Scottish independence, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


Girn, girn, girn

Posted on April 03, 2013 by

As the Arctic weather continues to grip much of Scotland and the UK, it’s nice to know we can always rely on the Labour Party for a ray of sunshine.

Several of today’s papers carry the news of how Scottish Government funding has largely eliminated (for Scots) one of the most absurd and debilitating aspects of rail travel in Britain – the labyrinthine, Kafkaesque fare structure that meant a passenger who bought their ticket at the same time and in the same place as the person sitting next to them might have paid almost twice as much for it.

While we can all doubtless imagine how the UK government would have chosen to solve the discrepancy – by doubling the cheap fares, thereby enacting “fairness” while also ensuring that disgusting poor people weren’t allowed to mix with nice Tory-voting types – the Scottish Government has gone about it the other way, slashing some fares by over 40% so that everyone gets the best deal without having to employ a team of forensic accountants to study the timetables for a week first.

Good news, right? Surely nobody could find a reason to moan about THAT?

elainemurray

“Labour transport spokeswoman Elaine Murray suggested ScotRail should have funded the changes from its ‘massive profits’ last year, rather than taking money from the taxpayer.

“This fare change will be welcome news for rail passengers, particularly in the Dundee area, but it still leaves split-ticketing as a cheaper option on Scotland’s railways,” she said.

“It is regrettable that despite Scotrail making a massive profit last year, the burden for getting rid of Scotrail’s pricing fix has fallen on the taxpayer. We must welcome any fare reduction but we need to remember that rail fares across Scotland are continuing to go up at a time when people’s budgets are being stretched to the limit.

“So while this is welcome news for Dundee passengers, let’s find out where else this still happens and end the rail pricing madness.””

That’s quite a catalogue of curmudgeonly carping in a few short lines: the Scottish Government shouldn’t have funded it, the taxpayer is suffering, fares are still going up, the problem has only been ALMOST totally solved, it’s “regrettable”, only people from Dundee are benefitting, end this madness, doom, gloom, etc.

(In fact, as the Record goes on to point out, savings include £17.80 off an anytime return between Aberdeen and Stirling (27%), £15.70 off a return between Aberdeen and Glasgow (20%), and £21.30 off an Edinburgh to Aberdeen return (26%), so the idea that this is primarily a local story about Dundee is nonsensical.)

We suspect if someone gave Elaine Murray a free Rolls-Royce, she’d complain it was the wrong colour and difficult to park. But then, not much ever makes Labour happy. Today’s Herald sees them also consumed with outrage that a once-in-300-years opportunity for the people of Scotland to democratically determine their own future will come in at the crippling total cost of £2.51 per person.

“Scottish Labour’s constitutional spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson MSP said: “So we now know that the cost of the SNP’s constitutional obsession is around £13m. The price-tag is substantial and doesn’t include the costs to Scottish families of sorting childcare or taking time off work due to schools being closed for the vote.

“As our economy continues to stutter along, all the effort is going into winning the battle to break up Britain. The absolute focus of the Government should be on getting Scotland growing again. Alas, even that is neglected on the altar of separation.””

You did read that right, viewers. Exercising the national sovereignty endorsed by Scottish Labour in the 1989 Claim Of Right, for the first time in the country’s history, isn’t worth the hassle and expense of closing schools for a day (something we somehow seem to manage on an almost-annual basis for Westminster elections, Holyrood elections, local council elections, royal weddings and goodness knows what else). There’ll probably be paperwork and everything.

We can’t help feeling that if Labour didn’t so reflexively and doggedly try to find something miserable about every single event that ever occurs in Scotland under the stewardship of an SNP government, then not only might they be able to shed the pallor of bleak, grey misery that hangs ever-present over the party like a sour raincloud, they might even find themselves finally aware of the opportunities that a country in charge of its own affairs, rather than forever impotently begging Westminster for mercy and crumbs, might be able to realise.

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159 to “Girn, girn, girn”

  1. balgayboy says:

    I reckon they would moan about being hung with a new rope!

  2. Training Day says:

    If anything, Ferguson has underestimated the cost of the separatist obsession.  Not only childcare costs, taking time off work etc. – what about the amounts of lead that will be needlessly used up by people marking a cross on the ballot paper with what must be, like, 14,000 odd pencils?  What of the paper itself needlessly sacrificed on the altar of separation?  What of the shoe leather worn down another few microns by people walking to the polling stations?  Dear God, won’t somebody think of the shoe leather?!!

  3. Jiggsbro says:

    We suspect if someone gave Elaine Murray a free Rolls-Royce, she’d complain it was the wrong colour.
     
    You’re wrong. That would only happen if the SNP gave her a free Rolls-Royce. She’d also complain that it wasn’t a Scottish car made from Scottish steel.

  4. Albalha says:

    As a regular Glasgow Dundee rail traveller the ticket office folks always give out split tickets anyway, it comes at their suggestion. I appreciate the machines are not as nimble. The change is welcome.
    You ask why the Dundee obsession that’s because Labour MSP Jenny Marra has been at the forefront of the campaign. And heading North from Edinburgh and Glasgow Dundee the first major stop after the subsidised routes eg Glasgow/Perth.
    And in her interview yesterday J Marra she was rather more generous to the SNP, though did attempt to politically point score, to be expected?
    Rail fares, even with this subsidy, are still way too expensive in Scotland.
     

  5. Ray says:

    Travelling along the east coast is fantastic. Managing to cut the price of fares and make it simpler to get the correct ticket can only be a good thing. It can be damn complex for even a regular user, which I was.
     
    All they have to sort out now is the ridiculous system of having long, empty trains in the middle of the day and only two over-packed carriages during morning and evening rush hour!

  6. Melanie McKellar says:

    ‘Scraping the bottom of the barrel’ ..rings a bell with me and it really is getting boring! …canny be much news going on if newspapers feel the need to print this rubbish…and there can’t be much happening politically if this is the best the opposition can complain about…that must be good news right?

  7. DMyers says:

    “Arctic weather”?  It’s a stratospherif FIVE degrees in Edinburgh, and blazing sunshine :-D

  8. Jiggsbro says:

    canny be much news going on if newspapers feel the need to print this rubbish
     
    This is just a foretaste of what will happen in a separate Scotland. How many newspapers will go under because we’re too wee and too poor to have any news of our own? How much will we have to pay to import news from other countries?  What happens when England refuses to supply us with newsworthy events? No news is bad news, just like independence.

  9. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Sadly the Herald is the paper carrying the “cost of the referendum” guff.
    How about an article on the cost of the Labour opposition at Holyrood.
    If ever there was public money wasted that is it. 

  10. frankieboy says:

    Labour are not indulging in politics. They are just too mean to hire a psychotherapist.

  11. Paul Martin says:

    Anyone who’s seen Elaine Murray in the Holyrood Chamber can only conclude that she’s completely barking mad. Her “too dark to vote” contribution on the indyref date was utterly hatstand. Labour opposition = not fit for purpose.

  12. Doug Daniel says:

    Actually, I agree. The referendum is a needless expense. Let’s just declare independence instead. Much cheaper!
     
    This gives you a glimpse into the mindset of unionists. “The referendum is a pointless exercise, because we all know Scotland will vote No anyway, so why are we wasting time and money having it?”
     
    Democracy is not something unionist parties are particularly big fans of. Hence why they refused to allow the public a say on how much devolution we get, as they wanted to keep a hold of the process for themselves. No bother, we’ll just vote for independence instead!

  13. Tattie-boggle says:

    Aye, you can always rely on labour, todays forecast  “Cloudy with a chance of horse filled meatballs”

  14. Melanie McKellar says:

    “How many newspapers will go under because we’re too wee and too poor to have any news of our own? How much will we have to pay to import news from other countries?  What happens when England refuses to supply us with newsworthy events?”
    omg another girner! Hook, line and sinker!….
    l would suppose there will be enough news going on in a newly independent Scotland newspapers will need extra editions!…as to ENGLAND and newsworthy events..what makes news in England so superior as opposed to worldwide news?….oh and at least our broadcasting will be managed in Scotland instead of directed from Westminster…that has to be good too eh!

  15. Morag says:

    I’m sure I remember SNP politicians while in opposition in 1999-2007 making generous and appreciative comments when the Labour/LibDem coalition did somthing they believed was good for the people of Scotland.

    Maybe we could have a wee article highlighting some of these comments, if Stu or someone has the patience to hunt them down?

  16. Jiggsbro says:

    Hook, line and sinker, indeed.

  17. HenBroon says:

    Paul Martin says:
     
    3 April, 2013 at 10:48 am
     

    “Anyone who’s seen Elaine Murray in the Holyrood Chamber can only conclude that she’s completely barking mad. Her “too dark to vote” contribution on the indyref date was utterly hatstand. Labour opposition = not fit for purpose.”
     
     
    I was going to write that! I am shocked by how haggard she looks in that picture above compared to her TV profile from Holyrood. Could there be two of them? She breathes hate and resentment towards Alex Salmond and the SNP benches. Her statements in the chamber are becoming increasing difficult to understand ans she delivers her hate filled rhetoric faster and faster, with her face getting redder and redder. She reminds me of our pressure cooker with a bunny in it making stew. What a bunch of losers. Some day a blockbuster movie will be made of these times. More work for Gregor Fisher.

     

  18. panda paws says:

    If you could find a way of harnessing girning into a generator, Labour (North Britain) branch could generate enough renewable energy that it wouldn’t matter if the oil was ruuning out! Which it isn’t….

  19. Barontorc says:

    Exactly how much does it cost to have these carpetbagger, jumped-up Labour councillors and trades union place(wo)men sitting in their architect designer offices in Holyrood? This waste of money crew who contribute absolutely zilch are an embarrassment to our democratic system. Money for old rope indeed!

  20. CameronB says:

    “Scottish Labour’s constitutional spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson MSP said: …..As our economy continues to stutter along…..”
     
    Didn’t Messrs Brown and Darling have something to do with that, in the way they deftly steered the UK’s economy in to the bottomless pit we now find ourselves in?

  21. HenBroon says:

    Does any one have knowledge of a glossary any where of the “SNP accused” stunts since 2007.
     
    I am thinking of for example, Trump, The Aviemore development, giant pylons, giant Pandas etc etc.
     
    I would be good material, collated in the way that newsnetscotland.com have done the “myth busting” thing?

  22. Luigi says:

    When a democratically elected government does something that will undoutably be popular, the opposition would do well to refrain from complaining loudly. Instead, the Labour party associate themselves with the hated bedroom tax (despite ID running away in denial) and then complain about reduced railfares in Scotland!??! Not that I’m complaining. Long may it continue.

  23. Morag says:

    Long?  18 months will do.  After that, I’d rather they gave it up, to be honest.

  24. heraldnomore says:

    I’d much rather pay £2.51 to have my say than buy two copies of said newspaper

  25. Luigi says:

    Can anyone, anyone imagine the Labour party in government again? At Holyrood or Westminster! With the current crop of jokers in charge, it would be an absolute catastrophe. They would not last six months.

  26. mato21 says:

    O/T
    For all those who wish something to be done regarding the biased referendum reporting Something is being done
    Next Tuesday (9/3) at 1pm Nick Durie an activist with power in the community would like support at the French Embassy in Edinburgh Where he will draw on The Auld Alliance for help to get monitors put in to oversee the goings-on So here is someone doing something please give your support  
    Many will be aware of this chap he seems to be a thorn in the flesh of GCC   

  27. Marcia says:

    Albalha
     
    Shona Robison had been campaigning for cheaper fares from Dundee since cheap day returns to Edinburgh and Glasgow were abolished from Dundee when Labour were in power at Holyrood. If travelling after 9,30 weekday to Edinburgh you bought a cheap day return to Leuchers then a cheap day return from Leuchars to Edinburgh and saved £5 per return trip.

  28. Albalha says:

    @Marcia
    Interesting, though why has it taken so long to be changed if someone as respected as S Robison has been on the case for years?
    On rail fares I’m clearly pretty critical of everyone, still way too expensive as I’ve said.
    Though at least this is a step forward.
     
     

  29. Macart says:

    On the bright side they’ll all have brilliant careers as country and western lyricists to look forward to, once the old political career goes down the cludgie. :)

  30. Marcia says:

    Albalha
     
    I think it has been trying to get around the UK rail privitisation legislation that all the Rail companies work to.  it is time we had a separate Act of Parliament removing the Office of the Rail regulator that I believe has a final  say in the railway in Scotland.

  31. Robert Kerr says:

    Yes I have previously posted “know your Enemy” but this is above and beyond the call of duty. What a terrible un-photogenic person is shown. Is this the reason for self-loathing in SLAB women? Reinforced every time they look in a mirror?
    Sorry if I have caused offence to any ladies. 

  32. Morag says:

    You kind of have.  She’s ordinary-looking, that’s all.

  33. Seasick Dave says:

    Macart
     
    To quote Hank Williams, they’d be “Just In Time To Be Too Late”.
     
     

  34. dundee bloke says:

    What a strange story Rev, especially as Slab MSP Jenny Mara was on Radio Scotlands evening news say it was all her own work—go figure 

  35. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    I’ll second Morag there…
     
    You dont judge a book by its cover!

  36. Macart says:

    @Seasick Dave
     
    September 19th 2014
     
    Who’s sorry now, who’s sorry now
    Whose heart is achin’ for breakin’ each vow
    Who’s sad and blue, who’s cryin’ too
    Just like I cried over you

    Right to the end just like a friend
    I tried to warn you somehow
    You had your way, now you must pay
    I’m glad that you’re sorry now

    Right to the end just like a friend
    I tried to warn you somehow
    You had your way, now you must pay
    I’m glad that you’re sorry now 
     
    :)

  37. Lurker in the Wings says:

    O/t  Alex Massie blog @ The Spectator – http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/alex-massie/2013/04/independent-scotland-neoliberal-nirvana-or-scandinavian-paradise/#disqus_thread
    Note that all comments awaiting moderation are pro independence, the most recent for 15 hours.
    That will be the free and uncensored press Fraser Nelson said he’d go to jail for.
      

  38. Jiggsbro says:

    Slab MSP Jenny Mara was on Radio Scotlands evening news say it was all her own work
     
    As a general rule, Labour claim that anything the SNP do is either a very bad idea or originally a Labour idea. This is statistically unlikely to be the first thing that’s both.

  39. Quite honestly, I don’t know AS puts up with the Labour Party’s negativity day-in and day-out, no doubt just scratches his head. 
    O/T have you seen the latest video for the Yes campaign? It brought a lump to my throat.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4v6oNrd7ys&sns=em 

  40. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel
     
     
    This gives you a glimpse into the mindset of unionists. “The referendum is a pointless exercise, because we all know Scotland will vote No anyway, so why are we wasting time and money having it?”
     
    Democracy is not something unionist parties are particularly big fans of. Hence why they refused to allow the public a say on how much devolution we get, as they wanted to keep a hold of the process for themselves. No bother, we’ll just vote for independence instead!
     
    In the Unionist world everything the SNP do is bad.  The funniest thing about all the girning from Unionists about the referendum is that they are the ones who talk about independence the most!

  41. Iain says:

    Some to really girn about. Recently a lot of people have mentioned, rather movingly, those who worked so hard for Scottish Independence but were no longer with us. How bittersweet to know in advance one won’t be around, though I daresay he may have other things on his mind.

    ‘I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.
    The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.
    As a result, I’ve withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we’ll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.’
    http://www.iain-banks.net
     
     

  42. EdinScot says:

    Im sure this is one and the same Patricia Ferguson who was Queen of the junkets back in those dark dark days of that miserable Lib/Lab Scottish Executive.  We were all stuck with their miserable nothingness but at least Patrician was putting in the air miles over to the USA.  Pot and the kettle come to mind.  Funding her colleagues of the Labour persuasion to go back and forth to Wastemonster on a regualr basis only for them to abstain and worse, to not vote at all, i suggest is an even greater waste of all our monies.  We can easily solve that though and saving us huge amounts of money by voting YES in 18 months time.
    As for her ‘Altar of separtion’, it kind of puts me in mind of Donald Dewars ‘national shillobeth’.  Utterly ridiculous rhetoric that would do North Korea proud but please leave it out as its sounding really jaded and just a tad boring.
     
    Any reduction in fares is always good news.  Makes a nice change to see it in reverse mode so kudos to the Scottish Government.
     
     
     

  43. Albalha says:

    @Marcia
     
    I’ll second that

  44. Stevie says:

    Yes, she’s looking more and more like a crazy-eyed mad-haired escapee from MacBeth; mental as bag of ferrets.
    Does anyone seriously believe these Labourite jokers would have been anything other than an utter disaster if they’d won power?  Perish the thought — the Scottish parliament was set up to devolve government but also to defend the Scottish electorate from another hostile Tory junta.  Well, guess what, there’s another right-wing junta in power in Westminster and if Labour had been in power then they’d sit silent and docile as the Tories disassemble all the social policies of the 1945 Labour government because London Labour want to please the south-east/London constituency.  In reality, Labour have mostly dismantled these rare gems which are now just historical ideas since all the groundwork for privatisation of public sector services was done at their Blairite hands.  They put in place 80% of the preparatory work enabling today’s blue Tories to privatise the NHS in England (the NHS privatisation would NOT have been possible without Labours efforts).  As far as Scotland goes, North Britain’s red Tories would not have ring-fenced the NHS in Scotland and the same would be happening in Scotland by now. 
    As it is, if the NOs win then that is the end of the NHS in Scotland as the Barnett formula reduces the Scottish budget in proportion to the decrease of public sector spending in England.  J-Low”s ‘something for nothing’, let’s end universalism speech tells you all you need to know and incidentally all the other red Tories like Ken MacKintosh and Baillie are all in agreement with this ‘something for nothing’  stance 5which was an Ed Miliband promoted idea originally – he seems to be going back on that bur NOT J-Low and her überedTory chums). 

    They are, when all is said and done, a somewhat creepy lot who sold their souls to the alter of riches and power in the muddafugga of parliamebts and are continually Westminster dreaming… who can blame them?  £65K a year plus very very generous expenses and perks that truly please.

    Complaining about the cost of the referendum… three letter response = P  F  I… corruption is rife in the red Tories and yet ALL the news BritNat news media chooses to paint their tripe statements as news.  That won’t change – may all these BritNat apologist journals close their doors quickly. 

    Favourite comment on this thread : Training Day said, ‘Who will speak for the shoe leather, who?  
    Who indeed… actually, that’s about the level of red-Torydom.

  45. I’d like to second the post above by Iain – it is desperately sad, on a personal level for his family and friends, as well as for us fans of his writing, but also to know that as a supporter of independence Iain won’t be around for the big day next year. :(

  46. CameronB says:

    @ Iain
    I’m not sure how appropriate this might be, but all the best and thank you.

  47. beachthistle says:

    So it will cost 0.0086% of Scotland’s GDP to pay for the referendum.
    (Please feel free to check that – I used the £150 billion Scottish GDP figure from
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy
    and this  http://easycalculation.com/million-cal.php) to do the sums.
     
    Also re bad old private profit-keeping Scotrail – did Scotrail not come into being/operate during both Labour Westminster and Holyrood regimes? Not got time to count the years right now, but the dates are all here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_ScotRail

  48. Morag says:

    Iain Banks?  I’m genuinely shocked.  I imagine my home email box is filling up right now with shocked messages from SF fan groups.  This is going to hit a lot of people hard.

  49. EvelynSezAye says:

    Where do I send my £2.51? I know! I’ll send it to https://yesscotland.nationbuilder.com/donations
     
    Thank You Ms Ferguson! You come up with great ideas! Keep them coming!

  50. balgayboy says:

    Stevie says: 12.09
    Yup u’r right and spot on. The idea of these numpties in power is frightening.  Real sorry to read about Ian Banks though, god bless him.

  51. pmcrek says:

    £13 million is the equivalent of funding the Scottish office (WHICH DOES NOTHING) for two years afaik.

  52. EvelynSezAye says:

    Have a listen to Jenny Marra at 1hr 41 mins making out that Alex Salmond and Keith Brown have listened to her! She’s taking all the credit!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rh5ht
     

  53. themadmurph says:

    balgayboy says:
    I reckon they would moan about being hung with a new rope!
     
    Let’s find out, please?

  54. CameronB says:

    Further to the cost of the referendum and Tony Blair’s earnings, here is some more meat to pick off the former Labour PM’s bones. Not news, but draws attention to apparently serious conflicts of interest.
     
    http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/tony-blair-watch/818-whiff-of-corruption-never-far-from-tony-blair-and-his-millions
     

  55. Jeannie says:

    Such sad news about Iain Banks.  Even in the midst of telling us the most devastating news…..he manages to inspire me.

  56. douglas clark says:

    morag,
     
    Well, it has hit me hard. I have no idea what his politics are, but I genuinely love his stories.

  57. Macart says:

    More than bitter sweet.
     
    Whatever time is left I wish Mr Banks and his partner happiness.

  58. HenBroon says:

    The cost of the referendum and subsequent YES vote and subsequent independence pales in to insignificance compared to that of voting no and staying in the UK. Quite apart from the fact we would be signing up to another generation of Westminster’s debt laden austerity and Tory ideology, both have damaged Scotland very badly in the past, and given the level of inequality has actually increased since Thatchers reign, will only damage Scotland further.
    However all of the above is nothing compared to the retribution that will be wrought from Scotland for daring to challenge the 306 years of England’s hegemony over us. The London based parties will decimate our country and humiliate us to the extent that we will take decades if ever to recover.
    Scotland just cannot afford to vote no, we cannot afford to be part of this Uk any longer.
     
    Please vote Yes.

  59. scotchwoman says:

    More scary news on the the outrageous cost of democracy and destiny….!
    http://forargyll.com/2013/04/13-3-million-cost-of-independence-referendum/

  60. HenBroon says:

    pmcrek says:
     
    3 April, 2013 at 12:31 pm
     

    “£13 million is the equivalent of funding the Scottish office (WHICH DOES NOTHING) for two years afaik.”
     
    I thought the cost for the SO was £10 million per year?
     
    You also need to factor in the cost of the MPs and their Lords and the cost of the infrastructure in London we pay for as it is of National benefit and is provided for us whether we want it or not, on our behalf.
     
    There are very many £ millions per annum of savings to be made methinks.

     

  61. Dal Riata says:

    A good while back, I left a post on WOS about coming headlines along the lines of ‘Alex Salmond and the SNP accused of causing climate change’ and the like, in a joking manner… thanks to the LabConLib loons and their MSM buddies, as we progress towards the referendum that sort of wacky headline is looking increasingly likely!
     
    Sad to hear about Iain Banks – a great writer.

  62. dmw42 says:

    Luigi says:
    Can anyone, anyone imagine the Labour party in government again? At Holyrood or Westminster! With the current crop of jokers in charge, it would be an absolute catastrophe. They would not last six months.”
     
    And there’s the rub. Labour can’t imagine it themselves and the very thought of having to give up their cushy jobs, or worse, run the country, terrifies them. Far better for them to vote NO, stay in bed with the Tories and have cheap digs at any SNP policy than to be held responsible and accountable.
     
    If they last that long, they are forever doomed to be the party of opposition, literally.
     
    And my heartfeld best wishes to Ian and his family, thank you for sharing your undoubted talent with us.

  63. Albalha says:

    @douglas clark
    Re I Banks and his politics, from 2011 piece for the Guardian
    These days, I support the idea of an independent Scotland. It’s with a heavy heart in some ways; I think I’d still sacrifice an independent Scotland for a socialist UK, but… I can’t really see that happening. What I can imagine is England continuing to turn to the right and eventually leaving the EU altogether.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/aug/28/scottish-independence-snp-iain-banks
     
     

  64. a supporter says:

    Well here’s the Scottish Sun’s take on changes to rail fares.
    “…BELEAGUERED families are more used to seeing their budgets squeezed as the price of almost everything goes up. So credit to the SNP Government for stepping in to force down the cost of travelling by train…” 
    Kinda belies the nonsense about the SUN and Independence in some corners of the media.
     

  65. douglas clark says:

    Albalha
     
    Thanks for the link.

  66. rabb says:

    panda paws says:
    3 April, 2013 at 11:01 am

    If you could find a way of harnessing girning into a generator, Labour (North Britain) branch could generate enough renewable energy that it wouldn’t matter if the oil was ruuning out! Which it isn’t….
     
    There would have to be some kind of nuclear reactor type housing to contain it. Like nuclear fision, girning fision cannot be stopped once started. It can only be controlled by the ocassional bout of “being cought out”.
     
    I shall begin drawing up plans for said reactor. If my theory is correct then this could be the world’s first “perpetual 100% efficient engine”.
     
    I shall name it “The Gringine”! It shall power Scotland’s every whim from now to infinity.

    Unfortunately it will require the ruthless culling of every squirell in the land. On the bright side though my bird feeder won’t be pillaged every winter :)

  67. Braco says:

    13 million for a YES vote……… and then a continual saving of roughly the equivalent every 4 or 5 years on the Westminster General elections alone, never mind the cost of our share of running the place, MP’s salaries and ‘expenses’.

    I see another reason to happily vote YES in 2014.
     

  68. the rough bounds says:

    Anyone unable to understand the reason for the attitudes of the Scottish Labour Party and its followers/supporters ought to get hold of a copy of Prof. Steven Pinker’s book,
    ‘The Blank Slate’.
     
    It shows how the human spirit will prevail and will in the end reject all attempts at mind control.
     
    The Labour Party are practising mind manipulation on a massive scale on the Scottish population, but the sad fact for them and their other unionist pals the Tories is that they will ultimately lose. This isn’t a hope or a promise; they will ultimately lose and the Scottish people will eventually regain control over their own culture. The Unionists could save themselves and the Scots in general a lot of hand wringing and angst if they would just learn how the human mind works and organises itself for protection and self preservation.

  69. Andy Anderson says:

    So we poor Scots can’t afford £2.51 each to have a referendum once every 300 years, but we can afford £824 each man woman and child per year to subsidise the UK. 

  70. EdinScot says:

     
     

    ianbrotherhood says:
    3 April, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Here’s Ian Davidson setting the record straight:
    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/7094-bedroom-tax-no-vote-mp-claims-he-misunderstood-protestor-question
     
    Yeah just saw that under an hour ago.  To be fair to ID, how could we not know what he was referring to despite being at the bedroom tax rally surrounded by ”no to the bedroom tax” placards.  Silly us!  I see he’s playing the victim card just like the good Lard Foulkes.  What is it with Unionists and playing the victim…Safe to say, when in a hole and all that…

  71. clochoderic says:

    Completely OT
     
     This article reveals rather a lot about Tory attitude to Scotland. I read the entire article and the first 20 or so responses below the line – no mention of a rather significant event in September 2014 as far as I can see…
    P.S. – I won’t tell them if you don’t …
     
     
    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2013/04/cameron-should-break-up-the-coalition-in-september-2014.html

  72. Luigi says:

    Perhaps HM the Queen could help out with the Scottish referendum costs, since she is being awarded another, whopping £5 million pay rise:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22003165
    No bedroom tax for HM!

  73. Norsewarrior says:

    “Perhaps HM the Queen could help out with the Scottish referendum costs, since she is being awarded another, whopping £5 million pay rise”

    Another reason why we, the sovereign people of Scotland, should be given a referendum on the monarchy by whichever party wins the 2016 election! 

  74. Jiggsbro says:

    Another reason why we, the sovereign people of Scotland, should be given a referendum on the monarchy by whichever party wins the 2016 election!
     
    Another reason why the issue of the monarchy is a policy for the 2016 election and not a policy for the independence referendum.

  75. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Labour appear to be saying that anything contained in a party election manifesto which subsequently costs money should be abandoned.They are pretty good at dumping promises whether they cost tax payers money or not.Promises are only for a day not life (or any length of time) as far as they are concerned.

  76. Norsewarrior says:

    “Another reason why the issue of the monarchy is a policy for the 2016 election and not a policy for the independence referendum”

    Er……..yes, which is why I clearly referred to the 2016 election! 

  77. Bob Howie says:

    Told you we should have had it on a Saturday!!!!!

    I suppose they would have then claimed they would have to take time off playing with their kids to go vote.

  78. Training Day says:

    @Bob Howie
    Told you we should have had it on a Saturday!!!!!
    I suppose they would have then claimed they would have to take time off playing with their kids to go vote.
     
    Were the referendum held on a Saturday, nothing is more certain than that Labour would have complained about the damage to Scotland’s economy (impact on Saturday shopping), the impact upon attendances at football matches, the impact upon those forced to choose between a weekend haircut and voting, the psychological damage wrought upon those swithering between repeats of Come Dine with Me and the polling station etc. etc. etc…. Richard Baker would have been ideal for the job.

  79. The Man in the Jar says:

    The referendum will cost us £2.50 PER PERSON!
    That is it! I’m away to join Bitter Together.

  80. Marcia says:

    The Man in the Jar
    Can I pay in 10 monthly instalments?
     
    I wonder how much the West Coast Rail franchise fiasco cost?

  81. Arbroath 1320 says:

    ARGH!!!!
     
    Stu when you put up pictures of the poisoned dwarf in future can you please please PLEASE put up a government health warning! :lol:
     
    I have, for my sins, to put up with her as my M.S.P., what an embarrassment! Oh woe is me! Thankfully I have Joan McAlpine to fall back on for REAL support. PHEW! :lol:
     
    Nice to see though that Labour are doing what Labour do BEST, complain! 
    If the sun shone 24/7, ALL travel throughout Scotland was FREE and at NO cost to the Scottish Government, there was NO unemployment, every child in Scotland was educated up to BA,BSc standard they would STILL find some way of attacking the Scottish government. Let’s face it folks Labour in Scotland are just doing what they always do which is to follow the Willie Bain principle i.e. attack the S.N.P. and to hell with the cost to Scotland!

  82. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Marcia
    Never mind the WCR franchise. What about the projected cost of HS2 which I understand that the Barnet formula wont apply to. We in Scotland should be very grateful for HS2 it will mean that if and when we travel to London the journey time will be shortened by about 10 minutes. That is assuming a rail link between existing stations and the new dedicated HS2 stations will exist. HS2 will benefit London and London only.

  83. Norsewarrior says:

    “they would STILL find some way of attacking the Scottish government”
    Well to a certain extent, opposition parties have to attack the government, but Labour certainly do it far too much while not really offering any viable alternative policies.

    It would be interesting to see what Labour would do after independence, if they reform as a properly Scottish party with positive left wing policies then they may well regain a lot of their support. 
    I doubt they’ll be able to do though, they don’t seem to have anyone capable of enacting such a transformation.

  84. Robert Kerr says:

    @Arbroath 1320 
    “giftswergfrau” is worse than my “non-photogenic”.
    Oh well. At least we know what they look like.

  85. Jiggsbro says:

    Er……..yes, which is why I clearly referred to the 2016 election!
     
    And yet, elsewhere, you’d like it to be a referendum issue. I though it was stoned spiders that wove tangled webs, not trolls.

  86. Norsewarrior says:

    “And yet, elsewhere, you’d like it to be a referendum issue”

    How many times do I have to explain this?! We NEED undecided voters if we are to win the referendum. Clearly independence is basically about giving Scotland the right to make its own decisions, and not about any particular policies, but that isn’t enough to convince undecided voters – they won’t be enticed by such a blank canvas – they want to have some idea of what independence could actually mean in terms of the EU, currency, the monarchy etc.

    That is why the SNP and other parties have got independence policies on those issues.

  87. Jiggsbro says:

    How many times do I have to explain this? The referendum campaign can’t tell people what an independent Scotland would be like, because that’s the choice of independent Scots.
     
    No parties have ‘independence policies’ on those issues. Some parties have policies that they would follow in an independent Scotland. Some refuse to recognise the possibility and don’t. In either case, it’s irrelevant to the independence campaign, however much you – and entirely unconnected Unionist trolls – might prefer to harp on about it. No party’s policies will tell undecided voters what an independent Scotland will be like. Only what it could be like.

  88. Adrian B says:

    The place to continue this OT topic discussion is Quarantine:
     
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/quarantine/

  89. dundee bloke says:

     
    Braco says:
    3 April, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    13 million for a YES vote……… and then a continual saving of roughly the equivalent every 4 or 5 years on the Westminster General elections alone, never mind the cost of our share of running the place, MP’s salaries and ‘expenses’.
    I see another reason to happily vote YES in 2014.
     
    According to the ”top ten myths debunked film” Scotland pays £50 M a year for its 59 MP’s 

  90. Norsewarrior says:

    “The referendum campaign can’t tell people what an independent Scotland would be like”

    Where did I say that it should?! I said they need to suggest to people, particularly those who are undecided, what an independent Scotland COULD be like – by promoting a variety of post independence policies from parties and organisations across the spectrum. 

    In order to win the referendum we need to try and think like an undecided voter – obviously those of us who already support independence are more than convinced by the ‘blank canvas’ prospect of independence alone, and the chance for Scotland to make its own decisions. But clearly that isn’t enough for undecided voters.

  91. Jiggsbro says:

    I said they need to suggest to people, particularly those who are undecided, what an independent Scotland COULD be like
     
    It could be like anything. But apparently you don’t want people to be told that. You don’t seem to know what you want, other than to disrupt and girn, girn, girn.

  92. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Norsewarrior said: I doubt they’ll [Labour] be able to to though, they don’t seem to have anyone capable of enacting such a transformation.
     
    Word.  However, I doubt there’ll even be a Labour party (as we know it) in Scotland after independence – I mean who would fund them – because I darn well hope financial support for Scottish political parties from England or any other ‘foreign’ country will be outlawed (I hope that’ll be in the constitution).
     
    Referring to the above discussion, I think the White Paper will sort out the issue of independence policies and will put some meat on the bones (I know Unionists like to keep on and on about the ‘unanswered questions’ but those voices are getting weaker as the questions are answered, and not in the way they’d like).
     
    The white paper should force the Unionists to a) tell us what they will do after the referendum either way (which will seal their fate, either way) and/or b) tell us in detail why the SG’s proposals are ‘yet again, not thought through’.  Mainly the latter, I’m guessing.

  93. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Norsewarrior
    I agree that independence is about the right to make decisions, and not about particular polices. What will “entice” a hell of a lot of voters is the thought of being governed by the rotten to the core Westminster and its 50 shades of blue for the next 300 years. That is way more than enough for me!

  94. Aplinal says:

    Re Norsewarrior
     
    I sometimes find his (her?) comments frustrating but there is some element of truth in the fact that the referendum is about CHOICE, and only choice.  A YES vote will give that choice to Scottish voters, and not Westminster politicians.  But the dilemma is that some voters WILL want examples.  So we can give them to them.  e.g. No more Trident, No bedroom Tax, Free education, written constitution, etc.  
     
    These ARE political choices which will be presented to the Scottish voters in manifestos post-YES.  But they are examples for the ‘undecided’ and what I think YES should be doing is to make sure that when it presents ‘choices’ to the voters, it does so by having a range of options/examples and should refrain from only (apparently) selecting SNP policies.
     
    The YES campaign should also make clear that Scottish voters would have the power to elect a Labour government, or a LibDem, or even a Tory one.  It has to stop the negativity of Labour (and others) by showing that YES gives us choice, and NO gives us nothing.  Although this is mainly the MSM obfuscation, YES has not yet got this clarity out there yet.  It needs to, and soon.
     
    Finally, we must keep the message positive, it will be hope and aspiration that will win back Scotland’s Independence.

  95. MajorBloodnok says:

    The referendum will be a clear choice between Hope and Fear.  A free and independent Scotland can be anything we want it to be and we the people will then have far more influence over that than we do in this moribund Union.  That is what Labour and their ilk are afraid of.

  96. Aplinal says:

    @Major
     
    Re the White Paper, I hope it DOESN’T have policy for everything.  That’s entirely NOT what the referendum is about.  Then it becomes another party political campaign.  It is above that, and needs to present the options that Independence gives, and not a set of policy statements from the SNP.  
     
    So for example, on Education it should demonstrate why Independence would give a future Scottish government more power to fund increased access to HE, or improve prospects at nursery level etc.
     
    On health how an Independent Scottish government can choose to fund the SHS without relying on the private sector, OR should it want, to organise the service differently.
     
    On military/security what Independence means for the funding of a Scottish defence force 
     
    etc.  Choice, not political policy.  It’s a conundrum, but I trust the government to get the balance right.

  97. FreddieThreepwood says:

    @ Aplinal and Major B
    A certain cove of my acquaintance addressed this very point recently … http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2013/03/23/the-lamont-paradox/

  98. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Alpinal
     
    You are right.  It needs to show that independence will actually give us as many options as we need (and more) and particularly that this blasted utilitarian neo-liberalist and inhumane approach to society, that the UK Govt (of whatever hue) insists is the ONLY option, is not the best or most equitable way to run and maintain a civilised society!

  99. pa_broon says:

    The white paper should contain options in terms of what would be possible with independence, it is for parties to set out the actuality.
     
    Yes Scotland and the SNP have already said what the referendum is about but its been drowned out by the usual unionist din. Basically what you have now is the illusion of choice, you make a choice each Westminster polling day but it doesn’t count unless you happened to vote the same way as folks in the south of England.
    If you are content with that then vote no, if you want the choices you make on polling day to count, then vote yes.
     
    Its as simple as that, (for me anyway…)

  100. Seasick Dave says:

    Can anyone tell me if I was hearing correctly last night?
     
    On Scotland Tonight there was a Tory (Ian McGill?) who said that the Bedroom Tax was about giving people choice; the choice to move to a smaller house or taking in a lodger.
     
    It seems too absurd to be true.

  101. pa_broon says:

    I heard the same thing from IDS, he said it was about giving people choices, it seems to be some sort of weird enforced empowerment, the Tories think people on benefits are stuck in a rut, if they are just given a nudge (as in the bedroom tax,) they’ll move to find a job.
     
    Obviously its bollocks because a) there are no jobs and b) moving is an expensive business. They’ve taken a leaf out of Tony Blair’s book and are desperately spinning it so it sounds progressive.
     
    Which of course it isn’t.

  102. Macart says:

    Quite right pa, there are no deal breakers here. This is primarily about principle and trust.
     
    Should Scotland be a self governing independent nation? YES
     
    Could Scotland be a financially viable independent nation? According to this group of some the world’s most eminent economists the answer is an unqualified YES
     
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0041/00414291.pdf
     
    Can we have a more socially just society whose rights are enshrined in law and whose government is answerable to the electorate?
     
    http://constitutionalcommission.org/blog/?p=217
     
    The answer is YES
     
    Will our independent democracy for the first time in three hundred years have the ability to reflect the will of the Scottish electorate?
     
    Take a wild guess.

  103. Jiggsbro says:

    Yes Scotland and the SNP have already said what the referendum is about but its been drowned out by the usual unionist din
     
    And the occasional self-proclaimed independence supporter making a suspiciously similar din.

  104. Indion says:

    The sad news from Iain Banks today puts much else into perspective for all who have lost and will lose loved ones before their time comes too.
    Not least, to my mind, that there’s little point in being alive if not to live our lives to realize their and those of others fullest potential whilst we can – just as he has informed us he and his partner are doing (see http://www.iain-banks.net ).
     
    It is in that spirit that I could go on in response to Rev Stu’s post about miserable Labour here, but have resolved not to today lest seeming to be making light of respect they don’t deserve.
    Save for this corollary – born of Iain’s black humour in the foregoing – that we can never be too late for own funeral when living up to the time of our lives and the lives of others in our time.
    Which is another way of putting why I will be voting YES – and attending my own wake should that opportunity arise later than sooner – as I see no point in paying for anything I can’t enjoy the experience of being part of and responsible for.

  105. Scaraben says:

    @
    “…this blasted utilitarian neo-liberalist and inhumane approach to society, that the UK Govt (of whatever hue) insists is the ONLY option, is not the best or most equitable way to run and maintain a civilised society!”
     
    I think this would have been more accurate if you had left out the words “best or most equitable”. My fear is that if the neo-liberals have their way for too long, making the rich richer and the poor poorer while blaming the poor for their own poverty, they will push many people into outright revolt. Then there will not be a civilised society, but one torn by riots and brutal oppression, or even civil war. It will not happen soon, and it may not happen for decades. It might not happen at all, because the rich will protect themselves with a police state.
     
    We need an independent Scotland to show that there is a better alternative.

  106. MJB says:

    Did Labour moan about this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20790944
     A referendum on changing the voting system for general elections cost £75m, an official report says.

  107. Albalha says:

    @seasickdave
     
    Re Ian McGill, seems he’s being increasingly put forward by Better Together for media appearances, according to their website he’s a ‘veteran of the third sector’, whatever that means.

  108. Hetty says:

    I find the fares in Scotland affordable when we do travel, and we live on a very low budget, also someone I know from Finland finds the Scottish system and fares are good, but said as soon as you cross the border he says it gets ridiculous!
    It’s called civilisation. No offence to my friends south of the border, it’s down to the way it’s been sold off to private companies, not well regulated and very mismanaged…

  109. mrbfaethedee says:

    @Indion
    re: Iain Banks – Cory Doctorow put up a nice piece on boingboing earlier.
    Very sad news.

  110. Dal Riata says:

    @Seasick Dave
    I heard something more or less the same yesterday at about 4.30pm on Radio Scotland while driving my car.They had Edwina Curry(!) on gibbering away about it (the bedroom tax) being all about giving people choice, and how it gives people the chance to take in lodgers!
     
    She then began telling a story about her youth, how her mother brought in lodgers because “they didn’t have much money” and how having lodgers had “really helped the family’s finances” – and this being said while giggling about how much “fun” it had all been!
     
    It was then, after a stress releasing yell of “Aaaaaaaaggghh!” that the radio was relieved of distributing its ‘news’ within the confines of my car!

  111. Baheid says:

    @Dal Riata 
     
    That interview with Curry was first on on John Beattie at lunchtime  it was bad enough the first time.
    But then they they repeated the whole effen thing later on newsbeat, (the one you heard). 
    I was driving home at that time, people must of seen me snarling to myself, straining my veins, holding myself back from punching the radio.
    I was so pissed ff I had to park and send a text Radio Scotland,
    (I can only hope that the people that this will affect directly, refuse to pay their license, (saving two/three pounds per week). Twice today we have had to listen to this women who is probably a millionaire, certainly right wing, having a laugh while discussing the  disaster about to unfold. The Bedroom Tax).
     
    You get the feeling the feeling that the interviewers are sitting in awe of these people, they just let them ramble on.
     
    I was kind of laughing to myself later as to how angry I was at the time. :)
     

  112. the rough bounds says:

    How can the Labour Party complain about the cost of the referendum on independence yet not complain about the cost of the devolution referendum in 1997?
    They are often heard to boast that it was they that set that up.
     
    Also, regarding the bedroom tax, if you take in a lodger you will then have an income, and will therefore be liable to pay income tax. Hasn’t that occurred to anyone yet?

  113. Jiggsbro says:

    You get the feeling the feeling that the interviewers are sitting in awe of these people, they just let them ramble on.
     
    A more charitable view might be that the interviewer is happy to sit back and let them dig their holes a little deeper.

  114. Jiggsbro says:

    How can the Labour Party complain about the cost of the referendum on independence yet not complain about the cost of the devolution referendum in 1997?
     
    That was before Labour had spent all the money. There’s none left for democracy.

  115. Appleby says:

    Does it not seem rather wrong and dishonest of these people to spend their publically funded time and positions for their own political point scoring and ends instead of for the benefit of the people they represent, either nationally or locally?
     
    It seems that they often do little else than warm and fill seats and repeat whatever the party machine tells them to (often in the reflexive Bain principle manner).
     
    I douby any of us wish to see our precious taxes being spend on them simply so they can further their own careers instead of actually doing work to justify their expenses and wages.

  116. Appleby says:

    We need productivity assessments for politicians. They forced them on everyone, even in the NHS and postal services, so why not these spongers and troughers?

  117. Erchie says:

    @albaha
     
    Third Sector = charities
     
    Public Sector
    Private Sector
    Charities 

  118. Indion says:

    mrbfraethedee @ 8:16pm
    Thank you for link MrB. 

  119. Tamson says:

    OT, but I visited the Telegraph website for the last time today. On the front page they proudly announce they have hired the odious Kelvin Mackenzie.

  120. MajorBloodnok says:

    If you have Council accommodation and a spare room – are you legally allowed to have a paying lodger?  Perhaps Mrs Curry can enlighten us.

  121. Norsewarrior says:

    “What will “entice” a hell of a lot of voters is the thought of being governed by the rotten to the core Westminster and its 50 shades of blue for the next 300 years. That is way more than enough for me!”

    But that’s the point, that isn’t enticing a lot of people, or at least not as many as we need to win! We’ve known for years that independence is about Scotland governing itself and not being governed by Westminster – so presumably anyone who thinks that’s an important reason to get independence already plans to vote yes. 

    I don’t think the undecided voters particularly care about Scotland being able to govern itself – what they want to know is what Scotland will be like after independence and whether that will be of benefit to them personally (particularly financially) – which is why the Yes Campaign has to set out possible policies and ideas. 

  122. Norsewarrior says:

    “But they are examples for the ‘undecided’ and what I think YES should be doing is to make sure that when it presents ‘choices’ to the voters, it does so by having a range of options/examples and should refrain from only (apparently) selecting SNP policies.”

    Exactly! Some posters here (jiggsbro) seem to think I’m a ‘unionist troll’ simply because I’m arguing that the Yes Campaign has to present a range of policies and possible options from across the spectrum if we are to win the referendum! 

    Clearly to the likes of him the blank canvas of independence and the chance to govern ourselves is more than enough of a reason to vote yes – but he doesn’t seem able to comprehend the fact that it ISN’T enough of a reason for undecided voters – who are what we need if we are to win the referendum! 

    The reason they are undecided is because they are unsure about independence – so clearly the chance to govern ourselves is not enough of a reason for them to vote yes – they want to have some idea of what independence will mean.

  123. Adrian B says:

    The reason they are undecided is because they are unsure about independence – so clearly the chance to govern ourselves is not enough of a reason for them to vote yes 

    The reason that there is uncertainty isn’t down to a lack of information. It’s down to the clouding of that information by ‘Better together’. David Cameron freely admits that Scotland can go it alone. The reason he wants to keep us in the UK is oil and natural resources mainly. Scots also currently pay more for fuel in the UK, so it suits his POV for Scotland to stay in the UK. At the end of the day Scotland is actually in a better financial position than many other countries. We just need to be able to control that money in Scotland.

  124. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    David Cameron is visiting our nuclear abomination today, presumably to reassure to folk of Helensburgh and Lomond that in the event of some nuclear conflagration the ever considerate UK government will make sure they all get a fitting funeral.

  125. ianbrotherhood says:

    @NW-
    Rev Stu has asked you a question over on the ‘sincerest form of flattery’ thread. You appear to have missed it.

  126. Norsewarrior says:

    Thanks for letting me know – the answer is the Scottish Greens, to a certain extent. They are opposed to the EU’s “economic centralisation” and think that it is “dominated by an unsustainable and market-obsessed economic model”. They only want Scotland to be part of the EU if the EU is “more democratic and accountable” and if “power is placed in the hands of citizens through a stronger Parliament, and greater use of referendums”. 

    But what matters is that around 40% of Scots are opposed to the EU, and may be put off from voting yes by the SNP’s plan to make Scotland become an EU member without giving the people of Scotland a referendum on the issue. 

  127. Adrian B says:

    @ Norsewarrior,
     
    Always a sour aftertaste in your comments Norsewarrior.
     
    Scotland would have twice as many MSP’s with Independence than we have now. That would give us better representation than we have right now. UKIP seem to have a number of MEP’s from the south of England in particular. They seem to do their best to make Europe not work, rather than trying to get a good deal for their constituents. Hardly surprising really as they prefer to be a small Island State and blame Europe for a lot of our ill’s. They don’t want to be part of Europe and would prefer to put up trade barriers and create boundaries to prevent immigration and migration. Something which would have devastating effects for our travel and tourism industries.
     
    The EU countries are largely in a better position than that of the UK at present – sure there are individual countries going through a lot of pain, but the banking collapse had little to do with Cyprus, Spain, Italy or Greece directly, other than over investment in the wrong countries banks or in the boom of building that has hit here also.
     
     
    Its rather sad that the southern European countries suffering so much. Cuts in the UK have much further to go so we might still find our selves in a much worse place given time.
     
    Europe can work well for Scotland, it is a big market place for our goods and services which has yet to be harnessed properly.
     
    We have a growing food and drink industry which needs to be more focused on the European market. We have great talent and skills in the renewable industries (yes plural) that can work across Europe (and the rest of the world). Oil and gas markets are important not just in Scotland, but across Europe and further afield. Fishing rights were given up by Wesminster many years ago and handed over to the Spanish. Scottish fishing is world renowned however and a high risk career does bring benefits, but the cost of running fishing boats is extortionate, so it is right that the financial benefits can be had by those who invest – Successful fishermen have a very high standard of living – but its dangerous work.
     
    Scotland has much to offer the EU market countries in the way of goods and services that provide job opportunities at home and abroad. Putting up barriers will only make us a more insular society and thats not in our interests. The press for years has only portrayed problems in the EU, it never gives any exposure on the good from the EU. That is the main reason why there is distrust and discord with the EU from all parts of the UK.

  128. Norsewarrior says:

    Adrian B: I think you misunderstood my post, I was asked which pro-independence party is opposed to the EU and I answered. 

    Personally I fully agree that an independent Scotland will be better represented within the EU than it is now as part of the UK, I’d like Scotland to become an EU member.

    But I want that membership to be decided by the Scottish people, not by the SNP alone without giving us a choice, for 2 reasons:

    1. It is our sovereign democratic right to make such major decisions – they should not be made without our say by a party that has no mandate to do so
    2. It will help us win the referendum – 40% of Scots are opposed to the EU, many of them will potentially be put off voting yes by the prospect of Scotland becoming an EU member state without them having a say – giving us a referendum on the issue would encourage such people to vote yes

  129. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “40% of Scots are opposed to the EU, many of them will potentially be put off voting yes by the prospect of Scotland becoming an EU member state without them having a say”

    “Becoming”? You’re aware we’re already in the EU, right?

    So far as I can tell, your core point is simply wrong. Yes Scotland hasn’t said “A vote for independence is a vote for the EU”, it has simply stated the fact that voting Yes won’t lead to Scotland being thrown out against its will. (Likewise the monarchy etc.) It doesn’t need saying that subsequent elections will enable parties to stand on an anti-EU platform, because it’s obvious. It’s fundamental to the entire concept of elections.

    Still, by all means remind people of the fact. But it isn’t the case that Yes Scotland is advocating SNP policies, and if you claim that it is you shouldn’t act all hurt when people get annoyed about it. So, y’know, to stop folk calling you a troll, take care not to sound like one.

  130. Norsewarrior says:

    “You’re aware we’re already in the EU, right?”

    Yes but we’re not an EU member state are we? Even that Irish Minister whose views the SNP put such stock in the other week admitted that going from being part of an EU member state to an EU member state in our own right would result in “somewhat different” terms to the ones we currently have – I believe the people of Scotland have a sovereign right to have a say on that.

    “Yes Scotland hasn’t said “A vote for independence is a vote for the EU””

    No, but they have said independence will result in Scotland remaining an “integral part” of the EU, which, combined with the SNP’s plan to make Scotland become an EU member without giving us a say, could potentially put off those 40% of Scots who are opposed to the EU from voting yes. 

    I don’t really understand the problem with the SNP giving us a referendum between 2014-16 on becoming EU members, it would encourage both pro and anti EU Scots to vote yes!

  131. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I don’t really understand the problem with the SNP giving us a referendum between 2014-16 on becoming EU members”

    So let’s be clear – you want a referendum in autumn 2014, another one in 2015 (while independence negotiations are occupying much of the government’s attention, and while a UK general election is also going on), and then an election in 2016, which could see the election of a party opposed to implementing the EU referendum result? That should be a real winner with the public.

  132. Dal Riata says:

    @baheid
    It’s becoming a way to notice fellow ‘Yes’ supporters – people alone in their cars and shouting at their radios!!
     
    @Norsewarrior  Still here acting as an agent provocateur, we see. Nothing better to do?

  133. Adrian B says:

    @ Norsewarrior
     
    I certainly did not misunderstand your post. I was offering some clarification to other readers, some of whom will be undecided voters as to the benefit that Scots would have for staying in the EU.
     
    EU membership would continue after Independence – it would have to as to not be would throw Europe into complete disarray. There are thousands of jobs across Europe and the UK as well as Scotland that rely on Scotland being part of the EU.
     
    The Scottish Government have been clear on this continuation. No one from Europe has seriously said that the EU would not have Scotland in it. All these noise has been about paperwork. Its a formality that will be bridged when we get there. 
     
    I don’t really understand the problem with the SNP giving us a referendum between 2014-16 on becoming EU members, it would encourage both pro and anti EU Scots to vote yes!
     
    No one is asking for a referendum in the UK other than UKIP and David Cameron and its frightening business south of the border about the prospect of all the uncertainty and damage that leaving the EU would do to business.
     
    As I have said else where today the UK press have for years blamed the EU for many of the UK’s problems. They don’t report all of the good, nor do the investigate the raw deal that we have at the moment within the EU.
     
    Leaving things as they are at the moment very aptly allows those of a distinctly no to EU to see for themselves the choices that will be available here.
     
    The Scottish Democratic Alliance:
    http://www.scottishdemocraticalliance.com/
    Is a Scottish party based and registered with the electoral commission that thinks that Scotland should be out of Europe. There will be other choices to the electorate in 2016 than just the SNP, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, SSP etc.

  134. Norsewarrior says:

    You’re right Rev, looking at it that way it does sound rather a difficult proposal to hold a referendum on the EU in 2015.

    Perhaps it would be better for the SNP to negotiate the terms of our membership but not then officially become EU members before the 2016 election, rather than on independence day in early 2016 as they plan.

    Then they can have EU membership on those terms as part of their manifesto and we can become members if they win the election, and any other party that wants to can have not joining the EU as part of its manifesto. 

  135. ianbrotherhood says:

    Here is a visual representation of Norsewarrior’s ‘debating’ technique:
    http://www.illusionspoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/impossible-objects-optical-illusion-12.gif
    The balls represent Q and A, and are interchangeable – it doesn’t matter which you take as your starting point, you will never escape his circular ‘reasoning’ because it doesn’t involve ‘reason’.

  136. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Norsewarrior
    What you are proposing regarding the 2016 election. Which when you think about it will probably be the most important election in Scotland’s history. Your proposal would turn this major event into a referendum on the EU. Get real!

  137. Norsewarrior says:

    “Your proposal would turn this major event into a referendum on the EU”

    No it wouldn’t, it will be just like every other election in that parties will have policies in their manifestos and people will vote for the party whose policies they like best. 

    What’s your solution, allowing the SNP to make Scotland become an EU member without giving the people of Scotland a say and despite not having a mandate to do so?

  138. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Norseworrior
    In a word Yes.
    If  the people of Scotland dont like it they can vote for someone else. Simples!

  139. Adrian B says:

    What’s your solution, allowing the SNP to make Scotland become an EU member without giving the people of Scotland a say and despite not having a mandate to do so?
     
    Scotland is in the EU and has been for forty odd years. You cannot send every EU national home if a member state (or part of one) becomes a non member for 5 minutes. Continuation is the only option. The SNP have this correct and they are not alone in expressing this. The Greens recognise it too, although that doesn’t let you bash the SNP with the same purpose.
     
     

  140. Norsewarrior says:

    “If  the people of Scotland dont like it they can vote for someone else.”

    But that’s exactly the danger! Around 40% of Scots are opposed to the EU, if they don’t like the idea of Scotland becoming an EU member state without them having a say then they may well vote for something else – remaining in the union. 

    That’s what I’m suggesting could be avoided if we are given a say on EU membership – then both pro and anti EU Scots would be more inclined to vote yes! 

  141. Norsewarrior says:

    “Scotland is in the EU and has been for forty odd years. You cannot send every EU national home if a member state (or part of one) becomes a non member for 5 minutes. Continuation is the only option”

    But Scotland isn’t an EU member state that’s the point – it wouldn’t be ‘continuation’, we’d be going from being part of a member state to a member state in our own right – as I said earlier, even that Irish Minister whose views the SNP put such stock in the other week admitted that would result in “somewhat different” EU terms to the ones we currently have.

    We’d remain part of the EU until we officially gained independence from the UK, and I’m sure an agreement could easily be reached with the EU to allow us to remain part of it until after the 2016 election – at which point we’d either become an EU member state or leave the EU, depending on how we voted. 

  142. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Around 40% of Scots are opposed to the EU”

    Just checking: where’s that stat from?

  143. Adrian B says:

    @ Norsewarrior,
     
    “If  the people of Scotland dont like it they can vote for someone else.”
     
    Thats democracy at work.
    It would take years to remove Scotland from the EU – its possible, but the repercussions need to be thought through and acted upon to smooth the way. At present 60% of Scots would stay within the EU. Thats a democratic ‘Yes’ to remaining within the EU.
     
    You might as well target the people who want to end the Scottish parliament, the people who wish to vote ‘No’ because they don’t like Alex Salmond or those who think Scotland should have two police forces rather than one. Everyone who is registered to vote has a vote in the forth coming referendum.
     
    People will vote on their priorities and how they see and feel things might work for either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote.
     
    There is no information to suggest that EU membership would be a deal breaker for either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ voters in any significant numbers. You would do well to remember this in your repetitive cut and paste comments.
     
     

  144. Norsewarrior says:

    Its from a YouGov poll carried out last year, as reported in Newsnet:

    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/4494-scots-equally-split-over-eu-membership

    It found 43% of Scots would vote to withdraw from the EU.

  145. Norsewarrior says:

    “At present 60% of Scots would stay within the EU. Thats a democratic ‘Yes’ to remaining within the EU”

    Er…no it isn’t! That figure is based on opinion polls, there is nothing democratic about opinion polls! Otherwise, by your logic, Scotland is currently saying a ‘democratic’ no to independence, considering polls generally show a majority are opposed to it! 

  146. Dal Riata says:

    And here we have Norsewarrior proving his agenda!
     
    Stating his information (43% of Scots would withdraw from the EU) from a YouGov poll – fair enough.
    Then in a reply to Adrian B;
    “Er, no, it isn’t. That figure is based on opinion polls. There is nothing democratic about opinion polls!”
     
    Um, so YouGov polls aren’t democratic then?
     
    And around and around we go suckered in by the agent provocateur….

  147. douglas clark says:

    Norsewarrior,
     
    The whole business of politics is to effect change. Changes in attitudes, changes in voting intention, changes in the way we run our nation. Changes, even, in how we cast our ballot.
     
    It is verging on odd that you feel quite at liberty to use an opinion poll as an indication of voting intention when it gives ‘support’ to your case, and then rubbish opinion polls when they give an outcome you don’t like. You appear to be trying to argue that the 40% is kosher and the 60% in ersatz. You really, really can’t have it both ways.
     
    The other question that ought to arise is how big a deal do people make of it? Ask me the question about EU membership and I’d hum and haw and eventually say that, on balance, I’m for it. Mainly on the grounds that, so far, we’ve avoided war in Europe largely as a consequence of it. Which is not the typical reason.
     
     

  148. Morag says:

    I’m afraid this idea that Scotland could quickly and painlessly withdraw from the EU is fanciful.  It would be a huge issue to have EU citizenship removed from everyone, to end the right of citizens of other EU countries to live and work here, and to end the right of UK citizens who will become Scottish citizens to live and work in Europe.
     
    It is something which we should only be contemplating after a great deal of very serious thought, and at a time when we are not also negotiating independence from England.  We need to find out what our new status within Europe is, and live with it for a bit, before contemplating anything so drastic and damaging to the country.
     
    People who answer in opinion polls that they would favour withdrawal from Europe simply have not thought this through at all.  I’m afraid the answer is either to educate these people or ignore them.  We cannot jeopardise the stability of the country simply to pander to the prejudices of the ignorant.
     
    David Cameron’s mileage may vary.

  149. Norsewarrior says:

    “And here we have Norsewarrior proving his agenda!”

    Er……..what ‘agenda’ am I apparently proving by pointing out the fact that opinion polls aren’t a “democratic” yes to anything?! 

    It is perfectly acceptable to base strategies and predictions and opinions around opinion polls – as I am doing when I say that around 40% of Scots are opposed to the EU – but obviously they aren’t a “democratic” answer to anything – which is why you need referendums and elections! 

  150. Norsewarrior says:

    “It is verging on odd that you feel quite at liberty to use an opinion poll as an indication of voting intention when it gives ‘support’ to your case, and then rubbish opinion polls when they give an outcome you don’t like”

    I’m not ‘rubbishing’ opinion polls! As I just said, it is perfectly acceptable to use them to back up an argument or to form a strategy.

    But they aren’t democratic – that’s the point I’m making – we wouldn’t stop the referendum simply because the polls suggest the no vote will win, and we wouldn’t allow a party to form the government simply because the polls suggest it will win an election – we need to have referendums and elections to make something democratic. 

  151. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    “I’m not ‘rubbishing’ opinion polls!”
    Oh yes you were

  152. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Its from a YouGov poll carried out last year, as reported in Newsnet:
    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/4494-scots-equally-split-over-eu-membership
    It found 43% of Scots would vote to withdraw from the EU.”

    So wildly out of date, then? The last poll, almost a year more recent than yours, showed 53% in, 34% out:

    http://www.slideshare.net/IpsosMORI/scotland-attitudes-towards-eu-membership

  153. Yesitis says:

    @Dal Riata
    “And around and around we go suckered in by the agent provocateur….”
    Yep.
    And, looking at the last few posts, that`s Labour off the hook, too. Job done.

  154. Jiggsbro says:

    Scotland is currently saying a ‘democratic’ no to independence, considering polls generally show a majority are opposed to it!
     
    Feel free to link to these polls.

  155. MajorBloodnok says:

    On the subject of support for EU membership – once we get away from the baleful influence of London and its self centred spin on our relationship with Europe, I think you’ll find that even more Scots will realise how useful it is for a smallish country to be in such an entity as the EU with all the benefits and stability it brings.
     
    And Norseman it’s interesting seeing a “Scottish Green” seemingly against the EU.  I work in the environment business and I can tell you that without the EU our beaches would still be covered in shit, condoms and panty liners, our Environmental Assessment processes would be a mess, public involvement in such processes would be limited and it is unlikely that the UK would have introduced legislation to enforce the Bern Convention and other agreements thus providing protection to a wide variety of species and habitats, not to mention air quality, groundwater, burns and rivers.
     
    These are the very things that are invisibly protecting the Scottish countryside and mariine habitats right now and we have the EU to thank for that.  Sure, it’s not perfect but, you have only to go to somewhere outside the EU, such as Turkey where I am right now, to see what a sad and declining mess an unregulated and unprotected environment can look like.

  156. Keef says:

    As yesitis said Norsewarrior has managed to completly derail the thread about Labour having an almighty whinge.
    Fair play to Norsewarrior. Very clever tactic. Even had the Rev engaged.



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