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Wings Over Scotland

Dividing lines

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

So far in our twin social-attitudes polls of Scotland and the rUK we’ve found that while there can be very sizeable gaps between Scottish public opinion and that elsewhere, it mostly tends to be within the same side of the debate – for example, rUK citizens are much keener on retaining the monarchy and nuclear weapons than Scots are, but Scots do still favour both.


Our final round-up off the poll findings, though, focuses on the three questions we asked where the differences DID cross the divide.




Agree: 42%
Disagree: 45%
Net agreement: -3


Agree: 51%
Disagree: 31%
Net agreement: 20 

Scotland/rUK gap: 23 points

Well, knock us down with a feather, etc.

It’s not too much of a surprise to find a lack of faith in the BBC in Scotland after the events of the indyref. Opinion, though, while along predictable party-loyalty lines, wasn’t quite as polarised as one might perhaps expect. SNP voters disagreed with the proposition by -22 points (35-57), while Lib Dems were the most favourable at a modest +17, with Labour supporters on +15 and Tories on +7.

Yes voters recorded a net -30 to the proposition (29-59), with No voters on +19. Large minorities of all three Unionist parties (43% of Tory voters, 37% of Labour ones and 35% of Lib Dems) said the state broadcaster WAS biased, though in fairness the question didn’t allow them to say which way.

In the rUK, however, backing for the BBC was much higher. Conservative voters still only thought it was balanced by +7, but Labour (+36) and Lib Dem (+33) supporters looked much more favourably on it than their Scottish counterparts.

There were no significant differences between age, gender or class groups, all of which does tend to suggest that it was specifically the BBC’s referendum coverage which led to the serious fall in trust it commands in Scotland. We’d be surprised if that damage was healed any time in the forseeable future.




Agree: 18%
Disagree: 65%
Net agreement: -47


Agree: 51%
Disagree: 18%
Net agreement: 33 

Scotland/rUK gap: 80 points

Well, someone’s reading the sums wrong.

This is a fascinating finding. A massive cornerstone of the No campaign was built on hammering home the idea that Scotland benefits from the largesse of England, most commonly said to be manifested in the £1400-per-head “extra” spending allocated to Scotland under the Barnett Formula, and that therefore Scotland would lose out financially by going it alone.

Yet what our survey found was that almost nobody in Scotland believes that. 55% of people voted No, yet just a third that many actually believe that the Union delivers a financial benefit. SNP voters unsurprisingly disagreed by -68, with Labour ones on -53, Tories on -10 and Lib Dems on -6. Just 22% of No voters believed it, while 59% didn’t.

Frankly, readers, we don’t know what to make of all that. There certainly seem to be some internal communications issues – rUK voters in the same parties have radically different beliefs to their compatriots north of the border, with net ratings for the proposition +55 among Conservatives, +40 for Labour and +30 for Lib Dems.

In Scotland, women were quite a bit more likely to believe the subsidy-junkie myth than men, with a net rating of -41 versus the men’s -54, while differences by age and social class were much less pronounced (six points between ABC1 and C2DE, two points between old and young).

We do of course know the truth of the matter, and it’s to be expected that each side will want to believe that it’s the more generous/more wronged party. But it’s absolutely intriguing to see just how little traction one of the main supporting pillars of the entire No campaign actually managed to achieve.




Agree: 37%
Disagree: 42%
Net agreement: -5


Agree: 43%
Disagree: 39%
Net agreement:

Scotland/rUK gap: 9 points

Nine points isn’t one of the bigger gaps that we found in our polling. Opinions diverged more widely on votes at 16, on “English votes for English laws” (+25 in Scotland, +49 rUK), on the monarchy, on Trident, on workfare, on nuclear power and others. But those nine points are the most important ones anywhere in the surveys.

Because what they suggest is that if there’s an EU referendum, Scotland will vote to stay in and the rest of the UK will vote to leave. And that’s kind of a big deal.

We’re not aware of anyone having previously done full-sample polls of both Scotland and the rUK on the same question and at the same moment, so this is the first time it’s been possible to do a like-for-like comparison, and it backs up what individual polls have been suggesting for years: while the gap isn’t huge in numerical terms, it’s the difference between in and out.

The party whose agenda that most obviously suits in Scotland is the SNP, which is ironic because their voters still, by a very narrow margin, favour an EU exit. (The numbers are SNP +4, Lab -15, Lib Dem -49, Conservatives +22.) While the “Better Together” line on Scotland being a subsidy junkie flopped badly, it seems the one on independence within the EU not being enough independence had some resonance.

(Perhaps the oddest finding, though, is the absolute dead heat between Yes voters and No voters, both of whom recorded net scores of -4 to the proposition, at 37-41 and 38-42 respectively.)

As well as knocking another nail into sour-grapes Unionist accusations of the SNP being “populist”, that’s going to make for a difficult crisis of conscience for a lot of people, as many Nats will be forced to decide whether to vote to leave, knowing that if Scotland goes the same way as the UK they’ll be destroying by far the best chance of getting a second Scottish independence referendum inside the next 20 years.

We don’t think it needs spelling out again. Things could be about to get interesting.


*Our poll sampled 1007 respondents in Scotland and 1031 across the rest of the UK. Fieldwork 9-14 Jan 2015. Full data tables will be available on the Panelbase website.

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  1. 16 01 15 16:25

    Dividing lines | Politics Scotland |

  2. 16 01 15 17:42

    Dividing lines - Speymouth

  3. 12 04 15 11:45

    Inverclyde Debate, 8th April: Opening Statements | A Wilderness of Peace

104 to “Dividing lines”

  1. Callum says:

    I would say with regards to the subsidy question although it’s good to see that most people didn’t swallow the lie, it is very clear to me that they instead chose to give in to ‘UK safety net’ argument for the hard times. If oil price stays low that is a tough one to overcome… despite the fact it is a self fulfilling fate of being in the union.

  2. jimnarlene says:

    Interesting times ahead indeed, I still don’t know why some SNP supporters would vote to leave the EU, though better control over fishing and TTIP may be some the reasons.

  3. Schrödinger's cat says:

    Whether it is true or not, the ruk thinks it subsidizes Scotland,

    So why are the main parties all still opposed to full devo max and are the ruk in favour of the snp’s devo max manifesto?

  4. Paul says:

    Fascinating, thanks! Surprised by the number of SNP supporters who want to leave the EU but there you go.

  5. Capella says:

    Spells out the need for an alternative media source in Scotland. Even the rUK belief that England subsidises everyone else is most likely a result of media blaring out the same rubbish day in day out.
    Some interesting findings in this research. Great to see that so many saw through the BBC bias.

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    I suspect that there’s still a tranche of the public who like to think they don’t believe Scotland is subsidised by England, but deep down they’ve still not completely dispelled the propaganda we’ve been fed all these years. In other words, they don’t think we’re subsidised, but they still feel like we are.

    I wonder if there would have been a difference if the question had been “is Scotland subsidised by the rest of the UK”, rather than specifying one country in particular as the subsidiser?

  7. galamcennalath says:

    Interesting that rUK Tory voters least trust the BBC. I know from friends that they consider the BBC to be pro EU, pro immigration, biased to Labour, pushing the global warming agenda, and anti nuclear. Basically they see the BBC with a left wing bias. Funny, when we see such a pro London, but also Labour, bias.

    And, this subsidised by England nonsense needs dealt with! If there are subsidy junkies, then that is London!

  8. manandboy says:

    Well at least when Indy arrives and it’s time to go, the English will not be too unhappy about it – until they learn the truth.
    At that point, there will be an almighty rush for the door as emigration to the Continent suddenly rises steeply.
    France will almost certainly be the most popular choice, as it has been for quite some time apparently.

  9. George Ferguson says:

    Yup! Agree with your statement about the BBC. No amount of self marketing is going to overcome the damage to trust. As the saying goes trust is like a pane of glass once broken etc. BBC possibly knackered in Scotland for a generation because people like me will keep reminding them and others. And it is a shame on some of the staff not involved in news or politics. e.g. Jim Spence for instance is a legend in Dundee!

  10. James says:

    Schrodinger’s cat – because they believe in the union, Britain etc. Most people in rUK think they subsidise Scotland and don’t mind doing it!

  11. Luigi says:

    Callum says:

    16 January, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I would say with regards to the subsidy question although it’s good to see that most people didn’t swallow the lie, it is very clear to me that they instead chose to give in to ‘UK safety net’ argument for the hard times. If oil price stays low that is a tough one to overcome… despite the fact it is a self fulfilling fate of being in the union.

    Callum, if the oil price stays low, the entire UK is knackered. I kid you not. Increasing numbers of scots are no longer falling for that “broad shoulders crap”.

  12. Schrödinger's cat says:

    Schrodinger’s cat – because they believe in the union, Britain etc. Most people in rUK think they subsidise Scotland and don’t mind doing it!

    I’m not so sure they don’t mind, the unionist press may have been hoisted by their own petard on that score

  13. Bruce says:

    “rUK citizens are much keener on retaining the monarchy and nuclear weapons than Scots are, but Scots do still favour both.”

    Managed to miss that part earlier. Only serves to make me more depressed about the nuclear power thing. So, on balance we’d keep nuclear weapons, but as for peaceful nuclear power generation it can – and very emphatically according to the results – get stuffed.

    Just… wow. Don’t even know where to begin.

  14. Gary says:

    It shows that, given enough publicity, the lies gain traction and become the perceived wisdom. As for the BBC. I, like most, DID perceive them to be generally neutral. The Independence campaign certainly disabused me of that notion. And once you noticed something you can never ‘unsee’ them again. All the reporting of the troubles in Ukraine, their lack of reporting on a swathe of world events and minimising/hiding important items. They are utterly untrustworthy, I use several news sites to find out what’s happening in the world – but never the BBC.

  15. scottish_skier says:

    The main concern I have about all this polling is that it was done by asking about Britain.

    If you want to know the opinion of what Scots wish for Scotland, you need to ask them about Scotland.

    In fact many Scots don’t even see themselves as British at all (62%). Sure Scotland is technically part of Great Britain, but, e.g. in the iref the picture sold was of Scotland detaching itself from Britain like it was not a real part, but an appendage.

    In England by contrast, Britain and England are the same thing so you don’t have this problem (aslo by simple force of numbers).

    So, for example, these two questions would likely yeild different answers in Scotland:

    Should Britain retain the monarchy?
    Should Scotland retain the monarchy?

    Do you think Britain has a problem with immigration?
    Do you think Scotland has a problem with immigration?

    Do you think Scotland should leave the EU?
    Do you think Britain should leave the EU?

    In the first question in each case, you are asking a Scots to say what they think is best for England, Wales and NI too (mainly England).

    In the second, just Scotland. Sure it throws up some issues technically, but for people who see Scotland as their country first (up to 74%) this would be a better approach IMO.

    Anyway, trust the results for the rUK much more than the Scottish results.

    Also some of the questions on ‘benefits’ and ‘welfare’ are way too ambiguous. Just saying the word ‘benefits’ requires the respondent to decide themselves what is actually meant by that. Likewise for welfare. The respondent might decide in the latter case welfare is just unemployment benefit when in fact welfare is that, tax credits, housing benefit, winter fuel allowance, NHS, state pension…

    In polls you should always avoid trying to have the respondent decide what it is exactly you are asking about. If it’s not clear to them, they will have to decide and it may not be what you intended them to think.

    For example:

    Do you think unemployed people should have to work for benefits?

    Do you think that recently unemployed people should be forced into work schemes paying much less than the minimum wage or lose their unemployment benefits?

    Your answers would be quite different. The fear of answering No to the first question for example is that you’ve given the green light to someone who can’t be assed working and prefers just to claim the dole. There are not actually many of these people, but they do exist.

    If Scots had answered that people shouldn’t have to work for benefits, the mail could have had a field day with it saying ‘Scots think folk should be able to just claim benefits and not work’. Of course the opposite result is – Scots hate benefit Scroungers too! The question is just way to ambiguous.

  16. scottish_skier says:

    In the first question in each case

    Second question obviously!

  17. gillie says:

    BBC Scotland won’t be pleased. They may have to get Kaye Adams to deny this poll finding.

  18. Grizzle McPuss says:

    There is a very clear signal from this entire survey exercise to SNP, Greens, SSP et al…


    No more Mr McNice-Guy…or indeed Ms / Mrs / Madam

    (That BBC result…sheesh!!)

  19. Embradon says:

    I have a theory that women’s attitudes may be affected by the disproportionately large number who appear (anecdotaly) to read the perniciously toxic Mail.

  20. liz says:

    The number of Nos who don’t believe the rUK subsidises Scotland could be explained by them thinking being part of the UK benefits their finances.

  21. Taranaich says:

    So why are the main parties all still opposed to full devo max and are the ruk in favour of the snp’s devo max manifesto?

    Seriously. WHY is there such opposition to Full Fiscal Autonomy from the supposedly aggrieved party of Westminster? It’s amazing that the Unionists’ “don’t bin Barnett” proposition is entirely predicated on a stance that only 18% of Scots actually believe.

    English Votes for English Laws = English Taxes for English Legislation.

  22. Schrödinger's cat says:

    gillie says:
    16 January, 2015 at 4:50 pm
    BBC Scotland won’t be pleased. They may have to get Kaye Adams to deny this poll finding.

    What poll ? 🙂

  23. scav says:

    Well, looks like most people are ignorant, irrational dicks after all. I suppose it’s better to know, because ignorance may be bliss, but wishful thinking can be the death of you.

    Here’s hoping for enough “Green Surge” down south to get a genuinely alternative viewpoint into the leader’s debates, for whatever that will be worth. Probably not much. Not holding out any hope for the SNP being invited (for reasons why not, see paragraph above.)

  24. Andrew Haddow says:

    “55% of people voted No, yet just a third that many actually believe that the Union delivers a financial benefit.”

    Makes you wonder if they actually did.

  25. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Very interesting questions – Rev Stu.

    The biased BBC Scotland stance and the subsidy junky myth will ultimately break the Union as these are the most divisive issues. The MSM and BBC will never back track from that line as they think it will give succour to the Nats.

    Ironic really, in trying to save the Union they destroy it.

    But that is what happens when you lie to the people of Scotland.

  26. Schrödinger's cat says:

    English Votes for English Laws = English Taxes for English Legislation.

    Correct, the % of bills that the snp don’t vote on increases with the increase in Scotland’s fiscal autonomy
    Evel is sorted without even needing to legislate for it

    Ofcourse, if the electoral arithmetic leaves the snp in a position of power, they will also get to decide whether there is an eu referendum or not.
    What price would a Tory/ukip coalition give for that? What price would a lib lab pact give to avoid an eu referendum

  27. Schrödinger's cat says:

    Ironic really, in trying to save the Union they destroy it.

    But that is what happens when you lie to the people of Scotland.

    Correct, but more damage has been done by lying to the people of England

  28. The Man in the Jar says:

    I am astonished by the number of SNP / Yes voters that believe that the BBC is not biased. WTF?

  29. manandboy says:

    I wonder what effect the passing of HMQE2 will have on the attitude of the multitude. The polls will come at us thick and fast when that happens.

    HM will probably live till she’s 117. Nevermind, I’m sure she’ll be able to afford Homecare.
    But then, what about Phil – if he pops it, Liz may not be far behind – it’s often the way with very old couples.

    And then we would have King Charles & Queen Camilla.

    Interesting times ahead.

  30. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    @S. Cat
    Agreed – the lies told to the English are even more damaging as they will never be reversed and that will lead to more division and the eventual break up of the UK.

    That is why I have stopped trying to counter this on MSM comments pages. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  31. pipinghot says:

    It’s TV, no doubt in my mind and said here often. I have not had a TV for eight years now and to be honest I have stopped telling people this because of the looks of horror and pity that they give me, countless offers of giving/lending me a set etc. Its not just the news, there is no end of subliminal shite that comes with just turning it on.
    Drug of the nation indeed.

  32. manandboy says:

    If Cameron can’t hack the TV debate – and it does look like he’s lost his baby’s bottle, one has to wonder about his future. Ahead lies a turbulent time and I’ve a feeling Cameron gets seasick easily.
    When he goes, I wonder will he elevate Mr Anatoly McTernan -he has Russian connections – for services to the Union.

    We are certainly living through very strange times indeed.

  33. j says:


    Thats a pretty true statement though. Northern Ireland definitely runs at a larger deficit

  34. bookie from hell says:

    65% disagree england subsidised rest of UK

    that’s jim murphy proposal london property tax to pay for scottish nurses gone down like a leaded ballon

    Scots will be insulted
    England will be angry

    what a fool

  35. manandboy says:

    BTW – I do recommend Limoux. Aldi £7. If you like Chardonnay.

    It’s not all low priced pears and peppers, you know.

  36. james says:

    I do think that a lot of people in England don’t care about EVEL and don’t care that they subsidise Scotland (I know Yes, The Rev etc say they don’t but their argument is very flakey. True in 1974 but not in 2015). I think that a lot of people in England know that Scottish oil subsidised the rest of the UK in the past, particularly the early 1980’s, and hence are happy to return the favour now. They also appreciate that Scotland is a huge resource to the the UK in so many ways that aren’t monetary.

  37. galamcennalath says:

    You can’t have EVEL without FFA for Scotland otherwise it’s taxation without representation. We send more tax south than we get back, so with EVEL they would be, in part, spending our money.

  38. bjsalba says:

    The people who think the BBC is unbiased get confirmation from the newspapers. Many do not use the internet at all.

    People who use the internet have more of a variety of views.

    Derek Bateman has some views on CallKaye

    Used to listen but stopped almost a year ago.

  39. Gordon Adam says:

    Jeez, we really are a nation of fools. How are we ever going to get independence when we have such a huge task of educating the self-deluded?

  40. Murray McCallum says:

    If we get an EU in/out referendum, I wonder how many Scots will be conned by the “its not real independence” line in order to vote us out of the EU?

    I fear if Scots go along with an EU exit we will find ourselves well and truly tied to rUK.

  41. Illy says:

    I’d suspect a decent number of SNP supporters want out of the EU, but into the EFTA.

    Which isn’t a bad idea at all.

  42. AnneDon says:

    At the moment, I’m broadly in favour of staying in the EU, IF we are part of the UK.

    If we were independent, and if TTIP is brought in, I’d leave in a heartbeat.

    There is a leftwing case for leaving the EU. It’s just squeezed out of the media dialogue.

    If TTIP is brought in, I would want to leave, even within the UK, but it’s hard to talk about since UKIP hog the anti-EU attention, even though they don’t seem to object to TTIP at all.

  43. Craig says:

    I am somewhat more surprised at the “Continuing with the nuclear weapons” part.

    I am wondering if those that like to keep them are the ones living furthest away from them.

  44. galamcennalath says:


    As I posted above, I’m not so sure people know that the UK’s only nukes are Trident. If the statement had explicitly said Trident, the result would IMO be different.

  45. Devorgilla says:

    There might be some advantage, politically, if Scotland were to narrowly wish to remain in the EU and England didn’t.

    But nonetheless the EU is a brake on our sovereignty and for the SNP to make EU membership a cornerstone is holding itself hostage to fortune. EFTA membership would suit u better.

  46. Devorgilla says:

    European Commission decides to press ahead regardless with TTIP despite a 97% rejection of it in its consultation.

    We are better out. Chomsky describes the EU as neoliberal.

  47. Murray McCallum says:

    I would wager it’s more a probable outcome to convince up to 10% of previous No voters that we can attain sovereign nation status while remaining part of something economically “bigger” (the EU) when we are actually (or wish to remain) in it.

    Once we are out then isolation may build an even greater sense of difficult ties to be broken with rUK and hurdles to be jumped to get welcomed internationally.

    I think many people need some kind of visible support to get over the line and vote Yes to independence.

  48. HYUFD says:

    So SNP voters join the Tories and UKIP in wanting an EU exit, interesting to see how Sturgeon will react? Of course some polls have shown a narrow UK majority to stay in the EU, so if Scotland has an above average pro EU lead it could equally be Scotland which keeps the UK in the EU even if England votes out. Scotland and London tend to have the largest pro EU votes in polls, Wales is about the UK average

  49. HandandShrimp says:

    The BBC in Scotland should hang their head in shame but I’m guessing they won’t.

    These have been an interesting bundle of responses. These in particular are encouraging. I’m a bit saddened by some of the more reactionary knee jerk responses but against the backdrop of recent terrorist attacks there was always likely to be a more ill will than might have otherwise have occurred.

  50. heedtracker says:

    THE BBC PROVIDES BALANCED AND UNBIASED POLITICAL COVERAGE, agrees some SNP voters. WTF but this is what makes politics interesting/annoying. Can you believe them? I watched BBC 24 and BBC World 18th Sept with horror,shock, awe at BBC hysterical vote NO blanket coverage, mainly either Gordon Brown raging at AlicSamin and YES voters on stage in Fife, arranged audience as per or Gordon Brown explaining calmly to very nice BBC lady that your NO vote would get you Devo-Max and a federal teamGB. All of this was and is massive Gordon Brown/BBC lying fraud but maybe by Sept this year, a completely conned Scotland does look at how nothing much has changed at all, expect Gordon Brown and Flipper Darling have scarpered. Then BBC vote anti UK union Slab Murphy for Scots FM fraud cranks up even harder.

  51. yesindyref2 says:

    “that’s going to make for a difficult crisis of conscience for a lot of people, as many Nats will be forced to decide whether to vote to leave, knowing that if Scotland goes the same way as the UK they’ll be destroying by far the best chance of getting a second Scottish independence referendum inside the next 20 years”

    Ironically I was thinking the same thing the other day, and from a personal point of view as well. I’ve posted a good few times that I’d vote to take the UK out of the EU, but would be prepared to let Independent Scotland stay in and see how it goes for a few years as we’re more likely to engage with the EU, whereas the UK constantly fights the EU.

    In the context that an out for the UK, but an in for Scotland will lead to a completely enormous legal constitutional crisis because of issues such as Human Rights and virtually force another Indy ref, which is very likely to be YES next time in that circumstance, I’ll be voting IN, but it’s a close run thing.

  52. Clootie at 07.00.

    After reading that, perhaps the oil price will recover faster than previously suggested.

  53. yesindyref2 says:

    Great questions anyway Rev. I did have my doubts I guess, but it’s very helpful to have this background when posting away in the Herald for instance. If election campaigns are to be run, it’s important to know how the majority thinks, where attitudes can be pointed out as being different in Scotland to help justify going for Devo-Max – and ultimately of course, Independence.

  54. yesindyref2 says:

    With a gap of just 5% points betweek In and Out in Scotland, but 1/12th electorate that translates to less than 0.5% points more for In. The UK has a 4% point gap so the best Scotland does is reduce that to 3.5% points for Out.

    It’s incredibly unlikely that Scotland will keep the UK in the EU.

    However, one of the weaknesses of the YES campaign was that it assumed Scotland staying in the EU which is fine, but never addressed a simple point of democracy, that after a YES vote in the Indy ref, there would be an In-Out Ref in Scotland as well, perhaps around 2020. I know of people who would have voted YES but didn’t, because of that. How much difference it would have made, who knows.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    Do you agree that Scotland subsidises any other part of the UK
    If not, why were they so desperate to hang on to us to the point of breaking electoral rules, lies from Cameron,Osborne, suborning the truth at every opportunity, using the Banking system, multinational corporations, the BBC,SKY,ITV,newspapers, foreign diplomats,foreign politicians,popes,Presidents of foreign countries,pop stars,actors,sportspeople,i’m out of breath here.
    Do we, any of us, or even anyone out there after reading the stuff we all take for granted really believe this utter nonsense
    Do we really think the world loves and cares so much about Scotland, half the world never even heard of us until Cameron asked them for support
    Fact is, without us the UK ends, Northern Ireland is in the toilet coz Mr and Mrs Englandshire isn’t going to maintain it on it’s own, Wales is already in serious bother, without us they’ll have to bring back Arthur Pendragon to fight for food
    Next referendum, we’ll win, simples, and most of the world still won’t really care, but we will,and then we won’t have to give our wages to our next door neighbour and wait for some to be given back coz we’re not smart enough to budget our
    own shopping
    Now ahm away oot tae play in the snow…

  56. Dan Huil says:

    Sorry OT. Ian Davidson MP has just written an article on the labourlist website which has to be read to be believed. If you thought Murphy’s declaration of never being a unionist was mind-blowing in its illogicality…

  57. john king says:

    galamcennalath says

    As I posted above, I’m not so sure people know that the UK’s only nukes are Trident. If the statement had explicitly said Trident, the result would IMO be different.

    Sorry pal but your clutching at straws if you believe that.

  58. Hoss Mackintosh says:


    I agree with you about Daviid Cameron and the GE debates. He will chicken out as he will fare badly against Clegg and Farage. Miliband will be useless as normal.

    OR Perhaps, he should call on Alistair Darling to stand in his place to help out again.

    Darling only charges ~£10K for a speech – It would be money well spent to avoid the worry and with the added bonus if it goes badly Cameron can stab him in the back and claim it was his fault and therefore they need even more EVEL.

  59. john king says:

    Taranaich says

    So why are the main parties all still opposed to full devo max and are the ruk in favour of the snp’s devo max manifesto?

    Seriously. WHY is there such opposition to Full Fiscal Autonomy

    Mibbie they love us that much they want to save us from ourselves?

  60. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I’m surprised that some here seem to think that England subsidises Scotland.
    It most assuredly does not and there is all the evidence one could wish for in the public domain to prove this.
    As is also the fact that the Barnett Formula only covers about two thirds of Government spending (mostly the social spending bit providing services) and does not cover “national” spending or Government procurement the majority of which is concentrated in SE England.

    The notion that the UK bust a gut to hang onto Scotland to subsidise it is bonkers.

    However it is this belief that hampered us in the referendum and assuring Scots that Scotland is comfortably self-supporting is the number one priority or we will keep losing

  61. wingman 2020 says:

    @Dr Jim

    “Do we really think the world loves and cares so much about Scotland, half the world never even heard of us until Cameron asked them for support”


  62. Robert Peffers says:

    @Capella says: 16 January, 2015 at 4:27 pm:

    “Spells out the need for an alternative media source in Scotland. Even the rUK belief that England subsidises everyone else is most likely a result of media blaring out the same rubbish day in day out.”

    It’s some time since I sat in a wee country tearoom down in the Scottish borders talking on that subject to an English couple and their two teenage children. The whole family were quite certain the English were subsidising the Scots. I asked them if they had figures to prove their point. The said that, “It stood to reason”. I pointed out that was neither reason nor proof of reason and asked them what they thought was the reason. Their answer was that as England had such a much bigger population they obviously paid in more in tax than the Scots.

    I then pointed out to them that in the first place the much bigger population needed a much bigger sum to fund their needs. That to work out such a simple arithmetical problem required they do both sides of the equation – the sum paid in by the English on one side and the funds needed to support them on the other. This gave them pause for thought but their next claim was even more specious. “Ah but we have more workers paying tax”. To which I pointed out that it was again only one side of the equation and they also had more worker’s families getting benefits as the were below the poverty line and more people out of work too.

    I then started to reel off a few of the true facts of the down side of the equation they were failing to include in their calculations. There are more people out of work in London than in the rest of the UK put together. There were more children in London families getting Housing Benefits as they qualified as below the poverty line. That the London Boroughs were the areas in the UK with the worst child poverty and thus more working families getting paid benefits than anywhere else in the United Kingdom, (I was waiting for the obvious claim being made).

    I didn’t need wait long. “Yes but we pay more tax”. So I asked them if they knew what was the English, “Per Capita GDP”, and was met with blank looks? So I informed them that it meant the per capita revenue raised in any given area divided by the area’s population. That the Scottish per Capita GDP was higher than both the average per capita GDP of the UK and of England. Not to mention there were more people on a per capita basis employed in Scotland.

    Then in for the kill as I informed them that there was no such thing in the treasury figures as either English Revenues or English Funding. That as England had no parliament of her own then there was no English Block Grant and England was funded as the United Kingdom and that it was United Kingdom figures they had been quoting as English revenue and that the last time I looked the United Kingdom included Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland so the figures on the one side of their equation were those of the whole UK while those on the other side were for England only. When Westminster quoted, for example, the sum spent on UK transport it was only English transport for the rest of the UK funded transport from within their block grants. Not to mention that over and above that UK funded Transport there was also Transport for London treated as a different item.

    I must assume, as they obviously had not given it and in depth thought, that they were parroting the views fed to them by the Establishment as a daily diet. Their points never stand up to examination.

  63. Tam Jardine says:

    So much of modern politics is short termism, while long term strategy and broader considerations seem intangible.

    The reason for this is, I suppose a desire on the part of government’s to keep people ignorant and afraid. In a way the situation now is worse than the nightmare future of 1984 because the deception is more subtle, less unashamed.

    We are having a discussion at the moment on the oil price. Despite the broad shoulders of the UK and it’s ability to look after the north Sea oil and gas industry, the presenter of Scotland 2015 asked ‘is the industry now in terminal decline?’

    At the same time as Putin is putting the west into a full nelson and controls the oil and gas supply for much of Europe, at the same time as the price of oil is being manipulated by the Saudis, we the population of the EU’s largest oil producer are being fed a diet of absolute drivel from a government that needs oil revenues so much that they will keep the level of tax as high as they think possible without destroying the industry – and will err on the side of recklessness.

    To date the UK has done nothing to help the industry – I fail to see how an independent Scotland could have helped any less. And what is the broad shouldered UK able to do? Reduce some tax in a couple of months – something an indy Scotland could have done also.

    If the UK was suddenly to start pumping billions into the oil and gas industry to prop it up there is an argument we would have struggled to do that in the first few years but that seems impossible when the exchequer is near collapse under the weight of debt.

    The UK broad shouldered ‘contribution’ will simply be taking slightly less tax!

    The current negative narrative obscures the uniquely strong position Scotland would have been in to withstand the next couple of hundred years.

  64. Cuilean says:

    As Butch said to Sundance, ” Who the hell are these people?”

  65. Tom Platt says:

    I am sympathetic to ClanDonald’s:-
    “I’m actually having difficulty believing this poll, denial maybe, sorry” and found myself looking for explanation as to why the differences between Scotland and rUK were much narrower than I had expected them to be. Much has already been mentioned on the thread to help understand this:-

    1. The Rev’s diagnosis that it is exposure to the relentless right wing negativity of the UK media that shapes attitudes is certainly a crumb of comfort but for the SNP the challenge remains to overcome this until Scotland has the free and independent media reporting of the news from a Scottish standpoint which we deserve. Publications such as The National, the Sunday Herald, Newsnet Scotland, the Courier and, for different reasons, the Sunday Post only go so far to addressing this continuing need.

    2. Desimond’s point:- “Did Scots polled consider “This country” as the UK or Scotland alone?” is surely pertinent. Ross and I agree: “if the nuclear weapons questions asked it in relation to Scotland it would have got a substantially different answer. If the immigration question had clearly stated the “country” in question was Scotland it would have had a substantially different answer”

    3. Roger Mexico has a separate point about the interpretation by poll responders of the word “country” He says, “There’s also the complication that when you ask Scots about ‘too much immigration to the country’, they may also be thinking of people coming in from other parts of the UK as well. But maybe that’s for another question another time”.

    4 I also share Hobbit’s opinion:
    “… if the rUK statistics could be broken down, so we could distinguish the South East from the rest of rUK, I would hazard the view that rUK would be closer to Scotland than it would be to the South East.”

    4. The workfare question posed much trouble:-
    I agree with Colin Cameron:
    “On “working for benefits”, I think the proposition could be taken to mean that working-age benefits have to be earned (disability benefits excluded of course)” particularly as Westminster are trying to persuade EU of the need for this.
    Rev Stu has answered Amar’s point: – “I would have said I was for getting people to work for unemployment benefit (as the question asked) however I also would say that they must be paid minimum wage! (And therefore am against workfare in its current form which I consider slave labour). davidb :
    “.. phrasing of the workfare question is difficult. I see no issue with wanting two different things depending on whether I am in or out of the British Union”.

    5. The nuclear issues do need to be put into further perspective than that mentioned in 2. above.
    We can all surely understand why Karmanaut prefers the nukes question to be more relevant to a decision that needs to be made before 2016:
    “Should we spend £100bn on improving welfare and health or on new nukes?”
    And who can argue with galamcennalath ? :
    “If the statement had explicitly mentioned Trident, then I have little doubt more Scots would be against.”

    6. I worry about the understanding of” welfare” and “benefits”. It is not commonly realised, as it perhaps should be, that Senior Citizen’s Pensions are, by far, the largest items on these national budgets. The fact of UK having low pensions compared to most others in EU, and Scots having less benefit still because of our much lower longevity, needs to be juxtaposed against nuclear costs. The countries in the EU with no nuclear weapons costs and risks have higher retirement pensions!

    7. I have started to distrust polling given the ownership trends of the polling companies and the Referendum experience. It would be interesting for someone of the ability and experience of James Kelly of “Scot Goes Pop” to comment on this poll and perhaps someone who knows him could suggest to him that he might try to find the time to do it. I would be interested in possible errors in polling technique. For instance:- how were the respondents to the poll?. Were there clusters in the circa 1000 sampled in certain parts of Scotland that was different from the clustering of the Scottish population throughout the country?

    Looking at the polling in the light of the above reservations, I remain convinced that :-

    A. A much reinforced SNP contingent in Westminster, after May, working to ensure that ”The Vow“ is honoured
    B. All “Yes” parties working to include Independence in their manifestos for the 2016 Holyrood elections
    together provide the best way of ensuring that Scots obtain what we want and deserve.

  66. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Robert Peffers at 8.20

    Good stuff – but it’s not English visitors that need the facts presented to them. It’s our own people.

    As far as I’m concerned the only thing that prevents us gaining a huge independence vote is the notion believed by many Scots that England susidises us (or on a slightly different level that we need the connection to the English market).

  67. Dr Jim says:

    Every time you produce your passport anywhere in the world the first question you get is English? Englese? Englise or other languages if you prefer. When i first moved to Spain to live and work, and not in Barcelona or Benidorm it took me some time to explain where Scotland even was, in the local school the kids were told by their teacher after me having explained about Scotland, that Scotland was a peninsula of Great Britain, this was before i spoke a word of Spanish. If you visit even some big cities the same thing applies, i have been in African countries with the same response, Half the countries Britain has made war on think we’re all English or American,and don’t even get me started on the poor Welsh, they’re just totally non existent, i remember having to explain to the Guardia Civil who i was assigned to in Valencia to profile English speaking offenders that i was not from the same country, only our really bad football playing was what they could distinguish us by, but Country? they had no idea, and those were the elite cops employed by the government, not the Policia Local.
    Really not trying to be funny but i’ve experienced this in several countries, it’s not that people are being unpleasant, they just don’t know or care, if you carry a British passport You’re English, and they don’t mean just the language
    Just remembered another instance, once in Texas talking about Scotland and the man i spoke to genuinely believed we were a village in England, and as they say “I shit you not”

  68. Lollysmum says:

    The current oil price drop is damaging Westminster enormously. Without those regular oil revenues WM is bankrupt & I’m guessing that they are starting to worry about repayment of interest of the debt. They also can’t tell the rest of UK that they’ve been living off oil revenues for 40 years so Scotland isn’t subsidised-it does subsidise rUK. The electorate would then know they’ve been had & would demand to know what else WM has lied about. Yup-it would really hit the fan then.

    Independence Live recorded Jeanne Freeman & Elaine C Smith & one of them said she was speaking to JM at about 4am on Sept 19th. Sorry can’t remember which it was but she asked him what would have happened if Yes had won.His reply a surprisingly honest ‘It would have been all over’ Thats why I was trying to interest Stu in watching it because there were a number of comments that I could imagine Stu using for posts.

    Scotland is what guarantees Uk borrowings at lowish interest rates. Without Scots income & other taxes + oil duties coming into WM UK is bust. Think back to the comments from Standard & Poor when they were asked to assess Scottish viability if they won independence. It was confirmed that Scotland would have a much more beneficial credit rating than WM & in the event of separation rUK’s would worsen to junk bond status.

  69. finnmacollie says:

    o/t I see the BBC have promoted Rangers already

  70. Bob Mack says:

    I think many Scots are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome where someone who is abused physically or mentally, finds it difficult not to defend the abuser. Scots having been Labour for so long may experience difficulty breaking the bond. Iam sure it will happen eventually as we their fellow Scots deprogramme them a bit at a time

  71. When the BBC has passed off ‘Independent’ experts as being that such as Angus Armstrong seen Angus Armstrong, director of macroeconomic research at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, assesses the situation. is it any wonder people are confused.

  72. G4jeepers says:


    The £6.5 million Moorfield Hotel employs more than 40 local staff.

  73. North chiel says:

    Agree entirely with Lollysmum. The oil company’s and London treasury
    Have done very well thank you very much over the past 40 years with
    Oil prices varying between 9 and circa 130 use/ barrel with the AVERAGE
    Price circa 25-30 use/barrel Why then do we have “A CRISIS” at circa
    50 USD /barrel??
    Also , with a reported (BBC Radio Scotland) 500,000 working directly
    Or indirectly in the industry THROUGHOUT THE UK I am willing to
    Hazard a guess that the MAJORITY of these people RESIDE in RUK
    And not Scotland.The London treasury ( due to their insatiable greed over
    The past 4 decades with no OIL FUND set up )will be the BIG LOSERS
    Not the oil company’s who will have been more prudent during the good
    Times.So tell me why has the BBC and media persisted with
    It’s propaganda “spinning this as a Scottish problem” ?? Another attempt
    To fool the Scottish electorate?

  74. Rock says:

    Dr Jim,

    “Every time you produce your passport anywhere in the world the first question you get is English?”

    If the two terms are completely interchangeable in England, it is hardly surprising for the same to be true abroad.

    But contrary to what you say, Scots are known as distinct from the English by most educated people throughout the world and that has been the case for a very long time.

  75. hetty says:

    Hmm, well, if there is an in out EU referendum as they like to call it, will people really be armed with the information they need, to make an informed choice. The msm rely on gut reactions, and on the electorate not knowing quite what the actual nitty griity issues are, never mind the consequences of any major changes to anything vaguely related to their lives,

    Christ, its becoming clear, that in fact we might as well live in times where folks couldn’t read, it was all about the mob mindset, throwing cabbages and tomatoes at people in the stocks, though eating a cabbage could be more useful. Not mob rule as such these days, but more a kind of zombified compliance.

  76. hetty says:

    Re the oil, anyone would think Scotland had voted for independence, considering saud S**t is hitting the fan!

  77. arranc says:

    having the dearest sister-in-law in the world who lives in the south o england still believes we are supported by england {she is a scot}

  78. Robert Peffers says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says: 16 January, 2015 at 9:28 pm:

    “Good stuff – but it’s not English visitors that need the facts presented to them. It’s our own people.

    Very true, Dave, but I never miss a chance to tell anyone and everyone the facts. It certainly helps to broach the subject of politics that I have a woolly hat full of YES badges, (one measures 3″ across), and YES stickers all over my campervan.

    No matter if they are for or against, “YES”, it has the effect of getting a reaction. Not to mention that I have the most beautiful wee Papillion bitch who was trained from 5 weeks old as a befriender.

    She goes to everyone with the tail wagging and obviously eager to befriend. In fact she gets crotchety if she doesn’t get walkied in order to make friends.

    The result is that she breaks the ice and the person makes some remark about the YES movement and we are off on a political debate. The trick is to have the facts at your fingertips – and I have. Not to mention that I could talk for Scotland in the verbal Olympic.

  79. Robert Peffers says:

    @Rock says: 16 January, 2015 at 11:11 pm:

    ” … But contrary to what you say, Scots are known as distinct from the English by most educated people throughout the world and that has been the case for a very long time”.

    Aye! Rock, way back in the 1960s I had a workmate who had been a piper with the first battalion Gordon Highlanders.

    Jock holidayed all over the World and mostly for free, (other than the airfare). He went in full Highland dress and with his pipes. He mainly got free bed, board and booze wherever he wandered. Quite a character was Jock.

  80. KennyG says:

    Am I right in saying that the answer to the question, why, if you believe that Scotland is subsidised by England, did the British government fight tooth and nail to keep us in the union? Has been answered simply by saying we kinda like you and we like having you around! Even though you are a drain, we are willing to subsidise you even against public opinion because we like having less money.

  81. yesindyref2 says:

    From Ian Davidson “The Chancellor tabled a bill committing future governments to lowering the debt as a proportion of GDP, and balancing the budget in day to day spending, after 2018”.

    And Ian Davidson along with 27 other Labour MPs voted with the Tories, shoulder to shoulder, the SNP voted against, with Katy Clarke the only Labour MP in Scotland showing any principles. And he’s trying to lie through his teeth? Wow.

  82. robertknight says:

    All these stats give further proof, if it were needed, that the outcome of the referendum was simply a triumph of fear over hope. Nothing more, nothing less…

  83. Lochside says:

    Is anyone really surprised by these results? After all,we have suffered three hundred years of a campaign to destroy Scottish identity and eliminate our history, languages and culture.

    Add in the last seven years’ intensive campaign by the msm ,and the BBC in particular, to hammer home our insignificance as a nation and our political and economic dependency on Mother England.

    The result?: a divided and uncertain electorate, with under a half of us resolute and determined, whilst the slight majority, comprising of the feart, the selfish and the British identifiers.

    As was mentioned, most non-politically committed Scots (women in particular) continue to read The’Daily Mail’ and its sinister travel to work mini-me,’The Metro’, plus all the other Unionist/Tory Press. Supplementing their political knowledge in sound-bites from the BBC/STV all of which are biased Unionist megaphones.

    Thus Scots have become more right wing through unconscious brainwashing…immigration; welfare; nuclear weapons; EEC.
    Ask any Joe McSoap his opinion on them and very often you will get the knee jerk Unionist line…even from Yes and SNP voters…..Scots have been trained to be schizophrenic…look at Rangers supporters!

    The SNP have missed the salient point about the Referendum campaign: they lost in their strongholds of Scotland and won in the Labour heartlands. The former fact is the most disquieting, …because it meant that many SNP voters are not really nationalists in these areas, and many of the non-Snp vote is antipathetic to Independence. This poses a big problem in the GE. Will the defecting REF nats return? and will the ‘NO’ lot vote against the SNP on a tactical basis.

    The SNP must use forensic analysis of these types of polls.
    If a majority of all Scots are still abject enough to support the Monarchy and support Nuclear weapons which make us even bigger targets than ever; if Scots maybe don’t like European membership for possibly reasons associated with democratic control rather than economic ‘broad shoulders’;if Scots know the BBC lies but don’t act on it… do you educate them otherwise and effectively counter the negative drone of Big Brother media?

    Until the BBC is undermined and discredited totally, that education will be muted by the rat race choir of our msm frightening and confusing the non-politically conscious electorate, i.e. the majority.Playing the game and being reasonable in the face of unreason (Murphy, Brown etc.) can only lead to another humiliating defeat.

    We should learn from the REF: no more anodyne leaders like the ineffectual and tainted Blair Jenkins; no vague five options on currency; no lack of clarity on oil reserves and its clear status as a bonus only despite any volatility; unequivocal evidence of Scotland’s real wealth and the grotesque unequal distribution both within Scotland and in contribution to the RUK; and the clear and present danger presented to our population by Trident.

    If the last month is anything to go by…we are already heading for marginalisation and sidelining by the media. If this continues defeat beckons.

  84. KraftyKris says:

    Very good questions and excellent analysis. I have to say that I’ve been surprised and disappointed with a lot of the results from this poll. It’s frustrating that nuclear weapons, the death penalty, the monarchy are supported by the majority.

    Having support for people being jailed for offensive non-threatening comments and the unemployed working for their benefits, which in most cases would be less than minimum wage, is unsettling to put it mildly. Surely that suggests there is not enough jobs and the system provides disincentives for companies to hire.

    People think there is a problem with immigration but would rather spend money on the armed forces to go and destroy someone else’s country rather than support people who need it at home. Where do they want these people to go after we destroy their homes?

    … Depressing.

  85. Muscleguy says:


    There is the phenomenon of holier than thou allied with competition to be more x than you. Once you have accepted the logic of independence it is natural to wonder about how far it should go. With all the media focus on UKIP etc it would be strange if hardly anyone who votes SNP wanted to leave.

    The interesting thing is that leaving the EU is the independence that dares to speak its name but leaving the UN is still the preserve of loony conspiracy nuts and religious sects who see the number of the beast in it.

  86. kendomacaroonbar says:

    How is it possible to suggest that England subsidises anybody when they cannot fund themselves ?

    The UK has a debt of £ 1.6 Trillion of which England’s liability is circa 85%; therefore English taxpayers cannot cover their own costs and cannot conceivably boast of largesse when the numbers prove the opposite.

  87. C Simpson says:

    Odd you dont point out that the ruk, as only you call it, is more in favour of scottish independence than the scots are , (even with oil at $110 brl).

  88. Rock says:

    Robert Peffers,

    “Quite a character was Jock.”

    Politics aside, the ‘jocks’ are quite characters :).

  89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Odd you dont point out that the ruk, as only you call it, is more in favour of scottish independence than the scots are”

    [citation required]

  90. Chris Downie says:

    Hopefully now the SNP will listen to those of us who want to hear a case for independence OUTSIDE of the EU. A chief failure of strategy from YES Scotland, imho, was to assume YES voters wanted to be in the EU. People like myself, who look to Norway, Iceland and Switzerland (3 of the most prosperous countries in the world and all of whom viable models for Scotland) were never part of the debate and I for one hope Nicola Sturgeon will listen.

  91. HYUFD says:

    Yesindeyref Agree, yougov has shown over 60% Scottish backing for the EU, so it could make the difference in, say a 51-49%, rUK out vote.

  92. HYUFD says:

    DrJim Quebec’s second referendum was still narrowly NO

    DrJimKendoMacaroonbar Scotland is not subsidised, however Wales probably is which is why independence has much less support in Wales. Indeed, some poorer regions of England are subsidised too

  93. HYUFD says:

    johnking Most voters want a cheaper nuclear deterrent than Trident, but not no deterrent at all

  94. HYUFD says:

    Tom Platt London and Scotland were the only regions in the UK with a UKIP vote under 20% in the Euro elections, so Scotland is closer to London than anywhere else on that basis

  95. HYUFD says:

    Dr Jim Rock It is the same for a Catalan who a foreigner considers Spanish, a Quebecois considered Canadian, a Bavarian considered German, even a Texan considered American!

  96. HYUFD says:

    KraftyKris Given that if we were not striking ISIS many more in the area would be massacred being a refugee is preferable to being killed

  97. HYUFD says:

    Dr Jim/Rock Of course New Zealanders constantly get mistaken for Australians and Canadians for Americans even when they are separate countries

  98. HYUFD says:

    ChrisDownie There is certainly an argument that to be truly independent an independent Scotland needs independence from both the UK and the EU ike Switzerland, Norway and Iceland as you mention. However, I doubt the argument is one the very pro-EU Nicola Sturgeon would listen to, other forces within the SNP maybe

  99. Will Podmore says:

    All too many supporters of the SNP, and of Scotland’s separating from Britain, believe that the EU is progressive. When you tie yourself to a reactionary body like the EU, you can keep saying ‘I’m progressive’, but fine words butter no parsnips. Analyse the EU and you will see that the employing class, expressed in the European Roundtable of Industrialists, runs it. The EU imposes corporate rule, which means ‘austerity’ (= poverty). So if you oppose poverty when imposed by Cameron, you have, to be consistent, oppose poverty when imposed by the EU – don’t you?

  100. Chris Downie says:


    Thanks for the response. I think the honeymoon period for Nicola Sturgeon is over. While my wife and I were impressed with much of her speech in Aberdeen during the roadshow, we both feel the way the YES camp have bounced back so quickly will ultimately be a curse as much as a blessing.

    In otherwords, while our resilience and persistence will keep the establishment on their toes, it has demonstrably built a complacency and lack of culpability (of which Sturgeon exuded during the roadshow, with her insistence that they want to retain Sterling, NATO & EU membership, etc.), insofar as there is (outwardly, at least) an alarming lack of soul-searching and taking stock, asking WHY they lost the referendum.

    Bottom line – the “independence-lite” strategy failed. It will continue to fail, unless lessons are learned and a new course is charted. Assuming EU and NATO membership are 2 hugely problematic strategies that many YES voters (or potential voters) have issue with and unless Sturgeon listens, we face a Quebec-style “neverendum”.

  101. HYUFD says:

    Indeed, the question of an independent Scotland’s place on the world stage is a huge one

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