The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

An open letter to James Naughtie

Posted on March 08, 2014 by

This coming Thursday, March 13, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will take part in an event at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, where he will be put “under public scrutiny at the hands of James Naughtie”, the presenter of the BBC’s flagship daily radio news show Good Morning Scotland.


Mr Naughtie, who was brought up from London to head BBC Scotland’s referendum coverage last year, has been frequently criticised by a former presenter of the same programme, Derek Bateman, for a failure to display an even-handed tone when questioning representatives of the Yes and No sides.

So we thought of an easy way for Mr Naughtie to put a stop to such allegations.

The “Better Together” campaign, of which Mr Darling is the chairman (although the organisation has recently taken to describing him instead as its “Leader”), has made a number of extremely unequivocal statements with regard to an independent Scotland’s use of the pound Sterling. Here are a few:

“The nationalists cannot continue to make false promises on currency when it is so obvious that leaving the UK means losing the UK pound.”
(This quote directly attributed to Mr Darling himself.)

“There is no doubt that leaving the UK means losing the pound… only by staying in the UK can we keep the UK Pound.”

“It is now clear that the only way to keep the pound is to vote to remain within the United Kingdom.”


“The message from those of us who want Scotland to remain in the UK is very clear – the only way to keep the UK pound is for Scotland to remain in the UK.”

“It is now clear beyond any doubt – the only way to keep the Pound is for Scotland to remain in the UK.” (Quote again attributed directly to Mr Darling.)

“A vote to leave the UK is a vote to leave the UK pound.”

The language is strident, adamant and wholly untroubled by any notions of nuance or uncertainty – “the ONLY way”, “beyond any doubt”, “so obvious”. The only problem with all of these assertions is that they’re demonstrably and unarguably false.

It is a fact universally acknowledged (outwith the No campaign and the Scottish media, of course) that Scotland COULD keep Sterling if it chose to, whether the UK agreed to it or not. Sterling is a fully-tradeable currency which can be adopted by any nation on Earth that wants to, no questions asked, no permission required.

All of the currency options that would be available to an independent Scotland have pros and cons (the Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs have both suggested this year than such “unofficial” use of Sterling could actually be more beneficial to Scotland than a formal currency union with the rUK), but the mere fact of their existence as options is not in any dispute whatsoever.

So in the interests of the people of Scotland, who are entitled to expect to be given accurate and honest information with which to guide their decision on the most important question ever asked in Scotland’s democratic history, we hereby call on James Naughtie to put the question below to Mr Darling on Thursday:

“Do you accept that – whatever the pros and cons, and whatever you consider to be “likely” – an independent Scotland COULD use the pound no matter what, and that therefore your campaign’s constant and unambiguous assertions that a Yes vote means losing the pound are untruthful? 

And given that they ARE untruthful, will you pledge to stop making such assertions for the rest of the campaign?”

It seems to us like the very least that could be expected from a diligent professional journalist. Such blatant and serious untruths should plainly not be allowed to go unchallenged, and any attempted prevarication or evasion from Mr Darling would clearly be pursued by any broadcaster worth a penny of their salary (particularly when that salary is directly funded by taxpayers) until a direct answer was received.

The request, of course, is not restricted to Mr Naughtie. It’s a question that ought to be put to Mr Darling every time he repeats the assertion on air, whether on the BBC, STV or any other outlet. But Mr Naughtie has an excellent opportunity on Thursday, and plenty of time in which to press for an answer.

Should he fail to take that opportunity, or to exploit it to its fullest, it will be difficult to avoid the obvious conclusion.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

157 to “An open letter to James Naughtie”

  1. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    Or you could get Bernard Ponsonby who had Gideon Osborne on the run when he kept pressing for an answer as to whether he was saying we COULDN’T use the pound, and he started to panic…lol

  2. cynicalHighlander says:

    Now Mr Darling sir I presume you have all the answers to the questions I will put to you and this will put those separatist SNP teuchters in their place and where are we dining afterwards.

  3. TheGreatBaldo says:

    This is SOOOOOOO not gonna be mentioned by Ken MacDonald on ‘Headlines’ tomorrow 🙂

  4. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Many of us remember watching in anticipation as Margaret Thatcher was about to be put under public scrutiny at the hands of Robin Day.

    It was calamitous public self-castration, and effectively ended his career.


    Problem is that we know the truth. The evidence is clear.But our word counts for very little on the doorstep when these “experts” and “experienced” politicians say the opposite. In court they would rapidly be exposed, as at the best ignorant, at worst mendacious.On TV they are treated like royalty and defered to in a manner which is truly nauseating.

  6. heedtracker says:

    Naughtie’s behaviour on Good Morning Scotland Friday was an appalling indictment of how corrupt the BBC has become. BBC impartiality means nothing more than suicide attack propaganda on Scotland’s sovereignty and future democracy. It’s all or nothing for idiots like Naughtie basically.

  7. a2 says:

    £20 a pop plus booking fee, wonder what Duncan has to say about that?

  8. BuckieBraes says:

    ‘Do you accept that – whatever the pros and cons, and whatever you consider to be “likely” – an independent Scotland COULD use the pound no matter what, and that therefore your campaign’s constant and unambiguous assertions that a Yes vote means losing the pound are untruthful?’

    You know, I can actually hear Mr Naughtie asking that. Go on Jim: you know it’s the right thing to do.

    And Rothiemay’s beautiful at this time of year.

  9. Donald says:

    Good luck with that, Stu. I trust you’ll not be holding your breath?

  10. bigbuachaille says:

    You do the man an injustice. Mr. Naughtie’s wee visits to his homeland have brought a degree of consistency to Good Morning Scotland.
    Now ALL the presenters say “Let’s have some sport / weather”.
    Must be what the big shots say on Radio 4 Today.

  11. Addie says:

    My question for Mr darling would be

    How do you think history will record your part in the debate. Will you be seen as one of a succession of a parcel of rogues keeping us in the union or a saviour for keeping us there

    you you like ermine?

  12. Margaret Brogan says:

    I attended the first part of this event where Mr Naughtie interviewed First Minister Salmond. Even before this took place the organisers were discounting the second one with Alistair Darling, by a fiver, for those of us who had filled the Mitchell that evening. Ticket sales must have been slow! I love a bargain but didn’t take up the offer, don’t need to pay to be bored silly! In fact even if they had paid me to listen to Alistair Darling I would have stayed home.

  13. Macart says:


    Naughtie put Darling under scrutiny?

    That’ll be the day.

  14. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @a2 –

    £20 to watch that pair? Who in their right mind would want to listen to them even if paid that as an hourly rate?

    We’re living in a madhouse.

  15. Marcia says:

    Sunday Herald front page tomorrow;

  16. CameronB says:

    Ian Brotherhood
    Perfectly rational if you ask me. How else do you keep an occult group hidden, if you are compelled to expose said group to the light of public scrutiny?

    Simples, charge £20 (just over a quarter of a week’s JSA, I think).

  17. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @CameronB –

    It would be interesting to find out how many of these tickets have been sold to people who can claim it all back on expenses, and how many seats are actually available for genuine members of the public who have more money than sense and/or far too much time on their hands.

  18. Look Skye Walker says:

    Ask (Sir) Alistair if he considers himself to be an honest and trustworthy person:

  19. Jim says:

    I’ve never listened to James Naughtie but will make a point of doing so on Thursday if its on GMS, which I also don’t listen to.

  20. call me dave says:

    Mr Noughtie in truth has trouble knowing what day it is and at least once per week can’t tell the time on his wall clock in GMS programme studio.

    I have listened to him for years on Radio 4 programme ‘World at One and ‘The Today programme and enjoyed his style. But to parachute him into Scotland 2 days a week to patronise the listeners and toe the corporate line for the ‘NO’ campaign is just too much to bear.

    Our homegrown BBC interviewers must be too inexperienced and too dim to cope with the likes of Sturgeon, Salmond and Swinney. Still we can kiss him goodbye on 19th September come what may. 🙁

  21. Is this an event the public can attend? (either inside or outside)?
    Megaphones outside perhaps?

  22. Davy says:

    Want to bet this will be the BBC’s version of a “love bomb”.

  23. Shiehallion! Shiehallion! says:

    It’s about time James Naughtie had a morning love-in with Lady Alba.

  24. Barry Blust says:

    It comes down to money. It always does. If his bread is buttered in London, he will never do anything to jeopardize his piece. No matter truth, intentions, integrity.

  25. Alba4Eva says:

    Ian, you’re safe with your £20 in the Counting House 🙂

    I look forward to the BBC try to prosecute me for not paying them for not watching terrestrial live TV at the same time as it is being broadcast.

    In what remote way is it acceptable that a private company believe they have a right of access to your home, when you have no contract whatsoever with them?

    From a human rights perspective and a strong belief in a right to personal privacy, I will fight them all the way.

  26. Linda's back says:

    Naughtie’s Labour credentials exposed here

    Will Naughtie pressure Darling over his role in the 2008 Banking crisis and lack of due diligence when approving his financial adviser Fred Goodwin’s disastrous takeover of ABN Amro which brought about the collapse of RBS?

    Will Naughtie pressure Darling over Ruk’s plan B when they are faced with a Yes vote and prospect of increased National debt, £4 billion added to annual deficit and doubling of Ruk’s balance of trade deficit?

    Naughtie is a pro BBC Unionist that’s why he got the job.

    The day after the referendum question was published, BBC Radio 4 featured a professor Robert Cialdini of the University of Arizona, who described the question as “loaded and biased”. Despite working for the UK government, the professor was introduced as having no interest in devolution and someone who does not know Alex Salmond, thus, says presenter James Naughtie, he is a “rather good witness”.

    These lines come from an Observer article of almost exactly a year ago:
    “Some Scottish heavyweights will bring their formidable intellectual cannon to bear on the SNP’s arguments… [Gordon] Brown will certainly be joined by politicians Malcolm Rifkind, Charles Kennedy and Alistair Darling, writer Allan Massie and broadcaster James Naughtie, together with many other freethinking Scots intellectuals, sportsmen and entrepreneurs who prefer the muddle of the union to the clinical solitude of independence.”

  27. Jim says:

    @Look Skye Walker

    Your link is a very timely reminder of his past wrong-doing and has been emailed to myself for future use.

  28. How about a protest march through Glasgow to Pacific Quay, with some public speakers: Derek Bateman and/or Pat Kane?

    I’m sure if other media outlets (STV/ABC/CBS?) would love to cover it, as it would be getting something over on their competitors?

    I’m sure it could be arranged through social media, and I’m sure there would be a good turn out.

    Just a thought.

  29. Jimbo says:

    I have no objection to the rUK keeping the pound.

    I think we should allow them to use it.

  30. Kev says:

    I was quizzed on this subject by a friend the other day and, instead of going into the differences between formal and informal currency unions and the countries that use such systems I simply remarked:

    “How is George Osbourne going to prevent you from using YOUR pounds, is he going to freeze your bank account, is he going to shut your bank account done after stealing your pounds.? Is he going to prevent shops in Scotland from accepting pounds? Is he going to instruct the police to frisk you on the street and pull the pounds out your wallet, or conduct raids on homes and haul any stashes of pounds away?

    Seemed to shut him up quite quickly..

  31. HandandShrimp says:

    Nice it were to happen but I think the following is more likely

    Naughtie “It is my understanding that Better Together have proved that separtionistism means the automatic forfeiture of the pound, fish and chips and the keeping of kittens as pets.”

    Darling “That is correct”

    Naughtie ” Is it also true that Eck is a fat bastard”

    Darling “Yes, in fact the film character Fat Bastard was modelled on Eck although it hasn’t been proved conclusively that Eck eats babies. However, Blair MacDougall does have a press release to that effect if you would be so kind”

    Naughtie “just send it through the usual channels”

  32. Clootie says:

    I never thought a post with Darling and Naughtie would end so quickly. It must be premature text.

  33. Danny says:

    Aye and next week Alex Salmond will be interviewed by John Swinney.

  34. StevenC says:

    Umm.. Possibly pedantic of me, but…(and it may already have been pointed out)

    Point of order, Mr Chairman, but the 14th of March is not Thursday, but Friday.
    (Maybe significant for people worried about a diary clash with the Darling/Naughtie event… You know, if you were planning to watch some paint dry, or have your lunch sat on by a pot-bellied pig)

  35. Arbroath 1320 says:

    “Do you accept that – whatever the pros and cons, and whatever you consider to be “likely” – an independent Scotland COULD use the pound no matter what, and that therefore your campaign’s constant and unambiguous assertions that a Yes vote means losing the pound are untruthful?

    And given that they ARE untruthful, will you pledge to stop making such assertions for the rest of the campaign?”

    I think you are right on the button with these questions Stu. Both of these questions should be numbers one and two on the list of questions Naughtie asks Darling on the 14th. However, unlike everyone who visits sites like Wings Mr Naughtie is NOT living in the real world but in a world that demands he does everything he can to save this broken union!

    To be fair to Mr Naughgtie I fully expect him to be asking some very deep and troubling questions of Mr Darling.

    1) Do you prefer tea or coffee after dinner?

    2) do you take one lump or two lumps of sugar in your tea?

    3) do you take one or two lumps of sugar in your coffee?

    4) do you take milk or cream in your tea or coffee?

    5) did you travel far to come here today?

    6) would you like a chocolate digestive with your cup of tea?

  36. the Penman says:

    That’s a strong front page for the Sunday Herald, Marcia. Poverty at the top, culture down the side, a pro-indy subhead underneath about Danny’s non-story and the coverage backfiring, and in the middle a strong lead on Westminster distain of Scotland. A good week for them.

  37. Better Together St Kilda says:

    Gosh – is it still possible that the scotties will vote to be grown up?

  38. Alba4Eva says:

    Mathie Wallace… remove (ie. completely eradicate) the idea from your brain that the various TV companies, such as the BBC, STV… or any other MSM organisation, are actually competitors and want to get “one over on” each other.

    They are all in the scam together… all we normal folk have left with regards to free media is T’Internet… the Internet is the last frontier.

    Believe this, the establishment are working tirelessly to achieve control over the internet… luckily the technology (so far), is moving too fast for them to grab a hold.

  39. Les Wilson says:

    This explains the BBC’s place within the Unionist conspiracy against Scottish democracy.

    “To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.” – Joseph Goebbles .

  40. Linda's back says:

    More SKY news anti independence propaganda on their newspaper reviews at 11.55.

    When will London “national” news and current affairs programmes be forced to have a semblance of balance?

  41. caz-m says:

    That’s the first time I have saw Mr Naughtie, and he looks just like the wee fat slimy bastard that I had pictured him to be.

    The questions to Darling will be the questions that we want. The problem is going to be the answers.

    Darling has become an expert at turning ANY question round to an Alex Salmond rant.

    He is then allowed a free run, for as long as he wants, to boot the shit out of Alex Salmond and the SNP.

    He is never corrected at any point that a YES vote is not for Alex Salmond, but for Scottish Independence and our democratic right to have our own parliament.

  42. Alba4Eva says:

    Caz… you can see the piercing disdain in Naughtie’s eyes in that photo.

  43. caz-m says:

    @Linda’s back

    Heard Sky News there as well Linda. What are they like. The headline “Tartan Exodus” about all the companies that will leave Scotland after a YES vote.

    That male guest has commented on Scottish Independence before. And he has your typical South East of England view of Scots.

    He is a total arse who knows nothing of Scotland.

    The programme is repeated at 12.30am, about 20 mins time. approx.

    Did you also see the headline about BBC Bias? I missed what paper it was in.

  44. Another Union Dividend says:

    Linda’s back at 11.55

    I cancelled my Sky subscription a few months ago and told them it was due to their political bias on Scottish independence (now watch sport online at sportlemon) you should do the same.

    BBC is immune to commercial pressure other than not paying the licence fee but Sky and STV have to pay attention to customer dissatisfaction.

  45. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Linda’s back says:

    More SKY news anti independence propaganda on their newspaper reviews at 11.55.

    When will London “national” news and current affairs programmes be forced to have a semblance of balance?

    Yeah, I saw that as well Linda. If I remember correctly there were two *ahem* stories they mentioned. The first was about a “Tartan exodus” if we vote YES, apparently all about big business threatening to leave Scotland. Well my response to that story is just tell me when you are leaving Mr Big Business and I’ll make sure the M74/M6 is clear for your uninterrupted travel South! 🙂

    The second *ahem* story was from the Telegraph, I think, about some nameless Q.C. spouting off about ex-pat Scots should be given the vote in this years referendum. For gawd’s sake! I mean, do any of these allegedly 1.5 million ex-pats get a vote during Westminster, Holyrood or council elections, I don’t think so, so why the hell should they get a vote in the referendum?

    Anyone wanting a vote in the referendum knows exactly what they have to do…return home to Scotland and register at an address in Scotland…SIMPLES! 🙂

  46. msean says:

    Why pay to be there when they want to ram it down yer throat for nothing anyway?

  47. Taranaich says:

    “Do you accept that – whatever the pros and cons, and whatever you consider to be “likely” – an independent Scotland COULD use the pound no matter what, and that therefore your campaign’s constant and unambiguous assertions that a Yes vote means losing the pound are untruthful?

    And given that they ARE untruthful, will you pledge to stop making such assertions for the rest of the campaign?”

    Oh for goodness’ sake, Rev, he’s never going to remember all that? TWO whole sentences?

  48. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Another Union Dividend says:

    Linda’s back at 11.55

    I cancelled my Sky subscription a few months ago and told them it was due to their political bias on Scottish independence (now watch sport online at sportlemon) you should do the same.

    BBC is immune to commercial pressure other than not paying the licence fee but Sky and STV have to pay attention to customer dissatisfaction.

    I don’t have SKY AUD, I get SKY news for free on Fresat and Freeview. I know it doesn’t help much cause I still loose the head at them every time they even mention Scottish independence far less actually discuss it. 🙂

  49. Thepnr says:

    Mr Naughtie, have you ever been bit?

  50. msean says:

    If they ex pat Scots get a vote here,then resident Scots should get a vote in their constituencies as well as our own(that is what they want to do,vote in different places while resident in one place only is it?).I’m sure their tory overlords wouldn’t mind being dumped at election time by an influx of snp/socialist voting Jockos lol.We could all choose to unseat Mr Osbourne or some such. 🙂 .

    It’s a non starter,but it keeps coming up lol.

  51. Jack Sloan says:

    Afew posts ago I ask if we should be starting our own internet TV Channel – well delighted to say we are getting there!

  52. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Think I’ve come to the conclusion that I get MORE common sense debate and discussion about Scottish independence from watching “The Borgias” on Pick T.V. than I will ever get from SKY or BBC! 🙂

  53. Appleby says:

    It boils my blood to think of these arsebiscuits getting my telly tax for wages and not even obeying the rules of impartiality to lie to me in return for the money they’ve taken from me.

  54. Training Day says:


    Anyone else see Unionist Scotland on display at Murrayfield this afternoon? Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, JK Rowling, the SRU etc.

    Scotland contrived to lose a game that was un-lose-able. That’s Unionists for you. Perennial losers. Must be the cringe that does it.

  55. CameronB says:

    Further to Alba4Eva @ 11:48pm.

    I fear that this will be our only chance to secure independence, as very powerful forces are moving to close the internet down. Moves are currently being taken which will impose draconian restrictions on intellectual property rights and use. That means no clips like Scotland’s weather forecast. To make matters worse, all of this is being done behind closed doors.The EU is fully on board with this, moving as fast as they can to restrict search criteria, as well as tighten up on what is permissible material.

    Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – IP Chapter

    Who says we’re not on the brink of a global trade war, unless the EU goes along with the TPP and adopts a policy defined by “liberalization, progressivity, and flexibility”.

    I don’t think I like the sound of that.

    The EU’s Strategy for Trans-Pacific Partnership
    Patrick Messerlin
    Groupe d’Economie Mondiale, Sciences Po Paris., Paris, France

  56. CameronB says:

    P.S. We need a written constitution, ’cause Westminster just doesn’t ensure the protection of our best interests.

  57. Thepnr says:


    F£ecking hell, I’ll not sleep the night now and you done that deliberately!

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    CameronB says:

    P.S. We need a written constitution, ’cause Westminster just doesn’t ensure the protection of our best interests.

    Don’t we already have a written constitution, of sorts, Cameron? I’m referring to the Declaration of Arbroath of course, the document that was used as the basis for the American Constitution. Surely all we need to do is write out the DoA, it is a bit battered after all, and update it, job done. 😉

  59. yerkitbreeks says:

    According to World News Network, James Naughtie is ” the ultimate Westminster insider “, nae bad for a dominie’s son frae Rothiemay.

    So as he and Darling are honorary “chaps” and over the years will have done countless interviews together, really, how do you think it’s likely to go next week especially as they both clearly think the only proper action is darn sarf.

  60. CameronB says:

    Sorry, I was just going with the flow. Well I won’t sleep after John’s clip. 😉

    Arbroath 1320
    Quite a lot of updating, I would hope. 🙂

  61. caz-m says:

    @Training Day

    I just don’t know how to take Scottish Rugby. I can’t seem to give them my full backing.

    When you have the likes of Gavin Hastings and John (BBC Scotland) Beattie telling us that an Independent Scotland is bad and the UK is good, then you kind of loss heart in the whole SRU set-up.

    Maybe it’s a Borders Con/LibDem mentality that moulds the players vision of Scotland. And I think you could put a lot of the crowd into that category.

  62. Andrew Morton says:

    Unfortunately Stu, your challenge is predicated on the possibility that James Naughtie is “a diligent professional journalist”.

    I have to tell you that he is no such thing.

  63. Grouse Beater says:

    There are statements made by “leaders” of the No campaign, and by No supporters that would be treasonable if Scotland were a nation state. As it is theyre a betrayal of the people.

  64. Arbroath 1320 says:

    CameronB says:

    Sorry, I was just going with the flow. Well I won’t sleep after John’s clip. 😉

    Arbroath 1320
    Quite a lot of updating, I would hope. 🙂

    Think you’d be right. 😉

    Thing is though in all seriousness, sort of, I do feel that as the Declaration of Arbroath is apparently the oldest known written constitution in the world, was used as basis of American constitution, then we do, in my view, have some sort of responsibility to maintain a link to this document.

    I know that the original goes on in part about allegiance to the Catholic church etc but, as in the American constitution, that can be rectified through the addition of amendments. I think I’d feel especially proud to be a citizen of an independent Scotland knowing that our written constitution went back not just a couple of years for example but back just short of 700 years. I think that would be a great sense of pride, well it would do so to me any way. 🙂

  65. CMac11 says:

    To those complaining at the £20 fee, to be fair it is a charity event that is independently run and nothing to do with BT or the BBC. this is the 4th event, 2 with Salmond and 2 with Darling and having attended the 3 previous events they have been pretty fair handed with lots of audience participation so Darling should get asked some meaty stuff. the answers however are another matter…

  66. Training Day says:

    @ caz-m

    Aye, the whole shebang just screams Harry Lauder, an awful hotch-potch of faux patriotism and cringing ‘we know our place’ feebleness. The fact that the BBC regard the Six Nations as their crown jewel speaks volumes.

  67. CameronB says:

    Arbroath 1320
    So would you call the last 300 years of Union, the ‘second dark age’? After all, it did come about during the Little Ice Age.

  68. Lanarkist says:

    Could I request that Naughty McJim asks A. Darling when was the first time he read the McCrone report, when did he last read it and did he understand the contents of said report?

    Wonder if any of the radio journalists on the BBC have read the report?

    Snippet of info, Jim McNaughty’s fellow Radio 4 Today presenter, Sarah Montague, married to old Etonian contemporary of D.C. How often do they all attend dinners together?

  69. Arbroath 1320 says:

    CameronB says:

    Arbroath 1320
    So would you call the last 300 years of Union, the ‘second dark age’? After all, it did come about during the Little Ice Age.

    Hell ANYTHING that links Scotland to the centre of world corruption a.k.a. Westminster is the ‘second dark age’ in my view. 😉

  70. caz-m says:


    Paisley Museum are doing a tribute to Gerry Rafferty at the moment, and his classic, Stuck In The Middle With You, reminded me of us Scots stuck between the London Establishment on one side and BBC Scotland/MSM on the other.

  71. Dan Watt says:

    Has Mr Naughtie even acknowledged this challenge?

  72. Dcanmore says:

    Darling wouldn’t agree to an event like this unless it was scripted. One thing in my career that I’ve learned about politicians in the past 20 years, they DO NOT agree to something unless they are convinced of the outcome beforehand. That’s why there are no conviction politicians in Westminster today. Unfortunately they can’t escape their ineptitude either hence the desire for deniability.

    There will be two parts to this ‘grilling’, one will be the loaded questions that will trigger the correct responses from Darling and two, the obligatory (cue faux outrage) SNP/Alex Salmond rant.

    Has there been an audience call for this interview, or Is it a closed shop floor?

  73. Alfresco Dent says:

    I do like this strategy Stu. Straight to the point and unequivocal. Let’s see just how professional Mr. Naughtie is.

  74. Col says:

    Nice to put a face to the propaganda, well not really. All I’m gonna say/ask is. Are we really gonna sit back and let this little gang of aholes walk all over us, our democracy and right to choose the government we wish? Was this right not enshrined not so long ago?
    Come on people, all we’re up against is a minority of folks with positions with which they choose to abuse. If it’s not going to be a velvet revolution then a small minority of us I’m sure can cause these bastards a proper headache. This is supposed to be a free country is it not? They will walk all over us if we let them. Pure and simple!

  75. Dcanmore says:

    Naughtie is an alumni of the British-American Project. Basically an indoctrination programme to get British and American politicians (and politicos) to sing from the same hymn sheet. This is what The Guardian had to say about it in 2004:

    “Here, BAP is portrayed as a Trojan horse for American foreign policy, recruiting Britons of liberal or left-of-centre inclinations and political talent and connections when they are young, indoctrinating them with propaganda about the virtues of American capitalism and America’s role in the world, and then watching them approvingly as they steer British politics in an ever more pro-Washington direction. According to this analysis, the project’s greatest success has been New Labour.”

    Some of the British-American Project members (Wikipedia): David Miliband, Peter Mandelson, George Robertson, Baroness Scotland, Douglas Alexander, Sadiq Khan, Philip Lader (US Ambassador to Britain), Jeremy Paxman (BBC), James Naughtie (BBC), Evan Davies (BBC), William Crawley (BBC), Shami Chakrabarti (always on the BBC!), plus various commentators currently employed by The Telegraph, Daily Mail and Independent.

  76. bookie from hell says:

    SUNDAY TIMES(sorry cant post full article as I don’t subscribe)

    Expat Scots ‘have right to vote’

    George Arbuthnott and Jason Allardyce Published: 9 March 2014

    Ex-Scotland rugby player Kenny Logan, with his wife, presenter Gabby Logan, backs the challengeEx-Scotland rugby player Kenny Logan, with his wife, presenter Gabby Logan, backs the challenge (ANDREW MILLIGAN)

    ALEX SALMOND, Scotland’s first minister, acted illegally by denying expatriate Scots a vote in the independence referendum, according to one of Britain’s top barristers.

    Aidan O’Neill, a QC who is expert in EU law, said the decision had “good prospects” of being overturned in a judicial review on the grounds that it violated Scottish expatriates’ right to freedom of movement under European law.

    The formal advice was commissioned by James Wallace, a lawyer born and raised in Dumfries but now based in London.

    He is sending the legal opinion to Salmond and David Cameron today, demanding they enfranchise the estimated 1.15m Scottish expatriates in order to avoid court action that could delay the referendum due on September 18.

    If the threat is ignored, O’Neill says a petition, backed already by more than 2,700 Scots and demanding a judicial review, can be lodged within a week.

    The case could then be fast-tracked

    bfh–let me get this straight–if you don’t live in Scotland you get to vote—wtf

  77. caz-m says:


    You were right enough about Naughtie being on the Advisory Board of the British American Project.

    FFS Just read their website link. and that is some right wing heavies that Naughtie is involved with in this organisation.

    This is definitely worth pursuing, this bastard Naughtie is abusing his position as a public broadcaster.

    He should also be off to Las Vegas soon for their annual conference.

    “Our 2013 conference was hosted in Cambridge, with the theme of “Innovation: From Cradle to Grave”. The 2014 conference will be in Las Vegas, NV and is already shaping up to be fascinating one”.

  78. bookie from hell says:

    Glasgow Caledonian University—must be something in the water,students drink

  79. Albalha says:

    Mail on Sunday Survation Poll article. A couple of headlines they seem to have missed.

    73.9% of bigger business and 67.3% of smaller business said Scotland remaining part of the EU was essential or important.

    Added to their reporting that over 75% want to keep the pound then surely that’s what’s on offer in the White Paper, and a Yes vote has to be the logical position, surely?

  80. Albalha says:

    The headline in this Sunday Herald story is a bit of a (shit) storm in a teacup in my view but I do find it interesting that Jim Murphy MP has brought out a book on football, not much work for the shadow international development secretary to do it would appear.

  81. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    Naughtie, Darling…

    I’m sure some sort of cartoonist could do something with that.

  82. Macart says:

    @bookie from hell

    Expat Scots ‘have right to vote’

    Yeah about that. 😉

    And of course the opposition knows this as well as Holyrood, but that doesn’t stop them from raising it to chuck some faux outrage about.

  83. Another Union Dividend says:

    The one question no media person has asked Alistair Darling:-

    Why in October 2007, barely three weeks after bailing out Northern Rock for £26 billion, did you and the FSA sign off your approval for the fatal RBS takeover of ABN Amro without undertaking any due diligence?

    Incredibly, the FSA overlooked their own rules on capital liquidity by allowing RBS to do the £49bn ABN Amro deal.

    Fred Goodwin, who was knighted by Labour in 2004, was one of Darling’s financial advisers at the time and remained so until several months after RBS collapse.

  84. alexicon says:

    McNaughtie should ask Darling if he understands International banking laws when he makes the claim that Scotland couldn’t have coped with the banking collapse.

    Good to read how worried your opponents are.

    Regards Sky news. I did hear a message getting read out from a viewer saying that the bbc was biased against Scotland’s Independence.
    The bbc got a lot of apologising to do after Independence.

  85. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Macart

    Without actually saying it in so many words, Macwhirter is pointing out the obvious most of us forget: that companies are NOT individuals, with all the civil and human rights that individuals are heir to.

    A company boss has every right to state his opinion but it should be clear it is only his personal opinion. He or she cannot then dictate to staff, the country, et al, saying he will move his company to another country if the will of the people run counter to his personal opinion.

    If he does he is negating the democratic rights of his staff, and he is dictating to elected government. Simply put, he is telling his staff if they vote counter to his will they will lose their company and probably their jobs.

    In that event, I’d send in the army. It is treason.

    We are witnessing more fascist examples of the removal of democratic rights by neo-liberal diktat and economic sanction.

  86. Linda's Back says:

    Sunday Times article on expats quotes Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of the Grangemouth oil refinery, said independence could deliver prosperity. “[Scotland] will work as an independent country in the same way that Switzerland works. ”

  87. Tamson says:

    I’d open the interview by asking Darling an easy question:

    ‘What is the population of Scotland?’

  88. Macart says:

    @Grouse Beater

    Of course we’re assured by said companies that they’re not in any way attempting to interfere in the referendum’s democratic process. 😉

    Guff. They are no more, no less human and opinionated than we are. Of course they have their own axes to grind. Here is where we find out whether we have the collective will to tell corporations and vested political interest where to get off. More will appear over the next six months to tell us how ‘uncertain’ they are. Back handed compliment in a way. Let’s you know just how worried the establishment are that they’re pulling the old ‘vote of no fiscal confidence’ routine.

    Our job is to let them know we are VERY certain that we want change in how we are governed. Scotland will be well open for business with a change of management. Out with the old and in with the new. Now considering many of these companies operate in many countries across currency changes, tax regimes even between war zones, I frankly find it incredulous that they consider Scottish independence any kind of practical problem in reality.

    Nope, this reeks of those and such as those clubbing together in mutual self interest to tell the uppity Scots to sit down and shut up. Curiously I don’t feel like sitting down these days.

  89. Futureproof says:

    To be fair this is a charity event in aid of the Big Issue (and worldwide equivalents). Alex Salmond did one last year which I went to, when he was interviewed by Jon Snow. I don’t know what Jon Snow’s opinion on Scottish Independence is but he certainly didn’t ask Salmond any hard questions! We got a bit of chat about Salmond’s life and influences and then Alex talked a bit about how great the Big issue was and what the Scottish Government was doing to combat homelessness (a damn sight more than the mob down the road!). Anyway it was a puff piece so to speak and presumably Darling’s will be the same, but that won’t be an indication of bias. I don’t think it will do us any favours to stick the boot into a charity event, which has already given the Yes campaign an opportunity to look good in any case. They do take questions from the floor so feel free to pop down and see if you can ask him a hard question. Another note of interest – tickets to the AS event were £30, Darling’s is £20 – make of that what you will.

    Here’s the link to the beneficiaries, a very worthwhile cause in my opinion.

  90. jingly jangly says:


    The Late Professor Neil McCormick wrote a constitution for Scotland. It will form the basis of a new constitution once we get Independence.

  91. John Brownlie says:

    First question should be “Why are you known as “Flipper”?

  92. David HK says:

    Can he ask
    Alistair you were chancellor through the financial crisis and thus have a thorough understanding on bank regulation. Can you thus confirm that a Scottish government would not have had to bail out the RBS for their business in London and overseas.
    Secondly, was the regulatory oversight of your government what caused the excessive risk which caused this crisis and would a small country not have avoided this by being less reliant on a financial centre.

  93. Muscleguy says:


    Come now, Scotland have long been vulnerable to try and push things on attack and so cough up an intercept try. The Italians have done it to us, so have Samoa. Yet time and again we do it.

    Never ascribe to conspiracy or malice that which can better be explained as a fuck up.

  94. Tattie-bogle says:

    That would be nice and the charity is a worthy cause but I will eat my hat if it is not used as a platform to attack Alex Salmond the SNP or the YES movement

  95. Tattie-bogle says:

    Also will they discuss things like this
    highlighting some of the things the vendors of the big issue can go through on a daily basis

  96. The B.B.C is institutionally biased. It is an organ of the state, in this case Westminster. Partick Thistle will win the Champions League before a unionist politician is asked a “difficult” question.

  97. scottish_skier says:

    Survation poll Rev mentioned on twitter.

    It’s new, having been carried out 6-7 March.

    Clearly asked Y/N. Wonder why the Express hasn’t given figures for this?

  98. bookie from hell says:

    I’m shell shocked,a mountain of negativity today in UK,Scotland press today, if we vote YES

    from a deputy London Mayer to a fashion designer in a glasgae cab

    should keep the rev busy till next Sunday

  99. steviecosmic says:

    James Naughtie asking the question is one thing, getting a straight answer to a question from a politician is quite another. Don’t hold your breath, for this attempt to cut through the bullshit is in itself an exercise in futility.

    The fragrant miss Lamont has demonstrated on many an occasion at FMQs, that it is simply impossible to get a straight answer from the first minister, a man who does not live in the real world, a man who continually fails to answer the questions of the people of Scotland. Indeed, she has shown that, without a shadow of doubt, the first minister’s naked deceit is just one reason why the people of Scotland should vote no to the election in perpetuity of ‘that fat cunt Salmond’.

    In all seriousness though, as a Scot abroad looking in and keeping a keen eye on all things referenda, whilst my mind is occupied daily by things alien to Scots it strikes me that the UKs media in matters of Scotland can only be described as ‘a fucking joke’. I regard myself as no more nor less enlightened as any other foreign observer, and almost everyone to man (except a middle class Scot ex-pat who took great delight in emailing me that ‘skintland’ graphic from the Economist….go figure) here in Greece feels exactly the same way.

    I think it’s fair to say that, in particular, the BBC is in mortal danger of destroying what little reputation it still has. Even to foreigners, with arguably less insight into the politics than Scots, British institutions like the BBC are looking increasingly like state sponsored mouth pieces that cannot be trusted. I suspect that, regardless the outcome of the referendum in September, the BBC will utterly destroy itself in the run up to the proposed in-out EU referendum in 2017.

  100. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Macart

    Wish I knew how to add a thumbs up Smiley!

    One thing I can thank Salmond and the SNP for is the way they have politicised the nation, shaken us out of our miserable apathy, shown us the democratic structures we don’t have by plan and by scheme, cajoled us into debate and argument, and above all, how we’re truly under the thumb of another nation purporting to be an equal partner in a union.

    Nowadays when a unionist asks what powers we do not have that we need we can actually enumerate them, and state how their loss puts Scotland at severe disadvantage.

  101. scottish_skier says:

    Survation poll Rev mentioned on twitter.

    It’s new, having been carried out 6-7 March.

    Clearly asked Y/N. Wonder why the Express hasn’t given figures for this?

    Oh, I think I know why the Express doesn’t mention Y/N numbers.

    You can make a rough calculation of them from the figures that the Express does report.

    We’ll see when the tables come out…


  102. Tattie-bogle says:

    Has anyone done a break down of the uk with the uk being the 4th most unequal country in the world? How unequal is Scotland as a result of UK KOK up’s ?

  103. Jim T says:

    Slightly O/T – BBC petition

    Just to advise that the petition to have all BBC news articles on their website opened to comment has now reached 1000 signatures. The closing date has also now been set to 31 March.

    If you have a few mins to spare, please visit and sign.

    Ta much 🙂

  104. MajorBloodnok says:

    @bookie from hell: said (regarding ex-pat Scots voting in the referendum): Aidan O’Neill, a QC who is expert in EU law, said the decision had “good prospects” of being overturned in a judicial review on the grounds that it violated Scottish expatriates’ right to freedom of movement under European law.

    The formal advice was commissioned by James Wallace, a lawyer born and raised in Dumfries but now based in London.

    By an amazing coincidnce Lord Jim Wallace of Tankerness was born in Annan. Are they by any chance related?

  105. SquareHaggis says:

    Try clicking their link at bottom of page entitled “read more about our advice on the question an the spending limits at the independence referendum”

    Also re BAP

    Throws up a few names….

    I’m sure I read somewhere a while back that BAP has an agent in the Electoral Commission but can’t remember her name.

  106. heedtracker says:

    The BBC and Naughtie’s power stems from their ability to put very clear and concise vote NO stuff right into the everyday vote no reasoning. Here in Aberdeen yesterday, I listened to a pair of wealthy no voting tories explain that of course they are proud Scots and of course they wished they could vote YES but wait though everyone, look at all the big businesses that will leave if Scotland etc etc, so they really had no choice now.

    Its quite a new thing this “of course I would vote YES if only” and this two were glowing with Scots pride stuff but they more or less parroted a dude like Naughty verbatim and we all have to pay for it.

  107. BIll McLean says:

    Well? Not a twitterer so what are the poll figures and what is Survation reliability like please?

  108. Marcia says:

    from Labour for Independence twitter;

    ‘Labour Party Forum on Facebook are now removing all pro indy material including anti trident posts… nice to see we can have a debate.’

  109. TheGreatBaldo says:

    First off because of who it is in aid of I would recommend as many Wings readers as possible get tickets to pose as many question of both Darling and Unionist Jim.

    And another semi related point about Unionist, we know the ‘professions’ (Banking, Law, Accountancy etc) are the most likely to vote against Indy.

    Yet bizzarely it will be those professions that would feel the benefit first.

    Edinburgh will become a genuine bona fide Capital City bracketed with London, Dublin, Paris etc.

    And as such it won’t see an exodus of Bankers but rather an influx. Especially of Investment Banks given the existing Oil industry & potential Renewable and I suspect one of the first to arrive will be Citibank 🙂

    There will definitely be a Scottish Financial regulator (plenty of work for the bean counters & lawyers).

    I have a hunch that at least one of the Scottish Stock Exchanges will probably re open especially if it dealt in high tec stocks and Energy…again more work for the professionals.

    And finally of course the Scottish Govt. will automatically become larger and where there is Govt there are juicy legal fees to be had for various Lawyers Chambers.

    Perhaps Ivan Mckee or the Rev could research/look at what happened to some of the ‘newer’ European Capitals (Bratislava, Vilnius etc) to give us a guide to what Auld Reekie would look like post Indy?

    If it could be demonstrated to Edinburgh Professional classes that by voting No they wold be cutting their noses off…who knows maybe some of those hard NO’s might be tempted over from the dark side by the prospect of further riches.

  110. scottish_skier says:

    Well? Not a twitterer so what are the poll figures and what is Survation reliability like please?

    Survation adjusted methodology recently and look to be falling in line. We shall see.

    It’s the apparent change/trend that’s of interest, but Y/N numbers have not actually been reported. If you try to calculate from what the express does report, you can see why the express might not want to reveal Y/N figures…

    No just dropped quite a bit? Smallest starvation Y/N gap yet? The Osballs effect? I’ll wait for the tables…


  111. TheGreatBaldo says:

    By an amazing coincidnce Lord Jim Wallace of Tankerness was born in Annan. Are they by any chance related?

    I don’t think so Bloodnok, however THIS JAMES WALLACE made an appearance at the beginning of the campaign…as I recall he is the ex head of SLAB students (Edinburgh or Glasgow) and as such has the associated mouth foaming response to anything SNP

    Wings highlighted who he was and his unerring ability to get to ask randomly selected questions at BBC Indy TV debates.

    Mags Curran et al also backed his campaign early on and it is a sign of No desperation he’s been brought back to grab a few more ‘legal uncertainty’ headlines.

    Any Lawyers know if the English High Court can call a judicial review on and halt a referendum organised under Scots Law ?

  112. caz-m says:

    Regarding that lawyer Jim Wallace from Dumfries. I remember him from well over a year ago on Call Kaye. I think he has been on a few times.

    Even then he sounded like a spoilt little school boy who wasn’t getting his own way. I think he is a guy who is low in business and looking for a bit of cheap publicity, at Scotland’s expense.

    Just the kind of guy Kaye Adams leeches on to.

  113. Thomas Muir of Huntershill says:

    Good morning,

    Just a short note congratulate you all on some excellent and pragmatic thoughts and comments. As a committed Yes voter, it is good to know that the possible is going to happen. Well done.

    On a side note, does anyone know what has happened to the NewsnetScotland site, it appears to have gone down? Very strange considering its Sunday Morning.

  114. Gavin Lessells says:



    Sofar 230000 leaflets ordered. Just a reminder that printers must have final order by Tuesday 1500.

    We are still, therefore, taking orders of 10000 or multiples at £66 per 10,000.

    Leaflets will be stored Glasgow although some deliveries can be made.


  115. caz-m says:

    I definitely need to be quicker on the draw.

    That snidey creep Douglas Fraser got three words in before I could turn the bastard off.

  116. caz-m says:

    Sky News will be interviewing someone from Catalonia about Scottish Independence in a moment.

  117. martyn says:

    I am going to that meeting with mr darling so i will askyour question Rev

  118. HoraceSaysYes says:

    I know that the late night Saturday posts are usually your ‘comedy’ slot, Stu, but this is your funniest yet!

    Naughtie asking an actual probing question of anyone on the no side? Where do you get such fantastical ideas from?

  119. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I am going to that meeting with mr darling so i will askyour question Rev”

    Tremendous. Do let us know how it goes 🙂

  120. SquareHaggis says:

    Re; the (non-functional) link I posted earlier @10.23 regarding spending limits on the Scottish referendum. That link has been dead for over a year. Why would this be? Should this very important info not be freely available?

    Further info from their website includes:

    The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 13 November 2013 and received Royal Assent on 17 December 2013. The Act came into force on 18 December 2013.

    Who can register as a campaigner at the referendum?
    – An individual who is resident in the UK or registered on a UK electoral register or the register of young voters.
    – A UK-registered political party.
    – A UK-registered company which is incorporated in the EU and carries on business in the UK.
    – A UK-registered trade union.
    – A UK-registered building society.
    – A UK-registered limited liability partnership which carries out business in the UK.
    – A UK-registered friendly, industrial provident or building society.
    – A UK-based unincorporated association that carries on the majority of its business or other activities in the UK.

    What benefits does an individual or group receive if they register with the Electoral Commission?
    – A spending limit above £10,000.
    – Access to the electoral register.
    – The right for representatives to attend postal vote opening sessions, polling stations and the counting of the votes

    I smell brown stuff on my shoe here.

  121. msean says:

    I just saw IDS on telly there,only one word comes to mind.Deluded. The right wing think tanks’ figures are wrong,seems to think unemployed parents are all junkies,child poverty,foodbanks and petty jobseeker sanctions are fair.Deluded.

  122. msean says:

    8child poverty,foodbanks are not as bad as they think.(really miss that edit function)

  123. msean says:

    * child poverty,foodbanks are not as bad as they think(really,really miss that edit function)

  124. bookie from hell says:

    Are the Scottish Workers unproductive ,because big multi national companies have threatened to do a runner if Scotland votes Yes?

  125. James MacGregor says:

    Naughtie by name, Naughty by nature, the guy is tainted and has huge credibility issues.

    What confuses me though is why nobody seems to have delved into the reasons for refusing Scotland a currency union? Is it because some civil servant said it was fraught with difficulty…I don’t recall anyone actually saying it was impossible…I mean heck! we’re talking about an independence referendum…I’d expect an awfull lot of aspects to that would be fraught with difficulty, that’s not a reason not to do it though, that’s for these well paid civil servants and their overpaid political masters to sort out!

  126. SquareHaggis says:

    Regarding that brown stinky stuff on my shoe.

    Note the use of the term UK in their terms of eligibility to register.
    No wonder BT are telling us a no vote is in the bag if these are the rules laid out by the Electoral Commission.

    Any individual in the UK can register to campaign in Scottish affairs?

    How come?

  127. Marker Post says:

    Another question for Alistair should be:

    What would be the size of an Oil Fund if Scotland votes No?

  128. SquareHaggis says:

    Read a summary of donations reported in the third quarter of 2013, including top donors (PDF)

    Some interesting tables

  129. mogabee says:

    I remember that guy Wallace. Here he is:

  130. Bill McLean says:

    Skier!Thanks for response! Read the article with interest and still trying to extrapolate the figures. However, slightly OT and with regard to the same article I have no sympathy for Alexander McKay who has cried wolf for some years in the Scotsman and written some pretty ugly letters – two years ago I wrote a letter to Scotsman about abuse my (English) wife and I were subjected to on holiday in Kefalonia. McKay implied in a letter that I was lying about my wife’s nationality. I, of course, wrote defending my wife’s pride in being English but also that she was a confirmed YES supporter. My letter was not printed – finished with Scotsman since and would urge all to avoid writing letters or indeed commenting in any Unionist paper (ie all of them)!

  131. Brian Powell says:

    bookie from hell.

    There is a useful article on the right, or non right, of expatriates to vote.

  132. faolie says:

    Naughtie’s (and others of course) treatment of No campaigners and UK ministers reminds me of Spitting Image’s Alistair Burnet’s questioning of the Prince & Princess of Wales. Remember? Or am I being too hard on the wee soul?

  133. scottish_skier says:

    Skier!Thanks for response! Read the article with interest and still trying to extrapolate the figures.

    You have these numbers:

    13% of 1002 people claim to have suffered abuse

    21% of Yes supporters
    8% of No supporters

    Well, from that we can work out what 21% of the yes figure is and 8% of the no figure is, so what Y/N actually are…

    Do this and it looks like No has fallen a few points with the gap closing.

    Happy to compare figures if people want to calculate themselves…

  134. Colzium says:

    Assuming there are no undecided in the 1002 people, that gives a minimum of 38.3% to Yes. Add in some undecided, then the figures only improve?

    1002 Total
    130 Abused

    0.21Y + 0.08N = 130 (21% of Yes and 8% of No)
    Y+N = 1002 i.e. N = 1002 – Y

    0.21Y + 0.08(1002 – Y) = 130
    So, Y = 38.26%

    If Y+N is less than 1002, then the figures for Y increase.

  135. HandandShrimp says:

    Given that it is possible to make logical deductions from the figures given it seems a bit odd that they haven’t released the actual figure for Yes and No.

    I wonder if the higher abuse figures for Yes are to do with the fact that Yes supporters are more out there. I know a couple of pretty certain Noes in the office but they never say a cheap. The Yes supporters are far more exuberant 🙂

  136. Colzium says:

    Missed a bit: Y= 383.4 = 38.26% of the 1002 persons.

    Interestingly, if undecideds are around 20% of the total, which wouldn’t be unusual, then Yes is greater than 50%!?

    Please can some other nerd confirm that I haven’t screwed up my sums!

  137. G H Graham says:

    The millions in EU funding the BBC tried to hide

    Why does the BBC need to apply for grant money from the EU when it already receives £3.65 billion of tax-free income ?

  138. lumilumi says:

    bookie from hell @ 10.29
    just found a new low—-lol

    porn = independent scot

    I’m not sure that’s a low. It must mean lots of people are fantasising about independent Scots so presumably find them desirable and attractive. 😉

  139. scottish_skier says:

    @Colzium. This is what I get.

    0.13*1002 = 130.3 people have suffered abuse our of 1002. This should include Y, N and DK.

    Now, 21% of Yes are claiming abuse and 8% of No. It would be strange for DK to suffer abuse for not having a strong opinion, and this group is normally at best 20% with 1/2 of that most of the time not having much if any political opinion at all. So, lets assume the abused are only Yes and No. If this assumption is wrong and there were a significant number of DKs claiming abuse, then all it would do would be to proportionally reduce both Yes and No in final estimates.

    21/(21+8)*100 = 72% of that 130.26 who have been abused are Yes and 28% are No.

    That’s 94.3 Yes people representing 21% of total Yes. So:

    94.3/0.21*0.79 = 355 people said Yes

    Also 35.9 No people suffered abuse representing 8% of Total No. So:

    35.9/0.08*0.92 = 413 people said No

    So, with our 1002 sample, that’s (with change on last poll):

    35.4% Yes (-0.6%)
    41.2% No (-3.5%)

    Any change in Yes well, well within MoE suggesting no change. However, No seems to have dropped a bit with gap down from 8.7 to 5.8 (-2.9). 41% No is possible; TNS are getting that sort of number recently as did Scotpulse.

    Excluding DK’s, then its 46.2% Yes / 53.8% No. Rather tight for BT’s liking.

    We’ll see.

  140. lumilumi says:

    TheGreatBaldo @ 10.42am

    Re. indy outlook for the so-called professional classes. I agree that there will still be work for them to do in an indy Scotland. However, don’t forget the civil service.

    ATM, a lot of the work is done in London on behalf of Scotland. Indy Scotland would need to carry out all those functions. I’m not advocating importing or replicating a bureaucratic, top-heavy, unwieldy and cronyist civil service but the government functions have to be carried out in an independent country so there’ll be more civil service jobs = more civil servants’ tax and spending power in indy Scotland.

    I’m not too sure about an Edinburgh stock exchange. Helsinki’s stock exchange merged with Stockholm’s a few years ago to form the Nordic stock exchange. I suppose it also incorporates other Nordic countries – how is that possible? Isn’t it too difficult with all these countries being/not being in the EU, being/not being in the Euro?

    BTW, when Helsinki and Stockholm stock exchanges merged, not all the jobs moved west to Stockholm (the HQ). For instance, my two stockbroker friends still work in Helsinki, something to do with this new-fangled thing called the Internet or something.

    O/T: How can the Nordic countries work together? Iceland and Norway are not in EU or Euro but in NATO, Denmark is in NATO and EU but not Euro, Sweden is in EU but not Euro or NATO, Finland is in EU and Euro but not NATO. Now non-NATO countries Sweden and Finland are even providing air cover for Iceland! Maybe we haven’t been told by Westminster that it’s too difficult.

  141. martyn says:

    Will do better than that, i will film his answer.

  142. ScotsCanuck says:

    Rev, aye it’s time tae go on the offensive and challenge the so called “big dogs” of the media because in my book they are all poodles.
    The only newshound worthy of the name is Derek Bateman … but I still have hope for MacWhirter, Bell & Hassan … those three can at least still analysis the shite that’s offered up as News and call it for what it is.

  143. Craig says:

    Derek Bateman is a BBC apologist and I don’t trust him.

    Neither do I trust MacWhirter.

    I will not be at all surprised if they fall behind the No campaign as we approach September.

  144. Morag says:

    Craig, now you’re being ridiculous. MacWhirter certainly has never been a definite Yes, although he seems to be leaning that way. He’s a federalist, and always has been.

    Derek Bateman is as passionate a Yes as I’ve seen. So, as far as the BBC is concerned he is in the position of a lover who doesn’t want to believe the evidence he’s being shown that his girlfriend is cheating on him. That hardly makes him likely to turn into a unionist.

  145. Ivan McKee says:

    @ SS @ Colzium.

    Some comments :
    1. Rounding can play a major part here : try 21.5. 7.5 and 12.5 (which is the extreme range to still comply with the published headline numbers) and you see the predicted Yes % can move by as much as 7%. Same applies in the opposite direction.

    2. Number of DK’s will play a major part (as Colzium identifies). As can the % of DK’s who have ‘suffered abuse’ (there will be some, there always is, and can be legit, ie I used to be N/Y but got so much abuse I’m a DK now, or I keep getting abuse for fence sitting)

    3. SS: Think there is an error in your 21/(21+8) calculation. These are %ages of different numbers so can’t use that calculation here.

    Assuming 10% DK’s then I can see a Yes % at around 45% (excluding DKs) but this could easily be 5% or more up or down depending on rounding of the qty/profile of the DKs in the sample.

    Having said that it does look most likely to be a favourable number for Yes.

  146. scottish_skier says:

    Rounding can play a major part here

    For sure.

    Think there is an error in your 21/(21+8) calculation. These are %ages of different numbers so can’t use that calculation here.

    Aye, a ropey assumption as it assumes No DKs suffered abuse and that Y and N numbers are not massively different. I think the No DKs suffering little or any abuse would be fairly safe. DK’s are not expressing strong opinions nor active particularly (watchers at most) so I find it hard to believe they’d find themselves subject to attack. Even if they were, as they are on average 19% and if we assume the abuse level is as high as 8% as for No people, that’s only 1.5% so our Y/Ns abused are 11.5% of the Total.

    Having said that it does look most likely to be a favourable number for Yes.

    My estimate was conservative and came up with something that fits quite well with the overall pattern. However, yes, you can play with DK and it could look even better.

    Anyway, for some reason the Express didn’t want to report Y/N. You can guaranteed they would have done if it showed a whopping lead for the pro-union camp. Rather, it looks to me like the poll told them more the opposite of what they wanted to hear but they still tried to grab something they could spin from it.

  147. HandandShrimp says:

    Scottish Skier

    I did a bit of number crunching yesterday and was beginning to wonder what was going on because I was getting something close to parity if a modest level of Don’t Knows was thrown into the mix. I would really like to see the raw data. Will Survation publish it even if the Express doesn’t?

    Like yourself I am bemused. The story was supposed to be a Cybernat bashing story but the survey numbers didn’t really back them up and the decision not to show the Yes No numbers does make one wonder. I am sure it would have been a headline if it was bad for Yes.

  148. HandandShrimp says:

    PS For my purposes I didn’t have any Don’t Knows being abused as the story only gives numbers for Yes and No. I worked on the basis that there was none or the number was insignificant which is why the story ignored them….but it is the Express so I’m not counting my chickens on that one.

  149. Ivan McKee says:

    Is it the case that under BPC rules Survation have to publish the tables within a certain period ? (couple of days ?).

    Do they have to show everything or can they ignore certain questions ? (Although given that the published results are based on Y/N preferences once we see anything we’ll know the whole picture.

  150. scottish_skier says:

    I’ve been crunching the numbers again.

    Either a large group of people who don’t hold any sort of strong political opinion – you know, the ones that say ‘Dinnae ken’ when asked what party they support, whether they think we should be in the EU or not, whether Scotland should be independent, whether Scotland is already independent – have been subject to abuse about their lack of strong views on independence (by who?) or that poll is likely quite a shocker for No.

    All I’ve done is assumed fixed DK values (e.g. 19% which is what survation got last time and the average of all polls) then calculated what value of Y/N within a range (e.g. 31Y/50N to 53Y/28N) would be needed to achieve 13.4% total abused based on 21% Yes being abused and 8% No. Even if you add in a couple of % DK’s being abused it doesn’t change the outcome much.

    Ivan – as the Express tied levels of abuse to support for/against indy, they should really publish cross-tabs for this. It is up to the BPC to decide however whether they think rules have been breached and what action should be taken.

    Maybe I’m wrong here but something smells anyway. The express asked for Y/N and didn’t report that. They must have a reason. The also likely asked party support too. Why not report all findings. Jeez, at least 24 Q’s were asked. While some of these will be demographic for weighting, they must be mostly political.

  151. Craig says:


    MacWhirter is certainly NOT leaning towards YES.

    Further to what a WoS reader has pointed out, when it comes to utterings to a bigger audience than the Sunday Herald readership, MacWhirter is very much anti SNP and leaning more towards a NO than towards a YES.

    Derek Bateman can very easily turn back to a NO.

    He is completed deluded if he really thinks that the BBC is not showing organised and deliberate bias against independence.

    How could you trust someone so deluded?

    This a comment about him by a Newsnet reader:

    “It would be nice to indulge you generous perception of BBC Scotland`s behaviour between now and September by which time the damage will be well and truely done!

    I respect the fact that you worked with many of the accused but am astounded at the defence of their current behaviour.

    There have been innumerable articles in Newsnet and elsewhere providing adequate proof of their bias in situations which could only have arisen with collusion among the guilty parties.

    I am afraid I find your motives somewhat questionable.”

  152. Craig says:

    The vast majority of Derek Bateman’s own readers have rejected his delusion that the BBC is not biased against independence.

  153. fergie35 says:

    I switch off the wireless every time I hear this belter

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top