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Wings Over Scotland


Are you ready to be heartbroken?

Posted on April 23, 2013 by

An alert reader pointed us this morning to an Ipsos Mori poll from last week that seemed to escape most of the media’s attention. As well as mirroring numerous recent surveys showing Labour’s lead over the Conservatives collapsing, it asked a rather more specific question.

edmilibandconf3

Long-time readers may recall a piece this site wrote back in September 2012 about the “Kinnock Factor”, a well-documented phenomenon in British politics by which the electorate, when it comes to the crunch of a general election, invariably rejects parties whose leaders it doesn’t like – even if the party itself is well ahead in the polls.

And in that context, Ipsos had nothing but bad news for Ed Miliband.

In response to the question “Do you agree or disagree that Ed Miliband is ready to be Prime Minister?”, the Labour leader recorded a dismal 24% support (with only a third of that agreeing strongly), with a crushing 66% disagreeing (two-thirds strongly).

The full implications of those numbers don’t become apparent until you look back at the historical record of Ipsos asking the same question about various opposition leaders, which shows a remarkable 100% consistency. (Click image to enlarge.)

kinnock2

In the past 19 years, NOT ONCE has a party leader with a negative overall score on the “readiness” question won the keys to 10 Downing Street. Two years out from the 1997 election, Tony Blair already had a +20 rating. His three unsuccessful Tory challengers (William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard) never managed better than -13 at any point during their leaderships, and usually much lower.

Two years out from the 2010 election David Cameron was on a 0 score, which improved to a strongish +12 in the weeks before the vote, and he still couldn’t secure a majority. More than halfway through Cameron’s first term, Miliband is recording a desperate -42. Not since Iain Duncan Smith’s catastrophic -51 in 2003, just weeks before the Tories gave him the boot, has any opposition leader sunk lower.

Unless, that is, you count Miliband Minor’s own barrel-scraping -52 in 2011. In two years of leadership, Not-Red Ed has only achieved a 5% swing in faith among the British electorate, and with his party’s fortunes on the wane it seems somewhat optimistic to imagine that he might manage a further 22% swing between now and May 2015 (assuming the coalition lasts that long).

Even as Cameron and Osborne frantically drive nails into the UK’s economic coffin, even as the nation sheds triple-A credit ratings like cats moulting fur in summer, even as unemployment soars and we head for the third dip of the longest rollercoaster recession in history, the people of Britain still think Ed Miliband would do even worse. And while you can never discount events in politics (warning: link contains Quote Nazis), no would-be PM has ever pulled off such a turnaround in living memory.

For those of us currently resident south of the border, in the full glare of the Cameronian Ultra-Neo-Thatcherist State, these stats are bittersweet news at best. But they’re a vital reality check for anyone in Scotland who thinks it’s safe to vote No next year in the belief that Labour is about to ride to their rescue.

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98 to “Are you ready to be heartbroken?”

  1. Robin Ross says:

    Ed obviously needs a Scotland on Sunday poll to boost his ratings as a PM in waiting.

  2. I do wonder how the English voters will react to Scottish independence… Will they want to punish Cameron, or will they just shrug their shoulders and cast their votes based on the state of the economy, immigration, Europe etc.?

  3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Rev
    I think this is the article you saw prior to the 2011 election.”

    No, it was much longer than that and definitely in one of the grown-up papers.

  4. wee folding bike says:

    When I was at the Uni I stayed in Hillhead St where Lloyd Cole has stayed a few years before. We used to get his mail now and again.
     
    I wish they would re-release Easy Pieces. The band claim not to like it but I do.

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I do wonder how the English voters will react to Scottish independence… Will they want to punish Cameron, or will they just shrug their shoulders and cast their votes based on the state of the economy, immigration, Europe etc.?”

    I don’t think many people down here will care much either way, and the ones who do will mostly be happy, albeit probably for misguided reasons.

  6. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
     
    I have got the impression for a while that the general public in England are indifferent to the whole subject of Scottish independence.  Of course the MSM try and tell us the opposite, but it does not appear convincing.  You would have a much better idea living down there though.  

  7. Seasick Dave says:

    Rev
     
    You have probably answered before but will you be coming back to the Mother ship for the vote?

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I have got the impression for a while that the general public in England are indifferent to the whole subject of Scottish independence. Of course the MSM try and tell us the opposite, but it does not appear convincing. You would have a much better idea living down there though.”

    Trust me, they’re pretty damn indifferent. The most I ever get is mild curiosity and good wishes of the “I’m not sure it’d work, but if you reckon you can make a go of it then best of luck to you” type.

  9. scottish_skier says:

    My kind of article Rev.
    The Labour share has been starting to falter and this could be the start of a general decline linked to Ed and co not being seen as fit to run things.

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You have probably answered before but will you be coming back to the Mother ship for the vote?”

    Don’t know. All I can say is that in the event of a No vote I can’t ever see myself coming home, because I couldn’t bear to live in a country that cowardly.

  11. CameronB says:

    “I couldn’t bear to live in a country that cowardly”.
     
    Might not be my place to say this, but steady on there. Talk about a playground analysis of an extremely complex situation, especially for those not up-to-speed, or all ready convinced. Or should that be committed? 🙂

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Might not be my place to say this, but steady on there. Talk about a playground analysis of an extremely complex situation, especially for those not up-to-speed, or all ready convinced.”

    There’s a year and a half to go. Anyone still uninformed by then doesn’t WANT to be informed.

  13. CameronB says:

    Good point, but there is going to have to be a lot of leather put down by Yes supporters, getting the message out. The MSM might change their position re. balance, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Can you really see the BBC working against the British state? You might also be surprised as to how poorly informed and indoctrinated a base we are needing to convince.
     

  14. Aplinal says:

    @Cameron / Rev
     
    I am currently living/working in the Balkans. I have aspirations to return to an Independent Scotland at some point in the future with my wife (non-EU) and son (Scottish).  I hope to purchase a property in Edinburgh in the next two years (will miss the vote, unfortunately) and take a Scottish passport, and one for my family.  I suspect that a newly Independent Scotland will be rather more accommodating to our situation (married for ten years) than the existing UK government.  Believe me the hoops we have had to jump just to get a visitors visa is a disgrace. 
    But I have to say this, despite the MSM, if in the next 18 months Scottish voters can not see the paupacy of the pro-dependency claque I am not sure we deserve Independence, and I for one will not come home. If the Scots voters decline to accept their nationhood, I will remain where I am.  A sadder man.  

  15. Juteman says:

    If we vote NO, then i’m out of here.
    My fellow Scots WILL have been proved cowards.
    What normal country want’s to be governed by another country?

  16. muttley79 says:

    @Cameron B
     
    Very good points.  Never underestimate the establishment’s determination to hold on to Scotland by underplaying the benefits of independence to as many of the electorate in Scotland as possible.  You only need to cite the McCrone Report.  BBC Scotland are as involved in this as any other group/interest.  There is a lot of subliminal things they are doing, and will do, to keep Scotland from becoming an independent nation. 

  17. Cath says:

    “I have got the impression for a while that the general public in England are indifferent to the whole subject of Scottish independence.”
     
    Totally anecdotal, I realise. But I’ve had an interesting situation for a while. On Facebook about half my friends are Scottish and half English (removing folk I’ve met through the SNP). When I share things about Scottish indy, the Scottish ones are generally totally silent, no response, no nothing. It’s like no one wants to comment at all. Whereas some of my friends down south, while initially much more hostile, are also more interested in the debate, and more likely to comment on or share things.
     
    Then yesterday, I discovered a new left wing Scottish magazine/blog which links to here, Bella, Newsnet etc and is pro independence. I’d never seen it, and discovered it through one of my English friends liking it. I have a feeling the left in England are very well aware radical change is needed, and may be coming to the same conclusion some of us up here have – that Scottish independence is a big part of kicking that off.

  18. Cath says:

    Bizarrely, thinking about some of my Labour/unionist friends, it would be the emergence of a radical left in England that supports independence that might well be what would turn them. Many are still just slavishly following Labour. I have a sense that is changing in England too, and Scotland is quite possibly helping that along. It would be good if the process of independence actually created a new kind of solidarity, but one no longer defined by those at Westminster who seek to divide and rule, and rule for the rich.

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Then yesterday, I discovered a new left wing Scottish magazine/blog which links to here, Bella, Newsnet etc and is pro independence.”

    Maybe share its name?

    🙂

  20. Doug Daniel says:

    I’ve said ever since he was elected leader that Ed Miliband will never be Prime Minister. It baffles me that anyone would think otherwise. 
     
    The only way Cameron is getting kicked out of Downing Street in 2015 is if Boris topples him. I can’t even think of anyone who could win it for Labour if they do decide to dump him. I used to think Yvette Cooper could, but I’ve gone off that idea.
     
    Anyone who votes No in 2014 thinking Labour will come to the rescue in 2015 is a blind fool. 

  21. Vronsky says:

    I’m uncomfortable with the idea that a vote for independence is likely if there is a prospect of a Tory government in 2015, but less so if Labour might win.  I don’t understand why some Tories are better than others.

  22. Cath says:

    “Maybe share its name?”
     
    Oh yeah, sorry. Did mean to share that, rather than be clandestine about it!
    http://www.thepointhowever.org/

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m uncomfortable with the idea that a vote for independence is likely if there is a prospect of a Tory government in 2015, but less so if Labour might win. I don’t understand why some Tories are better than others.”

    I don’t care. I’ll take every Yes vote going, whatever the reasons for it.

  24. HighlandMartin says:

    I think a resolution to Not red Ed’s poor pollitis might be to change to the new shampoo, ‘Ed ‘n’ Boulders’, Johann Lamont has been using since Monday.  She has put on another 12% , up to 64% in The Scotsman poll. That makes a rise of total share rise of 51% in 24 hours. 

  25. CameronB says:

    @ Rev/Aplinal/Juteman
     
    Trust me, I can appreciate where you are coming from (not yet Liz), but I know how my folks would vote if my brother and myself were not around. Possibly I’m just expressing a nagging worry. Anyway, should we not ground ourselves, after such a remarkable week or so? There is still an awful lot of work that needs to be done.
    (Better Together/Taylor and DonaterGate, apparent fractures in SLabour, mounting pressure on Johann’s leadership, sliding UK polls for Labour)

  26. Cath says:

    Apparently used to be the Democratic Green Socialist. Some info about them and why they support Scottish indy here.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/DGS.network/info

  27. muttley79 says:

    @Juteman
     

    If we vote NO, then i’m out of here.
    My fellow Scots WILL have been proved cowards.
    What normal country want’s to be governed by another country?
     
    The last sentence is I am afraid the result of the conditioning of the people of Scotland by powerful groups, both in Scotland, and at Westminster, over a long period of time.  These people and groups constantly belittle the nation’s capacity to govern itself as well as any other nation.  They also have promoted the “Scottish Cringe”, which seeks to undermine Scottish self-confidence.  They belittle aspects of Scotland’s history (particular the Wars of independence, as the “Braveheart” effect), and the idea of Scotland having her own distinct culture. 
     
    I believe that the conditioning effect, and whether independence supporters are able to overcome it or not, is vital to the result of the referendum result (I think it is as important as the economic argument).  We will only know when the result is announced.  Make no mistake, this conditioning has not come about by accident.  It has been promoted by people who knew/know what they are doing.  If the Yes campaign is able, over the next 18 months, to make the electorate reject the fears, directly associated with political conditioning, propagated by those who oppose independence, then we will be well on the road to victory.   

     

  28. macdoc says:

    Part of me believes if Scotland votes no to independence. Then there should be a complete scrapping of our sports teams, no national sporting representation whatsoever. Complete integration of our laws, health service , police forces etc. Scotland shall become a region of Britain and the debate should no longer be on independence but whether Scotland wants to maintain a devolved parliament. After all the people are rejecting the very notion that Scotland is a country if they vote no.
    I’m fed up with the number of people who genuinely think that Scotland is a wee shit hole, economic basket case and anyone wanting independence has eaten too much shortbread and watched too much Braveheart. too stupid to realise the implications of such a decision. There’s nothing worse when extreme arrogance is combined with both stupidity and ignorance. 
    If the people of Scotland are too lazy to find out the facts then we don’t deserve to be anything other than a residual afterthought of the Westminster government. 
    Then again the other part of me wants to stand up, fight even harder and eventually the truth will prevail. 

  29. CameronB says:

    Vote No = Make Scotland history.
    Vote Yes = Make Scottish history.
     
    It’s as simple as that. 🙂

  30. Caroline Corfield says:

    I an in the process of having a fb conversation with one convinced No voter “British and proud”  and one allegedly “not voting for Salmond” no voter who have both had the audacity to claim – why vote Yes when you have the best of both worlds? When you’re living down here in England where they don’t actually have a devolved parliament but have to use Westminster, with those two occasions including the student fees vote under Tony Blair’s government when Labour MPS pushed through the vote, then you can see why one could come to the conclusion that if a majority vote No in Scotland they are cowardly and that they do think they are getting the best of both worlds, they want the SNP to protect them in Holyrood and the Westminster government to protect them from real socialist changes. I did tell them things will not remain the same after a No vote, but I don’t think they really believe it will change, or care if it does. There are a sizeable number of conservatives, many of the Thatcher variety and it’s foolish to think they and Loyalists and Orange order types will ever change their minds no matter what evidence is presented to them. I admit to being under the influence of a Bottle of Muscadet here, but if the people who care about Scotland’s future are outvoted by such as these then that voting majority must at least stand accused of psychological cowardice even while the sizeable minority will stand shoulders back and mountain high having fought the good fight. I hope that wouldn’t be the end of it, and I’m sure it won’t but more people need shaken out of this belief that there is any benefit in Westminster for Scotland, and that unfortunately is going to sound like a lot of negative campaigning. 

  31. muttley79 says:

    @macdoc
     
    I’m fed up with the number of people who genuinely think that Scotland is a wee shit hole, economic basket case and anyone wanting independence has eaten too much shortbread and watched too much Braveheart. too stupid to realise the implications of such a decision. There’s nothing worse when extreme arrogance is combined with both stupidity and ignorance.
     
    How many of those people you mention above genuinely believe those things?  How many just parrot what they have been told over the years, maybe even decades? 
     
    @Rev Stu
     
    I don’t care. I’ll take every Yes vote going, whatever the reasons for it.
     
    Agreed!!  It makes no difference whether you have supported independence for 50 years, 50 minutes, or 50 seconds (basically if you decide on the day, or even in the ballot station!), a Yes written on the ballot paper is the same.  Also, we are simply never going to understand properly all the reasons for people voting Yes on the day (there is no scientific way to measure it).  As long as we get over 50.1% voting Yes next September. 

  32. pro-loco says:

    O/T but this article
    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-can-scotland-avoid-paying-uk-debt/13362?
     
    completely contradicts the successor state position as I understood it i.e. the successor state inherits all debt. Looks convincing – can anybody refute? 

  33. thejourneyman says:

    @muttley79
    Watching the BBC Scotland report tonight was quite gut wrenching. Having digested most of the information which has come out in the last couple of days the BBC were still able to perpetuate the fear message more than anything else in the way they structured several pieces on the subject. So the conditioning you refer to is very much alive and kicking.
    In the last week we thought there were signs that the BBC had found some balance with the Scottish Labour leaders’ train wreck interviews, but then David Miller gets relegated and the hapless Andrew Kerr starts springing up everywhere to no effect. Tonight, BT, Brian Taylor that is, has the gall to actually suggest viewers are depending on the beeb for balanced information – what next!
    We need numbers out on the street for the next March to demand more balanced reporting and I am sure we’ll get them but we need plenty of support.

  34. muttley79 says:

    @Caroline
     
     
    I hope that wouldn’t be the end of it, and I’m sure it won’t but more people need shaken out of this belief that there is any benefit in Westminster for Scotland, and that unfortunately is going to sound like a lot of negative campaigning.
     
    This definitely needs to be done.  However, has the Yes campaign painted themselves into a corner (by saying all the positive campaigning stuff)?
     

  35. Marcia says:

    Something to give a bit of balance:
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22266479

  36. AHamilton says:

    Scotland is going to vote YES, the positive vision for the future will win out, as it did in 2011 and as it does in most elections. Mitt Romney is not US President.  In 1945 a land fit for heroes beat blood sweat and tears.  Etc etc etc 

  37. Juteman says:

    Being a country is a positive thing to aspire to.
    When the elected government can be voted out because they are not doing what the electorate wanted them to do is normal.
    How can anyone not want that?

  38. CameronB says:

    As soon as the White Paper is published, I’m hoping for Yes and the SNP to reach the center of the ring, whilst BT are still scratching their arches in their corner. This is how many of the most historic battles were won, by the eventual victor controlling the advantageous ground.
     
     
     

  39. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Muttley79 @ Journeyman –
     
    Re: ‘conditioning’.
     
    Osborne’s language in Glasgow was extraordinary. 
     
    We know how much time and attention goes into these set-pieces, especially to business gatherings. 
     
    In the audio of his speech as broadcast by Newsdrive, the sentences were short, the first word emphasised in each, and there’s no way the choice was accidental: ‘submit’, ‘accept’, ‘constraints’ etc etc.
     
    Was he addressing those business leaders, or us?
     
    Someone should get those words together and make a catchy tune a la Nick Clegg ‘Sorry’ song to show a broader audience just how patronising these characters are.

  40. AHamilton says:

    Scotland is going to vote YES in 2014. The positive vision for the future will win out as it did in 2011, as it usually does.  Mitt Romney is not US President. In 1945 a land fit for heroes beat blood sweat and tears. Etc etc etc

  41. fordie says:

    @Caroline Corfield
    Well said. There does appear to be a perception of “best of both worlds” ie Scots Parliament will protect us from Westminster.  As seen recently in the Bedroom Tax stushie. In itself a refusal to take responsibility and of course encouraged by the Unionist parties. Their purpose – to nurture the culture of dependency and to neuter our Parliament in an attempt to force them to act reactively – rather than to spend our ‘pocket money’ on our priorities.  I ask ‘If we are Better Together why do you need protection when the decisions can be made at home?’ 

  42. thejourneyman says:

    @pro-loco
    The fact is there are few if any precedents for a country like Scotland to claim it’s sovereign right to independence. So all these “experts” are selectively speculating and when it comes down to it there’s nothing quite like having to deal with what happens, than doing it after a Yes vote. Some of the stuff involved is self evident and akin to natural law and then there will be the stuff that makes common sense and most of the stuff that’s left will be the minutiae.
    What’s happening now is political posturing and while YES Scotland is trying to continue with a positive campaign to get a positive message out there, BT has yet to make one single genuine positive reason why Scotland is better in the Union. They are content to scare us with speculation about how bad it will be. I believe it really is that simple but the MSM seem content to promote the scare stories more but don’t ask me why!

  43. Dcanmore says:

    I’ll re-iterate some of what the Rev has said. As a resident of London for the past five years, my experience is that most English (South) are apathetic about Scottish Independence, some really don’t care as Scotland doesn’t affect their daily lives or exists in their minds because of the SE Bubble. Some are curious and will ask questions, but I haven’t came across anger. I think they feel powerless but that is with politics in general. There has been the odd negative remark such as the accustomed ‘FRRREEDOMM’ with the cod Highland accent, but that is only because they pick up that negativity in the MSM (BBC, Mail, Telegraph, Express, Guardian). However, people I know from the North of England are taking it seriously and are a bit frightened of being left with a perpetual Tory government. They will feel a sense of loss if Scotland goes. Most foreign friends want to know why??, they are the most curious, even the Afghan family that run my local corner shop. After a conversation or two they become more clearer on the subject and understand better. I have to say though, when I was out and about in my kilt during Christmas/New Year the effect was overwhelmingly positive from English and foreign.
     
    If Scotland votes NO then I would feel terrible for my country, a real sadness of a lost cause, because we would then prove to the world we are not actually a country but a mere region populated by fearties and chronic underachievers. I’m not sure if I could move back after a NO vote knowing that for the first time in history a people was offered their independence and they refused. Other countries have had their peoples slaughtered and their rivers flowed red in gaining independence, we merely have to cast an ‘X’ and it’s done. To turn that chance down would be crushing and the world would be looking at us bottling at the very notion of being a proper country while other smaller poorer nations take their seat at the UN.
     
    VOTE YES 2014!
     

  44. muttley79 says:

    @AHamilton
     
    Remember that they were elections though, we have to win a referendum.  We have to get more than 50%.
     
    @Ianbrotherhood
     
    In the audio of his speech as broadcast by Newsdrive, the sentences were short, the first word emphasised in each, and there’s no way the choice was accidental: ‘submit’, ‘accept’, ‘constraints’ etc etc.
     
    Which begs the question of Unionists, are we not under much more constraint existing on a block grant from another parliament?
     
     
     

  45. scotrock says:

    Thanks for the link Marcia – it was good to watch
    Cameron B
    Like your quote:-
    Vote No = Make Scotland history.
    Vote Yes = Make Scottish history
     

  46. LeeMacD says:

    The CBI (Scotland branch) have certainly been busy recruiting. In fact, I’m surprised that there is any unemployment in Scotland.
     
    According to the New York Times “Iain McMillan, director of the Confederation of British Industry, Scotland, which says it represents 26,000 businesses…”
     
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/business/global/scottish-independence-would-mean-loss-of-pound-osborne-warns.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
     
    It’s odd that the currency story has been talked about so much but no one has considered the question, what if both sides are bluffing?
     
     
     
     
     

  47. Juteman says:

    I’ve watched the news, but was Gideon actually in Scotland today?

  48. CameronB says:

    If it’s No in 2014, what about all of us, ALL OF US, changing our names to Cassandra? That wold put a spanner in the works, or would that be undemocratic? <irony>

    scotrock, its not mine, I’m just recycling and re-using it, though it is from a regular here. 🙂

  49. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @thejourneyman (7.28)-.
     
    ‘In the last week we thought there were signs that the BBC had found some balance with the Scottish Labour leaders’ train wreck interviews, but then David Miller gets relegated and the hapless Andrew Kerr starts springing up everywhere to no effect.’
     
    Has Millar been relegated? Wasn’t he doing GMS this morning?

  50. fordie says:

    @thejourneyman
    I went to the latest in the University of Dundee ‘five million questions’ debates week before last where the topic was media coverage of the independence referendum, including the charge of bias. Brian Taylor was one of the panel and appeared to be surprised and offended when challenged about BBC Scotland bias. Which happened more than once. He stated definitively that there was no bias and that he would ensure there would be none. Bemusing. 

  51. thejourneyman says:

    @ianbrotherhood
    Before I really got into the referendum campaign I had become persuaded about many misconceptions around main stream issues, which in a previous life I would have been more inclined to dismiss as conspiracy rubbish.
    However, as I have tried to become subjectively immersed in looking for information from a variety of independent sources, nothing has surprised me more than the blatant disregard for a balanced level of reporting in the MSM. (Sounds naive I know but it really is Orwellian. BTW thanks for the tip on The Iron Heel got it on the kindle fro nowt!)
    I have now reached a point where I am genuinely perplexed by the very amateurish level of reporting coming out of BBC Scotland and the disservice it provides for the license we have to pay. Most people have it on and subliminally take in whatever they want to feed us!

  52. a supporter says:

    To all you Fainthearts. Remember that the road to Independence is a process. If the truth be  told the Referendum has come 10 years too early. I don’t think that Alex S expected the overall majority he achieved in 2011. But having done so he was more or less forced to have a Referendum on Independence in this Parliament. Just remember that the SNP has only been in power since 2007 and only in full power since 2011. So who can blame Scots for being a bit dubious about taking what is a HUGE step to Independence with an administration that only has a couple of years under its belt no matter how good it appears to be managing at present.
    I believe it will be very difficult for the SNP to win a YES vote in the Referendum. I hope I am wrong. But in the meantime I think that in the event of a NO vote the SNP is already looking to make major gains in the Westminster elections in 2015. And frankly it will have to do that to keep its credibility and to try to ensure that all the ‘jam tomorrow’ promises are at the least debated and that Scottish affairs don’t disappear. If the SNP can make big inroads into the Labour constituency and gain maybe 20 MPs then its game on again for Independence. The SNP could even find itself in a coalition of some sort.

  53. Braco says:

    I am currently living in Portugal at the moment but saving my pennies to return home and spend the next year campaigning full time for YES. This means complete up heval of my life,separation (not independence) from my long term girlfriend, career break, etc. etc…
    I am coming home to fight because I believe in it’s absolute importance. If, god forbid, the result is NO then I am staying home to fight (as that importance will have instantly doubled!).

    ‘Don’t know. All I can say is that in the event of a No vote I can’t ever see myself coming home, because I couldn’t bear to live in a country that cowardly.’

    ‘If we vote NO, then i’m out of here.
    My fellow Scots WILL have been proved cowards.
    What normal country want’s to be governed by another country?’

    This seems to be exactly the reason that Scots have been encouraged in so many different ways to get the fuck out of their own country. Then kill any residual solidarity by simply encouraging the view that (by their very remaining) it’s remaining population are therefor deserving of whatever shit they get dished up in this sad excuse for a democracy.

    Well done there every one, you seem to be hell bent on encouraging the very forces we are supposed to be fighting!

  54. thejourneyman says:

    @ianbrotherhood
    Yeah DM is still on GMS but they gave the Flipper /Hosie interview to Hayley M on Monday and Darling got to rant without a decent challenge. It was so bad you could hear Hosie’s exasperation in the background, while Darling broke records for ranting without taking a breath!  

  55. Braco says:

    Sorry Rev for the lack of formatting in my last post. Got so angry I posted without thinking and then had no chance to fix it.
    I am calm again. (sigh)

  56. Robin Ross says:

    For all those who are tempted to abandon Scotland if there is a NO vote, please, please take a couple of deep breaths.  If Labour gave us devolution, it was only to kill of national aspirations – but in that it failed spectacularly. I got the impression from an Ian McWhirter piece some time ago, that he considers independence to be a given – if not now, certainly within a forseeable future. I have lived through 20% of the life span of the Union and I would love to see independence in 2013, and that is what I am working towards, even though I have my moments of deep pessimism about the voting intentions of my fellow citizens.  
    We need to remember that devolution is a road that leads to self determination and all the obstacles that Osborne, Darling et al try to fling in the way do not change that. In the event of a No vote any attempt by a Westminster government to reverse devolution will only create a backlash and bolster support for independence.  It is clear that the majority in Scotland want more powers for our Parliament, and we now see the Unionist parties scrambling around to catch up.  Once people recognise that wanting just a wee bit more power is as illogical as wanting to be just a wee bit pregnant we should see a significant swing towards a YES. 

  57. CameronB says:

    Braco
    Hope your return goes as smoothly as possible for you.
     
    Funny, I would fancy retiring or bolting to Portugal myself. Good climate and all that, but I want to see what the E.C.B. and the E.S.M. does to them first though.

  58. Juteman says:

    Point taken Braco.
    I probably wouldn’t leave, but you know whay i mean!

  59. muttley79 says:

    @a supporter
     
    It is not really up to the SNP to win the referendum though.  The Yes campaign are the ones who have to win the referendum, as that is what independence voters will be writing on the ballot paper.  It is a Unionist tactic to say that the SNP has to win the referendum.  The Yes campaign includes the SSP, the Scottish Greens, Labour for Indy etc.  Do you see the irony in calling people “Fainthearts” and then saying there will probably be a No vote?  You also clearly think independence is a “HUGE” step in your own words…In addition, is it not now surely obvious to you after the weekend’s events that devolution has reached its limits? 

  60. DMW42 says:

    O/T but, YES Clackmannanshire has an open meeting tomorrow night. Cochrane Hall, Alva from 7:30 pm.
     
    Speakers include Dennis Canavan, Keith Brown, Carolyn Leckie, Zara Kitson and Prof. Douglas Robertson.
     
    If you can make it, come along.

  61. Marcia says:

    Some of us know how things are going locally as we have been working at it since the summer of last year.  The voters are now starting to listen and ask questions.  That is a good reason for you all to cheer up.
     
    If you can spend some time helping with the Yes campaign even for a hour or so – every little bit helps.

  62. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “This seems to be exactly the reason that Scots have been encouraged in so many different ways to get the fuck out of their own country. Then kill any residual solidarity by simply encouraging the view that (by their very remaining) it’s remaining population are therefor deserving of whatever shit they get dished up in this sad excuse for a democracy.”

    That doesn’t bear any resemblance to anything I said.

  63. Aplinal says:

    @Branco
     
    Fair comment.  I am not in a position to do as you are planning, but I give you every applause for doing so.  Good luck 
     
    I suppose the manner of the vote will go a long way to influencing me.  If the vote is a close NO, then the ball is still in play.  But, heaven forbid, the NO vote was significant (60%+), then I would genuinely despair for my country, and would seriously wonder whether Scotland deserves Independence.  In my heart of course it will always be so, but if our “own” reject it, why should we expect the Westminster power elite to enable us to try again later?
     
    A big NO would be (rightly) regarded as a statement that Scots do not, and will never want, to run their own affairs.  Why then allow the “Parish council” to continue?  Why allow the different legal, education, and health systems?  Why even give faint succour to those who desire a more balanced and equitable society?  It would be that the Scots really are no different (socially, politically, culturally) to the rUK.
     
    I don’t believe this will happen, but it is my worst nightmare.

  64. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    It’s a strange and lovely country but it will be lucky to come out of it’s current political predicament with any real degree of sovereignty. I feel like I am in a timewarp most of the time. With Scotland just leaving a long unhappy dream of Union and Portugal just starting to toss and turn as her nightmare of political impotency and cultural denigration just begins.
     
    My excitement and hopes for Scotland and our collective future are always tempered by the sadness and fears for Portugal and the forces that are currently queing up to dismantle, undermine and split it’s people and cultures. The prime minister very recently gave a speech exhorting his young people to leave and make futures for themselves in more economically welcoming parts of Europe! Sound familiar ? Politicians, bastards the lot of them !
    Juteman,
    I know min. It’s just so counter productive to write these things down and publish.
    A Supporter,
    Make no mistake, we are going to win this. We have the truth of the benefits independence will bring. We have the Scots cultural identity and we have the fact that Scots have never voted against more powers for Scotland in any vote or referendum. Scots have never been asked ‘the big one’ before for that very reason. Well we are about to be in 2014 so hold on to you sporran!

  65. DMW42 says:

    Apologies folks, the Alva meeting is Thursday 25th.
     
    Feck, I thought this was Wednesday! I’m so confused that I could be leader of Labour in Scotland, mind the hand signals, numptie coming through.

  66. Elizabeth says:

    Well I’m no gonnae to let buggers like that greedy self-servin eejit Darling an’  the jumped-up wee tory gnaff Ozzie get tae me. They’ve come oot like a rash this week and it has tae be because somethin’s gave them a right fright. A private poll mibbe?
     
     

  67. Marcia says:

    One humourous comment heard during canvassing this week. A voter said that the Chair of the Co-Op party doesn’t want her Union Dividend. 🙂

  68. Derick says:

     
    To those here that are saying if it is a ‘no’ in 2014 that is the end of it I say: ABSOLUTELY NOT. It’s taken us 70 years to get this far, and the nearer the summit the steeper the gradient.  Those of us who seek Scottish self-determination are an existential threat to the British State, and they will throw everything they have at us, up to and including physical violence.  Neverthless – where is your Roman Empire nou, or Hapsburg, or spain? Gone to stour that’s where.  Every year the UK State grows weaker, and every year we grow stronger
    Shetland metaphor: Da waves comes an goes on da beach – but da Tide is aye comin in.  Win or lose in 2014, Scotland will be independent within the next 10 years.
     
     

  69. scottish_skier says:

    They’ve come oot like a rash this week and it has tae be because somethin’s gave them a right fright. A private poll mibbe?

    Quite possibly. MORI been polling recently but nothing yet from them.

  70. CameronB says:

    Marcia 🙂

  71. fordie says:

    Most people are cautious by nature – a minority are risk takers. Would be interesting to quantify how many committed nationalists would be designated as ‘risk takers’. Also, many Scots are conservative (with a small c). So whilst it might not appear to be a huge step to us, it is to many. I’m often tempted to say grow a pair and I’m quitting the country (though I committed to not doing so many years ago). Patiently explain, again and again, the pros and the fact that the current set-up is not natural and try not to lose the plot. People often just need reassurance and a point in the direction of the facts.

  72. Braco says:

    Rev Stu,
    No it doesn’t.

    As I say I was (and am) angry. Self determination and Independence are not things that are deserving of Nations or Peoples. Certain nations are cowards and so don’t deserve independence, or brave and so do. This seems like language that internalizes Imperialism and it’s aims.
     
    Your choice of words simply set me off on one.

  73. G H Graham says:

    Great Britain needs the money from Scotland. And those working for the British establishment (Flipper Darling etc) need the money.
     
    The desire to hold onto Scotland is simple; money.
     
    No wonder then that anyone currently benefitting from the status quo will rubbish the idea of Scots and their country as becoming an independent state/nation.
     
    The motive for all the negative conditioning of Scots by Unionist supporting Scots as well as Unionist supporting English can be boiled down, reduced, focused into one singular issue; financial self preservation.

    There’s no mystery, no complexity of reasoning, it’s really all about Flipper & Lamont & anyone else who benefits from the status quo, desperately trying to cling on the the privelage & wealth the current unionist arrangement provides for them. And a very nice one it is.
     
    Expose that motive and show it for what it is & there may be a few more convinced that the argument for remaining a part of the UK of GB & NI is nothing more than selfish, greedy, survival for those with an open ended season ticket on the gravy train.  

  74. sneddon says:

    I’m with Derick on this one.  Change is inevitable. My gut feeling is is the voters is ahead of the media and the geeks in this one (much like SGE 2011) but playing cards close to chest as there is still a while to go.  But don’t underestimate yer fellow voter, folk aren’t stupid and they know what ‘No’ might mean.  And always positivity wins in the end.

  75. Braco says:

    Sneddon,
    I do think you are right.

  76. pmcrek says:

    The largest shame of the union is millions of Scots have left to find Democracy elsewhere when it was lacking at home, I’m sure most would seriously consider leaving if the vote is no, Catalonia is probably nice this time of year and any other time of year and they have a shot at it also.

  77. John H says:

    I got so depressed reading some of the comments here that I went off to watch River City to cheer myself up. Some of you seem to have forgotten that we were not supposed to get devolution. We were not supposed to get an SNP government at Holyrood. We were not supposed to get an SNP majority. All of these things have been achieved.
    As someone said earlier, it’s just a matter of placing a cross on a piece of paper now. Getting there won’t be easy, and our nerves will be strained from time to time, but look at the state of the opposition. They are in disarray, resorting to lying, then even repeating their lies because they don’t know what else to do. We are winning.
     
     

  78. David Smith says:

    Regarding hostility to independence in England. I’ve experienced more negativity here in Carlisle, but there is sizeable anti-Scottish element is this area in any case. This is after all the city that has a clock tower with clocks on only three faces. The north face is blank as they didn’t wasn’t Scots to see the time.
    About 20 miles from here is the village of Aspatria where about six years ago, a junior pipe band was attacked with missiles marching through the town to a fair.
    They’re far from all like that but hostility in word at least is surprisingly common here.

  79. BuckieBraes says:

    I would like to get hold of all the tartan unionists – and there are plenty of them – who come over all Scottish at the slightest provocation, and put on kilts to weddings and belt out ‘Flower of Scotland’ at Murrayfield, but who recoil at the suggestion of voting Yes.

    I want to remind them that if they seek to adopt the symbols of national identity the least they can do is have the decency of going all the way for independence, to make a normal nation out of the country whose emblems seem to mean so much to them.

    Otherwise, I want to tell them, they can forget it. They can put their kilts away, because if a No vote is returned they will have just helped confirm to the UK State that Scotland is nothing more than North Britain after all. Dressing like something off a shortbread tin and singing a non-anthem will then carry no more significance than morris dancing, and probably less.

  80. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @John H-
     
    Hear hear to that.
     
    I’ve noticed before that, if any of the so-called big beasts in Westminster start giving forth on anything Scotland-related, there is an almost instantaneous cowering by some. It’s about as Pavlovian as it gets – His Master’s Voice booms via MSM and the naughty cur gets the tail down, slinks away, perhaps growling through fear, but off to hide all the same.
     
    I’m not saying anyone here is reacting like that, but I suspect we all know folk who do. They have to be assured, and reminded, time and again, as often as it takes, that this is the 21st Century – people like Osborne, Cameron etc have fallen through a wormhole connected with 18th-C coffee houses, and the likes of Darling, Ian Davidson etc are nothing more than Dick Whittington characters who found that the City IS paved with gold.
     
    On St George’s Day, his bold namesake, The Osborne, rides north to scold the natives, remind them who’s boss?
     
    Nah. Doesn’t work like that any more.
     
    FTWFLOT, and their horses.
     
    PS Here’s a very rare image of Ian Davidson, when he still had something to aspire to…and some hair.
     
    http://lowres-picturecabinet.com.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/65/main/1/213275.jpg
     
     
     
     

  81. handclapping says:

    50 years ago when you could tell where you were in Scotland by the smell all we had had was an MP for 3 months in the fag end of the war. Saving a deposit was a victory, every second house was leafleted in the hope that it might be passed on and so save money. We buckeld down and went canvassing and hoped we didnt get spat at.
     
    Now we have devolution, we have a referendum and you’re depressed. Why? All you have to do is to do what we did then and what we old timers are doing now and get out and talk to people and listen to them. They’ll persuade themselves. 

  82. Patrick Roden says:

    Blooming hell people, everyone calm doon, lol.
    This is a war of ideas, and in every war their are times when the soldiers get scared and moral can be low.
    The army that wins is the one in which the soldiers hold the line and encourage their own heart in times of despair.
     
    Anyone can leave Scotland for a variety of reasons, but the idea that any of us could walk away from Scotland in our hearts is plain silly.
    We are all Jock Tamsons bairns and we always will be, we can’t ever be anything else, so calm down encourage our hearts and hold the line.
    We are winning. !

  83. Braco says:

    BuckieBraes,
    Oh that’s right, just you put the future of our Country and it’s trappings of Nationhood in the sole hands of those who have proven over and over again to wish to use them only to control and profit make.
     
    Well done you and every one else on this thread that somehow think it’s their toy to throw out the pram if for any reason, national, international, world etc.. that sees a NO returned in 2014. 
     

  84. Breeks says:

    There’s a long way to go yet, and even a Commonwealth Games to squeeze in. Keep a sense of perspective too. The Unionist myths are not finding any serious purchase, and they’re running out of scare stories. When was the last time you heard about Better Together recruiting new No voters? A few months ago, Ian Davidson was accusing the BBC of anti Union bias, but the truth is still getting out there; even the Japan Times has featured the pro union bias of our media. Ask yourselves, what would it take for the BBC to persuade you of anything now you are skeptical of their every word?
    Ask yourself who is feeling pressure? Do you think George Osborne will still be chancellor in September 2014? Do you think Johann Lamont will still be Scottish Labour Leader? Do you even think Alistair Darling will still be in charge of Better Together?
    This is Scotland’s independence we’re talking about, and the momentum for change can only change one way. But I’ll tell you one thing, win, lose or draw, I’m glad and I’m proud that I’m voting YES. It’s not to have a Scottish pound note or nuclear subs out the Clyde, our place in or out of NATO or even having an oil fund. I’m voting YES to have a country and compatriots who decide our own destiny and put the welfare of our own people first. It’s really not that complicated.

  85. Linda's back says:

    thejourneymansays @ 7.28
    We need numbers out on the street for the next March to demand more balanced reporting and I am sure we’ll get them but we need plenty of support.
    Au contraire we need numbers on the streets to-morrow knocking on doors promoting a positive YES message and answering the genuine fears many people have .

  86. DJ says:

    David Smith,
     
    Funny that. The Town Clock in Chester only has 3 faces; the one to the west being blank to avoid telling the Welsh the time. Nice neighbours.

  87. Linda's back says:

    LeeMacD at 7.59
    ON CBI Scotland although figures are two years old Ian McMillan doesn’t speak for 26.000 businesses more like 100.
    Well the figure a couple of years ago was 90.
     
    Of that 90, though, 3 are universities, 1 is the commercial arm of a university, 9 are quangoes or publically owned companies (TIE and SECC are the companies), 8 are trade bodies, 1 is a BID district, 6 are branches or subsidiaries of other companies, and only 62 are Scottish companies.  62 out of the 148,760 Scottish companies – 0.04%. 

  88. Marker Post says:

    Yup, it’s not looking so good for Ed. Labour down to 35% while Ukip surge continues – Opinium/Observer poll:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/20/labour-ukip-poll

  89. douglas clark says:

    Linda,
     
    So, how does he claim to speak for 26.000 businesses? On the basis of the evidence you have provided he speaks for no more than, perhaps 100 odd organisations.
     
    What is going on here?

  90. Adrian B says:

    @ Marker Post
     
    Yup, it’s not looking so good for Ed. Labour down to 35% while Ukip surge continues – Opinium/Observer poll
     
    The Labourvote is the one that is switching to Ukip as opposition to the Tories. Labour will have trouble getting those people back. Voters looking for something different to to the usual Labour / Tory choice. 
     
    Local elections happening on 2nd May will be interesting to see how these play out for all parties. The important results will be the change in votes where seats have been retained as well as which ones change.

  91. deewal says:

    Channel 4 did a good job on Osbourne tonight. The reporter asked him why the Scots should take advice from a man who had lost the backing of the IMF and was taking the country to a triple dip recession and also suggested that he should reconsider his own policies.
    First class interview from a good journalist.
    http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/

  92. Morag says:

    So.  They asked two passers-by whether they thought they (or Scotland) would be richer or poorer with independence, and they both said poorer.  One guy said he didn’t think Scotland has what it takes to make it in the long term.

    This sort of attitude is widespread, and it’s mince.  When are Yes Scotland going to get round to countering it?  I don’t want my future prosperity and get-out-of-jail-free card thrown away by people who have bought into these lies.

  93. douglas clark says:

    Morag,
     
    If I recall correctly, the two interviewees were standing on a bridge that leads directly to our new Ministry of Truth, aka as the BBC. Quite why they managed to interview two unionists is a matter for them. Perhaps they were the entire audience for Osborne’s wee visit to the provinces? Via yet another controlled environment where he talks to people who can’t talk back.
     
    It is interesting, to say the least, that unionists don’t dare meet people on the streets. Neither, it would seem, do Channel 4.

    Either Channel 4 are trying to con us, or they were conned themselves.

    Who knows?

  94. Turnbull Drier says:

    @Breeks
     
    Do you have a link to the Japan Times Article?

  95. Luigi says:

    I remember the barely disguised looks of dismay among the Labour MPs when the unfancied EM snatched victory from his popular and talented brother at the final round of the party leadership vote. The realization that they had lost the heir apparent, their knight in shining armour, and thanks to the unions, they were left with a very weak hand to fight the next election, was all too apparent on the forced smiley faces that day. There could be trouble ahead.

  96. Steve says:

    If you people North of the Border so vote Yes, then please don’t forget you still ‘own’ Doncaster, take us with you PLEASE!

  97. HomerJS says:

    I think it would be interesting if someone did a poll in the North of England asking if given the choice would they choose to be part of an independent Scotland or stay part of the UK.  People need to understand how wide the gap between North and South has become.  Good luck Scotland! I’m really jealous.



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