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White line fever

Posted on November 26, 2013 by

We’re still dutifully ploughing through “Scotland’s Future”, but in truth we’re not really its target audience. We’re already convinced, and much of it is just like reading our own articles back except in rather blander language. What we can definitely say for certain is that it doesn’t lack detail – the composition of an independent Scotland’s armed forces, for example, is laid out almost down to the rifle.

speedread

Naturally, that didn’t stop the No camp from rushing onto the nation’s TV screens within minutes of the press launch ending with their considered, serious and thoughtful assessments of a document none of them had read.

“Nothing new”, kneejerked Alistair Darling on BBC News, as if he had a clue whether it contained anything new or not. Hilariously, by 1.59pm he’d digested enough of the 670-page tome, in between his countless media engagements, to have a fully-formed opinion published by the Spectator.

“Nothing has changed as a result of today’s White Paper. There is nothing that we found out today that we didn’t already know. Yesterday Alex Salmond’s case for breaking up the UK was based on assertions. Today it is still based on assertions.

The simple fact is that the nationalists have ducked the opportunity to answer any of the big questions about our country’s future. They promised us facts. What they have given us is a wish list with no prices attached.

If this White Paper was going to be credible, it had to address the fundamental issues that people are concerned about. They didn’t. We still don’t know what currency we use if we vote to go it alone. We don’t know who would set our mortgage rates. We don’t know by how much taxes would have to go up. We don’t know how secure our pensions and benefits would be in an independent Scotland.”

That’s just part of the former Chancellor’s diatribe, and it’s as light on truth as it is on laughs. We DO know what currency an independent Scotland would use. (Sterling.) We DO know who would set our mortgage rates. (Banks and building societies, working from the BoE base rate, just like now.) We DO know how much taxes would have to go up by. (Nothing. They wouldn’t need to rise at all.) And so on.

We can’t, of course, be surprised at the avalanche of negativity unleashed by “Better Together”. But we must confess ourselves mildly taken aback at its insulting crudity.

They must surely know that every even remotely intelligent human being watching, listening to or reading them being interviewed is perfectly aware they can’t have read the paper, because nobody can read 670 pages in an hour and a half. Had they had any wit about them at all, they’d have waited until tonight’s current-affairs shows or tomorrow’s full-scale Holyrood debate, at either of which they could have at least halfway-plausibly pretended that they’d read the document before rubbishing it.

marrawp

Instead, they tripped over each other to rush in front of the cameras and microphones and openly reveal to the Scottish public that they were happy to blithely pontificate in complete ignorance. First Darling, then Alistair Carmichael, then Willie Rennie, then Blair McDougall, then Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson all issued great screeds of vitriolic scorn about the contents of a manifesto for independence that every living soul watching them knew they hadn’t seen.

(Not that you’d have known from the interviewers who dumbly nodded along without ever thinking to point that pertinent fact out for the benefit of viewers and listeners.)

And pity especially poor Iain Gray, who stood up in front of the Presiding Officer and angrily demanded to know where the money for an oil fund was going to come from.

swinneyoil

You knew what he meant, of course, but the hapless former leader who took Labour to the most spectacular electoral defeat in its history just couldn’t shake the old habit of offering his opponents an open goal, and the SNP benches roared with laughter that, for once in a Parliamentary chamber, appeared spontaneous rather than scripted.

Media reaction has been largely predictable. The Telegraph, now the Union’s lead attack dog, tore in from multiple directions with unrestrained bile. Alex Massie penned a more sensible piece for the Spectator, as you’d hope. Scottish journalists, who’d at least skimmed the paper and were therefore unable to criticise the lack of answers, switched to Catch 22b: the classic “Has taxpayers’ money been used to pay for this?”

wpfarq

We’ve tweeted a few comments on the paper ourselves as we’ve gone along, but frankly we have nothing much to say about it so far. It’s a bit repetitive, rather wonkish (we’d have liked a glossary explaining to plebs like us just what the “balance of payments” is and why it’s important, and a few other such technical terms which are tossed out casually as if everyone’s a politics nerd), but by and large it’s clear and accessible – especially because in this wonderful modern age you can download it and instantly search the digital version for whatever you want to know about.

(We’d started by skipping to the huge section answering 650 questions from the public and were initially concerned that the answers came with no sources or footnotes, but in fact those are linked from the main chapters and held in a vast appendix at the end.)

We don’t expect the Unionist camp to change its tune. We’ve already seen that no matter how many times a question is answered, they’ll manage to turn a deaf ear and claim it hasn’t. But it’ll be difficult from now on to make that stick, because even among all the people who don’t bother to read the paper, it’ll be pretty obvious that at 670 pages, where an answer CAN be given, the chances are that it will have been.

The starting pistol on the real debate just got fired.

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    1. 29 08 14 22:01

      48 Lies | A Wilderness of Peace

    86 to “White line fever”

    1. Willie Zwigerland says:

      The white paper is full of nonsensical assertions like “small countries make a majority of the top 20 position in the UN Human Development Index”.
      Of course small countries also make a majority of those in the bottom 20 position in the UN Human Development Index.
      I can’t see it becoming required bedtime reading.

    2. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Willie
       
      What percentage equates to “full”?  Or is that just a jaundiced assertion?

    3. Brotyboy says:

      Don’t feed the troll.

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The white paper is full of nonsensical assertions like ”small countries make a majority of the top 20 position in the UN Human Development Index”.

      Of course small countries also make a majority of those in the bottom 20 position in the UN Human Development Index.”

      So what you’re saying is, the size of a country is neither a guarantee of success or an obstacle to it?

    5. David McCann says:

      @Willie.
      And your point is?

    6. Murray McCallum says:

      “We don’t know who would set our mortgage rates. We don’t know by how much taxes would have to go up. We don’t know how secure our pensions and benefits would be …”
       
      To be fair to Alistair Darling, during much of his time as UK Chancellor of the Exchequer he felt exactly the same about the UK.

    7. ayemachrihanish says:

      BBC in Scotland
      Brian Taylor – Scottish Independence White Paper – What’s in it for me?
      NO COMMENTS ALLOWED!

    8. Norrie says:

      I love Iain Charisma Gray thought we’d seen the last of him but no he’s back to provide the comic relief.

      Iain Charisma Gray returns
       

    9. Hazel Lewry says:

      Ah, the marvellous Iain Gray. Contributing to the lowering of blood pressure with his pure comedic genius. 
      No, wait ………

    10. Andrew Morton says:

      As I said on Twitter, anyone who was watching the BBC News in the 1960s will know what the Balance of Payments is and why it’s important to the economic wellbeing of the country. Back then it was seen as one of the most important economic indicators and the BBC never stopped banging on about it. Briefly, it’s important because, if for example, you’re buying oil from abroad, you have to pay for it in dollars. To get those dollars, you have to buy them using pounds. This results in a fall in the value of the pound against the dollar and makes the dollar more expensive to buy, making your oil imports even more expensive. If rUK has to purchase £30 billion of oil from Scotland in dollars every year, what do you think that will do to the value of the pound?

    11. Owen says:

      The Spectator managed to publish an article on how the white paper was rubbish a full 3 days before it was launched.
      Maybe they got an advance copy or maybe they had use of the IFS’s crystal ball.

    12. David Halliday says:

      we’d have liked a glossary explaining to plebs like us just what the “balance of payments” is and why it’s important”

      I’m delighted to be in such august company because the balance of payments idea is the one I’ve had difficulty getting, in context at least. I think I understand what it is (in essence, value of exports v imports). I think I then get that your currency will be weak if your balance of payments is negative (you’re not selling anything people want so they don’t need your currency). But in the context of oil and the UK, oil is traded in dollars isn’t it? So, how would sterling be affected if we left? Or is oil just priced in dollars but paid for in something else?

      If a clever grown up can explain, I’ll be very pleased indeed and suitably shamed.

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Or is oil just priced in dollars but paid for in something else?”

      I think that’s about the heart of it, although I could be epically wrong.

    14. Andrew Morton says:

      David, see my post.

    15. David Halliday says:

      Yes – just read it, thanks. I’ll pretend that’s what I meant.

    16. EphemeralDeception says:

      What strikes me is the sheer disbelief from all No supporters and the public outside of Scotland when we assert that we can: take control, do better than in the uk (unthinkable) an pick and choose what we like or not.
       
      It is like Iain Gray – where is the money coming from? As if we have no or few resources.
      The most ‘liked’ comments on BBC HYS is arrogance X(times) ignorance.  How dare we use the British(English) Pound!  How dare we be independent but use that FREEDOM OF CHOICE!  How dare we do better.

    17. Murray McCallum says:

      Andrew Morton
      “… anyone who was watching the BBC News in the 1960s will know what the Balance of Payments is and why it’s important to the economic wellbeing of the country”
       
      That’s an interesting observation Andrew. Seems to me that we have lost sight of the “real economy” as the media swoon about Central Bankers and the importance of QE. Why did making and selling things become so unfashionable?

    18. Bill Fraser says:

      Oil is traded in bulk on the commodity markets. It is bought and sold in bulk in the UK by exchanging sterling for dollars. Selling Sterling reduces its value, same as an excess of beans means the price of beans reduces.

    19. creigs17707repeal says:

      The only questions that HAVEN’T been answered are those that require to be answered by the UK govt and they’re fully intent in NOT answering right up until polling day next year.
       
      Mr Cameron (forget all the anonymous ‘Govt Sources’)–will you accept a currency union with iScotland–YES or NO? Not interested in hearing “unlikely”, “unworkable”, “probably not”. YES or NO?
       
      Mr Cameron–will you ask the EU the legal position of Scotland with regards to leaving the UK and joining the EU? (I ask you this, Mr Cameron, because Scotland–not being a member state of the EU–is not permitted under the rules to ask the question itself). Will you ask the question, Mr C.? YES or NO?
       
      People deserve absolute, definitive answers to these questions, Mr Cameron. By not clarifying these answers you merely create uncertainty and doubt in the minds of the Scottish electorate.  Oh wait…. I see…..

    20. Atypical_Scot says:

      Without a sterling zone and increase in trade deficit, no country would buy sterling on the reserve market because of lack of confidence, and indeed sell off their stock. The smart move for money men would be to shift from what was a stable currency, (sterling was once thee global reserve global currency btw) to one showing either recurrent growth or stability. 
       
      The dollar has started a gradual, but noticeable decline, the renminbi is growing but is dependent on the US and the west in general meeting their debts, but the euro has shown it can tolerate very hard times.
       
      It is likely the UK city would shift to the euro for investment if sterling starts to decline further as a reserve. The back lash to this is that with no-one buying sterling as a reserve – outwith domestic use – any quantitative easing would have to be absorbed domestically, resulting in inflation.
       
      Which is bad. The UK has £1.2 trillion public sector debt and UK personal debt, including mortgages is £1.4 trillion. That would exponentially increase if any notable inflation occurs.
       
      Knife edge stuff.

    21. tartanfever says:

      Funny that Kenny Farquharson has never asked how much taxpayers money has been spent on Ian Davidson’s mob in westminster producing various hilarious reports.

    22. Andy-B says:

      No matter how good the whitepaper is, its detractors will always decry it, because they’re afraid of it, they’re afraid Scotland will spread its wings, and flourish.
       
      An exciting future lies ahead for an independent Scotland.

    23. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      @ Murray & Andrew
      The BoP was replaced by the triple mantras of House Price Inflation, High Street Sales & Mortgage Interest Rates. Also know as The Bubble. 
      Also – I suspect relevantly – the triple mantras are of little or no concern in Germany. The BoP is, but because it is so high on the plus side.

    24. Brotyboy says:

       
      Stu, thanks for reminding me of one of my favourite politicians, Harold Wilson, who said if I remember rightly, that he’d left the country with the biggest Balance of Payments surplus this country (UK) had ever known.  
      And if I also remember my Modern Studies correctly, the Balance of Trade is the difference between visible exports and imports, and the Balance of Payments is the BoT plus invisibles like Insurance and others which I can’t remember.

    25. MajorBloodnok says:

      Bill Faser says:  …an excess of beans means the price of beans reduces.
       
      It can also have other consequences, too risible to contemplate.

    26. Atypical_Scot says:

      Coming to think of it, if the rUK doesn’t agree to a monetary union, and Scotland doesn’t peg to the sterling, GDP would have to be devalued again. 

    27. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @MajorBloodnok –
       
      …especially if you wash them down with lashings of gin.

    28. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
       
      It does me the power of good you know.

    29. Derek says:

      “Why did making and selling things become so unfashionable?”
       
      Because others became better at it (and were less hamstrung by unions and closed shops), so it was allowed to go elsewhere and we became more reliant on juggling money. We were also making non-exportable things.
       
      I give you the Austin Allegro as a shining example.
       
      There is still manufacturing around, though; often smaller scale and higher value.

    30. Juteman says:

      I can’t remember such drivel in the BTL comments in The Guardian.
      Methinks it’s game on!

    31. Davy says:

      It was an excellent promotion of the White Paper by Alex and Nicola their handling of the question and answer session afterwards was masterly and they easly took down the organised project fear questions.
       
      The disorganised bile issueing from the NO campaign was funny as hell, and to be honest it was nothing more than everyone predicted, though I am sure Darlings eyebrows were photoshoped during his first interview and he certainly must have borowwed a couple of springs to keep them bounceing up & down so voliently.
       
      The NO’s have got nothing to offer and they know it.
       
      Wer’e Voteing YES.

    32. Jack Beck says:

      Beans give you a good run for your money (see what I did there?)

    33. gerry parker says:

      Major – Aye – the winds of change.
      g.p

    34. Andrew Morton says:

      Loved that Quartic steering wheel!

    35. Brotyboy says:

      Loved that Quartic steering wheel!
       
      Don’t forget the Hydragas.

      Hey, it’s easy to knock the old BL, but I have happy memories of the Maxi, which took a family of 5 with 2 tents from Dundee to France, Holland and Germany in the late sixties and beyond.  

    36. Iain says:

      @tartanfever
      ‘Funny that Kenny Farquharson has never asked how much taxpayers money has been spent on Ian Davidson’s mob in westminster producing various hilarious reports.’
      Or the HS2 Bill (50k pages near as dammit, ‘Hundreds of copies are being distributed along the route’) published yesterday, also partly paid for with Scottish taxpayers’ money. Perhaps Kenny’s decided that HS2 is a Union benefit, therefore worth it.

    37. braco says:

      Brotyboy,
      now that is an Avatar! First the white paper launch, and then a D50 on Wings. A very good day.
      Thanks pal!

    38. Geoff Huijer says:

      Just watching ITN news at 6 – unbelievably (is it really?) full of
      scaremongering and Unionist Myth.
       
      You can’t use the pound.
      Can Scotland be financially viable Independent?
      RUK will have to bail Scotland out if in trouble
      You’re way behind in the polls
      Most people in Scotland are going to vote No
      etc.
       
      Fkn sickening and annoying!

    39. Did we not have the £ pound before we joined the UK

    40. Lanarkist says:

      Had to laugh, AD asking who was going to pay his pension in an independent SCotland. 
      Bricking it.
      LAnarkist.

    41. Albalha says:

      I toddled along to the end of the press conference and updated flickr with a few pictures from the photo call after it all ended and a couple of banners attached close to the Science Centre.
       
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/albalha/

    42. G H Graham says:

      The White Paper explains in minute detail how Alistair Darling’s political career will end. He’ll avoid reading it then at any cost. 

    43. Training Day says:

      Darling hadn’t read the WP before trashing it. I’ve avoided the ‘Scottish’ MSM reaction to the WP. But I feel my synopsis might be more accurate than Darling’s.

      Was it ‘no answers’, ‘Salmond on the back foot’, ‘leap into the unknown’, ‘no hope of victory’, ‘Scotland on pause’, ‘Debater of the Year demolishes wafer thin case for Scotch separation’ etc etc?

      Just a guess of course.

    44. alexicon says:

      @Geoff Huijer,
      Sky news; Will we have to bail out Scottish banks again.
       
      Enough said.

    45. Macart says:

      @Juteman
       
      They’ve gone from frothing to foaming. 🙂
       
      You know its had an impact when they come out swinging wildly like that. Rope a dope in action.

    46. Andrew Morton says:

      Can’t believe I’m hearing this, Jackie Bird is actually giving Captain Darling a hard time. i think.

    47. Davy says:

      Just heard Margaret Curren on the radio Scotland news, guess what ??? she did’nt like the white-paper either, BIG SURPRISE.
       
      Of course no alternative was offered.
       
      Vote Yes – Vote Scotland.
       

    48. spaceboy says:

      The balance of payments argument used in favour of Scotland being part of a currency union has been shown to be a myth by some analysis from Professor Brian Ashcroft:

      http://www.scottisheconomywatch.com/brian-ashcrofts-scottish/2013/04/sterling-and-scottish-independence.html

      So there is no net “benefit” to the rUK from Scotland being part of a currency union!

    49. Richard Bruce says:

      Did anyone see the “youngsters” at Kelvingrove? Did I hear them right? Robert the Bruce fought for independence but he lost!
       
      Same old nonsense about health and education, will we still have them in Scotland?
       
      What do children learn these days or are they all manufactured by the BBC?
       
      Give me strength!

    50. TheGreatBaldo says:

      One possible explanation for the hysteria about the White Paper for Comical Ali may well be that today was the name the Devo Max/More Powers* fox was shot…..
       
      After all what can they now offer that hasn’t been just been offered by the White Paper…?
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      *Yes I know they were probably never going to offer any powers anyway but for the sake of argument…..

    51. Chris says:

      Now I understand the meaning of the NO! camp’s recent Dr. Who analogies… Bitter Together and their trusty time machines allowed them to dissect the White Paper before it was released to us mere mortals.
      …and here was me thinking their negativity was due to clairvoyancy. We might just have to reconsider our stances and vote for their godlike wisdom, for with people like this, we really are BETTER TOGETHER.
       

    52. Linda's back says:

      Why did not one  political analyst tackle Alistair Darling over fact that UK’s balance of payments would double if RuK refused Scotland entry into a currency union.
      I see Labour Luvie ITVs Laura Kuenssberg putting the boot in at the end of her piece on White Paper.

    53. Papadocx says:

      Alex & Nicola did the business today very proud of them and they made me feel proud!
      Then the BBC, true to form got the propaganda hat on. It became the BT support unit. Two business woman on. They were Thatcherite’s to the core, bitter nasty venomous not nice people, in my opinion. + Darling and carbuncle with the BBC’s chorus line filling in between the main show. BBC is beyond redemption.
       
      Nicola then gave first class performance in Scottish parliament.  Thanks yawl. YES! YES!
       

    54. ScottyC1314 says:

      Apparently the white paper has put children in Kelvingrove now more NO than before…..the detail answered their questions apparently. Were they really DKs I cynically ask.
       
      BBC now asking views of English over the border….a wee glance at BBC website would have saved them a trip. 

    55. Albalha says:

      Watching the Rep Scot extended coverage and here we have Tim Reid’s Surrey GMS radio package in visuals, dear oh dear, wasn’t good this morning either.
       
      This has to be very cheap extended coverage. Anyway R4’s World Tonight were there today may be worth a listen. One of the few programmes with a commitment to cover the vote.

    56. Training Day says:

      Now that the WP has committed to removing nuclear weapons, improving child care, abolishing the bedroom tax and halving APD I imagine there’ll be thousands more like the Kelvingrove Kids who’ve moved to a firm No.

    57. sionnach says:

      And then Darling Alistair asked, “What if you can’t use Sterling? Where’s your Plan B?” And he asked it several times, implying that it was the only thought in his head. Now that we’ve got the White Paper with all the intentions, aspirations, and supporting evidence, will Witter Together now be banging on about all these Plan Bs that are not mentioned? FFS.

    58. Linda's back says:

      Tartan Fever at 6.02pm
      Sunday Post reported that  “Brazen” MPs have given themselves an extra week’s holiday to campaign in the run up to the Scottish referendum contest and that they will only work for 145 days at Westminster next year.
       
      No wonder Westminster MPs are hostile to independence as they will be out of a job after independence and their cushy retirement part time job at £300 a day in House of Lords will no longer be available to augment their generous pension.

      Sunday Times reported that each Westminster MP costs the taxpayer £600,000 a year and the total cost of House of Commons and House of Lords comes to £480 million a year.

      So that’s another £40 million pounds we will save after independence

    59. lochside says:

      Yes I saw the ‘youngsters’ at Kelvin Art Gallery on RS and heard one moron making the snide comment about Robert the Bruce failing to get Independence!!. Naturally reporter Aileen Clark failed to correct or edit this out. But who were these kids anyway? Smirking love-children of Jackie Bird and Raymond Buchanan? Why oh so predictable the ‘I need more info mantra’ Well try reading up on basic Scottish History..or are the E.I.S. still worried about indoctrinating our weans with Scotnat  ideas (as if!). This lot displayed crass stupidity in every sentence and worse one girl actually said the WP was ‘too positive’! The total lack of patriotism and pride in the possibility of profound change  for their country made me very sad. Combined with the rest of the vox pop in the wsm and we, the Scots come across as uneducated fearties with no spine. But it been said many times before..if we let the BBC continue to lie and distort daily we have only ourselves to blame.

      By the way the gallstone cowboy Glen Campbell made an appearance as well…must be back with more muck-raking about failing wee countries.

    60. Brian Powell says:

      Alistair Darling is sounding like Benjamin Nat

    61. Papadocx says:

      Who pays for all this FREE PROPAGANDA & ADVERTISING the BBC give to BITTER TOGETHER?
       
      WHERE ARE THE BBC WATCHDOGS Mr PATON, In no. 10 talking to you know who, and the Darling two Alistair’s

    62. Brian Powell says:

      Alistair Darling is sounding like Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran deal; everything is dangerous and full of woe, and there are more questions than answers.
      Of course people think Netanyahu is a bit crazed too.

    63. Jim says:

      @Owen.
      Did the Spectator really publish a response to the White Paper three days ago?
       
      I know an English broadsheet claimed to have BT’s response to the White Paper several weeks ago but I can’t remember which one. Nicola mentioned it again at the launch this morning. (Guardian?)
       
      Can anyone confirm the above.

    64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Did the Spectator really publish a response to the White Paper three days ago?”

      Four. I tweeted about it at the time, if you check my timeline you’ll find the link.

    65. Seasick Dave says:

      i thought that the Dundee small business people, the Aberdeen parents and the Inverness pensioners were almost certainly Yes or DK.
       
      The Glasgow kids will get there eventually but I detected a bit of parental influence in all of them. Not sure who the young lad thought that we were deterring with our nuclear missiles.
       
      I particularly liked the girl who said it was, “Too positive” so she would vote No!

    66. clochoderic says:

      A thought about this currency union. I know nothing about the economics of the issue but as far as the politics is concerned: are we seeing a replay of the Devo Max on the ballot routine?
       
        You know, the one where the unionists go – ” that fat bastard Salmond wants it so he’s definitely no’ getting it, that’s right oot the windae!”
       
       Salmond smiles benignly as the massed ranks of the nay-sayers loudly and very publically paint themselves into a corner…
       
      PS
       
       Johann Lamont classy as ever in parliament today, working a reference into her question to ” doing a runner.” One to add to her list of abuses of the dignity of her position, she really is a disgrace.

    67. Jim says:

      Thanks Rev
      I’m only just learning to tweet!
      Maybe someone should run a course!l
       

    68. HandandShrimp says:

      Alas the poor Bitter Ones were in a bind. They could jump in and heap disrespect on the document in order to try and get some of the news time but at the expense of obviously just talking uniformed gob shite or they could forego the news time and wait a day or two to make it it look like they had read the document and were speaking with some authority. In the end the love of hearing their own voices and fear that Yes Scotland might steal a march on them over-ruled common sense. 

    69. Wp says:

      Why are Lamont,Rennie,Darling etc. not asking Cameron and Osborne about how the uk is going to finance trident,hs2, etc. oh I forgot THE OIL.      ah but that’s no good is ?
      now I’m confused.

    70. Edward says:

      Brotyboy – Well noted, its something that I’ve been alluding to for some time

      Its interesting that the unionists have been prattling on about ‘rest of the UK being Scotland’s biggest trading partner / trade area’ Which I actually don’t think is true. Its a flawed assumption based on skewed data.

      There are interesting examples. One recent was Oil (of all things) when it was established that Scotland exported two thirds of its oil outside the UK and only a third to the rest of the UK. So currently that two thirds contributes to the current balance of trade of the UK. After independence 100% will contribute to Scotland’s balance of trade and rUK will not only loose that two thirds export, but will be an importer of the third.

      Take Whisky, unique to Scotland is another commodity that contributes to the UK’s balance of trade. It represents around 75% of all UK food exports globally. Bringing in billions into the UK. After independence, that too will disappear from the rUK balance of trade.

      Scotland actually exports a lot more in value terms to outside of the UK than it does within the UK

    71. a supporter says:

      Until a few weeks back I believed the SG should state that Plan B for the currency was simply to shadow the £St. But I began to see that if the SG had publicly stated such a Plan B it would only have opened the door for the No-men to raise more questions about the viability of Plan B as well as a currency union (CU). But the SG has slowly herded the No-men into a corner on the subject. They are now quickly running out of steam in their criticisms of a currency union because the SG won’t discuss any other option. And most sensible persons realise that a CU is the best option for Scotland, at least in the early years, as well as for rUK. The No-men and Westminster are really have their work cut out to argue against the CU bearing in mind all the economic and monetary arguments set out in the White Paper, particularly when it is backed by the internationally acclaimed economics panel set up by the SG and particularly after the quiet but confident assertions by AS today that the £St is clearly 8.3% owned by Scotland. The No-men are now reduced to banging their heads in frustration against the wall as the SG and YES campaign ignore their more and more irrelevant arguments against a CU. 

      And Scotland ALWAYS has up its sleeve the option in the end to go for the shadow £st option if rUK play very silly buggers to the extent of acting against its own best interests. And the rUK know that.

    72. jahoca says:

      We don’t expect the Unionist camp to change its tune.
      Been waiting patiently for the launch of the Positive Case for the Union and today Alistair Carmichael asserted that he would be continuing to make that case. Right. If that isn’t a decider…

    73. a supporter says:

      Stu I hope my inadvertently copying the format junk from Office where I sometimes write posts hasn’t caused you any problems. If it has my apologies. I did try to edit it out but someone posted immediatelyy afterwards and I couldn’t.

    74. Truth says:

      Had to laugh at the speed reading awards.
       
      I was expecting it, but it still didn’t disappoint. Well done Stu!

    75. Brotyboy says:

      Brotyboy,now that is an Avatar! First the white paper launch, and then a D50 on Wings. A very good day.Thanks pal!
       
      Braco, you’re welcome.  It was your mention of side tanks which rang a bell so I searched back through my pics from the Enzo Ferrari Museum and there it was. It looks almost as good as the Alfetta.  Smiley winkey thing.

    76. Iain Hamilton says:

      Much talk of the youngsters at Kelvingrove. Great blog from a BAFTA winning, YES voting author who works in education offering his services for free. As he puts it himself:

      “Young people need the opportunity to talk about their visions of the future, to imagine the Scotland they want to live in.  I think the artists, writers and creatives of National Collective are well placed for that, being professionals who are experienced in working with community and youth groups and schools.

      So – here’s an offer.  If anyone wants to put together a group of young people who might be interested in working with me for a couple of hours on a writing project, get in touch.  I’m a Saltire-nominated, BAFTA-winning writer , I have decades of experience of stimulating the writing of young people, and materials I’ve produced are being used in schools up and down Scotland to change the way young people engage with writing.   I know my stuff.  And I’m good at it.

      I’ll offer up to two hours of workshop on the non-political theme of ‘Imagining Scotland’ for groups of up to twenty young people, free of charge. I’ll then talk with them for half an hour – if they want to talk with me – about why I’m voting yes.  The young people’s work can / will be published online, perhaps through my website or something more central.  Just set up the venue, gather the young people and, if you’re very far away, give me a bed for the night.

      If you’re involved in the Indy movement – whether through Yes Scotland, National Collective, Business for Scotland, Radical Independence, Bella Caledonia, Wings Over Scotland, The Green Party or whoever, and you’d like to set up a writing workshop for young people you know, e-mail me at mail [at] soltysek [dot] com and we’ll discuss it.

      Looking forward to working with you…”
      http://raymondsoltysek.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/radical-independence-afterparty-and-an-offer/

    77. Faltdubh says:

      LBC – might be interesting tongiht, they are talking about Indy. LBC is a London talk radio station.
      http://app.musicradio.com/lbc973/on-air/player/

    78. Early Ball says:

      Faltdubh,
       
      Great shout. Pure ignorance!

    79. Greannach says:

      Does anyone know of any other major party in any other legislature in Europe which has chosen people of the calibre of Iain Gray and Johann Lamont to lead it? There must be some. Gray’s and Lamont’s lack of ambition and vision is stunning, as though they still think they are in the local council chamber in posts of no real influence where the big boys can always come along and bail them out. No wonder they need to vote No. They presumably imagine that everyone else in Scotland is as inept as they appear to be. Those were woeful performances from them in Parliament today.

    80. Brian Mark says:

      Just finished watching Brewer of the Quay interview FM tonight, the big man stuck it to the BBC pleb and near the end of the interview he raised the Elgin 70% No vote at Elgin Academy Big Eck did no dignify it with an answer

    81. montfleury says:

      You can be certain that Alastair Darling had read the document in full. GCHQ will have been supplying each draft as it was written.

    82. Ken500 says:

      The whole school are voting. Not just the 16+ year old. There are no figures for how they vote.

    83. Ken500 says:

      The Professor doesn’t seem to realise North Sea Oil production is taxed at 61% (80%? including corp tax etc) There are meters in the rigs. Crediting total production to foreign Oil Companues?

      Scottish assets are being sold off to cut the UK deficit. Scotland is paying £4Billion from the Block Grant in loan repayments. The rest of the UK is not paying a corresponding £34Billion (pro rata share) from taxes raised in the rest. Is Scotland paying twice.

      Total taxes raised in Scotland (GERS) figures £57Billion – including all taxes £60Billion? Total revenues spent in Scotland £65Billion – less £4Billion loan repayment – £61Billion.

      Total revenues raised in the rest of the UK £572Billion. Total revenues spent in the rest of the UK £633Billion. Difference of £121Billion. The deficit is being cut by £30Billion (plus £12Billion liability) £2Billion (mast sell off) £6Billion BoE scam. £40Billion? – including Scotland 9%. Scotland is paying twice.

      The tax take in the UK has from £610Billiin to £572Billion because of Westminster policies. Cut in taxes, no growth etc. Fallen £38Billion – same as the Royal Mail sell off.

    84. Ken500 says:

      Foreign Oil Companues operated in the North Sea as UK subsidiaries. Subject to UK tax. They wouldn’t get a licence otherwise. Once again, does Corp tax etc get paid through London HQ’s and get credited as City of London revenues.

    85. Ken500 says:

      £12Billion from the £60Billion raised goes to the UK Treasury, unaccounted for. Scotland gets back £48Billion. including £17Billion in Pensions/Benefits. There is no Gov pension Fund. Gov pensions are paid from general taxation. Ie Scottish taxpayers pay for (UK) Gov OAPensions in Scotland.



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