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Wings Over Scotland

Good news, everyone!

Posted on September 16, 2013 by

We don’t like to reprint old posts here as a rule, but with the Scotsman today reporting that the prospect of Scots being £500 a year better off would give the Yes camp a 10-point lead, it seems timely and appropriate to revisit this one from back in July:


(Link and link.)

Or put simply: Scots already over-contribute to the UK by, coincidentally, £500 a year each. If we leave the Union, without doing anything else at all, without changing a single spending plan or tax rate, we WILL be £500 a year better off. Job done! Now all Yes Scotland needs to do is tell everyone.

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  1. 19 09 13 18:45

    The affordability of independence | The Science of Independence

111 to “Good news, everyone!”

  1. Malegria says:

    Thought I’d heard the sum of £500 being mentioned before but couldn’t remember why. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. gordoz says:

    As simple as that …… nice & easy
    Same as the fitba’ keep it simple !

  3. Morag says:

    There was an earlier poll, I think it might have been the Scottish Social Attitudes Study, that found exactly the same result.

  4. blunttrauma says:

    I’ll spend my  500 pounds on Mars bars.  (deep fried of course)

  5. Albert Herring says:

    I’m getting really frustrated with the way the economic case for independence is being presented.
    We hear all about GERS, Barnett, 9.9%, 118% GDP, £500, blah, blah, blah. Nobody seems to be saying what all that really means.
    And it’s really very simple.
    It means we can afford everything we are now getting. We are already affording it all and more!
    We are already affording pensions, benefits, the armed forces, police, social work, the tax system, embassies, education, health, the transport infrastructure, etc, etc, etc.
    Furthermore we are already affording London’s super sewers, Crossrail, Trident, HS2, the House of Commons, House of Lords, the Royal Family, illegal wars, MI5/6, and plenty more we don’t see any benefit from.
    We send our taxes to Westminster and get some of them back.
    We need to get this across to people!

  6. MochaChoca says:

    And if that £500 (although it was actually £824 last year) was kept and spent in Scotland, our tax take would be even higher and our expenditure somewhat lower.
    This also doesn’t factor in the potential defence saving of £147 per capita, or indeed the other potential benefits derived by Scotland’s taxes being spent here rather than by Westminster/Whitehall departments on our behalf.
    This is what the forthcoming White Paper needs to be highlighting, and in a way that cannot be disputed.

  7. Macart says:

    Just think of the amount of chocolate raisins you could buy with that. 🙂

  8. Roboscot says:

    mars bars
    deep fat fryer
    braveheart dvd
    dvd player
    blue woad
    throat soothers (shouting ‘Freedom! too many times)
    holidays in Bannockburn

  9. Albalha says:

    Absolutely agree re the White Paper, obviously there’s a lot that can’t be stated until after the post YES negotiation and the 2016 election but if they can at least do an ABC of the current economic situation I think a lot of undecideds would be convinced.
    It needs to cut through the establishment ‘too poor’ narrative.

  10. DrOfNothing says:

    Going back to the whole ‘territorial waters’ argument, which is key to the veracity of the figures indicating that citizens of an independent Scotland would be fiscally better off than as part of the UK, one question comes to mind. If the UK government initiated war in the middle east based on a big lie, but ultimately for increased control of world oil resources, isn’t there a strong possibility that they’ll do just about anything to keep control of the oil that they already perceive that they own?

    I’m not advocating a ‘no’ vote on this basis (far from it!) but I’m curious as to what the consensus is regarding the general perception of the chances of a future government of an independent Scotland successfully and peacefully negotiating a position that the oil in ‘Scottish waters’ belongs solely to the people of Scotland and thus that Scots will be financially better off independent?

    I realise that this might be the worst (or best depending on your perspective) argument that could be put forth by Better Together (rUK will invade if we leave!) but I am interested in opinion on how such a settlement would be peacefully negotiated to Scotland’s advantage.

  11. HandandShrimp says:

    I can’t imagine this story is going down desperately well amongst the swivel of eyed on the Scotsman.
    Again it shows how soft the No vote is. There is no deep abiding love of the Union nor are people automatically against the idea of an independent Scotland, a hefty number standing nervously just over on the No side of the line are there because of Project Fear.
    Can you imagine what the numbers would be like if we had the support of the media and just one of the other main parties in Scotland. This would, as in Catalonia, be an easy sell. If we can prise the grip of Project Fear off the throat of the popular consciousness then this really is all to play for.

  12. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Macart says:
    Just think of the amount of chocolate raisins you could buy with that. 
    Macart will you stop already with the chocolate raisins you;re driving me nuts! 😆
    Nice to get recognition that at least one person ‘working’ at the Scotsman reads Wings over Scotland then, just a pity they are so slow in getting the information on Wings transferred into print on the Scotsman. 😆

  13. HandandShrimp says:

    I think the rUK would be hard pushed to pretend that waters north of Aberdeen, Orkney, Shetland and the North West Atlantic are anywhere near them. There is actually surprisingly little near any area of potential maritime border dispute. International law would prevail in this matter and as far as I am aware Westminster readily concede that 90% of the resurces fall in Scottish territorial water.
    However, as the oil is running out next week (if one were to believe Better Together) why would they even risk UN sanctions over such a paltry bauble in the first place?

  14. wee 162 says:

    I had thought that the £500 thing was just people factoring in the payment for the party when independence is won to be honest.

  15. Macart says:

    Well once I gave up the toilet duck habit I had to replace it with something else. 😀

  16. Gizzit says:

    £500?  I’d spend it in Scottish shops, buying Scottish goods, to help stimulate demand and create even more jobs for the people of Scotland.
    And as food-banks become a distant horrific memory of Westminster rule, I can take the dosh I currently spend on supplies for them, and spend that in Scottish shops too.

  17. MochaChoca says:

    Are there no comments allowed below the line on the Scotsman article? is this a new approach?

  18. DrOfNothing says:

    I was under the impression that the UK government, under the stewardship of that patriotic Fifer Gordon Brown, had already redrawn the Scottish territorial water boundary with an eye to reducing the incentive toward independence by placing key oil fields within English waters. Am I wrong about this? 

    The UK government are well aware of the value of north sea oil and any current posturing to the contrary of this position is clearly politically motivated. I wouldn’t be so quick to discount the possibility of some hard bargaining by the rUK with regard to north sea oil in the event of an independence vote, regardless of international law. Who would actually stand up and stop them? 

  19. Albert Herring says:

    I think the oil is something of a curse. Do you think we’d be getting any of this NoScotland UKOK pish if it didn’t exist?
    Scotland would still be much better independent even if there was no oil.

  20. call me dave says:

    If you are implying that the rUK would threaten (never mind carry out) an invasion you are well of the mark.  
    The real ‘Call me Dave’ has already signed the Edinburgh agreement and he is a man of his word (very few words actually but never the less).
    Please do not let this kind of talk pollute the debate, every decent person on both sides of the border would not support such views.

  21. HandandShrimp says:

    The redrawing of the maritime boundary back in 1999 was Blair I think (rather than Brown) but no, it doesn’t change much in the way of oil at all. It did transfer traditional Scottish fishing grounds and caused a fair bit of angst amongst the fisherman who use those waters. On the plus side, having already pockled the line, produced a map and pushed it through Westminster they can hardly come back for a second bite and I would imagine the fishing grounds might well be argued over in any negotiations.

  22. scottish_skier says:

    Who would actually stand up and stop them? 
    Are you suggesting they’d send in troops to conquer Scotland? They’d need to; most of the oil and gas comes ashore in here. Stop the flow south and the UK economy would collapse within a few weeks.
    I think you are getting just a little outlandish here!

  23. wee jamie says:

    I think the tactic of project fear is working , with all the facts , non- facts and figures being bandied about , numbers , polls, percentages , questions, loaded or otherwise, and outright lies, the average person is being inundated , has reached saturation point , and is beginning to switch off. I think the most important figure now ,is how many of us will be in Edinburgh on Saturday!

  24. DrOfNothing says:

    To be clear, I am not stating that I think that the rUK would invade Scotland in the event of a Yes vote and have no intention of ‘polluting the debate’. I fully support a vote for an independent Scotland. My concern lies with how independence would be negotiated and whether it would be on the terms that we hope it might. Has the division of resources between Scotland and rUK been pre-determined in the Edinburgh agreement? I am not aware that it has been. rUK would be likely drive as hard a bargain as it could. Who oversees such negotiations?

  25. Albalha says:

    Here is the Edinburgh Agreement.
    The Scottish Government and current UK Government would do the negotiating, no World Cup standard referees involved.

  26. MochaChoca says:

    My understanding of the sea boundary change is that it used to run directly due east (which is somewhat arbitrary unless the whole coast happened to run directly north-south) the updated line is now representative of the equidistance line which I’d think everyone would consider to be fair.

    It’s the manner that this was brought about, ie. in secret and just prior to devolution which makes it of interest in the indy debate.
    Could this have been done after the Scottish parliament was reconvened?

    Did they think that independence was inevitable following on from devolution?

    I also recall there being an issue with a (proposed?) interconnector across the North Sea to be landed on the East Coast of England which would have cut through the Scottish sector unless the line was changed, why would that be a problem I wonder?

  27. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Macart says:

    @Arbroath Well once I gave up the toilet duck habit I had to replace it with something else. 
    Well I have to admit I was getting rather concerned about the amount of Toilet Duck you were consuming Macart. I did just put it down to the length of time you were spending in the “Darkened Room!” 😆

  28. Macart says:

    Once I gave up watching Newsnight it was a lot easier to kick the habit.
    Spooky or wot? 🙂

  29. Joybell says:

    You “fully support a vote”,DrOfNothing.  That doesn’t mean that you will vote Yes does it?

  30. Albalha says:

    Here is the detail of the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999

  31. TJenny says:

    DrOfNothing – from memory, and there is a very erudite commentor by the name of James Wilkie (I think), who has commented on various blogs and articles that Maritime Law will dictate where our sea boundares are, and again, from memory, the line is a 45 degree angle North from the East and West of our border with England. This would also negate the stolen waters and false boundary created by Lab.

  32. DrOfNothing says:

    Thanks for the link. The Edinburgh agreement clearly only defines the conditions of the referendum, not the negotiated settlement thereafter.
    My worry would be that in exchange for (say) relocation of Trident, the rUK government demand a share of Scottish resources not currently factored into the calculations showing that we would be better off. This is certainly not a reason to vote for the status quo, but does make me hesitate before stating with certainty that Scots will be better off post independence. That being said, I hope we are!
    Regardless, this section of the Edinburgh agreement made me laugh:
    Ensuring impartiality of broadcasters
    21. The governments agree that it will be important to ensure that broadcast coverage of
    the Referendum is impartial. Broadcasters, Ofcom and the Electoral Commission will discuss
    the best way to achieve this.
    How are those discussions coming along?! 

  33. DrOfNothing says:

    I don’t get a vote but if I did I would vote yes 🙂

  34. Albalha says:

    Re oil, median lines etc I’ll throw my lot in with Prof Alex Kemp.

  35. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Macart says:

    Once I gave up watching Newsnight it was a lot easier to kick the habit. Spooky or wot? 
    What an amazing coincidence Macart. I found myself kicking a similar habit and what I find absolutely incredible is that this also happened after I stopped watching Newsnight and my T.V. stopped suffering from severe bruising around about the same time. 😆
    I have to pick you up on a wee point here sir. Mr Brown is not, nor has he ever been a FIFER. He was born at the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home in Giffnock in Refrewshire. He has only represented Dunfermline East then Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituencies. This does not make him a Fifer. I know cause I AM a Fifer and take great exception to having this great Buffoon being referred to as a Fifer, to do so is to disrespect the great people of the Kingdom of Fife past and present.


  36. Morag says:

    TJenny, James Wilkie is erudite only in his own opinion, which as far as he himself is concerned is extremely high.
    As far as I understand it, Mocha Choca is right.  The new boundary is arguably fair, but it was changed in secret under rather murky circumstances.  If it isn’t in accordance with international law it can be challenged post independence.

  37. MochaChoca says:

    In terms of the negotiations, I’ve heard plenty of unionists proclaiming that Scotland would be in a weaker position compared to rUK, seamingly on the basis that we have just 1/12th of their population. As that results in a smaller voice in Westminster they seem to think it will translate the same way into international negotiations.
    I’d say we are actually in a stronger position than rUK. They look to be demanding continuation state status, including assets such as currency and membership of treaties and international organisations. That also requires them to take on the liabilities.
    None of the UK debt can be tranfered to Scotland without our say-so. Now in fairness maybe we should accept some of the debt (although going back 30 years none of the debt has actually been acrued by us, and yet we still service a population share of the interest). So for us to accept any of this debt the deal would have to be really pretty sweet.

  38. Albalha says:

    Well that’s the point. In reality negotiation is basically trading, bartering. Scotland has a few trump cards so I’m not worried.

  39. AlexMci says:

    Also there is a good bit in the infamous McCrone report about what would happen if the border was changed check this out also. Happy reading .

  40. Albalha says:

    I’m guessing Brown just doesn’t have a spoon long enough?

  41. DrOfNothing says:

    @ Albalha
    Fair enough. All seems reasonable. I hope you and Prof Kemp prove to be correct.
    @Arbroath 1320
    Apologies to you and all fifers for presuming GB was from the Kingdom. Not sure why I had formed this impression, I thought he was from Raith.

  42. Morag says:

    Albaha said:
    Re oil, median lines etc I’ll throw my lot in with Prof Alex Kemp.

    I’d forgotten about that article.  A lot of good sense in it.  It’s mostly a storm in a teacup, remarkable mainly because the change was done in an underhand manner immediately before devolution and seemed to be an attempt to steal a march.  But it’s not hugely important to the oil debate, really.

    That Craig Murray character has caused huge problems with his inflammatory blog that gets posted all over the place whenever this topic is mentioned.  People reading it almost always go off on one and imagine that anyone swimming off the beaches of Fife is in English waters, but it’s total nonsense.

  43. MochaChoca says:

    Someone once told me there is no such place as Raith… maybe that explains Mr Browns interesting regional identity.

  44. Andy-B says:

    O/T Rev sorry about that.
    A top secret document has found its way into the public domain marked for David cameron and George Osbornes eyes only.
    In this document it states that Scotland cant be called Scotland after independence, as the name is owned by the British state, it goes on to mention other bizzare statements,


  45. call me dave says:

    Cannae get the matches to light!
    Your link …. wont work!   Any bits missing.

  46. Albalha says:

    Prof Kemp is my type of person, if only I’d been a few years older … I suppose it’s an East Coast thing, ca canny, no bluster.
    There’s a Raith Lake I believe, not  a Loch interestingly.

  47. heraldnomore says:

    But Broon went to the uni in Fife, which makes him as much a Fifer as the Prince and his wench.  And he might have had chips in Ainster, though he’s certainly had his chips in Dalgety Bay.
    Now my Fifer claims date back to the 1700s and counting, though they all baled out, following railways and such like, by the 20th C.  But the soil of the East Neuk runs deep, and I claim more kinship with the Kingdom than the former PM.
    Actually I probably have more of East Renfrewshire in me too come to think of it.  And I’ve got Scotland at heart.

  48. Gillie says:

    Of course there is the counter argument by unionists.

    According to the Treasury the cost of independence will be £1. Yes one whole pound.

  49. MajorBloodnok says:

    You might want to check out this link too (it’s a pdf).  Particularly Figure 2 on page 105 which shows the legal options for the boundary in relation to where the oil fields actually are (spoiler, they’re not very close).

    It also shoots down the “Shetland and Orkney staying in the UK with all the oil” canard nicely.
    The provisions of international maritime law would therefore prevail and the rUK would not breach these lightly.  Also, you should not imagine, as is Project Fear’s stock in trade, that Scotland will be to wee, too poor and too stupid to be able to negotiate effectively when we become independent.
    Judging by David Cameron’s negotiating skills (at the EU, for example) we don’t have a ot to worry about.
    Major “DrOfSomething” Bloodnok

  50. heraldnomore says:

    Apropos Mr Bateman’s Blog, do you think Mr Buchanan is just getting his site up and running?  Wonder what he might have to say now that he’s free of his chains…….

  51. Arbroath 1320 says:

    To be honest there is no spoon yet created that is long enough for that buffoon!
    Don’t worry about it Dr it’s an easy enough mistake to make. I think he tries to keep his birth in Giffnock a secret as if he’s embarrassed by that fact. I don’t see why myself we should all be proud of where ever we’re born. :D:
    He does ‘claim’ to support Raith Rovers, I really do pity that team and supporters groups knowing that. 😆

  52. Andy-B says:

    Sorry about that here we go again.

    Hopefully it the correct link this time I do apologise.

  53. Albalha says:

    Re Gordon Brown and Fife. He went to both Primary and Secondary school in Kirkcaldy, then Edinburgh University, yes born in Giffnock but surely it’s fair to say he’s ‘of’ Fife?
    If this was professional football he’d have the choice of playing for the East Renfrewshire Jim Murphy Bitters or the Fife Flyers (yes I know that’s ice hockey).

  54. HandandShrimp says:

    On the media I think the BBC take the view that balance only applies for the formal three months (I think it is) before the vote. Before then they do not have to be balanced. This is a bit of a pain for the Yes vote but it will be interesting to see what happens to public opinion when they have to mind what they say and what they promote.

  55. handclapping says:

    Jings Major, how did you become a Doctor of Divinity?

  56. Albalha says:

    Doubt it re Buchanan, he’s taken up a PR job less easy to spout forth, Derek Bateman is an early retiree with LOTS and LOTS to say, it seems, and the time to do it.

  57. Morag says:

    AndyB, you do realise that is satire, don’t you?

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I understand your logic Albalha but I’m no hain’ him make ony claim boot bein a Fifer, we hae certain standards you ken and he doesnae match up to ony o them. 😆

  59. Morag says:

    JoyBell, I don’t think it’s really helpful to demand an undying pledge of loyalty to a Yes vote from other posters.  People can still post here if they are of the No persuasion, though some actual reasoned arguments to back that up might be good.
    DrOfNothing expressed some perfectly reasonable concerns, albeit concerns that aren’t too difficult to allay.  Project fear spreads fear.  If people come here looking for reassurance, it’s not very good if they’re met by people assuming they’re some sort of fifth column.

  60. muttley79 says:

    I do not understand this whole ‘I will support independence if I get £500 more’ sentiment.  To me independence is about Scotland taking responsibility for running its own affairs, and having a voice in the world.  To be honest this whole £500 thing makes me want to puke.  It is a very materialistic way of thinking about things.  It feels like a grim 1980s thing.  It is a soulless, horrible way of thinking.    

  61. Albalha says:

    You are an interesting lot, the Kingdom with no monarch, and just what does ‘If you’re Heelant you’re next door to the Fifer’, mean?
    But I can certainly understand why you’d not want to officially adopt the odious G Brown.

  62. Morag says:

    Muttley, I think you have to look at it from a different perspective.  Many undecideds and No voters are that way because they believe we’ll be starving in caves if we vote Yes.  Simply saying to them, “but suppose you’d be a wee bit better off?” works wonders.

  63. Linda's Back says:

    Watched most of the Radio Five debate whilst doing my day job and unless I missed it  Fiona Hyslop failed to mention the £500 bonus which is unfortunate as it was splashed over the Scotsman this morning also she failed to give a coherent explanation of the £7 billion deficit in latest GERS figures.
    Having said that she came across well but the Yes spokespeople do need to sharpen up and think through these points prior to going on air. 

  64. Albalha says:

    Thanks for posting that from NC, most amusing.
    I’m glad I coughed up £59 for their fundraiser but STILL no sign of the limited edition poster for my window, tut, tut.

  65. Morag says:

    Yeah, I’m still unrewarded from that direction too.  Oh well, it’s all in a good cause.

  66. Albalha says:

    Yes but just cause you’re arty doesn’t quite cut it, no way to run a country!

  67. Craig P says:

    The internationally accepted boundary is going to be the median line and it is all pretty straightforward (and the 1999 boundary change is much closer to, if not on, the median, than the original latitudinal line). The only area of negotiation is the boundary of estuaries, but the UK already has an agreed baseline for its coast, which includes for e.g. treating a line between St Abbs Head and Fife Ness as the coast, which you can see in the dark blue areas of this map:

    Albaha is right, Craig Murray has been banging on a bit much about this and ruining his credibility on this issue.

  68. Albalha says:

    Accuracy alert, I posted the Kemp article but @Morag made the point about Craig Murray and his ramblings.
    It’s in my DNA, sorry.

  69. Arbroath 1320 says:

     ‘If you’re Heelant you’re next door to the Fifer’, mean?
    To be honest Albalha it’s so long since I’ve actually lived in Fife I’ve forgotten most of the actual dialect and meanings.
    I don’t know what you mean we have no monarch. Of course we have a monarch, in fact we have quite a few, 😆 Malcolm and Margaret, Alexander I, David I, Malcolm IV, Alexander III and Margaret, Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth to name but a few. Yeah yeah yeah I know they’re a deid but we still hae them and they’re a buried in the grounds of Dunfermline Abbey. :D: The Bruce in fact is buried under the pulpit of the Abbey.

    To be honest though it’s not just us Fifers who are rather pedantic about can call themselves Fifers. I seem to recall a conversation with a work mate many decades ago about folks calling themselves Edinburghers, I think that was the term. During the discussion he informed me that only people born within the boundaries of Edinburgh were entitled to call themselves Edinburghers.

  70. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Better Together’s arguments? To shreds you say. Tut tut.

  71. TJenny says:

    Morag – thanks for correction. I was obviously confusing James Wilkie with Prof Kemp.  

  72. Macart says:

    This is a good accompaniment to the BBC link on the subject of oil.

  73. Andy-B says:

    A good wee list of just how deep nepotism runs in British politics.


  74. Albalha says:

    I meant the Kingdom of Fife never had its own monarch, one to call its own as it were. There were lots of so called Kingdoms under the painted people.
    As for identity I’m a Dundonian so am very well aware of the arguments!

  75. Macart says:

    A quote from the link I’ve just posted.
    Wood McKenzie estimate that approximately 85% of remaining UK hydrocarbon reserves lie in Scottish watersx. The share of estimated oil reserves is thought to be higher, with in excess of 90% of UK oil reserves believed to be located in Scotland’s geographical share of the UKCS.

  76. kininvie says:

    It’s entirely possible – indeed likely – that Westminster will wish to make the oil (or revenue from it) part of post-indy negotiations, and indeed there may be a deal to be struck, for example setting off some of that revenue against a reduced share of the national debt. But, really, it’s not likely to be a cause of breakdown in negotiations.
    I think Trident is likely to be where Westminster really plays hardball. So much of the remainder of being an imperial power is tied up (bizarrely) with being in the nuclear club, that I guess there will be a lot of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation over it. It’s an ace in Scotland’s hand of course if Scotland is prepared to lease Faslane for a time. But that might be a hard sell, politically. On the other hand, if we demand it goes within the year, I foresee a great deal of non-cooperation from rUK on the international front.
    (And to those who blithely say ‘we’ll declare UDI’ – it’s basically a non-starter. No one, apart from Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Iran and maybe Latvia is likely to recognise us in any hurry. It’s just not the done thing…. ;-(  )

  77. Albalha says:

    Re politicians employing family members, it’s one of my hobby horses, sadly it happens at Holyrood too. Should simply NOT happen as far as I’m concerned.

  78. david says:

    evryone in scotland could afford all their heating bills with that 500

  79. call me dave says:

    Just in used link —- read it: Aye right…..Everyone is doing a Bateman. Is this the secret document Sarwar was waving. LOL 
    I see Gordon is being discussed…… As a Fifer I am not going to ….. Ach life’s too short. 
    Back to the Lib/Dem conference… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

  80. Andy-B says:

    Taking into account the Lib/Dems are holding their conference in Glasgow heres a link with some interesting Lib/Dem info.


  81. dee says:

    @Linda’s Back
     I agree with you Linda.  I have noticed that in a few debates and interviews that Fiona Hyslop has been involved in.  She seems to accept far to easily the thoughts of the reporter or the opposing No camps views.  If the SNP are going to use her in these situations then, in my opinion, she needs to be on the front foot a lot more, be quicker to rebutt the shit that is put to her.  just generally be a bit more forceful, with a bit more life about her.  Because she is there are we are not, so she is the one that has to get that answer in there a lot more sharply.  I think she needs training of some kind.  If not, then we will continue to shout the answers and rebuttals at the telly or radio for her, which can be very frustrating.

  82. Geoff Huijer says:

    Yes Scotland should have this picture on billboards across Scotland.
    Gordon Brown? A Fifer? Never. SO what if he went to KHS…he was
    disliked when there too. The man would be at the opening of an
    envelope if it got his picture in the paper.
    When I phoned his office about the non-reply to my letter
    about my mum’s treatment in hospital I got a straight
    ‘Health care is not Gordon’s remit – contact the Scottish Gov’t’
    and yet not long after at graduation at Adam Smith College
    and with mainly nursing graduates in the audience he managed
    to have a lot to say on the subject despite it ‘not being his remit’.

  83. call me dave says:

    Good article here.
    Why Willie?
    Wee Quote!!
    It’s like a re-run of Ghost with a slightly more confusing plot. Willie as a slightly less hunky Patrick Swayze.
    My favourite passage of all though has to be:
     “To start talking about Scotland being under the cosh and undervalued by others may just stir up beliefs that Scotland should somehow be better. That’s what I think is dangerous.”
    He actually said that. He is the leader of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland. He actually said that…

  84. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    He dropped his fork and didn’t eat another bite. Moira said it was the first time he’d ever failed to finish a chicken biryani.”Derek Bateman’s report on Alex Salmond hearing that Darling wanted a debate. 🙂
    O/T before the next thread
    If I soak raisins in something with spirit does that make them swell up? If I then dip them in melted chocolate would that be good sustenance for a walk up Calton Hill?

  85. Robert Louis says:

    I can’t see any problem with Craig Murray’s article on the oil boundaries – it is factually correct.  What’s the problem?
    Calling him ‘that Craig Murray character’ is also just a bit strong, don’t you think?  
    I think that whilst the actually boundary location has little effect upon the oil reserves due to Scotland, to make your negotiating starting point for the border one of ‘well it doesn’t really matter’ is something I would hope an independent Scottish Government would never do.  The rule in negotiating is ALWAYS start by asking for much more than you will settle with.  You might call it ‘Negotiation 1.01’.
    From that perspective, Craig makes a very valid point.  Give Westminster an inch, and they will take your country for 300 years.

  86. Morag says:

    Morag – thanks for correction. I was obviously confusing James Wilkie with Prof Kemp.
    Ah, light dawns.  I wondered how we’d managed to bring up the two great chancers, Wilkie and Murray, on the same thread!

    I’m completely tired of the adulation accorded to Craig Murray, but if you want to join in that chorus, don’t let me stand in your way.

  87. Robert Louis says:

    Seriously, why do you call Craig Murray a ‘great chancer’?  Is there something about him which I don’t yet know??

  88. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry Albalha, I wasn’t trying to have a go at you just trying, and obviously failing, to have some light banter. My apologies if we got in a wee bit too deep there. :D:

  89. Albalha says:

    Oh dear that’s my way of bantering too. Maybe it’s a Dundee/Fife banter disconnect, ooohh, err.
    Of course it could just be me, too dry for my own good, I’m told!

  90. Indy_Scot says:

    I think it would be in the bag just by offering cheaper petrol than down south.

  91. Juteman says:

    Re SLAB and families.
    I’m sure I read someplace that every woman on the SLAB shortlist for upcoming Glenrothes by-election is the daughter or niece of a sitting SLAB official.

  92. AlexMci says:

    So is what Craig Murray says in the blog about the borders correct or not? I would hate to be giving out false information to people when talking about the referendum. Anyone know for sure if what he is saying is factual?

  93. CameronB says:

    Sorry I’ve not been in touch directly re. poster campaign. Perhaps you could let us all know how things are going, over in Quarantine.

  94. Albalha says:

    Could do or email me and I’ll e mail back, mine is sitting in quarantine.

  95. Robert Louis says:

    Yes, Craig Murray’s blog is correct.  He speaks at YES Scotland meetings.

  96. AlexMci says:

    @Robert Louis ,Ok thanks. Just a a wee bit confused now.

  97. Dramfineday says:

    More good news – well done you guys:

  98. scottish_skier says:

    Apropos of nothing, but I was wondering what use I might find for ICM’s wisdom index poll. Here, they ask people who they think will win the next UKGE, not what people will vote.
    And then I thought oh….
    It’s only a ~160 subset (although that actually matters a lot less in this case as it’s not a VI poll), but since March, the number of Scots asked thinking Labour will win the general election has fallen from 38% to 33%. They also have the Tories up since June to 28%.
    UK-wide, the Tories (31%) are just one point behind Labour (32%).
    I think I’ll start tracking this. After all, in the run up to September 2014, the prospect of a Tory government…
    Might be worth adding that question to future WoS polls Rev?
    As for ICM in the Scotsman… I did say it could well deliver some interesting results and put the wind up the no campaign.

  99. Robert Louis says:

    No need for confusion, just take a look at Craig Murray’s background on his blog.  What he and others have said about the boundary being changed is correct.  I have no idea, as my questions go unanswered, as to why it is stated by some that he is wrong.
    This document linked below, however, relates to the legal situation, outlining just why rUK in some way retaining Shetland to keep the oil is baloney;

    The key point being, that there is not one good reason for a newly independent Scotland to simply accept the boundary that was changed by Westminster.  International law is on the side of Scotland, for both the oil and the boundary.
    Just as an aside, Craig Murray speaks with some authority on this topic, as detailed in his biography;
    “1989-92 Head of Maritime Section, FCO, London Responsible for negotiation of the UK and Dependent Territory continental shelf and fisheries boundaries, for implementation of the Channel Tunnel treaty and for negotiations on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. ”
    Amongst other things.

  100. AlexMci says:

    @ Robert Louis, thanks. I thought that his writing and blog was good. Was wondering if I was missing something. Anyway no matter as long as its factual I will be happy to quote his writings. 

  101. MajorBloodnok says:

    handclapping says: Jings Major, how did you become a Doctor of Divinity?
    Well, I can’t really go into details but let’s just say these correspondence courses will be a lot less reliable once Royal Mail is privatised.

  102. Craig P says:

    The maritime boundary was changed alright, but it was changed to be closer to the median line. So from the point of view of what we are likely to get, it is less something being stolen, more what we can reasonably get. At first I was outraged, until I looked into it. Now I don’t understand why people make such a fuss over it. 
    On the point of members employing family. The order order list only includes direct family members. It would be far larger if it included ‘family swapping’, the ‘I employ your wife and you employ mine’ kind of arrangement. However if they are working for it I don’t really see a problem. 

  103. Morag says:

    It’s hard to tell whether the line on Craig Murray’s map is in the right place or not.  It is a dishonest map because it is cropped to remove the bits that show why the part he chooses to include takes the angle it does.  Look at the much more honest map with the Kemp article, which makes it clear.

    This has been an issue for a long time.  The Money Programme included it in a feature on Scottish independence shown in 1992.  The expert opinion then was that the existing boundary was untenable, and that while there was likely to be negotiation, it was going to end up more or less where it is now, at the line of equidistance.

    The way the change was done was very bad.  It was snuck through in secret, months before Holyrood convened for the first time, as if Westminster wanted to pre-empt something.  Maybe they did, but it’s not actually a big issue in the grand scheme of things.  Very little oil is involved.

    Craig Murray’s opinions are his own, let’s put it that way.  There is no tenable argument that the previous boundary was too favourable to England.  The present boundary isn’t anything like so indefensible as he claims.  He loves to throw around references to his previous jobs to claim huge authority, but most of his opinions are mince.

    No doubt he’ll come back on here and insult me back, as he did last time I expressed my opinion of him on WoS.  However, I was right then, too.  He had no evidence of manipulation of the postal vote at the count in Rotherham or wherever it was.  I think it’s a pity that so many people simply look at the CV he likes to showcase, rather than employing a bit of critical thinking to examine the claims he makes.

  104. Iain More says:

    re Albert Herring
    Great post man. I am going to plagiarise that every chance I get now.

  105. Albert Herring says:

    Feel Free Iain 🙂

  106. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Indy-Scot, Cheaper Petrol/diesel ?
    Brilliant! that would seal the deal and put the BT campaign right on the back foot.
    They cant afford to drop the tax on fuel, but we can because we are better off.
    The BT mob would demand to know how we would pay for any reduction in fuel prices, so it would give us an ‘open goal’ as we would then get the chance to show that we are financially better off than the rUK.
    If the MSM refuse to report the financial facts, then fine, we just continue to make the promise to reduce fuel duty.
    The greens would have a bit of a hissy fit, but hey what can ye dae?

  107. MochaChoca says:

    @ Indy-Scot

    @ Patrick Roden
    re Cheaper Petrol/diesel ?
    The fuel price aspect has crossed my mind too, My understanding is that the UK uses pretty much all ‘home grown’ fuel, so no export duty on fuel will be charged. As an independent Scotland we will be exporting massive amounts.
    Does this allow us the opportunity to reduce prices here offset by charging an export duty (payable by the importer rather than the producer) over and above the petroleum tax, corporation tax and supplementary charge? perhaps this can’t be done due to EU rules (assuming we are ‘in’).
    It would seem strange if an oil rich nation couldn’t provide end users within it’s own borders with cheaper fuel if it chose to do so. But yes, it would maybe upset the Greens a bit.

  108. Morag says:

    It’s a difficult circle to square.  In global terms, switching out a few household lights or driving a few miles less in Scotland isn’t going to make any significant difference at all.  We’re being encouraged and indeed forced to endure significant pain, while at the same time Americans are zooming around on petrol half the price of ours.
    If we put up fuel prices to the point where people in Scotland are shivering in misery, it will not make a blind bit of difference to the climate of the world.  But at the same time the arguments of the environmentalists have merit.  The problem is, it’s the profligate users who need to be curbed, not the individual citizens trying to stay warm in a Scottish winter or wanting to go to visit a friend 20 miles away.
    I don’t know the answer, but some of it does look a lot like cheaper fuel.

  109. Robert Louis says:

    I was expecting to be enlightened with your comment regarding Craig Murray, but in reality, it seems from what you say above, that it’s just a personal thing between you and him.  That’s ok, I don’t care either way, free speech and all that, and I am sure Craig can easily speak for himself if he wants to,  but what DOES matter to me is that when people are asking (as somebody above was) for important information on this or other sites, that we try not to let personal feelings cloud our judgements on factual evidence. 
    Craig Murray, whether you personally like him or not, has an impressive CV, and likely knows a wee bit more about maritime boundaries than either you or I (although he himself does not claim to be an expert).  I think in matters as complex as this, we need to consider all the evidence, from multiple sources and try to avoid phrases suggesting dishonesty where there is none demonstrable.
    We’re all on the same side, including Craig.

  110. Virgie Hudgins says:

    Interesting discussion . I learned a lot from the points – Does anyone know where I would be able to acquire a template 2005 American Bank 07 0733 1 form to fill in ?

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