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Wings Over Scotland

One day in May

Posted on January 01, 2014 by

There are now just fewer than nine months to go until the referendum that will decide Scotland’s future. But in those 260 or so days, there will be one that more than any other is likely to shape the outcome, and curiously it’s one in which few people in Scotland will actually be very interested.


The last elections to the European Parliament, in 2009, saw a turnout in Scotland of under 29%, below even the dismal UK figure of 34%. We have no reason to believe this year’s will be massively different, at least not on the northern side of the border.

But the election, which takes place (on 22 May) almost exactly halfway between now and the referendum, will have a huge impact on UK politics, and the corresponding knock-on effect could decide which way Scotland swings in September.

It won’t have anything to do with who wins the six Scottish seats, which are currently split two each for the SNP and Labour (despite the SNP getting almost 50% more votes) and one each to the Tories and Lib Dems. With the elections conducted by PR, massive changes are unlikely. Rather, it’s the results in England that will define the political climate in which the referendum will be held.

There was an article buried away last weekend on UK Polling Report when everyone was staring mournfully at yet more turkey sandwiches, but which ought to be vital reading for anyone interested in politics anywhere in these islands. Of the many fascinating graphs it contained, we’ll focus on just one:


There are two things worthy of note. One is the declining importance placed on the economy by UK voters, because they believe the coalition’s austerity policies are finally working and growth is returning. The other is the startling rise in the significance of immigration, which rocketed over the course of 2013 from just over 20% to almost 40%, and is set to overtake the economy in time for the Euro elections.

That bodes well for UKIP, who were already expected to do well in the poll and who currently hold 13 of the UK’s 72 seats – the same number as Labour, who secured fewer votes than Nigel Farage’s party. (The Tories have the most, with 26.) But what does it have to do with Scotland?

The UKPR article also notes that Labour’s average poll lead for the 2015 general election declined last year from 10% to 6%. But if you factor in the UKIP vote, things start to get interesting. Because if, for the sake of argument, you switch half the UKIP vote to the Conservatives, then David Cameron’s party have been either in the lead, or within the margin of error of Labour, for almost the whole of 2013.

We took a (genuinely) completely random stab at the site and landed on this poll from 24 March 2013. It gave Labour a commanding-looking 10-point lead, but if we give the Tories half the UKIP vote that lead narrows to just 3.5 points (the standard margin of error being +/-3). Jumping on a few months to July, the first one we came across put Labour just three ahead, but adding half the UKIP share to the Tories reversed that to a Conservative lead the same size.

The big question, of course, is why we should give half of UKIP’s votes to the Tories. But the answer can be spelled out in four letters – FPTP.

First-Past-The-Post electoral systems lead almost inevitably to two-party systems, and on the very few occasions when a third party has managed to insert itself into a Westminster government as part of a coalition, it’s always been punished severely at the next election for the compromises involved. The Lib Dems have already shed between half and two-thirds of their 2010 support, usually polling a couple of percent either side of 10 compared to their 23% share four years ago.

When 2015 rolls around, UKIP voters will be faced with a stark choice. They can either vote for a party with no hope of forming the government and only a vanishingly small chance of being in a coalition – the Lib Dems, remember, are currently a weak and despised partner with 57 MPs, and UKIP currently have none whatsoever – or they can choose which of the two major parties is closest to their beliefs and offers the best chance of achieving their objectives.

Nigel Farage knows this only too well. We doubt that even the wildest of his dreams encompasses taking anything remotely like 50 seats, which was what made a recent Guardian interview with Godfrey Bloom – until recently UKIP’s economics spokesman and party whip, and a close friend of Farage – so intriguing.

“Bloom accuses Ukip’s leader of pursuing an ‘Ein Führer’ leadership policy and a ‘No-policy’ policy agenda, and claims Farage has already struck a secret election deal with the Tories in return for a seat in the Lords.”

Why “until recently”? According to Bloom his parting of the ways from the party was nothing to do with a series of gaffes involving racist and sexist language, but over a much more fundamental disagreement:

“I am diametrically opposed to any deal with the Conservative party! I would never have agreed to it, on a matter of a principle – so I had to go.”

We trust that more alert readers have already joined the dots.

There are two possible outcomes of the European elections. Either UKIP will do well, which will throw David Cameron into a panic and greatly increase the chances of his forming a loose pact with Farage in return for a guarantee of an EU referendum in 2017, or UKIP will flop and a significant proportion of their dispirited supporters will slink grudgingly back into the Tory fold for fear of something far worse – Ed Miliband.

(Cameron, after all, has already pledged to have a referendum if he can’t substantially renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership, which is deeply unlikely to happen.)

When it comes to the crunch, half of UKIP’s current support voting tactically against Labour is probably – if you’ll forgive the phrase – a conservative estimate. And with Labour’s poll lead already crumbling and Miliband disastrously un-credible as a potential PM, the right-wing vote in England will be kicking at a rotten door.

So far, of course, this is all just abstract speculation. But at the end of May, one way or another, there’ll have been a significant crystallisation of what a vote to stay in the UK is likely to mean. And as we’ve been saying since last March, that’s the point at which the people of Scotland will really start to pay attention.

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122 to “One day in May”

  1. Alasdair says:

    Excellent article – you’ve hit the nail on the head!

    UKIPers know they have no real chance of forming a government, so they will turn to the Tory party who, apart from their party colours, are exactly the same – anti-EU, no benefits, no foreigners, UK-is-the-best etc.This election in May will hopefully get the attention of everyone in Scotland and make them realise that things under the UK Gov are about to get much, much worse.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong Stu, but from memory, the SNP at 29% (?) of the Scottish vote in the last Euro election actually polled the highest % of ANY party in the whole of Europe.
    Quick search on Google only gives UK figures, but I’m sure you’ll have some record ot the vote at the time.

  3. JimW says:

    A cynical independence supporter might well be tempted to vote UKIP in May to put the cat amongst the pigeons!

  4. haartime says:

    My thoughts exactly. I really don’t know why commentators don’t factor in the UKIP vote reverting back to the Tories. UKIP voters want a referendum and the best way to get it is to vote Tory to keep Labour out.

  5. Thepnr says:

    My wish is that all the UKippers will stand firmly behind their leader Mr Fromage and win double the number of seats they already have. Then the referendum will assuredly be won for the Yes side. Scots of all persuasions have no time whatsoever for the UKIP bile.
    O/T Thanks Scott Minto for the inspiration behind the business cards. Just ordered my own, maybe others will take this up too. Thanks faolie for the original link.
    My effort

  6. Patrician says:

    Only thing I would change in this article is that UKIP appear to be only a problem for the Tories.  I expect in May that UKIP will take seats/votes  from Labour in the North of England.   I strongly agree that a deal for 2015 between the Tories and UKIP is a certainty, some safe seats for Farage and a few of his close cronies in exchange for them not standing in some Tory/Labour marginals.

  7. Murray McCallum says:

    Great article. A possible Tory 2015 election mantra – “vote UKIP get Labour”.
    Will Ed Miliband offer an EU in/out referendum? Maybe – why not continue the strategy of copying Tory policies and placing New Labour as ‘Tory-lite’. Hopefully, it will all be irrelevant by 2015 to an independent Scotland.
    The contrast between Scotland and rUK votes in the EU 2014 elections will hopefully prove interesting. Despite all the misinformation about an independent Scotland within the EU, I remain pro EU and trust that all Scots see us as more than up to taking our rightful place in Europe.

  8. Patrick Roden says:

    Another important point will be the extra publicity Nigel will get before and after the vote.
    I’m sure he will have a few choice quotes for his English media chums that will demand how England must deal with the overly-generous subsidies that the Jocks get.

  9. Patrician says:

    Damn, just realised that my avatar is wrong in my posts today.  For some reason my web browser has switched back to using my old email address, not the one I registered with Gravatar for this avatar.  Any one else had this happen to them?

  10. Kalmar says:

    So, the ‘threat’ of a weak border with a potentially independent country with unknown future immigration policy to the north, could potentially turn the referendum into a critical issue, high up the news agenda?

  11. Arbroath 1320 says:

    As most folks will recall last year there was a fair bit of talk about these upcoming E.U. elections and possible outcomes. If I remember correctly there was a general consensus that UKIP would do quite well. This is the result that we want, in my view, because as was discussed at the time a good or great result for UKIP will undoubtedly drive voters in Scotland straight to the YES camp for the referendum in September. It is therefore en-burdened upon us all I believe to do everything we can to ensure that UKIP win as many seats as possible in England in May! :P:

  12. The Man in the Jar says:

    Interesting open letter regarding Europe addressed to two Labour MEPs by Derek Bateman on NNS.

  13. velofello says:

    Are people really believing that the Coalition’s austerity policies are working, because Osborne says so? From what I’ve read the UK debt, not deficit continues to rise. In domestic housekeeping terms the UK is drawing cash on its credit card (debt)to pay down its bank overdraft (deficit) and necessary because its weekly pay poke isn’t enough to meet outgoings.

  14. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just in case anyone believes Cameron, Osborne et al when they “claim” to be paying off the UK national debt.

  15. Morgan Mc says:

    I think you will find that Farge rebutted Blooms claim of a Lords deal weeks ago on TV when asked. You will also find that 8 constituencies have been polled down south and that 70% OF THE UKIP VOTE IS NON TORY. EU scepticism is based on its anti democratic nature and its seazing of sovereignty by the willing political classes against the people. It has support on the right and the left. Latvia political class has just joined the Euro zone against 60% of the will of the Latvian people. UKIP policy is in line with Old labour policy of the 60-70’s. Anti EEC, Nationalisation of industry, civic nationalism, UK control of immigration policy, a policy that welcomes 50,000 a year from all over the world. From the left anti EU outlook in the UK: Here you will find interesting analysis that the German dominated EU supporting the facists in the Ukraine who are opposing the Ukraine governments refusal to join the EU in a trade deal. Anyone who votes for a pro EU party is heralding the continued surrender of sovereignty and policy making at both a UK level and Scottish level.

  16. scottish_skier says:

    Good summary there Rev.
    Happy new year all.

  17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Are people really believing that the Coalition’s austerity policies are working, because Osborne says so? From what I’ve read the UK debt, not deficit continues to rise.”

    Well, yes. Cameron claims to have reduced the DEFICIT by a third, which obviously means the DEBT will still be going up. There IS growth now, and while hardly anyone believes they’re personally benefiting from it (and they’re correct not to), it still means they give the Tories credit, however short-sighted that might be. All of which adds up to bad news for Miliband.

  18. Andy says:

    I have just been on the BBC news site
    Cameron wants us to stay article is very interesting
    1) the BBC allows comments
    2) they say they have over 700
    Ha ha
    Not believable in my view

  19. Morgan Mc says:

    EU elections 2009: UKIP 2.498,226 votes, Farage alone 440,000 votes in SE England   SNP-321,007 votes in their entirety

  20. Andrew Parrott says:

    The recent Panelbase poll puts SNP at 40%, Lab at 32%, Con at 15% and LD on 5% and others together on 8%. With these figures for the Euro elections SNP get 3 seats, Lab 2 and Con 1 in Scotland. Note that SNP vote is 25% greater than the Lab vote and 266% greater than the Con vote. If the Lab vote is 30% or below (therefore SNP vote is 33% bigger than Lab) and the Con vote is 10% or below (therefore SNP vote is 400% bigger than Con) then SNP would win 4 and Lab 2 in Scotland I believe. Looks to me like if UKIP can take some Lab votes in Scotland and a third of the Tory votes then SNP gain an extra seat of our 6 total (which remember is presently the same representation as Luxembourg – another Union Dividend) 

  21. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

    At the end of May it won’t just be the cold hard stats of the vote which will show scots which way the westminster wind is blowing but the panic reactions from both the conservatives and labour to UKIP. Miliband and Cameron will be falling over themselves to try and stem any loss of their voters to Farage and will respond with some very right wing sounding policies and statements. Cameron in particular will be unable to contain his fearful backbenchers and will respond with yet more concessions to his eurosceptics. Miliband will also likely float the idea of an EU referendum again but may not quite commit to it.
    It’s interesting that Miliband also fed the media his pitiful attack on independence at new year. The one where he completely fails to understand how the NHS works while trying to ignore Labour’s Stafford shame. It’s also the youtube where Miliband seems strangely happy to imply that he hates ‘foreigners’.

  22. Vronsky says:

    “There IS growth now”

    A lady economist at the RIC conference commented that Osborne’s ‘green shoots’ were weeds. 

  23. Douglas Guy says:

    The snippet of the SNP/Panelbase poll released at the end of the year, despite only having the answers to two questions from what will have been a much larger poll, contains two amazing data points.  I don’t understand what is going on there, but can’t help but feel that it also points us at a key target for the next eight months of conversation.  
    From those who have decided which way they would vote in a Scottish Government election
    54%/52% of males aged 35-54 say they intend to vote SNP
    50%/54% of females aged 16-34 say they intend to vote Labour

  24. Mealer says:

    I’m not too sure about this.I thought it was Mr Cameron’s stated intention to haggle for reforms in EU and then hold an in out referendum.The article implies otherwise.Or have I misunderstood Mr Cameron’s position?

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I thought it was Mr Cameron’s stated intention to haggle for reforms in EU and then hold an in out referendum”

    No. He plans to haggle for reforms, and if he doesn’t get them hold an in/out referendum.

  26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I think you will find that Farge rebutted Blooms claim of a Lords deal weeks ago on TV when asked.”

    Dear me. As opposed to what, admitting it?

  27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “EU elections 2009: UKIP 2.498,226 votes, SNP-321,007”

    So the SNP got a far bigger share of their electorate despite a lower turnout in Scotland?

    (8.4% of UKIP vote = 209,851.)

  28. Murray McCallum says:

    “Anyone who votes for a pro EU party is heralding the continued surrender of sovereignty and policy making at both a UK level and Scottish level.”
    So, for example, vote UKIP rather than SNP to increase the likelihood of Scotland being a country running its own affairs!?

  29. liz says:

    Happy 2014 to all. Have just finished catching up on all the summaries from last year.
    Brilliant reading.

  30. Murray McCallum says:

    “He plans to haggle for reforms, and if he doesn’t get them hold an in/out referendum.”
    However, I don’t think the expected EU policy reforms have been documented or the extent of the reform defined. Surely Cameron will have to hold a referendum regardless in order to satisfy and hold the Tory Party together.

  31. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry for being one of the first to go O/T Stu but have you seen this?

  32. Robert Louis says:

    In all of this, a large part of the problem for Labour is of their very own making, due to WEAK leadership.  Upon the Tories and Libdems coming to power, they have singularly failed to set out an alternative agenda for the UK.  Instead what they seem to have done is pretty much gone along with the Tory cuts rhetoric, whilst occasionally offering what might be termed ‘leftie’ tweaks to Tory philosophy.
    This has allowed the Tory party to aggressively push right wing dogma, in the press and media, to shift public perceptions.  An example would be the cuts to benefits, achieved in an environment, where the Labour party has effectively stood by saying ‘well, we kind of agree, but we might do it a bit more slowly’.
    It is that singular failure by the weak leadership of Labour, whereby they have NOT argued against Tory rhetoric, that now creates the electoral dilemma for Miliband.  He has allowed public perceptions to move so far to the right, that he dare not even consider properly pursuing a left wing agenda.
    In effect, Labour gave up arguing their case, and as a result we have politics in England dominated by right wing parties, which includes UKIP.  The difference in Scotland has of course been the SNP, which is why the likes of UKIP have failed to prosper up here.
    The European elections in May will be pivotal, and this article is a truly excellent piece of writing and political analysis, the likes of which puts the frankly lazy mainstream Scottish political commentators to shame.

  33. Les Wilson says:

    Well what you highlight IS very interesting. Cameron will be between a rock and a hard place. As, IF he has to cut a deal with Farage then, he must also know that to do so will go down like a lead balloon in Scotland. He desperately does not want to be in charge if the Uk splits, he does not want to deal with Farage, but may be forced to do so. Re elected without Farage seems unlikely, only caveat is of course the Tory floating voters as you point out,  and if they come back from UKip. Nothing in life, never mind politics are guaranteed. He must be biting his fingers just now. Whatever way it might all fall, let us just hope it suits us down to the ground. 

  34. Red squirrel says:

    Good old MSM is stoking the immigration fires nicely too. The May elections should be a massive wake-up call – we have to get out of this place as fast as we can.

  35. MochaChoca says:

    Not sure how the EU elections will play out in Scotland. Had been thinking though that if it looks like there is a fair chance of a YES vote in Sept then it would seem to make a lot of sense to have as many pro-indy MEPs as possible in the EU parliament, rather than the idiot MEPs who currently react with glee to the prospect of us being ‘forced out’. 

  36. MochaChoca says:

    Would be handy to be able to quietly point out to YES supporters that with a generally poor turnout at the Euro elections an extra effort from YES support could easily swing the outcome to 6 out 6 for SNP ( I’m sure it’s not as simple as that though!)

  37. scottish_skier says:

     UKIP policy is in line with Old labour policy of the 60-70?s. 
    UKIP are a left-liberal party? I’ve heard it all now.

    UKIP are a moderately fascist neo-liberal party. Like the Tories, but more authoritarian.

  38. Hetty says:


    I’ve been checking the tea leaves and it’s going to be a good year.”

    Willie Rennie
    This from the bbc in their so called Scottish politics section online. Note Camerons  N Y speech top of the bill in the main, while A Salmonds N Y speech only appears at the very bottom ( and entitled ‘more Scotland politics stories’) of an article about ‘Scottish Independence: Marking start of Scotland’s year for decision’.
    anyway, maybe we could consult Wullie if he’s so keen on reading the tea leaves? Jeez, its enough to make you lose tehe will, is it not!

  39. morgan mc says:
    it’s only fairly recently that these have become right wing totems. Look back the 60s and 70s and these were all bedrocks of Labour manifestos; Labour opposed membership of the then EEC, Labour supported National Service, Labour voiced the loudest concerns over immigration as British workers were being under cut, Labour were committed to keeping nationalised industries and opposed selling off the ‘national silverwear’, and Labour had traditionally been tough on crime, the effects of which are felt most acutely by the poorest” So as you see when 70% of the UKIP vote does not come from the Tory’s…your analysis is wrong. As for moderately facist. What does that make the EU in its support for the facist nazi opposition in the Ukraine. Just because the Ukraine government said no to the eu.

  40. Tamson says:

    That increased figure for immigration is undoubtedly why Yvette Cooper and Labour’s immigration spokesman have just gone in for some nasty dog-whistle politics.

    British jobs for British workers all over again…

  41. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    morgan mc
    All you establish is that Labour has been a party of cynical oppositionism for much longer than most of their supporters realise. Having been in power they were then sucked into the establishment and corrupted. They became a party whose raisond’etre became getting into power. They dressed up their treachery in posturing hypocrisy and over used cliche and even in the sixties the rot had set in in central Scotland. What we see now is is politically dead body called (by itself) Scottish Labour awaiting the verdict of the post mortem which will come in September.
    LFI represents the actual socialists left in it. Good luck to them. They have a massive role to play 

  42. morgan mc says:

    Define British jobs for British workers?  That defines anyone from any ethnic and religious persuasion or none who identifies them self as British. Thats always been the Ukip view. Pretty much in the same way the SNP defines Scottishness. 

  43. morgan mc says:

    Dave McEwan 
     I am comfortable in the LFI view point. I was merely drawing an analysis of  how things will pan out in the EU elections across the board uk wide. That UKIP are taking the old labour uk mantra. Although being anti EEC/EU was also a Labour and SNP outlook. That said how is that position right wing . When Bob Crow and the RMT aswell as Tommy Sheridan  have stood on the” NO2EU -yes to workers rights” party ticket at the EU elections.  As to the EU itself here is Vladimir Bukovsky Soviet Dissident and his view that it is Communist in nature and seeks to take away the nation state.

  44. scottish_skier says:

    @Morgan mc.
    A quick question…
    Why is it called UKIP? They don’t have any representation in Scotland at all; not even a solitary councillor. It’s like the SNP claiming to represent Hampshire. 
    Anyway, if you want out of the EU (which seems to be where you are coming from), voting Yes is your best bet. We have it on good authority (UK parties) that Scotland will be chucked out upon independence. If that doesn’t work out, a ScotIP can readily get seats due to the PR system of Holyrood.

    And note it is the economic right in England which favours an EU exit (UKIP are very right-wing economically; neo-liberals). In Scotland, it’s more the left (think Margo MacDonald).

  45. Molly says:

    Nah Morgan Mc as someone said to me , if you know the centrelight in your living room is called the ‘big light’ your Scottish.
    You may at UKIP meetings role out your definition of Britishness, you may even have it on your manifesto but you sure have’nt called press conferences to express your all inclusiveness And if UKIP have their message has passed this voter by. 
    Starting to get seriously hacked off with all this immigrant stuff being pushed by political parties and the media. Everyone seems to be able to talk in pounds and pence how much ‘ health tourism’ costs, yet no one can quote actual numbers of these ‘ health tourists’ .Is it one person with terrible medical problems or lots of people. Is it one of the approx 2.2 million British people , resident in Europe but still entitled to the care of the NHS? Or Canadians, Australians, still qualifying  or is it only certain Countries who qualify as tourists? Or is it the usual, we only get half a convenient story?
     Two lovely, highly qualified Polish girls recently joined the Family,three lovely, highly qualified nephews emigrated to New Zealand and France. it’s called growing up and carving out a life for yourself. I would be horrified if anyone of the 3 touched down to be greeted by the sort of headlines that appear to be be coming acceptable to some in Britain. 

  46. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Well said. I’m getting really angry. We must get out of this sour union
    (Actually probably the most significant level of immigration is of English people into rural and highland Scotland. What the Clearances started WW1 finished off and we need them)
    With a huge Scottish diaspora in everybody eles’s country what right have we to talk of hardworking people coming among us to make a better life for themselves and a better country for us

  47. Baheid says:

    Doing the the rounds on twitter at the moment, Ian Hamilotn QC
    “Scotland has fallen amongst thieves…. “

  48. Betsy says:

    Entirely agree. I suspect the whole health tourist thing is bogus. I’ve worked with immigrants on and off for the best part of the last ten years and I’ve yet to encounter a single health tourist. Whilst the overwhelming majority of people I’ve worked with have been decent, I have met a few who fit the tabloid stereotype. Yet not a single health tourist.  In fact the opposite seems to be the case with a high number of people preferring to return to their country of origin for major treatment, even though this means paying for it. There’s probably not any way of counting it but I would love to see a costing of the savings to the NHS by immigrants returning to the country of their birth for treatment. Not that the tabloids would report it, of course. 

    The behaviour of the media is astounding. Even from their own anti-immigrant stance, it’s lunacy. I mean, if you were genuinely concerned that the country was going to be over run by benefit tourists and health tourists, why on earth would you go to Romania and tell everyone you get free treatment and a fabulous life on benefits? 

  49. mogabee says:

    Well said both David and Molly.

  50. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I really have no idea why we are discussing UKIP. 

  51. tartanfever says:

    The scapegoat of immigration for a UK departure from the EU is gaining momentum due to unquestioned support from the media, particularly the BBC. The main news bulletins, which have viewing figures into the millions, carry wall to wall doom and gloom scenarios of the UK being over run. 
    Only the niche political programmes, with viewing figures in the 100,000’s (not millions) question if this immigration tidal wave is or will actually happen, but that allows the BBC to claim they are being thorough and providing impartial coverage.
    Remember, this all came about because Cameron refused to co-operate with the EU when they wanted to introduce banking regulations and a ‘transaction tax’ nearly a year ago – and Cameron would rather have the UK out of the EU than regulate the city, who provide the Tories with the majority of their political funding.
    Since then it’s been a carefully planned operation to bring immigration to the front of the EU exit agenda and the media have certainly been happy to oblige in saturating the airwaves with this message.
    This is really all about business as usual and protecting the city financiers.

  52. Midgehunter says:

    Technical OT.
    When creating your own WOS “business” cards, try and avoid white negative text on light coloured 4c backgrounds especially if the text is small.

    The text will be whitewashed and illegible when printed even though it looks good on the screen. Use black or another colour which stands out from the background. Strong contrast means it’s readable and you’re not trying to turn people off are you.
    Macart and others from graphics / printshops know what I mean.

  53. Thistle says:

    First live stream event for 2014, Wed 22nd Jan – please help promote.

    Economic Facts & Vision for Scottish Independence
    Confirmed panel includes author and playwright Alan Bissett with MD Michelle Thomson and Ivan McKee from Business for Scotland. Presentation and Q&A.

    FREE LIVE STREAM of event where you can ask your questions online to panel:

    FREE VIDEOS of event will be made available when ready on YouTube:

    For details:

  54. Clootie says:

    The article is a fair assessment. However due to working offshore I have regular discussions with those from the NE of England and my impression is that support is growing for UKIP amongst traditional Labour supporters. I sense a frustration with the two main party system and although UKIP is far from their normal politics it is an alternative. A common statement is to give them a chance / shake things up. Therefore in a low turnout the impact may not just be in the Tory heartlands.

    On a slightly different note – I cannot see voters in the key English marginals going for the two Ed’s and this may balance any losses resulting from the impact of lost votes to Nigel.

    I think it’s highly likely we will get a Tory government after the next election. I just hope that it won’t matter due to  a YES vote. However the strength of the Labour support in Scotland continues to worry me – if they can hold seats and votes with the current level of incompetents then they may get their supporters to vote NO. The Labour support is still significantly higher than would be expected with their current policies (or lack of)

  55. gordoz says:

    Isn’t May 2014 the anniversary of the launch of Gordon Brown’s flaghip website ‘United with Labour’ – hows that doing??

  56. morgan mc says:

    Scottish _Skier
    Ukip called that because they are a UK wide party. I suppose. 
    David McNarry is an MLA in Stormont. N. Ireland
    There is an MEP IN WALES
    227 councilors in England
    They did have 13 MEP, s that is down to 9 due to various Differences of opinion. 
     for why ukip are being discussed…because the  story mentions them as having a part to play in May.

  57. Ken500 says:

    UKIP are a facist party.

    Fradge is a liar and a hypocrite. Fradge gains £million every year out of the EU, which he uses to Fund a political Party. An illegal act. Taxpayers money should nt be used to fund a Political Party the majority do not support. It is illegal Fradge lines his pockets out of a political Union, the EU he claims to despises. A complete fraud and charlatan.

    There has been no cut in the deficit as claimed by Cameron. There has been a fall in tax revenues. An increase in wealth for the wealthiest. All that has happened is there has been a transfer of wealth from the poorer to the richer. The £28Billion (with a £10Billion liability) has disappeared in the UK exchequer, including Scotland’s share.

    There are reports the rest of the UK deficit of £121Billion is being cut £10Billion this year ( approx a tenth not a third). This now looks unlikely because of the fall in tax revenues caused by ConDem policies ie the deficit will increase. Plus the £28Billion with (£10Billion liability) Royal Mail Pensions fund ( now a future liability on the books) has disappeared into the UK Exchequer.

    There are reports the Scottish Oil tax revenues have fallen. Some reports (not confirmed) from £12Billion to £6Billion. ie as a direct result of Osbourne/Alexander 2010 Budget which increased Oil taxes by 11% (£2Billion a year from 2010) to 60% to 80%. The result was the Oil Producers/company cut back investment and production and the Scottish Oil tax revenues have fallen. The ConDem Tories are once again destroying the Scottish economy in every way they
    can by their complete ignorance and arrogance.

    Vote SNP all the way in every election to get rid of the Unionist scourge.

    The 1979 Referendum result vote map has changed considerably since then. The North of Scotland is predominately SNP territory. A majority are Yes voters. A minority are undecided, and can ea

  58. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The strength of Labour support is down to MSM but it’s dropping. What the MSM is doing is stopping those wandering away from Labout from voting SNP by viciously attacking SNP and Alex Salmond on a continual basis. They are happy with low turnouts (like at Dunfermline where a drop in the Labour vote put Labour in on a derisory turnout).
    This is why the LFI and Greens are so important (and hopefully Tories and Libdems for Independence) Idon’t think MSM have anyway of dealing with a split in Labour for instance

  59. Ken500 says:

    @ Ken500 11.53 pm

    A minority encountered can be Undecided Referendum voters but can be easily persuaded to YES, when given relevant information.

    EU support in the UK is polled at 40/40 – 20% NK.

    It is Scotland and London S/E (business interests) which hold the highest EU support,

    The EU Union and the UK Union are quite different. Scotland Independent in the EU – cut out the Westminster middleman’s 20%. Scotland contribution to the UK 20% which doesn’t come back. Scotland’s contribution to the EU 1/100 (one hundredth) of Scottish income,which should comes back (without Westminster interference) In EU grants/CAP payments and shared markets/Defence costs. The EU wouldn’t cost Scotland anything, the UK Union costs are no
    longer affordable.

  60. Doug Daniel says:

    It’s quite incredible the way the public has been duped into obsessing about immigration, which highlights the power the media still holds in shaping public opinion. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a media that reported facts instead of opinions, and truth instead of scare stories? It just shows you that the media’s failings are in no way limited to the independence debate.
    Anyway, UKIP will win in May, I have absolutely no doubt about that. And when they do, it’ll be without a single Scottish seat, and not even coming close to getting one.

  61. Ken500 says:

    Sky news (very unusually) is carrying a supportive immigrant view. Could be a Westminster gov directive/supportive EU theme coming through. Not sure of the angle for Sky ie what’s in it for them.

  62. morgan mc says:

    Ken 500 I will call you a liar….So how much does the 2 SNP MEP’s on the same salary and benefits as Farage make. How much do SNP MP’s benefit from the  Westminster they despise..plasma tellys and all that. Any reference to  COST AS AN MEP  to the tax payer is where His term of reference was….over a ten year period. I’m sure every MEP over a decade will have cost a few bob.  As for facism  it deals in absolutes and historically started out  in NATIONAL SOCIALIST movements. That used democracy and sufferage to gain power…then dealt in absolutes of blood and soil nationalism. Farage and Ukip do neither.
     Scottish and EU nationalism good -UK civic nationalism bad 
    CAnada and the USA TRADE WITH EU-why have they not been asked to cede border controls and allow free movement of EU citizens into their countries and join the ECHR. All  as a pre requisite for trade.Like the 28 EU members who are project EU Feared into economic meltdown if they don’t comply. Trade does not require loss of sovereignty either at a Scottish level or UK level. 

  63. Ken500 says:

    Fradge funds his political Party from the salaries and expenses his Parties members gain from being Representives of a Union he does not support. He is a total hypocrite. Oppose the EU Union if that is his position, but do not use the monies raised from taxpayers who do not support UKIP, which is ideologically opposed to EU membership. ie oppose the EU Union but not from a position of totally benefiting from being a Representative within an EU Union which he opposes. A diabolical position. Hypocritical and indefensible.

    The SNP representation benefits from the EU, the membership of which the Party fully supports.

  64. Ken500 says:

    The EU trades with countries all over the world, so does the UK, so does Scotland. The point is?

  65. Ken500 says:

    Ignorance is not a defense.

  66. Molly says:

    Morgan Mc , I watched Nigel Farage give his point of view, after his visit to Scotland, (possibly supposed to ‘be an except for viewers in Scotland’ interview).I have seen Nigel Farage given more airtime on QTs than perhaps more relevant people and having seen the headlines tonight on both the BBC and Sky regarding people from Romania and Bulgaria ie Europeans, I’ll say it again, I am horrified. Where are the statistics to back up the numbers, where are the rampaging  crowds that has been implied in every broadcast over Christmas and where are the queues lining up at every A and E? 
    i had a debate with my Mum of all people, who is worried about ‘ immigrants’.She lives in probably the most famous village in Scotland and after listening to her fears about ‘immigrants’ I asked her ,” how many she had come across in the village” ? -zero but you know what she does get The Daily bloody Mail. 
    Morgan you cannot have it both ways, Nigel Farage ( and by association UKIP) has orchestrated or been played into the position of being associated with 3 things. Anti Europe, immigrants and Nigel Farage.My Mum has ‘ listened’ Morgan and look where it’s got her, a pensioner, worried about people taking jobs( although she’s retired) , worried that ‘Europe’ is calling the shots(despite Europe protecting my working rights, through the European Directives not affecting Mum) and skewing the NHS, despite never having come across a health tourist in my Working life.
    Tartanfever is right, it’s about protecting the Establishment and if it’s not, how come a party with no elected MP is being ‘allowed ‘ to set the agenda?

  67. Barontorc says:

    It’s a New Year and us stupid, wee, too poor folks are waking up to a momentus decision year that does not need to consider UkIP agenda in any form. End of.

  68. Patrician says:

    The rules to control immigrants having access to the NHS is just the thin end of the wedge.  Just think about how big a jump it is to now exclude people who don’t pay tax or are on benefits from the NHS.  They all now have to prove who they are before they are allowed treatment.

  69. john king says:

    I was in Tesco (I know I know), the other day, and who do I (literally) bump into but Cara Hilton, I lifted my finger and pointed it at her ready to let her have both barrels and you could tell from the look in her eyes she knew what was coming, just at that a small child (maybe 5y/o) ran up to her (clearly her child), and I lowered my finger, and wished her a happy new year, 
    keepin it real folks,
    keepin it real.

  70. Ken500 says:

    Unionists Parties (a small minority – pro rata) are getting it from all sides of the argument in Scotland, for accountability.

  71. The EU constitutes the greatest threat to Scottish sovereignty.

    In facing them down, and fighting the forces of corporate rule  as we one day must,if we are to be truly free and self governing,  our independent Scottish parliament  will have to fight the Commissars, bureaucrats and Bankers that control the EU for our right to exist as a free and sovereign nation in any meaningful sense, to preserve the soul of our nation.

    Think that a paranoid load of cobblers?

    Consider the  difficult, vital and far reaching decisions  that our parliament, of the restored Kingdom of Scots  (of whatever political hue) must make to enact the sovereign will of the people immediately following the first general election.

    Like many, almost certainly the great majority of the people that live in Scotland, I would want what used to be known as a ”  Mixed Economy ” .

    I think that the utilities, the water, gas and electric industries are best in state hands, charging just enough to supply and maintain  those services, acting in the interest only of the common good.

    The alternative,  making people pay through the nose for these vital fundamental adjuncts to life in order to provide huge profits for foreign owned corporations that do not even pay their dues in taxes is to me akin to slavery and subjugation.

    Similarly, the national post and railways can only really be run for the benefit of all, for the common good, by the state, that is in the nature of these things.

    The EU would not allow any of that, the whole purpose of that superstate in the making is to destroy sovereignty, to take decision making away from national parliaments, to facilitate and force the will of unelected Commisars and their , bureaucrats, bankers and corporate businesses over the head of nation parliaments upon the people, to seize control of their borders and currencies, to destroy each and every symbol of national  freedom  distinction and custom, in short, to deny at each and every turn, and at each and every level the very idea that sovereignty resides in the people, that we might be free to be Scottish and have control of our borders, utilities and curriency.

    We have already heard from the Commissars,desperate to halt any notion that a people may be sovereign in their own right;

     Scotland would not be recognised as an existing member state, we would have to apply to join as a new state,  we would have to meet the same requirements as regards all these things as the others, as regards “competition”, currency and all the rest, always supposing they were inclined to allow us to hand over huge amounts of our income and our newly won sovereignty to their corrupt and undemocratic organisation, and we stupid or desperate enough (in the face of huge pressures brought to bear for our surrender) to bother to apply.

    I realise that the SNP government is wise to fight on only one front, and that the official position is “Independence in Europe” but that is absurd, and meaningless.

     Our Independent , newly restored to the sovereignty of the people Scotland (and England) parliaments  will suddenly be pitched into a fight for the right to exist, in the face of huge, very well organised, resourced and merciless forces of corporate greed, and globalisation.

    Multi-national bodies of all sorts and with all manner of vested interests in strangling it at birth will be drawn up and ranged against that first parliament.

    They, the MSPs will require nerves of steel to prevail through the first no doubt very difficult and possibly painful years.

    They must be backed by the courage and self- belief of a free and sovereign people to be a free and sovereign people, to rule their Kingdom in their own interests, in their own way and according to their own laws.

    That is also the belief of many UKIP supporters in England.

     I had originally welcomed the rise of support for UKIP in England on a sort of cynical  my enemy’s enemy is my friend sort of basis, likely to increase support in Scotland for the Yes camp by their perceived Imperial English attitude to Scotland.

    But the more that the power and relentless rise of the EU continues, even in the face of the disaster and calamity that the Euro wreaks entirely on the poor throughout the continent, as they impose their will upon once sovereign parliaments only for the benefit of the banks, corporations  and corrupt, anti-democratic politicos, the more I come to view the institution with horror and contempt.

    The more certain am I that “Independence in Europe” means surrender of all meaningful instruments of power to an organisation that holds the very notion that sovereignty resides in the people in utter contempt, in facts, holds people in contempt in general, exists to serve a tiny coterie of politicians, bankers and corporate executives, at the expense of freedom and self rule by elected parliament.

    Therefor, do not dismiss UKIP as racists or fascists, they are not, they may well turn out to be the English SNP, and the English Parliament our closest ally in the coming fight for national sovereignty, for the restored Kingdoms of England and Scotland to exist as free peoples, with elected parliaments enacting the sovereign will of the people, in place of rule by the forces of darkness emanating and acting through the EU.

    That is not a very snappy or attractive slogan but it is the underlying reality if we are to be truly Independent, and self governing, we shall have an almighty struggle to break free of the clutches of the EU, to end up like Norway, and rebuild our industries and society to suit ourselves according to our own will.
    Edit, to see what that count-down thing does, it has quite rattled me, I am going to post this anyway

  72. john king says:

    How do you square your insistence that the EU is run by bankers when its the EU  that Cameron is at war with over their desire to restrict bankers bonuses which the Tory government is totally opposed to?

  73. Ken500 says:

    UKIP are racists and fascists and any comparison between UKIP and the SNP as being similar is fantasy. They are totally opposed politically. UKIP doesn’t even have a credible manifesto. UKIP are Scottish society haters – just as they hate any civic group of people they consider to be ‘foreigners. UKIP are the Party of Bankers. Frarage was a Tory Fund Manager before he decided a much easier living could be had by ripping off UK taxpayers money pouncing around Euriope causing as much trouble as an unelected Westminster Politican can do. A total unprincipled charlatan and thief (of UK taxpayers monies) Beneath contempt along with his ill informed, ignorant Party.

    UKIP are right wing lassez – faire ignorant tools, more right wing even than the Tory Party funded by Tory Bankers, which are defrauding the UK taxpayers at every possible turn, in every way possible. That is why they will never be a credible Party in Britain. They align themselves with right wing facist Parties in the EU. Care about the ordinary people not blooming likely.

  74. Ken500 says:

    The poor and disillusioned in Europes position in Europe was made even worse bynthe US and UK Tory Bankers and the role they played in relationship with the Banking system in Europe. The Wall Streetvand London lending markets which were not regulated properly because of right wing laissez faire economic policies (Thatcher/Regan) etc. Which made these individuals extremely wealthy ie multimillionaires and made a vulnerable section of the population less wealthy causing hardship not just in Britain but in the most vulnerable parts of the EU. It was not EU fiscal policy which caused the banking crisis it was US/UK monetary policy in relationship to their fiscal governance of their banking sector. Still continuing. The EU fiscal policy is to increase the wealth of the EU members, especially the poorer most vulnerable countries. The majority of the EU countries balance their books and economically do better in term of equality/wealth distribution as would Scotland without the UK gov fiscal interference.

    The US and UK gov are now printing money with no collateral, to lower standards of living especially for the most vulnerable and not paying off their fiscal deficit/debt, but in fact increasing the debt, The US to a greater extent, (from €16trn to €18trn), further endangering the whole world economy. A position which threatens not just the Europe but the whole world economy.

  75. john king says:

    A sign of things to come maybe? 
    BBC1 Scotland now
    match of the day with Fulham v West Ham?
    are they fucking serious.

  76. Ken500 says:

    The reason why (foreign) multinational can tax evade and operate with impunity in the UK damaging British businesses interest. (Not a level playing field of competition) is because of UK gov refusal to enforce the tax Laws of Britain in the City of London. HMRC controlled by Westminster are not fit for purpose and allow (foreign) multinationals to tax evade with impunity through the City of London. Once again the Westminster Parliament operating outwith the fiscal Laws of Britain (which they are supposed to uphold and damaging British business. It is illegal, unfair to British business yet Westminster and the UK Treasury has condoned and upheld this criminal and illegal behaviour for years. Westminster Politics/Politicans not fit for purpose.

    Illegal wars, Trident etc costing UK taxpayers £Billions to no purpose. Lying UK Politicans not fit for purpose.

  77. morgan mc says:

    Molly-you are right in a Scottish sense. 12000 net migration per annum from all corners of the globe is significantly less than rUk. The rUk primarily England and Wales is dealing with significantly higher numbers , taking away the 12k figure from Scotland. RUk is dealing with 485,000 per annum. Its a economic numbers game rather than a racism game. The Uk government response was too target non EU migrants for their tough talking. Which says as much about EU immigration policy. If you are part of the 28 nations then its free movement, If you are from Africa, Americas, Commonwealth, Asia,, stand in line for a visa and work permit…no free movement . 
    The argument for me is not about immigration it is about who has the authority to decide policy at all levels The nation state or the EU government in Brussels. 
    Here is an interesting report that sought to rebut claims from the EU that 600,000 EU nationals were economically inactive in the UK. It says that the figure is 28% of that total which means its about 200,000 claimed job seekers at the time of the EU report.
    Purely in an economic and social sense…How does this help getting 2.5 million  Uk unemployed into work by having a market that has 38% or over 300,000 unskilled workers from abroad. There is an argument that some UK folk don’t want to work in these areas. How do we resolve that UK only issue..if indeed that is the case. I do not wish to decry or denigrate anyone who wishes to come here to better themselves for them and their families. Surely the EU would be better in having a dig at its member states who pay 79p an hour rather than having a dig at the UK  and the rest of Northern  EU for not doing enough.   Remember folks that the EU is not Europe it is your government .
    The EU policy is part of this madness…it applied austerity to Greece, Latvia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, up to 28% cut in public sector pay and benefits just to keep their Euro project alive. 26million unemployed throughout the EU. Yet everyone says if we are not in it …jobs will go. Tell that to Norway,  Switzerland two european nations not in the EU. 

  78. john king says:

    Just registered a complaint with BBC Scotland about MotD being aired here might I suggest other do so as well.

  79. Ken500 says:

    The EU policies do not require Water services/Mail services to be orivatised. All the EU countries have Nationalised services. Many more nationalised services than Britain. Large Utilitity companies is the EU countries are nationalised and actually trade in Britain making profits from British consumers. The notion is possibly a UK Gov ‘red herring’ to cover up the failure of the UK gov fiscal policies.’ It wasn’t me it wis them’,the usual cry of the failed Politican.

    Obama even tries it, blatantly lying and blaming the ‘Europe crisis’ for the US failed(banking) fiscal monetary policies and ultimately the US fiscal debt – run up by the failed extreme right wing laisezz faire policies of failing US government/Politicans, who are rewarded with vast fortunes for their failure.

    In or/out of the EU Scotland will be better off Independent.

  80. Clootie says:

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with the EU side of Colin Thomasson’s post
    Firstly I’m in full agreement with the comments on utilities etc. However on Europe I feel it is being judged through the UK historical prism. The Whitehall “empire” mindset has never enabled them to be good Europeans. In addition the handling of fishing and agricultural issues is a UK failing not Europes. We have also been badly under represented by the block membership i.e. we would have had around 9 seats as an Independent country. The example of Norway must be recognised – you may have to compromise on national interests to gain the trading rights. On balance I think it is right that you cannot have the benefits of a club membership without some trade off or compromise. America has given less due to the size of the market they are offering – normal market forces at work (Agree or disagree with that fact) 
    However the bottom line for me is that regardless of your views on EU membership or any other topic then it is better that we in Scotland decide. So if after the 2016 election a party with a manifest outlined by Colin gets elected and implements it then they will have my full support on winning but they will not have had my vote.
    However if we do not focus on winning the referendum then the whole debate will remain as entries on blog sites. 
    Failing to concentrate on the first hurdle in a unified way by debating the final shape is a big mistake – we have at least 18months to frame the initial set up and the freedom thereafter to change direction as we wish.
    “Don’t select the wedding outfit until you have the invite!” – first things first.

  81. scottish_skier says:

    Morgan MC..
    You are aware that Norway has around average levels of immigration for Europe and Switzerland the second highest level?

    To end freedom of movement, you need to exit the EFTA/EEA.

  82. morgan mc says:

    Ken 500 “Ukip racist and facist”
    Ukip had over 130 candidates at last years council elections from all areas of the Commonwealth resident in the UK. You remember  the Commonwealth. Its that big party that is coming to Glasgow from all corners of the globe.
    Amjad Bashir Ukip spokesperson on SME and MEP Candidate for NE England. 
    Mujeeb Bhutto ukip commonwealth spokesperson
    Jehad Soliman ukip council candidate 

  83. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Can I point out (again) that the EU is a completley voluntary organisation which any European country can negotiate to belong to or negotiate to leave.
    It’s called democracy. 
    Can I echo Clootie’s comment. Why are we ruining a good thread by wasting time in debating an issue which only beomes significant to us after we have chosen independence.

  84. morgan mc says:

    Hi  Scottish_skier yep not an issue for me just making an analysis of stats versus rhetoric and left right myth making. You will be aware that Switzerland put a limit on immigration last year with its safeguard clause. It is having its usual referendum on such issues in February
     I like Swiss style democracy…

  85. morgan mc says:

    Dave McEwan
    You will be aware that Ireland, France , Holland, Denmark all had referendums rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. The EU and the political classes ignored the referenda and the will of the people…anti democratic.
    Here is a left wing socialist anti eu perspective in the UK:

  86. Ken500 says:

    Unemployment is 7% in the UK because of the Banking crash and fiscal policy failures of the Westminster gov not enforcing the financial Law of Britain,not because of 10% of immigrants living and working in Britain. It is a fallacy. 10% of the population being unemployed could not cause 7% unemployment rates. Do the Maths? If 10% of the population did not work it would cause 6million unemployment. Immigrants are the least likely of the population to be not working.

    Immigrants work often long hours in low pay jobs the rest of the population do not want to contribute, for obvious reasons. ‘Immigrants’ are an easy target for some ill informed people to blame for a situation, that the ‘immigants’ did not cause.

    The reason a relative small area of Britain – Lohdon S/E is congested or overcrowed is because of Westminster fiscal policies to invest disproportionately Gov funds (taxes raised in the UK at a unfair fiscal level under the Laws of the land of equal competion) in London S/E and have low unemployment levels in that area (for political advantage of Unionist political parties) since 1928 (Universal suffrage) Scottish voters out voted 10 to 1 can do absolutely nothing about that situation. That is why Scottish citizens have been campaigning since 1934 for Home Rule/Independence. Democracy only came to Scotland in 2000. No taxation without representation. The UK Union is unequal, unjust and unfair. The Westminsterestablisment protects it’s interest through secrecy, and a blatant criminal disregard for the enforcement of it’s own Laws.

    It is not ‘immigrants’ fault that the Westminster parliament refuses to enforce it’s own Laws. It was not ‘immigants’ that refuse to regulate the Banking sector. It was UK Politicans resident in Britain who encouraged ‘ immigrants’ to come to Briain to help build up the UK economy which they did
    and have done historically. Scotland has 10% of immigrants just the same as the rest of the UK.

    If every ‘immigrant’ left Britain, there would likely be a higher unemployment rate because of less economic activity. No growth and stagnation- Depression.

  87. naebd says:

    [politician] funds his political Party from the salaries and expenses his Parties members gain from being Representives of a Union he does not support. He is a total hypocrite.
    That’s certainly a brave position to take, for an SNP campaigner.

  88. naebd says:

    I’m a middle class person in a job that doesn’t really experience direct wage-lowering levels of competition from immigrants, living in a country that’s a bit of a backwater in terms of immigration (Scotland), so I am not too fussed about it.

    But I would feel uncomfortable passing judgement too heavily on people in different circumstances.

  89. morgan mc says:

    Ken 500 you will be aware that Germany’s national postal carrier was privatised in 2002 and was allowed to break into the UK market the same year to challenge the monopoly if the Royal Mail. Deutche Post had sole responsibility to deliver 50g mail up and until 2008 in Germany.  It stopped because of EU rules on competition. So yes EU rules do affect postal services.

  90. morgan mc says:

    Ken 500 not even UKIP is telling immigrants to leave. They object to EU policy. Ukip policy is to have a sensible managed policy that we did have for 50 years. A policy that had a global outlook rather than an EU centric one. From 1950-2004 the UK had 50,000 a year coming to the country..ukip policy is to get back to that. A policy that does not discriminate in favour of Europeans. 

  91. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    morgan mc at 10.50
    Exactly. And the  voters of those countries have the free opportunity to remove those governments – which they haven’t done. 

    If howevever you think the voters of Scotland should have the opportunity to take Scotland out of the EU they will have to become independent first.

    I have the same continuing brainless argument with somebody in Dunoon whose convoluted reasoning (he thinks Scotland should be independent) has led him to expressing an intention of voting NO to independence so that Scotland will be taken out of the EU by the UK. 

    Somehow his demented reasoning has led him to preferring a stranglehold on Scotland and it resources from Westminster to the sort of independence in Europe we can have that returns the vast majority of power to us in a voluntary union with a significant history of accommodating opt outs and flexible conditions to its huge array of members working together in a war free Europe of 500million trading partners.

  92. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    morgan mc at 11.21
    If that is the current UKIP position (which I doubt) it certainly hasn’t filtered down to its support.
    The world as far as I am concerned is filled with “people”.

  93. ScottyC1314 says:

    Inspiring stuff Rev….maybe you could turn it into a speech and deliver it in an Al Pacino ‘Any Given Sunday’ style 😉 

  94. scottish_skier says:

    I fully understand that the EU should be a subject of debate in an independent Scotland. Clearly, from polls, there is a significant minority in favour of leaving. These people can have their views represented much more readily in the PR Holyrood system under independence where Scotland can chose to be in the EU or not, rather than having that decided by voters in the other countries of the UK.
    What I don’t get is the relevance of UKIP to Scotland. They haven’t a single representative, not even a solitary councillor. Even in mid term by-elections, where fringe or protest parties tend to pick up more votes, they continue to lose deposits. They’re becoming something of a running joke. 
    UKIP are to all extents and purposes an irrelevance in Scotland. The fact their leader thinks Scots who support Scotland regaining her sovereignty are ‘anti-English racists’ yet at the same time he says his quest for the UK to regain its sovereignty is all lovely and not anti-European at all is probably something to do with it. Hypocrites usually struggle for votes, especially when they insult the electorate with slurs at the same time. 

  95. Ken500 says:

    The UK gov should have argued, quite legitimately, that as every country in the EU have government which uphold the right to having Nationalised vast utilities sector,(which actually make vast profits in the UK) that the UK had to right to a Nationalised gov controlled Royal Mail making profit. The UK gov did not because it didn’t suit their purpose. They wanted to get their hand on the Royal Mail Pension Fund to try to compensate for the total failure of the UK gov fiscal policies and failure to implement the tax Laws of the UK, by allowing (foreign/US etc) multinational to tax evade through the City of London. Harm British businesses, by unfair competition, and deprive UK citizens of essential service.

  96. morgan mc says:

    Scottish Skier-He referred to the mob outside the pub as anti english racists. The footage is there for all to see. He was subject to anti english abuse. As you brought that topic up. Can you rationalise the terms “Go back to England” &  “Stick yer Union jack up yer arse”. If that was said about a person from pakistan what would it be called?
     He also spoke about the many Scots who contacted him appalled by that behaviour….a lot not even in Ukip supporters. You even had the left wing firebrand Galloway supporting his right to be heard in a democratic society. 
    People talk about mandates and revelency in politics. If I recall correctly ukip beat the Greens in two MSP by elections.  Sure they lost their deposit but so did the Greens.  4.8% of the vote is still more than the combined totals of the minor socialist groups that make up the Radical Independence.  Ukip have kept their deposit in Scotland in the Euros. As a previous contributer has pointed out they might become an English SNP….after all their EU policy is in tandem with the SNP policy of the 70’s which was EEC sceptic. 
     It took over 30 years for the SNP to get above the 4% mark in Scottish general elections. Ukip are doing that after 20 years.

  97. Ken500 says:

    Immigration has been a controlled, sensible policy in the UK , in common with other countries in the world for the last 50 years. It is the total failure of the UK gov to control and uphold their own fiscal policies, re taxation policies. In relationship to economic activities of (foreign) multinationals which harm British business by not maintaining an equal economic framework.

    There was no suggestion the UKIP policy is for all ‘immigrants’ to leave Britain, especially considering Fradge’s wife is German (an immigrant family). The suggestion was made that without hardworking 10% ‘immigrants’ in Britain the unemployment rate would be even higher because of a decline in economic activity in Briain. A recession into Depression.

    As for UKIP policies – What are they – no one knows. What workable Manifesto exists. There isn’t one.

  98. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Can you rationalise the terms “Go back to England” & ”Stick yer Union jack up yer arse”.”

    Yes, easily. They’re nothing to do with Mr Farage’s ethnicity and everything to do with his views.

  99. Ken500 says:

    So now UKIP policy is not anti- ‘Foreigners’ just the ‘foreigners’ (like Fradge’s German wife) who come from the an EU. Not a recipe for a happy family and completely ridiculous. Facist – Nazi. Categorising people by ethnicity.

  100. Mairead Callaghan says:

    Yep the Nationalism of the UKIP is something we all detest with a vengeance.  But the nationalism of the SNP is completely different.  UKIP is against all foreigners whereas we are only against the English.  Far superior us.

  101. morgan mc says:

    Dave mcEwan- the voters have a choice in the scotland of 4 parties who are all EUphile and will continue with Brussels rule. So where is the choice to vote them out? I suspect that the onky reason the USA and others want the UK to be in is for security purposes..the EU government wants to become a state and is all that at the moment. She is even flexing her muscles Militarily with the development of Eurcorps based in Strasbourg.  

  102. Molly says:

    Scottish skier , the trouble is they are a relevance to Scotland in the sense that between the Westminster parties and UKIP and including the media they are projecting their views onto our Tv and Newspapers. By default almost,  some people in Scotland appear to believe their nonsense about immigrants. 
    Watching any news channel last night , there was almost a ( manufactured) hysteria regarding Europeans being allowed to work in Britain , despite in the background ‘real ‘ damaging policies being implemented. 
    Increasingly,the Scotland I live in seems a million miles away from Westminster

  103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “UKIP is against all foreigners whereas we are only against the English.”

    YOU might be against the English. Kindly don’t presume to speak for the rest of us who aren’t.

  104. Ken500 says:

    The people in the Pub in Edinburgh, who were telling Fradge to go back to England were English. The person who got arrested for giving Fradge their opinion of UKIP/Fradge policies was English. A family falling out possibly. Or Fradge’s attempt to restrict freedom of speech in the UK.

    Typically Fradge, like far too many Politicans, wants more than enough opportunity to express a minority view in the MSM, but wants to censor everyone else.

  105. scottish_skier says:

    He was subject to anti english abuse. 
    Erm, some of the main protesters were English anti-fascists.
    And he was allowed his freedom of speech; he did his press conference in the pub without any problems. When that was done, the protesters exercised their right of freedom of speech. Are you suggesting we should silence protesters? That sounds rather fascist and I couldn’t agree to it.
    Also, I can’t see how ‘stick a union jack up your arse’ is anti-English? Are you saying the union flag is England’s flag? As for telling him to go home – given he lives in England, representing an English seat, with his party not having a single elected member in Scotland, while this might be a little over the top, it can hardly be construed as anti-English. I mean I imagine anti-facists would also tell a far right politician from any other country that their unpleasant views were not wanted in Scotland. If the person was from Scotland, then I imagine they would not (tell them to go home). I think it’s fair enough to be against politicians from other countries sticking their oar into Scottish politics; if anything, it’s just plain rude to do so. So, I don’t see how an any way it was anti-English. Anti Farage / UKIP yes, but that’s all.
    My own impression of the event was that Farage is a bit of a softie, with the rough and tumble of politics is too much for him. He did seem to get really upset and flustered. Kind of makes me think he’s not up to it. I mean if a politician can’t take a bit of heckling from some students… There wasn’t even an egg thrown – would he have burst into tears at that? I prefer politicians with a little more backbone.

  106. scottish_skier says:

    Scottish skier , the trouble is they are a relevance to Scotland in the sense that between the Westminster parties and UKIP and including the media they are projecting their views onto our Tv and Newspapers. 
    Not enough to keep costing UKIP lost deposits. Jeez, even in mid term by elections and under proportional representation too.

  107. scottish_skier says:

    Seems to me support for UKIP is falling in Scotland? Excluding by-elections where turnouts and protests can skew things:
    2009 EU Elections
    MEPs = 0
    2010 UKGE
    MPs = 0
    2011 SGE
    0.1% / 0.9%
    MSPs = 0
    2012 Council elections
    Councillors = 0

  108. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Farage had no intention of making a stand in Edinburgh. Getting chased away made much better newspaper copy
    (in which he blamed “nasty nationalists” despite the fact that his most vociferous objectors were English and members respectively of Edinburgh University Labour Club and Edinbugh University Socialist students club)
    The newspapers were of course complicit in blaming nationalists

    morgan mc at 12.58
    Scotland has as many parties to choose from as it wants. If they haven’t a europhobe party to vote for it’s because there aren’t enough europhobes to make one possible. Of which I am very glad.
    Sadly some Scots appear to have been infected by the historic English antipathy to its European neighbours. Historically Scotland was a very welcomed friend to all of Europe and roamed freely allabout it until we got tied to imperial England. That’s all

  109. Clootie says:

    I don’t think anyone knows what the political makeup of Scotland will be 10years after a YES vote which renders a lot of the statistics invalid.

    One post referred to the radical independence support. I’m willing to be corrected but my understanding is that they have a great deal of support from Labour and SNP voters. I believe a new Tory party will evolve and actually do significantly better after Independence. If the Labour party can recover their integrity then they will see a bounce (big if given the level of leadership). The SNP vote may suffer as a result – it is a pretty wide church created for getting over the first hurdle (but has developed some very competent politicians of late).

    I return to my point – I care less about the political make up and more about the fact that it is the selection of the people of Scotland. The system set up to thwart the SNP gaining a majority may actually become a blessing – several strong parties working together for the people of Scotland.

    At present the politics of Westminster drives the representatives of the main parties to follow their morning briefing paper.
    Parties like UKIP want to return to the “good old days” – you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. John Majors village green / warm beer and cricket was never my UK anyway.

    Organisations like radical independence and the Jimmy Reid foundation are looking at the possibilities – an exiting prospect that may generate new ways of looking at things.

    Whatever type of Scotland we have in the future – it will be the one we wanted. 

  110. Ken500 says:

    The Scottish bye-election Frarage was supposed to be involved in was in Aberdeen. Fradge made it to Edinburgh where the ‘incident’ took place. Never made it to Aberdeen, obviously not worth the effort.

    The UKIP, intended Holyrood candidate, not only lost his deposit. Every vote UKIP received cost the ‘Party’ £1,700. Quite an interesting PR exercise by an experience, consumate professional at manipulating the MSM to get noticed. Certainly having had plenty of previous experience.

  111. Ken500 says:

    The SNP is totally funded by it’s members. That is why it is able to take the correct position on the economy of Scotland. It has the financial independence not to be forced to take up policies deprimental to the Scottish economy because of funding issue like the Unionist Political parties, funded by interest groups (Banking sector or Unions etc) ie SNP funding independence allows the SNP gov to keep it’s promises.

    It is funded, like Wings, by voluntary contribution by ordinary people. People who have an interest in wanting, to improve the economic success of the place of their abode.

  112. john king says:

    SS says
    “My own impression of the event was that Farage is a bit of a softie, with the rough and tumble of politics is too much for him. He did seem to get really upset and flustered.”
    Cant agree, I think the whole thing was engineered by Farage, why first of all was he in Edinburgh to help a candidate in Aberdeen? 
    the whole thing stank of a staged event, they couldn’t guarantee an SNP showing so a very useful crowd from Labour helpfully showed up, bit of a problem that the ringleaders were English ,but hey the tame press and tv channels will airbrush them out so its all good.

  113. Ken500 says:

    Fradge is a criminal, an embezzler of public funds. He fronts a ‘political’ Party that does not publish accounts. Does not have a Manifesto, Does not follow the UK rule of Law governing Political Parties. He gets away with it, protected by the far right UK Establishment and his close connections and ties to the UK Tory Party. Be careful how you vote.

  114. scottish_skier says:

    Cant agree, I think the whole thing was engineered.
    Aye, his wry smile said it all.
    Still, his bleating allows me to call him a softie as appropriate.

  115. morgan mc says:

    Ken 500 – Ian McShane MP tried your tactic with Farage…such is Mr Farage power. Mr McShane is currently at Her Majesty’s pleasure for Fraud. 
    Dave McEwan- Don’t make the error of assuming Anti EU is the same as Europhobic. How you feel about Westminster is how a lot of us feel about Brussels and Westminster. 
    When Tommy Sheridan stood on a left wing NO2EU ticket in 2009 was he being europhobic and anti european? No he was despising the policies that eminate from Brussels. So it is with both Ukip and No2EU. In Scottish terms the SNP said that the then Common Market was a threat to the very survival of Scotland as a nation. The EU is a step to far. The Scottish Sovereignty Movement agree, Solidarity agree, SSP used too,  As the SNP used to say: “No to entry-No on anyones terms”

  116. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Morgan MC: formatting rules apply to UKIPpers too. You’ve been told.

  117. Angus says:

    Morgan is never going to listen to a word that is said against the likes of Farage or alter his narrow minded opinion on Europe or immigration, it has been pointed out to himself many times on other sites that we know that there were English people demonstrating against ukip Farage demo in Edinburgh and that the protest was actually against fascist politics which is easily representative within ukip rhetoric and abhorrent to many Scots and English in principle.
    Yet morgan will still repeat Farage, and his statements here yet again as if they were simply true, what a wee shame for poor old Farage and let’s tarnish the nasty left of centre types as being anti English.
    Repeating what was merely the media having a field day dissing Independence and the SNP, an opportunistic piece of propaganda that was relished and spoonfed in a strictly edited form to every television viewing household in the UK with few questions as to the accuracy of the claims of anti Englishness for instance.
    As to this article, it highlights what we know already here in Scotland, that UK politics have taken a particularly irrelevant turn for us and will very likely continue to do so after the EU elections in six months, and this will definitely affect how the Referendum will be viewed and produce a lot of awkward questions for better together and the unionist politicians.
    They will be left haplessly defending the bawbaggery of stating Scotland won’t be in Europe if we vote no and that is already a pretty dodgy wicket for no to campaign and brag about for reasons most of us know instinctively and purely related to westminster politics and the classic knee jerk ‘on the hoof’ they are proving to be.
    Being nice to Alistair Darling in interviews will not solve this dilemma about being in or out of Europe as the months pass by towards our Referendum.

  118. morgan mc says:


  119. morgan mc says:

    Don’t know what happened there with all the conjoined wording . Certainly not how it was formatted. Apologies.

  120. Dave McEwan Hill says:


  121. morgan mc says:

    Interesting: “We are working discreetly… and all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands.” – Arnold Toynbe”e – Historical researcher and founding father of the EU
    “Transforming the European Union into a single State with one army, one constitution and one foreign policy is the critical challenge of the age” – Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister The Guardian, London, 26th November 1998

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