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Exploring the options

Posted on October 18, 2016 by

We had a bit of a debate at the weekend with ITV’s generally pretty decent Scotland correspondent Peter Smith, after he tweeted this:


It wasn’t the curious choice of picture we objected to, nor the fact that the £14.8bn figure is a notional sum which is totally meaningless in the context of an independent Scotland (because it represents a vague estimate of the disaggregated finances of a Scotland that’s inside the UK and subject to UK government policy choices).

Nor was it even the implication that a £14.8bn “black hole” was an inherent permanent feature of the Scottish economy rather than an unusually bad year.

What chafed with us was the idea that it was somehow Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.


A complaint we hear a lot from the Unionist left especially is “Why doesn’t the SNP use the powers it already has to improve the economy/reduce inequality/redistribute wealth/solve Scotland’s centre-half problem/bring back the macaroni pie/whatever?”

It’s one we always answer with “Which powers and what precisely should they do with them?”, at which point the conversation invariably goes very quiet.


Because the fact of the matter is that the devolved Scottish Parliament has almost no powers whatsoever to affect the economy, so it’s a bit unfair to be demanding that Nicola Sturgeon be held responsible for reducing a “deficit” that she doesn’t actually have in the first place (since the Scottish Government isn’t allowed to run a deficit and has to balance its books every year).

Let’s imagine how that conversation might go.

NICOLA STURGEON: Okay, I’ve got an idea. Let’s raise the minimum wage so that people have more money to spend. That’ll generate retail and service-sector growth, which are the biggest areas of the economy.

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT ADVISOR: Nope, sorry. Minimum-wage law is reserved. Scottish Labour specifically fought against devolving it during the Smith Commission talks, despite the proposal being backed by the STUC.

NS: Oh. Well, maybe there’s another way. Could we reduce VAT to lower prices and bring about the same result?”

SGA: VAT is reserved. So you can’t reduce it to boost consumer spending and you can’t increase it to generate more government revenue either.

NS: Huh. I guess if we made businesses wealthier they might employ more people and create growth that way. Could we maybe cut Corporation Tax to try to draw any of them away from the South-East of England?

SGA: No. Corporation Tax is reserved.

NS: Can we at least get them to pay the tax they owe now, then? Corporate tax avoidance costs billions, can we have a proper crackdown on it and boost the coffers that way?

SGA: Nope, that’s reserved too. Westminster employs ten times as many people chasing a tiny amount in benefit fraud than it does on clawing back far higher sums dodged in tax, and is in fact cutting back even further on HMRC staffing levels. So we can’t do anything about it, and there’s also not much point hoping the UK government does and passes any of the proceeds on to us.

NS: What about fuel duty? If we reduced that and got petrol and diesel prices down it’d be good for nearly everyone – haulage firms, businesses transporting their products and end consumers, who’d once again have more growth-creating money in their pockets.

SGA: Fuel duty is reserved.

NS: Our fabulous new income tax powers?

SGA: Those are essentially useless. Firstly we don’t control the basic personal allowance, the thing that affects every taxpayer. We can fiddle around with the margins of the upper rates but that generates very little and also gets you hammered remorselessly from both sides in the press.

Even Labour’s supposedly radical plans for across-the-board increases would only amount to maybe £390m at the most, which is chickenfeed – barely 1% of Holyrood’s budget. That’s not going to plug the gap.

NS: Jeez. Well, can we make some savings somewhere? Nobody on the face of the planet actually wants to invade us, surely we can cut a pile of money out of the defence budget?

SGA: It’s reserved. Plus according to Labour Trident supports more jobs than there are actually people in Scotland, so everyone would be on the dole.

NS: Can we bring in some extra cash from anywhere? What do finance ministers usually do in budgets? They bump up booze and fag tax, right? Can we do that one?

SGA: You know what I’m going to say, don’t you? Here’s the Guardian’s list of the 26 key points in the last UK budget. Basically the only things in the list related to the economy that Holyrood controls in Scotland are stamp duty and business rates, and you’ve already done stuff about those. No dice.

NS: Oil?

SGA: Ha ha ha ha ha.

NS: Okay, let’s think outside the box. We need to get more people into the country, because everyone knows immigrants contribute more than they take out, and we’ve got plenty room. That could help.

SGA: Immigration is reserved, and the UK government is busting a gut trying to throw out the people who are already here.

NS: Bloody hell. Okay, so what are Scotland’s advantages? We know that we’re really well-off for renewable energy resources, and I noticed that there are eye-wateringly massive subsidies being chucked at that new nuclear power station in Somerset, so presumably we could get something similar to invest in our renewables, yeah?

SGA: You’re really not getting how this works.

And so on, etc. Devolution was never intended to let the Scottish Government run the economy – it was always envisaged as a glorified parish council, handling what are in essence administrative municipal matters like education, health and law. There’s a reason it was originally called the Scottish Executive – it’s not a “government” in any true sense of the word and just calling it one doesn’t change that.

If the UK government gave up control of the economy, Scotland would be independent on the day-to-day level in all but name, and every “revision” of devolved powers that’s been grudgingly conceded since 1999 has set out with the primary goal of ensuring that that didn’t happen. (But hey, have all the road signs and air guns you can eat.)

So to recap: the Scottish Government doesn’t have a deficit (the UK one does, and palms some of it off onto Scotland); if Scotland was independent nobody has the remotest clue how big its deficit would be even to within the nearest £10bn (because it would depend on independence negotiations and a raft of policy choices that haven’t been made yet); and until it is the Scottish Government can – by design – do almost nothing to affect the country’s economy.

Other than that, y’know, yes, it’s a totally fair question.

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  1. 18 10 16 14:56

    Exploring the options | speymouth

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    Tartan Day – Fear Is Worse Than Fighting

305 to “Exploring the options”

  1. Malky says:

    Seems so simple even a BBC reporter could grasp it…

  2. Bob Mack says:

    Rev, you have written some fine articles in your time,but this one is the cats pyjamas.

    It concisely documents the lies and deceit prevalent amongst Unionists. We have no options but they want us to do something.

    A brilliant piece of writing.

  3. Ian Sanderson says:

    Thanks for what I consider to be a superb “doorstep chat” which will be very useful when next we go out canvassing…

  4. One_Scot says:

    It almost feels like a school teacher trying to educate children. Is there no one out there that can tie your shoelaces? Anyone?

  5. Cammy says:

    I’m sure Peter is drafting a “thank you for putting me right” tweet as we type….

  6. heedtracker says:

    Most powerful ever devolved parliament and £15bn Scots deficit, is one of their great triumphs of vote NO propaganda, they hope.

  7. handclapping says:

    Oh dear! no powers whatsoever to effect the economy, and almost nothing to affect the country’s economy. in the same piece even 🙁

  8. Macart says:

    But, but they said!

    They said the most powerful devolved parliament in the… oh! 🙄

  9. One_Scot says:

    You might what to suggest that SNP MSPs print this off, so that when an upstart still wearing a nappy tries to throw the 15 billion deficit at the SNP, they can smack it out the ball park.

  10. Dorothy Devine says:

    Cammy , my tea has gone for a burton – ta muchly!

    Superb Rev Stu.

    P.S Can anyone tell me where gone for a Burton came from and why?

  11. Blackhack says:

    a BBC reporter couldn’t grasp a life jacket if they were drowning.

  12. Neil Cook says:

    A BBC reporter couldn’t grab his balls even if he had his cock in his hand !!

    Ffs stupid is stupid, their chief reporter can only tell you how many pies he eats by the size of his waistline and that’s the closest he would get to giving figures on economic policy

  13. crisiscult says:

    yes, but in reality we have the protection or safety net of the UK, so that when people in Scotland make crap decisions (which we know they will because they are crap and only got brought out of mud huts by the civilising effect of the union and 300 years of further civilising – incomplete of course at this point), there is insurance; in fact, let’s not even let them make those decisions cos why should rUK (London) pick up the tab?

  14. Proud Cybernat says:

    You know it, Rev. Wingers know it. The Colonial Media know it. The two governments know it. The guy that does the dog food charts might even (at a stretch) know it.

    But the GAME is to ensure the majority of the voting public DON’T KNOW IT.

    Keep them in the dark and you keep them on-board. And you keep them in the dark by constantly repeating this utter rubbish over the scairwaves and the yoon propaganda sheets.

    PS – A wee prediction here. Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and London will be granted Brexit concessions in one form or another. Scotland will be granted hee-haw. You read it here first.

  15. Arbroath1320 says:

    Oh bloody hell … not the dreaded £15 Billion black hole … AGAIN! 😉

    If nothing else at least we all know the full extent of the argument from Better Together II come the revolution sorry I meant indy ref 2 … obviously! 😀

    All these people who keep throwing this nonsense about the black hole at us are, I assume, intelligent people. I mean they all, or at least most of them, went to university, allegedly. This means that they must know how to do some independent research and look at information themselves … right? 😉

    I’ve just had a thought … maybe I’m just expecting too much from from our beloved lovers of Scotland’s £15 Billion black hole. 😛

  16. Sinky says:

    Unfortunately the Sunday Times’ resident profit of doom business editor Michael Glackin can’t grasp the simple fact that the £15 bn deficit is not down to the Scottish government.

    Headline on Sunday COMMENT: MICHAEL GLACKIN
    Face facts, Sturgeon is failing to act on deficit

    Sunday Times is far more influential and with bigger circulation than Scotsman. Herald and Express combined.

  17. Dennis says:

    Scotlands deficit was created under Westminster’s watch by Westminster’s policies.

  18. Dal Riata says:

    Thanks for this, Stu. Very useful information when knocking on doors come IndyRef2 – and at all times in between now and then!

  19. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Excellent summary. Should be made general knowledge. Scotland’s “deficit” should always be describes as “Scotland’s UK deficit”.

  20. heedtracker says:

    Daily Record and a very tory yoon in BetterTogether action today.

    Kevin Hague Retweeted
    The Daily Record ?@Daily_Record 5h5 hours ago
    Kevin Hague on Alex Salmond’s breathtaking contempt for the Scottish electorate

    “I’m Not a tory or unionist” Kevrage, gives Salmond the UKOK works in the Daily Record but its interesting how this dude’s not saying anything at all on their unfolding Brexit economics catastrophe. If only because he’s a business dude that imports cheap as chips Chinese pet supplies and flogs them in the UK.

    So far Kevrage’s costs have jumped at least 20% as the pound crashes by the day. But that’s all ok, kevrage is British and that’s all that counts, for NOT tory NOT unionist tubthumpers in Scotland today.

  21. Training Day says:

    Excellent, concise article. And drearily predictable that the first reaction in the tweet from the ventriloquist’s dummy masquerading as a ‘journalist’ – sorry, I don’t regard any of them as decent – is to trash Scotland with an unsolicited and unsubtantiable cringe.

  22. Ian MacDonald says:

    Nicely done.

    It really could make you weep when you see yoons using the supposed economic black hole as an argument FOR the union.

  23. Bob Mack says:

    We all know what they want Nicola to do. They want her to abolish all freebies for pensioners, to abolish free higher education, to raise tax for higher earners which will result in them leaving in all probability. To abolish support for bedroom tax subsidies and anything else that helps ordinary folk cope financially.
    They want Nicola to have the least popular government since Vlad the Impaler,
    then say it was all down to SNP policies. No thanks.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “in the same piece even”


  25. orri says:

    If you look at it one way,

    Sturgeon is acting to cut the deficit. As stated in the articled she does not as yet have the powers needed to do much about it. Not even a veto on the ridiculous extravagance that is Trident. Not does she seem to have a veto on Brexit. Only through full independence will Holyrood be able to make the decisions on revenue and expenditure needed to reduce the deficit.

  26. Dave Beveridge says:

    We could always have our “deficit” swallowed up and more by our share of the assets. Funny how we never hear about those.

    It’d be nice if SNP spokespeople occasionally said some of the things in the above article in interviews as well. Don’t tell me we’re going to go down the “a positive campaign always beats… etc, etc.” road again.

  27. Proud Cybernat says:

    Help is at hand…

  28. galamcennalath says:

    Two possibilities here …

    A) ‘journos’ don’t have a clue and are only parroting what those around them say


    B) there’s conspiracy to generate and feed a myth to those voters who don’t have a clue

    A huge amount of effort appears to have been put into the spreading and perpetuation of the myth that Scotland within the UK has a deficient and that the devolved government can/should be doing something about it.

    It’s such an complex and yet improbable myth so I can only conclude that option B applies in most cases. I cannot see how it could be so widespread and have arisen simply as misunderstanding.

    It’s BIG and it’s the central argument the Yoons plan to use.

    I feel political arguments are being won – hearts, you might say.

    IMO finance will be the battleground – minds.

    The Yoons are well aware of the positions lots of NO voting Scots had, “nothing in principle against Indy, just don’t think the economic case has been made”.

  29. Iain says:

    If you find Peter Smith a “generally pretty decent Scotland correspondent”, Stu, other people in ITN must have been behind the malicious editing of his interview with Nicola Sturgeon, as broadcast on Sunday night.

    The brief ‘interview’ shown, which comprised that edition’s report on the SNP conference, was announced by the newscaster, Rageh Omaar, as showing Sturgeon “on the defensive”. There then followed a crudely cut selection of Smith’s questions and Sturgeon’s responses, which gave the impression that she was at best hesitant and at worst unable to give informative answers. It was one of the most blatantly biased TV news reports I have ever seen.

  30. R-type Grunt says:

    This is an excellent article Stu. Perhaps for a future article you might explore how we get Yoons to take their fingers out their ears and stop saying “ah, but” all the time?

  31. K1 says:

    This article along with this article: should be the two most important articles that people print out and disseminate throughout Scotland. (obvs yer ain pairt o’ Scotland)

  32. Onwards says:

    The trouble is educating people as to these facts in the face of a hostile media.

    The SNP need to constantly hammer home the message of how the Scottish Parliament is held back with the lack of economic powers.

    Imagine if Westminster actually was shackled by the EU to the extent that the Scottish Government is within the UK. The Brexit vote would have been 99%

    Their slogan of “Take back control” applies far more to Scotland than it ever did for a union of independent nation states pooling a degree of sovereignty to enable a huge common market.

  33. call me dave says:

    This new topic thread is a cracker it really cheered me up this lunch time after a dreary morning at work and I left my sandwiches at home. 🙁

    This SG (in fact any SG government)

    1: Can’t run a deficit (must balance the books)and
    2: Has no powers to change things …yet!

    I hope all you unionists looking in are getting that.

  34. Chitterinlicht says:

    Enough people don’t appreciate this in Scotland ( or elsewhere ) and believe politicians who blame SNP for state of the econmy are right. They are not.

    This really worries me as things are probably going to get worse in economic terms coz of Brexit and SNP need some good rebuttals without sounding whinging.

    Really good summary.

  35. geeo says:

    The problem with a ‘black hole’, is that it gets spun so fast that that even truth struggles to escape…..!

    When hit with the £15billion ‘black hole’ pish, i usually just respond with either…

    a) what black hole, when did the Scottish Government borrow £15 billion more than they could bring in, exactly ?

    b) I was under the impression Scotland had a £440 Million UNDERSPEND, when did the Scottish Government increase spending on Scotland by around 34 fold, and what the feck did they spend it on exactly.

    Usual response at this point indicates that i am a ‘nat sheep following the dear leader’ ‘ (or something along those lines).

    Some people you just cannot reach.

  36. Robert Graham says:

    Excellent clear appraisal of what we get from this Union

    f/all thats what hee-haw

    The same as brexit they cause the problem and expect ,no they demand the Scottish Government fix the bleedn problem

    Honestly a fair amount of Scots if they fall for unionist pish are stupid , the only problem being the rest of us have to deal with the consequences of their bloody stupidity .

  37. cuddis says:

    Again and again you produce top class, superior quality journalism that puts the entire MSM to shame. If only just a fraction of these articles of yours could form the basis of a series of short video documentaries so they could reach more people. They are dazzling enough as it is, but if these could be launched on a YouTube channel for instance? I’m sure this is easy to shoot down as an idea but the proposal stems from the total respect I have for you and this site. And for the powerful effect this site has had in transforming me into a committed Winger and supporter of independence over the last couple of years.
    Long may you continue the great work.

  38. Brian says:

    Powerful…thanks and well done. I’m learning it off by heart.

  39. Robert Graham says:

    O/T Union jack land all over the BBC just now i wonder what they are trying to cover up today must be something big as they are using their limited budget circling trafalgar square with a helicopter aren’t we lucky to have such a good state broadcaster .

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    This is all fair enough, but “the fact is” that Scotland’s underlying onshore deficit is reducing year by year in terms of percentage of GDP, but because the GDP itself is rising (i.e. economy growth), the percentage of GDP the deficit represents drops faster than the actual deficit in £billions.

    This is probably why the Unionists now concentrate on the scary amoung of £15 billion, rather than the percentage which as far as the onshore deficit is concerned, has dropped from 17.8% at the end of FYE 2010, to 10.1% at the end of the 2016 financial year.

    7.7% drop in 6 years, at that rate it’s 2.4% in another 6 years – without considering oil at all.

  41. Breastplate says:

    I put this on the last thread but it fits better here.

    Regarding Scotland’s deficit (black hole if you’re a unionist). As soon as the media trot this nonsense out our politicians should be quick to point out that this will change IMMEDIATELY on independence.

    That is an undeniable fact.

  42. ClanDonald says:

    Already bookmarked, thanks Rev.

  43. yesindyref2 says:

    What that means, by the way, is that the Scottish Government with the limited devolved powers they have had, over expenditure rather than revenue raising, HAVE been taking steps to reduce the underlying structural deficit by reducing expenditure. If they had more levers to hand, it’s likely it would be much further reduced than that – without Osborne’s state destroying austerity nonsense. A state’s resources and GDP is its people – something Osborne knew nothing about.

  44. Petra says:

    Thanks for that Stu. Another brilliant piece of work.

    I’ve found that this is the ‘biggy’ that’s REALLY deterring people from supporting Independence on the back of the “nae ile noo.” I hear that coupled with as poor as Greece practically every day now.

    We don’t need Gordon Brown putting the wind up pensioners. This is doing the job, even more effectively, for him …. the likes of him …. and that’s why the MSM are constantly running with the story. That’s why someone in the SNP has to debunk this myth/s ASAP even if it means sending flyers out to every household in Scotland to get the message across.

    Who knows maybe they’re planning to do something along these lines when they have a more comprehensive idea of what’s going on …. going to happen?

    Meanwhile just asking Stu. You don’t happen to have a twin brother (or sister) who’d be keen to work at the SNP’s communication and media centre?

  45. heedtracker says:

    Yoon twittersphere mad echo chamber as ever but a professional for SLabour shows how its done UKOK wise.


    Use the magical new powers SNP, “Which powers and what precisely should they do with them?”, at which point the conversation invariably goes very quiet.


    Alan Roden ?@AlanRoden Oct 17
    Timid SNP are nothing more than Tory Lite, says Kezie Dugdale

  46. yesindyref2 says:

    I just realised that posting(s) sounds dismissive of the article and Rev’s efforts.

    No, quite the contrary, it needs both tacks to hit the £14.8 billion deficit that was in GERS. It’s one of only two real tools in the armoury of Unionists, the other from the point of view of Scotland staying in the EU, being the Exports to rUK £45.884 bn – which don’t mention the Imports from rUK of £51.255 bn (for a £4.371 bn balance of trade SURPLUS for the rUK y/e 2015).

  47. Andrew McLean says:

    32 degrees asked me to sign a petition, “the Scot-rail rip off”

    my reply

    “I will do better than sign your petition,
    I will actively campaign for Scottish Independence. Rather than fighting over the scraps from the Westminster table. Scotland contributed £32 billion to their coffers, all we get is how poor we are, well enough!”

    We really are in INDY REF 2 land.

  48. DerekM says:

    Excellent work Rev 🙂

    Some one said a few days ago,i have tried to find it so if it was you thanks,that if you take the “deficit” of Wales,NI and Scotland then add them together it turns out just over 15 million people have over 50% of the UK deficit compared to 50 plus million in England having less than 50% of the UK deficit.

    That will be pooling and sharing better together we pool our money and get to share England`s black hole deficit.

  49. heedtracker says:

    Slab’s new and exciting toryboy Alan Roden of the Daily Heil says read vote NO or else Daily Herald, who rage away at Sturgeon to nationalise Scottish railways. Toryboy’s raging for nationalisation of anything at all, is mental enough. But its just one more super power reserved to Westminster. How very odd the Herald tories dont know that.

    “But the potential benefits – economic expansion, social equality and green credentials – are surely tantalising to a supposedly left-leaning party like the SNP.

    And, sold to the nation as exactly the sort of investment in the country’s future that independence is supposed to be all about, it could even be a gamechanger. The time for empty promises and Dutch courage has passed.

    Is it now time for Ms Sturgeon to say the ‘n’ word? Nationalisation.”

    Its why we’re not getting it Marianne.

  50. ScottieDog says:

    It is really interesting that they want to fixate on the deficit of a constituent part of the UK. What if we concentrate on London and then SE over the past 8 years. The region associated with the city and banking is responsible for the tripling of the UK debt – from £0.5 trillion to £1.5 trillion. We bailed out the city and maintained their huge salary and bonus structure. Obviously higher salary and bonus means higher tax revenue and lower defcit.

    Key thing here is that the bailout came BEFORE the current tax revenue drawn from the financial sector and hence funded it.

    Go back over the last 70 years and you will see that the UK is funded by consistent deficits. The only way to have a government surplus without wrecking the economy is to have a trade surplus and there is only one part of the UK capable of running trade surpluses for any period of time over the past few decades and that is Scotland.

  51. MJack says:

    Great article. The question re the black hole is why are we making so little from oil? It cant all be down to a lower price, productions gone up!

  52. Petra says:

    My post seems to have disappeared. Just repeating Cuddis’s brilliant idea. Have you ever thought of putting your data / statistics / articles onto YouTube Stu?

  53. Cuilean says:

    That should be made into an SNP political broadcast. Certainly better taht the last SNP political broadcast. Short, sharp & gets right to the heart of the ‘It’s the Economy’ Stupid!’ argument of the last Indyref.

    I think this is one of your best articles yet, Rev.

    ‘Hats bloody off’.

  54. JET Jockey says:

    NS. I have an idea lets build a new airport between Stirling and Falkirk, plans for this are already in the pipeline, It will have the longest runway in Europe with 15 degree angled run offs with a special non-splash liquid to slow big Jumbos down without using brakes. Excellent road and rail links already exist. All flag carriers throughout the world can have concessions for hangar age for maintenance etc if prepared to help with funding. Close Edinburgh and Glasgow build luxury style villas on them with parking and hangar age for executive jets, This would take the pressure away from Heathrow and all the associated noise ect wouldn’t they be pleased.
    SGA Oh Shit

  55. Takeour blueback says:

    This must be the best and sadest articles I’ve read on WingsOverScotland.

    Someone turn this into a cartoon so we can share it widely.


  56. I could see Bird and Fortune (on the Rory Bremner show) doing this as a sketch.

  57. Proud Cybernat says:

    They created the mess like this:

    They hide it from us like this:

    And expect us to sort it all with this:

    Oh, and there’s the small matter of this:

  58. manandboy says:

    Your so good, Stu. You need your own newspaper. Nicola!, sort it for Stu.
    This video is a MUST. Although it says on-screen, it has been removed, just press the image,then ‘save’, then watch it – it’s brilliant

  59. ScottieDog says:

    The only way for Scotland to have any determination over its govt deficits is to become a currency issuing state.
    In any case the govt deficit is an automatic stabiliser for the other economic sectors – private and export/import.

    The first thing the Scottish govt is going to have to do upon independence is SPEND even if it does believe it has this imaginary deficit.
    It is counterintuitive to many to think that the way to reduce a deficit is to spend more but this is indeed the case. It’s a bit like reacting to a skid in a car – it’s more intuitive to turn away from the skid than turn into it but we mist do the latter.

    I have already made the point that London and the SE have benefitted from the big hand of govt before they delivered the higher tax revenues and hence lower deficits.

    £ have to be spent into circulation BEFORE we can be taxed in £!

  60. ScottishPsyche says:

    Isn’t the problem that most people do not know what is reserved and what is devolved?

    The Tories and Labour use this ignorance to make mischief at Holyrood and Westminster time and again. Before the next council elections a clear cut list of the roles of each body should be available.

    I agree this should be in a PPB. The SNP do the big vision stuff well but they should nail this with a rolling list going through their PPB.

  61. Karmanaut says:

    Stuff like this is invaluable. Thanks.

  62. Heather McLean says:

    One of the clearest most concise explanations I’ve ever read regarding to so called “deficit”!
    Thank you for explaining in terms even a child could understand!
    I’m definitely printing this off for future reference!

  63. galamcennalath says:

    Nicola is subjected to more violent language in the Express propaganda pamphlet … slaps down then blasted ….

    … very nasty! What horror next?

  64. Macart says:


    That’s a good un Dads and very useful. Already posted elsewhere. 🙂

  65. Arabs for Independence says:

    What Heather McLean said @ 03:17

    Hope your flag is flying high Heather 🙂

  66. Tam Jardine says:

    Excellent… A great piece of work.

    I could add embarking on a bout of quantitative easing as a suggestion to be knocked back.

    In conversation with unionists I always end up asking “who is in charge of the Scottish Economy… and before you answer it’s not Derek Mackay”

  67. Onwards says:

    This is interesting.

    Looks like MP’s might get a vote on a final Brexit deal which makes it very likely that the Tories won’t have a majority to force through a deal which involves leaving the single market.

    Does this make it more likely we could end up with a Norway style EEA deal, keeping access to the single market and accepting freedom of movement and EU payments ?

    Maybe it gives the EU a good reason not to compromise in the slightest. Hard Brexit or nothing. Take it or leave it.

    Perhaps we could end up rejoining the EU after all if MPs reject a deal, and public opinion turns against a hard Brexit ?

    UKIP would be furious, but I can’t see them getting elected, especially if it becomes clear the only version of Brexit available is an extremist one.

  68. Jamie says:

    Thanks for that, always worth reminding people just how much of a pocket money parliament we have in Scotland. Time for change.

  69. yesindyref2 says:

    It was snode1965, and it was so good I put it up on a page, with links where possible to confirm the sources; Sorry to spam with links to my site, the idea is to have snippets of reference stuff people can use. My articles would be a bit long because of the “proof”, but the gist can be made concise by anyone if they want.

    NI is difficult to get a hold of, last official ones seem to be 2012-13. All three of the devolved governments question the accuacy of the figures they get from the Treasury / PESA, but one thing I did see somewhere from NI which I’ll have to find again was along the lines of why should the Northern Ireland Government (executive) be charged for the Imperial War Museum in London? Classic!

  70. Col says:

    Why do we even call it a union? It was more like a takeover if you ask me.

  71. galamcennalath says:

    France out to poach business and jobs ….

    … therein may lie the answer to the Yoon question, “how will iScotland balance the books when the oil price is low or oil runs out?”

    Answer, “From tax revenues from all the companies which move to iScotland to escape Brexit!”

  72. galamcennalath says:

    “May has written to First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness repeating her commitment that Brexit should not lead to a hard Border”

    Fair enough. iScotland can look forward to an open border with rUK too, then!

  73. DerekM says:

    @ yesindyref2

    Thank you yesindyref2 and a big thanks to snode1965 as well,i was hoping my memory did it justice as for the life of me i could not find it,but i am on this silly little phone and dont have my specs with me lol

    It is quite startling when you break it down so much for all in it together funny how we never hear about England`s deficit.

  74. Macart says:


    Simplest and most cost effective move for most manufacturers and financial services already based in these islands is a simple shift north of the border.

    For the services – move the brass nameplate. For say… Japanese car manufacturers, would you rather lose a few quid in building a new facility in Scotland, or lose a fortune frozen out of the EU market? 😉

  75. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    The quoted deficit is “a barrier to remaining in the EU”? What? Seems someone in ITV has got their facts in a twist. Such a level of deficit, if it even existed in an independent Scotland, would indeed be a barrier to joining the euro, but in no way the EU itself. (Otherwise, the UK would have been ejected years ago.)

    But “having to join the euro” is precisely the other false threat that the BritNats routinely deploy!

    A Unionist case built on two contradictory falsehoods. Boy, what a referendum winner that is going to be (once you peel away the bluster).

  76. Ian Brotherhood says:

    O/T Has anyone been having bother accessing WOS pages today?

  77. Ross says:

    This is a really good article and highlights what we’d want to do and why we can’t.

    HOWEVER, our problem isn’t so much the amount we raise. It’s the amount we spend. You’ve only touched on defence. We could cut spending in other areas. Audit Scotland must have areas it can say where savings can be made.

  78. G4jeepers says:

    This article should be the theme of a Greg Moodie cartoon, along with WGD’s latest, would be happy to pitch in to a crowd funder to get it out there.

  79. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland owns 8% of UK assets, current estimates are wide but between 150 billion and 350 billion pounds but here’s the thing if the UK wanted to borrow that cash they’d need Scotlands assets to guarantee the loan

    Do the Yoons think they get away with a divorce without splitting up the house furniture, vases, telly, three piece suite, car, bank account

    Or do the Yoons think the Army Navy Airforce Trident overseas territories English infrastructure built as part of UK treasury cash is all English money
    Now they can’t give us bits of The Malvinas or Gibralter or planes and boats and Tridents and bullets and buildings and soldiers so I think the divorce judge would rule for a cash equivalent
    Alex Salmond pointed that one out last time and was monstered for it, time it was pointed out again, really really loudly

    That’s why they love us so much

  80. yesindyref2 says:

    I suspect if England had a GERE and its figures were done in a similar way, it too would have an appropriate large deficit, and the total of the 4 then devolved assemblies deficits could be around 300% of the actual UK deficit!

    Yeah, it’s quite complicated in the way that yes, ScotGov has to balance the books according to the block grant and consequentials, so we’re actually forced to take the deficit whether we like it or not.

    But at the same time the disaggregated HMRC revenues which are used by GERS do show revenues produced by Scotland – and the ScotGov can improve on that by careful growth strategy within the spending under its control, both day to day expenditure, and capital spending. For instance the Forth Road Crossing will improve our economy by having a great effect on Fife, and even around Fife as well, once it’s complete. There’s some early signs of that already, I forget what exactly.

    I did print off the full GERS for 2015-16 a few weeks back, it’s the only way to get the complete picture rather than delve into detail, but haven’t had the time to look at it yet. Average & Co look at snippets, well, that’s their weakness – ignorance and lack of understanding of the “big picture”. But it would take a Cuthbert able to talk in concise everyday language to really defeat it.

  81. Takeour blueback says:

    Dr Jim @ 4:11pm

    If the UK believes that Scotland is a full partner in the UK then they will accept that Scotland would have assets to use in a negotiation if they gained independence

    If the UK (govt, press & yoons) believe Scotland is a part of the English Infrastructure, they would say we have nothing, that the deficit (they created) is too much & we couldn’t afford Independence.

    We know what they think already!


  82. yesindyref2 says:

    @Dr Jim
    Scotland’s 8.3% share of the warheads for Trident would give us about 17 warheads, and our share of the pool of 55 Trident missiles – 4 to 5. We’d also get our share of the tubes, so in theory could set up our own deterrent.

    I daresay the rUK would give quite a lot, as Russia did with Ukraine – wiping its debt – to get that back! Wouldn’t happen that way of course but I daresay it could be suggested during negotiations …

  83. shug says:

    Classic unionist position we have messed up your economy so badly and you have done nothing about it
    So don’t think about fixing it

  84. galamcennalath says:

    Robert J. Sutherland says:

    … false threat that the BritNats routinely deploy

    Come the IndyRef2 campaign in the run up to a vote, it would much appreciated if the EU would make the actual position clear.

    While they don’t get involved in the internal affairs of member countries, that won’t really be the situation by then. The UK will be on the way out. Scotland, by contrast, will be a nation with a majority who want to stay in and retain their EU citizenship.

  85. Iain More says:

    Dont you just want to launch the Yoons into an actual Black Hole? Or maybe just strap them all in to that Particle Collider at CERN?

  86. Dorothy Devine says:

    Ian Sanderson , thank you – I didn’t know that site existed and have had great fun with it.

  87. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Macart @ 16:01:

    For say… Japanese car manufacturers, would you rather lose a few quid in building a new facility in Scotland, or lose a fortune frozen out of the EU market?

    Some paid a visit to Scotland not long ago. The National had a headline about it at the time which struck me as being particularly uninsightful, which went something like “Japanese visit Scotland despite Brexit”. (My italics. But the “despite” was definitely there.) I reckoned it was the exact opposite, they were here because of Brexit. To my mind they were scoping out the situation here to see how things might be rescued.

  88. Foonurt says:

    Bae aff wae ye, laddie. Yuv haunnit oot, ah guid yin.

    ‘Bells’, ah Shoatts, Lanarkshire, stull diz ah wunnurrfuull Macaroni Pie.

  89. Macart says:


    ‘But it would take a Cuthbert able to talk in concise everyday language to really defeat it.’

    True, but what you’ve laid out already is a fine piece of work and easy to chart for folks like myself. THAT is what’s really needed right now. Bite size, but accurate.

    We suffer too much from having to explain both content and context to people we’re trying to convince. Giving them bite size, capturing their attention and then pointing them to more detail once their curiosity and/or interest has been piqued is the route of travel I reckon.

    Something I think the official YES campaign and the SG should look into is putting resources into a team dedicated to getting the message du jour across as simply and accurately as possible.

    Better yet, a team dedicated to getting the message across first and let the other side struggle for context and content for a change. 🙂

  90. Macart says:

    @Robert J Sutherland

    Japanese business does nothing ‘despite’ a circumstance. They plan ‘ahead of’ or ‘because of’. 😉

  91. yesindyref2 says:

    There may be a chance of this. The UK won’t bring it up at the Council / European Council at the next summit (one every 6 months), but it wouldn’t surprise me if Ireland did because of the NI situation. They’re a member state and have a perfect right to do so.

    There could be quite a lot comes out of that, and it would be as official as it could be without an actual vote on any specific proposal. It’s also a way of the EU getting round “not interfering” with member state democracy / constitution – if it wants to. But we’d have to read the rest of the EU press to see what really went on at such a summit.

    I live in hope.

  92. DerekM says:


    Dont want anything to do with their nuke bombs in fact if you pack them on the back of a lorry i will personally drive them down to London and park them outside westminster go in and hand them the keys and get the bus back home and not even claim it on expenses 🙂

    I might pop in the bar and punch out a few tories though lol

  93. Vambomarbeleye says:

    WM wanting a vote on brexit as the parliament is sovereign. Which it is. How ever in Scotland the people are sovereign and the people have spoken.
    I believe in the articles of union. It was two equal country’s England and Scotland. So in the divorce it should be a 50/50 split. Not per head of population. Would half of the contents of the B of E not sort lender of last resort.

  94. Bob Mack says:


    It is not really about how much we spend. We are allocated around half our yearly revenues to maintain various functions ,as the Rev points out.
    It is more to do with how we would spend the remainder fulfilling the functions currently reserved to Westminster. including Welfare.

    We have to remember that our defence spending would reduce massively as we would not be responsible for overseas war such as Syria, manning and financing the Falklands, Gibraltar etc and funding all the other British bases around the world.

    Pensions are also down to Westminster to fund as they have collected all contributions to date. We would have alternative choices.

  95. Bob Mack says:


    A recent report by Deutshe Bank indicates Bank of England reserves currently held are no more than £70 billion,mostly in foreign currency.

  96. IXL says:

    Excellent stuff, but I’ve yet hear anyone in the SG reject GERS and this is both disappointing and mystifying. No-one but a fool would try to assess a country’s economic performance on one year’s economic results. After all, Economics has to considered over the medium/long-term.

    GERS is nonsense – every bit as nonsensical as the illiterate nonsense spouted for years in the Scottish Parliament by senior spokespeople in all 3 Unionist parties, who used to try to claim that Scotland couldn’t afford to be independent because “there was insufficient INCOME TAX” to cover spending ! (As if PRT, Corporation Tax, Excise duties , VAT etc etc were all of zero value !)

    It’s high time, the SNP and Green parties belled the cat and acknowledged that GERS is rubbish, only useful for Unionist propaganda purposes, and either :
    1. Cease to publish it completely, or
    2. Generate an alternative report which outlines how Scotland would perform IF INDEPENDENT, taking into a/c factors such as unnecessary spending on defence (£3.5 Billion per annum), unnecessary debt service charges, etc etc.

    I fail UTTERLY to understand why this hasn’t been done to date, and is a SIGNIFICANT DERELICTION on the part of Ms Sturgeon, Mr Salmon and Mr Swinney in particular. This shouldn’t be someone else’s responsibility !

    Furthermore, it should be possible to build an economic model which can be used to simulate Scotland’s economy, and a series of forecasts made, each based on a given starting-point in time, but using a set of policies which an independent state might apply. (During my MBA studies in the 1990s, I used a piece of commercial software for modelling the U.K. economy, so things will have advanced considerably in the intervening 20 years.)

    In this way, we would demonstrate effectively how much stronger Scotlands economy, and how much more prosperous would be our people, with Independence. It would also give our politicians a much better idea of what would and wouldn’t work in practice.

    …..or am I thinking too far out of the box again ?!?!?

  97. gus1940 says:

    Well done Stu – one of your best ever.

    Is thee no way The National could be persuaded to print it.

    I also like the suggestion of it forming the basis of the next SNP PP Broadcast.

  98. Colin Rippey says:

    Wow, I never thought you’d adopt the Brexiter approach “it’ll be alright on the night”. This is your argument now? That there CANNOT be any consideration of the IMMEDIATE economic impact of independence? Really? So from this point on yesperados will drop all pretence of arguing economic facts, ’cause if it worked for Brexit it’ll work for Scotland?

    People should IGNORE the economic impact of independence because according to you:

    if Scotland was independent nobody has the remotest clue how big its deficit would be to within the nearest £10 billion

    This is now your position, and it would appear that most of your acolytes on here agree with you. People should vote in whatever theoritical future referendum on the basis that we CANNOT argue the case on the economy.

    Ahhh, I remember now, independence transcends everything doesn’t it.

    So after 6 years or so it has boiled down to this, it’s fundamentalism. The cause is all that matters, the cause is just, you shall believe that the end result is all that matters. No questions about the cause shall be tolerated, they MUST be ignored at all costs.

  99. Chic McGregor says:

    “I suspect if England had a GERE and its figures were done in a similar way, it too would have an appropriate large deficit, and the total of the 4 then devolved assemblies deficits could be around 300% of the actual UK deficit!”

    I would be astonished if they did not already have such a figure.

    Almost as astonished as I would be if they ever told us what it was.

  100. Chic McGregor says:

    Wow! Synchronised with more ultra low level fighter plane practice over Kirrie.

  101. Vambomarbeleye says:

    I wonder if the penny is now dropping along with the pound in the minds of no voting pensioners. Are they starting to realise that they have to turn down the heating. Eat less. Fill up the car less often. All because they voted no in 2014 and allowed a Tory government in to screw the country over. What a legacy for their children and grand children. If they think that the state pension is going to go up to compensate then they really are in cloud cuckoo land.

  102. Les Wilson says:

    I would really want to know just how much in total they leach out of us. With all their devious tricks in Scotland exposed. A real comb through everything by real experts who can undercover the hidden items, as well as including the known ones.
    That would be a figure we could work with.

  103. Bob Mack says:


    You appear yourself make the unsaid assumption the UK and probably England is coming out of Brexit just peachy. Everything as usual eh ?
    One thing I do know is that Scotland will be no worse off than we are now. Stick that in your pipe and puff it bud.

  104. shug says:

    Around 1950 Scotland was reported to be building around half the world’s shipping with all the related infrastructure. There were car and lorry factories and a wide range of other engineering activities taking place. Since then this infrastructure has disappeared.
    During this period we have been the world’s 13th largest oil producer with around 2400 oil wells in the north sea producing oil
    Yet you can’t drive 100 yards without hitting a pot hole.
    Now the BBC harp on about a £10 billion budget deficit and what is the SNP going to do about it?
    Well we have found the Westminster administration of our economy wanting and we are taking action. It is called independence
    Would any BBC journalist (Andrew Neil or Kaye Adams) offer up any reasonable alternative to such wanton destruction of a country and its infrastructure.

  105. DerekM says:

    oh look a yoon troll must have hit a nerve with that post Rev lmao 🙂

  106. Proud Cybernat says:


    When you have a clue as to how to prevent the UK fobbing off its debt onto Scotland, then come back and post. Otherwise feck off ya tit.

  107. yesindyref2 says:

    @Chic McGregor
    Yes, the Treasury might do, and if the UK was staying in the EU they would have to I think, to comply with the more strict regional accounting requirements of ESA2010, from which the UK along with some other EU countries, currently has at least a partial derogation (in this case delay in fully implementing).

    . . . but the further detail will only be available in 2017.

    Might be interesting, who knows 🙂

  108. Macart says:


  109. Glamaig says:

    @Colin Rippey

    I’m glad you’ve turned up, because you seem to know something about economics. Maybe you could answer a question that’s been puzzling me. There are two countries on opposite sides of the North Sea, with very similar populations and oil reserves. Why does one of them have this and the other one doesnt?

  110. Les Wilson says:

    Vambomarbeleye says:

    I like that idea, but to be fair I would settle for a little bit under half, just to show we are a generous people!

  111. Proud Cybernat says:



  112. galamcennalath says:

    Colin Rippey says:

    it’s fundamentalism. The cause is all that matters, the cause is just, you shall believe that the end result is all that matters. No questions about the cause shall be tolerated, they MUST be ignored at all costs.

    Not want you intended, but that very succinct description is precisely how most people on here see the BritIsh Nationalists’ position in defence of their Union.

    By contrast, there is many threads on WoS discussing economic detail – Will we have no debt, which we certainly didn’t accumulate, and therefore wipe out the £4b debt repayments? What will be pay on defence, £1b or £2b less than at present? How much will we save on ‘national’ infrastructure spending around London? Etc etc..

    There has been much discussion on how to rearrange iScotland’s finances to achieve a percentage of GDP deficit below the UK’s. And that’s when the oil price is low.

    Wingers know and discuss these things regularly. We aren’t the ‘blood and soil’ fundamentalists. Look elsewhere for them.

  113. ephemeraldeception says:

    @Colin Rippey.

    putting a lot of words in peoples mouths there.

    The fact is most YES supporters and the Devolved government would love to to know our real fiscal position and actually have AUDITED accounts. This requires at a minimum Fiscal Autonomy. Few on the YES side were against this, while ALL on the No side were against.

    The Q then is why? The answer is clear:
    a) Obfuscation and fear is a clear tool to keep people in the UK
    b) The commission that looked at devolving powers prior to the referendum in their interim report clearly stated, and wrote the following: Full fiscal Autonomy would lead to Scottish independence.

    Why is that? The conclusion must be that FFA would reveal a healthier economy and a stronger fiscal position than what we currently are shown to have. What information we currently have is not legal or fit for even running a small business yet its all we have for arguing guesses on the economy of our country (run as a region).
    Whose Fault is that? IMO – Westminster and the No pretendy Scots parties.

    So, you are attacking the people in no position to deliver what you are asking and yet ignore those that can. What a strange position to take, unless you have an ulterior motive?

  114. yesindyref2 says:

    Yeah, re that ESA2010 there was some clown totally dissed Andrew Hughes Hallet because he stated GERS didn’t comply with ESA, when he says it does. Yeah – it complies with ESA95 also known as 1995 ESA. Current implementation since 2014 is ESA2010. Ooops. Hallet right, clown wrong.

    “Since September 2014, ESA95 has been replaced by ESA 2010.”

    Clowns and red noses, eh.

  115. Macart says:

    @Proud Cybernat

    S’about right. 😀

  116. yesindyref2 says:

    @Proud Cybernat
    hey hey yu shuddayourface I cant see for the teras of laughter

  117. Andrew McLean says:

    I would imagine that the economic impact for Scotland will be favourable immediately after Independence, the pound already has been devalued, tariffs will be in place for rump UK, Scotland will be a shining light, oil rich, gas rich, renewable’s rich, E.U will love giving two fingers to the rump! who will be their economic competition. Funny the Euro hasn’t bombed, European stocks aren’t spiralling down? Financial institutions aren’t moving to London, but transfiguring staff to Europe.
    But England for the English eh! Can’t stand blood and soil nationalism myself.

  118. ephemeraldeception says:

    @Colin Ripley “Bis” – again

    Actually the best, concrete and audtied data we have had in the recent past is not from Gers. Its an analysis done between Nial Alsen (a forensic accountant) and the treasury (using treasury figures which are audited).

    The figures are incomplete and somewhat dated now but clearly show that Scotlands realistic fiscal position compared to that generally reported for the same stats:
    Has much more revenue than attributed to the Scotland ‘region’
    Has much lower expenditure than is attributed to the region.

    google: Niall Aslen and the Big Lie / Great deception.

  119. Arbroath1320 says:

    I’m sorry for going way O/T here but I find this hilarious. 😀

    I admit to having FM 2015 but have not played it in ages. I have been thinking about FM 2017 but have not bought it … YET!

    I think my intention to buy this game has just gone supersonic to top of of my wish list! 😀

  120. DerekM says:

    roflmfao stop it Proud Cybernat i just spat coffee all over the coffee shop,the wee waitress lassie thought i was mental until i showed her it now she has hidden through the back i can still hear her laughing lol

  121. Ken500 says:

    Who taxes the Oil sector at 60% to 80% when the price has fallen 75%, losing thousands of jobs? The UK treasury
    Who get nearly £4Billion in loan repayments Scotland doesn’t borrow or spend? The UK Treasury
    Why can’t Holyrood tax ‘loss leading’ drink (£1Billion saved)? The UK Treasury.
    Who spends £1Billion of Scottish taxpayers money on Trident? The UK Treasury
    Who supports tax evasion in Scotland (£3Billion)? The UK Treasury.
    Who creates the ‘deficit’ in Scotland? Westminster Unionists.

    Who illegally invaded Iraq? Westminster Unionists. Who are wasting £Billions on Hinkley Point, HS2 and Trident? Westminster Unionists. Who are not funding properly funding NHS and Education? Who caused the banking crisis? Westminster Unionists. Who supports tax evasion? Westminster Unionists. Who made a VOW and reneged? Westminster Unionists. Who took Scottish CAP payments? Westminster Unionists. Who refused permission and reneged on CCS? Westminster Unionists. Who block opportunity for EU renewable Grants? Westminster Unionists.

    Who sold off utilities now owned by foreign State companies? Who deregulated banking, demutualised the Building Societies? Who had over 3million unemployed and interest rates at 15%? Who illegally and secretly took the Oil revenues? Thatcher.

    Scotland could cut the Deficit and have money to invest in the Scottish economy.

    Who are trying to ruin the world economy taking the UK out of the EU? Westminster Unionists.

  122. Les Wilson says:

    Here is something interesting, a top ten list and value of UK exports. Oil was 7.2% of all UK exports $32.2 Billion, ( decline over previous) So would be interesting to see how how much it was in the better years! More importantly what might we have got out of it?
    53.6 of exports go to the EU.

  123. Ruby says:

    All these issue like the deficit, EU membership & Scottish exports all make my head spin.

    Let me see if I’ve got this right. iScotland would have a £15b deficit and Scotland with the Union would have a £15b deficit.

    Scotland within the Union can do zip to reduce the deficit and have to rely on the Barnet formula (handouts from the English taxpayer or wherever this £18b comes from) and there is absolutely no guarentee that the Barnet formula will continue.

    iScotland on the other hand will be able to take steps to reduce the deficit by cutting down on expenses ie the cost we pay for being part of the Union(Trident, defence budget, HOl etc etc etc) and taking the steps outlined in the above article, trying to attract businesses looking to locate in an EU country etc etc etc.

    The choice is iScotland with a £15b deficit with powers to reduce the deficit or Scotland within the Union with a £15b deficit without the power to do anything about it.

    I reckon we should go with the iScotland with the £15b deficit.

    I just re-read my post and I realise I haven’t got this quite right because iScotland would only have a £15b deficit if we spent beyond our means like the Westminster Gov. has done on our behalf!

    I’ll have to re-think!

  124. Born Optimist says:

    There’s only one appropriate word for this article, and that’s ‘Brilliant’.
    Well worth keeping a copy for when IndyRef2 kicks off.

  125. manandboy says:

    From the National.

    Ross Buchanan Edinburgh, United Kingdom:-

    “It is extremely unlikely Scotland will be invited to the Brexit talks precisely because the UK Government’s strategy is to prevent financial services relocating to Scotland as part of the too wee, too poor mantra. On the one hand May is doing all she can to nullify the advantages of an independent Scotland in the EU and on the other she is under enormous pressure from her City chums to protect the Euro financial services cash cow in London. If Scotland leaves the UK, the pound ceases to be a petro currency, will in all probability, lose its reserve currency status and slip further down the league tables making bilateral trade agreements all the harder. Scotland is a bit like Mary Queen of Scots, it’s not her power but rather the power she can bestow on her partner that is important to the UK. The Scots themselves are seen as a nasty inconvenience”

  126. Ruby says:

    Ken500 says

    Who illegally invaded Iraq? Westminster Unionists. Who are wasting £Billions on Hinkley Point, HS2 and Trident? Westminster Unionists. Who are not funding properly funding NHS and Education? Who caused the banking crisis? Westminster Unionists. Who supports tax evasion? Westminster Unionists. Who made a VOW and reneged? Westminster Unionists. Who took Scottish CAP payments? Westminster Unionists. Who refused permission and reneged on CCS? Westminster Unionists. Who block opportunity for EU renewable Grants? Westminster Unionists.

    Who sold off utilities now owned by foreign State companies? Who deregulated banking, demutualised the Building Societies? Who had over 3million unemployed and interest rates at 15%? Who illegally and secretly took the Oil revenues?

    Ruby replies

    Did the EU not force them to do all that? Is that not why they want to take back control? 🙂

  127. Arbroath1320 says:

    I hope no one is holding their breath waiting on an announcement from May regarding the expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick. If you are then I’m afraid you are in for an even longer wait. I hope you are good at holding your breath folks! 😀

  128. Dr Jim says:

    The minute Scotland raises it’s head the mad racist British Nationalists are jumping up and down telling us what we can’t do again
    Tiny wee countries throughout the world mangage perfectly well without any of the advantages we posess yet Arseholes like @RIPley state Scotland just cannae, yous cannae coz yous just cannae

    And that’s the problem with their type of Nationalism the Imperialist type
    Try telling the over 60 countries that have released themselves of the great British Joke and see if they want to come back to being British

    Even the biggest of the Imperialists America who gained their Independence by war and countless thousands of deaths have the audacity to tell Scotland we should stay in the Benighted Kingdom and WHY? Trident and money and convenience of war for them and to hell with Scotland

    These British Nationalist Ukippers spew their projectile bile of bitter racism and at long last the world just caught them doing it openly and Scotland once again has been proven right and Europe wide now is not telling Scotland to talk to the hand they’re saying come on over for coffee and croissant and we’ll chat about those racist bastirts the British and how Scotland can be rid of the soon to be pariah state

    We also speak their languages and we don’t have to shout at them in louder english to MAKE them understand their betters

  129. DerekM says:

    Right coffee shop cleaned up time to get hame and change my breeks looks like i have pissed myself lol

    And the waitress lassie is a yesser and i got a free top up 🙂

  130. Grouse Beater says:

    Colin Ripoff: “Ahhh, I remember now, independence transcends everything.”

    You’ve nothing to say. Jeering doesn’t constitute civilised discussion. And I am pleased to say your Jurassic outlook doesn’t chime with the public mood.

    The notion small nations should relinquish their sovereign status in case they get into financial trouble shows how rotten and risible is your argument.

  131. Macbeda says:

    Did some of you not reach the bottom of the article. It clearly states:



    Headlines are dangerous, read the small print

  132. mike cassidy says:


    Thought the Putinnats on the site would enjoy this.

    But finish your dinner, first!

    (not archived so you can run the footage)

  133. WP says:

    Brilliant article, so obvious you would think even the dimmest of unionists would get it. Even if Scotland stated off with £15 deficit (and we know this figure has been made up) how would this stop us in our quest? The UK debt is £1.62 Trillion and they think that’s fine.

  134. Legerwood says:

    David Cockburn MEP, UKIP

    Possible leader of party. Said on Reporting Scotland just now that he could do the job because ‘he had experience of running Scotland’so could run the party!

    Who is going to break the news to Nicola that he is running Scotland?

  135. G4jeepers says:

    BBC Charter cuddlefest underway in the commons today.
    Gutless MP’s all over the house, areslicking aplenty.
    The Kwasi Kwarteng / Alberto Costa SNPbad tag team was something to behold.
    Ian Murray being his condescending usual.
    John Nicholson should be putting the boot into the BBC but he’s like weet dish-cloot.
    I despair, I really do.

  136. farrochie says:

    The alert readers who frequent this site may be interested in listening to this lecture by Prof Sir David Edward, who explains the options available following Brexit. It’s about 40 mins and has accompanying slides.

  137. Colin Rippey says:

    Actually the best, concrete and audtied data we have had in the recent past is not from Gers. Its an analysis done between Nial Alsen (a forensic accountant) and the treasury (using treasury figures which are audited).

    The figures are incomplete and somewhat dated now but clearly show that Scotlands realistic fiscal position compared to that generally reported for the same stats:
    Has much more revenue than attributed to the Scotland ‘region’
    Has much lower expenditure than is attributed to the region.

    google: Niall Aslen and the Big Lie / Great deception.

    Dear dear, I am actually well aware of this, I take it you’ve not taken the time to read it rather than “take at face value the bottom line from it”.

    The main thrust of the argument was that GERS should apportion 20% of petrol duties generated in the UK to Scotland because “that’s where the oil comes from”. He also said the same thing about whisky, but came up with a figure of 40% all excise duty on sales of whisky in UK should be apportioned to Scotland “cause that’s where the whisky comes from”.

    Both of these claims are clearly ridiculous but it has (like a lot of other “expert analysis”) entered into the lexicon and is now taken as fact.

    He concluded that Scotland generated 11.8% of UK revenue and received *only* 3.4%. There have been many many years when Scotland clearly raised more revenue per head than the rUK, but it has always had a perceived spending per head higher.

    It’s been years and years now of claim, debunking, counter-claim from BOTH sides – do you *really* think there’s still all this hidden revenue and over inflated expenditure? Do you really think that the people who have been working for the SNP since 2007 have REPEATEDLY published mis-information in GERS to damage the err, SNP?

    This particular WoS article focuses on a tweet which states:

    permanent? Who said that and when? I asked how FM intended to reduce it, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a fair question

    Of course the Rev goes off on one of his famous obfuscations about current powers and COMPLETELY ignores the actual question – if Scotland became independent how would it reduce the perceived deficit?

    As EVERYONE knows an iScotland would not spend the same amount of defence, it could cut defence spending by orders of magnitude, but it would “only” save about £2.5b. After that I’m sure there are many other savings to be found from the perceived expenditure, but if the tactic now is to COMPLETELY ignore this and pretend it doesn’t exist well you’ve become the Brexiteers of the North.

  138. Ken500 says:

    May and Hammond constituencies are beside Heathrow, Don’t expect a decision soon.

  139. yesindyref2 says:

    @Colin Rippey
    how would it reduce the perceived deficit?

    I think you’ve at least partly answered yourself, by the honest use of the word “perceived”. If in the extreme case there was no real deficit, there would clearly be no need to reduce it, in fact arguably it should be increased to 3% to conform to the EU SGP, and encourage growth.

    But nobody knows the deficit in iScotland for year 1.

  140. Ken500 says:

    Scotland raises £54Billion+ in tax revenues. The UK raises £515Billion. Take £54Billion from £515Billion. The rest of the UK raises £461Billion. Divide 461 by 11 (11/12 pop) = £42Billion (pro rata).

    There are £10Billion of ‘non identified expenditures’ in the Scottish accounts. The reason accounts are done is to identify expenditure. Is this the half of Oil production taken by the UK Treasury? Or the Scottish funds spent on Scotland’s ‘behalf’ by Westminster.

  141. Ruby says:

    Colin Rippey

    if Scotland became independent how would it reduce the perceived deficit?

    Ruby replies

    I’ll have a go at that question if

    1. You give me a breakdown of exactly what it costs Scotland to be part of the UK

    2. If you could tell me how the UK Gov intends to reduce this deficit

    3. How we acquired this deficit!

  142. Ruby says:

    We could reduce the deficit by being an Independent EU country.

    We could attract businesses looking to locate in an English speaking EU country.

  143. Black Joan says:

    Priceless campaigning material, Rev. Thank you. Awesome.

  144. heedtracker says:

    Latest to get the UKOK smear treatment, today in the House

    Chris Law MP

    1 hr ·

    If London is allowed to stay in the Single Market as part of the UK, why should Scotland not be allowed to do the same?

    As always, the UK Government fails to take us seriously.

    Now that the UK government is exploring options to keep the City of London in the single market – which could mean contributing billions of pounds towards the EU budget it is simply not tenable for Theresa May and her ministers to claim it is impossible to look at similar arrangements for Scotland.”

  145. Ken500 says:

    Would Westminster Unionists like to explain how they are going to cut the £1.7Trillion deficit?

    Not by austerity/cuts. Sanctioning the vulnerable. The ‘bedroom tax. The Welfare bill is reported to have gone up. Not properly funding the NHS and Education. Not by cutting the tax for the wealthy tax evaders.

    Not by Brexit. The £ falling has already taken £Billions from the UK economy. Price are going up and the balance of trade deficit is going up. There is a massive balance of trade deficit in the rest of the UK.

  146. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dorothy Devine says: 18 October, 2016 at 1:34 pm:

    ” .. P.S Can anyone tell me where gone for a Burton came from and why?”

    The generally help opinion by the general public was that it referred to cheap men’s suits from Burtons the Tailors.

    However, from my days as an Air Force Cadet, just post WWII, I learned it was wartime RAF slang used for indication aircrew members missing in action.

    The Burton concerned was not the tailor but the brewer of Burtons Beer. Inferring the missing airman had just gone out for a beer instead of being dead or a POW and thus the phrase meant he was not coming back any time soon.

  147. Bob Mack says:

    @Colin ,

    OK. What I will do is give the SNP my figures of what Scotlands budget actually is.
    Guess what ? Nobody would believe them. However everybody gives credence to the figures supplied by a country that deliberately hid billions in revenues for decades from the Scottish people and secretly transferred Scottish territorial waters to themselves.
    Difficult to choose ? Think not.

  148. Dorothy Devine says:

    Thank you Robert , I also have an excellent site to explore thank s to Ian S.

  149. Ruby says:

    We could reduce the deficit by increasing trade to the world beyond Britain.

    ‘ESRC research points to evidence that trade between Scotland and the world beyond Britain has been constrained by such a close integration into the UK’

  150. Cal says:

    Ha ha! Colin Ripley is back. This article must have hit a nerve right enough. Brilliant work Rev!

    Someone on a previous thread made an excellent point (which I can’t find now) but it’s worth repeating. He pointed out that rUK will have to negotiate with the enormous trading block that is the EU. The economy of the EU27 combined is about FIVE or SIX times the size of rUK’s economy. As such it stands to reason that the rUK will get a shit deal. The EU27 will undoubtedly have very favourable terms. Now, if Scotland is in the EU we will therefore get every good terms in trading with the rUK. The rUK will likely have to allow Scotland easy access to their market whereas Scotland will probably be able to protect its market from rUK companies trying to sell their products here. We sell a lot to rUK (allegedly) so we’d notice little impact upon independence. The rUK on the other hand would, by virtue of its self-imposed exit from the EU, suffer economically for a number of years until such time as it could negotiate new trade deals with all the major world economies (most of which would be worse than those it currently has via the EU – remember the EU has much more economic clout than the UK).

    Am I missing anything here?

    Having said all that, I’m still not convinced the UK will actually leave the EU 🙂

  151. heedtracker says:

    Colin Rippey says:
    18 October, 2016 at 4:51 pm
    Wow, I never thought you’d adopt the Brexiter approach “it’ll be alright on the night”. This is your argument now?

    Hi Kevin, how’s the pet supplies business doing in the brave new Brexit UK world?

    Anyway Kev, what’s the good chocablog word on Scottish devo-max then, if independence is fundamentalist madness now, yoon wise?

    Scotland will never be given devo-max or anything like it from our chums in the south but it would be great to hear what a tory like you thinks about It Kevin. And you cant say NO change ever Kevin, but you will:D

  152. dakk says:

    @Colin Rippey

    ‘No questions about the cause shall be tolerated, they MUST be ignored at all costs.’

    The questions are not being ignored.

    What is being pointed out to those ignorant of the facts is that it is unfair to attribute any blame to, or task Nicola Sturgeon ( the SG) with addressing any notional deficit Scotland may or may not have whilst in the UK since Scotland has not been endowed with the requisite powers to effect any remedy.

    Regarding what an Indy Scotland’s deficit might be and how we could reduce it if required has been answered by many on here and by the SG.

    It is you and your BritNat ilk who chooses to ignore the £200 bn Trident,countless illegal wars,£6 bn refit of Westminster etc and general London largesse.

  153. Tam Jardine says:

    Colin Rippey

    The economy of Scotland post indy would clearly be a completely different landscape. We will end up with nothing like the debt interest payments than we do now (if we have to pay anything) once shared assets are divvied up. We will save nothing like the £2.5 billion you mention on defence but it is not simply what is spent but where it is spent.

    We hear about a £15 billion deficit and how Scotland are apparently in worse shape than Greece… we even see on Kevin’s graphs illustrations our economy appears to be the worse in Europe.

    What we don’t hear is that we are the only country on said graph which spends a vast sum of money in a neighbouring country with little or no resultant tax revenues.

    There is about £11 billion of expenditure that is non-ID including defence, servicing the national debt and assorted shared services spent almost exclusively in England. Sure there are savings but the simple act of moving expenditure across from being spent outside to being spent inside Scotland is some stimulus.

    Is it beyond you to imagine spending less on armed services for example and actually increasing revenue from all kinds of taxes by spending more money here? We are the only country on Kevin’s graph that can do this.

    Anyway- you think we are a drain on the rest of the UK- surely we should split and let them march into the future unencumbered by poor wee Scotland? Surely we should let England and Wales rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the union without having to carry us. If we’re such a basketcase: save yourselves!

  154. Dorothy Devine says:

    Watching the People’s History on STV and heard a chap say tanks in George square never happened

    All accounts I read said that there were troops sent from south of the border and the Scottish soldiers were confined to barracks .

    Anyone? Mr Peffers?

  155. Firstly; Ian Sanderson says, and Dorothy Devine says; on the origin of ‘gone for a Burton.’
    Since my schooldays, when I must have heard it somewhere, I’ve always attributed the saying to Richard Francis Burton, the 19th century explorer, diplomat, geographer, polyglot and all round Bad Boy of the Empire Establishment.
    He translated the Kama Sutra, and the Perfumed Garden, hence my naughty boyhood memory, and famously ‘went native’ on his travels, dressing like the locals and ‘fraternising with the natives.’ Ahem.
    He famously travelled to Mecca heavily disguised, at a time that it would have been certain death were he discovered.
    Hence the derivation of ‘gone for a Burton’; abandoned civilised society to live like a native. A lost soul. A Fate worse than Death?
    But I like the Burton Ale, and Montague Burton demob suits theories equally.
    Now that must have been a nice little government contract at the time, eh?

    On this nonsense about Scotland’s $14.8 billion black hole.
    We have no deficit. We are doled out pocket money and the Red Blue and Yellow Tories spend the rest, on Trident, 5% tax break for the rich, and the UK Infrastructure projects, embassies etc., described so well on this site.
    Peter Smith knows this of course; he rattled our cage. He’s only doing his job: shit stirring. Not much of a job, though, but, mind.
    GERS is a fiction, an estimate, with glaring multi billion pound omissions.
    It would be impossible for the Scottish Government to argue against it, because they do not have even ball park figures to present an alternative economic forecast for an Independent Scotland. Again, Mr Smith knows this, or alternatively, he is as thick as pig shit.
    Let’s err on the positive side. He knows that Westminster ran up all this debt. The SG has balanced the books for the past 9 years. The Micawber Principal; money out equals money in.
    I posted the following earlier on WGD iro trade with rUK after Independence.

    “For example, this from an assertion by Michael Moore (remember him?) in September 2012 that Scotland exports twice as much to the rest of the UK as they do to the EU and abroad.
    “However the Scottish Government themselves are more wary of these figures than is obvious at first glance. In 2005 they detailed all of the caveats to using the survey data as a measure for Scottish trade, and concluded that while it is the “best currently available” source for such figures, there are significant theoretical and technical difficulties associated with them.
    The main such difficulty is that, as a region of the UK, Scotland enforces no legal requirement for companies to report their financial information at a UK-regional level – i.e. companies are not obliged to measure their financial data for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland separately. This is why a survey such as the GCS is used, which means that many of the figures being relied on are estimates made by the relevant companies rather than hard financial data.
    These are difficulties that the GCS report recognises, noting that:
    “Forty one companies mentioned how difficult it was to split Scottish sales from UK sales, typically citing accounting practices which meant companies produce consolidated UK annual accounts.”  
    A much less obvious issue is that not all businesses recognise the concept of an ‘export’, depending on the sector in which they operate. According to the guidance notes on the GCS questionnaire, an export is a sale to a company which is not normally resident in Scotland. 
    In other words, the assertions that we rely on trade with England are meaningless guesstimates.
    Next time Mundell Rennie Dugdale or Davidson comes out with this guff publicly, the retort should be:- ‘Prove it. Source please.”
    In other words some GB companies refuse to play ball on stats returns. Even HMRC refuses to batch down load Scots’ residents income tax take for inclusion in GERS. I wonder why? Instead they provide a guesstimate.
    Better Together never really went away. Their hoary old chestnuts (no, not Brown Darling Cameron and Miliband) are beginning to surface again. Too wee too poor too stupid.

    Off to watch the footie.

  156. Bob Mack says:

    Just imagine staying in the UK when the economy really hits the skids. What would the “imaginary” deficit be then ?

    We are better off on our own. A moot point therefore Colin

  157. schrodingers cat says:

    we cant win indyref2, no matter what argument we put forward, moronic soundbite answers from people who should know better are all that will be reported. they did it so well in indyre1, the idea that economic argument was where we lost is believed by many even on this site. It would have made, and will make absolutely no difference what economic argument we make, it will be shot down in flames
    Revs article here proves this

    But the unionists can lose indyref2, if the uk enonomy is in a free fall shambles, 10% of nos may look upon the YES liferaft as better of 2 bad choices.

    the unionists new flag ship, hms royal rule brexit britannia yacht, is still in turbulent waters, its first foray against the spanish armada has let it holed below the water. spain will veto any eu agreement with the uk which doesnt ensure gibralta stays in the EU. Ouch

    they are still trying to get permission to by pass the commons and use royal perogative to press the brexit button. they seem confident they can. not sure about this, delay until after the french elections in april, or better after the ce in may is probably our best hope

    but the liferaft YESSER isnt safe either, if trump wins, his first presidential tour will be here. the tories, the bbc, the queen etc will be falling over to kiss his arse. We will have made an enemy of the most powerful man in the world who will be only too happy to oblige the unionsts by promising nuclear and economic armagedon should we even contemplate indyref2

    we are not out of the woods yet folks, trump is a bullet we really need to dodge. all to play for folks

  158. Ruby says:

    I wonder if Colin Rippey will answer my questions any time soon becuase I am very busy and I can’t really hang aroung all evening waiting for an answer.

    I have another question which I probably should have asked on the thread about the EU but here’s goes:

    Why didn’t the UK Gov approach the EC (as advised by Barosso)to get an answer re the RUK’s and iScotland’s EU status? If they could have done that they probably would have saved themselves all this hassle of having to go through a 2nd IndyRef!

    I don’t suppose there is any chance of Theresa doing that now!

  159. galamcennalath says:

    Dorothy Devine says:

    tanks in George square never happened

    My understanding is that during the 1919 strike the tanks were held in reserve off Duke Street and didn’t go out on the streets on that occasion.

    I think the pics of tanks on streets were parades or recruitment events.

  160. Meg merrilees says:

    Legerwood @ 6.38pm

    Re David Coburn- it’s extraordinary how this man’s arrogance has grown as the day progressed.

    At 7.10 a.m on R4 he said he might “consider” the leadership if it was offered; by 9 a.m that had become “he would do his best if offered” and now he’s saying ” he could do the job because he’s running Scotland”.
    This morning he finished his interview by saying that, ” UKIP would hold a proverbial cutlass to the small of the prime minister’s back to make her walk the plank of Brexit” What will he say ere night fall?

    If my memory serves me right, this guy was elected to Europe with approx 100,000 votes or 11% of the vote . He’s a total waste of space, a pro-fracking, libertarian numpty. You couldnae make it up!!!

  161. Dorothy Devine: at 7.43. Yes there were tanks in George Square. Churchill sent them in 1919.
    Google The Battle of George Square. 1919.’

  162. Iain says:

    On the subject of tanks in George square, it did happen because my grandpa was there. He was a Lewis gunner in The London Scottish, having been previously wounded in The Gordon Highlanders. He was not happy to do that duty in his own country.

  163. heedtracker says:

    Ruby says:
    18 October, 2016 at 7:50 pm
    I wonder if Colin Rippey will answer my questions any time soon becuase I am very busy and I can’t really hang aroung all evening waiting for an answer.

    Kev doesn’t do debate Ruby. He really lays down the yoon law for Alex Salmond in today’s Record though. Its great fun and there’s a full frontal of our Kevin, gorgeous, pouting.

    Page 2 of the Record has an odd headline. “time to ditch Dugdale SLabour and go for independence!” Not a Record regular but its by Paul Mason, in fact here it is

    Mason said Labour need to “get real” about the crisis they face in Scotland, adding: “The interim solution is for Scottish Labour to adopt the position argued by their deputy leader, Alex Rowley, ‘Embrace home rule’, and support a second independence referendum.

    “Then throw open the doors to radical left-wing supporters of independence”

    Because radical left wing in Scotland gets about 3 votes at every GE.

  164. Liz g says:

    OT sorry
    I have a report appeared on Facebook that Julian Assange has been arrested.
    Anyone else heard anything?

  165. Andrew McLean says:

    Schroeder’s cat has a point, Colin and any other interested party have a sound bite, £15 billion defect. No matter how you argue they will simply respond £15 billion defect. What is needed is a quick response, devastating as a cutting put down. Just saying it’s bollocks won’t work, we all know it’s bollocks, god even Colin says it’s perceived bollocks!
    It’s a similar question that has been asked before here, propaganda can’t be left solely to the unionists, the device left by an old reprobate of a Tory can’t be allowed to dominate the next referendum.
    Colin is correct, we need a better answer.

  166. Cal says:

    Andrew McLean

    The put down is, “Scotland isn’t Greece without the sun, it’s Norway without the independence”. Cue discussion on current state of Norwegian economy, their oil fund, the McCrone report, etc….

  167. schrodingers cat says:


    we can hope the uk econoy tanks, the fact they are talking about paying the increase costs of an eu tariff barrier for nissan and the city of london!!!, this isnt going to look good on anyones deficit

    rather than defending our record and rebuking the msm lies, (pointless task) we should go on the offensive, we should join in with the unionist msm detractors pointing out the failings of the uk economy, point out the damaged being done to pensions in the uk.

  168. Soutron says:

    @Colin Why would an iScotland NEED to reduce its deficit? Presuming Scotland would be a sovereign currency issuer (i.e. no £ or €) it could always service debts issued in that currency. A fiscal deficit is neither inherently good or bad. Does Scotland have sufficient REAL resources to be a successful independent nation? Yes. Definitely.

  169. ben madigan says:

    @galamcennalath at 2:02 pm who hypothesizes

    Two possibilities here …

    i suggest a third “britishness on the brain”


  170. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Andrew McLean,

    Good point there. Maybe we should call it the “Union millstone” round Scotland’s neck. Or the “Union ball-and-chain” preventing us from moving forward.

  171. faolie says:

    Rev, this is one of the best pieces you’ve written. Brilliant.

    This, plus Wee Ginger Dug’s article today, comparing Scotland’s bestest devolved parliament ever to other ‘devolved’ administrations across the world, provide two great sources of information for converting No voters.

  172. HandandShrimp says:

    Scotland is a developed country with a diverse economy and an excellent tertiary education system. It is politically stable and has been blessed with more resources than most. If we can’t make that work as a country then what the hell would work as a country?

    The frequent arguments that Scotland is a basket case and more economically inept than Somalia begs the question of why? What would a Scotland that never entered the Union of 1707 look like? Why has the Union been such a disaster for the Scottish economy?

    I do not believe for one moment that Scotland would be a land of unlimited milk and honey if independent but neither do I believe the tales of instant catastrophe should we become independent. I believe we have what it takes to make something of the resources and skills we have. Something that we could take pride in.

    I can take no pride in the Unionist argument that we are an ulcer in the belly of the UK and we should bow our knee in eternal gratitude that they allow us to take so much and offer so little. For that reason alone I could not be a Unionist. There is no honour, no self respect and no future in it. For, if true, the tap will be turned off at some point and we will wither anyway.

  173. Cloggins says:

    The trade representation in Berlin is a very clever move. You get the chance to talk with the best macro economists in the business with a direct link to Brussels. Decent analysis of the current financial position, and the strategy to possible transition periods, using figures that WM will not divulge. For monetary policy, taxation and other divorce procedures you’ll need a decent lawyer. Concentrate on friends, look outward.

  174. solarflare says:

    Andrew Mclean @ 8.16pm

    And in this instance “No matter how you argue they will simply respond £15 billion defect. What is needed is a quick response, devastating as a cutting put down”

    Agreed. It’s fantastic to see the argument forensically taken apart as it is here, but sometimes you just need a one-liner.

    And in this instance surely it is just to quote back the UK deficit. If the UK as a whole had no deficit at all and could be held aloft as the gold standard of fiscal management, then maybe there would be some sort of point in this line of attack, but it doesn’t and there isn’t.

  175. mr thms says:

    Is this a coincidence?

    “From 1 November 2014 a new procedure for qualified majority voting applies in the Council.”

    It then goes on to say..

    “Until 31 March 2017, member states can still request to use the previous rule for qualified majority voting.”

    That’s when Article 50 is triggered.

  176. arthur thomson says:

    A good, simple explanation of the truth about the claimed deficit and the SNP needs to get that explanation out to the people. Its greatest value lies in showing to the ‘don’t know’s’ that they are being lied to. And the fact of being lied to is, in my view, the most important point to get across.

    The unionists have an inexhaustible source of lies that they can put out and it is impossible to counter all of them. In fact it becomes counterproductive to try because the adage ‘to explain is to excuse’ comes into play.

    Trust is the key to the next referendum in my opinion.

    Ultimately, the adult people who will vote are faced with the challenge of deciding who they believe. It is apparent that at least, around half of Scotland’s electorate have already understood that they are being lied to in an abusive relationship and have already decided that they will vote to leave it. They haven’t made that decision based on believing the GERS figures. They don’t believe them and they don’t believe the rest of the lies that are being spat at them. They KNOW that they can’t trust the Brits. I suggest that is how all of us on here, at a given point in time, decided to support the return to Scottish self-government. We realised that we were being lied to and turned against the liars.

    We need at every turn to show simple, easy to understand examples of their lies, to show why the Brits cannot be trusted. Not complicated, no ifs and buts, no need for a degree in economics. Do that and then, like Slab, the influence of the Brits will disappear like snaw aff a dyke.

  177. Tinto Chiel says:

    HandandShrimp: well said that man.

    Dorothy, apart from tanks, I believe machine guns were deployed (on top of the Post Office building) and that Churchill (lovely man) had naval vessels handy on the Clyde should their guns be required. Can’t get up to the loft just now to look out my John MacLean books but some Winger may confirm.

    But then I’m just a grievance-obsessed tenement-dweller.

  178. schrodingers cat says:

    Max Keiser ?@maxkeiser Oct 16 Hackney, London
    Hahaha. I’m crying. So predictable. How’s that sovereignty thing going, chavs?

    FT headline ” cabinet looks at paying billions to keep single market access for city”

    what will scotlands deficit be then folks?

  179. Vambomarbeleye says:

    @ Dorothy
    There is photos of the tanks in the Brigit.
    Scottish troops were confined to barracks at Mary hill.
    It was English troops that were brought up.
    It was a genuine panic by WM. the vast majority of the men in the square would be battle hardened from the Great War.

  180. schrodingers cat says:

    John McDonnell MPVerified account

    Britain has voted to leave the EU, it has not voted for paying huge fees for special favours for bankers

  181. Glamaig says:

    @Tinto Chiel 9:10pm

    This is what Dublin looked like after a British bombardment in 1916.

    They would have done that to Glasgow in 1919, too.

  182. Ben Oldfield says:

    What Scotland needs to do is set up its own currency. This can be started in parellel with the pound but will give it the means to mitigate austerity and stop money leaving the country.

  183. Swiss Perspective says:

    On the analysis provided in the article, Independence IS the day-time job, and it HAS to be the day time job.

  184. call me dave says:

    Missing all the news at the moment not long in.

    George square. Manny Shinwell and tanks an all!



  185. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    schrodingers cat @ 21:12

    ”cabinet looks at paying billions to keep single market access for city”

    Whoopsie! There goes that Brexit dividend the Leavers were promised. They’re going to be sold out just like the Naws were in 2014 (and with knobs on again now, for good measure).

    Quelle surprise!

  186. heedtracker says:

    From, Yay! Sturgeon bad, she cant raise the slave wage , vote NO and SLab, we’re ace, saya one happy Dr NO!,

    Scott Arthur Retweeted
    Scott Arthur ?@DrScottThinks 14h14 hours ago
    Nicola Sturgeon wants Scots firms to pay the living wage.
    0.2% of firms signed her “Business Pledge”.
    Scot Gov agencies are not paying it!


    “NICOLA STURGEON: Okay, I’ve got an idea. Let’s raise the minimum wage so that people have more money to spend. That’ll generate retail and service-sector growth, which are the biggest areas of the economy.

    SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT ADVISOR: Nope, sorry. Minimum-wage law is reserved. Scottish Labour specifically fought against devolving it during the Smith Commission talks, despite the proposal being backed by the STUC.”

  187. call me dave says:

    Tory MP: Aye that one!

    BBC Scottish news programme would boost SNP’s independence effort

  188. Colin Rippey says:

    Eegads, I go out for a bit and lo and behold the red mist has come down.

    When you write this stuff down do you ever read it back to yourself? Honestly, do you? It’s total pejorative rubbish.

    But nobody knows the deficit in iScotland for year 1.
    So this article has worked then has it? You’ve joined the cult full-time (and here was me thinking you were one of the commentators on here he was at least willing to discuss).

    Greetings heedtracker, I see you’re still pining for the other blogger chap.

    @Tam Jardine
    There is about £11 billion of expenditure that is non-ID including defence, servicing the national debt and assorted shared services
    Defence is (what) £3.5b, Debt interest is (off the top of my head) £4.2b – so where is the rest of this £3.7b? An iScotland “could” save £2.5b on defence, an iScotland “could” say it’s not taking on ANY debt (as per Salmond’s assertion during the last referendum that no pound meant no debt). So that’s a good start, saved close to £8b already. £7b left is only 4.5% of GDP – that could be a rational level of deficit.

    But at what cost? Is it realistic for an iScotland to walk away from the per capita share of the UK debt? Who knows, rUK stated they would honour any debt, so as long as the creditors know they’re going to get paid they’d be happy. But an iScotland would start life having basically told it’s biggest (by miles and miles) trading partner it’s not taking on any of the share of debt. Think that’s going to work out? No, don’t think so.

    @Jack Collatin
    Not much of a job, though, but, mind.
    GERS is a fiction, an estimate, with glaring multi billion pound omissions.

    And what prey tell are these multi billion pound omissions? Care to elaborate? Care to come up with anything at all? What revenue is missing? Again I have to ask that after (what) 4 years on this blog in particular why hasn’t all this been discovered by now? Why has the SNP who have been in the seat of power in Scotland since 2007 not “got wise to all of this”.

    @Colin Why would an iScotland NEED to reduce its deficit? Presuming Scotland would be a sovereign currency issuer (i.e. no £ or €) it could always service debts issued in that currency. A fiscal deficit is neither inherently good or bad. Does Scotland have sufficient REAL resources to be a successful independent nation? Yes. Definitely.
    Let’s say that GERS is ABSOLUTELY correct and that on day 1 of an iScotland the spending plans are maintained *exactly* as stated. An iScotland “could” attempt to raise the circa £15b by issuing debt – but is it feasible for an iScotland to be able to raise such a huge amount of debt? For how many years could an iScotland persuade the buyers of this debt that they would “get their money back”.

    The recent history in Europe suggests it wouldn’t be possible to raise such a huge amount of debt each year, something would have to change. And that again is the point of the tweet this article seems to be desperately trying to hide. What would an iScotland have to do differently?

    What spending plans would there be to address the perceived overspend? What economic/monetary policies could be introduced to increase the revenue?

    It IS an entirely legitimate question to raise. It should be something the SNP can at least start to answer, they could come up with SOMETHING.

    The SNP could easily start fleshing out plans, over time more and more details could be produced. So what if critics try and pick holes in it, the more information people have the better informed they are.

  189. Glamaig says:

    @Colin Rippey
    you didn’t answer my question. I’m disappointed. Its not often we get a real economics whizz turning up on here.

    Scotland and Norway have very similar populations and oil reserves.

    Why does Norway have this

    and Scotland doesn’t?

  190. heedtracker says:

    Greetings heedtracker, I see you’re still pining for the other blogger chap.

    We get it that Scots £15 bn deficit makes us worse than Greece without the sun but what about devo-max, or even devo-half or a third max Kev?

    Why would Brexit rUK suddenly stop trading with neighbour Scotland, could they afford it, what does England sell Scotland etc, English oil and gas maybe, English muffins etc.

    Why do these kind of WoS articles always bring you rushing out of your patch of online yoon turf, like a little hermit crab, Daily Record seems happy to give you a far bigger soap box than WoS.

    See the FT says that since 23 June Kev, the 20% drop in the pound so far cost the UK over £700bn in GDP spend power. No graphs of doom from chocablog though? Any coming Kev?

  191. Colin Rippey says:

    you didn’t answer my question. I’m disappointed. Its not often we get a real economics whizz turning up on here.

    Scotland and Norway have very similar populations and oil reserves.

    Why does Norway have this

    and Scotland doesn’t?

    No Scotland doesn’t have an oil fund, what Scotland has is the wider UK tax paying population that benefited HUGELY from the MASSIVE revenue generated by North Sea Oil (particularly in the 80s).

    The wider UK tax payer funds ALL UK spending, the wider UK taxpayer that has benefited from the oil is now the “missing oil fund for Scotland”. The wider UK tax payer is in effect the fund we draw down on each year.

    We’ve drawn down circa £7b-£9b there or therabouts each year for the last 3 years at least, just in time for us to to cope with the drop in the revenue from oil due to the slump in the price of oil. At least we know that for now whilst we remain part of the UK we have a fund to draw down on, keeps our public spending at current levels.

    Whataboutery answered.

  192. Ruby says:

    It looks as if old Colin Rippey is well wound up!

    Is anybody going to read all that garbage that he has typed in his mile long post?

  193. Colin Rippey says:

    One last thing, go peruse this if you have any more mad theories you want to find an answer for, it’s a timely blog:

  194. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Colin Rippey @ 21:48:

    And what prey [sic*] tell are these multi billion pound omissions? Care to elaborate?

    *Freudian slip? It’s “pray”, actually. “Prey” is what your precious Union does on Scotland. “Pray” is what we do here to be finally free from having to endure snides like you.

    But to respond to your actual point. You hide behind sneery obfuscations, but you know full well that it’s the supporters of independence who have always wanted full fiscal autonomy, not afraid of what that would finally reveal. It’s your precious UK Gov that has steadfastly refused to acceed, behaving like some crooked accountant who has been cooking the books and doesn’t want to be found out.

    Furthermore, the little that we do know tells us absolutely nothing about how an independent Scotland would fare economically, though post-Brexit it is likely to do far better than its ailing threadbare isolationist southern neighbour.

    If you had had the honesty to support fully transparent fiscal autonomy I would take you more seriously, but like most Unionists you dodge and weave, using your own side’s unwillingness to be open as an excuse for insults. Arrogant behaviour which merely convinces more and more people here we will be well and truly rid of the UK.

  195. Glesca Keelie says:

    I commented on this last Sat. night about 12PM and again a day later on the last post “Bowled out by Brexit.”

    In his interview with Nicola on Saturday afternoon he asked her how we could be independent with a £14.8 deficit.

    Nicola did NOT say we’ve nay deficit, ya clown. She said ALL countries run a deficit. Thus accepting that the deficit he quoted was fact.

    Peter then rejoined with “but that is 8.8% of annual budget, worse than Greece.” Nicola then said, “you are running down Scotland” he rejoined with “but I’m Scottish.” I thought he sounded hurt by the accusation. Maybe I’m just soft.

    But, as others have said, when does the softly, softly approach end and some fighting your corner begin. When the First Minister dose’nt demur, then anyone watching will take it as fact. As I said, blowing my own trumpet, imagine the roasting Tommy Sheridan would have given Peter, but nicely.

    What he hell is the point of us going out to try to convince the uninvolved with support like that. It really pisses me off.

    Just got the Posting too quickly. What, every 48 hours is too quick.

  196. Tinto Chiel says:

    Glamaig @9.20: yes, as soon as I wrote the words “Post Office” I got that strange feeling.

    Powerful before and after foaties too.

    The Brits are always the good guys, aren’t they, saving people from themselves?

  197. @Colin Rippey
    My, we are an angry wee soul. aren’t we?
    The billions missing you ask?
    Ok. Every Sainsburys Asda Morisons Tesco Matalan..I could go on, but you get the Scotland selling Scottish produce to Scottish customers which generate profit for those GB companies and revenue for HMG is recorded as Earnings and Revenue for The UK ?
    There’s more, but I tire of this.
    Unless OBR/ONS/HMRC/DWP/IFS insist on accurate returns from businesses operating in Scotland there can be no accurate forecasts or current Scottish reports.
    It is a fact that many GB companies ignore submitting data which would be meaningful to a Scottish Expenditure and Revenue Report.
    You, oh angry one, know this; hence the table thumping demand for the SNP Government to do the impossible; provide detailed forecasts when they are deliberately denied details.
    Were politicians Up Here to start making guesses and produce estimates, you’d be among the first to jump down their throats.Scotland does not run a deficit. The English Parliament made choices on what they’d spend my Scottish pounds. We’d make different choices.
    There are billions missing, of that there is no doubt.
    You can’t lose when you rant like this. We are denied the facts by WM, the Treasury, BoE, the OBR for a good reason; to hamper the case for Independence.
    We are not too poor, oh angry one.
    Happy now.

  198. Ken500 says:

    Scotland lost £4Billion+ a year because Osbourne was taxing the Oil & Gas sector 60% to 80% when the price had fallen 75%. £20Billion. There would have been no deficit. Osbourne increased the tax 11% (£2Billion) to 80% in the 2011 Budget. He eventually took it down to 60%. It is 40% from Jan 2016. Thousands of jobs were lost. Scotland could have had near full employment. Untaxed fracked Gas is now being imported from the US.

  199. heedtracker says:

    The wider UK tax payer funds ALL UK spending, the wider UK taxpayer that has benefited from the oil is now the “missing oil fund for Scotland”. The wider UK tax payer is in effect the fund we draw down on each year.”

    I’d rather the Norway style oil fund me.

    At the very least, an oil fund wouldn’t call me a scrounger sweaty sock, a mooch, a bum, an ingrate and above all wouldn’t keep cutting year in year out, because there’s no money left etc. Unlike say the jolly English tax payers, who quietly sucked away over £300bn of not Scots oil and gas revenues and invested it all their swish motorways n shit, kevrage.

  200. Ken500 says:

    Thatcher secretly and illegally took all the Oil revenues in the 80’s. She off-shored it off the Accounts, Then spent it building Tilbury Docks and Canary Wharf. Centralised travel through London and supported crooked bankers. ‘Loads of money’. Lining the Tories pockets. Bankers fund the Tory Party.

    Her ministers were sworn to secrecy. Laing and Forsyth. One of her Ministers resigned. The documents were released last year after 30 years. She had written on them. ‘This must be kept secret’. Thatcher was taking the equivalent of £20Billion+ a year. Labour kept the McCrone Report under the Official Secrets Act. Their Minister admitted it. To stop Scotland voting for Independence. If the truth had been know, Scotland would have been Independent long ago.

  201. Ian Foulds says:


    Heartiest congratulations on such a detailed and erudite blog. This certainly needs to be fed through all mainstream channels.


  202. Balaaargh says:

    @Andrew McLean,

    Scotland has a deficit because it’s pooled and shared its resources to be part of the UK family of nations.

    Get rid of the UK, get rid of the deficit.

  203. Glamaig says:

    @Colin Rippey

    So why doesn’t the ‘wider UK tax-payer’ have a £700bn oil fund instead of a £1.7tr debt?

  204. ronnie anderson says:

    Bbc Scottish news Coburn ( he,s got experience running Scotland ) noo ah hiv tae clean up the mess that spluttered fae ma mooth.

  205. Phronesis says:

    A great WoS article- perhaps it should be translated into a very large billboard poster.

    A detailed consideration of the economics of Scotland’s independence just before Indyref 1 and of historical interest given that Scotland is heading towards Indyref2.

    Of course the authors will have to update this thinking now that UKOK is careering towards the cliff edge of hardship Brexit…

    ‘The one currency option that an independent Scotland can unequivocally deliver is its own currency. Having its own currency and controlling its own interest rates would provide an independent Scotland with the greatest amount of ?exibility when faced with shocks. The more ?exibly the Scottish government could respond to shocks, the greater the stability of its macroeconomic framework. While we acknowledge that exchange costs for trade would rise if the rest of the UK and Scotland no longer shared a currency, these costs pale in comparison to the costs of ?nancial instability due to a failed currency or monetary union. Moreover, many countries in Europe with similar wealth and population size (such as in Scandinavia) and dependent on neighbouring markets have their own currency (p38)…

    It would therefore be in the interests of the rest of the UK to support the Scottish Government to ensure that the transition be as smooth as possible (p 43)…

    But anyone who has spent time analysing the decisions of policymakers knows that policymakers spend a lot of time trying to work out the mechanisms concerned, that they are often unclear about what they really want, and that all sorts of non economic and non-‘rational’ factors in?uence their decisions. There is therefore something very odd about politicians assuming other politicians are rational in this way (p44)…

    To see this, one has to recognise that the UK government can do nothing to prevent Scotland taking the pound if she wishes, any more than the US government can stop Ecuador using the dollar; or Montenegro the Euro. All rUK can do is deny Scotland any in?uence over policy at the Bank of England. But that just reproduces the current position. Nothing would change for Scotland if London were to refuse to share sterling and monetary policy, since it doesn’t share them now. Given independence or ?scal autonomy, the only difference would be that Scotland gets to add tax powers to the existing monetary set up. She would therefore be unambiguously better off: more policy instruments to serve the same targets – instruments that can now be designed to ?t Scotland’s speci?c needs, rather than the UK average. But rUK would be worse off; no better off since monetary policy would be set exactly as now, but worse off to the extent Scotland uses her new tax powers to her own advantage and rUK loses certain tax revenues/subsidies (p46)’

    Economic integration and gains from trade can clearly be achieved by having a large country that trades a lot within its own borders. Conversely, economic integration can also be achieved in a small country that is open to the rest of the world (p55)’

  206. Ruby says:

    Cheers for the link Colin

    If ever a single piece of information could convince the unconvinced, this is it

    ‘Scotland is ruled by a corrupt regime and we are fed lies through their state run British media, the British famous for centuries invading Countries, stealing their resources, belittling the people and telling them it’s all for their own good as they would be useless making their own decisions.

    Unionists should hold their heads in shame. Scotland’s economy has suffered this last 2 years due to the drop in OIL price, but they conveniently forget that same OIL has propped up the UK economy for the last 40 years. Scotland gets no thanks for that, we are just told we would become a basket case outwith Westminster Rule, they conveniently forget Scotland asked for an OIL fund decades ago and this was refused, wonder what our deficit would be if they had said YES perhaps more like Norway who has no deficit and the largest savings in the world of almost 1 trillion. They completely ignore if Scotland is in a mess it’s because the regime they support has failed Scotland, yet they want more of the same.

    The media rarely mention that the UK for the last 40 years has had a deficit and debt, that debt now sits at 1.7 trillion. Scotland was in surplus for 38 of those 40 years.

    Scotland has no deficit as we have no borrowing powers, our false deficit comes from the UK borrowing on our behalf, however let’s look at that false deficit.

    1) We didn’t create it..

    2) The total worth of the UK assets are approx £8.8 trillion!! We own 8.3% of this! DEFICIT GONE.

    3) Scotland contributes to London projects like:
    NEW AIRPORT/3RD RUNWAY, LONDON (god knows how many billion)
    and many more future projects like Westminster renovations etc


    Scotland and England have been in the Union for 308 years, Westminster has had full control of Scotland’s economy for 289 of those years. When Scotland was given her own parliament 17 years ago it had 6% devolved power, numerous years later this increased to 15% by the year 2017 we will have approx 25% if Scotland is in a mess that blame lies squarely at Westminster’s door..

    Scotland is a country with an embarrassment of economic advantages that any small to medium-sized independent country would give their left arm for.

    Just look at similar-sized populations to Scotland

    Norway owns half the OIL in the North Sea, 30% of their GDP is reliant on OIL, when the OIL crashed our GDP dropped by 1% of course they have an OIL fund that Westminster refused for Scotland.

    Denmark would love to have a national drink that generated £120 of exports per second.
    38 bottles were shipped overseas each second.
    99 million cases (12 70cl bottles at 40% vol) were exported worldwide.
    Laid end to end they would stretch about 30,000kms – or about six times the distance between Edinburgh and New York.
    More than 10,000 are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry – many in economically deprived areas.
    Over 40,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry.
    Scotch Whisky accounts for around a quarter of UK food and drink exports.
    Scotch Whisky is sold in around 200 markets worldwide.
    Scotch Whisky sells three times its nearest rival whisky.
    Drinkers in the UK often choose to enjoy it with just a little water, but in Spain they mix it with cola. In Japan Scotch is enjoyed with lots of water and ice, and in China with cold green tea.
    More Scotch is sold in one month in France than Cognac in a year.

    Belgium would love to have such a tourist attraction as the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival attracting 500,000 visitors and adding £261m to Scotland’s economy, never mind the beauty of wild Scotland or golf tourism.

    Ireland would kill to have Scotland’s online gaming industry which has grown over 600 per cent – GTA the world’s best-selling game is made in Scotland and industry experts claim the gaming sector could grow to be worth more to Scottish economy than oil ever was.

    Sweden would like to match Scotland educationally, Scotland according to the ONS states Scots are the most educated in Europe, we have 45% who have experienced university degrees and further education, Luxembourg, Finland and Ireland all fight for 2nd place with 40%

    Finland must be massively envious that Scotland possesses 25 per cent of the EU’s entire tidal and wave energy potential, a source of energy that doesn’t pollute and won’t run out.

    Scotland is rich in resources like Whisky, Renewables, Tourism, Financial Services, Food and Drink, Fishing, IT. Farming, Manufacturing, Creative Industries, Construction, Global Transport, Engineering, Medical Research, Oil and Gas.

    Scotland represents just 8.3% of the UK population. Remember that number 8.3%
    We have the following share of UK resources –
    32% Land area
    61% Sea area
    90% Surface fresh water
    65% North Sea natural gas production
    96.5% North Sea crude oil production
    47% Open cast coal production
    81% Coal reserves at sites not yet in production
    62% Timber production (green tonnes)
    46% Total forest area (hectares)
    92% Hydro electric production
    40% Wind, wave, solar production
    60% Fish Landings (total by Scottish vessels)
    55% Fish Landings (total from Scottish waters)
    30% Beef herd (breeding stock)
    20% Sheep herd (breeding flock)
    9% Dairy herd
    10% Pig herd
    15% Cereal holdings (hectares)
    20% potato holdings (hectares)
    All with 8.3% of the population!

    We also have a…
    17 billion pound construction industry
    13 billion food and drink industry
    10 billion business services industry
    9.3 billion chemical services industry
    A 9.3 billion tourism industry
    7 billion financial services industry
    5 billion aeroservice industry
    4.5 billion pound whisky exports industry
    3.1 billion pound life sciences industry
    Scotland still has 350 million pounds worth of textile exports
    There are very few countries in the WORLD that rival Scotland’s resources per head and in such rich diversity. We absolutely, unequivocally can be an extremely successful independent country.

    So the question should be, knowing some Countries survive on Tourism alone, why is Scotland doing so badly under Westminster rule and HOW QUICK CAN WE GET OUR INDEPENDENCE…

  207. Dorothy Devine says:

    Thanks to each and every one who gave information on George Square tanks.

  208. gerry parker says:

    Keelie at 10:11

    Agreed. They should be stopped in their tracks as soon as the deficit is mentioned, and we in our conversations with undecideds or soft no’s should make it clear that it is a con pure and simple.
    The truth will filter through eventually.

    Hand and shrimp at 8:41– I’m stealing some of that last paragraph for my letter to the local newspapers this week.

  209. Thepnr says:

    Something curious.

    There was a poll the other day where the Netherlands would now vote 68% to stay in the EU. An increase of 17% from the last poll.

    They have saw the state of the UK exit and what it means in reality. A disaster really and they are right. we are about to be hit with an economic Tsunami.

    Now it’s obvious to me at least that a lot of the Dutch have seen what an exit means for the UK and want none of it.

    Strange then that UK polls appear not to have changed much, personally I KNOW things have changed and opinion HAS changed. We’re just not being told yet.

    We can never trust the UK government and that’s a fact you can believe. Support for Independecne

  210. manandboy says:

    Long before now, May will have turned to many a senior colleague or advisor, and said, ‘If we let Scotland go, it will be the ruin of us. We simply can’t let that happen”.

    Our job is TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    Remember, historically, the English Establishment is treacherous. Examples abound. Just think of Margaret Thatcher, voted recently as the worst Prime Minister in the last hundred years. Cameron came second.

    Let’s get this divorce settled.

  211. yesindyref2 says:

    @Colin Rippey
    “(completely avoided replying to my point)”

    in reply to @yesindyref2
    “But nobody knows the deficit in iScotland for year 1.”

    Do you think you know the deficit for iScotland in year 1 – or not?

    Don’t dodge points now Colin with futile rhetoric – answer the point! You’re not on your own blog now Kevin where you can censor postings like mine a couple of months ago that pointed out how you totally contradicted yourself in the space of just two replies to me. You’ll be pleased to know I still have my non-published reply stored in a text file.

    So – do you think you know the deficit for iScotland in year 1 – or not?

  212. G4jeepers says:

    call me dave says:

    Aye Dave, amazed the Herald manage to work around his words so completely as negate to mention any of this wee nugget to the house.

    “The amendment is yet another attempt by separatist MPs—virtually every separatist Member from Scotland has signed it—to chip away at a great British institution. Some of my hon. Friends may, perhaps unwittingly, have fallen foul of the SNP’s propaganda that pretends that the amendment would somehow further devolution, but it would only bring about the hopes and dreams of the separatist party for an end to the United Kingdom. Given that we have a Conservative and Unionist Government, I would hope that all hon. Members want assiduously to defend and protect the Union. While I fully support the Government and their successful agreement with the BBC, I strongly encourage all hon. Members thoroughly to reject the separatist amendment, which does nothing but attempt to destroy the British Broadcasting Corporation.”

    Vocabulistic separitists eh?

  213. ian murray says:

    The current system appears to be one where Westminster takes all of the money raised by the various taxes and then gives the Scottish government some pocket money back to do stuff with.
    An earlier post quoted Oil as recently worth 32 Billion pounds
    of which an independent Scotland would retain 100%
    The UK deficit is 1.3 Trillion and rising but no one is calling in their loans
    Why would Scotland not be able to a loan/s for a paltry 14.8 billion?
    Every time a major spend happens in England the Scottish deficit increases
    Why are we still in this quicksand?

  214. G4jeepers says:

    Mundell (who wasn’t even there) was a No
    Ian Murray (who was there) appears to have abstained

  215. yesindyref2 says:

    @Colin Rippey
    You see there’s the very difference between an open pro-indy blog – this one – and an anti-indy blog – chokkablog. Here on Wings you are able to post openly with your posts published straight away and not deleted except for exceptional reasons like defaming the author of the blog.

    Whereas anti-indy blogs like chokkablog that accept comments, don’t publish postings until they’ve been “vetted” by the blog author, who can then just ignore postings that anatomically rip the blog to shreds.

    I think it’s called “censorship”. Unionists do it, Indy supporters who have blogs open to comments, don’t have to.

  216. Andrew McLean says:

    Lack of self awareness, that Colin chap!
    We have taken all your wealth, we were a basket case begging of the IMF, once the sick man of Europe, now we are a global superpower just like we were born to be, English men were meant to rule the world don’t you know!
    You impoverished my country to make barrow boys millionaires, now in your arrogance you have tried to screw the Europeans, yeh give them Brexit hard! Fool!
    So we have to look to the south of England to see our inheritance? That it Colin?
    Well we don’t want you to take any more, you have stolen enough.
    In two paragraphs you have admitted that you have impoverished Scotland for England’s benefit now you expect us to be grateful for your benevolence with our own wealth.

    I am so surprised to hear such honesty, you should post more often, I was looking for a repost, thanks! Hope you don’t mind if I use it.

  217. yesindyref2 says:

    I hate to say this, but the info on such as crossrail and the olympics is wrong. The Scottish Government pushed hard on this, as did the Welsh one, and got Barnett consequentials. It did have to push as the Treasury weren’t going to pay up, but it did get them and will for all of Crossrail. If and when Heathrow comes up it will have to do the same, and gt those consequentials, reluctantly I expect from the Treasury.

    I don’t think the Crossrail got 100% of the consequentials, a full investigation would find a few missing millions I daresay, but we did get the bulk of it – I checked this out a lot of months ago.

  218. Glesca Keelie says:

    The tanks were round the back of the municipal buildings.

    Also stored in a garage on Maryhill Rd, up a bit from St. Georges Cross.

    O/T I mentioned yesterday that Aldi were now, as of yesterday, Monday, carrying the National, Anniesland, Glasgow anyway. I sent them an email to thank them. This morning my phone goes and it’s Aldi thanking me for the feedback. Said it was I who should be thanking them.

  219. Balaaargh says:

    Does the troll know how to spell his own name?

  220. Dcanmore says:


    of course you’ve ably described why Westminster want to hold onto to us 🙂

    Scotland is rich, and in so many many ways.

  221. Clootie says:

    …I wonder just how poor we can get?
    At what point will we see Scotland turn into a “financial black hole” which destroys the World economy.

    You have to admire the heroic efforts of Westminster to stop us going under by funnelling Billions North to save us from ourselves. No matter how hard we try to collapse our economy they will step in driven by selfless motives and boundless generosity…they really do think we are stupid don’t they.

  222. Petra says:

    Two significant pieces of information have popped up on here, imo, that could prove to be really helpful for our cause.

    Firstly the Daily Rag has actually published an article where someone, Paul Mason, is advising the Labour Party to support Independence and dump Dugdale (Heedtracker- 8:10 pm). I’ve never known that Rag to publish anything like this before. If they keep this up I’m sure that it could help to convert many Labour supporters.

    Secondly there’s mention of the Tories contemplating allowing financial services in London access to the single market. What about Scotland / our financial services? Can you imagine just how much this will really p*ss many Scots right off? Again helping people to make their mind up …. to vote yes! (scrolling around but can’t find that particular poster / post now).


    And then at Call me Dave (9:42pm) the BBC article includes the following:

    Scottish Tory Alberto Costa says … “Given that England is the larger partner of the United Kingdom, simply by sheer numbers, it’s imperative Scots are able to see the good work the Conservative Government is doing in other parts of the United Kingdom.”

    It’s this kind of attitude, they don’t see it / can’t hide it / help themselves, that’s going to help us to win Indyref2.


    @ Colin Ripley ….

    Some people on here seem to ‘know’ you and I presume have had ‘discussions’ with you previously. I don’t know who you are at all, where you’re coming from, and would just like to ask if you think that an Independent Scotland would / could be economically viable?

  223. Dr Jim says:

    Anybody noticed recently how the Commonwealth games have been erased from history

    Just like they never happened

  224. HandandShrimp says:

    The wider UK tax payer funds ALL UK spending, the wider UK taxpayer that has benefited from the oil is now the “missing oil fund for Scotland”. The wider UK tax payer is in effect the fund we draw down on each year.


    What you seem to be saying is that Scotland in the round is a perfectly viable economy that is tied into a Union because we gave Westminster the kitty to hold.

    To consider a couple of negative years, regardless of whether the exact figure is agreed here or not, as indicative of the round for the next 40 or 100 years seems a weak argument. If the last couple of years had been oil boom years would you be arguing for independence? I suspect not. You would frame your argument differently certainly but argument still there would be.

  225. Glesca Keelie says:

    Ruby says:
    18 October, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Ruby, where did you get your stats from. Was some of it from a Russian site. Any links.
    Open-cast coal. Now finished.

  226. Rock says:

    “Devolution was never intended to let the Scottish Government run the economy – it was always envisaged as a glorified parish council, handling what are in essence administrative municipal matters like education, health and law. There’s a reason it was originally called the Scottish Executive – it’s not a “government” in any true sense of the word and just calling it one doesn’t change that.”

    Same thing about pretending to be “sovereign” despite being a colony of England for more than 300 years.

    Calling ourselves “sovereign” doesn’t make us “sovereign”.

    The irony is that the SNP did such a good job while in government, that many people voted No thinking that it was all thanks to being part of the UK.

  227. Rock says:

    “Let’s imagine how that conversation might go.”

    Supporters of The National, could you get this “conversation” published on the front page of The National?

  228. Rock says:


    “That should be made into an SNP political broadcast. Certainly better taht the last SNP political broadcast. Short, sharp & gets right to the heart of the ‘It’s the Economy’ Stupid!’ argument of the last Indyref.

    I think this is one of your best articles yet, Rev.”

    Totally agree.

  229. K1 says:

    I’ve heard it aw noo ‘The wider UK tax payer fund’ aka ‘barnet formula’ that’s what we’ve got instead of an oil fund, we ‘draw down’ from the generosity of the ‘wider UK tax payer’. Fuck’s sake Colin, dae ye even read what ‘you’ write?

    Good on the rest of you attempting a conversation wi that nit witless idiot if this is the contorted thinking that sits at the heart of his ‘argument’ then his argument isn’t worth responding to.


  230. Petra says:

    @ Ruby at 10:52pm ….

    Great post!

    Well if that doesn’t convince him, anyone, nothing will.

  231. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Ruby says at 10:42 pm

    Great post, Ruby.

  232. yesindyref2 says:

    For weeks, months, we’ve seen postings here about how biased Call Kaye is over the SNP and Indy. I never listen, but it’s obvious The National has. But it can’t just go out and say “Hey, Call Kaye is a disgrace”. Instead it bides its time and you get this on the front page of the newspaper today:

    and here’s tomorrow’s one:

  233. Still Positive. says:

    Saw a post on FB earlier from the Telegraph suggesting Britain’s food and drink industry could fire up the UK economy. Most of the things quoted are Scottish: all of the whisky; 75% of the gin; almost all of the seafood, especially langoustines and Scottish salmon and most of the fish, not to mention Scottish beef and lamb, which they didn’t mention.

    Makes you wonder if England exports any food products at all, considering they import most of their food.

    England only produces 61% ( I think ) of its food.

  234. heedtracker says:

    @ Colin Ripley ….

    Some people on here seem to ‘know’ you and I presume have had ‘discussions’ with you previously. I don’t know who you are at all, where you’re coming from, and would just like to ask if you think that an Independent Scotland would / could be economically viable?

    Our Kev never gets into this issue, or indeed any other that might lead to you know what. The deficit means we’re bust without pooling and sharing, not we’re bust because another country runs our economy for us, out of niceness.

    In many ways the elephant in the planet toryboy room’s PR D’Hondt Holyrood. Its meant that the Scottish tories will probably never get near Scottish government again. If it breaks out in England, its revolutionary stuff.

    Corbyn said vote JC, I’m radical and will scrap the Lords, scrap Trident etc. All of its come to nothing.

  235. Ruby says:

    Dcanmore says:
    18 October, 2016 at 11:25 pm


    of course you’ve ably described why Westminster want to hold onto to us ?

    Scotland is rich, and in so many many ways.

    Ruby replies

    I probably didn’t make myself very clear but I didn’t actually write that post. Having visited the link provided by Colin Ripley I wondered who had written the post that made these ‘Scotland in Union’ guys so angry. So I did a bit of a search

    I found this and decided to copy & paste it here. It doesn’t actually say who wrote the original post.

    Colin’s ‘Scotland in Union’ mates were appalled that Angus McLeod retweeted the post.

    I think it’s a very good post and it doesn’t matter if there are some errors about Barnett consequetials. (Perhaps that’s something ‘yesindyref2’ could correct and give the correct figure for Crossrail & the Olympics)

    The bit I particularly liked was the last bit

    why is Scotland doing so badly under Westminster rule

    That would be a good question for Colin Ripey & his ‘Scotland in Union’ mates but I would imagine they would just get angry and abusive and tell me that my questions were ‘pejorative’

    What does pejorative mean? I thought I knew but maybe I don’t!

  236. Ruby says:

    I noticed these ‘Scotland in Union’ mates of Colin Rippey didn’t actually quote the whole post they just focused on the same parts as ‘yesindyref2’ and found errors re barnet consquetials.

  237. K1 says:

    ‘Pejorative’ means *Colin doesn’t like you asking him questions* (well that’s what it says in my natbibledictionary. And I believe it one trillion per cent.

  238. Legerwood says:

    There have been various suggestions about how to publicise the info in this post.

    I would have thought the obvious one would be a short sketch based on Yes, Prime Minister – or in this case Yes, First Minister.

    When I first read the article I immediately heard Sir Humphrey in my head replying to the First Minister’s suggestions. It could be made into a party political broadcast.

  239. K1 says:

    Only when there are a lot of comments being posted ‘at once’ (I’d imagine across all threads including O/T etc) does the message ‘slow down, your posting too fast’ (or whatever it says) appear after you submit your comment. It has nothing to do with how many times you’ve posted a comment, it’s not remotely personal to anyone. Just sayin’…

  240. yesindyref2 says:

    It probably wasn’t so much errors. It was likely valid at the time, but the thing with consequentials is they don’t happen until after the money was spent. For Crossrail there was a £500 million bung to Scotland early on, the equivalent of £5 billion (10 times) spent in England, but Crossrail itself was largely paid for by London and London businesses I think. But underwritten by the UK Government – taxpayers – us – if it exceeded the budget. Which it has, so that probably means we’re only recently actually getting the consequentials calculated and awarded, presuming we are.

    After I found that out, I lost interest, as it’s not easy pinning down exact figures and dates, and there seemed to be little or no mileage left in it. I’m fairly sure it is mentioned in GERS though, same as the Olympics and HS2.

    I think with the Olympics the initital UK Gov idea was that we would all benefit, but it’s likely that when reports of economic activity were organised, Scotland not surprisingly was found to have had little or no economic benefit, hence the ScotGov pushing for and getting consequentials.

    Similar with HS2! This is all from my dim memory, but since I don’t think myself there’s much mileage in it any more, I don’d do my usual level of painful research 🙂

    Sadly it appears Niall Aslen died last year, but there is merit in that analysis and it would be useful if someone else took it over and updated it.

  241. Ruby says:

    K1 says:
    18 October, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I’ve heard it aw noo ‘The wider UK tax payer fund’ aka ‘barnet formula’ that’s what we’ve got instead of an oil fund, we ‘draw down’ from the generosity of the ‘wider UK tax payer’. Fuck’s sake Colin, dae ye even read what ‘you’ write?

    Good on the rest of you attempting a conversation wi that nit witless idiot if this is the contorted thinking that sits at the heart of his ‘argument’ then his argument isn’t worth responding to.

    Ruby replies

    It’s a cracker!

  242. Still Positive. says:

    My son said tonight that Paddy Power (bookmakers for those who don’t know!)
    had odds of a new indy ref of ‘Yes’ at 2/5 and ‘No’ at 7/4.

    Looking good for in my lifetime considering I’m 66 and wanted this since I was 17.

    Cannae wait.

  243. Hamish100 says:

    Just seen The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black Black Oil at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Superb -update to involve Trump

    Still relevant today and for tomorrow. Was it ever broadcast on TV?

    All she go and see it.

  244. Hamish100 says:

    Just seen The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black Black Oil at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Superb -update now involves Trump

    Still relevant today and for tomorrow. Was it ever broadcast on TV?

    All should go and see it.

  245. The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil at Citizen’s, Glasgow tonight. Absolutely stunning. Reduced to tears. Every Scot should see it.

    Take it to London.

  246. crazycat says:

    Re: The Cheviot etc at the Citz – because it’s so good, it was completely sold out by the time I tried to get a ticket.

    Perhaps that will encourage
    a) them to repeat it
    b) me to pay more attention and find out about these things sooner.

  247. Hamish100 says:


    More interesting is some ways is the investment in cabling work to take renewable energy to England.

    I take it when the electricty is used in England and bills paid- it will be recorded as England income.

  248. Glamaig says:

    @Glesca keelie
    looks like those open cast numbers are from 2011.

  249. Petra says:

    @ Still Positive …. ‘Scottish Food and Drink export.’

    I read somewhere recently that NIreland’s revenue from exports of food / drink, over and above Scotlands, contributes greatly to the Treasury. I was quite taken aback with the figures, in fact. As you say, SP, what exactly / how much does England actually export?

    I see that pharmaceuticals rate highly in relation to English exports but with the way things are going, Brexit, they may lose that too.

    Then there’s electricity and gas imports to England reliant on Scotland and the Netherlands, as examples. Not surprising, therefore, to see Kate Middleton visiting the Netherlands last week when no one has gone near them in years. I reckon they’re running scared.


    You really get totally scunnered with this ‘too poor’ garbage that we’re having to / have had to put up with for centuries now, even more so over the last four decades. As Ruby points out (and check out Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp – BfS) small, extremely successful countries would give an arm and a leg to have anything like our manifold resources / assets and that includes our highly, educated populace (England lagging far behind here too)

    Prior to Indyref1 Cameron stated that an Independent Scotland could be very successful. Some like Mr Ripley would say “Ah but that was before the price of oil dropped.” However as we all know on here Cameron slipped up on the Marr Show (June 2016) and agreed with Marr that Norway was still doing well under trying circumstances but that was because they were catering for a population of 4 million (it’s actually 5 million the same as ours) rather than 60 million in the UK.

    Just exemplifies that we would still be a successful Independent Nation and that the ‘wider UK tax-payer’ system continues to bleed Scotland dry. Kind of like leeches in fact.

  250. Artyhetty says:

    Re;Dave M Hill@12.34am

    Saw The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil, in Edinburgh recently. Brilliant play, a very poignant lens into how Scotland has been beaten down and robbed massively by the english establishment, for centuries. Just amazing really how many people are totally ignorant to the facts of it all. Must watch, The Stone of Destiny again. It seems it was also suppressed at cinemas here.

  251. chic.mcgregor says:

    Indyref2, Ruby

    I watched the HoL debate at the time, on whether crossrail should be subject to consequentials or not.

    Murphy was SOSFS. He was happy with the status quo, i.e. that the Treasury should decide.

    Not so the Welsh and N.I. SOSs.

    Interestingly, the strongest Scottish advocate for consequentials was Lord Forsyth.

  252. Artyhetty says:

    Re; Hamish@12.55am

    Just had a look at that bbc article. Thanks for the link, didn’t know about these new high voltage cables they are laying to take Scotland’s electricity to england. Nice, free energy from your poor neighbour, and all with added SNP baaad on a daily basis, to keep the gravy train running one way, north to south. Win win, for some.

  253. Petra says:

    @ Hamish 100 ….. ‘WW1 German sub.’

    Great how you find things out (and what else are they getting up to?) …. ‘taking Scotland’s renewable energy from Ayrshire to the Wirral.’ ‘Trying to minimise damage to the environment.’ Aye right.

    The renewable energy sector in Scotland that the Tories don’t want to support by using the ‘wider UK tax-payer system’. The sector they’re trying to stymie at every turn, because they know it’ll be MUCH more lucrative (and cleaner) than our oil.

    The sooner we get rid of this lot, leeches as I said earlier, the better. Oh and any bets on them now wishing they’d treated us much better, especially over the last couple of years or so? Didn’t reckon on Brexit? Too bl**dy late folks.

  254. Artyhetty says:


    Yep saw the National today, though had to search hard, it was hidden, again under tons of weekly rags on the bottom shelf. Was told it ‘isn’t deliberate’ by guy behind the counter. Aye and I haven’t seen anyone deliberately hiding it either mate! I have indeed.
    Local shops are stocking fewer due to it not selling many. I wonder why.

  255. Cherry says:

    If the Scottish Power guys can find a U-Boat in our waters…tell me again why we have Trident…just asking 😉

  256. G4jeepers says:

    Had visitors over from Canada a few weeks back and took them to see the cheviot, stag & the black at HMT in Aberdeen. They absolutely loved it.

    Opposite the theatre stands one of the most striking statues of Wallace in Scotland

    It used to be lit up at night and would have been a sight to behold for my visiting companions and would have been a memorable finale to a fantastic cultrural night out. Sadly Aberdeen City Council have removed the lights, rendering the statue invisible in the black, black oil capital of Europe.

  257. Petra says:

    @ Artyhetty ….. ‘The National.’

    Yeah I know ArtyHetty. No matter where you go it’s often hidden well out of sight. I reckon the Unionists don’t like it. I wonder why? A bit of a threat to them?

    We should all get right behind it. Email shops / supermarkets requesting that they stock it, then buy it or get the online version. The greater support that they get the greater the influence we’ll have over it. There’s even a four page comments section that can be used to pass on relevant data.

    If only every SNP member more so Yes supporters would buy it. The shelves would be full of them and may attract more no supporters to buy. If not it’s always chockablock with really informative data that you won’t find in ANY other newspaper. Data in fact that you quite often don’t come across on here.

    We’re heading towards the most crucial time in our lives: one of the most significant in Scottish history. We REALLY need this newspaper if for no other reason than to offer a platform to people like Alex Salmond, Nicola, WGD, Mhairi Black, MacIntyre-Kemp, Kerevan and so on. People, OUR people, that other newspapers WON’T entertain or if they do it’s a snippet or their comments are distorted in some way. If it even helped to swing the vote a couple of points (of course could do better than that) it would be WELL worth it: worth buying it. What more can I say?

  258. Luigi says:

    The National distribution is poor, and some of the articles could be better. But hey, it’s done not badly for a completely new paper starting from scratch a couple of years ago (not exactly under favourable market conditions either).

    The National is on a journey. The best way to help it on its way is to buy it, subscribe online, be vigilant (when you see it deliberately covered in newspaper shelves) and take every opportunity to leave a copy on buses, in cafes, at work – everywhere. People will read it if it is left lying around. I have tried this and seen it with my own eyes.

    IMO the National is having a small effect, but its influence is growing, albeit slowly. I know folk will remind me of the importance of timing, but sometimes things will just take their own time to develop regardless. Be patient and hang in there. We will win this as long as we keep going. 🙂

  259. Macart says:

    THIS is what Bexit truly means for Scotland folks. THIS is what operating under devolution, a Barnett formula budget and restricted competence feels like. Helplessness.

    The Scottish Government does not have control of the economy. They have control of a notionally fixed budget which is intended for disbursement on fixed powers and services. What they’ve done with that budget in the past 9 years and in the face of a banking crash and austerity ideology is nothing short miraculous, but it was already a case of diminishing returns… literally. It cannot survive the hit of Brexit on top of all the rest.

    The Rev’s fictitious and humorous conversation above the line is the literal truth of the matter. Its what the Holyrood parliament is. It is the position we are ALL in and its a particularly bloody hopeless and frustrating situation for a government and a population who should realise by this time, that it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Tank girl and young Kezia would have you believe that its for the SNP government to deal with the effects of Brexit from that budget. What they’re saying to the FM is whose funding, what services are you going to cut? Who will you choose to suffer so that others don’t. This is all so they can then say well, we wouldn’t have done that. We would’ve done this instead.

    Here’s a newsflash. On Scotland’s current restricted footing no one can stop the horrendous economic and constitutional effects of Brexit. If we allow it to happen its going to hurt and everyone, every soul in this country is going to feel it from the ground up.

    Two years ago a small majority of our population wanted to retain the union and Scotland’s place within that political union. THIS is the payoff. When the the world ‘happens’ you have no control over the very resources and abilities with which you KNOW in your hands you could avoid real and lasting harm.

    Kez and Ruth have one thing right though. The Scottish government and in fact the Scottish electorate do have it in their power to deal with brexit, but it won’t be by making do and mend with a handout and leaving the grown up stuff to the big boys in the grown ups parly. They’ve done such a bang up job with our sovereignty and economy so far, I think we’ll all agree.

    No, it won’t be ‘dealing with it’ as they imagine at all.

  260. Nana says:

    Theresa May to step into Brussels lions’ den



  261. Dorothy Devine says:

    Macart I hope and pray you are right and that folk wake up to the diminishing of Scotland that is in progress from the BBBC to every damned newspaper.

    I never thought I would hate anything or any body more than I hate Tony Blair but I have surprised myself.

    The media of Scotland ,indeed the UK ,is beyond redemption and they have the cheek to point greasy ,dirty fingers at RT while shouting ‘propaganda’!

    “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion.”

    I wonder if the media is ever going to be self critical enough to take that quote on board or is it only useful to keep ordinary folk from rising above their forelock tugging station?

  262. Neil Ralley says:

    Excellent article.

    IXL – you are definitely not “too far out of the box”. It is absolutely imperative that someone – perhaps a university economics department or a purpose-made think-tank, preferably an entity which can be seen as at least partially independent – HAS to build a computer model which can be run with a variety of starting points and assumptions based on different terms for a splitting of the assets and liabilities. Once a model is set up it will be very easy to run a variety of different scenarios and change the assumptions according to different “divorce settlements”.

    It is absolutely essential that we are able to explain to the 20-30% of undecideds what the economy will look like and why the 14.8bn is a meaningless number. It is simply too easy for the powers that be in Westminster to argue that Scotland is too poor and too wee and M/S May’s administration is going to fight far more aggressively, probably stooping to all manner of dirty tricks, than Cameron’s lot ever did.

    What is needed is for an authoritative source to lay out in very simple terms what the economy is likely to look like post-independence and how we will be able to issue and back our own currency or participate in the Euro, which might be a precondition of continued membership.

    IMHO had such a model been done in 2014 the result of the referendum might easily have been different.

  263. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Anent The National:

    This paper may well be the prototype for the future of aily newspapers, if they have a future. It is produced by a small production staff, working with freelance and agency copy. This is the way ahead, get rid of highly-paid, under-productive staff writers.

    I have issues with some of the content, in truth it isn’t very good, and, there is perhaps a reluctance on the art of the Newsquest hierarchy to promote The National, because of the impact this would have on The Herald, but, for all its faults – The National is the only pro-independence paper we have, so, we must support it.

    As regards distribution, this, I feel, is more a case of Menzies not being bothered, and the bean counters back at the paper not being bothered to make them bother. I live in Ayrshire, I still write the odd piece for The Scotsman’s very good sports department (the rest of the paper, you can shove where the sun doesn’t shine, but, it has a good sports department).

    I read it online, but, when I have an article in the paper, I like to get a hard copy, for the cutting. I cannot get it in my home village, because of Menzies’s distribution policy.

    If they supply six copies to an outlet, and each day, over a period of time, they get three unsold copies returned – then they cut that outlet’s distribution to three. If they still get one back, they cut one off the distribution and so-forth.

    The London based papers will tolerate returns more than the likes of The Scotsman and Herald will, which helps cut their circulation. If you cannot get a particular paper on a regular basis, you stop buying it. The bean counters back at the paper are too-thick to appreciate what is happening, in my view.

    If I am in my local Scotmid, I try to make sure The National is prominently displayed – covering-up the Daily Heil if necessary, which it usually is.

  264. Breeks says:

    @ Ruby 10:42

    You could add to that list the very real growth potential for Scotland;

    Our “replacement” broadcasting service and TV production companies to fill the vacuum that is the BBC.

    Our Scottish Defence force which doesn’t exist in the form tailored for our domestic needs. That means patrol ships needing built, and a fleet of support vessels.

    We have our research and development sector. Blessed with such wind and tidal resources, it follows we are well placed for the development of improvements and innovations.

    Our construction industry is big but dumb. There is tremendous potential here, truly limitless. Drive around any part of Scotland, through any high street, and everywhere you go you will see 18th and 19th Century stonework edifices showing signs of decay and in desperate need of repair. This is our heritage, and we have a duty to preserve what it stands for and resist the homogenous nature of anonymous modern construction. Right now, we haven’t the money to pay for it nor the tradespeople competent to do it, but demand is there in front of us and can only get louder as this great wealth we have crumbles before us.

    We have a fishing industry punched silly, but with appropriate husbandry, the world as a whole will need wiser policies to farm our seas rather than plunder them. That means sustainable fishing and diversification into tourism. The potential is whatever we want it to be, but the opportunity is on our doorstep.

    There is talk all the time about land reform, and sooner or later that conversation is going to meet across a crowded room another conversation about the regeneration of Scotland Great Caledonian Pine forest, and the reestablishment of our globally unique micro climate; Boreal pine forests like the great forests in Canada and Russia at the same latitude, but spared the crippling temperatures of winter by our Gulf Stream. Again, the potential is whatever we want it to be. We could if we choose restore a pre-medieval landscape complete with flora and fauna, and we can build our tourism into the adventure from the outset.

    In terms of manufacturing, we have serious risk of productivity in renewable energy outstripping demand, and with a potential excess of electricity, then straight away there are research opportunities for electrolytic production of hydrogen from sea water. If a rare fuel source is sustainable, then perhaps a vehicular industry which exploits that fuel is perhaps our next greatest export to Europe. 21st Century Hillman Imps, loved by their owners despite poor construction. Let’s do it again, but aim for “Clyde built” standards and recognition. The Koreans can build a car industry from scratch. So can we.

    Algaes too thrive in Scotland’s damp climate. There is already a ton of work on algaes as basic plant life but a more efficient source of biofuel. I confess I have no idea if algae research has a foothold in Scotland, but if it doesn’t it should.

    With investment and vision, and a very small amount of bravery, we genuinely do stand on the threshold of a second Scottish Enlightenment. Because above all else, in Scotland’s people, and the very welcome visitors amongst us, we already have the staff we require in the right place to do anything we like.

    Once we leave the U.K., we can stop the money funnelling into obsolete and dirty nuclear power and weapons, put an end to parasitic exploitation of the nation’s resources and people to make the rich evolve into the super-rich. We can future-proof a wise and bountiful Scotland and hand on to our children something precious beyond all measure. It starts with independence and the rest is whatever we make it.

  265. Ken500 says:

    According to the retailers. Distribution depends on sales through the tills. Ie if products sell out they are re-ordered with increased volume. The Natuonal is always sold out by 12 noon.

    Thatcher illegally and secretly took all the massive Oil revenues and cut the Scottish budget to a thread. Unemployment was much higher in Scotland. The inequality graph started with Thatcher and continues through till today. Labour illegal wars, banking fraud and tax evasion. The Tories are sanctioning the vulnerable and cutting taxes for the wealthy. The Tories committed electoral fraud in 31 constituencies. They are not a legitimate Gov. There should be 31 by-elections.

  266. Macart says:

    @Dorothy Devine

    I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t think they will Dorothy. The media in Scotland are over invested in the narrative they helped create. They’ve made their choice and have determined to stick it out till the bitter end, regardless of the cost to people’s lives.

    They’ll keep pushing the line that the economic levers, our resources, our sovereignty should all be left in the hands of our elders and betters. They’ll continue to push the line that the ‘VOW’ was delivered and that Scotland has more than enough powers and that our hand out can grow magically (probably with the aid of pixie dust) to meet the needs of everyone.

    Needless to say we don’t and it can’t.

    With the best timescale in the world and a following wind, even IF we got our referendum early and even IF Scotland won its powers back before Brexit negotiations conclude. We are still going to suffer economic damage and people WILL suffer because of it. It is unavoidable.

    What we CAN do is limit those effects and the duration of those effects by taking control of our own economy, by starting the process of change and creating the model which best suits our needs and the needs of future generations.

    If anyone doubts that ‘unavoidable’ description, then I suggest they listen to Sir David Edwards Lecture as posted by farrochie last night and that Nana pointed out earlier.

    This is about necessity and damage limitation at this point. Brexit UK is not going to be a pleasant experience. If we thought austerity ideology was bad, what follows won’t bear thinking about.

    Pay special attention to what Sir David says about human rights and the realities of the deals available.

  267. Ruby says:

    Macart says

    If anyone doubts that ‘unavoidable’ description, then I suggest they listen to Sir David Edwards Lecture as posted by farrochie last night and that Nana pointed out earlier.

    Ruby replies
    Help please!

    Something strange about that link. All I get is the option to download a text file which is full of stuff like this:

    Í?x?Ì}kpYv^_Ç`§HëzK#i çÜ3;‚

  268. Macart says:


    It may be the way your browser is set up, but it should be a player link Ruby. You have the option to download or listen to the live frame. If you hover over the base of the frame the play icon should appear.

  269. call me dave says:

    Call to impose ‘super majority’ on second independence referendum

  270. Ruby says:


    Cheers it worked on Chrome but not on Safari

  271. Macart says:

    @call me dave

    Heh! Don’t recall them calling for that last time roond. You don’t suppose they feel the other boot is about to drop on them from a great height do you? 🙂

    Perhaps their confidence isn’t what it could be these days. Wonder why?

  272. Sinky says:

    Radio Scotland now inviting listeners to phone in about trains running late.

    This can’t happen in a one party state.

  273. Macart says:


    Ta Dah! Success! 🙂

  274. One_Scot says:

    Given that the Yoon State wants to raise the majority to 55% for Yes to win, it does not fill me full of confidence that they are not going to be fraudulent in their attempts to win.

  275. Ruby says:

    call me dave says:
    19 October, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Call to impose ‘super majority’ on second independence referendum

    Ruby replies

    The Herald is full of ‘provacative’ stories this morning.
    Shame that the comments are now just a load of drivel I used to enjoy reading the comments on The Herald but sadly the Scotsman’s trolls have taken over.

    Call to impose ‘super majority’ on second independence referendum

    More than 1 million Scottish families to lose £360 a year by 2020 in inflation and benefits squeeze

    Corbyn adviser urged Scottish Labour to ditch Dugdale and back second independence referendum

    Scots firm in fraudster link falsely using Tory peer’s bank

  276. galamcennalath says:

    call me dave says:

    Call to impose ‘super majority’ on second independence referendum

    “a threshold of 55 per cent for a successful Yes vote, for example, would show there was a national consensus for radical change”

    …. shame he hadn’t suggested that for the Brexit vote!

    And what about May/Cameron’s government, in with barely 37%!

    Democracy is the enemy of the Tories, WM, and Unionism. It is, therefore, the antidote!

  277. Macart says:


    To murdurr a perfectly good movie quote…

    ‘Deeemocracy is whut they say it izzz!’

  278. One_Scot says:

    Gawd, someone please reassure me the postal votes are going to be safe. They’re gonna be safe, aren’t they?

  279. Ruby says:

    I wonder why they chose 55%

    It’s hardly what you call a ‘super majority’

  280. call me dave says:

    Aye 55%. had to rush to work so just catching up!

    I see the next thread has it…The next thread has it!
    (Bercow) 🙂


    Mopping up the dregs…just the wee pools you understand.

  281. Ruby says:

    Breeks that all sounds fantastic!

    Next time Colin Ripey or any other Unionist comes along and ask ‘What will iScotland do about the £15b deficit’ I will copy & paste your suggestions.

    Cheers for that I love creative thinkers!

  282. Liz g says:

    Ruby @ 9.13
    I think they mean 55% of the Total electorate whither they voted or not.
    That’s what they stuck in a the last minute in 1979,but then it was 40%.
    This is how you get people saying the dead can voted,because anyone who’s name is on the voter’s would count as a no vote.
    So it would count as a super majority at only 55%.

  283. Tinto Chiel says:

    Yes, One_Scot, the postal votes and the ability of holiday-homers and students to vote are problems which need to be addressed by the SG in Indyref2.

    Despite the justness of our cause, I think we will only win a “straight” referendum by a modest majority, given the influence of the BBC and the Numpty Press, so every vote will count.

    The 55% majority is clearly a straw in the wind, reminiscent of George Cunningham’s 40% rule. This will be aired and discussed more and more in the press in an attempt to “normalise” it

    They’re obviously worried and no wonder, when you see Ruby’s massive billboard of Scotland’s assets. Without us, they are well and truly Carmichaeled.

    Which brings us around again to measures which will ensure they don’t lose us……

    I hope the SG is simply keeping its powder dry and that matters of electoral administration have been already been planned. Next year’s council elections are even more important now since the councils administer the election process and rumours of slack management of the postal vote in particular in my area were alarming last time.

  284. Tony Little says:


    There are two major problems that have to be addressed somehow for IndyRef2:

    No. 1 is the BBC in Scotland – we know all about that, but any and all YES representatives must be far more on the ball and assertive than last time. Call out the lies with simple facts and KEEP REPEATING THEM. It seems the public need a simple idea constantly reinforced for the message to get through.

    The second issue is Postal Voting. In the run up to IR1, I was concerned in the ease with which the postal voting system was open to fraud. Now, I am not saying that the last referendum was fraudulent, but it remains the case that the system can be corrupted.

    I do not know if the SG can tighten up the rules for the postal ballot, but if they can, they must do so. It is still open to manipulation and the so-called Electoral Commission either do not have any powers to manage this properly, or do not want to monitor it properly.

    One simple change would be to count the postal ballot separately to the vote on the day. This should highlight any major discrepancy between the two ballots.

    Availability of a postal vote should be made more difficult. (Personally I would restrict postal voting to a narrow group. People who will be outwith the country for work etc. Those in hospital or in care/nursing homes.) There needs to be a far more robust monitoring of WHO is granted a postal ballot. (There are many cases of fraud in past elections – particularly local elections – which shows the failings in the system which have not been addressed).

    Another would be to hold an SG authorised exit poll, again to assess possible discrepancies, which can subsequently be investigated (if necessary).

    NO political party or their agents should have any contact with people who seek a postal ballot. (This includes the SNP). No access to care / nursing homes by political parties or agents should be allowed. All ballots MUST be returned directly to the returning officer. Any coming form an indirect source should be invalidated.

    The postal ballots should NOT be opened before the date of the referendum. There is plenty of time during the day to open and check the ballot papers. Made easier if they are kept separate at all times.

    I am sure there are other conditions which could be applied to ensure a safe and reliable vote.

  285. Angus Gother says:

    Surely a super-majority would be a majority in every council area which gives overall majority?
    Imagine if that was required to make the result conclusive and binding whichever way it goes.

  286. gordoz says:

    I wonder why BBC don’t do propper investigative journalism luke Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, GA Ponsonby & Peter Bell?

    Oh wait …..

    Cracking work recently Guys – still think you should all link up

  287. Ruby says:

    Talking of postal voting what happened with Ruth Davidson election fraud enquiry?

  288. Ruby says:

    ‘the entire nation is gripped in anticipation to see what font Theresa May will use to confirm the date that she will announce the process to timetable the vote to agree that an airport in London will get to open a third runway by the year 2086.

    By which time the collapse in the pound will mean no one will be able to afford to fly anywhere but will instead marvel at those who once made it to Disney World Florida like they are Buzz Aldrin.‘ Red Box

    That made me laugh!

  289. cirsium says:

    Given the question marks over postal voting in IndyRef1, the voiding of the result of the Austrian presidential elections because of problems with postal voting and the postponement of the rerun because of problems connected with postal voting, my plea is that there should be NO postal voting in IndyRef2.

  290. Dan Huil says:

    He works for the britnat media – that’s all we need to know.

  291. mike d says:

    Absolutely agree, no postal voting whatsoever in an indy ref2.

  292. Foonurt says:

    Daud thum wae ah brammurr, in oot cum yoan whurrlinn banshees. Gethurr yurr graith, thoan’s losin tum.

    FuK, yurr tea’s oot.

  293. Foonurt says:

    Haud oan, shid bae ‘lowsin tum’.

  294. Gordon says:

    So Scotland ends up with a surplus of £1bn and rUK ends up with a deficit of £160bn, Scotland is then deemed to end up with a deficit of £1.59bn, calculated on population ratio. So it’s not a Scottish deficit. It’s a deficit ASSIGNED TO SCOTLAND. Let’s get rid of Westminster incompetence and run our own affairs before we have to pay for the rebuilding of the parliament. Let’s tell the people. It’s like trying to swim with an anchor tied to you.

  295. yesindyref2 says:

    @Tony Little
    I do not know if the SG can tighten up the rules for the postal ballots

    The Electoral Commission do respond to problems, and recommend procedure changes constantly, and these do get implemented. They acknowledge themselves there’s some electoral fraud, but it is quite small.

    Don’t forget the EC are advisory, they report to the appropriate parliament, rather than have legislative powers themselves. Any breaches then, they run through the police, as they don’t have enforcement powers either.

    I daresay in this Referendum bill we’ll see some slight improvements, and perhaps the recent re-registration will have improved things though I have my doubts – it was still too easy to register.

    A question of balance I guess, on the one hand integrity of the voting process, on the other hand encouraging participation.


  296. K. A. Mylchreest says:

    A nice article, focused and to the point. Just one small technical moan. You write ¨if Scotland was independent¨ and indeed S. was independent some 300-ish years ago. Hopefully it may be so again. But you are hypothesising about a counterfactual condition, something which might have already come about in an alternative reality. Therefore you require the subjunctive ¨if Scotland *were* independent¨. Honestly I´m surprised that an educated and cultured individual such as yourself would make so crass an error 🙂

  297. Yesser_in_Exile says:

    are the SNP telling us that Scotland doesn’t have a deficit? I don’t understand why they aren’t shouting it from the rooftops.

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