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Wings Over Scotland

The uncertain minds

Posted on June 11, 2013 by

Keen followers of the Scottish media may have noticed that since the start of the year there’s been little sight of the phrase “the positive case for the Union”. Perhaps buoyed by opinion polls showing little movement, the No camp has more or less abandoned even the pretence of positivity and concentrated on the tactic it’s most familiar and comfortable with – carpeting Scotland with fearbombs.


The last couple of days have been no exception. At the Scottish Tory conference David Cameron repeated the curiously vague threat that an independent Scotland might not be allowed to keep the pound, and yesterday in Westminster the Home Secretary dropped (implausible) hints that Scots might not be allowed to keep UK passports.

But wait a minute. Why so shy?

The reason these issues are constantly raised by the Unionist side is that polls indicate Scots definitely want to keep the pound, and nobody ever wants to give up a passport once they’ve got one – the more “nationalities” you have, the easier it is to smooth your passage around the world.

Similarly, the reason the Yes campaign, and the SNP in particular, is pursuing a “don’t frighten the horses” strategy minimising the amount of upheaval a Yes vote will produce is because nobody likes upheaval – even if it’s for the best of reasons – let alone forced upheaval.

Moving house is a pain, even when you’re moving to a nicer one in a better area. The worst dump in a terrible neighbourhood can still seem tempting compared to spending weeks packing everything you own into boxes, handing thousands of pounds to Pickfords to move it and then unpacking it all again.

Under that strategy – to the chagrin of radicals who seem oddly perplexed about the correct arrrangement of a cart and a horse – the Nats insist that we’ll still be British, we’ll still have the Queen, we’ll still be in NATO and we’ll still be able to watch Doctor Who, while Unionists shriek that we’d become some sort of isolated North Korea-style pariah state sealed away from the rest of the world in a hermetic barbed-wire bubble.

Or rather, they say we might.

And that’s the odd thing about the Westminster fear campaign – despite having been given repeated opportunities to do so, neither David Cameron nor George Osborne (or anyone else) will actually come out and say that the rUK would, for example, definitely refuse to enter a currency union with an independent Scotland.

The reason they won’t is that – as pointed out by “Better Together” campaign chairman Alistair Darling – a currency union would be overwhelmingly the only sane thing for the two nations to do. Nobody could stop Scotland using Sterling (a fully tradeable global currency any nation can adopt if it wants to without requiring the UK’s permission) in any event, but the chances that the rUK would refuse to co-operate with a currency union with Scotland are zero. You can quote us on that.

But that doesn’t explain why the UK parties don’t say it wouldn’t. If Cameron and Osborne stood up and stated unambiguously that they would refuse to enter a currency union after a Yes vote, or if Theresa May said categorically that Scots definitely WOULDN’T be allowed to keep their UK passports, it’d undoubtedly be a huge blow to the Yes campaign.

(And if we’ve learned nothing else from the last 15 years of British politics, it’s that politicians’ pledges aren’t worth the giant placards they’re printed out onto. They could say it without actually meaning it, and nobody would bat much of an eyelid when they went back on it afterwards.)

So why don’t they? Let’s look at some possible explanations.

1. Maintaining positivity

A flat-out explicit threat would look like bullying, and if one thing might just rile Scots into voting Yes it’d be the feeling that they were being railroaded by a bunch of Eton toffs.

Cameron’s public pronouncements have been much more along the lines of wanting to keep the Union together because we’re one big happy family, and the recent “Better Together London” launch spoke of getting expat Scots to “lovebomb” their family and friends back home with tales of how sad England and the other nations would be to lose us.

But it seems to stretch credibility to suggest that these barely-veiled threats are any less bad in that respect than open ones. Reported in the media with screaming clickbait headlines, all nuance is lost and they come across as the very thing they’re trying to avoid being. By the time the qualifiers and disclaimers have appeared two-thirds of the way into the articles the damage has been done.

2. The shock doctrine

It may be, of course, that the advocates of the Union are simply keeping this particular powder-keg dry, in order to deploy it in the last weeks or days before the poll. A sudden announcement in early September 2014 that the rUK would seek to recall all its passports and wouldn’t enter into a currency union would leave the Yes camp no time to counter the wave of fear.

But it would also inevitably look deeply suspicious, and even panicky. It’s a high-risk “Hail Mary” tactic to unleash after spending the best part of three years being evasive on the subject.

3. The myth of more powers

The non-committal approach could also be an attempt to protect the narrative that a No vote will result in the greatly-enhanced devolution settlement that’s still the constitutional preference of around a third of Scots – a constituency who will effectively decide the referendum according to which of the two available options they consider the least bad.

Persuading wavering voters that Westminster is keen to devolve more powers to Holyrood after a No vote will be a tougher sell if the UK parliament plays such uncompromising hardball at this stage, because it doesn’t depict a government interested in co-operation and negotiation.

Then again, given how incredibly stupid anyone would have to already be to believe that a No vote will result in more powers for the Scottish Parliament, it’s a push to imagine that a few half-hearted caveats are going to win any of the sceptical votes in that sector over.

4. The fragile recovery

The No camp has spent most of the last 18 months issuing dire warnings about the “uncertainty” caused by the referendum and how it would cripple investment, enterprise and growth. Last week saw that particular fox well and truly shot, but the surest way to create real uncertainty would be for the UK government to effectively declare economic war on an independent Scotland in advance.

The UK’s current “recovery” is a pitifully weak runt of a thing, and such announcements would surely cause a great many businesses to put expansion plans on hold for years. (Because after the referendum there’d also be a looming general election, delaying any kind of “certainty” right into summer 2015.) Cameron and Osborne simply can’t afford that risk.

But the threat of non-co-operation is useless after the referendum – if Scotland DOES vote Yes, there’s no point in the rUK government being hostile to a major trading neighbour. If the UK government refuses to directly say that it’ll refuse a currency union now, it has nothing to gain from doing so afterwards. So that can’t be the reason either.

5. The risk of backfire

The most interesting hypothesis, then, might be that Unionists don’t want to risk the Yes camp exploring what might turn out to be popular alternatives.

For example, there seems to be widespread support at least within the independence movement for an independent Scottish currency. If Westminster definitively ruled out sharing Sterling at this point, Alex Salmond and Blair Jenkins would have a year and a half to sell that fundamentally-attractive idea to the Scottish electorate.

Similarly, with passports, the thought of being absolutely forced by Westminster to choose between Scottish and British identities might not work out too well for the “British” side, given that even Scots who claim to be both prioritise their Scottish identity over their British one by a large margin.

54% of Scots classify themselves as either “Scottish not British” or “more Scottish than British”, with just 11% favouring the opposite definitions and 31% ranking both identities equally. The UK parties almost certainly don’t want to concentrate Scottish voters’ minds on that question even as a threat, because it inevitably gives rise to nationalistic feelings – a free gift to Yes Scotland.

It seems, then, that the only reason the No camp is being so wishy-washy over its “warnings” is that if they were to actually pull out the revolver and point it openly at Scots, we’d be able to see there were no bullets in the barrel. Indeed, it looks increasingly likely that there isn’t even a revolver, just someone pointing their fingers at us through their jackets.

As far as the supporters of independence go, the parties of the Union certainly aren’t pleased to see us. But they haven’t got a pistol in their pocket either.

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55 to “The uncertain minds”

  1. Morag says:

    Stu!  We thought MI5 had kidnapped you!

  2. HandandShrimp says:

    I can’t get worked up over the scare stories any more. There is only so often in a horror movie that “Boo!” works then it starts to become a hackneyed cliche.
    Talking of weird stories, the latest on the Beeb regarding Welfare is a complete dog’s breakfast. What does it mean? It seems to suggest that Scotland would administer Welfare for the rUK but I suspect what is being proposed is that an independent Scotland retains the same structure of Welfare assessment and payment as currently prevails. This seems to me like a no brainer (as our Merkin chums might say). Over time our systems would diverge, especially if some sort of horror Cameron/Farage Coalition were elected in 2016 but as a starting point current offices, forms and payments seem the most logical starting point. A logical if unexciting building block in the “what would Scotland look like” picture. Not sure what the Beeb are trying to do with it at all.   

    PS I tend to view the Beeb as an integral part of the No camp so trying to figure their angle is not as off topic as it might seem.

  3. MajorBloodnok says:

    Rev, so it’s a case of “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just displeased to see me?”

  4. Stevie says:

    Frightening the markets in London would cost £billions – the worry for them being that they are almost completely dependent on the crooiked, dodgy financial transactions in London and scaring them might well make the rabbits jump back into the top hat and disappear.
    Also, they don’t wish to come across as threatening in case it gets people’s backs up.

    They are a scummy bunch of post-imperial tax-dodging right-wingers who long for Victoria Regina and the days of the raj – gits, every single one of them.

  5. Les Wilson says:

    I noted Margo’s request for assurances that M15 will not get involved in any action which could be deemed anti Independence, has not been replied to. 
    She is right to be concerned as they are surely among us, and someone has to be making the MSM and the Unionist parties to continually work in Unison, which we see and hear,on a daily basis.
    The dirty tricks brigade are hard at work, more pointed assurances must be sought from Westminster  that if such tactics are in place, that they will cease these immediately. Unless we expose such actions against us, their tactics will become more extreme especially if the tide is turning to a YES, we need to speak out loud and clear HANDS OFF!

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    I think there’s certainly an element of the last one in it, but I think the main reason is simply because it suits their “uncertainty” narrative to not totally rule out things. As you say, if they ruled out a currency union outright, then we just say “fair doos, we’ll have our own currency instead then.” As if by magic, no more uncertainty.
    There’s certainly a chance that they might suddenly rule things out when they feel the Yes campaign has invested too much in things like the currency union and British passports to be able to credibly say “okay, plan B then”. Also, if they do, then it makes it clear that it is indeed a plan B – a substandard option – rather than the ideal scenario. How daft would it look for Yes campaigners to suddenly go “oh yes, a Sterling zone was never the ideal situation – we always wanted a separate currency really”.
    It all depends whether or not you believe the commentators who claim that Osborne, Darling etc are shrewd political tacticians. Personally, I’m satisfied that they’re absolute numpties, and that there really is no more to their campaign than “make everything sound terribly uncertain!!!”.

  7. Doug Daniel says:

    Actually, I think Stevie might have it there – it’s all about not scaring the markets, since this dictates absolutely everything Westminster does. We all know the pound is stuffed without Scotland backing it, and they can’t risk the Yes campaign going “laterz” to the pound by forcing them to make alternative arrangements.

  8. Training Day says:

    I think the tactic is pretty clear – it’s number 2 (and it may be a huge number 2 in any case 😉 

    As today’s report from the working group on welfare demonstrates, the tenor of most proposals outlined by the SG/Yes is going to be predicated on continuity.  Westminster/No will see a definite indication of a refusal to co-operate, issued in the run-in to the referendum, as pulling the rug from under the Yes continuity strategy.

    The interesting thing in that event is how the international community would view such a stance..

  9. Robert Kerr says:

    @Training Day,
    The International Community really is the key. I have worked overseas and travelled extensively and I truly believe the English are unaware how badly they are thought of.

  10. naebd says:

    Good analysis.

  11. Captain Caveman says:

    Yeah agreed; it’ll be Option (2), with a whole bunch of other dry powder kegs to boot as well, I’ve no doubt. (As for the reaction from the international community, IMO this will hardly be an issue either, in fact likely to be helpful to the Unionist cause? The ‘Barroso Letter’ and a whole bunch of other stuff clearly indicates which direction that particular breeze is blowing… large, powerful, influential interested third parties don’t want an independent Scotland either, it would appear?)

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I think the tactic is pretty clear – it’s number 2 (and it may be a huge number 2 in any case 😉

    Westminster/No will see a definite indication of a refusal to co-operate, issued in the run-in to the referendum, as pulling the rug from under the Yes continuity strategy.”

    I just can’t see that they could pull it off after three years of refusing to be clear. The only time it could be deployed would be if Yes looked like it might win, and if we’ve reached that point it’s just too transparent to work. Indeed, it might even be counter-productive, because it says to Scots that the rest of the UK is prepared to self-harm to stop Scotland leaving, and that completely blows the idea that the Union is good for us.

  13. Macart says:

    Yup, its a scary old world and no mistake. Big powerful interested corporate parties, government dirty dealings, influential media, intimidation, fear, greed, corruption all very unsettling stuff, yup indeedy.
    And I’d vote to be a part of that why? I’ll stick with voting yes anyhoo.

  14. Captain Caveman says:

    Not saying I like (or even agree) with it; just simply that’s that is how I think these things are. But it’s not just corporations who don’t want it, though – entire nation states (or at least their elected governments) within the EU don’t want it either, as they’ve not-so-subtly indicated. e.g. Spain for starters.

  15. Training Day says:

    @ Captain
     “large, powerful, influential interested third parties don’t want an independent Scotland either, it would appear?)”
    That may be true in some cases, in others it certainly isn’t.  Westminster issuing last-ditch threats not to co-operate – and to bully – will not garner support from many in the international community.  Presentationally it would be a disaster for them. 
    I agree, it’s a high risk strategy, predicated on the assumption that enough potential Yes voters could be put back in their box by the threat that Westminster ‘will not’ do such and such rather than ‘might not’.  But if the No campaign is in trouble by then, it may be all they have..

  16. Desimond says:

    Westminster will show the same disresgard for commitment even when the YES vote comes in. “So David, you ready to talk?”…”Err, someone tell that Oik Im busy, cant it’ll regret it you know”..”Fair dos..we’ll just start helping ourselves then!”.
    Then the realisation that it was indeed a Union of Equal Nations will hit home.

  17. Luigi says:

    Poor DC and friends are hopelessly tangled in their own webs of deceit. First we are told that the UK would be a much poorer place without Scotland. Then we are told theat the rUK will not cooperate with an emerging, independent Scotland. Well then, if the rUK is potentially worse off without Scotland, then things will become far, far worse for the rUK if they refuse to cooperate and trade with Scotland. With every singificant national event (1997, 1999, 2007, 2011) the people of Scotland become more and more confident. The tails are up. They are not in the mood to suffer Westminster/ MSM BS any longer. A number of major fear bombs are about to backfire spectacularly.

  18. Nkosi says:

    They will play and pull every trick, clean or dirty in the book and not yet thought of to retain their Gravy Train. They have done it before and will do it again. They think they are superior to the rest of us, that is clearly apparent by the actions they take like how the handle the expenses they give themselves, the fact that they think they deserve a £20 000.00 pay increase when the rest of us have not had increases since 2007-08 and many, many people do not even earn near to that in a year never mind dream of it in an increase.

  19. HandandShrimp says:

    If it is a Yes vote on the 18th September then the fan will be well and truly besmirched on the 19th.
    Foulkes and Forsyth will probably demand a recount and internment for anybody evil enough to have voted Yes.
    London will be looking in all directions to see what they can and cannot get away with all the whiles desperately looking to see how it will play for May 2015.
    The EU despite their negativity in the run up will suddenly want Scotland onboard and may well be at loggerheads with Westminster by then.
    A Yes vote will be a wonderful thing 🙂

  20. scottish_skier says:

    Rev: 54% of Scots classify themselves as either “Scottish not British” or “more Scottish than British”


    Even among those who say ‘equally Scottish and British’ a good part of that group is actually more Scottish. They key is in the way it is worded. If it said ‘Equally British and Scottish’ you’d find less take up as that puts British before Scottish in the sentence, implying dominance even though the word ‘equally’ is used.

    You can see that in Figure 2 here:

    If you reverse the scale for British, so that 1 = High and 7 = low (i.e. the opposite of Scottish where 1 = low and 7= high), you find that 77% prioritised Scottish over British, with just 22% prioritising British over Scottish net.

  21. Macart says:

    @Captain Caveman

    I’d agree with that. It is how things are, just not how they should be. Mibbies I’m just an old softy, but I do believe people can make a difference if enough of them say ‘thus far and no further’. We know how rotten Westminster and the corporate world is, in fact how many governments are. Its no reason to say we can’t do or be better and if W1 isn’t for changing its ways then I am. That’s the big selling point of independence for me. The fresh start, tabula rasa, do over. Many are afraid of uncertainty of what might be lurking round the corner without training wheels on. I welcome it. I look forward to a constitution, to re-prioritising tax and spend, to having the heid bummers hoose next door if I disagree with the way they’re handling things.
    So many spurious facts, figures, what ifs thrown at us on a daily basis. Recently the ugly turn of the politicos and media declaring war on independence support with no thought to the social carnage this demonisation is going to leave in its wake. Well, I don’t think I want to be a part of a state which works like that. If ever I had any lingering doubt about how I would vote in this referendum, BT and Westminster have done a bang up job of removing it in the past two years. My old mum would have said I was just being thrawn, but I’d say I just don’t like bullies. 🙂

  22. handclapping says:

    Remember that this shower consider themselves the elite. FUD is an elite tactic and this may and might is just showing us peasants that they “know” and we don’t. IMO it will be 2 because they will be pushed by the rise of UKIP ahead of their 2015 GE and they will use the Electoral Commission request for certainty over the results of the result as their excuse.
    Our counter should be to emphasise that all these scare stories are mays and mights and to state alternatives like our own currency, wave a Confederate $ bill at folk and tell them they set up their currency in the middle of a civil war so how difficult can it really be, our own passports etc. The further point to make about the mays and mights is that these are things where they control those decisions, just how certain does that make their pronouncements about things they dont control like EU membership, oil depletion or the state of the economy.

  23. BillyBigbaws says:

    I reckon it’s a mixture of 4 and 5, combined with the fears outlined in the confidentiall UK Government documents that are now declassified and held in the National Archives.  Like they were saying back in 1974/5….
    ….external creditors of the UK could very quickly start to take fright. Although the external debts that have been accumulated do not involve explicit mortgaging of North Sea oil, there is clearly a general presumption that repayment will be effected out of the current account surpluses that will be generated by the elimination of, by 1980, of oil imports and possible achievement of a net oil export position thereafter . This prospect could be cast in doubt by an assembly of which the articulate leading members were all pressing hard for separation. These doubts and pressures would bear not only on the sterling balances but also on foreign currency borrowing undertaken with HMG’s guarantee: there would plainly be increasing doubt about what HMG would be comprised of by the early 1980s when most of these debts fall due for repayment.
    They were very worried about how the markets and the UK’s creditors would react to the idea of a Scottish Assembly with extremely limited powers, even at a time when there was no prospect of a full independence referendum or a separation of currency, so they must be much more worried now, about the same kind of things.
    So although they will broadly hint to the Scottish people that we might be deprived of our currency after independence, they don’t want to give the impression to the international markets that they are SERIOUS about it. 

  24. Max says:

    We forget the “Dead Together” campaign in 2014 that hopefully will get the Scots to wave Union Jacks as we march side by side with the WW1 dead to fight Johnny Foreigner once more. That might be the last throw of the dice by unionists if the polls show support for a YES vote. 
    If that were to fail then the big guns will be rolled out. Tanks at Glasgow Airport anyone?

  25. Jiggsbro says:

    wave a Confederate $ bill at folk and tell them they set up their currency in the middle of a civil war so how difficult can it really be
    The Confederate dollar became worthless pretty quickly, so that might not be the most helpful example.

  26. HandandShrimp says:

    I see the latest Guardian opinion poll still has nationalists as a catch all doing well at 8%. Not sure what the SNP share of that is but I am guessing we are still looking at 3% to 4%. UKIP seem to have slipped a bit.  

  27. handclapping says:

    That I know, the point to make is that setting up a currency is not that difficult. All the problems that No have raised have been solved by someone somewhere so unless we really are 2w2p2s then there is nothing to stop us doing the same.

  28. velofello says:

    “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” sums it up for me.
    “And if you vote for independence I shan’t ever take anymore of your oil, gas and generated power ever again – being independent you’d expect me to start paying for these resources I suppose”.
    i’d treasure a Scottish passport; I’m indifferent over retaining sterling;i’ve never described myself as British;i’m anti-Trident;anti illegal wars; have given up on the BBC.

  29. HandandShrimp says:

    Quite, if it was damned hard to set a country up how on earth have 200 other countries managed it. To suggest we could not do likewise is tantamount to saying we are too stupid to tie our own shoelaces and should only use plastic scissors.  

  30. beachthistle says:


    Tanks at Glasgow Airport anyone?”
    Why would they change venue?
    In keeping with the ‘let’s remember WW1’ theme they could bring their tanks back to George Square!

  31. Dal Riata says:

    Regarding the ‘positive case for the Union’ and why it has not, as yet, been stated – it never will be stated, because there isn’t one! Indeed, if there had been any kind of ‘positive case’, it would already have been shouted loud and clear by the Establishment, the Unionists and the MSM. And it would be repeated daily ad nauseum.
    There is no positive case for the Union – we know that, and they know that. So they turn to fearbombing, FUD, scaremongering, smearing, lies and uncertainty as a ‘persuasive’ tool…and parades and circuses wrapped up in Union Jacks while singing Land of Hope  and Glory and Remembrance services to ‘celebrate’ our soldiers getting slaughtered together.
    This ongoing attempt to heavily influence the Scottish people’s decision in a democratically proposed referendum for self-determination just shows the Union for what it is – a corrupt, abusive, past-its-sell-by-date busted-flush which is in existence only to serve those who profit from it the most and not for the people of the UK, never mind Scotland itself.
    Hopefully, the majority of eligible voters in the 2014 referendum will aware themselves of as much of the truth about current-day rotten-to-the-core Westminster and its politics as possible and deliver the ‘Yes’ vote that Scotland needs to move on to much better and greater things.

  32. Holebender says:

    Captain Caveman, one word re Spain’s reluctance to accept independent Scottish membership of the EU; fish.

  33. Onzebill says:

    What is very depressing about this whole issue is how many Scottish politicians and media people (protecting their pensions and hoping for a seat in the Lords???), are prepared to put Scotland down and lie through their teeth to laud the “benefits” of the union which are none as far as I can see.
    As most of us who visit this site are aware the scaremongering and distortions are generally extremely puerile but these negative stories are relentless, a young lass in our office, who will be voting for the first time next year admitted to knowing very little about the various discussions/arguments around Independence but did say she would be reluctant to vote Yes because of a concern that she would have to show her passport when visiting England. I assured that should not be an issue following Scottish Indepence and have introduced her to WOS which hopefully will open her eyes and her mind.  
    We have a long way to go in changing some peoples mindset, I think it’s going to be close and get nastier as time goes on.

  34. Sapheneia says:

    The 2014 European Parliament elections will be key in the referendum especially if UKIP can eat into Labour votes.
    If the UK looks like leaving the EU then even the importance of retaining the pound may be open for debate.  Why would international investors continue to hold such a currency given it is already earmarked for further devaluation?
    While I think the Yes campaign are running a solid grass roots campaign and sticking to their [safe] message, I think it is going to need a significant jump start to really challenge BT.  The UK being “isolated” from Europe will make many “don’t know”/”No” voters consider how secure they would actually feel in such a UK.

  35. scottish_skier says:

    H&S: I see the latest Guardian opinion poll still has nationalists as a catch all doing well at 8%. 

    Given that Plaid are normally 1%, with 2% at best, even if they are on the high side of variance, SNP share must be quite high. I’d suggest 3% plaid, 5% SNP which would be 60% SNP in Scotland.

    Now that would come with a huge error, but recently the normal numbers for SNP have been 3 (36%) or 4 (48%) suggesting something ~42% for Westminster. Not seen any 5% for nearly a year. 5’s were frequent late 2011.

    Would be nice to see these appearing again! Would be fun to have a 6% (72%) 🙂

    I await the ICM tables with trepidation.

  36. Alabaman says:

    MI5 ? As their saying goes, “our group in Slovenia” (it’s not a she, a him, but a group! )

  37. TheTaxiDriver says:

    A big fat wifey in the back of my Taxi the other day, nearly had me ploughing in to the back of a bus when she said ” Scottish independence is rubbish, just look at the Clyde, it used to be full of shipyards.” When I asked her what ever she meant, she got all annoyed and said “Och you know what I mean.” Some people are really really thick, and are to lazy to even think out side of the unionist box, it is like a comfort blanket. She also farted as she got out, and glared at me.

  38. Doug Daniel says:

    TheTaxiDriver – I trust you locked her in and refused to let her out until she either explained herself or admitted she had no idea what she was on about?
    Actually, taking the farting into consideration, it’s probably just as well if you didn’t…

  39. ayemachrihanish says:

    Rev, nice list of tactics and while the parties of the Union aren’t pleased to see us and haven’t, as you say, got a pistol in their pocket – is it because they don’t need one!
    They could just use the various instruments of the State    
    As Alex Massie recently and succinctly put it in the Spectator –   
    “Never, ever, underestimate the high deviousness and low cunning of the British state”.
    So to test this claim. Regarding the Independence debate & the forthcoming referendum – what about the recent output of these 4     
    BBC Scotland – high deviousness and low cunning? Or high straight forwardness and low shadiness?
    MSM Scotland – high deviousness and low cunning? Or high straight forwardness and low shadiness?
    Scottish Affairs Select Committee – high deviousness and low cunning? Or high straight forwardness and low shadiness?  
    The reports of CPPR –  high deviousness and low cunning? Or high straight forwardness and low shadiness?
    It’s an interesting list of tactics you present. Is there a common thread to them in the claim of, Never, ever, underestimate the high deviousness and low cunning of the British state?

  40. ianbrotherhood says:

    She sounds a class act. Did she give you a tip?

  41. Jimbo says:

    If the YES camp were to decide not to adopt the rUK’s currency, with their huge trade deficit, and without Scotland’s oil backing their currency, wouldn’t the rUK risk a run on their precious pound that they don’t want to share?

  42. HandandShrimp says:

    The Taxidriver

  43. Captain Caveman says:

    “Captain Caveman, one word re Spain’s reluctance to accept independent Scottish membership of the EU; fish.”
    I thought it was more ‘Catalonia’ myself.

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    or Catatonia?
    who were from Wales
    which are not fish as such
    I’ll get my coat

  45. Morag says:

    They’ve already covered their backsides on that one by declaring that the two situations are completely different and whatever happens in relation to Scotland has no bearing on the Catalonia question.

  46. Red squirrel says:

    The only advantage to keeping the pound is that it is already heavily devalued. No way will Westminster want Scotland to move away from sterling – rUK will already be stuffed and can’t risk further currency uncertainty.
    OT A&E waiting times – NHS England blaming female GPs for having family lives vs NHS Scotland funding more A&E consultants. Think what we will achieve with full fiscal autonomy.

  47. HandandShrimp says:

    Catalonia might beat us to it in which case the boot might be on the other foot with Westminster saying the EU volte face on the position and status of Catalonia has no bearing on Scotland. Catalonia is blessed with a sympathetic media though – unlike our cuckoo in the nest at Pacific Quay.

  48. Cath says:

    “The non-committal approach could also be an attempt to protect the narrative that a No vote will result in the greatly-enhanced devolution settlement that’s still the constitutional preference of around a third of Scots
    Surely there is a real danger for them in this though. If they’ve spent the past 2 years denigrating the whole idea of sticking with a currency union cos, like, that’s really bad for Scotland, and they’ve denigrated other Yes campaign ideas or SNP policies as “not being real independence” how can they then sell the idea of sticking with the currency but also having no other powers?
    Essentially it’s starting to pan out, from the NO camp’s rhetoric, as:
    status quo, or possible but unspecified change directed by Westminster: no

    Devo-max (but a form where Scots are sovereign): Yes then vote SNP

    Full independence with own central bank, currency, potential vote on the EU and possible vote on a republic: Yes then vote green, radical indy/Labour for indy or other emerging party.

    What the NO camp, then, appear to be saying is, if you want devo-max, we’ve already said no so f**k off, we’re not going to negotiate anything with you.

  49. Vronsky says:

    “Personally, I’m satisfied that they’re absolute numpties”
    Indeed they are, but they’re not calling the shots.  They’re backed by the brightest PR minds in the business, expert propagandists, acres of crowd research and limitless funds.  Darling, Davidson, Lamont – the monkeys are pitiably comical, but there is an organ-grinder somewhere and that’s who we have to worry about.  He’s called the British State and he’s a very nasty piece of work. Ignore the puppets, follow the strings.

  50. hugh taylor says:

    during the run up to the referendum , expect things to get dirty very,very dirty Wasteminsters dept of misinformation will swing into action backed by mi5 and every mi that exists ,  tricks and twists never dreamt of will spring to life , giving up power just does not happen to these people , they were born to rule and rule they damn well will  

  51. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    I for one would be delighted – no ecstatic! – to have a Scottish passport rather than my (currently expired) British one to travel around Europe on. For the rest of the world I use my Canadian passport … so yes the more passports the merrier but having an English passport is a decided disadvantage in most of the world – virtually no-one outside the benighted kingdom actually calls it “British” they, quite accurately, refer to it as “English” however, when they hear the word “Scotland” they drop their scowls and ask about – don’t be surprised – Braveheart! As much as many Scots may dislike the film a large part of the rest of the world are really big fans.Here in Istanbul it ran for more than a year in at least one cinema and is still wildly popular. Let’s face it, when people with guns interrupt your holiday travels having a British passport is a decided disadvantage and as each British PM starts his own new war that disadvantage is increasing astronomically.And as replacement passports for overseas Brits are now a privatized service requiring sending of old passports and documents by courier to another country ( we were to use an address in Germany until recently) Mossad and any other major user of stolen identities has it all the easier. Scottish passports will solve the problem immediately and I imagine future Scottish travelers being asked “How did you get them out?” by various formerly subject peoples who still cannot shake off the murderous nostalgia for empire that seizes all who reach the top at Westminster.     
    Scottish citizenship  – your passport to safer travel and international acceptance – Vote Yes

  52. Cath says:

    And I notice today’s trick from the NAWs is to denigrate the Scottish government suggesting a joint administration period of transition for welfare and pensions, despite the fact that a large part of that suggestion comes from the fact many English pensions and benefits are currently administered in Scotland.
    I guess Westminster ought to start planning in case it happens then.

  53. airchie says:

    With regards to currency, I feel there is a massive opportunity there to really boost the fortunes of everyone in Scotland. Stamp scrip. 
    The best way to understand scrip is to read about The Wörgl Experiment.
    What I am thinking is a complimentary currency similar to that used in worgl, but electronic, based on similar tech to bitcoin, but backed by the Scottish government to allow confidence in the currency. 
    This would provide an excellent anti hoarding mechanism to boost Scotland’s economy, the government could even offer exchange of the scrip to sterling (or any other currency) and offer tax breaks to people paying in the currency to encourage it’s uptake. The best part is there would hopefully be no central bank with the ability to spit the dummy and bring it all to a halt as happened in Wörgl. 

  54. Shinty says:

    ah, a Scottish Passport! I’ll be first in the queue.

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