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Fear over pension fearbomb feared

Posted on April 26, 2013 by

Hang on. The heart of the latest No campaign/media scare story is that the enormous pension deficit currently looming over the UK like a great big multi-billion-pound fiscal sword of Damocles (but which everyone is feverishly avoiding looking at) will become much more urgent in the event of Scottish independence, because according to EU rules “cross-border” pensions can’t just boot the problem into the long grass for years, and have to ensure any shortfall is funded immediately.

thefear

EU rules? But haven’t the Unionists spent most of the last six months telling us that an independent Scotland wouldn’t be an EU member, and would have to wait years at the back of the queue to join as a new country? Phew! Problem solved!

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    162 to “Fear over pension fearbomb feared”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      Stu, I hope you’re not trying to suggest that BetterTogether’s arguments are inconsistent with each other. That would be an extraordinary claim!

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      As if. And it’s definitely not the case that they’re lying. If they were, the head of the organisation that came up with the report would have appeared on Good Morning Scotland today, at around 2h 9m into the show, saying that in fact the problem was pretty easy to get around anyway, if you spent any amount of time planning for it.

      And that clearly didn’t happen:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rx17f/Good_Morning_Scotland_26_04_2013/

    3. billyjYES says:

      next you will have to explain the #TattieScone scandal ,,nae mair tattie scones if you vote Yes,,,,#TheTruthlessTeam2014

    4. Albalha says:

      But what happens, on the other hand, if rUK leaves the EU IN 2017? Shouldn’t pensioners currently, say, in Spain be worrying? An independent Scotland within the EU will be sorted out by then of course.

    5. Seanair says:

      BBC stirring the pot—2 mentions by Ms Shearer at the start and in the middle of the UK news, then a mention at the start of the Scottish news, then the full story ( we’re the only country in the world that will have to deal with cross-border schemes).
      Pathetic….

    6. Spout says:

      Unionist Disinformation Graphics Dept:
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mnVWJpMhuE

    7. NorthBrit says:

      The pensions debate could win or lose the independence debate.
      Pensioners are on fixed incomes with unpredictable liabilities and a relatively short time horizon.  They are risk averse.

      1. There is a risk that their incomes could be reduced following independence (they aren’t generally interested in potential upside, and won’t rely on it).  

      2. On their liabilities, the risk is that staying in the UK will lead to the destruction of the NHS, and other social benefits will be reduced by Westminster reducing the Scottish budget.

      On 1. If you were a retired doctor on a c. £50,000 pension how comfortable would you be that a newly independent and socialist Scotland wouldn’t cut your pension in the name of “fairness” and “equality” to fund the deserving poor?  I wouldn’t vote yes if I were in that position.

      On 2. People are too optimistic that the NHS can be defended under devolution.  

      The only effective answer to 1. is for the SNP (not Yes campaign as they are not a party that could be in power) to state that they would maintain all state pensions at existing levels for existing recipients.  Or write it into some form of constitution pre-referendum.

      On 2. the Yes campaign should be FUD’ing like crazy on this.  Living in England, with recent, relevant experience, I can tell you that the NHS is effectively broken and the only way to ensure prompt treatment is to go private.

    8. Albalha says:

      Re the interview. Another interesting aspect, I thought, was his call for the Scottish Government to engage with those chaps at Westminster. One wonders if a. he has followed the debate thus far, b. is a member of BT, or c.is really a boring accountant who is now wondering what all the fuss is about. It would be interesting to know if they issued a press release, and, if so, what it said.
      Anyway I hope someone has pointed out to him that it’s those pesky chaps in London that don’t want to hear anything about pre referendum negotiations. Perhaps he and his accountant chums can get on the case.
       
       

    9. Cath says:

      “On 2. People are too optimistic that the NHS can be defended under devolution.”
       
      This has been true. However also people – including those in England – have been far too optimistic / “fingers in ears” about how the NHS will never be privatised. Partly this is because the media, BBC in particular have been lying and not covering the privatisation.
       
      That has gone through now and happened.
       
      There is a real danger for the unionists that people will wake up to what’s happened to NHS England and that when they do, they will also wake up to the now-massive pro-establishment bias of the BBC. In many ways, I suspect that’s the Tories intention. Once NHS privatisation is in the bag for them, they can then happily watch people vent their anger at the BBC rather than government, since it’s an easier target. And that’s almost certainly their next target. The NHS and BBC both being “great British institutions” that the Tories wish to destroy and always have.
       
      If that hunch is correct, it will be interesting to see how it affects the independence debate.

    10. a supporter says:

      NorthBrit says:26 April, 2013 at 1:58 pm
       
      My reply to you is in “Quarantine”

    11. NorthBrit – a relatively short time horizon? I have full expectation of a very long retirement just to ensure I have my NI contributions back!  Also I have children and a grandson. I am doing whatever I can for their future. I don’t want them to have to leave for another land to make their lives prosperous, as so many have had to do in the past.  Pensions like every other issue can be negotiated and worked out, but it’s clear the obfuscation and dirty tactics from the union will continue to the last minute.

    12. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Brian Taylor’s roadshow was in Dumfries earlier. 
       
      They spent the first half hour on this pensions rubbish, the remainder on Osborne’s sabre-rattling over the currency, and sundry other guff – as usual, 3-1 BT-Indy, largely pro-Indy audience (according to my clapometer) not a mention of Taylor, Vitol etc.
       
      Ho-hum…

    13. handclapping says:

      @Albalha As one of them c. I’m afraid. But even more boring, ICAS, the Scottish CA Institute has been doing serious work on some of the opportunities we’ll have to make a better tax system when free of the Westminster/City joint rob the population enterprise. I hope this news will brighten your day 🙂

    14. roboscot says:

      This fearmongering is a house of cards. Once one is ‘dislodged’ the rest will tumble, and with it the cerdibility of the No campaign.

    15. NorthBrit says:

      @a supporter  You left your brain there as well.
       
       

    16. handclapping says:

      Jeez poor old Rev, exiting stage left pursued by lawyers letters from BBC Scotlandshire now 🙂 
      Still always look on the bright side, think of the saving on the family bog roll budget.

    17. Caroline Corfield says:

      as part of a separate discussion elsewhere I had occasion to check up on Isle of Man passports. Apparently, while the Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, (it being a Crown dependency an all) it does contain British citizens, who get a passport saying British Isles – Isle of Man and have EU stamped on them. So the answer to Scottish Independence is easy, the country of Scotland becomes independent while remaining a Crown territory, the inhabitants therefore retain their British citizenship rights wrt to being EU citizens and their pensions remain in their current state. The independent Crown territory of Scotland can then get on its feet, apply to join the EU, sort out all this scaremongering shit and then properly divest itself should the democratic will to do so manifest itself. After all it’s the break up of the political union, not the Royal union currently under question. Didn’t a similar thing happen for Ireland? 

    18. Tam O'Ranter says:

      Surely it would make sense if the SNP provided a reasonable response to what quite frankly is a reasonable concern for many people.

    19. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

      Rev Stu.
      O/T. Can you put up a link to AKA Sneaky Boy piece he did on pensions a couple of weeks ago.
      I would like to take a few copies of the piece for hand outs.
      Thanks in anticipation.

    20. dmw42 says:

      Some quick thoughts:
       
      ICAS recently expressed ‘concern’ that it would lose members in an independent Scotland. Hardly a ‘neutral observer’ then?
       
      If ICAS has such serious concerns about pension underfunding / deficits, why hasn’t it taken any actions against its members who willingly and willfuly ‘sign off’ company / pension fund accounts as ‘going concerns’? (Not a dig Handclappling – I too have done work relating to Revenue Scotland proposals).
       
      The UK pension fund deficit is, by and large, a result of the ‘pension grab’ and mismanagement of the banking crisis, both of which happened under the stewardship of Messrs Brown and Darling. How do these two great fiscal intellects suggest we deal with the deficit funsing of UK pensions?
       
      Answers on the back of a stamp to………..

    21. Albalha says:

      @handclapping
      It has indeed cheered me somewhat. When I listened to him this morning he certainly sounded like c, almost as if he wasn’t really sure what all the drama was about. All he was asking for was a wee bit of planning which, I think you’d agree, is an attribute essential for being a half decent ledger person.
      However, I seriously hope they now call on the London lot to open negotiations and publicise their big fat NO when it happens. Maybe they could do a whistle stop Scotland tour; A YES vote, what it means to you and your pocket ……explained by proper, boring accountants.

    22. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      “In Fear of Fear” is THE strategy of the so-called “Better Together” campaign.

    23. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Northbriton
      As an honorary pensioner. (Getting by on a couple of private pensions but not yet claiming state pension) I take a keen interest on the subject of pensions and the NHS. That is one of the many reasons that I am desperate for a Yes vote. An independent Scotland will be far better placed to afford such things without squandering resources on Trident, illegal wars, tax cuts for the wealthy etc. And that is without the oil revenue. It is a no brainer!
      I notice on your gravitar profile the description. The North Briton makes his appeal to the good sense, and to the candour of the English nation. I would add, “hasn’t got a clue about Scotland.”

    24. Albalha says:

      @dmw42
       
      Now I’m confused.

    25. @Caroline Corfield: I don’t think become a crown dependency is really a good solution for Scotland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_dependencies) — as far as I can work out, it would mean that areas such as the EU and foreign policy would still be decided by Westminster, but now without Scottish MPs.  No thanks.  What we want is a solution similar to Canada or Australia, which are independent countries but share the monarch with England (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_realms).
      Anyway, with regards to the pensions: The EU is normally quite flexible when member states require reasonable deadline extensions, so I’m sure Scotland and England (it would affect English people with Scottish pensions just as much as the other way around) could get a good number of years to sort it out.  Being forced to sort it out eventually is surely no bad thing, or do the unionists really want us to keep the pensions unfunded forever?

    26. Bill C says:

      I have had a look at the ICAS report on their website and while I am no accountant, it seems to me there is nothing in it which cannot be resolved between an independent Scottish Government and Westminster.  In saying that, it appears that Westminster’s reluctance to enter into any sort of pre-negotiations (about anything) might be a serious threat to the democratic process in Scotland. In other words, it looks to me that Westminster’s refusal to even contemplate a YES vote, is going to cause serious difficulties to what should be  a straightforward process of dissolving the union.

    27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev Stu.
      O/T. Can you put up a link to AKA Sneaky Boy piece he did on pensions a couple of weeks ago.
      I would like to take a few copies of the piece for hand outs.
      Thanks in anticipation.”

      It’s already linked in this piece, under the word “pensions” in the first paragraph.

    28. handclapping says:

      @dmw42 Its a concern just because 50% of our students now come from England, and other foreign parts, but I think they’d come anyway cos we are the greatest! ( note this is using advertising licence and should not be taken as to imply any denigration of other suppliers.)

    29. dmw42 says:

      @handclapping
       
      bigcheesysmileythingy

    30. NorthBrit says:

      @The Man in the Jar
      Your financial situation means that you’re not affected by the first point I raised in my post.  Saying that it doesn’t bother you is unlikely to convince the unpersuaded.
      If it were a no brainer, the “Yes” campaign would have a clear majority in the polls.
      The savings on Trident wouldn’t make a dent in the pensions funding issue and Scotland does need the oil revenue to cover its current expenditure.  
      My point on the NHS was in favour of independence.
      But it must be wrong, because for unexplained reasons from the man who can’t spell or count (possibly because his head’s stuck up his jars), I don’t have a clue about Scotland.

    31. CameronB says:

      But you should know by now, we never click the links. 🙂

    32. The Man in the Jar says:

      @NorthBrit
      Whatever!
      At least I don’t resort to personal insults to make my point.

    33. KraftyKris says:

      @NorthBrit
      “Scotland does need the oil revenue to cover its current expenditure.”

      No it doesn’t. The GERS figures show that Scotland receives less from the UK than it generates in taxes (without its geographical share of oil).

    34. NorthBrit says:

      I think that accusing someone of knowing nothing about Scotland on a forum about Scotland is a personal insult.
      Quand on me cherche on me trouve.  Back on the other side.
      It took 6 months of Bitter Together’s nonsense to convince me to change my position to being in favour of independence.  A few minutes on here.
      I think you are too stupid.

    35. Juteman says:

      This fear-mongering is starting to get silly. Where will it end  up?
      Will we see Darling in a white ghosty sheet going Woooooo, and Lamont chasing Eck with Dracula fangs?

    36. jake says:

      Pensions crisis eh?
      So how do european multi-nationals solve the problem…..or are all of their pension arrangements fully funded?
      How do firms that currently operate in both UK and Ireland cope?, Or firms that operate in both France and Germany, UK and Spain etc etc.
      Scaremongering non-sense that can be sorted out ( with goodwill) in 10 minutes with a few strokes of a pen.

      The European rules are there to protect pensioners, firms and states from falling victim to financial shyters that might seek to take advantage of the cracks and discrepancies that exist between the various domestic legislations of the member states.

      That the UK treasurary aren’t prepared to put this stupidity to bed with a simple statement tells me all I need to know.

    37. Albalha says:

      @themaninthejar
      Tu as bien raison.

    38. Tattie-boggle says:

      Is the Picture at the top Tom Greatrex ? LOL

    39. Doonfooter says:

      The chap from ICAS on the radio this morning sounded less that prepared for way his organisations report had been seized upon by a compliant MSM and shouted from the rooftops as the next big scarey story to make us vote no.
      Yes Scotland now has a more considered response up here:-
      http://www.yesscotland.net/icas_pensions_report
       

    40. Morag says:

      He basically (I paraphrase) said, “It’s not a problem at all but you need to get some advance planning done so the paperwork doesn’t catch you out.”

      I stopped listening at that point.

    41. HandandShrimp says:

      Just reading the title of this story frightened me
       
      What the doom mongers of naysaying seem to miss is that this super massive black hole at the centre of the UK economy is..well at the centre of the UK economy. 
       
      Scots, as every internet troll knows, all keel over at the age of 43 from excess deep fried mars bar consumption. Consequently we don’t have a pension black hole. So another reason to get out before we are all sucked into an alternative dimension (where Better Together normally live). Lets vote Yes to escape the pension fear frightner thingy.  

    42. MajorBloodnok says:

      HandAndShrimp – you make a very good point (about the mars bars).  We in Scotland are paying in the same (or slightly more) than the rest of the UK per head, but because Scottish life spans are shorter than the UK average, we get less of it back in pensions.
       
      The UK government is well aware that it is diddling us and wants that situation to continue thanks very much.  And this bloody pensions ‘black hole’ – that’s the Union dividend in play again – who says we can’t make a better job of it than that bunch of in-bred troughers down there?

    43. HandandShrimp says:

      Major
       
      Absolutely! Government actuaries base Public Sector pensions on an average life expectancy 78 at 60 (or 18 years of pension). Even if Scots have an average life expectancy of 75 that is still a whopping 16% less of a pension commitment. These are the sort of numbers that make or break a system.

    44. Silver19 says:

      I noticed in the BBC Scotland report on pensions and on the TV report on this they flash up that figures from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) suggest 6,316 final salary pension schemes across the UK are currently running a £237bn deficit, surely the amount of Scottish final salary pensions and deficit will be less not this big scary £237bn deficit that BBC Scotland like to use ?.

    45. muttley79 says:

      @Albaha
       
      if rUK leaves the EU IN 2017?
       
      It is looking increasingly likely that if there is a No vote in our referendum, then we will be leaving the EU as part of the UK.  UKIP and Farage are getting a lot of coverage, he was on Question Time again.  It looks like the MSM want out of the EU.
       
      @Cath 
       This has been true. However also people – including those in England – have been far too optimistic / “fingers in ears” about how the NHS will never be privatised. Partly this is because the media, BBC in particular have been lying and not covering the privatisation.
       
      That has gone through now and happened.
       
      There is a real danger for the unionists that people will wake up to what’s happened to NHS England and that when they do, they will also wake up to the now-massive pro-establishment bias of the BBC. In many ways, I suspect that’s the Tories intention. Once NHS privatisation is in the bag for them, they can then happily watch people vent their anger at the BBC rather than government, since it’s an easier target. And that’s almost certainly their next target. The NHS and BBC both being “great British institutions” that the Tories wish to destroy and always have.
       
      If that hunch is correct, it will be interesting to see how it affects the independence debate.
       
      Yes, the MSM have not covered the fact that essentially the NHS in England in being privatised.  There was a vote in the House of Lords this week, and it has not been covered at all by the press (as far as I am aware).  Cath, I think you have hit the nail on the head.  If the Tories can privatise the NHS in England, after promising to protect it in a general election campaign, then they will certainly do the same to the BBC.
       

    46. tartanfever says:

      North Brit says:
       
      The pensions debate could win or lose the independence debate.Pensioners are on fixed incomes with unpredictable liabilities and a relatively short time horizon.  They are risk averse.
      1. There is a risk that their incomes could be reduced following independence (they aren’t generally interested in potential upside, and won’t rely on it).  
       
      There is an even greater risk that their incomes will be reduced by remaining in the UK. I’m baffled by apparent problems that may arise because of independence but aren’t a threat to the rUK. For some bizarre reason questions are thrown at the independence movement by people that refuse to ask the same questions and look for guarantees from Westminster. 
      I wonder how many pensioners are aware that free prescriptions, elderly care, bus passes and so on are available because of our current SNP government, but with a ‘No’ vote and a declining block grant, these freebies will soon go.

    47. Marcia says:

      Juteman says:
      26 April, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      This fear-mongering is starting to get silly. Where will it end up?
      Will we see Darling in a white ghosty sheet going Woooooo, and Lamont chasing Eck with Dracula fangs?
      🙂  🙂

    48. Erchie says:

      Nokia were the biggest mobile phone manufacturer in the world at one time, but their Mobile Phone OS was aging. They got a new High Heid Yin, from Microsoft. Soon it was announced, rather than developing their own OS (like their new, Linux based MeeGo or Android) they would become a Windws Phone only company.

      Nokia’s market share crashed

      In an unrelated topic, did I not read that the new Director General of the BBC is from the Times, one of the New International family

    49. muttley79 says:

      @tartanfever
       
      There is an even greater risk that their incomes will be reduced by remaining in the UK. I’m baffled by apparent problems that may arise because of independence but aren’t a threat to the rUK. For some bizarre reason questions are thrown at the independence movement by people that refuse to ask the same questions and look for guarantees from Westminster. 
      I wonder how many pensioners are aware that free prescriptions, elderly care, bus passes and so on are available because of our current SNP government, but with a ‘No’ vote and a declining block grant, these freebies will soon go.
       
      I think the problem is due to the MSM refusing to put the No campaign under any kind of a scrutiny.  As far as I am aware Darling has not been asked about the UK staying in the EU (which is looking more and more unlikely), he has not been questioned over the Taylor donation.  In fact it took pro-independence websites to bring it to the attention of the MSM.  The media in Scotland obviously do not think it is worth bringing to the attention of the voters in Scotland that, if we vote No then we will likely be leaving the EU, privatisation of the NHS in Scotland is likely, and the block grant will continue to be reduced.  I wonder why they do not want to talk about these things…

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The savings on Trident wouldn’t make a dent in the pensions funding issue”

      Actually they certainly WOULD make a dent in it. They amount to the best part of a couple of billion per parliament, and wider defence savings would double that. It’d still take a while to totally plug the gap if we spent that money on nothing but pensions, but it’d absolutely make a significant difference.

    51. Juteman says:

      I’m pretty sure that the UK State Pension is one of the lowest in Europe. As most of the undecided older folk will probably be relying on it, maybe some knowledgable reader could post a list of European State Pensions.
      This could be used to show what is possible if we control our own finance.

    52. tartanfever says:

      Juteman – 
       
      old article from the Metro here (2007):
      http://metro.co.uk/2007/11/13/uk-state-pension-is-the-worst-in-europe-516811/
       
      First couple of paragraphs:
       
      The UK has the worst state pensions in Europe, a report reveals today.
      A study by consultancy firm Aon shows the state pays pensioners an income equivalent to just 17% of average earnings.
      This is the lowest level in Europe and well below the average for all European Union countries of 57%. Even the Netherlands, which has the second-lowest level, provides a state pension nearly double the UK figure, the study shows.
      The UK also has one of the highest retirement ages in Europe at an average of 62.2 years, with 57% of people aged between 55 and 65 still working.
      Aon says the ‘inadequacy’ of the UK’s state pension system is ‘beyond question’.
       

    53. CameronB says:

      The cost of Trident is truly, grotesquely, out of this world, mind bending. To try and put it in to context for all those without imagination, lets take the Afghan war as an example. I can’t remember where I found it, but it was reported that it was costing us £1m per day. A couple of billion would allow us to continue funding the murder for another 5,479 and a half years.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9961877/Cost-to-US-of-Iraq-and-Afghan-wars-could-hit-6-trillion.html

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/defence/8668085/Britain-spent-18-billion-on-war-in-Afghanistan-figures-show.html

    54. tartanfever says:

      Juteman – 
      another damning article from The Telegraph, this one a bit more recent (May 2012) which again reports that we have the worst pensions in Europe.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/9297777/Anger-grows-over-second-class-state-pension.html

    55. Albalha says:

      On pensions, from the sort of magazine that could feature in HIGNFY.
      23/04/2013
      By Peter Davy
      Four out of five Europeans (79%) accept they need to save more to maintain their standard of living in retirement, with more than two-thirds (69%) saying they fear poverty in old age, according to a survey by pollsters YouGov. Seventy-eight per cent worry whether their national government will be able to pay their pension in later years, and only 28% felt the state would provide an adequate pension.

      http://www.europeanpensions.net/ep/More-than-half-in-Europe-fear-old-age-poverty.php

    56. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Albatha
      Thanks! I assume.

    57. Juteman says:

      Thanks Plaidlurgy.:-)
      Might be worth an article Stu?

    58. Ericmac says:

      Its the same theme / conclusion running through all the stories ….  
      The Unionists have control of the MSM.  This is our biggest challenge.  If we dont do something about it soon, we will be too late.
      The obvious strategy of the Unionists is to bombard the Scottish electorate with regular scare stories and propaganda.  This is being managed from Westminster now behind the scenes.  
      The Government are supplying the ammunition and the MSM are firing it.  We are always on the defensive.      
      There is a massive problem with fairness and fair reporting in this campaign.  And unless we come up with an innovative way of disrupting the MSM stranglehold, we will lose next year.  

    59. Albalha says:

      @themaninthejar
       
      You assume correctly!

    60. Juteman says:

      We need to turn the fear stories into laughter, Ericmac. Folk are starting to see the truth of what is going on.
      Nothing destroys an arguement better than ridicule.

    61. Dal Riata says:

      Another day, another co-ordinated UK MSM FUD story. So bloody boring (at least for us who are aware of their scurrilousness behaviour).
       
      BBC Scotland were gleefully reporting the scary-scary-woo-woo story this morning (as were the usual print media suspects). Have you noticed just how similar there broadcasting style of a FUD story is to the print media version?
       
      It goes something like this: make the announcement/headline as scary as possible regarding the latest smear/scare/etc.; tell/write the non-story as if it is the truth; interview/quote the source of the non-story, or ‘those with connections to the source’; interview/quote someone from the Better Together cabal who states something along the lines of ‘This proves the SNP/Alex Salmond/ is lying and Scottish independence is impossible’; finally end the broadcast/article with a brief quote from someone in the SNP repudiating the FUD story for what is – a FUD story.
       
      And, ‘Tah-dah!’ that’s the scare story of the day delivered, at least subliminally, to the people of Scotland once again.
       
      You have to wonder if there are meetings which take place at secret locations involving British Establishment goons, representatives of the Better Together cabal, representatives of the UK MSM and ‘others’ with ‘interests’ in preventing Scotland from becoming independent where they co-ordinate their strategy? A war-room, if you like. This is a war taken up by the British Establishment against the democratic right for the Scottish people to choose the path of self-determination for their country after all.

    62. Ericmac says:

      @juteman Yes, it’s healthy to laugh at them… unfortunately, propaganda is shown to work… Keep pumping enough of it into the system and it will affect the consensus.
      The obvious one is the pensions…  People who can hardly heat their homes now, are not going to risk a problem in their only income.  Nor are they going to be too analytical or forward looking. Instead, they will vote for the status quo, the safest option. 
      Mark my words, we are stuck at 30% because of the outpouring of the MSM.    
       
       

    63. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Dal Riata
      Regarding your last paragraph. I think that they have no need for meetings, they have been doing this for so long now that they all know the script by heart.

    64. Albalha says:

      @DalRiata
      The broadcasters follow the print media. And of course I reckon with this story the ICAS lot released a press release which will have listed who was available for interview.
      The serious lack of resources in BBC Radio Scotland News means research, even if people wanted to carry it out, is non existent. So stories parrot the papers/press releases/those who shout loudest. I know there’s little sympathy on here for the folks at the BBC but setting up a nearly 3 hour morning news programme, with very few people, is a thankless task.
      The debate is framed from a unionist view, the papers are behind that view, mainly, and so we end up with the narrative they promote.

    65. CameronB says:

      In most circumstances, the interference by a foreign power on the internal workings of a sovereign nation’s democratic process, would be akin to the sort of low level, undeclared warfare that is often carried out before a forced regime change. Just as well we Brits don’t get up to that sort of thing. 🙂

    66. Yesitis says:

      Albalha
      The serious lack of resources in BBC Radio Scotland News means research, even if people wanted to carry it out, is non existent. So stories parrot the papers/press releases/those who shout loudest. I know there’s little sympathy on here for the folks at the BBC but setting up a nearly 3 hour morning news programme, with very few people, is a thankless task.
      And you really believe that?
      When did BBC Scotland start being so biased against independence? The bias existed long before the recent cuts at Pacific Quay. Bias by omission is rife at the BBC, example: The Ian Taylor Better Together donation and BBC Scotland`s inability to discuss it (if it was the SNP…).
      The problem is BBC Scotland`s (shameless?) connection with the Labour Party.
       
       

    67. scottish_skier says:

      we are stuck at 30%   

      That’s not correct. That represents minimum values for yes and something of an outlier. The recent maximum was 36%, with 33-34% the most frequent values.

      No maximum is now below 50% (no majority support for the union) and as low as 44%. Has fallen ~5% since October 2012 while Yes has risen 3-4%.

      Labour VI also falling with SNP VI rising over the same period.

      Why on earth do you think the unionists are in such a panic? All polls would suggest the union ‘peaked’ last year as predicted by many, including prominent unionists.

      Considering the Y was ahead of the N late 2011 and things are now swinging back again towards this position with 1.5 years to go, that’s enough to make any unionist start bricking it.

      And anyway, 36% of the electorate saying Y on a 70% turnout (which would be a record turnout not seen since 1997) would be a majority for Yes.

      Also note that aggressive propaganda by the state from which a country wants to secede is historically a crucial factor in fuelling secession. Nobody likes their country attacked.

    68. Albalha says:

      @Yesitis
      As I’ve said the debate is framed from a unionist perspective, I’ve also stated here, previously, that I don’t understand why J Boothman was in charge of Holyrood when his partner was a minister and why, now, he’s head of News.
      But I don’t believe that everything that happens is due to people setting out to trash the YES position. D Miller did a reasonable job against Lamont recently on the I Taylor donation. And both sides, if you like, will be calling every day to complain about one thing or another. Lack of staff certainly does not help.
      When I worked there, in the late 90’s, I didn’t detect an overwhelming anti YES sentiment  where I worked. It was the Lesley Riddoch programme, which I think, you’d agree was not squarely behind an anti independence position. 
       
       
       
       

    69. Braco says:

      Ericmac,
      We already have found an innovative and successful way of disrupting the MSM stranglehold. It’s just that, quite understandably, they are doing all in their power to leave it unreported to try and lessen and thereby slow its progressively exponential effectiveness.
       
      This site is here to make MSM Propaganda and its myopia obvious to all who care (especially the grass root activists of Independence) and hopefully it will  help embed in everyone it’s strategic relevance to our struggle for self determination.
       
      This should definitely not be mistaken (especially by our supporters and activists) as some sort of admission that we are not already defeating the very forces being exposed here by Rev Stu and posters daily.

      We must carry on with, but more often, with larger numbers and with greater vigour, the very same strategic tactics that have won us every victory to date and sees us only 16 months or so from our penultimate goal. (Those are victories won without the aid of the MSM or BBC so please don’t underestimate them but then again certainly don’t overestimate them either.)  

      Expect no reported signs of victory from the MSM other than more and more shrill and outlandish  declarations of natural victory and commonsense unionist straightforwardness (all prior to the vote naturally!).
       
      Be friendly, be positive, talk, talk and talk. Stay cool, hang loose and then vote YES in 2014.

      Good luck and see you all on the other side.

    70. a supporter says:

      What is VI?

    71. scottish_skier says:

      VI = Voting intention.

    72. Macart says:

      @skier and Braco
       
      S’right on! 🙂

    73. CameronB says:

      I’ve said it before, grass is an awfy bugger to stop. The roots get everywhere.

      Macart, did you see my question to you earlier, about whether you were being ironic about links being allowed on the Guardian?
       

    74. a supporter says:

      scottish_skier 26 April, 2013 at 6:54 pm
      “36% of the electorate saying Y on a 70% turnout (which would be a record turnout not seen since 1997) would be a majority for Yes.”
      While I agree with much of what you have posted I cannot see the logic in the above statement. My take on the matter is:-
      Polls about Independence ALL show that it is only during the last few weeks before the vote that the support for YES shoots up. In Scotland the vote in the last Referendum in 1997 for Devolution with taxation powers, the nearest thing to actual Independence, rose from 44% YES on 1st Sept, to 63.5% in the actual vote on Sept 11. Similarly in Quebec’s Independence Referendum in 1995 polls were showing only 33% in favour of YES at the beginning of the campaign which increased to 55% a few weeks before the vote, dropping to 49.4% in the actual vote (due to unusual circumstances). Other referenda show similar results and MOST of them result in a YES vote.
       
       
       

    75. Macart says:

      @Cameron
       
      Just catching up, I’m finishing a double shift at the printworks. But yep I was being a tad sarcastic with the mods. I wanted to see if they’d rise to mentions of the Telegraph and Mail as regular links from their readership. 😉

    76. scottish_skier says:

      I think people need to understand that everyone knows the MSM are biased towards the union. I’ve not met a single person who genuinely disagrees with this.
      Yes supporters know it. Thinking about Yes/DK’s know it, and No voters know it. The only people that probably haven’t given it much thought are those that won’t vote anyway. The only people who would blatantly deny it are hardcore unionists.
      This is why for independence referenda, negative state propaganda aimed at preserving said state historically has the opposite effect. This is not one political party attacking another, this is the British state attacking Scotland. Unless you are a hardcore unionist who puts Britain before Scotland every time, then go figure what the ultimate effect will be.
      The pro-union campaign will help drive Scotland out of the union unless they switch to presenting a positive case for it. This is standard stuff historically. It’s all been done before when a country started thinking about leaving the empire. British anti-independence propaganda success rate = 0.
       
       

    77. Silverytay says:

      scottish-skier      Thanks for all your input ‘ it is great to get a real perspective to what is going on with the polls instead of the unionist propaganda .
      At first I was skeptical about your theory that Dave was wanting rid of us but after Osborne,s latest threats I am now convinced ‘ there is nothing like a rich tory threatening us and telling us what we can and cannot do to make the Scots vote YES .

    78. Albalha says:

      @scottishskier
      You make it sound like a breeze, let’s hope so. But when it comes to scaremongering over money , does that not stick?
       

    79. Arbroath1320 says:

      I’m guessing that as the BT squad of economic geniuses are using EU rules as the reason for this latest “rational ???” reason for NOT becoming an Independent country then they are admitting that an Independent Scotland WILL become member of EU as Alex Salmond predicts. If however they are to continue with the “won’t become member of EU” routine then surely THIS pension scare will NOT exist!
       
      Over to you BT what is it?
      Will an Independent Scotland become automatic member of EU, YES or NO?
      OR
      Will this pseudo pension bomb you are now pushing happen YES or NO?
       
      Remember BT you can only answer YES to LONE question NOT both!

    80. Marcia says:

      I was out with friends last-night. One said that she had spoken to two people that afternoon that could be described as sitting on the fence but more in the sceptical camp. They both said to her, ‘what is it that Scotland has that the Tories want?’ The two were considered anti-independence a while ago. They are now asking questions and have noticed the negative attacks from the BBC.

    81. douglas clark says:

      It is difficult to believe that there actually is a ‘Better Together’ strategy.
       
      scottish_skier seems to me to have the right of it. We are being gently eased into a ‘Yes’ vote by a union that either thinks it is omnipotent and can do no wrong or really, really wants shot of us.
       
      I think it was Napoleon who said:
       
      “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” or summat like that.
       
      Strange days.

    82. Marcia says:

      Tris at Mungiun’s Republic has put together a lot of the economic answers together for you all.
      http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/what-future-what-potential-for-our-kids.html?showComment=1367003917329

    83. Braco says:

       
      Albalha says:
      26 April, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      @SS
      You make it sound like a breeze, let’s hope so. But when it comes to scaremongering over money , does that not stick?
      That SS is a bit dry for my tastes (wistfullookfromtheothersideofthepub) but the man is right!
       
      I don’t here him saying that we shouldn’t and mustn’t :
       
       carry on with, but more often, with larger numbers and with greater vigour, the very same strategic tactics that have won us every victory to date and sees us only 16 months or so from our penultimate goal. (Those are victories won without the aid of the MSM or BBC so please don’t underestimate them but then again certainly don’t overestimate them either.)
       
      We are going to win this. It won’t be easy, but we will win easily. 
       

       

    84. Jiggsbro says:

      Remember BT you can only answer YES to LONE question NOT both!
       
      Well, they could answer “Scotland wants to be a member of the EU, and believes it will be able to negotiate membership between the referendum and Independence Day, but if it does remain or become a member, it will face a pension time bomb”
       
      To which the answer, as given earlier, is “It’s not a problem at all but you need to get some advance planning done so the paperwork doesn’t catch you out, you sad, silly people. Now away tae Falkirk and look for the positive case for the Union”

    85. scottish_skier says:

      @a supporter

      36/70*100 = 51.4%

      Turnout may well be crucial. The last time we had a >70% turnout in Scotland was 1997. The average going back to 1945 is just 73%. I’d be really surprised if the final turnout was >70%. Some folk are incapable of voting (too sick/old), others don’t get around to it (out of the country and forgot), some just not interested.

      You only need 37.2% of the electorate to vote Yes for such a turnout (70%) to give a 51% Yes majority.

      Question is, who is more motivated? The core 1/3 of the electorate who have been waiting years, decades, possibly all of their lives for the opportunity? Or those who think ‘nobody supports independence [according to the media] so there’s no need to vote [no]‘, many of whom have never got off their butt to vote before.
      Anyhoo, in late 2011 it was conservatively 45Y/39N = comfortable Yes majority even if such a ridiculously high turnout of 84% happened.

      The Yes was ahead of the No. It seems in 2012 enough doubt was put in people’s minds to make them think twice. They have now done so and are returning to what they wish it would seem according to all polls since October 2012 when the Edinburgh Agreement was signed. That was the peak for the union and likely the last.

      If I was pro-union I’d want >50% N right up to referendum day to ensure a solid No. That’s just not happening. At best they might have shaved that for a few months in late 2012 before losing 5-6% since.

      And yes, you do tend to get surges towards Yes near the end. My feeling is such a surge would take it from being more a close run thing to a solid Y majority. Effectively what happened in 1997.

      @Braco You make it sound like a breeze

      No, but it’s less hard than people think.
       
       

    86. handclapping says:

      @Albalha Nobody understands money; next to nobody understands pensions. What better subjects to use to promote FUD. Next time you’re in the States see how much it’ll cost you to buy a Confederate dollar and they were issued during a civil war. So we can do what we like with the currency.
      Similarly with pensions you get yours from a company or the State. If its a company its a contract and its the same whether you live in Scotland or Spain. If its the State then Scotland only pays 38% for welfare against 42% for rUK so there is better cover for pensions in Scotland.  But hey whit can ye dae! who’d let facts get in the way of a good scaremonger except get out there and tell them the truth.

    87. douglas clark says:

      Braco,
       
      If independence is our penultimate goal, what is our ultimate goal?

    88. Albalha says:

      @Braco
      If it’s won easily (10% margin) I’ll buy you a wee swally in whatever pub you may well be in right now, wistfully looking around.
      I’m confident of a YES, but easily, by a large margin, mmmmm, I’m rather more sceptical.

    89. Braco says:

      Albalha,
      sorry for mixing your comment with my quote there. I am not usually so clumsily forward. So… I will choose to blame some sort of interweb googlitch and hope that, over time, our honours will recover.

    90. Albalha says:

      @Braco
      Honour, what honour ….long departed, no need to concern yourself. But good luck with the googlitch.

    91. douglas clark says:

      Albalha,
       
      I confidently predict (ahem) that the referendum will be, at a minimum 55% YES, 45% NO. I base this prediction on the fact / opinion that the right wing in England – y’know, UKIP / CONS – think we are not ‘their sort of people’ So they will sabotage the ‘No’ campaign if need be.
       
      Why?
       
      Because they can’t get a vote up here.
       
      In politics it is power that matters, and consolidating their base is going to be very important to them.
       
       

    92. the rough bounds says:

      Aye, I know this is OT a bit, but three weeks ago the Oban Times reported that in a poll in a high school in Islay where just over a hundred pupils voted, only four voted for independence with a huge majority voting No.
      Does anyone have any information on what is going on over there? Have the kids in Islay had their brains taken out?

    93. scottish_skier says:

      The Yes campaign need to keep doing exactly what they are doing while the No campaign does the same.

      The former are doing everything right to the best of their ability whilst the latter are doing everything wrong to the best of theirs.

      The former are thinking long-term, the latter short term. The former will make long term gains, the latter only short term if they are lucky.

      Have faith in the electorate. They are not fools. And polls-wise, don’t be suckered.

    94. Braco says:

      douglas clark,
      well ultimately, Braco will become Lord protector and Supreme Ruler of Scots their Commonwealth and (obviously out of date but deadly) nuclear deterrent.

      But just in case others are listening, what I really meant was that a YES vote in 2014 is NOT the same as a declaration of Independence from a democratically elected Scots Parliament followed by its recognition through full representation at The UN.

      How’s that?

    95. muttley79 says:

      @Braco
       
      We are going to win this. It won’t be easy, but we will win easily.
       
      I am still not sure.  I hope we can do it.  However, I don’t really see the point in predicting a victory at the moment. 

    96. douglas clark says:

      This is probably going to come down to a poll about who really cares.
       
      I think that roughly 30% to 40% of the electorate won’t bother to vote at all. I think that some of these people will be people who answer polls and say ‘no way to independence’. Unfortunately there are also people in that group that say ‘Yes’. Neither group will, necessarily bother to vote.
       
      If, and it a fairly sizeable if, we can get our total vote out, then we will win. The ‘if’ is in my first paragraph. Do they care enough to get up off our arses and vote?
       
      If they do care enough, then the chances are that we will win. If our supporters are as disengaged as most ‘no’ supporters then it could go either way.
       
      I hate the bloody word, but we need to ensure that our base knows that if they are energised enough, we will win this.
       
      It seems to me that this is our challenge.
       
      Get the vote out!

    97. Braco says:

      Albalha,
      I just assumed the googlitch was yours. Now I am worried (especially when I look around again at the folk pushing and pulling to get to the bar) at my end of the pub!
       
      I keep trying to catch SS’s eye, with his raucuos but sober, intelectual, evidence led, group of young petrochemical geologist professionals so obviously only here temporarily to get out of the rain. To no avail.  In fact worse, I think he has seen me but wisely chosen to ignore the bad teeth and feverish glassy eyed stares.
       
      Who needs them anyway!   

    98. douglas clark says:

      Braco @8:57pm,

      Gotta disagree with you here:

      “what I really meant was that a YES vote in 2014 is NOT the same as a declaration of Independence from a democratically elected Scots Parliament followed by its recognition through full representation at The UN.”

      The second the result is declared it is all over, the rest is detail. IMHO.
       
      It is interesting.

      No-one knows the future. It is a tad unpredictable.
      But I do see a prospect for us that is, more of less, favourable.

      Never rely on Nostradamus or me 😉
       
       
       

    99. Linda's back says:

      Have I Got News For You audience has just voted overwhelming for the Scots to “Bugger off”.  

    100. a supporter says:

      scottish_skier at 8,25 26.04.13

      Ah I think I see where you are coming from. You are assuming that since it is an opinion poll of the ELECTORATE, and since 36% of those have said they will vote YES, that ALL the YES people will turn out as part of the 70% turnout, and that the 30% who don’t vote will ALL come from the NOs and Uncertains. Although moot, it does seem a fairly reasonable assumption to make. Do we have evidence that a 100% turnout of the YES vote has been attained in the past? Also, some of the Uncertains will swing to the YES making a 50% YES vote much easier to attain.
      In my meanderings I had assumed (and I am sure many others are assuming) that the 70% turnout would be split in the same manner as the Electorate split in the opinion polls. But that is most unlikely, bearing in mind the tenacity of the long term YES supporters. You have put a new favourable light on the subject for me.
       

    101. Boorach says:

      I’m pretty clueless, never could even pretend to possess any sort of intellual thinking. Life is pretty simple really.
       
      As SS mentioned those on the Yes side are the ones who are really committed to achieving a dream come true. The naysayers are simply content to drift along and accept whatever is coming down the Line for them. 
       
      No empirical evidence but there seems to be a distinct lack of web sites supporting No whilst theres not enough hours in the day to get round all the Yes sites. Also any photographs I’ve seen show a huge disparity in numbers attending meetings in favour of the Yes side.
       
      So there it is the Yes campaign is, I believe, the side with the larger, active support and will get the boots on the ground to get the message out. It’s fine flipper and co hogging the limelight but its the face-to-face meeting, the warm handshake and persuasive, positive chat that will carry the day and win the vote.
       
      p.s. I hope it’s raining stair rods all day cos that’s when the committed will vote come hell or high water.

    102. douglas clark says:

      a supporter,
       
      I thought that too. It is commitment to vote that will decide this, I think.

    103. Marcia says:

      An article in the Wall Street Journal

      http://tinyurl.com/cxvx4t3

    104. Braco says:

      douglas clark,
      I would love to agree and intellectually I do, but until that world wide official recognition I have decided that the fight is (and will stay) ON. Just me?
      Why wait till 2016 after a YES vote? I understand a period of transition, but why allow 2015 Westminster elections and possible ‘democratically’ elected Party political opposition to the defined will of the electorate via a YES in the referendum.  

    105. Boorach says:

      Bye the bye, Ross County are still on course for Europe having just thrashed the Arabs 1 – 0. Now theres today’s version of the spider!

    106. Laura says:

      I know this is not an election, but the very idea of postal voting in the referendum does concern me (a lot).

    107. douglas clark says:

      Braco,
       
      Seriously?
       
      There have been hundreds of independence movements, some peaceful, some not.
       
      Generally speaking, if the folk want it, they get it.
       
      The rest is just an accommodation by the international community of changed circumstances. They seem to be quite good at that.
       
      It is perhaps quite interesting that New Zealand has no recognised Independence Day. After years, it just turned out to be independent. By default. London didn’t care anymore and, well, sometimes you just have to rule yourself, don’t you?
       
       

    108. Marcia says:

      120 in Dunoon at the launch of Cowal Yes Group.
      http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2998129

    109. HandandShrimp says:

      Rough Bounds
       
      On Islay it was a youth Question Time and I think they did a stick your hand up straw poll. However, without hearing the debate that had taken place and what had been said to form the context of the question and the way the question was worded it is difficult to determine if the vote signifies anything very much.
       
      I would be equally suspicious of a 96% Yes vote too. It would again more likely reflect the mood of the moment and the way the question was framed than a likely actual result in a secret vote. You can see a similar thing happening on the adult QT when Dimbleby asks a question and everybody sticks their hand up but when it comes to a real vote the split is nothing like as emphatic.

    110. Braco says:

      douglas clark,
      wouldn’t that be Great! I hope you are right, (I do) but look around you at our current ‘Scottish’ Unionist Political Party leadership and MSM. Do you honestly believe that a YES (even 60/40) would be enough to change their current outlook? Bear in mind their views have never needed, or stooped so low as, to follow the will and needs of the electorate that voted for them.
      September 19th 2014, opposition politicians will be stunned and shocked and ineffectual (as will the MSM and BBC). Two years later and with the UK at stake again……… A hey ma doots!

    111. scottish_skier says:

      Braco
      I’ll have a Best.
      I prefer snow to rain, but hoping for a bit of spring sunshine now.
      😉

    112. Dcanmore says:

      @Linda …
       
      Yeah, i just caught that on ayeplayer … five minute anti-Scottish rant lightly dressed up as ‘comedy’. “King Alex”, “tramps”, “bugger off” … it was all a bit off actually.

    113. Linda's back says:

      Have been out most of to-day and has just seen first BBC Scotland  TV coverage of company pensions issue.
      After John Swinney gave a reasonable rebuttal, but  they allowed a Labour MP to have the last word which gave the anti independence campaign two hits in the viewers minds.
      BBC  then raised issue of state pensions without pointing out that Scotland is better placed to pay such pensions than UK and that many public sector pensions are already paid out of the Scottish government  budget.
      That omission makes the BBC coverage completely biased.

    114. HandandShrimp says:

      Just saw reporting Scotland for the first time in ages…the only thing missing was the Scream mask.
      Who on Earth was the Labour chap (McClymont? sp?). I’ve never seen him before. Not exactly articulate is he? However, it is interesting to see that they are conceding that Scotland would be instantly a member of the EU.
       
      I don’t think the No camp can continue with the pretence that they have a positive argument – they latch on to every ridiculous shock horror they can lay their Vitoily mitts on.  

    115. douglas clark says:

      Braco, my friend,
       
      What is the issue? Am I missing something?
       
      On 14th September 2014. you and I vote for independence and we win. The rUK election of 2016 is irrelevant. We have already made our decision. We are already an independent country. Hopefully negotiations will be concluded well before then, but our independence won’t be in any doubt whatsoever. Indeed, I doubt we should allow the election to impinge on us at all. It should be an election for the governance of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
       
      Nowt to do with us.

    116. Morag says:

      The next UK election is in 2015.  This will be only seven months after the referendum and nearly a year before the projected independence day.

      I too am curious to know how that election will be organised.

    117. Braco says:

      scottish_skier,
      No,  it’s too late. I am already scraping the fat off the chip wrappers as I stagger home, staring and mumbling aggressively/charmingly at anything, male, female, cat, car or… wall.  So, sorry there pal but you missed your chance!
       

    118. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Devil’s advocate for a moment – some notes from an imagined brainstorming session in a rather nice wine bar somewhere in Chelsea:
       
      ‘A.S./SNP/Yes are playing a blinder. Look statesmanlike compared to the ‘opposition’, are swatting away pro-Union arguments with ease…
       
      No immediate prospect of Scotlab replacing Lamont – if they found a proper pro-Union Big Beast like Ian Davidson or George Galloway (?!) to head up a revamped Labour, punters would pay for access to the public gallery. Labour would certainly benefit from such invigoration, and AS would relish a decent sparring partner…
       
      But it’s not likely to happen…
       
      As things stand, Lamont, Baillie, Curran, Milliband et al are arousing sympathy (and it’s even been expressed here) – AS is simply untouchable, therefore it’s not an ‘even contest’. Scots are inclined to support the underdog, and BT can continue to lurch from one scare story to the next in the knowledge that a substantial wodge of traditional Labour voters will view the referendum as a last-ditch effort to save the party ‘of their parents’… 
       
      Rather than diminish and ignore the SNP/Yes, the MSM will soon concede that the referendum is all but lost – Independence is coming, Salmond will be the Great Dictator, and only the salt-of-the-earth Scottish working-class can stop him. In that context the hopeless amateurishness of the BT campaign becomes an asset – no-one likes to see anyone being tortured…
      TBC’
       
      It’s only a ‘scenario’, but it’s surely possible – given what’s happened this week, it’s pretty obvious that these people are getting really desperate.
       
       

    119. HandandShrimp says:

      Morag
       
      The good thing about the election in 2015 is that by September 2014 the three Unionist parties will be at each others throats and vying for position (that or have merged into one party for all the difference it makes). 

    120. Braco says:

      douglas clark ma pal, (warm arm over your shoulder in a friendly and manly but non threatening manner). No issue at all, simply just what Morag says.
       
      Morag says:
      26 April, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      The next UK election is in 2015.  This will be only seven months after the referendum and nearly a year before the projected independence day.
      I too am curious to know how that election will be organised.

       
       

    121. douglas clark says:

      morag,
       
      Point taken about the date. Doesn’t make the slightest difference to the arguement.
       
      If we win in 2014, then it is a complete irrelevance. Negotiations will be near to conclusion and, frankly, we should withdraw from any involvement in their 2015 election. It has nothing to do with us.

    122. Jiggsbro says:

      The Yes campaign need to keep doing exactly what they are doing while the No campaign does the same.
      The former are doing everything right to the best of their ability whilst the latter are doing everything wrong to the best of theirs.
       
      I’m not convinced. If it comes down to who gets their vote out, then I think we’ll win, because most people who say ‘Yes’ in an opinion poll are positively in favour of independence, whereas – I believe – most people who say ‘No’ are not positively opposed to it (they’re just not convinced). The core and committed ‘Yes’ vote outnumbers the core and committed ‘No’ vote, and so ‘Yes’ will secure a bigger turnout of their vote.
       
      That said, BT are doing all the right things: they’re scaring people (or trying to). They’re trying to turn the people who are unconvinced by independence – those who say ‘No’ to a poll but might not care enough to go and vote ‘No’ – into people who will positively resist independence. People who will make an effort to go out and vote against it. The easiest way to do that is to make independence into a threat. Convince people that their physical or financial security is under threat and they will get out and vote against that perceived threat.
       
      A lot of posters seem to want to believe that ‘positivity always wins’. It doesn’t always. Quite often, fear wins. Of course, for fear to win, the threat has to be credible and to most informed people, the ‘threats’ identified by BT aren’t credible. They’re ridiculous. But even ridiculous threats, repeated for 500+ days, can gain a hold in people’s subconscious and become credible.
       
      So I think the vote will come down to two things: the relative commitment of the two groups of voters  and how well informed everyone who isn’t a committed ‘Yes’ voter is. On the former, we have the advantage at the moment. On the latter, BT have the advantage (the MSM being the advantage). And their advantage will trump our advantage over time, unless the ‘Yes’ campaign can get more myth-busting information out there in a form the potentially fearful will access and understand. That form isn’t going to be leaflets pushed through people’s doors and into their bins. It’s going to be the MSM, the internet and word-of-mouth. They’re unlikely to be get a fair deal from the MSM, so it’s going to have to be committed activists on the ground and in cyberspace.
       
      So, IMO, BT are doing everything right, but they’re not doing it particularly well. The ‘Yes’ campaign needs to carry on doing what it’s doing, although some simpler, bullet-point rebuttals of the scare stories would be useful. But most importantly, we need to carry on doing what we’re doing…assuming we don’t all restrict our activity to mutual back-slapping on this and other sites. The vote can be won by spiking BT’s guns: rebutting as much of their nonsense as possible, as simply as possible, to as many people as possible. It won’t be won by complaining about the MSM, or by finding positive reasons for independence, or by boring committed ‘Yes’ voters with long, rambling posts on WoS (mea  culpa). It will be won by getting our vote out and giving their vote no reason to get off its arse.

    123. Morag says:

      HandandShrimp – Sure.  I merely wonder why we would want to vote for MPs to go to Westminster when we’ll be independent within the year anyway.  But the other side of that argument is, would we not be entitled to and indeed need such representation for the interim period?

      How would a Westminster government cope if it knew that it would lose its majority if the Scottish MPs are out of the picture in a year?  (That could happen to Labour, at least in theory.)  How will Westminster re-structure itself, mid-term?

      The obvious answer is to send back 59 SNP MPs to keep the buggers honest during the negotiations, then when they all resign en masse a year later it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the balance of power.  But that might be a bit out of reach even in these circumstances.

      Would SLab stand on a platform of repudiating the referendum result if they got a Scottish majority?  It would be suicide, but they could be that stupid.  All fertile ground for speculation.

    124. Jiggsbro says:

      I doubt we should allow the election to impinge on us at all. It should be an election for the governance of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
       
      The SNP will be in a bit of a bind for the 2015 election. If they field candidates, on a platform of ‘vote for us to do nothing for about a year’, they’ll get slated by the MSM and the Unionist parties. But if they don’t, then Scotland will have only Unionist MPs…and I wouldn’t put it past Westminster to declare that having all Unionist MPs means Scotland has changed its mind about independence.

    125. Morag says:

      What about “vote for us to do our damndest to keep Westminster honest during the negotiations”?  That would get my vote.

    126. Linda's back says:

      Yes  has to mobilise as many supporters as possible to get off their behinds and start knocking on doors and speaking to people face to face.
      That includes everyone (who live in Scotland) who post on the various Yes web  sites. 
      Failing which, if immobile, write frequent letters to the mainstream newspapers including the hostile ones such as Mail, Express, Telegraph and Times contradicting their scare stories but putting over the positive YES message. 

    127. douglas clark says:

      ianbrotherhood,
       
      Interesting scenario.
       
      If you believe, as (err) I  think I do that Westminster wants to see the back of us, it doesn’t wash. Especially the AS as Great Dictator line. Wasn’t that Charlie Chaplin?

    128. douglas clark says:

      Absolutely ridiculous comments on here.
      If we win in 2014 we are, de facto, independent.
      Why the heck whould we care about a Westminsters’  democracy in 2015? It is completely  irrelevant and simply a partner in our independence negotiations.
      Could I have some of the stuff you lot are on?
       
       
       

    129. Braco says:

      Linda’s back,
      Well said and should be repeated by all reading this, every morning to the mirror as they brush their teeth.

    130. Marcia says:

      The Pension story has disappeared from the BBC Scottish News page and is now relegated to a minor headline in the Politics page instead.

    131. Morag says:

      Douglas, I didn’t say I cared.  I said I was curious, and it was fertile ground for speculation.  That’s not quite the same thing.

    132. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Selected clips of this character in action could sway untold numbers of ditherers to say ‘och, what the hell, we’d might as well shot wursells ay these belters…’
       
      The extraordinary Jacob Rees Mogg, who looks like he came into the world already wearing a three-piece pin-stripe, ‘in perfectly beastly form dahling’ afront a packed HoC:
       
      (Jump to 5.09 for some tasty references to ‘the Scottish’) 
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-k4q-mbqNk

    133. Jiggsbro says:

      What about “vote for us to do our damnedest to keep Westminster honest during the negotiations”?  That would get my vote.
       
      I’d query the mechanism by which a minority group of MPs could hope to keep Westminster honest during that one year, particularly given that it’s never been achieved in the last 300.

    134. HandandShrimp says:

      To be honest if we vote Yes in 2014 there may be toys out the pram for 2015 in rUK because it could affect the result of who gets to park their bum in Downing Street. I can see lots of strangulated wailing in the Mail asking us to abstain or vote for a negotiating team or something.
       
      Fun times – but first Yes

    135. Adrian B says:

      To be honest if we vote Yes in 2014 there may be toys out the pram for 2015 in rUK because it could affect the result of who gets to park their bum in Downing Street.
       
      No Scottish representation in Westminster. That would be a scandal, they are just going to have to put up with us until such time as the paper work is done and dusted. If they had started negotiating earlier then they wouldn’t have got into that pickle. Life can be so unfair sometimes.
       
       

    136. Braco says:

      douglas clark,
      YES in 2014. Scotland scheduled to declare independence in 2016.
       
      This is supposedly to allow our negotiations with rUK, Europe, NATO etc to create a seamless continuation of our chosen memberships. I understand the attraction of this scenario, I just don’t believe that the current unionist political class and it’s last stand supporters would simply fall into line behind the interests of an independent Scotland after a YES vote in 2014.
       
      Given the opportunity to misinterpret a new ‘democratic’ Westminster mandate in 2015, how do you expect our current crop of elected representatives to act?

      Or is the 2015 election canceled given a YES vote? In which case you are correct and the UK will ceace to exist upon the YES vote in Sept 2014 (definitely my preference but it’s not being punted).
       

    137. Morag says:

      I’d query the mechanism by which a minority group of MPs could hope to keep Westminster honest during that one year, particularly given that it’s never been achieved in the last 300.
       
      This would be a rather different situation, though.  I’d rather have them there than not, on balance.  And a nice solid SNP landslide would be a decent insurance policy from Braco’s point of view.

    138. The Man in the Jar says:

      I have wondered about this. Would many Scots bother to turn out for the 2015 GE? And what about a Scot standing for an English seat, would the English vote for a “foreigner” their opposition would be all over that. It is the likes of Davidson, Murphy and Curran in 2016 that I wory about. I don’t want the likes of them sullying Holyrood treating it like a second rate Westminster with no seat in the Lords at the end. I don’t see them making a positive addition to Scottish politicks.

    139. Braco says:

      Morag,
      I am glad we can rely on you to arrange that for me. Come the glorious reign, The Braco, Grande Guardian of Trident (and all Scots), will not forget.

    140. Jiggsbro says:

      This would be a rather different situation, though.
       
      The situation in terms of Westminster’s processes and procedures would remain the same as it ever was: a small group of MPs of a minority party would have no meaningful influence in parliament over a government with a working majority and no role to play in negotiations between a Westminster government and a de facto foreign government. They could represent their constituents for a year, but I’m not convinced there would be much that they could achieve in that respect. And the electorate would be bound to ask why they were standing for election to a parliament they were committed to leaving. Assuming they followed the practice of not voting on issues not affecting Scotland, and assuming that Westminster wouldn’t be daft enough to try to pass legislation affecting Scotland, what would they do? They’d lay themselves open to the charge of troughing: pay and expenses for doing nothing. Better, I think, if the SNP simply field no candidates and allow the other parties to either follow their lead or field their own useless troughers.

    141. Dal Riata says:

      @Linda’s back and @Dcanmore
      Yes, that (Osborne coming up to Scotland/pound sterling) was the very first thing they discussed on HIGNFY to tonight. There was the arrogant English metrocentric viewpoint on Scotland right there, some silly little backwater that will do as it’s told.
       
       
      The ‘comedy’ consisted of pipers and highland dancers, Alex Salmond becoming ‘leader’ and calling himself King, Scotland exporting tramps, and the audience being asked, ‘Let’s see if the audience agrees that if the Scots want to use the pound they can bugger off! (most of the audience put their hands up). Oh, ha-ha-ha, ho-ho-ho, he-he-he, lol, lol, lol…NOT! 
       
      Yes, I know it’s supposed to be a satirical programme, and all that, and we Scots can laugh at ourselves and all our foibles, but that was Establishment England going, ‘Let’s laugh at the stupid Jocks!’ Fuk’m, come 19 September, 2014 it’ll be our turn to laugh at those arseholes.

    142. Nairn says:

      Presumably, pro-nationalist forces could form their own version of the Bloc Quebecois, with the understanding that they are going to Westminster to deny the seats to Unionist parties for a strictly limited period of time (hopefully shorter than the 23 years the BQ have being doing it for…). You could literally send anyone to do that job.

    143. Aucheorn says:

      We should take part in the 2015 Election. 

      Get a SNP majority of seats in Scotland, then if rUK gets stroppy we declare UDI and tell them to stuff their debt. 🙂

    144. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Dal Riata –
       
      ‘…come 19 September, 2014 it’ll be our turn to laugh at those arseholes.’
       
      Kin right.
       
      And we will laugh in many different ways.
       
      But I suspect that your assessment of what we’re laughing ‘at’ is accurate enough to be going on with.
       
      Slainte.

    145. Indion says:

      Jiggsbro @ 12:12am

      I rarely find myself in disagreement with what you put here on issues of substance.

      Nor here on why, but on this time how.

      I’m of belt and braces bent. So not only would I prefer to win the Referendum handsomely, I’d also wish to back that result up by seeing ‘independenistas’ winning the majority of Scottish seats in the 2014/2015 UK General Election so as to lend undoubted weight and scrutiny to the transitional Sco & rUK negotiations.

      If such one (last) term candidates stood on the basis of drawing expenses only whilst remitting their salaries to charity, do you think that would allay thoughts of their drinking from the last trough?

    146. CameronB says:

      I’m with Douglas and Morag. I’ve no idea how it could, should or will work out, but a Yes vote signifies the people’s intent to dissolve Westminster’s constitutional source of power, i.e. the union. At last, as solution the the West Lothian question. However, leaving Westminster unattended until 2016 would be somewhat risky, IMO. Should there not at least be witnesses?

      How would Labour for Independence get on in WM elections?

    147. Midgehunter says:

       
      Juteman says:
      26 April, 2013 at 5:29 pm
       

      “I’m pretty sure that the UK State Pension is one of the lowest in Europe. As most of the undecided older folk will probably be relying on it, maybe some knowledgable reader could post a list of European State Pensions.
      This could be used to show what is possible if we control our own finance.”
       
      Sorry for the delay but I can vouch for the fact that UK pensions are crap.
       
      I receive a pension from the UK
      One from Denmark
      And one from Germany.
       
      I don’t have all the details at my fingertips but the DE / DK pensions depend upon how much you earn per month. A fixed percentage of your monthly income is deducted for the pension. The more you earn the more goes into your pension account.
       
      Each year you get a statement which tells you what you would receive as a pension if you applied for it straight away and what is forcast for you at 65 years if you continue at the present rate of income.
       
      For three years work in DK I get a pension which is 2/3 of what I get for 12 years work in the UK. My german pension is 2 1/2 times what I would get in the UK.

    148. ianbrotherhood says:

      This is a very late call, one I’ve been swithering about for a while.
       
      I’ve been researching BBC ‘blacklisting’.
       
      Dodgy topic. 
       
      If anyone has any refs, anecdotes – anything – which may help, please contact me directly – if Rev allows this – my personal e-mail is ian [at] stevenston4 [dot] fsnet [dot] co [dot] uk
       
      There is plenty of evidence that the BBC has always been scrupulous in vetting staff/contributors – the implications vis-a-vis the ‘referendum’ debate are obvious.
       
      The nuts and bolts are much harder to determine – a few years ago I had good reason to approach a VIP with my concerns. ‘The BBC doesn’t do blacklists’ was the response.
       
      Sadly, the evidence I’ve seen since doesn’t confirm that statement.
       
      If anyone has any information which may help me prove it, please get in touch.

    149. Indion says:

       
      Afterthoughts:
       
      We shouldn’t quit whilst seeming ahead or behind.
       
      There’s no end to securing our own democracy but its enhanced preservation.

    150. john king says:

      “This fear-mongering is starting to get silly. Where will it end up?
      Will we see Darling in a white ghosty sheet going Woooooo, and Lamont chasing Eck with Dracula fangs?”
       
      or skeletal figures that look eerily like Norman Bates’s mother even?    

    151. john king says:

      “I’m of belt and braces bent.”
       
      loosen yer braces then

      sorry couldn’t help myself

    152. Marcia says:

      John King
      I should not have used Johann’s beautician. 🙂
      A good article to be had over at NNS from an interview with Sir George Mathewson in the Times:
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/referendum/7274-financial-giant-very-angry-at-distortion-of-independence-facts

    153. Holebender says:

      @ianbrotherhood re BBC blacklisting. I remember a few years ago Iain Macwhirter was effectively blacklisted from the BBC because he had criticised something or other. You might find something by digging around in his blog.

    154. Indion says:

       
      john king @ 8:27am
      Done and so now straightened out thanks 🙂

    155. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Holebender-
       
      Thanks for that. Will have a look-see. All helps.

    156. Juteman says:

      @ianbrotherhood.
      I once worked with a guy that was blacklisted from the building trade in Dundee for ‘political activism’.
      Unfortunately he is dead now, so can’t give any info. The practice was widespread in Dundee at the time.

    157. ScotFree1320 says:

      Something to cheer y’all up.  A headline from Sun, Jan 29th 2012:

      Poll: Now 51% back independence

      A CLEAR majority of people in Scotland now back independence, according to an exclusive poll for the Sunday Express.

      In the first such result since the SNP came to power – and using Alex Salmond’s preferred referendum question – the Vision Critical survey found 51 per cent would vote ‘Yes’, with 39 per cent against.

      If such a dramatic result were repeated in the autumn of 2014, the First Minister would have an absolute mandate to negotiate an end to the Union with England.

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/298664/Poll-Now-51-back-independence

      The moral of the story?  The No vote is soft.

      Very, very, very soft indeed.
       

    158. Indion says:

       
      I think the ‘soft’ NOs would respond very favourably to a YES campaign on favour of  independence and union.
       
      IE sovereign independence as a nation state in a renegotiated confederal union with the rUK – and the ROI – that is based on the totality of our relationships and the natural need for optimal autonomy all round.  

    159. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Juteman-
       
      Never thought I’d write the following words on this site, but here goes…Ian Davidson (aye, that Ian Davidson!) deserves credit for the work being done to expose blacklisting in the construction industry:
       
      http://union-news.co.uk/2013/04/blacklisting-not-conspiracy-theory-but-a-real-live-conspiracy-say-mps/
       
      We can look at McCarthyism in 50’s America for obvious parallels. McCarthy’s victims were ruined by public exposure, but they had the opportunity to see their accusers, albeit it in the glare of full-on Hollywood coverage.
       
      I assume that your friend/colleague was tipped-off by a sympathiser that he was ‘listed’. It hardly makes his experience any less wretched, but – imagine the plight of those who never knew? Guys who’d been working steadily for years suddenly found themselves on the dole – and stayed there – for no reason they were ever aware of?
       
      Okay, my personal bugbear is the BBC, because I believe that they have such lists and use them, but the broader issue is utterly scandalous and must affect thousands of workers in all sectors, many of whom will surely have been falsely accused, their careers effectively scuppered.
       
      Their lives were ruined, they never knew why, and never had the opportunity to face the folk who did it. How tragic is that? 
       
      The folk who did it? IMO, they are as close as you can get to ‘evil’. Whoever they are, however they try to justify their actions, there is no place for them in a civilised nation.
       
      It’s no big hop-skip-jump to then ponder what’s going on at the BBC, where the ‘staff’ have their hands on the controls of mass perception – a tad more important than mere ‘navvies’, eh?
       
      We’re supposed to trust these people to give us any ‘truth’?
       
      FTWFLOT
       
       
       
       
       
       

    160. ScotFree1320 says:

      They may well do.  However I can’t see the Irish going for that – neither those from Eire who went through a bloody civil war to earn their independence nor the still staunch British crowd in Northern Ireland).  Come to think of it, I can’t see the Scots going for it either come 2020 when the benefits of full independence start to be realised.

      51% on a 70% turnout = 72% Yes, rather a decisive majority in favour of independence.



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