carried in two hands, a bag and passing skip lorry, don’t call people liars! I’ll be honest R-E, I had a mind tae refer ye son. Mind you, I agree with your testing mantra – it’s good to test, especially if a unionist tells you something! I’ve a mantra of ma own am fond of – measures drive behaviours.

    Meantime for the rest of you – whaur have you been? You are welcome to join in what passes for entertainment here on Brian’s Blog and I have tae tell you, ye hae missed a Brigadoon’s worth o valuable comment that would have gone a lang Scotch mile in clearing up your ignorance. We’ve covered illegal wars, greedy bankers and failed banks, the Scottish economy, Whisky, drinking and a future settlement for other parts o Scotland so do try and keep up. Coming in on a regular basis helps keep ye up tae speed ye ken!

    So now that ye have been pointed here, I’ll take it that we can expect the usual too wee, too stupid and ye canne tak yer aine decisions, type o nonsense until such times as ye think you have pit doon the uppity natives or the call centre closes doon and pays ye aff, sometime after the referendum vote I’ll presume?

    Now back tae the blathers about Scotland being an equal and the hoots o derision that it raised frae the Earlofbrigand etc., aye, well there’s the nub – your no an equal if ye are considered inferior and that’s your problem – you seem tae imagine that Scotland is some part o an Engladoon empire . Were no son, so for all o ye that think that we’re a bunch of wasters, spongers and all the other near racist drivel that has passed fur comment the nicht, then there’s one answer tae it – let us go!

    Now in a way, I don’t blame ye, ye see it’s never been Engalnd’s “fault” – a rumour started by the unionists to develop a culture of resentment (divide and rule ye ken – a bit like the game the good EarlOB is playing the noo) – no the fault lies with the weary wullies we sent to Westmidden in the hope of honest representation. Nae sooner oot o sight, than straight into the trough. One thing about havin our aine parliament will be they are right in front of us, no hidin in a bar or a clip joint in Soho.

    So instead o whining about what a greetin faced bunch o ungrateful baskets we are, shake oor hand and wish us a fond fairweel as a freen would. You’ll hae yer aine parliament and jings, here’s another benefit fur ye - you’ll no hae anither new labour government ever again, once we’ve gone.


    With apologies to the Broons, John Lawrie (Private Fraser) and the regular bloggers – there’s just so much tosh being bandied about this evening, old ground being recovered and some comments so far back, it drove me right into pa Broon mode. Thank you also those who took time to give civil replies to some of it.

    I wonder if R-E’s still down the pub?

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 10:32pm on 30 Nov 2009, enter_exit wrote:

    Scotland and Independance: Its a shame, but who would have thought that an entire electorate/nation could suffer from Stockholm Syndrome?

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 10:35pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    171. hamish42:

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    There is a middle ground that never seems to be explored when discussing the more passionate responses to certain journalists and that is the underlying reasons for those responses.

    People like Iain MacWhirter aren't subjected to the same level of criticism as Maddox for one very good reason - MacWhirter tends to write decent well informed and reasoned articles.

    If one continually abuses a position of privilege, twisting and manipulating facts in order to pursue an agenda then one cannot expect to behave in such a manner with impunity.

    No, that doesn't mean that it is OK for property to be damaged or threats to be made but given the passion that surrounds the constitutional debate then it is incumbent on journalists at least to try apply reason.

    If one continually waves a red rag in a field full of bulls then do not be surprised when one of them charges.

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 10:37pm on 30 Nov 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    good to see some new names today. interesting they all chose today and the majority are not to nice about the white paper.
    what a coincidence? I hope everyone is keeping an eye on their language.
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 10:40pm on 30 Nov 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    176. NCA999
    "A very large proportion of Scots benefit from being part of the UK in that they easily get jobs in the SE of England. Most of my friends graduating from university have moved to London for jobs. These people, who have benefited from the UK, are not being offered a say in those rights being denied to the next generation. People serving in the Navy, the vast majority based down in Portsmouth/Plymouth are screwed if the SNP get their way, yet they have no say in this because their job has them posted down in England.
    People who are suddenly going to find themselves living in England, and being forced to choose between a Scottish Passport (becoming foreigners) or a British one are being denied a say. This I think is a disgrace and as someone who, by next year, may be in this situation it worries me extremely.
    Those who are benefiting from the union have no say in its future. That doesn't seem sensible to me.
    "

    Oh, poor dearies, you're saying they can't find their way to the polls. And soldiers are denied the vote in Scotland? Not that I ever heard.

    Does one need a passport to travel in Europe? Well, one doesn't, does one? But if one did, would it indeed be the end of the world. Times past when they were required it didn't make much difference. People from countries all over Europe work in other countries without having to be part of the same nation. You're saying that England would kick all the Scots out? Might want to talk to Westmidden about that.

    Scaremongering... scaremongering...

    Debate is good, but come up with some real issues.

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 10:41pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Advice to Unionists:

    Doesn't matter what you type, the bottom line is that Scots absolutely want change.

    The Union as you know it is coming to an end - bend enough and it might endure in some form for a while yet, don't bend enough and it will break.

    Over to you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 10:45pm on 30 Nov 2009, ILOVEFLORENCE wrote:

    Intriguing.
    Its a strange surreal thought but arguably in many ways in terms of the future of the union and indeed the country Annabel Goldie is the most powerful and influential women in the UK.

    Shes the real strategist and opposition to the SNP.
    A good media performer and consistently formiddable at FMQs

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 10:51pm on 30 Nov 2009, oldnat wrote:

    176. NCA999
    "A very large proportion of Scots benefit from being part of the UK in that they easily get jobs in the SE of England. Most of my friends graduating from university have moved to London for jobs."

    I'm sure you don't see the irony of that statement.

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 10:53pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    75. Usually-Wrong

    People who think they know it all, stall in life as they are no longer willing to learn. They believe they know best, and therefore like so many unionists are completely blinded by their own arrogance.

    Your user name says a lot about the way you think!

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 10:56pm on 30 Nov 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Talking of Maddox, he has a piece i The Scotsman tomorrow where he alleges that SNP staff might be running anonymous attack blogs.

    I have alreay commented that there are numerous blogs that attack the SNP and Alex Salmond using the same graphic term (the 'c' word) applied to Jim Murphy but the press don't want to know, or rather do know but won't report it.

    It also emerged that Jim Murphy himself had removed possible defamatory statements from his own site after the threat of legal action.

    This is exactly why Maddox and his ilk are held in such contempt - blatant hypocrisy in reporting stories.

    Maddox alleges that the SNP have asked for 'help' from the guy who runs SNP Tactical Voting blog - although the SNP deny this.

    A white paper is introduced and Maddox resorts to smears - how very typical.

    See it here

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 10:57pm on 30 Nov 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #176, 180 NCA_999
    If this referendum is called now it will be the only thing being debated in the Scottish Parliament next year.
    So, no budget will be passed next year, this is rather a good wheeze as in that case spending continues as this year and the Scottish Secretary has to provide the funds so no £500M cut.

    Independence has no support in Scotland (recent polls I think put it around 25%)... This, your second sentence is also way OTT, in fact it is so absurd as to be self contradictory.

    And yet in your rants you did make a good point, but, due to your excessive and extravagant language, no-one has picked up on it. What a shame, a good idea wasted in inappropriate emphasis.

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 10:59pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    76. EarlOfBrigand

    People look after their own! this will always be true. At present the UK is dominated by England so Scotland will always come second. Lets go our own ways sooner rather than later! why do so many people resent the desire for Scottish independence! Live and let live! too difficult for you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 11:04pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    79. EarlOfBrigand

    Ahh the old divide and rule! if they wish to go their own way the people of Scotland will not stand in their way. Why do you care so much to even post on here? let me think!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 11:05pm on 30 Nov 2009, Slaintmha wrote:

    A bit of a shock for Unionists - they were expecting a ranting, roaring, tartanised White Paper and got caught out with something which invites open debate, evidence and justification of each party's position. We know the answers already:

    Labour (Jim Murphy) - Jam tomorrow, especially as we won't have any say tomorrow

    Conservatives (Cameron) - over your dead bodies if you think we'll touch Calman with a barge poll

    Libdems Conference - Maybe's aye, maybe's no - depends if Tavish gets to be Deputy Leader in 2011

    SNP - Win / Win - what ever happens the status quo has been broken and still 70 to 80% of Scots support full fiscal autonomy in the recent opinion poll.

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 11:09pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    83. Usually-Wrong

    Running Scared I see!! what a response of negativity from the fierties this white paper has provoked its hilarious. I wish the people of Shetland well if this is what they desire.

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 11:11pm on 30 Nov 2009, enneffess wrote:

    174. At 10:04pm on 30 Nov 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:
    #162 "How does the SNP already know that a legally separate Scotland would be admitted to the European Union? So far as we know, neither the EU nor the UK Government has been consulted on their likely terms - or even whether Scotland would be accepted at all?"

    Oh dear...

    Its all very simple. The treaty of accession was signed on behalf of the United Kingdom - all of it, not just England, including a remote province up north. An independent Scotland means the United Kingdom will no longer exist; therefore either both Scotland and England will continue to be members of the EU as successor states to the former United Kingdom, or both will require to re-apply. If you actually participated in this blog rather than logging on tonight because the Party told you it was your patriotic duty to so, you might understand that.



    Hang on, you've just said EITHER. Europe is going to be the elephant in the room. It's been very quiet up to now, but it will rise up to cause problems. According to the document, Scotland will be a full member, yet you've just said they will either be a member or have to re-apply. If we have to re-apply, then what happens? Or if England is re-admitted and Scotland is not, then what? Don't blow the question out of the water, as it is one many people will start asking.



    175. At 10:14pm on 30 Nov 2009, Jeff - Dundee wrote:

    I hope to god you do not consider the tragic death of a young boy to be of more importance. Never, ever stoop to the level of using issues as these to criticise the BBC for not giving the story about Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 11:12pm on 30 Nov 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    188 Gooseberry 5 wrote
    "Intriguing.
    Its a strange surreal thought but arguably in many ways in terms of the future of the union and indeed the country Annabel Goldie is the most powerful and influential women in the UK.

    Shes the real strategist and opposition to the SNP.
    A good media performer and consistently formiddable at FMQs"

    Is that sour green hairy thing you Dean?

    Come off it. Like all of the Scottish unionist leaders, when it comes to the big decisions, she is a puppet whose strings are pulled from London. She does everything David Cameron tells her.

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 11:12pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    85. GloaminInTheRoman
    "It seems that every single argument in favour of the union these days has to involve some hypothetical or hyperbolic rubbish."

    So true but let them continue as they are doing more for the cause then we ever could on our own! let them continue digging deeper!

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 11:17pm on 30 Nov 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #186.
    Not so.
    There are new nationalist political parties in Scotland and existing parties that will be happy to recognise EU and new Scottish passports after Independence, and to respect servicemen's rights of nationality choice and citizenship. I am working on this policy development in the Scottish Democratic Alliance. After 20 years service in a Scottish Regiment, I can assure you that Scots in Scotland and abroad will be accorded full rights. Anyone who fulfils reasonable naturalisation criteria will be welcomed into Scottish nationality and citizenship. Best regards, Michael Hamilton.

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 11:25pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    88. Reluctant-Fullofshat
    "This is all getting very silly.

    Cant believe I'm actually replying to the expat and feeding the troll, but coming from the person who only posts "silly" well you made a little drip flow!!

    Today has been a VERY disappointing anti-climax as I had been looking forward to a day of virtual sword-waving and goblet-clanging from our tartan-clad, Saltire-hugging Braveheartees.

    If this is true you really are a very sad person with far to much time on your hands. You like to cross swords do you?

    Instead, all we get to witness is the same tedious claims and lies about public spending and oil, all of which have long discredited by 'Big Boss' himself.

    PMSL!!!!! Who is the "Big Boss"?? please don't tell me its you!

    Weak, lads. Very weak.

    I'm off down the pub.
    "

    Like drinking on your own do you!

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 11:28pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    94. Reluctant-Expat
    "88"

    Thought you were off to the pub with your mates??

    No didn't think so!

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 11:34pm on 30 Nov 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    I just watched the Unionists responses to the SNP White Paper on Reporting Scotland.
    Iain Grey said "There is consensus between the other parties (the Unionists) they don't want a referendum right now, and they won't support the referendum bill that is coming forward" but there was fear in his twitching eyes. He knows the game is up and he has been found wanting.
    Annabel Goldie followed with "Scotland doesn't want independence" but there was fear in her eyes, she knows she is wrong.
    Tavish "This is a minority Government with a majority ego trying to impose independence on Scotland. Scotland doesn't want independence, doesn't need it" but there was real fear in his eyes, he knows it is a lie.
    There was truly an air of desperation about them all.
    I notice there are a huge number of new bloggers on here today - many of whom I've never seen here before, nor on Nick Robinsons log - and that they have been able to post all day, up until the end of the working day, anyway. That makes me suspicious. It also tells me that the Unionist camp are in utter route, and are resorting to desperate measures. Quis_Separabit, "Who shall seperate us", oh how clever. The nonsense and scaremongering that have been posted is just laughable. The underlying racism is disgusting. But now we know. They daren't let us vote - they know that they will lose.
    182 Robabody - well said!

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 11:35pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    97. Reluctant-Expat
    "One more dose of reality"

    Is their such a thing as reality in reluctant lala land?

    We all know that polls change from day to day and are completely unreliable as they sample such a small percentage of the population.

    Once again you are running scared of actually asking the people of Scotland.

    Do you fear the answer so much, that you spend every waking hour spreading disinformation on this blog???

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 11:41pm on 30 Nov 2009, govanite wrote:

    Well done Alex.

    The unionists are all over the place. Some disparage it as a trivial side show, of no consequence. Some angrily condemn it. Some like Tavish don't know what to do. But guess what - the people love the idea of being asked yeah or nay.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 11:42pm on 30 Nov 2009, Helmsda wrote:

    186. JRMacClure
    Does one need a passport to travel in Europe? Well, one doesn't, does one? But if one did, would it indeed be the end of the world.

    As a UK citizen I travel frequently between the UK and mainland Europe and need a passport to do so, so I am unable to agree with your premise. Whether in an independent Scotland I would need one to cross the border into England I do not know, but, while it would not, as you say, be the end of the world, it would be a pity if it were so, given the close family and commercial ties between the two countries.

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 11:50pm on 30 Nov 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    98. Keith Larkin
    "If people aren't happy then let them get a vote on whether they want independence. If they do give it to them. Full independence. Nothing less.

    I agree with you here.

    No subsidies for the next x years either.

    correct we don't want to continue subsidising you.

    Take all the Scots out of our government/armed forces. No best of both worlds. None of we want an independant Scotland but we still want to work in/for the English government. All these watered down versions that are mentioned seem unfair on the English people. And while I'm on the subject the very fact that we have Scottish MP's who have a vote on the English legal system/politics but we we don't have a say with theirs is unfair. "

    A bit protectionist that statement do you support the BNP? English jobs for Engish people and all that, whats next will you be demanding that the borders are closed? as Scotsman with English parents and English family living in England. I wouldn't want to see my family members discriminated against in a Independent Scotland the same way that you wish to see Scottish and foreigners discriminated against in England.

    The only reason the watered down versions exist is to try and appease the Scottish Britnat fierties like Reluctant expat who are scared sitless of change. It is these types you need to be arguing with not Scottish nationalists, we are almost in full agreement apart from the racist bile you spout.

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 00:00am on 01 Dec 2009, curley_bill wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 209. At 00:03am on 01 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    What exactly is this United Kingdom that some Scots still feel bound to?

    A corrupt parliament housed in a ridiculous neo-Gothic building that harks back to supposed glory days of Empire and conducts itself with embarrassing displays of pomp and ceremony.One chamber of that parliament is unelected.The other elected without PR.All other Western nations including Scotland have modern parliaments.

    This parliament continually throws up prime ministers and foreign ministers who are obsessed with the UK 'punching above it's weight on the world stage.'The fruit of which vision is there to see in the current Iraq Inquiry.

    UK ministers and civil service mandarins desperately wish to retain the UN Security Council seat.A situation that has no discernible benefit to Scotland.They squander Scotland's mineral wealth on nuclear submarines and station them in Scottish waters against our wishes.

    This UK state routinely denies Scotland direct access to international conferences and EU negotiations.

    The economic planning of this UK is always made with the needs of it's south-east corner as the prime consideration.

    It's time to retain what links have to be retained with London in a spirit of cooperation and be done with the rest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 00:06am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 211. At 00:09am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    101. rog_rocks
    "I think it would be very nice and far more in the interests of Scots if the BBC and other media outlets in Scotland were to concentrate more on what is actually in the SNP's white paper rather than using it as an excuse to air the opinions of hostile foreign parties!"

    Hear Hear!

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 00:10am on 01 Dec 2009, A_Scottish_Voice wrote:

    Just like to give my congratulations.

    They threw everything they had today and you still came out on top.

    Respect.

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 00:11am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    RE: 162

    Well for the argument you just presented since there would no longer be a United Kingdom, surely, England would have to also fight for a place in the EU. You obviously do not have an understanding of how important the fishing industry in Scotland is to the EU and as an oil rich nation the EU is not going to block Scottish membership, then again, the most obvious result will be that Scotland remains a member of the EU without having to apply as it is already integrated.

    As for other countries not supporting a seperatist movement, Scotland has a long history of independence before union, the movement is likely to be a peaceful one, and most of the new nations that have joined the EU can be classified as participating in seperatist movements, you should really do your homework before spouting nonsense like that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 00:13am on 01 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Watched Tavish Scott on Newsnight Scotland earlier. He is living in cloud cuckoo land! He has nothing to offer on the referendum issue or on trying to achieve more powers for Scotland which he says he wants. He is still going on about Calman being a solution when every other party has recognized it's a non-starter. A diabolical performance. I can't see why his party still maintains him. They need to take him to a quiet spot and tell him a few home truths. If he wanted to do something for his party and look useful at the same time, he would ditch his opposition to a referendum and create a bit of excitement.

    Apparently Alex salmond has retaken the initiative from Murphy and his Calman white paper (that from an ex-Labour first minister).

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 00:14am on 01 Dec 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    On newsnnight the Unionists wheeled out David McLetchie who also told us we don't want independence. So that must be it then, we must not want it. After all, so many of our "betters" are telling us so. So we must be wrong then, too stupid to warrant a say in our future, obviously.
    If these 65 people think they can block the will of the Scottish people they better think again.
    They think they are the glorious 65 at the battle of Thermopylae, holding the pass against the seperatist horde. The irony is they are right, and they are outnumbered. As at Thermopylae they have been seriously outflanked, and will ultimately lose, no matter how grimly they hang on. History is on our side.
    The unionists will vote down this referendum at their own peril.

    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 00:16am on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    206. Helmsda
    "As a UK citizen I travel frequently between the UK and mainland Europe and need a passport to do so"

    The Irish are the same - because the UK have refused to sign up to Schengen, and it is more important to them to have open travel with the rest of the British Isles than with the rest of Europe. I presume that you are not suggesting that rump UK would spitefully exclude an independent Scotland from the Common Travel Area while it includes non UK territories - Eire, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man?

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 00:23am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    125. JonBW2
    "Good Luck to the SNP!
    I wish we had a government in England with the guts to ask the electorate whether they want to be part of the Union and whether they want to be part of the EU.
    "

    Thanks JonBW2

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 00:26am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    127. quis_separabit
    "Fiscal independence for Scotland is not a workable solution"

    Yes true, it is not a workable solution for the UK!

    Why would that be???

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 00:26am on 01 Dec 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #188

    Annabel Goldie is held in such high regard that she has been cut out of the inner circle of the Tory high command (along with David Mundell)and prospers because of the ridiculously generous and non critical press press coverage she gets for stating the bleding obvious and repeating the usual unionist catchphraes. I have never heard Annabel make a serious politcal point and you can only go so far in politics as everybody's favourite granny. There are people sitting behind her in the Scottish Parliament not hugely impressed and her chosen young pretender Murdo Fraser impresses them even less.

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 00:27am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    176. NCA999
    "A very large proportion of Scots benefit from being part of the UK in that they easily get jobs in the SE of England. Most of my friends graduating from university have moved to London for jobs."

    Thanks to OLDNAT, for making me laugh tonight. Just for NCA999's benefit, i'm guessing they are not the sharpest tool in the shed and may not have got what you meant Old Nat. Because Scotland is not independent it relies on the UK to control tax, income, expenditure, benefits, everything. An independent Scotland could set its own taxes, i.e corporation tax lower to attract business as Ireland done as the tiger economy of Europe for many years, this in turn would boost the number of jobs available meaning that your friends at university would not have to move to London. Now this is just one in many points that make what you said ironic.

    Secondly, as someone who just spent three years working in Germany, we actually have access to jobs in 27 different EU countries or more i'll need to double check that, thanks to freedom of movement and labour mobility, unless you haven't left your home in the last few years i'm guessing you've noticed the number of european friends working in our country, particularly the polish. So maybe you should put these things into consideration, as an independent Scotlandin Europe would mean hat its citizens could still work in London should they desire, not that i can see much benefits, the cost of living and rent is a nightmare.

    Unionists do make me laugh

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 00:29am on 01 Dec 2009, X_Sticks wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 222. At 00:30am on 01 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #206.
    No - we plan for an open border between England and Independent Scotland. Seaport and airport entry will be unchanged. Anyone entering temporarily will leave freely - we like tourists of any nationailty. Anyone staying will in due course register for the Electoral Register in the existing way and as a house owner or renter will register for council tax in the existing way. If you live in Independent Scotland you will be respected as a citizen. If you wish to apply for a Scottish passport or naturalisation, there will be no changes from existing law and regulations. If you are an illegal immigrant there will be no changes from existing law. Maybe you should join one of the nationalist parties and help us to develop a well run country which will have England as its closest neighbour and most friendly ally. I have mentioned the name of my party earlier on and with a cautious eye on the Moderator, I will not repeat it. You can look back if you want to find it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 00:31am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    A few people have attempted some responses to one of the points I made.








    The first was about how, if there was a referendum, it's all that the government would focus on and so they would spend far less time dealing with real issues.

    There was only one response to this, #192, which was a sarcastic comment posted about the fact that a budget still needs to be passed. I think this was an unfortunate comment as clearly I understand that an Independence referendum wouldn't be the ONLY thing anyone would spend time doing. But I was making a serious point. Does anyone honestly believe that Alex Salmond will not spend a massive amount of his time campaigning for his cause (which realistically this time around he isn't going to get) and thus not be giving his full attention to real and pressing issues like the economy?






    My second point was about Scots living in other parts of the country. The serious issue I raised was about those in the military (given how much they would have to lose if Salmond got his way) but also extended to all other Scots. My point was that there are many Scots living around the UK who wouldn't have a vote in this referendum,

    A few responses to this. The first were misunderstood, claiming that the forces abroad do have a vote. To that I point out that those who are normally resident in Scotland do. If you join the Navy, or in many branches of the air force and army then the likelihood is that you will be stationed somewhere outside of Scotland and as such be permanently resident there (and not have a vote).

    One response pointed out the "irony" of my statement highlighting the number of Scottish graduates that need to move down to London for jobs. I wouldn't call this ironic but would actually say that many of them may well consider it a disadvantage of the union, whereas many would consider it an advantage. Either way these are Scottish people thriving off the situation we are in at the moment, but who will get no say in changing it.

    Finally the more general comments about foreigners in our own country, EU free travel etc. These are patently flawed as Alex Salmond understands but several on here clearly don't. There are, I would imagine, several hundred times as many Scots living and working in the rest of the UK as there are in the rest of Europe. These are for many factors such as the ease of travel, the structure of national businesses and national organisations plus many others that have got a lot more to do with whether or not you need a visa to work in a country. So AGAIN I make the point that those who are benefiting (or losing out -dependant on your view) from the current situation are being denied a say.








    Finally I made a point about the SNPs deliberate attempt to spin and mislead their cause.

    Rather than campaigning for independence they are campaigning for a "change in relationship with the British government". The entire white paper is full of non-specifics. Like in the defence section it talks about the issue as though trying to pretend that nothing will really change for the people employed at the shipyards building the British aircraft carriers and destroyers, or the massively disproportionate number of Scots employed in the army that a Scottish government wouldn't realistically be able to afford.

    Even WORSE, they are pretending that Independence is about a change in policy and not about a change of institutions. This is frankly nothing short of a LIE.

    I made the point that they are pretending that independence is something other than what it is, that they are doing this because they know people don't support their cause, and that if they were really that confident in what they were saying (and had a shred of honour) they would stand up and call it what it is, instead of pretending that it's something else.

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 00:44am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #213 Again someone attacks another claiming to be educated and intelligent but actually displaying a basic ignorance, not only of the facts, but of common sense.


    FACT 1. If Scotland left the UK the UK would still exist.

    FACT 2. The UK is a member of the EU and would not forfeit their membership of the EU if Scotland broke away.

    FACT 3. Scotland is not currently a member of the EU and so would have to apply for membership.
    Note: It's highly likely that such a membership request would be granted although it's a) not guaranteed and more importantly b) not guaranteed to happen immediatel (particularly given the queue of other countries wanting to join).

    Thought: If the Shetland Islands left the UK and became an independent country. Does anyone seriously believe that the UK would have to re-apply for their membership. Equally, does anyone honestly think that the Shetland Isles would automatically be an EU member? If anyone on this discussion seriously thinks this please speak up as I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

    FACT 4: The ONLY case example in EU history of a secession state leaving a member of the EU was French Algeria, which prior to independence was a full part of France and thus in that capacity a full member of the EU (or EC as it was then). When Algeria ceased to be part of France they also automatically forfeited their membership of the EU, as the membership was that of France and not of Algeria which was just a region of France. (Please people read up on the relationship of Algeria to France before posting ignorant replies as they had a completely different structure from British colonies in that Algeria was actually PART OF France).



    I POINT THESE OUT NOT AS A CAMPAIGNING ISSUE. I DON'T PERSONALLY THINK IT HAS ANY RELEVANCE TO THE INDEPENDENCE DEBATE. OTHER PEOPLE DO HOWEVER AND SO STUPID PEOPLE MAKING IGNORANT COMMENTS ON HERE ABOUT US AUTOMATICALLY BEING A MEMBER ARE RATHER ANNOYING.

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 00:47am on 01 Dec 2009, Florence wrote:

    131 U141..... Couldn't have put it better myself!

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 00:49am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    223. NCA999
    "his cause"

    HIS cause? HIS? Like he is the only nationlaist in the country? Like it wasn't part of the party manifesto?

    Little things like pretending that the British Army would kick out all the "disproportionate number of Scots". Like they do those from the Republic of Ireland, one supposes?

    Sorry, but when you make (to put it nicely) inaccurate statements like that it destroys your credibility.




    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 00:51am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    nate

    "Unionists do make me laugh", at least some of us make arguments that actually make logical sense. As I pointed out above your EU argument is not only ignorant (in that you clearly don't understand the facts) but also quite stupid, in that even with the facts as twisted as your explanation your conclusion still makes no logical sense.


    Further to this you'll note that I was actually making the same point about how many Scots who have to go down to London for work don't like it and so may well vote yes in such a referendum (unlikely but possible). The argument I was making wasn't whether they like it or not, but that they should have a say. This however seems far too subtle for someone like yourself to grasp and so instead you focus on making cheap jibes at the trivial points.

    You say that "Unionists make you laugh". I prefer not to paint all those who disagree with me with the same brush (even though I'm often accused on here of doing so lol!) and will just say that I'm glad to have been of service however, since you clearly don't understand the subject matter, you might want to stick to your childish sense of humour and leave the debating to the grown ups.

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 00:56am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    206. Helmsda
    "it would be a pity if it were so, given the close family and commercial ties between the two countries."
    I agree that it would be a shame if England (or rUK, whatever they call it) was so spiteful, because I have absolutely no doubt Scotland would not require such a thing.

    As you say, one can't be sure until the day.

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 00:59am on 01 Dec 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 230. At 00:59am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    223. NCA999
    "the army that a Scottish government wouldn't realistically be able to afford."
    No reason on earth Scotland would NEED or WANT to afford such a large army although no doubt Scots in the British Army could stay--silly to contemplate that they'd be expelled.

    However, those HUGE amounts of taxes that are spent on Tridents, battleships, and ILLEGAL WARS could go into something that would actually benefit the citizens of Scotland.

    I will admit that not trying to be big boys on the world stage is a shocking concept to many cyberbrits, but it is what Scotland has in mind. Be a small nation banded together with other small nations and no one bullying or invading anyone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 00:59am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    206. Helmsda

    I quite often travel to Italy, if from UK and I have to go through immigration. If I am travelling from elsewhere in Europe I do not, there is not even anyone at the passport desk I just walk through as if it were an internal flight.

    This is because unlike the rest of Europe UK is not a part of the Schengen visa scheme

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 01:00am on 01 Dec 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    180. NCA999
    "Criticising someone for "coming on because the party told you to" seems a bit laughable given the proliferance of nationalist spammers that exist on this blog."

    nationalist spammers, or unionist spanners - it's all just cheap name-calling.

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 01:01am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    227. NCA999
    "you might want to stick to your childish sense of humour and leave the debating to the grown ups."
    Ooo Good ad hominem attack. Try to say he's inferior and stupid--to be expected of Scots, of course--rather than that he gave you a good going over. ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 01:03am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    210. grownbordon
    "This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain. "

    I cant even remember what this comment said but I think I must of upset a racist does anyone know if it may re-appear or can I find out what I wrote?

    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 01:04am on 01 Dec 2009, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    195. slaintemha
    "A bit of a shock for Unionists - they were expecting a ranting, roaring, tartanised White Paper and got caught out with something which invites open debate, evidence and justification of each party's position."

    Exactly, a grown up exchange of ideas, a full and open debate - what's the world coming to! :)
    No wonder they say they won't support it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 01:07am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #226

    If you're going to attack me as such please get your facts straight before you do so.

    Irish citizens are allowed to apply to join the British Army yes. Around 20-30 do so every year. This is less than 0.01% of the size of the British armed forces.

    There aren't any figures on the number of Scottish personell working in the Armed forces but it will number in the tens of thousands. There are certainly a much larger number of infantry batallions per head of population north of the border than there are south (because it's easier to recruit in areas like Scotland, the NE of England etc). This was the source of my point about disproportionality in the no. of Scots employed. If we were to maintain a size of armed forces proportional to the current UK forces divided by our population that would involve getting rid of a large number of serving Scottish personell. Even then it is highly unlikely that a Scottish government would have any use for such a large army and so over time would cull it even further. As for the rest of the UK their armed forces would also shrink considerably as a result of secession and if there were people to fire I can assure you it would be the Scots. They probably wouldn't have a problem long term with Scots applying to join the British army if they really wanted to and could prove they were dedicated but there's no way an English government would employ anything near the number of Scots currently in the army over people that actually lived in their own country.

    Your point displays a gross misunderstanding of the reality of the situation with regards Irish recruitment. I don't know if you are just ignorant or if you are trying to deliberately mislead others but either way I can assure you and everyone else on here, if Scotland left the UK there would not be thousands of Scots left working in the British armed forces long term.

    Please don't call me ignorant again unless you actually know what you are talking about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 01:10am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #233

    JRMaclure

    Have you actually read the post to which I was responding. Please go back and do so again and then take in this point. I pointed out some actual, you know, facts. This was in response to some inaccurate and misleading statements made by the gentleman in question.

    Could you please explain in what way that is being given a good "going over"?

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 01:11am on 01 Dec 2009, grownbordon wrote:

    224. NCA999
    FACT 1. Bored to tears by your tedious long posts.

    FACT 2. Like most people after reading the first line i scroll to the next post.

    FACT 3. I will not be able to reply to you if you reply to this because I do not read your posts.

    FACT 4. Yawn

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 01:13am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    NCA 999:

    The only thing i'll apologise for was the comment "unionists make me laugh" however i did say in my comment OldNat made me laugh to although its a different kind of laughter. The only comment you made which has logical sense is that I shouldnt tar everyone with the same brush, your right. I have a lot of respect for Unionists that make informed well argued, factual points. Yours was just nonsense though. You then criticise my reply accusing me of not using facts without having the courtesy to highlight which point of mines was wrong? Having studied Scottish Politics and wrote my dissertation on this very subject i'm sure my opinion is more informed than yours.

    Your statement in supporting the union was extremely ironic as highlighted quite correctly by Old Nat, secondly, should Scotland become independent within the EU, Scots would still be able to work in London should they so wish, but, i'm confident less Scots would leave as we would be able to make our country a more prosperous one by having the financial levers we need, but greatly lack.

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 01:14am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    231. grownbordon
    "This is because unlike the rest of Europe UK is not a part of the Schengen visa scheme "
    An interesting point of course, which might mean Scots traveling to FRANCE with no passport but needing one for England. That would be a shame, as I think all Scots agree. But it will be up to the English to figure that out.

    I can't see passports between Scotland and England being a true issue. Would it matter that much if you needed a passport to go down to visit Cousin Ruby or Uncle Jack? One hopes one wouldn't, but one would also soon adjust.

    As far as a queue for the EU--I have no doubt Scotland would be put on the fast track, if it were even an issue which I have some doubts of, for several reason, such as the possibility of the many Scottish workers across Europe having to be expelled which they definitely not want to have to do with huge disruption and cost, the many EU citizens who vacation in Scotland being able to easily and *ahem* a little matter of energy both renewable and non-renewable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 01:16am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #238

    Thank you for verifying my point about the lack of actual intellectual credibility in the cases of most nat posters on this blog. Your inability to come up with a response (masked by your joking) is a pleasing acknowledgement that I'm right and you're wrong.

    If you are going to keep posting comments about the EU though I would suggest that you read what I wrote as it actually, you know, explains the facts, rather than the hopes and pretences that are bandied around by Nationalists and Unionists alike on this blog.

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 01:17am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    NCA 999, my views are shared by many on this blog, in regards to what may be best for this country, and when i've been loose in the facts I appreciate people pointing that out, but yourself i'm afraid is clueless and i'd rather not enter into a debate with someone who has nothing useful to add.

    On a Positive note, Glen Campbell seemed to give Tavish a bit of a hard time tonight, not like Glen to target someone other than SNP. And was nice to see at the end of A History of Scotland - The Debate, a few Scots expressing positive views on independence, cannot believe the biased BBC allowed it to be broadcasted lol.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 01:18am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    237. NCA999
    "This was in response to some inaccurate and misleading statements made by the gentleman in question."
    Yes, someone here is making inaccurate and misleading statements such as that all Scots in the British Army would be kicked out--an absurd proposition.

    Or that Scotland would have ANY reason for maintaining a huge army rather than using its money for something that actually--you know--BENEFITS its citizens.

    Housing, roads, schools... all of which would, by the by, provide both benefits AND jobs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 01:19am on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    224. NCA999
    "FACT 1. If Scotland left the UK the UK would still exist."

    It's really not sensible to post as FACTS (and shouting isn't part of blogging protocol) things which are a matter of political judgement rather than constitutional law.

    The reality is that no one knows what the consequences would be for an existing EU member state to disassociate into two or more successor states. Various suggestions have been made, but none of them are authoritative.

    We are agreed that Scotland would remain in/be admitted to the EU. That is clearly in the EU's interests - in the same way that they are prepared to accelerate Iceland's entry.

    How would they they treat the rump UK? Who knows? They might treat them as the residual UK, but they might also decide that the UK was a political construct of Scotland and England, and that the withdrawal of one of the partners invalidated the construct of the UK state. Requiring both Scotland and rump UK to reapply would make a lot of sense to those in the EU who are resentful of British scepticism to EU membership.

    I don't know the answer - neither do you. The other 26 states in the EU probably haven't made their minds up on this either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 01:20am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #240 JR

    I actually agree with you re: membership of the EU, in that a fast tracked application is a likely scenario. It's equally possible that we would have to follow the normal process. The reality, as I would hope you'd acknowledge, is that we don't actually know.

    The one thing we do know (as I'm glad you can tell but unfortunately others on here don't seem capable of understanding) is that we would have to re-apply for membership.

    If we're going to have a debate it's good to do so with the proper facts on the table in my view.

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 01:24am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #243 The fact that we wouldn't maintain a large army is EXACTLY my point!

    Go back and like, read what I said. My point is that with the scaling back of armed forces numbers that would negatively affect Scotland. (again a debateable issue but it would be nice if we were debating the reality and not the misleading claims by Salmond that we would maintain all Scottish armed forces personell in a Scottish army).

    #242 I actually pointed out why you were wrong. In response you, have no response. You talk about things being amusing. I point out that it's amusing that the moment certain people on here are exposed to facts and reasoned debate they withdraw from the discussion and resort instead to name-calling. If I'm wrong, tell me why. If as I suspect you don't really understand the subject then acknowledge it and back off. Meaningless attacks benefit nobody.

    Complain about this comment

  • 247. At 01:31am on 01 Dec 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    I wonder if Maddox is employed by the Herald to drive down circulation of the Hootsman.

    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 01:32am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    oldnat,

    You didn't read my point about precedent and international law above.

    If the UK continued as a nation, and legally under international law it would continue to do so regardless of whether a constituent part left, then it would maintain all of the rights of said nation which would have to be actively removed.

    As I pointed out, the comparable example is of French Algeria. None of the facts which I posted were either a) opinion or b) incorrect. If you understood the subject then you would realise this.
    There was quite clear delineation in the post in question between what were the facts and what was conjecture on my part.

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 01:38am on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    246. NCA999
    "My point is that with the scaling back of armed forces numbers that would negatively affect Scotland."

    Maybe you have identified your party affiliation earlier, and I missed it (it would be far too tedious to trawl back through your posts to find out).

    However, what you are advocating is to maintain a large number of Scots in the public sector - regardless of whether that is economically valuable or not - as a reason for retaining the UK Union. If you are a Tory - you are a heretic. If you are Labour, you are totally on message. If you are LD, you are predictably confused.

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 01:41am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    224. At 00:44am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:
    #213 Again someone attacks another claiming to be educated and intelligent but actually displaying a basic ignorance, not only of the facts, but of common sense.



    You obviously haven't studied European politics, and misrepresented my point. Yes I agree the Spanish may have an issue with independence, thus only because it may spark a debate in their own country, with the Basque and Catalonia regions following suit.

    I also find it amusing the information you posted was ripped straight from WIKIPEDIA, nice one NCA 999, lol.

    The 2004 enlargement of the EU saw Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia join, followed by Bulgaria and Romania. Now NCA 999 I suggest you go look these countries up on Wikipedia and tell me how many of them have lost their sovereignty to another nation before regaining independence that would be interesting. Because at some point or another many of them have. If you want to dispute this I can give you various links to visit or a number of books to read? However, i'll give you the benefit of the doubt at the moment.

    There is absolutely no reason to suggest that Scotland would not retain its membership or have its membership fast tracked in some shape or form.

    And if you know anything about the United Kingdom you'd know that England and Wales formed a union in 1536, in 1707 the Kingdom of Great Britain was born when Scotland joined!!!!. It wasn't until 1801 when the Irish joined that we got the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, now when the Majority of Southern Irish Counties voted for independence and left in 1921 we got the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Now the fact that GREAT BRITAIN only refers to England, Scotland & Wales, and not Ireland for reasons i'm sure you learnt in geography, when a third of Great Britains land mass declares itself independent there will no longer be a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Read your history books soon and you'll discover that. Now who's ignorant! And in case you still haven't worked out why, there can't be a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as it is formally known, when a Third of Great Britain declares itself independent, and the word United is no longer as appropriate or correct.

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 01:54am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    oldnat and JR got to say I enjoy your contributions to this blog. I await NCA999's response to my last comment with Glee, for it is an undeniable fact that the United Kingdom is formally known as The Unted Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ( Look at your passport NCA999 ) . Great Britain refers directly to the landmass which supports Scotland, England and Wales. Hence why the name didn't come into being till 1707 after the union between England and Wales. With Scottish independence the Kingdom i'm afraid will no longer be united.

    And you keep talking about facts NCA 999, you've just been discredited, Geography and History are on my side i'm afraid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 01:56am on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    248. NCA999
    "You didn't read my point about precedent and international law above."

    I did. It read exactly like a political briefing point from one of the Unionist parties - or a circumstance that you have only just come across, which many of us have known about for a long time.

    I'll explain what you clearly don't understand.

    Algeria was part of Metropolitan France as a consequence of imperial military conquest. It's pre-independence position was similar to that of Wales being subject to the English Parliament and law. Algeria had no wish to be part of the European Community after independence. Algerian independence did not fracture the legal basis of the French state.

    The UK is unique in Europe in that its basis is a treaty between two separate countries ratified by their separate Parliaments. Should one of those Parliaments rescind the treaty then we are into unknown legal territory. Consequently, the matter remains a political one, rather than one of automatic legal precedent, since no appropriate precedent exists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 01:56am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    #250

    I'm laughing, then laughing again, then just so you understand how amused I was at your ignorance I'm laughing one final time.

    As a clarification I never read wikipedia prior to that post.


    To deal with your points one by one.

    Firstly whether or not the countries which joined in 2004 were presviously part of another country is irrelevant. They were not members of the EU as part of their predecessor nation and so it has no comparable relevance, and so i don't know why you raised it. Read back what you said and ask yourself in what way any of those countries faced the same situation as Scotland.

    Secondly, I never mentioned Spain although now you mention it they, along with the Belgians and several others would probably have issues with our membership which would make a "fast-tracked" membership application not a certainty. Again I note that this point on my part is conjecture, but it seems to be sensible discussion as a pose to the absolutes stated by yourself that we would automatically keep our membership.

    Thirdly, despite raising numerous IRRELEVANT EXAMPLES, you completely failed to deal with the one relevant example which I did give you of French Algeria. Once again you highlight your inability to respond to intelligent arguments by doing anything other than trying to avoid the issue.


    On the upside I'm glad that you now seem to accept that we would need to re-apply for membership, when earlier you were stating with absolute certainty that this would not be the case. I'm glad that I've managed to persuade you of at least something.

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 02:04am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    re #251

    Is this a joke? That's less reasoned than an argument a five year old might come out with.

    Geography has nothing to do with international legal recognition of states.

    States aren't defined by their names, it's got nothing to do with that. Take for example the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, legally recognised by the UN as being a state yet it resides in Rome.

    The Republic of Ireland still calls itself as such even though "Geography isn't on their side" in that they are not the government of all of Ireland.

    Further, countries change their names all the time. There are hundreds of countries which changed their names, google it and you'll find some. They didn't cease to be a state and have to re-apply for statehood/all of their assets.

    States are entities in International Law, in order to become an Independent country Scotland would have to legally secceed from the entity that is the United Kingdom. This would not change the fact that the UK is still the same state that it was before.





    You obviously don't understand the subject, why do you keep insisting on making a fool out of yourself?

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 02:13am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    253. NCA999
    "I'm glad that I've managed to persuade you of at least something."
    I'm sad to tell you, but we didn't wait for you to show up to discuss these issues repeatedly and with varying opinions for months previous.

    Since Scotland, as a supposedly equal partner in the UNITED Kingdom, if it decides it no longer wants to be united under the treaty of 1707 it should, in fact, still be a member of the EU as much as the other KINGDOM involved in that treaty.

    Scotland would only NOT be a member of the EU if it is NOT an equal partner. Are you, my dear sir, saying that? Are you contending that Scotland did not join by act of its own parliament and was not previous and has continued to be since a kingdom?

    Because supposedly that is WHY it is the UNITED Kingdom.

    Now because it is SUCH a unique case and totally unchartered territory, it is impossible to be sure exactly WHAT the decision of the EU would be. I think it would have automatic membership BECAUSE IT IS NOW A MEMBER just as much as England is. It would be very hard to justify allowing ENGAND to remain in while SCOTLAND (the other half of that UNITED thing you'll reluctantly recall) got kicked out.

    But no one can be sure one way or the other.

    Complain about this comment

  • 256. At 02:14am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    253. NCA999
    And I'm not going to bother to discuss Algeria because it was a totally different situation and hence simply irrelevant.

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 02:14am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    Quite right NCA 999, you never mentioned Spain, so I apologise, you have actually made no appropriate facts whatsoever, the Spain comment was someone more intelligent.

    As for my EU reference, it was in response to your ridiculous one about French Algeria, I was simply referring to the point that the EU would have no problems admitting a state that had become independent. Yes true the EU has never had this situation before, but if you had any idea about how the EU works and the integration of Scotland in the EU you'd have not made a comment at all as now you look rather silly, and like I said the UK would cease to exist in the same form in which it joined, so whatever it became would have to reapply if Scotland did. Which is why it would make more sense to allow all former members of the UK to retain membership.

    Complain about this comment

  • 258. At 02:18am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    254. NCA999
    "Scotland would have to legally secceed from the entity that is the United Kingdom. This would not change the fact that the UK is still the same state that it was before.
    "
    That would ONLY apply if Scotland were only a territory of England. That is not and has never been the case.

    It was a joining of two equals and Scotland never agreed not to be equal. You might want to read the treaty.

    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 02:18am on 01 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    There are so many questions being asked about Independent Scotland.
    It is unlikely that it would want to apply for membership of the EU. Our agriculture and fisheries are being ruined by EC membership among other reasons for not joining.
    It is unlikely that that England would hand over the Scottish Regiments - it is more likely that they would opt to be MacGurkhas as so many of them are based in Germany and England and have married there.
    There are nationality and passport and travel queries on here too.
    There is a growing alliance of intelligent pro-independence parties of which the Scottish Democratic Alliance is but one.
    This blog is a good entertaining free-for-all mud sling but there are serious web sites elsewhere.
    Orra best folks. Michael Hamilton

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 02:18am on 01 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    There are lots of noises being made in the Scotsman about blogs and bloggers. The SNP is being requested to apologise for the recent blogs which were taken down and the SNP hierarchy appear to be in a conciliatory mood over it. The worry is that we will lose these facilities which expose untruths and inform us about Labour lies and media distortions, giving information for people to rebutt these lies in other forums. I hope the SNP leadership know the value of these blogs to their cause and do not capitulate to the media or to the opposition parties on this or it will be a blow to freedom of speech and a return to the dark ages. At the moment its two to one against the SNP, but as Labour are at the same game (viz Murphy's blog) they shouldn't be taking it too seriously.

    #184 on the question of Maddox. He had a tiff with Alex Salmond at a press conference not long after the SNP were elected and Alex Salmond wiped the floor with him in front of his press colleagues on some issue or other. I believe that is at the root of his dislike of the Nationalists and Salmond in particular. His bile towards the Nationalists therefore seems to be founded on viceral hatred, not by impassionate reporting which a journalist should be bound by.

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 02:19am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    NCA 999, once again your argument has no relevance, I understand very much about recognised states, but, my point was, it only became the United Kingdom of Great Britain with the Act of Union 1707, Because only then was it truely the United Kingdom, otherwise it would have been called this earlier with the union between England and Wales, although that would be stupid, because you can't have a United Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN - When a THIRD of GREAT BRITAIN declares itself independent from the rest. Although no one will know how this will work until it actually happens, there is no error in the point I have made, The UK regardless will no longer be the UK.

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 02:21am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    oldnat

    "A briefing point from one of the unionist parties"

    I am neither a member of a political party nor do I care what the situation would be regards the EU, I was just pointing out errors in statements and assertions made by others above.

    As to whether or not my knowledge of the situation is "just discovered", no actually. One of the three degrees which I have covered the subject in a great amount of detail.

    The situations under which a state were formed have somewhere in the region of NO BASIS in their present day status (and therefore their status post any change). Another example would be that of Kosovo. When Kosovo left Serbia, Serbia maintained their status as a state, Kosovo formed a new state.

    Further your claim that "agreements between two parliaments" is a unique situation is a little incorrect. Most of the former colonial states were part of the UK (by agreement) and then chose to leave. Take for example Australia, Canada, New Zealand. When they left they formed a new state and the UK maintained it's state status.

    A similar thought example would be that of Gibraltar. Legally (by treaty between parliaments) they are part of the UK - they vote in our elections. If they left the UK would not cease to exist, they would just create a new country.

    Legal definitions of statehood are fairly uniform and quite clear in this instance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 02:24am on 01 Dec 2009, nate_oz wrote:

    I think I better call it a night soon, as much as I love educating NCA 999, I am rather tired. Its time to get back to serious questions and debates, I just read the White Paper, I rather enjoyed it, I think it puts accross all arguments fairly, and surprisingly was less biased than the BBC lol, Alot of unionists will actually enjoy reading it and may take something from it, gave me a good vision of what this country could be.

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 02:34am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    263. nate_oz
    I HOPE that some of them get past their knee-jerk prejudice to actually read it. It is fascinating reading.

    I have work to do and an agent to keep in beer and skittles so I'm off.

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 02:34am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    JR

    It's got nothing to do with whether or not we were "Joined as equals" or not.

    States are legally defined international entities. The UK, which is one state (containing England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland amongst others). If Scotland wished to secceed from the union then we would need to form a new state. The fact that there is some history of us being a state a long time ago does not make us currently a state. When we joined the UK we forfeited statehood. We would need to create a new state in terms of international legal definitions in order to be independent (there would not be a problem with this).
    The UK would not forfeit their statehood just because a constituent part has secceeded from it. It has nothing to do with how the state was formed. Every single example of newly created states since the founding of the UN marks these criteria.

    The basic point is that by creating a new state we would not be bound by any treaties which the UK had signed, and so would have to sign them again. The EU is one, of many, examples of this.

    Trust me, you really don't know what you're talking about here.


    Are you seriously asserting that Scotland would retain their membership of the EU after we had become independent and created a new state? If you're not then you are agreeing with the point which I was making, that we would need to re-sign said treaty. I was also pointing out that we don't know how long this would take, it may take a week it may take a year. All I was asking for was serious and factually informed discussion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 02:38am on 01 Dec 2009, NCA999 wrote:

    nate

    Did you listen to anything about what I said?

    It doesn't matter what a states name is. The UK can rename themselves cloud cuckoo land and they would still continue to be the same entity. More accurately they could rename themselves the United Kingdom of most of Great Britain and N.Ireland and they would still be exactly the same state entity. Amazingly they would have circumvented all of your really difficult to solve problems.

    Go read a book then come back.

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 02:52am on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    262. NCA999
    "One of the three degrees which I have covered the subject in a great amount of detail."

    Three degrees! You must be one of those female Philadelphia soul and disco vocal musical group from the 60s. I loved your music!

    Actually there is nothing sadder than posters who quote limited detail of their academic qualifications to justify their stance. If you wish any credibility then tell us of your peer reviewed publications on this issue. If you were merely an undergraduate student listening to a lecturer you have no substance.

    You clearly learned nothing in your course (or your lecturer was inadequate). The former UK colonies which you mention were all established through right of conquest. They are totally irrelevant as to how the EU states will treat the consequent states of a dissolved Belgium or UK (from a very different constitutional origin) in the event of their dissolution.

    Complain about this comment

  • 268. At 02:57am on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    265. NCA999
    "Trust me"

    You must be joking! You post your opinion as absolute fact. Give some definitive legal judgements that support your opinion and we can have a reasonable debate. Otherwise you remain a fantasist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 03:38am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    265. NCA999
    "It has nothing to do with how the state was formed."
    It does indeed make a difference how a state was formed. The United Kingdom would be dissolved rather than a mere territory succeeding. This is a very different and unique situation from any of those you mention.

    Now you don't want to admit that it's different which I can understand since the dissolution of a country is a scary thing. But people would survive and the citizens of both sides would be better off for it.

    PART of the reason they would be better off would be because in Scotland huge amounts of money would NOT be going into keeping a huge army and navy (but a rather modest one, instead, which would be needed). Neither would moneys be spent on buying nuclear weapons from the US nor for fighting unwanted and unjust foreign wars.

    The money--money raised by taxes on income and corporations, and energy resources which would go into the Scottish treasury instead of Westminster--would instead go into helping to build business and provide services. It would go into providing housing and education for the people. All of these would provide much needed jobs.

    Sorry. I just don't see this scary scenario you keep warning of.

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 05:38am on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    NCA999,

    There is no evidence supporting your claim Scotland would not be a member of the European Union. In fact the countries with seperatist movements for example, Spain, rely upon Scottish waters. Is it logical or sensible for Spain to damage their Scottish-Spanish relations?

    I will point out Spain is actually doing well in their 'seperatist regions'. If I am not mistaken there in control of the Parliament, which is a first.

    I'd also point out your friends living in London (oh the irony!) will not live in an independent Scotland, so why should outsiders influence affairs despite not living with the consequences?

    Personally, I see no reason why free movement or free trade will stop. The West has encouraged free trade for years and the European Union encourages free movement, so why would things change? I would be laughing my socks off if I see unionists in the future supporting borders etc

    Last but not least, why be narrow-minded? The white paper has many options and yet, you continue the anti-independence line. You've not changed, its the same old. Instead of criticising an idea you should mention what you support and why.

    I HATE the 'what if' situations. It ruins debates when individuals peddles 'what if' issues as facts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 07:04am on 01 Dec 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    La strada ad indipendenza.

    Are there any union minded contributors who wish to keep the status quo in terms of Holyrood powers ?


    Wansanshoo.
    Nationalist & Anti Theist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 08:05am on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    It's quite interesting to see the 'Have Your Say' posters claim all sorts.

    Scotland should become independent and leave England alone.

    Scotland should be independent, so long as English taxpayers do not fund it.

    Scotland can't survive as an independent country (no evidence of course or blame being given for the political union that allowed this to happen).

    Even individuals beleiving that because their great great whatever were Scottish and that they now live in England it suddenly equals to being British.

    I also see some are so arrogant that they are forcing Scots to accept Britishness and the Union Jack.

    I still can't help but wonder why we survives as long as we have, personally I put it down to ignorance. If we actually knew what was expressed in other parts of the United Kingdom, I suspect we'd be independent tomorro.

    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 08:36am on 01 Dec 2009, JTomlin wrote:

    272. Thomas_Porter

    I've been struck by it many times, Thomas. And the same people who express such deep-seated dislike (I don't think that's an adequate word for what they say, but it's the best I can come up with) accuse the Scots of hatred and negativity.

    Now, of course, sometimes Scots (and their supporters ;) ) have some negative feelings but see few who dislike or resent the English. I have never seen independence seem to have much to DO with the English. Wanting your own nation to be exactly that -- your nation -- has nothing to do with outsiders or having ill-feelings.

    The US, you might recall, wanted independence from Britain. So did Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Few of them hate anyone. That just has nothing to DO with wanting to run your own affairs.

    But the anger expressed by unionists and even English anti-unionists is quite striking to someone who is from outside the UK or I have found it so. It puzzles me. Is it a bit like a spurned lover? Or that they've been Scots that they're spungers so long they've come to believe it themselves?

    Darn if I know. But at this point I'm not sure that the anger on THAT side isn't something that would break up the union if the Scots didn't. Surely such anger within a country can't be healthy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 274. At 08:55am on 01 Dec 2009, John Ruddy wrote:

    I for one, as a "unionist" welcome a referendum. There is one proviso. That if the country votes no, the subject is dropped for a long time, at least 30 years, and maybe 50 years. Then we can get down to actually sorting out the country's problems and promoting Scotlands interests, instead of the SNP's one-track obsession. I am sure that politicians with the undoubted skills and experience of the likes of Alex Salmond (much as I dislike him and what he stands for at the moment) could do much more for Scotland if they focussed on the real issues.

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 09:08am on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    John Ruddy,

    Thats quite an interesting comment. Is it democratic to deny the next generation of voters a chance for independence? The SNP understand that the subject will be off the agenda, but only for 10 years, after which a new generation will exist and they will decide our future.

    Besides the white paper includes four options, do you believe the status qou will prevail or do you support another system, which do you favour? If the country votes against the status qou, you may find independence back on the agenda far sooner then you think.

    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 09:09am on 01 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    As regards the Geographical nameI suppose as The Dominican Republic is notall of Dominica, and the USA is not all of America, thena rump UK could retain the Great Britain.

    All this doesn't change the fact that Scotland and England are theoretically equal under the Act of Union, so if Scotland left that Union, treaty obligations would remain, including EU treaties

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 09:14am on 01 Dec 2009, Peter_of_Fife wrote:


    Consider the options of the breakup of the Union and possibly the cessation of the Statute of Rhuddlan:

    No more United Kingdom
    No more Great Britain
    No automatic membership of the E.U. for England and Wales or England
    No automatic membership of the E.U. for Scotland
    If Wales voted for independence there would only be little England
    France / Germany would object to a continuation of England's E.U. status outside of the UK and insist on England rejoining considering their 'new' status
    No automatic membership of the G8
    No automatic seat on the Security Council
    No Union flag
    No Union Jack
    No Union of the Crowns
    No oil revenue from the Scottish Sector
    The Armed Forces and their assets financed pro rata
    Rent for Faslane Naval base to be levied or removed to England along with missiles and warheads.
    Perpetual English Conservative governments led by the likes of William Hague, Ian Duncan Smith, Michael Howard or David Cameron.

    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 09:16am on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    Scotland and England shall both negociate with the European Union. For the moment the United Kingdon is entitled to six MEP's from Scotland but this changes especially since Scotland in the European Union should be entitled to 14 MEP's.

    There is also the current arrangements. The funding levels for the reminder of the United Kingdom will change and the United Kingdom looses access to the oil revenue and fishing grounds, everything changes. The United Kingdom will loose influence when it comes to negociations.

    However I don't believe it's suitable to consider that both Scotland and England will not be apart of the European Union. If we are currently members now, whats the difference if we change our own internal political systems? It's none of their business to be honest and I see no reason why it should become a matter for the European Union.

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 09:23am on 01 Dec 2009, Bruce wrote:

    # 35 PickledPete

    I think you will find that more money is spend per head in London and areas like Birmingham etc than in Scotland.

    But either way this debate is not about oil, or who gets what and when. This debate is about the people who live , work and die in Scotland who now require the right to decide their own constitutional future. This is not about being anti English, Welsh or Irish. The vast majority of Scots would wish their neighbours well and all the best, this is about the democratic right to decide. A lot of people, mainly England if you believe the press coverage, are angry about no vote on Lisbon and fell they have a right to vote on the treaty. I agree we should have the right to vote on the Lisbon treaty, but surely then the same applies in Scotland to the question of how we want to be governed. The 'We' being the important part. It if for the people to decide, not the party leaders of the unionist parties. Tavish Scott does not speak for Scotland, neither Gray, Salmond or Goldie. It is time to put this issue to bed for 50 years either way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 09:27am on 01 Dec 2009, Wansanshoo wrote:

    274 John Ruddy.

    It would be interesting to get your views on the E.U.-Irish referendum, or the lack of E.U.- British referendum ?


    Wansanshoo
    Nationalist & Anti Theist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 09:32am on 01 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:


    Flash Gordon: Britain best placed to weather the recession.

    The last G20 nation still in recession is... Britain.

    Britain was shamed yesterday by official figures showing it was the only country in the G20 group of the world's most powerful economies still in recession.


    Roll On 2010

    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 09:36am on 01 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:


    It does appear that patio-phalangist @ #66 is a specialist on Scotland

    If you look at his profile all his previous posts were made on BBC News Magazine caption contests.

    I hope he doesn’t mind if I share one of his pearls of wisdom with other posters:

    BBC News Magazine caption contest.

    Your caption @ #295:

    The Auchtermuchty Flying Squad rehearse for their Fringe show interpretation of 'Braveheart'.......

    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 09:39am on 01 Dec 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #277 peter of fife
    hi is your list meant to scare us or are we supposed to be happy??
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 09:41am on 01 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    Re Federation

    A Federation of the 4 big bits of the UK wouldn't address the big problem which is the imbalancing effect of London. London sucks all the wealth to it in England as much as the rest of the UK. When Eddie George said that job losses in the North was a price worth paying for low inflation. He was talking about the North of England.

    unless and until that matter is resolved Independence is a better move for Scotland than Federation. This is what a Federal Uk should resemble the Heptarchy with London separate.

    Move the UK Parliament to Brum. Then maybe Federation would be worth considering, it is not.

    Independence is the only solution to Scotland being dragged down by the UK

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 09:46am on 01 Dec 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #281 roll _on _ 2010

    That will be why we sent a reporter to the united Arab emirates then !
    we will hear plenty on that story and nothing on the story you have highlighted.

    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 09:55am on 01 Dec 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    206 Helmsda

    "Whether in an independent Scotland I would need one to cross the border into England I do not know, but, while it would not, as you say, be the end of the world, it would be a pity if it were so, given the close family and commercial ties between the two countries."

    It would be sad but I suspect it to be unlikely. I suspect the arrangement would be something similar to that with the Republic of Ireland where, as a general rule, there is no requirement to show your passport for travel between the two countries.

    In my student days, I made any number of trips to visit friends in and around Dublin and the only ID I had was my student matriculation card.

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 10:12am on 01 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    I saw a little bit of the studio discussion on Scotland's History programmes last night.

    Sally Magnusson was in the chair of a 'Question Time' type of discussion. Sally was too obviously trying to push BBC Scotland's
    distorted, anti-independence view (viz., everything that has happened in Scotland that was good took place after the union with England and before that Scotland was uncivilised and uncreative!) which she should not have been doing as an impartial chair person, but Joan McAlpine was having none of it and put the independence aspects of Scottish history over quite strongly.

    I felt the BBC could have brought in some of the university historians to give their critique and give an airing to the spats that were going on in the press recently. This would have given the public a much more informed view of what we had been presented with and a less bland discussion, but I suspect the historians would not have wanted to do that as they had already given up on the project some time ago and the BBC would have been too timid to have their programmmes overly criticised or trivialised.

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 10:20am on 01 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #286.
    I am working for a Scottish political party on policies for Independence. We share policy development proposals with other independence parties.
    Our frontiers or borders will be unchanged in location and entry procedures. We like tourists and they can come and go as at present along roads with no border posts.
    If you visit Scotland - great! - we like tourists.
    If you stay, you will in due course be invited to register as a potential voter, as at present. As a house renter or owner you will be required to register for council tax as at present. If you apply for a Scottish Passport all you will need to do is to fill in the forms, as at present. Your residence and citizenship and nationality will be respected. If you are an illegal immigrant there will be no change to the existing law. Why not join the SNP or any nationalist party or my party - the Scottish Demiocratic Alliance - read the respective web site - consider making proposals for a new Scotland? Best regards, Michael Hamilton.

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 10:26am on 01 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    #274. John Ruddy

    Provisos cannot be made as regards the democratic process.If Scotland voted a certain way in a referendum and then a year or so later there was an overwhelming public demand for another referendum to perhaps overturn the first decision,then no one would have a moral right to prevent a second vote.

    Of course that's hypothetical,and if Scots rejected independence a year from now it would go down the agenda for a while.But the point is John, that no one has the right to make stipulations that a political campaign must be dropped for even a day,let alone 50 years.

    You have though,overlooked the possibility that if there was a multi-option referendum(which now seems the likeliest form should there be a vote next year)then the people might choose devolution max,which would hardly make Scotland's National Question disappear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 10:36am on 01 Dec 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    morning Hamish,I think you were hoping for to much in last night's programme. to hope for Sally Magnusson,"impartial chair person" and BBC Scotland all to do the job properly was a very big ASK
    I am amazed that the superb work that is "Scotland's History" was actually allowed!
    when I was at school, Scottish history didn't matter and was not even contemplated.
    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 10:55am on 01 Dec 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Sorry to hear that Mike Russel is being moved to education.. Always thought he was doing a stirring job as constitution minister... Not sure Ms Hyslop has the same degree of oomph ....

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 10:56am on 01 Dec 2009, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    *unionist gloating alert*

    Ceefax reporting that Fiona Hyslop has been "demoted" and replaced with Mike Russell.

    Complain about this comment

  • 293. At 10:56am on 01 Dec 2009, newJohnnyh wrote:

    Do most Scots really want to break up Great Britain? I think not

    I have to laugh when the SNP says Scotland needs independence to achieve its full economic potential!!!! On its own how would Scotland have rescued RBS and HBOS!!!! Look at Iceland or Ireland - small countries punching above their weight yeah right

    Even if Scotland got all oil tax revenue from the UK it still would not have enough to pay for the grant it receives from the rest of the UK!!!!

    Stop acting against Scotland's interest Salmond by stirring up trouble with England who have been very restrained so far - there is a limit...

    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 10:59am on 01 Dec 2009, pabroon74 wrote:

    This gnarly old chestnut...

    I don't know if Scotland oes overly well or not well enough out of the Barnett formula, I don't think Barnett knows himself. What I do know is, it was developed and put in place by the UK parliament so perhaps, it isn't us Scot's you should be looking to when you put down a point that might not even be a point, (and if it is, it's a point England for the most part created.)

    I support independance, although not with Salmond and this SNP, they are a populist, headline fueled knee jerk political party who are already in the throws of shunting Scotland own the road toward a cotton wool state.

    Also, I support independance with a close working relationship with our neighbours. Fervent unionists and nationalists hint at an enforced break with an adversarial relationship to follow. I'd say it needn't be like that, what's wrong with wanting to take responsibility and control and work in partnership with those countries around us. As for parity? Scotland is smaller than England, my sense of national ego can handle that, it won't be equal in terms of hitting power on the national stage or in terms of economy.

    A point of order though to those telling us we wouldn't have been able to bale out the banks that required it. Had the timing been different, you'd have been right. But the UK has enjoyed the fruits of the banking sector north and south of the border for decades, would it've been fair for the UK (or England/Wales/NI) to bug out after having extracted so much wealth from the industry?

    The SNP are becoming a bit of a disappointment to be honest. I can no longer blindly support them purely on independance and ignore the other daft policies they occasionally spout.

    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 11:02am on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    287 Hamish

    I thought the panel were fairly poor apart from Joan and Neil

    Sally - Unprofessional
    Susan - Fool
    Brian - Mixed up - shame really because I expected good things from him. He mentioned Calman but couldn't explain anything lol!
    Prof - Typically wooly - must be a Lib-dem lol!
    Neil - Fence sitter but would be pushed into Indy camp easily.
    Joan - Very good and tried to expand more on issues with positivity.

    It could have been better with more knowledgeable panellists. Good to see that our schools seem to be getting more Scots history, which is a recent thing, wonder why?

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 11:04am on 01 Dec 2009, mince and mealie wrote:

    Hamish42 @ 287
    I also saw the Scotland's history 'debate'.

    I thought that Neil Oliver came across far better than he does presenting soundbite TV, and gave a very good demonstration of how to take a balanced or neutral view on the independence issue.

    This was in stark contrast to the chairperson Sally Magnusson. Her peculiar obsession with "Braveheart" actually became a bit embarrassing when two teachers and an articulate school pupil put it into its proper context. It took a panellist (Joan McAlpine) to point out that the basic historical context of the film was correct (Scotland occuped by foreign power, Wallace led the resistance, initial military success was followed by defeat, betrayal and martyrdom.)

    I was also disappointed that the claim that the popularity of Wallace is entirely Mel Gibson's doing was not refuted by some rather obvious facts (er, he is mentioned in the first line of Burns' "Scots Wha Hae"; the Wallace Monument was erected by puplic subscription in the 19th century, etc)

    Sally Magnusson's late interjection that the Enlightenment and everything else good in Scottish history took place under the Union was more desperate than it was chairmanly. It was hard at that point not to remember her infamous opening question to Alex Salmond following the last Holyrood election...

    It is fine for Ms Magnusson to hold her own political views, no matter how hardline they are, but they should be her own business. When they become the editorial voice of the BBC there should be grave concern.

    Complain about this comment

  • 297. At 11:10am on 01 Dec 2009, Peter_of_Fife wrote:


    #283, sidthesceptic

    Neither to scare nor to make happy, merely part of a larger reality check; possibly why so many 'mainstream' UK politicians defend the Union for fear of the lessening of their international credibility, whatever that is worth; with the increased possibility of said credibility being subjected to even more rigorous challenges than it is today.

    The English politicians don't want Scotland, they need it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 11:18am on 01 Dec 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    286. The UK border with Ireland is a unique situation purely to do with NI!

    If Scotland left the UK, the border controls would be as there are with the rest of the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 11:18am on 01 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Just by talking about any one single subject such as Oil completely misses the point about the Rights as a Scottish Nation to Self Government.

    For, can any of those Westminster controlled Scottish Parties at Hollyrood thats panders to a higher authority, namely the so-called Scottish Labour, Conservative or Lib-Dems Parties explain why Scotland along with its 5 Million inhabitants are denied the full Freedom of living in a "small" Country and to be Self-Governed under FULL Independence within the current shores of the U.K., when the Isle of Man along with its several hundred People can still to this Day manage its affairs along with its Self-Government as a Crown Dependency?

    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 11:20am on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    293/294

    The asylum has opened it's doors again! Please try something new and more reasoned we've all heard it all before!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 11:21am on 01 Dec 2009, thomas jamieson wrote:

    who wants independance to be governed by the tartan shortbread nanny state lot that are in hollyrood just now.God help us if it ever came about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 302. At 11:22am on 01 Dec 2009, Usually-Right wrote:



    I just love the amusing Scotland's Oil propaganda for those crazy Brave-hearts, I would like to point out most of the oil rights was sold in the late 1960's when it was not a very expensive to buy but expensive to get out of the ground with Texan offshore technology. Second point is that the failure to set-up an oil fund for the UK was taken about the same point as the country required support from the IMF probably in part due to the effects of becoming a petro-currency itself, Tony Benn as Energy Minister did try and get this achieved but failed because the govt. wanted to put into general taxation, this is not necessarily a bad idea as in theory if you spend the money wisely over a period of time you could create new non-oil economic opportunities as far as I am concerned far more preferable than a Sovereign Wealth Fund that invests abroad and sweats assets then disposes of them, much prefer the revenues to be spent on the UK (which includes Scotland). M Thatcher sold the remaining state owned oil fields and as such any SWF created would never be anything like that of Norway. Scotland has benefitted significantly from the Act of Union, most of Glasgow’s wealth, civic buildings etc. for example can be directly traced to opportunities generated through the act of union, not ot mention the technology transfer that occurred in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution.

    The Scotland all you bravehearts reference was little more than a shamble of lords crapping on the poor Scottish people, Scotland as a distinct place only really emerges through the union with the rest of Britain. Independence for the sake of it is pointless, we have democratic freedom of expression and representation, I always ask myself what are these people going to do any different from what has been done, what different choices will be made? Nobody from the Nationalists side gives you an answer all they say is “it will be better”, we will stop being oppressed by the English – come on no bloody Englishman is oppressing me! If anything its Scotsman Depressing me with their ignorant ramblings with nothing to substantiate their vacuous arguments for independence which will only serve to impoverish me or force me to leave.

    Personally believe, if you think you are being so hard-done by, are being so horribly discriminated against, go claim asylum somewhere, I am sure a number of people would be happy to help out with your travel fare if required. Most people in Scotland believe the Union is better than being independent, do not feel victimised like so many here, do not feel their representation would be enhanced through independence, so why waste millions of British pounds on a referendum, does the SNP not have other priorities like fulfilling its other pledges that have been poorly implemented.

    If you don’t like Britain, move to Europe, or somewhere else!
    If you don’t like Britain, move to Europe, or somewhere else!
    If you don’t like Britain, move to Europe, or somewhere else!
    If you don’t like Britain, move to Europe, or somewhere else!
    If you don’t like Britain, move to Europe, or somewhere else!

    Complain about this comment

  • 303. At 11:25am on 01 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    So Fiona Hyslop is demoted.Only the fourth SNP minister to be demoted or dropped in 30 months of that party being in power.Quite a contrast to the musical chairs of the Lib/Lab coalition years.

    Stand by though for Labour and Unionist media hyperbole about Salmond's Administration falling apart at the seams.

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 11:26am on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    NewJohnnyh:

    #293.

    "Do most Scots really want to break up Great Britain? I think not"

    Exciting, what else does your crystal ball indicate? There was a time we belived the earth to be flat, you know.

    "I have to laugh when the SNP says Scotland needs independence to achieve its full economic potential!!!! On its own how would Scotland have rescued RBS and HBOS!!!! Look at Iceland or Ireland - small countries punching above their weight yeah right"

    The SNP are entitled to their opinion and it appears the SNP believe independence to be the key to economic success, I must have missed the Bill created at the London Parliament that barred individuals from forming an opinion.

    I have a laugh when I see unionists using RBS and HBOS as reasons against independence. I didn't hear unionists advocating that both RBS and HBOS, along with the financial regulations be transfered to Scotland but I see your crystal ball also indicates that an independent Scotland would follow British policy, which leads to the economic crises. Interesting.

    "Even if Scotland got all oil tax revenue from the UK it still would not have enough to pay for the grant it receives from the rest of the UK!!!!"

    This is a strange 'argument', if you can call it that. Does Scotland not have sources of income besides the oil industry? If you want to prove completely ignorant of Scotland I award you first place, good sir.

    "Stop acting against Scotland's interest Salmond by stirring up trouble with England who have been very restrained so far - there is a limit..."

    I don't see the connection between independence and for some reason the English becoming angry and upset. I suspect the English will wish us the best of luck and we will remain friendly neighbours. I see no reason for the people of England to be annoyed, angry or upset because of the independence motion. I would certainly be wishing the best to the people of England, I have no ill feelings in the union or not, if you dislike the idea of Scotland perhaps independence is the sole solution in order to stay out your way?

    Complain about this comment

  • 305. At 11:28am on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    298

    Isle of Man?

    Complain about this comment

  • 306. At 11:32am on 01 Dec 2009, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #293 newJohnnyh

    As it happens I was sent a press release from Norway yesterday that summarises perfectly why Scottish independence could be a good thing for our economy.

    30th November 2009

    "Innotech Solar has received a $9m investment from Investinor, a firm specialising in Norwegian start-up investments, which will be used to increase development.

    Founded in Spring 2008, Innotech Solar is focused on increasing the effectiveness of solar cells by acquiring and upgrading unutilised solar cells. The company buys low efficiency cells which would have been discarded by larger cell manufacturers and refines them so that they can be used in solar plants.

    The company developed the low cost technology with support by the Research Council of Norway, and is planning to construct and operate its own solar plants with the materials, as well as selling them to other parties.

    Innotech Solar is headquartered in Narvik, Norway, and has administration and technology offices in Oslo, sales offices in Germany and China and power plant project development offices in Switzerland. The company predicts a production capacity of 27MWp for 2010.

    Investinor is owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry as part of the Innovation Norway initiative, and invests in Norwegian start ups. It has €260m under management and its investment focus is on companies within the energy, cleantech, maritime, marine and travel sectors. Other portfolio companies include silicon slurry specialists Metallkraft and electrical vehicle technology developer Think Holdings"



    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 11:39am on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    Usually-Right:

    #302.

    How ridiculous. You claim, "...we have democratic freedom of expression and representation..." but go on to encourage that Scots who differ from your opinion and set of views should move abroad.

    I will also ask for evidence that nationalists on these boards claim to be oppressed by the English. I see none, so more nonesense being repeated from you.

    I could continue but that would be a waste of my time. I get fed up pointing out what everyone else already understands.

    Complain about this comment

  • 308. At 11:42am on 01 Dec 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #293 new Johnnyh-
    hang on till i doff my hat and get off my knees sire!
    how would we have been able to bail out the banks?
    the same way the UK took the profits for years not Scotland but the UK.

    "it still would not have enough to pay for the GRANT it receives from the rest of the UK" oh thank you thank you Johnny. imagine having the Gaul not to be grateful for the pocket money!

    #297 peter- thanks for that, I agree with you , the English politicians don't want Scotland , they need them on so many different levels but they can't exactly admit that now can they .
    that will be why we get all the garbage from the mail,the express,the times,the guardian even the independent and of course the good old beeb.
    when they finally admit to being broke I wonder which country they'll blame??

    Sid

    Complain about this comment

  • 309. At 11:43am on 01 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    305

    Yes, thats Right: the Isle Of Man.
    Have you heard of it? It's in the the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and England/Scotland.
    The Isle of Man has a fully serving Indenpendent Government away from Westminster controll, so therefore: Why not Scotland?
    Or, are we going to carry on making pointless remarks as to why several hundred People can enjoy more Right's than the 5 Million in Scotland can.

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 11:44am on 01 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    #298.
    Please read #288.
    No need for a "frontier". It would be unnecessary - prohibitively expensive to operate - and opposed by commerce.
    Best regards,
    Michael.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 11:44am on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    302 - Usually round the bend

    We don't want trident, wars, nuclear subs, id cards, Westminster etc. etc.. We want to put our resources into what matters for Scotland and its people.

    What's Braveheart got to do with anything. Unionists have the glory of the BNP, Orange Order, Sectarianism, media, Boris Johnson and his ilk.

    We'll stick with wanting mature governance for our country, thanks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 11:49am on 01 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    Wee-Scamp.

    Do you know of Dr James Wilkie (UN Consultant and Adviser to various governments on fisheries policy)?

    I think he'd like to make contact. I would too.

    We have an involvement in the SDA with Norway.

    Best regards, Michael

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 12:00pm on 01 Dec 2009, sid the sceptic wrote:

    #311 school tie colours - HERE - HERE some common sence amongst the mince

    Sid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 12:01pm on 01 Dec 2009, oldnat wrote:

    298. Reluctant-Expat
    "The UK border with Ireland is a unique situation purely to do with NI!
    "

    You really must give up making a fool of yourself. You clearly don't understand the Common Travel Area.

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 12:02pm on 01 Dec 2009, mince and mealie wrote:

    There is a lot more heat than light in some of the posts above.

    Can I advise anyone unclear about the extent and value of oil to the economy to Google "McCrone report". The article in The Independent newpaper of London is a good starting point. However, the fact the the report was commissioned and then suppressed by a Labour government in London probably tells you enough in itself.

    As for the alleged economic benefit of the Union, can I suggest a review looking back of the data on population growth, and looking forwards on the forecast for the UK fiscal deficit? Facts are cheils that winna ding.



    Complain about this comment

  • 316. At 12:05pm on 01 Dec 2009, Caledonian54 wrote:

    #298. At 11:18am on 01 Dec 2009, Reluctant-Expat wrote:
    "The UK border with Ireland is a unique situation purely to do with NI!

    If Scotland left the UK, the border controls would be as there are with the rest of the world."

    Ah com'oan, Britain is currently the only place in Europe I need a passport to enter - and I live here. I've always thought that what really terrifies the Little Englanders is the prospect of waking up some fine morning to discover they share a common land boundary with another EU country

    Complain about this comment

  • 317. At 12:19pm on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    309 London Harris

    Sorry I was responding to an RE post. We were obviously thinking the same thing but your original post came first. I've been to IOM and they seem to manage well. Just another Celtic land looking after itself!

    313 Sid
    You're welcome.

    314 Oldnat
    Correct.

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 12:19pm on 01 Dec 2009, snowthistle wrote:

    Usually-Right,
    There is more to Scotland than oil. Yes, it would be an important factor in our economy but we wouldn't make the mistake of relying on oil longterm. So we could use the revenue that is left from the oil and gas industry to grow and diversify our economy. After all, Mrs Thatcher put the initial oil bonanza to very good use in the south east and transformed the London area, why could we not do the same? we have more natural resources at our disposal.
    The Scottish people did very well out of the empire, they exploited the opportunities given to the fullest of their abilities. The empire did not give prosperity to the Scots, they took it. The Irish and the Welsh also had opportunities within the empire but were not so successful.
    The transfer of technology in the early industrial revolution was indeed important but the transfer of the technology of Watt and Bell in the other direction made a bit of an impact wouldn't you say.
    What opportunities do you believe the union affords us now that we would not be able to take advantage of if we were independent?
    As for your little diatribe about Scotland before the act of union, I don't really know where to start. Could I suggest that you read "The Scottish Nation 1700-2007" by T. M. Devine, this excellent book will fill in the gaps in your knowledge beautifully.
    You may also care to read the whte paper while you are at it and that should answer the rest of your points.
    Lastly, I don't know what most Scots people believe and neither do you, that is why we would like a referendum>

    Complain about this comment

  • 319. At 12:35pm on 01 Dec 2009, Usually-Right wrote:

    307 - Thomas

    Simply encouraging them to leave because they are clearly unhappy, there are a number of comments on here and across many other blogs that I have read that do have if not explicit then implicit suggestions of some great conspiracy against Scotland by the English, rarely do they mention anybody else part of the UK either.

    Independence is a total red-herring why do you SNP types persist with this form of devolution/independence why not actually empower communities not nations to make decisions for themselves, that is the real way to improve democracy, representation, and accountability... oh yes because that would make the SNP pointless.

    This fake highland style imposed Scottish culture wafting out of the SNP orifices really speaks nothing to me, and find it as vulgar as UK national politicians draping themselves in the Union Jack, can the political debates not move onto more real and substantive issues about how public services are delivered, how big/small the state should be, who the winners and losers of various policy ideas might be balanced (incidentally these are issues for every community, not peculiarly Scottish or English issues, which do not exist in any substantive way).

    UK does benefit from the resource of North Sea Oil, but it is equally true that an independent Scotland would have been bankrupted by the recent economic crisis, and benefits from UK being a global financial and business centre, outward looking orientation, and independent monetary system that is contained within a single nation state, so at times of economic stress both monetary and fiscal levers can be coordinated.

    On oil a bit more, any attempt to create an oil fund would be a disaster for an independent Scotland, for a number of reasons:

    a) Either the tax on oil landed would need to increase encouraging lower investment, and lower production.
    b) If it was to come out of current tax regime you would need to cut public services as current set-up would not generate a guaranteed surplus, when unemployment benefit, public sector pensions, state pensions etc. are factored in.
    C) A high oil price that would boost revenues would have a negative impact on non-oil related businesses depressing revenues from non-oil taxpaying corporate, which would be funding basic services.
    D) Oil is a finite resource and relying on a SWF to re-patriate profits is not the way to create a non-oil dependant economy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 12:38pm on 01 Dec 2009, soosider wrote:

    #97 reluctant - Expat @6.13pm
    Can you tell us the source for your "poll" results?, whch company ran it? where it was published? it would be good to have a source, assuming that you actually have one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 12:41pm on 01 Dec 2009, Harry Stottle wrote:

    Regarding Fiona Hyslop I personally thought she was doing a rather good job with the limited pocket money we have to beg from westminster.
    The opposition didn't have much to go on policy wise so they ganged together to attack the person.

    Iain Gray should tread carefully when he attacks people for incompetency. Very soon he is going to be exposed as the the person who took the word incompetence to an entirely new level.

    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 12:42pm on 01 Dec 2009, Usually-Right wrote:

    318 - I am very well versed in Scottish History. thank you very much.

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 12:44pm on 01 Dec 2009, John Ruddy wrote:

    #280 My views on the Irish referendum? I don't have enough facts to definitely say, but on the face of it, the Irish people had given their opinion (ie "no") and that should have been the end of it. Alledgedly (and I use the word advisedly), the treaty was modified to take note of the concerns of the Irish, and hence a second referendum, however, if that was truly the case, then it should have been re-ratified by the other countries, but siince it wasn't, it makes you wonder that there may not have been any changes at all! IN which case teh second referendum was contrived simply to get the result that the Government wanted.

    I see there have been many comments about me denying future generations a say on the issue. I see that some people think that 10 years is a future generation. Not in my book it aint. Most people would regard 30 years as "a generation", and I used that figure in my original posting. I don't like the SNP, and I don't much care for Alex Salmond. However, I might very well support the SNP (as would a great many other people, I think) if they stopped busting a gut to get Independance, and stopped stirring up trouble just to prove a point (yes, I know it takes two to cause an argument), and just get on with governing Scotland!

    Tax raising powers? We've already got them! Why not use them? No... its so much better to cause a stooshie with Westminster and make it look like we're standing up for Scotland, when all we're doing is having a tantrum whilst folk are loosing their jobs.

    My own views? Probably somewhere between Calman and Devo-max (whatever that is! - its not been clearly explained, and since it is no-ones favoured option it probably never will be).

    I have a fairly cynical view of most politicians, of most persuations, and this extra option in the referendum could just be a way of splitting the "unionist" opposition. That way, theres a chance that independance could come out with the most votes (say 26%) whilst the opposition is split. Expect to see an option for an end to devolution - I'm sure it will get a few nutcases voting for that!

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 12:50pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    Usually-Right,

    #319.

    I asked to point out direct comments against the English. I see none, so please spare the nonesense. Perhaps you should read the 'Have Your Say' concerning the white paper. It appears that one side is writing hate and I must say its not coming from the independence camp.

    I see that you have a crystal ball that suggests Scotland would be bankrupt by the economic crises. I wonder how unionists manage to get hold of this crystal ball that is able to answer the 'what if' questions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 12:58pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    John Ruddy:

    #323.

    "Tax raising powers? We've already got them! Why not use them? No... its so much better to cause a stooshie with Westminster and make it look like we're standing up for Scotland, when all we're doing is having a tantrum whilst folk are loosing their jobs."

    This is laughable. The tax powers are limited, but why have they never been used? NONE of the opposition are even suggesting we use the limited powers either, so what point are you trying to make? Are they also picking fights with the south?

    "I have a fairly cynical view of most politicians, of most persuations, and this extra option in the referendum could just be a way of splitting the "unionist" opposition. That way, theres a chance that independance could come out with the most votes (say 26%) whilst the opposition is split. Expect to see an option for an end to devolution - I'm sure it will get a few nutcases voting for that!"

    If it becomes multi-optional, it won't be the popular vote that win but we'll be asked to put what is on offer in a list on what are our most favourite options i.e 1 to 3 for example with 1 being our first choice.

    End to devolution? But how will we pick fights with London without devolution? Think ahead ;-)


    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 1:05pm on 01 Dec 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    262/265 NCA999

    "Another example would be that of Kosovo. When Kosovo left Serbia, Serbia maintained their status as a state, Kosovo formed a new state."

    Interesting example, however, when Croatia/Slovenia/Bosnia/Macedonia split from Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia did cease to exist. Granted, it carried on as Yugoslavia until Montenegro also split away but the state that was Yugoslavia no longer exists. Similarly when the Soviet Republics declared independence, the Soviet Union also ceased to exist (althogh 12 of the former 15 republics did form the Commonwealth of Independent States).

    All I'm saying is that there are examples to demonstrate both scenarios. I'm not a legal expert but, I suspect, there would be some justification in saying that the UK might still exist if Scotland became independant but, again, pure speculation on my part, it would become the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland as Great Britain (formed by the Union of Scotland with England & Wales) would cease to exist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 1:07pm on 01 Dec 2009, FatherMacKenzie wrote:

    There is no precedent of a Union dissolving in the EU.

    I think the closest comparison is Yugoslavia's dealings with the UN.

    Yugoslavia was originally formed as a united kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In the 1990s the Slovenes, and Croats broke away from Yugoslavia, and the Government in Belgrade had to seek UN recognition for the country at a later stage.

    When territories that were not previous kingdoms broke away, (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro) the Belgrade government did maintain its position in the UN as a successor state.

    Applying that here, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is formed by the Kingdom of Scotland, The Kingdom of "England & Wales" and the Kingdom of Northern Ireland.

    If parts of the union cede then rump of union would need to reapply.
    If a part of one of the Kingdoms (such as Wales) cedes then the original Kingdom could claim to be a successor state.

    Regarding Scots living over seas/serving in the military/living in London if they are registered to vote in Scotland then they will have a right to vote, if they chose to forfeit their right to vote in Scotland by registering to vote elsewhere then I don't see an issue.

    And with regards to the number of Scots in the armed forces being much higher than the number of Irish in the forces, I would expect the number of Scots to drop to similar levels after 80 odd years of Independence, the issue would only really be an issue during the 30 or so years that people who have currently signed up will serve.

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 1:11pm on 01 Dec 2009, RandomScot wrote:

    I must admit I tend to be suspicious of "I used to support X but they have gone to far" type posts because they are quite often trolls or astroturfers for the other side.

    However treating the posts here as if they were legitimate. If you support the Independence argument then long term not liking the SNP is no bar because once independence is one the game changes. The SNP, for example, is a coalition of viewpoints. They use dto have that enshrined in their Constitution, so once you have your goal of Independence, then form your own party or support the one that gives you what you want, in an Independant Scotland

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 1:18pm on 01 Dec 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    286 Expat

    "The UK border with Ireland is a unique situation purely to do with NI!"

    Understood. However it is not entirely unique. Most of mainland Europe allow freedom of movement between states with no passport control. I recently travelled between France and Italy and the only way to determine that I had changed countrries was that the road signs were in a different language.

    Granted the NI/RoI situation is a historical relic given the island's unfortunate history but there is absolutely no reason why a similar arrangement could not opperate between an independent Scotland and the remainder of Britain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 1:20pm on 01 Dec 2009, John Ruddy wrote:

    #325
    Laughable it may be to discuss the existing tax raising powers, but thats just one of the range of powers that are available to the Scottish Government which arn't availble, for instance to the London Assembly, or Yorkshire County Council or whatever.

    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 1:26pm on 01 Dec 2009, mightychewster wrote:

    #220 Oldnat,

    True about the Schengen agreement but you still need a valid passport to travel in Europe, non Schengen countires have to give passport details before traveling whilst Schengen countries don't need to, you can just turn up with a passport and be granted entry.

    It's a pain as I need to enter all my passport details when I book a flight online to travel in Europe....ho hum no major bother!

    Good luck with the independance referendum by the way - it's how democracy is supposed to work

    Shame we don't have any left in England!

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 1:28pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    John Ruddy:

    "Laughable it may be to discuss the existing tax raising powers, but thats just one of the range of powers that are available to the Scottish Government which arn't availble, for instance to the London Assembly, or Yorkshire County Council or whatever."

    I asked quite a simple question. Why do you believe that neither the Scots Gov or opposition are calling for the taxes to be used?

    Do you see Scotland on the same level as a council...?

    Northern Ireland has borrowing powers, something we don't :o

    Complain about this comment

  • 333. At 1:29pm on 01 Dec 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    320. soosider: "Can you tell us the source for your "poll" results?, whch company ran it? where it was published? it would be good to have a source, assuming that you actually have one."

    You mean these poll results?:

    Latest polling...
    Westminster:
    Labour 39%
    SNP 24%

    Holyrood Constituency:
    Labour 33%
    SNP 32%

    Holyrood Regional:
    Labour 30%
    SNP 29%

    Independence:
    Against: 57% (up from 40% in 2007)
    For: 29% (down from 46% in 2007)

    Should there be a referendum on independence?:
    No: 47%
    Yes: 45%
    Salmond: "There is an overwhelming majority in favour of a referendum"

    What do you consider are the top priorities for government?
    Unemployment: 63%
    Drug abuse: 36%
    Immigration: 26%
    Housing: 23%
    Banking: 16%
    Referendum: 12%

    This one showing Labour ahead of the SNP on all polls and shrinking minority support for both referendum and independence (the latter without any third option which should push it well below 20%)?

    This one?

    While we're back on this, I'm so very proud to announce that the much-emailed worldwide petition for a referendum has finally broken the 911-signature barrier after just two years. This is now tugging the coat-tails of the 971 signatures gathered by a campaign to ban the sale of kittens by pet shops. Biblically incredible!

    Furthermore, the SNP's heavily-publicised and mighty 'National Conversation' has, in the week of the party's centrepiece No.1 announcement, provoked a veritable avalanche of 21 comments over the past 7 days. Astonishingly historic!

    Well done and congratulations to our resident nationalists for their dedicated 24/7/52/365 efforts that bought about this singular achievement!

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 1:35pm on 01 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    Re Fiona Hyslop:
    The Unionists will crow, as is there right - however the crowing will fade.

    The media will ignore the implications of this strategic move by Salmond.

    The entering into the GNE by-election by Purcell and Glasgow Council was typical of Labour who will use anything in order to attack the SNP. This same council has been playing politics with the education of children - their refussal to recruit teachers is a disgrace.

    Hyslop performed her role competently, however the game has changed and someone is now needed to take the fight to Glasgow Council and Labour over their refusal to recruit teachers.

    Education ought to have been an area that was free from harmfull politicisation, however Labour have shown that any area is fair game.

    With the referendum white paper now published following an awesome performance by Mike Russell over the last week, this is a good move by Salmond.

    The opposition and the media have had their favourite 'blame hound' taken from them and with it one of their favourite 'easy' targets. In place though is someone who outsrips them intellectually and will not be afraid to tear into them.

    Russell marked Gray's card on the recent 'Brians Big Debate' when he quite openly accused Glasgow Council of putting party before the education of children.

    Prepare yourselves for some bleating by Labour and Purcell as Mike Russell tells it like it is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 1:36pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    MightyChewster:

    #331.

    "Shame we don't have any left in England!"

    Don't worry. Scotland shall come and liberate you! We'll say its because of the nuclear weapons ;-)


    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 1:38pm on 01 Dec 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    #319

    "This fake highland style imposed Scottish culture wafting out of the SNP orifices really speaks nothing to me"

    Exactly. That's the point. That's why you couldn't care less about whether Scotland's independent or even about whether Scotland is Scotland. That's why you want Scotland to just blend in as a bland characterless addition to the bland, characterless mish mash of the UK.

    You don't recognise or identify with Scottish culture. You even refuse to acknowledge that it exists, calling it "fake".

    But i"m willing to bet that you'd see nothing fake in, say, Germans in lederhausan swinging beer steins to the rousing sounds of oompa bands during their equivalent of a Highland Gathering (beer festivals). I bet you see nothing fake in the Italians celebrating the achievements of Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Thomas Aquinas or Garabaldi, the way we celebrate Burns or Wallace or Davud Hume. I bet you see nothing fake about Flamenco music (from Andalucia) which has become synonymous with the whole of Spain, but you sneer at the Highland bagpiping tradition that has become the definitve music and sound of our country.

    Just because culture means nothing to you to the extent that you openly and obnoxiously denigrate it, don't presume to think that culture should mean the same to everyone else.

    Some of the traditions included in your general sweep of "fake Highland culture" are things I've engaged in throughout the whole of my life. They are things that are real to me, not fake, and are the modern developments of things that started decades or even centuries before.

    More people in Scotland enjoy their cultural traits and assets than hate it. You, not they, are in a minority on this one, and just as well.

    As an example I offer you Brian's blog. Among other things, Brian is very accomplished in his use and knowledge of Scots, his own language, and clearly enjoys and relishes his frequent use of Scots words both here on on TV.

    I wonder if you think Brian's being all fakey with his use of his own indigenous language which is part of his day to day cultural as well as working life.

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 1:39pm on 01 Dec 2009, FatherMacKenzie wrote:

    320.

    Apparently he can't, he's just repeating what other unionists have told him.

    The independence poll was conducted recently by Yougov on behalf of the Telegraph, I'm unsure if the figures on voting intentions are from the same source.

    Complain about this comment

  • 338. At 1:43pm on 01 Dec 2009, Online Ed wrote:

    Online Ed Here

    The Scots are demanding change - the Unionists at some point will have to explain what change they are proposing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 339. At 1:44pm on 01 Dec 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    #298

    "If Scotland left the UK, the border controls would be as there are with the rest of the world."

    What? Are you serious? Oh my gosh!!!! Imagine the horror!

    So if I like went to England it would be like ... like going to France?!!

    I'd have to, erm, show my passport and, um, just carry on through and, um, arrive there without any problem whatsoever.

    Good grief. Never has a comment been more deserving of a big fat So What?

    Lots of other countries in Europe manage to exist and indeed thrive when , would you believe it, they've got border controls set up between them.

    But, somehow, in the minds of unionists, border controls between Scotland and England would be some kind of atrocity or cataclysm.

    (Pssst: it isn't true. When Scotland becomes independent, there will be no border controls.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 340. At 1:46pm on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    333 RE

    Garbage!

    Complain about this comment

  • 341. At 1:53pm on 01 Dec 2009, yourkidding wrote:

    re the discussion on Scotlands History
    Part of the discussion was about how history is basically rewitten by the victor and possibly in the days of limited technology this was achievable.However to those repeatedly questioning Scotlands response to the collapse of RBS AND HBOS, please just like the Iraq inquiry ,do not be to quick to judge.As the old saying goes in regards to some of our politicians THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL and as far as iam aware there was a contingency from Scotland and interested parties from China who did'nt get the chance to take forward any proposals.Westminster knew best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 342. At 1:55pm on 01 Dec 2009, mince and mealie wrote:

    Reluctant-Expat @ 333

    Something about that post reminded me of the last UK Tory government (the era of Rifkind or Forsyth). I remember them stating "there is no demand for a Scottsh parliament", complete with a very similar pollster-led list of priorities to back up the claim.

    Do you remember that too?

    Complain about this comment

  • 343. At 1:56pm on 01 Dec 2009, Usually-Right wrote:

    I just do not get the inevitability that all the nationalists seem to posit as case for independence. My view is that England, Scotland, Wales, and N Ireland are extremely well integrated economically, culturally, politically. Economics and oil aside, we have a form of representative democracy in the UK that should balance out the varying elements within the communities that make-up the UK, now if I wanted enhanced representation, accountability etc. I would favour more devolution to local authorities where the councillor for my ward is within easy reach from my home, not spending half his year in Edinburgh, someone who if he has to head off to the council chambers a few miles away will return back to the community he serves nightly. Giving Scottish Exec more power to alter tax (more than they already can) is not going to improve democratic accountability nor would independence with power concentrated at Holyrood rather in the people and communities. Westminster is far better placed to deal with the bigger issues, because with scale comes options and clout internationally, some people here may not care about the ability to negotiate internationally because they are an insular breed, but those of us who rely on international markets and opportunities will really rue the day that insularity and regional parochialism dominate the Scottish mind-set. Devolution and some ability to more closely match priorities to people is good but when it stops at Holyrood it destroys its real value in attaining better democracy, and independence puts road blocks to a more unified consensus across the UK emerging over issues of international import that we can “effectively” tackle in the EU and beyond. Independence will simply not deliver a strong local empowerment with global outward outlook, proper devolution with the framework of the UK would/should.

    I realise some will suggest I am contradicting myself by suggesting Independence is a Parochial act while devolving more responsibility to local authorities is not but I think democracy would be better served and retaining a UK level of governance should mitigate against that parochial inward looking mind-set.

    Complain about this comment

  • 344. At 2:17pm on 01 Dec 2009, John Ruddy wrote:

    #332
    No, I don't see Scotland on the same level as a council. But it might as well be based on the use of the existing powers by the Scottish Government. Yes, more powers would be a good idea, but how about we start using the ones we do have? Local authorities in Scotland have borrowing powers, too, so I don't see why there should be a problem there.

    My point is there would be a better case for more powers if we used the ones we do have, and that the Scottish Government should get on with running the country instead of thinking up new ways to say "Westminister dinnae let us!"

    Complain about this comment

  • 345. At 2:23pm on 01 Dec 2009, Dunroamin wrote:

    339. How do you know? If it's such a non-issue, why do you nats repeatedly make such an issue of it?

    340. You're rejecting my reality and substituting your own?

    341. Just such a nationalist conspiracy theory (one of eight, I recall...I'll need to check my list) has been around for a while.

    Complain about this comment

  • 346. At 2:28pm on 01 Dec 2009, Usually-Right wrote:


    336 –

    Your assumption that I do not have any cultural understanding is typical of anyone who questions the Independence camps use of these symbols as a rationale for independence in their own right, playing to the mythical past of a great nation that barely even existed.

    My problem is that the cultural identity of Scotland has become homogenised in this process and it is all “highland” culture. I am glad Brian Blethers in the Scots language but there are actually quite a number of other dialects now forgotten or in limited use, and am happy for people to use language as a form of expression, and I do not consider that to be fake, he is a journalist and communicator it is his job to be inquisitive about language and its use, I just wish it was not such an upward struggle to get other people interested in language, but I do not see it as a magic bullet to cultural realignment/reassertion such as many people in Wales thought it might with the Welsh language

    As I said before I see the fakeness as being twofold, one that this is Scottish Culture as opposed to Highland culture. The second is the SNP’s manipulation of such images seems fake and disingenuous to me.

    But at the end of the day I live in the UK, there are some regional variations that mark out specific cities, villages, and communities as unique not Scottish, but simple things such as railway stations, high street shops etc are the same across the UK, there is a degree of cultural homogenisation globally, but this is as much commercial as it is limited and does not represent the bland soup you depict, because most places still retain their character not a super-imposed Scottish one or Welsh one, or English one. I am not belittling your pastimes I am simply objecting to their manipulation for political ends and the subjugation of all Scotland to a minority culture, that destroys the inherent cultural value and outlook of many communities in Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 347. At 2:33pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    Usually-Right,

    #343.

    "My view is that England, Scotland, Wales, and N Ireland are extremely well integrated economically, culturally, politically."

    Hence the case for independence and change via devolution. The general public don't fully understand the current limits of the Scots Parliament, but expect the Scottish Government to carry-out tasks that are outwith their power. It is our duty to fullfill the needs of the people and thats why constituational change is discussed to ensure that we have a system in place that does benefit the people. I personally do not see an integrated economy as a benefit since Scotland relies heavily on the welfare of the English economy, it becomes quite destructive. If the economic crises damaged only London, we in Scotland would be punished too because England is our largest trading partner.

    "Giving Scottish Exec more power to alter tax (more than they already can) is not going to improve democratic accountability nor would independence with power concentrated at Holyrood rather in the people and communities. Westminster is far better placed to deal with the bigger issues, because with scale comes options and clout internationally, some people here may not care about the ability to negotiate internationally because they are an insular breed, but those of us who rely on international markets and opportunities will really rue the day that insularity and regional parochialism dominate the Scottish mind-set."

    You are correct, handing over powers to alter taxes will prove ineffective, which is why most here support at least devolution max. I will also ask for examples of Westminster using the international stage to bring direct benefits to Scotland, then why the European Union can not be trusted to act in the best interests of Scotland in the same manner as the London Parliament. Please also what those bigger issues are and why its better that Westminster handled those matters and why the European Union can't or shouldn't be involved.

    "Devolution and some ability to more closely match priorities to people is good but when it stops at Holyrood it destroys its real value in attaining better democracy, and independence puts road blocks to a more unified consensus across the UK emerging over issues of international import that we can “effectively” tackle in the EU and beyond."

    It's up to the people to create better democracy so are you suggesting that your opinion concerning local democracy is right above others peoples right to vote and choose parties that may be different? Independence allows Scotland to decide and chase our priorities and you bark on, as if we never, ever have a different opinion from our neighbours. Scotland shall bring extra MEP's into the European Union, thats better for Scotland and to all our allies in the European Union which hold our opinions.

    Great Britain is the least democratic country in Europe, Scotland can do better because the people are sovereign and the will of the people can't be broken. Independence might be your cuppa tea, you might be pleased to see the lack of will from Westminster on tackling Scottish problems but we know things can improve and we do believe that all options should be considered, including independence. The world is changing fast and we should ask ourselves, "Do we honestly need to pretend to be a super power in the new world?".

    Complain about this comment

  • 348. At 2:47pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    John Ruddy:

    #344.

    "No, I don't see Scotland on the same level as a council. But it might as well be based on the use of the existing powers by the Scottish Government. Yes, more powers would be a good idea, but how about we start using the ones we do have? Local authorities in Scotland have borrowing powers, too, so I don't see why there should be a problem there."

    I asked the same question, twice so far. The Scottish Government (and opposition) have not supported the use of using current tax powers. There are reasons why its never been used and if you don't understand why, then perhaps its something that you could research.

    Please also learn why Calman are proposing borrowing powers and why, if all was perfect we'd not have Calman proposing these ideas in the first place.

    The Calman report did not end in saying all was well, did they?

    Complain about this comment

  • 349. At 2:47pm on 01 Dec 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    343 Usually

    "I realise some will suggest I am contradicting myself by suggesting Independence is a Parochial act while devolving more responsibility to local authorities is not but I think democracy would be better served and retaining a UK level of governance should mitigate against that parochial inward looking mind-set."

    I think you will find many (even amoung the pro-independence posters) on this ite who, in principle, would agree to an extent, there are quite a few people here who, as their first choice, would prefer a federal/devo-max alternative soulution that would, in an ideal world, achieve what you suggested.

    Unfortunately, none of the main political parties want that. A truely representitive government, voted in by a form, of PR that devolved power down to where effectice decisions could be made on the ground is just simply not an option as far as the centralist Labour/Conservative parties are concerned - it would destroy their 2-way hegemony, created by the UK's outdated FPTP electoral system that they have 'enjoyed' for the last 100 years. Lets face it, the way our system works, we could do away with elections altogether and just have someone toss a coin every 5 years with Heads being Labour and Tails being Tory and we'd pretty much get the same government as we do now (now, think of the saviongs that would bring to the nation).

    I think what drives many in the independence movement is the fact that, as long as the system in the UK continues, we will never get that kind of government, in an independent Scotland, there is the chance that we could develop the kind of government that actually serves the electorate rather than their own, outdated, party-political dominated ends.

    Isealism? Yes, very probably. Given the level of self-interest that has permeated the ranks of our elected (and non-elected) representitives pretty much since the begining of time, there is every chance that in an independant Scotland the 'son' would inherit the sins of the 'father'. At the same time, however, there is a chance, slim as it may be, that actually, with a suitable level of oversight and accountability to the electorate, they might actually get it right.

    It'll never happen in the UK as it is, there is a vested interest on the part of the Labour and Conservative parties to maintain the status quo. We've already seen minority government in action here in Scotland; it isn't ideal and it certainly isn't pretty but is suspect no single party will ever achieve a comprehensive majority so that it can bulldoze its policies through. Wish the same could be said for the UK/Westminster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 350. At 2:59pm on 01 Dec 2009, Michael Hamilton wrote:

    The Power Report (Chaired by Dame Helena Kennedy QC (a Scot from Glasgow) and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reported a while back on the mess that the UK and politics are in. Until power is returned to the people, said the report, politics will continue to struggle. It is useless giving people a voice on one scrap of paper every 4 years and then ignoring them even when they march in millions as in the anti-Iraq War protest. Worth reading the short executive summary.
    There is a demand for independence – defined before a referendum. A period of publicity about the real case for and the real case against will be required.
    UK Treasury figures demonstrate that Scotland runs a budget surplus. The cost of a public discussion and a referendum are affordable. Using UK Treasury figures, we have demonstrated that Scotland CAN afford Independence and the detailed accounts that the SDA publishes HAVE NEVER BEEN CONTRADICTED – because they are accurate.
    Discount the EU levy, the contribution to running Westminster (we don’t need 4 levels of government – Brussels, London, Edinburgh and local authorities), our defence contribution to imperialist forces and nuclear weapons, MoD procurement policy costs and two new aircraft carriers with or without offensive aircraft – Scotland needs none of this – Scotland would run a surplus of at least £10 billion a year. Armed forces – yes: membership of NATO – yes: imperialist power hardware – no way.
    Substantial work has been completed on how Independence could actually be explained. Ignore it if you choose. Read it if you are serious. Best regards Folks, Michael Hamilton

    Complain about this comment

  • 351. At 3:00pm on 01 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    #333 Reluctant-Exprat

    Given your enthusiasm for polls RE, I thought you might like this one out today.

    There have been two polls, from the same pollster, over the past few weeks. The second poll shows that the Tories' advantage over Labour has narrowed to 10 points over the past month, and raises the real prospect that next year’s election could result in a hung parliament.

    The results are:

    CON 37% (-3%)
    LAB 27% (nc)
    LD 20% (+2%)

    If the result was reflected at the ballot box, it would leave David Cameron six seats short of an overall majority.

    CON 320 seats
    LAB 240 seats
    LD 58 seats
    OTHERS 14 seats

    It does appear that the UK will have a weak government with Nick Clegg in the driving seat. But don’t worry ‘I am you man Dave’ has already made a deal with them.

    Just think of it the Tory’s operating a minority government, I wonder if they seek advice from AS, after all he has the experience in that particular scenario.

    Complain about this comment

  • 352. At 3:13pm on 01 Dec 2009, hamish42 wrote:

    Re: Scotland's History debate:

    I am sure the Sally Magnussons and the Jackie Birds of BBC Scotland are not stupid, but they certainly come over as being very shallow at times. This is usually when they get out of their comfort zone and, for example, start talking politics. Just because they read things to us about politics doesn't mean they know very much about it and it doesn't give them a charter to pontificate.


    Complain about this comment

  • 353. At 3:23pm on 01 Dec 2009, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    347. Usually-Right

    I am glad Brian Blethers in the Scots language but there are actually quite a number of other dialects now forgotten or in limited use,

    What dialects would they be then? Glaswegian, Dundonian, Orkney, the Doric of the North East and the rest are all dialects of a single Scots language. These dialects share a broadly common grammar, phonology and syntax and differ on a few fairly minor points of vocabulary and pronunciation. All share a large number of distinctively Scots linguistic features which together mark them off very sharply from anything else that could be considered as a type of English. These features are so numerous that Scots cannot reasonably be considered as a type of English at all. It is a language in its own right, not a dialect. You don't just have my word for that, it's also the opinion of the English Dialect Society (that's English Dialect as in "dialects of English" not "dialects of England"). The dialect surveys produced by the Society do not deal with any variety of Scots.

    There is no single standard written form to serve speakers of all these dialects, but that is a product of Scotland's political history. The fact that you, and so many other Scots, sadly fail to perceive the fundamental unity of Scots dialects is also a product of our Unionist history and English language education.

    Scotland has three national languages. Gaelic, Scots and English. There's no law that says a country can only have one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 354. At 3:26pm on 01 Dec 2009, John Ruddy wrote:

    #348

    The current tax raising powers are crude, but they do exist, and they could be used (they are also tax lowering powers too!) However, they arn't the only powers that the Scottish Government has failed to use, are they?

    Of course the Calman report never said all was well, but then I never said that either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 355. At 3:47pm on 01 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    John Ruddy:

    #354.

    "The current tax raising powers are crude, but they do exist, and they could be used (they are also tax lowering powers too!) However, they arn't the only powers that the Scottish Government has failed to use, are they?

    Of course the Calman report never said all was well, but then I never said that either."

    I have not denied their existence. I am, however questioning your ability of understanding these powers, effectiveness etc and you've yet to demonstrate that you understand.

    If you care to give an example of what the Government could do and explain why, it would be helpful.

    If you are not going to bother doing as I ask, then I suggest not bothering replying.

    Complain about this comment

  • 356. At 3:53pm on 01 Dec 2009, Fit Like wrote:

    348 John

    One unintended problem of the Scottish Parliament's tax varying powers is the effect it would have on pensions. Currently, if you pay into a personal pension, you get tax relief on your contributions, ie, for every 78p you pay in, the treasury round it up to £1 (if you pay higher rate tax, you claim the difference via your tax return).

    If a Scottish government raised income tax by 1p in the pound, it would mean that Scottish tax payers would be entitled to a further 1p in the pound tax relief on their pension contributions. Who would pay for this? The Treasury? Can't see people in the rest of the UK being happy about what would ultimately be seen as yet another Scottish subsidy. The Scottish Goverment? They'd just have to pay the extra penny they'd raised into everyones' pensions so the net effect would be, well, extra revenue raised, not very much.

    OK, so not everyone who pays tax, pays into a pension plan so there would be some difference between the tax raised and the tax relief paid out but, given the bureaucratic difficulties (not to mention extra cost) of collecing and admistering the extra tax, it probably isn't worth the effort.

    Complain about this comment

  • 357. At 3:58pm on 01 Dec 2009, SchoolTieColours wrote:

    345 RE

    I was acknowledging your consistency!

    Complain about this comment

  • 358. At 4:00pm on 01 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    #354 John Ruddy

    Who needs to use tax raising powers when you can do what the previous NuLabour/LibDum government did, in order to hide the figures off the balance sheet?

    The great PFI swindle.

    Any silly beggar can spend our kid’s money; in fact Duff Gordon has refined it to a real art form.

    Complain about this comment

  • 359. At 4:21pm on 01 Dec 2009, JohnConstable wrote:

    This Englishman thinks that Alex Salmond is being very clever, politically engineering various fallback positions from the SNP's desired position of full independence, utilising the ratchet effect to the max.

    Native Scots should understand that down here in England, there is generally a complete and utter lack of interest amongst the English public at large to political events in Scotland, in much the same way as an American is totally disinterested in whatever is going on politically in Canada.

    As far as this Englishman can see, you might as well have full independence from the 'UK' Government right now, to our mutual benefit, as we English need to get our own country back too.

    PS. Incidentally, Brian Taylors 'UK' colleague Nick Robinson had a similar blog entry to this one but it was mysteriously closed after only 20 comments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 360. At 4:48pm on 01 Dec 2009, parisfrance wrote:

    "Your assumption that I do not have any cultural understanding is typical of anyone who questions the Independence camps use of these symbols as a rationale for independence in their own right, playing to the mythical past of a great nation that barely even existed."

    I see. So tell us then, what was our history? You mean there were no Picts resisting Romans, no Gaels arriving from Ireland to merge with the Picts to form the nation of Scots, no Wars of Independence featuring Wallace and Robert the Bruce resisting English occupation, no Montrose and MacColla in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, no Jacobites, no Bonnie Prince Cherlie even?

    It was all pretend was it? All made up? All an invention of nutty cybernats seeking to force their crazy independence agenda?

    The problem with unionists like you is that in order to make the UK valid you are forced to reinvent Scottish history. It's a sham and your cliched accusations against Scottish history are a sham.

    "My problem is that the cultural identity of Scotland has become homogenised in this process and it is all “highland” culture."

    It is partly Highland culture, partly not. Robert Burns is regarded now as the greatest Scot in history, was voted that way by Scots themselves. He's a Lowland poet writing in the Lowland Scots tongue. He is more definitive of Scottish culture than anyone else. Burns' poetry is also a good example of a homogenised Scottish culture which includes Lowland and Highland culture simultaneously.

    Burns collecting songs, for example, from the Highlands and putting lyrics to them in Lowland Scots. That's the way that cultural homoginisation works. Great people make it happen because they ARE culture.

    So if you want to blame someone, blame Burns not Salmond and the SNP. And why you're at it, maybe you can throw some blame at Chaucer for having created the "fakey" cultural institution of the English language by blatantly stealing words from the Germans and French.

    Complain about this comment

  • 361. At 5:13pm on 01 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re: 344.

    No, I don't see Scotland on the same level as a council.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Your the exception to the Rule, for most People that live in R.O.S.E. Land ( Rest of the South East ) really do believe that Scotland is some form of Shire County ( Scotlandshire ), somewhere up North, and that all Scots live in Caves drink Whiskey all day, while throwing Rock's at each other.

    This is really not surprising all the time the Westminister governed Scottish Labour, Conservatives and Lib-Dems will not push for full Scottish Independence, thereby being able to truely claim to be each an Independent Scottish Party with an independent Voice about all things Scottish, while instead pandering to the wishes of their each respective Over-Lords Leaders at Westminister.

    Complain about this comment

  • 362. At 5:25pm on 01 Dec 2009, Gaelstorm wrote:

    No 359
    I also noticed the disappearnace of the comments facility on Nick R's blog.
    What's more, I struggle to see any headlines on the Beeb online about the referendum package.
    Stifling debate perhaps? Whyever would they want to do that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 363. At 5:56pm on 01 Dec 2009, JohnConstable wrote:

    Gaelstorm @ 362

    The BBC is in a difficult place regarding Scottish independence and consequently treads very carefully.

    Maybe ten or even twenty years ago, the marketeers who are employed by companies to look into the future did their work and you may have noticed that a big rebranding exercise then occurred i.e. British Gas became BG, British Telecom became BT, British Airways became BA, British Aerospace became BAe and so on.

    In other words, these marketeers saw the political future, which did not include the word 'Britain' and advised these companies accordingly, to reposition their brands.

    Similarly, the British Broadcasting Corporation is more usually known and branded as the BBC.

    The marketeers did a very good job indeed because their vision is now happening as the UK returns to its constituent countries.

    Complain about this comment

  • 364. At 6:00pm on 01 Dec 2009, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Alex Salmond’s referendum blueprint - a masterpiece of nationalist mythology and a total waste of time

    "Take the multi-billion-pound bail-out of Scotland’s banks, as a for instance. There is not a mention in this massive tome of the fact that HBOS and RBS were rescued by HM Treasury and the British taxpayer. Instead, we get this: “Global turmoil in financial markets experienced since 2007 has created a challenging environment …”"

    More of the same by the usual suspects.

    Complain about this comment

  • 365. At 6:31pm on 01 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re: 351 Roll_on_2010.

    Well, if you are correct then there is every reason for everyone in Scotland to Vote for a turn of all SNP's MPs' throughout Scotland to be returned to Westminster at the next General Election, so that they can be amongst others to hold the balance of Power in any U.K. Hung-Parliament.

    If this does happen what will be the SNP main terms of reference to both Brown and Cameron.

    Independence for Scotland prehap? Now where have I heard this before.

    Complain about this comment

  • 366. At 6:36pm on 01 Dec 2009, Roll_On_2010 wrote:

    #364 cynicalHighlander

    At least the, only, commenter got Alan Chochrane pegged right:

    Well done, O great bearded one. You have certainly earned your weekly pittance from the Tory Voice Machine (aka DT) with this one. Is your middle name Goebbels, by any chance?

    For someone who professes to be an impartial political editor, which implies an intelligent and balanced report on political issues, this latest effort really is the pits, and sinks even lower than you have often managed in previous distorted offerings, and that is saying something.

    I can only hope that the intelligent Telegraph reader - and surely there must be at least one - is not taken in by such crass rubbish.

    Complain about this comment

  • 367. At 6:43pm on 01 Dec 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    #364
    Alan Cochrane- "as a seeker after truth and justice" Don't make me laugh or more to the point don't make me swear. Why do these Unionist hacks think they are telling the truth. The whole article is the same Unionist crap that we get every day from the printed press, the Beeb and all those misguided so-called Scots on here who try to convince us the Union is good for us. Total Crap

    Complain about this comment

  • 368. At 7:25pm on 01 Dec 2009, newJohnnyh wrote:

    308 sidthesceptic - answer the question how would scotland have bailed out the RBS and HBOS? Presumably you agree an independent Scotland should take its fair share of the UK public debt? 10%?

    306 Wee Scamp - the public sector in Scotland is up there with Cuba - even with oil tax I do not see how Scotland can pay for itself. Indeed the nat fervour is scaring away international investment...what exactly would the SNP do differently - where are the details of this magic bullet? lowering corporation tax worked well in Latvia and Ireland...

    304 thomas porter - Scotland is better served being part of the UK. the UK has a Scottish PM and half the cabinet are Scots - we currently run the 4th biggest economy of the world - we are better together!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 369. At 7:38pm on 01 Dec 2009, fifebirder wrote:

    Don't know why my #367 was referred

    All I said was Alan Cochrane's claim of "as a seeker after truth and justice" made me want to laugh or swear. How can any of the unionist journalists believe that they are telling the truth when all they come out with is misinformation designed to convince the Scottish electorate that we're too wee, too stupid etc. Cochrane gives us all the usual unionist rubbish that spoute by the rest of the printe media, the Beeb and all those so-called Scots on here that tell the same.

    Complain about this comment

  • 370. At 8:03pm on 01 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #368 newJohnnyh
    we currently run the 4th biggest economy of the world
    I am so sorry to disabuse you, the UK economy was the seventh biggest in the world on a GDP/PPP basis in 2008. Since then, well, in Q1 it shrank, in Q2 it shrank and in Q3 it shrank. As Gordon Brown is now assuring us that in Q4 it will expand, I strongly fear that in Q4 it will shrink again. As France, Brazil and Italy were hard on our heels in 2008 and all three of them are now growing, we may well be 10th by now.
    The individual who is PM claims to be British and I would be very interested to know if you know how many people are in the Cabinet and which of them are Scots. As you must have that information to hand to be able to make your claim, posting it here would be most useful for it to be used in other debates.
    Furthermore I cannot see, if it is true, that the UK has a Scottish PM and half the cabinet are Scots is in any way a validation of your assertion that we are better together, when the aforesaid Cabinet has managed to bankrupt the UK.

    Complain about this comment

  • 371. At 8:12pm on 01 Dec 2009, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    #346. Usually-Right

    You make the mistake of assuming that the Gaels were always a minority in Scotland when in fact Gaelic culture was predominant even into the Late Middle Ages.After the Hanoverian State's near cultural genocide of the Gaels,North British propagandists successfully persuaded many Lowland Scots of Gaelic stock that they were of Anglo-Germanic origin. This struck a chord with many Calvinist Presbyterians and the scene was set for a divided Scotland in the modern era,more easily ruled from London.

    Lowland Scots wrongly assumed that they had few common cultural roots with Highlanders.A belief that still persists to this day.Tragically a later wave of Gaelic immigrants to Scotland were marginalised when in reality Highlanders,most Lowlanders and these Irish immigrants all had the same Gaelic roots.

    Fortunately many of these imposed barriers have been taken down and more will follow.Scots should celebrate their Gaelic heritage and combine it with their cosmopolitan outlook which comes so easily.And this Gaelic heritage should be shared with newer Scots be they from Poland,Pakistan,Italy or England.

    Complain about this comment

  • 372. At 8:18pm on 01 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #368 newJohnnyh
    Why do you assume that a Scots Government would have bailed out RBS and / or HBoS? The Americans let Lehman Bros go to the wall, Iceland nationalised its banks without compensation, it was our Glorious Leader that came up with the spiffing wheeze to get the taxpayer to fund the banker's bonuses. I'm not so sure that Scotland would have done what Gordon did and on the basis of the success of Gordon's other policies, not doing what Gordon does seems a fairly simple way of avoiding trouble.
    As for 10%, why should that be fair? 5 million out of 60 million is one twelveth, 8.333.%. The English paid us to accept a share of their National Debt so of course we will take our share.

    Complain about this comment

  • 373. At 8:43pm on 01 Dec 2009, newJohnnyh wrote:

    372 - Handclapping

    I have to agree with your comments about the current occupant of No10 but the point I was trying to make was that he was born in Scotland - the PM runs (with another Scot) a major world economy (however badly you think he has done), which has a permanent seat on the UK security council, a country which along with the other "big" powers runs the EU despite all the nods to the "smaller countries" which is what Scotland would be...

    Complain about this comment

  • 374. At 9:50pm on 01 Dec 2009, quis_separabit wrote:

    I’ve noticed that many on here assert that government figures cannot be trusted. And that no one with any affiliation with The Scotsman newspaper can be trusted either. I’ve also been told by sneckedagain to produce some figures to support my arguments despite a suspicious lack of any in his post. So with all of this in mind… here goes:

    A recent report produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (an independent consultancy company) comissioned by The Sunday Times found that in 2008, public spending accounted for 56% of GDP in Scotland, placing it 20th in a list of 160 countries most dependent on state spending. The report predicts that the figure will rise to 67% by the year 2012, placing Scotland third behind Cuba and Iraq.

    The same report found that the public sector wage bill in Scotland totals some £12 billion per annum, not including public sector pension figures (if pension figures of £2.3 billion were included then the public sector wage bill in itself would exceed annual revenue for North Sea oil) and that the existing deficit between annual spend and annual revenue is increasing.

    I was not trying to simultaneously suggest that Scotland could not achieve fiscal independence and that ‘Unionism’ has been good for Scotland. This is sneckedagain trying to twist my argument. However, if you refute this then the natural supposition would be that Scotland is perfectly capable of fiscal independence and therefore ‘Unionism’ has been good for Scotland? I would ask how you propose to judge whether Unionism has been good for Scotland in any case, given its 300 year history? Are you honestly comparing the economic position of Scotland in 1707 and its present situation and concluding it’s all been a terrible mistake?

    My instinct tells me that I’m English first, and then British, and that in my heart I would want the unity we have left in Britain to endure. I’m NOT a ‘Unionist’ though. The term is alien to me. Most of England does not understand or even care what is going on in Scotland because in the grand scheme of things it is not that important. I find myself getting annoyed enough to post on here because of the illusions of grandeur that many of you suffer under. All this anger, pissing and moaning coming from north of the border is depressing ESPECIALLY given that funding per capita in Scotland is £9,179 on average compared to £7,535 in England, despite the economy of London alone contributing more to the British Exchequer annually than Scotland.

    And then there are those who without irony talk about ‘near – racist’ comments from English people? God forbid the English actually express an opinion on Scottish independence that isn’t the ‘oh please don’t go’ you all want. Honestly, the more I’ve read the more I really, wholeheartedly support the independence movement. It’s kind of like living with an old, grumpy, slightly senile grandparent who won’t shut up about the past. We just can’t wait for you to ‘go’ as it were.

    I hope that ‘our’ (laughs) government grants you independence, and that if you get it you don’t then attempt to blame ‘the Union’ for the plethora of problems you will no doubt face. And good luck. I won’t be replying because I have perspective, and a life, but before I go:

    #228 JRMacClure – ‘I agree that it would be a shame if England (or UK, whatever they call it)…’

    (sniggers) Doh! You’re clearly confused again Mr MacClure, let me clear this conundrum up for you.

    The UK refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Clear?

    Complain about this comment

  • 375. At 10:16pm on 01 Dec 2009, LuxDon wrote:

    All residents of Scotland should be allowed to determine, through a referendum, if they want full independence, more devolution or the status quo - perhaps to make it even more inclusive - a return to pre Scottish parliament days. This is a simple human right.

    The Labour, Tories and Lib Dems failure to support this and ensure it happens is shameful.

    What are they frightened of? If the polls are correct - the SNP can't win, so why not agree on a simple format and get it done.

    Complain about this comment

  • 376. At 11:28pm on 01 Dec 2009, quis_separabit wrote:

    So much for freedom of speech! I'll try again...

    I’ve noticed that many on here assert that government figures cannot be trusted. And that no one with any affiliation with The Scotsman newspaper can be trusted either. I’ve also been told by sneckedagain to produce some figures to support my arguments despite a suspicious lack of any in his post. So with all of this in mind… here goes:

    A recent report produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (an independent consultancy company) commissioned by The Sunday Times in January found that in 2008, public spending accounted for 56% of GDP in Scotland, placing it 20th in a list of 160 countries most dependent on state spending. The report predicts that the figure will rise to 67% by the year 2012, placing Scotland third behind Cuba and Iraq.

    The same report found that the public sector wage bill in Scotland totals some £12 billion per annum, not including public sector pension figures (if pension figures of £2.3 billion were included then the public sector wage bill in itself would exceed annual revenue for North Sea oil) and that the existing deficit between annual spend and annual revenue is increasing.

    It wasn't my original intention to simultaneously suggest that Scotland could not achieve fiscal independence and that ‘Unionism’ has been good for Scotland. This is sneckedagain trying to twist my argument. However, if you refute this then the natural supposition would be that Scotland is perfectly capable of fiscal independence and therefore ‘Unionism’ has been good for Scotland? I would ask how you propose to judge whether Unionism has been good for Scotland in any case, given its 300 year history? Are you honestly comparing the economic position of Scotland in 1707 and its present situation and concluding it’s all been a terrible mistake?

    My instinct tells me that I’m English first, and then British, and that in my heart I would want the unity we have left in Britain to endure. This does not make me a ‘Unionist’ though. The term is alien to me. Most of England does not understand or even care what is going on in Scotland because in the grand scheme of things it is not really that important. I find myself getting annoyed enough to post on here because of the illusions of grandeur that many of you suffer under. All this anger, whinging and moaning coming from north of the border is depressing ESPECIALLY given that funding per capita in Scotland is £9,179 on average compared to £7,535 in England, despite the economy of London alone contributing more annually than the whole of Scotland.

    And then there are those who without irony talk about ‘near – racist’ comments from English people? God forbid the English actually express an opinion on Scottish independence that isn’t the ‘oh please don’t go’ you all want. Honestly, the more I’ve read the more I really, wholeheartedly support the independence movement. It’s kind of like living with an old, grumpy, slightly senile grandparent who won’t stop banging on about the past. We just can’t wait for you to ‘go’ as it were.

    I hope that ‘our’ (laughs) government grants you independence, and that if you get it you don’t then attempt to blame ‘the Union’ for the plethora of problems you will no doubt face. And good luck. I won’t be replying because I have perspective, and a life, but before I go:

    #228 JRMacClure – ‘I agree that it would be a shame if England (or UK, whatever they call it)…’

    (sniggers) Doh! You’re clearly confused again Mr MacClure, let me clear this conundrum up for you…

    The UK refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Clear?



    Complain about this comment

  • 377. At 11:40pm on 01 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re:375 LuxDon.

    "What are they frightened of?".
    Well only one thing really, of losing the arguement to the SNP and therefore also the Vote, for what it proves by their combined efforts of refusal of ant Ballot-Paper support for any Questions by the Scottish "Westminster 3," being the combined gross negative Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dems Parties in appertaining to any matter relating to Scottish Independence is showing that there are Real doubts about how any, as you say, free choices of any Human Rights would go, as any Independence for Scotland would mean that England would not have anywhere left to dump all their unwanted Nuclear Submarines and other Toxic - Waste, etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 378. At 11:49pm on 01 Dec 2009, handclapping wrote:

    #376 quis_separabit (Are you sure you didn't mean seperabit?)
    The UK refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Clear?
    This is a political blog and politically Great Britain is just England and Scotland. Wales is a region of England, incorporated by conquest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 379. At 03:49am on 02 Dec 2009, ILOVEFLORENCE wrote:

    SNECCKED AGAIN

    You are factually wrong.Annabel Goldie regularly attends the shadow cabinet and I believe she is enormously personally respected by David Cameron.
    My understanding is that out of Tavish Scott,Iain Grey and Annabel Goldie, Alex Salmond respects Goldie the most even though he probably disagrees with her the most.She is the most effective opposition leader at FMQs.
    Even If she isnt in the top clique of influence,which I dispute,shes still powerful in her own right and her decisions and abilities will help determine the future of the union.
    Shes lasted longer than Wendy Alexander ,whom I quite liked, and Nicol Stephen.She will definitely still be leader by the time of the 2011 election.
    Im sure Mr Taylor agrees with me and he has the inside track!

    Complain about this comment

  • 380. At 05:20am on 02 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    NewJohnnyh:

    #368.

    "304 thomas porter - Scotland is better served being part of the UK. the UK has a Scottish PM and half the cabinet are Scots - we currently run the 4th biggest economy of the world - we are better together!!"

    Scotland is better served being part of the United Kingdom, but no evidence or view is expressed as to how Scotland is better served. I disagree and devolution was created because Scots felt that we can do things better ourselves.

    The Prime Minster might be Scottish, but for some reason the English beleive its wrong since their MPs can't question Holyrood activities, also take into account Prime Minsters change and that Prime Ministers need the backing of English MPs in order to become Prime Minster. Is Gordon Brown really a Scot looking out for Scotlands interests or simple PR in order to look good for Scotland?

    I also dispute your, "Half the cabinet are Scots". This is nonesense and simple lies. I'd like you to name those individuals. I expect you to mention Alistar Darling, though. However isn't Darling born in London? So what makes a Scot, a Scot? The constinuency they represent? That would make Tony Blair English, considering Blair represented an English constinuency. Do they have Scottish relatives? In that case David Cameron is Scottish too because he has Scottish relatives and born in London, quite similar to Alistar Darling.

    The UK is not the 4th biggest economy is the world as explained above by another poster.

    I will look forward to your reply.

    Complain about this comment

  • 381. At 05:30am on 02 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    NewJohnnyh:

    #373.

    "I have to agree with your comments about the current occupant of No10 but the point I was trying to make was that he was born in Scotland - the PM runs (with another Scot) a major world economy (however badly you think he has done), which has a permanent seat on the UK security council, a country which along with the other "big" powers runs the EU despite all the nods to the "smaller countries" which is what Scotland would be..."

    I've decided to comment on this too. I noticed your pointing out to Alistar Darling as being Scottish, in my comment above I expressed several point that I would like you to address concerning this.

    The permanent seat on the UN security council is quite fancy, but of course it does not bring direct benefits to Scotland and I expect the EU is better suited to have the UN security council seat. The UK is NOT a super power, it is not an Empire anymore and is not match for Russia or China and must gain US support on a number of measures.

    The UK fights against the European Union, along with all those 'big countries' as much as Holyrood fights Westminster constantly. You must believe we're quite simple minded to believe that the 'big four' is really the 'big four' united in a common policy.

    Scotland will be a member of the European Union, in the United Kingdom or not, so I expect real arguments to why Scotlands interests are better looked after inside the United Kingdom as part of the European Union instead of an independent country itself. I believe the United Kingdom has more to loose considering Scotlands potential for energy and fish and we're certainly in the driving seat and have more to offer our European neighbours.

    Agian, I look forwatd to your responce.

    Complain about this comment

  • 382. At 10:03am on 02 Dec 2009, newJohnnyh wrote:

    381 Thomas Porter

    thanks for your posts. Come now you are not seriously saying that Alastair Darling is not Scottish and that only those born in Scotland can be real Scots - so all those who emigrated from their homelands for instance aren't Scottish? Are you saying anyone not born in Scotland should not be able to vote in an independence referendum?

    I think your point illustrates a wider one though that so many people in the UK have Scottish blood - how many Scots live and work in London for instance - we are all mixed up - one nation - despite the SNPs' efforts to say the opposite.

    I think after the Lisbon Treaty came into force there are lots of areas in the EU Council where you have to get population majorities to win the vote - Qualified Majority Voting - the big 4 will inevitably run the show...for instance will an independent Scotland be able to vote against future fishing laws it does not like with er Iceland against the French and Spanish with their powerful fishing lobbies....

    Also on the divving up of top EU Commission posts and eg chairman of the ECB the big countries made sure they get the important ones - will Scotland even get a Commissioner?

    Also have to say do you want to limit our young people's potential...while the UK may not be the superpower it once was - with Scots playing a major part I have to add - we are still up in the first rank of nations punching above our weight and will be the same for many years to come - I for one do not want to just turn our back on that...

    Complain about this comment

  • 383. At 10:40am on 02 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    It matters not where your Born or in which constinuency you represent outwith Scotland if you were again Born in Scotland.

    What doe's matter is that if you are elected to represent any Scottish Constinuency wherever you were Born having been chosen to be its MP or MSP then you are expected to put the interest of your Constinuency first and foremost at all times.

    Therefore, any notions that even if there is a Scottish Prime Minister in Gordon Brown and in some of his Front-Bench team that this can somehow translate and lead to any suggestions that just because they were Born in Scotland they would consider and favour Scotland over the rest of the U.K. when it comes down to making any decisions that covers any UK wide agendas is complete nonsense.

    I liken Politics to playing for a Football Team, and in the case of Brown and Co:, they are being paid to represent the Club of UK Plc. and not just the forward section of their Club.

    I would agree also that in the Case of Brown and Co: that because they have to wear two hats in as much that they have to find time to both represent their Constinuency and their attained position in Government, but however all National requirements of Policy will aways take presidence over any Local opinions and objections whether they also happen to be the MP for any Local Areas whereby any collective National decisions may impact upon. Hence the reason why we have also an elected Scottish Parliament thats sole purpose should be to look after only Scottish interest, both First and Secondly, and not like the so-called Scottish Labour, Conservatives and Lib-Dems Parties whom pander too and take their Orders from their Leaders at the UK lead Westminster Parliament.

    Complain about this comment

  • 384. At 10:41am on 02 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    NewJohnnyh:

    #382.

    "Come now you are not seriously saying that Alastair Darling is not Scottish and that only those born in Scotland can be real Scots - so all those who emigrated from their homelands for instance aren't Scottish? Are you saying anyone not born in Scotland should not be able to vote in an independence referendum?"

    I am mocking your position. I asked quite a simple question, define a Scots person please. If Alistar Darling is Scottish, isn't David Cameron Scottish too? Both born in London and both have Scottish relatives.

    "I think your point illustrates a wider one though that so many people in the UK have Scottish blood - how many Scots live and work in London for instance - we are all mixed up - one nation - despite the SNPs' efforts to say the opposite."

    The SNP don't speak, its the people of Scotland that supported devolution that decided Scotland should decide her own business and we're still asking ourselves what more we can do for Scotland by Scots. Besides the European Union is perfectly suitable since many Eastern Europeans live in the United Kingdom, why settle for 2nd best when a larger union exists?

    "I think after the Lisbon Treaty came into force there are lots of areas in the EU Council where you have to get population majorities to win the vote - Qualified Majority Voting - the big 4 will inevitably run the show...for instance will an independent Scotland be able to vote against future fishing laws it does not like with er Iceland against the French and Spanish with their powerful fishing lobbies...."

    It would be a well made point if the UK actually used their influence to benefit the fishing sector. If you actually paid attention to the industry, there is alot of frustration. Scotland has nothing to loose since it has more to offer instead of the UK using Scottish resources for little perks in the European Union.

    "Also have to say do you want to limit our young people's potential...while the UK may not be the superpower it once was - with Scots playing a major part I have to add - we are still up in the first rank of nations punching above our weight and will be the same for many years to come - I for one do not want to just turn our back on that..."

    I am a young person, I am seventeen. I see the current political union embarressing and out-dated. I am disgusted by the narrow-minded British imperialists, especially individuals with a London-view of the United Kingdom. The European Union is a better model, it's economic power is a world power and we should be indulging ourselves, shaping the way in which this power develops. You can't honestly tell me that the rest of the UK is as freindly or forward thinking while talking about the European Union and why Scotland still benefits from those hostile opinions.

    It's nice to see that although I made many points, you've not made the effort to reply to practially them all. I believe I have made alot of inpact against your 'arguments' for the union, there are none and your lack of substance in your comments kinda proves it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 385. At 11:38am on 02 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re:384
    why settle for 2nd best when a larger union exists?

    its the people of Scotland that supported devolution that decided Scotland should decide her own business...
    ----------------------------------------------
    Incompatable thoughts which leaves you sitting on the fence, therefore which of your opinions do you favour the most: ie;
    [1]. The rights of the Scottish People to chose a 2nd best Devolution result, for self determination or:
    [2]. The larger Union of full Scottish Control at Westminster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 386. At 11:54am on 02 Dec 2009, newJohnnyh wrote:

    Thomas Porter

    ha ha that old trick of just saying that you won the argument and that I have no arguments so hence I lose - much like the SNP's message that an independent Scotland will be better although they never say how!

    I think you are proving my argument there with your comments about Cameron and Darling - so many people have Scottish blood - we are one nation..Scotland was separate in 1700 but has not been ever since...devolution is good - I voted for it - but not independence

    Of course you ignore the wider point about populations counting in Qualified Majority Voting in the EU which will only grow into other areas..

    Great dream about Europe but the reality is that the nation state still rules and will for years - Europe can't act with one voice - so many states can't agree on one way forward - you can't get away from the point that an independent Scotland's voice in Europe will be small compared to the UK's which Scotland eg through its MPs currently can influence. Also you underestimate how involved in Europe the UK currently is and how much influence it has..

    you also know the economics of independence doesn't stack up - North Sea oil is running out every year...

    Complain about this comment

  • 387. At 11:58am on 02 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    LondonHarris,

    I believe in independence, I also believe in the European Union. I believe Scotland can benefit more as an independent state, apart of the European Union, afterall Scotland remains less eurosceptic compared to other parts of the United Kingdom, so I feel that the United Kingdom should explain exactly why this political union is better then other, much larger political union.

    Complain about this comment

  • 388. At 12:20pm on 02 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re: 387.

    Yes I also agree with much that you say.

    However, the Question about European matters rest firmly upon whom should have the rights to sit at the table in the EEC Parliament, and whether it should be a UK Representative for the whole of the UK including Scotland, or a directly elected Scottish Parliament Representative.

    Therefore, we have to get over a "simple" matter of Scotland becoming a fully Independent Country first to achieve the latter, that is of course if Scotland wants an independent Voice representing their interest at the EEC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 389. At 12:23pm on 02 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    NewJohnnyh:

    #386.

    If you feel you have reasonable points to make, please address the issue that I raise! I see little reason on discussing matters with individuals who ignore most of what I have to say, it gets us nowhere.

    I will point out that many individuals from the USA, Canada, Austraila etc have Scottish blood too. However are you suggesting we should all become one nation? Do you realise how ridiculous it all sounds now? Besides we're all from Africa, so surely we should have a world government instead by your logic?

    Understand that individuals are allowed a different opinion in the world, compared to your own opinions/views. Personally, the nation state does not rule and its quite typical of certain individuals to forget the fact that the people of Scotland are sovereign.

    I am suprised that your unable to see the irony in your comment. Europe can not speak in one voice? I guess, shall we take alook at the Scottish and British Parliament and their voting patterns? In fact if we all spoke in one voice there would not be devolution or nationalists encouraging independence!

    I don't underestimate Britains influence in Europe. I see the France-Germany bond that never breaks shape the world while Britain hangs out with the USA, but I see your missing my original point. What exactly has the United Kingdom done to bring direct benefits to Scotland through the European Union? It's Scotland with the fish and energy potential, not Britain. Despite the fuss even Iceland looks to become a member of the European Union soon, mainly because of the natural fishing resources she has.

    Economics? Just remind me again which G20 country remains in recession and who has the highest level of person debt in Europe? Hmm... and your cheeky enough to say our numbers don't stack up ;-) Thats before I even mention the debt Great Britain has as a whole.



    Complain about this comment

  • 390. At 1:22pm on 02 Dec 2009, newJohnnyh wrote:

    Thomas Porter

    let's just agree to disagree..things are rarely either black or white as I am sure most people would agree

    hope you get to spend some time in England or better still London at some point!

    Complain about this comment

  • 391. At 4:47pm on 02 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    I do understand that Scots Ex-Pats can be found anywhere around the Globe,(And that can equality be said about nearly all other Nationalities as well), for it goe's without saying that if everyone whom feels Scottish was to have the desire to return to Scotland at the same time, then I have a feeling that along with the conbined sitting population of Scotland, our population would more than double many times over in a very short time period indeed.

    Upon the subject of saying that only with Devolution in opposed to full Independence will substain us forever is the future, for this raises the Question as to what has Scotland got to be afraid about in reaching full Independence, and why do Scots believe that Scotland is too small a Country to go it alone, when as I have already covered in some of my previous Posting on this Board the fact that there has been for many Years, within the Shores of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland the Isle of Man which a Crown Dependency and NOT Ruled in any way by Westminster.

    Therefore, any notion of Scotland being the subject of an "alone little Island" if attaining Full-Independence is blown away by the Real facts, that we would not be again alone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 392. At 01:30am on 03 Dec 2009, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    It is relatively easy to establish that HBOS is not a "Scottish" bank and those who insist it is are doing so for crass political reasons.

    HBOS is in fact the Halifax, a very large English concern, which took over the Bank Of Scotland some years ago but kept a part Scottish name in Scotland to soothe Scottish feathers.

    I'd have let them go bust anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 393. At 02:44am on 03 Dec 2009, LondonHarris wrote:

    Re:392
    I'd have let them go bust anyway.
    ------------------------------------
    It looks to me that the way things are at the moment it is the Taxpayer whom is in a no win situation, for either we let the Banks go Bust and lose the money that the Government has already pumped into the Banking System to re-capitalise them, or we allow the Banks to "Self-Award" themselves at the top with large Christmas Bonuses just at a time where we are hearing that their will be Cuts coming in Public Expenditure, whereby in the end if any Banks fall it will be the small investers whom also again are usually also the Taxpayers of first resort who will end up losing out twice over.

    Did'nt someone once refer to this type of senario as being a Double-Wammy, or have we got holes left in our Pockets through which the Government has been drawing our Cash, and they say that Millionaires have deep Pockets?

    Full Pockets, more likely with our Cash.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.