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Alternative prospectus

Brian Taylor | 18:39 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011

Here's a thought anent the proposed referendum on Scottish independence. Not when it might take place, but what it might comprise.

Scottish Parliamentary powers were on the agenda this afternoon for a meeting between Alex Salmond, soon to be the returned first minister, and Michael Moore, the Scottish secretary.

But behind it all now lies the deliverable promise by the re-elected Scottish government to hold a referendum within the five year lifetime of the new parliament.

That meeting first. Mr Salmond emphasised that he wanted the present Scotland Bill to be enhanced.

Specifically, he wants earlier and bigger borrowing powers; control of Crown Estate revenues in Scotland; and devolution of corporation tax.

Mr Moore wants further and better particulars before his government decides.

But, in summary, he is interested in speeding up borrowing powers; potentially interested in elements of the Crown Estate pitch; and pretty sceptical about the corporation tax ask, despite the fact that it is being considered for Northern Ireland.

In essence, Mr Salmond argued that such concessions were effectively mandated by the Holyrood election result.

Which brings us back to the referendum. You might suppose it would be a straight yea or nay to independence.

Ain't necessarily so. Certainly, the Scottish government outlined such a prospect in its original White Paper on the topic in August 2007.

Then it was envisaged that the wording would be Yes or No to the proposition "that the Scottish government should negotiate a settlement with the government of the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent state."

There might then be a further argument as to whether there should be a subsequent referendum on the outcome of any such negotiations, should Scotland give the go-ahead to the talks.

Mr Salmond says that would not be required. Others dissent.

But there is an alternative prospectus. In the White Paper of February 2010, the Scottish government outlined a multi-option plebiscite.

In the wording used at the time, Scots would be asked whether or not they agreed that "the Scottish Parliament should have its financial powers and responsibilities extended as recommended by the Commission on Scottish Devolution."

There would then be a second question, examing the following statement: "The Scottish government proposes that, in addition to the extension of the powers and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament set out in Proposal 1, the parliament's powers should also be extended to enable independence to be achieved."

Now, the Calman package is presently incorporated in the Scotland Bill - which Mr Salmond is seeking to enhance.

It would not seem feasible that this would feature as an option in a referendum in three years time.

But Mr Salmond is of the view that full fiscal powers - perhaps building on the Liberal Democrats' Steel Commission - would require a referendum before implementation.

Is it in prospect, then, that the planned referendum might incorporate both fiscal autonomy and full independence as options?

The upside for the SNP? If people are not ready for independence, even in three years time, then perhaps they might be persuaded to vote for fiscal autonomy as some form of fallback - when they might be more reluctant if it were presented straightforwardly as a single choice.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    This has been flagged up elsewhere but bears repeating.

    The following article from Michael Kelly in today's Scotsman is one of the most astonishing I have ever read and is what passes for political comment in one of our 'national' papers.

    I would love to know what Brian thinks about it.

    http://www.scotsman.com/opinion/Michael-Kelly-Nationalists-must-clean.6766634.jp

  • Comment number 2.

    It would make perfect sense if the referendum was not just a straight nae or yae but a sliding scale of proposals each of which on it's own course would ultimately lead to full idependence. The only pitfall then would be the people of Scotland voting for the status quo.........which would be extremely unlikely. A win win situation for the SNP and for Scotland as a whole.........bring it on!

  • Comment number 3.

    What are the benefits to Scotland being part of the Union Brian, any thoughts?

  • Comment number 4.

    So now you all get what the SNP are about ,they want to bring more control back to Holyrood even if its a small amount . Independence is the ultimate goal but anything that improves Scotland the SNP will accept it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Eck continues to drive the agenda.

    Also, I'd like to agree with the Rev Campbell's earlier view on last night's Sturgeon/Paxman interview. Nicola is very capable but just too nice. A good training ground for her though. She will become as robust as The First Minister and Mike Russell in dealing with unionist interviewers. Still, it wasn't good telly from any point of view, Paxman's style was poor, he got nothing because he kept interrupting. Here are some answers that he would have got, if he'd listened:

    NATO membership - that's a matter for whoever forms the first post-Independence Government. Each party can outline a position in the various manifestos and the people will choose.

    UN Security Council - membership is already based on rotation and Scotland's turn will come around. Just like Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Norway.

    Military personnel - we will have a force similar in scale to other European nations of Scotland's size. And like all other countries do, the military will change scale and profile as needs change. That will be a matter for future Governments to decide.

    Ultimately, the future is un-written and it is for our people to create. After all, the union has shown that it cannot provide any guarantees.

  • Comment number 6.

    In response to myself at numero 1, I suppose that Michael should just be grateful that Alex didn't use a big, yellow, smiley face to accompany his upbeat vision for Scotland.

    Poor Michael may have exploded at that point.

  • Comment number 7.

    @1. Louperdowg
    "I would love to know what Brian thinks about it.

    http://www.scotsman.com/opinion/Michael-Kelly-Nationalists-must-clean.6766634.jp
    "

    That is funny farm format.

  • Comment number 8.

    I suspect much will depend on the english press. If they continue with their screeches of post-colonial outrage, and insist on trotting the usual Scots are scroungers, and the english for the white-english only, or the usual how dare the neighbours to the north not acknowledge the manifest superiority of england combined with the sour grapes of wanting to take their ball and go home; well if all that happens (and looking at comments from our neighbours to the south on here there is no reason to suppose that will cease) then Salmond is home and dry on independence. If the english press actually act with humility and accept Scotland as having equal worth within the Union, then I think multiple questions will be the order of the day. The ball is in england's court really, braying snobbery or humility and friendship, it is up to them.

  • Comment number 9.

    #1 and 6

    Did he really write 'Greedy B*******'
    and
    'The Scottish people may be stupid. But they're not daft.'

    What a bitter old man.

  • Comment number 10.

    Brian,

    If the supporters of the union wish to preserve it then there is a way.

    Westminster could simply change the Scotland Bill to provide Full Fiscal Autonomy to Scotland. That is everything that belongs to Scotland. Tax, road tax, vat, crown estates, oil, whisky, the lot.

    They also removes the parts designed to increase westminsters powers over Scotland. The supremacy of the supreme court, planning permissions and controls over gambling.

    We negotiate payment to westminster for foreign services like embassies, defense, national debt, etc.

    Now if they, out of respect for Scotland, were to offer this without the need for pressure, then I might be convinced to remain a part of the UK.

    But that would be my final offer.

  • Comment number 11.

    The fact is that whenever the referendum will be, it needs to be simple. YES/NO or status quo/increased powers/independence.

    The referendum cannot be held immediately (funny how many unionists now seem to be clamouring for it!) because nobody knows what the status quo would be untill the Scotland Bill is settled.

    Secondly, I think it is such an important question that it deserves proper debate involving all Scots so that it doesn't descend into a pitiful knee-jerk, fear and scare led mudslinging campaign.

    It is such an important issue that it's well-advised to take time over it and properly consider it, all the pros and cons, and setting out a framework of what an independent Scotland would be like (i.e. voting systems, forms of government, CONSTITUTION??).

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid the unionist fearmongering and mudslinging campaign has already started. Then again, maybe such campaigning will make it clear to a lot of the 'undecideds' why Scotland would be better out of the union. You never know.

  • Comment number 12.

    Fiscal autonomy might just save the Union.

    There's a lot more to 'autonomy' than meets the eye though.
    Does this still mean Tory administrations can beat up mining communities when the mood takes them?
    Will there be "emergency provisions" which will allow Westminster to change the rules on where the cash goes when "circumstances change"?

    A lot simpler to leave the union, a proper break, and then set up mutually beneficial arrangements for any extenuating circumstances.

    It's not about hating England, it's about being in control of your own destiny.

    Independence means laws on land ownership, asset retention and disposal, immigration, investment, national debt, national currency, healthcare, welfare, housing, infrastructue strategy, education, policing, foreign treaties...etc etc etc

    New Ideas and directions:
    Direct Democracy for example, which they use in Switzerland.

    If they put fiscal autonomy on the ballot form they are basically asking us;
    do we want to be our own boss, or do we want a franchise opportunity?

    Franchises work well for burgers, I'm not so sure about the destiny of society though.

  • Comment number 13.

    How does this moderation malarkey work?

    Is it just night security walking past every 20 minutes and hitting refresh?

  • Comment number 14.

    @13: "How does this moderation malarkey work"
    badly.

  • Comment number 15.

    Tsk, Mr Taylor. The Scotland Bill isn't even Calman, inadequate as that was. And it ill becomes a Liberal Democrat, whose party notionally supports more than Calman was offering, to defend the current Scotland Bill for a moment. One more piece of rank hypocrisy...

  • Comment number 16.

    @13. Louperdowg
    "Is it just night security walking past every 20 minutes and hitting refresh?"

    No logic from a few minutes, hours, sometimes months or longer. We pay they choose a union benefit.

  • Comment number 17.

    That Scotsman article was an eyebrow raiser.
    The folk in power don't like it when someone rocks their wee boat do they.
    wa! wa! wa!
    lol

    The referendum on Independence will be held when the Nats think they can win it.
    This is standard politics, adopted by everyone.

    If you can't win it then you can do what the Edinburgh Tram people did:
    Change the rules so you don't need to ask the people, democracy is an annoyance.

    The other strategy if you can't win is to do the same as the UK Parliament is doing with a Referendum on Europe:
    Don't hold one! ever!

    The last time we got a democratic choice concerning Europe was 1975, we might as well be living in Burma.
    So accusations of fixing the timing of the vote are pretty thin, no matter where they come from.

    At least we're going to get a vote, which is a lot more than we can say about the British people in Europe.

  • Comment number 18.


    By comparing Annabel Goldie's tactics with Munich and appeasement is Michael Kelly comparing Alex Salmond with Hitler?
    Is the SLAB position that they would as soon be under the Nazis as be part of an independant Scotland?
    If so, what hope is there for such bitter people?

  • Comment number 19.

    Interesting editorial about Cunninghame North labour party tactics in the editorial of the "Largs & Millport Weekly News".

    http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/opinion/blogs/articles/2011/05/11/413191-views-of-a-political-anorak/

  • Comment number 20.

    Also.
    Since last Friday first kiss the birds are singing more, the sun is shining more, and the beer tastes nicer as well.

    How good it will be if we go-all-the-way.

  • Comment number 21.

    "How does this moderation malarkey work"
    ---------------------
    Depends how well the moderator is doing at Team Fortress 2 that night.
    Then there's the pizza breaks and surfing the net for pictures of lindsay Lohan.

    And don't use Scots unless you want to wait a long time, use the Queens English.

  • Comment number 22.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    As posted at no.22
    -------------------------------
    There is a powerful sense in Scotland that Britain doesn’t work effectively for most Scots, or indeed for most English, Welsh and Northern Irish people, but that Scotland has a clear way of doing something about it.
    ---------------------------------

    A very good article.
    The more London starts to really get the big picture, the more panic stricken things are going to get.

  • Comment number 25.

    Now that the SNP have a majority in parliament for the next 5 years, will they be brave enough to really tackle the scourge of sectarianism?
    I wish they would:
    Abolish, or at least stop building new, separate schools for any faith
    Abolish all religious teaching in schools
    Make the Orange Order a proscribed organisation
    Bring in powers to penalise organisations that do not actively work to reduce sectarianism, or who, by their (in)actions, allow it to fester. This would include Rangers, Celtic, the SFA and the SPL, all of whom make money from sectarian supporters.
    I realise the above would not remove sectarianism, but surely most reasonable people would wish the SNP to be brave enough to start the process?

  • Comment number 26.

    It is odd isn't it that the Secretary of State for Scotland used to be Scotland's voice in the Cabinet?

    Now it seems the Secretary of State is the Government's voice for negotiating with the Scottish Government.

  • Comment number 27.

    # 20 ady

    now your catching on!

  • Comment number 28.

    @23. seeyasoon

    First post eh!

  • Comment number 29.

    Seeyasoon:

    #23.

    Godwin's Law.

    Debate over.

  • Comment number 30.

    I worry about this referendum and I really believe that Salmond is the biggest threat to our way of life since Hitler, dont get me wrong the UK needs improving (what's the lords all about?) but we should improve it together not smash it up.
    ------------------------------------------

    Britain is too London-centric, and we're too far away, and we're too wee anyway.

    We can't help you guys, you just voted the Tories back in for heavens sake, which will be no-end of help for the Nats in the propaganda war btw.

    We'll still be pals. We're just kinda going self-employed that's all, taking a different path, a Tory-free path...and beating up a few eejit Labourite nest-featherers along the way.

  • Comment number 31.

    @23
    "partitioning of Scotland", what colour is the sky on your planet? That is by far and away the daftest thing I've ever heard. If that is the standard of scaremongering that opponents of independence muster up then Salmond has nothing to worry about.

  • Comment number 32.

    23. At 21:59pm 12th May 2011, seeyasoon wrote:
    "I haven't read anywhere ever about the inevitable partitioning of Scotland that will happen should the SNP go through with this."

    Neither have any of the rest of us. Is it another secret westminster plan?

    "I really believe that Salmond is the biggest threat to our way of life since Hitler"

    I suppose Adolf and Germany were eventually overcome by greater powers, is that what you mean?

    I doubt westminster would send in the tanks in this day and age. After all, we are prepared to protect the Libyans from an oppressive regime. Anyway, it's not revolution we want, just our independence.

  • Comment number 33.

    @25
    While sectarianism is a problem in Glasgow and the Buckfast Triangle, it is a declining one. What we are seeing is its last gasp. When you look back into history these types of tribal conflicts typically endure a period of decline, then have a seeming rally of support as its hard core try to stave off the inevitable or regain relevance, before a complete collapse occurs. The broad support has vanished, and the core base is doing one last whipping up of its members before they go to the big firm derby in the sky. The current "Celtic Bomber" is just a rogue agent that can happen to any organisation at any time. It isn't representative of sectarianism as a whole.

  • Comment number 34.

    #23 seeya soon

    is this the silly season, with a name like that you must be a dame or collin in drag.

  • Comment number 35.

    Re 1. Louperdowg wrote:
    The following article from Michael Kelly in today's Scotsman is one of the most astonishing I have ever read and is what passes for political comment in one of our 'national' papers.

    Shocking article from Kelly, astonishing really.


    Re 19. At 21:24pm 12th May 2011, fairliered wrote:
    Interesting editorial about Cunninghame North labour party tactics in the editorial of the "Largs & Millport Weekly News".

    Another very intersting insight into Laboursauraus tactics. Hope they get all they deserve.

  • Comment number 36.

    23 seeyasoon

    Are you actually Ed Balls?

  • Comment number 37.

    Re 66 yesterday

    Is the BBC really going to say that the letter N is now enough to be left awaiting moderation.



  • Comment number 38.

    Michael Kelly talking about appeasement. Seeyasoon mentioning Hitler. Is this the new labour tactic? Next we'll get asked why Stewart Stevenson couldn't get the trains to run on time like Mussolini! For real Nazi tactics, see my post #19.

  • Comment number 39.

    30. At 22:31pm 12th May 2011, Ady wrote:

    Britain is too London-centric, and we're too far away, and we're too wee anyway

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

    Brussels is far further, best to stick with the £ and your fellow English speaking peoples.

  • Comment number 40.

    Come the day after the referendum there's going to be a whole bunch of us who aren't going to be jumping for joy if the vote is yes, and I'm talking about those of us who ticked the yes box, like me.

    There's simply no way forward for us in the current setup. No future.
    Westminster is riddled with corrupt feather-nesting MPs and their corporate buddies.
    The Tories are the boogyman party who enable policies which are totally alien to our way of thinking and our way of approaching society.
    Britain has become a less free country over the last 20 years, from blatant media manipulation to European laws on things which should be of no concern to them.

    We really need a clearout, a big one, clear out the baggage and vote for a fresh start with a clean sheet.

    There will be the usual cries of "lessons will be learned!" and "don't do it!" but these are old tired Clichés coming from an old fashioned dinosaur establishment desperate to hang onto the trappings of its bygone universe.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Seeyasoon

    Welcome to BWB. I'm not sure that Brian is ever here but not to worry we can blether amongst ourselves.

    There's no shame to standing on your own two feet and making your own decisions. I'm self employed and do it all the time.

    Look around you and see if the Union has benefited Scotland, particularily in the areas where it has most Labour representatives.

    Do you not think it strange that we have got more done for Scotland in the last four years of an SNP government than we did with decades of Westminster rule.

    I get a good feeling when I think what we COULD be. Really, its not in Westminster's interest to let us get too ahead of ourselves. That just wouldn't do, would it?

    Anyway, the chains have been cast. The Unionist hounds are barking their last but they will fade into the distance once we really get going.

    Hop on board Seeyasoon, we're going to a better place. There's even a couple of seats for Brian and dear Mr Kelly.

  • Comment number 43.

    31. At 22:34pm 12th May 2011, R wrote:

    @23
    "partitioning of Scotland", what colour is the sky on your planet? That is by far and away the daftest thing I've ever heard. If that is the standard of scaremongering that opponents of independence muster up then Salmond has nothing to worry about.

    I'm on the democracy planet, Why's it so daft, look at Irish independence the north chose not to leave, look at Canadian independence it took years for all regions to unite, look at Australian independence New Zealand choose no so became independent later, look at India they chose independence but Pakistan had to be created because not all wanted India. it's the will of the people not the will of Scotland's current boarders (borders that are defined by Westminster at there discretion).

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

    32. At 22:38pm 12th May 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    23. At 21:59pm 12th May 2011, seeyasoon wrote:
    I doubt westminster would send in the tanks in this day and age. After all, we are prepared to protect the Libyans from an oppressive regime. Anyway, it's not revolution we want, just our independence.

    Of coarse they wont do that, but you can believe that the UK wont let go of regions that dont want to go.

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

    36. At 22:53pm 12th May 2011, TheGingerF wrote:

    23 seeyasoon

    Are you actually Ed Balls?


    No I'm a Jock living in the Midlands who worries about his parents and siblings jobs and futures should this madness come to fruition, the English news just is not covering this at all so I have to check it out on the web.

  • Comment number 44.

    Is it still the case that references to another web site are censored here ?

  • Comment number 45.

    Seeyasoon

    #43.

    There was very little choice when it came to Northern Ireland. There's little democracy when it comes at the end of a rifle. Let us not pretend it was anyhting different but a violent struggle between groups of people.

    However, Scotland entered the union as one country and will decide as one country on whether or not to be independent. That's how it started and that's how it will end and nobody important anywhere is suggesting anything different.

    Your view is irrelevent.

  • Comment number 46.

    44. At 23:23pm 12th May 2011, faeshields wrote:
    Is it still the case that references to another web site are censored here ?

    Yes. Absolutely not allowed

    Re Seeyasoon
    You should check it out in much more depth and there are other news sites full of information that are more liberal in their approach

  • Comment number 47.

    @44. faeshields
    "Is it still the case that references to another web site are censored here ?"

    Welcome to N Korea.

  • Comment number 48.

    Seeyasoon

    You worry about us because you live in the Midlands and your parents live here?

    Holy moley, I'm more worried about you!

    I lived in the Midlands for a few years and I know where I'd rather live.

  • Comment number 49.

    45. At 23:35pm 12th May 2011, Tom wrote:



    Your view is irrelevent.

    ---------

    class act dude, my view as a Scotsman is irrelevant because you disagree?, You or I cant decide what the regions will or wont do, that's for them. Look to how the Irish independence went, all the island had a vote and then the whole nation of Ireland became independent, the north then immediately decided to exercise there rights as British citizens to rejoin the union, there was no gun to there head.

  • Comment number 50.

    Brussels is far further, best to stick with the £ and your fellow English speaking peoples.
    --------------------------------

    I think our politicians are definitely looking at Brussels, it's their route for cashing in from the revolution and feathering their retirement nests with sacks of fluffy euro down.
    They might get a bit of a shock when they go to the electorate though.

    There's not much point in swapping one system where you're virtually irrelevant and only useful as a cash cow...for another system where you're virtually irrelevant and only useful as a cash cow.

    We're already in Europe anyway and I know of no-one up here who is impressed.
    One of the areas Europe does have control of up here is our fishing industry, which has been utterly annihilated by incompetent eurocrats.
    Maggie swapped our fishing rights for a reduced annual UK contribution to the EU budget.(Thanks Maggie)

    Europe, like London, are only good for milking the wee guys for the benefit of the big guys so I really can't see the euro-quislings getting an easy ride up here.

  • Comment number 51.

    43. At 23:22pm 12th May 2011, seeyasoon wrote:
    "Of coarse they wont do that, but you can believe that the UK wont let go of regions that dont want to go."

    Scotland isn't a region of anything. It is a country.


  • Comment number 52.

    Seeyasoon

    Your view is irrelevent.

    ---------

    class act dude, my view as a Scotsman is irrelevant because you disagree? You or I cant decide what the regions will or wont do, that's for them.

    ---------

    Can you spot the contradiction between the two statements?

  • Comment number 53.

    The SNP is a one-trick-pony party.

    In the post independence period Scotlands politics, and the SNP will fracture into various left-middle-right factions, pro-anti european factions etc etc.

    The SNPs bit-part in the process is actually the easiest bit.

  • Comment number 54.

    Seeyasoon:

    #49.

    "Class act dude, my view as a Scotsman is irrelevant because you disagree?"

    Just because your Scottish will not win you brownie points. It is irrelevent because it's nonsense. Your examples are nonsense too. One violent stuggle and the rest were colonies. Are you implying some type of violence unionist reaction or actually believe Scotland is a colony?

    "You or I cant decide what the regions will or wont do, that's for them. Look to how the Irish independence went, all the island had a vote and then the whole nation of Ireland became independent, the north then immediately decided to exercise there rights as British citizens to rejoin the union, there was no gun to there head."

    Have you missed the how many decades/centuries of violent fighting in Ireland?

  • Comment number 55.

    53. At 00:13am 13th May 2011, Ady wrote:
    "In the post independence period Scotlands politics, and the SNP will fracture into various left-middle-right factions, pro-anti european factions etc etc."

    Dead right, Ady.


  • Comment number 56.

    50. At 23:57pm 12th May 2011, Ady wrote:

    We're already in Europe anyway and I know of no-one up here who is impressed.
    One of the areas Europe does have control of up here is our fishing industry, which has been utterly annihilated by incompetent eurocrats.
    Maggie swapped our fishing rights for a reduced annual UK contribution to the EU budget.(Thanks Maggie)

    Europe, like London, are only good for milking the wee guys for the benefit of the big guys so I really can't see the euro-quislings getting an easy ride up here.

    -----------

    Europe's the biggest issue here I think, say tax powers were devolved you would still need to ask (and be refused) permission from Brussels to lower them, it would be anticompetative.


    Europe regulates practically everything so Westminster gets the blame for the failures, in an independent Scotland then hings just would not change, it would be a token independence that would belittle all yes voters.

    You cant have the SNP's dream of reindustrialisation because Europe controls the taxes and labor conditions.

    You cant have a nuclear free Scotland unless you want no power.

    You cant reasonably control non eu immigration without consulting England & wales as Westminster has to with Ireland because we are just one island.

    You cant reasonably control your airspace as again British airspace is jointly controlled with Ireland.

    you cant have all this new employment created because lets face it the snp have had years and couldn't.


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


    54. At 00:13am 13th May 2011, Tom wrote:

    Seeyasoon:

    #49.

    "Class act dude, my view as a Scotsman is irrelevant because you disagree?"

    Just because your Scottish will not win you brownie points. It is irrelevent because it's nonsense. Your examples are nonsense too. One violent stuggle and the rest were colonies. Are you implying some type of violence unionist reaction or actually believe Scotland is a colony?

    "You or I cant decide what the regions will or wont do, that's for them. Look to how the Irish independence went, all the island had a vote and then the whole nation of Ireland became independent, the north then immediately decided to exercise there rights as British citizens to rejoin the union, there was no gun to there head."

    Have you missed the how many decades/centuries of violent fighting in Ireland?


    Its far from nonsense, you cant force the south of Scotland who have never had any inclination to leave the UK to do so. Who's to say if violence will come from this but its certainly plausible.

  • Comment number 57.

    To guarantee independence all we need is regular interventions from the havering Michael Kelly.

  • Comment number 58.

    Seeyasoon:

    #56.

    Yes, it is nonsense and you are also ignorant of history. You appear to be forgetting that the counties that make Northern Ireland was created through a treaty after a war that lasted several years.

    Umm... yes I can. Scotland entered the union as a single entity and not at the regional level. The Acts of Unions talks about Scotland, not Scottish regions. The vote determining the future of Scotland will be a national vote, not a regional vote.

    You are moving the goal posts to suit your political agenda. That's practically criminal especially when unionists like yourself have not actually set a fine example when there have been Scots over the past 300 years who have wanted independence. So, just where are all these independent Scottish regions?

    I have pointed out the differences between Scotland and Ireland (and Northern Ireland). I have also pointed out the constituational issues regarding the Acts of Union that brought Scotland and England together. There is no basis whatsoever to judge the independence referendum at a regional level, at all.

    That's why your comment and position is nonsense.

    Nobody is on your side on this one either. That's how silly and unrealistic your position actually is.

  • Comment number 59.

    whats the union ever done for us?

    .....mmm, the NHS.......

    OK but apart from the NHS, what's the Union ever done for us?

    ......mmm, a huge free market for Scottish manufacturing and service exports......

    OK but apart from the NHS and a huge free market for Scottish manufacturing and service exports, what's the union ever done for us?

    ......mmm, a comprehensive social security system with the aim of protecting the poorest in society........

    ok but apart from the NHS and a huge free market for Scottish manufacturing and service exports, a comprehensive social security system with the aim of protecting the poorest in society, whats the union ever done for us?

    ...mmm, established peace and prosperity for about 250 years between the 2 kingdoms of Scotland and England after 500 years of intermittent warfare,

    Ok but apart from the NHS and a huge free market for Scottish manufacturing and service exports, a comprehensive social security system with the aim of protecting the poorest in societ, peace and prosperity for about 250 years between the 2 kingdoms of Scotland and England after 500 years of intermittent warfare, what's the union ever done for us......

    ...mmm, its been a beacon of hope that 2 nations can put aside concepts of nationality and an 'I'm different from you just 'cause you were born a few miles away' mentaility to strive together just as people not nationalities......

    here's a question then, why independence?

    em.....so 'we' can decide things for ourselves,

    well we have that, we have a government that we in an election voted for based in Westminster and another in Edinburgh.

    em......so 'we' can take control of financial and constitutional levers to better the people of Scotland,

    well we have that, stand for Westminster if you want to 'better control' reserved stuff and Holyrood if you want to 'better control' holyrood stuff.

    why indepndence?

  • Comment number 60.

    The European angle will be intriguing.

    Local Politicians tend to view Brussels as a kind of medieval court they aspire to be a member of.
    Going to the "House of Brussels" and paying homage seems to be a rite of passage for our political classes.

    Ordinary people aren't so enamoured with Europe, especially the British.

    As far as a place to hang his coat is concerned, Alex Salmond may find that Europe is a bit of a shoogly peg.

  • Comment number 61.

    58. At 00:39am 13th May 2011, Tom wrote:

    I'm not arrogant of history I'm a realist that understands that any changes to the status quo will be decided by Westminster and the views of regions who may overwhelmingly want to remain in the UK will have there wishes taken in to account.

    I have no political agenda merely an acceptance of democracy.

    "Nobody is on your side on this one either. That's how silly and unrealistic your position actually is" well good to know that you speak for the populous, I bet those regions that dont hold the snp dear will be shaking in there boots at your apparent dictator stance on how they choose to live there lives.

    "I have pointed out the differences between Scotland and Ireland (and Northern Ireland)." you view was noted but I dismissed it as factually flawed , I'll simplify the Irish dilemma for you, the north deem themselves British so they are British the south deem themselves Irish so the are now Irish, it really is as simple as that.

    Just to summaries my position on the regional vote with facts; Scotland is not a sovereign state with no effective boundaries therefore any yes vote in a referendum would be deciding the sovereignty of Scotland and her boundaries.

  • Comment number 62.

    Our best route would probably be as a supplier of essential goods and services from a position outside of the EU.

    We've got fresh water, oil, gas, renewable energy by the bucketful, agriculture, fishing grounds and a Europe of 500Million souls desperate for those things, especially energy.
    They don't like being too reliant on the Russkies for energy.

    Europe itself is too investment restrictive, stifling internal startups, especially big ones by national governments who want to boost employment in wealth creation industries.
    Europe already has its own own "stuff" all setup nicely and no-one else is getting a look-in which might rock-the-boat, kinda like the model they use in the USA.

    Great for the guys in charge like France and Germany, completely useless for new members though, especially small members.
    Smaller members within Europe tend to be suppliers of cheap labour or tax havens with the French/German-European Bureaucracy choking off any attempt by a member to move forwards from this position.

    This UK investment was going to fall foul of European rules.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10341119

    Ireland is a multinational corporation tax haven and the UK is a trojan horse for big multinational car companies looking for a route into the EU via a member with crummy employee rights.

    So if we really do want to try and build a better future, looking in the direction of the EU is a bit of a shoogly peg.

  • Comment number 63.

    on indepenence, where does the scottish sun, stand on the subject now the snp has

    won by a landslide thanks to rupert murdoch

  • Comment number 64.

    59. At 01:00am 13th May 2011, leithlad wrote:
    whats the union ever done for us?

    ALSO: seeyasoon :

    "Ok but apart from the NHS and a huge free market for Scottish manufacturing and service exports, a comprehensive social security system with the aim of protecting the poorest in societ, peace and prosperity for about 250 years between the 2 kingdoms of Scotland and England after 500 years of intermittent warfare, what's the union ever done for us......"

    ...mmm, its been a beacon of hope that 2 nations can put aside concepts of nationality and an 'I'm different from you just 'cause you were born a few miles away' mentaility to strive together just as people not nationalities......

    NHS: Both labour and the Tories are privatising your NHS in England &Wales but in Scotland we opted for what the original NHS aims meant and in addition free prescriptions it may not be perfect but it's OK.

    FREE Market: The market will still be there and it's world wide so what's new.

    Protecting Poorest in Society:
    Why would our society in Scotland be different eg: Hmm! Free personal care for older folk up here what's it like outside of Scotland.

    WAR: I think we all have grown up since 300years ago : BUT the UK still drag us into illegal wars. It would be nice to have a choice!


    You also said
    "here's a question then, why independence"?

    em.....so 'we' can decide things for ourselves,

    well we have that, we have a government that we in an election voted for based in Westminster and another in Edinburgh.

    I say:
    Quite simply a country usually governs its self - Scotland should be no exception the present Scottish parliament has not got powers to regulate it's own business and policies it exists on pocket money! Before you say more we put more into the UK piggy bank than we receive.

    Scots (all people living in Scotland) have long ago decided to move in a different social direction from , for example , England and they now require the tools to do it.

    Simples!

  • Comment number 65.

    I see that the number three story on the BBC Scotland homepage is:

    Vole plague reaches record levels.


    Number 4 is:

    Progress on borrowing power bid.


    It made me smile anyway.

  • Comment number 66.

    Leithlad

    1. The NHS.......

    Its being privatised by Westminster and we prefer to do it differently up here.

    2. A huge free market for Scottish manufacturing and service exports......

    Is England going to block this once we are independent?

    3. A comprehensive social security system with the aim of protecting the poorest in society........

    Its abused beyond belief and requires a major overhaul.

    4. Peace and prosperity for about 250 years between the 2 kingdoms of Scotland and England after 500 years of intermittent warfare.

    I'll give you the relative peace but we sure ain't prosperous!

    5. Its been a beacon of hope that 2 nations can put aside concepts of nationality and an 'I'm different from you just 'cause you were born a few miles away' mentaility to strive together just as people not nationalities......

    Erm, no. My English wife even votes SNP for goodness sake.

  • Comment number 67.

    32. At 22:38pm 12th May 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    "I doubt westminster would send in the tanks in this day and age."


    Ah, but we have oil - and that seems to be the determining factor these days.

    Otherwise, Bobby Mugabe (possibly the most evil man in history, constrained only by the inefficiency of his cohort of rebels looking for a cause, unlike Herr Hitler in the first half of the 20th century) would have been removed by any one of the past three PMs the instant he gained power.

  • Comment number 68.

    53. At 00:13am 13th May 2011, Ady wrote:
    "In the post independence period Scotlands politics, and the SNP will fracture into various left-middle-right factions, pro-anti european factions etc etc."

    Once upon a time I might have agreed with you, but while there might be the odd individual drifting off in a different direction after a successful referendum, I get the clear impression (as an outsider) that the SNP has matured from a single-issue pressure group into a true social democratic party and would continue as such long after the achievement of independence.

  • Comment number 69.

    68 Caledonian54

    I tend to agree with you on this. There may be the odd Jim Sillars or Margo going bush but I'd imagine the party would hold together as a successful organisation.

    And why not.

  • Comment number 70.

    I rather have my doubts about Seeyasoon. I moved to England in search of work far too long ago - it was all that Mrs Thatcher's fault - but while I remain Scottish in thought, word, deed and language, I have never referred to myself as a "Jock" although other (English) people sometimes do...

    That aside this "region" business has me intrigued. The United Kingdom is just that; a union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England; those other bits mentioned are dependencies of the English crown and Scottish independence will be effected not by the secession of various Scottish "regions" from the United Kingdom but by the dissolution of the Union.

    In any case what Seeyasoon has also missed is the fact that the SNP's astonishing triumph last week was down in very large part to all those people in the south "who have never had any inclination to leave the UK" (by which I take him to mean the former Labour heartlands) deciding to vote for the real people's party.

  • Comment number 71.

    I'm not arrogant of history I'm a realist that understands that any changes to the status quo will be decided by Westminster and the views of regions who may overwhelmingly want to remain in the UK will have there wishes taken in to account.


    For years, areas of Scotland (or regions, to use your parlance) have consistently voted SNP and had SNP representation either at Westminster or Holyrood. At no time has Westminster contemplated independence for these areas, i.e. completely ignoring the democratic wishes of people from these areas. This, of course, was justified on the basis that it was an all or nothing deal, i.e. all areas of Scotland would need to vote for independence.

    What you have to remember is that the UK does not operate in a vacuum and if Westminster started moving the goalposts and rigging voting systems or stipulating that any referendum result only applies to part of Scotland, other countries would have to consider their relationship with Westminster. And some might, just might, consider that the hypocrisy of the UK sending troops and aid into Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, etc. to help the democractic will of those peoples sets a precedent. A precedent that could be turned on its head and applied to the UK.

    An example would be the recent troubles in the Ivory Coast. The north very much voted one way, the south the other. Did the international community think breaking the country in two was the solution? Did even the UK think breaking the country in two was a solution? No, the Ivory Coast is one country so any solution had to apply to the whole country.

    The same principal would apply to Scotland. Any attempt to cloud the issue by claiming the south of Scotland/the Islands would remain part of the UK whilst the rest of Scotland wouldn't (just how would that work on a practical level, would these areas need to convert to English law, etc?) is just ludicrious and ingenious - a deliberate ploy to cloud the issue and instill fear.

    Call Me Dave has already said that Unionists should use positive arguments and the negative arguments of fear won't work. Why don't you listen to him?

  • Comment number 72.

    The Scottish people caused the landslide not the Scottish Sun.
    And lets face it we had every other voice including that of the impartial national broadcaster shouting " Don't vote for the SNP you are supposed to vote for Labour"
    with almost that subtlety.

  • Comment number 73.

    #147 TheGingerF
    OldPerson141 - rates regressive, poll tax more regressive, council tax attempted to address through imperfect assumption that house value equals more ability to pay. For old people with nice houses, poll tax best, for poorer old people, potentially better off with council tax or even rates. Unfairness of council tax on old people arises from diligently paying off the mortgage on a nice house just to be whacked for it in retirement when income reduces. You have arrived as a true SNP supporter with the local income tax idea…

    One last thing on this - that misses out 2 major points (1) there are few council tax bands so house value hardly refelects wealth at all and (2) because the Poll Tax was paid by everyone who consumed the service, it was a lot lower for each individual. In my case (in London at the time) it was less than half what the rates had been.

  • Comment number 74.

    When the Scottish people vote no on independance the UK will be stronger than ever and the union will live on. Of course after 250 years of being united, tensions are always going to build up between the two nations, not to mention the state of the economy. And dangerous nationalists like Salmond come along and see a perfect oppertunity to make promises of changing Scotland that he will never be able to deliver, because the world is in recession and Scotland because of its small economy will be very vulnerable to future economic crises. I ask you Scottish brothers and sisters as your fellow English countrymen to think about what a glorious histoy we have together and i think a great future ahead if you vote no on salmonds refurendum.

    Long live the union!

  • Comment number 75.

    73. At 07:38am 13th May 2011, OldPerson wrote:

    #147 TheGingerF
    OldPerson141 - rates regressive, poll tax more regressive, council tax attempted to address through imperfect assumption that house value equals more ability to pay. For old people with nice houses, poll tax best, for poorer old people, potentially better off with council tax or even rates.



    Both ideologically and practically, the current split between income tax and council tax (or, better still, the old community charge) is probably right, but the proportions need to be more skewed towards income - reducing the [cash] burden of council tax by 75%-80%, with a proportionate compensating increase in income tax.

    A fixed sum, crudely calculated according to the size (not necessarily value) of the house (or the size of household) - since these may be taken to be indicative of the differential costs of providing council services to differing households - topped up with a percentage of income.

  • Comment number 76.

    GenDampshirt

    Move away from drinks cabinet.

    I repeat...

  • Comment number 77.

    This is my first post on BWB, I regularly read the blog but after seeing the piffle posted by Unionists here I felt I should speak up.

    I was born in Brechin, Angus. My maternal Granddad was the 1st cousin of Sir Robert Watson Watt (no I didn't miss out the hyphen, Watson was his middle name not a part of his surname) and among my Granddad's closest friends were Lord Boyd-Orr Founder of the world Health Organisation and also his son-in-law David Lubbock (Rowett Institute). My family were (are) ordinary working class people who were well read and active in creating better conditions for the poorest people of Scotland via the Scottish Labour Party and the Co-operative Society. I was regularly taken along to local meetings of both as a child and count myself privileged to have been included in these.

    Back then the SLAB truly listened to the people and worked hard to improve their employment and living conditions. I am very glad that none of those great men lived to see how far from their origins SLAB has gone. From being the working man's voice to becoming career politicians that's only interest seems to be bickering with the Tories instead of putting the people's needs first. The only Party that has stood up for Scotland against the inequalities inflicted on us by Westminster is the SNP. They have done more for us in the last 4 years than SLAB has in the last 40. It was Blair who tried to stop us gaining Devolution and no doubt Miliband will attempt to stop us gaining Independence as Labour know that without our votes they will probably never get back in Number 10. They will use Unionist propaganda to try and scare us into maintaining the status quo for their own benefit and not for the good of Scotland.

    Kelly's nasty views are only the start of the barrage we will be subjected to, they will do as the Tories do, they will do all they can to spread fear and division among us Scots in the hope that they can regain power in Westminster and then promptly forget us if they succeed.

    Scotland needs independence, we the people deserve to be treated as more than puppets to be manipulated. We can be free, we will be free. The days of us running scared from the Tories with only Labour to "protect" us are over. Cameron knows this, that's why he has stated that claiming small countries can't survive in this economic climate will not work and has urged cross party Unionists to stand together to "persuade" us that the Union is good for Scotland and to promote "positive" pro Union campaigns. He knows Westminster's coffers will be much depleted without our resources. The people of Scotland are in a greater position of power than we have ever been since 1707, our votes are vital to the UK parties and economy but we will not be stolen from again!

  • Comment number 78.

    43 seeyasoon

    The debate needs both sides of the argument and you clearly have every right to be concerned about impact of independence on you and your family. However the debate needs to be sensible and measured and not coloured by irrational outbursts and definitely not misinformation (not accusing you of the latter).

    Please stay with us, but I'd humbly suggest a slightly different tact in your posts.

  • Comment number 79.

    Alex Salmonds new administration gets it's first real test sooner than we think, certainly in Edinburgh.

    Edinburgh trams: More than 80% of budget already spent
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-13380580

    What we really need to do is hand a cheque over for the cash that's left in the piggy bank with a polite letter asking Bilfinger Berger and Siemens never to darken Edinburghs doors ever again.

    The Trams farce, and the destruction of our city centre, (If it's OUR city centre then why are those tram idiots still here!) were a major factor in the shock result across the Edinburgh region.

    Now they're back! Labours folly returns!
    More public disruption, more businesses will suffer, more visitors will be punished for daring to come here.

    What we really need is a giant local street protest in the city centre but Edinburgh is too snobby to get involved in these things.
    The local population will watch meekly as one of the nicest city centres in Europe gets turned into a gigantic construction site, AGAIN, for a project which will never run and no-one here wants.
    So 100Million gets spent on the trams and the city centre area loses yet another 100Million of business.
    Good call guys.

    If Mr Salmond wants to make a REAL difference he can start here, or he can do a Pontius Pilate and wash his hands of any involvement.
    A local referendum: Do you want the tram project to restart?
    Or just give Bilfinger Berger and Siemens the cash and tell them to sod off, you won't find anyone in Edinburgh complaining, only a collective sigh of relief that those destructive antisocial idiots are gone for good.

    Of course there's also the old saying:
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • Comment number 80.

    If the referendum question is a simple Yes/No, you can be certain it won't be put until he's done all the groundwork necessary to win. If things don't work out so positively, then all he has to do is have a three-position referendum: Independence, Full Fiscal Control, Status Quo.

    Since even a dumplin' wi' his heid in a bag can see that Full Fiscal Control is MILES better than the Status Quo ("Do you want your country to have access to lots more money?"), there would only really be TWO choices: Independence or FFC. If the Nation opted for FFC, it surely wouldn't take long before they'd feel brave enough to take the next step - after all, if you've got a state of "near Independence", the real thing just isn't scary at all! On the other hand, if we even scraped a majority for Independence, then it's done and dusted for all time. Either way, we get there, slowly or quickly, and either way, Westminster loses, correction, has already LOST the argument.

  • Comment number 81.

    Of course the SNP may be too hesitant, too chicken to get involved in the Tram project.
    They've been handed a shock mandate by the electorate and now Alex is probably holding it gingerly in the palms of his hands like a newborn infant wondering what the heck to do with it.

    Alex Salmond better get his head around the fact that, certainly in the Edinburgh region, he was elected on a platform for radical change, change for the better and not for the same old patronising crap that Labour was spoonfeeding us.

    His mandate will start evaporating if he doesn't use that mandate to good effect, and the SNPs big test in the Edinburgh area will begin on 3 July 2011.

  • Comment number 82.

    ...Specifically, he wants earlier and bigger borrowing powers; control of Crown Estate revenues in Scotland; and devolution of corporation tax...

    Does that mean Scotland would issue bonds ? That's what states do in the USA and they are rated separately from the federal government.

    The relationship with the federal government then becomes interesting because depending on how willing the central government is to bail out the state, the rating is better or worse.

    I don't think that's a good idea at all in these troubled times. Independence would be much better. Then you'd have your choice of central bank - your own, London or Frankfurt - and of currency.

  • Comment number 83.

    #74 GenDampshirt
    And dangerous nationalists like Salmond come along and see a perfect oppertunity to make promises of changing Scotland that he will never be able to deliver, because the world is in recession and Scotland because of its small economy will be very vulnerable to future economic crises.

    Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita in the EU if I remember rightly.

    I ask you Scottish brothers and sisters as your fellow English countrymen...

    Be independent. I am also your fellow English countryman so you've got one each.

  • Comment number 84.

    #66 Louperdowg
    Leithlad

    1. The NHS.......

    Its being privatised by Westminster....


    ...and your evidence for that is....?


  • Comment number 85.

    An interesting question Brian, and one that will evolve over the next few years.

    Firstly we have to find out the final outcome of the Calman review. What, ultimately, will be in the Scotland Bill? This of course is the legislation planned by the unionist parties in response to the 2007 shift in public opinion. We've lost power so we need more powers - we had enough before, but it's not enough now.

    The rumours now are that some of the unionists don't seem to like the outcome of what they put in place; but that is after a further shift in public opinion in 2011.

    The only thing we now know is that we will, at some stage in the future, be given the chance to decide our own future. That is something that the unionist parties have collectively plotted to deny us until now.

    So will we be giving an opinion on devo max, on FFA, on independence; or even on all of the above? That depends what we have at the time the questions are being asked, and really not something that can realistically be speculated on at this stage.

    However we are hearing words from the PM, which seem pretty meaningless, and we are seeing opinions posted, such as those expressed above by GenDampshirt. It seems to me that these words serve only to help us along the path to selecting our destiny. They make the decision easier. No one has yet to explain what it is exactly that we get from this union, though clearly our southern brethren know what they get, hence their reluctance to see us depart.

    So the gamble Brian is whether we will stay if the powers we get from negotiations now will enhance our deal. We risk a vote against full independence if we have enough control over taxes and revenues. Today we do not have any financial powers and the unionists would rather keep it that way. What concessions will they make in a desperate bid to keep our resources flowing through their taps, and will we decide that this is enough?

    It's going to be interesting Brian, but if the PM and the Gen keep it up, and the BBC carry on as before, then Independence it will certainly be. What instructions are filtering out down at PQ Brian - any change in tactics, any opinions on the union divdend?

  • Comment number 86.

    I hope that the new look for Newslog isn't a sign of things to come to all BBC political blogs - the comments boxes (with their 400-character limits and placement of the most recent comments first in a constant scroll as new posts are received) might compel responses to the blog content ... which would be no bad thing ... but it tends to stifle debate upon supplementary/ expansive points made by fellow posters.

    I still think that the 'Blether with Brian' format which preceded the current one was probably the best - but, to keep people in a job, they have to show some accomplishment and so there always has to be change.....

    ---

    And, on the matter of independence, which internet TLD should Scotland pursue? I've long favoured ".nb" (for 'North Britain'), but my sense of humour has always been somewhat odd.....

  • Comment number 87.

    #80 Bobelix
    Since even a dumplin' wi' his heid in a bag can see that Full Fiscal Control is MILES better than the Status Quo ("Do you want your country to have access to lots more money?")

    Is it really that obvious ? Do you want all of the nervousness of deficit spending ? The implication is that there are great opportunities for capital investment in the Scottish economy which are not taken up. Like hydroelectric projects or nuclear power stations which bring in a good return.

    The alternative is that you fund revenue spending with deficit. An all too common political vice which ends with deficit reduction programs whereat we are now.

  • Comment number 88.

    #77 Caledonia67
    ...The days of us running scared from the Tories with only Labour to "protect" us are over.

    Whay are you scared of the Tories ?

  • Comment number 89.

    OldPerson wrote:
    1. The NHS.......
    Its being privatised by Westminster....

    ...and your evidence for that is....
    -----------------------------------------

    The last 50 years of Tory cutbacks?
    Anyone mired so deep in denial can't be reasoned with.

    Nothing to see here folks. move along. move along.

  • Comment number 90.

    73. At 07:38am 13th May 2011, OldPerson wrote:

    (2) because the Poll Tax was paid by everyone who consumed the service, it was a lot lower for each individual.

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

    Poll tax was not paid by those who consumed the service.
    It was a flat charge against everyone who lived in the area
    services were provided for... there is a difference, many people
    dont use the many of the services.

    And it was not lower. I was single, in Glasgow west end in a one bed flat and
    the poll tax was higher than the rates.

    And I have to say that because property wealth is not a certain guarentee
    of income, its a closer correlation than none at all that u get with a poll tax.

  • Comment number 91.

    88. At 08:52am 13th May 2011, OldPerson wrote:
    #77 Caledonia67
    ...The days of us running scared from the Tories with only Labour to "protect" us are over.

    Whay are you scared of the Tories ?

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

    I didn't say I was scared of the Tories, I'm not the type of person to be easily intimidated. When I said "running scared of the Tories" What I meant was back when Labour was the voice of Scotland the Tories were a real threat as we didn't have a strong alternative to voting for a UK wide party as the SNP were perceived to be a one policy, fringe party with no agenda other than a dream of an independent Scotland. Since devolution the SNP have matured into a radically diverse party who listen to what the people of Scotland say and have been very strong in addressing the problems we face as a nation, they have a very good track record of delivering on the manifesto promises and they continue to benefit Scotland as a whole without the need to use negativity to strengthen their stance against the UK Unionist parties.

  • Comment number 92.

    Congrats lads - you seem to have the only usable blog on the BBC!

    The newslog format is just awful, I sincerely hope you don't get it foisted on you

    I think the SNP has played the last elections brilliantly, positive campaigning does have an effect, all the best in whichever direction you decide to take. I hope the referendum debates will be just as positive; but I fear not, I think there will be a lot of negative campaigning on this issue - which will only cloud the real issues

  • Comment number 93.

    @ 90. At 09:42am 13th May 2011, Anagach wrote:

    "Poll tax was not paid by those who consumed the service.
    It was a flat charge against everyone who lived in the area
    services were provided for... there is a difference, many people
    dont use the many of the services.

    And it was not lower. I was single, in Glasgow west end in a one bed flat and
    the poll tax was higher than the rates.

    And I have to say that because property wealth is not a certain guarentee
    of income, its a closer correlation than none at all that u get with a poll tax."


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

    I wholeheartedly agree, I was also living in a rented one bed flat off Glasgow's Great Western Road when the Poll Tax was imposed on us. I took part in many demos at George Square and as part of a human barrier to stop bailiffs taking furniture from the homes of the poorest parts of Glasgow. Those people simply couldn't afford to eat and pay the tax, yet the Tories authorised repossession of the few pieces of furniture they owned and put people in prison purely because they weren't earning enough to satisfy Tory greed!

  • Comment number 94.

    Anyone in any doubt about the wisdom on independence could do well to read the comments on discussions like this and ask themselves if encouraging the paranoid, obsessive, delusional, divisive, starry-eyed, naive mob that posts on them is in anyway is wise, let alone increasing the chance of them acutally getting anywhere near power.

  • Comment number 95.

    @92. mightychewster
    "I think the SNP has played the last elections brilliantly, positive campaigning does have an effect, all the best in whichever direction you decide to take. I hope the referendum debates will be just as positive; but I fear not, I think there will be a lot of negative campaigning on this issue - which will only cloud the real issues"

    Thanks we already have quite a few new 'spammers' peddling nonsense like the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the World yet unable to provide the evidence for their wild assertions.

  • Comment number 96.

    #89 Ady
    OldPerson wrote:
    1. The NHS.......
    Its being privatised by Westminster....

    ...and your evidence for that is....
    -----------------------------------------

    The last 50 years of Tory cutbacks?


    OK - There's the obvious question. The Tories have been in power for about half of the last 50 years. If they are intent on destroying or privatising the NHS, why have they not done it ?

    There's also the other question - why would they do anything so politically unpopular ?

    All of the thrust of Tory activity on the NHS has been efficiency. 60% of NHS funds go on wages and about 60% of those wages go to members of unions which support the Labour party - that's Labour's interest and it isn't efficiency.

    Incidentally, 300 NHS 'executives' get paid more than the prime minister.

  • Comment number 97.

    Seeyasoon:

    #61.

    "I'm not arrogant of history I'm a realist that understands that any changes to the status quo will be decided by Westminster and the views of regions who may overwhelmingly want to remain in the UK will have there wishes taken in to account."

    I didn't call you arrogant of history. I called you ignorant of history. You're not a realist at all because you failed to take into account that the Acts of Union treaty entered Scotland as a single entity (not regional levels) and for the past 300 years no Westminster government actually encouraged independence for Scottish regions that want it.

    You are moving the goal posts for political purposes. If you can't understand that then I am afraid I can not help you.

    "I have no political agenda merely an acceptance of democracy."

    You do not accept democracy. It is about the future of the Scottish people and Scotland and because the vote went one way which you dislike you suddenly went to plan B which is to break Scotland up. You've changed the rules because that's not how it's been for the past 300 years. There was no independent Scottish regions and th every idea is laughable. Hence why maybe no one else is encouraging it.

    ""Nobody is on your side on this one either. That's how silly and unrealistic your position actually is" well good to know that you speak for the populous, I bet those regions that dont hold the snp dear will be shaking in there boots at your apparent dictator stance on how they choose to live there lives."

    It is nice to see some Scot who does not even live in Scotland dictate to the rest of us what will happen after independence. I am for the reversal of the Acts of Union which a referendum technically will be about. Scotland entered as a single entity and will leave as a single entity. It is about the future of Scotland, not her regions. All I can do is repeat that and hope you eventually understand.

    "I'll simplify the Irish dilemma for you, the north deem themselves British so they are British the south deem themselves Irish so the are now Irish, it really is as simple as that."

    This is why I called you ignorant of history. There was a war, followed by a treaty that gave Northern Ireland the opportunity to remain as part of the United Kingdom. There is no comparison with Scotland I am afraid.

  • Comment number 98.

    #95 "peddling nonsense like the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the World yet unable to provide the evidence for their wild assertions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    You might like to wallow in self-pity but the fact is you live a country ranked in the top 20 inthe world in terms of GDP per capita, ignoring city-states in the top 15. Life is good. Do you really take a risk with this with a great upheaval?

  • Comment number 99.

    94. At 10:18am 13th May 2011, zz123 wrote:
    "Anyone in any doubt about the wisdom on independence could do well to read the comments on discussions like this and ask themselves if encouraging the paranoid, obsessive, delusional, divisive, starry-eyed, naive mob that posts on them is in anyway is wise, let alone increasing the chance of them acutally getting anywhere near power."

    The union supportesr have a right to a voice, too!

  • Comment number 100.

    Zz123:

    #98.

    Risk? Let us look at your figures. Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, Netherland, Ireland and Denmark. The small countries in Europe, some more similar to Scotland and are all apparently doing better then the United Kingdom.

    If they can do it, so can Scotland.

 

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