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Wings Over Scotland


Uninteresting news ignored

Posted on June 07, 2013 by

Readers will probably barely recall a story from back in January, because it only made the front page of almost every Scottish newspaper and the lead item on most Scottish political TV and radio programmes. It was a Scottish Social Attitudes Survey report which put support for independence – via an extremely old and outdated question formulation – at a dramatic low of 23%.

labourglasgow

Almost as forgotten was the “Better Together” campaign’s half-hearted attempt at capitalising on the numbers, by misrepresenting them as meaning something else entirely in order to create a misleading graph. (Perhaps because by now we’re so used to them being somewhat creative with numbers that nobody noticed.)

So it’s only to be expected that the latest poll numbers from the same source, released yesterday, don’t seem to have made any of today’s papers or broadcasts.

ssasgraphs

If you can’t be bothered making sense of those two graphs, let us help.

UPPER GRAPH – JANUARY 2013

Independence: 23%
“Devolution” (including both the status quo and undefined extra powers): 61%
No Scottish Parliament: 11%

LOWER GRAPH – JUNE 2013

Independence: 35%
“Devo max” (everything devolved except defence and foreign affairs): 32%
Status quo: 24%
No Scottish Parliament: 6%

We’ve examined before the strange phenomenon by which Scottish people consistently say their most favoured constitutional arrangement is independence, as long as you don’t call it “independence”. ScotCen’s latest findings confirm the fact yet again, with a clear margin of 11 points for independence over that status quo (the only two options that will be on the referendum ballot paper).

Slightly mystifyingly, support for devo max has actually increased since it was definitively ruled out as an option by the Unionist parties. And combined support for the “devolution” options is 5% lower than the January figures from the same organisation, with independence 12% higher and the abolition of Holyrood also 5% lower.

(Neither set of figures adds up to exactly 100%.)

This extraordinary and sustained display of cognitive/semantic dissonance on the part of the Scottish electorate seems extremely intriguing to us, as we’ve noted previously. At the very least, you might think it’d make a more interesting show/article than having the two camps sniping at each other again over whatever the topic of the day is. Yet to the Scottish media it’s apparently the most boring subject imaginable.

We only wish we could think of a reason why the press would give acres (and hours) of wall-to-wall coverage to a poll showing independence at a record low, but then not mention even in passing figures from the same pollster less than five months later which made it the most popular constitutional choice, and miles ahead of the “No” option that’s the only actual alternative.

Oh wait, we think we just got it.

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81 to “Uninteresting news ignored”

  1. Adrian B says:

    What are they doing in that picture? Catching flies?

  2. Laura says:

    Are they not cheering Gideon’s budget speech?? They are just Tories in red ties after all…..

  3. handclapping says:

    What always gets me is that the loss of foreign policy and defence in 1603 was the cause of our sorry state in 1707 so devo max would turn out to be a similarly dead duck. Maybe Scots lack foresight. They certainly lack the knowledge of history to be able to forsee what devo max would come to or is it that they are the ultimate gradualists?

  4. Marcia says:

    They are cheering the first bedroom tax eviction by a Labour run council. 

  5. Juteman says:

    Maybe all the Sundays will have it as front page news.
    Unless an Elephant creates chaos in Blairgowrie.

  6. benarmine says:

    Oh all right, I’ll take the elephant round by Alyth instead

  7. Jimbo says:

    Is that the picture from the Labour Party conference where they were said to be punching the air with glee on hearing that the Bank of Scotland was in trouble? 

  8. Lurker in the Wings says:

    It’s only one poll ; it’s an outlier; the real poll ill show ….. et cetera. 
      It is only what we expect but it is becoming so blatent even supporters of the union are starting to notice.
       On a lighter note, Ruthie v Brillo – http://youtu.be/9rSd1UEyYME
     

  9. Yesitis says:

    *Looks at above picture*
    They mostly come at night… Mostly.

  10. IainB says:

    so take the 35 for independence + (to be really fair to both sides) add half of the devo-max and you get 51% for independence .. job done
     
    more balanced, relevant questions & it should be 55%+ for independence?

  11. Frances says:

    Left Foot Forward appears to have noticed this survey though –
     
    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/06/better-together-needs-to-get-its-house-in-order/#more-69477
     

  12. SCED300 says:

    For the Together group to ‘get their act together’, they would need to have an written, legally binding agreed policy, which none of them can do. They don’t know which Party or Party Leaders will be in charge in the next couple of years. Westminster parliament would need to agree and pass it etc.
    Who would even believe it.
    They have nothing to offer.

  13. JLT says:

    To be honest, this is the best news I’ve heard all week. I thought at one point (yesterday) that half the nation was sleepwalking towards voting ‘No’, but this has made my heart sing.
    35% is good at this point, and with another 32% saying that they want Devo Max, then that is fantastic. That is almost 70%. (I can’t see why if you want Devo Max, then you would vote ‘No’ – it makes no sense. You want something, but vote No, to get nowt! Eh!).
     
    Even if you were to knock off 25% of the 32% of the Devo Max percentage (say, some do decide to vote No) – it would still be a Yes win (almost 60% !!).
     
    This is made my weekend very happy !!! (and even better to see quite a few empty seats at the Tory conference. That’s the PM standing there, and still the Tories can’t fill a small hall).
     

  14. muttley79 says:

    Yes, it seems the Yes campaign have work to do to persuade people, who appear to want independence but can’t see it themselves yet, to actually vote Yes next year.  Quite a strange situation here at the moment…
     
    On that photo at the top of the article, that should focus Yes supporters’ minds on next year.  Imagine having to endure Lamont, Matheson, and the like celebrating after a No victory.  They would be celebrating the fact that Scotland does not want to run its own affairs.  How much motivation do we need!!

  15. Davy says:

    What the picture is about is a one off event which has never been repeated, no it is not an elipise of the sun, nor is it labour winning an election, it is labour watching Jackie Ballie walk past a Gregg’s. simple’es sic.
     
    Seriously thats a good poll, lets keep it going.
    Hail Caesar!
       

  16. Boorach says:

    Somebody should have told JoLa to smile and not wave her fist in a threatening manner…. it’s obviously an unscripted moment and she has FMQ’s on her mind.

  17. Yesitis says:

    OT
    Croatia 0 Scotland 1  🙂   🙂

  18. Aplinal says:

    OT Scotland 1 – 0 Croatia
     
    Bravo boys, tough performance against No. 4 team in the world!  

  19. Aplinal says:

    You beat me 😉
     

  20. Gary says:

    I do?t know if my ipad is missing something but the second graph looks to me as if it is from 2012.

  21. Peter says:

    That left foot in mouth article makes the claim that the evil Salmond was demanding devo-max on the ballot paper.  How often can people print outright lies without being stuck in prison?

  22. Bill C says:

    Strachan talked about being incredibly proud of the team and said they played with the heart, no bad thing for our cause and country.  Also the funny thing is we actually played football. Between 35% for independence, 32% for Devo Max and a football team which has just beaten the 4th ranked team in the world at home. This has been a very good day for Scotland.

  23. CameronB says:

    @ Bill C
    If is on the box, then I suppose there are some advantages to having TV. 🙂

  24. Jiggsbro says:

    I can’t see why if you want Devo Max, then you would vote ‘No’ – it makes no sense. You want something, but vote No, to get nowt! Eh!
     
    If you want something, but you don’t want everything, then you would vote ‘No’. I might fancy a pint but still think it would be a bad idea to buy a pub.

  25. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    O/T
    Absolutely fabulous piece just on Newsnet from Andy in Cupar.
    Should be watched in every home in Scotland
    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/affairs-scotland/7535-we-are-scotland-andy-cupar

  26. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Forgive me if I’m being a bit dim here, but what exactly are they celebrating in the picture at top?

  27. Tony Little says:

    @ian
     
    I think it’s scraping home in Glasgow

  28. Morag says:

    Glasgow council election results last year, I think.  To be utterly prosaic about it.

  29. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Tony Little-
     
    Cheers. I really was struggling to think what it could’ve been, was starting to think it was some staged pish.
     
    So, they held onto Glasgow Council?
     
    Big wow. You’d think they’d just won a Euromillions rollover. Bottons.

  30. Hetty says:

    Are they celebrating a wage rise for themselves? One wage packet away from being jobless and homeless is the reality for many, and this lot coming up with absolutely nothing to even give the poor a smidgeon of hope. They are very happy to have a nice huge wage packet at the end of the month, that’s the long and short of it, selfish immoral B****s. I’d love to see their faces tripping should the good people of Scotland vote YES!!
     

  31. Yesitis says:

    “Yeah… I`m Brackie”

  32. max says:

     
    It has been the case with the polls that over the past months the trend, as opposed to the absolute figures and variability, shows increasing support for independence.

  33. Gordon Bain says:

    @ Gary 9:17
    Aye, yer iPad’s missin’ an ‘n’.       🙂

  34. Betsy says:

    @Morag
    Good Lord! Imagine the state they’d get themselves in if they actually achieved something. 

  35. clochoderic says:

    OT
     Apparently Brillo gave Wee Ruthie a bit of a doing on the daily politics program, it is linked to by Guido:
     
    http://order-order.com/2013/06/07/watch-ruth-davidson-gets-brillod/
     
     If it was today’s lunchtime show then it is being repeated almost now on BBC Parliament channel at midnight.

  36. Albert Herring says:

    Johann Lamont & Ian Davidson on top of an open-top bus at Govan Fair this evening. Faces tripping them as they survey a scene of massed Saltires & Lion Rampants and no a Union Flag in sight!

  37. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Albert Herring-
     
    Seriously?
     
    WTF were they doing?
     
    Did the driver know they were up there?
     
    PS Are you allowed to smoke if you’re sitting in the back row on the upper deck of an open-top bus, and if not, why not?

  38. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @clochoderic-
     
    Let’s be fair – Wee Ruth was somewhat disadvantaged by the five-hour time-gap between Millbank and Stirling, and she was also facing a man who clearly sees (as hawks do) the slow-mo reality unfolding, much faster than normal humans.
     
    Andrew Neil is the man who put the ‘arse’ in ‘narcissist’, and knows what side his toast is buttered long before it’s anywhere near hitting the deck.
     
    The man’s for turning…
     
    President Andrew Neil, anyone?

  39. Albert Herring says:

    Seriously? Yep. 
    WTF were they doing?
    Talking amongst themselves whilst looking down noses at great unwashed. 
    Did the driver know they were up there?
     Dunno. Ask ASLEF?
    PS Are you allowed to smoke if you’re sitting in the back row on the upper deck of an open-top bus, and if not, why not? Dunno. Ask ScotGov?

  40. Dee says:

    I think we are in a really healthy position and with so many events still to come in our favour in 2014, like commonwealth games, bannock burn, Ryder cup, UKIP whitewash in English Euro elections, UK government in melt down, We Will Get That 50%+1 in Sept next year. Also,
    Really looking forward to the rally in September 2013…

  41. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Albert Herring-
     
    AH, you are really spoiling me with all these answers (and so promptly) but I must make a nuisance of myself and ask one more – why were they there?

  42. Dee says:

    O/T when David Cameron is standing giving a speech, is he wearing his wife’s left high heel shoe because there is about a 6inch height difference from his left shoulder compared to his right. Just curious that’s all…

  43. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Albert Herring-
     
    Aha!
     
    Get it now…
     
    The punters of Govan are obviously celebrating the type of thing linked below – makes perfect sense for Johann Lamont and Ian Davidson to be there, gathering plaudits whilst reaffirming their Socialist credentials:
     
    http://local.stv.tv/glasgow/magazine/220765-sir-william-pearce-statue-on-govan-road-set-to-be-restored/

  44. Yesitis says:

    What will they do if we vote Yes?
     

  45. Dcanmore says:

    O/T
     
    Croatian fans display banners during tonight’s match … “YES – INDEPENDENCE FOR SCOTLAND” with the Scottish and Croat flags 🙂 brilliant!
     
    http://www.24sata.hr/nogomet/po-pobjedu-ali-i-gol-razliku-na-skote-s-kovom-bez-halilovica-318428
     
    From a Croat newspaper, scroll through the pics.
     

  46. Albert Herring says:

    @ianbrotherhood 
    Aye, by celebrating a 19th Century capitalist.
    btw, virgins in Govan? – haha – he’s stuck on page one!

  47. clochoderic says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood,
    Brillo is indeed a local boy, even though he went to the second-best school in Paisley the boy has done well.
    Compare the fuss given to the EU interview with Salmond  and the utter shredding he has done on Stairheed Rammie and Wee Ruthie in the last week.
    Typically for the BBC the live link to the Ruth Davidson interview was in the dying minutes of a truly shocking program in which i swear i remember the whole panel were laughing about repossessions.

  48. Chic McGregor says:

    @Adrian B
     
    7 June, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    “What are they doing in that picture? Catching flies?”

      
    No, telling f. Lies.

  49. Stuart Black says:

    Yes, the level of jubilation shown indicates the fear and apprehension that the SNP would actually take control of Glasgow City Council. Unbridled joy at holding on with a reduced majority, this photo always gives me the heebie-jeebies, and results in unsettled sleep patterns.
     
    I presume the chap on the right, with what appears to be his brains pushing through the top of his head, is Ms Lamont’s partner, the Deputy Leader? Perhaps it would be a mistake to pursue this line of thought, it’s tacking towards the ad hominem and I wouldn’t want to be branded as one of these ‘vile cybernats’.  😉

  50. Macart says:

    Wonder if La Lamont would still be happy to share a photo op with Gordon Matheson these days? Or would it be more football manager syndrome? Y’know… I back my manager 100% right up until I don’t. 😉

    Near forgot. Well done boys, a tough game, but that’s more like it. 🙂 Hope some of the squad pay WoS a visit.

  51. john king says:

    Adrian B says:
    7 June, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    “What are they doing in that picture? Catching flies?”
    No they’re cheering Ed Milliband managing to get through a whole speech without saying, what we are saying once.

  52. john king says:

    o/t Just watched Andy from Cupar on newsnet, and his reasons for moving to Scotland from Buckinghamshire made me at first sad a man has to leave the nation of his birth for the wellbeing of both himself and his family,
    his reason was that England was becoming alien to him and when he moved to cupar his duaghters felt at home within a week and his point about the common fallacy about Scots hating the English was that in three years he knows more people in cupar that 50 years of living in the town he came from,
    this man is the true representation of England and an example of how life will be when the media and Westminster have gone onto demolish something/someone else,
    if only the press would report on someone like him instead of that nonentity Farage 
    Andy from Cupar I salute you and lang may yer lum reek

  53. john king says:

    “Maybe all the Sundays will have it as front page news.

    Unless an Elephant creates chaos in Blairgowrie.”
    You might find that funny but can you imagine how much damage an elephant creating chaos in Blairgowrie could do to the strawberry harvest?
    it could cause untold damage to the Scottish economy, 
    I think Joanne Lamont should set up a working committee to examine the ramifications of such an event and then challenge King Alex on his preparedness for such an event!

      

  54. john king says:

    “Oh all right, I’ll take the elephant round by Alyth instead”

      why? hasn’t he caused enough damage?
    just keep him at home, don’t take him anywhere for goodness sake, 
    have you any idea what the Telegraph would do with this if they got their hands on it, 
    I can see the headlines now
    Scottish strawberry harvest destroyed by SNP’s lack of forward planning to prevent elephants running rampage at berry picking season, 
     
    Alan Cochrane would have a field day, both him and Simon Jonson would get hunners o articles oot o that 

  55. Captain Caveman says:

    No question about it; these polls clearly suggest that the Independence movement has gained significant ground (albeit from a very low point). However, only approximately one-third of those polled actually want independence (‘devo max’ is not independence, of course, and nor is it currently on the table), which is still a long way short. If I were a supporter of independence, I’d want polls like this to show at least 55% in favour at this stage?
     
    My prediction is 60/40 in favour of the Union come the referendum itself; perhaps 55/45 at an absolute push. (I could well be wrong though of course lol)

    Still, entirely fair point about stuff like this not being reported. (Actually the bias of mainstream media is one of the key reasons why I believe the vote will go as I think it will – though even as a Unionist I do not approve and believe we should have a ‘fair, clean fight’)

  56. Tony Little says:

    @Captain
     
    re the polls.  I would not really want to be at 55%+ with more than a year to go.  I will admit to wanting to move faster, but really, people will not ‘switch on’ to the referendum until the White paper release in November (?) this year.  In the meantime the ground work is being done among hundreds of communities and supporters who will tread the streets are being recruited.  
     
    I respect your position as a Unionist, but the reality is that the union no longer works. It benefits a small clique of wealth. powerful individuals and businesses, and focuses all its attention on the City, London, and the South East in that order.  The rest of the UK can go to hell as far as Westminster MPs are concerned.  
     
    The desperate situation in other parts of England, Wales, NI and Scotland is the result of the dereliction of responsibility by Westminster politicians, in a political electoral system that de facto creates an “elected dictatorship” where it is virtually impossible for voters to “sack” their MP.  Westminster has become a gravy train for the privileged.  23 out of 29 Cabinet ministers are millionaires.  It’s not much better on the opposition front bench.  And “we” are all in this together?
     
    Westminster will never agree to real federalism or meaningful devolution.  For Scotland, Independence gives us a chance to remodel our country into something closer to a compassionate, social democratic one.  One that can think of ALL its citizens, and not just those with money.
     
    Alba gu Brath

  57. JLT says:

    Just seen this on the BBC news : Alistair Darling to attend the Tory conference
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22810871
     
    Darling …believes the Nationalist case is falling apart
    …Naw, mate, the only thing falling apart is your credibility …not that you had much of that left anyway!

  58. JLT says:

    Jiggsbro
     
    That is why I removed 25% of the 32% because some will vote No.
     
    You might like Milk, but not buy a pub …but when you realise your not getting milk either, then you only have one choice to make …ye buy the milk and everything with it.

  59. Brian Ritchie says:

    My prediction is 60/40 in favour of the Union come the referendum itself; perhaps 55/45 at an absolute push. 
    You’re on the right track, but the figures are the wrong way round. 🙂
    If you want something, but you don’t want everything, then you would vote ‘No’. I might fancy a pint but still think it would be a bad idea to buy a pub.
    But I would settle for a pint and a half. 😉
     

  60. Linda's Back says:

    Commenting on small venue in Stiring for Tory conference, heard Brian Taylor on radio this morning saying that lower attendances was the way of all political parties.  
    According to my friend in the SNP they are struggling to get suitable venues as Perth and Inverness which have bigger conference venues can’t accommodate all the delegates.
    But that doesn’t fit in with the BBC’s narrative.

  61. HandandShrimp says:

    JLT
     
    If Darling really believed the case for independence was falling apart he wouldn’t be selling his soul to appear at a Tory party conference.

    With regards the picture are they not celebrating another Conservative welfare cut?

  62. scottish_skier says:

    And remember devo maxers, in the wise words of Alastair Darling:

    “What the SNP are proposing isn’t independence”

    It’s just like Devo Max is what he means; shared currency and all that. Just to make that clear.

    As for the SSAS data; taken in the year of the peak of ‘No’ in straight Y/N polls too.

    Aye.

  63. gemini says:

    Interesting news ignored yesterday was Citizen Smart being arrested in Stirling outside the Tory Conference.
    http://www.citizensmart.org/statement-on-arrest.html
     
     

  64. Captain Caveman says:

    ‘… but the reality is that the union no longer works. It benefits a small clique of wealth. powerful individuals and businesses, and focuses all its attention on the City, London, and the South East in that order.  The rest of the UK can go to hell as far as Westminster MPs are concerned.’

     
    There’s actually some considerable truth in that, sorry to say, and it’s all got a hell of a lot worse in the last 15 years (under Labour, natch). However – and not that this is really a valid excuse – is it honestly any better elsewhere? You use the term “businesses”, I’d use “banks” and “the financial services ‘industry'”. How many ‘Wall Street Guys’ constitute the supposedly liberal, reforming Obama Administration? As for Europe itself, are not the bank-installed ‘Technocrats’ pulling the strings, even more so in the hapless (doomed) Eurozone than they are in the UK? Besides oil, Scotland’s relies very heavily indeed on the banking sector; Salmond himself is a banker. What reason for optimism, then, that an independent Scotland would be markedly different in this regard, most especially if (forced, coerced or freely) entering the Euro?
     
    But anyway, don’t get me started on bankers. 😀
    I was bleating on about their collective uselessness and evils in 2005 and the impending ‘unforeseeable’ banking collapse, back in the WoS days. Not that any bugger listened at the time, mind.

  65. Captain Caveman says:

    I still say that, on a more positive note, there is (imo) a clear advantage in Scotland remaining part of the Union, essentially for reasons of financial inertia and remaining within the EU as under the current UK negotiated terms, opt-outs and rebate. 🙂

  66. The Man in the Jar says:

    On the subject of uninteresting news. A student has been sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work for sending a “malicious electronic message” (regarding the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby)
    Although the message was offensive it is pretty mild compared to some anti independence tweets that I have seen.
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22821484

  67. a supporter says:

    Political betting is running an open poll on what the YES vote might be. I’ve voted 50% to 60%. Add your ten cents here
    http://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2013/06/06/pb-scottish-independence-poll/
     

  68. Morag says:

    On the subject of uninteresting news. A student has been sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work for sending a “malicious electronic message” (regarding the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby)
    Although the message was offensive it is pretty mild compared to some anti independence tweets that I have seen.
     
    Oh dear.  I’m inclined to believe her explanation she was making a tasteless joke about the design of the t-shirt.  She got into trouble because she herself reported the hate tweets she received in reply.

    I suppose it’s debatable whether she should have been charged for that tweet.  However, what has not been reported is that the senders of the hate-tweet replies were arrested.  Is it now officially OK to threaten to rape and kill someone if they themselves have transgressed by sending a tasteless non-joke?

  69. Morag says:

    I still say that, on a more positive note, there is (imo) a clear advantage in Scotland remaining part of the Union, essentially for reasons of financial inertia and remaining within the EU as under the current UK negotiated terms, opt-outs and rebate.
     
    As I understand it, the current terms, opt-outs and rebate have been negotiated by giving up things that would have been advantageous to Scotland, in favour of centralising the benefits of the rebate and so on in London.

    Feel free to explain how I’m wrong.

  70. Albert Herring says:

    On the subject of political betting, I see that Paddy Power have the Yes vote @ 5/6 for over 34.5% and Ladbrokes the same price for over 37%. Fill your boots – it’s free money!
     
    Not worth backing the SNP to win Aberdeen Donside though – they’re 33-1 ON with Lab at 10-1

  71. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Albert Herring
    I’d be inclined to put a little on weekly at a YES win at various prices – 3/1, 0/30 and 7/2 – with the various bookies. That is hugely overgenerous but they are probably reading the media spin all the time – just as they did in the early Spring of 2011 when they were giving 11/2 the SNP to win and got their bums felt big time

  72. Indion says:

     
    Albert Herring @ 2:12pm
    I read that now, not once but thrice to get the meaning of.

    Where are we now without full sample of the ample in our Referendum as Paddy Power reckons to make profit from for or against, I say to be first in line at their shopping in the morning?

    Gotta say, there’s nowt lost in the win-win of independence and union recognition of the YES Declaration leading via ackowledgement by made mark up in our Referendum to the re-enactment of a contemporary, modern, up to date version of the 1706 treaty now Edinburgh Agreement short of being between States until de-facto pending post-Referendum negotiations gathering all aboard for enactment by spring 2016 in principle and later practice by end 2017 at the latest.

    Looking forward to re-registration to vote in banking on our lots of lottery, whilst in continued hope betting on only mine for us in the twice weekly once in 4/5 years odds of not sharing the FPTP of all-inclusive numbers not coming up!

    What’s the point of betting on uncertainty, if not the rhetorical transformed from betting on for help donated to actual delivery from counting on the realisation of 5/6 odds on winnings over 37% in hedged later to make sooner if not first time?

    …. instead of the more to be gained from unforgettable squadron numbers than 3 as tonight 2 coming up with yet via the National of UK Lottery, damn it sticking to still to help realise our own nationality as our good fortune in full.

    Please keep us all posted Albert as you hace been to bet on and so shorten the worth of bookies banking on profit achievemed from not losing their gambling on that we might do so with their backing instead! 
        
      

  73. john king says:

    captain caveman says
    “As for Europe itself, are not the bank-installed ‘Technocrats’ pulling the strings, even more so in the hapless (doomed) Eurozone than they are in the UK?”
     
    Not from where I’m standing, Britain stood alone in resisting banking controls when the rest of Europe made it their mission to prevent further damage being done by rogue bankers but, in its infinite wisdom the Tory government stood alone against such controls as it was seen (by them ) to have a deleterious impact of the city of London, not the overwhelming part of the UK that is paying for the cities mistakes,no they wanted to defend the rights of city bankers to award themselves massive bonuses for failure, the only people in the thrall of big banks are the London based politicians, 

    and the farther away from them we can get the better, 🙁

  74. Captain Caveman says:

    “As I understand it, the current terms, opt-outs and rebate have been negotiated by giving up things that would have been advantageous to Scotland, in favour of centralising the benefits of the rebate and so on in London.
    Feel free to explain how I’m wrong.”
     
    I’m sure that sentiment is partially correct, Morag. I’m not denying the skewed, London/Southeast-centric nature of the UK and who gets the lion share of funding etc. (and, having been living and running a small business in the North of England for the last 20-odd years, I doubt very much I like this much more than you do, if at all).
     
    However, leaving this degree empathy and ambivalence towards some of your arguments aside, let me try to address your question. I guess the EU budget rebate is self explanatory; a clear benefit (well, at least until the ever-useless Labour Party ‘negotiated’ a good part of it away for precisely nothing but a bunch of worthless waffle from the French… Labour are nothing if not consistent in their peerless ability to fuck up everything they touch, including this cynical, entirely unmandated surrender of billions of our money just so Bliar could boost his ‘euro-credentials’). No-one would suggest, I assume, that ‘we’ (including Scotland) would be better off funding many extra billions per year for CAP beneficiary France, so this is a no-brainer.
     
    Aside from the black-and-white benefit of not having to pay as much for the EU (in proportion) as would otherwise very, very likely be the case for a new entrant State, then very clearly the UK’s successful resistance to join the Euro has been  similarly beneficial. Surely even the most ardent Europhile would have to concede that this ridiculous currency, itself founded entirely on empirically demonstrable catastrophically failed principles, both historical and very recent, is a total disaster, and will continue to be so until its inevitable collapse (but not before wreaking massive further damage on small member states). Controversially, Scotland might well not even have a choice as to whether or not she has to adopt the Euro, if independence wins the day, and I’m sorry, but if that isn’t sufficient to send a shiver down the collective spine of that fine nation, then it bloody well should be.
     
    Apart from the UK rebate and its opt out from the Euro, there’s also our ability to maintain border controls (well, theoretically at least – shame the useless public sector, as managed under Labour, manifestly failed to do the job it was paid handsomely to do, amid crass euphemisms like “not fit for purpose” etc.). I’d have thought the benefits of this were fairly obvious.
     
    Then there’s the ‘Charter of Fundamental Rights’; a “striker’s charter” if ever there was. The last thing Scotland, or the rest of the UK needs, is a return to even greater union power; the strikes; the inability to get anything done and an anathema to business investment etc. precisely of a similar nature to that which culminated in the Winter of Discontent in 1979 and the end of (traditional) “Socialism” as a viable, credible, practically workable political ideology, and “Old Labour” with it.

  75. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Captain Cavemen
    I don’t think you’ve got the whole story. At its launch the Euro was worth 70p. It’s now worth 85p. So if it’s doing badly sterling is doing worse surely?
    Most of he rest of your piece is pretty questionable as well but the garden calls and debating with blinkered Tories can wait. 

  76. Captain Caveman says:

    @Dave McEwan
    So seriously, you think all is fine and well with the Euro, then? Just because a Euro is trading higher against Sterling than it was when it was launched? I think your average Greek, Spaniard, Irishman, Maltan, Italian might disagree with your sentiment…. there’s rather more to it than just that I’m afraid. It’s entirely a GOOD thing (for the UK) that the pound is low against the Euro; why do you think Japan has just massively devalued and China keeps its currency artificially low also etc.
     
    Besides all of this, have you seen the state of the collective Eurozone economy lately? Things could hardly be worse! (Germany excepted… big surprise there then)
     
    You say I’m blinkered, but I have eyes with which to see. If you think most of the Eurozone states would not dearly love the ability to print currency and devalue, that’s your affair I guess. Some of us are sufficiently long in the tooth, and have seen too much of the real world/business, to know rather better.

  77. Larry The Cat says:

    “What are they doing in that picture?”

    It was taken on the day Parliament pays out the monthly expenses

  78. Larry The Cat says:

    ” sterling is doing worse surely?”

    Part of an overall covert strategy to manage the debt down

  79. The Man in the Jar says:

    What is it with the English obsession with Europe? I don’t think that it is anything to do with politicks, I think it is their false sense that “England” is the hub of the universe and anything that disturbs that view must be evil incarnate. Europe is a triumph of democracy and all the handwringing about currency and workers rights seems to be a wish to return to Dickenzian times when England ruled the waves and the poor knew their place. This seems (if numerous polls are to be believed) to be a fundamental difference between Scotland and England and a very good reason to vote for independence.
    Anyway I’m with Dave it is far too nice a day to sit at a computer and I have an eager dog to share it with.

  80. John Lyons says:

    Why was there no status quo option in January? The edinburgh Agreement had been signed by then, we knew what the options would be. It makes the whole thing hard to understand.
     
    Support for yes went up a massive 12% in 6 months, but we also added an extra option which should have seen the vote diluted and that didn’t happen. The only thing you can believe from polls is generallly support for yes is going up. In some polls, slowly, in others massively, but it’s going up. And we still have 16 months to grow it further.
     
     
     



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