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Wings Over Scotland

Keeping score

Posted on January 30, 2013 by

Scottish Government proposals for regulated referendum spending limits:

YES side: £1,250,000
NO side: £1,500,000
(advantage of £250,000 to NO campaign)

Electoral Commission recommendations for regulated referendum spending limits:

YES side: £2,994,000
NO side: £2,931,000
(advantage of £63,000 to YES campaign)

Oh no! It’s another defeat for the SNP!

Here’s the Guardian on the subject:

“Salmond failed to persuade the commission to cap spending for the two official “yes” and “no” campaigns at £750,000 each, recommending a £1.5m limit for both sides – double the SNP’s recommendations.

That decision could now lead to an angry dispute. Last October, Sturgeon had told the SNP annual conference it would strongly resist moves to allow their opponents to outspend them.”

So let’s just get this straight. The SNP proposed limits that would allow their opponents to outspend them, by a whopping £250,000 (a 20% advantage). The Electoral Commission has instead decided that the Yes campaign must be allowed to outspend the No camp, by £63,000.

Yet the media tells us the SNP will be “angry”, and that there may be a “dispute” over the findings, despite Nicola Sturgeon having said within seconds of the release of the report that the Scottish Government accepted its recommendations in full.

Maybe it’s just us.

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34 to “Keeping score”

  1. muttley79 says:

    I don’t know if I can take all these defeats….  😀

  2. naebd says:

    Perhaps they were worried about there being not enough money to fully utilise the Yes campaign’s various allowance buckets.

  3. Adrian B says:

    The amounts don’t worry me. It all comes down to how effective that you are in getting results from that spending. Something that the Scottish Government have been very good at. The Better Together campaign have demonstrated a scatter gun approach so far – I doubt that will change much, even in the last few weeks of the campaign.

    We have much to smile about today – not so for our opponents. 

  4. Norrie says:

    Had to check the figures twice myself been expecting 2 million advantage to No lot. However watch out for qualified others.

  5. Cuphook says:

    When the votes are counted, and the result is YES, do you think that the media will announce another defeat for Salmond?

  6. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    Just took a look at WoS Twitter page.  What is this about Cameron mouthing off at Angus Robertson?  Sounds amusing….  Are the UK government not accepting the EC findings?

  7. I keep waiting for the ground to fall out from under our feet. </pessimist>

  8. Christian Wright says:


    All this is small beer when compared to the £100m in free adverting the unionist side is receiving and will receive until referendum day. 

    Newspaper article after article that are no better than Unionist press releases; BBC news programming that is akin to a never-ending series Unionist party-political broadcasts.

    Fed daily to the electorate for a period of two years with little to no rebufiltering thug through the din, the officially mandated limits on spending are meaningless. 

    iPad spell-correction/suggestion gone crazy and unable to correct (though can add new text on edit)

  9. Dcanmore says:

    You are perfectly right of course the MSM are a vehicle for Unionism, so far at least. But I believe the Scottish people are waiting to be sold on Independence, they’re not dense. I believe that because the DON’T KNOWS is growing and it’s growing from the NO percentage. The White Paper should offer Scottish people a lot more than what they’ve got now, especially in monetary terms. Imagine policies where guaranteed projected income from Independence that will allow for a cut in corporation tax, a cut in fuel duty and scrapping of the council tax… that is where the real battle is, the one where it concerns people’s wallets! … and the Unionists know it very well too hence the relentless negative rhetoric, because they know they can’t fight what’s coming! Fear is all they have.

  10. Cameron says:

    I have to agree with Christian. Although the SG appear to have played a blinder, the official funding is chicken feed compared to the pro-Union MSM, especially the state broadcasting service. Any developments on the BBC’s misreporting of the Irish Minister?

  11. Chic McGregor says:

    I heard Darling has enlisted Obama’s successful PR crew, will their fees and expenses come off the Dependency Tendency’s funding allocation?

  12. Cuphook says:

    When it comes to funding the Unionists will try every dirty trick in the book. What do they have to lose? If they did manage to get a No vote it’s not as if the referendum would be run again because they overspent.
    According to Neal Ascherson, during the 79 referendum, Tory money was laundered through London based Unions who then passed it on to Scottish Labour as good clean Socialist money. How transparent will the No campaign be with their financing?

  13. muttley79 says:

    The Yes side still won in 1979.

  14. Bill C says:

    AS and the Scottish Government have played the unionists like a salmon.  Firstly the second question, then the 16/17 year olds, then the actual question and now the funding.  Have to agree with Christian and Cameron though, until the unionist bias of the media is neutralised the spendingl limits are really quite irrelevant.  I really do think it is time for some outside scrutiny of what is going on with our media.
    In my reply to Lucinda Creighton (Irish TD for Europe) I mentioned the media bias and especially the BBC.  I explained that in my opinion, our whole democratic process was being undermined.  I asked that she and the Irish Government “keep a close eye” on the situation and said that we needed friends in Europe. As yet, she has not replied. 

    I am thinking of writing to Alyn Smith SNP MEP as an ordinary member of the Scottish public to ask for advice on how we can tackle the unionist bias of the  media. I really think this is the key to winning the referendum.  Anyone got any thoughts?

  15. Cuphook says:

    If the intention was to get a Scottish Assembly it seems a strange kind of victory. at least this time we have a government who will ensure that a Yes vote means just that.

  16. Davy says:

    What do those “separatis’s electoral commission’ers” think they are doing ???, the lord High Do’er Ian Davidson will have to have words. 

  17. muttley79 says:

    I meant that without taking the farcical 40% rule into account, over 50% voted Yes in 1979.

  18. Cuphook says:

    I know what you meant. I was pointing out that a Yes vote is meaningless unless you have the power to implement it.

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “When the votes are counted, and the result is YES, do you think that the media will announce another defeat for Salmond?”

    Of course! Remember, what he REALLY wanted was devo-max.

  20. Davy says:

    Perhaps the Scottish Government should request for an independent commission from abroad, to monitior the referendum, they could ensure that our state broadcaster adhere’s to its charter of impartiallity for both sides, and that no political parties are unfairly financing the MSM (outside of electoral commission limits) to promote only their side of the debate. They could report to both Holyrood & westminster on a minimum monthly basis or as required due to circumstances.

    I can hear the (bitter forever) campaigners squealing already.

    Alba Gu snooker loopy!, vote yes.

  21. Cameron says:

    @ Bill C
    It looks like you are doing your best to turn this in to an international incident. Cracking idea, more power to your elbow sir.
    I can only suggest we draw up our own “citizen’s petition”, declaring our justified fears that the democratic process is being undermined by outside interests. We collect 27,001 signatures, before sending it to the EU Commission’s Election Observation Mission or the IDEA Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security. I would not vouch for the impartiality of either organisation, but it would surely be embarrassing to the British state and the unionists. I mean, a citizen’s movement seeking outside assistance to ensure democratic processes are followed.

  22. Cuphook says:

    Thanks for reminding me. With him being so duplicitous it’s sometimes difficult to remember that his campaign for independence is a front for the further devolution supported by the Unionists who campaign against it.
    I was thinking about how Ruth initially supported the SG’s choice of question and how Darling supported a sterling currency union but somehow they changed their minds. Has anyone been keeping a record of these volte-face?

  23. Cameron says:

    @ cynicalHighlander
    Great, that’s potentially a very effective vehicle, but how should the petition be worded? I am sure there are plenty of people better qualified than myself to undertake the task, though I would be happy to get things going. I would definitely look for input from other concerned citizens. Kind of a group thinking thing, as opposed to a groupthink thing.

  24. Castle Rock says:

    Should Scotland be an independent country’

    No, I want Scotland to be a region of England.

    No, I like being laughed at by other Europeans when I say ‘but we’re already a country’.

    No, I like being told we’re too wee, too poor and too stupid.

    No, I like being ruled by the English Tories.

    No, I like sending my money to Westminster and getting peanuts in return.

    No, I like nuclear weapons stationed next to Glasgow.

    No, I like getting our budgets cut.

    No, I want to Ian Davidson to represent me.

    No, I don’t want my dignity back.

    No, I want the powers of the Scottish Parliament curtailed and sent back to Westminster.

    No, I like UKIP, the EDL and the BNP.

    No, I support Johann Lamont’s Cuts Commission to help get Ed Miliband elected in England.

    No, England will bomb our airports if we vote Yes.

    No, I don’t like free education and an educated workforce.

    Please feel free to add other positives reasons….

  25. Doug Daniel says:

    Does anyone else think it would have been even more fun if the question had started out as “Do you agree Scotland should remain in the UK?” with the old 40% rule in place? Just to prove a point, like.

    Incidentally, I think Cuphook is right that we should be wary of assuming the unionists will give a toss about sticking to rules. All they need is to get a “no” vote. If it’s decided afterwards that rules were broken, we know from experience that there’ll be fuck all punishment. Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens referendum was a good example – those complaining about unfair funding from big business were written off as sore losers unable to accept the result, the idea being that the extra campaign spending doesn’t REALLY matter (in which case, why bother having limits at all?)

  26. benarmine says:

    The ” other registered campaigners ” could be a problem. Is there a list and what are the registration criteria, does anyone know?

  27. Bill C says:

    @Cameron – Sounds good to me, count me in. I really like the idea of a “citizen’s movement”.  More than happy to help out with the wording etc.  Any thoughts on how we could take the idea forward?  For example could we set up our internet forum?  I have to confess I have lots to learn re. how the internet could be used to progress our cause, but willing to learn.

  28. Cameron B says:

    @ Bill C
    I could say the same about myself and t’internet. Perhaps I am hoping for too much, but would Rev. Stuart be able to facilitate?

  29. Braco says:

    Forget outside adjudication bodies riding to our rescue. The UK is in the club of nation states and we, as yet, are not. Any ‘independent’ neutral body will be answerable to some international body which will be, as these things are, there to represent the interests of existing Nation States of which the UK is and Scotland, as yet is not. Look to ourselves, convince our electorate through reasoned argument and trust their good sense. After all we have NEVER had a media level playing field to date but still somehow got the message out. Scots have NEVER voted against more powers for Scotland in any of the referenda they have been asked to decide on. So just keep plugging away, ignore the fake headlines and concentrate on the only places that matter, the hearts and minds of the everyday Scots electorate.

  30. Robert Kerr says:

    I have already commented on the herald.

    Officially we have a question.

    The nats can add to it unofficially on the doorsteps and as graffiti on posters and walls one extra word…. AGAIN. 

  31.   One of the most interesting points for me was the E.C. call for clarification on what a Yes vote would mean and more importantly what a No vote would mean… Has the E.C. put a spike in the “Jam Tomorrow” nonsense that has started to circulate from the onionist press

  32. Christian Wright says:

    What I’d like to see is a day, or half day where the entire cybernattery join together to post one question in every forum they frequent, and every blogger to post just one question for one day or half a day, addressed to Alistair Darling:


    The combined weight of a million inquiring minds lifted up and focused upon his reply. It would kill them. They can moonwalk away from an answer, they can send in the dancing monkey, they can hold their breath and blow bubbles, but they cannot disguise their intellectual bankruptcy when it comes to offering any credible response. 

  33. Megsmaw says:

    Perhaps those of us on twitter could organise a day where we all tweet Alistair the same question?

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