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A clear choice

Posted on March 12, 2014 by

The big story in UK news this morning is Ed Miliband’s statement of Labour’s position on an EU referendum. “Ed Miliband will dramatically pave way for in-out referendum on Europe if Labour come to power”, says the Mirror, while “Ed Miliband rules out EU referendum” is the Spectator’s take and the BBC goes with “Ed Miliband says Labour will not commit to EU referendum”. Ah, the media, bringing clarity as ever.

normansmith1

On this occasion, the right-wing magazine is closest to the truth. Miliband’s statement is about as unambiguous as Labour ever get on anything these days – “We strongly believe Britain’s future is in the EU, and my priorities for government after the next election are very different from those of the Conservatives” is pretty hard to misinterpret in the context of the Tories having expressly pledged a referendum long before their manifesto is published.

It is, in the language of politics, a “brave” move.

The New Statesman blogger George Eaton, who’s rapidly starting to be seen within the commentariat as the Labour leader’s unofficial spokesman, concurs with the Spectator’s analysis (our emphasis):

“In an article in today’s Financial Times, [Miliband] announces that a public vote on the UK’s membership will be held under Labour if new powers are transferred from Britain to Brussels.

But crucially, he also makes it clear that he does not believe this condition will be met: “It is unlikely there will be any such proposal in the next parliament.” In other words, don’t expect a referendum under Labour.

Eaton assesses the move as a wise one on the grounds that polling suggests EU membership is seen by voters as a low priority. But that rather depends on which polls you read, and on the dangerously flawed belief that in the UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system all votes are created equal.

It’s true that the British public tends to put EU membership low on its priorities list when asked directly. But there’s an issue they DO rate very highly indeed.

issues

Let’s be clear on this: there’s one reason and one reason alone for the popularity of UKIP south of the border, and it’s not because English people are in an all-consuming froth about regulation concerning how bendy bananas should be. The rest of the UK’s hostility towards the EU, and its support for Nigel Farage’s shambolic party, is almost entirely based around opposition to immigration.

And what that means in terms of Ed Miliband’s announcement is that UKIP supporters will now be faced with a very stark and unmistakeable choice in 2015. If they want an EU referendum – and pretty much by definition it’s the one thing they want above all else in the world – the only way they can make it happen is by making sure David Cameron remains Prime Minister.

Next year, UKIP voters – for all that many of them are full of a burning antipathy towards the Conservatives – will have to choose between voting against the Tories (and thereby risking letting Miliband sneak into 10 Downing Street) or holding their noses, voting tactically to keep Miliband out and bringing their heart’s desire within reach.

As we’ve noted before, if just half of UKIP’s support returns to the Conservatives when the chips are down, that’d already be enough to put the Tories ahead in almost every opinion poll of the last year, and Labour’s lead has been steadily declining over the same period to now roughly half what it was 12 months ago.

It seems unlikely that ruling out a referendum will win Labour many votes. (Who, or where, from?) And it might cost them crucial ones in exactly the sort of marginal Middle England constituencies where they need them most – the seats which carry such hugely disproportionate weight in the UK’s massively broken electoral system.

Today Ed Miliband put all his eggs into a single basket – one fashioned from the assumption that UKIP voters are too dim to realise any of the above. Perhaps he’s right. But in unequivocally telling them that the only way to get what they want is to make sure he isn’t the Prime Minister, it’s a very big gamble for little discernible gain.

And with the entire core message of the No campaign in Scotland being predicated on the fragile credibility of a Labour win at Westminster in 2015, that’s no small bet.

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    Heroes of Europa | A Wilderness of Peace

90 to “A clear choice”

  1. SquareHaggis says:

    Schmeagle 😀

  2. thomas William Dunlop says:

    No toast to put the jam on.

  3. Mibbes aye, mibbes naw.

  4. HoraceSaysYes says:

    I haven’t even read it yet, but this post gets a big thumbs up just for the photo alone! 😀

  5. SquareHaggis says:

    para4 “staring”?

  6. bunter says:

    Love the screen grab. I have a particular dislike of that individual.

  7. Clootie says:

    …you have misunderstood.

    His stance should be considered “flexible”.

    This latest announcement is to re-assure the Scots that we will stay in Europe if they vote NO in the referendum.

    Labour will obviously have a revision when that issue is put to bed and they need to win a >bb< general election.

  8. M4rkyboy says:

    I know how that bloke feels.

  9. HandandShrimp says:

    I am pretty sure I heard Lord Foulkes say on Radio Scotland a couple of weeks ago that Labour would win in 2015 and there would be no EU referendum. That there is no uncertainty over the EU because it simply isn’t going to happen.

    A rare monent of clarity and clear policy choice. Milliband will be under zero pressure to hold a referendum unless he creates pressure for himself by making vague promises.

  10. Macart says:

    It’ll all end in tears. 🙂

  11. SquareHaggis says:

    It’s a suicide note.

    Great analysis Rev.

  12. Gillie says:

    If UKIP do well in the Euro elections, as I expect they will, I suspect that Ed Miliband will do a quick u-turn because he too will realise that UKIP voters will switch to voting Tory in the 2015 UK election.

    This has not been well thought out by Labour.

  13. Anybody else think “Stan Laurel” when they seen that pic?

  14. G H Graham says:

    I have no faith in the “wisdom” of the English voters who are currently leaning towards UKIP on the basis of being offered the possibility of an EU referendum.

    They will either favour UKIP or the Conservatives if a referendum does indeed turn out to be a higher priority for them than we might imagine.

    Either way, it makes a win for Labour at the next British general election less likely.

    The only way I see for Miliband to improve his chances is to also offer a referendum. That might sound contradictory because of his preference for the rUK to remain in the EU.

    But it also reveals his own lack of faith in himself & in his party’s ability to convince the electorate to vote NO & remain within the union, should a referendum be offered by Labour.

    Thus Miliband will continue to fudge the issue, by appearing to consider offering a referendum while never actually being committed to offering one.

    And that to me is just more evidence that Labour, although not exclusively, will do just about anything to get back into office.

  15. Alfresco Dent says:

    What that graph quite clearly demonstrates is that when Scotland re-asserts her independence the fUK will quite quickly descend into becoming a fascist state. It’s just one of the reasons Alex Salmond is often likened to Hitler, Stalin & Mugabe. It’s a condition called Projection. They know it themselves.

  16. Tattie-bogle says:

    Johnny has three apples and gives mary one apple, how many oranges does johnny have ?

  17. Jim T says:

    Might be O/T – but has Ed’s statement had this effect on sterling a few minutes ago …

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/currency/11/13/intraday.stm

    and Dollar

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/currency/11/12/intraday.stm

    Can’t see anything in the “economy” news on our favourite truthful BBC that might hint at an answer.

  18. SquareHaggis says:

    Scrapin the bottom o the barrel now

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc52OMftJSk

  19. Macandroid says:

    @ Alfresco Dent

    From the opening paragraph of the Friends of the Union website: http://conservativefriendsoftheunion.com/

    “The decision we make this year will determine the future of the country we love for the next thousand years.”

    A poorly disguised and distastful attempt to imply that this will be Alex Salmond’s ‘thousand year Reich’?

  20. john king says:

    caption
    I want to be a man, man cub?

  21. M4rkyboy says:

    Ot but if Alistair Carmichael is meant to act in the best interests of Scotland why would he endorse the ‘UK’ position of them being the continuator state which would clearly be to the detriment of Scotland?

  22. Gillie says:

    Lord Mandelson, “Miliband’s stance on EU referendum is courageous

    which when translated;

    “For f**k sake Ed you have just handed victory to the Tories”

  23. Tattie-bogle says:

    O/T This will sound familiar as thing brew up in quebec. The whole article is like something the Hootsman
    http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/3/5/Separatist-battle-in-Canada-rekindled-with-Quebec-election.aspx

  24. Flower of Scotland says:

    The reason people in England,and some in Scotland too,want out of Europe is due to all the years of Europe bashing by the three parties. They blame everything on Europe! So now we have UKIP ! You reap what you sow!

  25. Molly says:

    So let’s get this straight The Labour Party and Ed Milliband was given the lead story on the BBC at 6am and the headlines in the paper to tell the nation in effect -I will do nothing at all .

  26. Flower of Scotland says:

    Gers figures are not good ,so BBC going to be discussing it . ( probably ad nauseum ) !

  27. tartanfever says:

    Nice to hear Labour having a definitive policy about something.

    Looking at that graph also shows how effective a compliant media have been in raising the immigration issue to roughly the same level as the economy on voters concerns.

    Tories – ‘For God’s sake we have to get the plebs to stop thinking about the economy, sooner or later they’ll twig that we’re absolutely bankrupt, lets play the immigration card.’

    As the great Adam Curtis has often remarked – politicians used to deliver dreams and aspirations to the public, that died with along with our trust for them. Now all they do is scare us by delivering pretend nightmares that only they can save the people from – terrorism. immigration etc.

  28. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Is he doing an impersonation of Norman Wisdom, or Willie Rennie? Full marks in either case.

  29. msean says:

    Labour as good as lost the 2015 when they ‘elected’ the wrong brother as leader.It’s all been downhill from there.

    Aside from that,I’m no Nick Clegg fan,but he got it right when he described UKIP at that conference the other day.

  30. Gillie says:

    If the anti-devolutionist UKIP do well in the Euro elections and the devolution-sceptic Tories win the UK elections, as a consequence of Ed Miliband’s ‘doing nothing’ on a EU referendum, then you can kiss goodbye any thoughts of more devolution for Scotland – it will be Devo-Nothing.

    This is a game changing moment.

  31. a Supporter says:

    REV Here is link to AlexS’ speech at New Statesman which you have been looking for.

  32. Alt Clut says:

    Have to disagree with “Alfresco Dent”. Rise of UKIP will certainly be another step to the right in the rUK political centre of gravity but it won’t be “fascism” i.e. not a physically predatory, authoritarian state systematically smashing all opposition to it’s left.

    If that was the real prospect, and Scotland staying within the union could prevent it, then we would have to consider our position very carefully. The independence movement would lose many supporters in moves to prevent us having a stronger, fascist power on our doorstep ! Fortunately, this is not the case but we mustn’t, inadvertantly, frighten people into thinking on those lines.

    The real situation is that Labour’s position on independece is shown to be yet more bankrupt. If he sticks to the ‘referendum on Europe unlikely’ position, which his dominant opportunist instincts may lead him to ditch if UKIP does well in May, Miliband is much less likely to win a UK general election. So, Labour’s pathetic, eleventh hour, greater devolution talk will come to absolutely zero. If by a miracle he won an election after a No vote in Scotland why should he give us anything ?

    We need to use this Miliband announcement to drive home the blind alley that Labour has put itself into in Scotland. He’s just given us a bit more ammunition if we play it sensibly !

  33. Alfresco Dent says:

    I’m of the belief that Westminster parties will say anything and/or do anything to anybody as long as it allows them to hold on to power. What Milligan says today is subject to change without notice.

    Westminster becomes, with each passing day, more & more like the USA. Choice? What choice?

  34. Alfresco Dent says:

    Not Spike, obviously (only because he’s dead though).

  35. Patrick Roden says:

    The last poll out(yesterday)had Labour just 3% ahead of the Tory’s!

    Labour have no chance, even if Ukip voters don’t back the Tory Party.

    The discussion around how Ukip and Tory Party’s will not fight each other in marginal seats, so as to make sure Labour do not get in by the back door, looks like an idea that will appeal to them both, as the election draws near and Labour are still in with a chance.

    This and the news that their is unease at postal voting and some people want to see it scraped for all but the genuinely disabled, will be a disaster for the Labour Party.

    Which is nice 😉

  36. bookie from hell says:

    labour EU referendum,Devo + must be twinned

    pages an pages of waffle,fudged then nothing dne

  37. scottish_skier says:

    Highest Tory score since last July in today’s ICM.

    35% Con
    38% Lab
    12% Lib
    9% UKIP

    http://archive.is/acYx4

  38. Grouse Beater says:

    I look forward to the day when the petty squabbles of Westminster figure little in the politics of Scotland.

  39. joe kane says:

    Labour aren’t in favour of an EU referendum but aren’t ruling one out either.
    However, that could all change in future to being in favour of a referendum but not ruling out not being in favour of one…or something.

  40. FlimFlamMan says:

    @M4rkyboy

    …why would he endorse the ‘UK’ position of them being the continuator state which would clearly be to the detriment of Scotland?

    Is it clear?

    According to their statements, Westminster would retain control of sterling and of the Bank of England, which would protect the rUK economy. Since Scotland wouldn’t get its share of that asset it would also not get its share of the corresponding liabilities.

    Scotland could start off with a blank slate, which seems like a good position for a nation that wants to do things differently.

    Here’s a nice blog post on the accounting:

    http://www.3spoken.co.uk/2014/03/scottish-independence-myths-national.html

  41. HandandShrimp says:

    O/T

    Anyone sighted the Survation poll cropping up anywhere yet?

  42. HandandShrimp says:

    Scottish Skier

    That ICM poll states that the SNP and PC have 2% each. That seems a tad unlikely to me unless Plaid support has gone through the roof

  43. joe kane says:

    Quantum Ed Dynamics –
    http://orderorder.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/quantum-ed.gif?w=480&h=509

    Some are sceptical of the claims for the existence of Quantum Ed Tunnelling, whereby such weak Labour spin is able to escape the seemingly impenetrable barrier of Ed’s woeful Leadership Satisfaction ratings and help it win the next general election.

  44. scottish_skier says:

    That ICM poll states that the SNP and PC have 2% each. That seems a tad unlikely to me unless Plaid support has gone through the roof.

    Subsamples way too small. You need to look at 10’s of polls UK wide to try to pin down numbers for Scotland.

    Survation had the SNP on 38% for UKGEs with only 33% for Lab last month in their Scotland-wide poll. Also SNP 44% / Lab 31% for Holyrood matching Panelbase and in line with ICM (44% SNP for EU elections).

    Previous ICM UK (dec-feb) had 4,4,3. So add your 2 and take an average. That’d be 39% Scotland-wide and more like the 40-44% I have them on for UKGE, matching Holyrood and similar to survation.

    The SNP continue to be well ahead of Labour at both Holyrood and UKGE level.

  45. HandandShrimp says:

    Scottish Skier

    Thought that, so more likely 3% and 1% which would tie in for those sort of numbers in Scotland and give Plaid about 20% which I think is roughly where they are (although their support is very strong in some places and less so in others)

  46. The money drain doon the pan in Westminster says:

    Westminster gov is again ruining the Scottish economy. Oil production is down because Osbourne/Alexander increased Oil tax 11% (£2Billion) a year in 2011 Budget to 60- 80%. Oil Companies cut funding and Projects. Costing Scotland £5Billion a year in lost revenues.

    Scotland could have saved £1.5Billion by cutting Trident and redundant weaponry and £1.5Billion by putting a tax on cheap ‘loss leading’ alcohol = £3Billion a year.

    Block Grant was cut £1.3Billion a year in 2011 Budget but Scotland is still being charged for interest for monies borrowed and spent in the rest of the UK and for tax evasion in the City of London. £4Billion+ = £12Billion a year. Scotland loses as part of the unequal Union.

  47. M4rkyboy says:

    @Flimflamman
    It appears to me to be the lynchpin of all the negative stories used to attack the Yes movement.I see what you mean though,there are obviously benefits to the clean slate principle but i think it doesnt aid the campaign when we are talking about a smooth transition.

  48. Gillie says:

    After this non-committal (suicide note) by Ed Miliband on a EU referendum there is no way Labour will win the UK election in 2015. It is likely Labour will be punished in the Euro elections as well so Ed Miliband could change his mind; but to flip-flop on this issue is going to be so damaging to Miliband’s leadership.

    As for Scotland it means the proposect of a return of a Tory government scared to upset UKIP and unwilling to do anything on devolution. Scotland will be treated harshly under this regime.

    For Labour voters in Scotland who will dread the certainty of a returning Tory government they now have only 6 months to make up their minds.

    The only way to say “NO” to the Tories is to vote YES.

  49. HandandShrimp says:

    M4

    It is interesting to play “what if” but I think in practice the Scottish Government has always planned to take on a fair share of the service costs of UK debt, they can’t take the actual debt because they didn’t borrow it and the creditor might have something to say about their loan being passed to a third party.

    At this point though there is a bit of posturing, initiated by Westminster taking an aggressive stance and trying to pre-empt negotiations by setting apparent conditions in order to add to the uncertainty and scare stories. A currency union may not happen but it will form part of the horse trading whether Westminster likes it or not.

  50. Linda's Back says:

    O/T Latest GERS figures getting big licks on BBC but no mention of the following

    Over the past 5 years Scotland’s would have been £8.3 billion better off as an independent country.

    Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK average during the last financial year. Scotland’s spending was also lower than the UK average over the past 5 years.

    Scotland’s spending was 44.2% of GDP over the last 5 years. The UK average was 45.4%.

    Spending on social security last year was also lower in Scotland than the UK average. In Scotland it was 15.5% of GDP compared to 16% for the UK.

    Scotland’s economy is 11% better off in terms of GDP per capita than the UK.

    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/new-figures-confirm-that-scotland-would-have-been-8-3-billion-better-off-an-independent-country/

  51. call me dave says:

    Tattie-bogle

    Two banana skins! That’s right init..init?

    EU
    What has labour North or South of the border got to offer Scotland.

    The EU referendum will be fudged, big business will exert pressure on Cameron and reasons will be found, like those caught short, to gently trickle it into the long grass, what a relief.

  52. M4rkyboy says:

    @HaS
    Do you know if anyone has done a cost analysis of the various options?The Scotland analysis paper talks of 3 possibilities:
    ‘There are three possible outcomes of negotiated Scottish independence in international
    law: (a) one state that is the continuator of the UK and one new state; (b) two new states
    (neither of which is the continuator of the UK, which would be extinct); and (c) one state
    that is the continuator of the UK and one state which reverts to the status of the pre-1707
    Scottish state.’
    I think each option needs looking at in-depth.

  53. HandandShrimp says:

    For those with more time can someone trawl through the archives to see how big the licks were on the GERS figures by the BBC in previous years.

    I’m not saying that they are untrustworthy but

    http://evangelineholland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/im-not-saying-that-it-was-aliens-but-it-was-aliens.jpg

  54. muttley79 says:

    The obvious thing for UKIP voters is to vote for UKIP in the European elections, and then for the Tories in the general election, to get the referendum on the EU that they desire.

  55. chalks says:

    M4rkyboy

    A) No debt and assets IN Scotland

    B) Negotiations on splitting assets into a fair share (8.4%)

    C) Negotiation on splitting assets into a fair share (8.4%)

    Have you looked at the white paper?

  56. call me dave says:

    a Supporter

    Good find, thanks. The Q/A part is missing which is a pity but the sound link covers it.

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I think each option needs looking at in-depth.”

    I’ll do you a deal. I’ll look at them in depth if you PUT SOME FRIGGING PARAGRAPH BREAKS IN YOUR COMMENTS.

  58. cynicalHighlander says:

    Believe Labour on its promises with the past.

    http://www.eunow.eu/UK_referendum_outrage.html

  59. Linda's Back says:

    The OBR is the least reliable source for oil revenues as in 2010 it predicted $86 for 2013 / 2014 To-day’s Brent Crude price is $108.50 and one year forecast is $115 a barrel.

    Oil and Gas is coming ashore on West Coast later this year and the Laggan-Tomore field has 20% of the UK gas reserves with a 30 year lifespan

    http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2013/09/17/more-than-30-years-life-in-west-of-shetland-gas-fields

    Underground coal gasification (UCG) means gas can be produced from the massive North Sea Coal fields and be the next energy bonanza for an independent Scotland

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10518072/UKs-next-offshore-energy-fortune-lies-in-coal.html

  60. HandandShrimp says:

    M4

    I think it would quite hard to do a cost analysis although I would be surprised if both sides do not go into the negotiations with a fair idea which each of the options mean. rUk will push like hell for a or c. b would be totally unacceptable to them. I doubt if they would worry overly about the impact for Scotland under a or c other than new states can start with zero debt, the successor state taking all.

    Option d is that both are recognised as successor states with rUK retaining original membership of the EU, UN, NATO, Security Council etc., and Scotland obtaining membership to some of these bodies as an ongoing entity. This would lance some of the scare stories but also certainly mean that Scotland would assist in the debt payment. After a Yes vote Westminster would have no need of scare stories and the emphasis would be on obtaining the best outcome for rUK..this would in some matters also require a good outcome for Scotland.

  61. M4rkyboy says:

    Chalks
    Yes and no,i haven’t read it all.Does it acknowledge and examine the 3 possibilities from a cash perspective?
    Personally,i think option B should be the de jure consequence but, de facto, A or C will be the likely outcome with my preference leaning towards option C.

  62. Jim T says:

    @Linda’s back

    I also note that young Douglas’s article in the Scotland section of the news website has no opportunity to comment. Don’t need to ask why.

  63. M4rkyboy says:

    Sorry Stu,i just copied and pasted it from the pdf.
    I will exercise more diligence in the future.

  64. Macandroid says:

    From the 2013 press Freedom Index

    “In dictatorships, news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies news providers have to cope with the media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest. While their situation is not always comparable, we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse.”

    UK drops one place to a highly respectable 29th place (are you sure about that – Ed?)

    http://en.rsf.org/spip.php?page=classement&id_rubrique=1054

  65. bjsalba says:

    Remember the BBC Headline “Immigration impact report withheld by Downing Street”
    “Downing Street has withheld publication of a cross-governmental report that suggests one potential impact of immigration is smaller than claimed.

    It suggests “displacement” – the number of UK workers unemployed as a consequence of immigration – is well below the figure used by ministers of 23 for every 100 additional immigrants.”

    Whatever happened to that? Buried in a deep and dark place. Maybe it didn’t fit with what the powerful want the story to be.

    The MSM and the tabloids in particular, like the immigration issue because it provides lurid headlines which drive sales.

    The City of London likes the immigration issue as it they see it as a tool for Cameron to use in his negotiations for a new deal with the EU. What they really want is opt-outs on the the financial transactions tax and salary/bonus caps. They want to stay in to have access to the markets.

    It will be interesting to watch how this plays out.

  66. an_obersver says:

    Actually the ‘big story’ was that GERS report.

    I guess £100k doesn’t stretch far enough to mention it though.

  67. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Actually the ‘big story’ was that GERS report.”

    “…in UK news”. England doesn’t give a shit about GERS. Rest assured that we’ll have coverage on it, though. Donor, are you?

  68. Albalha says:

    @linda’s back

    Ivan McKee, at least, got most of these points in on BBC Radio Scotland in the last half hour.

    Discussion between him and I Gray, started around 1233 – 1246.

  69. Grouse Beater says:

    Stuart

    I enjoyed the image of George Best in his short-lived Scottish renaissance as a player, a neat spoof on pitiful Brown coming to Labour’s rescue to dismiss progressive democracy. Google: grousebeater.wordpress. You might enjoy my view, if not, many thanks again for all you’re doing on behalf of the cause.

    Grouse Beater

  70. Macart says:

    I kinda thought the much farther reaching ramifications of Ed’s statement were way more important than a GERS report which, lets face it, can turn on the head of a pin from year to year. GERS will reflect how well you’re doing coping with economic circumstance within a given year. Eds wee bombshell could possibly effect the political direction of the UK for certainly the next five and with knock on effects to the independence campaign, for decades to come.

    Maybe just me though. 😉

  71. Gillie says:

    Macart- it is not just you.

    Ed’s non-committal means he has just handed the 2015 election to the Tories.

    For Scotland this means Devo-Nothing, the end of the Barnett formula, a Westminster attack on Scottish public services, continued austerity well into the 2020s.

    It is Labour voters who will decide who wins the independence referendum. It is up to us to impress on them that their choice is no longer difficult, it has become simple. To save Scotland from the Tories and UKIP only a YES vote will do.

  72. chalks says:

    @M4rkyboy – No there are no costings for it, as we don’t know what we’ll get, nor we do know the value of the assets at that moment in time….depreciation for example.

    It was pointed out that we could for instance forego a share in something for a reduction in debt….

    However, I’d imagine that it is indeed option D as HandandShrimp says….both are continuing states, this is the most easiest way of transitioning everything like EU membership, NATO etc etc

    Trying to cost it is impossible just now!

  73. chalks says:

    As for Milliband, I think his position will change after the Euro elections.

  74. dmw42 says:

    I guess he’ll be having an in/out referendum then:

    The European Commission proposed a new Directive to make it easier for people to exercise their right to work in another Member State on 26 April 2013 (see IP/13/372). The European Parliament approved the proposal on 12 March 2014 (see STATEMENT/14/67). The proposal is due to be definitely adopted by the EU’s Council of Ministers in the coming weeks.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-187_en.htm

  75. HandandShrimp says:

    an_obersver (really?)

    I was just saying we should look back and see how big the GERS report has been in previous years…wouldn’t want the BBC being accused of bias to the Better Together cause now would we? The bottom line is that Scottish fiscal deficit is 8.3% of the UK fiscal deficit or identical to our proportion of population. A fall back from previous years but hardly the wheels off the wagon.

  76. Macart says:

    @Gillie

    Agreed. In fact I’d go farther than that. I’d try to impress upon them that if they want to have a Scottish Labour party concentrating on the issues which affect their daily lives, then there’s only one logical vote.

    Ed has sold them out for soundbites and marginal seats. God he couldn’t even name all the candidates for Labour’s own leadership election in Scotland. Plain fact is he couldn’t care less about the needs of our electorate.

    If they want a Scottish Labour, then vote YES. Ditch the current team and clean house. Lose those who have patently failed to represent their interests and get people in whose loyalty and aspirations start in their own back yard.

  77. galamcennalath says:

    Labour’s stance on the EU could, as some have suggested above, be a boost to the Tories. Increased prospects of a Tory Westminster win in 2015 has to be worth a few more percentage points swing to Yes!

  78. faolie says:

    So this is all good then? Ed commits electoral suicide in the crucial battleground shires as the Rev notes, and we’re (they’re) guaranteed a Tory victory in 2015.

    It’s all grist to the Radical Independence mill. The more it looks as though England will vote Tory in 2015, the more likely that we’ll get a Yes vote in traditional Labour-voting areas, while the SGE in 2016 will give a chance of a Labour government and consign the Tories to the sidelines almost in perpetuity.

  79. scottish_skier says:

    Ah GERS again. Yes campaign doomed. SNP out and Labour sweeping to victory! Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves…

    Let’s see. In SSAS surveys over the past 5 year period, the number of people believing Scotland would be economically better/worse etc:

    32(+/-3)% Better off
    24(+/-2)% No difference
    33(+/-3%) Worse off
    10(+/-2)% Dinnae Ken

    Margin of error / sampling variance = ~3%.

    Right, so that’s only 33% worried and that’s because they’re mainly British/Brit Scot people who don’t want and end to their country to end, i.e. Britain. It’s not necessarily what they really think at all.

    Meanwhile, 57% are not worried at all with 10% not knowing enough nor probably caring to do so.

    Ok, lets remove the dinnae ken’s as they’ll never ken nor ever vote.

    57/(57+33)*100 = 63.3%

    Look familiar that number? Have you seen it before? Pops up all over the place.

    GERS ‘poll effect’ prediction base on past effects = nada.

    P.S. any poll which has greater than 33(+/-3)% thinking Scotland would be economically worse off should be treated with suspicion. The SSAS is rock solid on those numbers in the long term. They don’t vary because they are strongly tied to national identity, not economics.

  80. scottish_skier says:

    And before anyone questions the rounding ‘error’, it’s 56.6/(32.5+56.6)*100 = 63.5%; a number which should be even more familiar given it hasn’t changed a great deal since 1997.

  81. Morag says:

    Oh I do hope you’re right….

  82. Misteralz says:

    He’s right.

  83. Misteralz says:

    Bloody ‘phone. Was reading a thread on the Shell internal message board regarding their statement the other day. The anger from the employees was palpable – some even wondering what Shell were going to say to voters in Crimea. Because at the end of the day, it was a political statement. Excluding non-Scottish reside

  84. Misteralz says:

    FFS! Scots’ comments – roughly 75% tending to yes.

  85. Eoan says:

    Note what Douglas Fraser says in his comments, where he tries to paint the Yes side as changing the argument:

    “The argument has changed to taking a five-year time-frame, which makes the figures look better, and saying the deficit is explained by higher investment by government and the oil industry.”

    Then look at last year’s BBC Report on the figures for 2011/2012 where they quote John Swinney:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-21684684

    “Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said Scotland was better off to the tune of £824 per person and, over the last five years, was in a stronger position relative to the UK as a whole by £12.6bn.”

    Argument seems to be the same to me ?

  86. Bill Walters says:

    “The more it looks as though England will vote Tory in 2015, the more likely that we’ll get a Yes vote in traditional Labour-voting areas, while the SGE in 2016 will give a chance of a Labour government and consign the Tories to the sidelines almost in perpetuity.”

    I’m not so sure this will have much effect on the referendum to be honest. Even if there’s a major swing away from UKIP toward the Tories in 2015 (and I think that underestimates the depth of feeling the UKIP crowd have at the moment) you won’t really see that in the polls in September. September is still 8 months off the next general election and most of the evidence on tactical voting suggests it doesn’t kick in until closer to the vote than that.

    It’s also worth saying that it has to swing a lot more than a few percentage points for the Tories to actually win the next general election. Electoral calculus still have it at a 7% chance of a Tory majority, while a Labour majority or Lib/Lab coalition has an 83% chance under their model. I’ll put my faith in the numbers and say there’s still very little chance of an EU referendum being passed in the next parliament.

  87. Arel says:

    If its a No vote, then I’m fairly certain that there’ll be a backlash against Labour from its traditional support in Scotland. The sight of Balls closing ranks with Osbourne and the ginger rodent has left a sour taste with many supporters (I’m one of them and have a large family who feel likewise. Consequently the usual obedient vote in Scotland will be lost or badly dented leading to a Tory win – probably in cahoots with Farage’s ragbag of loonies and the unhinged. That is one scary prospect, may we be spared from such a nightmare scenario.

  88. galamcennalath says:

    UKIP are against the EU and to a lesser extent against immigration. [As discussed above]

    When ‘normal’ politicians discuss immigration they mean economic migrants (work visas), students (study visas), asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. However I am certain, in the minds of many ordinary people another group are considered immigrants – EU citizens. These are not immigrants and they have a right to be here, such is the way with the EU.

    UKIP I assume have tuned into this popular categorisation of EU folks (Poles, etc) as immigrants. Here’s my point … UKIP want the UK out of the EU … should they succeed, then presumably a couple of million EU citizens would no long have any right to be here.

    Labour have made it (for now) unlikely that they will play a part in helping to get the UK out of the EU. So, those who think along the lines above ie EU Citizens = immigrants & out of EU = immigrants will leave, Labour is not going to get their vote.

    UKIP supporters see a connection between EU membership and EU citizens working here, I believe. Labour thinking, hasn’t made this connection.

    Therefore, Labour’s policy on the EU will loose them votes, which might make a Tory 2015 victory more likely. The more likely that is, the better for Yes in September!

    What a sad day when I believe the likelihood of a Tory victory in London is helpful! Makes me cringe a bit!

  89. Gary says:

    Saw Milliband speaking yesterday. IF any powers to be ceded to EU, THEN an in/out referendum. Not enough for the swivel-eyed loons. Tories have promised one, UKIP promised one. LibDems have the same policy as Labour but have no chance of retaining their share of the vote or any power in the Cabinet. Labour – Milliband is seen as weak by his own support and is as right wing as some of the Tories. May be either an outright Tory win, or a Tory/UKIP coalition. In the event of a YES vote, Labour will be quite happy to lose – they can snipe from the sidelines rather than take the blame. If UKIP are in a coalition, the Tories can blame them for any cock-ups in the negotiations. Course in the event of a YES vote all bets are off – how will the English public feel about it, will they care?



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