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The Captain’s Abyss

Posted on November 30, 2013 by

The realisation that the No camp’s reaction to the independence White Paper has been based on a massive, scarcely-believable misunderstanding/misrepresentation of reality has thrown a new light on all sorts of things from the past week.

bhole12

The most recent “BLACK HOLE!” story is a case in point.

We shouldn’t, obviously, be surprised that Torcuil Crichton was keen to take Alistair Darling’s words at face value for Thursday’s edition of the Daily Record. It’d be a bit of a stretch to expect the ultra-loyal Labour hack to apply any sort of journalistic scrutiny to the Labour ex-Chancellor’s wildly overblown claims, but all the same the piece is eye-catching in the light of the revelations.

“A £9 BILLION black hole at the heart of Alex Salmond’s ‘independence bible’ yesterday blew apart his economic case for a Yes vote.

Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling tore apart the sums underlying the 670-page document within 24 hours of it being published.

The leader of the Better Together campaign said: ‘I’m always careful about what language I use because I think it’s important we conduct this debate in a civilised manner.

“But I am very, very angry they’re using figures that don’t stand 10 minutes’ examination. I think the Scottish Government are misleading people.'”

Alert readers will have noticed the absence from the first paragraph of any qualifiers like “It was claimed that…” or similar. Crichton just states as a bald fact that the White Paper has been “blown apart” before handing the bullhorn to Darling.

It’s also hardly a shocker that Darling is “very, very angry”. He’s ALWAYS angry. But we suspect he’s going to be a lot angrier when he realises what he’s been saying.

“Darling’s analysis all adds up to a black hole of £9 billion in the first year of independence.

He blasted the SNP’s figures as ‘back of the envelope, kitchen table stuff’.

He added: ‘It doesn’t stand up to basic scrutiny. There is not enough detail for a manifesto that would last five years, never mind something that would shape the destiny of our country for 300 years.'”

Because the figures in the White Paper are relatively optimistic projections, for sure. But they’re an optimistic assessment of where Scotland will stand inside the UK by 2016/17. As we’ve noted in the previous articles, they forecast the situation Scotland will inherit from the UK on day one of independence, not where it’ll go afterwards with full control of its own revenues, taxation and spending choices.

The fact of the matter is that the figures in the White Paper play down the giant mess the UK has made of Scotland’s finances (when one might expect the SNP to do the opposite). Darling rages, eyes bulging, that the UK’s stewardship of the Scottish economy has in fact been much worse than that.

The black hole Alistair Darling so furiously foresaw on Thursday is the one we’ll face in 2016/17 if we vote No next year. He’s entitled to point it out, of course (and even to add an extra couple of billion plucked out of the air to account for things he says would happen under independence – although the reality of a No vote will probably still be worse, because we’ll lose the Barnett Formula).

What we don’t understand is why he thinks it’s an argument for staying in the UK.

Next time he might want to pay a little more attention before unleashing his temper.

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    1. 29 08 14 22:18

      48 Lies | A Wilderness of Peace

    189 to “The Captain’s Abyss”

    1. gordoz says:

      This from the clown (Chancellor / Captain of the Titanic), that never saw the great iceberg of the Banking Crisis !
      Wouldn’t trust anything from Darling’s direction.

      Suddenly see issue’s in SNP white paper ?

      Crichton ? Gaelic is wasted on him !

    2. Hazel Lewry says:

      This Brain-Sharing thing really isn’t working for the BT crowd. Cuz, that’s what they’re doing, right? From my view point, it doesn’t look like they’re utelising the brains they were born with, that’s for certain.

    3. a supporter says:

      We need the comments in the above article and the related blunder to be as widely circulated as possible. So get onto twitter and retweet Wings’ and others’ tweets on the matter. I’ve done it for every tweet on my timeline. Or post a tweet with a ref to Wings’ two articles about it.

    4. bannock hussler says:

      Abysmal, indeed. What a clown.

    5. Angry Weegie says:

      The item would have been written in advance of the launch, perhaps with a “fill in size of black hole here” note attached, or perhaps with the figure already there.

      But who, apart from sites like this is going to point out the gaff, the Record?, the Scotsman?, the BBC?

    6. a supporter says:

      I’m not a Facebook person but my comments vav tweets applies equally to Facebook users. Spread the word.

    7. weegie says:

      Tautology,
       
      “A line of reasoning should take and argument forward, tautological arguments on the other hand merely repeat the same points in different words without advancing the argument.” this is the BT oath I’m sure of it!

    8. creigs1707repeal says:

      Why on earth hasn’t the YES campaign or the Scottish Government realsied any of this and used it to nail Project Feart? I applaud your efforts Stu but I am a bit pissed that YES and SG haven’t realised this for themselves and gunning them with it.

    9. Craig M says:

      Darling is a Right Wing Tory. Do you trust other Tories? No, you don’t. So we shouldn’t be surprised that Darling will throw misinformation, lies and half truths about. We also shouldn’t be surprised that the Daily Record publishes absolute rubbish by Torcuil Crichton, after all Crichton is simply a Tory poodle, Tory Darling’s pet poodle.

    10. Reider O'Doom says:

      Unfortunately, The NO campaign knows exactly what it is doing – telling a whole series of lies that they know the MSM won’t pull them up on.

      If you only look at the headlines, or even the ‘story’ the way it is reported, then you will have no idea that it is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. This has been their strategy from the start: tell lies, get MSM to report them as facts, hope no-one notices. And even if someone does notice, assume that no-one will bring it to the attention of the wider public.

      At least we know what we’re up against. Thank god for Wings, Newsnet, etc. We’ve all got to keep sign-posting, forwarding and putting the real stories out there.

    11. mogabee says:

      I think we all have to thank the Ex-UK chancer for pointing out the “benefit” of the union.
       
      Oh dearie me!!

    12. Papadocx says:

      Alistair, “DARLING”  I doth think you complain to much! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE, ALISTAIR?  There’s a bad smell about all this, are there bodies to be found?

    13. Murray McCallum says:

      “It’s also hardly a shocker that Darling is “very, very angry””
       
      In the working environment I’ve experienced, the angry bosses are the ones that do not really know what they are doing. People who have been promoted beyond their ability.
       
      Has angry Darling got the common decency to apologise for his misleading statements?

    14. Les Wilson says:

      I know, where is Blair Jenkins? I know they all have lots to do but this is serious stuff with which to sock it to the BT team? However you want to describe them.
      ALL their lies and manipulation need exposed this should be spearheaded by the SG and the YES campaign, no if’s no but’s they need to publicly hammer BT for all this stuff which should be labelled ” The Deceit Files of Better Together “.
      Said at every opportunity in,  The Scottish Parliament including FMQ’s, on facebook and twitter, also something on youtube . All the media we CAN use, to get this stuff out there. This is not a game, this is serious stuff, we need to respond when they make mistakes like this, but include their verifiable lies.

    15. JLT says:

      Seriously …Darling warning anybody about finances and running an economy. This from the guy, who with his boss, both ran the country into the ground in the biggest financial crash since the one in 1929.
       
      I wouldn’t trust Darling to get the correct change from a fiver, if he was told to go and buy himself a pint.
       
      And the BT mob, along with the media, are wondering why people aren’t getting behind the Better Together campaign 100%. Seriously …it makes you wonder.
      They are treating us with complete contempt and somehow, believe that we will eventually come around from our stupidity, and accept that what they have been telling us, is true, thanks to their own vast and superior knowledge and experience.
       
      Well, they have obviously forgotten that it is their own people that they are dealing with. They have forgotten that the Scots don’t like liars, or being dictated too. The only thing that stops it from being much worse for them, is that they too, are Scottish.
      If this had been the media down south doing this to us, well, the Scottish people would have by now, erupted in complete fury. We could have had the referendum today, and it would have been won hands down. It is only because they are Scottish, that this is being barely tolerated.
       
      The way this is going, Darling, McDougall, or whoever within the Labour Party is going to get burnt big time when one of their lies unravels in front of a live audience. God help them when that happens. They should be learning the lesson after what happened to Alistair Carmichael in the live debate with Nicola Sturgeon. The lies are becoming more transparent as each week goes by. Someone, sooner or later, is going to savage a BT top boy.

    16. Jimbo says:

      Every time Darling made a fraudulent claim with his house flipping activities he added to the UK’s black hole.
       
      Fortunately for us, when we restore independence, fraudsters like him won’t be part of the political scene.

    17. MajorBloodnok says:

      I laughed out loud when I read this, I really did.
       
      @JLT – just saw your plan for the weekend on a previous thread.  Can’t make it however, as this weekend I’ll be somewhere between here, Istanbul, Cairo and Kampala.  It’s a tough life being and international arms dealer/ecologist (if you see someone at Entebbe airport wearing a YES badge, that’ll be me).

    18. Juteman says:

      Knowing that Project Fear would attack everything in the White Paper, I wonder how many booby traps are in it?

    19. X_Sticks says:

      JLT says:
      “Someone, sooner or later, is going to savage a BT top boy.”
       

      Didn’t Nicola just do that to Carmichael as you said? I’d say from his title of SoSfS that he’d qualify as a “BT top boy”.
       

      But you are right JLT, the lies will keep on unraveling and it is becoming ever more obvious that they are out to deceive. It will become ever more difficult for them to keep it up for the next ten months. I’m quite enjoying it in a perverse sort of way. 😉

    20. Macart says:

      I suppose it could be argued that if anyone was familiar with fag packet equations for budgets it would almost certainly be him. I mean it takes an epic talent and an epic brass neck for the man in charge at the crippling of the UK economy to accuse others of doing it all wrong. So our reason for listening to the man at the heart of the current carnage we’re all trawling through and of course Mr Crichton is because they have a soap box and we don’t?
       
      … and the horse they road in on.
       
      Fill in the first part of that familiar phrase. 

    21. MajorBloodnok says:

      If the white paper was full of signs saying “Better Together, DO NOT press this button”, they’d still do it.

    22. jake says:

      Me thinks Mr Darling sacrificed accuracy for speed in his reading of the white paper, a point already remarked upon by Mr Salmond at Holyrood. It begs the question as to whether he had made up his mind that it contained nothing new before actually reading it. I wonder how many other mistakes he made in office by letting preconceptions get in the way of rational decision making informed by fact.

    23. gordoz says:

      O/T sorry
      Some Glasgow tube No side fan  called ‘Peter Plausible’ getting absolute pelters for typical unfunny insensitive post about the Clutha Vaults crash tragedy and Alex Salmond – over on twitter – what a nutter.

    24. Andy-B says:

      Every single day, that gutter snipe the Daily (drivel) Record, spews out some or other pathetic attack on independence, don’t be fooled by the fact that this Canary Wharf owned codswallop, lets Joan MacAlpine have her say for independence.
       
      For the Daily (drivel) Record, is hellbent on car crashing independence, at the bequest of its London masters, as for Crichton, he’s a joke of a man posing as a journalist, and his mad ramblings offer nothing to Scots.

    25. Tony Little says:

      @gordoz
       
      Not the only one, regrettably.  How these numpties sleep at night, I do not know

    26. bannock hussler says:

      Unusually the Darling Caganer figurine now in development is said to display a subtly modified caca effect. Some Catalans say it resembles the BT prospectus, while others, pointing in horror beneath the exposed forat negre, have whispered: ànima viciós del capità! A Scottish observer, however, seemed to think she could discern the head of some MP or other, but couldn’t quite get the words out over the phone: ‘Ca-haha-ca-ca-hahaha…’

    27. Papadocx says:

      Him and his mentor one G Brown decided the pension funds were to cash rich and decided to relieve them of £4 billion pounds to fritter away on tat. Now this ejit, in full panic mode, flaps about spreading lies and despondency and warning us that our pensions are not in good shape. Have you perchance Alistair any idea how the pensions got FU.
       
      Big Gordy has the wit TAE keep his big head doon. You are a clown, a very DANGEROUS clown.
      go Alistair and go NOW. ENOUGH, you are making a laughing stock of us all.

    28. gordoz says:

      O/T
      Although this was from a religious website still a reasoned discussion coming out for yes.
      http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19517

    29. JLT says:

      X_Sticks says:     
      Didn’t Nicola just do that to Carmichael as you said? I’d say from his title of SoSfS that he’d qualify as a “BT top boy”.
       
      Och, that was just a wee gentle ribbing from Nicola! She probably gave Alistair a wine gum afterwards to show that there was no hard feelings! Best of pals, like!
       
      But no, I know what you mean. What I’m talking about is someone, who is outside both camps, someone neutral …someone, like …Paxman or a member of the general public …who will vent their spleen in absolute fury at someone like Darling when things begin to go wrong. If ‘Yes’ begins to overtake, I can see Darling getting a savaging off someone who believes he is effing things up, or has been caught out with a down-right lie.
       
      @Major
      No probs, Major. Hope you enjoy Istanbul. Been there. It’s amazing. If you can, try and visit the Hagia Sophia. For a building that is almost 2000 years old, and was once the greatest church in all Christendom, before becoming one of the greatest mosques in the world, it most certainly is breathtaking when standing inside it. The dome is just vast! Try a boat trip down the Bosphorus too.

    30. Vronsky says:

      I think reider o’ doom is correct – the No camp know exactly what they are doing, and it’s working.  The lies in the front page headlines will stick, unchallenged by any MSM outlet. Even if you don’t buy the Record, the subliminal message is there as you push your trolley past the newstand in Tesco.

      Only bright spot I see I see is that this stream of bile is turning passive ‘yessers’ into angry activists; once quiet people are now eager to fight their corner. 

    31. Douglas Guy says:

      Why has it taken this long for someone to spot and try to publicize BT’s mistake?  This should have been pounced on within minutes of it first being claimed.

      If we don’t get a professional political campaign operating while the no campaign are making such blatant mistakes, we are going to be hammered once serious union and labor money starts getting spent on it.  “Rapid Rebutal” politics hasn’t been optional for decades .. you need it or you lose it.  

    32. Dcanmore says:

      This from a guy who left the UK with a £700billion black hole with which their Better Together stablemates have since doubled. Let’s face it folks the reality is the UK has a £1.5TRILLION debt that is not going away. Scotland’s assets is needed to shore up the lifeboat called London. Over the next 10 years we will see the UK slashed and burned as London becomes a wholly, and very rich, separate entity, unless of course we get out of sinking SS Grande Britannia.

    33. richard says:

      I’m not sure where to put this but I have followed Shaun Richards for some time. this is his take on the money with no political slant as far as I can see
      http://www.mindfulmoney.co.uk/wp/shaun-richards/what-is-the-economic-truth-about-independence-for-scotland/

    34. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ MajorB – If you happen to see a pretty Ugandan lady with a tartan tammy and a YES badge in Ggaba, Kampala then can you let her know the Christmas card is in the post. 🙂

    35. sneddon says:

      I love the Caganer of Alex, done as a mark of respect of course, and I’m led to believe the FM is quite fond of it.
      http://www.caganer.com/alex-salmond-p-831.html

    36. theycan'tbeserious says:

      Darlings problem is that he keeps opening the “black hole” below his nose!

    37. kininvie says:

      @vronsky
      I don’t think you are right. No is shooting itself in the foot, because the longer they go on with this (and what else do they have?) the more people are asking WTF? Certainly, for every person that parrots a No scare story to us, there’s another who has been driven to get Yes information because they simply can’t believe that things will be as bad as the MSM are telling them.

    38. muttley79 says:

      @Vronsky
       
      Is it working for the No campaign though?  The polls show they have dropped below 50 per cent, and there is more don’t knows.  I think more and more people in Scotland are aware of the MSM’s almost complete failure to be impartial as well.  In addition, BT’s reaction to the White Paper appeared decidedly half hearted and tired.   

    39. Patrick Roden says:

      I do wish Yes people would stop doing project fears work for them.
       
      What I am talking about is these panicked posts of how we are all doomed because the big bad MSM are telling lies. boo hoo!!
      The worst ones are usualy accompanied with something along the lines of: “My old granny told me she is definitely voting no and when I asked her why she said it’s because she had read in the papers that Alex Salmond was a distant relation of Adolf Hitler.
      C’mon lads ‘n lasses, give yourselves a shake!
       
      The fact that Wings viewing figures is seeing a healthy increase as is Bella etc, doesn’t this reassure you doubters that people are seeing through the MSM and are looking elsewhere for their information.
      There will always be a few low information voters who can’t be persuaded, but for the most part, people who have previously been No or DK are switching to Yes.
       
      Just reading Revs twitter feed the other day saw two people confirm that they have moved from No to Yes after watching QT.
      Keep the faith.

    40. JLT says:

      Muttley79,
      From everything that I have seen (and finally caught up with from the week), I agree with you. ‘No’ is haemorrhaging badly, and the DK’s are increasing, if not slowly falling into the ‘Yes’ camp.

      If we remember, the media only a few months ago said that 3/4’s of Scots were going to vote ‘No’, while the ‘Yes’ vote was at 23%.

      Well …now it’s almost tied …and we still have 10 months to go! For as long as BT cannot answer a single question in the event of a ‘No’ vote, the Scottish people will become more apprehensive of voting ‘No’.

      You’re better off voting ‘Yes’ and at least negotiate a better deal at the table when the time comes. You won’t get anything if you vote ‘No’. The people are becoming very aware of that fact!
       
      Plus, the wife has just sat and watched Sturgeon v Carmichael. She was stunned that Carmichael had no answers, knowing full well that he would be asked those questions. She is shocked that after all this time, they still have no answers.

      However, being a woman, she loved Nicola’s way of dismantling a big bear of a man. She was pleased as punch at the way, wee Nicola, put the big bruiser of a man in his place, and made him look like a big soft, cuddly teddy bear. Typical Scottish woman nipping away at a man! (her words!!)

    41. BuckieBraes says:

      The No campaign must know that, even if a snap referendum were to be held tomorrow, the result would be far closer than the polls suggest. That is why Alistair Darling is angry.
       
      Does Darling ever, ever smile? No, on second thoughts Alistair, don’t: the image of a Gordon Brown type leer or a Tony Blair rictus on your coupon would keep me awake at night.

    42. Jingly Jangly says:

      Richard at 4.33
      If you cant see political slant in that article you need to go to specsavers.

      There article is full of ignorant and political assertions. Some of the posters to the article make very good points, I would also add that Orkney (and Shetland) belong to Scotland they are not a separate people infact recent DNA evidence proves that the Viking lineage is nothing more than mythology. It should be said that even if they are a separate people and stayed with the UK they would be a crown dependence like the Isle of Man and Guernsey who’s territorial waters extend to 12 miles from the coast, thereafter they become Scottish International waters until the 200 mile limit or the martime border with Norway.

      I should say that my reading of the treaty of union suggests that the UK will be dissolved upon Scottish Independence.

    43. kininvie says:

      Mr Ponsonby is also very very angry, and with much better reason than Captain Darling.
       
      This needs wide publicity too. A more shameful example of the MSM’s failure to stand up for itself would be hard to find. Get on the social media, people. I’ve sent it to Jim Naughtie, saying I’ll apologise for my ballad if he promises to read it!
       
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8411-lifted-from-the-internet-the-poisoning-of-the-independence-debate

    44. November13 says:

      Probably not worth getting angry at Scottish media.They are what they are.British sichophants.They say they are proud Scots and in the same breath tell us that Scotland is a basket case without mother England.That’s not pride that’s shameful disrespectful capitulation.They do not aspire Scotland to be anything other than a pretendycountry at football matches and Burns suppers.It’s not pride in your nation to ignore at least half who are independence minded.Is it only 50% of the Scotland that agrees with them that they are proud of.Carmichael is the same Scots Secretary but only for the 47% of the nation who agree with him.The rest are small minded bigoted nationalists.Here’s the thing Alastair some of the best minds in Scotland will be voting yes.Are they just misguided and poorly informed because they feel Scottish.l have not a British feeling in my body and that’s how I am get over it. 

    45. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why has it taken this long for someone to spot and try to publicize BT’s mistake?”

      I just put it to Davie Clegg of the Record, and he said we were wrong and that Darling was talking about increased borrowing costs for an independent Scotland. I pointed out several times that we were talking about the source data, not the specific numbers, but he wasn’t having any of it.

    46. M4rkyboy says:

      Completely O/T
      I have solved the Orkney/Shetland thing.

      Ireland was part of the English realm so that when it joined the Union there was no International agreement required.Basically that would be one State talking to itself.All that was required was Domestic Act’s of Parliament.So when Ireland left it was not done under the protection of International law hence the Uti Possidetis Juris principle did not apply and they were annexed.

      Scotland on the other hand was a Sovereign Nation in personal Union(2 Kingdoms,one King)and therefore required an international treaty for Union.The Acts were the Domestic execution of the International agreement.So the split between Scotland and England will fall under the Jurisdiction of International law.

      Basically Westminster lacks the Legislative competence to conduct the split.

      Am i missing something?

    47. gerry parker says:

      @ Richard.
      I’ve been following Shaun for about 18 months now and am impressed by his analyses of economic matters.  I think given some of the excellent BTL comments he may revisit this subject, I certainly hope so.

    48. Taranaich says:

      The more things go on, the more confident I get.
       
      Think about it: some in the No campaign want to disengage the public, to make them bored of politics and sick of the debate – that serves them, since an informed public is proven more likely to vote Yes (as seen in plenty of examples). They’re reliant on little more than scare stories, misrepresentations and outright untruths. Yes isn’t silent: Yes is waiting for the kill.
       
      I know we’re all enthusiastic and nervous and just want to get the message out, but in my opinion, this has been absolutely brilliant strategy by Yes. Why? Because while Yes has been doing a lot to promote the positive case, its supporters are always thinking they should be doing more. And that galvanises the Yes supporters into getting stuck in themselves. So we have the likes of Wings, Collective, and others bringing the case online. That’s a great thing, because that has led to a populace that’s more engaged and excited about the way their lives are going in a way that hasn’t been seen for generations. The people are sovereign, after all.
       
      Imagine, if you will, several months into the future. The No campaign has kept up the usual garbage, and the people are sick and fed up with their constant negativity and the Ghost of Devolution Yet To Come which becomes less tangible with every ConDem announcement. Yes has, up until this point, carried on as it has now: leafleting, delivering papers, spreading information online. But aside from the occasional Sturgeon Secretary-Busters, Yes hasn’t actively tackled No.
       
      Because when they do, they’re going to destroy them. They will present every mistake, misrepresentation, and outright lie in black and white. They will show every example of Darling et al saying one thing in public and another in public. They will list every time a Labour politicians has protested the SNP’s refusal to mitigate the Bedroom Tax, yet not bother to turn up to vote against it. They will present exactly how much money which was drained from Scotland’s block grant for use outside Scotland, or unspent money sent back to the Treasury, or the outright misappropriation of Scottish funds. They will detail every time Westminster action has openly blocked Scottish interests: Western Isles oil exploration, devolution, the whole rotten mess.
       
      They will do this, and the No campaign will be completely and utterly helpless. Because while No hope that a sustained onslaught of negativity will do the job, Yes only have to release a single “fear” bomb – just to give a contrast to the campaign of Hope which they’ve rightly concentrated on. Because the difference between Yes and No is that the nightmares of the UK have already come to pass – and Yes offers the only way out.
       
      Sturgeon vs Carmichael will look like a teddy bear’s picnic in comparison.

    49. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Rev-
       
      Sunday Herald have a great chance to assert themselves as the only pro-Indy paper if they run with this – especially if they highlight the wilful ignorance of Davie Clegg and others.

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Sunday Herald have a great chance to assert themselves as the only pro-Indy paper if they run with this”

      Aye, but I’m not holding my breath.

    51. Leave it up as front page for headlines to quote in morn, not holding breath on later.

    52. Robbie says:

      The anti Scottish London Labour controlled Daily Rectum has 56.500 SNP accused slurs by Scotland loathing serial liars Torchil Crichton, David Clegg , Mark Aitken and a few other useless pro union kiddy on journo,s.

      The Daily Rectum,s claim that it is Scotland’s newspaper is a feed of utter shite.

      They have nothing to offer but lies and smears.

    53. Jon D says:

      @Taranaich,
       
      In one ,sir.  (I need say no more.)

    54. crisiscult says:

      About as off topic as you can go here, but had been thinking for a while that some of the dynamics of the current debate, particularly with the mix of Brit nationalism and Scottish nationalism that seems to dominate the Better Together pages, so I was consulting a book I have on Ukrainian history and located a part comparing and contrasting Ukraine’s position with Russia and Scotland’s position with England; focussing in one part on the period when the larger conjoined states were developing in the 18th and 19th centuries, two points stand out:
       
      Point 1:
      St Petersburg was soon full of the kind of careerist Ukrainians satirized by Gogol in St Petersburg Tales … . In the main by the mid-nineteenth century all that was left of a potential multilayered nation was a Russified nobility and an impoverished peasant mass’. Ukrainian’ meant the countryside, with a residual folk tradition, but no high culture.
       
      Point 2:
      a key weakness of the Russian nation-building project was the assumption that the Ukrainians were already Russians, whereas in fact most possessed a parochial or pre-national identity – as indeed, did many Russians.
       
       [a]  key problem … was that the terms the empire offered to the Ukrainians were bound to repel as well as attract. Although a genuine Ukrainian-Russian synthesis had at times seemed possible in the eighteenth century, the terms of engagement were radically changed … Ukrainians were faced with an increasingly direct choice between assimilation and resistance.
       
       
       
      My wife is half Ukrainian half Russian, and had detected a similarity in the attitudes of some people in London and on television to Scots as Russians to Xaxli (loosely translated as country bumpkin = Ukrainian). The writer of this book, Andrew Wilson, contrasts the position on identity, implying that in Britain a multi-layered identity was possible. He was writing around 2000.
       
      Existential nationalism and culture are not the most important things to me, but I think you may perceive from the above quotes that there are parallels. There are other interesting parts in the book about national identity and about the referendum of 1991 but don’t want to post too much in case no one finds this very interesting. I find it interesting because sometimes the debate in this country is carried out as if it’s in a bubble; that no other country has a history like that of Britain’s; that no other country’s independence is worth considering as a means of understanding ours.

    55. fairiefromtheearth says:

      Its a pity we dont live in a dictatorship,like the mainstrean media portray.The Justice Minister could then issue warrents for the ("Tractor" - Ed)s and have them hung draw and quartered.Lets do it in the Grassmarket Friday nite £20 tickets bring some monies in.

    56. david says:

      does anyone else feel the joy knowing that vile toxic excuse for a politician lamont was trashed in her own backyard by big handsome humza last night. debater of the year loses title in first defence even with home advantage. i wonder if the people who gave her this award feel any embarassment at all?

    57. joe kane says:

      crisscult, I thought you said Ukania –
      Back to the same old Ukania, with a muddle in place of a constitution
      The idea that the whole political system needs fixing has been lost, and no party is proposing the reforms Britain deserves
      by Timothy Garton Ash 
      14 Oct 2009
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/oct/14/constitutional-reform-parliament-electoral-system
      Ukania has lasted a long time already and, like the Austro-Hungarian Kakania, it can probably stagger on for years. Yet other crises will surely follow. The spark is always hard to predict (who would have tipped the matter of MPs’ expenses?), but possible future sparks include a secession vote in Scotland, a hung parliament, a run on the pound and perhaps even the accession of King Charles III.

    58. crisiscult says:

      joe kane – thanks for that link. Very interesting read. Reminds me that for the first year (?) David Cameron kept talking about Broken Britain, which magically transformed into UKOK somewhere along the way. Did he fix it really quickly and I was on holiday at the time, or maybe I slept in.
       
      Oh, and the article just reminded me of the workfare blatant breach of the rule of law that still riles me 9 months later.

    59. HandandShrimp says:

      Poor Torcuil. I bet he wishes he was writing for a real newspaper.

    60. fairiefromtheearth says:

      Im going to put my 2p worth in about our finances,monies is created out of thin air by central banks this is the funny thing if we become independant we can control our centrel bank, any debt we incour by leaving the union it get paid off the next day because we can create monies out of thin air as it is done by all central banks,any monies the goverment needs it can make out of thin air it really is this simple,we cant afford not to seize control of our Central bank we can not have ferengi bankers,because i havent seen a law in great britain that has sent a banker to jail for stealing monies,this has to change in an independant Scotland,alot has to change and maybe thats the hard choice for people,living in a better fairier society or staying in a rigged blaming system hey its always sombody elses fault lol usally thr poorest.

    61. crisiscult says:

      and also, reminds me that people keep talking about democracy in relation to our referendum; the other parts of UK should have a vote, Scots living in X should have a vote, far less than 50% of people voted for the SNP – they have no mandate, etc. Westminster Government? eh, it’s democratic. How? 

    62. Morag says:

      I’m going to echo what Kininvie said about the Ponsonby article on NNS.  It’s probably the worst media outrage I’ve heard yet.  It is completely unconscionable.  I just don’t know what we could do about it.
       
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8411-lifted-from-the-internet-the-poisoning-of-the-independence-debate

    63. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Brother McKenna appears to be channelling his inner ‘Rev Stu’ in this weeks column…..:-)
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/30/better-together-scottish-independence-paper?commentpage=1
       
      Better Together, Darling, Carmichealmoore and JoLa all get hefty blows…..but the final punch is a hefty boot in the nuts for SLAB….. 
       
      There are many reasons why Better Together would never dare to produce its own white paper entitled “Britain’s Future”. For how could any Scottish Labour supporter subscribe to a document that would talk of penalising the poor; cutting the taxes of the rich; allowing our defence and intelligence policies to resemble those of Texas and re-introducing a light touch for bankers? Not to mention leaving Europe and telling immigrants to go home.

    64. AlexMci says:

      O/T sorry folks. My sister just phoned and said to me that my niece who is in fourth year at high school has to write an essay highlighting 5 good reasons for Scotland to have independence. She has to read it out when better together visit the school. Now I have loads but would like to hear from people here to help me do a wee draft that she can easily get to grips with and she can read out and be persuasive and not look foolish. Any recommendations will be gratefully recieved folks. Thanks

    65. The Rough Bounds says:

      Listen guys, some of you just don’t seem to get it that the words ‘there’, ‘their’, and ‘they’re’, are different from one another and mean different things. To misspell them just makes you look like you left school far too early and does what you are trying to say no favours..
      Here’s a way to remember how to use them:
       
      They’re (they are) putting the cat out.
      Their cat is now outside.
      You can see it over there.
       
      Write it down and keep it beside your computer. It will help.

    66. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      From what I have heard,Darling used to get apoplectic when presented with figures by Westminster treasury officials.Counting is not his strong point.

    67. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Alex,
       
      I don’t know how to load a YouTube video on here, however follow this link… I made this a few ago, true story.    The moral here is *Independence* and what it means to an individual, and why it is fair and reasonable to accept independence as a natural state of affairs.
      http://youtu.be/ckCUj1s-Nrc
      I hope young people can relate to this.

    68. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Alex Mci –
       
      Your niece may be able to use this quote :
       
      ‘While travelling around Scotland in 1995, the journalist George Rosie had a chance meeting with a senior English civil servant from Whitehall. As they sat in a hotel overlooking Ben Loyal and the hills of Sutherland, Rosie asked him why English governments have been so unwilling to hand Scotland back to the Scots. The official ticked the reasons off on his fingers: ‘One, oil. Two, gas. Three, fish. Four, water. Five, land. The oil and gas are self-explanatory, even now, Fish might not mean much to the British, but it is a superb bargaining counter in Europe. Water will be important one day, I suspect. And as for all this (gesturing to the hills) well, this is our, how shall I say it, breathing space. That bit of elbow room that every country should have.’ 
       
      Quite an insight into the thinking of these people – we ‘Scots’ don’t even rate a mention because we’d been cleared from the Highlands, shepherded into cities. What we think of as ‘our’ nation is, in fact, nothing more than ‘their’ playground.
       
      It’s from a brilliant essay by Peter Kravitz which forms the introduction for The Picador Book of Contemporary Scottish Fiction, published in 1997.

    69. AlexMci says:

      @ Roughbounds, I get what you are saying about grammar, and correct use of punctuation etc.  But seriously, you need to realize that there are people, who just don’t have the same command of the written English language as you obviously do. Constant highlighting of peoples inadequacy in this is not a good thing, especially when we are trying to have them engage in our cause. In my opinion it makes them feel foolish and thus unwilling to ask questions on this site. let’s leave out the ” I’m much better at writing than you stuff, it seems a bit pedantic to others who just want to feel included in our debate.

    70. Murray McCallum says:

      From what I have heard, Darling must have been raging when he was “caught with his fingers in the till” and suffered calls for him to be “sacked”.
       
      Look, tills are dangerous pieces of equipment. I also wonder why the Treasury still use these mechanical devices?

    71. gordoz says:

      O/T
      G A Ponsonby piece (on Newsnet ) having a real go at state of Scottish Media & TV is an absolute cracker – should all read at some point.

    72. fairiefromtheearth says:

      AlexMci,she will have to go online youtube and start searching The ecanomics of an independant Scotland that was a good watch and showed how our GDP was 99% of what we used but the oil added another 18% witch was not in our accounts,2nd illegal wars no more and illegal weapons on our doorstep no more,3rd better social serveces that includes better public transport things like that,4th a parlament thats here that we can hold to account this must be in the constitution and of course we will be citizens not subjects,5th it gives us a chance to be a Great Nation on the world stage its time to Heal the planet and we must be the catalyst behind the good forces because unfortanatly our ansester have been used by the Evil on this planet as is BT pure evil Traitors.

    73. AlexMci says:

      Ken & Ian thanks. That’s the kind of stuff I want to direct her to. I’m so surprised at her. She has been reading the white paper, and I seriously never thought she would be at all interested. I really proud she wants to find out for herself. I’m going to write a wee bit for her and hope they she gives the BT mob a hard time when they take questions from her. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to reply. I will check out everything posted and give her my thoughts. 

    74. fairiefromtheearth says:

      the rough bound yea thank Thatcher for my top class education and dose it really matter if you can spell is it not what your saying that matters?

    75. gordoz says:

      Saw the David Clegg thing  – what a pathetic response from Labours Rag (blinkered or what ?)

    76. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Alex –
       
      I won’t be the only one here who hopes your niece does well. Very few people enjoy public speaking of any kind, and to do it on such a contentious subject in front of people she knows strongly disagree with what she’s about to say? She’s got real guts – please send her all the best.

    77. Fab001 says:

      kininvie says:

      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8411-lifted-from-the-internet-the-poisoning-of-the-independence-debate

      I previously posted a comment on NNS saying that if the BBC ever mentioned their website it would be described as pro-nationalist, even though they have never described The Scotsman for example as a pro-unionist newspaper. Low and behold that’s exactly what they did, their bias has become utterly predictable.

    78. joe kane says:

      The reporting framework adopted by the foreign-owned and controlled Scottish news media regarding the independence referendum is quite interesting. 
       
      On the one hand, there is the elected devolved SNP-led government of Scotland, which stood on a platform of holding the independence referendum, which is always held to account. 
       
      On the other hand, is basically a bunch of unelected nobodies subsidised by shady London-based Tories. Darling has no mandate to speak on behalf of anyone, except his own constituents, yet he gets banner headlines and set-piece BBC tv interviews to give his reaction to the latest breaking news about the independence referendum especially if it involves the SNP-led Scottish Government in any way. I can’t remember the BBC, for instance, falling over themselves to get the reaction of Blair Jenkins to British Government announcements affecting the future of Scotland such as the recent Govan/Portsmouth shipyard news.
       
      Speaking of the BBC, surely every time it gives airtime for Darling to be very, very angry it should, according to its own charter, be giving equal and balanced air-time to Blair Jenkins to be very, very sang-froid, unflappable and measured? Since the Scottish Government stands on a platform of pro-independence and the British Government on a platform of anti-independence then they are the properly elected bodies for the BBC to seek views from rather than Ian Taylor’s omnishambolic, unelected BT mob?
       

    79. fairiefromtheearth says:

      Ian Brotherhood the thing is if we vote yes they still own the playground are we gonni take it back?

    80. AlexMci says:

      @ Ianbrotherhood, I have told her we are talking about her on here, and to come on this thread and ask if she wants. Told her we don’t bite and that if she wants to give BT a bloody nose this is the place to find her ammo. Thanks guys for your help.

    81. gordoz says:

      @ AlexMci
      Hope all goes well with your niece … but if not; let her watch this then she’ll know what it all really means to us
      http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2012/06/08/a-short-dialogue-concerning-vote-britain-a-poem-by-alan-bissett/

    82. crisiscult says:

      AlexMci – my main reason for voting yes is the ever increasing gap between rich and poor. Since the late 70s the gap has been increasing. The proportion of wealth that the top 1% and 5% (and I think the top 10% have) has been increasing quite dramatically. The trend occurs in some other European countries but nowhere near as extreme. Where does this trend lead us? Gated, high-walled houses? Gated communities? Separate schools? Separate hospitals? Private police forces? I don’t think we can reduce or stop this trend as part of the UK. Independence might help, because the trend seems to bother a lot of voters in Scotland.
       
      Don’t know if that helps, but just my own reason, living in the east end of Glasgow and having friends who live in Newton Mearns and looking at the difference, and the psychological barriers between these two groups of people, all of whom still may drink in the same city centre pubs, though for how much longer?

    83. crisiscult says:

      oh, and my advice for public speaking – imagine your audience naked. If you don’t throw up, then it may increase your confidence.

    84. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @fairiefromtheearth
       
      Good question – I guess Andy Wightman (landmatters) would be yer man for that stuff. I’m not even sure what % of Scotland is, technically, privately owned.
       
      We all know that ‘right to roam’ is one thing – the reality is another. Long time since I’ve done any hillwalking, but used to, and was pulled up a few times. It’s sickening to be spoken to as if you’re a criminal and/or idiot when all you’re doing is walking across a wilderness, especially when the lecturer has a cocked shotgun over his arm.

    85. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ AlexMci – I have always been a great believer in the 3 pointers.
       
      Intro – Tell them what you are gonna tell them
       
      Substance – Tell them
       
      Summary – Tell them what you have told them
       
      Its worked for me and it works.

    86. AlexMci says:

      @gordoz, she tagged along to the rally this year and heard Alan Bisset powerful stuff pal. Archie not erchie lol mate like it.

    87. Marcia says:

      AlexMci
       
      Make it simple if she can, she can tell them, that for every pound of taxation that goes down to Westminster, we only see 70 pence of it. Just like giving her pocket money to a relative but when she wants to spend it she to told she can only get 70% of it.
      If she can print out Rev Stu’s graphs that would help her;
       
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/leftout.jpg

    88. AlexMci says:

      Marcia, again thanks for the reply, I’m going to help her as much as I can but win or lose I would love it if she just reads what you guys are posting and finds her own mind. I could write it for her but would rather I just helped clarify stuff for her. As I said she has been reading the white paper so again, I’m impressed by that it’s self.

    89. bethany mcintyre says:

      Hi  I’m Alex’s niece I’m looking for some help we have better together coming into our school to try and convince  my class to vote no I have to debate why we should vote yes and give 5 good valid reasons I want it to be really good valid reasons and any help I could get I would appreciate I have done loads of research by the end of my debate I want to have convinced as many of my friends to vote yes.

    90. AlexMci says:

      @crisiscult, she gets the Newton Mearns thing. She stays in an East are dressier town a couple of miles from there. Thanks for your reply.

    91. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ AlexMci – Its so good that she is digging into the meat of the WP and reminds me of my own daughter writing her essays to become a Nurse. Yep under the stairs with a dot-matrix printer at 3am in the morning. Many tears and lots of waste paper.
       
      However, a written word is different from a spoken brief. Saffron Dickson spoke her mind and has since been seen again at the RIC2013. I have used the 3 pointer many times when I have had to do public speaking and although its not spectacular it is top notch when it comes to re-inforcement, reminders and rememberance.
       
      Hope she does well

    92. crisiscult says:

      5 reasons to vote yes? Here’s something I just stole from the comments on the guardian. Very effective. I’ve numbered it so it matches 6 things – I guess one could be left out:
      1. The no campaign started off saying”no need to worry,we have the majority”
      2.They then moved over to”stick with us,we’ll look after you”
      3. Then it was “we’re too good together ,why do you want to leave?” 
      4.Followed by “everyone hates you,they’re all my friends not yours”
      5. Then it was “you’ve got no money,you cant survive without me”
      6.Now it seems to be “I hate you,will destroy you even if it means i destroy myself” 
       
      (copyright paulrudolph)

    93. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Alex Mci
       
      Here’s a link to the Kravitz essay from which that quote (8.32) was taken. It’s primarily concerned with Scottish literature, but contains a lot of wee useful nuggets.
       
      http://archive.is/ArcDH

    94. Molly says:

      AlexMci 
         Last year my (then 15 year old) daughter asked me to give her best friend a lift home. They had been messing about on my laptop and in  the car my daughter said, her friend was asking about that stuff on your laptop . i asked her friend if she was interested in the Referendum ? She kind of nervously laughed said “yes they got it in modern studies  but she does’nt get it.” 
      I just said from my point of view, the two of you are friends. You both put as much into the friendship   both have the same phones.clothes etc but my daughter is taller , bigger than you so hand over all your ‘stuff’ to my daughter and she’ll decide what you need . You’ll get your stuff back but only what you need . There was a lot of hilarity but I then said IMHO that’s how Scotland /Westminster works.
      The obvious reply was ‘but why should I ?’
      I have tried explaining to my daughter before , the Barnett Formula, how Westminster,HOL works etc but let’s be honest if they don’t make any sense to me as an adult what chance a 15 year old who see little relevance in their lives about the Lord Mayor or black rod etc, they see a man in tights!-who is wrong ?
      I obviously said the ‘stuff’ on the laptop are sites discussing the Referendum,WOS, Bella etc , there are Better Together sites too. Read them, make up your mind but remember you need to be registered to vote. 
      I came in from work on Tuesday to find my daughter had recorded’ The launch of the WP ‘ on the news for me, I think I know which way she’s voting -smiley thing

    95. HandandShrimp says:

      My sister just phoned and said to me that my niece who is in fourth year at high school has to write an essay highlighting 5 good reasons for Scotland to have independence. She has to read it out when better together visit the school.
       
      This sounds a bit weird. Like they are asking kids to present their ideas so Better Together can shoot them down. A bit of peer group bullying? I would watch that.
       
      If it is on the level then there are a number of valid points to make.
       
      Economic Case: Scotland is country rich in resources, Water, Oil, Renewable Energy such as Hydro, Wind, Wave and Tidal power, Agriculture, Fisheries, Whisky, Engineering and Life Sciences and not least its people and their skills. The economic case can be backed with facts and figures to demonstrate that Scotland is a net contributor to the UK and not a drain. There is no negative economic case no matter how much Better Together try to imply there is one. Better Together make much of the banks but that is contra-factual history. If Scotland had been independent it is impossible to say whether all the large mergers with what would have been foreign banks would have taken place and most of the sub prime debts were not with the Scottish banks but with the banks they merged with, such as the Halifax and Amro.
       
      Self Determination: Scotland and the Scottish people would be sovereign to order their own priorities under their own constitution. Citizens of a social democracy that will balance the rights of the individual with the common weal. The UK has past fast and loose with privacy and freedom becoming a massive faceless monolith in the process.
       
      Securing Scotland’s future: Scotland’s population has hardly changed in a 100 years. If the Union had been such a success for Scotland why has it failed to secure a vibrant future for our children? Our people are scattered around the globe. An independent Scotland would have the freedom to to secure its own policies and incentives to stabilise and grow our population.
       
      Stability: Scotland is politically stable, the people know where they stand on issues and economic policy but Scotland has been subject to the swings and lurches of UK politics for 50 years. Scotland is too small to influence the outcome of UK politics and projected demographic trends suggest that Scotland will be an ever smaller element of the UK. When Scotland joined the Union in 1707 Scots made up 17% of the British population. By 2050 Scots are projected to make up only 7.5% of the UK population.
       
      Small is beautiful. People talk about power and influence as if this is important. However, there are many small countries with a more equal distribution of wealth and a higher standard of living across the board than the UK. Which is more important? Making speeches at the UN security council or ensuring that the elderly do not have to have to choose between eating or heating their homes? What is more important nuclear weapons and our poor relying on food banks or a society where there is opportunity to work with dignity and a safety net for those who cannot? E F Shumacher wrote a book back in 1973 called Small is Beautiful its full title is Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered. Scotland should be independent because it is an opportunity to make people matter.
       
      Just a few suggestions 🙂 Got QI on in the background and it is particularly weird tonight and distracting. Apparently the sexologist Kinsey spoke in a Scottish accent if nervous despite being born and raised in New Jersey…it is an odd world.
       

    96. call me dave says:

      Angus Robertson wants the 2015 general election postponed for a year.
       
      http://archive.is/JnKI7
       
      The currant bun is not impressed.

    97. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Rev,
       
      re Twitter tonight – what is the McColm comment you referred to? Clicking on the link, the page is deid – has he deleted it?
       
      Just curious…

    98. AlexMci says:

      Thanks guys her first comment is awaiting moderation. Be gentle and give her tge stuff to stick it right up BTs arse. She volunteered for this. Uncle Alex is so proud.

    99. Morag says:

      Alex, she could just crib what HandandShrimp just said, but she’d also have to research the facts behind the statements so she can back it up.
       
      I suspect a Better Together rep would simply say all these things were factually wrong and spout mince as the alleged “truth”.  That’s hard to counter from someone in a position to control the debate.

    100. AlexMci says:

      Hand and shrimp, probably a bit weird yes. But I’m doing a evening course just now. HNC construction management. On Tuesday night a lecturer was talking about sustainability In construction and stated the oil in Scotland could run out in the next six years. We’ll you can imagine, said lecturer was put right in his place in no uncertain terms with so many facts and sources that the full class really took notice. It’s just the way the schools are pushing it. My fiancées 15 year old came home with some horrendous things said at Hamilton grammar modern studies class. It was the johann school of teaching. The schools are all pushing the BT message. 

    101. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Morag –
       
      Cheers.
       
      Truly astonishing.

    102. AlexMci says:

      Yes morag, I suspect that’s exactly what will happen and I will tel her to expect that with full backing from the schools staff. We have had this argument with Barrhead High school so many times , and their response, pardon my French is , fuck you we know best. We have asked for a debate between Yes Scotland and BT , we get BT coming in. We complain but the education dept are like blah blah blah. What can we do. I’m on the verge of making a complaint as an SNP member to Mike Russell. Can’t do any harm can it?

    103. crisiscult says:

      call me dave – I saw that story in Daily Record. Never buy it but took a glance in the supermarket. Didn’t have time to read the story but first paragraph just presented ‘The SNP wants another year of the Tories. Another year of the bedroom tax, austerity and David Cameron’ giving me the impression that Robertson actually said something like that. Was a very quick glance so I may have misunderstood. Actually, main reason I glanced at the Record was to see if they actually have any proper news stories in the first few pages. I think that story may have been on page 2.

    104. Edward says:

      I’ve been taking note of the comment regards the young students that have to prepare 5 points in support independence for Scotland in preparation of a visit by Better Together
      First I find it strange that the pupils have to put a case forward to be ‘presented’ to a visit from a Better Together team
      Secondly this smacks, as someone has already put it, as ‘peer bullying’, that is the pupil stands up, puts the case for independence, then gets shot down by some smart arse from better together.
      Why are schools allowing this?
      If this is schools idea of education of the topic, then that is a disgrace to say the least
      The correct format would be for TWO teams, one from YES Scotland and another from Better Together to visit the same time. Each given about 5 minutes to put their case another 5 minutes or so then to jointly answer questions from the pupils. That way the pupils are informed without being placed under pressure
      IF YES Scotland have not been invited to the School, then I would suggest that either the pupils demand that YES Scotland be allowed or the parents protest

    105. Edward says:

      Why on earth is my comment awaiting moderation???

    106. AlexMci says:

      Edward mines is saying that also.

    107. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @edward
       
      If you have incorrectly typed your e-mail address in the wee box above your post the system treats it as a new user and it’s automatically submitted for pre mod

    108. Dan Watt says:

      I never met a Crichton that I liked.

    109. Edward says:

      I would not be surprised if all schools in areas controlled by Labour/Libdem/Tory are working to ‘guidelines’ laid down by the respective councils, which is why we are seeing and hearing skewed teaching practice concerning the referendum. It would be interesting to see a copy of the guidance notes being given to schools and to hear what is actually going on

    110. Edward says:

      kendomacaroonbar – I don’t change my e-mail, as its set up automatically, it was just one comment that had the pre mod message, prior and subsequent have gone through normally
      Tech glitch?

    111. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Edward
       
      Then it could be something to do with the host software that was overwhelmed by spam that Stu referred to last week ?

    112. AlexMci says:

      It is Edward , mine shows same and my niece says hers is waitin moderation also. I have not cleared cookies or anything so it’s weird. 

    113. tartanfever says:

      Alex and Bethany,
       
      My question is are the ‘Yes’ campaign visiting your school at the same time – if not, why not ?
       
      Your school is duty bound to give both groups equal opportunity to speak, hence why a lot of colleges and schools are using the debate format so that both groups appear at the same time and are given the exact same opportunity.
       
      You must ensure that everything is equal, same venue, same number of students, same format, same length of time, interruption from teachers, questions.
       
      If not, I’d be complaining. We’ve seen enough local authorities trying to wiggle out of approving Yes campaign promotion and after the Aberdeen school fiasco with the dodgy literature I’d certainly be on my guard with this.
       
       

    114. AlexMci says:

      @Edward, my sis has been trying for the last year to get yes and BT in for a debate in front of the pupils, but they now have BT and that’s it. They are pushing the union view and that’s it. What can we do about it? All schools seem to be the same. As Roughbounds says earlier in this thread, they would be better suited to teach 3rd year pupils how to spell. I’m constantly shocked by the level of illiteracy my step kids show.

    115. AlexMci says:

      And as for trying to explain to them SO CA TOA forget it. They are clueless.

    116. Greannach says:

      Today’s Irish Times contains two very good reports on the referendum. Available online.

    117. call me dave says:

      AlexMci
       
      sine of the times I’m afraid.!
       
      I’ll get my coat/

    118. AlexMci says:

      @tartan fever. No, Yes are bombed out. It’s BT and like it. We have complained numerous times but they just keep brushing us off, and sending us to an other dept, who inevitably  back up their collegues views. It’s the unions who are pushing that view and it gets to the point there is no one else to complain to. The establishment at their best.

    119. AlexMci says:

      @call me dave, I’m probably being a bit harsh. As I joiner I’m pretty clued up on Pythagoras theorem . The rise and going of stairs are not going to calculate themselves lol.

    120. HandandShrimp says:

      I know a few teachers and they are mostly Yes voters so if there is any funny business it is being done through education authorities and school management boards rather than the teachers themselves. Of course there are a lot of schools and it is the ones that are being lopsided that come to the fore. I dare say the majority are unnoticed because there is nothing untoward to notice.
       
      The youth are irrevocably linked to their gadgets and music. Yes Scotland commands a much greater presence amongst artists of all stripes and has a much stronger internet footprint. If schools are not giving a fair hearing then I think Mike Russell needs to know about it but the Yes message can bypass the schools and reach the hearts and minds of the young through those they respect and listen to. 

    121. Andrew Morton says:

      Re speaking in public. The first piece of advice I ever got was also one of the best. If you’ve studied your subject then you know more than the audience do, so you should be confident. And if they ask a question you can’t answer, immediately say, “I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that one, does anyone else?” This engages your audience in the discussion and if they don’t know either, say that you’ll you’ll check it out and get back to them.
       
      I’d endorse the three part News at Ten approach and finally I’d recommend subject headings and reminders only. That way you’re looking at the audience and speaking naturally rather than reading from a piece of paper. One other thing, ask for questions at the end.

    122. AlexMci says:

      Oh and call me dave, I got the sine joke, made me laugh. Nearly as much as trying to explain second function on a scientific calculator to said teenagers????

    123. Macart says:

      Oh wait… slightly O/T
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/30/shock-poll-reveals-gulf-britain-eu-france-germany-poland-hostile
       
      Here we go. To paraphrase the Rev…’Don’t say you weren’t warned’.

    124. tartanfever says:

      Alex,
      I think your sis or Bethany should think about writing the local MSP (even if they are unionist), to the Yes campaign and I would also contact Newsnet and see if they would do a piece on it.
       
      We’ve seen plenty of press coverage regarding Yes campaign events being stopped by the police because local labour and tory councillors have complained about them being at local events, just because the No camp haven’t had the resources to put up a stall. Yet when the shoe is on the other foot it appears that a different set of rules apply.
       
      Whats galling is those events are in public – people have the choice to stop and speak to them or just walk on by. What you are talking about is a subjected campaign to brainwash without any sense of balance, and it’s impressionable young kids too that are hearing it.
       
      I can”t believe that any school or educational authority would think rationally that this is sensible. 
       
      My first port of call would be to get a letter from the school stating clearly that the Yes campaign will not be appearing and why, that then gives you some solid evidence for you to pass on.
       
      If the event does go ahead, I would tell Bethany to ask just one question – ‘is this the school’s idea of democracy that pupils are only being told one side of the story ?’
       

    125. Morag says:

      If this is accurate, it’s a huge story.  Are there no teachers prepared to come forward and explain what’s going on?

    126. James Morton says:

      its pretty much coming true – they are simply recycling their old scares – they got nothing else

    127. Marcia says:

      Sunday Herald front page;
      An awful grim day.
      http://twitpic.com/dn5yoi

    128. call me dave says:

      AlexMci
      I’m electrical….phase angles and all that.   Still were going off on a tangent!
      I’m put my coat on now!  
       

    129. kininvie says:

      @bethany,
       
      Hi – I see everyone’s too busy talking to each other to answer you direct. Welcome. I hope you stick around.
      If you’ve started reading the white paper, you’ll know that the first section contains the reasons the Scottish Government gives for independence. That’s a good start: they are clear and uncomplicated.
       
      For me, the most important reason is that Scotland’s people should be able to take the decisions affecting Scotland. London can’t do it for us any more, because the South of England contains most of the people, much of the wealth, and many unique problems – and they will always take the decisions that suit them, not us. You could ask the BT people when Westminster last introduced a policy that put the interests of Scotland (or Wales, or the N of England) before the interests of the SE. They’ll probably mention allowing us to turn the clocks back….
       
      The second thing – which flows from this – is to ask whether the Union is a partnership of equals, or whether it is a relationship between two very unequal parts. You can show that it’s undemocratic in so far as Scotland constantly gets governments it hasn’t voted for. You can show (from the tax figures) that we get less than we contribute. You can show we have no say over things like Trident or whether or not to stay in the EU: these are not the marks of an equal partnership.
       
      And, when BT start on how we’ve had a successful past together, point out that the question is not the past, but the future. Ask whether it is better to have a voice of our own in places like the UN or NATO, even if it is a small voice, or whether it is better always to rely on Westminster to speak up for us (you could mention Iraq)
       
      And ask why it is that as a wealthy nation, with the luck of oil on our doorstep, that we remain with some of the worst level of poverty and life expectancy in the developed world. Ask where the money has gone. Show that we could, and shall do things differently, because we, the people of Scotland can choose.

    130. Ken500 says:

      The Black hole will be created by the £Billion already being taken out of the Scottsh budget by Westminster policies and the further £4Billion cut to the Scottish Budget by Westminster policies. Independence will stop any black hole in the Scottish budget.

      Alistair Darling is totally irrational and incompetent that is why the UK has 1.Trillion in debt. The ConDem have targeted the poor and rewarded the rich, who caused the Banking crash.

      Darling is totally and irrational that is why no one listens to him. Darling should retire he is a total embarrassment.

      Scottish budget £57Billion+ in £65Billion out (including £4Billion in debt repayments) Cut Trident/Defence £1.5Billion. A tax on cheap drink, would cut Healthcare costs and save £1.5Billion. That would raise £3Billion. Westminster had taken the monies given to Scottish farmers who receive the lowest CAP payment in the EU, as part of the UK.

      Total taxes raised in the UK £572Billion. Total spending in the UK £693. £121Billion more is being borrowed and spent in the rest of the UK. Another £121Billion. Scotland’s (pro rata) share should be £12Billion. Scotland is getting £12Billion less back, including £4Billion in debt repayment.

      The Banking crash and the debt were caused by Darling, Westminster and the Tory Bankers. Now getting increased bonuses. It is a total disgrace.

    131. Ken500 says:

      The school votes are including all the pupils,not just the 16+ year olds. 16+ year old are a very small % of the electorate. Traditionally young people do not vote, they have other interests. Just as well.

    132. call me dave says:

      Ian Bell in Herald;
      Doesn’t like J. Major butting in.
       
      http://archive.is/6NZ8Z

    133. AlexMci says:

      @ Tartan fever, her MP Is Jim Murphy, who let it be said went up a bit in my estimations after the tradgedy at the Clutha. But here is a copy of the text I jus recieved from her mum.
       
      I had a meeting with head of education asking why bt was just coming in they said they weren’t sure who to contact from yes I laughed at them I told him to wait I phoned tommy Reilly there and then he is the yes campaigner for Barrhead passed the phone on to head of education yes now have a confirmed date for February for all schools in eastrenfrewshire lol x. 
       
      They are trying to brainwash the kids, it’s not an isolated thing. As I said earlier, some of the stuff Hamilton Grammar are trying to push to the children is shocking. ( border controls, banks , out of EU, Salmond wants to be King) and as I said, South Lanarkshire College trying to push to a class of adults the oil could run out within six years. Although that one was not let pass without comment. Although I fear my grades now in the particular subject lol. Someone was left feeling foolish. But what can we do when even the education system in our country is feeding lies to the children.

    134. gordoz says:

      @AlexMci
      All the Labour luvvies in Schools dont want the gravy train to stop. They know they can brainwash young minds and get off on it – tried it with my daughters at local high School in Dunoon. The place is a Labour recruitment centre and local ‘BT central’ endorsed by impartial (?) Argyll & Bute council.

    135. kininvie says:

      Alex,
      Interestingly, we in West Lothian have just been stopped from having our ‘evening with Nicola’ in a community High School. The council’s legal people said that it was the law that ‘no political meeting should take place on council-owned premises’.  What I don’t know is whether a) that is a local bye law applying only to WL  b) whether that advice is correct, or whether it is a ‘grey’ area (after all, council meetings are nothing if not political). They first gave us the all-clear, then changed their minds.
       
      But if Bethany goes to a local authority school, you should get hold of the council’s legal department direct, and ask them for a ruling. There may be all kinds of hair-splitting (people coming to talk to a class are not a ‘meeting’) – but it’s worth doing.
       
      Incidentally, West Lothian folk, the ‘Evening with Nicola’ is now at Almondvale Suite, Livingston stadium, Wed 4th, 7pm. Very important to bring undecideds… it’s an evening for them.

    136. AlexMci says:

      @call me dave, FFS how many coats do you own man lol
       

    137. Training Day says:

      What is happening in schools has a four word explanation.

      Educational Institute of Scotland.

      The most rancid of Labour affiliates. And it’s up against some pretty stiff competition.

    138. Edward says:

      AlexMci
      What your saying, is shocking and really should be exposed
      You mention ‘Unions’, is this the teaching union?
      I’m very angry that schools and councils are basically being shits
      What can you do? Short of pupil action or parent action, such as protests at or outside schools. not sure what else. This really has to be exposed, using social networks, such as facebook, spread the word. The problem is some may think its just their school, but get collective affirmative action by using any an all means such as facebook and twitter. Make use of video as well. what people like BT don’t like is being exposed in the public light
      Make your MSP aware (that is if they happen to be SNP, as I don’t think you will get any mileage from a Labour MSP)

    139. gordoz says:

      Political meetings are being held in Dunoon Grammar School by BT only and are being chaired by the Head of the Council. Yes have not been invited despite several complaints and the Headmaster has done SFA.
      This is on MIKE RUSSELLS patch and he has not been able to stop it.
      Go figure.

    140. Seasick Dave says:

      Surely if there is no YES presence in the schools to counter the BT lot then, by their rules, there should be no meeting?

    141. AlexMci says:

      @Edward, well it’s getting an outing here, and believe me my sis is a stubborn sort. If she feels that there is back up here , and I have now told her that theres an interest in what’s she is saying, well she will be like a dog with a bone. I’m going to try and get her to post in person and see if we can open up this can of worms.

    142. Dcanmore says:

      There is only one way Better Together can get their message across in all spectrums of Scottish society (apart from the MSM) and that is through the Unions. Public sector unions, teaching unions, industry and professions, union membership is the thread that links Better Together and the workplace. We’ve already seen United with Labour, unions and Better Together working hand in hand to operate against the SNP in recent elections. There will be teachers and educational organisers that are union members who are loyal to the party first and reject the referendum as ‘the cringe’ and see it as a threat to Labour’s existence.

    143. gordoz says:

      Look at the areas NO campaign have control over –
      Press, TV, Radio, Schools it is bloody scary !!
      Who says thay can’t fix the ref then ?

    144. Ken500 says:

      Re Angus Robertson – change of government

      Change of government could be beneficial

      Increased SNP MP’s could lead to a stronger bargaining position. Especially related to other issues/interest/business,

    145. Ken500 says:

      Who reads the Record or the Guardian?

      Falling readership.

      The majority don’t believe the Press, Politicans, MSM, all falling support. MSM is breaking ranks.
      YES support growing. BT losing support. DK’s more likely to vote YES or not vote.

      The Internet is the way to go. Popular increased support.

    146. bethany mcintyre says:

      Hi I’m Vickie Alex’s sister I have been fighting to get yes Scotland into eastrenfrewshire high school since September I had a meeting with the. Head teacher which wasn’t  easy a phone call everyday which I got. Ignored so I decided to turn up at the school and wait till I was seen even if I had to wait all day the meeting was uneventful so I decided to take on head of education well he had the cheek to say to my face he couldn’t arrange for anyone from yes to come in as he wasn’t sure who to contact at that point I laughed I got Tommy on the phone who is leading our yes camping in Barrhead well that quickly wiped the smug look from his face well after a few different conversations we have been told that yes Scotland will be allowed in all er schools around February dates still to be confirmed I told him that I had recorded our conversation and if yes didn’t get confirmation  of dates I would go higher than him and to the papers I hope he keeps his word.

    147. creigs17707repeal says:

      @ AlexMci
       
      1) Democracy. Presently Scotland is governed by a Tory-Liberal government it did not elect. This situation occurs more often than not. The only way the people of Scotland can ever get the govt they vote for 100% of the time is to govern themselves though independence. Additional Powers are often promised to the Scottish people but rarely delivered. Indeed, if the anti-independence parties had wanted to give Scotland more powers they would have ensured that a third option–Devo Max–was included on the ballot paper. They ensured precisely the OPPOSITE and ensured the third option (which most people would probably have opted for) was NOT on the ballot paper. There will be no further powers coming to Scotland after a NO vote.
       
      2) Child Poverty. In parts of the East End of Glasgow, child poverty rates are 50%. Foodbanks are asking for food so that these kids can have a reasonable Christmas. Meantime Westminster forces Scotland to pay out the money it earns on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Independence will allow Scotland to remove WMDs and prioritise its spending to eradicate child poverty.
       
      3) Bedroom Tax. This is a punitive tax which targets the most vulnerable people in our society, forcing many of them to leave a house that they have lived in all their lives. This tax was introduced by the Labour Party and perfected by the Tory party. Labour have said they will scrap it IF returned to power in Westminster–but that’s a big IF. An SNP govt in an Independent Scotland has guaranteed to scrap this tax.
       
      4) Illegal wars. An independent Scotland will, unlike the UK, have a written constitution that will ensure Scotland will not participate in illegal wars such as the war in Iraq which saw hundreds of young Scots soldiers killed.
       
      5) A better quality of life for everyone in Scotland. With our people and natural resources, Scotland would be the 6th richest country in the world. Presently our resources are taken to build up London and the south-east to the detriment of our own country. Although public spending in Scotland is £1200 per head more per person than the UK average, this is only one side of the story; one side of the balance sheet. On the other side Scotland contributes to the UK treasury £1700 more per person than the UK average. This means that every single person in Scotland is paying the UK treasury around £500 each to help build up London to the detriment of Scotland. If Scotland votes NO then the £1200 extra spending per head in Scotland which we receive through the Barnett Formula will be scrapped leaving Scotland even poorer.
       
      And one more just for kicks …
       
      6) A Private Member’s Bill is presently working its way through the UK Parliament that will require every unemployed 18-26 year old in England and Wales to complete one year’s National Service. If Scotland votes NO then the likelihood is this National Service will be extended to 18-26 year-olds in Scotland.
       
      Hope this helps.
       

    148. MochaChoca says:

      @Bethany,
      I’d broadly agree with kininvie’s points , but you have to be careful how you word these things for instance;
       
      you can show that it’s undemocratic in so far as Scotland constantly gets governments it hasn’t voted for.
       
      Much of the time yes, but not constantly.
       
      You can show (from the tax figures) that we get less than we contribute.
       
      Yes, if we include in our contribution the amount of borrowing attributed to us, but they will quote the headline figures (rather than percentages) which show that we, like most countries in the world are currently operating a deficit, what they won’t say is that our deficit is a for smaller proportion than that of the rest of the UK.

    149. AlexMci says:

      Folk, regarding schools, it’s bullying pure and simple.these teachers know they won’t get any argument from the pupils, there are not many teenagers who will have the confidence to stand up to adults. They will swallow what they are being fed. So called teachers should be hangong their heads in shame. I would love to hear any teachers excuses on why they are doing this. As I said earlier I got a wee taste of it at South Lanarkshire College the other evening. The only difference was that there was a student who was better informed than the master. And it was a case of we don’t have time to get into the politics of this as much as I would like too. Aye right, you shut it down because you realized you were about to get torn a new one. Typical bullying tactics. But be in no doubt there were a few folk who sat up and took notice.

    150. Edward says:

      AlexMci
      ‘what can we do when even the education system in our country is feeding lies to the children’
      Simple , you and every other parent (and non parent) pay for the education system, you are their bosses. You need to get a hold of the headmaster and tell him firmly that if they allow Better Together in the school then they have to have Yes Scotland in at the same time or they get exposed!. If they say they are not allowed , then get them to give you a copy of their guidance notes. If they are not willing or say they don’t have any, then go back to first point of allowing Yes Scotland in at the same time.
      The excuse of not allowing a ‘political group’ in reference to YES Scotland , equally applies to Better Together.
      kininvie
      West Lothian council I think are on a thin limb regards ‘political use’. I take it thatSeafield community Centre is not West Lothian council property?, because that is used as a surgery for Angela Constance MSP. Labour councillor Tom Conn uses council property for surgeries at
      Philpstoun Community Centre & B

      ridgend Community Centre. It should also be pointed out to West Lothian council that YES Scotland is ‘a political’ in that it is a cross party interest group

    151. AlexMci says:

      Vicki I know you have commented Sis. It is awaiting moderation. You will find on this site some of the sharpest people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. If you are serious about a scrap with the education people, you have solid allies here who will do the utmost to help you in you’re actions. All I can say is  go for it and give them hell lol.

    152. Ken500 says:

      Some of the Unions are supporting are supporting the SNP Scottish gov. Did one of the teaching Unions not support Scottish Gov policy?

      Many teachers (older?) are card carrying Labour Party members. Teachers are not supposed to be political or push a political agenda. They can be disciplined. The Parents should start complaining. Complain to the Education Dept/Council Phone or E-mail the schools.

      A doctor surgery had a BT advert on their website (for cash) People complained – they are supposed to be apolitical and are funded by taxpayers money.

    153. TJenny says:

      Bethany – a very warm welcome to WoS and enlightenment on all aspects of indy.   There’s a huge amount to get your head round though and not sure how long you will have to speak. 
       
      As there are wide ranging topics for you to use, you’ll know best which ones will resonate with other students, e.g.
       
      It might be a good idea to pick the topics that you hear the No supporters in your peer group espousing, and then show how they are wrong.
       
      For example if they go on about indy Scot not being allowed to use the £ you can search this site for that topic and get a few quotes and maybe mention that just after John Major said we couldn’t use it as the BoE wouldn’t let us, next day Gov of BoE stated he is open to talks with AS and Scot Got on just that. (’cause rUK need Scotland’s exports to boost their balance of payments etc)
       
      The roaming phone charges threat (proved N/A within days), or
       
      that free FE tuition can only be guaranteed with indy, (poss in written constitution if indy)etc.
       
      All the best with your project. (Do you know if there will be a Y/N poll before your talk and then again afterwards?)
       
      Apologies for such a long post 🙂
       
       

    154. kininvie says:

      @edward
      That point has been raised. Answer was err…um community centres are sort of different…
      I’m still waiting for chapter & verse on this (and shall let you know)
      But we didn’t have the time for a legal wrangle, so we just shifted the venue.

    155. Ken500 says:

      @ Bethany macintyre 1 December 2013 12.18am

      Well Done! Ace

    156. Edward says:

      Its little wonder we are seeing screwball results from so called school debates, its a complete and utter fix!
      You cannot have free and equal debate if you don’t allow proper and equal debate in the first place. I feel the Scottish Government should start exposing this , no doubt they are wary of adverse publicity – what else could go wrong?
      The one tool that the unionists just hate is the internet as they rely on a compliant newspaper /tv/radio media. But if no one is listening, watching or reading that media, then the message will get out over social media which they have no control over.
      Think of how the various resistance movements during the war got on spreading news, when their own newspaper and radio was controlled by the Nazis . They resorted to signs and underground news sheets. Well the 21st century equivalent is the internet and social networks spreading the word

    157. crisiscult says:

      AlexMci  Sorry, which school in East Ren? 

    158. Training Day says:

      @Ken

      Unfortunately the older teachers still hold sway over the careers of younger teachers. And the efforts of EIS affiliated teachers to block the inclusion of even a minimum of learning about Scotland in the curriculum are something to behold.

      The more people that know this the better.

    159. AlexMci says:

      @ criegs1707 wow, thank you very much. Brilliantly put sir.

    160. AlexMci says:

      Crisiscult. Barrhead high school.

    161. Marcia says:

      Good luck all over Scotland in getting equal treatment. Democracy BT style seems to be one sided.
      O/T
      The 1988 Govan Bye election is now on Youtube. I sent it to to the chap who puts on all these election programmes last year. I also sent the 1988 local election results programme where you would see a thin Brian Taylor along side a slimmer AS. It is not up yet. Brian Taylor is seen in this video.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHA3nsjk0xE
       

    162. kininvie says:

      Can I draw eveyone’s attention to the Electoral Commission’s guidelines here:
       
      http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/157328/Scottish-referendum-education-briefing-June-2013.pdf
       
      In particular – the last section, bullet point 4 states:
      Council facilities and resources must not be used, or appear to be used in support of a political party, and election candidate or a particular campaign in a referendum.
      That seems clear.  But note ‘particular campaign’. Elsewhere, the advice suggests access to young people is OK if it is balanced & impartial.
       
      This is a useful stick to carry, if you need one.

    163. Ken500 says:

      Re Comments awaiting moderation

      Look back articles

      After the WP publication traffic increased. It led to comments being delayed because of the increased volume. The plisher system goes into overdraft. Using certain words or phrases can mean comments go into moderation mode and are delayed. They can eventually get mass deleted because they all can’t be moderated manually. It is because of the increase traffic.

      After the WP release. There were thousands of comments waiting for moderation, because of the use of certain words or phrases. Check back the words/phrases not to use. Blockers.

    164. crisiscult says:

      ah, can’t help. I know teachers in some of the other east ren schools but not that one. I think Mr Murphy’s are at Williamwood, though I could be wrong. You’ve certainly inspired me to ask a few questions of the teachers I know  to find out a little more.

    165. megsmaw06 says:

      Kininvie – Well seen WL council is Labour/Tory run eh?
      ‘no political meeting should take place on council-owned premises’ – Aye, that didnae seem to stop Better Together from using the Bathgate partnership centre for their BT bathgate launch.
      What a bunch of obscene swear words.
       
      I hope the big meeting with Nicola is packed, my dad will certainly be there. If it wasn’t for my work I’d be along too.
       
      Has there been any objections to the Yes almondvalley, blackburn meeting on the 2nd? I’m sure it’s in the community centre.

    166. Ken500 says:

      Aye but the certain reactionary teacher are not getting their own way. CE is being introduced and Scottish content is being rightly introduced. These reactionary might find it is their careers that might be affected. Especially if the parents start complaining in increased volume.

      Until recently the only way to study Scottish history/literature etc was at University. It was not taught in schools. People in Scotland do not know their own history. An amazing inspirational History with which pupils would totally engage. All blood cuts and gore but exciting and aspirational. Scotland influenced the world in so many ways. It is amazing and something to be proud about. Things are slowly changing. The change will be gradually and resisted but will happen. They will have to happen at University level to train the teachers to teach the children.

      The same with Maths teaching, some of the non socialist teachers don’t understand Maths. There were changes is the 60’s which lead to lower Maths/science engagement. That is changing as well. Specialist teaching is increasing. Special needs are being picked up, but not fast enough.

      Smaller class sizes was the way to go but Westminster cuts put pay to that. Independence is the only way to raise and spend cash more wisely, and to address education issues. Teachers can get stressed out and many do a really good job. Many teachers are excellent. There is too much paper work and pressure. The Finnish system looked interesting. It looked like the former teaching system more relaxed, less pressurised.

    167. Morag says:

      Now we know why that dopey boy at the museum said Robert the Bruce had fought for independence – sneer – he didn’t win.

    168. Chic McGregor says:

      We have come to expect that the No campaign and Alistair Darling in particular, be habitually economical with the truth.  
       
      It is, however, with rather less expectation that we await them being truthful about the economy.

    169. kininvie says:

      @megsmaw
       
      My impression – and only an impression – is that council officers are all over the place. As I said, we were first told we could go ahead and then stopped – because I suspect someone suddenly read the EC guidelines. But elsewhere they won’t have – or it’s a different department – or something… I suspect councils will gradually get their act together.
       
      The EC guidelines are only firm when it comes to ‘particular campaign’. So I would use them as a lever where you notice that one side is excluded. So for any BT event in schools etc, we must insist that either they are banned or else an equal and opposite arrangement is made for Yes – maybe at a later date. The ER experience recounted above seems to suggest this works, and the lesson is to make sure you have a Yes contact number when you go to argue the point.
       
      I think in WL’s case it was probably a fair cop, in so far as we were having an event for a ‘particular campaign’. But if we’d been holding a debate, with both sides represented, I think we would have been OK.

    170. Patrick Roden says:

      Well done Bethany,  you’re a star 🙂

    171. K1 says:

      Iain Macwhirter rounding up this week’s distortions, and making some quite pointed observations toward SG’s approach to press onslaught.
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/the-scare-stories-are-bogus-but-should-have-been-challenged.22831843

    172. john king says:

      Bethany MacItyre
      vickie  I told him that I had recorded our conversation and if yes didn’t get confirmation  of dates I would go higher than him and to the papers I hope he keeps his word.”
       
      You had to have warned him before your conversation that you were recording it, telling him afterwards I’m afraid will ensure he does diddly squat because he KNOWS  you cant legally use it, data protection act and all that. 

    173. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Alex & Bethany –
       
      Looks like you’ve opened a can of worms right enough.
       
      It is a huge story, and if we had a healthy media in Scotland then this would have been exposed by now. But we don’t. It’s ridiculous that individual parents (and uncles!) are having to do this, but we are where we are.
       
      The MSM will not help unless they are forced to take the issue seriously. Teachers’ unions, PTAs, students representative councils, colleges and universities should indicate that they will not accept this. It shouldn’t be difficult to agree on the principle at stake here – either our schoolchildren are given equally-weighted input from both sides in the referendum debate, or they’re given none at all.

    174. Edward says:

      John King
      I think if you warn someone that you are recording a conversation at the start of it and they
      continue with the conversation, then that is taken as a confirmation and  accepting, which then can be used. Remember organisations are happy to record your calls and state at the start they are doing so ‘for purposes of training and quality control’
      Its quite easy these days to record conversations, by having your land line phone on loudspeaker (most modern phones have that facility) and using your Smart phone (such as Blackberry, other smart phones available) which have a ‘voice notes’ record app
      Switch on the ‘voice notes’ app, call on the land lie with ‘hands free’ loudspeaker on and away you go 🙂
      Always state that you are recording , be polite and to the point
      The recorded call can then be downloaded using the smartphone to PC cable and software, so you have a sound file on your PC

    175. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @K1 –
       
      Thanks for linking the MacWhirter article – some interesting comments there in response.
       
      MacWhirter seems to be, inadvertently perhaps, doing precisely what he’s accusing his MSM buddies of – scaremongering. The fact that newspapers gave the SG ‘a kicking’ over the White Paper is hardly a surprise – any protestations from the SG would’ve been drowned out by the baying of the usual suspects.
       
      But they can’t keep howling forever – as and when they stop for a breather, that’s when the rebuttals should be made calmly, slowly, spelled-out with all the hard evidence. Sarwar vs Sturgeon was a microcosm of the larger debate – BT shout, stamp their feet, point their fingers and pens, wave fake documents, bark angry demands to see this, that and the other. But they know full well that, as soon as the histrionics stop? the answers emerge – they can’t afford for that to happen, so the tantrums continue.

    176. K1 says:

      @Ianbrotherhood
      I see what you mean and was aware of the tone of his article.  I think also though that for many, who are not so informed as most contributors on WIngs, maybe his indignation about the onslaught after the WP serves as some ‘balance’ factor?  His second paragraph at least conveys for any one at a glance, that the ridiculous repetitive assertions that were spewed out were actually…just that.

      “The governor calmly said he would welcome discussions about Scotland remaining in the sterling zone after independence. As well he might. Threadneedle Street doesn’t want to lose around £40 billion from the UK balance of payments, nor does it want to damage UK business by erecting costly barriers to the free movement of goods between Scotland and England.”

    177. Ken500 says:

      @Ken500 1 December 2013 1.04am

      Damn i-board

      * ‘non socialist teachers’ – non specialist teachers

      predictive text

    178. bethany mcintyre says:

      I did inform that I was recording our conversation and he agreed the reason I had to do this was I had many other meetings with head teacher etc where I was promised things then he denied the meeting had taken place I also got the kids in 5th year to sign a petition to say they wanted both bt and yes to come into the school as part of there curriculum  it seems to have worked as yes are allowed into er schools. These 16 year olds don’t have a clue I asked my daughter what she was going to vote she told me she was going fir a no vote I asked her reason behind this her answer was well mum I won’t be able to get cheesy pasta as the company that makes it is English and you know I love cheesy pasta the school also told us we won’t have a benefit system so think of they poor old people that won’t get their pension this is what were up against after taking her and her friend to the rally in Edinburgh she has changed her mind done more research and is now going to debate with bt why we should vote yes.

    179. Ken500 says:

      McWhirter misses the point. They would/could have been challenged but not reported.The false assertions are challenged all the time.

      The Queen, EU, currency are not the game changes for many people. The budget – the UK gov raising less and spending more (pro rata) in the rest of the UK. Free personal care, bus pass, free prescription, non Uni fees, protecting NHS/Education, balancing the books, more austerity (pro rata). Not being told the truth. These are the issues that concern most voters.

    180. Ken500 says:

      The WP will also give the teachers the information they need to give a balanced view. Along with others who say they need more information.

      With campaigners like bethany mcintyre @ 12.07pm, how can the YES campaign lose. Kudos.

      No wonder the No’s are getting more and more agitated.

    181. Jimmuckmc says:

      This article and the arguments are fantastic I have been a herald reader
      for 40 years the past 12months have been as an e reader 

      I will miss the two Ian’s but I am willing to cancel subscription
      and transfer to wings but I need to be shown how

      the comment about there and their was I thought tastefully done
      and not at all criticle 

    182. Andrew Morton says:

      Here’s another thought for the young lady giving the talk to her class/school. At some point someone is bound to say that Scotland is subsidised by the UK/English. Here’s a something I wrote on the Guardian Comment is Free pages which may come in handy:
       
      34
      “What confuses so many people in the debate is the difference between deficit and subsidy. Scotland pays more per head in tax than the rest of the UK does and receives a smaller proportion per head back in spending. However, the actual amount received in spending is more than that handed over in tax. Most people interpret that as ‘a subsidy from England’  and, on the surface, this is what it appears to be. But it isn’t, what is actually happening is that Scotland runs a deficit and this money is Scotland’s deficit which the UK borrows on its behalf. At the same time, the UK is borrowing proportionately even more to fund the rest of the UK’s deficit.

      Hence why Scots think they fund the rest of the UK and the rest of the UK think they fund the Scots. In a sense they’re both right and both wrong. But the Scots are righter than the rest.”

    183. Albert Herring says:

      And the actual amount received in spending includes repayment of ‘our share’ of UK debt that we didn’t actually run up.

    184. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @K1  (11.56) –
      ‘His second paragraph at least conveys for any one at a glance, that the ridiculous repetitive assertions that were spewed out were actually…just that.’
       
      Aye. We’re on the same wavelength here, so I hope I don’t appear to be splitting hairs.
       
      My point is perhaps borne of frustration and or wishful-thinking. MacWhirter is a fine writer, and comes across well in person, be it via radio or telly. No arguments there. My problem with his work (and I stress ‘my’) is that it seems, like the output of other admirable (but very few) Scottish journalists, to project an ‘objective’ stance which is not, in fact, ‘objective’ at all.
       
      Unfortunately, these people are operating within a system which is inherently biased – it is fundamentally skewed towards maintaining things as they are, so these people think, behave, and write accordingly: they would not have made it so far in the industry if they didn’t think that way, or at least give a convincing impression of doing so.
       
      We, in the ‘Yes’ camp, need big hitters onside. MacWhirter is one. Ian Bell is another. Riddoch has ‘sort-of’ come on-board. But we need more than suggestions of interest, veiled expressions of support – we need these people to start hammering into their BT-supporting peers, and creating the kind of level playing-field that all participants claim to want. It cannot happen unless those with access to the MSM – i.e. those who are already part of that culture – start raising their voices. So far as I’m aware, none have done that to anywhere near the extent that they are capable of, and until they do? I’m afraid that the independence movement has no option but to proceed on the basis, and in the belief, that grass roots activism will win the day – the MSM, and anyone connected with them, simply, and sadly, cannot be trusted.

    185. K1 says:

      @Ianbrotherhood
      Yes.  It’s conditioned conformity.  It’s all pervading, we are all schooled more by emulation than education.  Is this not the ‘fitting in’ paradigm?  The simple thing of it is, there is no view or position that can be unbiased from the perspective of conditioning.
       
      I feel you talk more from a position of faith and vision in terms of ‘grass roots activism’.  In the context of the referendum this is, of course the ground from which the question arises.  Conformity permits no naysayers, it is the status quo, it quite literally cannot conceive of anything other than itself.  It’s why we are seeing all the ‘defensiveness’ in the form of attacks.  With this in mind, can one of the pack break away, so to speak? 
       
      The thing is Ian, they should never have been trusted in the first place.  The sad reality is that they are.  They will not alter their position because it stems from faith and vision, they will alter it when it is seen clearly that Yes is winning and then only because of vested self interest, it’s the only paradigm that they know.   
        
      They, as you say will remain ‘veiled’ until that very grass roots has decided Yes.  Then they will claim it to secure another ‘new’ consensus.  I don’t trust any one.  Yes for me has nothing to do with them and what they are about.  I suspect it’s the same for many others too.  It’s for the future, it’s for the child born in 2016, fifty odd years from now, with a good start, better conditions, less poverty, less pain borne from really difficult backgrounds’ unmitigated by social/economic policies from others who may as well come from another planet.  For them to look back and wonder about how wonderful…that people cared about me. 
       
      That’s why Yes will win.

    186. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @K1 –
       
      Well said. We are on the same wavelength right enough. Especially on this:
       
      ‘Conformity permits no naysayers, it is the status quo, it quite literally cannot conceive of anything other than itself.’
       
      That’s why the launch of the WP left such a sour taste. Those assembled hacks, mostly metropolitan, looked and sounded like disapproving aunties at the premiere of ‘Oh Calcutta!’, tripping over one another to express outrage and disgust – collectively they formed a kind of black hole which sucked in any positivity, creativity and hope.
       
      We, at grass-roots level, have to do our level best to ignore these cynics and do whatever we can on a small, practical level. It’s the Derek Batemans who have the experience and tools to take on erstwhile colleagues – showing support for people like him may be the most effective contribution we can make.



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