The less-deserving pro-independence website

Wings Over Scotland


Give me information, but not yet

Posted on April 08, 2014 by

If there’s one thing we – as a website rather than as part of the Yes movement – are sick and tired of hearing from Scottish people about the referendum it’s “We need more information”. Having spent two and a half years writing thousands of articles full of fully-sourced and referenced information covering every conceivable aspect of the debate, our response tends to be “You can’t be looking very bloody hard, then.”

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But are we right to be so cranky, or are we just crotchety old grumpyfaces?

———————————————————————————————————

Q: Have you ACTIVELY sought out information about the independence debate, or only read/seen what happens to have appeared in front of you?

Have sought it out on the internet: 26%
Have sought it out in newspapers/TV/radio: 21%
Have sought it out from friends and family: 8%
Have sought it out from the official campaigns/political parties: 3%
Have sought it out from street campaigners: 3%
Have not actively sought out information: 40%

———————————————————————————————————

Well, that solves THAT mystery, doesn’t it, people of Scotland? You don’t have enough information because you can’t be bothered to get off your backsides and look for it. Though we were at least encouraged that the internet is by some distance the most popular source, a fact which we’ll invite the next person who moans at us for having a website rather than going out knocking doors to stick in their pipe and smoke.

(We love people who go out knocking doors, and we spend dozens of hours every week trying to create ammunition for them to go out there with, but there’s a certain element of the campaign that gets very snooty about your right to voice an opinion if you haven’t spent 20 years disturbing people on a rainy Tuesday night when they’re trying to have their tea or watch Coronation Street first.)

But is it interesting how those figures break down by voting intention?

———————————————————————————————————

HAVE SOUGHT INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
Yes voters: 41%
No voters: 17%
Undecided: 15%

HAVE SOUGHT INFORMATION IN NEWSPAPERS/TV/RADIO
Yes voters: 22%
No voters: 21%
Undecided: 21%

HAVE SOUGHT INFORMATION FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Yes voters: 4%
No voters: 8%
Undecided: 16%

HAVE SOUGHT INFORMATION FROM OFFICIAL CAMPAIGNS/PARTIES
Yes voters: 4%
No voters: 3%
Undecided: 2%

HAVE SOUGHT INFORMATION FROM STREET CAMPAIGNERS
Yes voters: 3%
No voters: 3%
Undecided: 2%

HAVE NOT SOUGHT INFORMATION
Yes voters: 26%
No voters: 49%
Undecided: 43%

———————————————————————————————————

Hmm. Two big differences there – firstly, half of No voters haven’t bothered actively looking for information at all, almost twice the number of Yes supporters. You can read that stat from either direction – either people voting No are doing so instinctively with little interest in debating the issue at all, or they’re getting everything they want from the overwhelmingly Unionist mainstream media, which requires little effort.

Conversely, Yes voters are looking a lot harder for facts. It’s hard to see why they’d be bothering to do that if they were already convinced, so we’re pushed towards the conclusion that people who happen to go online to seek out information about independence end up being pro-Yes.

That conveniently fits with what we’d want to believe – that the facts themselves, freed of media spin and distortion, are in favour of independence and all we need to do is get them in front of people. As to whether it’s really as simple as that, it’s difficult to say. If we ask this one again in three months’ time and all the undecideds have gone looking for info on the web and Yes is 10% ahead, we’ll know.

The gender breakdown was notable here – only 30% of men hadn’t looked for information at all, compared to a whopping 49% of women. The biggest difference was online, with 32% of men having used the web or social media for indyref info compared to just 20% of women. The only category with a higher score among women was “friends and family”, at 8% compared to the men’s 7%.

The age divide, meanwhile, went exactly as you’d expect. While there wasn’t much between those who’d sought no information at all (39% of 16-34s, 37% of the 35-54s and 43% of over-55s), the methods were radically split. 39% of the youngest group had used the internet, against 25% of the middle group and just 15% of the oldies.

For traditional media the proportions were, again predictably, reversed – 29% of the over-55s had used print or broadcast sources, compared to 22% of the middle-agers and a mere 10% of the youngsters.

Party loyalty played almost no part, with broadly the same numbers using papers and TV/radio whoever they voted for, but there was a noticeable division when it came to internet use, with SNP (32%) and Lib Dem (25%) voters more inclined to go online than Labour (21%) or Tory (12%) supporters. Wealth had minimal impact in either category.

That’s the end of the “mechanical” data from the poll, you’ll be glad to hear. This afternoon we’ll start getting into what people actually think about stuff. Buckle in.

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121 to “Give me information, but not yet”

  1. Martin says:

    No, Rev, you’re wrong. I see it on BBC HYS all the time- all the pro independence arguments fall apart when you look at the facts. We’re also massive subsidy junkies, and the whole world should get a vote, not just Scotland.

    Once again, that panelbase poll has been rubbished…

  2. Tartan Tory says:

    You can lead a horse to water…… Or in this case, you can provide a watering hole but there may be no method of getting the horse to come to it.

    It’s worth looking at a website from the point of view of the lowest common denominator. I tell many people about WoS, but what they find might appear a bit confusing to the uninitiated. We may all understand it’s a ‘blog’, but others may not. I wonder if it might be worth making a few extra ‘tabs’ (or a sub-menu) for the most salient of questions and answers about independence for the more Internet challenged – ‘Pensions’, ‘Defense’, ‘Economy’ and such-like?

  3. Helena Brown says:

    Newsnet this morning said that PanelBase had been onto the Scotsman and taken them to task. Another bit of free publicity Stuart. Seem Wings can do no wrong.

  4. Lanarkist says:

    So would it be right to surmise that sites such as this one are mostly responsible for maintaining the growth in the yes vote and for stemming the unrelenting flow of negativity from the Main Stream Media?

    The conversational overflow from social media must count hugely, otherwise the polls would be hugely in favour of the Union,appart from the fact that Westminster has a laser sighted propensity for shooting at their own feet.

    Once the 49%? Of people who have not sought out info do so, I would hope to see the larger proportion of them swing to the positive Yes side.

    This may well occur when the official campaigning period begins and shackles the News Broadcasts and Papers in their overt support of BT and in that case would line up nicely for more people seeking info when that info should at least be more balanced.

    That can only be a good thing for the Yes argument and as so many have already digested the main areas of discussion and are fully conversant in the rebuttal of all previous mis-information, this gives Yes a twin strategy of winning the information outlet campaign, more balanced MSM, more positive conversations and more coverage of online Independence sites.

  5. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    For the next poll may I suggest you add a question.

    Do you think Lord George Robertson has put a bet on with the bookies for a YES vote?

  6. gerry parker says:

    Yep, I’ve talked to a few people recently who said they needed more information, then said they hadn’t done anything about getting it. I think this is where a billboard campaign will pay dividends, highly visible.

    I’ve a feeling that these people will need only one good reason to swing to Yes, their only reason for being a don’t know having been removed.

  7. bookie from hell says:

    Hope a journalist will ask Alistair Darling if he agrees with Lord Robertsons speech

  8. jon esquierdo says:

    A number of the electorate are more interested in Soap Operas than the referendum. Its called my own wee world and just leave me alone

  9. Grant Cruickshank says:

    I’m a Yes voter but I still look for information for two reasons: 1) To ensure I have the best basis for my decision. I’m still open to the idea of voting No if it looks like it there’s any danger of it becoming an omnishambles. 2) I need facts and figures to help me debate with No-voting friends. Sometimes even if I’ve read a great piece of Yes info, someone else may put it into better wording or find a neat way of communicating it.

  10. Brian Stobie says:

    Your article expresses a common frustration felt by activists of all types – “why don’t they (the voting public) recognise my cause for the importance it deserves, and DO something instead of passively accepting propaganda?”

    There seems to be a significant proportion of the population that just prefer to go with the flow, as actually thinking about anything is too much like hard work.

    Unfortunately as you have noted the ‘flow’ is dominated by the mainstream media who are mostly establishment NO-puppets.

    The strings are pulled by the Very Rich. The same as it ever was.

  11. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    There is enough financial information on Business For Scotland to win two referendums.

  12. Doug Daniel says:

    I wonder how many of those 49% of No voters are just scared of finding out that they’ve been wrong all along?

  13. James Whyte says:

    I’m a volunteer canvasser for Yes Scotland and now seems as good a time as any to say that this site is an invaluable source of information and analysis that helps me do that job. Thank you.

  14. Tamson says:

    I agree with Doug – there’s a significant number of No voters who are basically on denial. Especially Labour No voters.

  15. HoraceSaysYes says:

    I agree with Grant Cruickshank above.

    Even as a lifelong supporter of independence, I still seek out information to help counter the claims of No-inclined acquaintances. And I also mention various things I’ve read on here and other pro-Yes websites, so that they get the information whether they actively seek it out themselves or not!

  16. Bobby Mckail says:

    Let’s be honest, there will be a large demograph that will wait on TV debates in the closing weeks and vote on who they think has Scotland’s best interest at heart. It will all boil down to trust & I would be happy going into that with the polls neck and neck, the Unionists do not have a positive vision to offer, they only have the fear and uncertainty card.

  17. Illy says:

    Yep, I’ve talked to a few people recently who said they needed more information, then said they hadn’t done anything about getting it. I think this is where a billboard campaign will pay dividends, highly visible.

    I’ve a feeling that these people will need only one good reason to swing to Yes, their only reason for being a don’t know having been removed.

    Or they haven’t had the time yet, and will go looking an a month or so.

  18. Caroline Corfield says:

    I’m afraid I remain unconvinced that the official campaigning period will see a massive improvement in the coverage of the MainStream Media (MSM for those not up to speed with the acronyms).

    If we look at the behaviour of our elected officials, from council level through to Westminster one will see that they are mostly without honour, or principle, consequently they cannot be held to account for anything: they simply say sorry, shrug their shoulders and move on.

    I fear the same thing of the MSM, they will continue to publish biased articles, which will continue to have effect, then there will be the complaints, which during this period will be upheld and then there will be the quiet retraction, and they will carry on. The BBC I suspect, will suddenly receive a barrage of pro-union complainants about a perceived change in coverage, which will enable them to turn around, as they do already down south and say, “look both sides are complaining, we must be impartial then”

    It would be a strategic error to believe there will be a change in how the MSM behaves in the 16 week run up to the referendum, at best we will see a slight modification, at worse a shrug of the shoulders and a sorry.

  19. CameronB says:

    I shall retain my trust in the evolutionary process, i.e. species which manage to survive, tend to avoid thing that are bad for them. In this instance, Unionism and the British state.

  20. Votadini Jeannie says:

    Like others, I’m a YES voter who still looks for more information, but not because I’m still open to persuasion on voting NO.

    I’ve been YES for over 40 years because I see no reason on Earth why one country should be governed by another, and I hate to see our traditions being eroded by anglicisation and americanisms.

    But this alone is unlikely to persuade anyone, so we need to know all the latest facts and rebuttals etc. in order to ensure that when wo talk to undecideds, we are giving them good, honest reasons why YES is Scotland’s only real option.

  21. Rev, I think you have given us the reason for the gender gap! I have beeen giving almost all my “Aye Right” business cards to guys, now, my target will be the lasses.

  22. Sue says:

    I’m glad you asked this question Stuart. I think the people who claim to not have enough information are using it as an excuse, they don’t want to have to make a choice. It’s a head-in-sand option, and can be sustained for a while longer yet on the grounds that it is still almost half a year away. I do wonder though at what point they will have to start paying attention, a month to go, a week, a day? Or just not vote?

    I can’t understand the attitude, nor the ones who think the whole thing is unimportant. I mean, I’ve only lived here for 10 years, but this referendum is the single most important decision I will ever make in my life. How come others don’t see it that way? Maybe it has to do with feeling powerless in life in general?

  23. Alt Clut says:

    “Tartan Tory” may be right about a subject catalogue type section of ‘Wings’ with a few, short, straight forward pieces on each key issue. Might be especially effective when the ‘official’ campaign begins and, hopefully, a rush of ‘nonlookers’ starts to look.

    Of course it’s easy for we, who aren’t going to have to do the work on it, to suggest it. What do you think Stu ?

  24. Alt Clut says:

    “Tartan Tory” may be right about a subject catalogue type section of ‘Wings’ with a few, short, straight forward pieces on each key issue. Might be especially effective when the ‘official’ campaign begins and, hopefully, a rush of ‘nonlookers’ starts to look.

    Of course it’s easy for we, who aren’t going to have to do the work on it, to suggest it. What do you think Stu ?

  25. john allan says:

    Has the most important decision of are life’s been mentioned on river city lol i suspect not

  26. Alt Clut says:

    “Tartan Tory” may be right about a subject catalogue type section of ‘Wings’ with a few, short, straight forward pieces on each key issue. Might be especially effective when the ‘official’ campaign begins and, hopefully, a rush of ‘nonlookers’ starts to look.

    Of course it’s easy for we, who aren’t going to have to do the work on it, to suggest it. What do you think Stu ?

  27. Alt Clut says:

    “Tartan Tory” may be right about a subject catalogue type section of ‘Wings’ with a few, short, straight forward pieces on each key issue. Might be especially effective when the ‘official’ campaign begins and, hopefully, a rush of ‘nonlookers’ starts to look.

    Of course it’s easy for we, who aren’t going to have to do the work on it, to suggest it. What do you think Stu ?

  28. @Tartan Tory

    I agree with your point about quick links on the sidebar menu if only because of anecdotal evidence gathered from speaking to customers in the bookshop where I work. Generally speaking, people want a quick reference because the volume of words is simply too much to take in – this is in a bookshop remember, where most folk are ABC1s.

    As part of the friendly banter, I’ve challenged punters on this and was reminded that it’s not only been a few years since folk went to school but that when they were at school, the Tudors et al pretty much comprised the whole teaching of English/ British history. That there were kings like Alexander III comes as a real surprise. Discovering that you’ve lived a lie for so long is not easy to live with (if only because no-one likes feeling a fool) and if it takes small, sugarcube-sized lumps to get those undecideds over to the water of truth then that’s how we’ll have to play it.

    In regard to quick, easy nuggets of info, we should also remember that many in our target audience did not finish school or left with poor literacy. It is not patronising to say that economic arguments are couched in an alien language. It would shock most non-bookshop/ library folk just how lacking in confidence some people are when it comes to seeking help and it is in this area that TV is such help to disenfranchised voters who may have reading difficulties. World Book Day and other reading initiatives only scratch the surface and many people live in fear of admitting they have difficulty. Fortunately, there are volunteer programs out there to help disadvantaged voters but this highlights why knocking on doors is also of such importance.

  29. caz-m says:

    I still think that the SNP/YES campaign has to get up and running.

    They are keeping their powder dry. If they went full out at this present time then their message would lose momentum.

    They are more than happy with the work being carried out by sites like this and by the ground work being done by people like you and I.

  30. Ian Brotherhood says:

    John Beattie’s show now discussing Robertson’s wind-egg, and inviting comments.

    Stuart Maxwell for Yes, Thomas Docherty for BT.

  31. Brian Powell says:

    Apparently a much larger number of voters are intending to vote in the referendum, but they don’t want to bother finding out about the background of what they are voting about or what it means.

    It is unfortunate there is no comparable information, in detail, for the Devolution vote, too long ago.

  32. Iain Ross says:

    That 40% have not sought information is no surprise to me, I believe that there is a section of society who have yet to show any interest in the debate and it is open to debate if they ever will. I suspect engaging with these people shall be key to winning.

    The more interesting point for me is the way the flow of information is distorted by those on the No side, who I think also realise this. I think it is fair to say that we have all come across plenty of people who say things like, “We need answers”. I would like to think there might be people for who this is true and indeed the answer for them is you are not looking hard enough then (perhaps kinder words might be the order of the day in this case!).

    However I get the feeling that many who say this are definite Nos and all they are trying to do is manipulate the debate and spread confusion, either that or they are scrambling for reasons for why they do not need to question their own views and beliefs.

  33. kendomacaroonbar says:

    @Sue

    Many people just cannot get enthused enough to be engaged in politics for whatever reason. I always found that there were always three conversational ‘no no’s’ when talking to colleagues and friends, religion, politics and football.

    These are often emotional subjects and as such, many people just don’t feel comfortable in articulating their views when others may have have a differing polarised view and can articulate themselves better.

    I know many people who just don’t want to debate the subject, it’s private to them and the thought of having to argue their position just takes them way out out their comfort zone. I am of the opinion that come the day of the vote there will be a large amount of DK’s who will opt for what I call the ” F*** it” vote once they have the paper and pencil in front of them.

  34. hetty says:

    Just submitted. comment which has disappeared.

    I will try again. It was too long anyway.

    We still have a battle on our hands as there are many many people who are being brainwashed into thinking that the Independence ref is a minor issue, or that it is an SNP crusade. They soak up the lies daily, from the msm, they do not bother to find out alternative sources for their information. I have met some people who asked me where they could get hold of the white paper. I have met people who rather than seeking out and asking questions, make their own conclusions based on misinformation if not downright lies.

    I was accused of politicising a board meeting of a charity that I am on recently, when er, it was actually on the agenda! The stance was, we are too poor and too stupid and where will we get our sources of income from and what about the bbc? The worry being that some, some of the financial support comes from England, and the lottery. It was a job to get across that Scotland pays rather a lot into the lottery and could well afford her own. Most people, there did want more info tho, if I had not been there they would not have got it!

  35. Oneironaut says:

    @Caroline Corfield
    “If we look at the behaviour of our elected officials, from council level through to Westminster one will see that they are mostly without honour, or principle, consequently they cannot be held to account for anything: they simply say sorry, shrug their shoulders and move on.”

    This. Definitely this!
    And I have noticed over the years that the whole “say sorry, shrug their shoulders and move on” reaction seems to have infected the general public as well, like some sort of macabre psychic puppetry.

    If you ask someone why society is so unfairly skewed in favour of the rich, why poor people have to starve to death or rely on foodbanks while the “social elite” pocket thousands just for sitting around all day, and they’ll probably just look at you in total confusion and reply that it’s “just the way things are and we have to put up with it” before going back to watching whatever mind-numbing “reality” c**p happens to be on TV at the time.

    (At least that’s the response I always got when I was younger and kept asking my parents why things were so completely screwed-up that even someone at the tender age I was then could see it clearly!)

    I think this is what’s infecting a lot of the undecideds. I was actually saying the same thing to Aidan last night, on the way to a Yes meeting. It’s like people are so numbed by what they’ve had drummed into them by social engineers as “inevitable reality” that they can’t believe that any decision they make will change things, so why bother?

    Even though most of them know full well that BT are lying through their teeth, they just shrug and accept that situation anyway. Telling someone that politicians are lying to them is like telling them they need to breathe air to survive. It’s become the expected normality.

    I usually carry around a small stack of the “Aye Right!” leaflets in my pocket, and if someone does engage with me (usually sparked off by seeing the Yes badge I’m always wearing when I go out), I tend to pull one of the leaflets out and go “well if you’re looking for more information, and want to get the other side of the story you won’t find in the newspapers, try checking out this site” (Pointing to the Wings link).

    But afterwards, I can’t help wondering how many of the people I’ve given them to actually went and put in the minimal effort to check the links out and see what they’re missing everywhere else. How many just tossed the leaflet aside somewhere thinking they’d “do it later” and never getting around to it, or just chucked it in the bin as soon as they were out of my line of sight?

    Voter apathy may be a more dangerous opponent to the Yes campaign than BT will ever be. Would be nice to see more events that managed to pull these people away from their TV screens for a while and bring the information directly to them rather than just hoping they’ll go and look it up themselves.

    I’ve seen some interesting Wings articles that would go nicely on a Yes stall. Particularly that one a while back with the two newspaper headlines side-by-side, one reporting on more people being dependent on foodbanks and suffering because of the bedroom tax, and the other talking about overpaid lords complaining about the quality of their taxpayer funded restaurants. If stuff like that doesn’t get people wound-up enough to get off their bums and vote Yes, then I fear for the future of humanity…

    (And I think this may be the biggest post I’ve ever made on here. I need to get myself a blog!) 🙂

  36. Jim McIntosh says:

    @kendomacaroonbar

    I am of the opinion that come the day of the vote there will be a large amount of DK’s who will opt for what I call the ” F*** it” vote once they have the paper and pencil in front of them

    I agree and if you are in the booth you are more likely to tick the box thinking “F*** it – lets go for it” rather than “F*** it lets keep the status quo”.

  37. chalks says:

    Yep, I doubt if this 40% that still lack information will actually vote, they will be countered by the hundreds of thousands who are voting though, so it should work out…..you’d also actually want these ‘undecideds’ etc to not vote if they aren’t seeking out info as they’ll be no voters, as highlighted by the division of undecideds to yes and no….

    Factor in the 25% that won’t vote from the No camp, a continuing trend to Yes and we are slowly working our way to being independent.

    Scotland – Alive and Kicking in 2016

  38. Barontorc says:

    Which will be simply ‘cataclysmic’ for this wee torag balloon.

    So when has ‘Tartan Week’ ever been such a must go event for the likes of Flipper Darling, Bump-yer-Gums Wilson and Nippy-Face Robertson? What else can they be in New York for but to try and undermine the Scottish soar-away moment with our American diaspora? What a despicable bunch of nonentities they are!

    Just a wee point for that wee warmonger Robertson – how can it be cataclysmic for the guys with the white hats that Scotland has insisted it will join NATO? Shouldn’t him and his ilk be making contingency plans for that very event and indeed he should be be mighty relieved that Scotland intends to protect NATO interests? What a number one dumplin!

  39. Clootie says:

    People are too lazy to do their research. Unfortunately a large proportion will make their minds up in the last few days based upon some sound bite.

    That is why we have such low turn outs at elections – apathy.

    However I will keep working to gain another YES voter at every opportunity.

  40. Rod Robertson says:

    Stu ,what was the breakdown in women 16-34 in likely to vote intentions .
    a comparison against other demographics would be interesting.
    Are they opposed to Independence or just less engaged than other demographics?

  41. galamcennalath says:

    Stu, you are doing a great job.

    However, in the light of the relationship between internet and Yes in your poll, perhaps I could make a suggestion.

    Wings might benefit from a bit of search engine optimisation to attempt to come up higher in results for appropriate searches.

    Some Google examples I just did ….

    7 scottish politics
    11 scotland politics
    17 scottish independence news
    20 scotland independence news
    21 scottish independence
    30 scottish independence referendum
    37 scotland independence referendum
    100+ scotland independence

    The MSM sites occupy a lot of the top slots, but there’s still room up there.

    Contact me if you agree.

  42. jingly jangly says:

    Grant Cruickshank

    I think you will find we are living in an “omnishambles” now 🙂

  43. Jack Sloan says:

    I agree a side bar with points giving the main case for independence might help for first time users to WOS but what this site very importantly offers is a place for a supportive community talking, sharing and laughing. There is nothing like it for or from BT followers. Wonder why.

  44. Vronsky says:

    ‘Do you feel you have enough information’ is a fairly pointless question. Even if your mind is firmly made up on which way you will vote, you could still truthfully say that you would like more information. I will definitely be voting Yes, although there are some areas of the debate I haven’t a clue about. I’m not trying to find answers – I’m satisfied with the main drift of the argument for independence.

    If there are any devils in the detail they’re small things compared to the prize of self-determination. My position is probably summed up by Rab McNeil’s suggestion for the referendum question: ‘do you want to govern your own country, or are you some kind of nutter?’ The ‘not enough information’ is a Unionist canard to prevent people looking at a very simple question with a very obvious answer. Let’s not get bogged down in detail.

    On this, and noting Andrew Bentley-Steed’s comment above, how about a second website that simply consists of one page with a refutation of the (say) top ten objections to independence, e.g.

    Too wee?
    No, the richest countries in Europe are the smallest, some smaller than Scotland
    Too poor?
    No, WITHOUT OIL our GDP is almost exactly the same as UK’s
    The oil is volatile/will run out
    Whatever-see above: it is just a bonus
    Cataclysmic end of western civilisation if we vote Yes?
    OK, you got us on that one…

    etc.

  45. fergie35 says:

    So this may probably explain Darling and Unionist rage and abuse aimed at the Cybernats!

  46. Desimond says:

    Dont forget folks, The Wings Wee Blue Book will be coming soon, I assume online as well as in hard copy.

  47. Alba4Eva says:

    Nice post Oneironaut… I even managed to make it to the end before my Lunchtime ran out at work. 🙂

  48. heedtracker says:

    Its asking a lot though of some people to start making decisions like this after whole lifetimes of say BBC news media that tells us Westminster is a democracy, the Royals are gods, the City is the epicentre of teamGB business genius, the Lords are very very democratic, we won the wars, foreigners are stoopid, Scots are drunk fat scroungers… A no voter said to me last night, “who’ll protect the oil rigs eh, so just let them get on with it in England.” That was during the STV farce last night.

  49. Ananurhing says:

    “sick and tired of hearing from Scottish people about the referendum “We need more information””

    This, this, and this again. I find myself actually feeling a bit angry when I hear this. Agree with others, what we need is a simple, easy to digest Independence for Dummies.

    Little Blue Book maybe?

  50. Iain Diamond says:

    I think the Yes campaign would be wise to learn from this poll and refocus at least part of their efforts into encouraging voters to actively research the differing points of view for themselves instead of listening to worn out political rhetoric.

  51. beowulfscot says:

    Why can’t our Scottish government just declare independence. I don’t see the British government telling the Americans they need to have a vote on it.

  52. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Having the whole MSM on their side, is useful for the No side. I have no idea how to break into the pysche of these contented don’t want to know, nos, unless the MSM/ TV division really take hede and offer fair and balanced reporting (I do live in hope)

    Saying that, the use of face to face (“combat” aka knocking on doors) might be the way ahead to shake a lot of the undecideds into thinking about reaching out for information. When they do that we know they are likely to break 2 to 1 for YES. There in lies the way to victory.

    As an aside, I was wondering if we will see a increase in the pace towarsd the YES camp in the light of 1) the flat line appeal of Labour Devo Nano plan 2) The apprent disarray of the No campaign.

  53. Big Jock says:

    The majority of No and maybe supporters want a personal letter explaining exactly what colour of underpants they will be wearing following a Yes vote. If the Yes side can’t answer they say there is not enough information. Well if you can’t be bothered enough to look dinnae bother voting for the most important event in Scottish history. It’s the old 90 minute patriots theme much lampooned by Jim Sillars!

  54. liz says:

    My brother is a yes and has said he will become more actively involved – but not yet.

    He is like a lot of folk today who are overwhelmed by information and some will not seek much of the indy info out until much nearer the time – it’s due to having a short attention span.

    Those of us fully committed will vote – I think a good number of the DKs might in the end not bother because they don’t think it will make a difference either way.

    But surely George Robertson’s beyond crazy speech must make a few DKs realise he is talking absolute pish and wonder why?

  55. Gary says:

    People need information in bite sized chunks. YES voters are, I think, more cynical. They have sought out and obtained information, checked the facts and checked again. BT depends on the default position being a NO, going by the NO voters lack of research it may be true. When the actual campaign starts this may radically change, the BBC will have no option but to at least LOOK like it is being fair. Given the polls, newspapers may think about trying not to alienate readers. We have to be patient with our fellow voters, we may feel passionate but they are luke warm.

  56. heedtracker says:

    “I’m a citizen of the world, I don’t want a border my uncle says border patrols are coming, I hate Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, I wouldn’t have all this, pointing at photo of Scottish spouse and kids, I refuse to pay any more tax, I’m British and don’t want to be Scottish” was the no vote chat last night watching STV here in ABZ and all of them bar the no new taxes so no, were women with degrees and very good jobs, 4 out of five English, one from Glasgow. What is it with Glasgow and Scotland? The anger of Glasgow no vote is a site behold.

  57. Eileanach says:

    There are many people that only have enough mental energy to keep interested in something like the Independence referendum for a short period of time. My Wife is one of them.

    We are months to go to the referendum and she is fatigued already! (the same kind of people that cram for exams) There are, I am sure a good proportion of people who know themselves and are going to look into it closer to the time. I am loving all of it, because I have dreamt of the day when my beloved country will be free of the westminsterian shackles!

    I believe in the inherent ability of people to sniff out the truth. (Bullshit sensor) I only hope that the Yes campaign keep their cool and don’t do anything to damage what has been an exemplary campaign so far. I have to say the Yes campaign have an infinitely easier job as they just have to keep on telling the truth! As anyone knows telling the truth helps with lots of things, – happiness, sleep, relationships. I am certain we will see the seams start splitting in the No Campaign by about June.

  58. Betty Boop says:

    People are scared of change. Scottish people have been told for so long that they are rubbish, subsidy junkies (whatever, we have all heard it) that bravado covers a deep seated lack of confidence.

    Canvassing and on the Yes stall, I have found it easier to speak to some people who state they are definite no, rather than those who are undecided. On an individual basis, it seems easier to discuss issues with someone who has an opinion than get people who claim none.

    At meetings, however, the undecided seem to move towards yes more easily, possibly because it is not one on one and they either don’t have to contribute or gain confidence when they hear others questioning.

    Many people have said they want certainty, details, “there isn’t enough information”. It is maddening at times when you know full well most haven’t bothered. Dare I say it, those who appear educated, comfortably off, have least information and are the most apathetic. Frankly, they seem to want someone else to do their thinking for them. I assure them there is plenty of available information, hand them the Aye Right card and any other printed information I have with me, gleaned from various sources, tell them about local events etc.

    Many people simply do not know that we already pay our way. I am sometimes astounded at the level of ignorance of how the country is governed or their part in it. On occasion some comments have shocked me so much, I find it difficult to think quickly enough on my feet and give a really appropriate response.

    I spoke to two young women in a household recently who had never voted, didn’t know they had a vote, knew nothing about the referendum and were surprised when I assured them they had a vote and were on the roll. I think when the voters registration form arrives in a household, the parents complete it for everyone and some youngsters have no idea that has been done.

    Yes voters are highly motivated. Apathy and lack of confidence is the biggest challenge in this campaign.

  59. Betty Boop says:

    Should have said “get through to people who claim none” in my last post. (Comment about talking to undecided voters)

  60. Betty Boop says:

    @Rod Robertson, 12:51 8 April 2014

    “Stu ,what was the breakdown in women 16-34 in likely to vote intentions .
    a comparison against other demographics would be interesting.
    Are they opposed to Independence or just less engaged than other demographics?

    Rod, from the conversations I have had, I would say women in that age group seem to be less engaged. Their male counterparts seem to be far more interested in politics. I must admit, at that age, I was rather an oddball for preferring to converse about political issues and I don’t think it has changed much in the decades since.

  61. Dcanmore says:

    I’ve always wondered about percentages in certain demographics, such as: How many of the YES YES vote in 1997 will vote YES in September? How many of the YES/NO vote, which has seen the Scottish parliament grow and be a success, will turn to a YES vote; also I believe the Labour/YES vote will reach higher than 30% (currently 27%). Then add in the ‘aw fuck it’ factor on the day especially from people who haven’t voted in years.

    There is also a problem the NO camp have and that is motivation, with lack of a grassroots campaign I wonder how many people who are soft NO can be bothered to get out and vote? Many NOs will feel they are not voting for anything really so complacency may play a factor. Then there could be some NOs who will either refuse to vote because the referendum itself is offensive to them so they won’t engage at all, or abstain from voting because they might be emotionally torn between Scotland and UK (the soft NO vote). Then there will be a few NO loons that will spoil their ballot paper because they couldn’t help scrawling ‘fuck fat Salmond’ or ‘Rule Britannia’ on it. I think the NO campaign have big problems that they might not realise yet. They knew this in ’79 hence the guarantee win of the 40% rule, but they don’t have that luxury in September.

  62. The Rough Bounds says:

    Only 40%? I’m really surprised it’s not much higher. The vast majority of the population are too lazy to seek out information for themselves.

    Anyone interested in ratios and percentages should do a google search for ‘The 75 25 Rule’. It’s an almost universal constant.

    eg 75% of those reading this won’t be bothered to google The 75 25 Rule.

  63. bjsalba says:

    I too am a Yes canvasser and come to this site for several reasons.

    I get information here. I’d really like to have those write ups by subject The Rev promised, but I know they take a considerable time to put together well, as I have had occasion to do a mini one myself. I learned lots from the research and found the biggest problem with the write up was getting facts in a logical coherent order and knowing what to leave out! Not easy.

    I get pointers to other sites here and from them I get more facts and more sites and more facts…

    I get moral support here when the Better Together / MSM antics get me down. I do hope that the billboard campaign can make a dent in their control of public opinion.

    As a Yes canvasser by the way, I always make sure that the undecided know al the ways they can get hold of the white paper. And I ask if they have internet access and mention that there are lots of sites.

  64. Kenneth... says:

    Can anyone clarify where the data for this article was sourced from?

  65. Onwards says:

    There is always going to be a high percentage of people who don’t seek out news or information, so I do think the billboards will have an effect.

    And it looks like the secret to getting BBC headlines now is just to come out with extreme statements.

    Independence Will Be Cataclysmic, lol

    Maybe Alex Salmond can mention that Independence will be Orgasmic 🙂

  66. Capella says:

    @Caroline Corfield
    I agree. As well as manufactured news items, there are the pretend “history” programmes such as Rory Stewart’s myth making fantasy on Border Country and Rule Britannia! Music Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century (Union time?), the Great British Bake Off, Railway Journeys, Menu, Sewing Bee.
    Then there’s the coincidence of the Army Day fest at Stirling set for the same day as the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn. Then the WW1 events start the day after the Commonwealth Games so our friends can join in the Union Jack waving memorials. Surely there will be some Royal event too?
    So the YES supporters will need to carry on putting the positive case out there right up to the last minute. Hope that Blue Book is in progress!

  67. Andy A says:

    The importance of the ‘Aye Right’ card can’t be over-emphasized for some yet-to-be engaged voters. For those who don’t know where to look, or can’t be bothered to search themselves, it saves them the trouble and of course, Wings is right at the top of the list on the card.

  68. setondene says:

    O/T The bellacaledonia site has gone down.

  69. Kendomacaroonbar says:

    “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”

    John F. Kennedy

  70. Desimond says:

    Was ever so proud when my daughter announced she had monstered her pal when sitting in a group of them one night. The pal said dismissively “Och I dont know anything about that independence stuff” and my daughter ranted at her “What? Ignorance is no excuse!, all he information you could need is ou there, you just need to lift a finger and go find it”. Cue an “Err, aye I will, I will” reply.

    Sounds harsh in print but you know what Im getting at.

  71. Desimond says:

    how many polls have covered the “Do you give a shit?” apathetic attitude to voting.

    A lot of people reject all politics. Is anyone actually bothered about things like the EU Elections, Im gonna chance being smited by righteous wrath and say I couldnt give a monkeys and I dont even recall ever voting in an MEP election. A lot of of folk are like this for all elections and apply same apathy to the referendum regardless of available info and its mediums.

    Is a bigger goal to convert the Dont knows, or convert the Dont-cares?

  72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Can anyone clarify where the data for this article was sourced from?”

    Um, the Panelbase poll we commissioned.

  73. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’d really like to have those write ups by subject The Rev promised”

    They’re coming. It’s been a lively few days one way and another…

  74. Ross says:

    @Alt Clut

    What other sort of headings do you have in mind?

    I’m a Computer Science student and I’ve recently picked up a domain that I wish to use to provide voters the information they need in a more simplistic manner.

    Some people really don’t like reading a lot or don’t have the time for it – I think a resource which tackles the most pressing questions for a lot of voters but in an easier to understand format would be good, I currently have:

    Pensions
    Economy
    EU
    Monarchy
    Defense
    Oil

    I’m going to be doing a lot of research tonight but some input from others would be fantastic.

    Cheers

  75. chalks says:

    Fk me, this thread is fairly down on itself.

  76. HandandShrimp says:

    One thing that irks (OK there are quite a few things that irk me) is that Better Together play on the fear of change thing but who never fails to come to the fore to tell us change is inevitable and change is healthy and good, change is opportunity etc., when it is time for redundancies, contracts being ripped up and people re-deployed to God knows what? That is right, the CBI, Tories, Business leaders even blooming New Labour.

    Well it is time to turn the tables. Nothing is forever, there are no sacred cows and change is evolutionary and healthy. 🙂 Time for change vote YES.

  77. john ferguson says:

    Is it any wonder people don’t seek information from easily available sources when the population of Scotland has been for hundreds of years conditioned to obey one master or another. After Independence it will take at least a generation to know what being an independent country is.

  78. wingman 2020 says:

    Coincidently, a conversation on the guardian.

    I am against independence but dear, oh dear, Robertson is speaking a pile of shite. This is enough to turn don’t knows to a yes vote.

    Well his nonsense has not fooled you… but clearly someone else’s has.
    Educate yourself, see the light and move to YES.

    So anyone who doesn’t agree is ill-educated? Good to see inclusive nationalism at work.
    (And what Robertson is reported to have said – I’ve not read his speech – is bonkers.)

    No… anyone who doesn’t understand independence and the need for it…. is being fooled by spurious argument or propaganda. (Probably from the BBC or Mainstream media or from the establishment)
    This can be sorted by educating yourself on the facts.
    There.. is that better for you.
    Either way, someone is fooling you.

  79. SquareHaggis says:

    The auld romantic POV.

    If I can afford it I try to get out and about around Scotland at least once a year. Even if it’s only 15 miles away or 200, I do enjoy a change in scenery. It never ceases to amaze me just what a beautiful country this is, wi the wee towns nestled in the glens, the dewy cobwebs ower the early morning ferns, the lowing deer at dawn, the calling curlew at dusk. It’s ne’er the twain and always brings a tear to the ee.

    No matter who you are or where you originate, this landscape of ours is something to behold and always makes you feel like you belong.

  80. Jeremy Watson says:

    Fascinating results. It proves that the biggest decision of one’s lifetime (besides having children, and even that is affected by this), is being made almost blind, driven by emotion and reaction rather than fact.

    I see both pros and cons for both yes or no although the positivity of the yes and the negativity of the no are directing me to the former. I recognise clear vision and objectivity in websites such as this one, but have yet to find a website with similar results for the alternative view. One really needs to compare them properly. And then there is the type of information being fed to us on mainstream media. With the EU question being so important, why is the BBC feeding us endless stuff on a lost plane and Oscar Pistorius, both important, but on the other side of the planet and easily covered by updates taking seconds, but almost nothing on EU and European affairs? Even if one pays attention, the information on which to base decisions is insufficient. Thank goodness for Wings over Scotland.

  81. Albert Herring says:

    @The Rough Bounds

    I couldn’t be bothered googling the 75 25 rule, cos you already told us what it was all about 🙂

  82. SquareHaggis says:

    It would be nice to see a Wings documentary on one of the main channels before the referendum. I’m guessing it may not happen but it would be good to tell your fellow Scots, hooked on soaps and X-Factor about all the work that’s been done here on their behalf.

  83. dramfineday says:

    Anent your headline Stuart, I spoke to an elderly chap a few weeks ago and offered him an info pack. “No, no too early” he says, “nearer the time”. Then he proceeded to tell me that because he stays up late, he caught Sky news last night “and it’s good news on the currency issue” which was more than I knew at the time…argh. So there we had someone aware of the issues but rejecting more info as being too early.

  84. Oneironaut says:

    @Alba4Eva
    Glad you liked it. Just hope I didn’t take up your entire lunch hour there 😉 hehe.

    @SquareHaggis
    Maybe we need a pirate TV channel. Anyone know where we can get hold of an old ship and a load of portable broadcasting gear? 😀

    @Dcanmore
    What worries me is whether or not the ones who don’t turn up to vote on the day will be automatically considered as default “No” votes.

    I’m sure that’s something Westminster will want to try and slip in there. They’re highly unlikely to play fair on this one with the polls being so close together.

  85. HandandShrimp says:

    I’ve noticed a few people on the anti side on the Guardian saying that they think Robertson’s speech is not at all helpful and that if No doesn’t get its act together they are going to blow this campaign.

    I can only assume that this speech was aimed at some perceived audience in the US rather than over here.

  86. msean says:

    Re George Robertson,I can’t believe he said that,absolutely ridiculous statement.Of all the things that happen in the world,the emergence of a peaceful,wealthy,non nuclear state on the edges of Europe is not cataclysmic ffs.Enemies?Scotland doesn’t actually have any,we only have the one border.

  87. Brotyboy says:

    ‘do you want to govern your own country, or are you some kind of nutter?’

    #1 comment.

  88. Murray McCallum says:

    ‘do you want to govern your own country, or are you some kind of nutter?’

    Now, for me, that is a far better referendum question. Both neutral and clear. It could win a Plain English award too.

  89. Andy-B says:

    The undecided voters really have a big part to play in this referendum, especially when almost half of them haven’t bothered to seek the truth regarding independence, the question is why.

  90. Gordon E says:

    With George Robertson urging “Britain’s allies” to speak out and say that an independent Scotland would “affect them as well”, wouldn’t it be great if some countries said that they would welcome an independent Scotland?
    Although Russia saying that they would welcome us might not help the situation!!

  91. msean says:

    Saying that,didn’t the Russians get lobbied re indy as well,I thought I remembered reading that a month or so back.Anyhow,I noticed that the word cataclysmic wasn’t mentioned during the bbc news 24 report just there. I am sure it wasn’t.

  92. Kenneth... says:

    @Rev. Stuart Campbell
    I followed a link from a friend on Facebook to this article. So I wasn’t aware of the Panelbase poll that you had commissioned. I actually thought you were being ‘funny’ because this article has this in the first paragraph “…thousands of articles full of fully-sourced and referenced information…”

    Anyway thank you for the clarification.

  93. Muscleguy says:

    As Tartan Tory says this website is not particularly good for finding stuff. Your categories for eg are pretty much useless if someone comes here for specific information.

    Speaking of which, how is the little blue book coming along?

  94. eightball dave says:

    I have to agree with the findings that the vast majority of NO voters are either not interested in the facts and figures but rely on the MSM and the “i’ll vote the same as my mates” scenario , I work over in Dumbarton , and believe me utopia it ain,t , but all you get from them is “the base will shut so i am voting No” !!!! , i,ve tried till i’m blue in the face to inform them on the error of there ways but they are a stubborn bunch . Good luck to the YES canvassers who have to venture over there .

  95. John Walsh says:

    What is disturbing is thier are people who do not have access to the internet.They will be the older generation and the poor.They will only get information via MSM. As you have proved yourself with the poster campaign, once people know that there is an alternative they will come to look for info I.e. The increase in your site traffic. However the afore mentioned groups still can’t and won’t look to be better informed. That is a lot of votes.

  96. JLT says:

    To be honest, my view on this is that once we get into the last month before voting, I think a lot of people will engage, because it will then be in their face.

    There are many people who just want to sit inside their ‘bubble’ or wee cave. They don’t want to know …probably because they are sick of the coverage so far, or they just couldn’t care less.

    However …that will change. Whether they like it or not, they are going to be dragged out into the light, and told to engage. When that happens, well …I think a lot of these people are going to ask the ‘Yes’ folk, ‘Well …what are the positives to independence?’

    And they’ll be told.

    They’ll also ask the BT mob what they think …and they will get the ‘fear’ stories.

    Then they decide.

    Now …if everything goes according to plan, and ‘Yes’ has cracked the 50% mark, then most folk will be telling these people to vote ‘Yes’. Seeing that most folk are up for ‘Yes’ should persaude them to run with the pack. With that, and a case of positivity put to them, then hopefully, common sense tells them to vote ‘Yes’.

    Slowly, I’ve seen it in our section. From just 2 people out of 15, we are up to 7 for ‘Yes’. I’m hoping that when they do finally engage, that they decide to go with the pack that is continuing to grow. As the numbers increase for one pack, they recede for ‘No’.

    I am hoping that this is what will happen in workplaces all over Scotland.

  97. gerry parker says:

    @ JLT.
    I think you’re right on the mark with that assessment. I’d also go for an intensive billboard campaign in the final month just to drive the point home. Remember the Irn bru billboard campaign and the effect that had?

  98. Fiona says:

    Oooh I do like a bit of self hatred in the early evening: in case I get above myself and imagine I am a human being like everyone else.

  99. JLT says:

    Gerry Parker,

    Totally agree with you there too. I would make a huge last effort on advertising for that final big push. However, I think for the people of Scotland, that is all we are going to be talking about in the months of August and September. I think the positive case, and the thought of something new and exciting being created on the 19th will win many, many people over.

  100. fairiefromtheearth says:

    yep that was a strange one for me too, their isent enough information, HAVE YOU LOOKED no then i say to them well i hope you aint waiting for Alex Salmond to chap your front door,look it up you fekking LAZY Fekks if you want to be informed, thats the problem we have become a sociaty of sloths.

  101. dadsarmy says:

    Interesting stat on the women who haven’t looked for information, and perhaps backs up a posting I made which may or may not (!) appear on NNS.

    Basically I think many women are just not interested yet, there’s more important or interesting things in their eyes at the moment. But nearer the time they’ll have a look.

    Meanwhile, any person who has little interest in a subject will basically take as gospel what they hear or read. And with the media bias we have, that means that Independence is a bad thing for Scotland, just like the BBC tells us.

    I would say, however, that perhaps women are less trusting than men, and when it’s nearer the time to vote YES or NO, they’ll take the effort. Or something they hear will sound like a load of tosh or make them think and go search for info to see if it’s true.

  102. Taranaich says:

    Gloves are off now.

    Just a few days ago, a very good friend of mine died. He was young, cause still unknown. He was part of a group of people who have been instrumental in the last decade of my life, who have helped me grow from a sheltered, severely disadvantaged condition to a confident, accomplished individual. A few days earlier, another friend experienced a death in the family, a suicide. A few days before that, the mother of a close family friend died after a long struggle with ill health. And a few days before that…

    It seemed death was everywhere I looked. Death upon death upon death. Some after illness, some sudden, all so soon after one another. Anger, frustration, sorrow, I couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t even start the bereavement process until I was stunned with another death.

    But at least these deaths had some sort of explanation which wasn’t evil. Uncomfortable, tragic, regrettable, yes – but never the result of concerted, deliberate, analytical choice. There are over 10,000 people who are now dead because the UK government has decided that they didn’t deserve disability living allowance. At least one has starved to death because he was not capable of feeding himself. Several have committed suicide because they cannot afford to live. After a while, the DWP just stopped counting the dead. They just stopped counting the dead.

    Not enough information? Here you go.

    10,000 people have died because the UK government decided it was more important to save a minuscule sum of money by curbing the minuscule number of benefits frauds, than to do anything to alleviate the billions lost in tax evasion and fraud.

    Half of all children in Glasgow live in poverty, because the government have decided giving MPs an 11% pay rise and fighting for banker’s bonuses was more important than ensuring children can afford to eat breakfast before they go to school.

    Hundreds of children are interred in detention centres. Many are sent back to their countries of origin, because the letter is more important than the spirit of the law. Stories like Yashika Bagheerathi’s are happening every day.

    The UK government has ensured that the MOD are not obliged to deliver a penny of compensation for for any consequences of the planned dumping of nuclear waste into the rivers and atmosphere – or even a “catastrophic” event – from the Clyde nuclear bases.

    200 warheads, the largest concentration of nuclear weapons in the world in a single location, are 50 miles from Scotland’s most populated city. Over a million Scots live within a 50 mile radius.

    Not a single major UK party has any plans or intentions to change any of the above. The Scottish government is the only government in the UK which has made demonstrable, effective, quantifiable improvements – and the only reason they don’t do more is because they do not have the power to do so.

    Is this enough information?

    Is this enough?

    IS.

    THIS.

    ENOUGH?

  103. rab_the_doubter says:

    Taranaich

    Great stuff, I hope you dont mind if I copy / post on FB.

  104. a2 says:

    So essentially, across the board, Yes voters are better informed than no voters (except we are marginally less trusting of the opinions of our friends and family)

  105. Clydebuilt says:

    Of the people I’ve met who say they need more info When i’ve given them a small (home made) sheet listing the main sites, these people are generally very grateful. It’s not for us to find fault in people wanting more info. Our job is to point them in the correct direction.

    The Aye Right leaflet lists 14 websites and is available at £66 for 10,000.

  106. Taranaich says:

    Great stuff, I hope you dont mind if I copy / post on FB.

    Absolutely, I’d love people to copy/post it!

    What people have to understand is that every single one of those situations are the result of a choice. Poverty is not something that just “happens,” that we have to suck up because that’s the way of the world. Placing nuclear weapons within 50 miles of a million people is not something that had to happen. People dying in droves is something that could have been prevented.

    The UK government chose to enrich bankers, MPs and their billionaire friends. They chose to impoverish the people. Choice. This is all about choice.

    And we have a choice in the Referendum – whether we’re going to aid and abet the choices the UK governments make, or whether we’re going to remove ourselves from the equation to make our own choices.

  107. Morag says:

    Taranaich, have you written ATL for Wings yet? If not, why not? You’re a national treasure.

  108. Oneironaut says:

    @Taranaich
    Sorry to hear about your friend there.

    Your post made interesting reading though.
    I’d have to agree that these people in Westminster are genuinely evil. They take more and more from the poor and disadvantaged in society to fund their own perks and bonuses, knowing full well that doing so is condemning entire families to a life of relying on foodbanks or starving or freezing to death.
    Can’t really call that anything BUT evil. There are no excuses.

    Maybe if something like your post was given out in leaflet form it would get a few more of the apathetic 43% out there off their backsides and joining in the fight back…

  109. Fiona says:

    @Taranaich

    That is such a well thought out and well written post! Many thanks to you for writing it. We so often get bogged down in abstractions and irrelevant detail. Your post pulls our focus out again and reminds us of the big picture which really matters. We need to do that more often, I think

  110. Croompenstein says:

    @Taranaich – I too would like to post/share on facebook, you have a way with words and phrases that hit home..thankyou

  111. Meindevon says:

    I agree that articles are hard to find in order to check figures and facts. I have found myself spending ages looking through many articles as, although the headings are clever and amusing, they often give no clue to the content. However as a relative newbie to the site maybe I don’t have a good grasp of how it works. Any help gratefully received.

  112. Taranaich says:

    Thanks so much, one and all, it means the world to me.

    Morag, I really think the only thing stopping me writing for Wings is confidence. That’s starting to become less of a problem as time goes on, I’m still getting more and more confident, not least thanks to you all.

    National treasure? Every man, woman and child in Scotland is one. Lord Robertson said it himself: if the people of Scotland vote Yes, then the very foundations of the Western World will be shaken. The adversaries and enemies of Westminster will take notice. It will change the very temper of geopolitics throughout the planet. And it will only matter if we vote Yes. Than? Boy, will we shake the world!

  113. Paula Rose says:

    Ah but dear Taranaich – we trust you to speak on behalf of our National Treasure.

  114. Betty Boop says:

    On canvassing again. I also ask if people have read the White Paper (it is amazing how many people can tell you it is a load of rubbish without having set eyes on it!).

    Some people seem to think you have to buy it in bookshops, so I tell them it’s free and where to order online and tell them there is also a summarised version which seems less of a challenge for most folk.

    I also inform them that they can download it and if they have concerns about any subject, all they have to do is a search and they will be taken to the pages covering the subject, eg pensions.

    If I am speaking to someone who has indicated that they will be voting no, I suggest that they should read it anyway because a Yes vote could well be returned in September so they might as well know what is likely to happen. Can’t hurt and it might just get through to them.

  115. Aidan says:

    @Taranaich
    Your post is a stand-alone argument for YES.

    I wonder if everyone has seen this report from 2013 by Dr Simon Duffy which shows how the cuts have fallen and who has been hit hardest. It refers to the UK as a whole but, when you think about it, there’s a horrible logic to the numbers.

    On average, as a result of the Spending Cuts:
    An ordinary citizen is £467 worse off.
    A person in poverty is £2,195 worse off.
    A person with disability is £4,410 worse off.
    A person in need of social care is £8,832 worse off.

    Here is a link to an article about it:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-simon-duffy/austerity-cuts-disabled-people_b_3248615.html

    Here is a link, embedded in the above article, which takes you straight to the report:
    http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-az/a-fair-society1.html

    And how about that… amid all the slashing at services, No. 10 and No.11 increased their budgets by 240%!

  116. Aidan says:

    @Oneironaut
    Blog! Blog! Blog! 🙂

  117. Oneironaut says:

    @Aidan
    Sorry, I don’t have anywhere near enough spare time to manage THREE blogs! 😉

    We are working on building one here though. Whether it’ll actually take off is another matter.

    Hope no-one is expecting anything world-shaking or filled with profound life-enhancing wisdom.
    It’s more likely to be whatever random c**p happens to cross my mind when I feel like posting something. And my attempts at teaching myself advanced photography using a partially-broken camera! 🙂

  118. Aidan says:

    @Oneironaut
    Advanced photography using a partially-broken camera.

    Is that some kind of metaphor?

  119. Oneironaut says:

    @Aidan
    Nah, I picked it up when Comet in Irvine was having their big “closing down” sale.

    Got it for almost nothing, since it was one they’d had lying about the warehouse with a missing battery. And I think someone had dropped it at some point because the backing on the LCD at the back has cracked rendering it pretty much impossible to change any of the settings that require the use of the screen.

    It does still work though. I tend to leave it in the automatic “scene recognition” mode and it actually takes really good pics considering the state it’s in. Haven’t tested its video mode yet.

    It’ll do until I can afford a more “high-end” DSLR one in the probably-very-distant future (if at all!)

    The “advanced” bit was exaggeration really. I’m mostly just grabbing some pics of big events these days, like the one in Edinburgh last year.
    With my memory not being very good, it’s always nice to have pictures of this sort of thing to look back on in later years in a (hopefully) independent Scotland. Reminding myself that I was involved in something important for once in my life 🙂 hehe.

  120. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Taranaich –

    It’s really really hard for people to get their heads around ‘ordinary’ life. The scenarios you outlined above have been normalised, when there’s nothing remotely ‘normal’ about them.

    It’s not ‘normal’ for the sick, unemployed and clinically depressed to be criminalised. It’s not ‘normal’ to feel paranoid about voicing the blatantly fucking obvious. And it’s far from ‘normal’ to accept that you and your neighbours aren’t entitled to decide your own future.

    And yet, this is what we’re fighting against? Our own perception of ourselves?

    Your 8.57 post sums it up brilliantly. If that comment was set against a transcript of Robertson’s speech, and translated into all known languages, could anyone, anywhere on this planet, doubt which version bears closest resemblance to reality?

    You say ‘gloves off’.

    Kin right mister.

    The very fact that characters such as Robertson, Reid, Liddell etc are allowed any say – however ludicrous their pronouncements may be – in the future of this nation has become intolerable.

  121. Nixon says:

    Can I just say, pointlessly, that the picture caption here really amused me. Ta.



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