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Desperation takes hold

Posted on March 13, 2013 by

Vince Cable in today’s Herald:

“Millions of Scots will lose out on an RBS share bonanza worth up to £800 if they choose independence, Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned.

The Treasury is considering giving every taxpayer in the UK shares in RBS as part of a give-away ahead of the next general election. Coalition sources calculate the windfall could be worth £400 to £800 per person.

Coalition Cabinet minister Mr Cable said his Liberal Democrat party backed the payout to ensure taxpayers benefit from 2008’s billion-pound bailout of the Edinburgh institution, although he cautioned the Coalition not to “rush” the process.

Asked if Scots would get a chance to benefit in an independent Scotland, he said: “No. It is at the moment vested in the British Government.”

Even leaving aside the astonishingly crude bribery/blackmail aspect, we’re still a bit confused. Unionists constantly tell us that RBS is “Scottish”, and that therefore an independent Scotland should take on all of its debt. But apparently the people of the rUK will still own the whole bank, so they’ll get all the shares and the profits.

Sometimes, readers, it really does seem like the No camp is devoting most of its anti-independence efforts to putting us out of a job.

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    49 to “Desperation takes hold”

    1. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Eh, was it not OUR taxes as much as anyone else’s which bailed out RBS? How do they then work out we get nothing in return?
      Heads we win, tails you lose …

    2. James Morton says:

      I becoming aware that the No campaign’s attacks are largely wrongfooted by events. When one fails to do the damage they flail around looking for something new. I had a cobversation with Andy Inglis about this on twitter, and we both agreed that BT are increasingly a hostage to fortune with a lot of this coming back to haunt them once they have to reset their campaign in 2014.

    3. Iain says:

      Presumably Vince is one of those that believes an independent Scotland would be a new state without any debt obligations then?
      It indicates how much Unionism permeates that Cable, one of the less supine Libdems and a former Glasgow Labour councillor (uhoh, I think I see the connection), defaults to the standard scaremongering & bullying bollocks. Poor old satire, murdered over and over again!

    4. The Man in the Jar says:

      This reads like a failed script for “Yes Prime Minister”

    5. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      There are so many problems with this:
       
      1) Its our own money. When we leave it will be part of the negotiation over our share of the debt.
      2) If the bank bailout was such a burden, how is there going to be a shares bonanza?
      3) Westminster is going to give money to the guy in the street? More like it will be tax cuts for millionaires under the pretence of trickle down economics.
      4) £800 per person would be a £48 Billion fund. £400 per person is a £24 Billion fund. Oh the uncertainty over that missing £24 Billion – Or are they just meaning voters and not EVERYONE…
      5) If they are already planning to GIVE AWAY up to £48 Billion before the next election then they can afford not to implement the Bedroom Tax and pay off the increase in borrowing required in the meantime using this ‘Bonanza’
      6) Likewise with the other cuts they are making. £48 Billion over 4 years is still £12 Billion a year that could go to providing public services.
      7) The ‘British Government’ includes the scots at the moment. So if we go we would be well within our rights to take our 8.4% of shares and sell them when we can make the most profit (which wouldnt be like a Gordon Brown Westminster sale where you tell everyone in advance you are about to sell your assets and thereby deflate the price and give the taxpayer a poor return and walthy city types a pure killing!)

    6. balgayboy says:

      Old Vince is showing signs of dementia, becoming more confused as time goes on. First of he wanted to punish/convict the bankers…did not happen! then he wanted to enforce strict controls on the City of London….did not happen! Then he wanted the Libdems to rebel against their coalition Tory partners…did not happen…..Please retire for your own sake as your voice is of no consequence and no one is listening to you…You are definitely nothing in Scotland as is your  party…go retire and leave us in peace.

    7. G H Graham says:

      Vince Cable confirms RBS is NOT a Scottish bank.
      Since he refuses to reward Scots with a share of the bank post independence, it can only be deducted that the shares will be limited to residents of England, NI & Wales because they remain ‘British’.
      Thus we can also deduct that RBS is British. And accordng to Unionist logic, since Scots wont be British anymore, they also wont be burdened with any of the British banks obligations & debts either.
      Thanks for taking that particular problem off our hands Mr. Cable.
      In fact, I’m so touched by your generosity, I’m tempted to send you a cheque, drawn against an RBS account of course, which you may cash, assuming the bank hasn’t been liquidated yet.
      But hey, why should I care, it’s a British bank after all.
      Cheers guv !
       

    8. “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”
      ?
      I haven’t posted one since last week!  Oh well, not typing all that in again!  I’ll stick comments in my paste buffer in future as a precaution.

    9. Iain says:

      Off topic, a new Independence poll by TNS-BMRB on behalf of Scottish CND, 52% No, 33% Yes, 15% DK. 
      Seems a bit of a disconnect between that and their question about whether the UK government should replace Trident, 60% No, 14% Yes.
       
      http://tinyurl.com/btsfq6k

    10. Barontorc says:

      The Royal Bank of Scotland is as much Scottish as New Scotland Yard, as Hoover is the only type of carpet cleaner, or all hamburgers come from Germany.
       
      RBS casino bank is based in the City of London and always has been. RBS Registered Head Office is in Edinburgh from where it was spawned, but nowadays, may as well be in Lichtenstein for all the good Scotland gets from it!

    11. tartanfever says:

      Hold on a minute Mr Cable. I thought the whole idea was that RBS would be sold off to repay the £10’s billions that the tax payer bailed them out with.
      Now you’re telling us that no-one will buy it – it’s so crap that you’re just going to fob us off with a load of worthless shares.
       

    12. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Balgayboy-
      Well said. Cable has ‘failure’ written all over him – one of these insipid Libs who’s been waiting for his chance to become a political heavyweight. Instead, he’s ended-up in the wrong end of a pantomime horse, and the only time he gets attention is when he’s being pursued down the street by camera crews asking him about the latest gaffe from one of his colleagues. Still, it gives him the chance to get on the telly wearing that snazzy homburg, so it’s not all bad. 
      Pity – doesn’t seem so long ago he was feted by the likes of George Galloway as ‘Doctor Cable’, the scourge of the bankers etc. Now he’s reduced to offering bribes with the money stolen from us? Another empty bawbag to add to the list.

    13. G H Graham says:

      Completely off topic but relevent to the general discussion on Independence.
      Falkland islanders were given the following question to which the vast majority voted YES …
      “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom? YES or NO”
      Despite the use of phrases such as “Do you wish …”,  “…political status…”, “…of the United Kingdom…”, I don’t recall a single Unionist declare that is was …

      Complicated
      Leading
      Biased
      Confusing
      Presumptious

      Perhaps flipper Darling might like to comment on the validity of the question & compare it to the one originally proposed by the Scottish Government, which of course he predictably rubbished.
      Take yer time Darling.

    14. balgayboy says:

      @G H Graham says:
      The difference between “do you wish” and “do you agree” is about 8000 miles plus an enormous potential of oil & gas notwithstanding the nationalistic desires of the inhabitants to remain part of Great Britain? Regardless of the recent vote it will ultimately become part of Argentina country through time. To far to throw a stone.

    15. Ananurhing says:

      This is like an inept father, with zero parenting skills, threatening to take all the sweeties away. Pitiful and laughable. I’ve always wondered if Cable has been credited with more gravitas and kudos than is justified. Even from a pretendy Minister of State, desperate to be influential, this is toe curlingly weak. It’s one thing to fly with the Tories, it’s another to emulate them. Either way, you get shot! Mr Has Bean come 2015.

    16. Adrian B says:

      More info from Financial analysts on RBS/Lloyds and recent FTSE drop available from this link:
      http://www.economy-news.co.uk/shares/share-price-drivers/2968-royal-bank-of-scotland-group-word-on-the-street-53543
       
      For further analyst action on RBS please see here.
      Meanwhile Tony Reading at Fool.co.uk ponders the possibility of the public getting a more direct holding of RBS, Reading says:
      “A plan to distribute shares in both banks to all holders of national insurance numbers has apparently been discussed in the Treasury. The complexities of adding 40m-plus investors to the share register would dwarf the logistics of the famous British Gas ‘Tell Sid’ mass privatisations of the 1980s, and to my mind make it a non-runner.”
      Markets: It’s ‘naturally’ time for profit taking
       
      The problem for these banks is that I can see no growth in their value until shares are on the open market. The business world wants the first bit of the cherry in any rises to share value. If such a large chunk is given away by Westminster/Treasury, then any growth will remain slow until large blocks of shares can be bought by the big share owners. Government have a problem and they want rid of it however. RBS and Lloyds share price unlikely to be profitable share wise for quite some time.
       
      The FTSE 100 is struggling today, the banking sector is certainly playing its part in weighing down stocks. We note that for now, the losses are being put down to simple profit taking.
       

    17. panda paws says:

      @Scott Minto (SneekyBoy)
      “– Or are they just meaning voters and not EVERYONE…”
      They mean only TAXPAYERs by which I imagine they mean income tax (though Cable doesn’t clarify) so no most certainly not everyone and definitely not those so called work-shy scroungers, faking-it disabled, and useless carers! Or indeed pt workers who don’t reach the tax threshold.

    18. Macart says:

      You know, its spooky how close the figures are. £800 better off by voting for independence guaranteed or £800 (maybe) if the UK gov does a shares giveaway. And I stress ‘maybe’.
       
      Who do you trust to deliver on a promise of £800 to your benefit? Westminster, who are well known for keeping their word on anything or Holyrood?

    19. Jiggsbro says:

      Clearly respect has run dry.  Perhaps he should be asking of the Union “Why is it something so good just can’t function no more?”

    20. cirsium says:

      RBS has lost billions over the last five years.  It participated in the Libor rigging criminal conspiracy and the PPI fraud.  Its distressed assets section is currently being investigated by the police for alleged misappropriation.  Who would want shares in this loss making outfit?

    21. balgayboy says:

       
      Ananurhing says:
      Sorry mate the guy Cable is a chancer, had his moment in the sun circa 2010….after that downhill all the way..all talk no action. Very similar to the rest of the so called great britain team…heard enough of Cable and his compatriots  shite telling how Scotland really needs him and his fellow d***heads to run our country. VOTE YES 2014

    22. Dcanmore says:

      Desperate stuff from the ‘Business Secretary’, what does he do again? A pretendy bribe to counter the claim from the SNP that folk in an Independent Scotland are going to be somewhere between £500 and £1500 better off (and this will be proven fact). So Vince offers shares in a rotten bankrupt company that is suddenly British again when it suits him. Would you buy a second hand car off this guy?
       
      So if RBS can never payback it debts to the taxpayer and nobody wants to buy it even though the recommendation today from Sir Mervyn King is to break the bank up, then how on earth are these shares going to be worth anything. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig Mr Cable!

    23. scotchman says:

      Share values can go up as well as down, as any financial advisor is duty-bound to tell you. Vince obviously doesn’t suffer from that same constraint!

    24. wullie says:

      RBS casino branch is headquartered and registered in London under international law all debts remain with England.

    25. Ananurhing says:

      balgayboy says:
      I’ve never voted for them, but prior to 2007, I believed that if independence was a given, I would probably be a Libdem voter. It doesn’t sit very comfortably with me now, and I can’t envisage ever entertaining the notion ever again. They’ve made themselves as toxic as the Tories in Scotland.

    26. pmcrek says:

      A Westminster politician freely offering to give people money is clearly lying their arse off.

    27. scottish_skier says:

      @Iain says:
      Off topic, a new Independence poll
      Yes up 5% on their last two polls and the highest they’ve recorded in over a year. TNS do face-to-face in home polls which is why they get higher no and lower yes than the true values (shy independence factor). Trends are important though. I hope we get a creme de la creme ICM at some point soon.

      So that’s MORI and TNS both showing a rise in Yes. Based on some other monitoring,  I suspect silly secret document gate, the GERS figures and good oil predictions from all but the Tories have had a big impact on interest in Yes Scotland. Need some more time to confirm.

      Note the TNS poll you mention was taken 2 weeks ago so is out of date already; overtaken by events.

      Certainly, all the signs are that that pro-union support – having dropped behind pro-independence just after the 2011 election – peaked in autumn last year and is now heading downwards, as predicted by many, including leading unionists. And, I suspect the events of the past week or so will have an impact far bigger than people might imagine.

    28. tartanfever says:

      Going o/t here, and this is something I’ve been pondering for the last few days (i’ve looked for articles on this topic, but I’ve drawn a blank)
      Cable’s ‘bribery’, and the general ‘threat and bribery’ we hear from the BT mob has led me to wonder what happens to all the Scottish politicians in the days and months following a ‘Yes’ vote ?
      We’ll have 16 months of negotiations with Westminster over who gets what, which I’ve no doubt will get heated at times. What stance will the likes of Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson take ? Are they going to be pro-Scotland and publicly attack Westminster ? Are we going to see a complete role reversal and have these unionist politicians sticking up for an independent Scotland in the negotiations ? 
      What about the Scottish Labour MP’s ? (Sarwar,Davidson, Harris, Curran etc) What on earth are they going to do ? After all they represent the Scottish public. 
      Will this situation cause a complete fracture in the unionist parties (obviously ultimately it will) but what about during the negotiation phase ? Are we going to see Labour fighting against Labour in Westminster and between Holyrood and Westminster ?
      Could we have a scenario where a heated battle takes place between Ruth Davidson and David Cameron ?
      I know it’s speculation – maybe it’s the topic of a new story ? I’d be very interested to hear everyone’s thoughts.

    29. Ray says:

      I wouldn’t be too hard on Vinnie here. Just looking at the article as seen above, Cable was talking about RBS payouts, then was blindsided by a question about Scottish independence. Of course his knee-jerk reaction would be to start with the word “No”, then follow it up with bollocks.

    30. Keith B says:

      Am I missing something here;
       
      – Referendum to be held late 2014
      – UK General Election 2015
      – Planned date for independence 2016 (Referendum plus 18 months)
       
      If these are to be given away pre-UK general election will we not all still be UK citizens/subjects? Discrimination like this would make the UK (even more of) a laughing stock, though I suppose they will have more to worry about by then.
       
      I’m really starting to favour Westminster’s “continuation and secession” over our vision of “separation”, except that we would be accepting 0% of the national debt as with previous examples of c&s.

    31. Angus McLellan says:

      @tartanfever: History doesn’t repeat itself, but in the absence of any better guide it’s the only place to begin.

      The world in the last quarter century has been full of political parties which did not want independence, often supported by people who didn’t want it either, who found themselves in newly independent states. The overwhelming majority of these have quickly – and often immediately – comes to terms with this. If former members of the Communist Party from Kazakhstan to Belarus and beyond could successfully reinvent themselves as flag-waving nationalists, why should Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie or Johann Lamont find it at all difficult to adjust? It’s not reverse ferret territory, no 180 degree turn needed, and neither is it a case of always at war with Eastasia.

      So here’s an interesting little puzzle to end with. It’s fairly common knowledge that Sinn Fein won a landslide victory in Ireland in 1918. But do you know what percentage of the vote they won? (The answer, and reasons why this is a red herring, can be found at: http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/h1918.htm)

    32. Dcanmore says:

      @tartanfever …
       
      I would suspect that after a YES vote, things would very quiet for the Scottish-based Unionists as they themselves ponder their future. They will be in denial at first and then come round to the fact that the people of Scotland voted for independence. Then we’ll see the ones who have taken Independence on board and decided to get on with things while others will squabble inanely. As far as London MPs go some might resign out of self-loathing and hatred for the SNP, and some will cling on as long as they can get wages and perks and no doubt will be looking at keeping their snouts in the trough some way or another.
       
      All the leadership MSPs will probably resign and return to the backbenches as they’ve been cut off from their Westminster masters. I don’t think that will be a problem for the Lib Dems and Tories but there will be much infighting with Scotch Labour. It will certainly put the SNP in a strong position for the 2016 Scottish General Election me thinks.

    33. The Man in the Jar says:

      @ tartanfever
      Don’t hold your breath!
      It is an interesting scenario. Someone posted on this site if I remember correctly that what could happen is that pro union Westminster MPs will return to Holyrood. Our present crop will shuffle down to man the councils and their councillors will get the boot. Thereby ensuring that all of bitter together see their cosy wee numbers at risk and will fight tooth and nail for the union. (And their wallets)
      I can’t imagine many Scottish politicians standing for election in England post independence. The thought of Curran, Davidson, Darling and Sarwar etc. in Holyrood makes me sick to the stomach. I suppose the edge might be taken off this by some of the SNP talent currently in Westminster returning to Holyrood.
      I guess that only time will tell. It will be interesting to watch this unfold though.

    34. macdoc says:

      O/T another poll out.
      Again the numbers  aren’t chnaging much about 50% against a third for and the rest undecided. I just can’t see us winning the referendum. Ignorance is just too endemic and too many people are happy being ignorant.
      Had a few arguments on twitter with individuals and I’m absolutely shocked and embarrassed by the level of ignorance and proud of it. There’s still huge swathes of people that think Scotland would become a third world country, are subsidised by the generous English, watched too much Braveheart. That we wouldn’t have an NHS, that all students would have to pay uni fees. That Alex Salmond wants to be King of Scotland. These aren’t your Britnats these are your average voter not too interested in politics or nationality. Its just staggering, maybe i’m too pessimistic but I just feel the average voter is far too ignorant on the issue to make an informed choice, they are oblivious to media bias and are just seeing scare story after scare story completely unaware they are been taken for absolute fools. Support the British State if you wish but at least be able to argue rationally your choice. 
       

    35. Keith B says:

      Another wee thought. What happens if someone from rUK, post-referendum but pre-giveaway, accepts a temporary posting, as part of their job, to Scotland. Will they be denied their rightful share? Something tells me this hasn’t really been thought through.
       
      Anyway, good to see Vince accepts our preferred version of the split;
       
      “But he dismisses the SNP suggestions that use of the word separation to describe independence is pejorative.
      “I don’t see why. It is a fact isn’t it? That’s what it would be.”
       
      I wish the SNP would stop going on about the word “separation” because that is the technical term for what we are arguing for. Rather they should rejoice that Vince has joined Davidson and the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in accepting our vision.

    36. muttley79 says:

      @macdoc
       
      O/T another poll out.
      Again the numbers  aren’t chnaging much about 50% against a third for and the rest undecided. I just can’t see us winning the referendum. Ignorance is just too endemic and too many people are happy being ignorant.
      Had a few arguments on twitter with individuals and I’m absolutely shocked and embarrassed by the level of ignorance and proud of it. There’s still huge swathes of people that think Scotland would become a third world country, are subsidised by the generous English, watched too much Braveheart. That we wouldn’t have an NHS, that all students would have to pay uni fees. That Alex Salmond wants to be King of Scotland. These aren’t your Britnats these are your average voter not too interested in politics or nationality. Its just staggering, maybe i’m too pessimistic but I just feel the average voter is far too ignorant on the issue to make an informed choice, they are oblivious to media bias and are just seeing scare story after scare story completely unaware they are been taken for absolute fools. Support the British State if you wish but at least be able to argue rationally your choice.
       
      This is what I am concerned about too.  A lot of what you listed is propaganda from the No campaign.  However it has been effective in keeping the independence vote down, at least in the opinion polls.  I am still not sure how the Yes campaign are going to counter this?  It is the effect of conditioning the people of Scotland to view the Union as a normal way to govern the country.  It has been a long term project and is going to be very difficult to overcome.  The Yes campaign have the politicians, the strategists (Noon etc), the number of activists, many groups.  However they are still largely cut off from any media support.  This lack of support is concerning because that is one of the most effective means to overcome ignorance about independence.  At present the media do not feel under any pressure to justify their coverage of the referendum.  The Yes campaign appears to be stuck on around 33% of support.  

    37. Angus McLellan says:

      @Keith B: You’re not wrong about the suggested dates, but you may not be right about what those dates mean. Always keeping in mind the fact that history is only a very rough guide, we could look to Ireland to see how an 18 month timeline might work. This could be misleading, but it is surely better than the just making stuff up method preferred by so-called experts.

      David Torrance asked on Twitter the other day about sources on the mechanics – not the politics or diplomacy – of Irish independence. Mechanics implies machinery, and the machinery in question would be the machinery of government. Today, as in 1922, that machine is the civil service. Governments may come and go, but the civil service endures. Although the title makes it sound like something you’d only pick up if you had trouble sleeping, Martin Maguire’s The civil service and the revolution in Irelandis worth a read through if you want to know how separation actually worked on the one occasion that it has been done before in the UK. And it’s free!
       
      Before we set off on a journey into the past, it would be best to look at the differences between the machinery of government today and that of the 1920s. The most obvious change is that there is much, much more of it today. But it would be a mistake to think that its complexity has increased in line with its size. Most civil servants work for a tiny minority of government organisations with DWP, HMRC, MoD and the (largely irrelevant here) MoJ accounting for 75% of all UK civil service staff. In a classic demonstration of the long tail phenomenon, most of the myriad agencies and quangos and trading funds are tiny. But one important difference is that the Irish civil service in the 1920 was a more self-contained organisation than is the civil service in Scotland today. Only one third of civil servants in Scotland work for the Scottish government today. And of the three large departments of relevance, none are distributed around the UK with a view to producing a fully-functional miniature DWP (or whatever) in each part. So in that respect at least, separating the machinery would be more complex.

      So, back to what happened in Ireland. A truce was signed in July 1921 and everyone now knew Ireland was leaving the UK. Negotiations then opened between the revolutionary government and the UK government. In December 1921 the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. The following month the civil servants in Ireland working for the Dublin Castle government were transferred en masse to the new provisional government of Ireland. A handful would later insist on a transfer north to work for the Stormont government or be sent back to Whitehall, and some Whitehall-based Irish-born civil servants would be transferred to Ireland at their own request. But that was it basically.
       
      Truce (vote) -> six months of negotiations -> treaty (agreement in principle) and separation of government -> another twelve months -> independence -> lots more negotiations.

      Anyone who says it would take much, much longer than 18 months needs to explain why that would be the case; because I say so might work with children but it doesn’t work on adults.

    38. scotchman says:

      @macdog – keep yer pecker up. Just had a long chat with an ‘undecided’ who turns out to be quite obviously a YES voter but hasn’t come out and admitted it to himself. At the end of our conversation he agreed that YES is the answer. One more in the bag.
      There’s plenty time to persuade and inform and I firmly believe that NO support is already passing its peak. It’s still early days.
       

    39. douglas clark says:

      Can I ask all you very wise people a question or two? Rev Stu quotes Vince as saying this:
       
      The Treasury is considering giving every taxpayer in the UK shares in RBS as part of a give-away ahead of the next general election. Coalition sources calculate the windfall could be worth £400 to £800 per person.”
       
      The key here is, I imagine, two-fold.
       
      Firstly, the general election is after the referendum. This would be jam tomorrow, would it not? And we have had enough of that, thanks.
       
      If we get a yes vote then a percentage of RBS is ours. Whoever was in power at Holyrood could do their own deal with the electorate. On exactly the same terms as oor Vince. It is, in other words, a two edged sword.

      Perhaps the new government in Scotland could roll up our shares in other destitute banks?
       
       

    40. The Man in the Jar says:

      Muttley79
      Macdoc
      At 2.42pm
      Strongly agree. I hope that I don’t offend anyone regarding age here but I have a theory about BTL comments on wings.
      There are shall we say more mature (as in age) readers who have been here before and know how crushing defeat can be. I for one think that this will be my last chance for an independent Scotland in my lifetime. And I have wanted it for so long. It could also be argued that the more mature voter has more to loose as government plays a larger part in their lives as in pensions and reliance on the NHS
      On the other hand there are younger ones who think that twitter and facebook will save the world.
      I don’t know. I don’t remember the BBC and MSM being so hostile as they are now. They were bad before but seem to gone up a gear this time.

    41. Eoin says:

      Deal to be done?  Take Scotland as a ‘new’ country, with no debt from rUK, and leave the possible carrot of ‘some sort’ of share deal to rUK – probably worth it tbh

    42. ianbrotherhood says:

      @The Man in the Jar-
      FWIW, I agree. Perhaps it feels to us aulder yins (I’m 50, but remember the 79 vote very clearly – ‘crushing’ is the right word) as if the MSM has turned overtly nasty because in the past they didn’t HAVE to be?
      I don’t know, it’s just a guess, but in 79, say, public meetings/leafleting, one-off newspapers etc were a lot more common. Word-of-mouth was possibly the most powerful force influencing potential voters, and there’s no doubt at all that the scare stories about the oil  ‘not worth getting in a fash over’ were so widespread and commonly-repeated (and lent credence because they were, apparently, contained in a ‘secret’ report) that even some committed Independence activists were freaked.
      We know now that the ‘report’ was McCrone’s and it said precisely the opposite. Thanks to sites like this the scare stories are snuffed-out almost as soon as they appear. Facebook and Twitter may yet have a greater role as the time draws nearer.
      I hope you’re not down about it – you sound a bit hacked-off and worried. Hearing the MSM output, especially from the Beeb, it’s easy to go on a downer, but turn it around – if this independence movement didn’t present a clear and present threat to the future of their beloved Union, they wouldn’t be going to so much trouble. They’re afraid, and with very good reason – their jobs, reputations and pensions are on the line.  

    43. EphemeralDeception says:

      In addition to ‘Kieth B’ and ‘Man in the jar’.
      a) UK Gov are now on record that their position is that rUK is successor state, Scotland was extinguished in 1707, and would essentially be a new state.  Then added that we should still pick up debt share.  This is all the detail we have on their bargaining position after a YES.
      b) The possible share distribution to tax payers is, according to Cable “vested in the British Government.
      The overarching UK position is untenable but b) seems aligned with a) for now.

      Cable does not state that the Scottish government will not get due share of RBS by some means, it is left to interpretation. However, essentially there is a contract between UK Gov and RBS for the bailout, which the Scottish government is not any part of.  The ‘some means’ is whatever the Scottish and rUK Governments thrash out.  rUK would not issue shares to rUK taxpayers during negotiations… or they could with negative consequencies (eg playing hardball with Trident, our Ace).

      As an aside: just how much would the UK be willing to hand out as a bribe that might persuade the electorate to vote No in order to continue to keep all Scottish contributions of any nature(Financial, military, strategic, resources, UK influence etc) for a generation?  I guess it is much higher than the value of this (currently fictional) RBS share issue (itself subject to tax and trading costs when selling).
      Really what they might seriously promise depends on how well the YES campaign is going nearer the date and/or how much of the BBC/No campaign propaganda appears to be working.
      In any case, at no point did Cable say ‘Scotland’ would not get or not be entitled to a penny.
       
       
       

    44. Albert Herring says:

      If anyone is feeling downhearted I would heartily recommend Scottish_Skier’s posts. They never fail to cheer me up!

    45. pmcrek says:

      Macdoc, remember twitter users are not representative of the Scottish electorate, neither are people who are willing to do surveys. At one point a number of months before the last Holyrood elections the Record were seriously discussing a Labour majority or majority coalition with the Greens and this was firmly backed by all polling data available at the time.
      As a further example, a Yes Scotland supporter setup a quick online survey on twitter recently and they announced the results today:
      Yes (83%, 2,351 Votes)
      No (17%, 496 Votes)
      Again, the above results are not representative of the varying demographics of  people who use twitter but rather representative of people who use twitter, who also visit the #indyref tag and are falso willing to do a poll on independence created by someone with a little blue “Yes” in the bottom corner of their avatar. Not surprising then the result.
      And while polling companies vigorously apply methodologies to improve the accuracy of their  polls and indeed their professional reputation relies on accuracy, at the end of the day they are only representative of the varying demographics of people willing to do polls and usually only those willing to do polls about a particular subject of interest.
       
       

    46. Albert Herring says:

      @pmcrek
      I think the poll you’re talking about is http://hard-copy.co.uk/mock-referendum-on-scottish-independence/ which appears to be a neutral Glasgow website.
      It’s interesting that most “polls” of this sort seem to be 80-90% YES, even when set up on staunch unionist websites.
      While you obviously can’t read too much into them, I think they may give some indication of the relative commitment of the supporters of the two sides of the debate.

    47. The Man in the Jar says:

      Thanks to all that replied to my comment.
      Perhaps it is the shear volume of “ignorant and proud of it” types out there.
      Perhaps it is the BBC/MSM relentlessly twisting the facts. When did you last see / read a truly positive case presented for independence by the above?
      Perhaps as I have mentioned before. Is it because I have a Labour MP./MSP. &Council. In my local area I have yet to meet one single person that supports independence.
      Easy to feel isolated and despondent from time to time.

    48. BillyBigbaws says:

      scotchman said: “keep yer pecker up. Just had a long chat with an ‘undecided’ who turns out to be quite obviously a YES voter but hasn’t come out and admitted it to himself. At the end of our conversation he agreed that YES is the answer. One more in the bag.”

      I think the responses you get from the public can vary hugely depending on the area you’re in.  For all we know Macdoc might have just had the unfortunate experience of doorstepping around Larkhall!
       
      In some places you could get a reception at least of cautious interest, and a few frightened questions about the scare story of the day – in others you’ll get a door in the face. 

      Often I share Macdoc’s despair, other times I’m optimistic. 
      Either way, we should not underestimate what has been achieved already.  We have changed the very nature of the Union just by asking questions about it – we are now in a position where thinking people at least have to grudgingly accept that Scotland could be self-sustaining, and even staunch unionists are tacitly admitting the staus quo is not good enough by promising further powers as a sop to stave off independence.

      We’re doing alright, all in all.  Remember that we were NEVER supposed to reach this stage at all.



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