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Wings Over Scotland

A radical plan

Posted on February 18, 2013 by

We’re tired of listening to the Unionist parties’ incessant “We cannae dae it!” carping about how an independent Scotland couldn’t afford, well, pretty much anything, which is why we won’t be wasting our time and yours by writing about Anas Sarwar’s empty, cynical platitude of a speech in Glasgow today. We’ve had an idea.


A few days ago we read a rather curious piece on STV News about someone who’d placed a large bet with William Hill on Scotland achieving independence “by 2020”. Obviously, the timing is pretty weird – if, God forbid, there should be a No vote in 2014, it seems astronomically unlikely that there would be another referendum within six years. But the other strange thing was the odds the mystery punter got.

The story reports Hills offering the unnamed punter 7/1 against independence, which is a far more generous price than we’ve seen anywhere in living memory. Oddschecker lists the same company’s price for a Yes vote as a mere 5/2, the same as Paddy Power and Ladbrokes and fractionally shorter than Coral’s 11/4. Frankly, readers, that’s much too good a deal to pass up.

So here’s what we propose. The Scottish Government should build consensus with Johann Lamont’s opposition, cancel all universal services until the referendum, and whack up Council Tax to the level it would have been had it not been frozen for the last six years. That’ll put a few billion quid in the bank, which Alex Salmond should get straight down to Hills and bet on independence.

In return for these major policy concessions, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories will all agree to campaign for a Yes vote. The Government will win the bet, octuple-up on its cash, and have enough money to fund public services so lavish we’ll make Norway look like Haiti. We can all tighten our belts for 18 months for the bigger picture, right?

Obviously, this is a monumentally stupid idea. But it’s still a lot more sensible and plausible than believing Anas Sarwar gives a monkey’s about the poor.


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28 to “A radical plan”

  1. Tinyzeitgeist says:

    Rev Stu,
    I know you have (rightly) rubbished Sarwar’s latest guff. Nevertheless there is good piece by Robin McAlpine over on the Reid Foundation web-site which poses questions for labour given the views of Sarwar.

  2. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Sarwar is a gift for the YES campaign. Whoever promoted him to that position obviously had a look at the others. What a scary thought.

  3. Braco says:

    Best bet now is Coral at 13/2 I am afraid. Best check out their definition of ‘Complete’ Scottish Independence by 1st Jan 2020 though, before you have Mr Swinney hand that envelope over for counting. bigsmilley

  4. M4rkyboy says:

    If everyone in Scotland put all their savings on Scotland to get independence at 7/1 and then voted yes do you think the bookies would cry foul and not pay out?

  5. Peter A Bell says:

    Anas Sarwar is a man of remarkably little substance.
    That’s him dealt with! On to more worthwhile matters.
    I disagree that an early referendum in the event of a NO vote is “astronomically unlikely”. In fact, I think it is all but inevitable. The only scenario I can envisage whereby it would be ruled out is a really huge NO vote on a large turnout. And that genuinely is “astronomically unlikely”.
    Other than that, I reckon the response of the British parties and UK Government to a NO vote will drive an irresistible demand for a fresh referendum.

    The period between the 2014 referendum and the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2016 will be crucial. If, as I expect, the British state comes down hard on the “rebellious Scots”, then the SNP may well feel able to go into the election with a manifesto promise to hold another referendum before the end of the parliamentary term.
    There will be no third referendum. This hypothetical second one will return a decisive verdict in favour of independence.

  6. Braco says:

    @Peter A Bell
    They may not even require to hold another referendum if the electorate vote in The SNP on a mandate to negotiate independence as used to be the case. Should the population feel, as you suggest, lied to by the NO Campaign to steal the vote during their 1st referendum is the second not already likely to be devalued in their eyes as a constitutional tool for change? I read somewhere (but can’t quote it for sure) that Czechoslovakia actually held a country wide referendum which rejected a split. Soon after, the re negotiations for a new relationship between the constituent parts of Czechoslovakia  broke down and the politicians went ahead with two independent countries any way. All without a further referendum or serious decent in either population.

  7. Boorach says:

    @ Peter Bell
    I’m with you on this one. Albion has history on how they deal with those who dare to oppose their right wing extremism. History is littered with examples dating from the 14th century though the methods are perhaps slightly more civilised these days.
    Some heavy handed retribution regarding the powers of the SG and electoral system could well tip the balance for a snap referendum with or without section 30 approvals.

  8. Roboscot says:

    The SNP can hold an independence referendum every 5 years for as long as necessary. All they need to do is have a single policy – independence – at Westminster general elections. A majority of seats and votes would be a mandate for independence. It’s not as if they’re going to form a government at Westminster otherwise.

  9. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    The more Sarwar opens his mouth the less credible he becomes. Better to be thought of as a fool etc.
    No doubt he’ll receive plaudits from the tories. A cracking comment from The Reid Foundation, regarding the vile bedroom tax sums him and The Labour party up.     

  10. Jen says:

    The more I hear the British Labour Party members speak, the more I wonder why people vote for them. 
    They are using poverty as a branding tool to maintain top of the mind awareness for the “message” and people fall for it and vote the likes of Sarwar into positions of power which they don’t deserve. 

  11. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    Anas Sarwars argument against the Scottish government was little more than his previous attempt to say that bringing jobs to Scotland was bad because the UK government was having Tax avoided by the companies setting up here (conveniently avoiding the fact that the tax situation is the result of Westminster governance).
    It didnt stand up to scrutiny 10 months ago and it doesnt now:
    Wings Over Scotland: Labour’s attack Boomerang

  12. velofello says:

    @ Dave McEwan Hill; Whoever promoted Sarwar had a look at the money behind him surely?

  13. Braco says:

    His dad and his pals.

  14. Jen says: 
    18 February, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    The more I hear the British Labour Party members speak, the more I wonder why people vote for them
    If one only read the MSM and hear only via TV/radio then they are denied the truth as that is not on their radar unless they search for it which is not a priority when watching reality TV which has more interest.

  15. Jen says:

    Yes @CycnicaHighlander I agree with what you say, it frustrates me that people don’t look beyond what’s in front of them.  Reality TV is mind numbing and I have no idea why people find it so enjoyable! 

    I was brought up to believe in independence however once an adult, I investigated the position to give comfort to myself realising my families biased views!! 

    Sometimes the ignorance of people in Scotland can be quite sad however it’s the affect of all that they see and don’t see.

  16. silver19 says:

    OT: Interesting recent Independence debate from Huff Post Live Thought Ross Greer from Yes Scotland’s Youth and Student Co-ordinator was really superb speaker for the Yes campaign. The rest of guests were the usual ill-informed and have no clue about Scotland or its people. Thank goodness that Britnat student Kayleigh Marie Quinn from Glasgow had technical problems during the debate. Kayleigh wrote this rubbish and recently discussed here

  17. Stevie says:

    Platitudanal —
    it’s been said already by J-Low many times and is as popular as a dose of clap in an STD clinic.
    That person is a bully, unpleasant, thick as they come and hasn’t ever had a single original thought in his advantaged and inherited life.

    He is in short, pointless.  Then again, he is in the perfect party which is itself pointless and with a group of equally pointless self-serving ladder climbers.


  18. wee strawberry says:

    the only thing im worried about is .. will they do wit they did in the 70’s .. will non voters be counted as no voters and will dead tory and labour voters get the vote AGAIN ?

  19. Adrian B says:


    Thanks for the Huffpost link. Ross Greer was extremely sharp and put a good convincing case forward, he was able to talk confidently and succinctly on a number of points and made for a good interviewee. Well worth watching. I doubt if Kayleigh would have been half as good putting her views across if she hadn’t had the technical difficulties. 

  20. romanista says:

    @braco, on czechoslovakia.. it’s still fellt by lots of people there they were robbed of their country by some right wing idiots.. i wouldn’t state that as a positive example for scottish idependency..

  21. scottish_skier says:

    “it’s still fellt by lots of people there they were robbed of their country by some right wing idiots”

    I’m not an expert on Czech-Slovak velvet independence movements, so would not like to comment in detail. However, I believe there are some who would wish both part of a greater German Reich. There are always such minority cases.

    In the case of Scotland it is the people of that country trying to save it from social and economic destruction by the right; all the 3 main unionist parties being right wing and increasingly authoritarian (dictatorial), as detailed here:

    So yes, it would not be a direct comparison based on what you stated, but some parallels. No two cases are ever identical.

  22. Hetty says:

    Labour voters I know are pretty stuck to them as an idea of social justice and for the good, wrong obviously. Yep folk watch mind numbing TV then spout all sorts of crap about why they will vote no. People need a reality check and a mirror could be held up at the border of Scotland, ie a percentage of actual council tax payable by the very very poorest from April, no EMA for young poorer students, prescription charges, NHS in chaos etc etc. It’s certainly not all rosy at all here but not as bad for some people as it is down in parts of englandshire and it’s about to get worse. A YES vote is the only positive way forward.

  23. MajorBloodnok says:

    O/T I saw the front page of the Herald today.  I didn’t read the article but the headlines were interesting.  The main story was about Universities south of the border allegedly wanting to increase the limit of fees they charge above £9,000.

    Two things were notable: 1) it was a front page story about tuition fees obviously inviting comparisions with the situation in Scotland and 2) the universities were referred to as “RUK Universities”.

    Are things changing at the Herald?

  24. mrbfaethedee says:

    I notice the online Daily Record has Anas Sarwar as Scottish Labour leader in the subheader on the front page and duplicated on the main politics page and the top of the actual article.  He’s deputy again by later in the article, but ouch for poor Johann 🙂

  25. velofello says:

    @mrbfaethedee:  Has the Daily Record been holding up a moist finger I wonder? Poor Johann, and she was so trying.As they say in the movies, “Follow the money”.
    Many moons ago there was court case in Glasgow where an Asian claimed that he had been offered, I recall £5000(?), not to stand as a political candidate. I cannot remember whether the verdict was Not Guilty or Not Proven. An archive dig will provide names.

  26. allan says:

    I fully remember what happened to us in 79′. For the last 6 years I have been living in the Czech Republic. Got married too. In my chats with the locals in Cz and in  Slovakia,It is a well known fact that the people although show no difference in their behavior towards each other  since the revolution / divorce. They are angry that they didn’t get to make the choice in 92/93 when the divorce happened. Their government denied them a vote. Some people have stated that if they had a choice,they would have stayed together as a rump Czech/Slovak nation state,but others would have chosen to be part of either Austria or Germany or Poland or Hungary. It seems that the powers that be preempted this view. The result was as is now. The other point I would like to make is….the situation in 92/93 would compare with ours in 1706/07. We must make full use of the chance and choices we will have to make in 2014. Otherwise my friends, Scotland will be an international laughing stalk. I for one if given the chance would vote for a massive Aye. But all I can do is pray that my fellow Scots will make the right choice.Just so that I can get my own chance in the resultant General Election in 2016. Alba Gu snooker loopy!

  27. velofello says:

    Reference my post on archive searches, NewsnetScotland has posted an Daily Record article from 1996 titled “Rosyth’s last hope sunk by Tory ("Tractor" - Ed)s”. Did I have one of these spooky premonition thingys?
    The article is well worth a read. The usual suspects of today are there in their full indignation mode – as appropriate by them for then.

  28. mrbfaethedee says:

    Sorry, been busy and just saw your response.
    I don’t know if they know something we don’t, or maybe the Record just has its wooden spoon out, or (perhaps most likely) it’s just incompetence to start off with and mischief to leave it.
    I don’t know enough about politics or journalism to offer an opinion 🙂
    Still, poor wee Johann, even hiding doesn’t help!

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