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Wings Over Scotland


Joining the dots

Posted on November 23, 2013 by

So we’re pretty embarrassed that we’ve only just put these two things together. We’ve been spending a fair bit of time recently pointing out that there’s almost no chance of the Barnett Formula – in essence, a mechanism for returning to Scotland some of the excess money it sends to Westminster in the form of oil revenue and tax receipts – being retained after the next UK general election.

We’ve also spent a good six months highlighting that the possibility of Holyrood being given “more tax powers” after a No vote is actually a trap, not in reality offering more power at all, but more responsibility. (Because it does you no good to have to collect your own tax revenue – the power lies in deciding how your tax revenue is spent.)

dottodot

And duh, it’s taken us till now to see the connection. Boy, is our face red.

It took a piece in this morning’s Herald to switch the lights on:

“Following a No vote, it is suggested there would be a two-stage process: a snap Scottish constitutional convention to fine-tune the details of a stronger Holyrood followed by a UK constitutional convention in the next Westminster Parliament, which would include the Scottish proposals and also cover the so-called English Question, constituency boundaries and Lords reform.

The Lib-Con Coalition Government has agreed during the next two years to enhance Holyrood’s financial powers with a new Scottish rate of income tax and borrowing powers worth £5bn.

Scottish Labour has said it is minded to agree to more tax powers for Holyrood while the Scottish Tories are undertaking their own review on how to bolster the Scottish Parliament’s financial responsibilities.”

There’s nothing particularly revelatory in the article itself, but it was thinking about the issue properly in a UK-wide context that did the trick. It’s no secret that the Barnett Formula is hated in England, where they see it as the manifestation of Scotland as a “subsidy junkie”. (Even though, as noted above, the “extra” spending granted to Scotland by Barnett is paid for, and billions more besides, by North Sea oil money.)

But how to fix the problem while seeming to be granting the Scottish electorate’s wish for “more powers”? The answer can be easily deduced from the proposals:

1. End the Formula, by which Scottish spending is higher than the UK average. At a stroke, that strips something like £7bn (or around 28%) out of the Scottish block grant, making English voters happy.

2. At the same time, grant Holyrood “more powers” by allowing it to set Scotland’s income tax rates in their entirety, which can be portrayed as a gesture of major devolution (and indeed, technically is). The Scottish media can then present this as a positive, saying the Unionist parties – and chiefly Labour – have kept their pre-referendum promises and delivered extra powers.

3. Now, to fill the huge £7bn hole that’s just opened up in Holyrood’s coffers (because Barnett’s gone, but all the North Sea cash is still going straight to Westminster), the Scottish Government – not the UK government – is the one that has to make swingeing cuts to services or whopping tax increases.

Labour has already conceded the 2016 Scottish election, so in practice “the Scottish Government” means the SNP, with catastrophic results on the popularity of a party which may already be damaged by losing the referendum.

4. The Tories, meanwhile, can use the devolution of taxation to further reduce the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster – because Scottish MPs will have fewer responsibilities – and also to reduce their influence by finally excluding them from votes on matters that don’t affect Scotland (the “English question” mentioned in the Herald, more usually called the “West Lothian Question”).

5. So the Tories win, because they’ve reduced Labour’s numbers and influence at the Commons. And while Labour will grumble a bit at that, they’ll mostly be delighted because of the body blow dealt to the SNP, and because in reality they know that their Scottish MPs almost never make a difference to whether they win Westminster elections or not anyway.

For the Unionist parties, there’s no downside to this plan. They save billions of pounds that they can redirect to bribe crucial English swing voters, but they get to do so in the guise of giving the Scottish electorate what it wants, while keeping all of Scotland’s oil revenues safely in the Treasury and Trident in the Clyde.

If the Tories win the 2015 general election, they have a ready-made excuse to reduce Labour’s power in the Commons as a bonus. And if Labour wins in 2015, they can do it WITHOUT reducing the number of Scottish MPs, and can also take the chance to devolve more powers away from Holyrood to councils at the same time,.

That leaves the SNP holding the “cuts” baby while Labour gets on with rebuilding its local powerbases via the time-honoured party practices of cronyism and corruption so familiar to people in Glasgow and the surrounding regions.

Labour will then be in a strong position to capitalise in 2020, when a dispirited and exhausted SNP – having lost the referendum, implemented massive cuts and/or tax rises, and been effectively emasculated and left unable to defend Scotland in the face of impossible financial pressures (free universal services would have to fall by the wayside, and Salmond’s promises about rocks melting in the sun would disintegrate, to great media glee) – would surely be unable to secure a fourth consecutive election victory, leaving Labour king of the roost again.

(And since the SNP would already have done all the dirty work of cuts and tax increases, the incoming Labour administration wouldn’t have to make any unpopular decisions. If it was also in power at Westminster, there’d doubtless be scope for some relaxations on the purse strings for a few crowd-pleasing giveaways.)

Labour would have regained what it sees as its birthright, and would have a stronger stranglehold on Scotland than at any time in the past, with both Holyrood and council levels sewn up. The Tories could easily bear that as a worst-case scenario because they’ve long since written Scotland off electorally, and Labour’s “One Nation” agenda would mean there was no great ideological tension anyway.

And all of that happens without Scottish Labour having to become any more competent or restore its hollowed-out grassroots. All it has to do is set Scotland up to fail, then walk in and occupy the ruins.

It’s a bleak picture. But we invite readers to find fault with the logic.

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    240 to “Joining the dots”

    1. patronsaintofcats says:

      Yep, that just about sums up what I’ve been thinking for awhile now. A No vote is simply not an option.  It’s more like ‘Vote No, Get F*cked’.

    2. Ed says:

      Some missing words in the first paragraph.

    3. scottish_skier says:

       there’s almost no chance of the Barnett Formula..
       
      Doing what exactly? 😉

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      YOU ARE ALL PLAINLY DELUSIONAL.

    5. Brian Powell says:

      I’ve thought this for some time, And Labour just needs to get the inertia vote and their flabby activists to get through the Referendum.

      Of course as this unfolds the whole Scottish Government, SNP MSPs, European MPs, and all SNP Councillors could resign, en masse.

    6. Juteman says:

      But surely Scottish Labour politicians wouldn’t help destroy their own country just to regain power in the future? Would they?
      Feckin right they would!

    7. Juteman says:

      @Brian Powell.
      It would need something like that to happen, or a popular uprising of some sort.

    8. titchyboy85 says:

      Bleak, but not unbelievable. Sadly.

    9. James Morton says:

      At a stroke it will also end any idea of a UK and provoke some real disenfranchisement and a sense of powerlessness. The sort of thing that heralded in Devolution and swept away the conservatives. I can well imagine Slab licking its lips at the prospect of dining heartily on good old anti Tory sentiment, being kicked out of councils up and down the length of the country. The Tories will frankly cease to exist here, once again triggering a constitutional crisis. The lib dems, will frankly…fuck em, they did to themselves.
      yes or no – the union loses.

    10. MajorBloodnok says:

      And I imagine that the SNP won’t be invited to his ‘snap Scottish Constitutional Convention’ either.  What a shower of self-serving bastards the Unionist parties are.

    11. Alan MacD says:

      Oooft, either you are correct and we have underestimated the intelligence of Labour or you are mistaken about the whole scenario and have given them a very cunning plan instead of the current strategy of ‘SNP bad’.

    12. Andrew Morton says:

      Ref. Brian Powell’s post, it could be a smart move if, in the event of a No vote, the SNP puts forward constituency candidates, but no list members. This would be a way of demonstrating their popularity while ensuring that SLAB form the next government. Then they could snipe from a position of influence on the sidelines while Johann demonstrates why a No vote was a bad idea. They could then return in 2020 on a promise of a snap referendum and catch them cold.
       
      Of course, this is all pie in the sky as Yes will win next year.

    13. I was thinking along the same lines: There is no status quo on offer after the Referendum if it’s a no vote. It really is vote Yes or bend over for Scots.
       
      It’s worth remembering also that the Barnett formula only delivers a higher percentage to Scots on spending within the purview of the Scottish Parliament. The net ‘overspend’ on Scotland is far less that £7Bn when you take items like defence, transport and energy spending into account.

    14. FreddieThreepwood says:

      And here was me all cheered up after reading Ian Bell’s piece today. Bubble. Pin. Burst.
      Thanks.

    15. Ian Sanderson says:

      Is Alastair Carmichael a reincarnation of Alec Douglas Home…?  More “jam tomorrow”
       
      Good article in Herald this morning (Sat) by Ian Bell

    16. Jim Mitchell says:

      It won’t happen because we are going to win, but just the thought of it should be even more of an incentive to us all to make sure that we win!

    17. redcliffe62 says:

      So a NO vote means a 7 billion dollar cut, 28% to the budget and services cut to the bone.

      Vote No get less than NOTHING.

      This needs to be pushed hard in every interview.

      We already subsidise England Wales and NI, now they want another 7 billion a year to pay the debts they have built up on Trident and the economy.

      Vote NO, lose 28% of our budget and screw Scotland for the next 20 years?

    18. Clare Gallagher says:

      The logic you lay out here is like a bolt of lightening! True in every aspect. But I am not sure they will allow Hollyrood any more powers, I honestly see a reduction in those powers, why you ask? Because in the event of a NO vote, I believe they will see no reason to appease us, as we’ve given them the license to do whatever they want to us! It’s a clear mandate that we’re okay with the present situation, they won’t be looking at the percentage they won by, just the fact that they’ve won! I hope I’m wrong, for all of our sakes! 

    19. DougtheDug says:

      This scenario is quite logical and consistent with the facts.
       
      However it depends on Labour losing the next Holyrood election in the event of a No vote. If it doesn’t then Labour will be the ones who have campaigned to stay in the Union and then be the ones who implement the subsequent cuts. It may be the reason they’re holding onto Johann Lamont as their Parliamentary Leader.
       
      However I don’t think it really matters to Labour if they win or lose the next Holyrood election because with independence off the table they will be the only ones who can campaign in Scotland on winning a majority in Westminster against the Tories in General Elections.
       
      That’s what really counts for British Labour as for them Holyrood is just a regional sideshow to Westminster. Economic and social pain for Scotland is just collateral damage in their fight to retain their Scottish MP’s.

    20. handclapping says:

      I’m with Brian on this. 55:45 No vote; First minister resigns, Johann Lamont for First Minister in a minority SLab government. By May 2015 there’d be such a swing to the Nats theyd get 30+ seats in the Westminster GE and then everything is in play again.

    21. Les Wilson says:

      Well I guess that it is a most likely scenario, how do we defend against the probability ?

    22. Kirriereoch says:

      Question: What if the current Scottish Government points out this “issue” when it´s debated and/or offered? 
       
      Answer: “It won´t be reported in the press” or it´ll be reported as “Scottish Government rejects further devolution against wishes of people in Scotland.”

    23. X_Sticks says:

      FreddieThreepwood and Ian Sanderson

      “Good article in Herald this morning (Sat) by Ian Bell”
       
      http://archive.is/KDNdm

    24. James Stevenson says:

      That’s a pretty terrifying read.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Well I guess that it is a most likely scenario, how do we defend against the probability ?”

      We win, or die trying.

    26. Les Wilson says:

      Sorry so quick to post again but the defence maybe the the things Scots hold most dear and which they will not turn their back on, and some things that Westminster will NEVER agree to. Removal of Trident is but one, which needs much more anti Trident moves. We need to think about what else would motivate Scots, the things that Unionists would never propose to accept.

      Is this practical, we need to make a list, should not be too hard to do, AND the SG need to prepare also, to fight dirty if needs be. We have always been the relatively good guys but they need to get the message across,that if they do what you think they propose , then it will only make matters worse for them. We really need to think about that one.

    27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Because in the event of a NO vote, I believe they will see no reason to appease us”

      Indeed. But it’s not a question of “appeasement” – they WANT to do this, for the reasons I’ve outlined, and a No vote gives them an excuse to do it while pretending they’re magnanimously doing Scotland a favour when they don’t have to. They win all ends up.

    28. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Here are some problems with this (all falling under the heading of unintended consequences, something the Greeks wrote endlessly about…)

      1) It assumes that the Scottish people will continue to vote for the numpties that represent Labour in strengthened local councils. If they have more power over peoples lives, they might demand more competent representitives. I predict the SNP (and confederates) would control the overwhelming majority of councils within 5 to 10 years if this were come to pass. Where do Labour go from there? 

      2) It also assumes that the SNP or SG would be blamed for implementing tax rises (& spending cuts) in the event of the scrapping of the Barnett formula. Cue an increase SNP representation at westminster in 2015, another landslide in the Scottish parliament in 2016, followed by another referendum in independence in the years there after. This time, the Scottish people will vote overwhelmingly for self-determination because indepdendence will have been normalised and mainstream due to the effects of this campaign and sick fed up of broken promises made by the westminster faction (the jam tomorrow disappointment-anger reaction).

      I would be sad if we lost this time but I see plenty of reasons to see that the Westminster-Brit Nats inbreds would shoot themselves in the over zealous triumphalism in the aftermath of a narrow NO vote. Be patient and don’t loose the heid, we will get there eventually.

    29. Peter A Bell says:

      There is no faulting the logic here. It is impeccable.
       
      I have repeatedly tried to set out the reasons why the people of Scotland should be extremely wary of the effort to deceive them into thinking that a No vote is a vote for more powers. Among those reasons is the fact that, supposing all the other hurdles are overcome, any common proposals offered by the British parties are unlikely to be what they are made to appear. And, if their true nature were known, these proposals would most certainly not be acceptable to the people of Scotland.
       
      The danger is that the supine Scottish media will not challenge anything that the anti-independence campaign comes up with. Either purposefully or by a careless default to some cosy consensus, such proposals as may be advanced by the British parties will be presented as a meaningful alternative to independence.
       
      There is no such thing!
       
      Only a Yes vote guarantees more powers. Only independence allows us the required control of our resources and economic levers. Nothing less will do.

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Of course as this unfolds the whole Scottish Government, SNP MSPs, European MPs, and all SNP Councillors could resign, en masse.”

      It’s a thought that’s occurred to me before. It would be perfectly legitimate for the SNP to disband itself the day after a No vote, saying “Okay, our party’s reason for existing has just been destroyed, so we quit. You’ve had your chance, you chose London control, now you can reap the whirlwind without us busting a gut to protect you from the worst of it”.

      I don’t think it will have crossed the SNP leadership’s mind for a moment, though. They’d want to stay and fight as best they could, for the sake of all the people who DID vote Yes.

    31. Luigi says:

      There are a number of elephants in the room with the potential to wreck their devilish plan:

      1) The SNP refuse to play ball – as some posters imply. I’m not sure what the options will be, much would depend on the size of the minority YES vote.
      2) European referendum – this could get really complicated.
      3)West Lothain question – I don’ t think this will be as easy to settle as you suggest.
      4) UK economy – predicted by many to go belly-up very soon. What happens then?
      5) Labour supporters who voted YES – obviously expected to return to the fold in 2015, to keep the tories oot, but will they keep doing this after the disappointment of a NO vote? I still feel that the way this is going, the tories are poised to take the credit for a NO vote, and Labour will get the blame if it’s YES in 2014.
       
      Yep, it’s an interesting scenario, and it may well unfold.  There are, however, many factors still to come into play that may change everything.  “Events, Dear Boy!”.

    32. DougtheDug says:

      There is an alternative twist to this strategy:
       
      1. After losing the Barnett Formula a future SNP Government in Holyrood has to make service cuts or tax increases.
      Labour accuse them of doing the Tories dirty work and campaign for Scotland to elect Labour MP’s to kick out the Tories in the next General Election.
       
      2. After losing the Barnett Formula a future Labour Government in Holyrood has to make service cuts or tax increases. 
       Labour point out their heroic efforts to mitigate the Tories dirty work and campaign for Scotland to elect Labour MP’s to kick out the Tories in the next General Election. 
       
      If the SNP ensure Labour win in Holyrood after Scotland loses Barnett it may make very little difference to Labour’s Scottish prospects in Westminster.
       
      It’s a rather bleak view but after a No vote nobody in Scotland can stop anything Westminster want to do because the threat of independence will be gone and the chances of a second independence referendum will be remote.

    33. Franariod says:

      Totally agree Rev. Been saying this for sometime now, we cant afford to stay in union. A No vote would be the end of this country.

    34. John H. says:

      When I read stuff like this, I know I’m on the side of the angels.

    35. handclapping says:

      Can the SNP resign? Yes, they’ll have given the people of Scotland the referendum that was in the manifesto. The referendum result was a rejection of the independence the SNP stands for and a desire for the status quo. Without the SNP the status quo is for JoLa as FM and SLab in a minority or coalition government so the SNP will do as the people of Scotland have decided and step aside.
       
      Given the triumphalism of the Unionists, the promises in their 2015 manifestos, the possibility of a big UKIP presence at Westminster and 8 months of SLab government in Scotland, IMO the SNP could have a landslide on their hands in 2015. Can you imagine Killing Fields Grey setting and getting a reducing budget thro’ the Parli?

    36. DougtheDug says:

      handclapping:
       
      “IMO the SNP could have a landslide on their hands in 2015”
       
      Apologies for putting it bluntly, but so what?
       
      The SNP running a parliament funded by a block grant from Westminster or having seats in Westminster means nothing for Scotland. Referendums will be off the table and all the SNP’s resources for the forseeable future will be put into how to divide up a rapidly reducing cake.

    37. Jingly Jangly says:

      Dougthedug
      if they campaign that the 2015 election is a vote for independence, if they get over 50% of the vote we declare independence, some people think we should have done that in 2011 Independence supporting parties/independents had over 50% of the vote.

    38. naebd says:

      Can the SNP resign? Yes, they’ll have given the people of Scotland the referendum that was in the manifesto.

      Any such move would be depicted successfully as a huge flounce, and anyway would never happen – politicians like being in power.

      After a no, the job of the Scottish Parliament will be very much about managing cuts though, so yep – that’s going to be interesting. Politicians never really do go for that ‘handing the poison chalice to the other lot’ thing though. They tend to lose through unpopularity. So I think it’ll pan out like in the post above – SNP presiding over the cuts and discredited.

      Also, the SNP will definitely be invited to any constitutional convention as long as they agree to swear the oath “the goal of this convention is to develop a permanent settlement that bonds Scotland into this successful Union” (or you know, words to that effect).
       

    39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The SNP refuse to play ball”

      In what way? What can they do? It’d be politically impossible to reject the devolution of income tax. They’ve spent the last six years complaining publicly about not having the levers of the economy, and here they’d be being given a huge one. The fact that it was booby-trapped would never get across in the media. You can’t be the party of independence and demand to keep getting pocket money from Westminster instead of raising your own revenue.

      “European referendum”

      The EU referendum, if it happens, will be in 2017. Too late.

      “West Lothain question – I don’ t think this will be as easy to settle as you suggest.”

      Why not? If the Tories have a majority it’s a nailed-on certainty.

      “UK economy – predicted by many to go belly-up very soon. What happens then?”

      All the arguments we’re hearing already for austerity get ramped up even louder. Scotland’s “extra” money from Barnett is ever harder to justify and even more under attack.

      “Labour supporters who voted YES – obviously expected to return to the fold in 2015, to keep the tories oot, but will they keep doing this after the disappointment of a NO vote?”

      Who cares? As I’ve noted, the scenario benefits whoever’s in control at Westminster, whether it’s Labour or the Tories.

    40. You’ve just described Wales’ current situation perfectly in that post.

    41. Luigi says:

      A resignation of the Scottish government after a NO vote would send SLAB into a blind panic.  Can you imagine if JL had to take the reigns?  No, no no, they are banking on the SNP slogging on, working hard for the people, while they spend more time preparing the heir apparent – Anas Sarwar (don’t laugh)!  Never in their careerist, unionist minds could they ever contemplate the SNP walking away – after all, who would give up power power power just for maintaining mere principles and conviction? 

    42. naebd says:

      the possibility of a big UKIP presence at Westminster

      Note that there’ll be zero UKIP MPs elected in 2015. If UKIP does well electorally, Labour will win with a comfortable majority.

    43. art1001 says:

       This discussion shows the incredibly high stakes we are playing for. We lose and lives and future prospects of five million people are at risk. Sure the wealthy, propertied and labocracy will survive but the prospects for the majority will be grim. Ironically the NOs will suffer along with the Yes voters in equal measure.

      The only way NO can win is through lies, misinformation via MSM/Media and probably electoral fraud. I think if it is a NO then it will be a narrow NO. We will need evidence.

      Probably the ONLY thing that will stop Scotland and its people being annihilated by London and the unionists will be some kind of Government in Exile (e.g. in Paris) with an appeal to the UN for a re-run under UN auspices and lobbying for international pressure for sanctions. We have to stop playing by their. We need international support.

    44. handclapping says:

      @Doug
      FM resigns, SNP support election of whoever the Unionists put up for FM and settle down to opposition. Opposition with a majority is an interesting concept but not in line for discussion here.
       
      I am old enough to remember when the SNP claim was for a majority of Scottish Westminster MPs was enough to start the Indy ball rolling and they would surely resurrect that claim uf they had a landslide. Add to which any non performance of the referendum promises of the Unionists and there is a the threat, 30+MPs AND a majority in SP, of another referendum unless the promises are kept.
       
      The real fly in the ointment is if the UK gets out of the EU and ECHR. Then indeed its “So what?”

    45. naebd says:

      A resignation of the Scottish government after a NO vote would send SLAB into a blind panic.  Can you imagine if JL had to take the reigns?  No, no no

      Don’t think so. I think they’d be delighted to take power. What can you envisage JL actually doing with these reins that she’s not been told to? 🙂

    46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It assumes that the Scottish people will continue to vote for the numpties that represent Labour in strengthened local councils. If they have more power over peoples lives, they might demand more competent representitives.”

      Och, dream on. You can only vote for what’s in front of you, and the monkey-in-a-red-rosette principle comes into play. If people want better representatives, how the hell has Cara Hilton found her way into Holyrood?

      And what we learned in 2012 was that even where the SNP were the largest party, Labour would cobble together an alliance with literally anyone to keep them out of power. What that means is that the SNP would have to take more than 50% of seats to control any one council, and under STV that’s damn near impossible.

      “It also assumes that the SNP or SG would be blamed for implementing tax rises (& spending cuts) in the event of the scrapping of the Barnett formula.”

      Of course they would. They’d be the government. Plenty people blame them for Westminster cuts now. Most folk don’t read politics websites – they see a cut, they see who made the decision, and that’s who they hold responsible.

    47. DougtheDug says:

      Luigi:
      “A resignation of the Scottish government after a NO vote would send SLAB into a blind panic.”
       
      Why? They’d have just have been given their hearts desire of continued Westminster rule and they’d be taking over a well run Government.
       
      They would be taking over what they have always regarded as their birthright and they would regard it as a launch pad for the 2015 and 2016 elections.

    48. velofello says:

      Never accept responsibility unless the appropriate authority is given too.And so in the event of a No vote the SNP government refuses to accept or implement tax raising powers without the authority to spend the tax raised – constitutional impasse and Westminster’s colonial and gunboat diplomacy instincts are aroused. The impasse rumbles on up to the 2015 general election and the Scottish electorate then has a second bite at the independence cherry in the 2015 general election, and in much starker terms and prospects than presently understood by many.

    49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Note that there’ll be zero UKIP MPs elected in 2015.”

      That seems extremely complacent. They’re teetering on the verge of a breakthrough. It’s awfully hard to get over a million votes without picking up some MPs.

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A resignation of the Scottish government after a NO vote would send SLAB into a blind panic. Can you imagine if JL had to take the reigns?”

      Johann, of course, would be in control of nothing. Labour’s only leader anywhere in the UK is Ed Miliband.

    51. naebd says:

      Bottom line is, all fantasy what-if scenarios aside, after a No vote, Westminster will be in the driving seat. Westminster will be populated as always by MPs from the three big UK parties. All three of these parties will be of the same mind “well we dodged a bullet there chaps. Now, we really have to get this ScotParl thing tied up and sorted”. The exact flavour of ‘solution’ to the problem will depend on the flavour of WM government that gets elected, but they’ll all be pulling in a similar direction.

    52. naebd says:

      OK. They do well in the Euros, then perhaps get two MPs, a Farage seat and A.N.Other. BUT, any level of success like that will result in a MASSIVE labour majority. It’d be like Labour/SDP/Alliance times again. Just a property of the FPTP system.

    53. Tris says:

      So in the unlikely, but possible event of a NO vote, we must, at the following Scottish general election  have a campaign for everyone to vote Labour, and leave them to clear up the shit that they wished on the Scottish people.
       
      That would be hilarious.
       
      Of course it will be hard on the poor and the old, on students and the unemployed, but it will only be for four years. Four hard years granted.
       
      Then the population elects an SNP government with a manifesto pledge to hold a second referendum (which is probably what the Scottish people will want want) and we can be rid of the shoddy load of spivs forever.

    54. X_Sticks says:

      art1001 says:
      “The only way NO can win is through lies, misinformation via MSM/Media and probably electoral fraud.”

      Unfortunately correct. It is the fraud bit that really worries me. We can beat the MSM with boots on the ground, but I believe we need international oversight of the referendum to ensure no dirty tricks are played by the establishment.

      This is the same establishment who won’t release papers relating to the devolution referendum. The establishment who sent military black ops into Northern Ireland to break the law. The establishment who turns a blind eye to America spying on us all. That establishment. Not to be trusted AT ALL.

    55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Any such move would be depicted successfully as a huge flounce, and anyway would never happen – politicians like being in power.”

      As I said, I don’t think the SNP leadership will have considered it for a moment. It’d be interesting to see how many ministers retired and how many members deserted, though.

    56. scotchwoman says:

      I think Scotland will be independent either in 2014 or soon after. Boxing us into a corner will not work. It is more likely to have the opposite effect.
       
      Equally, the exaggeration, half-truths, scaremongering, media-bias and downright lies from BT are all more widely recorded and understood than in any previous political campaign. The scam will be clear for all to see in future.
       
      Either YES wins in 2014, or we lose a battle but later we win the war. I’m not one for military metaphors but in this case, it’s entirely appropriate. 

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “if they campaign that the 2015 election is a vote for independence, if they get over 50% of the vote we declare independence, some people think we should have done that in 2011 Independence supporting parties/independents had over 50% of the vote.”

      No they didn’t. Even including the Greens, SSP etc it only came to something like 47%.

      And in 2015 the plans set out in this article won’t have happened yet. It’ll only be nine months after the referendum. There’ll be no grounds whatsoever to campaign on a platform of UDI. It would be insane, and electoral suicide. “You voted No, but vote for us nine months later and we’ll ignore what you said in the referendum”? Welcome First Minister Lamont.

    58. naebd says:

      As I said, I don’t think the SNP leadership will have considered it for a moment. It’d be interesting to see how many ministers retired and how many members deserted, though.

      Yeah, interesting to see the fallout of which there will (would, I mean) definitely be some.
      Maybe Henry MacLeish will come out for independence in Jan 2015.

    59. Rev, opinion on what vellofello said?

    60. Luigi says:

      I think Scotland will be independent either in 2014 or soon after. Boxing us into a corner will not work. It is more likely to have the opposite effect.
       
      I agree (in the medium/long-term), but I think many here are concerned the effect of a “dirty divorce” would have on the Scottish people (and the UK, for that matter).  It would be a horrible period that could last another generation.  A clean, amicable break is preferred, obviously. The mess they made of Ireland should serve as a warning.

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “OK. They do well in the Euros, then perhaps get two MPs, a Farage seat and A.N.Other. BUT, any level of success like that will result in a MASSIVE labour majority.”

      I just can’t see it. A huge result for them would be 10 MPs. Assuming they took every one of those from the Tories – a pretty big assumption – what difference does that make? Most Commons majorities are well over 20, and can you see UKIP propping up a Labour coalition? You’d be trading a few Tory MPs for right-wing Tories in disguise.

      The issue only comes into play if there’s another hung Parliament and Labour are the largest party. That means they get (by convention, rather than law) first crack at forming a government. But what if they can’t get a majority together? The Lib Dems are going to implode in 2015, there won’t be many of them to help Labour over the line, and it’s hard to see the nationalists co-operating even if Labour asked, which they wouldn’t (look what happened in 2010).

      So then it’s back to the Tories, backed by UKIP, and maybe the surviving Lib Dems who can make an argument for continuity.

      It’s not IMPOSSIBLE that a few UKIP seats would let Labour in by the back door, but the range of outcomes which makes it possible is a very narrow one.

    62. naebd says:

      Given how the new generation are as against independence as the fogies, does anyone worry that we are sliding IndianaJones-style towards a descending stone door? All I ever see is bullish opinion of the form “If this one doesn’t work there’ll be another indyref in a few years and that’ll be a piece of piss“.
      I think the reality is different – this is our last shot. There’s a window of opportunity while a diminishing Scotland thrashes around with a bit of life in it. After that window shuts it’ll be permanent regionhood ahoy, with lashings of X Factor and Great British Bake-Off. iScotland’ll be about as likely as iYorkshire. :-/

    63. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev, opinion on what vellofello said?”

      I already covered it in my previous answer. There’s just not a hope in hell that they’d get away politically with rejecting tax-raising powers. They’d be crucified in the media, in a way that’d make the current relationship between the press and the SNP look like a love-in.

    64. Murray McCallum says:

      Maybe it’s just me but this is bleaker than ‘The Northumberland Times’.
       
      I have also seen people on Twitter saying if we do not win independence in 2014 then its guaranteed in 10 – 15 years time. I am actually as worried at this line of thinking as some of the extreme better together stuff.

    65. Ken500 says:

      It already happens Scotland only spends what it raises, with £12Billion going to the UK Exchequer unaccounted. While the UK gov borrows and spends what it likes on the rest of the UK. It’s been happening since 1928.

      The Unionists are mad.

      That’s where the Rev. Stuart Campbell comes in.

      Folk voted for Devolution and will vote for Independence. There is only so far they can push folk.

    66. naebd says:

      I think your analysis just doesn’t take into account the mechanics of a FPTP system. 10 UKIP MPs would result in a good deal more than 10 Tory losses, due to Tory marginals going to Labour. Try plugging various scenarios into an electoral calculator to see what is likely to happen. LibDem collapse will mostly send disillusioned ‘Clean Hands Left’ voters back to Labour.

      We’ll have to agree to differ I think!

    67. naebd says:

      I should probably zip it with the ‘THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE!!!’ doom scenarios.

    68. Ken500 says:

      Alternatively how would they like 60 SNP MP’s in Westminster? That might liven things up.

    69. naebd says:

      How about a giant seamonster that supports the SNP, emerging from the Thames and laying waste to WM?

    70. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Stu 
      “Of course they would. They’d be the government.”

      Yes but the electorate will know the one responsible for giving the knife to inflict damage in the first place. The Scottish Government will just be seen as the victim forced to cut off their hand by psychopathic gansters.

      Anyway on a lighter note, I still think the present referendum will yield a YES vote. I don’t want to see all the pain in the interim post-Barnett One nation Britain period.
       
      The UK is living on borrowed time because none of the UK parties have any strong people in Scotland to take the battle to a better organized pro-independence arguement. Tick-tock, as you have said in the past….

    71. Well, we’ll just need to win the referendum then!

    72. Ron Burgundy says:

      There are two possible scenarios being described by posters here to deal with what I believe to be a very very realistic Unionist Plan to destroy the SNP post a NO vote.

      Ignoring Unionist machinations and for the SNP to continue to dominate the political landscape post NO or YES – OR The Nuclear option – Scottish government resignation – September 19th as posed initially by Brian Powell.

      This artfully sidesteps the Unionist trap described by you Stuart and it would have SLAB bricking it. But they would gain traction from portraying the SNP move as petulance, Salmond abandoning his post, cowardice and a dereliction of duty. ( I can hear them now ) We would be handing the political initiative to SLAB cretins in the form of a very cheap victory.

      Our only counter would be to try and characterise such a step as an act of statesmanship by the SNP who have listened to the people who have rejected independence in favour of the Union. So it’s hourourable act responding to democratic wishes. But this would be a tough sell between Holyrood elections.

      SLAB would be in the box seat for the 2016 election. We would be gambling that the loss of political initiative and power would be outweighed by them having to manage the horrible toxic nature of the Union State post NO – Barnett gone, massive cuts, loss of representation at Westminster. More responsibilities, masquerading as more powers. 

      But how tenable would any criticism be by the SNP of these horrendous impacts on Scotland? Our position would be weakened by constant SLAB references to having “walked off the park” or “baled out of government” – SLAB would be the plucky defenders of Scotland – Alex Salmond the “spoilt prima-donna” who abandoned his post.

      There is no easy answer to this Unionist stratagem – both options have huge risks.

    73. Dcanmore says:

      People should be wary of what the British State is capable of when they want to retain power. But I believe ineptitude and self serving has replaced much of the ‘thinking’ in Westminster over the past 30 years. However what the Rev has set out in this piece is a frighteningly realistic situation as Westminster would seek to tighten its grip on Scotland while weakening her within the UK. A NO vote would diminish Scotland greatly and many of those in Scottish Labour would rub their hands with glee in that diminishment because they are ‘internationalists’ and Scotland as a national entity simply does not exist. British nationalism is what they revel in even though they would never admit that British nationalism exists despite their actions home and abroad.
       
      Labour are trying to blame the Tories for everything wrong in the UK (the tactic used effectively throughout the 1980s) to create the ‘nasty party’ feeling. To them 2005-2010 in British politics is extinguished, nothing happened here and nobody was responsible for the economic crash, bedroom tax, bank bailouts, ATOS, public borrowing, PFI contracts, mass unemployment and illegal wars. The same people in Labour today are in full denial mode. Milliband as energy minister did absolutely nothing to rein in the rampant energy companies, Darling is recognised as the worst Chancellor in living memory and Brown brought in the Bedroom Tax and ATOS. Yet in the last three years Labour act in faux outrage at policies being passed in parliament, policies that they secretly support and are happy to let others take the credit for. In Scotland they are trying to do the same, making the SNP out to be a nasty party where every policy needs to be met with faux outrage. Difference is SNP policy has been good for Scotland.
       
      If there is a NO vote Scotland will be asset stripped, totally and completely neutered and diminished to nothing more than a sparsely populated region of North Britain. Labour will happily let this happen as a price to pay for the destruction of the SNP. A YES vote would probably see the self-destruction of the Labour Party in Scotland and that folks is what BT and UwL are really campaigning against, this above anything else is a fight for survival and they will slash and burn their own country because the Party will always come first.

    74. Jingly Jangly says:

      rev 2.33
      yes they did,  if you count the regional vote totals for the  snp ,greens ,scottish socialists, margo et al  came to just over 51% You cant use the first vote as not all independence supporting parties stood in the first vote.

    75. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You cant use the first vote as not all independence supporting parties stood in the first vote”

      You also can’t say “We didn’t stand, so our vote really counts as a Yes”. Average the constituency and list votes and you’re still short of 50%. Quite aside from the fact that a vote for an “independence-supporting party” wasn’t inherently a vote for independence.

      The SNP was very explicit that a vote for them was a vote for a referendum. Had they said it was a vote for independence, it’s highly likely they wouldn’t have got a majority and we wouldn’t be having the referendum at all.

    76. naebd says:

      “yes they did,  if you count the regional vote totals for the  snp ,greens ,scottish socialists, margo et al  came to just over 51%”

      The SNP would have lost votes if they’d campaigned on a “elect us and we will declare independence” ticket. Even if they hadn’t lost votes, those other parties would need to also declare the same policy and not lost votes either. Sheer fantasy.

    77. X_Sticks says:

      naebd says:

      “I should probably zip it with the ‘THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE!!!’ doom scenarios.”

      Quite the opposite naebd. This is our ONLY chance.

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Yes but the electorate will know the one responsible for giving the knife to inflict damage in the first place.”

      You have a faith in the perceptions of the electorate that isn’t borne out by history.

    79. Juteman says:

      Handclapping – “another referendum unless the promises are kept.”
       
      What promises?

    80. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “10 UKIP MPs would result in a good deal more than 10 Tory losses, due to Tory marginals going to Labour.”

      Well, that’s not strictly accurate – if I might nitpick semantically, a large UKIP vote might see that happen, which isn’t quite the same thing as them winning seats. They might just focus their efforts better. But yes, broadly that’s a valid point. I’m just not sure they have the resources – mainly in terms of candidates – to mount meaningful challenges in a significant number of seats.

    81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Maybe it’s just me but this is bleaker than ‘The Northumberland Times’.”

      Aye, well, that was a bit of light-hearted satire for a Friday evening. This is as real as it gets.

    82. Luigi says:

      I really don’t think we can discount the nuclear option (SG resignation) following a NO vote.  Yes, of course they would be slated by the media, but long-term it would create huge problems for SLAB.  And remember, the SNP done it before, following the 1979 referendum fix, when the Labour govt went back on its word.  It cause 20 years of hurt, and they took a hell of a beating for it, but they certainly stuck to their principles and did what they said they would do.

    83. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Stu said
      Labour would cobble together an alliance with literally anyone to keep them out of power.” You are too pessimistic. Independents will become more important. Other pro-independent parties may have a reversal in fortunes to ( for those that buy into leftwing alternatives to mainstream SNP or the “untrustworthy” Salmond meme relentless pursued by teh opposition)
       
      under STV that’s damn near impossible.” they used to say that about Holywood elections too
       
      What we are witnessing at the council level is the steady rise of the SNP due to the recognition of their overall better competence than the numpty-nepotism brigade.
      To paraphrase Ron Davies
      Democracy- its a process not an event
       
      Be patient, don’t get angry, get smart. I never have won an argument by shouting and dissing the opponent. 

    84. Luigi says:

      Mind you, if the SG did intend to resign after a NO vote, they should announce this just before the vote, just to make it clear what peole are voting for!

    85. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Stu said “You have a faith in the perceptions of the electorate that isn’t borne out by history.”
       
      Yes, but this whole referendum is about making the future brighter, not wallowing in the mud of history.

    86. handclapping says:

      Why does everybody think the SNP will stagger on with the burden if there is a No vote?

      You’ve been trying to set up a Youth Club. Its your performance review “You’ve done a fair job but we don’t want your Club and we’re cutting your money and we’ll tell the papers you’ve failed.” Do you carry on or quit?
       
      The Scottish Government is the FM’s. FM goes, everybody goes, Cabinet, ministers, the lot. It is then up to the Parli to choose another FM. Failure means an automatic Scottish GE. So AS resigns, SNP support whoever Unionists put up and let them get the pelters for tuition fees, homes sold to pay for elderly care, prescription charges and council tax rises. Seems like a no brainer IMO.

      The counter view is that they’d never do it cos politicians like power. There used to be a view that the SP set up meant the Nats could never win. I wonder what happened to that.

    87. X_Sticks says:

      While we’re all depressing each other over here with doom and gloom, have a look at the optimism on display on twitter from the Radical Independence Conference:
       
      https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RIC2013&src=hash
       
      Link courtesy of Marcia 🙂

    88. naebd says:

      Pointing at the vote of no confidence as evidence of the possibility of SNP govt resignation is interesting. I think an objective observer would say that that episode has been successfully spun in political folklore as a bad move by the SNP. “Voted Down Labour and Let in the Tories” anyone?
      If the argument is “we can’t discount the SNP being silly enough to do X” well then, I still disagree it’s plausible 🙂

    89. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      I’d also like to say that this web page has done more than most in bringing in the argument of a brilliant, intelligent case for independence, is the way to go.
       
      Me thinks you are suffering from some winter blues. Maybe you need to rest up for a few days. Get out , enjoy the company of friends. play with the cat…..Hang in there

    90. Hetty says:

      It could be that Labour and the tories already have a pact in place, you scratch my back and all that, they are working together on their attempt at securing a ‘no’ vote, some of their jobs are at stake after all, and with their very nice pay packets….

      The worry for next year is that the voting could be rigged, after all they will stop at nothing. 

      I do wonder if the ‘no’ lot have their spies on sites like Wings, looking for ideas and pointers as to how to make the next nasty move, its getting like a game of chess is it not? Anyone good at chess? 

      my mantra to anyone deluded enough to even think of voting against, will be vote no get a hiding, sorry take that back, get a fatal beating. 

    91. scotchwoman says:

      I guess the tone of this weeks discourse and these last few Wings articles is a reflection of the more negative aspects of the whole referendum process as it builds towards the white paper.
       
      One thing is certain – you would not be seeing such orchestrated doom and fearmongering if losing Scotland would make no real difference to the rUK. The implications are apparently now being understood more widely in the corrdors of power. It seems clear that BT reckon they need to kill the white paper stone dead. That must not happen.

    92. sneddon says:

      This turning into a lot of whataboutery, The aspiration of the RIC right now is amazing.  David Hayman said today “Despair has a name its name is NO, its the cry of the wealthy’  and “Hope has a name it’s name is YES’  Let’s not forget that and do our best to resist the doom and gloom being fed to us by the BT lot ans our own imagination.  That’s my 50p’s worth (adjusted for inflation from a penny) 🙂

    93. scotchwoman says:

      I agree with X_Sticks – it’s easy to focus inward and lose sight of the positive actions and events which are ongoing in the outside world. There’s a fair bit of gloom around here which I see as a result of the negative blanket of fog laid out by BT and the media over the last week. We need to stick our heads above that get that positive message out there relentlessly. 

    94. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “play with the cat”

      Actually I’ve been looking after the Official Wings Emergency Cat (and her big brother) since last night and for the rest of the weekend. I’m entirely cheerful in myself. But I think you’re fooling yourself on this.

    95. Atypical_Scot says:

      I don’t think this is by design at all. It’s simply counter productive for the unionist case, especially considering there’s ten months for the yes campaign to alert every Scot to the impending financial loss. 
       
      The UK is totally screwed, and sterling, and whilst independence is our main concern, the now increased deficit is the real main concern for Westminster. 
       
      An unhappy coincidence for the unionists, superb propaganda for the YES campaign.
       
      We win.

    96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “While we’re all depressing each other over here with doom and gloom, have a look at the optimism on display on twitter from the Radical Independence Conference:”

      All of which will count for absolutely sod-all if we don’t win…

    97. Andy-B says:

      I can’t really find fault with this frightening scenario, but are Scots really stupid enough, to be palmed off with more tax powers, as sweetner, after much consideration, and deliberation, I think they well could be fooled into voting no.
       
      I really hope the “Whitepaper” is a game changer for YES.

    98. Wingman 2020 says:

      There is always mass individual UDI
      Half serious here….  What is every single YES voter declared UDI?  It would at least be massive International publicity.  And it might jar a few undecideds into thinking what Independence actually means.
      Micro-nations

    99. X_Sticks says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell

      “All of which will count for absolutely sod-all if we don’t win…”
       
      Where’s your faith Rev Stuart? We will win. That’s why you’re here 😉

    100. mogabee says:

      It’s not wrong or depressing to plan for contingencies, all groups/companies etc. do it. I would expect that the NO’s have done their own, but they wouldn’t dare make that public!

      Far from being down, these scenarios just make folk more determined to fight for Yes. There is still that disparity of footsoldiers that are so needed to get the truth out there…..we have them and they don’t!!

    101. creigs1707repeal says:

      “The only way NO can win is through lies, misinformation via MSM/Media and probably electoral fraud.”
       
      Just make sure you mark your X with a pen and not the usual pencil they provide you with.

    102. Red squirrel says:

      Of course this is what will happen with a no vote – depressingly realistic and just the beginning. 
       
      If we mess up this one chance, next independence referendum will be in 40 years time when oil is running out & it will be rUK voting to separate. 
       
      We simply have to win. The alternative is just too hideous to contemplate.

    103. A2 says:

      “Yes but the electorate will know the one responsible for giving the knife to inflict damage in the first place.”

      That’s the same electorate that voted no?

      Oh to have that level of optimisim

    104. wee e says:

      This “snap constitutional convention”.

      WHO will be in it?
      (MPs? Lords? MSPs/Welsh/NI assembly members? The public? Business lobbies? Quango board members? Hand-picked “great & good”? Political backbenchers?)

      HOW do they get in it?
      (Appointed — by whom?  Elected — (by whom?)

      WHAT is its constitutional legitimacy?
      (Is it advisory or authoritative?)

      The idea that some brand new entity gets created to decide what shape Scottish governance takes is deeply undemocratic. We have a body responsible for that at present: Westminster. They should take responsibility for it.

      And we have a Scottish constitutional convention — it’s called the Holyrood parliament.

    105. msean says:

      It means vote yes for the continued survival of Scotland

    106. Papadocx says:

      In the event of a NO vote I beLieve that the retribution from HMG & SLAB will eventually make Scotland ungovernable. Then we will see. How long? Don’t know but soon hopefully, am getting on a bit and I want to see my country FREE.

    107. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      A2 says
       
      “Oh to have that level of optimisim”
       
      I place it in the people who normally do not vote (there is a lot of them), coming out to vote for independence. This referendum is beyond partisan politics, no matter what the bitter tigether side think.

      Also as I see it, if I listened to all the folk that telt me I was too stupid, too wee when I was a kid, I wouldnae have went to university,got on to improving myself & I would be stuck in the metaphorical Craggy Islands of this world (Incidentally some of those people are undoubtably big NO voters, but I consider them a runt faction now-a-days, dying out for lack of wanting or understanding to help themselves)

    108. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Where’s your faith Rev Stuart? We will win.”

      Hey, when did I say otherwise? 😀

    109. Jim Mitchell says:

      Whilst we are all participating in a bit of what if, let’s remember something that’s an absolute certainty, there is not a situation that we can think up between us that those we support have not already thought of and I refuse to believe that our side have not been laying their plans to cope with these.
      Let’s remember a few other things, firstly, this referendum has not yet sprung to life.
      It will be next year before those less interested than us spark things into life,
      Any signs of desperation, in the main, have come from the NO side and with good reasons.
      Also, this from the guardian, David Dalziel, chief of Grampian fire brigade until Salmond’s government abolished it last year to create a single national fire service, will be handing out Better Together leaflets at train stations in Aberdeenshire. Organiser of Aberdeenshire’s Better Together branch, Dalziel believes most voters reject independence. But he envies and fears the SNP’s organisational skill, its army of activists and Salmond’s campaigning skill.
      Reflecting stern warnings from Alistair Carmichael, the Scotland secretary, to the UK cabinet about the risks of a nationalist upsurge, other Better Together activists feel the same anxiety.
      “We’re a broad church and we don’t have, at this point, enough activists to counter a very astute politician and a very well disciplined organisation,” Dalziel said. “This isn’t about facts and figures; it’s not about the constitution of Scotland as such. It’s about nationhood. It’s about hearts and minds.”
      Now I am not about to reach out to unionists for support, but that bit in italics, is what we ourselves have been saying for ages, there are for instance, about 26.000 members of the SNP alone never mind folk from other supporting parties and most important of all, the members of the public who support us.
      Whilst I agree about the deviousness of our opponents, lets not credit them with too much intelligence or their unfailing ability to shoot themselves in the foot.
      We have as much ability, experience, and anything else you care to mention as the forces of darkness and that’s not false confidence it’s the plane and simple truth.
      It’s still all to play for, so let’s not us do the NO’s job for them, if ever any campaign deserved to lose it’s theirs.

    110. Andrew Morton says:

      You guys need to take a step back and contemplate the long view. From childhood I asked  myself the question, “Why is my country not independent?” There seemed to be no answer other than, “Just because”.
       
      Then Winnie Ewing won the Hamilton by election. From that moment I became an SNP supporter. However, when I would talk to people about independence, they looked at me strangely and told me not to be so silly. People who thought that Scotland could be independent were looked on as little better than lunatics. But slowly, slowly the idea took root that, yes, it was unlikely but possible. Then we had the 1979 referendum over a bad piece of legislation dishonestly presented. Enough of the older generation still trusted Westminster when they said, ‘Vote no and we’ll come up with something better’ that we couldn’t quite crawl over the line despite winning the vote. I still remember the feeling of despair at the outcome. 
       
      The SNP made a good call when they voted against the government in the vote of confidence, to have done otherwise would have been to implicate them in Labour’s deception. Callaghan described them as ‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’ because, like most Westminster politicians, he took a very short term view whereas the SNP like all independence movements takes the long view and this has paid off. By 1997 the Scottish people had seen the results of 1979 and voted overwhelmingly for a stronger bill than the 1979 Scotland Act. 
       
      Not long after we had a minority SNP government, then a majority one. Now we have an Independence Referendum. The whole of Scottish society over the course of 46 years has moved from the position that even to talk of independence was lunacy to one where independence is viewed as highly possible.  Even if we vote No, the whole direction of travel is towards  independence and it would only be delayed. I’ve waited 46 years, I can wait a little longer.

    111. velofello says:

      Rev opines that the SNP would be crucified by the media should it refuse to implement tax raising powers unless tax spending powers are also available. Seems to be that the public in Scotland are currently crucifying the press media by declining to purchase their newspapers.The BBC, and increasingly STV are being criticised by the internet viewing public.
       
      Should No win in my view it will be with a very thin majority, and the substantial minority defiant Yes voters aren’t going to fade away, nor stand idly by as Westminster’s social “uniformity” is put in place across the UK at Scotland’s expense. So a stubborn SNP refusing to implement the tax raising powers as I described earlier would be supported by a large section of the Scottish electorate. And of course the “I just think we are better together” faction will start to experience the dire predictions of voting No which should shake them out of their current complacency.

    112. kininvie says:

      It’s entirely possible for the SG to reject added taxation responsibilities on the grounds that anything that is offered is insufficient. We’ve already discussed here how much of tax take disappears to the Treasury through companies headquartered in London (or indeed Luxembourg). Of course the SG will demand that if it is to get tax raising powers, then anomalies like this must be cleaned up. It’s the same with borrowing: having the power to borrow £5bn whatever is nothing unless we also have some power over what the UK govt borrows on our behalf.
      Further, I see no reason why the SG shouldn’t hold out for devo max (which is what people say they want) and reject anything short of it. That’s a much better issue to resign on than merely losing a referendum…

    113. Jim Mitchell says:

      I forgot to add that It will be interesting to see just how many train stations the NO lot actually manage to cover.

    114. Ah think whit we ah need is SS to come on wie some positive polls analysis!

    115. Gray says:

      Has everyone forgotten why we have a PR system for the Scottish Parliament as opposed to the FPTP system of democracy (sic) used by Westminster?
       
      It was the method the unionists put in place on the creation of the wee pretendy parliament to prevent the SNP from EVER being able to attain a majority and call a referendum on independence.  Obviously they used an IFS projection.
       
      My point is we were NEVER supposed to have this option and if you think we’ll get another crack at it in a few years after a No result you must be living in cloud cuckoo land.

    116. JLT says:

      “Note that there’ll be zero UKIP MPs elected in 2015.”
       
      I wouldn’t bet on that…
       
      On January the 1st 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians will be allowed to work in Britain. From what I’ve heard, the 2 key places where they are going are Germany and the UK.
      I’m expecting tens of thousands to be entering Britain in the first quarter of next year, and I expect a serious increase in street protests against immigration. We are all aware that England is pig-sick of uncontrolled immigration.
      So, letting the next batch of uncontrolled numbers in, will push UKIP into the frame. I think UKIP will grow within England, and if they do get airtime on TV (which they will in England, because the TV there loves Farage) then he, Farage,  is going to scream for an EU Referendum as quickly as possible).
       
      Now, it is possible, that if it does get ugly down south, then Scots might be so alarmed, at what they are seeing …and hearing about a very possible EU exit …that they might start to slide towards a ‘Yes’ vote. The thought of a possible exit from the EU, may push a lot of DK’s our way. Once they realise that an exit from the EU will cost every household £3000 a year, well, that knocks spots off the £500 better off nonsense that was being spouted (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/03/britain-eu-business-lobby-group-cbi)
       
      I know Stuart is just warning us here, but the more I read from people’s comments, I could almost feel a depression take place. The only way to avoid what Stuart is warning us about, is to win this referendum.
      Just follow Margo’s advice. We convince one person each, and then we’re home. It is as simple as that. I still believe we are going to win next year.
       

    117. Erchie says:

      Rev
       
      How do the Official Wings Rats get on with the Official Wings Cat?

    118. handclapping says:

      Anyhoo for any of this to come by, the Nos have to win.
      Someone on another thread was wondering what the SLab membership was with Falkirk having dwindled from 400+ to 200. From what I gather here in Gordon Brown’s patch, they have also dwindled so it looks pretty widespread. I’d reckon SLab about 8000 now, the Tories unchanged on 5000 and the LibDems also filleted, 4000 down to 2000. Add them all up and its 15000 for the Unionists to pit against the 26000 SNP plus Greens, SSP, Solidarity, LFI, TU4I, etc.
      They may have the media but we’ve the boots. Lets get the boots on the doorsteps and we’ll win handsomely.

    119. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      The SNP could say that they will only govern with a majority mandate in 2016. If elected they will arrange a referendum within 6 months. If there is a YES vote (and it’s not recognised by Westminster) they will declare UDI and approach the UN.

    120. X_Sticks says:

      JLT says:

      “Just follow Margo’s advice. We convince one person each”

      Don’t stop at one JLT, feel free to keep going! There’s no restriction to one 😉

    121. muttley79 says:

      If there is a No vote and our budget gets massively reduced, why do the SNP need to stand in the 2016 Holyrood elections?  The SNP should go into the Westminster elections in 2015 claiming that a vote for them is a vote for Devo max.  Define it and put the ball back in the Unionists court.  If the election is like last time, ie very close result, who knows what would happen?  Would the Tories shaft SLAB?  Do bears shit in the woods…Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

    122. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Agree with the analysis……Wullie has been banging on for the best part of 2 years now about some form of grand Unionist bargain to trump Independence.
       
      But I would argue that it is dependent on the Unionists agreeing a common position though….
       
      Even if Lord Purvis, JoLa & Ruthie are willing to give it a shot it remains to be seen whether Cameron, Clegg & Milliband will give it the time of day.
       
      I suspect the only thing that would bring about such a common position would be if the YES vote jumped into the lead……
       
      As long as YES is behind I can see Cameron in particular struggling to get it past his back benchers who probably agree with Ian Davidson’s analysis that all that needs to be done is the bayonetting of the wounded…..which would lead to cries of ‘Why do we need to give the Jocks anything…we’re going to win anyway !’ sort of attitude…..
       
      Cameron is struggling to keep his troops in line on a variety of topics not least Europe I cannae see him offering them another stick to beat him with…..especially as Farage will be lurking in the flanks damning him for not only not being a real Tory but not being a real Unionist either.  
       
      The virulent Anti-SNP wing of the Labour Party will also want no sops to the ‘seperatists’…..
       
      Don’t think the SNP have their hands completely tied however if the offer is made prior to the vote…..There are credible grounds for postponing or delaying the vote if there was a genuine offer of constitution change….
       
      Something along the lines of  ‘We’ve always put the people of Scotland interest above our Parties, so we’ll delay the vote for 2 years to allow the legislation to pass Parliament etc etc’
       
      They might lose a few votes in the short term but those people are highly unlikely to vote for any Unionist party anyway…
       
      And then they can throw it back with a cheeky request for everything to be put down in writing I mean who accepts a Westminister politicians word on anything ?
       
      They can then claim credit for improving Scotland constitutional hand…

    123. call me dave says:

      Been out all day and have read all the comments which have been made.  The thought of more powers for the Scottish Parliament in the event of a NO isn’t going to happen and will evaporate like scotch mist in the sunlight.
      People will be promised this ‘pig in a poke’ right up to the day of the vote, references to it will be made by parties who have no power or intention to deliver it.  We have only one thing to decide an independent Scotland or to be turned into a carbon copy of Wales.           ( Sorry for the Welsh)
       
      It’s winner takes all, I’ve been working for the SNP in small ways and more since 1972, and like some other posters it’s my last chance to see it happen.
      Still let’s not get too  melancholy,  the YES vote will increase and the NO will lose voters in the run up to referendum day and the DK’s or DC’s will get their finger out in the summer of 2014.  It’s by how much that’s the trick.
       
       
      Jim Mitchell    &   Andrew Morton &    X_Sticks  I’m with you guys  etal.
       

    124. ewen says:

      This scenario assumes that SLAB don’t have the best wishes of the Scottish people at heart.
       
       
       
      Right, we are fecked if there is a no vote.

    125. braco says:

      I thought you had Sealand gazzete for this kind of stuff Rev.
       
      These last two articles are simply not helping. They are negative and demotivating and doing the job that BetterNO set themselves every morning, but you are just making a  better fist of it.
       
      If you all must believe in an invented possible worst case scenario in the event of a NO vote, why not just use it to gird your loins further, for the fight to win a YES!
       
      ‘General, they have us surrounded!’
      ‘Good, that simplifies the problem.’
      (or ‘Good, now we can fire in any direction, those bastards won’t get away this time!’)
       
       
      Not happy Rev. D minus

    126. creigs1707repeal says:

      The SNP could stand at the 2016 Scottish GE on a straight Independence platform (no further referendum). A precedent has been set with the Edinburgh Agreement for the SG of the devolved Parliament to seek a mandate from the Scottish people to negotiate with Westminster the terms for Scottish independence. If Westminster refuses then UDI is declared.

    127. scottish_skier says:

      Ah think whit we ah need is SS to come on wie some positive polls analysis!
       
      http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2013/nov/snp-continue-lead-westminster-voting-intentions
       
      SNP continue to lead Westminster voting intentions
       
      I have then 10% higher and more in line with Holyrood intention. Not sure who did the analysis, but they seem to have focussed on cross breaks alone rather than also looking at the projected share of the UK vote which most commonly shows the SNP on 3% (36%) or 4% (48%).

    128. Juteman says:

      If it was a fair debate, and both sides were given equal space to make their case, I could accept a No vote. I would hate it, but would have to accept it.
      A narrow No vote delivered by the BBC/Pravda and the MSM would, I fear, lead to a scenario that was very unpleasant.

    129. Jeannie says:

      Re the snap constitutional convention – I found an old Herald yesterday, dated April 16th 1992 which made mention of the last constitutional convention.  On the front page was a headline which said “SNP offered face-saving way into Convention fold”.  The olive branch was being extended by the STUC.  The Tories had just been elected for another 5 years.
       
      It said, “Union leaders have offered the SNP a face-saving way of joining the fold of the Scottish Constitutional Convention to create a united front in the fight for political reform for Scotland.  The STUC wanted to offer a multi-option referendum which included independence and had had informal talks with senior members of all opposition parties, but despite the almost unanimous vote of approval for this by union leaders, “there was a body opposed to any dealings with the Nationalists”.  I wonder who THAT was?
       
      If Scotland votes No next year, the unionists will again dominate any future convention.  I wonder if the SNP will be invited to the party this time?  And without the SNP, who will speak up for Scotland’s interests?
       
       

    130. Taranaich says:

      We’re going to win in 2014, so let’s imagine we’ve slipped into a parallel universe where we don’t win, and everything here comes to pass. No more Barnett keeping us barely working, no more free tuition providing Scotland with some of the best universities in the world, no more free prescriptions for a population that includes an area with some of the shortest lifespans in the western world. Everything that’s bad now, and more on top.
       
      I see that as no reason whatsoever to stop campaigning for independence. Things are already past the point of desperate. This is a supposed 1st world nation that has the Red Cross delivering packages for the first time since the most costly war in the history of the planet. This is a supposed 1st world nation where people are dying in hospitals from neglect. This is supposedly in the top 20 oil-producing countries in the world with one of the fastest-growing renewable sector where people are dying of hypothermia and exposure.
       
      And you say this is our only chance!?! This is only our one chance at an unprecedented, singular opportunity for a democratic, peaceful, controversy-free declaration of independence. Right now, UN inspectors are saying the current government are infringing on human rights via the Bedroom Tax. Right now, the President of Sri Lanka has effectively served David Cameron by responding to criticisms of human rights issues by saying “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Right now, Britain is in a complete and utter mess.
       
      Our only chance? No, as an old document says, so long as a hundred of us remain alive, there will be a chance. If we don’t win, the fight will just be harder – much harder, but not impossible. This is a golden opportunity, but it is not the only one.

    131. JLT says:

      X_Sticks says:     
      JLT says:

      ‘Just follow Margo’s advice. We convince one person each”
      Don’t stop at one JLT, feel free to keep going! There’s no restriction to one
      —————-
      Goddamn it! You know what …I might convince two folk!! Whew! Got my work cut out now!!! (LOL)

    132. Ron Maclean says:

      Things could be a lot worse.  We’ve got Ronnie a.  Imagine you’re in BT and looking for inspiration.  They’ve got Alistair Darling – a guy in a black hoody, carrying a scythe, towing a coffin with Scotland in it while singing Bad Moon Rising.  It goes downhill from there.  Remember 1979.

    133. MajorBloodnok says:

      I think if there’s a NO vote then people will want the SNP to stay in control in Scotland as much as possible.  The polls show that people know that the SNP act in Scotland’s interest so if there are pressures and cuts coming Scotland’s way from Westminster then the SNP will be the best to handle it (as they have been doing thus far).
       
      And, if the Conservatives/LibDems remain in power at Westminster after 2015 Labour are even less likely to be get into government in Scotland – do we really want a parliament which has the sole aim of antagonising the Tories?
       
      Of course, a nice fat YES vote is what we really need – that’ll shut those barstewards up.

    134. Brian Powell says:

      The Scottish Government has accepted they would work with the result of the Referendum, so when I suggested the resignation of the SG, SNP MSPs, MEPs and Councillors, up at the beginning of this thread, it wasn’t for the immediate period after the Referendum result.
       
      It was a longer term possibility should the negative scenario come along as shown in the article. No SG politician or those serving Scotland is required to continue to put into affect policies, such as increasing taxation, imposed from Westminster to the detriment of their constituents; the Scottish public.
       
      It would be a major response to a developing future situation; a consideration of what would be possible responses.
       
      Independence is the real answer.
       
      The article, and thinking about long term responses, did make me think about Labour and it’s One Nation ‘policy’. 
       
      The arrival of the Welsh Labour FM in Scotland, to boost the anti-Independence campaign and his fervour for opposing the aspirations of up to 40% of the Scottish voting population, shows the complete bankruptcy of the central value of the One Nation idea.
       
      The Scottish and Westminster Labour politicians have attacked the people who are supporting Independence (YES Campaign Parties and groups, the SNP voters and members),  and it is clear to me the One Nation policy is stillborn.
       
      The people I have met at Rallies and and Yes meeting are ordinary working people; the very people Labour is claiming to represent through One Nation.
       
      They really are completely out of touch with what is happening in Scotland, and the rest of the UK.

    135. orkers says:

      The ‘Yes’ campaign haven’t been using the negative stuff yet.
      Wait for the squealing when we do.
      Has Stu started early?

    136. Brian Mark says:

      The 2015 election has already began with the opening shots by the Tories already finding its target (Labour and the Co-op). The quicker Scotland realises that the Tories will win the next election the better the YES campaign can consolidate its gains and convert the doubters. It is not a question of will the Tories win but by how much.

    137. X_Sticks says:

      For those that won’t go near twitter, here’s just a few of the comments from RIC:

      Gavin Thomson
      “Unashamed utopians, in their thousands.”

      Sobieski ?
      “Ex UCS shop steward stands and acclaims #RIC2013 : “it’s like the inside ay yer heid made public!””

      Radical Independence
      “for the future of humanity in these islands, vote Yes for the rest of us” Bernadette McAliskey
       
      Pat Kane 
      “For centuries Scotland’s ingenuity has been a gift to the world. Now let it be a gift also to ourselves”
       

      Bella Caledonia
      “Hope has a name. It’s name is YES.”
       

      and dear old Duncan:
       
       
      Duncan Hothersall
      “Great to see radical ideas being discussed at #RIC2013. Just sad that they are all hitched to a ludicrous independence campaign”
       
      Just sad.

    138. Jingly Jangly says:

      O/T
      How can 50 thousand plus Rugby supporters sing Flower of Scotland with such gusto and I would guess that the majority are going to vote No (That’s your general rugby crowd not the general population) Or perhaps just perhaps, something is stirring….
      Nae bad report on RIC13 on BBC news although they had BT talking there normal pish, alluding that the SNP is right wing with there policy on Corporation Tax.
       

    139. Murray McCallum says:

      I think it quite right for people to ponder the scenario of a No vote. It certainly motivates me.
       
      IMO there will be no other referendum for Scottish independence in my lifetime (hopefully several decades to go), especially one that needs 50% + 1 vote to win and is backed by a formal government agreement.
       
      Yes can win though thanks to sites like this and the thousands of ordinary people handing out leaflets and talking to people.

    140. ayemachrihanish says:

      As Rev said, let’s keep it simple…
       
      ‘how do we defend against the probability ?’Three choices. 
       
      One – “We win, or die trying”.
      Two – “We win, or die trying”.
      Three “We win, or die trying”.
       
      Meaning ACTION, ACTION, ACTION all of us attend stuff, then attend more stuff – talk to more people – then talk to even more people. In good faith seek the undecided – and CAMPAIGN!
       
      When the polls show we are winning – take that as a signal that we are loosing! Then seek out more undecideds do not stop – when they send north 1,000’s and 1,000’s of rUK campaigners dressed in mock tartan accents – we respond with 10,000’s of genuine of well seasoned campaigners who refuse to give up until the polls close.
       
       They surrender trying because we overwhelm them.
       
      START NOW!
       
       
       
        

    141. Hetty says:

      jim Mitchell 
      absolutely spot on.
      Have to avoid giving the Bt lot more credit than they are worth, definitely. 
      To have a healthy scepticism combined with the fact that there are many astute and determined people on the YES side, enough to counteract the attack by bt who continually attempt to make this referendum so negative.  The YES side want this to be a civilised and democratic process, and good always overcomes the bad. 
       

    142. a supporter says:

      Rev Stu I am unhappy at the recent trend in articles in Wings. You seem to have cut down on the thing that you are really good at, ie, out and out criticism of output from Westminster, the Media and Bitter Together and are heading off into the realms of phantasy, and a project fear from the YES side. Please go back and do what you do best.

    143. Great article Rev, This is basically a plan to destroy The SNP and take back power, never going to happen, No, what is going to happen is a wonderful YES victory next year which will see the Labour party as we know it destroyed, Happy Daze !! Maybe then we can have a real Scottish labour party.
      Also it will put an end to this one nation Labour crap, yeh we will be one nation, Scotland, how super wonderful that will be 🙂  

    144. Doug Daniel says:

      I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself for not noticing it sooner Stu. We’re not looking at a grand plan that was thought up by the unionist parties. It’s several different things coming together at the right time (maybe that should be wrong time). They may not even have formulated the conclusions themselves yet, although I would agree this is absolutely how things are going to pan out if we vote No.
       
      The only fly in the ointment I see is Labour agreeing to devolve these powers. The Scottish MPs have already essentially vetoed any attempt by Scottish Labour to commit to devolving income tax, and we’ve also already seen the idea of devolving welfare being rubbished. The model you’ve described here is definitely the Tory and Lib Dem thinking, but I’m not sure it’s compatible with Labour’s rhetoric of having a unified health policy across the UK, for example.
       
      I’m not convinced Labour (or at least the Scottish bit) has the ability to look this far ahead. Right now, their entire focus is on “beating Alex Salmond” at the referendum. I think they genuinely think this will spell the end of the SNP and put them back in their “rightful” place at the top of Scottish politics, without the need for anything else. If they were truly capable of the canny thinking we’re crediting them with here, then I don’t think they would be leaving it all to chance that the public don’t vote Yes next year. That is an unnecessary risk that would have been avoided by calling the SNP’s bluff and having a Devo Max question on the ballot, as it would have guaranteed a loss for the Yes side. In my eyes, the day the referendum was officially made into a straight Yes/No was the day the union shot itself in the stomach, and we’re now watching the slow, agonising death. That’s not the behaviour of cunning swines – it’s the behaviour of people who were stupid enough to fall for the idea that Devo Max was what Alex Salmond really wanted.
       
      But that may not even matter. Labour aren’t going to win the 2015 election, so we’ll get whatever the Tories decide they want to do to Scotland. Although it may be that they then sit down with Labour and say “right, here’s what we’re going to do…” They’re best pals now, after all.

    145. muttley79 says:

      O/T  To light the gloom somewhat this is an actual quote from the No campaign today.  Now bear in mind that up until now BT have refused to acknowledge the Yes campaign without mentioning the SNP or the “nationalists.”  In fact if you were just going by comments by the No campaign you would be forgiven for thinking that the SNP was the entire Yes campaign.  Therefore, these comments are highly amusing:
       
      Better Together, the pro-Union campaign, described RIC as “the true face of independence”. 
       
      A spokesman for the pro-Union campaign Better Together said: “Unlike Alex Salmond’s vision for independence, at least the radical members of the ‘Yes’ campaign admit that taxes would have to go up and we wouldn’t keep the pound in a separate Scotland.
       
      “This is the true face of the independence movement.”
       
      What a beautiful moment: the No campaign has finally admitted that the Yes campaign is not just the SNP.  It has taken then more than a year to do so!  A very, very rare moment of honesty from the No campaign.

    146. Chris says:

      A partial devolution of tax powers after a no vote as outlined in the article would be a disaster and would lead to a very messy end to the Union. Just  imagine what the GERS reports would be like. I think that following a no vote the SNP government could still be in the driving seat especially if the result is close. I would imagine that they would organise a constitutional convention rather than leaving it to the unionist parties. Just because you lose a battle does not mean that you lose the war. To lose you have to admit defeat and I do not beleive that the SNP and Scots who believe in Scottish Independence will admit defeat- we will just stand up, brush ourselves down and get back to work. Machinations by the unionists to neuter Scotland will back fire and make our job easier.
      Lets not get to caught up with what will happen after a no vote. The referendum is there to be won, lets go out and win it.

    147. Linda's back says:

      Hi Rev
       
      A preview of what’s in sore on Monday evening’s BBC programme on Our Friends in the North 
       
      http://archive.is/ha3R2
       
      Worth  checking out the 2013 Legatum prosperity index
       
      http://www.prosperity.com/#!/

    148. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Saturday Night Teaser:
       
      Who wrote this?
       
      ‘…I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.’ 
       
      …and, for a chance at Brotherhood’s Big Beefy Bonus, why is this quote relevant to this thread?
       

    149. msean says:

      Orwellian style that.,Animal Farm? is my guess.Scottish electorate should realise their strengths?

    150. Doug Daniel says:

      Linda’s Back – I hope his research is a bit better than this nugget I noticed, about the Norwegian oil fund:
       
      “But the Norwegians have a 40-year start on us”
       
      1996 was 40 years ago? Really? That’s interesting.

    151. Famous15 says:

      All the talk of black holes and now the hint we collect our own tax but cannot say how much or how we spend it but await a declared figure from on high. As the Doctor would say ” There is a tear in the fabric of reality”
      on the doorstep the public are feeling insulted and not a little angry at being taken for fools by the unionists….all good so far!

    152. msean says:

      Sort of reminds me that i saw a report the other day (on bbc i think) where the reporter was in Denmark and found possibly the only Dane to have a picture of maggie on his office wall.A euro mp he was.

    153. Linda's back says:

      Legatum Prosperity index for 2013 is just out and proves yet  again that small northern European nations are the best to live in.
      1.     Norway            (Population 5 Million)
      2.     Switzerland      (8 million)
      3.     Canada            (35 million)
      4.     Sweden           (9.6 million)
      5.     New Zealand   (4.4 million)
      6.     Denmark          (5.6 million)
      7.     Australia           (23 million)
      8.     Finland             (5.4 million)
      9.     Netherlands     (16 million)
      10.   Luxembourg        (537,000)
               12  Ireland    (4.5 Million)
               13 Iceland     (325,000)
               16  UK
      http://www.prosperity.com/#!/?aspxerrorpath=%2F2012Findings.aspx
      The top three countries for Entrepreneurship are: 1 Sweden, 2 Denmark and 3 Finland which knocks the high tax issue on the head.
      Sweden cut its Corporation tax by 4%  from January 2013.

    154. Atypical_Scot says:

      knocks the high tax issue on the head
       
      Not sure that’s helpful as all have higher tax than the proposed cut.
       
      http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/services/tax/tax-tools-and-resources/pages/corporate-tax-rates-table.aspx

    155. Macsenex says:

      If we lose which I don’t think we shall the SNP government refuses to raise any income tax.
      Instead it introduces an assessed land rental.

    156. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @msean –
       
      Correct. Orwell was explaining where he got the idea for Animal Farm.
       
      For the Bonus? Yep. But I would use the past tense – I think so many of us have already realised our strength that we can’t possibly go back now. We can’t unlearn or forget this new knowledge and confidence. 
       
      Look at the numbers at the RIC today.
       
      Look at the pathetic turnout for anything BT organises, regardless of how many ‘big hitters’ they get up from London.
       
      Look at the physiognomy and body language of their ‘leaders’ – Darling, Lamont and MacDougall, for example, are nervous wrecks.  
       
      Look at the success of this and other pro-Indy sites compared to the meagre, bitter, whining, amateurish efforts of the opposition.
       
      And finally – look at the spectrum of talented, imaginative, positive, ambitious and wise people we have on our side, then seek their equivalents in the No camp. You won’t find them – they don’t exist.
       
      We are going to win next year. Then, in a dignified, civilised manner, the people of Scotland will reclaim the independence that we never surrendered to begin with – it’ll be the first time we’ve ever asserted this power. And having won it? We’ll never ever let anyone take it away from us again.

    157. Stevie says:

      Basically, this is the scenario that is before us – we all knew it but it’s nice to have it put in a logical; coherent order by the good reverend.

      No surprises and youcan bet the SNP already has this in mind.

    158. The folks on here are going on like private Fraser doom doom and more gloom  rather than what is going on under the surface like the death watch beetle busy undermining the the strength of the timbers by eating away at the cellulose reducing its structural strength on a daily basis.   We will win this battle by having confidence in our own convictions and trusting that Scots are not all as stupid as the die hard unionists think we are.    Trust in the MSM is falling daily and the no side need them to get their message out as they don’t have the boots on the ground or the online presence that the yes side do and this is an interesting analogy.
      http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/random-weekend-witterings.html?showComment=1385235628250#c5571718915458860825
       

    159. Thepnr says:

      Yes, no more “glorious defeats”. It’s all or nothing this time.

    160. kininvie says:

      And finally – look at the talented, imaginative, positive, ambitious and wise people we have on our side
       
      Aww, shucks, Ian….you are too kind 🙂

    161. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @kininvie –
       
      I know, I know…I actually had you in mind throughout, but didn’t want to name-check and give you a big heid.

    162. Naebd says:

      So RIC 2013 has revealed the true face of radical leftist corporation tax lowering neo-liberal Alex Salmond.
       
      I think I’ve got that right.

    163. FeartieFifer says:

      Well that got everybody steamed up nicely for the weekend. Thought Operation Fear and Scaremongering was the preserve of the Unionists!

    164. @Naebd
       
      Its better to collect all of the tax of a lower rate rather than just a small amount of a higher rate facilitated through tax legal avoidance/evasion, simple economics.

    165. gillie says:

      Doesn’t this represent a big problem for the NO campaign – they themselves don’t believe that they can bring forward proposals that will convince Scots that they are not going to be punished.
       
      The YES campaign will have White Paper that they will be able to quote chapter and verse. The No campaign in comparison will have nothing certain to say in return that will offer Scots a better future. 
       
      It is little wonder that Scottish unionists are getting increasingly ratty.

    166. Naebd says:

      Don’t you use italics at me, “cynical highlander”.

    167. Naebd says:

      Looking forward to seeing this White Paper. I actually might try and get a hard copy. You know, for posterity. And reading

    168. Jim says:

      Your article is pretty much accurate I’m sure and has been a given scenario for some time. Giving a Scots parliament the autonomy to vary income tax by 3 pence in the pound was futile and devolving all income tax decisions is equally futile. We need control of ALL the taxes we pay to Westminster, bar none.

      No the SNP shouldn’t resign under such predicted circumstances. On winning the election in 2016, they should call a snap independence referendum on the basis that the Unionist parties and Westminster are a bunch of liars!

      Thankfully, the way things now appear to be proceeding, Scotland will be voting Yes next year anyway and so its all conjecture, albeit a conjecture that we should all bear in mind.

    169. @Naebd
       
      Blame Win7 and their updates which took over my mouse and double clicks and highlights buttons at random so no intended slur in any way.     There I have sorted it for now but life has many unintended consequences just vote Yes.

    170. scaredy cat. says:

      I think most of us have a crisis of confidence from time to time. WoS is just the place to vent the frustration because there is always someone there to pick you up.

      I think it’s important to be as visible as possible with car stickers, badges and the like. I was driving behind a car with a Yes Scotland sticker last week and it really cheered me up. It’s the only one I’ve seen except my own. I keep looking out for them. Where is everybody? 

      We need to show the doubters how normal it is to want Independence. Plus it encourages other yes supporters.

    171. Ian Brotherhood says:

      ‘If you make sure you’re connected, the writing’s on the wall…’
       

    172. Thistle says:

      OT
      Business for Scotland presents on Tuesday 26th from 8pm with speakers Michelle Thomson, Ivan McKee and Eric McLean “The Economic case for Independence”
      Watch Live Online…
      new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive
      Share and Like…
      http://www.facebook.com/ScottishIndependenceLiveEvents

    173. Marcia says:

      In Tomorrow’s Sunday Herald:

      Six page special report tomorrow on what’s coming on Tuesday at the annoucement of the #indyref White Paper … vital reading
       
      Our splash tomorrow – Independence Day: find out the date and the detail in the Sunday Herald
      &
      Leading Labour MSP urged to resign after taking part in Unite leverage demo – in tomorrow’s paper
      &
      Cost of Trident missile system rockets by 600 per cent – in tomorrow’s paper

    174. Hetty says:

      O/T
      just watched bbc Scotland, bbc Alba programme Eorpa, heres a link,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/tv/episode/b03j4zyk/
      its interesting to see which subjects they are covering in this series, episode 2 is about Denmark and immigration as well as about the Faroe Islands fishing policy and them possibly wanting full Independence. 
      I cant work out how to attach links properly on this on loaned ipad, but its east to find on bbc iplayer, its bizarrely under category, ‘other’ in factual. 

    175. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Scaredy Cat
      We’ve distributed over 400 YES stickers from our premise in Dunoon so far but a big problem is the fact that YES sells them to us at 50p each when they only cost few pennies to produce. They would move a lot more if they were a lot cheaper .
       
      You are very correct however. Identification with YES is very important. It normalises the YES position and helps along the timid. I assume we will get huge window stickers in due course.

    176. JLT says:

      The Herald has just clipped on around 10 links on a part of it’s political page dealing with a range of issues (I guess this is their first shot across the bows at the White Paper).

      Newspaper clippings from China, the rest are PDF files. The files contain a variety of subjects ranging from Tax, Defence, IFS, immigration, oil fund, and right a rank rotten poll-come-survey-chart-that-is-so-out-of-date-that-you-might-just-want-to-read-it-and-laugh-out-loud-in-disgust! 

      You can download and save the lot of them for your own pleasurable reading.
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/factfile/idossier-official-reports-polls-and-global-perspective.1384867564

      (Apologies Rev. I know it is a proper link, but I’m a tad busy to do a proper library link!!)

    177. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill –
       
      Are you talking about car stickers? Even so, 50p a pop seems extortionate.
       
      I remember the 79 referendum, being in the local SNP shop, and they had boxes full of rolls of stickers (not car-stickers, just wee adhesive SNP circles) and the things were everywhere – on lamp-posts, shop windows, the sides of cars…all over the place. We (as teenagers) were encouraged to take as many as we wanted. They must’ve cost buttons to produce.
       
      Okay, we lost that one, by trickery. but I can’t imagine why the official Yes campaign would need to charge so much for this stuff. It doesn’t sound right. They should be giving the stuff away to anyone able to make good use of it.

    178. JRH says:

      I don’t think the Rev is being pesimistic on what will happen if the vote is lost, I beleive he is right Scotland will be punished and Westminister will also make sure they don’t give us a second chance.

      We all know that the media are all against independence so it’s up to us to get our message out through mettings, leaflets ect. The good news is we have a message to give, a message of hope for a better future, a fairer country, a positive vision of what Scotland can be.

      What do the no campaign have to offer “we are stronger together” stronger hooked to a bankrupt UK borrowing an extra £10bn a month who are they kidding!

      If we can get the truth to the people we can and will win, we must get the message across over the heads of the BBC and MSM. I aim to deliver thousands of pro indy leaflets over the next few months and try and get some more folk to come to this site and others so that they can have their eyes opened to what will happen should we be stupid enough to vote no.

      Lots of you are already well ahead of me in your efforts and I would encourage everyone else to get out and win the vote for Scotland. The alternative does not bear thinking about.

    179. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Guys,
       
      I have been quoted for Wings car stickers and I can assure you that 50p is not an extortionate amount unless one is placing ultra high volumes.   The prices I have been quoted are certainly a lot more than 50p each  🙁

    180. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      We get them at 50p and pass them on at 50P. But I did Argyll and Bute SNP car stickers and they cost an awful lot less than 50p. Actuallu  I negotiated a price of 40p each for the last 100 we bought but I think they would sella lot more at a lot lower price  

    181. Morag says:

      I’m just back from the Yes Tweeddale ceilidh in Peebles.  Great night.  Excellent turnout, enthusiastic dancing.  And the branch organiser can’t do a proper Reel of Three by the way.
       
      Quite cheered me up.

    182. HandandShrimp says:

      Promises of this and that?
       
      We should beware Geeks baring gifts….not a pretty sight.

    183. Kendomacaroonbar says:

      Dave,
      drop me a note at kenmcdonald1 [at] btopenworld [dot] com  might need your supplier details   Tx 

    184. Morag says:

      What are Yes Scotland spending all their bloody money on if they can’t afford to give away promotional material that will quite patently be advantageous to them to have out in the community?

    185. Hetty says:

      o/t 
      Again watching bbc Alba, a new one called Anns na Paipearan, this time about, wait for it….’stories featured in the highland press in 1961′. Actually its rather interesting, covering the  
      amalgamation of two highland regiments and the protests against Polaris nuclear subs on the Clyde. 

    186. Marcia says:

      Front page of today’s Sunday Herald:
       
      http://t.co/tmCvR0umB5

    187. Morag says:

      24th March?  Too early.  I want barbecues.

    188. Patrician says:

      Very good article Rev and I agree with Doug Daniel that this could happen not by any great feat of planning by No Scotland but just by the cards, as it were, falling into place at the correct time.
       
      To those people who think that this is a once in a lifetime chance, I think that would depend on the size of a No Scotland victory (something I don’t think will happen but I have been known to be wrong before).  Anything less than 60/40 for no and it is still game on.  The No Scotland team know this, it has been mentioned by many in that camp that they need an overwhelming vote and 50% +1 is not going to do it. 

    189. Onwards says:

      I am not so sure that full control of income tax would happen – because without a balancing mechanism, it makes the difference with the oil revenues EXTREMELY visible.

      We would be down £7 billion from the block grant, and all these services would have to be cut, but wait a minute, why are we still handing over £10 billion in oil revenues???

      Full control over other taxes and revenues would be the next logical demand.

      And then independence is only a tiny step further..

      That’s why they are so scared of Devo-Max.

      And there are plenty in the SNP who would welcome full income tax powers, even if Scotland lost out in the short term through the Barnett formula.
      It would be the start of self-sufficiency.. another step down the road towards becoming a normal independent country.

      So if Scotland votes no, I would guess that nothing much changes.. And over the long term London and the South East continue to suck in the money, and Scotland just has to accept its diminished status.

      Basically people just need to ask themselves:
      Do we want Scotland’s future to be as a nation or a region?

      And take the chance when we have it.

    190. art1001 says:

      Something nobody has mentioned about the outcome of a NO vote is how it will play in the 2015 General Election.
      Basically if its a NO, Cameron and the Tories will almost certainly claim/get the electoral benefit. They will use every opportunity to bask in the glory and union flag waving britfest that will ensue. As the government they will every opportunity to do this.
      Millishit and Labour will be pushed into a corner. So a NO will definitely mean another five years of Tory rule. Either way YES or NO Labour lose in England. If its a YES in England they will get the blame and lose votes – One Nation Labour will be a huge joke.
       

    191. Thepnr says:

      @Onwards
       
      Sorry my friend but your talking crap. That is Crap with a capital C. Whichever way Scotland votes their will be big changes. That is what this article is pointing out, the potential of a No vote.
       
      Voting Yes in my humble opinion brings great opportunities, amazing opportunities in fact. We are a different nation with a different mindset and can only do better. I’m very confident that come the day, the majority of Scots will know this.

    192. Onwards says:

      @thepnr, I agree there will be changes, but I just don’t think it will be as blunt as scrapping the barnett formula, and giving isolated income tax control to Holyrood.
      For the reasons I said. It’s too much of a step towards devo-max, which would be resisted just as much as independence.

      I want to see a YES vote, because I don’t think that we will even get income tax powers if we vote no, let alone any devo-max style powers.
      It would all be about trying to neuter Holyrood. They just don’t want Scotland to be able to compete. What if Scotland chose to LOWER income taxes, without any threat of losing barnett money?

    193. kevybaby says:

      Rev, isnt Barnett based on ALL taxes raised in the UK (air passenger, corp, VAT, income, oil revenues ) and then dealt out on a per capita basis to the devolved governments? That would mean that devolving income tax alone would not be seen as an acceptable replacement for Barnett and SNP could stand on a platform of devolving ALL taxation as the only logical solution (minus VAT for EU reasons)?

    194. scaredy cat. says:

      Re the yes car stickers. They are very hard to see especially on tinted glass. I bought an alternative version online. Big sticker. White background with pictures of lots of multicoloured yes buttons. Very eye catching.

    195. Nick Durie says:

      Yes Stu,  I agree with this, and have been saying more or less the same thing since the unveiling of DevoPlus made clear that this was the broad thrust of Unionist strategy.

      The question is, can this be communicated to the apathetic, the NO voter?  And if so, how?

    196. john king says:

      “Just make sure you mark your X with a pen and not the usual pencil they provide you with.”
       
      I take your point, does anyone know if your allowed to use a pen?
        

    197. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I have been quoted for Wings car stickers and I can assure you that 50p is not an extortionate amount unless one is placing ultra high volumes.”

      I just spent five minutes Googling and found a place doing full-colour ones for $o.32 (about, what, 20p?) for orders as low as 2000. Obviously that’d be a large order for Wings ones, but Yes Scotland ought to be able to get a lower price even than that.

    198. gerry parker says:

      @ Dave Mc Ewan Hill.
      I’ve got a sticker on each car and one on the caravan at Stratheck.  Despite doing a fair bit of driving around I don’t see many stickers on show.  Will pop in next time I’m over.
      g.p

    199. john king says:

      Ian Brotherhood says
      “Okay, we lost that one, ”
      Thats just it, 
      we didn’t  we got 52% of the vote in 1979
      we did win, they stole it with George cunning-hams 
      ridiculous 40% hurdle,
       in fact on both occasions we’ve voted for our own parliament, we’ won each time now we’re going for the hattrick 🙂

    200. Dorothy Devine says:

      My manky wee car has been festooned with YES for quite some time and so far I have only seen three cars with YES stickers – the white one on all three ,very difficult to see.

    201. john king says:

      Morag says
      “24th March?  Too early.  I want barbecues.”
      Just heard it on sky news what that date meant, 
      I was like a bolt of electricity through me, 
      THATS MY BIRTHDAY :O

    202. Gray says:

      @john
      It will be everyones birthday 😀

    203. JimW says:

      I see many comments that assume that we can have another referendum at some time in the future if this one goes against us.  The clever thing about the Edinburgh Agreement, from a unionist viewpoint, is that it established the precedent that the consent of Westminster is required to hold a referendum on Scotland’s independence.  THERE WILL NOT BE ANOTHER REFERENDUM.

    204. Another Union Dividend says:

      Sunday Herald essential reading from cover to cover to-day.
      Alistair Carmichael talking “pish” on Andrew Marr show. 
      Latest Panelbase Poll in Sunday Times puts YES on 37%  No 45% DN 15%
      The Gap is narrowing with only 850 days to independence which will be on the anniversary of 1707 Treaty of Union.

    205. scottish_skier says:

      Latest Panelbase Poll in Sunday Times
       
      Is this today’s Sunday Times? I trust it is because those appear to be new numbers.

    206. gordoz says:

      First sighting of the great freindly Haggis on the Marr show.
      What a befuddled puddin’ for a SS ! (But then again weren’t they all)
      Mo Farrah, Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford – he has a point …
      Sorry persuasive agruement  there – Im switchin over to NO; it make scomplete sense; as I can speak Haggis.

    207. Keef says:

      Jimw
      a very good and a very sobering point you make about the Edinburgh agreement stating a precedent and the fact that there will never be another referendum as Westminster will never give its consent.
       
      This folks is the only chance that Scotland will ever get at being free. 
       
      Win this one or be consigned to history as a bunch of fearties Who let their country die the slow death of regionalisation. 
       
      Greed and fear versus justice and hope.

    208. Edward says:

      Shameless political broadcast on Marr this morning
      with set piece ‘interview’ with Carmichael

    209. gordoz says:

      Scottish Skier  – Polls
      Now we know why Darling the Puddin’ and the rest appear so worried

    210. Jingly Jangly says:

      It has bugger all to do with Westminster. We don’t need their permission. We are sovereign not Westminster.
      It was only to stop legal challenges that the SG signed the Edinburgh agreement.
       

    211. call me dave says:

      scottish_skier
      Headlines prog on BBC Scotland.      Suggesting Panel Base Poll in Sunday Times is.
      Yes 38
      NO 47    (I heard  not 45?)
      DK 15  
      Quoted twice in the programme now.   Don’t say the date poll but I think new stuff.
       

    212. call me dave says:

      Marcia 
      Thanks for the link.  In the programme  ‘Headlines’ it was emphasised that the Times was a unionist paper . (so that 38 percent) might be actually higher.
       

    213. Bill says:

      If we return a majority No vote and reject this last chance to dump Westminster, they don’t have to do anything except continue to collect our taxes. Its a very bleak prospect and like the numpty in that dreadful rangers video who said he’d leave Scotland if we vote yes, I too will be forced to leave Scotland rather than bring my kids up here. However I’m not a numpty, an engineering officer can work anywhere in the world.
      We’ve just got to votre Yes, there isn’t an alternative.

    214. Luigi says:

      38:47 is excellent at this stage. It equates to 45:55, before the remaining DKs make up their mind! We still have loads of hard work ahead to get over the line, but it is definitely achievable.  No wonder BT are bricking it.

    215. scottish_skier says:

      Thanks folks. The 37/45 may well be for the full base with 38/47 for the 8-10 likely to vote (panelbase typically report both now). The former is of more interest at the moment as the latter is making various assumptions with no experience to base these on. I’ll await the tables.
       
      Certainly, panelbase have Yes rising now with No hovering around the same values within variance over the past few months. Consistent with level pegging approaching again.

    216. Bubbles says:

      Re. Stickers
       
      Yes Scotland stickers are crap! The design needs to be far bolder in my humble opinion and the quality of the vinyl used on stickers specifically for cars needs to be much higher. On a lighter note I was overtaken the other day by an S-class Merc which had two large Yes stickers in the back window. An S-class! In Dundee! I caught up with him (I’m still 17 inside) but didn’t recognise him. He seemed to be of Asian descent, for what it’s worth.
       
      Re. A No vote
       
      In the unlikely event of a No vote I shall be leaving Scotland for Spain. I suspect I won’t be alone.
       
      Re. This article
       
      It’s 10am on a Sunday morning and I’m seriously contemplating a carry-oot!

    217. Luigi says:

      So a NO will definitely mean another five years of Tory rule.
       
      Couldn’t agree more. I suspect the British MSM will go easy on Milliband before the referendum, just to lull scottish voters to stick with the union and Labour.  After the referendum, however (whatever the result), they will be gunning for Labour big time, all the way to the 2015 GE.

    218. ronnie anderson says:

      gordoz, tane the words rite oot ma mooth,even before I hud a rubber pincil sharpened,nice to see scots are bi-lingual, scots /  haggis, I speak fleint Capercaillie , kins say it but canny  spell it, If the SS kin talk pure piss,w e re awe fleint in that wie a double helping o shite

    219. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      O/T
      Milliband is claiming that the Tories are running a “fear and smear” campaign against Labour.
      Where is the White Rabbit when you need him?

    220. MochaChoca says:

      Just reading this article and accidentally tapped the graphic, not a good idea when you have your four year old sitting beside you!

    221. ronnie anderson says:

      Marciej Dokurno, on sun morn live, well done Marciej,catch him on Yes scot site

    222. msean says:

      More misinformation and misdirection and looonnng unchallenged better the gither rubbish on sky now

    223. msean says:

      did labour show the tories their white papers?what do you have to offer?why call yourself ‘project fear’?are people on either side of the German/French border families or foriegners?we need answers!

    224. ronnie anderson says:

      MochaChoca, ah wundered whit you we re own about, a thought  the graphic wiz jist that, 
      REV, truama warnigs,fur us that dont work in slaghter hooses, MochaChocas wain will never taste the delights of a Lamb Chop

    225. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I like that idea as a headline
      “£xxxmillions of  Scotland’s money unaccounted for”
      Sounds like a good way to get over the actual facts about our economy and what the UK does with the money we send to it 

    226. Les Wilson says:

      Just watching BBC with Carmichael again being prominent, Nicola was on first and constantly interrupted by Gary Robertson. He had much more airtime. It is becoming clear the way the BBC are now working, Nicola was in front of him ( Robertson ) in the studio, then Carmichael was on screen later from somewhere down talking Scotland again, but with no opposition, no debate with Nicola for example, so he can say anything he wants unchallenged discount Robertson, he never interrupted Carmichael like he did Nicola.

      So it means that the Unionist is not really put to test, he can just ramble on, giving the impression that what he says must be true. I have noticed that this is the way the BBC are pushing the Unionist agenda. Interview yes, but separately in case they lose any open debate. That is our National Broadcaster for you. 

    227. creigs17707repeal says:

      Sky News – lying gits. Just announced NO was at 60% in the polls, YES at 30%. Utter guff as the poll out today in the Sunday Times proves.
       
      Grrrrrrrr……..

    228. Kiereann says:

      I’ve been wracking my brains trying to figure out the inevitable ‘other angle’ … and here it is in all its foul glory … that’s not just hitting a proverbial nail on the head, it’s hammering it deep into the collective cranium.

      Always the game is rigged for a win-win to Westminster … either we vote No and get dry-raped or we vote Yes and the Tories enjoy complete control over England. Now, however, the real agenda is laid bare. The meat behind the sweet talking bullsh*t that has been spread around to butter up the Fearsome with a neatly executed self-fulfilling prophecy of debt and ruin for afters … fueling a more desperate and anguished Yes campaign that is so much easier to ridicule with hyperbole.

      Thanks for the insight … and the sleepless nights to come.

    229. Kipper says:

      This scares the shit out of me Stu. I hope that was the intention. This is the nightmare scenario I hope we never have to go through.

    230. Titler says:

      This scares the shit out of me Stu. I hope that was the intention.

      I read some of the thread, had to skip out and do shopping before I could complete it, but I wanted to add my voice before I do. It should scare the shit out of you. And what is more, you need to understand that the above isn’t just what is likely to happen, but even worse will occur if Scotland votes for Independence. For the very same reason most of you want Independence; because it’s the mechanism through which the qualities ascribed to Scotland and Scots will have more influence. And that’s what the opposition are trying to destroy, they have the longer game in mind; They want to break decency itself.

      This isn’t a new thing; Karl Marx in the 1850s was writing about how it’s entirely possible for the law to be pure, free, unprejudiced but the actual mechanisms of power to be selfish, divisive and racist;

      http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/

      He used the United States as an example where the politics and law, from the Declaration of Independence onwards, codified one set of principles, but in reality were used to justify an absolute barbarism. And coming from the other side of the circle to the same principle, Stalin said “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.”  It’s the difference between the Civil, and the Civic man.

      From my few posts here (but I do read) people will know my views are somewhat mixed. However if you really do value those qualities, you should be planning for a campaign that goes up too, and goes beyond Independence. One reason I’m more relaxed about a No vote than many here is because well, I assume you all honestly believe in the things you write here. If you keep on fighting for them, we’ve not gone backwards at least. Decent, civilized people are still out there.

      Get depressed now, think it’s hopeless, and you won’t be. That’s the real goal of all UK politics at the moment; Drop out. Give up. Don’t believe. Take your civility out of our Civics. All the stuff about flags and boundaries, that’s largely fluff. The UK is going to keep on trying to break an Independent Scotland for the same reason we arm Al Qaeda in Syria and overthrow Ghaddafi the moment he comes in from the cold, and then run off from the ensuing civil war; any kind of hope or alternative has to be wrecked as an ideal. Hard to be a civil man in the middle of a Civil War isn’t it? Thus we’ve proved men are all competitive beasts who’ll shoot each other over a bottle of water. Good little Tories in fact. If you gain an Independent Scotland but give up on fighting for a fair deal for Scotland and the Scottish people… you’ve lost the long war all the same. 

      Hence why I commentated on the BBC story earlier. They’re not going to leave it alone you know. If you value any quality of the BBC, that’s something the Independence arguments as made here works against; it’ going to be Little England Broadcasting if you go.

      But on the other hand the currency union is an interesting one; the SNP is doing just what I say think they should, and trying to keep the benefits of wider connections. The right in general hates that and wants to say Scotland can’t have it, and it won’t work if you do, unless you do lots of other stuff which nobody wants, I SAID NOBODY WANTS THAT BUT MADMEN, STOP LOOKING AT THAT except when we can use that same stuff to beat you over the head with. Likewise NATO and Scotland are better off together, but even so, let’s be as difficult as possible about it because no bloody peaceniks in our all boys, all war toys club.

      On the other hand, the business rates issue is completely the opposite. The SNP gets that wrong… just look at what happened to Ireland; the whole point of reducing rates is to shift debate to say that x% of tax is only fair. What did top earners used to pay in those boom years of the 1950s? Never mind that, we all agree now that 13% is a fair rate, right? Wait only communists on the extremes of the debate say 12%, the reasonable people really think it’s 10% and oops now the state has to borrow money to bail us out in the middle of an imploding economy and you’ve still got Bono lecturing the world on TV about personal generosity too, whilst refusing to pay any personal tax. The SNP should be saying “Things have a set cost, give set benefits, and now pay your fucking tax”

      What Stu is pointing out, depressing as it may be, is that if you aren’t thinking about demanding the right to tax AND spend under any devo-max system, you’re being set up for a right royal reaming. I just differ with him in thinking you’re going to be getting that anyway, and need to be thinking even wider… You live in a world in where politicians can defund Obamacare at the state level, and then blame Obama for more people uninsured; our current Tory leaders with their Atlantic Bridge find that highly admirable. You don’t think they’ve got contingency plans for a Yes as well as a No vote to give you the maximum screwing?

      Beat that and you’ve won the more important fight. I’d sooner see a decent SNP inside a fair devo-max Scotland than an Independent Scotland so completely crippled by it’s enemies that it loses heart. Because the former is a step closer to true independence… and the latter is a victory for your enemies.

    231. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’d sooner see a decent SNP inside a fair devo-max Scotland “

      I’d like a solid gold Lamborghini, but one of those isn’t on offer either.

    232. caz-m says:

      @Robbie

      Wee Nicola sorting “Foghorn” out after the STV debate on Wednesday night. LOL

      http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4605228364399526&pid=1.9&m=&w=300&h=300&p=0

    233. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Titler
      I have read your piece three times now and it makes no more sense on the third reading than it did on the first. Sounds like a complicated but pedestrian effort to promote devo max (or continuing dependency with a little tinkering round the edges) 
      The independence we will achieve next year is real independence. Any Scottish government in the future will have the freedom to do anything it decides.
      Perhaps you’re confusing SNP positions with the infinite variety of choice facing future Scottish Governments

    234. End of daze says:

      Anybody who has held any post in management will tell you that “responsibility without authority is a recipe for disaster” as is the converse.

      When Johanne Lamont first started talking about giving the Scottish Parliament the power to raise income tax and pay for welfare spending that was the game and those who were fooled by the slight of hand missed the true object of the exercise. Without control of all our revenue this croc of sh– is not worth having. Devo Max or Devo please sir can I have a bit more? are worse in my opinion than what we have at present.

    235. Tris says:

      From 2013 Alan Bisset what the future will look like in the event of a no vote.

    236. S Tilbury says:

      I’m afraid I have been thinking the very same thing for some time, and I heard Patrick Harvie articulate very similar fears at a Yes meeting in Aviemore. It is the nightmare scenario, and the reason why I was terrified of a No vote.



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