The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Eleven words of truth

Posted on January 21, 2014 by

It’s a start, we suppose. But it doesn’t take long for the UK government’s latest independence “fact sheet” to start telling fibs again. It barely gets a quarter of the way through its very first sentence before dropping a big old porky on those assembled:

makesure

Much as we’d like to think otherwise, there’s no such thing as a “forever decision” in politics. Whether Scotland votes for or against independence, it could change in the future. The USSR fragmented, East and West Germany reunited (having been abruptly split up after the “Thousand Year Reich” only actually managed 12), and even our own lifetimes have seen countless realignments and redivisions of states across the world.

So what else in the paper is, to use the technical term, total cobblers?

“Creating an independent Scotland would mean creating a brand new state. The UK would still go on without Scotland in the event of independence.”

PARP! Nobody knows whether that’s true or not. The precise terms of the dissolution of the Acts Of Union, including whether either Scotland or the rUK continues as an accessor state, are yet to be determined. And whatever they are, Scotland has been a state before, so “brand new” is highly dubious.

“What we do know is: the UK works. And works well. It works well for our families, it works well for our finances and it will work well for our future.”

HONK! That’s a whole series of assertions masquerading as facts. Whether the UK currently “works well” is very much a matter of opinion – it’s not long since David Cameron was constantly insisting it was “broken”. It’s difficult to agree that it’s “working well for our finances” when the country is well over a trillion pounds in the red, and rising. And you certainly can’t say what’s going to happen in the future.

“The UK provides world class defence, international influence, financial security, pensions and benefits, world-leading science and the very best of sport and culture – it’s too good to gamble.”

COUGH! World-class defence and influence? Hmm. Financial security? See “HONK”. Pensions are being pushed further and further into the future and benefits are being slashed brutally, with much more cutting to come. Science funding is in crisis, and we’re not sure which sports we’re supposed to be best at. Scotland hasn’t qualified for the World Cup in 16 years, England just got humiliated at cricket by Australia, both the Welsh teams in the English Premiership are in the relegation struggle and Northern Ireland’s frankly never been much cop at anything (needing its southern brothers to put together a half-decent rugby side). Culture? Our most-watched TV show is The X-Factor. Enough said.

“Independence is the end of the United Kingdom as we know it. It would mean Scotland leaving and starting again.”

QUACK! See “PARP”.

“We are a truly united kingdom.”

CLANG! Are we? Scotland votes Labour and SNP but gets Tory governments. UKIP may well win the EU elections in England, but can’t hold onto a deposit in Scotland. (Not unrelatedly, Scots want to stay in the EU while English people want to leave.) Westminster constantly imposes policies overwhelmingly rejected by the Scottish electorate and Scottish MPs.

Wales has a different language on all its signposts. Northern Ireland has completely different political parties to the UK, with not a single Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem MP. Of the four constituent nations of the UK, the Conservatives, who currently lead the government, have only ever won elections in England.

“The referendum is a big deal and there’s a lot of information to get your head around. To help you decide here’s some fast facts about the organisations and resources shared across the UK, which make us a strong and stable family:

£2,000 – the potential cost per household every year of putting  a border between Scotland and the wider UK economy.”

AROOGA! What? Where did that figure come from, exactly? To what does it refer?

“Almost 200,000 jobs in Scotland depend on the financial sector. Nine out of ten Scottish financial services companies’ customers are in the rest of the UK.”

PEEEEEEP! Um, so what?

“In 2012 Scotland exported £48 billion worth of goods and services to the rest of the UK and imported £59 billion from the rest of the UK and businesses operating in Scotland but owned elsewhere in the UK supported 338,000 Scottish jobs.”

And?

“More than 450,000 people living in Scotland today were born in England, Wales or NI, and more than 830,000 people born in Scotland now live elsewhere in the UK.”

Sorry, is there a point coming any time soon?

“Since devolution Scottish households and businesses have contributed slightly less tax than the UK average. Over the same period, public spending per person in Scotland has been around 10% higher than the UK average.”

BONG! Er, we’re going to need a source for that first bit, since every known record, including the UK government’s, suggests that Scots have made a net contribution of tens of billions of pounds to the UK Treasury, both before and since devolution.

“North Sea oil and gas revenues would help support Scotland’s public finances, but are forecast to halve by 2017-18.”

SQUAWK! Only by a UK government body with an almost unbroken track record of failure in predictions in its short lifetime, and whose own steering committee says “Forecasting oil prices, as anyone knows, is a mug’s game”. Almost every independent authority has a far more optimistic view.

oilforecasts

“Even in the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ most optimistic scenario, an independent Scotland would have to find permanent tax increases or spending cuts equivalent to £3bn per year, after 2020.”

CRASH! A scenario predicated on an independent Scotland running everything exactly as it’s currently done in the UK, which would seem to rather negate the point of becoming independent at all.

“Public spending on pensions and benefits is currently 2% per person higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.”

OOFT! But in fact, a lower proportion of Scottish GDP (ie more affordable) than in the rest of the UK. The only way to make welfare spending higher in Scotland than the UK average is if you completely exclude oil revenues from the Scottish budget or give 90% of them to England, which would be a very weird thing to do.

welfarescotland

“An independent Scotland may be required to join the euro”

THWAP! No it won’t. Nobody can ever be forced to join the Euro if they don’t want to.

“In the event of independence, the UK government would honour all of its debt obligations, but an independent Scotland would be responsible for repaying the UK for a fair and proportionate share of this debt.”

SPANG! No it wouldn’t. It would probably choose to do so during negotations in exchange for various concessions, but an independent Scotland would have no legal responsibility whatsoever for a single penny of UK debt. A report this month suggested that Scotland would accept a liability far below its per-capita share of the UK’s debts – leaving it in a far healthier fiscal position, with far more manageable repayments, than the rUK.

ETC! And, frankly, so on. We’ve spent much of this site’s life debunking all the other nonsense in the document – these are just some bullet points of the most glaring untruths, and we had to stop because we’d run out of funny words for loud noises. But in fairness to the No camp, there’s no faulting that first quarter-of-a-sentence.

Print Friendly

    173 to “Eleven words of truth”

    1. Camilla Kaczinski says:

      “The referendum is a big deal and there’s a lot of information to get your head around. To help you decide here’s some fast facts (…)”
      Wow, patronising much?

    2. Les Wilson says:

      Another lot of hard work,perhaps you should send the department that made it up,a bill for your time!, for showing it is a load of crap. Well done,yet again.

    3. Alan Wyllie says:

      The UK Government really does come out with some sh*t sometimes. They really don’t have a clue, they think that this is the 1970s and us ‘plebs’ have no way t factcheck their crap.

      Roll on September!

    4. Jiggsbro says:

      UKIP may well win the EU elections in England, but can’t onto a deposit in Scotland.

      Hanging too good for them?

    5. Atypical_Scot says:

      There is shpoing…,

    6. JPJ2 says:

      Perhaps a little off topic but surely relevant 🙂

      I was watching CNBC (business channel) this morning and they announced that IRELAND can now borrow money in the international marketplace at lower interest rates than can the UK!

      Surely, given the very real difficulties that Ireland have faced, this gives overwhelming proof that Better Together and the Westminster liars are exactly that-LIARS.

    7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Better Together have just announced their new scret weapon, a new campaign song.

      It is sung by an unusually beqarded Blair McDougall on Calton Hill after he had the place sanctified a ritual scarifice, or two.

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xj2edy_demis-roussos-forever-and-ever_music

    8. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I forgot to add that nothing lasts forever, not even Greek democracy, or the Treaty of Union.

    9. Ken MacColl says:

      They were more credible -but not much – when they were silent. Brings to mind the old saw that it is sometimes better to remain silent and be thought a fool than it is to open up and prove it.

    10. Lanarkist says:

      Shame that they get to use all that oil money and Scottish tax money to promote these lies, to propagandise the situation and falsify the situation, to pay for the dissemination of it through the national media which they also charge us for.

      It is quite outrageous, is it not?

    11. Murray McCallum says:

      I have to admit I clicked on the image to check that this was a UK government leaflet and not a spoof.

      I stupidly thought that even they would not include such a wide range of “factoids” (an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact).

      Do you suffer nose bleeds while reading, dismembering and grilling this stuff?

    12. heedtracker says:

      People seem to believe the too poor, no security stuff so if it was me, I’d be pushing just how much Scotland earns and how much the union really costs Scotland. For example why should Scotland pay for the decades of massive infra structure investment going on in the South East? Why not invest our earnings in our country.

    13. Lanarkist says:

      Shame that they get to use all that oil money and Scottish tax money to promote these lies, to propagandise the situation and falsify the information, to pay for the dissemination of it through the national media which they also charge us for.

      It is quite outrageous, is it not?

    14. Grant_M says:

      “…don’t take Scotland’s biggest decision in 300 years without getting clued up first.”

      Exactly. That’s why we read Wings Over Scotland 🙂

    15. seoc says:

      Here we go again – con those stupid Scots time.
      In fact Scotland will be far in advance of rumpUk on many fronts, so if Westminster cannot pull off a self-serving con over the Referendum, that are in serious doo-doo.

    16. CameronB says:

      Sort of OT.

      Media Lens has gotten hold of the UWS story.

    17. seoc says:

      Is there any way to turn off that idiot predictive text?

    18. Angus McLellan says:

      On the “slightly less tax than average” point, this is almost certainly true. And about equally certain to be misleading.

      The IFS say (in Taxing an Independent Scotland, p. 2) that “incomes in Scotland are less unequally distributed, with fewer of the very high income individuals who provide such a large share of income tax revenue in the UK”. This does not mean that a household with earnings of £X pays less in Scotland. It only means that the Roman Abramovichs of these islands tend to live in London rather than Edinburgh.

    19. Dcanmore says:

      So now it’s over to the ever-scrutinising investigative journalists in the Scottish MSM …

      … yeah right.

    20. chalks says:

      I agree with the UK Gov….make sure you are in the know and spread the word about the knowledge you know.

    21. Gordon Smith says:

      I hope it was headed “BetterTogether” rather than UK GOVERNMENT. It looks like no more than an extended Project Fear lie sheet.

    22. Cath says:

      ““The referendum is a big deal and there’s a lot of information to get your head around. To help you decide here’s some fast facts ”

      Followed by a load of misleading information and downright lies. Bet they’re planning to send this to every household too right?

    23. tartanpigsy says:

      @CameronB have you got a link for media lens, nothings showing up on their search facility.

    24. Kate says:

      Anyone from Wings been selected to be on Question Time this Thursday?

    25. IainB says:

      Who in their right mind could fall for the blatant lies in that pdf?

    26. Morag says:

      UKIP may well win the EU elections in England, but can’t onto a deposit in Scotland.

      Hanging too good for them?

      Wins thread.

    27. G H Graham says:

      A “Forever Decision” like this?

      The Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. It was ratified by the English Parliament at Northampton on 1 May but only lasted only five years. In 1333 it was overturned by Edward III who then initiated the Second War of Scottish Independence which lasted until 1357.

      Don’t you love the sense of irony?

    28. Dave says:

      “North Sea oil and gas revenues would help support Scotland’s public finances, but are forecast to halve by 2017-18.”

      Check out the real numbers from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change here:

      http://tinyurl.com/ouv6bmg

      These show that the output is pretty stable and could even increase by 50% by 2018.

    29. Ken MacColl says:

      BBC has opened a comment section in their Scottish blog and it is being flooded with adverse comment about their own selectivity in news presentation and their failure to report upon the WoSU findings about bias in news reportage on the referendum issue.

      Two questions spring to mind.

      How long will this last ? and

      Will they read and act upon the comments?

    30. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Morag at just above

      Double plus good.

    31. pa_broon74 says:

      Although already nonsensical, it helps if when your reading this document, in your mind you use Alistair Carmichael’s voice.

      It really does.

      It should be used to convert no voters and the DK’s, hand them it and get them to read it in the way described above.

      Its an automatic yes vote tool.

    32. Theunicorn says:

      Anything being printed by the Government should come with a wealth and health warning. What they are really saying is will you bunch of jock dafties please vote no for the same old pish and then sum, because we really love you and we’re much better aff with all your money.

    33. heedtracker says:

      “North Sea oil and gas revenues would help support Scotland’s public finances, but are forecast to halve by 2017-18.” is one of the bigger whoppers in this load Tory bleh. In England they call the Scots oil industry the “jewel in the UK industrial crown” but in Scotland…

      Oil magnate Sir Ian Wood in Aberdeen says two things, the Scots oil industry and oil fields are badly managed causing long term revenue loss and at a $100 per barrel, there’s at least £1.5 trillion Scots oil reserves.

      Who do we believe, Tory boys in Westminster trying to frighten Scotland or Sir Ian Wood in Aberdeen?

    34. CameronB says:

      tartanpigsy
      I think it has only been posted to their members message board, though the site is now most definitely aware of the story. Sorry, nothing coming up for UWS search on their site, as yet.

      Link already posted (though not clearly), at 2.46pm. 🙂

    35. Geoff Huijer says:

      The UK Government staying out of a referendum ‘for Scots’ eh Mr Cameron?

      Perhaps, Prime Minister, you could bring this leaflet up to Scotland and explain it all to our First Minister, Mr Salmond; we’re aw a wee bit thick, ken..

      I’m sure our FM would have a few wee questions for ya!

    36. desimond says:

      Would a Liberal Democrat Manifesto Pledge be an example of one of those mythical Forever Decisions?

    37. TheGreatBaldo says:

      OT

      I see Prof John’s SSAS for 2013 is out the morn…..

      As regulars will know the Pro Unionist press had a field day with the 2012 survey claiming only 27% supported Indy etc etc…even though a further question showed Indy as the preferred constitutional option of Scots

      Last year we saw a post Olympic bounce for the Union in the survey, so it’ll be interesting to see just how it’s span this year, if as expected it returns back to the norm.

    38. Taranaich says:

      Top job Rev, but I’m itching to make my own wee contribution as supplement.

      “Creating an independent Scotland would mean creating a brand new state.”

      Scotland was independent for 700 years before the union, and retains several institutions which predate the union – education, law, church, culture. “New state” or continuation of an ancient one that’s a century older than its partner England?

      “The UK would still go on without Scotland in the event of independence.”

      In contrast, the UK did not exist before the Union. How on earth could the United Kingdom of Great Britain continue when the Act of Union created it in the first place? Sure, the rest of the UK would go on without Scotland, but it would be strange to continue calling it the UK of Great Britain & Northern Ireland. As Rev said, very much a question mark.

      But I must wonder: what if, as so many commentators south of the border suggest, ENGLAND was to declare independence? Would Westminster say that the UK would go on without England? Somehow I see that being a bit more questionable. But if we’re a union of equals, how could the UK continue with one partner leaving, but not the other?

      “What we do know is: the UK works. And works well. It works well for our families, it works well for our finances and it will work well for our future.”

      If this is “working well,” I’d hate to see it broke. £1.3 trillion in debt, massive austerity cuts, Red Cross intervention for the first time since the last WORLD WAR, constant ranting about the “dangers” of immigration, divisive politics, food banks being set up for *schools*, UK children falling far below many European countries in education standards…

      “The UK provides world class defence…”

      Aye, world class defense that cannot provide our soldiers with basic equipment, aircraft carriers with no aircraft, a navy which cannot even protect its own borders from unscheduled intruders,

      “… international influence”

      Aye, the “small island no-one listens to” (Russia), lead by a “lightweight” (USA) whose calls for action on human rights were rebuked with “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” (Sri Lanka), populated by journalists and politicians more like “characters from Waiting for Godot” in their frenzy over Romanian migrants (Romania). When freaking ROMANIA is dissing you…

      “… financial security…

      I’m sorry, did I miss the MASSIVE CRASH which happened largely in part to the London-based Libor scandal?

      “… pensions and benefits…”

      Can’t even joke about this: what a nerve.

      “… world-leading science…”

      Science recognizes no national boundaries.

      “… and the very best of sport and culture – it’s too good to gamble.”

      Far better to gamble all that as part of the UK’s Neo-Liberal Austerity plan which has already seen massive cuts to defense, Scotland’s international dealings, financial security, pensions & benefits, science, sport and culture. With independence, you’re gambling with the people you vote in: why do that, when you can gamble with your future on people you didn’t even vote for and don’t even like who have already made it clear that it isn’t a “gamble” so much as a likelihood?

      “Independence is the end of the United Kingdom as we know it. It would mean Scotland leaving and starting again.”

      Wait, didn’t you JUST SAY that the UK “would continue without Scotland”? Which is it, then? Will the UK continue after independence, or will it be THE END AS WE KNOW IT?

      “We are a truly united kingdom.”

      With different political parties, separate health services, separate education systems, separate laws, separate languages, separate cultures. How “united” can one be when the point of devolution is to split things up?

      £2,000 – the potential cost per household every year of putting a border between Scotland and the wider UK economy.”

      “Potential” here is as useful as “could” in newspapers.

      “Almost 200,000 jobs in Scotland depend on the financial sector. Nine out of ten Scottish financial services companies’ customers are in the rest of the UK.”

      Even if one were to presume that would change in an independent Scotland, what would such a change be a bad thing? Perhaps more of those customers would come from Scotland, or even from *gasp* other countries. Would that be so terrible?

      “In 2012 Scotland exported £48 billion worth of goods and services to the rest of the UK and imported £59 billion from the rest of the UK and businesses operating in Scotland but owned elsewhere in the UK supported 338,000 Scottish jobs.”

      A major reason for that being because Scotland CANNOT deal with the rest of the world directly, on account of being part of the UK. The only export control Scotland really has is over goods and services sent to the rest of the UK – and even then, it’s subject to Westminster’s decisions. In the BSE crisis caused by UK government’s deregulation, Scottish (and Irish and Welsh) beef was significantly less likely to be contaminated – but because all beef was “British,” Scottish beef was banned too despite being completely separate from the English system which had all the problems.

      With independence, Scotland would have complete control over who it wanted to export to, not just who it is ALLOWED to by Westminster, as well as things like prices, routes, and organization. That doesn’t mean it will stop trading with rUK, far from it – it just means it can trade with even more countries on its own terms.

      “More than 450,000 people living in Scotland today were born in England, Wales or NI, and more than 830,000 people born in Scotland now live elsewhere in the UK.

      In 2010, it was estimated that 7.354 MILLION people living in the UK were born outside of it. 729,000 are from Ireland. Approximately 5.5 million UK-born citizens live outside the UK. I fail to see the issue.

      “Since devolution Scottish households and businesses have contributed slightly less tax than the UK average.
      Over the same period, public spending per person in Scotland has been around 10% higher than the UK average.”

      This seems the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the UK government’s said elsewhere – namely that Scots pay £1,700 more tax per head, while receiving £1,200 more spending per head. This is a particularly egregious howler to me.

      North Sea oil and gas revenues would help support Scotland’s public finances, but are forecast to halve by 2017-18.

      By one report. Five other reports say the exact opposite.

      “Even in the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ most optimistic scenario, an independent Scotland would have to find permanent tax increases or spending cuts equivalent to £3bn per year, after 2020.”

      Said “most optimistic scenario” was still constrained specifically with the rule “while still using Westminster spending policies.” Said IFS report also explicitly says that a Scotland which DOESN’T adhere to that artificially limited “most optimistic scenario” would be MORE likely to be able to deal with future costs.

      “Public spending on pensions and benefits is currently 2% per person higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

      And tax is currently % higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

      “An independent Scotland may be required to join the euro”

      Unlike Croatia, the Czech Republic and Sweden, which also recently joined the EU yet weren’t required to join the Euro, Scotland is… urm… well, Scotland would have to pay where those countries didn’t because… eh…

      “In the event of independence, the UK government would honour all of its debt obligations, but an independent Scotland would be responsible for repaying the UK for a fair and proportionate share of this debt.”

      Why would Scotland be required to pay a debt it didn’t incur? The UK government took out the loan, the UK pays for it. Scotland’s “debt” was money taken from it to pay for things it doesn’t need and didn’t ask for like Trident, HS2 and the House of Lords. The “fair and proportionate share of the debt,” then, would be zero.

      But Scotland would happily pay a “fair and proportionate share of this debt” in exchange for its equivalent in UK assets, which it is entirely entitled to – and which it currently does not enjoy, since the UK has no obligation to give it anything. Why else does the BBC only spend 3% of its budget on Scotland despite receiving 8.7% of its license fee from Scots? Why else would a third of Scotland’s own “military budget” – already a tiny proportion compared to UK spending thanks to the artificial inflation of Trident – be spent outside Scotland? Why else would money be siphoned off down south?

    39. Will Podmore says:

      The independent Institute of Fiscal Studies says, “Over recent years, tax revenues from the North Sea, if allocated on a geographic basis, would have slightly more than paid for the additional public spending per head that currently occurs in Scotland relative to the UK as a whole.”

      Oil revenues are very volatile. They accounted for 48 per cent of Scotland’s revenues on a geographical basis, in 1984-85, 3 per cent in 1991-92, 21 per cent in 2008-09 and 12 per cent in 2009-10.

      “The alternative of saving oil revenues – not counting them at all in short-term budget calculations, and building up a fund (or lower debt) to cover, for example, later costs of ageing – does not seem to be an option in current fiscal circumstances.”

      “Spending in Scotland is higher, per capita, on many public services than is the case elsewhere in the UK. Onshore tax revenues per capita are very similar. The balance is, in very broad terms, made up by North Sea revenues. This balance may not be sustainable in the face of volatile and, over the long run, probably diminishing North Sea revenues.”

    40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Did you have a point, Will?

      (Other than “Hey, apparently I don’t have to read the comment rules like everyone else”.)

    41. Les Wilson says:

      Lanarkist says

      It is because they are oil revenue JUNKIES!

    42. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Wait, didn’t you JUST SAY that the UK “would continue without Scotland”? Which is it, then? Will the UK continue after independence, or will it be THE END AS WE KNOW IT?”

      Ooh, good catch 😀

    43. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Taranaich

      I wonder if we will ever see a real and honest set of accounts for Scotland and rUK cash flows tjis side if the Referendum.

      My feeling is that there has been so much lying and deception, since 1707 onwards, that for many eyars Scotland has been contributing more than it was given and possibly helping to hold down the UK budget deficit.

      That last observation was actually floated in the Claim of Scotland where the author tried to work put the balance sheet.

      If I am right, would or should Scotland shoulder the cost of the vanity projects, in and around London, Trident etc, so that we should be driving our contribution downwards in post Sept negotiations?

      They borrowed so they must repay and we should only offer to help them for that part which was down to ourselves?

    44. heedtracker says:

      Under Westminster rule Scotland is one of the most unequal countries in the western world. If you have the misfortune to be born into poverty in Scotland, you will more than likely die in poverty.

      Cant think why the Westminster PPE civil service/bloated BetterTogether politico authors of this garbage left the reality of Scottish poverty out.

    45. Greannach says:

      I know Unionists like to think of their UK as an almost mythic state with thousands of years of unchanging history, but it is less than 95 years old, exactly the same age as the current Republic of Ireland. My granny was older when she died. Things change and nothing is forever, not even in UKOKania.

    46. chalks says:

      Will, without oil our economy is nearly the same as the UK GDP (99%)

      I’m not putting down the savings and gains we’d make from indy, as frankly it’s all out there and if you can look up the IFS report…….but I’d rather Scotland was in charge of itself and able to grow different industries rather than ‘rely’ on oil as you seem to be implying….if that is true, then surely that is a reason why the Union hasn’t worked? If it has been good for us, then why are we so dependent on oil?

    47. Edward says:

      Its astounding that the unionists still sell the idea that somehow Scotland will be a ‘brand new state’ and that ‘The UK would still go on without Scotland’
      I find it quite annoying actually as it IS an out right 5 bell alarm lie!

      The rev quite righty alluded to the ‘the dissolution of the Acts Of Union’ Actually, the United Kingdom of Great Britain (Scotland and England being the ‘Great Britain’) was created by the Treaty of Union 1706. It’s this treaty that will be ended. The respective Acts of Union passed in the English Parliament, and the Scottish Parliament, were the formal ratification of the Treaty.

      When ever a unionist talks, they always refer to the Acts of Union. When its pointed out that it was a Treaty that created the political union, they tend to either feign ignorance or go off on one, stating the Treaty, some how passed away in the mists of history and or has been superseded (although can never state correctly or prove what did supersede the Treaty of Union.

      A bit like how the UK has a constitution, except that it doesn’t. Perhaps the Treaty was supposed to be the grounds for a constitution, but was ‘forgotten’ about.

    48. gavin lessells says:

      Slightly o/t.

      Derek Bateman invites us at the end of his latest that one may contact roy [dot] templeton [at] bbc [dot] co [dot] uk who is the unfortunate Press Officer at Pacific Quay to ask him when he intends to respond to the UWS study of bias on BBC Scotland.

      Fill your boots as they say.

    49. Chic McGregor says:

      “In contrast, the UK did not exist before the Union. How on earth could the United Kingdom of Great Britain continue when the Act of Union created it in the first place? “

      As I said to CameronB recently,although the term ‘United Kingdom’ only came into official use in 1707, it could retrospectively be considered valid from 1603. I mean what is the difference in meaning between the ‘Union of the Crowns’ and the ‘United Kingdom’? Really, they should have called it the ‘United States of Great Britain’ or something less ambiguous like that, but I guess in those days, if you had a monarch you had to have ‘Kingdom’ in there somewhere.

      The term ‘Britain’ was used centuries before even 1603, by the Makaris and others.

      Another question is, until the monarchy goes, would we still have, whether we want it or not, the Union Flag, albeit the original Scottish version (as opposed to the English one of today)?

    50. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Chick McGregor

      Britain, or to be more precise Great Britain comes from French and is actually Large Brittany, Grande Bretagne.

    51. Andrew Morton says:

      Just emailed Roy Templeton.

    52. Jack Beck says:

      I also just emailed Roy Templeton.

    53. ronnie anderson says:

      REV, whits happened to the up / down button,this synaptics

      pointing device ah hiv, is to fast for me.

    54. Clootie says:

      BT case – Here are the facts and they can be verified by the BBC and MSM.

      In summary UK good, Scotland bad.

      It’s unfortunate that you are too poor,stupid and wee to be a country but that is the fact you will just have to accept.

      P.S No is spelt N-O- but it’s OK a cross will do.

    55. Doug Daniel says:

      To help you decide here’s some fast facts

      So fast that they ran off the page, apparently.

    56. Taranaich says:

      @Rev: Ooh, good catch 😀

      I swear, the fish was THIS BIG!

      @Chic: As I said to CameronB recently,although the term ‘United Kingdom’ only came into official use in 1707, it could retrospectively be considered valid from 1603.

      Of course, in that case we’d be little different from Canada, Australia, and other places who have the Queen as their monarch. It will be interesting seeing how they deal with the UK question.

    57. Onzebill says:

      Reference the 200,000 financial sector jobs referred to above, has there ever been a figure put on the number of jobs that Scotland pays for/supports in England as a matter of course. Why do I have to contact a civil servant in the Midlands to discuss my tax on money all earned in Scotland.

      Currently there are 750 persons working in C.B & I’s office in London’s Piccadilly on the Clair Ridge project why is this work not being carried out in Scotland??. When I first started in the oil industry in the North East a number of the major new build projects were ran from here but as time went on the awards of these were gradually squirrelled south. England has built a world wide engineering industry on the back of expertise gained in the Northern North Sea, there is no reason why over the next phase of the industry in an independent Scotland new projects could not be managed from such as Glasgow given the inherent engineering expertise that exists in the city.

    58. TYRAN says:

      Looks like a picture of Thatcher bottom right in that image

    59. Peter Macbeastie says:

      As usual, good slaughter of the usual Better Together insubstantial tripe masquerading as facts.

      Will Podmore; without even getting to the meat of that ‘interesting’ article you copied and pasted, there is one glaring lie right in the first line, before you even get to the quotation marks. The independent Office of Fiscal Studies. Oh, officially independent it may well be, but in practice, it was set up by the Conservatives and therefore when it comes to Scotland is about as likely to be unbiased as any other report emanating from their direction.

      You could only make it more ridiculous by saying the ‘accurate reports of the Office of Budget Responsibility.’

      First rule. Don’t believe everything you read on the BBC, which is where it looks like you’ve lifted that article from. This is an entirely sensible rule, since they are as prone, if not moreso, than any other media outlet of using lies, half truth and distortion to make a story something it isn’t.

    60. Andy-B says:

      The UK Government, with regards to their fact sheet just can’t help telling fibs, it seems the bigger the fib the louder they shout out.

      O/T I do apologise

      David Donnison a labour member for 67 years and respected Glasgow University professor, writes a heart felt piece, stating that independence, is now the only way forward for Scots.

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scottish-independence-leading-academic-explains-3042935

    61. ronnie anderson says:

      ‘Bugger (thePanda ), If ah wiz 20yrs younger,n meet Blabber Mooth he wuld be singin a couple octave,s higher than Demo,s R.( stranggled baw,s )ah ken there,s a extra g in strangled, that,s how hard ah wuld GRIP.

    62. Edward says:

      Chic McGregor
      As far as I’m aware (a catch all statement in case I’m talking spherical objects)
      The Union Flag came about just after the Union of Crowns. It wasn’t an official flag, but a ‘convenience’ to signify that the ship was under the protection of the crown and other ships from either England or Scotland should not fire on each other. Which is why I think it earned the term ‘Union Jack’. On Scottish ships it was the saltire over the St Georges cross and on English ships it was the St Georges cross over saltire. But the flag as such was not officially adopted until much later. Each parliament refused to accept any compromise, so on land each country continued to fly their own flag.
      King James VI was a bit full of himself and was pushing both parliaments to accept his self proclaimed title of King of Great Britain, but did not get anywhere.
      THE official standard of the monarch , before the union of crowns was and still is the Lion Rampant of Scotland in Scotland.
      From 1603, both royal standards were merged, but even then and right upto present day there are two versions that fly depending if the monarch is in Scotland or England
      English version of the current royal standard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Standard_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg
      Scottish Version of the current royal standard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Standard_of_the_United_Kingdom_in_Scotland.svg

      What I find annoying about the Royal standard is the fact that the Kingdom of England (the 3 lions) is given prominence, when in fact it should have equal status with the Lion Rampant. After all the Queen is not descended as with all her forebears from any monarch prior to 1603.

      As with anything to do with King James VI and the English Parliament, it was a fudged agreement. The post 1603 Royal standard should have been a simple 4 quarters, with the Lion Rampant in one quarter, the English 3 Lions in one quarter, the French Fluer de Lyse in one and the Irish Harp in the remaining. The English court didn’t like that idea and forced through a more complicated standard with as many Lion Rampant sections as they could fit http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/g/gb-royun.gif

    63. Macart says:

      New state?

      Oh, they are in for a rude shock.

      @Taranaich

      Cracking post.

    64. Dal Riata says:

      “a forever decision”

      [sharp intake of breath] Wooo… scary!

      Actually, it’s not. It’s bloody hilarious! You can just imagine them all sitting round their big desk trying to think-up the scariest one liner…”And the prize goes to… (maybe Alistair Darling, he’s been heard to use this phrase before?) for ‘a forever decision’. Well done there, old chap! That should scare the bejeezus out of those stupid Jock scrotes, I’ll say!”

      The whole thing (or at least what Stu gave us as a ‘taster’) is such a laughable pile of pish that it’s embarrassing.

      However, and unfortunately, there will be many out there who will be taken in hook line and sinker by this misleading, misinforming and lying piece of propaganda. It’s going to be up to every one of us here to right this wrong any way we can. It’s going to be a tough run up to the referendum, but when – not if – we win this thing it’ll make the victory that much sweeter.

    65. dodecostanza says:

      Anyone from Wings been selected to be on Question Time this Thursday?

      I applied but haven’t heard anything so I’m assuming no.

    66. Edward says:

      Taranaich
      Royal standard would remain as is for Canada http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Standard_of_Canada.svg
      and same for Australia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Standard_of_Australia_(31-22_aspect).svg

      As for National Flags, again Canada will not be affected as they have their own flag that does not have the Union flag incorporated
      For Australia, I would think that it would be down to the Australians to decide whether they want to keep a defunct union flag within their own

    67. Ericmac says:

      Pirate Radio may be illegal. Westminster propaganda is immoral. And guerilla tactics may be the only thing that counters a hugely biased MSM.

      And I don’t agree that the illegality of Pirate Radio station would ‘impact’ the YES campaign. In fact, its more likely to provide publicity and make people curious.

      But if we are all scared of doing something marginally dubious, then the alternative has to be a barrage of crowd funded prime time radio adverts that deconstruct these lies above.

    68. heedtracker says:

      Two Clair field jackets west of Shetland both built in Norway costing over £4 billion but why could they not be built in Scotland at sights like Arderseir or Nigg on the Murray Firth? Arderseir used to be a big Macdermott yard and Nigg could easily back this sight up.

      The Reverend posted photos of Danny Alexander and the usual Labour dopes happily opening food banks in Inverness and Aviemore but when you see how Norway has boomed from their oil and now from Scots oil, the UK is clearly determined to impoverish Scotland.

      Oil co’s like BP used to tell us they build oil jackets in the Far East and float them back here because UK wages were to high but Norway has much higher pay than Scotland let alone places like South Korea.

    69. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      The Union Flag could be kept by Oz and NZ, if they want.

      Hawaii has in their State flag a Union flag top left corner.

    70. heedtracker says:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-23681061

      This is the BBC reporting BP Clair oil production jackets going in to Scots waters and it’s a perfect example of UK state propaganda masquerading as good news for Scotland while the bulk of the investment goes to Norway and the profit/taxation flows to London. In further BBC reports on Clair the head of BP Clair States that the third development phase for Clair oil will go way beyond 2050 yet UK.gov says iScots oil will decline quickly in 3 years time.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-21955536

    71. MajorBloodnok says:

      Back on topic – mendacity comes so naturally to the British state, does it not? It seems to be the default position of the Establishment, Westminster, its denizens and acolytes in the press to lie to the people on a continual basis.

      Whoever coined the term ‘Perfidious Albion’ had it absolultely right and I’ll be glad to be shot of the lot of them come September.

    72. Dal Riata says:

      “… here’s some fast facts.”

      Not normally a smart-arse grammar Nazi, but in this case…

      Hey, government bods, if you’re trying to patronise us with your misinformation you should at least try to get your basic grammar correct.

      You wrote: “…here’s some fast facts.” Sorry, wrong! The subject is ‘facts’, a plural of the noun, ‘fact’. Therefore, it should read: “…here’re some facts.” or, “… here are some facts.” as the verb, ‘to be’, must follow the criteria of the subject, so “are” not “is”.

      Dearie, dearie me! “Make sure you’re in the know”…? Right enough,eh!

    73. Alba4Eva says:

      In Yoda voice; “Born in England I was… Voting for Independence will be.”

    74. velofello says:

      The Conservatives have only ever won elections in England – does have a certain ring to it. ranks equal first with UKIP and lost deposits?

      I wonder what percentage of Joe Public will bother to read this UK document, and it doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance of Joe patiently listening in the High street as its explained to them by BT street activists. But then BT does seem to have phantom activists! In open debate the document facts will be torn to shreds.

      Oddly I’ve been musing that rational, small c conservatives will vote Yes. They will know, or should know, the economic case for independence and money is arguably a prime motivator with small c conservatives.

    75. farrochie says:

      Bugger (the Panda)

      Did you see my e-mail address on the other post (01-20).

      I’m on Twitter @farrochie

      Jimmy Parker

    76. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      typing an e-mail now Jimmy

    77. Albalha says:

      FYI

      BBC Referendum Debate 9pm BBC 2 tonight I hear the line up is Anas Sarwar, Fiona Hyslop, Alex Massie and Sanjeev Kohli.
      James Cook in the Chair.

      Question Time from Dundee on Thursday only know of Jim Sillars.

    78. Ivan McKee says:

      “Since devolution Scottish households and businesses have contributed slightly less tax than the UK average. Over the same period, public spending per person in Scotland has been around 10% higher than the UK average.”

      Devious use of wording employed. The definition used here is taken to exclude North Sea revenues, that’s how they are able to make that claim, on the basis that North Sea revenues are not from ‘Scottish businesses’.

      Or to put it another way – even without North Sea revenues Scotland generates as much tax take as the UK average.

    79. Donald Kerr says:

      The UK Government goes tabloid. I sincerely hope that someone from the UK Government is prepared to debate this properly and at length. It will be interesting to see them defend the indefensible (Just trying the HTML tags too).

      Can we use inline styles? It would appear not 🙁

    80. creigs1707repeal says:

      This HM Government ‘Fact'(?) Sheet is targeted not at those who regularly frequent WoS, NNS, Bella etc to properly inform themselves but is targeted at those who would rather spend their lives watching X-Factor and all its variants. And the worst of it is–they’ll buy this BS crook, slime and stinker.

      This is what we are up against.

    81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You wrote: “…here’s some fast facts.” Sorry, wrong! The subject is ‘facts’, a plural of the noun, ‘fact’. Therefore, it should read: “…here’re some facts.” or, “… here are some facts.” as the verb, ‘to be’, must follow the criteria of the subject, so “are” not “is”.”

      Also “If you remember five things about the UK and independence, make it these”, should of course be “make THEM these”.

    82. Monty Carlow says:

      OT

      I have been looking at the Cuthberts’ historic analysis of Scotland’s fiscal position, as reported by Reid Foundation.

      http://reidfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Debt.pdf

      On previous threads, I have posted my own contribution and analysis on this subject, and suggested that even the analysis by Business for Scotland was understating the position, when it (a) adjusted the GERS figures so that Scotland paid no debt while it was calculated as carrying a cumulative surplus, and (b) allowed a 4% return on investment of the calculated surplus. The first is eminently sensible, the second, I suggested, was too conservative, given especially the rates of return and interest paid in earlier years.

      On that basis, Business for Scotland came up with a surplus of about £50bn. I tried to estimate on the same basis and got £68bn, so I may have overshot.

      However, I suggested that the actual average rates of interest paid by the UK government should be used instead, as we have effectively been lending the UK government our cumulative surplus to offset their debt. On this basis, I calculated we would have a fund built up of just over £202bn in 2011 and £207bn in 2012.

      The Cuthberts have now done something similar, and they have calculated a healthy fund of £148bn for 2011.

      I will need to try and work out why my estimates are that bit higher, but the overall picture is consistent. As part of the UK we are lumbered with a debt of £90bn, being a share of the UK’s £1 trillion+ debt. Independent, we would have had a huge surplus – £148bn or £207bn, take your pick – but a huge surplus anyway.

      Better together indeed!

    83. Kate says:

      dodecostanza say:
      I applied but haven’t heard anything so I’m assuming no.

      I am in, as is my sister, looking for help on questions we might get to ask.

      Anyone?

    84. Jon D says:

      I see the little orange scroll buttons have gone on their holidays. Bless!

    85. tartanpigsy says:

      @ Kate 5:56pm,

      How about

      ‘Can I ask the panel how many countries have been expelled from the EU?… and would’nt East Germany’s admittance direct from communism tend to suggest that Scotland could do all it’s negotiation from inside the EU..’

    86. Chic McGregor says:

      The actual term ‘Britain’ goes away back into antiquity. I believe Pytheas in the 5th c BC is the first to record what is surmised to have been a native name for themselves ‘Pretanic Isles’,’Pritani’ (and variants) and if so the ‘P’ start to it is evidence for a Brithonnic P-Celtic (Gaulishish language). However, many think it may have had earlier proto-Celtic roots and ‘Crunthe’, the Q-Celtic for ‘people’ could be from the same proto-root (following the P-Q sound shift).

      It was also used by the Romans and early chroniclers as well, but the first use of it I have come across where it was used in a perfunctory street way, indicating it as a generally accepted word, was in a flyting between two makars.

    87. Kate says:

      tartanpigsy says:
      21 January, 2014 at 6:07 pm
      @ Kate 5:56pm,

      How about

      ‘Can I ask the panel how many countries have been expelled from the EU?… and would’nt East Germany’s admittance direct from communism tend to suggest that Scotland could do all it’s negotiation from inside the EU..’

      Cheers, I have noted this one down, must cut it down in size though, 30 word max for questions

    88. @Jon D

      I see the little orange scroll buttons have gone on their holidays. Bless!

      They are back for me now.

    89. tartanpigsy says:

      ‘Can I ask the panel

      “How many countries have been expelled from the EU?… and would’nt East Germany’s admittance direct from communism suggest that Scotland could do all it’s negotiation from inside the EU.

      29 words, still gets the East Germany bit in which shows up the ridiculousness of the Unionist position 😉

    90. msean says:

      More would,could,may,might,probably will,have to,you’ve paid less tax by our figures and are too poor,maybe,- but still no positive case for No.

      What a way to keep someone,tell them they are just no good without you and that they will be poor without the subsidy we give from your money.If I could do a smiley…

    91. tartanpigsy says:

      @ Kate

      You’ll probably need a fake question to tell them beforehand.

      I doubt they’d want anyone framing an EU question like that, it doesn’t sit well with their agenda…

    92. Kate says:

      tartanpigsy says:
      21 January, 2014 at 6:29 pm
      @ Kate

      You’ll probably need a fake question to tell them beforehand.

      I doubt they’d want anyone framing an EU question like that, it doesn’t sit well with their agenda…

      AGREE, but IF opportunity arises on the EU will most definitely use that one.
      Kate

    93. farrochie says:

      Jackie Baillie has just summarised the report on BBC Scotland. “We’re still better wi the tories running Scotland”.

    94. Morag says:

      I think asking WHEN we’d be forcibly thrown out of the EU would be a good angle. Because if they say the moment the Yes vote is declared, that’s obvious rubbish. Leading to the point that there is plenty of time to negotiate the terms of membership before independence day.

    95. Morag says:

      Jackie Baillie has just summarised the report on BBC Scotland. “We’re still better wi the tories running Scotland”.

      I noticed that. She had no reasons at all. The report was more balanced than usual, pointing out that the UK as a whole was much more unequal than Scotland itself, and that an independent Scotland would have powers to tackle the issue. Jackie more or less said, well we’d actually have to do something so this shows it’s better to stay with that country that’s already massively more unequal than we are.

    96. Desimond says:

      farrochie and Morag

      Jackie Baillie said exactly why we are better in the union “I believe we are bigger and stronger together”.

      Cant argue with facts like that eh?

      Bottles of Peroni all round!

    97. Nick Heller says:

      Perhaps if unionists had this installed they would not need to spend so much energy making things up to scare the rest of us.

      http://thescottishscaremonger.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/separation-shield-open-letter-to-our.html

    98. heedtracker says:

      “and UK spooks have direct backdoor access to metadata collected by Dishfire” and GCHQ/NSA have collected every email for the last who knows how long, yet they have the gall to say that we are UKOK secure and protected online or on the phone.

    99. Croompenstein says:

      Why aren’t we jumping up and down shouting i’ll scweam and scweam and scweam until i’m sick if you don’t tell us how much this publication cost to produce and distribute ? Tell you why it’s that we are sensible and they are not

    100. bunter says:

      @ Kate

      How about a question like, ”given the result of a year long study by UWS regarding media bias found that the BBC was guilty, is the BBC now a fit and proper organisation to be conducting referendum debates.

      Best of luck with that LOL.

    101. ronnie anderson says:

      @Morag,& on the other channel, stv John Mc Kay,in closeing
      it will take generation,s to reach Equality.Do you remember this wee ditty from Labour, THING,S CAN ONLY GET
      BETTER,dont join me in the chorus, HEE HAW HEE HAW HEE HAW.

    102. Alba4Eva says:

      I always liked B’doing

      Maybe next time 😉

    103. EphemeralDeception says:

      @Desmond, it is no surprise that Baillie thinks bigger is better.

      RE: UK state
      The settled will of Better Together and UK government now seems aligned that the UK is successor state and independent Scotland is a New state.

      In that case the de-facto position of Scotland in all discussions is that as a new State we have no debt and keep UK assets physically in Scotland. This should be the YES position in any debate until No change their stance.

    104. Alba4Eva says:

      Thanks Nick… thats a great wee blog. Made me laugh loads. 🙂

      http://thescottishscaremonger.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

    105. O/T: It’s mainly me that got the life-affirming “Hated by the Scottish Daily Mail” treatment today, but they shared a bit of the lurve with you, Stuart. Enjoy: Get your Proud Cybernat badges as recommended by the Scottish Daily Mail.

      http://logicsrock.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/get-your-proud-cybernat-badges-as.html

    106. HandandShrimp says:

      Major

      I would say that dissembling is the default position of Westminster politics. It is why the youth are so disaffected and hold politicians in such low regard.

    107. kininvie says:

      @roddy

      Mr Carmichael says:

      “I would have no hesitation in condemning anyone, from any party, on either side of the debate, who has indulged in any form of personally abusive comment. I do hope you feel the same.”

      It seems to me we can find plenty of people for Mr Carmichael to condemn unhesitatingly – starting maybe with the Daily Mail?

    108. david says:

      kate, would you ask dimbleby what positions in the bbc his children hold?

    109. Croompenstein says:

      @Roddy Macdonald – I’d rather have a Proud Cabernat badge

    110. Paula Rose says:

      Wings over Scotland is such good value – I’m seriously going to have to think about increasing my monthly subscription.

    111. Taranaich says:

      Folks, I’m just back from the Greenock TV debate, due to air in a few minutes. Sarwar & Massie came up with some *belters*. It’ll be interesting to see how many got to air, and how much of the feedback (read: cries of “shame” and “lies”) makes it. Fiona did her best, but her reason was subsumed in the might of Sarwar’s belligerent idiocy. Massie, of course, was every inch the Tory raconteur. Kohli was the only “real” undecided, and while he seemed honest, he also seemed to have a bit of cognitive dissonance.

      Anyway, it’s on noo, go watch!

    112. handclapping says:

      The content (of the publication) is based on findings from the Scotland Analysis work and is designed to provide referendum information which is clear, concise and factually accurate.

      (last page)2. What will happen to my pension and benefits?

      Pensions and benefits will definitely be affected. On the same basis, so will the rain that falls in an iScotland. Clear, “definitely” can be left out without affecting the message, not factually accurate through imprecision.

      At the moment, 70% of people in Scotland buy their personal pensions from firms elsewhere in the UK. This of course shews that the Scottish financial services sector is rubbish despite 90% of its customers being furth of Scotland. Is that 70% of all 5.3 million people in Scotland or 70% of those people in Scotland who have bought a personal pension or 70% of those people in Scotland who are buying personal pensions at the moment? Concise to the point of unintelligibility. Possibly factually accurate, but so what …

      The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland have highlighted that cross-border employers would face higher costs to fully fund their pension liabilities. Not necessarily true unless iScotland uses the pound in a currency union. One of the by-products of the woe,woe,woe higher interest rate that is postulated for iScotland is that pension liabilities are dramatically reduced. iScottish actuaries would have to use iScottish interest rates and bingo the pension liabilities are fully funded in Scotland. Liabilities in rUK with 0.5% base rate and QE going full blast will remain a serious drag on business till “austerity” is scrapped. Not clear, reasonably concise, not factually accurate.

      Private pensions may also be less secure, as they wouldn’t necessarily be included in the UK Government’s Pension Protection Fund. This will be the 30% of some unknown number of people that despite all the disadvantages of buying anything Scottish, persist in buying from the Scottish financial sector. Or are we talking of pension schemes set up in Scotland in which case what happened to the premia they paid to the PPF while members. Not clear, too concise, possibly factually accurate.

      Public spending on pensions and benefits is currently 2% per person higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. If you count in the value of free prescriptions and social care that Scotland already pays for it may well be true that “public spending” is higher but it is a choice that we have made and financed. Not clear, concise, possibly factually accurate.

      It’s difficult to see how this support would be maintained in an independent Scotland, which would also have to fund its own financial institutions, pay to be a member of international organisations, set up its own armed forces, and negotiate its international treaties. ??? Not clear, rambling, fact free, inaccurate.

      and it still didn’t answer the question it set itself namely 2. What will happen to my pension and benefits?

    113. Alba4Eva says:

      Roddy… you really need to get Proud Cybernat badges made. I would buy one and wear it every day with pride. 🙂

    114. HandandShrimp says:

      Alex Massie an undecided?

      Really?

    115. Rod Mac says:

      Watching the debate and am pleasantly surprised by the audience comments in a red as you can get Greenock.
      The audience are scathing of Sarwar.
      aS FOR Massie, “I am undecided ..Aye Right!

    116. Chic McGregor says:

      Oops! That’s all I’m saying. 🙁

    117. Have either of the alleged “undecideds” on the BBC indyref debate said anything at all remotely pro-indy yet? I may have missed it if they did when I was out making tea.

    118. edulis says:

      Typical BBC balance on the Greenock debate. Sanjeev Koli is a declared switherer while Anas and Alex are declared Unionists. I am not a fan of Fiona Hyslop who needs to learn to produce the appropriate punch lines. So we have to depend on the audience to provide the balance. On that score they are doing rather well.

    119. callum says:

      Anas Sarwar is getting a total kicking on BBC at the moment.

    120. HandandShrimp says:

      Alex Massie sang a hymn in praise of Deerin’s Gove approved history of British loveliness in the Spectator did he not?

      Undecided? Hmmm, I wonder.

    121. TheGreatBaldo says:

      This debate is like an exceptionally dull episode of Question Time….only saved by Anas Sarwar being made to squirm in public on his Bedroom Tax no show.

      Score on the doors just for fun…..

      Sanjev Kohli…..Left on the outside of the debate or ‘room meat’ for those who’ve seen ‘In the Loop’, one good gag about how long he had to wait to make a point.

      Alex Massie one of the most lucid Unionist columnists…nailed it on Nuclear Weapons but the wild eyed Tory in him simmered to the top.

      Anas Sarwar His usual angry self, was the only audience member who was openly heckled by the audience (which was nice), the usual New Labour speak of warm platitudes and zero content seasoned with the usual half truths.

      Fiona Hyslop
      Obviously know her brief inside out, but how can I put this ? For each question, it was like she was writing an article for the New York Times when she really should have been doing punchy paragraph for ‘The Sun’, if ye know what I mean ?

    122. HandandShrimp says:

      Massie was a bit silly on the Burns question. He knows perfectly well that Burns would have voted Yes. 🙂

    123. Thepnr says:

      Anas Sarwar=Gods gift to the Yes campaign.

    124. Paul says:

      I was hoping that someone was going to ask Sarwar that if he believed in the benefits of being in a union with England so much then when he was in Pakistan when he was meant to be taking part in the vote over the bedroom tax why he wasn’t there campaigning for Pakistan to rejion with India.

    125. Edward says:

      I thought in general it was a hopeless debate, the mix was wrong, probably intentional by the BBC
      The only highlight was the audience heating up
      There was more fire in the belly’s of the audience members , especially the lady that had a right go at Anas Sarwar. That’s the people we need

    126. Chic McGregor says:

      Sorry, but for me, Fiona failed to impress – again.
      Wasn’t helped by the constant interruptions from rent-a-mouth but you have to expect that from him, and the fact he will be allowed to do so.

      Massie, sleekit as they come, was obviously there for someone to go to if Sarwar set himself up for a pummeling rather than go to the SNP panel member. Theory being, by the time they get to answer, Sarwar’s nonsense has sunk in and it is too late to counteract it.

      IMO we will have lost votes tonight. Possibly quite a lot.

    127. HandandShrimp says:

      Yes the audience was pretty good and provided more balance than the panel did.

    128. bunter says:

      Terrible debate tonite and doubt anyone learned anything. Job done BBC.

    129. Fiona is not a debater not her fault.

    130. call me dave says:

      ‘Much ado about not very much’ as the bard nearly said. Oh wrong bard! I do think Burns would be a YES.

      I Agree with most of what ‘TheGreatBaldo’ said.

    131. twenty14 says:

      Chic M – ” IMO we will have lost votes tonight. Possibly quite a lot. ”

      Chic – Don’t think this will be the case. I only caught the last 10mins as my Wife was watching BB and I forgot about it. Think at this present time in the debate a lot will be watching/doing other things. Things will heat up towards the summer

    132. Rod Mac says:

      I have to respectfully disagree with those of you who think we have lost votes ,or bad debate.
      All elections/referendums are about “mood” and the mood in the audience seemed to me to be very much YES.
      The lies of the BT mob are being challenged and ridiculed by the public if that audience is indicative of the general mood in the country.
      I have to say I am encountering more and more people who have moved from No.
      Still to meet anyone that has gone the other way.

    133. TheGreatBaldo says:

      IMO we will have lost votes tonight. Possibly quite a lot.

      I suspect viewers may have been lost but not voters

      Essentially it was a re run of pretty much every Scottish edition of Question Time in the last few years.

      STV’s debate format has some obvious flaws but it’s knocking the BBC out the park based on that hour of broadcasting.

    134. Taranaich says:

      Couple things to point out:

      – I wasn’t part of the audience, but since I’m involved with the Beacon, I sneaked in. You might be able to pick me out in the balcony.

      – All questions were vetted. All questioners taken out of the audience and into another room, presumably for preparation (i.e. “don’t move off topic or we’ll get ye”). One of my pals, who was picked to ask a question, DID suggest the BBC/ITV bias report. They never got to ask, of course. Evidently musing about Burns’ vote was more important?

      – Hard for me to tell just how even it was, but the audience DID seem fairly split down the middle. Yes generally younger, more prone to smiling, more articulate; No generally older sourplums that preferred barking. I will note from watching the applause that the Yes people were spread out: the Nos were clustered in groups. Not sure what that means, if anything.

      – The “warm-up” question was “should the French president’s affair be a private matter.” You can probably predict Massie’s response.

      – The BBC REALLY didn’t pick up the amount of boos and jeers sent Sarwar’s way. I’ll be generous and assume the mikes didn’t pick them up (the booms were all over the place).

      – There was a more spirited and interesting debate in the lobby than in the theatre. They should’ve filmed that instead.

      – Saw Massie having a fag outside. Couldn’t resist saying hello. It’s amazing how different his worldview is from mine even though we look rather similar (albeit he’s much thinner, though my beard is by far the more luxuriant.)

      Overall, worth it to see Sarwar get hammered in a Labour heartland in the flesh, and great to see a few Yes faces who I hope to remember for future references. Sad thing is, I already knew most of the No faces from various goings-on – though you never know.

    135. Harry Shanks says:

      I watched the Greenock debate and faithfully kept a count on how many contributions each representative was allowed to make.

      I did not include “interruptions” – only responses given on a direct invitation to speak from the Chairman.

      Where a response was in the process of being given and the Chairman interrupted the response, the subsequent comments from that representative were counted as part of the original response – i.e counted as 1 contribution

      RESULTS

      SARWAR 16
      MASSIE 10
      HYSLOP 11
      KOHLI 6

      So, clear bias towards Labour from BBC Scotland.

      Massie was described by the Chairman (and himself) as undecided – yet even if you don’t know Massie, anybody listening to his answers would soon form the opinion that he was clearly a Tory Unionist masquerading as an undecided.

      If we agree on that and therefore split the figures into YES/NO/DON’T KNOW camps, it comes out as follows:

      RESULTS

      NO 26 contributions allowed
      YES 11 contributions allowed
      DK 6 contributions allowed

      So, again clear BIAS to the NO side displayed by BBC Scotland.

      Quelle surprise!

    136. Thepnr says:

      @ Rod Mac

      I do agree, there did appear to be an equally balanced YES/NO divide amongst the audience but the Yes side were certainly the more passionate.

      The lady with the pink scarf in the audience was very good though I can’t remember what she said 🙂

    137. Graeme McCormick says:

      Re the Greenock Debate it’s becoming very frustrating that YES spokespersons are not fully briefed on the future of Faslane and the fact that it currently loses £64000000 each year to the local economy as 85% of all service personnel are part timers who have their homes down South.

      According to the Census Helensburgh and Lomond’s population has dropped 3000 in ten years. That’s not a surprise when vital young service people at the Base are procreating down South and not here. There are also significant population drops in West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde

      Clydeport is a small fry in the global port states. It’s annual tonnage is one seventh of Bergen’s. Comparisons with Aarhus, Gothenburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp are even more marked.

      The Union has failed the Clyde ; the Independence Movement must embrace a coherent plan for a global port exploiting the exploration of the Firth of Clyde, the Atlantic and the High North.

    138. Wp says:

      Chic, Lost a lot of votes ? I wouldn’t say that’s the case. Fiona isn’t the strongest but she was up against it,the only friends she had were the two girls in the audience. Seeing Sarwar squirm was worth watching. The no side still had no case.

    139. kalmar says:

      Nah, Sarwar was exposed as a rentagob who could only offer only political point scoring, the audience were out for his blood. Could’ve had a more forthright Yes panellist but she didn’t do any harm. Massie was great fun and more than half his points were countering BT bullshit so no problem with him except for a really odd point about a low turnout for SNP in the general election. Huh?
      The so called comedian presumably wandered in off the street, utter waste of time.

      More entertaining than bbcqt anyway.

    140. Thistle says:

      OT

      Live stream Indy event tomorrow from The Glad Cafe, Shawlands, Glasgow with Alan Bissett & MD Michelle Thomson and Ivan McKee from Business for Scotland between 7:30pm and 8pm.

      http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive

      Spread the word.

      http://www.facebook.com/ScottishIndependenceLiveEvents

    141. faolie says:

      Apparently Danny Alexander has ‘challenged’ AS to a debate. Can’t see that happening as Anas told everyone tonight that AS was scared to debate. But that’s not true, surely? He’s not scared is he? Do you think we’re doomed?

    142. HandandShrimp says:

      Chic

      I don’t think it was that bad although it might have turned people off TV debates generally. It was a bit of a damp squib. What sort of viewing figures do these things get?

      The audience were best thing about it. Fiona knows her stuff but she isn’t incisive, Massie can’t actually keep the crazy Tory in and Sarwar doesn’t say much of anything but uses a lot of words to do it. Kohli is a nice bloke but he didn’t get much chance to say anything.

    143. callum says:

      well, it probably needs to be forensically studied properly, but I thought the presenter did hold Sarwar to account on a number of topics. Anas Sarwar was certainly not used to that. Twitter went crazy woith hundreds upon hundreds of tweets.

    144. Harry Shanks says:

      @ Callum – I’ve been moderately forensic – see above

    145. Chic McGregor says:

      Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic. I do hope so.

    146. HandandShrimp says:

      faolie

      Danny Alexander does not present as a desperately likeable person. He seems to have adopted the role of the school bully’s sidekick with some enthusiasm. He could go in the ring with Salmond but I am not sure I have the stomach for that level of blood sport. If he has thrown down the gauntlet then he clearly fancies his abilities rather more than most others.

    147. Taranaich says:

      @Graeme: Re the Greenock Debate it’s becoming very frustrating that YES spokespersons are not fully briefed on the future of Faslane and the fact that it currently loses £64000000 each year to the local economy as 85% of all service personnel are part timers who have their homes down South.

      Let me tell you, Graeme, I was *this close* to participating in the audience myself despite not technically being “on set,” as it were, and it was for reasons like this that I wanted to. There were SO MANY questions for which we DO have answers, and that was one of them: all that doom and gloom about Faslane “closing” (whit?) with no mention of what I thought would be the obvious response – EVEN IF it was a case of nukes vs jobs, would you rather have jobs, or would you rather run the risk of being engulfed in a fireball or bombarded with deadly radiation?

      But I made a point of reading up on the possibilities of independence on Inverclyde, and I tell you, it’s amazing how much Inverclyde in particular could gain from it. Hell, Glasgow was the British Empire’s second city – there is *zero* reason it couldn’t be again. I’ve been seeing the resurgence of the Red Clydeside for some time now, and I saw it in the eyes of the audience.

      I really wish I had the gumption to organize a “real debate” afterwards and invite everyone to join in the lobby. But the one thing that amazed me was how completely and utterly unafraid I was. My mam, bless her, urged caution for me: I was the Yook in Zook territory, and I daren’t show which side of the bread I buttered. But seeing the complete lack of any coherent argument, and seeing the impotence of their angry points, I felt empowered. I felt a bit like the Hulk: bombarding me with Unionist nonsense only made me feel stronger and more defiant. That’s something that *never* happens with me: usually I’m ever mindful of Russell’s maxim, “the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” Am I being “cocksure” here, or just confident that the doubts I have are insignificant?

      Hmm, maybe I’ll start a Nationalist Hulk twitter. HULK SMASH PUNY NEOLIBERAL AGENDA!

    148. jingly jangly says:

      Poultice on Scotland Tonight, figures look dodgy to me, however big majority for yes if £500 a year better off with Independence.

    149. Thepnr says:

      @Taranaich

      Great stuff big man, would have loved to have saw you rip the shirt aff and leap over the balcony, time for that yet maybe? 🙂

    150. The Man in the Jar says:

      Massie – came over as a pompous arse.

      Kohli – disappointing I thought he would have been a bit more yes orientated

      Hyslop – Not the best choice from Yes. Okay performance but missed a few obvious opportunities.

      Sarwar – A spent force in Scotland. The games up sonny! He now typifies all that is wrong with Labour in Scotland. He cant open his mouth anywhere near a socialist without getting heckled. Quite rightly!

    151. msean says:

      This shows why an independent broadcaster is required in Scotland.It leaves the control of the debate up to the broadcaster with government of the day placemen in control of it.Mr Patons’ book is correct on this.

    152. callum says:

      tomorrows Scotsman headine: “Salmond, the flotilla godzilla”. SNP in chaos as an independent will be totally without small sea-faring craft and Diageo will go out of business as all Gin and Tonic sales north of the border will dry up.

    153. Paula Rose says:

      Hi boys – us girls are just in from leafletting and canvassing, been busy?

    154. Chic McGregor says:

      @Taranaich

      Goan yersel! Could it be a case of “Wings gives your inner Bull a Red rag”? Ouch!

      BTW We lived in Inverclyde for nearly 30 years and our 4 kids consider themselves Grenockians, I think.

    155. Taranaich says:

      @Thepnr: Great stuff big man, would have loved to have saw you rip the shirt aff and leap over the balcony, time for that yet maybe?

      Undoubtedly, I have a flair for the theatrical.

    156. Chic McGregor says:

      “Poultice on Scotland Tonight, figures look dodgy to me, however big majority for yes if £500 a year better off with Independence.”

      In his survey the indy options include ‘in Europe’ and ‘Out of Europe’ (nowhere for the undecided on Europe to go) and the bogey word ‘separate’ is also included which has even been banned in Westminster.

    157. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Aye Man in a Jar

      If Labour are going to put up somebody to talk about old real Labour values they should really put up someone from actually from the ‘Old Labour’ days.

      Not the son of a multi millionaire who inherited his daddy’s seat in Parliament, in one of his early answers Sarwar made the point (aimed at the SNP) about people trying to steal the ‘Labour movements history’…

      I suspect many Labour voters at that point where going ‘what you mean like you ?

      It’s interesting but that seemed to be the point when the audience turned on him and even his own supporter’s stopped fanatically applauding his every utterance (as they had done up to that point)

    158. HandandShrimp says:

      I see the Social Attitudes Survey is still splitting things three ways with a Devo Max option. Severin is doing his usual spin on the figures for Better Together over on the Guardian.

    159. heedtracker says:

      Massie was a lot thicker than I expected. What is it with tory boys and over inflated sense of own IQ? The odd ultra posh bloke from Nairn that runs the Spectator can’t also be this thick too can he:-)

    160. Training Day says:

      The debate was largely facile, but the audience told us the way things are moving..to Yes.

      Frankly, I nearly switched off after Massie was described as ‘undecided’. Kohli did himself no favours, and Hyslop was anodyne. But Sarwar is rapidly becoming our best asset.

    161. Steve B says:

      I think the social attitudes survey was sampled up to October — I think theconsensus is that things have moved on since then.

      The graphic on Newsnicht showed the sample dates but for some strange reason I didn’t hear this mentioned as part of the discussion.

    162. Taranaich says:

      heedtracker: What is it with tory boys and over inflated sense of own IQ?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

      “The phenomenon was first tested in a series of experiments published in 1999 by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of the Department of Psychology, Cornell University. They noted earlier studies suggesting that ignorance of standards of performance is behind a great deal of incompetence. This pattern was seen in studies of skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis.

      Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

      1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
      2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
      3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
      4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

      Dunning has since drawn an analogy (“the anosognosia of everyday life”) with a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability because of brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis.”

      Massie isn’t as bad as, say, Farage or pretty much everyone in Labour, but you can kind of that impression of “well clearly I know more than you clods.”

    163. Kate says:

      david says:
      21 January, 2014 at 8:37 pm
      kate, would you ask dimbleby what positions in the bbc his children hold?

      lol errrr NO

    164. Grant Taylor says:

      Just a slight correction, but UKIP actually saved their deposit at the last European elections in 2009 as they got 5.2% of the vote. I’d been under the impression that they’d never saved a deposit in Scotland as well until a friend who’s well into psephology corrected me by showing me the data.

    165. Will Podmore says:

      To Peter Macbeastie, you write, “there is one glaring lie right in the first line … The independent Office of Fiscal Studies. Oh, officially independent it may well be, but in practice, it was set up by the Conservatives ..”
      I was quoting a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which was not set up by the Conservative Party.
      I did not ‘lift the article’ from the BBC; I found it, printed and studied it. You could do the same.

    166. Margaret Brogan says:

      As a member of the audience at last night’s debate, who did make a contribution, I did not hear any fanatical applause for Sarwar. Most of the responses were very much against him and any applause was weak. He had no answer to direct points and was at times quite incoherent.
      Having spent some time on streetwork for the Yes campaign I believe that getting out speaking to the undecided is more rewarding than either watching tv or blogging to the already converted!
      Good for the girl who was just back from leafleting! I’m out to do more tomorrow.

    167. rab-the-doubter says:

      Radio 4 – still waiting. Does nobody want to disdect Cameron’s bullshit.

    168. rab-the-doubter says:

      Disdect = dissect
      45 minutes in still no comment. Strange that the leading story on the news should get no coverage during a debate on the things that affect contemporary ‘Britain’.
      Not that I dont like R4 but – balance and fair coverage puleeezzzzzeeee

    169. rab-the-doubter says:

      Well – thanks for nothing. Its like we dont exist.



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




    ↑ Top