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Wings Over Scotland


Hearts and minds

Posted on September 08, 2013 by

Scotland on Sunday this week carries a piece interviewing No voters to find out why they’re currently intending to keep Scotland governed by Westminster (following on from a similar article about Yes supporters last week). It’s an interesting snapshot of both diehards and people who could yet be turned round.

heartsminds

Let’s take a look and see who we’re dealing with.

————————————————————————————–

CASE STUDY 1: RUTH

“Ruth McKay has decided to get involved in her first political campaign. The 32-year-old Aberdonian lives in Edinburgh, running a business helping small firms with their marketing. As of earlier this year, she is also on the front line of the city’s Better Together campaign.

Scotland is a nation, and it “could” be an independent country, she acknowledges. And, she adds, her heart could be swayed to an independence vote. So why vote No? For her, the practical case falls short. “When you look at it from a marketing perspective, it makes more sense to stay together as one country. We have a Scottish brand and a British brand. It is just a much stronger offering.”

Furthermore, she adds, there’s no clarity about what a Yes vote might bring and, in its effort to reassure people, the SNP is offering “a Disney version of independence”. She goes on: “This isn’t about us being negative about Scotland. When you can have the whole cake, why run off with just a bit of it?””

Blimey, tough start. Ruth’s position is a tangled mess of contradictions. Scotland is a “nation”, but shouldn’t get to elect its own governments? Her heart could be swayed to independence, but she’s actively campaigning against it?

And what’s with the cake metaphor? If Scotland can “have the whole cake” rather than just some of it, what’s left for England, Wales and Northern Ireland? She appears to be literally arguing that we can have our cake and eat it.

unioncake

And the gibberish about marketing and brands makes no sense at all, in common with almost anything that anyone working in marketing ever says. What does it actually mean? Who are we “offering” these “brands” to, and in what way would we stop doing so as an independent nation?

Conclusion: Ruth, clearly, is a winnable voter. Someone needs to engage her in conversation, establish what these meaningless slogans are actually based on, and then point out some simple pertinent facts. We suspect economic ones would be the most fruitful. She’s going to be “on the streets” campaigning in Edinburgh for the next couple of weekends. Go and seek her out, Business For Scotland folk.

————————————————————————————–

CASE STUDY 2: RHONA

“OAPs are also disproportionally more likely to be a No. Rhona Young, 84, is a retired sub-postmaster in Old Kilpatrick, near Clydebank. Even if gold were found underneath Dumbarton Rock, she says she’d always back the UK.

“I am a Monarchist. I’m a Unionist. I’m dyed-in-the-wool. The motto here [in Clydebank] is ‘strength in unity’. And I firmly believe in that statement. I’ve always been very conscious that I’m a Unionist, not a Nationalist. I think it is in-born. I think it is part of my way of life. It was the way my generation was brought up. The war had a lot to do with it.””

Zounds, the irony. The war was fought against fascism, for which “strength in unity” is a concise and accurate summary of the main founding principle and titular symbol. Indeed, Wikipedia’s definition contains almost that exact phrase:

“The symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is difficult to break”

In the graphic novel and film “V For Vendetta”, the ruling fascist party, “Norsefire”, adopts the same term in its propaganda.

strengthunity

Monarchism, meanwhile, is founded on the irrational belief that a supreme being has handed down divine authority for an unelected ruler to reign over a people as a birthright. Rhona, logically, would vote Norsefire, just as BNP and EDL supporters use the war to justify their racism.

Conclusion: Rhona is a hopeless case. Move on.

————————————————————————————–

CASE STUDY 3: ADAM

“Father of four Adam Tomkins [is] a professor of law at Glasgow University. “I regard my country as Britain. I feel neither English nor Scottish. I was born in England and I lived there for 33 years. I know I am in a minority but I don’t regard myself as English or Scottish,” he says.

If Scotland were no longer to be part of the rest of the UK, he adds, “I don’t know if I would feel comfortable staying.” He “totally buys” the core message of the pro-UK campaign that Scotland currently “gets the best of both worlds”.

He adds: “I have four young children and when I look at them growing up and then I look at friends in London and see the way of life down there, I thank God I don’t live in London. That’s because things have been devolved.” The way Scotland has evolved since devolution is a success story, not a stepping stone, he argues.”

uniontwat3

Conclusion: as any readers of his website will already know, Prof. Tomkins is a hardcore ideological fundamentalist for Britishness, a true believer. A waste of time.

————————————————————————————–

CASE STUDY 4: OLIVER

“But for some Scots at least, those British ties are enough to tip them towards saying No. Oliver Milne 22, from Glasgow, currently a law student at Edinburgh University, remarks:

“My family are from Glasgow and worked in the shipyards. In my experience I have far more in common with someone from Liverpool or Sheffield than I do with someone from? Arran for example. With devolution, I have an ability to influence what happens in Sheffield for the better through working in the UK political system.””

This argument also makes little logical sense. Why Liverpool and Sheffield, not Ludlow and Saffron Walden? Why Arran, not Aberdeen? Scotland and the UK both have cities and remote rural areas.

Oliver simply hasn’t thought his position through for a moment. He cannot influence what happens in Sheffield. He has no vote there, and as we’ve conclusively proved on this site previously, Scottish votes basically never have any impact on which party forms the UK government.

By staying in the UK and being governed by whichever party England votes for, Scotland props up a system in which there is no ideologial alternative to centre-right neoliberalism. An independent social-democratic Scotland could serve as a beacon to the rest of the UK, proving that a viable alternative does exist, and thereby doing far more for the people of Liverpool and Sheffield than an impotent Labour government which has already accepted Conservative ideology wholesale could ever achieve.

electoralmaps

Conclusion: Oliver, too, has confused but notionally rational reasons for voting No, and anyone rational can be persuaded with pretty simple and concrete facts. Show him that Scottish influence in Sheffield is a total myth. Point out that Labour can easily win in the rUK without Scotland, like they did in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

Show him that working people in Perth and Dundee and Edinburgh DO need his help – they’ll be ruled by Tories for six years in every 10 if Scotland stays in the Union, and roughly NO years in every 10 if Scotland is independent. Job done.

————————————————————————————–

CASE STUDY 5: ANDREW

“For many No voters, it isn’t so much a pride in Britishness which is driving their viewpoint so much as a practical and pragmatic assessment of the risks and benefits of the choices on offer. The currency, the viability of pensions, the future of the single UK market – these are the issues that campaigners say are being raised on the doorstep.

Typical of such a voter is Andrew Skea, who runs an organic vegetable business in Alyth, and is – no pun intended – pretty down-to-earth on the issue. He remarks: “About 65 per cent of my trade is to the rest of the UK. About 5 per cent goes to Scotland. For me, it is absolutely essential that we have the same currency.””

Scotland WILL have the same currency as the UK – Sterling, which belongs to both nations and can be used by any country that wants to. Also, we can’t help but do the arithmetic and work out that 30% of Andrew’s business must be with countries outside the UK, who have different currencies. He seems to be coping fine with that.

(But hats off to anyone managing to sell 5% of their vegetables in Scotland.)

orgveg

Conclusion: another essentially rational voter who can be won over by eliminating their fear. Point out that Sterling is staying for the forseeable future. Note that currency isn’t a barrier to a third of Andrew’s business at present, so even if Scotland’s changed many years into the future, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Remind him of how any trade conducted by credit card, debit card or money transfer already automatically handles all the currency issues invisibly at the bank level.

He has no reason to be afraid – except of continuing austerity within the UK, in which “luxury” businesses like organic farming suffer as people’s belts tighten.

————————————————————————————–

It’s an unscientific sample, of course, but that’s three out of five No voters who are within the reach of reason, if we can simply make our case well enough. That’s plenty to secure a very large margin of victory. Forget about Rhona and Prof. Tomkins, who are beyond logic. Get out there and talk to Ruth, Oliver and Andrew.

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63 to “Hearts and minds”

  1. wullie says:

    ma auld lady is 84 she is voting yes,and she fae clydebank

  2. Gavin says:

    Much as I agree with some of the analysis here, we should all be careful to avoid the temptation to mock others because of their views. Our role is to persuade through informing and to present a positive and welcome side of the fence to be on. Getting folks’ backs up can only have the opposite effect.

    Let’s use our talking and writing time to present factual and easily-understandable counter-arguments.

  3. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Confirms my feeling that there is a fair percentage of soft NO’s.
    However it’s up to the YES campaign to convince them. We have to accept it’s YES who are proposing change, and have to   provide specific economic benefits rather than generalities.    

  4. macdoc says:

    People should be mocked for their views if they hold irrational beliefs. The world would be a much better place if a few home truths were pointed out to people instead of tiptoeing around important issues. People are too easily offended, intelligent people when faced with an opposing view try and analyse the argument and can either accept that they are possibly very ignorant on the subject and need to research it more or construct a rational argument back. People who go off in the huff and “don’t want to talk about it” just show themselves up.

    Any rational person if they can’t argue their case intelligently should either rethink their position or look into it much more. That’s why comedians can have such an influence on peoples opinion, point out the absurdity with humour does much more than having a scientist, economist etc explaining to laymen. 
     

  5. Linda's Back says:

    Very  O/T but Sunday Times carriers this gem about Labour in Falkirk

    On Friday afternoon, however, he (Miliband) declared that an official investigation by the party had found no evidence of wrongdoing by either Karie Murphy, Unite’s Falkirk candidate, or Stephen Deans, the local Labour party chairman, who had been initially accused of signing up members to support his campaign. Announcing their reinstatement, the Labour party admitted “key evidence” had been withdrawn.

    Allegations have emerged that some of those who had made claims may have withdrawn their statements only after they were visited at home by Unite representatives who “prevailed upon them” to back down. Among those who withdrew their complaints were Michael and Lorraine Kane, who are related to Deans.

    Eric Joyce, the MP for Falkirk, claimed the Kanes were told that Deans risked losing his job at the nearby Grangemouth oil refinery if they did not withdraw their statements. He said: “Essentially that’s why they withdrew and without that the Labour party felt it couldn’t finger them [Deans and Murphy]. In reality the Labour party could have said, ‘We’re not going to believe these withdrawals’, but obviously the party has chosen to avoid a face-off with Unite.” The Kanes declined to comment. 

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    “Brand Britain”, “Brand Scotland”. AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
     
    *Stabs self in the face repeatedly with a fork*
     
    The second someone starts going on about “brands”, like they’ve just finished reading Shitey Buzzwords For Wannabe Marketing Pricks, they’ve totally lost me.

  7. Delia says:

    I went out canvassing with a much more experienced campaigner a few weeks ago. It’s true, you have to pick those who are worth spending time with, finding out their fears and helping them to see a positive way through them. Avoid the foaming-at-the-mouth types like the plague, it only wastes your time and more importantly energy and will to live!
    I’ve also been trying to get some of my friends and neighbours who I know to be ‘yes’ to be a bit more showy about it. Wearing a badge, dropping the topic into conversation, that kind of thing. Some of the ‘no’s that I know seem to think I am the only ‘yes’ person they know, so I’m trying to let them see that’s not the case.

  8. Linda's Back says:

    Worth listening to this morning’s BBC Business Scotland on independence particularly Jim Spowart head of Intelligence Finance near end of broadcast.
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039q1rg

  9. Iain Henderson says:

    my family ties are from both the highlands and central Scotland. I stay in industrial Ayshire. I used to stay in rural Ayrshire. I have travelled throughout Britain and NI. Our closest ties are to each other. Next would be NI and the northern counties of England but they still feel like foreign countries. Yes I feel kinship with almost everyone in the current UK – even the home counties. However the greatest ties are with the people of Scotland. I have heard the argument that we are closer to this town or that area in England than we are to our neighbours here. It’s nonsense. For every stay at home family in your street there are ten that have links to the rest of Scotland. Also take a look at Sheffeld, or Belfast or Swansea or Brighton – do any of  those fine cities look or feel like Dundee or Perth or Glasgow or Ayr? No they don’t. We are Scots living in Scotland, more distinct from rUK than any other part of those Islands (with the possible but dubious exception of ROI).

  10. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Doug Daniel-
     
    Aye, the ‘branding’ argument is putrid – anyone who wants to decide their country’s future based on projected personal earnings is unreachably selfish, and the whole premise of the claim is wrong anyway.
     
    We’ve discussed this before – Scotland’s image internationally is strong: whisky, golf, Burns, tartan, Nessie, see-you Jimmy wearing football fans etc. Britain’s is now: warmongering, spying on the UN, legitimising a rogue US, hopelessly corrupted government and media, casino-banking etc.
     
    And Ruth McKay is in the marketing business? If she doesn’t get real she won’t be in it for long. 

  11. gordoz says:

    Suspect you are wasting your time with the likes of “Oliver” he was pre programmed at Labour Party andoird central. Did his mantra not sound like a cloned response from Sarwar Jr ? his education alla appears to be from BBC hearsay.

    “With devolution, I have an ability to influence what happens in Sheffield for the better through working in the UK political system” Ehhh what is this supposed to mean ???
     

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    we should all be careful to avoid the temptation to mock others”

    Who’s been mocked?

  13. gordoz says:

    Ruth : Im sorry this is complete guff ! Please let us bump into this genius out on the campaign trail.
    Oh Yes she does go on: “This isn’t about us being negative about Scotland (?). When you can have the whole cake, why run off with just a bit of it?” (Again what the hell … this is just very poor spin!!)

  14. wee jamie says:

    What I just don’t get with most of these people , is the way they take it as a fact that if we vote for independence, overnight all the existing customers in England, Europe, and the rest of the world will suddenly no longer want to buy Scottish goods, as far as I can see ,there is no evidence of this whatsoever, most of our overseas markets buy our produce BECAUSE  it is Scottish, and the advent of independence can only strengthen this view of our wonderful food and drink .  With the way political opinion in England is becoming more and more anti – European, there is a real possibility they will leave the E.U, and as everyone knows they are not self sufficient, do you really think they would be so silly as to isolate yet another potential goods and services provider who actually already shares a common , language, currency, and landmass? Is the national grid going to stop buying our electricity in favour of blackouts in london? I  think not !
     

  15. Training Day says:

    Interesting that SoS must needs approach foaming Britnat Tomkins to serve as representative of the No campaign..

    Q to soft No voters:

    ‘Do you have a bank account?’
    ‘Yes’
    ‘Then let me manage it for you. I’ll give you a fixed allowance from it every month. In that way we’ll be better together.’
    ‘Away an’ bile yer heid’ (polite version of reply)..

  16. HandandShrimp says:

    I did like the suggestion on the other thread that some are scared of voting Yes in case we end up with a permanent Government of Lamont and others. I wonder how many Labour voters think “God No! we will be in charge and then we will be royally screwed”. It isn’t that they think Scotland can’t be successful it is they think they are too abjectly useless to run a ménage never mind a country. They simply do not have the wit, wisdom and energy to run a country and therefore opt for the easy option.

  17. gordoz says:

    macdoc says:
    “Any rational person if they can’t argue their case intelligently should either rethink their position or look into it much more.”

    Another position could be for them to ‘keep their own council’, if they dont want counter positions to offend their own ?

  18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “‘keep their own council’”

    “counsel”

    😉

  19. Jeannie says:

    With devolution, I have an ability to influence what happens in Sheffield for the better throughworking in the UK political system.””
     
    What’s devolution got to do with it?  With devolution your vote counts at Holyrood and nowhere else.  
     
    It’s as though Labour people up here think that the one and only possible way to make things better for people south of the border is to keep the UK and periodically vote in a Labour government every couple of elections or so.  Has it never occurred to them that a better way might be to support Independence in Scotland to protect the pensioners up here who vote for them and whom they actually represent and then to fight tooth and nail for a fairer voting system down south – a proportional representation system – which would enhance the say the Labour Party in England would have, ALL of the time and not just SOME of the time?  That way, Labour would be able to influence policy in both Scotland and rUK almost all of the time.  At the moment, they have little say either north OR south of the border.  That’s not what I’d call the best of both worlds for them.

  20. a supporter says:

    Linda Back at 12:31 pm.
    You and others should go to Eric Joyce’s Blog where he clarifies the whole sorry Falkirk,  Unite,  Labour saga. He is not afraid to tell it like it is and he gives a far more concise and truthful expose than you will read in the media. He is a good writer and any article of his I have read is always to the point with no bull. He is a different kettle of fish from your usual Scottish MP.
    http://ericjoyce.co.uk/2013/09/falkirk-west-constituency-unite-party/

  21. Colin Duffy says:

    Gavin, if there was a “thumbs up” you would get it

    All we have to do to secure a YES vote is point out the other side of the story regarding what the MSM presents as fact in this country cos we all know they talk pish.

    I think one of the best ways to make folks realize what the Brit Nat media are up to is probably point out non reporting of issues rather than the constant twisting of them because there`s no other side to an argument that hasn`t seen the light of day due only to the fact that it is damaging to either the Scottish Labour Party branch who the British establishment see as the only viable party to challange the SNP or the Better Together cause.

    1year to go, if everyone on this site takes an active roll other that making online comments but actually gets out and plays an active part in our future it`s in the bag and they know it.

    A visible presence where ever will get minds thinking. The recent picture of the YES stall at an event buzzing and the NO stall with a lonely member with no one to talk to comes to mind.

    I`ve been to the YES campaign HQ in Glasgow but not heard back from them on where to help but one thing I have done is bought fliers for another pro indy news site and dropped them through folks doors in my local area and left them on top of the free newspaper on the buses.

    I`m sure i`m not the only one who has turned up at a YES office or meeting who has been interested in putting in some effort but not heard back but between protests at the BBC or independence marches in Edinburgh getting out and talking to like minded people is energizing and that presence in public will win us the referendum. Like Blair says if we all convince a couple of folk! There will always be die hards but showing up their piss poor negative arguments to others will do no harm at all!

    I remember the last Scottish election there was a Labour guy came to my door, I was happy to engage and not rude in the slightest but wanted to challenge him on a few points. Unfortunately he saw the big SNP sign in my window through my flat and I didn`t get the opportunity but we laughed about it and he moved on. I`m pretty certain he was bused in from England though, I don`t think there is much support at all really for Scottish Labour but the Labour party knows it`s almost Game Over.

    It`s a numbers game, if we get out there in our droves it`s in the bag as they say.

    PS if I make a comment fighting for NO then you know the Body Snatchers have got me.

    That`s what i`m gonna call BT actavists from now on ha, quite fitting really as there`s no thought goes into their Pish Poor arguments. Only conforming to an idea!

  22. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    The supporter who says we should listen to the likes of Eric Joyce must be talking about some other guy than the chap whos idea of diplomacy is getting wrecked then punching folks’ lights out??

  23. Geoff Huijer says:

    Cake analogy – we can have the whole cake if we vote Yes – it will be a wholly ‘Scottish’ cake and will be substantially bigger than the portion we currently get as part of the Union.

    In terms of marketing – surely a ‘brand’ is more powerful when it is wholly one thing (Scotland) and not an amalgamation of various things which provide a mixed message (we’re Scottish, but we’re British too)? It’s not an analogy I like at all anyway but surely one ‘marketing department’ (Scottish Gov’t) focussing on issues is better than two (Scottish Gov’t & Westminster) that have opposing ideas about the ‘product’.

    I’m also amazed at the amount of parents that have not considered the fee-paying tuitions that loom on the horizon and which would no doubt disappear with a No vote (The Scottish Gov’t can only balance the books against certain Westminster policies for so long). I have no children but believe that education should be ‘free’ – it should not be for the privelaged few that can afford it. That for me would be reason enough to vote Yes.

    No doubt Prof Tomkins will be able to afford to educate his children so perhaps it’s a case of ‘I’m alright Jack’ (or rather ‘I’m alright Jock’).

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The supporter who says we should listen to the likes of Eric Joyce must be talking about some other guy than the chap whos idea of diplomacy is getting wrecked then punching folks’ lights out??”

    In fairness, I don’t think Eric ever claimed his actions were an attempt at diplomacy.

  25. Perhaps germane to the subject of this article, that NOers find security/pride/strength in being part of the enormity that is the UK,  is this readers opinion poll in the Gruniad about Britain’s real position in the world (right lower side of page).
     
    Voting NO means that they are puting Scotland’s prosperity at great risk should England vote the UK out of Europe (EU). The current single market we enjoy numbering some 460 million souls generating the largest GDP of any in the world – near $18 trillion – would shrink to one compising a paltry 55 million customers with a GDP well under $3 trillion. 
     
    That opportunity cost alone should render a NO vote unacceptable.
     
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/commentisfree

  26. crisiscult says:

    on the subject of branding; this is something I’ve considered through my line of work. I work with a lot of non-EU students studying in Scotland, and a few times the topic of independence has come up. A concern of these students is that their Masters degree will be worth less if it’s from Scotland, not Britain. On delving deeper into these students’ views, it is clearly apparent that if England was becoming independent from Britain, there would be no issue because basically through much of the world, Britain and England are synonyms, while Scotland is Scotch and maybe tartan and one or two other things. 
     
    So, I’m not sure Brand Scotland has been or is being served well enough by its British representatives abroad.

  27. gordoz says:

     
    Spent last night listening to ‘Labour for Independence’ Allan Grogan, Alex Bell, Celia Fitzgerald (yes they all had their cards with them) and was impressed with their sincerity and commitment to the cause for a YES vote. Bob Thomson former Labour treasurer was also speaking on behalf of Jimmy Reid foundation, about the Common Weal.
    Very enlightening about ground swell in the movement for a YES vote, suggest many are playing Labour hierarchy at their own game, (making no waves but intend to vote yes). Let’s hope this is the case.
     

  28. thorbor says:

    with the case studies above I see British people pretending their Scottish to win over undecideds
    I also see Scottish people on the yes side pretending their British to win over undecideds
     I think arguments/discussions needs to be tailored in a way that lists your/their nationality in order of priority  ie Scottish British European
    no point walking on egg shells with some people I couldn’t look  myself in the mirror if I voted no

  29. GrahamB says:

    Why does Prof Tomkins say he was born in England not Britain? As you say though, he is an obvious lost cause. Hopefully the soft Nos will read the Goverment’s forthcoming White Paper and be able to shrug off their fears but if not we will at least have some hard facts to point out to them.

  30. jim mitchell says:

    I think that ALL of the above have been particularly chosen because there is No chance of any of them changing their minds, even no 1.

    It’s just some more flannel to try and influence those who have genuinely not made up their minds, I am more and more convinced  that a large degree of panic has set into the No campaign.

  31. The Flamster says:

    Your link at the top – Scotland on Sunday links directly to Hiding in N Virginia – a daughter of Auschwitz which I thoroughly enjoyed reading 🙂

  32. Yesitis says:

    Adam Tomkins really said this.
     
    http://imageshack.us/a/img7/5690/moej.jpg
     

  33. fitheach says:

    @Colin Duffy
    I`m sure i`m not the only one who has turned up at a YES office or meeting who has been interested in putting in some effort but not heard back
     
    Chances are you are not from my local area but send me an email and I will endeavour to put you in touch with fellow Yes campaigners in your area.
    Yes Highland contact form

  34. jim mitchell says:

    Wee Jamie: just saw your post, I agree, in fact  I think (if it could be done), that there would be merit in trying to get through to folk south of the Border just how bad the No campaign is making them look.

    Yes there will be some who don’t like it, but to represent the position as being one where folk down there will set up border posts or refuse to trade with us or to get awkward over use of the pound etc, just because we answered YES during a time of democratic decision making is to make them look not only stupid but down right mean and I wouldn’t like it if someone was trying to make me look like that.

    I think this is also why the big names like the Cameron’s and the Darling’s etc have been careful to say things like, Of course I think Scotland could survive on it’s own but! then they leave the mud slinging to others like McDougal and the media.
     

  35. Doug Daniel says:

    It’s interesting to compare the people interviewed in the two articles. From the Yes voters one, I don’t recognise anyone who is actively campaigning for Yes. Conversely, the No article has two active No campaigners (Ruth and that Ollie Milne boy), and I dunno if Tomkins is active on the doorsteps etc, but he’s certainly actively promoting No in the media and online.
     
    Where are all these “ordinary Scots” that supposedly back the union?

  36. Juteman says:

    Well spotted, Doug.

  37. Dorothy Devine says:

    Is that photo of the Prof real??
    Jeezo!

  38. david says:

    my mum is 80, voted labour all her life. told me recently i should start voting snp and vote for independence. she from liverpool , been here over 50 years. when i asked her why the change,  she said labour are tories now. people are leaving labour in their droves

  39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Your link at the top – Scotland on Sunday links directly to Hiding in N Virginia – a daughter of Auschwitz which I thoroughly enjoyed reading :)”

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN.

    (But it’s a piece well worth a view.)

  40. HandandShrimp says:

    I just spent half an hour reading the good Professor’s blog Confessions of a Justified Unionist. I was going to paint a garden wall but the heavens opened (oh bum!) I have to say I don’t think he is justified at all. He attempts to justify his unionism that is not the same. He makes much of the SNP’s opposition to The SCC and Calman, citing their complaints that these bodies were not going nearly far enough as evidence of their anti-devolution stance. ignoring the fact the SNP nonetheless, campaigned for Devolution during the referendum and passed the Scotland Bill. This is, in my view somewhat dishonest, but worse, in an earlier blog, he takes Labour to task for the rather weak document they produced on further devolution earlier this year. He rightly points out that Labour should be focussing on bread and butter issues such as tackling child poverty, health, housing etc., and that they should be gearing up to develop devolution to deal with such things. It strikes me that this was exactly the complaint that the SNP were making, that devolution is too piecemeal and too disjointed. They were correct that the bills were flawed, perhaps fatally flawed is an overstatement but then again if there is a Yes vote historians may well say this was a correct call and that the inherent weaknesses led to a SNP Government and a Yes vote.
     
    However, Tomkins is not a common or garden citizen considering the merits or otherwise of No. He is a died in the wool Unionist and Better Together supporter.
     
    PS I don’t think that is him in the silly suit – is that not a Monster Raving Loony? His tweet, is amusing though – I doubt that will cut it with many No voters never mind Yes voters.
     
     
    Whatever, there had been no SNP would we have devolution? I think not.

  41. M4rkyboy says:

    The Yes case study was a 16yr old,the only one in his class to back Yes.The No case is a 32 yr old who works in marketing,a OAP that lived through the war a Law Profeessor and a Law student.Total bullshit.

  42. scottish_skier says:

    I don’t know anyone who’d describe themselves as Scottish who aren’t Yes, unsure, or open to persuasion.
     
    Only people I know who are firm No are British. Even English people seem more open to Yes than British.
     
    But then this is hardly a surprising revelation now is it.
     
    Not a lot of British people in Scotland. If forced to choose (where their primary loyalty lies essentially), about 15% are British and 75% Scottish (remainder Irish, EU, overseas etc). Hence the BT grassroots problem.
     
    Interestingly enough, people are being forced to choose next year. I wonder how that will work out.
     

  43. HandandShrimp says:

    M4
     
    Hey it was the Scotsman…you didn’t expect anything else did you?

  44. call me dave says:

    TRACK INFO

    Andrew and I were joined by two guests for the 34th episode of the For A’ That podcast.Making his second appearance was Pat Kane, and making his first was James Kelly, who writes the blog Scot Goes Pop.The first topic of discussion was the errrm, debate, between Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar. We didn’t talk about it in glowing terms.Gordon Brown making another appearance in the debate got a look in. Were his proposed constitutional changes just hot air or do they actually mean …
     
    http://www.spreaker.com/user/michaelgreenwell/for_a_that_34_fussing_fighting

  45. t Rickyannie says:

    It never fails to amaze me how low the BT camp will sink  I’ve just been reading about Bob Shorthouse tweeting his delight at Ricky Burns defeat with a broken jaw which he seemed to claim was the result of playing Flower of Scotland before the fight.  Ricky’s jaw was broken in round two and he fought on to round eight.

  46. Bingo Wings Over Scotland says:

    crisiscult said:
     
    “...because basically through much of the world, Britain and England are synonyms, while Scotland is Scotch and maybe tartan and one or two other things. So, I’m not sure Brand Scotland has been or is being served well enough by its British representatives abroad.”
     
    You mean this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23984730
    “this sceptred isle, this England”.
    Keep them coming Dave, every little helps.
     
     

  47. HandandShrimp says:

    Scottish Skier
     
    It would actually be beneficial to give more oxygen of publicity to Unionists like Tomkins and his Union Jack North Britishism. I know one or two No voters that would find that sticking in their thrapple
     

  48. gordoz says:

    Nice One Doug
    Oliver Milne 22 – Student Labour at Glasgow Uni (On newsnight making a positive case for No ???) -I was right then.

  49. Andy-B says:

    With regards to the business side of independence, companies on both sides of the border will still do business with each other, afterall if Scottish businesses provide cheaper deals than English or NI or Welsh businesses thats all that matters to companies trying to maximize profits.

  50. starlaw says:

    Do not give up on pensioners , Im one , they have experienced austerity in their lives and don’t wish to go there again , It needs to be stressed that an independent Scotland is in the interests of their children and grandchildren , do they wish poverty on them , no jobs no housing, no hope , this is the best chance of turning a no vote to yes . I meet many pensioners and have yet to meet a better together supporter , they are also aware that a return to labour means good-bye bus pass and have no wish to go there either ! 

  51. Juteman says:

    @starlaw
    The UK state pension is amongst the lowest in Europe. I would hope Scotland could afford a higher pension, and the official YES campaign should make more of this issue. Utility bills are another disgrace. An oil rich country shouldn’t have pensioers freezing in winter, because they can’t afford to heat their house.

  52. Morag says:

    I went to the Faroe Isles this summer.  They don’t have any oil.  They don’t have an awful lot of anything, but what they have they spend on their infrastructure and on social good.  Their state pension is the equivalent of £12,000 a year.

    They have actual honest-to-God devo-max.  Denmark looks after currency and foreign affairs and not much else.  They pay no taxes to Copenhagen and get no subsidy.

    What with them and Norway, I came home a sort of fluorescent day-glo emerald shade.

  53. muttley79 says:

    @t Rickyannie
     

    It never fails to amaze me how low the BT camp will sink  I’ve just been reading about Bob Shorthouse tweeting his delight at Ricky Burns defeat with a broken jaw which he seemed to claim was the result of playing Flower of Scotland before the fight.  Ricky’s jaw was broken in round two and he fought on to round eight.
     
    Seriously?  That is out of order if he said that.
     
    @HandandShrimp
     
    I just spent half an hour reading the good Professor’s blog Confessions of a Justified Unionist. I was going to paint a garden wall but the heavens opened (oh bum!) I have to say I don’t think he is justified at all. He attempts to justify his unionism that is not the same. He makes much of the SNP’s opposition to The SCC and Calman, citing their complaints that these bodies were not going nearly far enough as evidence of their anti-devolution stance. ignoring the fact the SNP nonetheless, campaigned for Devolution during the referendum and passed the Scotland Bill. This is, in my view somewhat dishonest, but worse, in an earlier blog, he takes Labour to task for the rather weak document they produced on further devolution earlier this year.
     
    Yes, it seems to be a tactic of the No campaign to say that the SNP were and are against devolution.  They go on about the Scottish Constitutional Convention and the Calman Commission as you say.  I heard Lamont boasting that she signed the Claim of Right and Salmond did not.  Blair McDougall goes on about the SNP being against devolution as well.  The odd thing about this is that the SNP campaigned for a Yes vote in the two devolution referendums of 1979 and 1997.  Therefore, the claim is obviously false.  It is also true that both Lamont and Darling voted No in 1979.  I have no idea why they think this line of arguement get them anywhere?  All it does is destoy their credibility with voters who know the history of the devolution referendums, showing them up as liars.  In addition, people are reminded of their own lukewarm support for devolution.
     
    @Starlaw
     

    Do not give up on pensioners , Im one , they have experienced austerity in their lives and don’t wish to go there again , It needs to be stressed that an independent Scotland is in the interests of their children and grandchildren , do they wish poverty on them , no jobs no housing, no hope , this is the best chance of turning a no vote to yes . I meet many pensioners and have yet to meet a better together supporter , they are also aware that a return to labour means good-bye bus pass and have no wish to go there either !
     
    Is there a Pensioners for Independence group? 

  54. ZenBroon says:

    I’m always intrigued by the ‘more in common with the people of Sheffield’ agument. I lived for about 8 years in Manchester and although I really like the people you’d be hard pushed to fine anyone in Manchester (or, I suspect, Sheffield) who actually gives a flying f*ck what happens in Scotland….

  55. The Man in the Jar says:

    @ZenBroon
    The same old argument from Labour it is easily dismissed. Taken to its conclusion it means that if you can’t help everyone then you should not help anyone. Or to put it another way. If a building containing 20 people was on fire and you had the opportunity to rescue only 2 would you let them burn to death because you could not rescue all of them?

  56. molly says:

    Not sure if this has already been posted but it makes it sound like the kind of thing ‘normal’ countries do http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtFJUCMjdoA 

  57. Taranaich says:

    I know I always note that I try my best to be cheerful and positive in regards to the whole debate, but sometimes you see something that just makes you see red.
     
    I have four young children and when I look at them growing up and then I look at friends in London and see the way of life down there, I thank God I don’t live in London.
     
    I don’t know where this gentleman lives, but the idea that he compares life in London so poorly to life in the Glasgow area makes me want to reach into the computer and skelp him across the heid. Not only is he giving the impression that Scotland’s “better together,” but that Scotland is actively better than the capital city of England as part of the union.
     
    If he really doesn’t feel comfortable staying in an Indy Scotland, I shan’t waste any tears if he leaves.

  58. john king says:

    “‘keep their own council’”
    “counsel”
    wow 8 minutes that’s fast 
    have you got some kind of grammar/spelling radar or sumfink?

  59. Training Day says:

    @ Rickyannie

    Let’s be clear. Ricky Burns was not defeated.

    Much as Labour would have liked him to lose.

  60. Patrician says:

    I have been thinking about this for a while and I have tried to identify the different types of British Unionist* and the chances of getting them to vote Yes. This is not trying to be a comedy list or to mock anyone for what they believe in. It is just a reflection of the types of “No Scotland” voters I have met in the past. 

    True Brit
    Their country is Britain, not England/Scotland/Wales/NI.
    Chance of converting: none. This I suppose would be the largest group of the 18% who would join Britain if Scotland was independent. It is a complete waste of time even talking to them about the referendum.

    Trougher Brit
    This is mostly politicians in Westminster and those who want to go there. Their present and future riches are tied up in being part of Britain.
    Chance of converting: very, very low. This would most likely be a sizable part of the 18%.

    Empire/Nostalgic Brit
    Attracted to Britain because of memories of glories in the past, when the sun never set on the empire.
    Chance of converting: Very low.

    Green/Blue Brit
    Support Britain due to familial/cultural pressures.
    Chance of converting: Low to middle. This is the group indoctrinated with Britain protects our religion/way of life that wouldn’t be allowed in an independent Scotland.

    I’m all right Brit
    This group has been successful and is doing well at the moment and can’t see any reason for rocking the boat.
    Chance of converting: Middle. They will change if a) independence doesn’t change too much for them and b) if they don’t gain from the change then they don’t lose either.

    Old Brit
    Mostly OAPs, can remember when Britain stood against fascism and then the creation of the welfare state. When being British meant being in it together.
    Chance of converting: Middle to high. This isn’t about the past, this is about protecting and providing for future generations.

    Scared Brit
    Strange one this, I have come across them a few times. They appear to be afraid that an independent Scotland will be bullied by the British state, not being allowed into EU, NATO, trade embargoes and so on. Therefore, it is easier just to stay in the union.
    Chance of converting: Unknown, at least to me.

    Default Brit
    They will stay with Britain because they haven’t been asked to think about it before. Staying in the union to them is the view of the largest group of voters, so that must be the best option.
    Chance of converting: High. Go talk to them now, present the facts to them. Wear your Yes badges, attend meetings, tweet, blog, talk to your relatives and friends. Don’t hide away or say I will do it next year.

    *Obviously some people will fit into more than one category.

  61. Bill Fraser says:

    I had the opportunity to put some business Ruths way. I didn’t.

  62. Chic McGregor says:

    Isn’t the fruit and veg. disparity thing yet another jockanory?
    I did a quick google swatch and the report I found said that the English average was 3.5 of the 5-a-day recommend (where the amount of each type of f&V = to 1 portion was specified) wheras in Scotland it was 3.1.  So going by that report it was less than in England but not so much as a plum.
     
    Also, I wonder how they got the figures and guess it was via retail figures which do not tell the whole tale,  For example I wonder how much of the strawberry, rasps and blackcurrent sales up here in Angus are counted from the numerous roadside stalls and farms which folk here habitually stop off for on a regular basis.  Also a lot of tatties bought from outlets one suspect are not caught in the above report.
     
    However, another thing in Scotland is that, unlike England, nearly everyone has a substantial garden, even council houses and many grow at least some of the veg. they use themselves.  Even allotments for flat owners are very popular.
     
    Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Scots actually consumed more fruit and veg than the English on average.  Well, apart from Labournia (aka Glasgow and environs).



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