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Look away now

Posted on May 07, 2014 by

Anyone who really wanted to know the score when it came to pensions was already aware of the facts. For well over a year, the DWP has been telling people who asked that they would continue to receive their UK state pension regardless of the outcome of the referendum. So that’s reassuring.

But for some unfathomable and mysterious reason, the explanation for which defies all known science, that information hasn’t really made it into the independence debate. “Better Together” has felt absolutely free to continue scaremongering about it, with Alistair Darling saying as recently as last month “On the subject of pensions, what happens with separation? Nobody knows – certainly not the Scottish Government.”


So we were a little surprised last night when a piece in the Scotsman broke ranks.

“State pensions would still paid after independence a UK minister has told MPs despite concerns raised by the Better Together campaign.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb said that anybody who had paid UK national insurance would be entitled to their state pension whatever the outcome of the referendum.

The intervention contradicts concerns raised by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign.”

That sounds pretty darned definitive, right? A named UK government pensions minister speaking on the record in Parliament making clear that pensions were NOT at risk. So we looked forward to the big news being all over the media this morning.

The first surprise was that the story hadn’t made it into the print edition of the Scotsman at all. And as we searched, the blackout spread.

The Herald has a small piece on page 2 of the print edition, which shows that there was plenty of time for newsprint papers to get the story in – although the article does its best to bury the implications, with the first four paragraphs putting up a wall of negativity and obfuscation.


And while the piece does appear on the website, there’s no way to actually get to it. It’s not linked at all on either the front page or any of the section pages, and even if you search Kate Devlin articles you won’t find it, because the web version has had her byline removed. (And of course, even if it hadn’t you’d have had to know that she wrote it in the first place.)

And what of the rest of our free, fair and impartial media?






THE TIMES: Nothing.




An alert reader finally managed to track down a tiny corner of the Press & Journal:


But so far as we’ve been able to establish, that’s it. An online piece in the Scotsman that wasn’t important enough to make the print edition, a negatively-spun report in the Herald that was disowned and buried in the website, and a few paragraphs in a regional paper, are all you get when the UK government blows one of the central scares of the No campaign completely out of the water.

It’s not the first time there’s been a mass blanking of a Yes-positive pensions story, of course. And we’re sure it’s just coincidence that pensioners are the demographic that’s both most strongly No and most likely to vote, and that there’s therefore nothing sinister in the fact that Scotland’s media is doing its damnedest to make sure that they go to the polls in September in ignorance of the reality that their pension is secure either way.

Honestly, we don’t know why we even bothered mentioning it.

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    Progressives: England is a Lost Cause. Get Out While You Can. – Radio Jammor is on the air…

96 to “Look away now”

  1. heedtracker says:

    Well at least people are right to say they don’t have enough information and they certainly are not going to get it from vote noBBC either.

  2. gordoz says:

    Collusion – Nahhhh !

  3. bunter says:

    So many unanswered questions, aren’t there Scottish Media. Can everyone make a point of doing their best to share this as far as possible. If it is important enough to have the media blank it, then it should be just as important for us to make sure its not.

  4. gordoz says:

    Rev :

    If this was news staing outcome other way; ie ‘UK Pensions will not be paid etc’, would this not have been the front page headline ???

  5. Onwards says:

    To balance things out, the BBC are running a story on how Scots will be able to use the Merk or the Unicorn for our currency.

  6. bunter says:

    Oh, it would be a nice front page story for The Sunday Herald. How could all those newspaper reviewers possibly ignore it eh?

  7. FraserP says:

    After a bit of googling I found this in the FT Adviser, an offshoot of the FT for financial advisers:
    Curiously this is how it opens: “Mr Webb, speaking today (6 May) before the Scottish Affairs committee, told his peers that only if Scotland remains as part of the union will there be less volatility and more protections for Scotland’s pensioners.”
    Now why wouldn’t the media have been happy simply to spin that angle for all it was worth? After all, they’ve done it before.

  8. Aikenheed says:

    O/T but related I don’t do Facebook – is there any more info on this Tesco. 1393739 likes · 10519 talking about this. Welcome to Tesco’s Facebook …
    All Scottish Tesco stores have boycotted the Sunday Herald delivery today.
    I certainly coudn’t buy a copy there on Sunday

  9. Proud Cybernat says:

    …Scotland’s media is doing its damnedest to make sure that they go to the polls in September in ignorance of the reality that their pension is secure either way.

    And they are every bit as intent in keeping the Scottish electorate ignorant about Currency Union and EU membership also, using the state broadcaster to propagate their lies and misinformation.

    Wake up Scotland and seek out the truth. The vast majority of Scotland’s mainstream media is lying to you and doing so for their own vested interests.


    Thanks to everyone here on Wings who contributed to the crowd-fund appeal for the short referendum film, ‘Autumn Leaves’.

    I am very happy to tell you all that the film has broken its £1,500 target. Give yourselves a big pat on the back. And a huge thanks to Rev. Stu also for allowing the crwod-fund appeal to be posted here on Wings.

    Thanks so much everyone.

  10. yerkitbreeks says:

    I’m sure Derek Bateman will have something to say concerning the BBCs neutral journalism.

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    Lying bastards.

    They’ll do anything to subvert democracy and the will of the people.

    No prisoners!

  12. faolie says:

    That wee quote from Gandhi should include ..then they hide the truth and quote falsehoods…

    They’re losing and they know it.

  13. Nigel says:

    Quote: Alistair Darling saying as recently as last month “On the subject of pensions, what happens with separation? Nobody knows – certainly not the Scottish Government.” Unquote.

    Hmmm…it’s clear to me that Alistair Darlings does not know much at all – about anything really. He is so out of touch…

    Anyway, based on past experience when he and his pal Brown were in government – you cannot believe a word they say on pensions…or anything else for that matter.

    As for the papers – eventually as the myths about Indy are dispelled (blown away), such reports will eventually creep into the papers, even if they are tucked away in the inner pages.

  14. Desimond says:

    See if we are all one nation under the Union flag, why have a Scottish Affairs committee at all?

    Im sure this item will be covered in depth on Scottish Politics on Sunday. Unless they sadly run out of time after covering Mr Jose Barraso’s first game of golf at Donald Trumps Turnberry.

  15. Michael says:

    Sorry, sorry, sorry, but we really need the support of wingers to open our campaign shop and information hub in Bo’ness. Please be generous you lovely people and see if you can help us raise our funds in just one day. It would be a great achievement. Thanks very much. Stu, please come and do the ribbon cutting for us!

  16. HandandShrimp says:


    That Merk story seems to have done the rounds. I think it might have started life in The Mail or some similar paper and made it its way to the Guardian where it was suggested we could have the Bucky ( I laughed until I stopped). The BBC are on par with The Mail journalistically so I suppose it is no surprise that they have run with it.

    The Pension story is another matter and it is why Wings is so important. A lot of people read this site now and a lot of the articles get re-blogged on Facebook sites like Free Scotland and on Twitter. The indications are that politicians, activists and journalists of all stripes dip in here to see what is being discussed. Burying news is not as easy as it used to be.

  17. Desimond says:

    That BT (Bollox Talked?) PensionScare billboard is on Dalmarnock road in Ruherglen. I look forward to laughing the next time I pass it on by.

  18. iheartscotland says:

    If there’s any undecided voters reading this article,now you now know what the No side has as their advantage.Every paper (except one) and the BBC.Think very carefully about everything you see and read in the MSM.

  19. Helena Brown says:

    @ HandandShrimp “Burying news is not as easy as it used to be.”
    Thank goodness for that, it would be the only reason I would acquire a facebook page, but thankfully there are so many out there telling things as it is.

  20. HandandShrimp says:


    I must confess that I though that Tesco had simply sold out. Mine didn’t have any either but there was a space where it looked like it had been.

    If it is the case that they refused to carry it because of its pro-Yes front page then Tesco have crossed a line of no return. I have to say I would be really surprised if that is the case but in these strange times I will keep my powder dry. I was able to buy a copy although I did have to try a few shops.

    Anybody know how sales of the Sunday Herald went?

  21. john ferguson says:

    My question is, what do the newspaper stand to lose by being straight with the people, or who has a stranglehold on them. I hope that after Independence a massive enema is applied to Scottish politics and that the result of said enama are flushed never to return.

  22. Doug Daniel says:

    Pensions is definitely one of the biggest issues for people – last weekend I had a few oldsters saying they were worried about pensions. The thing is, saying “the Scottish Government guarantees that pensions will be paid” isn’t good enough – people want a third-party source admitting it. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve always thought the Yes campaign’s response to pensions has been weak, because it does seem to pretty much amount to little more than “yeah, it’ll get paid, because we say so.”

    I think getting this, and the letter Stu links to near the start, out to folk would be a better way of reassuring folk that pensions are safe.

  23. Training Day says:

    The Yes campaign need to get this information out there. Self-evidently.

    As for the MSM, their approach to the referendum is now so twisted, deceitful and uniform that we should now, to paraphrase Kevin Costner in JFK, call it for what it is – Fascism.

  24. bunter says:

    I got a few copies of The Sunday Herald in their Kilbirnie store no probs.

  25. Jim Bo says:

    Astonished? Not any more. Bothered? Oh yes.

    Obfuscation one minute, news blackout the next. When oh when will they realise the folly of their actions and the more they try to hide the truth the more they’ll encourage Yes. How dare we come along and turn the light on! This is a blackout don’t you know!

    No wonder they stick so doggedly to their bitter CyberNat accusations. And relax 😉

  26. HandandShrimp says:


    I agree, I think a simple flier from the Yes campaign clearly referencing this but keeping it simple

    A “What Better Together say” “What will really happen”
    sort of thing.

    I was listening to GMS yesterday and the chap from Aberdeen Asset Management was very relaxed about a Yes vote. It was very much “we operate in umpteen countries, one more doesn’t make a difference”. The business person interviewing sounded a bit “Oh”.

  27. john ferguson says:

    Instilling confidence in pensions from the undecided folk remind me of the story about the man who when hill walking slipped and was falling down a steep cliff , when he grabbed on to a small branch growing out of the side of the cliff. Clinging on for dear life ,he prayed to God for help. God said, Let go and I will catch you, the man thought for a moment and called out, Is there anyone else out there.
    Sorry for poor grammar, but the point is who can you believe.

  28. Desimond says:

    A little O/T but if we are talking false claims, this latest piece from Torcuil (C)RIGHT-ON is riddled with them :

    Likely scenarios suggested :

    A No vote
    Labour elected 2015

    (NB I cant access archive site at work im afraid)

  29. Rod MacKay says:

    The Bb

  30. Susan says:

    I bought 2 copies of Sunday Herald on Monday morning, there were more copies on the shelfe.

  31. Anne Lawrie says:

    I saw a letter on facebook some time ago from DWP, stating that there would be no change in State pensions after Independence, and they would continue to be paid as normal. I decided to contact DWP myself (being an old person) as I thought this letter with MY name on it would be a useful tool when talking to other older people. The letter NOW states “In the event of Independence, State Pensions and benefits in Scotland for its citizens would be the responsibility of a Scottish Government. Therefore, any questions about its entitlements in an Independent Scottish state should be directed to the Scottish Government”. This letter is completely different than the one they were issuing six months ago. Hmmmm….?

  32. mary vasey says:

    Doesn’t it just get your dander up grrr. Thank goodness for WOS and all HONEST media, keep it up please

  33. ronnie anderson says:

    @Proudcybernat. well done to all, lookforward to seeing

    Autunm Leaves,I hope its screened far n wide.

  34. Mosstrooper says:

    This “lack of information” excuse is just that, an excuse.
    How else does one account for the person who said she was going to vote no because she “was too old to learn Gaelic”?

    This person will never read on Wings and will believe whatever ordure the NO campaign along with the MSM and NOBBC serve up.

    So we have to pass her by and go after the genuine undecideds and challenge the lies which spout from the Unionists various orifices.

  35. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    It should be fairly easy to ask Tesco. I doubt if they would be stupid enough to do something like that

  36. handclapping says:

    Of course they can’t report this as there is the chance of the Chairchoob being shewn up for being off message and asking the wrong question.

    Of course they dont need to report it as nothing has changed, we will still get our pensions as we always did; nothing to see here, move along now.

    However with all the political editors who gained their positions at the top of the greasy pole by their expertise in Scottish Labour Kremlinology, you would have expected some analysis of the factional split between Darling and Davidson supporters on this. Or is it that they dont want to alarm Darling by pointing out that after the currency union and now this, its third strike and you’re out 😀

  37. Yooneek says:

    I will be using this at the next meeting I attend/speak at when someone asks about pension security.

  38. joe kane says:

    The fact is that British welfare state pensions are the next juicy target on the list for the British neoliberal butcher’s block. Already the UK retirement age has been set at a level many Scottish workers will never reach. If that isn’t putting Scottish workers beyond the reach of the British welfare state I don’t know what is.

    The Westminster elite are just angling for ways to carry out a more successful PR campaign to portray pensioners as a burden, living beyond what the state is able to provide. The same techniques which are being used to send other groups to the new DWP workhouse state such as single parent families, the unemployed and the sick and disabled. Students are already consigned to being indentured coolies needing to work off their vast student debts for a good part of their career, if they can manage to get a job that pays well enough that is.

    If anyone needs supporting YES arguments to put the minds of Scottish pensioners at rest just point them to the material and moral support the SNP Government have given to similar neoliberal victim groups such as students, the sick and disabled and the victims of the bedroom tax. Not to mention childcare for single parent families being a cornerstone of SNP strategy when arguing for an independent Scotland.

    Anybody who relies on the British welfare state (which they have paid into all their lives and continue to do so every day) should be under no illusions as to the continued deterioration in their standards of living if they continue to be ruled over from Westminster.

    As someone else argued, Scotland supports all the traditional values that used to be represented and associated with Britain and the British state before it was hijacked and taken over by the Thatcher-Blair gang of neoliberal parasites and wasters.

    Scots aren’t leaving the British state. The British state is leaving us.

  39. Aikenheed says:

    re Tesco Thanks for the update – maybe I’m getting paranoid but I wonder what the original source was?

    Re the MSM another reason to be thankful for AS foresight in setting a good interlude before the vote – we’re getting every indication of what’s of concern to most people and what the main planks of BT’s arguments are – but we can’t see the whites of their eyes yet so it’s steady……………. steady……….

  40. Taysideterrier says:

    Reference the sunday herald and tesco, i tried the store in south queensferry around lunchtime and it was empty.

    Did they botcott it? Who knows but there must be loads of folk on here that would have went to a tesco looking for one, did anyone succeed?

    Doubt there would have been any official boycott but you would never know if an employee/manager (trade union leader?) at a distibution depot or delivery driver did something untoward?

    Probably no way of finding out either

  41. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Mosstrooper –


    ‘Not enough information’ is an excuse, and a lame one.

    (FFS – how much information is there on this site alone?)

    Nah – these are lazy, selfish, thrawn doom-merchants, impervious to facts, cocooned in their own misery. How do they change light-bulbs? They don’t. There’s no point – the next one will just run out as well. So they just sit in the dark, picking their sores, and only ever venture outside to chain-up playpark swings on Sundays.

    The best we can we can hope for is that a goodly number of them can be persuaded not to vote at all.

    Gonny no vote no, eh? Just gonny no ‘No’, know?

  42. Rod MacKay says:

    Apologies for earlier post. WiFi!

    BBC in Scotland has broken its own ed. guidlines,.Royal Charter and European human rights.

    A Judicial Review of their actions should be sought.

    Is there an Advocate in the hoose.

  43. Patrician says:

    Are we surprised about this not appearing in many MSM outlets or where it is then not being given any importance? It just won’t happen, the MSM are working full out now to save the British state and they will lie and suppress anything that goes against their interests. With newspapers this could be expected as they are owned by individuals and corporations and will reflect their views. However, the BBC and to a lesser extent STV don’t have this as an excuse and are now just fully paid up members of the state propaganda machine.

    all we can do is share this on social media, talk to people about it in face-to-face conversations. just keep up the good work.

  44. ronnie anderson says:


    Pensions fully explained –single tier £160 pw from 2016

    experts looking at keeping retirement age below 67.

    Triple lock pensions.

  45. Alt Clut says:

    It’s taken a while to come but we’ve now got solid, third party, ground to stand on for us to hit back on the pensions issue. YES has been a bit weak on it so we must change this. Our massive advantage on the internet is important and must be used to the maximum, by those who are best placed to do so, to get the truth on the security of state pensions out to voters.

    However; another feature of older voters is that some of us tend to be more isolated and more dependent on traditional media sources. Someone above mentioned a ‘simple flier’. We MUST do this and get it our everywhere over the next month or two. Not only does it kick out a leg of BT, it shows them up, yet again, as willful deceivers and liars in their general approach.

    Let’s put the boot in hard on this one – there is much to be gained !

  46. Patrick says:

    I queried the location/categorisation of the online article and was told that I had a fair point, but that it was the result of an overnight production error and that they “don’t have sufficient dedicated online resource this week to rectify this kind of problem”

  47. call me dave says:

    Here is that committee meeting.
    A worth while listen all the way through.

    Time 40:00 mins in on clock about who pays for state pension and cross borders schemes. Pensions paid if you live in Spain. Winter fuel payments?

    But all shrouded in smoke and mirrors within the uncertainty factor.

    Chairman Davidson at 46:00 mins asks the question at last!
    Steve Webb pensions man hmmps! and haws! and never gets round to giving an answer but Davisdon squeezes it out of him. At last….

  48. Drunken Hobo says:

    I really don’t understand how there can be any issue over state pensions. You still get them if you move abroad, and effectively that’s all that’ll happen. Surely anything other than continuing to pay them would be theft by the UK Government?

    And it again makes you question the mentality of the Unionists. They believe that the UK would actually steal their money for having the temerity to go independent – and they want to remain in a country that would do that!?

  49. Nuada says:

    What a ridiculous piece of scaremongering tripe. Of course pensions will continue to be paid – why wouldn’t they? My mother, 88 years old, worked in Britain for a couple of years in the fifties and paid national insurance before retuning to Ireland; to this day she receives a small, pro-rata pension from Her Majesty on foot of those contributions. Ditto my late father, who worked in the UK for twenty years or so.

    One of the things which those of us following events in Scotland from afar are most impressed and enthusiastic about is the fact that the old “Operation Mushroom” conspiracy between bent politicians, bent journalists and bent media barons is being systematically torn asunder by citizen journalism on the internet. It’s an absolute inspiration to us and long may it continue. Good on you, Stu; whatever happens in September, this campaign has changed the face of civic life for the better. To quote that movie, V for Vendetta, people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people. Thanks to this referendum, they are.

  50. Liquidlenny says:

    Anne lawriei will write to them re pensions if there saying that now they are in deep doodah they cannot refuse to pay your pension if you have paid in 35 yrs of nic

    its not a nationality issue if i was from Mars and paid in for 35 years they would have to pay.

  51. James123 says:

    If you do a Google search for “scottish independence pensions” the only new article that appears is the Scotsman one, that’s it, in effect a news blackout. And as the Rev pointed out if you visit the Scotsman website there is no link to that article to be found anywhere.

    And it’s not like the Scottish Government have not commented:

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

    “The No campaign should now pulp the fiction on their latest billboards and posters which scaremonger on pensions which – by the UK government and DWP’s admission – is totally misleading.”

    “The No camp’s credibility on pensions is now beyond repair as their attempts to scare pensioners into voting for the status quo have now been laid bare for all to see. It is time for No to set the record straight and admit that in an independent Scotland, pensions will be paid on time and in full.”

    Unfortunately the BBC were wearing their selective hearing aid.

  52. Patrician says:

    @ronnie anderson

    Ronnie, did you get the envelope I put in your shed? Sorry I didn’t know what your house number was, so it was easier to put it through the door of your wee shed.

  53. caz-m says:

    Alistair Darling MP and Chairman of Better Together will be taking part in a referendum debate with Jim Eadie MSP (SNP) for Edinburgh Southern. This is happening on Thursday the 8th of May; 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Craiglockhart Parish Church, Craiglockhart Drive North, Edinburgh, EH14 1HS.

    The Pensions question MUST be put to Alastair Darling on Thursday evening.

    Hopefully Livestream will be filming the event.

    We can’t let Darling get away with fudging this again. Nail him on Thursday about this vital question and then we will have it on video.

    I wish I could make that debate and witness Darling squirming in his seat.

  54. Dr Ew says:

    I was having my hair cut this morning and got involved in a brief discussion with staff and another customer about their perception of the campaign following their exchanges on “Putin invading Russia” (!):
    “I don’t trust that Alex Salmond – supporting Putin, that’s not on.”
    “My Ma is only worried about her pension – and she hates Alex Salmond.”
    “I’m really frightened about what’ll happen if we break away in September.”

    They did seem interested in my replies / alternative take on these things – “That David Cameron’s no better,” – but when I suggested the BBC were not being fair in their coverage the atmosphere almost froze. What I took from this is that people are desperate to place their trust in something and since politicians in general appear to have no credibility whatsoever, faith in the BBC is as close to the old Kirk pulpit as makes no difference.

    In other words, a huge swathe of the electorate don’t really believe something unless it’s on the BBC. And they don’t question what they hear.

    I appreciate the risk of being diverted from the main issue and of BT turning this into a “running scared” but I really believe we have to take on the BBC and MSM over the news blackouts, black propaganda and calculated lack of balance. In fact I’d argue it IS the main issue – our free and independent press and our impartial, tax-funded national broadcaster – are to all intents and purposes apparatus of the corrupt ‘State of Westminster’.

    I say it’s time to organise a social media campaign promoting a list of questions on the conduct of the BBC, those who have deliberately published falsehoods (e.g. the Trimble quotes) and of titles publishing contradictory editions north and south of the border (The Express, The Mail, etc. ad nauseam). Perhaps an open letter from high profile signatories to the Sunday Herald, then crank up the pressure for point by point responses from the BBC and the Press Complaints Commission?

    Whaddya think, folks?

  55. Desimond says:

    I have had it confirmed that the Tesco in Shettleston not only stocked and sold Sunday Heralds with the YES front page but duly sold out of them.

  56. Les Wilson says:

    Does it not make sense that somehow ALL the pro Indy websites and blogs can put this kind of important information, and there is more than just this item. To make a combined effort by way of their top headline the true information.

    This if a bit organised, could be a pretty effective tool in informing people. Somehow all these need some lateral thinking.It would include the use of Twitter and facebook.
    A united front on serious issues like this is calling for concerted action.

  57. Brian Powell says:

    An fascinating view of Independence, the sale of Royal Mail, Vince Cable and George Galloway, neatly packaged by Max Kaiser and Stacy Herbert.

  58. Craig says:

    Joan McAlpine, Daily Record 16th April

    I WAS pretty chuffed to hear that some readers keep clippings articles from An Independent Woman.

    So this week’s article is written with the cut-out-and-keep reader in mind. It addresses a question constantly asked on the doorsteps. What happens to my pension if I vote Yes?

    I understand why people want reassurance.

    If a pension is your only income, you need to know it’s safe.

    So reach for the scissors and read on.

    Will I still get my state pension?

    Yes. The Scottish Government have guaranteed to continue to pay every state pension after independence including all the rights you have built up to enhanced pensions such as through Serps.

    Will my state pension be as much as it is now?

    Yes, in fact it will be better. The Scottish Government have guaranteed a “triple lock” on state pensions after independence – something Westminster have only put in place until next year’s General Election. This triple lock means the state pension after a Yes vote will rise in line with prices and earnings, or by 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.

    What about this new single tier pension being offered by Westminster? Will we get that after independence?

    Yes. The Scottish Government will pay a single tier pension of £160 a week from 2016 – that’s £1.10 a week higher than is being offered by Westminster.

    But I am on Savings Credit, will I still get that?

    Yes, the Scottish Government will pay savings credit at £18 a week, benefiting 9000 low income pensioners. Westminster plans to abolish Savings Credit after April 2016. So voting No will hurt the poorest.

    Will the state pension age be the same?

    It could be lower. The UK government will raise it to 66 by 2020 and then move it to 67 later. The Scottish Government think that is unfair because Scots do not live as long, so would get less pension if we stay with Westminster. After independence, a Scottish Government will ask pensions experts to look at keeping the retirement age below 67.

    But how can an independent Scotland afford better pensions?

    Pensions are more affordable in Scotland because we pay more tax per head than in the rest of the UK. Expenditure on pensions and benefits known as “social protection” have been lower in Scotland in each of the past five years.

    For example, social protection in 2012/13 was 15.5 per cent of Scotland’s national wealth, compared to 16 per cent for UK.

    I have an occupational pension, what happens to that?

    Occupational and personal pension rights will stay the same after independence – you have accrued these benefits and are legally entitled to them.

    What happens to my NHS/civil service/council pension?

    The Scottish Government will meet all public sector pension obligations and all schemes will be fully protected. The Scottish Public Pensions Agency are already administering a lot of public sector pensions here and will take on new responsibilities after independence and that may create new jobs – a bonus.

    Where can I get more information?

    There’s lots more about pensions in Scotland’s Future, the White Paper on what independence will look like. Call 08453 072014 to get your own copy or read it online at

    But isn’t it safer to stay as we are?

    A No vote will not mean things stay as they are. It means retiring at 67 – or even older, a loss of Savings Credit for the poorest pensioners and a smaller single-tier pension. Remember, the UK Government’s track record with pensions is poor. It’s a good argument to transfer responsibility for pensions to a parliament with a better track record of looking after them.

    The Scottish Parliament have done well for our older citizens, delivering free personal care and free transport.

    That’s why you should have nothing to fear from a Yes vote. It means your pension is in much safer hands.

  59. Seasick Dave says:

    Like our pensions are not at risk at the moment?

  60. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Patrician I got them thanks, if you would have knocked the back door facing the shed, im the lower flat.

  61. TheItalianJob says:

    @James123 12.11pm

    I picked this up last night on an earlier blog by Stu along with another commentator (who beat me to it by 2 mins).

    It’s on this news site, which I have under my favourites tab.

  62. Mary Bruce says:

    O/T sorry, rev. @Aikenheed I had doubts about that Tesco story. There was a tweet going round that had a picture of a sign saying there would be no copies of the Sunday Herald available due to printing problems. Someone was saying it was Tesco in Oban. However, I first saw the picture on the spoof site BBC Scotlandshire, so it maybe originated there (see link)?

    I got my copies in the Tesco Metro on Argyll Street, near M&S, it was the 3rd shop I visited, the other local newspaper shops had sold out.

  63. Shagpile says:

    @ handandshrimp

    “This as the Sunday Herald, the only Scottish paper to increase its circulation this year, this week also became the first to come out and declare for independence.”

    One could also try AZDA, Sainsbury, or any competitor…. or just yer local newsagent.

  64. Chris says:

    Re Tesco’s Boycott scare, I got my usual Sunday Herald from them but it took me a wee while to find them as they were nearly sold out (and were a few minutes later). Certainly no Boycott in Port Glasgow, and going by their positive recent statement on independence, there is not going to be one!

  65. James123 says:

    I was just asked to fill in a survey on the BBC News website, gave me an opportunity to tell them exactly what I thought of them. Makes me feel a bit better although I know my views will be completely ignored.

  66. ian foulds says:

    Proud Cybernat says:

    ‘(Wake up Scotland and) seek out the truth’

    These two statements should be our rallying cry and our motto in the future

  67. Vronsky says:

    By way of encouragement, I’m a pensioner and I’d happily die of starvation before I’d vote No.

    I’m talking to the others, and have some connections in OAP organisations. The ba’s no oan the slates yet…

  68. Airdrieonian says:

    The chap on the BT Pensions poster retired from the company where I work (with a good private pension I’ll bet!) a few years ago now, but still comes in to do casual holiday cover. He’s in this week so I might print out the Scotsman article and leave it on his desk.

  69. Capella says:

    @ call me dave 12.06
    Thanks for the link. I think Ian Davidson has pursued this issue with uncharacteristic vigour because he has a personal interest in clarifying what happens to his pension! Good to see smiling boy Roy in attendance.

  70. TJenny says:

    I think Pinnocchio Rex is the new poster boy for BT and the Union – an old lying dinosaur. 🙂

  71. Bill Fraser says:

    @Dr Ew
    ‘In other words, a huge swathe of the electorate don’t really believe something unless it’s on the BBC. And they don’t question what they hear.’

    I’m with the doc we can’t just sit here and tut tut at the falsehoods of BT and their supporters. They’re scaring Mr &Mrs J Punter away from ‘Yes’. Apart from we anoraks who read Wings and similar there is a great swathe of ordinary folks who WILL be scared by such talk and who don’t give a fig about the Euro, NATO etc but will mutter ‘ better the devil you know…’ And put an X in the No box as a consequence.

    How do e get this campaign started?

  72. Patrick says:

    An update on the Herald – they’ve now moved the article to the correct categorisation.

  73. Anne Dunlop says:

    Well, it’s common knowledge that if you are an ex-pat pensioner living anywhere in the World other than the UK, you will of course get your full UK state pension at the appropriate time (they can’t exclude Scotland). The real question is, is it linked and therefore upgraded in line with other UK pensions, or is it frozen? If you live in one of 120 countries, mostly Commonwealth, anywhere in the World, it is likely to have been frozen from when you first moved there. OTOH if you live in the EU, the USA and a few other countries which have an agreement with the UK Government your pension gets upgraded in line with the UK pensions. I would hope that Scotland as an Indy Nation would have that agreement in place and be linked. Steve Webb is the man that the International Consortium of British Pensioners has been chasing to no avail. There have been various newspapers articles about the whole issue, but nothing has been solved and the expats involved are still being supported by the country they immigrated to: … see this site for more information:

  74. HandandShrimp says:

    On pensions, Westminster has a real cheek. It is they that have cranked up the pension age to 67. It is they that snatched a pension from millions of women who had planned and ordered their lives to retire at 60. This is affecting women who are 60 this year. I think it is worth the Yes campaign pointing this out very clearly.

    Osborne is no friend to the ordinary working man and woman.

  75. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Bill Fraser –

    I suppose there’s a difference between the wilfully ignorant and the genuinely thick. The latter may wander into polling stations on Sep 18th if they remember, and may well vote Yes, so they should be left alone – they don’t know, don’t care, and are beyond anyone’s reach.

    But the former? The ones who dig in their heels and refuse to see anything which inconveniences them in any way? These are the people who get angry at BT meetings when they realise just how weak their position is. They’re the ones who sneer at Yes campaigners, smear AS/NS (although they know full well that what they’re doing is despicable) and imagine themselves superior to the ‘average’ citizen. They don’t necessarily believe the propaganda (MSM in general, BBC in particular) any more than we do, but it suits them to go along with the lies because they’re benefitting from the putrid class system in this country.

    This is the campaign right here, growing daily, and those people will eventually hear us whether they like it or not.

  76. call me dave says:


    Thanks, aye Lindsay is ever-present in the shadow of Chair Davidson on these committees. Davidson, to his credit, did his work well on this occasion.

    Last time I heard Scottish radio news and tv news or looked on BBC web page..tumbleweed…

    Sometimes it’s the way they don’t tell them. Good old auntie!

  77. David Garvie says:

    On pensions, I think there’s more concern about occupational pensions, especially to ex-UK civil servants like me. I’m a YES voter but all of those I know in the same situation are voting No on the grounds of ‘why take a risk with our pension’ Would be good to hear the YES campaign say something to this sizeable constituency.

    On Sunday Herald, Tesco in Corstorphine had plenty.

    I live in West Edinburgh and haven’t seen a single YES poster despite many sites in the area. I thought we were embarking on a major poster campaign?

  78. Viking Girl says:

    If my relatives who live in the USA and who worked here before they emigrated, can receive their UK State Pension paid to them in the States, why would I not receive mine here in Scotland? Alistair Darling saying that ‘nobody knows’ what will happen to pensions is just daft. I was reading recently that Jamaicans, many of whom used to operate London Transport back in the seventies when I lived there, have returned to Jamaica now that they’ve retired and are quids in with their British State Pensions due to the exchange rate. They deserve it after all the agro they used to have to put up with. I’ll be getting my State Pension from the British State until I die, so help me God. They owe me.

  79. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “On pensions, I think there’s more concern about occupational pensions, especially to ex-UK civil servants like me.”

    But surely the exact same applies? You’ve made the payments, you’ve secured the entitlements, you have to get the pension. Otherwise you could sue them for defrauding you by not honouring the contract.

  80. Viking Girl says:

    That is the case. It’s a Human Rights matter. Contributory Pensions are protected under protocol 1 of the HRA.

  81. Robert Peffers says:

    @Doug Daniel says: “yeah, it’ll get paid, because we say so.”:

    Oh Come on, Doug, when ever did the SNP, SG or YES campaign ever say that?

    I’ve been saying the following about pensions for around 50 decades when pension questions came up, “Pensions are legally binding contracts between pension providers and pensioners”.

    Pensioners, or their representatives, contract to pay a regular contributions to the Pension Providers and the Pension Providers contracts to invest, or at least earn interest on THE PENSIONERS MONEY, and pay the pensioner a pension at the end of the agreed time or to pay out a sum to the pensioner’s dependants upon the pensioner’s death”

    It is a legally binding contract upon both parties and often has no restraints of existing borders or future borders.

  82. Vronsky says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    “imagine themselves superior to the ‘average’ citizen”

    Yes, that’s a problem. To them, yes voters are an untermensch. There’s a difficult demographic there for the Yes campaign: people who can’t see that the ship is sinking because their own wee bit is still above water.

  83. Nan says:

    I agree, we need a creative person to set up a PDF leaflet we can easily download, similar to the “aye right” one that we can drop through the doors targeting the older generation and people that don’t have access to computers. Giving them reassurance regards pensions, welfare benefits and the plus points of voting for independence.

  84. David McCann says:

    I have a copy of the pensions letter referred to earlier, but dont know how to attach it here, so Ill send it to Rev Stu

  85. Robert Peffers says:

    @Anne Dunlop says:“Well, it’s common knowledge that if you are an ex-pat pensioner living anywhere in the World other than the UK, you will of course get your full UK state pension at the appropriate time”.

    Have you thought it right through, Anne? If the then Government of the Kingdom of England were to freeze the pensions of Scottish nationals post independence. There is the absolute certainty the government of the Kingdom of Scotland would freeze the pensions of those Scots who were resident in any of the three countries of The Kingdom of England.

    That is if those former Scots nationals were then daft enough to apply for Scottish citizenship if they were going to lose pension rights. Just what do you think that would lead to? Think of the numbers of English, Welsh and n. Irish immigrants in Scotland and the relative number of Scots in the English kingdom?

  86. Meindevon says:

    Are better together just allowed to lie to the people of Scotland like that? Surely it’s Westminsters job to hold them to account……hmm, that’ll be a you’re having a laugh then!

  87. geeo says:

    Pretty sure Tesco has no boycott of our one single friend in the MSM.

    Hopefully this works…

  88. geeo says:

    Or not !!!

    Sorry, tech thick !

  89. Harry says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says: But surely the exact same applies? You’ve made the payments, you’ve secured the entitlements, you have to get the pension. Otherwise you could sue them for defrauding you by not honouring the contract.

    Stuart, there does seem to be an on-going confusion over police pensions. I’ve mentioned this before on here. My mate has coming up for 22 years service but says his pension pot is in doubt due to some Westminster change that the SNP are not committed to reversing.

    I tweeted Christina McKelvie MSP about it, she got back and asked him to e-mail her. He said he wouldn’t waste his time as seemingly the police federation have tried to get answers from the Scottish Government to no avail. I can see this being a big issue with Police officers coming up to retirement and could lose us a lot of votes if they don’t get re-assured. My friend was a likely Yes but now a probable No.

  90. Andrew Morton says:

    To my mind the real issue around pensions isn’t, ‘will they get paid?’ (of course they will), it’s what happens if Scotland has its own currency. If the Scottish currency rose 20% against the EWANI pound, then pensions paid from EWANI would be worth £83.33 in Scottish pounds. Conversely, if the Scottish pound was worth less than the EWANI pound then the opposite would apply.

    Of course, if the Scottish pound did rise against the EWANI pound, imports from EWANI would be cheaper, so it’s not all black and white.

  91. Thomas Valentine says:

    I saw one of those posters on a billboard in Bainsford Falkirk. It was up for about a week then disappeared.
    Has that been going on elsewhere? Is it somekind of flash campaigning to save money? Or did they pull the advert about pensions?

  92. Paula says:

    I thought The Herald is now openly supporting independence? Why would they choose to misrepresent this information?

  93. Col says:

    Like some one mentioned above, lets get a list of questions put together to publicly ask the BBC why they completely ignore certain major stories that keep the heat off of BT. Get the list all over social media and maybe in the Sunday Herald. When Scots realise the extent to which the British media is lying to them to steal their vote and with it a better future the tipping point will be reached.
    Why more people don`t already see that leaving the corrupt elitist British can only be a good thing is beyond me? We need to let every one know just how corrupt the so called Scottish media has, is and probably always will be so long as we stay in the UK.

  94. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I thought The Herald is now openly supporting independence? “

    The Herald and the SUNDAY Herald are different papers with different editors.

  95. Thomas Valentine says:

    Lesley Riddoch recently wrote that arguing with the BBC is an energy sink. If they respond at all the response would be “trite and dsimissive”. They could also simply say they don’t have programming content dictated by political activists, though it would seem Political Masters are okay.

    Perhaps we should remember that every journalist and presenter dreams of a move to the big league in London just like the politicians. They won’t risk upsetting anyone that could threaten that goal. In the case of sitting MPs they won’t allow the voters concerns to threaten being big men in the big city.

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