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Wings Over Scotland


Stats Against Humanity

Posted on February 14, 2016 by

Barely a week – indeed, barely a day – has gone by over the last year or so without some angry, confused and hurt-sounding Unionist pundit or politician churning out yet another article on the theme of “WHY AREN’T YOU GRATEFUL THAT WE SAVED YOU FROM INDEPENDENCE, YOU APPALLING PLEBS?”

amexico

As far as the No side are concerned, the oil-price slump is a slam-dunk game-ender which finally conclusively proves that Scotland is too wee and too poor to run its own affairs, and their uncomprehending bewilderment as support for a Yes vote not only fails to disintegrate but keeps increasing even as the oil price sinks lower and lower has been quite a phenomenon to behold.

So we were interested to see today’s Sunday Times report a YouGov poll done for the comedy grumpy-old-white-guys support group (and spectacularly unsuccessful tactical voting enthusiasts) Scotland In Union, and somewhat miss the point of the results.

yougovscotlandinunion

The first finding there is a revealing one, because it illustrates the often-forgotten fact that normal people spend a great deal less of their time thinking about politics than commentators do. But it’s the second one we were struck by.

Because if we were writing that article, we’d have replaced the word “nearly” with the word “less than”. The fact that fewer than half of Scots believe independence would leave Scotland worse off – 17 months after a referendum in which 55% of them voted No and more than a year into a massive oil crash – is a remarkable statistic.

The barrage of media coverage of the oil “crisis” has been utterly relentless, with no presentation of the positive side whatsoever. But despite what the press thinks, the general public aren’t morons. You can’t tell them they’re better off when they’ve got less money in their pockets, and vice versa.

You can trumpet all the growth figures you like, but if all the proceeds of that growth are going into the hands of a tiny minority while most people’s wages go backwards, those people will notice and they won’t be happy about it.

radcliffe

But it’s not even that. We can’t speak for the whole independence movement, but as far as this site is concerned the primary reason for independence is democratic. Scotland should get the governments it votes for, and if Labour lose the 2020 election – as everyone expects it to – then since 1979 Scotland will have had to endure Tory governments it rejected at the ballot box for a shocking 72% of the time.

That matters not just in principle but because Scotland has different problems and needs to other parts of the UK. It’s not a matter of independence itself making the country richer or poorer by itself, because it won’t. But it ensures Scotland can elect a government which will shape all its policies for the benefit of Scotland, rather than suffering (along with other areas) as the needs of London take priority above all else.

That’s the point that’s endlessly missed by idiots who obsess over GERS figures and fantasy oil revenues as if an independent Scotland would do everything the same as the UK does now. It’s a point that pundits can’t seem to get a handle on no matter how often they’re told. It’s a point that’s never aired on TV. But as the polls keep on showing, it doesn’t escape the Scottish public.

foulkesfools

The price of oil could fall to $1 a barrel and it wouldn’t change a thing, but that doesn’t mean Yes/SNP voters are brainwashed cultists or fools. It means that they know you can prove whatever you want with figures, and that at the end of the day the only way you’ll get the best outcome for yourself, your family and your country is if you run things for yourself rather than hoping to scavenge someone else’s crumbs.

It seems safe to say that if the Unionists haven’t managed to understand that by now, they’re never going to. And it’s the reason that one day, not too far from now, they’ll lose, and their bewildered, hurt and angry expressions will stay that way forever.

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  1. Marcia says:

    This article deserves a wider audience. Well put young man,

  2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Young”? Bless you 🙂

  3. Auld Rock says:

    I joined the SNP 57 years ago, long before oil/gas was ever on the horizon, with the sole purpose of gaining INDEPENDECE from the rotten and totally corrupt British State. 57 years later and nothing has changed, I would just like to live in a country that makes its own decisions, good or bad and not one controlled by Westminster and its associated UN-ELECTED RETIREMENT HOME along the corridor.

    Auld Rock

  4. davie strachan says:

    As a 72 year old that voted Yes my vote was not for me but for the future of the young Scots who are being failed by the Union.

  5. steveasaneilean says:

    That’s it in a nutshell. The No side never understood that Yes weren’t arguing about better or worse off.

    All we wanted was the right to self-determination and a democratic Government that would act in the best interests of Scotland and her citizens 100% of the time.

    A good parent expects their children to grow up, become independent, and make their own way in life. Ultimately, to be responsible for themselves.

    Yet a vast chunk of people don’t want that for their country?

    Ironically they are usually the first to complain about being told what to do.

    Ambivalence sucks really.

  6. Bill McLean says:

    Just a thought I sometimes have. – often wonder how many of Scots unionists who express anger that we will not go away are also consumed with a kind of guilt about their cowardly behaviour and the only way to mask it is to behave worse! What a shower! To stretch this a bit further I also often wonder if our national rugby team (mostly unionists I’m told) is conflicted and reflect that the last time we won the “Grand Slam” there was much criticism of the Scottish team walking onto the pitch prior to the match against England – maybe we shouldn’t upset England again by being successful!
    I know! I do have off the wall thoughts from time to time!

  7. davidb says:

    Two things have happened.

    Many people now no longer believe the Ministry Of Truth at all, and are questioning of every and any news story presented to them. They can see through the spin and the lies.

    Many of us – myself included – have wised up that while we were originally heart yes/head no, that in fact it is the other way round. Any attachment to the Union is purely romantic. The economic basis is clearly in favour of independence. Your WBB was a catalyst there.

  8. Macart says:

    Oh, that’s a keeper.

    Now, knowing that the odd opponent of Scottish independence scans these pages? Were I them, I’d pay attention to this post.

    Just a suggestion.

  9. mealer says:

    Not really forever,Stu,because over time these unionists will just disappear.Shuffle off.Theyll be replaced by a new crop of Scots who won’t be brainwashed into thinking they’re too useless to run their own country.Excellent article.

  10. Dorothy Devine says:

    As a very nearly 70 year old ,my vote was for the children and grandchildren of Scotland , for a better future with the interests of the Scottish people and Scotland itself at the centre.

  11. Breeks says:

    The price of oil and revenue drawn from it is indivisible from the absence of a capital oil fund.

    Had Scotland’s oil revenue been invested wisely rather than squandered for decades, we, as a Nation, would be virtually immune to fluctations in oil price, and furthermore, we would have an asset of such magnitude that the short term boon of our oil bonanza would have been spread across countless generations of our children.

    Go ahead, accuse me of crying over spilled milk. But don’t expect me to hold any regard for the advice and opinion spawned from the imbeciles in Westminster who willfully spilled that milk.

  12. onelessday says:

    davie strachan

    I am with you, I never thought for one minute that I would live long enough to reap the benefits of our independence but for my children and grandchildren I had high hopes for a better fairer life
    How I wept at the outcome and even yet cannot understand how a people could turn its back on the chance to make its own decisions

  13. Croompenstein says:

    Scotland First.. Scotland Free or a Desert…

  14. ArtyHetty says:

    And added to that myth, about oil making us even poorer than westminster have made us, is the one where people are told that Scotland has nothing else going for it, no other industry or manufacturing worth anything. Which we all know is absolute b*******s. . The oil thing is being used as a huge distraction.

    I bought some Scottish tatties yesterday, and oatcakes, and even some lovely Scottish beer.
    I wear a lovely Shetland wool scarf. I am sure that some of my electricity comes from Scottish renewables, it would be much more if we were not shackled to westmonster.
    We have infinite talents and skills already, potentially keeping Scotland’s economy at a sustainable level, if only we could make our own financial decisions rather than our dysfunctional, greedy, troughing neighbour making an arse of it all on our behalf.

    It would seem that perhaps even the no voters are beginning to think, wait a minute, in what way are we actually better together? If we are so poor, and needing to stay to get our budget fix, why do the tories (and red tories) want us to stay?

  15. Breeks says:

    Sorry folks, having issues commenting…

    Point I’m trying to make is the absence of contingencies for periods of low oil price is not caused by periods of low oil price.

  16. heedtracker says:

    Yoon culture is dysfunction but it was always going to be when one pretty hard core Conservative country thinks it owns and controls another by right. UK is England and always will be England. Lets make it so.

  17. Tony Little says:

    I also want Independence for the principle of self-determination and governance and not because Scots may be better off. Let’s face it, if there was a Labour Govt in a future Independent Scotland there’s a good chance we would all be spectacularly worse off. But the PRINCIPLE still holds true. In that case it will be Scotland’s electorate that kick out the numpties.

    Regarding O&G did anyone else see the BBC in Scotland telling us that the gas fields off the West coats could supply Scotland with enough energy (i.e. 100%) for decades? This WAS known about before the Ref. BBC the Establishment monkey.

    Finally O/T: what is the take on the latest revelation about Lanarkshire? This “secret” recording business stinks of an agent provocateur to me. Should I put away my tin-foil hat, or is there really far more to this than just in-house squabbling?

  18. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent article.

    For me it’s always been about democracy and getting out of the rotten system at WM. I’ve never thought about myself as a nationalist but as a pro democracy activist. Democracy at WM? It will never happen. A democratic Scotland IS possible.

    We should also remember that while BT fought a largely economic argument, that isn’t what swung it for them. Is is highly likely that Yes were about to win despite their economic fearmongering.

    What swung it was promises of greater democracy. The promises and the Vow were supposed to be financially neutral and what was on offer was democratic accountability and power transfer.

    So, clearly a significant (winning) percentage of NOs where swayed by (false promises of) democracy rather than economics.

    We fight IndyRef2 on democracy and, with the failed promises / Vow / Smith / Scotland Bill, we will win!

  19. gordoz says:

    Rev :

    When I heard this being reported as news of some interest by the BBC GMS as it was in the S/Times; then quickly having to backtrack and explain who this political fringe grouping of opinionated yoon numpties and their ‘undoubted affiliation’ almost coughing n spluttering in the process. The only word missing was ‘BREAKING’.

    Honestly burst out laughing aloud at such guff. The desperation to portray this as ‘Significant as the end of Indy interest’ – SNP downturn ???

    Dear God they are desperate.

    No More indyref !!! End of !!!

    Now who said that recently and why can I hear the strains of an ‘orange Umpah band’ ???

  20. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Perfect illustration for this article would be the image of Jackie Baillie which appeared on page 13 of yesterday’s The National. It’s a rare image insofar as she is not wearing her usual supercilious smirk.

    Anyone able to access it?

  21. Andy-B says:

    Well done Rev, you’ve put across the real reasons for independence and of course they’re not financial ones.

    However unionist will never see them, they exist in a dimension that’s only measured in pounds shillings and pence.

  22. handclapping says:

    In the days of long ago, well 1945 it really didn’t matter that the government was in London; there was an empire to run and we were just getting on with living.

    In 2015 there is no empire and the government in London is just incompetent even on its own measures, just 2 years in Gideon’s target of balanced books is put back one year and the English Secretary of State for Health, who is legally no longer responsible for English health, has managed to get doctors striking, and we cannot just get on with living because of their interference in our lives.

    Seriously we dont need a bunch of idiots from another culture to mess up our lives, we can do that for ourselves, if so minded. This has become the defining point of politics here, not left or right or any sort of ism. It has boiled down to, as Churchill said to the US, ‘Give us the tools and we will finish the job.’.

  23. David says:

    I think more and more people are beginning to realise that an economically driven debate on independence sees the cost of everything and the value of very little. We need a new democracy and we need it yesterday.

  24. Cuilean says:

    In hindsight during the YES campaign the SNP cabinet’s tactics were fatally flawed in that they restricted the debate to the arguments put forward by ‘Project Fear’ i.e. the pound, the EU, pensions & benefits.

    Because throughout Project Fear projected results based on the status quo. It completely overlooked the fact that the status quo would be swept away if YES had prevailed.

    The USA is not run the same way after the War of Independence.

    France is not run the same way since the French Revolution.

    Germany is not run the same way since Hitler’s downfall.

    All of the former Soviet satellite states are run differently since the end of the Cold War.

    This is the message YES failed to deliver. A YES vote was an act of revolution to establish a new Scots culture; a new way of thinking about what it means to be Scottish. For the first time ever the people of Scotland would decide what was best for them.

    I think when the UK votes to leave the EU and all these old Project Fear arguments are turned on their head, and most importantly, NO voters see the sky does not fall on the UK, after Brexit, this will be the catalyst to the wavering or regretful NO voters in Indy One that they can effect change here in Scotland and demand a 2nd Indy REf.

    And this time in IndyREf Two, let’s restrict the postal vote.

    Let’s ask, too, in IndyREF TWO, if the UK govt, for the Brexit Ref, thinks its ‘fair’ to disenfranchise other EU citizens living in UK, from voting in Brexit as it intends doing, (that’s good old British nationalism for you, the nationalism which does not exist according to its adherents) should IndyTwo restrict the vote to Scots only? Mmm…

  25. Grouse Beater says:

    Democracy, a wider perspective: http://wp.me/p4fd9j-4qV

  26. Capella says:

    So 53% of Scots think the Scotland would be better off or just the same if Independent. That’s encouraging.
    @ Breeks
    I don’t think the oil money has been squandered. It has been invested wisely, in London and the South East of England. It has been highly successful in financing umpteen major infrastructure projects over 40 years. It has enriched the City of London and businesses in the South East of England.

  27. Dr Jim says:

    If the Yoons argument is only oil stopped people voting YES that’s about to be blown out of the water by the announcement that the Opec and Venesuela and other interested parties are doing a deal as we speak to decrease oil production giving a 12% rise in price and set to rise further

    So if it’s only about oil, that’s it then, game over, the Yoons might as well just give up

    Of course they never mentioned Scottish oil (which only becomes Scottish when denigrating Scotland) which as we all know is Baad oil, doesn’t matter what you do with it Scottish oil just isn’t good under any circumstances a bit like Basil Faulty don’t mention the oil

    My Independence is based on being an “IST” National-ist Separat-ist Extrem-ist and my all time favourite Cult-ist

    Stinkin badges anyone “I am an IST”

  28. Lanarkist says:

    If we are in this financial mess under the current Westminster regime how on earth is this a good argument to retain it?

    I have never understood that argument.

    Surely in all aspects of life flexibility is key, to be able to make changes to suit the circumstances.
    Under the present system there are too many parties with their own particular interests that scew the decision making process in their own favour.

    Time to redesign the national business model to mirror the needs and wants of the majority and in Scotland’s case it’s model is and should be designed for our particular circumstances not those of billionaire tax evaders working in London.

    Time to lift all the boats not just those of the billionaire class!

  29. Mosstrooper says:

    K1, please do not do that. EERRghh!

  30. galamcennalath says:

    handclapping says:

    “1945 it really didn’t matter that the government was in London; there was an empire to run and we were just getting on with living.”

    Your post prompted me to think back and consider how we got where we are. I concluded it was inevitable. Scottishness was always there meanwhile the once strong Britishness aspect has waned.

    1945 almost half of folks voted Labour like the rest of the U.K.. 50s and Scots still voted Tory in a UK wide swing again. The Britishness force was still strong among us!

    The Empire ceased to be significant from the 60s. More significant SNP presence and oil in the 70s.

    However it was the 80s I reckon there was the first big step change. We didn’t vote for Thatcher. She sold off all the great public industries which were a binding force of Britishness. Now the only surviving heralds of Britishness are the BBC, the Armed Forces and the monarchy.

    Devolution, SNP minority rule, majority and the prospect of Indy being a second step change.

    The really important aspect of those 50 years of Scottishness replacing Britishness has been that rarely has it been about economics. It has always been about identity, self determination and democracy.

  31. Bob Mack says:

    Yes Rev,you are right. Myself and my wife have been relatively successful in life, and have all that we need. This is not boasting,but just fact. The thing is that we did not achieve that by being stupid or gullible. There are millions like me out there who are intelligent ,practical, resourceful, and operate their life budgets according to their need.

    The fact is that we have watched and listened to the Scottish government doing the same thing,if on a somewhat grander scale,and we have decided that we can trust them to run the National household so to speak, as well as we run our own.

    This is no blind decision,but rather one made for very practical reasons,having lived under and voted for previous governments both devolved and centralised at Westminster. I know which is best ,and with that experience behind me,I have no fear whatsoever that Scotland would survive and thrive under independence.

  32. Jimbo says:

    You can’t fool all the people all of the time, as Foulkes’ Labour Party found to their cost.

  33. Truth says:

    I’m not sure the 47% figure is as significant as they think it is.

    I bet all of that 47% would admit that Scotland is economically worse off now than it was in September 2014.

    Therefore no matter way you cut it, Scotland is worse off. It’s more to do with the global economy.

    What better way to manage your economy than to control it yourself?

  34. carjamtic says:

    In the ‘Ye Olde Yoon World’ lies,threats,dishonesty and bullshit ‘triumphed’ over all else.

    Now in Scotland,Truth,Honesty,Pride,Logic and clarity of thinking carry the day.

    Except for the yoons who are busy drowning in the own tears……….good.

    P.S. You choice of cards Rev.? methinks you are way too polite 😉

    tic toc

  35. Ian says:

    Of course Westminster has such a long track record of running the UK economy so effectively.

    After WW1 putting the pound back onto the gold standard at too high a rate. Result – years of economic decline as UK goods were too expensive to export. The reason the UK went back onto the gold standard was to maintain the UK’s international prestige! Sound familiar?

    After WW2 squandering Marshall Aid (UK got more than Germany).

    1970’s onwards – North Sea oil squandered.

    1980’s onwards – selling as many public assets as possible, often to other European Governments (rail, water, electricity etc). Nationalisation, but by foreign governments.

    1980’s onwards – halving the number of houses built. Apparently Westminster thinks that hugely increasing house prices is about the measure of economic success that counts.

    And these are just the main examples.

    In short a relentless stream of economic incompetence that makes the UK such a laughing stock abroad. But they still have the brassneck to claim that only they can manage the ‘country’. With broad shoulders like these who needs economic competitors.

    Last one to the bottom is a rotten egg!

  36. David McCann says:

    I am old enough to remember several papers produced by Dr David Simpson in the 70s proving the viabality of an independent Scotland, and that was before the discovery of oil.

    He still writes excellent papers on the economy on Wealthy Nation.

    Well worth a look.
    http://www.wealthynationinstitute.com/our-wealthy-nation1.html

  37. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Well said Rev Stu.

    For me – it is always been a matter of :

    DEMOCRACY FOR SCOTLAND

    Pure and Simple.

    Both votes SNP in May.

  38. Clapper57 says:

    I noted Laird George Foulkes tweet on twitter re fooling all of the people all of the time…in respect to SLAB when in power in Holyrood…obvs !

    So I want to post a previous posting I did…some adjustments..obvs !

    Which was as follows :

    “Dinnae get me started aboot Foulkes.Gonna no.

    I Saw him ootside hooses o parliament once wearing a white suit , big collared floral shirt open tae his bejazzeled navel wae 6 gold chains hanging oan his hairy off white chest.

    He was moon walking and he looked like he was daen it through treacle. He was crap!

    I also remember when he used to play the spoons years ago ,while on his lunch hour , ootside the Scottish office, he was crap at that tae. Couldnae keep time he was all oor the place and he had peach lipstick on tae.

    And he’s a lord !!! A Lard ! A Lard ! Well he’s no the Lord o the dance that’s for sure . Or Lord o the Spoons.

    Lard FFFFFFFoulkes… you think you know you fool.. but the people know all of the time that you dinnae know feck all aboot feck all…all of the time…fool.

  39. gus1940 says:

    WOT? No Sunday Politics Scotland – Why?

    Instead we were treated to the London Opt Out where we heard Boris boasting about the vast sums being spent on London and its infrastructure – nice to be reminded that London and the rest of the SE is sucking the life blood out of the rest of the UK – not just Sctland.

  40. Lochside says:

    Surely the point that should be hammered out time and again is that: WE NEVER HAVE HAD A PENNY of Oil revenue/tax in the forty years it has been extracted.
    The ‘OIL FUND’ that never was is visible in the London skyline where it was invested, deliberately, with a view to establishing the City of London as the pre-eminent world centre of international ‘finance’. Incidentally to the detriment of Edinburgh ( you fools!)

    Unless the ‘NO’ vote understands that we have raised billions more in tax (excluding the oil) than we have ever had back via the ‘Barnett formula ( portrayed as a ‘handout’ not the insulting payoff that it actually is) we cannot make meaningful advances in gaining the 60% level of support required to win.

    They must also be educated that the ‘black hole’ in Scotland’s economy has ‘ Courtesy of ‘UK’ written all over it.’ Ken 500′ and others have repeated time and again on here how the majority of the so-called deficit is (1) per ratio lower per head in Scotland than the UK total and (2) more importantly, based on UK debt incurred by UK politicians and in subsiding S.E. of England capital projects on the spurious basis that they ‘benefit’ the rest of the UK. Without these ongoing burdens, we could borrow and support our own currency.

    The theft of the 6000 sq. miles of Scottish seas combined with the ‘rediscovery’ oil and gas west of Shetland, which was flat out denied by WM and the BBC ( i.e. Brian Taylor you lying corpulent dissembler) pre Ref is the continuation of Scotland as a dumb bovine grass chewing cash cow for the sociopathic suits in WM.
    The deliberate closing down of remaining steel capacity and the Carbon Capture project in the N.E. must be highlighted as examples the animosity and anti-Scottish narrative of this and all WM governments. This attack on our econonmy and country must be bracketed with the SLAB collaboration which never has ceased and which must be extinguished at the next Election this year.
    We cannot let these basic facts go unspoken at full volume by our mealymouthed representatives ( Mhari Black excluded).

    Please take heed SNP and repeat these basic facts when challenged with the broken record litany of lies vomited out by Unionists of all colours.

  41. RedStarTrout says:

    In an ordinary country, when there is a problem you usually get a choice of 2 solutions. You can vote for this party’s solution or that party’s solution. You might get the solution you want or you might get the one you didn’t want, but you will almost always get a solution of some sort.
    In Scotland, if we have a problem, voting for our chosen solution is only the start. Then we have to convince the rest of the UK that we have a problem and that our solution is the right one and is needed. We need their permission to do anything and devolution is just us being given permission in advance for certain things.
    Too often over the years, when we have needed Westminster’s permission, we have ended up with nothing being done.
    That is the difference between Yes and No. The No side assume people are unhappy because we didn’t get the government and the solutions we wanted. For Yes, it’s not a choice between this or that party in government, it’s about having or not having a government at all.

  42. Petra says:

    ”It also found that nearly half of Scots (47%) thought that Scotland would be worse off economically if Scotland had voted for Independence in 2014 while 23% thought that Scotland would have been better off.”

    I can’t read the whole article but can see that 47+23 = 70 so what happened to the other 30%? How did they vote?

    Am I missing something?

  43. AuldGranny says:

    Grouse Beater at 1.26.
    That is a very enlightening article, thanks.

    This part resonated very strongly with me:

    “Here is an observation of the US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in full flow at a rally on America’s malaise, the doctrine of greed…

    “The top 0.1% have greater wealth than 90% of American people combined. There are twenty – twenty! – who own more than the bottom 50%. A single family, the Waltons, owners of Walmart, own more wealth than the bottom 40%. Indeed, the Waltons are America’s biggest welfare recipients because the low wages they pay their employees have to be topped up with benefits paid by taxpayers, us. The Walton family are down to their last 60 or 70 billion and you’re chipping in to help!”

    We suffer the same fate within this so called union of equals. It’s time for Scotland to become independent and have the full powers to change our country so that it benefits ALL the people, not just the rich.

  44. Graeme Borthwick says:

    Reply to ArtyHety…you forgot about the Scottish Salmon..very cheap from Lidls, which is very pro Scottish. Don’t go to an English supermarket like Waitrose, M & S or Sainsburys.

  45. Scott Borthwick says:

    ArtyHetty says:
    14 February, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    “I bought some Scottish tatties yesterday, and oatcakes, and even some lovely Scottish beer.
    I wear a lovely Shetland wool scarf. I am sure that some of my electricity comes from Scottish renewables, it would be much more if we were not shackled to westmonster.”

    Good for you. I’d like to think that everyone is doing what they can to buy more Scottish produce.

    On the renewables point, I recently switched to an energy supplier that uses 100% renewables in its electricity mix. It’s a step in the right direction, but I’d still rather it was a Scottish state-owned operation. Hopefully this will not be too far away.

  46. heedtracker says:

    Boris boasting about the vast sums being spent on London and its infrastructure – nice to be reminded that London and the rest of the SE is sucking the life blood out of the rest of the UK – not just Sctland.

    They have that UKOK covered too. BBC Newsnight economics special thing this week, on collapse of Glasgow and Liverpool industry, it’s all down to the UK joining the EU, y’see. Before UK joined the EU, UKOK trade and industry was all westerly, so now its all easterly, at the EU and that’s why Scottish industry is now archaeology, BBC says, y’see.

    BBC has some of the most bare faced UKOK propagandists, from pre referendum Jaky Bird sneering at Scotland’s FM Salmond, “ofcourse the UK wont privatise the NHS,” to BBC dudes like the one on Newsnight, who just forgot to mention Scotland’s industry collapsed as soon as NOT Scot’s oil was struck.

    Norwegian heavy industry boomed with oil expro, Scots collapsed. Norwegian steel, ship building, production booms, Scots have nothing, nothing but UKOK, pooling and sharing, safety and strength on broad shoulders…

    Last navy ships on the Clyde is something I guess. If only Scotland knew how to build war ships for the Scottish navy. Then there’s Scottish green energy, that could never be developed and built in their UKOK Scotland region.

  47. Scott Borthwick says:

    Graeme Borthwick says:
    14 February, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    “Reply to ArtyHety…you forgot about the Scottish Salmon..very cheap from Lidls, which is very pro Scottish. Don’t go to an English supermarket like Waitrose, M & S or Sainsburys.”

    It’s true that Lidl does promote Scottish produce, but their UK operations are registered in England and Wales. That may not be significant for now, but it could well be if corporation tax is ever devolved.

  48. Famous15 says:

    I did this survey for Yougov and there were many questions on voting intentions in the EU referendum,the Scottish elections etc ,Have these results been published?

  49. bjsalba says:

    @petra

    More imprtant than the missing 30% iss “What exactly was the question. How was it phrased. What led up to it.

    Check out Yes Minister episodes on polling.

  50. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tony Little at 1.01

    You are spot on.
    It would be considerable waste of lots of taxation revenue if the powers that be hadn’t invested lots of it in infiltrating the SNP.
    Anybody who believes anything else is the case has had a reality by-pass.

    What is happening in Lanarkshire at the moment will be as result of classic low level disruption with which the establishment controls lots of organisations.
    What happens is that a person (or persons) join an organisation, enthusiastically work for it and promote its aims, get into positions of some influence AND TRUST in it and then destabilise it. The most obvious way is tittle tattle, distortion, lies – you know the sort of stuff – “Don’t tell anyone I was the one that told you but you know what Willie says about Senga” etc etc and set people against each other.

    It goes on all the time. I could name names

  51. Cherry says:

    @IanBrotherhood

    Think this might be the image that Jackie Baillie wants deleted lol!

    http://www.thenational.scot/comment/mhairi-black-no-wonder-labours-tax-plan-is-so-badly-thought-out.13694

    😉

  52. Luigi says:

    The yoons have made such a song and dance about the current low oil price, things could get kinda awkward for them if the oil price starts to rise again.

    Just a thought. 🙂

  53. Euan McColl says:

    The honeymoon for kez is over, not only have kez and jez failed to stem the haemorrhaging from labour to SNP, she has increased it.

    I know kez tried to get a job with the SNP, was turned down and became a researcher for brawling foukes, best pal of nicholas fairbairn (nuff said). Perhaps all along kez has been a sleeper for the SNP undermining labour from within?

    At end of day, no matter how much spin the bbc put on it, it is fairly obvious the SNP are holding out for the best possible deal for Sxcotland and will not sign up for a time bomb that comes back to bite Scotland. labour in Scotland take note, Scotland can say ‘NO’ to London without the sky falling in!

    Funny how Northern Ireland or London, whom receive more public funding per capita than Scotland are jot subject to their budgets being cut?

    Also funny how all Scotland’s fuel needs could be met by gas fields in the North Atlantic, what the hell is the uk for or how does it serve us? It appears more each day to be a play thing for for the tory elite, be they blue tories or red tories.

  54. Flying Scotsman says:

    Polling – yes minister.
    never posted a link here before,hope I get this right.
    //m.youtube.com/watch?v=oLhFXkvugLM

  55. Anne Galloway says:

    Just looked through George Foulkes twitter account. Nothing but personal insults about the SNP and it’s members, MSPs and MPs. Nothing to make anyone think again about voting for Scottish Labour.

  56. JC says:

    The problem with this article is the seeming belief that a Scottish elected politician is any less feckless (due to self interest) than any Nationally elected politician?

    I am completely bemused by this continuing argument!

    When the oil price plunged the SNP did not:

    Protect workers rights (allowing staff contracts to be renegotiated down)
    It did not promote progressive policies, which would allow/force the highly inefficient North Sea Oil fields to become efficient (Norway can make a profit at $40 a barrel. UK $60 a barrel) UK is half as efficient.
    No, the SNP actively promoted throwing tens of millions of pounds at a failing industry, who own billions in assets!

    Free prescriptions may seems a good idea but they facilitate the profits of highly questionable Big Pharma.

    Ineffectual Land Reform, University Reform. The Fettes clique, Law Society clique or the Scottish Establishment (believe me there is one hear too)

    The SNP cannot/will not hold civil servants to account, let alone themselves (I am talking about the international embarrassment that was a math higher made so difficult we reduce the pass rate to 35%)

    And time will only tell what they sign up to with the Smith Commission.

    We all should be keeping pressure on the existing elected officials instead of IMHO continuing to fight last years fight. We should be proud to promote not good or okay but Great Governance of our Nation with the tools We have at our current disposal.

    The more I hear the SNP say its Westminster’s fault the less likely I am to vote for their members or to vote Yes again in another Indy Ref………sad really!

  57. Kirsty says:

    There are constant attempts by the unionists, Westminster and the corpmedia to paint Scottish independence as an anti-English, insular, regressive, nationalist (with a capital N) movement when it’s actually anything but. It’s about pro-democracy and people in Scotland making decisions for and about Scotland like any other normal country. No matter how often we all make that clear, they still refuse to listen.

    The only reason I can think of for that refusal is that there’s absolutely no intellectual argument against Scotland running her own affairs, particularly given Westminster’s position on things like the EU, wars under the guise of “bringing democracy” to other nations, etc. I think that’s why many of them are so furious – they know the hypocrisy and stupidity of their position. They also know it’s a trap of their own making since 5 minutes’ research will show anyone that ours is a peaceful, pro-democratic, progressive, inclusive movement. More and more people are seeing that for themselves and are coming over to our side.

  58. Petra says:

    O/T

    @ David McCann says at 1:47 pm ….”I am old enough to remember several papers produced by Dr David Simpson in the 70s proving the viabality of an independent Scotland, and that was before the discovery of oil. He still writes excellent papers on the economy on Wealthy Nation. Well worth a look.

    http://www.wealthynationinstitute.com/our-wealthy-nation1.html

    Thanks for the link David. I’ve had a wee look and came across this article. Well worth a read: ‘We Need to Reverse Thinking on Income Tax.’

    http://www.wealthynationinstitute.com/we-need-to-reverse-thinking-on-income-tax.html

    ………………………….

    Great post overall Lochside (1:51 pm) ….. and this just about sums it up. … ”is the continuation of Scotland as a dumb bovine grass chewing cash cow for the sociopathic suits in WM.”

  59. Macbeda says:

    Re the George Foulkes tweet.

    After independence will the HOL (IDAY camp)still accept and pay for the Scottish Lords who should no longer be part of the rUK HOL?

    Just a thought.

    These poor beggars with no daily expenses. How will they survive.

    Self interest in keeping the Union mayhap.

  60. One_Scot says:

    Independence is either in your heart or it is not. Everything else is irrelevant.

    I would give the shirt off my back.

  61. Dan Huil says:

    I find it very encouraging that britnat buffoons like Foulkes can’t understand the political changes happening in Scotland. Their ignorance is our advantage.

  62. Cutommy says:

    20% of Scots will never vote for Scottish independence, because for whatever reason, they have a vested interest in keeping the City of London in control of our affairs. I believe now that support for independence now stands at around 48%. That means that 32% of the population are undecided. If we can persuade just 10% of these undecided voters to support independence we will have a majority. If you want independence, find and convince just one person to change their mind and we are home and dry.

  63. Bob Mack says:

    @Kirsty,

    Yes I agree, there is a programme abroad of Trying to paint an anti English sentiment within the supporters of independence. I am anti Westminster,not anti English,though sadly there are large tracts of the population in England and Scotland who are falling for this rhetoric.

    It is Westminster who have deceived and lied to the Scottish people,and they control large segments of the media who give out this hate nonsense.

    The difference between Scotland and England is evident enough when you see who they elected.We have come to a crossroads and now we have to decide if we can endure to have government after government elected who do not reflect our views or values.That is the crux of the matter.

    I believe the end will now come soon enough,through one mechanism or another.

    We are such an insignificant part of the Union,that they are trying every trick,dodge and ruse in the book to keep hold of a Nation they claim is sponging off them.
    Everywhere else,they cut costs to the sick, the disabled, the vulnerable, and all done without pity or remorse to save money, but Scotland who they claim costs them substantial amounts of money is such a special case, they want to keep us afloat.

    Believe that if you will.

  64. paulTgeist says:

    Ian Brotherhood said:- “Anyone able to access it?”

    It’s available on the Cairnstoon thread 3 or 4 times or K1 offers a jpeg cracker at 1.16pm further up this thread.

  65. Muscleguy says:

    They can’t acknowledge or let on that they understand it Stu. If they did then the logic would mean they would have to cease being unionists and move over to Yes and their entire worldview, culture, self belief, prospect of advancement (they think) is tied up in not doing that.

    There will always be people whose jobs and self respect (Alan Cochrane) require them to pretend and assert that black is white, night is day and the sky is green and the sea rock hard despite the evidence.

    Most of the Republican nominees over the pond have to pay lip service to creationism even if they thing it’s baloney. If they don’t want to go all holy roller they just talk about ‘teaching the controversy’ instead.

  66. Anagach says:

    Every blow to and every failure of the Scottish Economy within the Union is proof the Union works and that Independence could not.

    Its plain obvious…right ? right ?

  67. bugsbunny says:

    George Foulkes has a nerve saying you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. He made a career of it. An Everyman for Everyone, he tries to cover all bases. Born in Oswestry, Shropshire, and then brought up in Keith Banffshire, he attended the private fee paying Haberdasher Aske’s Boys School in Hertfordshire. In 1963, aged 21, he became Senior President of the Student Representative Council at the University of Edinburgh. He later became a full time President of the Scottish Union of Students graduating with a BsC in Psychology.

    He contested Edinburgh West in 1970 and Edinburgh Pentlands in 1974 being beaten both times, the second by conservative Malcolm Rifkind. He was elected as MP for South Ayrshire in May 1979 until his retirement in 2005, when he was created Baron Foulkes of Cumnock. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2007 until 2011 on the Lothian List.

    He was Chairman of Hearts from April 2004 to Halloween 2005. He has frequently accused the SNP of Anglophobia, Xenophobia and Racism and is regarded as coining the term cybernat. He has been criticised for his expenses claims which included £45,000 over two years for staying in a flat he owned himself and had inherited. Between April 2007 and March 2008, he claimed £54, 527 expenses from the House of Lords. And yet under the FOI Act sought out the expenses of General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British Army.

    Described as an Ultra Loyalist by his fellow Labour MP’s, he along with 54 other individuals signed an open letter to the Guardian opposing the then Pope Benedict XVI’s Papal visit to Britain in 2010.

    Stephen.

  68. Cherry says:

    Great blog today Stu. I look forward to being educated everyday with your sharp analysis of what the “headlines” tell us. BTL too is a constant stream of humour (Scottish)/sarcasm,mixed with a huge dollop of fascinating intellect. That said here are a couple of links which may be of interest. I found this website thru’ Nana 😉

    http://www.truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/fastest-asset-stripping-uk-ever-economic-policies-fail-deliver/

    http://www.truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/british-public-sold-river-democracy-deception/

  69. KenC says:

    I am currently re-reading H.J.Paton’s, Claim Of Scotland. Written in 1967, it’s core message of Westminster goverment disadvantaging Scotland at every turn, could be written now.

    We have come a long way since, but the arguments put forward by the London establishment of the time, against Scottish self determination, were the same as now.

    Laughable, but sadly not funny when considering the damage done to Scotland since then.

  70. yesindyref2 says:

    Saw this poll last night, and taking into account the “no difference”, it’s 47% worse off, 47% better off or no difference. Which is in fact pretty well exactly the same as during the referendum campaign.

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/do-you-think-scotland-would-be-better-or-worse-off-if-independent-from-the-rest#line

    Which means that the oil price drop to half nothing, has made absolutely no difference to those that thing we’d be worse off, it’s just split the better off and no difference.

    Which means in, say 2 years, when the oil price drop is old news, nothing will have changed. The significance of that is that a lot of people would vote YES as long as we weren’t worse off.

    E&OE from what I just said, rugby recorded, half-time!

  71. yesindyref2 says:

    The other thing that means probably, is that the level of support for YES we have currently, is pretty rock solid, with everything to build on.

  72. Onwards says:

    heedtracker says:
    14 February, 2016 at 1:01 pm
    ..UK is England and always will be England. Lets make it so.

    The UK is effectively England with a more colourful flag.

    It’s not anti-English to say that – It’s just basic arithmetic.
    With 10 times the population, there is no other way it could be.

    Culture wise, Scotland is acceptable as a concept within the UK, but politically speaking we have to accept we are just a small northern region that has to accept what cards we are dealt from the majority.

    It’s strange to see unionist Scots argue against ‘division’, when the current situation is only really acceptable to the fearful, the meek and the ingratiators. There will always be those who have higher ambitions.

    We would have FAR better relations all round with an improved Britain comprised of an association of independent nation states working together – a new partnership of equals.

  73. Scott says:

    Hi Rev what do you think of this one?

    Unionist Indyref campaign group No Borders fined after finally lodging accounts
    £400 only

  74. yesindyref2 says:

    One other thing, just recently published stats showed that Scotland GDP was at 99% compared to the UK, which is the same as it was during the Referendum in terms of onshore GDP.

    But as well as losing offshore GDP, Scotland’s onshore GDP has presumably suffered as a result of the oil industry problems.

    Which seems to me to mean that a detailed study of Scotland’s onshore economy without oil, would show that its GDP compared to the UK would have risen quite sharply, which means give it another year or two, even without an increase in onshore oil GDP, Scotland’s onshore GDP would rise above 100% of that of the UK.

  75. Clootie says:

    I’ve lived in London twice. It is dominated by a culture of self interest and creed. It is therefore no surprise that they cannot comprehend people voting YES in order to better the lives of others and of generations to come.

    …and they never will, Hence the reason we need to part.

  76. Clootie says:

    …oops…greed not creed

  77. cearc says:

    Clootie,

    I think you’ll find that the two words are rather interchangeable in London Town!

  78. Alison Rollo says:

    IMO oil just muddies the water — leave it where it is until we are independent. I voted for independence for my children and grandchildren — can the narrow minded Unionists not even begin to grasp how much better it will be to dine at our own table rather than beg for what ever crumbs Westminster care to throw at us!!!

  79. Chitterinlicht says:

    Putting my x against ‘yes’ is one of the most exciting things i have ever done.

    I never thought i would get to do that in my lifetime (i am as ‘young’ as Stu).

    I am pretty sure (baring accidents) i will get to do so again.

    Soon.

  80. Craig Banks says:

    The Yoons pretend that there are no positive effects from a low oil price. They should be challenged on that every time.

  81. Chic McGregor says:

    @Tony & Dave
    Yes, that goes on IMO. It has always gone on.

    However there is also another disruptive phenomena which can occur, one of well-meaning (in an end-justifies-the-means sense) entryism by the semi-organised far Left.

    A tactic which may well simply be a natural consequence of the barriers those with extreme views experience, as a means to circumvent that marginalisation.

    No idea if that applies to any extent in this case or not, haven’t followed it at all really, but it is a phenomena I have witnessed several times in the past over many decades.

    Sadly, that too can, and often does, lead to disruption and even at times, vindictiveness, albeit never intended at the outset.

    To the old adage: “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” I would add the corollary “But really watch out for your less close friends.”

    If Scotland had an extreme right which had any comparable level of organisation, which, thankfully, it doesn’t, then I suspect they might be just as guilty of such tactics or possibly even more so.

  82. Michael says:

    May I have a side of Radcliffe?

  83. Not Convinced says:

    Is 47% “nearly half” or “less than half”? Well, obviously it’s both and which one you’d pick depends upon either your POV or what spin you wanted your article to have. However it allows me to raise a point I’ve noticed from various Unionist commentators who describe the results of the referendum as “decisive”, “conclusive” or similar.

    Now that’s fair enough, except I just can’t bring myself to believe that if the result had been the other way round (i.e. 55% Yes / 45% No) it would’ve been described the same way and not as “scraping a win” or perhaps even “Not really a mandate for change”? Which is of course, so much bollocks – if one side in a referendum getting 55% is a decisive result, then it’s equally decisive if the other side gets 55% instead.

  84. Les Wilson says:

    Almost every day we are getting some other new mysterious anti democratic body appearing, professors and other Unionist linked sources everywhere find reasons Scotland, being unique as we are, cannot fend for itself in any way shape or form.

    The truth is though and it is becoming clearer in the digital age, which the do not quite hold solid, that it is they who are scared witless.

    Without Scotland they lose soo many things, money – their long suffering cash cow gone. Trident- their man toys gone. Borders they thought of as their own gone. Seas they thought of as their own gone.

    Their military ability reduced, no more Scots battalions first in and last out. Their high standing in the club of world politik, very much reduced.

    Over all, they have lied, cheated and manipulated all aspects of their Union with Scotland, so much so, they have killed it off.

    So they really deserve the outcome of their efforts. We will help them with that as much as we can, daily, until our own time comes.

    Never in the history of the UK has Westminster been laid so bare, it is not pretty at all.
    In fact, it is fat, bloated, and decidedly ugly to behold.
    The end is nigh.

  85. Craig Banks says:

    I got to vote twice and kissed each ballot paper before putting it in the box. I was honoured to have a proxy vote from someone I hardly even knew who trusted me to vote Yes on his behalf.

  86. K1 says:

    Me too Craig, got to vote 3 times, as two friends had booked holiday and had completely forgotten about the ref! Scunnered they were but I immediately got on with getting the proxy ballots organised, felt very privileged too, to be entrusted with 2 yes votes and my own.

    Next time we’ll do it.

  87. Petra says:

    I was searching online for proof that countries that export more than they import (Scotland) are wealthier than countries that import more than they export (England). I’d read previously that this is why Westminster has accumulated so much debt … and it’s growing by the minute. Debt racked up by Westminster that we in Scotland are paying for.

    ‘You paid £64 billion of interest on debt Scotland didn’t need.’

    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/you-paid-64-billion-of-interest-on-deb-that-scotland-didnt-need/

    Whilst searching I came across the following article and if the data is correct it provides, to my mind, the greatest piece of information EVER to support Scottish Independence. I’m going to delve into this and if it’s correct I’ll be using this at every turn … on every doorstep.

    ‘GDP Per Capita: U.S. Compared to Highest and Lowest.’

    ‘GDP is everything that a country’s economy produces in a year. GDP per capita takes a country’s production, as measured by GDP, and divides it by the country’s total population. Hence, it is the output of a country’s economy per person that makes it the best measurement of a country’s standard of living.’

    ‘Why the Largest Economies Aren’t the Richest per Capita.’

    How GDP per Capita Is Measured …. ”GDP per capita allows you to compare the prosperity of countries with different population sizes ….. spreading wealth amongst the population overall.

    *** Take note that the ISLE OF MAN is the 5th most prosperous country in the World with $83,100 GDP per capita following Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, Macau and Bermuda. Richer than Singapore, Brunei, Monaco and Kuwait.

    http://useconomy.about.com/od/glossary/g/Gdp-Per-Capita.htm

    If the Isle of Man with ‘NAE OIL’, as far as I can make out, is the fifth richest country in the World where would this place Scotland on the list?

    In particular take a look at their economy / tax section.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man

    http://www.gov.im/categories/tax-vat-and-your-money/customs-and-excise/revenue-sharing?iomg-device=Mobile

    ……………………………………….

    And posting this again as a wee reminder of how wealthy we are. More than anything how much wealthier we could be if we were unshackled from Westminster, as is the Isle of Man.

    Compare THIS with the Isle of Man:

    SCOTLAND WITH ONLY 9% OF THE UK POPULATION HAS:

    32% of the land area.
    61% of the sea area.
    90% of the fresh water.
    65% of the natural gas production
    96.5% of the crude oil production.
    47% of the open cast coal production
    81% of the untapped coal reserves
    62% of the timber production
    46% of the total forest area
    92% of the hydro electric production
    40% of the wind wave and solar energy production
    60% of the fish landings
    30% of the beef herd
    20% of the sheep herd
    9% of the dairy herd
    10% of the pig herd
    15% if the cereal holdings
    20% of the potato holdings
    90% of the whisky industry

    SCOTLAND WITH ONLY 1% OF EUROPES POPULATION HAS:

    25% of Europes tidal energy
    25% of wind power
    10% of wave energy
    Over 60% of EU oil production (largest oil reserve in the EU)
    33% of the EUs total hydrocarbon production

    WE HAVE A:

    17 billion pound construction industry
    13 billion food and drink industry
    10 billion business services industry
    9.3 billion chemical services industry
    9.3 billion tourism industry
    7 billion financial services industry
    5 billion aeroservice industry
    4.5 billion pound whisky exports industry
    3.1 billion pound life sciences industry
    And 350 million pounds worth of textile exports

    OUR WHISKY INDUSTRY ACCOUNTS FOR 25% OF THE WHOLE OF THE UK FOOD AND DRINK INDUSTRY.

    OUR OIL IS (*WAS*) WORTH OVER ONE POINT FIVE TRILLION AND THAT’S NOT COUNTING LATEST OIL FIELD FINDS OFF THE EAST COAST OCTOBER 2014 AND IN 2015 PLUS POTENTIAL MASSIVE OIL FIELDS OFF THE WEST COAST.

    SCOTLANDS GREATEST ASSET OF ALL IS IT’S PEOPLE. RESEARCH FINDINGS SHOW THAT SCOTLAND’S ADULTS ARE THE MOST HIGHLY EDUCATED BY QUALIFICATION IN EUROPE.

    And even mair oil that Westminster doesn’t want the Scots to know about. We’re swimming in it:

    ‘Experts state forthcoming oil boom off Scotlands West Coast …. Kevin Forbes 2014.’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csY43qV4JdA

  88. galamcennalath says:

    Apologies if this has already been linked to

    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/flawed-devolution-fiscal-framework-must-be-resisted-by-snp/

    “The fiscal framework is actually more important than the powers in the Bill as the new powers are severely limited and inflexible and don’t constitute a full enough range of economic and social levers to deliver real growth and equality for Scotland.”

    Ahem

  89. old dearie says:

    Like earlier posters I too joined the SNP way back before oil was a factor. I enjoyed the chance to do Scottish history at school and knew that Scotland could stand on her own feet without any ‘help’ from London. I am thrilled that independence is so much nearer now and hopefully our young folk can grow up without the feelings of resentment and loathing for the outcome of the fateful 1707 decision which I have felt most of my life.

    Re the Lanarkshire debacle, I remember well when the Portobello branch of the SNP in the 1960s had the misfortune to have a new member who caused divisiveness and nearly ruined a very successful branch. At the time we suspected he was an agent provocateur because we had just managed to win an election for Edinburgh Town Council and looked on track to win another ward. Plus ca change, plus la meme chose.

  90. call me dave says:

    Unionist Indyref campaign group No Borders fined after finally lodging accounts

    https://archive.is/0qx1t

    ———————————————————–
    Ah! A proper internat signal at last.

    Just got in from Oban and getting ready to get to a wedding reception in X-Ford for 7 pm..

    Roll on Monday and get back to normal again… 🙁

  91. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The problem with this article is the seeming belief that a Scottish elected politician is any less feckless (due to self interest) than any Nationally elected politician?”

    Nobody said such a thing. The argument is that a Scottish government will be concerned at all times with what’s best for Scotland. The UK government is concerned with what’s best for the UK, and if something is good for London or the South-East at Scotland’s expense, then Scotland will suffer. Not out of malice, but because it’s the UK government’s job to favour 8 million or 20 million people over 5 million. Basic arithmetic.

    Is that really difficult to understand?

  92. Bob Mack says:

    I almost put my foot through the Tele today—at a friends house.

    Gordon Brewer asked an SNP member why the English taxpayer should foot the bill for Scottish spending. Not fair according to Brewer.

    I was urging him to ask Brewer why Scotland oil has been subsidising England for decades,and the Scots have had to endure that.

    Pooling and sharing apparently has a one way valve only.

    Smoke coming from ears.

  93. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Many thanks to all who provided links so that we could enjoy that image of Jabba.

    Not everyone’s cup of tea perhaps, but I just can’t get enough of it…reminds me of that series ‘V’, and the horror of seeing for the first time what really lay beneath the ‘human’ face…

    Baillie’s mum won’t be putting that one up on the mantelpiece in a wee frame anytime soon.

  94. JC says:

    @Rev Stuart Campbell

    “The problem with this article is the seeming belief that a Scottish elected politician is any less feckless (due to self interest) than any Nationally elected politician?”

    Nobody said such a thing. The argument is that a Scottish government will be concerned at all times with what’s best for Scotland. The UK government is concerned with what’s best for the UK, and if something is good for London or the South-East at Scotland’s expense, then Scotland will suffer. Not out of malice, but because it’s the UK government’s job to favour 8 million or 20 million people over 5 million. Basic arithmetic.

    Is that really difficult to understand?

    If you believe for one moment that a Scottish politician is any different from an Indian, Russian, American or and other nation with politics and human beings. Your either delusional or a fervent Nationalist (blind to the reality of humanity)

    Almost every politician will sell the rest of the population down the drain for their own constituencies and when that impedes their own personal gain (either personally or politically)they will sell them down the drain too.

    SNP have had eight long years to do the changes needed to make this country fairer and as far as I believe they haven’t been running any other Nation? So why do you think when they have all the power will they suddenly facilitate a Scottish Utopia?

    The facts of SNP’s current and past eight years prove your, all will better with all the power at home as total nonsensical?! In fact it sounds like UKIP’s argument to leave the EU.

  95. Croompenstein says:

    I hadn’t seen this before it’s from Nov 2014 but an unbalanced report, I saw Opik and thought it would be shit but actually ok..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qlq_0MJsII

    Oh and @JC are you new to this or just taking the piss?

  96. HandandShrimp says:

    “The facts of SNP’s current and past eight years prove that they are better at the job than the previous lot”

    Fixed that for you JC

    Saying that independence will lead to Utopia is a straw man argument. No one is saying that nor is any one saying that Scottish politicians are perfect. However, I see nothing in what you say that suggests decisions about Scotland are better not taken in Scotland. That is the nub of the issue. Nothing more.

  97. Bob Mack says:

    @JC.

    Blow it out your ear Jeremy.

  98. galamcennalath says:

    JC says:

    “SNP have had eight long years to do the changes needed to make this country fairer and as far as I believe they haven’t been running any other Nation”

    Yes, and a bloody good job they have made with the VERY limited powers of Holyrood.

    However, Indy is not about the SNP. It is about Scots making most (in this globally interconnected world) of the decisions about Scotland. It’s about self determination and democracy.

    The SNP may or may not be in power in a future independent Scotland. However, one thing is absolutely certain, Scotland won’t be run by a bunch of Tory Posh boys we wouldn’t give the time of day to far less vote for.

  99. ian says:

    I would rather wallow in my own shit rather than someone elses as simple as that.

  100. CameronB Brodie says:

    Well said but I would say that. 🙂

    As far as I am concerned, it is your Loyalists and Unionists who resemble the “cargo cultists” of Melanesia, living in the utilitarian delusion* that Westminster is best placed to decide what Scotland needs. It won’t be long before your rational No voters spot this.

    Tick tock….

    * A delusion based on “cargo-science” derived from the emanations of the international corporate media and Whitehall, though the BBC.

    Cargo cult, any of the religious movements chiefly, but not solely, in Melanesia that exhibit belief in the imminence of a new age of blessing, to be initiated by the arrival of a special “cargo” of goods from supernatural sources—based on the observation by local residents of the delivery of supplies to colonial officials….

    http://www.britannica.com/topic/cargo-cult

  101. Grouse Beater says:

    JC Tosh: The UK government is concerned with what’s best for the UK, and if something is good for London or the South-East at Scotland’s expense, then Scotland will suffer. Not out of malice, but because it’s the UK government’s job to favour 8 million or 20 million people over 5 million

    In which case it’s an English government promoting England’s interests.

    And it’s doing that by taking taxes and resources from Scotland to favour London and the South-East.

    Finally, no SNP MP has ever promised the unionist myth of a ‘Scottish Utopia.” What they promise is full democracy.

    How bloody convenient for a unionist to overlook the Union is two nations ‘Equal and Sovereign.”

  102. Grouse Beater says:

    More JC Tosh: In fact it sounds like UKIP’s argument to leave the EU.

    If you can’t see the difference then you’re telling people you’re a fool and happy to be known as one.

  103. Effijy says:

    Just watched the misreporting Scotland on the EBC.
    The had their reporter set up SNP Bad before “discussing” this
    morning’s Gordon Brewer Show with SNP’s James Dorran and Labour’s Jaba the Hut. Of course they only showed Jaba’s Clip on SNP
    really Bad, and not one word about James/SNP’s position on the matter.

    The Story ends with the reporter suggesting the the wonderful Westminster Government statement that they will be working to ensure a fair deal. ( If that had any shade of truth in it, why are they trying to take an extra £3 Billion from Scotland’s budget on top of all the other cuts that have befallen us?)

    One of the big reasons that I want independence is to boot out
    Blatant, Biased Propaganda from our National News Stations.

    There is no democracy where the truth is being denied, distorted, and disguised.

  104. JC says:

    @ all the name callers.

    Its pretty pathetic that none of you are capable of intelligent debate.

    Continue to promote your Nationalistic agenda at any costs!

    You really should get off of here and pick up a history book and learn what blind nationalism leads to.

    Any for you who spout the only sad argument that you have which is to belittle someone for being a Unionist maybe you should read my first post at 3pm ish?

    Of course it just easier to try and label people as the other side then you can shut your mind and get stuck in.

    As I say people with this opinion are the Carbon Copy of UKIP!

  105. Robert Peffers says:

    All I can say is that the barrel price of oil has absolutely nothing to do with Scotland’s economy as we, as a country, get none of the cash from the sale of a barrel of oil. The major part of it goes to the Westminster Treasury and the rest to the oil & gas companies.

    Scotland’s only benefits are the jobs, created in Scotland and the local Council business rates levied upon the premises of the oil companies. Scotland doesn’t even get the bulk of the jobs as there are more non-Scots than Scots working on the installations.

    Furthermore, Scotland’s funding has no basis in the revenues collected by HM Treasury from oil & gas. Not even the mythical 8.4% that some believe is paid to Scotland.

    There are, though, certain statistics that tell the real story. The Scottish Per Capita GDP is consistantly higher than the UK average and higher even than that for England as a whole. That figure shows that each Scot on average raises more revenue for the Treasury than any other country in the United Kingdom.

    Another is that the Scottish average per capita earnings is lower than those of both England and the rest of the UK as a whole.

    Then we have the figures for what the UK Government spends. For example defence spending on a per-capita basis is higher in England than it is in Scotland.

    So by looking at the statistics in a more reasoned way it is clear that Scots on average raise more revenues but the UK government spends less per capita on Scots than on the English. We each pay more in and each get less out.

    Here’s another stat that tells the true tale – While the poor have become poorer every year since Labour changed the tax system to indirect taxation. Or put another way, since indirect taxation was the main form of taxation the gap between the rich and the poor has increased every year.

    Even throughout the present claimed financial crisis the figures show that the poor have been getting poorer ever single year and in some cases literally starved to death, or have died due to poor healthcare, cold or other results of poverty. Yet the statistics show the richest sector of, what is laughingly called, our society have more than doubled their individual riches.

    Now no one can tell me they are suffering austerity while more than doubling their riches. In fact it is plainly true that the rich are getting richer by starving the poor to death.

  106. yesindyref2 says:

    @JC
    First of all you really need to decide whether you want to make a serious point, or just have a snort at the SNP and the Scottish Gooernment. To be kind let’s presume you wnated the former, and must got carried away with yourself.

    It’s the UK’s job to put 65 million people first, not Scotland’s 5.4 million, nor London’s 8 million, nor London and the South-East’s 20 million. To do that at times, it might have to devote more resources, perhaps to London, but perhaps to the North-East of England which it doesn’t do at all, or to Scotland, which it does only when the Scottish Government manages to push it to do as in Aberdeen, or even Glasgow for the so-called Big Cities scheme. This may mean that comparatively some “regions” don’t get as much as others. Which might be good for the UK as a whole, but isn’t good for those “regions”, including Scotland.

    It’s exactly the same for the Scottish Government who might ahve to priorities one aprt, for the benefit of the whole. Currently the SG is paying attention to Aberdeen also, but also Glasgow.

    Now you see why so many in Scotland want Independence. Only taht way will Scotland be its own 100% priority, under the UK, we’re very much secondary to the interests of the whole UK, which often favour London and the South-East.

    Now, there is a difference between the UK and Scotlamd/ The UK has a “hub” as Cameron called it, a centre, a circle, London with the South-East around it. On the other hand, Scotland has an axis – the Central Belt from Edinburgh to Glasgow and outside that. In addition it has a major spoke up to Aberdeen. That in itself tends to spread the realtive attention an area demands for the benefit of the whole of Scotland, it’s up to the Scvottish Gvoernment then to be fair to other parts, as it does seem to be doing to the northern islands, via the Island Council.

    So there you go, you came to insult the SNP but got some useful info and hopefully, a better insight into why so many of us want Independence.

  107. ahundredthidiot says:

    JC

    Just to confirm then…..you voted Yes?

    You’re a Yesser?

    Just for the record like

  108. dakk says:

    JC 6.44

    ‘Almost every politician will sell the rest of the population down the drain for their own constituencies’

    I’m sure you would then be in favour of just handing over the keys for Westminster and just ask the IMF,or the UN to govern England/UK then.

    Aye right !

    Good article Stuart.

    These unionist pundits will never get it.

    It’s because they are all just English wannabees.I feel sorry for them.

  109. Bob Mack says:

    Jabba wants Scotland to set up its own fiscal Commission. The real question about that is what figures would they have to work with? The information they would get would come from the OBR, as there is no other source for Scotland revenue outside the Treasury who inform OBR.

    We would have a tier of financial scrutiny which would serve no purpose other than to duplicate what we already have. If however you tell me the Treasury would give them full access to the Nation’s accounts that would be different,but we all know that is not going to happen

  110. Grouse Beater says:

    JC Tosh:

    The troll’s classic parting shot, he’s super-intelligent, everybody else is a dunce.

    “Its pretty pathetic that none of you are capable of intelligent debate.”

    Stand by for the crowning ‘Nazi’ insult…

  111. Bob Mack says:

    @JC,

    You come to the site asking originally why the SNP do not do more about oil.

    You have been told and clearly you do not visit this site often,or do not educate yourself enough about Scotland responsibilities over oil.If you did ,you would know not to ask such a question.

  112. GrahamB says:

    Tony Little at 1:01
    Heard from a very well informed/involved source at this afternoon’s canvass session that the main problem is traditional North Lanarkshire politics. These squabblers used to be Labour but we have now inherited them and their attitudes to ‘consensus politics’ have not yet changed so their normal MO is infighting. There are too many factions and sub-factions to work out what is going on but the overriding impression is that they are jockeying for places in next year’s council elections.
    We’ll need to be prepared for more of this behaviour as more and more exLabour folk come over to our side.

  113. handclapping says:

    @JC
    May I recommend almost any Britsh history book to you as a primer on what blind nationalism leads to. The main problem with them is that most do not cover the “interesting” byways of selling the Irish into slavery, the massacre of Indians in the famines under our glorious British rule, the 150 years of sticking our unwanted noses into Afghanistan to no purpose, the invention of concentration camps for the Dutch as we were getting beat in the Boer War and the contempt for anyone not one of us at Peterloo. And that’s without mentioning the offences against the Scots.

    Its not about us and the English or left against right but about the offence of a political “class” that are in it to skim, no that is too mild, to gouge the body politic for the benefit of themselves and their buddies. Noone living here has nails that will grow enough to reach London. Even if the British politician replicates himself at Holyrood, he is a lot closer to our wrath.

  114. Macart says:

    @JC

    Can you link to the article where any Scottish Government politician promised a Scottish utopia?

    Last I heard the Scottish Government only ever stated that the best people to make decisions about Scotland are the people who live and work in Scotland.

    I also recall them stating that they don’t claim to be better than anyone else only that we should aspire to be as good as, but y’know perhaps I’m mistaken.

    However you have rather neatly outlined why a political union is of zero benefit to the Scottish electorate. Oh and we’re perfectly aware of the reasons why a chamber where Scottish representation, which is rather heavily outnumbered, would find it somewhat difficult to achieve any form of significant advantage for their constituents. As you say ‘human nature’ and all that.

    And on that point, that is exactly what will happen should all powers be returned to the Scottish parliament. Human nature being what it is, a Scottish Government, voted for by the Scottish electorate, will make decisions in the best interests of same.

    Pretty much what you’d expect of a government really.

  115. yesindyref2 says:

    @JC
    First you need to find what is devolved to Scotland, and reserved to Westminster such as employment – e.g. workers rights:

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/25488.aspx

    Second, until recently the Oil and Gas regulatores were based in Whithall, but are now in Aberdeen and Glasgow and starting to make a differencem but that will be slow. Up till then whatever complaint you’re making is down to th Westminster Government, and in many ways still is – including macroeconomic policy.

    Third, free prescritions. The argument is that it cost money to administer means testing, and a figure I saw was that in England only 17% actually pay for their prescriptions. In addition an argument is that having to pay for prescriotions, people don;t bother, the illness gets worse, and it ends up costing more in hospital or more expensive prescriptions for which only a prescription charge is made. I agree with those arguments.

    For Land Reform, it’s a difficult subject, and advances are being made. I suspect it needs to be “progressive”, to overuse the term. For University Reform, there’s a lot of ppolitics in that, and none of the sides seem to know much about the HE Bill – or they don’t care.

    What you mean by cliques I have no idea.

    the rest of your 3.11 posting,

  116. Tam Jardine says:

    Bob Mack

    The subsidy junkie line has been around for so long. It is quite amazing how firmly it has taken hold of the consciousness of the UK north and (to a far greater extent) south of the border.

    The average population density for England is 413 people per square kilometre. For Scotland the figure is 68 (or was as of 2013).

    Man- when England’s population is 6 times denser then can you imagine if public spending per capita was THE SAME! What kind of moron would expect that to be the case? You would have to be completely thick to expect that public spending would be same in spareslypopulatedland versus denselypopulatedland? Yet we’re all tarred as subsidy junkies because public spending per capita is higher and that message is rammed home again and again.

    And why is our population so sparse? After 300 years in the union… it must be because everything is going so well!

    I still struggle to understand the logic of it all. Let me get this straight: everything is great for Scotland in the UK- we’ve had such a great deal- we’ve been getting subsidised by England for ever. Ok. But at the same time 300 years of union with England has left us uniquely unable to function as a separate entity? Without an enormous financial blackhole?

    The whole thing is so preposterous I still can’t get my head round us losing.

    ‘Better Together’ play could have been summed up their inspirational message as “if you think this is bad- going independent would be even worse!”

    The whole thing is like some disconnected drunken rant from an abusive husband to his long suffering wife. Subtext: you are shit.

  117. Dr Jim says:

    @JC

    Jings!!!

    That’s it, nothing more

  118. handclapping says:

    OT
    Somebody tell Stu his new logo still doesn’t look like Hamish.

  119. David Anderson says:

    Some Unionist defenders amongst the genral public remind me of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and ‘cheering their betters’ no matter what detrimental activity they impose on them. As long as it’s not the other side. They accept the hierarchy that has been a long time in the making.

    I think Labour are shooting themselves in the foot by arguing for tax rises and chastising the SNP for cuts instead of fighting the attempted imposition of a detrimental fiscal deal.They have turned quite tribal and it is ugly to watch, though more often they are a pantomime.

    Foulkes is not wrong some people are being fooled and they will fight the Unionist corner and blame the SNP for Westminster imposed macro-economic policy no matter of anye vidence to the contrary.

  120. Robert Louis says:

    This article is excellent.

    As Alex Salmond said over and over again during the referendum, the best people to make decisions for a country are the people who choose to live and work in it. That is all Scotland wants, it is the universal right of any nation to govern itself, free from outside interference.

    Independence, is not about oil, GDP or any other unionist dreamed up nonsense, it is about democracy. It is about the fact that for over 300 years, Scotland has been shackled into an undemocratic union with England under terms which are only ever beneficial to England. It is about the fact that Scottish representation at the so-called ‘mother of parliaments’ in London, makes up just 9% of the total, ensuring no matter how Scots vote, their opinions can always be outvoted by English MP’s.

    The union is no longer tenable. It is from another time, locked in a dysfunctional past, wholly undemocratic, and detrimental to Scotland and Scottish interests. That is why support for independence is still increasing, week by week. That is why Scottish independence is coming. It is only a matter of time.

  121. heedtracker says:

    Problem with and for yoon culture in Scotland is real world economics like, how come HS2 doesn’t come anywhere near their Scotland region?

    If we were BetterTogether, our imperial masters would start building highspeed rail networks from Scottish cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, but not a chance in UKOK hell.

    Cities like Sheffield are gearing up for HS2, Leeds, Manchester etc all getting HS2 excited. Scotland can fcuk off, but we still have to pay our HS2 share.

    eg

    Highspeed France, all across France. Highspeed UKOK, England only.

    http://www.eurail.com/europe-by-train/high-speed-trains/tgv

  122. yesindyref2 says:

    Yes, Jings indeed. On the Herald there’s an article mentioning tax havens only about SLPs, the 4th one, insinuating it’s only a Scottish problem (with Russia), whereas it’s an overall UK one, and a big one too.

    Makes me sick, the ignorant people dabbling in areas they know nothing about, trying to down Scotland. Well [deleted] off.

  123. Scott Borthwick says:

    Tam Jardine
    14 February, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Well said. I note that, in the past 100 years, world population has increased from 1.5 billion to 7 billion. In that time, the population of England has increased from 33.5 million to 53 million (1911 to 2011).

    In Scotland, the comparative numbers are 4.7 million and 5.3 million.

    I’m not sure how the Glorious Union measures success, but I’d say that this would be a pretty cock-eyed measure.

  124. thomaspotter2014 says:

    @JC-Jeremy Corbyn?

  125. Tam Jardine says:

    Scott Borthwick

    Wow! Scotland’s population has almost flatlined over the last 100 years despite us being “Better Together” with all the benefits of pooling and sharing and subsidies and what not.

    Imagine if we hadn’t had Westminster looking after us- would any of us even be here?

  126. willie says:

    The fall in oil prices is having a hugely beneficial impact on the economy. Yes the North Sea may be quieter, but the costs ofevetying from farming, to manufacturing, to transport is benefiting. And a good thing too as the UK heafs towards a second banking – debt crisis. We’ll all be floating then when the UK hits it’s next crash. And there was poor wee gob shoite Scotland with its lower debt and stronger trade surplus.oh how we’ll laugh when the UK takes us down. It’s what we do.

  127. Jock McDonnell says:

    I see our old chum from vitoil is having his say on brexit & indyref2 in today’s Sunday Times business pages.

  128. galamcennalath says:

    The problem with dealing with most BritNats is that you can’t quite tell which combination of ignorance, arrogance, intolerance, entitlement, stupidity or malice applies.

    Rarely are ignorance and arrogance not applicable. They never seem to know what they are talking about, yet seem completely unaware. It’s so odd that they perceive one of the most evil empires in human history as benign!

    Rant over!

  129. heedtracker says:

    willie says:
    14 February, 2016 at 9:06 pm
    The fall in oil prices is having a hugely beneficial impact on the economy.

    Andrew Neil says its not having any impact on the “growth of economies” 25 minutes in, and just part of the great BBC UKOK propaganda that pours out of the multi billion quid boxes of British greatness. If you think BBC vote SLab Scotland is awful, try a day of these guys.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b070rczt/daily-politics-12022016

    Watch out for BBC style, “how to make UKOK yoons look sane” slot, especially wee Georgie, who said Scotland as a nation state would mean the end of western civilisation. Oh SLabour, you’re such a bunch of nasty troughing non entities.

    Actually quick google, tax dodged as per, and Wee Georgie says

    Scottish independence would be cataclysmic for the west … Lord Robertson, the former secretary general of Nato, has provoked an angry … aid the forces of darkness, it would threaten the stability of the western world’.

  130. Macart says:

    @galamcennalath

    And then of course you have to sub divide the type of ignorance into wilful, wishful and genuine. Genuine meaning someone is ignorant of a thing until they are, or become informed.

    In the latter category lies votes to be won. In the former? Well its best to say, in the former there are no votes and leave it at that.

    Something Mr Foulkes should bear in mind about those of us who voted for unionist parties in the past. We were ignorant until we became informed, which is kinda why we’ll not be voting for establishment parties any time soon. 😉

  131. Robert Peffers says:

    @JC says: 14 February, 2016 at 3:11 pm:

    “The problem with this article is the seeming belief that a Scottish elected politician is any less feckless (due to self interest) than any Nationally elected politician?”

    With, only one exception, I cannot recall in around 70 years of supporting independence for Scotland any elected to either parliament, SNP member that was only in it for them-self.

    “I am completely bemused”

    Yes, we noticed that.

    “When the oil price plunged the SNP did not:

    “Protect workers rights (allowing staff contracts to be renegotiated down)”

    D’you think that might be because that is not one of the functions allowed The Scottish Parliament by the Westminster Establishment?

    “It did not promote progressive policies, which would allow/force the highly inefficient North Sea Oil fields to become efficient (Norway can make a profit at $40 a barrel. UK $60 a barrel) UK is half as efficient.”

    You are in wonderland along with Alice there JC.

    Statoil ASA, is a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. As of 2013, the Government of Norway is the largest shareholder in Statoil with 67% of the shares, while the rest is public stock. The ownership interest is managed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy”..

    !No, the SNP actively promoted throwing tens of millions of pounds at a failing industry, who own billions in assets!

    EH? What are you wibbling about there, JC? To what do you refer?

    “Free prescriptions may seems a good idea but they facilitate the profits of highly questionable Big Pharma.”

    Utter tripe and totally irrelevant. An item on a prescription in England costs exactly the same in Scotland. The profits of the pharmaceutical companies is thus the same. Secondly, to administer and police payment of prescriptions costs more than the sum gained by making them free to all.

    “Ineffectual Land Reform, University Reform. The Fettes clique, Law Society clique or the Scottish Establishment (believe me there is one hear too)

    What’s hearing got to do with it?

    “The SNP cannot/will not hold civil servants to account, let alone themselves (I am talking about the international embarrassment that was a math higher made so difficult we reduce the pass rate to 35%)”

    (a), who is , “We”, in the above paragraph?
    (b), In any case it matters not what the actual pass mark is set at. All the exam is doing is finding out the level of the pupils knowledge. If the exam is harder the pass mark is lower: If the exam is easier the pass mark is higher: The end result is the same percentage of pupils pass the pass mark.

    ” … And time will only tell what they sign up to with the Smith Commission”.

    We here mostly hope they do NOT sign up to the Smith Commission for very obvious reasons.

    “We all should be keeping pressure on the existing elected officials instead of IMHO continuing to fight last years fight. We should be proud to promote not good or okay but Great Governance of our Nation with the tools We have at our current disposal.”

    That is so much pish I wont grace it with a reply.

    “The more I hear the SNP say its Westminster’s fault the less likely I am to vote for their members or to vote Yes again in another Indy Ref………sad really!”

    Can’t say I’m surprised there, JC. You are quite obviously a raving loony Unionist who doesn’t know what it is talking about. You quite obviusly have absorbed all the sheer guff the Establishment has thrown at you. Like shite, such guff is @JC says: 14 February, 2016 at 3:11 pm:

    “The problem with this article is the seeming belief that a Scottish elected politician is any less feckless (due to self interest) than any Nationally elected politician?”

    With, only one exception, I cannot recall in around 70 years of supporting independence for Scotland any elected to either parliament, SNP member that was only in it for themself.

    “I am completely bemused”

    Yes, we noticed that.

    “When the oil price plunged the SNP did not:

    “Protect workers rights (allowing staff contracts to be renegotiated down)”

    D’you think that might be because that is not one of the functions allowed The Scottish Parliament by the Westminster Establishment?

    “It did not promote progressive policies, which would allow/force the highly inefficient North Sea Oil fields to become efficient (Norway can make a profit at $40 a barrel. UK $60 a barrel) UK is half as efficient.”

    You are in wonderland along with Alice there JC.

    Statoil ASA, is a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. As of 2013, the Government of Norway is the largest shareholder in Statoil with 67% of the shares, while the rest is public stock. The ownership interest is managed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy”..

    !No, the SNP actively promoted throwing tens of millions of pounds at a failing industry, who own billions in assets!

    EH? What are you wibbling about there, JC? To what do you refer?

    “Free prescriptions may seems a good idea but they facilitate the profits of highly questionable Big Pharma.”

    Utter tripe and totally irrelevant. An item on a prescription in England costs exactly the same in Scotland. The profits of the pharmacuticle copmpanies is thus the same. Secondly, to administer and police payment of prescriptions costs more than the sum gained by making them free to all.

    “Ineffectual Land Reform, University Reform. The Fettes clique, Law Society clique or the Scottish Establishment (believe me there is one hear too)

    What’s hearing got to do with it?

    “The SNP cannot/will not hold civil servants to account, let alone themselves (I am talking about the international embarrassment that was a math higher made so difficult we reduce the pass rate to 35%)”

    (a), who is , “We”, in the above paragraph?
    (b), In any case it matters not what the actual pass mark is set at. All the exam is doing is finding out the level of the pupils knowledge. If the exam is harder the pass mark is lower: If the exam is easier the pass mark is higher: The end result is the same percentage of pupils pass the pass mark.

    ” … And time will only tell what they sign up to with the Smith Commission”.

    We here mostly hope they do NOT sign up to the Smith Commission for very obvious reasons.

    “We all should be keeping pressure on the existing elected officials instead of IMHO continuing to fight last years fight. We should be proud to promote not good or okay but Great Governance of our Nation with the tools We have at our current disposal.”

    That is so much pish I wont grace it with a reply.

    “The more I hear the SNP say its Westminster’s fault the less likely I am to vote for their members or to vote Yes again in another Indy Ref………sad really!”

    Can’t say I’m surprised there, JC. You are quite obviously a raving loony Unionist who doesn’t know what it is talking about. You quite obviously have absorbed all the sheer guff the Establishment has thrown at you. Like shite, such guff is prone to stick to absorbent surfaces.

  132. Kirsty says:

    Hi, JC,

    You’re a Nationalist (of the Brit Nat strain), which is absolutely your right. We, of course, also have a right to disagree with you. I’ll admit, I don’t really know how to deal with Nationalists – they’re always so aggressive, abusive and irrational. They’re also a world away from how people who believe in democracy, i.e proponents of Scottish independence, view the world. So it’s difficult to speak to or relate to people like you

    That said, I would say that I’m sorry you believe that it’s right that London should benefit at the expense of everyone else in the UK even to the point of beggaring the rest of us. I can’t understand a mentality that thinks such a state of affairs is democratic, fair or reasonable. I’m also sorry that you apparently dislike Scotland and Scots so much (and indeed everyone else who’s not either based in London or an aristocrat) that you believe we should be run from Westminster, even if that’s against our will, rather than make our own decisions. Perhaps you haven’t read it, but the Treaty of Union makes it clear that Scotland and England are separate countries – they are, always have been and always will be. Perhaps, you feel that such treaties and laws should be disregarded but thankfully, that’s not the view of the courts, so I would respectfully recommend that you look at the legal position, and then the intellectual position, and then consider whether you believe in democracy or autocracy.

  133. Robert Peffers says:

    @Kirsty says: 14 February, 2016 at 3:12 pm:

    “There are constant attempts by the unionists, Westminster and the corpmedia to paint Scottish independence as an anti-English, insular, regressive, nationalist (with a capital N) movement when it’s actually anything but. It’s about pro-democracy and people in Scotland making decisions for and about Scotland like any other normal country. No matter how often we all make that clear, they still refuse to listen.”

    Excellent post, Kirsty.

  134. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The population figures are a damning indictment of the union.
    As has been pointed out England’s population has doubled in the last century while Scotland’s has flat-lined.
    In 1770 one person in four in UK was Scottish. It is now one person in twelve
    If Scotland had developed like Denmark over the past century for instance our population would be over 10 million. If we had developed like Norway our population would be 12 million. If we had developed like New Zealand our population would be 15 million. Were it not for immigration (of which immigration of non economically active English people at around 480,000 is by far the largest)our population would be dropping.

    I suspect the population of the island of Ireland is now again passing Scotland’s. (It was actually double Scotland’s before the Irish famine. The behaviour of London during this famine was absolutely appalling. That’s another story)

    For a century we have seen our best people leaving. This has speeded up over the past fifty years as more and more decision making has left Scotland.

    I don’t think we have much time left to rescue Scotland.

  135. John Young says:

    Richard Arkless our local SNP MP asks “After 9 months of trying, I have been selected by ballot to ask a question during Prime Ministers Questions on the 24th February.
    As I represent all of you, I would like to know what question you think I should ask David Cameron next week.”

    What question should Richard ask?

  136. Peter Barton says:

    Yea – What’s Babe’s real name?

  137. Breeks says:

    @JC
    I’m not an SNP acolyte; I have no party. I have first hand experience of SNP Ministers whom I consider utterly feckless and well deserving of my contempt. However I am passionate in my belief that Scotland requires to be an independent sovereign country before there is any chance for Scotland’s people to deconstruct all that is rotten and dysfunctional in our country, and see it replaced with something better. It wouldn’t need to be any Utopia too be infinitely better that what passes for sovereign government right now; such is the room for improvement.
    It’s a matter of management. Oil is just one facet of a multi-facetted grievance, but documents like the McCrone Report prove that Westminster’s attitude towards Scotland is very real in every sense and runs deliberately and willfully contrary to Scotland’s best interests, and Westminster as a whole is a thoroughly unhelpful layer of manipulation imposed on Scotland’s capacity to manage its own affairs. It is this UK mechanism which enables Scotland’s best interests to be so cynically subverted, and deliver nothing of any worth in return, which needs to be dismantled. Because it is wilfull, because it is duplicitous, it should never be forgiven or excused. Just look at what is meant to pass for Scotland’s news media; a shabby contrivance which could not exist without “foreign” masters putting their interests above Scotlands.
    Nepotism and corruption is indeed rife in Scotland, but while it near chokes me to say so, my faith in a free and independent Scotland goes part and parcel with a powerful SNP majority. I believe I could perhaps cost more than one SNP Minister his job, but while the SNP juggernaut has at least one dangerous flat tyre, it remains the only bus which might get me to my destination of choice.

    Let me just stress for clarity, I do not consider these SNP Ministers of my less fortunate aquaintance to be corrupt themselves, but as the expression goes; all that is required for evil to thrive is that good men do nothing.

    Progress towards a free country has been, and will be, a long time coming. It will likely arrive too late to enrich my life and general prosperity, but if I let myself be another good man who does nothing, then the evil greedy duplicitous bastards in Westminster will thrive to blight the lives of Scotland’s people for yet another generation. So yes, there are parts of the SNP machinery which are a bitter pill to swallow for me personally, but there is bigger picture to keep in mind which is more important than any one of us.

  138. Robert Peffers says:

    @Craig Banks says: 14 February, 2016 at 4:31 pm:

    “The Yoons pretend that there are no positive effects from a low oil price. They should be challenged on that every time.”

    Thing is, Craig, there really are no positives for the UK Government. They got every last penny of the oil & gas Revenues. Both directly and indirectly.

    They sold licences to prospect for oil to the companies; they sold licences to them to extract any oil & gas found. Then they levy a tax on every barrel at the wellhead and again on every litre of refined fuel at the refinery gate. They then not only charge the road user Road Fuel Duty at the pump but slap VAY on it too and finally the tax the shareholders profits and the levy companies tax on the companies.

    Scotland gets not a single penny of those taxes as the entire Scottish Block Grant is decided by Westminster on a per capota basis and is worked out according to Barnett’s Formula and it doesn’t have anything to do with oil prices.

    Some people imagine that Scotland gets an 8.4% share of the revenue but it is a sheeer myth. The UK Government only uses that 8.4% figure to generate statistics for other purposes. We actually get none of it.

  139. galamcennalath says:

    I had to draw attention to the latest from WGD. Hits target perfectly.

    https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/labour-poses-as-red-tory-vileness-is-blue-a-valentines-poem-for-the-scotland-bill/

    “Respect the referendum cry Westminster’s proteges, but respecting the referendum cuts both ways. It doesn’t mean that Yes voters must forever haud their wheesht. It doesn’t mean that the Unionists have suddenly been released from the promises they made in that final frantic week when they tried to stave off indy with lies and doublespeak. There was a no vote because commitments had been made, and it’s time that the Unionists fulfilled the debts they’ve left unpaid.”

    I am so glad that there appears to be concensus developing. No delivery of promises, the result becomes null and void.

  140. yesindyref2 says:

    @John Young
    “Does MR Cameron believe that England should have its own legally devolved Parliament and Government?”

  141. Graeme McCormick says:

    It’s about time that the SNP government and wider Independence movement nailed the finance of an independent or indeed devolved Scotland for once and for all.

    An annual ground rent on the land only area of Scotland dividing Scotland into urban, marginal, arable and woodland land types would produce an increase on total public sector budget of 18% at a average rate of 83pence per square metre. Levy that and you can abolish ALL other taxes.

    As the productive economic yield on marginal land is generally much lower than urban land the AGR rate would be much higher in urban Scotland but take a rate of £3.93 per square metre on a households urban property and see what your households total contribution to Scotland’s toral public public purse would be in a year.

    Because urban Scotland most comprises property over one storey it has been assumed that urban Scotland’s actual area is multiplied by 3 for this exercise.

  142. Kirsty says:

    Wow, thanks Robert.

    I think I slobbered on so much that everyone missed my next point (the real point I was trying to make) which was that the unionists have made a trap for themselves out of using the Scottish independence is all about racism card, when it’s obviously not. Anyone who does the least bit of research will see that we’re all about democracy not hatred. That leaves the unionists in a bad position because once people see and understand that democracy’s what we’re striving for it makes the unionist rhetoric seem ridiculous and mendacious – it’s hard to come back from that, once you’ve hitched your wagon to it. Hence, why they’re so mad!

  143. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @John Young –

    ‘What question should Richard ask?’

    He could point out how long he’s been waiting, and ask the Pig-Annoyer General for his educated guess on how long it’s likely to be before he gets a chance to ask another.

  144. Chic McGregor says:

    @Petra

    Good list, although I would dispute some of the figures both positively and negatively from a Scottish perspective (mostly positive).

    I think the key thing is to get this over in terms which the average voter can understand

    i.e. in units they are familiar with on a per head per day basis.

    e.g.s:
    Scotland generates approx 26 units of electricity per person per day whereas England generates only 13 units per person per day.

    Scotland produces enough beef so that every man, woman and child could have a 1/4 pounder burger every day whereas England only produces enough for a quarter of said burger per person per day.

    Scotland produces enough salmon for a helping of salmon per person every day whereas England produces virtually nothing.

    Scotland produces about 2/3 of a bottle of whisky for every man, woman and child per day England nada.

    Scotland now even produces 70%+ of that quintessentially English tipple, Gin in the UK.

    In the past, I have suggested, that it would be great pro-indy PR if for instance at some high profile even like the Royal Highland Games if two tables were set up, one for Scotland and one for rUK and on which was the daily produce per person which people could eat and drink.

    I think that would bring home the huge grocery bill deficit that the rUK has and which we have to pool and share even though we are, for most things, massively in surplus.

    Ditto at other events for energy, software sales, manufacturing etc.

    In other words demonstrate that Scotland is a genuine wealth creation economy more than a precarious financial services spivvery/arms sale economy.

  145. Petra says:

    @ Dave McEwan Hill at 9:59pm ……. Population figures.

    Spot on Dave. Scots have been fleeing / leaving Scotland for centuries now. Leaving because like us they were sickened by the repression, lack of decent jobs and so on.

    Thousands of Scots (around 60,000 .. mostly young and well-educated ….. education which we pay for) leave every year, emigrate, to be replaced by relocators from England and abroad many of whom are elderly ….. don’t contribute a great deal economically and put a strain on … drain our resources / services … free prescriptions, home care and so on.

    This situation will exacerbate of course as Scotland is seen to be the country of milk and honey compared to England especially if you are elderly, ill or disabled. No doubt will also include the young English homeless, those with large families and on benefits in the near future as Westminster hammers more and more vulnerable groups …. whilst Scotland struggles to protect them. No doubt part of Westminster’s plan.

    I agree with you when you say that ”we don’t have much time left to rescue Scotland.” IMO if for no other reason / s than outlined above we have to get out of this Union ASAP.

  146. James Barr Gardner says:

    ave McEwan Hill says:
    14 February, 2016 at 9:59 pm
    The population figures are a damning indictment of the union.
    As has been pointed out England’s population has doubled in the last century while Scotland’s has flat-lined.
    In 1770 one person in four in UK was Scottish. It is now one person in twelve
    If Scotland had developed like Denmark over the past century for instance our population would be over 10 million. If we had developed like Norway our population would be 12 million. If we had developed like New Zealand our population would be 15 million. Were it not for immigration (of which immigration of non economically active English people at around 480,000 is by far the largest)our population would be dropping.

    I suspect the population of the island of Ireland is now again passing Scotland’s. (It was actually double Scotland’s before the Irish famine. The behaviour of London during this famine was absolutely appalling. That’s another story)

    For a century we have seen our best people leaving. This has speeded up over the past fifty years as more and more decision making has left Scotland.

    I don’t think we have much time left to rescue Scotland.

    Your are spot on, these figures can be checked on Google so easily, the indisputable facts are there look them up for yourself.

    So not just oil, industry, money but also our prized young folk are being bleed from Scotland, what’s worse the Westminster elite have been doing this for hundreds of years.

    Note! These highly prized young are our children and grandchildren, so vote is dearly needed to stop this ongoing thieving from our dear Scotland.

    Vote SNP, SNP, SNP, SNP, SNP…………………

    In this so called democracy, remember this, every step of the way to get the vote for every man and woman in this democratic country was hard fought and won, it was not freely given. The elite/aristo class genuinely believe that you and I are here for the sole purpose of slaving for them and their unquenchable greed for power, land and wealth.

    I think there is a better way, a fairer way, an honest way!

    Vote SNP, SNP, SNP, SNP, SNP…………………

  147. heedtracker says:

    What question should Richard ask?

    Foodbanks are now a fact of UKOK life Prime Minister and now we have clothesbanks. Its just twa factors in the hell that is the red tory Bomber Bliar/Crash Gordon legacy but, IS red and blue toryboy austerity for the poor, socialism for the banksters working?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/11/britain-clothes-banks-poverty-sharewear

  148. Petra says:

    @ Chic at 10:39pm ….

    Chic what do you make of the Isle of Man being the 5th wealthiest (by GDP) country in the World?

    I posted that list to make comparison with them. Surely Scotland is / could be richer than the Isle of Man if we could unshackle ourselves from Westminster as they have done.

  149. Kirsty says:

    Graeme McCormick,

    Someone else will be smarter about this than me but I think the problem with ‘nailing’ things now is that they can’t. That’s because we’d have to have an election after a Yes vote. So all a party can do now is say this is what we’d do if we were elected after a yes vote and then we’d have to vote for them or not. I agree with you that land reform and taxation’s a big thing, and I suspect land reform will be a huge election issue in Scotland once we get independence, but it’s something that would have to wait for a Yes vote and then a further election.

    Like I say, someone will be smarter about this than me but I think that’s the position. I think it’s our weak point because we can’t give people cast iron guarantees about every single thing that will happen after independence because they’d have to vote for what they want. But it’s also our strong point, because choice is what democracy is all about so we’d be the ones to decide.

  150. ArtyHetty says:

    Re; J.B.Head

    Well said James, and many great comments here today as usual.

    Kirsty, yes, Scotgov have to steer steadily, against unionist waves, ie lies and bullying.
    Who knows what the unionists have up their dirty sleazy sleeves, so a few steps ahead at all times.

    Keep warm all, our flat was down at 55F this morn, a tad chilly,

  151. Ian Brotherhood says:

    What a great thread this has turned out to be.

    Yeah, okay, a lot of the stats and forecasts/fears are a bit depressing, but no-one should view this period of ‘calm before the storm’ as anything but a time when serious reflection is required.

    No hysteria, no fist-pumping over SLab’s travails (they’re no longer worthy of attention as a serious foe) and no illusions about the nature of the vicious forces we’re up against.

    Please have a quick swatch at this – Derren Brown (the ‘magician’ dude) playing chess against a selection of Grandmasters. Even if you’re not into chess at all, it contains a priceless message.

    Keep calm, stay smart, and let the BTUKOKers do the whole dope-a-rope scenario – we’re very nearly there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIAXIubSTkc

  152. mr thms says:

    # Petra @ 5:21pm

    Another one for your list..

    http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/gin-tours-tastings/

    “Did you know that 70 percent of gin produced in the UK is actually made north of the border?”

  153. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Graeme McCormick, I think your calculation is a bit off. My woodland croft would have an annual charge of £220K. I think I’ll have to see if i can find any oil…

  154. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    O/T…

    Hi Scottish EAU.

    If you’re still reading, see the post here:-

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-bold-interpretation/comment-page-1/#comment-2112882

  155. David Mills says:

    We have to bow to Georges greater experience in matters of fooling the people.
    Representing the Labour party,as he does, who suppressed the McCrone report for over 30 year he clearly will be expert in fooling the people.
    Now George please follow you colleges example it nap time, the House of Lords: world’s most expensive day care centre for the politically burnt-out and/or confused.

  156. Thepnr says:

    It would appear if if the entire Western world is becoming less democratic. Not just the UK but all of Europe along with the US.

    These are the drivers behind the “austerity agenda” an austerity agenda that is totally failing, despite almost 6 years of it the debt is still rising. Osboure hasn’t a hope in hell of reducing the UKs debt despite slashing £12 Billion from welfare. He has only one goal and it is to further his and his link minded scumbugs idealism.

    Globalisation! Liberalism! Privatisation!

    That is what they are all about. These are the main goals of those that want to reduce wages, cut welfare and basically screw the rest of their own countrymen and women into the ground in order to increase their own wealth.

    In the UK you already saw in the run up to the election in 2015 that the Labour party fully supported these arguments and stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in putting them across to the electorate.

    This hasn’t happened by accident of course, it has taken decades as it needed to do without having uprisings among the populous.

    We are here now and it is obvious to most, that the elected Western governments mainly exist for the benefit of the few, the elite, aka the establishment. No matter whether Labour or Tory, Democrat or Republican. They are now two sides of the same coin.

    Unlike what some fellow by the name of JC tried to insinuate in earlier posts “that they are all the same” this is clearly not the case for those parties in Scotland that supported Independence. No those parties are very different from todays establishment parties and it shows.

    That is why almost 45% of the population in Scotland voted for change, we believed their was a better way in a small country that had the power to elect those of their choosing to represent them.

    It wasn’t really about change but a return to a “more normal” way of governance that existed before the likes of Thatcher came on the scene. We failed once but will not give up the fight.

    One thing we Scots have in abundance is tenacity, no matter any election or referendum result those that have made their mind up will plow on. One thing is certain, the majority here, are here until we win.

  157. Robert Peffers says:

    @JC says: 14 February, 2016 at 7:35 pm:

    “Its pretty pathetic that none of you are capable of intelligent debate.”

    Perhaps, JC, that may be because you seem not to know what intelligent debate consists of.

    “Continue to promote your Nationalistic agenda at any costs!”

    Which, of course, JC, depends entirely upon what you construe as , “Our Nationalist Agenda”. From your comments on this blog it is very clear you have no idea of what our Nationalist Agenda actually is.

    “You really should get off of here and pick up a history book and learn what blind nationalism leads to.”

    Ah! Now, JC, you are talking my particular language.

    Let us consider a little history. First, though, we must consider a little basic English language to clarify precisely what we define as, “Nationalism”.

    From the COD:
    Nationalism:- n. patriotic sentiment, principles, etc.; a policy of national independence or self-government; fanatical patriotism; chauvinism.

    So we have here four definitions of, “Nationalism”.

    The first – “patriotic sentiment”. I suggest is something of great value. Unionists share that trait in abundance. However, they wrongly believe their nation is, if we are to believe the Prime Minister, is Britain. Heaven alone knows why, for he is not the Prime Minister of Britain but only of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland parts of Britain.

    The next – “a policy of national independence or self-government”, is also shared by the Unionists – are they not now in the process of asserting their independence and self-government from the EU?

    Then we have two rather nasty traits:- “fanatical patriotism; chauvinism.”

    Much as I’d like to I cannot discount these two nasty traits as they are central to the matter in hand – that matter being your own rather nasty, “fanatical patriotism and chauvinism.”. (BTW: Chauvinism is not just a male against female trait – go look it up).

    Now here’s the facts – dispute them if you dare:

    Scottish Nationalism is the first two, and the only two, definitions that apply to this debate. Scottish Nationalists wish only that their nation, Scotland, should govern herself. We have no wish to govern anyone else.

    Now let us consider the United Kingdom that is a mainly English biased government, (533 MPs, plus 40 Welsh and 18 N. Irish as against 69 Scottish members).

    Now what of the History? That United Kingdom is the remnants of the British Empire that painted the globe pink and subjugated most of the World. It now clings to Scotland as it’s last remaining colony.

    The nasty face of Nationalism that is shared by the NAZI Third Reich and the former USSR. This, though, is not, and never has been,. “Nationalism”, it is internationalism – the ruling of other nations. They just called it Nationalism to carry their populations along with their evil ways.

    Now the history: In 1284 the English Kingdom took Wales by force of arms, forced the Statute of Rhuddlan upon them and annexed them as part of the Kingdom of England.

    In 1542 the Kingdom of England, that had already taken Ireland by force of arms enacted, “The Crown of Ireland Act”, and thus annexed Ireland as part of the Kingdom of England.

    They never quite managed to annex Scotland although they have claimed, since 1603, there was a union of the crowns. Yet Scotland remained an independent Kingdom for a further 104 years.

    Then in 1706/7, the only still two extant, British Kingdoms signed a bipartite Treaty of Union as two equally sovereign independent kingdoms.

    Now Westminster has broken up the bipartite United Kingdom along the lines of countries instead of Kingdoms and introduce devolved administrations and EVEL.

    And you have the brass neck to accuse the Scots of evil nationalism?

    Your kind are as close to Nazi-ism as makes no difference – and don’t come the old soldier that you weren’t killing Scots. The English were fighting the Jacobites and still, today, claim it was a revolution. You cannot, though, revolt against a monarchy not your own. Butcher Cumberland was still murdering innocent women and children in the aftermath of Culloden nearly 40 years after the signing of the Treaty of Union.

    Now mark these words well, JC, they are those of the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, “The Treaty of Union extinguished the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as The United Kingdom”.

    Lies and utter make believe and quoted from a Westminster commissioned paper.

    I cannot express the utter contempt I hold for such as you and your kind. You are the evil face and cruel voice of the worst, definition of Nationalism. You want to rule over my country but I do not wish to rule over yours.

    As we Scots are prone to say to such as you, “Awa an bile yer heid ya numptie”.

    And you attempt to tell me to get out the history books? Sheesh! Take your own advice – see though and read the truth and not the Establishment’s lies.

    Go on now – deny the history I quoted above – but do so with proper documentation. Documentation that I can reference for you.
    You do know that Daniel Defoe was in Edinburgh before the Treaty was signed as an English undercover agent and his letters of his underhanded work are on record- don’t you?

  158. Robert Peffers says:

    @Kirsty says: 14 February, 2016 at 11:10 pm:

    “Someone else will be smarter about this than me but I think the problem with ‘nailing’ things now is that they can’t.”

    Nah! Don’t let anyone tell you they are smarter than you, Kirsty.

    You have made some refreshing and insightful comments. Your views are the views of someone who has thought things through before commenting. More power to your keyboard.

  159. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Thepnr (12.00) –

    Hear hear.

    Have lost count of how many times I’ve posted this link, but there’s always the chance that some reader will see it for the first time.

    I still remember the first time I saw it, maybe four, five years ago, and even remembering myself remembering it makes the hairs go on-end.

    George Carlin, ‘The American Dream’ –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

  160. Robert Peffers says:

    @mr thms says: 14 February, 2016 at 11:52 pm:

    “Another one for your list..

    http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/gin-tours-tastings/

    “Did you know that 70 percent of gin produced in the UK is actually made north of the border?”

    Matter of fact I did know about the Gin production. BTW: There is a current news item of Rum being made in Scotland and it is good enough to have earned a Supermarket supply contract.

    However, here’s the part I don’t know.

    Our Whisky is mainly exported from non-Scottish ports & airports. These exports are not classed by Westminster as Scottish Exports but as being exposrts from the country, (mainly England), that they leave from.

    The question is – is the Scottish produced Gin also classed as English exports?

    This is just one more Westminster cash rip-off from Scotland and it mucks up the statistics too.

  161. mr thms says:

    #Robert Peffers @ 12:21 am

    Thank you for replying to my post.

    I think the SNP government deserve a lot of credit for setting up ‘Scotland: Food and Drink’ in 2007, with the aim of growing the industry. It has been a spectacular success.

    I saw Scottish Rum item on television the other day. It really does look like it will be a great success.

    Scotland is not short of enthusiastic and knowledgeable entrepreneurs.

    You are right to raise the issue of ‘port of exit’. The Scottish Government should certainly be raising it.

    You may have already read the following article by Hazel Lewry. If not, I hope you will find it very interesting. It is very well researched, but since it is from 2013 some things may have changed.

    http://weegiewarbler.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/pulling-wool-no-credit-for-tweed.html

    “Pulling The Wool – No Credit For Tweed.”

  162. HAJ says:

    O/T
    I was talking to my son about the UK Government and how I think that they are useless and he was telling me that the only one that spoke any sense was KEZIA DUGDALE I was ranting and raving at him saying how useless she is, but he was sticking to his point of view, anyway after much heated debate it was MHAIRI BLACK he was talking about. I laughed so much I nearly wet myself. His age

  163. Chic McGregor says:

    @Petra
    I do not think it is terribly useful to compare Scotland’s potential to a tiny population base like the Isle of Man, even if that island was previously Scottish and indeed liberated from the English at one stage by non other than Robert the Bruce.

    I mean where next? Luxembourg? Cayman Islands? Channel Islands?

    The point is that Scotland is, as a mid-table country in World terms, whether judged by population or by area and one which furthermore is by nature, and to a large extent in reality, a country which wants to and does to exist a net genuine wealth producer.

  164. Petra says:

    @ mr tms at 11:52 ….. ”Did you know that 70% of gin produced in the UK is made north of the border?”

    Yeah I’m aware of that mr tms even although the SCUM don’t point it out too often at all … nor that many Scottish gins win awards. One of the latest brands to be made here is Daffy’s (mentioned in The National recently). Launched in Dec 2014 and has already won the prestigious ‘London Dry Gin of the Year’ award at the wine and spirit competition in London. Selling in Harrods etc.

    Thanks for the reminder mr tms. I’ll have to update ‘revamp’ that list to include gin and Scottish salmon (medical research / innovation and so on). Salmon at the top of the UK food export list (after Irish chocolate?).

    One actually wonders what England is doing in the ‘export’ scheme of things ……… oh I forgot the Arms Trade. Selling Arms to all the wrong people. Being used to bomb innocents in Syria, Yemen etc. What a way to boost your economy! Proud to be part of the Union right enough.

  165. Thepnr says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    I watched that video first time you posted it, exactly how I feel and everyone in Scotland should watch this.

    He speaks the truth, too few are listening. don’t be one of the few.

    Your post was the best post on this thread tonight and fits perfectly with the Revs article.

    Hoots!

  166. Petra says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood at 11:50pm ….. Great video …. The American Dream sums it up. A must watch for everyone. ”It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.” The big club that doesn’t like critical thinkers.

    @ mr thms at 12:48am …. two brilliant links there … Pulling the wool and hidden wealth. Scotland too wee, poor and stupid right enough.

    @Chic at 22:54am ….. thanks for replying Chic. I’d hoped that mentioning the fact (to others) that the Isle of Man (close to home) is the 5th wealthiest (by GDP) country in the World and comparing their exports, industries etc with Scotlands would have / could have helped our cause. Seems not. Too bad.

  167. mr thms says:

    #Petra @ 12:56 am

    Thank you for your reply.

    I was catching up with the thread and it was only after I posted that someone else had pointed it out. Sorry about that..

    I came across an article in the Scotsman from almost two years ago that generated zero comments!

    It’s about the creation of Scottish innovation centres.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/innovation-centres-to-bolster-scotland-1-3379040

    I wonder how well they are doing today?

  168. Al Dossary says:

    The good old Isle of Man. 70,000 alcoholics clinging to a rick in the middle of the Irish Sea.

    I spent some time working there around 2009. They had just posted their lowest ever unemployment figures. 198 people on the island were out of work, representing 0.5% of the working population – Many of whom were actually only out of work between jobs due to choice.

    Oh and not to forget that even back then the Manx were topping up the UK pension that their citizens received by £25 a week.

    Amazing what a small crown dependant can do given the right levers financially.

  169. Bill Steele says:

    We may say of independent Scotland, what is attributed to Gandhi about India, to its British rulers. “Like other countries, ours will have its problems, but they will be our problems not yours”. Independent Scotland’s problems will be the problems of the Scots, not Westminsters.”

  170. MJT says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    When I watch George Carlin these days, I find I’m not watching it for the comedy, I’m watching it to feel less alone.

    There’s so much information out there that vast swathes of the population know nothing or next to nothing about. I like game theory.

    Game thoery is the branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory is used in Politics. Politics is a cempetitive situation.

    There’s games of complete information like chess, and games of incomplete information like Poker.

    We must find more ways of getting the information out there. The more information you have, the less exploitable you are. I was canvassing the other day and spoke to several people who were intending to vote Labour this election. I would say all these folk I talked to lacked information. It’s easy to turn our backs on such folk, but I am sure we need to try and educate and inform.

    We can and we will win this thing, and we’ll get there quicker if we; that’s all of us on the side of independence, work together, work smarter and more efficiently. In Game Theory there are cooperational and non cooperational strategies. The MSM working alongide the Unionist Political Parties is an example, as is the lobbyists and multinational corporations working with the Tory Government.

    Going back to the Carlin video; this is the Big Club he’s talking about. And we are the enemy. We, the ‘little people’ who are excluded from the ‘Big Club’ have to work together to the best of our abilities. I’m not sure we are doing that at this point in time.

  171. GusI says:

    Exports
    The port of departure is not used to in the calculation of UK Regional/Country exports. What is used is the postcode of the Branch doing the export or if the branch postcode is not there then the postcode of the VAT registration number. There are issues with this that are known and included in the methodology.
    The methodology can be found in the metadata here:
    https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/RTS/Pages/RTSPressRelease.aspx

  172. Bob Mack says:

    @MJT,

    “NOTHING CAN STOP AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME”.

    The little people have shown in the past that the great and even the mighty and powerful cannot stand in the pressure wave from ordinary folk for too long.

    Russian revolution.French revolution.Chinese revolution,all being examples.

    The UK has lost most of her colonial status through the same mechanism.
    We will prevail ,preferably sooner,but definitely later. There are too many now persuaded to alter course,and inevitably it will all play itself out.

    With little encouragement or oxygen of media publicity,we have come this far.Press on and believe. If independence does not come in my lifetime,I would be disappointed,but happy to know I helped set down some foundation stones to make it possible in the future.

    My course is set for life.I will never again deviate.

  173. Capella says:

    @ gusl
    Thanks for interesting link. Naturally one goes straight to the “unusual trade” section of the methodology pdf.
    https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/OverseasTradeStatistics/AboutOverseastradeStatistics/User%20support/RTS_Methodology_Revision_2015.pdf

    “4.5 Natural gas and electricity
    Trade data relating to Natural gas and electricity is obtained directly from pipeline
    and grid operators. As this data contains no trader reference number, it cannot be
    assigned to any one region and is therefore categorised under ‘Unknown region’.

    4.6 Oil dispatch trade
    Where oil is processed on rigs in the North Sea and dispatched directly to other
    countries, the oil does not enter the UK and therefore does not obtain any regional
    coding. Naturally this category is significant in terms of value of trade. This category
    applies only to the movements of oils to other EU countries, and does not apply to
    imports of oil to the UK or exports of oils to non-EU countries. The RTS system
    categorises this oil trade as ‘Unknown region’ in the absence of a strong supporting
    case to allocate it to any one region.”

    Greetings from the Unknown Region!

  174. Almannysbunnet says:

    Sir Nick MacPherson, saboteur of democracy and the unelected lord protecter of the realm. About to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labour. A must read from the National.

    https://archive.is/fWLHq

  175. Legerwood says:

    Petra @ 12.56 am

    Scotland has quite a few good chocolate makers. Some on Skye, in Dumfries, the Highland Choclatier in Grandtully, and chocolate makers in Tillicoultry to name but a few.

    Bob Mack @ 8.39

    The impetus for the revolutions you mentioned may have come from the ‘little people’ but the aftermath had very little place for them. One set of elites replaced by another set.

  176. woosie says:

    @Petra;

    The main reason that the Isle of Man is so wealthy, of course, is that they don’t have the back-breaking burden of an oil industry.

    it’s now well documented that oil and gas in your waters causes a phenomenon known as a “black hole”, which will lead to bankruptcy for all.

    Luckily, when it was found in Scottish waters, we had the broad shoulders of England to take it to a safe place and dispose of it.

  177. Robert Peffers @ 12.01 am.

    As someone who is just a foot soldier for our cause, can I thank you for the breadth of knowledge you impart to us, as it’s invaluable when knocking on doors, to know that if we are asked any questions about the history of our country, then we have the relevant information to hand.
    And it’s not just history. The many other matters you comment on are again a great help in combating the unionist propaganda, so keep up the good work, and maybe even in our lifetimes, we will become an independent nation.

  178. scotspine says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Fantastic video of George Carlin.

    His comment of the “red white and blue dick being rammed up your ass all day” applies roundly over here with the Union Flag.

    Except here, its rammed in every orifice.

    See the BBC / msm for every version of Great-British this or that on TV, Union Flags everywhere. Flags in the background, in pictures on walls behind presenters on food programmes, on tracksuits of sports personalites…..etc, etc….

  179. Capella says:

    @ Almannysbunnet – good article by George Kerevan. The references to sabotage and Establishment coups in the comments above are very apt.
    Democracy is clearly a very dangerous political ideal.

  180. Robert Peffers says:

    @mr thms says: 15 February, 2016 at 12:48 am:

    ” … You may have already read the following article by Hazel Lewry.”

    http://weegiewarbler.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/pulling-wool-no-credit-for-tweed.html

    “Pulling The Wool – No Credit For Tweed.”

    Yes, mr thms, I’m a fan of Hazel Lewry, (The Weegie Warbler), and have been for some years.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8KAUijtdHw

  181. Meindevon says:

    @john young 10.01pm

    Perhaps Richard should ask ‘Does the House know that Scottish whisky exports exported from England are counted as English exports and that goes for all other very many Scottish products exported from England?’ I bet not many in the house do know this.

    How many in Scotland know this? One of the many things that would open a few eyes if seen on a billboard maybe.

  182. Robert Peffers says:

    @Chic McGregor says: 15 February, 2016 at 12:54 am:

    “I do not think it is terribly useful to compare Scotland’s potential to a tiny population base like the Isle of Man … “

    I’m with you there Chic. We certainly do not want Scotland too become just an off-shore Tax Haven for the very, very rich. Mind you the Yoons seem hell bent on taking the UK into that very catagory in a hurry.

    All financial service sector and no manufacturing is not the way for Scotland to go.

  183. Robert Peffers says:

    @Petra says: 15 February, 2016 at 12:56 am:

    ” … One actually wonders what England is doing in the ‘export’ scheme of things ……… oh I forgot the Arms Trade. Selling Arms to all the wrong people. Being used to bomb innocents in Syria, Yemen etc. What a way to boost your economy!”

    Did you forget the motor car industry, Petra?

    England hosts lots of foreign owned vehicle manufacturers. Some of them were once UK owned but failed under UK management. Were taken over by foreign companies and are now a success.

  184. Robert Peffers says:

    @scotspine says: 15 February, 2016 at 9:19 am:

    ” See the BBC / msm for every version of Great-British this or that on TV … “

    Thing is, scotspine, even that is an establishment propaganda set of lies.

    They are at it all the time. They make out that the term, “Great Britain”, indicates that the UK is somehow, “Great”, as in somehow, “wonderful”. In fact the term, “Great Britain”, is a geographic term that means the largest island in the British Isles. It therefore doesn’t include the politically partitioned country of Ireland or the northern part of that country that is part of, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. Nor does it include the three non-UK Crown dependencies.

    Great Britain is geographically only Scotland, Wales and England. This is sheer propaganda as is their abuse of the terms. “Britain” & “British”, when use to mean the only the UK but actually means the entire British archipelago. The propaganda is to use all these specific terms interchangeablly as if they were all one and the same thing. Then, of course they slip in the term England as if this were also one and the same thing.

    For example, “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think old England’s done”, in the title song of the TV and film comedy, “Dad’s Army”.

    Thing is they have been doing this misuse of the English language for hundreds of years. The phrase, “England stood alone”, in reference to WWII is utter bunk. Not only were Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies standing along with England but so was the entire Commonwealth, the Free French, Free Poles, Free Scandanavia and much of those from the rest of Europe and most of all Russia or USSR.

    Listen to a David Cameron speech and he confuses these terms all the time. He claims he is the Britsh Prime minister but does not represent all Britain. He sends in the, “British”, military that is factually the only troops of the UK. It is all pure propaganda.

  185. Fred says:

    Carolyn Leckie is excellent on the US election in todays National, it’s a great pity that talent like herself, Andy Wightman & Kat Boyd is wasted in Mickey Mouse parties when they should be in the SNP challenging & changing policies they disagree with. That’s an achievable target unlike their present chosen path where we all, & Scotland, lose.

  186. To read and hear some of the tripe unionists spout, anyone would think that SNP support for Scotland to be an independent nation, was new policy.

    I also find the argument unionists now use is to claim that its not for them to make the case for the union, but for those of us who support independence to make the case for Scotland to be an independent Country.

    They also claim that if Scotland were independent it would be bankrupt and John Swinney would have to make even deeper cuts than he having to do now under the union.

    It seems they don’t appear to understand the logic of their own argument, if Scotland is such an economic basket case as they claim then that must mean that being part of the union has impoverished our country and its people!

  187. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Fred at 10.43

    Exactly

  188. X_Sticks says:

    @Nana

    Great link to James Kelly there – let’s get that one out there as much as possible to debunk the lie that the second vote can be given to another indy-supporting party without any repercussions.

  189. mealer says:

    Peter McCulloch 10.48
    Prior to the ref it was,indeed,upto us to make the case for independence and the unionists could sit back and knock down our arguments.Its different now though.Since the referendum campaign began the majority of Scots have become open minded to the possibilities of independence.Around half now actually support independence.Sitting back and watching it come to pass,whilst carping from the sidelines,is all the unionists are able to do now because they can’t make a positive case for the union to win people back.And make no mistake,they will have to win people over if their union is to survive,because at the moment their support is concentrated amongst the older folks.It scares them.

  190. Bob Mack says:

    @Robert Peffers,

    Further to your last admonishment of me for using the term Britain to describe the whole UK, I did some research. It looks very much as if Britain first came into use around the fourth century BC, and was mentioned by the Greeks. The Romans also used the term Brittanicus to denote the territory prior to, and following, invasion. They believed that “Britain ” was one country,without any consideration of how the population thought of themselves. They named by land mass and not people.

    I guess the term has just stuck over the centuries,as much as Latin words used to describe various things,.especially in law.

    Amazing the things you take for granted every day.

  191. carjamtic says:

    MJT @ 04:29

    A Beautiful Mind

    When I read your post,I thought of the movie re: John Nash a sentimental movie slant,nonetheless,enlightening.

    Yessers tin hats at the ready.

    youtu.be/N5vJSNXPEwA

  192. call me dave says:

    @Nana and
    X_Sticks

    Yes Mr Kelly at ‘Scot goes Pop’ is now on his 3rd or 4th attempt at explaining how the list preferences work. 🙂

    SNP x 2

    Hark the Herald:
    ————————————————————-
    John Swinney poised to lead Scotland into debt for first time since 1707 Act of Union

    https://archive.is/2K9ou
    ————————————————————

    It must have been true all along then that Scotland had no debt as Salmon and Sturgeon and others said during the referendum.

    We all knew it here.
    UK debt about £1.7 trillion now. 🙁

  193. schrodingers cat says:

    What question should Richard ask?

    the latest re hashing of the new Scotland bill is nothing more than an attempt to turn a sows ear into a silk purse will he now admit the vow was a pig in a poke

  194. TD says:

    Robert Peffers at 10:32 am

    “It is all pure propaganda”

    I agree with almost everything you say Robert, except that last sentence. If it were propaganda, that would imply a degree of understanding of the true position, which you have outlined many times, together with a deliberate act of misrepresentation of that true position. I don’t think this is what is happening – I think that in most cases the Britnats are genuinely confused about the geographic and constitutional terms. So when Cameron refers to Britain when he really means the UK, he sees no real difference so it doesn’t matter. If the accurate position were to be pointed out to him, no doubt he would dismiss this as pedantry. There has, I think, been a gradual realisation that England is not the UK or Britain so we see fewer union flags being displayed when England play Scotland at Murrayfield, but the general confusion about the UK, British, Great Britain and England continues.

    Some would ask “What does it matter?” It matters of course because this confusion over nationhood, statehood and geography is reflected in our every day governance. The Britnats get away with it because no-one has ever been brave enough to try to create a written constitution. The unwritten (non-existent?) constitution perpetuates the confusion and allows the establishment to ride the ambiguities to their advantage. The most recent example of this is the introduction of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) by means of a change to standing orders in the Westminster parliament. If we had a written constitution backed up by a constitutional court, this would never have happened.

    The Britnats exploit the confusion to their advantage. As the junior partners in the abomination that is the UK, we will never change it. So we need to get out. But let’s be clear, the confusion over the constitution is not propaganda – it is a deliberate policy of obfuscation which allows the establishment to avoid being pinned down. It gives them wiggle room when the going gets tough so although they are confused, they quite like it that way.

  195. gus1940 says:

    Re the comments above on the historical comparison of populations between Scotland and England I have a photograph taken in 1959 of myself and 8 of my friends astride our motorbikes/scooters.

    Out of the 9 of us 3 are in Australia, 1 in Canada and another in France.

    Not in the photo are one In SA and another 2 in Canada.

    All of those who left have tertiary qualifications or are at least educated up to Higher level.

    The occupations of those above lost to Scotland are:-

    Electronics Engineer
    Quantity Surveyor
    Mechanical Engineer
    Science Teacher
    HR Director
    Telecommunications Engineer
    Chemical Engineer
    Senior IT Executive.

    What a reflection of the advantages to Scotland of living under the WM colonial jackboot.

    I have no doubt most of those who comment on Wings can produce similar lists of those they know who have been lost to Scotland.

    Just think what we could do if we could retain all our best people.

  196. K1 says:

    Just think how all our best people are still here fighting for our self determination.

  197. Jack Murphy says:

    In response to Nana at 9:34 am—thanks a lot for the links ,especially this one:-
    ‘Pushing the Scottish Labour agenda? Not me says a BBC Scotland reporter’.

    A short random quote:-“The Scottish Greens are the fly in the ointment for this Scottish Labour agenda. In order for the public to buy into Labour’s ‘Tartan Tory Tale’ the Scottish Greens have to be ‘disappeared’. BBC Scotland is doing all it can to ensure this narrative embeds.”

    YES,the facts speak for themselves—BBC Scotland has a mission,and it ain’t balanced reporting!!!
    Hide yer heads in shame at Plantation Quay. 🙁

    http://ponsonbypost.com/index.php/news/60-pushing-the-scottish-labour-agenda-not-me-says-a-bbc-scotland-reporter

  198. MJT says:

    @Bob Mack

    I agree with what you’re saying and I like the cut of your jib.

    But like all of us, I would love to see it happen sooner than later. And so, I feel, we must reflect upon and revise our strategy from time to time.

    @Gus1940

    So many folks i went to school with packed up and pissed off. A Neuro Scientist; Computer Scientist; Political Scientists, TV Production Manager and so on…so much talent.

    I lived in London for a few years myself, studied down there, worked down there, made good money for doing very little. But it never felt like home. But upon returning, jeezo, it can feel like it’s slim picking here with regards to the job market. We need to hang on to our talent.

  199. @mealer
    15 February, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Sorry, but I disagree, in my opinion the case for Scottish independence is unanswerable, given state the country of Scotland is in that I was born and brought up in, due to Westminster governments.

    The unionists had no positive case for the continuation of the union that’s why they had to resort to down right bare faced lies, threats and fear mongering during the indy ref.

    They didn’t appear to understand that their own arguments
    against independence, about Scotland being an economic basket case and would be bankrupt under independence actually undermined their own case for the union.

    Of course it would have been very difficult for us to make the case for independence if as part of the union, our country had a vibrant economy, thriving industries, a high standard of living, people working in well paid employment, high quality public services etc .

  200. Bob says:

    You people can’t run a Cup draw, so you’ve no chance runnning your own ‘country’.

  201. Petra says:

    @ Nana at 9:34am …. Ponsonby

    Great to see that there are so many people out there now, like Ponsonby, putting up such a fight against the SCUM.

    …………….

    @ Bill Steele says at 3:42 am …”We may say of independent Scotland, what is attributed to Gandhi about India, to its British rulers. “Like other countries, ours will have its problems, but they will be our problems not yours”. Independent Scotland’s problems will be the problems of the Scots, not Westminsters.”

    And that’s it in a nutshell Bill. We want to chose our own Government … one that is responsible to us, is serving us and not themselves, and when faced with challenges we’ll pull together and deal with it / them.

    ………….

    @ Almannysbunnet says at 9:01 am …. ”Sir Nick MacPherson, saboteur of democracy and the unelected lord protecter of the realm. About to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labour. A must read from the National.”

    https://archive.is/fWLHq

    Great piece from George Kerevan. Sir Nick due to retire but how many of his current lackies, members of the Unionist club, will behave exactly as he did in a future Referendum? Pleased to see that George has pointed out what an abysmal failure he was during his time in the Treasury. Ready however to join Brown and Darling, another couple of failures, in finding himself another lucrative job … or two.

    ……………………….

    @ Legerwood says at 9:03 am …. ”Petra Scotland has quite a few good chocolate makers. Some on Skye, in Dumfries, the Highland Choclatier in Grandtully, and chocolate makers in Tillicoultry to name but a few.”

    I came across a chart Legerwood when I was trying to establish if Scottish salmon was definitely top of the UK food export list. I noticed that N Irish chocolate seemed to be top of the list followed by S salmon. Hopefully one of the Scottish companies that you mention will be top the bill in the near future.

    ……………………….

    @ woosie says at 9:13 am … ”Petra the main reason that the Isle of Man is so wealthy, of course, is that they don’t have the back-breaking burden of an oil industry. It’s now well documented that oil and gas in your waters causes a phenomenon known as a “black hole”, which will lead to bankruptcy for all. Luckily, when it was found in Scottish waters, we had the broad shoulders of England to take it to a safe place and dispose of it.”

    Yeah the curse of oil right enough Woosie. When it’s doing well it’s the UKs and when not it’s Scotlands. More so the SNP’s and Alex Salmond’s oil …. their fault.

    ……………

    @ Robert Peffers says at 9:38 am … ”We certainly do not want Scotland too become just an off-shore Tax Haven for the very, very rich. Mind you the Yoons seem hell bent on taking the UK into that very catagory in a hurry. All financial service sector and no manufacturing is not the way for Scotland to go.”

    I wasn’t really thinking along the lines of Scotland being an ”all financial service sector and no manufacturing” country like the Isle of Man Robert. I reckoned that Scotland has a LOT more going for it than the self-governing Isle of Man such as having the many assets on the list that I posted previously … oil, gas, whisky, tourism to name but a few. Then if we were Independent we could have worked to re-establish some of our industries such as ship building (like Norway), promoted our exports to the hilt, gained contracts worldwide through having our own Embassies and made Scotland more attractive to investors ….. rather than being a tax haven being a low-taxed financial centre.

    It was just a thought. If the Isle of Man is considered to be the 5th richest country in the World I reckon that with Independence we would be / could be even wealthier.

  202. Bob says:

    Every time I read about the plummeting price of oil I hope someone will make the following observation, but, to my knowledge, no one ever does:
    Assuming that all oil revenue disappears into Whitehall’s coffers, and assuming Scotland is handed back a share based on the Barnett formula (let’s say 10% for argument’s sake) then any pain inflicted on Scotland by falling oil prices will be felt in rUK but multiplied by a factor of nine.

    So, are all those unionist idiots who rub their hands together and chortle when low oil prices are announced unaware of this? I think most of them probably are. They remind me of children laughing as someone else’s sand castle crumbles into the rising tide while, behind their backs, the same thing is happening to them.

    But why are we not reminding them?

  203. Chic McGregor says:

    @Petra
    With respect, I just think there are numerous examples of independent nations in our theater here in NW Europe which more closely match Scotland in size, if not in resources, which are also very successful. Norway, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium etc. The top 8 of the EU per capita GDP PPP membership table averages Scotland’s population size.

    An example with a tiny population base can always be criticised as a statistical anomaly.

  204. Petra says:

    @ Chic McGregor says at ”Petra … With respect, I just think there are numerous examples of independent nations in our theater here in NW Europe which more closely match Scotland in size, if not in resources, which are also very successful. Norway, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium etc. The top 8 of the EU per capita GDP PPP membership table averages Scotland’s population size. An example with a tiny population base can always be criticised as a statistical anomaly.”

    Yeah I totally agree with you Chic. I’m building up my own wee dossier of comparable countries to Scotland such as by population, economy and so on. However I’ve added Isle of Man to my list as it’s still of interest to me.

  205. Petra says:

    @ Tam Jardine says at 12:08 am … ”Quite an interesting wee exercise with even worse results than I had expected.

    Take 1985 for instance. 1985 was peak oil- the highest tax revenues flowing to the treasury for oil and gas. What was happening to our population? It was shrinking.

    In fact if we look at those same 230 countries/territories in the period between 1950 and 1985 the Scottish population growth level had fallen and was the 3rd worst performance in the entire world, only marginally less bad than St Kitts and Nevis and our old friend Montserrat.

    If we take as our measurement the period 1950-1980 the situation is even worse – Scotland is 229 out of 230 in the population increase table. Interestingly although Montserrat had yet to be flattened by Hurricane Hugo or the massive eruption in the mid 90s it was still propping up the table with a higher level of depopulation.

    As a country of 12K folk the Montserrat stats are pretty irrelevant to our discussion though. The substantive point is that for most of the last 65 years Scotland has had the worst population growth figures not just for any western country, or industrialised country but for any county at all excepting tiny islands and archipelagos in the middle of the ocean which are prone to natural disasters.

    I do note with interest that the population figures start to pick up in the mid 2000s and really kick on from about 2006, 2007 onwards. Funny that.”

    Tam another REALLY interesting post. ‘Clearances’ and ‘plantation’?

    One (another one) for The National … if you’ve got the time or maybe the Herald will pick up on this and run with it!



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