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In the public interest

Posted on June 06, 2014 by

We got another letter from the government today. After a sudden outbreak of candour last week with regard to the civil service writing Buzzfeed articles, this is more the sort of thing we’re accustomed to from Freedom Of Information requests.


We might actually push this one. We’re not sure that we entirely understand how it can be in “the public interest” to withhold the results of an opinion poll. Opinion poll results are published on a near-daily basis, and it’s hard to see how the nation could possibly be damaged by simply hearing one more set of numbers among dozens.

(Though we do love the idea that the results of the poll would “inform policy development”. Are we being asked to believe that if they’d shown a majority supporting independence, the government would have changed its policy?)

But alert readers will have noticed something else about the reply. Our second question, regarding who the information HAD been shared with, was totally ignored.

So the possibility remains that this taxpayer-funded survey was shared with the No campaign (indeed, it would be very difficult to believe that it hadn’t found its way to them), but has been withheld from the Yes side, so that half the population was less well-informed than the other half.

And that would be a very odd definition of “the public interest” indeed.

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  1. 06 06 14 11:05

    In the public interest | Scottish Independence News

  2. 20 06 14 21:48

    Divde Et Impera | A Greater Stage

129 to “In the public interest”

  1. Bill Cruickshank says:

    Received the same reply this morning Stu. The bottom line is, there is no such thing as freedom of information in the UK. The contents of a poll are hardly a threat to national security. We are living in a totalitarian state.

  2. Kenneth Shaw says:

    “We apologise for the recent outbreak of candour, be assured this matter has been addressed and normal service resumed,we apologise for any mistaken belief that our impartiality had been restored” ….if only.

  3. heedtracker says:

    Totally ignoring FOI question 2, taxpayer-funded survey shared with the No campaign but withheld from the Yes Scotland, all just more more examples of pretty appalling behaviour by our impartial unbiased UKOK civil service friends in Westminster.

  4. JohnMac says:

    Rev, I used to work as an FOI officer and was fairly versed in the exemptions and their appropriate use. The ones that require you to apply the public interest clause are difficult to justify. It seems wrongly applied here. I am fairly sure the Information Commissioner would be sympathetic to an appeal should a request for an internal review not be successful in the first instance. I would certainly pursue this if I were you.

    Disclaimer: I worked under the terms of the 2002 Scottish Act rather than the 200 UK-wide one. Also, this was 10 years ago so I am a bit rusty! Still, I definitely think this is worth pursuing. Would love to see how they could justify to the commissioner that the public interest NOT to release outweighs the public interest to release.

  5. Macart says:

    Same old, same old.

    A wee body swerve, a deft side step and a full on block.

  6. gordoz says:

    So then there really is something they dont want us to see;

    Curiouser & Curiouser.

    No we cn all go away ’cause it doesn’t matter really, nothing to see, run along now !

  7. Pentland Firth says:

    Demand a Review of this response. The Cabinet Office don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Alas, by the time the Request has been through the whole procedure (internal Review, application to the Information Commissioner, and Appeal to the Information Tribunal) it will probably be June 2015.

  8. goldenayr says:

    Used to try and get me to write these sort of letters.

    Definite govt tool is the omission of any response to the second question which would display their connivance in sharing info with BT.

    A single question referencing this reply and requesting clarification will be dragged out to the full extent of FoI rules.

    Let’s hope it’s an office junior that has to deal with it.

  9. iheartScotland says:

    Non freedom of misinformation should probably cover this.
    Well done for covering this Rev.

  10. Dave Lewis says:


    Can you FOI Alisdair Darling if he was given acces to the poll findings not sure if can refuse to answer.

  11. galamcennalath says:

    Perhaps this referendum debate could have been between Scots wishing self determination and Scots wishing to remain part of the Union, with arguments presented from each side to voters.

    It was never going to happen like that. It was always going to be between Scots wishing self determination, and the British State. London has too much vested interest to not try to overwhelm proceedings from every possible direction! Any input from Scots wishing remain part of the Union is just a sideshow. Like all Scots, their importance is secondary.

    So, the Rev has identified convincingly they have something to hide in an unpublished Poll (or Polls). Shouldn’t surprise us, there is a lot going on which they are hiding!

    It also shouldn’t surprise us what their perception of ‘public interest’ is!

  12. Clootie says:

    I think we got what we were looking for. They confirmed that they had the poll data.

    Had the results been in support of the union this poll would have been published and quoted over and over. The very fact that it was buried….seems obvious!

    Confirmation of having the data and hiding it can only mean one thing 🙂

  13. Gillie says:

    A refusal to answer the second question confirms that UK government did share the results of the poll with Better Together. That is standard Whitehall practice.

  14. bookie from hell says:

    well done rev

    I need this site to keep me going

    the constant tactics from media,state is leaving me depressed

  15. desimond says:

    Public interest….did they leave off the word ‘rates’ at the end indicating the worry that very bad news will cause their beloved Markets to panic.

  16. Rod says:

    I for one would be grateful if you pushed this, especially since they have ignored your second question.

  17. Bobby mckail says:

    I was wondering if this polling from the UK Gov would have to be released under the same rules set out for everyone else from the British polling council?

  18. Lanarkist says:

    Sorry OT, Gordon Brewer starting new job today, standing in for Big Brian in the Big Propaganda debate.

  19. Murray McCallum says:

    I think they mean self interest. The public interest can f*£k right off. Second rule of Westminster establishment club.

  20. Pam McMahon says:

    I guess the only practical step open to us is to make it known that we, as an electorate, will refuse to take part in any more Westminster-generated, taxpayer-funded polls. It would damage their ability to claim a fair and balanced cross section of the population, if the only response is from the No side. It would be quite interesting to discover the criteria used by Ipsos MORI to select it’s sample.

  21. Chic McGregor says:

    Sounds like they are on a Cold War footing.

  22. hetty says:

    Utterly disgraceful, westminster continuing to lie and attempting to fool the people, who pay them to live in luxury meanwhile, no zero hours for them.
    I suspect that very poll is what they are now basing their fear factor campaign on.
    That is to attack the SNP and A Salmond in an uncontrollable manner, they have (they think) found the weakness in the armour of the YES campaign via this poll. They are determined to create a sense of uncertainty whereas the real uncertainty lies in their horrendous austerity attack and in the fact that they will remove the barnett formula if it is a no vote, destroying Scotland in the process. That is what the people in Scotland do not realise, they will pillage and destroy, its what they are good at.

  23. Derek M says:

    no surprise from that response next they will claim National Security is the reason the poll results havnt been release just more lies from a bunch of liars.
    But reading between the lines the only real reason they can be withholding this result must be that it shows the true figures and that it is more than just a slight lead for yes but a total humiliation of the no campaign.
    keep the pressure on Rev.
    on a side note i worry that the referendum will be conducted fairly ,can we really trust the powers that be to conduct it fairly ,maybe we should ask the brick countries to send inspectors to make sure it is all above board since post independence we will be one of them.

  24. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Chic McGregor

    Lucky it’s not a Cod War footing – what with cuts to the navy the Icelandic fleet probably outnumbers the RN now.

  25. Duncan Simpson says:

    Good work, I would push the second question, although I think we all know the answer to that already, right?

  26. donald anderson says:

    Typical Britspeak.

    The upward trend will be revised downwards.

  27. handclapping says:

    So we are told by our Government that they are making no plans for the break-up of Britain but we cannot let you see this poll as they are making policy wrt the Scottish referendum.

    Did anybody hear the announcement of this change of Government policy? Maybe a question in Westminster to this effect might produce an interesting answer especially if it had the rider so what are you going to do with Trident?

  28. Alfresco Dent says:

    It must have been shared with the Bitters. How else to explain the ramping up of their Nazi slurs?

    That they counter an upswing in our positive Yes message with even more negative, nasty rhetoric shows you the mindset & intelligence of our opposition.

    Also. Obama’s a fud!

  29. handclapping says:

    But not the number of admirals!

  30. Truth says:

    I’m afraid they have answered the second question, and they will argue the case and win.

    You see, your second question asks specifically about their poll on the scottish independence referendum, when it says “this poll”.

    They have already confirmed they do not hold information matching this description, merely that Ipsos MORI have been contracted in the past to conduct market research for them. So they cannot share that which they allegedly do not have.

    So the crux of the matter is, do we believe their answer to the first question? Not whether or not they have answered the second question.

    I was concerned about something like this happening, so my question asked about the referendum poll, and all other polls they have conducted going back a couple of years (referendum or not) as a catch all. Unfortunately I still received an identical response to the above.

    I had great concerns about how to word my question to them for this very reason.

    In short you will not get an answer to your second question. What may harder not to answer is if you follow up with another request asking who Ipsos MORI market research has been shared with.

    Well done all those who submitted FoIs though!

  31. R whittington says:

    Watching the BTBC coverage of DDay. An unsurprising lack of saltires on show and little mention of Scotland’s contribution.

  32. Patrick Roden says:

    I wonder if a FOI request to the Labour Party would throw up any information?

    I think the best way to approach FOI requests from now on, would be to ask one question at a time.

    This will stop them being able to ‘forget’ to answer difficult questions.

    I like the idea of asking Alistair Darling, Johann Lamont, Blair McDougal if they have saw the polling figures.

    I think a letter to the Information Commissioner, pointing out that Twitter had large numbers of people commenting on this poll and a FB page was set up by concerned citizens asking for it to be published.

    We can also mention the letter sent to the newspaper by the woman who worked for Ipsos Mori.

    With the public crying out for the information, it would surely be almost impossible to argue effectively, that ‘on balance’ it was in the public interest to withhold the result of the poll.

  33. Drunken Hobo says:

    Don’t you see, it’s in the public interest for us to vote “No”, therefore anything that might harm the “No” campaign isn’t in the public interest. It’s obvious.

    As an aside, did anyone receive their BBC response to complaints about pro-UKIP bias yesterday? Standard “We’re not biased. You’re wrong.” affair. You’d think with 1200 complaints they might pay attention this time, but nope…

  34. David Wardrope says:

    They can bury it all they want, the people who took part in the survey are still going to vote in September (hopefully not along with 800,000 extra postal votes)

  35. Jim Thomson says:

    Is it possible that they have shared the poll results with our American “cousins”? If so perhaps a suitably worded FOI request to them from a US resident would glean the information.

    Anyone got a US based cousin/aunty/parent etc.?

  36. joe kane says:

    It’s a journey deep into George Orwell territory when dealing with FOI requests.

    A recent Tribunal supported the Information Commissioner’s Office and the DWP not to release figures, already in the possession of the DWP, on the numbers of sick and disabled people who have died as a result of the DWP ESA regime. The reason given for non-disclosure is that too many members of the public have expressed an interest in finding out what the DWP figures are. I’m not joking.

    Reference –
    Hollow victory for DWP after ‘ESA deaths’ tribunal

  37. Jim gallacher says:

    There is only one way we are going to win this referendum, that is by a real grass roots campaign.
    We are all performing well but I urge everyone here and on social media sites everywhere to take the one conversation pledge.
    I will have at least one conversation everyday with an eligible voter.
    I have found even if they are in the yes camp it is still good to reaffirm your views, all the better a don’t know or a no.

  38. Luigi says:

    Second question.

    They have to answer the second question.

  39. gordoz says:

    As a one time Rangers fan, why is it that I feel drawn more to the new Celtic reserve strip, than to the new odius Rangers red one ?

    Anyone got any ideas on this ?

  40. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Colin Fox on the panel in Brewer’s Roadshow, Inverness.

  41. Bob W says:


    They state that they do hold information, therefore the second question has not been answered.

  42. HandandShrimp says:

    It is not in the interests of the public for the public to know what the public think.

    Only the Cabinet Office could come out with 1984 drivel like that.

  43. Barontorc says:

    I think the best outcome has already been gained in their refusal to give details of the poll. This must have been a shocker for the NO-ists, considering the huge ramp up in protective get-the-first-punch-in-stuff.

    That said there’s nothing better than a good bit of pot-stirring with these torags in HMG, so I would commend a side show of FOI baiting-torture, but only if you have the resources and patience Rev.

    BTW, heard you on Kay with an E this morning and never have I heard her so demonstrably wary and guarded as she engaged with you. They sure don’t like to be on the back foot. I’ll bet Obamah’s had some passing thoughts on what has just happened too!

    That’s Putin and now Obamah that Cameron’s personally tried to enlist in the ’cause’ and oh, it’s just a wee thing by the way ’cause they’ve got it all sewn-up and in the bag – sure thing? – My bahookie!!

  44. Chic McGregor says:

    Smells just as fishy but.

  45. jacksloan2013 says:

    Just to back what Ian Brotherhood comments – Colin Fox also one of the many speakers at Yes in Strathclyde Park tomorrow 12 till 5.

  46. Andrew Morton says:

    Relax. There was a poll and they don’t want the public to find out the results.

    What more do you need to know?

  47. Truth says:

    @Bob W

    Well that is embarrassing. You are quite correct.

    Where did I get the “Not” from?

    I have rechecked my response and it’s not on there either.

    My mind is playing tricks, though I did read the original pdf on my phone, so maybe that is to blame.

    Sorry everyone, please ignore my previous comment. And, it is clear, they have NOT answered the second question.

    I will now be appealing my response (was going to anyway) but at least I won’t be making an embarrassing mistake so thanks for pointing it out. *blush*

  48. Brotyboy says:


    Apologies if anyone has already posted this link to Business for Scotland’s review of a new book out today which is highly critical of both Brown and Darling for their roles in the banking crisis.

  49. misteralz says:

    The Rev on Call Kaye with an E – anyone know what time that was? It’s on the I player, but for how long?

  50. handclapping says:

    Given that they do have information and are claiming policy making exemption, your follow up request should be whether or not that information has been shared with anybody outside of the policy making unit(s) in Government as in that case they cannot claim the policy making exemption.

  51. Truth says:

    @handclapping 12:42

    That is an excellent point. I will be using that, thanks.

  52. eezy says:

    Our second question, regarding who the information HAD been shared with, was totally ignored.

    This HAS to be focused on.

  53. Peter says:

    Has there been any discussion in the SMSM on how the combined 70% of the vote by ConUKIP in last night’s by-election shows how totally identical Scotland and England are yet?

  54. gerry parker says:

    @ Chic,

    “Smells just as fishy but.”

    Magic, makes perfect sense, I love our way of saying things.


  55. Aikenheed says:

    Major Bloodnok
    Irrespective of numbers I seem to recall Iceland won the last little spat (or should I say sprat?)

  56. Murray McCallum says:


    Who would have thought the Old Firm could possibly design two football shirts on opposite sides of a debate? What are they like?

    I’m no big football fan, but would think shirt design is heavily influenced by sales to fans. Given Rangers’ current financial situation they must think the design will be popular. Seems a high risk strategy to me.

  57. HandandShrimp says:


    Yup Newark wanted either right wing or very right wing and the Labour vote fell…the Liberal vote evaporated.

    I would not expect Labour to win Newark but a decent showing would have set the scene for 2015…well it has but not in a good way for Labour

  58. gordoz says:


    1/2 way thru

  59. Murray McCallum says:


    The sponsors name on the front of the Gers strip would seem appropriate for the risk they are taking on shirt sales & image. Especially at a time when they need 100% support from their fans.

    You can argue about the Celtic strip, but they are not facing the same issues.

    Odd decision by Rangers, but little surprise the Old Firm finds a way to be on opposite sides of a debate.

  60. Nana Smith says:


    I posted this slab begging letter[see below] yesterday as I wonder where the hell are labour for indy and what are they doing tomorrow.
    I can well imagine the crap that will be spread tomorrow if people don’t get out there and tell the truth.
    I have had nothing in my door from either yes or lab4indy and after speaking with a few folks this morning neither have they.
    Oh and how they got details I have no idea.

    Nana Smith

    This Saturday, the 7th of June, hundreds of Labour activists will take to the streets across Scotland as part of our National Action Day to share the message that Scotland has the best of both worlds – a strong Scottish Parliament with the strength and security of the United Kingdom.

    This referendum will be won by our activists leading the campaign in their home towns, and thats why we’re asking you to join us this weekend at one of our events.

    We have events across Scotland, and you can find the event closest to you and play your part here.

    For those of you unable to join us on the doorstep we’ll be running a day long phone bank in Glasgow, details of which are available here.

    The next three months will decide the future of Scotland, and if you believe that Scotland’s future is in leading the UK rather than leaving it, then we need your help!

    We’ll see you on the doorstep.

    Scottish Labour

  61. manandboy says:

    Very witty and hugely funny – just what I needed.

  62. ianmc says:

    Contact the information commissioner. He can instruct them to release this if they reject their arguments for non compliance with your request

  63. Triangular Ears says:

    Regarding the public interest, it depends on how you define “public”… 5m people or 60m people…

  64. Croompenstein says:

    OT – Need some help wingers, talking to some undecideds and currency has come up. If we use the pound outwith a currency union how does that work with interest rates? Who would print new money?

    Any help on those two much appreciated.

  65. Bill Cruickshank says:

    I am taking JohnMac’s advice on this and appealing the Cabinet Office decision.

  66. David says:

    MORE of the same, reply from the EC regarding Flippers latest outburst.

    Its like farting into a breeze 🙁

    Dear Mr ????

    Thank you for your e-mail to the Electoral Commission.

    The Commission sets standards for those tasked with running elections and electoral registration services. We also regulate the rules on party and campaigner finance. However, we have no remit or powers to set standards for the content of political debate and we would not consider this to be an appropriate role for the Commission as it might draw us into political debate and risk compromising voters perceptions of our independent role. Voters will of course set their own individual standards for political debate and the ultimate judgement on whether these standards have been met can be made by voters at the ballot box.

    I am sorry that I have not been able to assist you with your complaint on this occasion but I hope this e-mail has clarified the Commission’s role.

    Best wishes

    Name removed

    Senior Officer – Scotland

    The Electoral Commission

    Lothian Chambers

    59-63 George IV Bridge

    Edinburgh, EH1 1RN

    Tel: 0131 225 0204

    Fax: 0131 225 0205

    Textphone: 18001 0131 225 0204

    Putting voters first

  67. Pin says:

    Public interest, eh? We’re withholding this information for your own good!

    Aye cheers

  68. Jim Thomson says:

    @David 1:24

    I doubt if it will be any further help but, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner might be another route for complaint about lying, cheating, flipping, MPs

  69. David says:

    O/T a man on a mission


  70. handclapping says:

    As the banks have multiple sources of money apart from the Government they will set their interest rates for our mortgages and credit cards just as they do now.

    As for printing money that will be the Bank of England though they are already looking at £5 coin. I doubt that RBS, BoS and Clydesdale will be allowed to continue to print against deposit.

  71. MajorBloodnok says:

    If they withhold poll results because they are in the public interest, why do they then release the results of some polls and not others? Surely they are all either in the public interest or they are all not in the public interest.

    Clearly HMG thinks it would not be in the public interest to tell us what that public interest might be.

    Or is it that when they say public interest do they actually mean the self-serving interests of the (admittedly extensive) cabal that constitutes the British Establishment?

  72. David says:

    O/T a man on a mission – second try

  73. Jim Thomson says:

    @misteralz 12:41

    If you need to hang on to a BBC program for slightly longer than iPlayer has it available (for legitimate reasons, obviously), there’s an excellent grabber called get_iplayer available for a variety of platforms (WinDoze, iOS, Linux etc.) Google it and you’ll see a list of reasoanble download sites and you really need to read the reasonable use terms and conditions 😉

    It does use a quaint command line interface (CLI to us oldies) and can take a wee while to get the query just right. But it’s FREE, which is always a good thing, right?

    I’ll post links across in Off-Topic if you need them.

  74. lobeydosser says:

    Rev was on at about 58/59 mins. The first time I tried to listen the minute she said Stuart from Bath my connection stopped and I had to reconnect. Got it on the 3rd try.
    Spooky 🙂

  75. Jim Thomson says:

    reasoanble.. REASOANBLE? must get these figners checked or speeded up or smoething 🙂

  76. David says:

    trying to get some sense out of the EC I replied

    Dear ????,

    No it has not clarified the Electoral Commissions role at all

    Can you please explain in simple and easy to understand terms exactly what the EC is actually responsible for and please don’t just send me a link to a web page. A bullet point list would be exactly what I need and expect.

    thanks in anticipation

    kindest regards

    OH MY – a quick reply BUT!

    I work Monday to Thursday and will respond to your message on my return..

    If your query is urgent then please call 0131 225 0200.

    Any press queries can be re-directed to 0207 271 0704 or

  77. CameronB Brodie says:

    I’m not able to help with the sort of info I think you are looking for, but this is what the LSE are saying about the UK’s planning system and the structural manipulation that has produced the endemic housing shortage we are all adversely affected by.

    Turning houses into gold: the failure of British planning

    Additional info.

    Housing affordability crisis blamed on green belt policy

  78. dennis mclaughlin says:

    Doublespeak from HM.Gov…..

  79. Jim Thomson says:

    @misteralz the Stu segment is at 56m 50sec. Programme name is Morning Call.

  80. Free Scotland says:

    Not in the public interest? I think the UK government’s attempt at a cover-up on this one has whipped up a massive level of public interest, which will continue to grow until somebody spills the beans.

  81. a2 says:

    I’m not convinced that the nature of this poll was one showing yes catching up or in the lead but more to elicit information as to what might turn people to a no, what will really scare people. As such it may be the questions themselves that are ’embarrising’ and needing to be hidden rather than the results.

    If that’s actually the case of course, there’s a sneaky wee shimmy there about the second question, it would be quite possible to share the information gleaned from such a poll without actually sharing the data/results.

  82. CameronB Brodie says:

    Sorry, the above statement of ‘us all being adversely affected’, was obviously way off the mark. There are those who have benefited undeservedly and grotesquely from this state of affairs.

  83. CameronB Brodie says:

    Sorry for the clutter. The second link was meant to highlight the LSE analysis is being sold for profit to planning professionals. Paul Cheshire isn’t an isolated crackpot.

    @ Sarah Boyack
    Any comment?

  84. Lesley-Anne says:

    I agree with everyone else here Stu, you should push this one. Every attempt possible should be made to embarrass the hell out of U.K. government departments.

    They must really believe the shite that they keep spouting about us being too wee, too poor and too stupid, why else would they use the “in the public interest” bile?

    I’m sorry but I just find their attempted excuse that to release the information about the poll would, some how, interfere with the regular day to day running of the relevant government department just too ludicrous to contemplate. They are LYING! They know that we know that the information contained in the opinion poll would bolster the YES side THAT is why they are trying to hide the information. Nothing more and nothing less. As others have said, if the information in this poll had been good reading for the NO side would they have kept it secret as well? You can bet your bottom dollar they wouldn’t have, it would have been all over the papers and six o’clock news!

  85. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood ther’s a roll in sausage ( buckie black pudding inside ) wie your name on it at the Wings stall,sos nae Guiness wans, see You tommorow.

  86. Lesley-Anne says:

    Sorry I’m O/T but it appears there might just be a wee crack appearing within the ranks of the Labour party. 😛

  87. haud on the noo says:

    Roll on sausage surely…

  88. heedtracker says:

    Anyone got the Reverend on BBC vote NO Scotland this morn?

    Other news concerning UKOK ministerial candour, Press and Journal today says Danny Alexander is getting elocution lessons from George VI/Colin Firth’s sister now to improve his chances of taking out Nick Clegg as ConDem boss.

    This isn’t a wind up. What with Flipper blink rate uncountable as his candour wobbles about the shop and now Danny Alexander trying to talk proper and save the union, you’d think it was the first of April.

  89. ronnie anderson says:

    @Haud 0n the Noo, Pedant lol, the sausage is on the roll, so we’ur baith wrang.

  90. bookie from hell says:


    2. Some Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters indulged in a spot of tactical voting. Anecdotal evidence from the three main parties suggests voters sought to minimise Ukip’s likelihood of success.

    People who would ordinarily have backed Labour or the Lib Dems appear to have voted Conservative, whose candidate was perceived as being the most likely to ensure Nigel Farage’s party missed out on first place.

  91. Murray McCallum says:


    Thanks for that link. I think he joins a growing list of Labour supporters.

  92. CameronB Brodie says:

    O/T or is it?

    Keep it down bombardier. 🙂

    Government, Geography, and Growth
    The True Drivers of Economic Development
    Jeffrey D. Sachs

    According to the economist Daron Acemoglu and the political scientist James Robinson, economic development hinges on a single factor: a country’s political institutions. More specifically, as they explain in their new book, Why Nations Fail, it depends on the existence of “inclusive” political institutions, defined as pluralistic systems that protect individual rights. These, in turn, give rise to inclusive economic institutions, which secure private property and encourage entrepreneurship. The long-term result is higher incomes and improved human welfare.

  93. scottish_skier says:

    Some additional MORI (the unionists favour pollster) figures:

    Nicola Sturgeon as DFM
    51% Satisfied
    38% Dissatisfied

    And women like NS (48% sat) nearly as much as men like AS (55% sat) with NS having the highest number of satisfied for any leader amongst female respondents (Lamont got 43% sat).

    Both women and men have the same opinion of David Cameron (30 sat / 66 dissat / net -36).


    Darling as leader of Better Together
    34% Satisfied
    50% Dissatisfied
    NET -16

    Satisfaction with AS amongst people who say they plan to vote for another party:
    46% of ‘Other’ party voters
    23% of Lib Dem voters
    29% of Labour voters
    27% of Tory voters

    Satisfaction with NS amongst people who say they plan to vote for another party:
    48% of ‘Other’ party voters
    45% of Lib Dem voters
    32% of Labour voters
    31% of Tory voters

    Which is really something. For each pro-union party (bar AS and the libs where the value is 23%), 30% or more of it’s voters are happy with the leadership of the pro-independence SNP.

    So, summing up… all pro-indy leaders in positive territory and satisfaction ratings on the rise.

    All pro-union parties leaders in negative territory with increasing levels of dissatisfaction over the past two polls since December.

    Favourite among men is AS and women NS.

    Patrick Harvie of the pro-indy Greens increasingly known and increasingly popular.

    The rather odd pattern of a majority of people supporting the Scottish government (or at least its leaders in this case) by saying they are satisfied with their performance yet claiming they wouldn’t vote for the SNP (nor independence) continues, marking out Scotland as one of the oddest places in the world politically. Or maybe people are just not telling the full story…

    For the No campaign’s favourite pollster, a rather good poll for the pro-indy parties.

  94. Jim Thomson says:

    @heedtracker – see my post at 1:51

  95. bookie from hell says:



  96. TJenny says:

    Heedtracker – posted further up the thread. It’s on BBCiPlayer:
    ‘the Stu segment is at 56m 50sec. Programme name is Morning Call.’

    I’ve just listened to it and couldn’t help wondering if K-w-a-e expected to get a frothing unionist from Bath as opposed to oor Stuey. She didn’t seem to twig it was he, and he of course highlighted that the comment from Obama had been requested by DC. 🙂

  97. gerry parker says:

    @Ronnie, I see we should huv got Greggs dummies.


  98. CameronB Brodie says:

    Or what about this for a goggle?

    The Geographical Distribution of UK Ta l e n t:
    Causes and consequences

    Marc Cowling
    Institute for Employment Studies

    In this paper I consider, in a UK context, how talent is distributed across the larger cities of the UK and the key factors which appear to be driving this spatial distribution. I also consider what the potential economic outcomes of these disparities are for cities in the UK. The first finding is that talent is unequally distributed across cities, with some having three times more highly educated workers than others. Talent concentration at the city level is associated with entrepreneurial activity, culture, the presence of a university, and to a lesser degree the housing market. This appears to feed into more knowledge based industry, which is, in turn, associated with higher gross value added.

    I posted about the self-perpetuating nature of agglomeration economies, the other day.

  99. starlaw says:

    Many people are under the impression that we live in a Democracy, we never have, UK is a Monarchy,just a toe hold from a dictatorship.
    President Obamas remarks will put no soup in a pot or Jeely on a piece, this campaign will be won on Social Welfare

  100. MajorBloodnok says:


    Last paragraph of BBC report – A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “George Mudie is entitled to his opinion but we know the overwhelming majority of Scots share the view of the president of the United States Barack Obama that we are better together.”

    Tick tock.

  101. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ TJenny

    She knew right away it was our Stu. I heard the BBC klaxons in Dundee!

  102. heedtracker says:

    Thanks Jim, it’s on now! Kaye answers The Rev with she “loves the idea that Obama is Cameron’s lapdog but maybe that’s just her” which kind of sums her up as the dopey anti independence debater for the BBC that we have to endure.

  103. Castle Rock says:

    Copied this link from ‘From The Suburbs’ over on Newsnet, says everything about the BBC that you need to know:

  104. bookie from hell says:

    Fiona in Lenzie called stu paranoid ( : > )

  105. Castle Rock says:

    Eek! can’t do the web link thingy on the above but if you copy and paste it into your browser then you’ll see it.

    Well worth a look.

  106. heedtracker says:

    @ Tjenny, it’s probably not a coincidence that Kaye is so light weight. She’s got a job for life though in that ghastly outfit on the Clyde, unless…

  107. Lesley-Anne says:

    Nice wee piece on Call Kay with an E there Stu. 😉

    As you point out TJenny Kay with an E had absolutely no idea who she was talking to when Stu was on. I’m thinking we need to UP the Rev Stu’s profile here folks, Kay with an E had NO idea who she was talking to this will NEVER do now will it? 😛

  108. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    Stu said he told them who he was before he went on air. Maybe they didn’t tell Kaye?

  109. TJenny says:

    All – Stu’s posted the Good Morning recording on a new post. 🙂

  110. Andy-B says:

    Its more than likely that the poll showed a significant swing to the YES camp, and the result of that is Scotland in now swarming with unionist politicians, such as Gordon Brown, George Galloway, Danny Alexander and Douglas Alexander, trying to scaremonger people into voting no.

  111. Andy-B says:

    I had a wee chuckle to myself when I learned that Labour, have launched a “Truth Team” again, they launched one in 2013 that vanished quicker, than the Lib/Dems support. Anyway this truth team mandate is to bring the facts to the referendum debate, and dispel the myths.

    Deputy Labour leader Anas Sarwar, says we will challenge Alex Salmond’s claims about independence. The words Labour and truth, don’t sit easily in the same sentence, especially when the truth teams investigators are,MSP Kezia Dugdale, MSP Jenny Marra and MSP Drew Smith, the three amigo’s wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and slapped them on the face.

  112. orri says:

    Assuming that the information you were given is correct and that the cost outlay was enough for several polls I’d assume that it was in fact market research and might not actually have mentioned independence then you actually have been answered to some extent. Not the sneaky sarcastic use of the word candour in the last sentence.
    The purpose of the polls was to find a combination of questions that might both help undermine the Yes vote or failing that bolster the No. Knowing the buttons to press won’t be as successful when the intended victim is aware of what’s going on. “Your Jedi Mind Tricks won’t work on me.” springs to mind.
    That said I would not be surprised to find that the recent survey purporting to show Scotland willing to share with the rest of the UK was the result of this “market research”. A series of questions designed to get a desired result.

  113. Edulis says:

    I managed to get in my tuppence worth at the Inverness Big Debate today over Obama’s remarks. Colin Fox was the only one of the panel to pick up on my conspiracy theory between the BBC diplomatic correspondent, James Robbins and 10 Downing Street. Good on him.

    Watch out for the Sunday Herald digging into this. It is a story that ought to run and run. Even the Labour guy was dismissive of it helping the ‘No’ campaign.

  114. Les Wilson says:

    Well, it looks like despite the glee of D. Alexander, McDougal, et al, this is being taken as outright connived interference concocted by D. Cameron and spoken by Obama.
    Who was distinctly ill at ease.
    Further, I have read the question came from BBC, no surprise there if true.It would show the deceit of Cameron and the panic he is beginning to show, as is all of the Bitter Together mob.

    It is turning out to be an own goal, which will mute these people and it will be and has been spun to death by the media.What a palaver over a small country who wants to govern itself. By pursuing help from other Countries to vote against democracy is utterly shameful.

    Scots are a contrary race, they should know that, we are all fed up of interference, and people more and more will turn to YES. They really are so dumb, but hey, this all they can come up with. Scotland will vote YES.

  115. Niall Campbell says:

    I usually win against East Dunbartonshire Council by Appealing.

    It is in the Public Interest to Release the Information witheld, rathet than of Interest to the Public.

    This is due to the Nation of Scotland holding a A Referudm in September, and therefore due to the Codes of Conduct of Civil Servants of Transparency and Honesty in relation to providing the Westminster Parliament and MPs crucial evidence for Policy making, then in Order for the Public to come to a reasoned conclusion for its Voting intentions; the witheld Information should be released.

    If the Information is not released, how can Members of the Public therefore complain to the Public Ombudsman for the equivalant of the Ethical Standards of Public Life for Scotland; in England?

  116. YESGUY says:

    Andy B

    popped over to the labour “truth” site and going by the comments it’s put a wee smile on my face. They are getting slaughtered , laughing my socks off.

    As regards the ipso poll i doubt we will ever see a poll with the YES vote in the lead. My thinking is folk would be swayed by the “majority” and don’t like to be on the losing side. It’s going to be la long summer and we can expect the drivel to pour down,mind you it shows they are losing.

    Thanks again Andy , the comments where fair but pretty scathing , if you haven’t seen it i suggest you pop over 4 a laugh

  117. velofello says:

    @ Les Wilson ” What a palaver over a small who wants to govern itself” And why such a palaver? Now that is something to ponder. Spot on Les.

    I read an excellent book by Carol Craig – “The Scots’ Crisis of Confidence”. Not an inviting title yet well worth a read, The writer contends that Scots are logic oriented thinkers – and so always up for an argument – Logic based of course. Why are we all so enthused by the Rev? Well I reckon because he thinks and analyses in a logical systemic manner and that chimes with us.

    The BBC question, and Obama’s response will be helpful when out canvassing tomorrow.

  118. K1 says:

    velofello, I just got that book out of the library a couple of weeks ago, hadn’t got round to reading it yet, think I’ll get started on it…sounds interesting.

  119. Kris says:

    It would be interesting to put in an FOI to find out how many opinion polls have been done and not published, or any others which have had public opinion much in favour of publishing. I can’t imagine anyone (yessers or no-ers) that don’t want to know that information.

    More importantly, why is it not being shared with the Scottish Government? Is it simply because they are seen as a “lesser” government?

  120. Paula Rose says:

    A personal point – Its maybe in the public interest.

    I have no children – I made that decision way back, how could I bring children into this world.

    But now I am entranced by the beauty that the people who live in Scotland are attempting.

    I really believe that we can use our skills, expertise and generosity to be a nation.

    I have tears in my eyes as I realise that we are on the brink of greatness.

    A firm friend to all.

  121. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Edulis –

    Well done. I was listening, and totally chuffed with Colin’s performance. He is a first class speaker, and hilariously close to the bone when he’s not being broadcast.

    The Inverness audience clearly took to him, and I hope the SSP up there gets a membership boost on the back of it.

  122. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Paula Rose –

    Well expressed there. The ‘chance to make history’ line is a powerful one for DKs.

  123. Paula Rose says:

    Only one shot at history – go for it.

  124. john king says:

    This is wot I wrote on the Labour truth teams comments
    in response to Debbie bruce’s comment
    “That’s what these people WILL NEVER understand Debbie,
    and that’s why they WILL lose.”

    And they described me as a “TOP COMMENTATOR”
    sorry guys but if the (ahem) truth team are going to show me some PROPER respect then Im voting no!

    Is it possible they have a list of our names and tag us as “top commentators” so they can pick us out easily and drive wedges between us?

  125. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

    In the public interest, who wouldn’t believe that GCHQ is monitoring all electronic transmissions made by all of the officials of the yes campaign. As you write they read. as you speak they listen,
    Edward Snowden was reported as saying that the UK GCHQ was much worse than America’s National Security Agency in it’s approach to harvesting information.
    If I was Alex I would commission Chinese geeks to investigate and expose what I am 100% sure is that their every move is monitored. For what use are expensive spooks if not to protect their paymasters, the old Eton boys club.

  126. This sounds like an episode from “YES MINISTER”, only it is from the “NO” camp. Spin, spin, spin. They found themselves with a very hot potato and had to put it on ice till after the referendum. Somebody somewhere knows what it contained and sooner or later, it will be blown as so many government secrets are. They may well be waiting till the last minute to get maximum effect from the disclosure. Come to think of it the government could still release a doctored version of it as they seem very adept at that sort of thing.

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