The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Please stop lying to us

Posted on March 11, 2014 by

This sort of thing just won’t do at all, STV.

Because that closing comment isn’t true, is it?

The clip above comes from last night’s edition of Scotland Tonight. It was part of a section of the show in which one very common falsehood – that “more powers” is a much more popular option than independence – was repeated several times (in all three-way polls between independence, more powers and the status quo the options are very evenly balanced, though with the status quo usually the least popular).

But the bit we’ve highlighted was considerably more troubling, because the untruth it put forward came not from a politician or a partisan commentator like Simon Pia, but from the show’s respected interviewer and reporter Bernard Ponsonby.

“One thing, in all the crossfire, is certain – the status quo is not an option. The only question now: more powers or full independence.”

Except that ISN’T certain at all. “More powers” is an outcome that the Scottish people CANNOT guarantee. Even the Scottish branches of the Westminster parties haven’t come up with any solid proposals yet. If and when they do, those will still only be recommendations that the London leaderships will be under no obligation to accept and pledge in their manifestos.

Even if they do put them in their manifestos, they then have to win a Westminster election, and then they have to uphold their promises – something that none of them have a great recent track record of – against a backdrop of great hostility in England, and the threat of independence having been removed for a generation, giving them no real motive to bother. (And even if they do, it’ll be a poisoned chalice.)

That’s an awful lot of “if”s. The referendum being a choice between independence and more powers isn’t a fact, it’s the campaign line of the No parties – none of whom can even agree within their own parties on whether and which new powers to offer, let alone all agree with each other. National broadcasters shouldn’t be presenting it as a fact.

(Today’s leader in the Herald notes: “Is there a growing consensus on more powers for the Scottish Parliament among the parties backing a No vote in this September’s referendum? It would be hard to argue such a case convincingly.”)

A “more powers” future after a No vote is practically the dictionary definition of political uncertainty. It’s not on the ballot paper. It’s NOT the choice being offered to Scots in September – indeed, the No parties actively and strenuously campaigned to exclude it from the vote. Yes means independence, a Scottish Government elected by the people of Scotland deciding everything. No means the status quo, plus possibly some vague pledges about a distant future, a decade or more away.

(The weasel get-out sometimes employed by the Unionists is that more powers are already in the pipeline thanks to the Scotland Act 2012, a handful of minor tweaks that will have taken eight years to come to fruition. But the clue’s in the name – that act was passed in 2012. It’s the past and/or the present, not the future. The fact that all three parties have commissions promising to come up with more powers over and above those already on the way via SA2012 makes clear that it can’t possibly be what Ponsonby was referring to.)

We can’t go on like this. Please stop lying to us.

Print Friendly

    2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 11 03 14 14:44

      Futurama «

    2. 31 07 18 15:47

      Futurama – Bella Caledonia

    126 to “Please stop lying to us”

    1. muttley79 says:

      The MSM have been saying this for a considerable period of time. They are part of the No campaign, and want to con people into voting No.

    2. Sergio Casci says:

      I don’t yell at the telly often, but I did when Bernard Ponsonby said that.

    3. Jason F says:

      There’s also the uncertainty of a possible future referendum; if it includes the rest of the UK, then the the decision is out of Scotland’s hands – but even if it’s only held in Scotland, there’s still no guarantee that people will be in the mood for another vote, and may reject whatever’s offered either because it’s too little, or just through lack of interest.

    4. Colin says:

      How many of us are going to complain directly to STV about this appalling piece of journalism.

    5. tartanfever says:

      Over the next few months the attention will turn to unionist parties as they lay out their further proposals in the event of a ‘No’ vote.

      The Electoral Commission has already stated that voters must be given information in this scenario.

      If this is going to be the response of STV, to misguide the public, then it’s troubling times indeed. The media must question vigorously any unionist party plans or lack of them.

      I have a feeling that if this continues the Electoral Commission are going to find themselves very busy with complaints once we enter the official referendum period.

    6. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Sorry Rev, but we’ll just have to ‘go on like this’. They can, will, and must keep lying – they have no Plan B.

      It’s Project Fear or bust.

    7. MajorBloodnok says:

      One good thing about the independence campaign is that it has revealed once and for all what a bunch of self-serving liars the British Establishment and its adherents are.

      Individuals one might have had some respect for in the past (e.g. David Steele, Donald Dewar, Tony Benn) have revealed themselves as being as mendacious and slippery as the current generation; and you suddenly realise how we have all been manipulated by a complicit press and taken in by them for all these years.

      It’s time to be shot of them and their craven lackeys.

    8. bookie from hell says:

      Forbes magazine

      I once asked a politician who represented the Western Isles of Scotland why people living in these remote and hostile places should receive subsidies. ‘To keep a diversity of culture,’ he replied. You could say the same of Scotland as a whole. The rest of the UK is content to subsidise this rich and ancient culture. But take away that subsidy and there would likely be massive depopulation. ‘Go to Scotland and there’s nobody there,’ as the country’s best-known comic Billy Connolly succinctly put it.

      All these arguments pale into nothing for nationalists, whose blood is up and who scent a kind of revenge on the English for centuries of (as they see it) domination and exploitation. They’re determined to cut off their nose to spite their face.

    9. Gillie says:

      It is the unionists greatest weakness.

      They can promise all they like but many current MPs at Westminster have already made it plain that they they are opposed to more devolution for Scotland.

      Scots are unlikely to see ‘enhanced’ devolution until after 2020.

      In the end it really doesn’t matter how many Scotland Acts Westminster pass into law, none of them will curb Scottish enthusiasm and arguments for more powers.

    10. Macart says:

      That’s just grim.

      There is no second option on the ballot. AT THE INSISTENCE OF WESTMINSTER PARTIES by the by. There are no joint proposals from Cameron, Clegg and Miliband (the only leaders who actually count) and last but by no means least there is no consensus between northern or southern franchises let alone across both houses in Westminster.

      The devolution journey is a myth, a method of control FFS. People, for those who are dropping by that is, on 18th September you get to tell the politicians which powers both you and they have. On that day you have 100% of the powers and authority, there’s no need to negotiate on what you can and cannot have.

      So use that power and authority and get the parliament you vote for.

    11. Grant_M says:

      An outright lie from Bernard Ponsonby. That piece was included in yesterday’s STV News at 6, and is also on the STV website.

    12. tartanfever says:

      O/T Prof John Robertson at Scottish Parliament says of the Broadcasters

      ‘This is thought control in a democracy’…

      it’s live now here:

    13. Murray McCallum says:

      It’s very disappointing that an experienced journalist could come out with such a statement.

      It’s the old “factoid” syndrome where if enough people say the same misplaced thing enough times it becomes accepted as fact.

      The referendum question and the long history of worthless promises on Scottish devolution could not possibly be any clearer.

    14. bookie from hell says:

      bob crow—union boss

      died suddenly

    15. Doug Daniel says:

      I found it particularly laughable that arch-unionist Adam Tomkins (presented as a considered academic, rather than a frothing-at-the-mouth unionist, which is more accurate) tried to claim that the onus was on the Scottish parliament post-referendum to make the case for more powers, rather than for Westminster to make the case. Sounded a bit like trying to blame a kidnapping victim for being locked up, rather than the kidnapper.

    16. fairiefromtheearth says:

      And why would anybody ever listen to a war criminal theifing twat like Brown? or the stv.

    17. Training Day says:

      MSM making a direct link between a No vote and more powers for Holyrood was always going to happen. As Muttley says the MSM ARE the No campaign. It’s an area I feel the Yes campaign have neglected to address fully, because the amount of people out there – some of whom should know much, much better – who think that No is a rejection of independence but NOT of more powers for Holyrood is scary.

      And it’s back to basic Psychology – why would the bully reward the victim which has capitulated to its demands? Is the bully not far more likely to have nothing but contempt for the weakness of his victim?

    18. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Bookie from Hell; I was all set with a volley but then I had the brief flash of common sense that was to check your post again… phew.

      I can only assume the author of your excert there has not been to the Highlands, otherwise the doss git would know what depopulation looks like. It’s empty to the point where you could scarce make it any emptier.

      I am bewildered at his ‘The rest of the UK is content to subsidise this rich and ancient culture’ because the level of vitriol from those who believe this ancient myth suggests they’re rather against the idea.

      On the original post; of course there is no guarantee of more powers. It is exactly as you’ve stated and no matter what they say it is incredibly unlikely that any other powers will come to Scotland in the event of a no vote. Westminster fights over everything (except MP’s pay, which they’re curiously united over) and more devolved power to Scotland would have them fighting like cats in a sack. It certainly did with the rather wishy washy Scotland Bill that went through a wee while back. And that’s not anywhere near what Broon and Ming the slightly doddery Merciless were trying to tell us, while not telling us anything, that we’d get.

      It’s all lies. The only way to get more power in Scotland, guaranteed, is to place a X in the Yes box on September 18th. Voting no will get you the sum of nothing, and that’s assuming that Westminster won’t set about Scotland to make sure we don’t do it again. Big assumption, right enough….

    19. MajorBloodnok says:

      Vote no and Westminster decides what powers Scotland will have.*

      Vote YES and we decide what powers Scotland will have.

      * Note, devolved powers may go down as well as up.

    20. Bigdrone says:

      Bernard, in case you’ve forgotten, the question is and always has been “Should Scotland be an independent country?” YES or no! From memory, were more quasi-devolved powers not coming to Scotland anyway. It’s another attempted jam spray – which flavour this month – I see it’s ‘Brown’ Jam!

    21. Seasick Dave says:

      These additional powers that they keep mentioning; these are the powers which we should have already as a normal, functioning country.

      Why are they in the gift of Westminster to be handed back as bribes?

      FFS, people of Scotland, wake up before its too late.

    22. galamcennalath says:

      The NaySayers will have no firm alternative to status quo available to promote by September. All they have left to fight with are their lies and decent.

      On the subject of BT’s twisted alter reality …. An excellent video. “Top 10 Unionist Myths Debunked”

      Watching this got the day of to a good start 🙂

    23. Illy says:

      For a second there I thought he was going to say:

      “One thing, in all the crossfire, is certain – the status quo is not an option. The only question now: more powers or less powers

      Very dissapointed.

    24. jim watson says:

      Another excellent analysis from you Stu. Ponsonby was totally wrong – the option as it is currently shaping up is Independence vs a reduction in powers, block grant and continued austerity. If the unionists were committed to more powers then surely they would be under discussion or on the table already…

    25. HandandShrimp says:

      I’m going to take a slightly contrary stance here and give Bernard the benefit of the doubt on the deliberate lying front. It is true that the status quo is the least popular option (except with the anti-devolutionists like Michael Kelly etc) and it is true that there is a fair bit of gum flapping from the Unionist parties about more powers which makes it look like they are heeding the inclinations of the electorate and are pressing the media to believe something is happening and report it as such.

      Where I agree Bernard is incorrect is that he suggests that it is a straight forward option between Yes and something that is not on the ballot paper and has not been defined, agreed and time tabled. A choice between something and a maybe. The maybe will undoubtedly become something because they have made too much noise about it but that maybe could simply add catapults to air guns or something equally underwhelming. Bernard should be grilling the No side far more rigorously about what they really mean. Ming’s performance was an exercise in political stalling for time because he had nothing to say.

      The simple fact is that were it not for the independence referendum there would not be all this talk of more powers at all. The Scotland Act would have been it for another 15 years. It is a reaction to try and ward off a Yes vote and like many reactions it is not well thought out or coherent. It is not an option it is a fig leaf.

    26. Giving Goose says:

      Sadly Ponsonby will continue to lie to us.
      This sort of thing goes with the territory when you are a journalist working for a member of the Brit Nat media establishment.
      In the days approaching the referendum, a bit of publicity via grass roots Yes supporters and a few bill boards will sort this. “Remember, it’s a simple Yes or No. Nothing in between this sandwich.”

    27. Clydebuilt says:

      Doug Daniel says:
      11 March, 2014 at 10:13 am

      “I found it particularly laughable that arch-unionist Adam Tomkins”

      is that the same Adam Tomkins who wrote a phamplet with Alisdair Gray “Why we should rule ourselves….A strange collaboration

    28. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day

      Yeah, the Yes campaign really need to start strongly challenging this MSM/No campaign myth that a No vote is for more powers. I think they have been far to wishy washy so far on the consequences of a No vote. If there is a No vote, the SNP will get the blame by the MSM for the spending cuts, privatisations etc that would follow from it. If they continue to pussy foot around on the issue, and don’t clearly spell it out to voters, then that is what will happen. Does anyone seriously believe that the MSM will blame the unionist parties for the consequences of a No vote?

      Hopefully we get a Yes vote, and that will all be irrelevant, but you have got to prepare yourself for the different scenarios of the result of the referendum.

    29. Ted says:

      Having watched some of this from the Scottish Parliament, the Prof is being extremely polite with some of the Unionist numpties repeating the same questions. He gives answers and then they keeping insisting that he is biased and he repeats that he just reported what happened within the time frame. Some MSP’s should never be allowed near the Scottish Parliament!

    30. Clootie says:

      I have noticed a sharp decline in the balance of articles on STV – someone has obviously got to them.

      They are as bad as the BBC now. A pity as all we looked for was fair reporting which should be the lifeblood of a journalist.

    31. HandandShrimp says:


      Adam Tomkins is a firm republican and although he may be a Unionist and writes from a Unionist perspective (I can’t get that damned picture of the Union Jack suit out of my head) he shares with Grey a passion for changing the way we run our democracy. Where they part company is that Grey thinks we need to do it here first and let the rest follow whereas Tomkins wants it to be a whole UK thing. If we were ever to achieve such a change I cannot see it being through the UK and therefore I think Grey is correct and that we need independence to make such changes.

      Tomkins is a Unionist but he has other ideas too (not all are as antipathetic to our way of thinking)

    32. Murray McCallum says:

      It’s a clash of different worlds with Prof Robertson simply trying to highlight an issue, get it properly debated and hopefully improve reporting.

      The politicians who are questioning him are so obviously not interested in that approach.

      Prof Robertson seems to be an extraverted thinker and is totally open in his thoughts. He seems to enjoy discussing ideas, concepts and thoughts. Totally disarming against harsh questioning.

      Interesting that Prof Robertson is autistic. Having worked with several autistic people, I recognise his very open approach to his closest held thoughts.

      The way his brain works is basically the opposite to the politicians questioning him.

    33. Another sad day for so-called journalism. I long ago gave up on the B.B.C and had switched to S.T.V in the hope of finding something better. Ah well, back to the web.

    34. Taranaich says:

      How in God’s name can they keep lying to us?

      In 1979, the Scots were “promised” a Scottish Assembly if they voted No: this offered a meagre amount of legislative powers, much like the pitiful offerings of more devolution.

      Even though we voted Yes, the 40% rule meant that Westminster heard us vote No. What happened? Did we get this Scottish Assembly? Did we hell.

      In the event of a No vote, will we get our 15p tax variance & responsibility for collecting taxes? Will we hell.

      It took us 10 years to get the Scottish Constitutional Convention going. In the propositional future of a No vote, will we even get that?

    35. M4rkyboy says:

      BBC goons on the education culture committee.Should be interesting.

    36. BuckieBraes says:

      But wait a minute – I thought more devolved powers were derided as ‘Alex Salmond’s consolation prize’, triumphantly removed as a referendum option by Cameron and Co at the time of the Edinburgh Agreement?

      The No side and their media chums must think we have the memory-span of a goldfish.

      Apart from that, why is the sight of Gordon Brown walking up and down with Fran and Anna sitting in the background being accorded such gravitas anyway?

    37. Albalha says:


      Bob Crow has died age only 52.

    38. M4rkyboy says:

      The BBC dude is reading from a script.I hope the SNP members pull him into the rough so that we can see him squirm.

    39. Vronsky says:

      Prof Robertson said he regretted claiming that the Labour Party were corrupt. Thick Labour droid asked if he now retracted that statement. ‘Oh, I regret it, but I don’t retract it’ says the Prof. Superb.

    40. liz says:

      Re the Yes campaign highlighting the lies in the No – I think if they did that it would turn into – yes they did, no they didn’t – and the DKs would switch off.

      I think the posters are a great idea and we have to have more of them – they would enter the thoughts subliminally – I think short graphic ones such as the maps which show where the wealth is made and where it goes.

      That could also be used every time there is a lie about eg more powers – get a poster up about previous reneged on promises.

      The other thing is that there will be changes after the vote – the people in the south are sick listening to the indy debate.

      They think we are whingers – they will be out for metaphorical blood if a No and will insist that we are dealt with and their politicians will have no hesitation in agreeing with them.

    41. msean says:

      If you don’t think like them,you are a nationalist seperatist snp supporting numpty and are against the people.They need to wake up,the southern voters aren’t afraid to change to Tory,don’t see them haranguing middle England voters in the same manner about that ‘hop over to the Tories attitude’.

    42. Riverclyder says:

      On BBC Radio Scotland drive time last night, the presenter said that the more powers proposals from Brown and Campbell were being put forward as an option should either of their party “win the referendum”. I was really surprised the SNP rep being interview didn’t pull him up on it.

    43. muttley79 says:

      RIP Bob Crow. He died of a massive heart attack and aneurism, according to the Guardian.

    44. What struck me most last night when I watched Brown and Campbell on television was the complete contrast when Nicola Sturgeon was shown providing her response. When Brown and Campbell were on it seemed to me that it was the same old tired gloomy message from men in suits who just don’t seem to get what’s happening. Sturgeon’s interview seemed to be a ray of friendly sunshine by comparison. I know that the psephologists tell us that many women remain uncertain about independence. I would advise them to watch what was said by the three politicians yesterday and compare.

    45. chicmac says:

      ” against a backdrop of great hostility in England, and the threat of independence having been removed for a generation, giving them no real motive to bother. ”

      I am pretty sure that any offer of new powers, lies or not, completely abrogates any responsibility pro-indy people may have felt to accepting the result for a generation.

      IMO that responsibility has already flown the coop along with media impartiality, but that is another issue.

      Clearly, a more powers option is going to be favoured by gradualists. Those who want independence, but would like one final stepping stone before doing so.

      Those who do so would not expect that stepping stone to be 30 years duration. Q.E.D..

    46. Albalha says:

      Re Education, Culture cttee I do wonder why these politicians don’t make sure they’re better briefed. As per previous BBC appearances they get close but never close enough to challenge the veracity of the BBC statements.

    47. Macart says:

      I see others have already posted the news on Bob Crow.


    48. edulis says:

      Amidst all this talk of more powers from the Unionists, the electorate need to be made aware of the history of the Great Debate.

      The Unionists had their chance to put forward Devo-whatever with the Calman Commission. Apart from the fact that the CC was not an honest assessment of Scotland’s constitutional needs, even those timid proposals were watered down.

      Now we have Broon and Alexander (Dougie) saying that we need to be bold – i.e. bolder than the Calman Commission. What they truly mean is that we must make an offer to diss the SNP.

      You could not make this stuff up if you set out to ridicule these placatory attempts at winning the argument. They are running scared that it is all going to collapse like a house of cards.

      With the gear shift to billboards by the ‘Yes’ campaign would it not be a good idea to encapsulate this history with a few well chosen phrases so that we are all reminded of what has really happenened here?

    49. Vronsky says:

      I was following the Rev’s tweeted link to the E&C committee with Prof Robertson. If the referendum result is a No, Prof Robertson’s research shows BBC bias and the public record shows STV lying, can we go to the international courts and declare the result void?

      Didn’t see the point of the hostiles on the E&C committee – that Robertson’s results are contaminated by his own opinions is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis, but the only way to test it is with more academic research. Somehow I don’t think they will be commissioning any of that.

    50. Murray McCallum says:

      Education & Culture Committee

      I struggle to accept the BBC position on Prof Robertson’s report. They nit pick at his published findings while refusing to release details on BBC complaints.

      This cannot be allowed to happen.

    51. chicmac says:

      Don’t let the tories off the hook. RD has gone from stripping back powers through no new powers to new powers.

      But TBH many of us predicted this is how it would be years ago.

      I think it is also a pretty fair bet that those who predict DevoMinus, the stripping back of powers will in the end prove more accurate if we get a No vote.

    52. Robert Peffers says:

      The most telling video clip was, “The Wright Stuff, (and nonsense)”, with the getts – (oops! typo) – guests outraged that those nasty Scots wanted to keep all THEIR best bits of THEIR COUNTRY, THEIR Queen, THEIR, pound, THEIR, Bank of England, ad infinitum. So it whooshes way over these Englander numpties heads that it was the Scottish Monarchy that inherited the three country Kingdom of England’s crown. This did NOT form a, “United Kingdom”, because both independent Kingdoms remained independent with their own kingdom & parliament for another 104 years. Then the three country independent kingdom of England’s independent parliament deposed their English monarchy but, being still independent, their 1688, “Glorious Revolution”, did not, in fact could not, depose the Scottish monarchy. It did, though force “William, (King Billy), & Mary upon a hapless Scotland. Thus they not only made their three country Kingdom of England a, “Constitutional Monarchy”, but kicked off the Jacobite uprisings that ran from 1688 until 38 years AFTER the actual Treaty of Union legally,(?), created a forced Union of the Crowns AND the formation of the United Kingdom Parliament. Not to mention the BofE has NEVER belonged to England. Formed by a Scot to bail out the, still independent, “financially embarrassed”, English Kingdom’s parliament in 1694, it remained an independent private company until nationalised by THE UNITED KINGDOM in 1946. It was so called because the Kingdom of England Government banked WITH it. The Pound was officially declared the bipartite United Kingdom’s common currency by the Treaty of Union. If that’s the standard of the English Education system on that feckless bunch of, “Wright Stuff”, Celebs it is long past time someone drew attention that it is factually the, “Wrong Stuff and Nonsense”.

    53. pagie says:

      Seems there is also an awful lot of “if’s” by voting yes…..what currency will iScotland use; what will the consequences be on Scottish financial industry; how many large businesses & wealthy individuals are likely to relocate following a yes vote; will rUK individuals, who are majority of investors in Scottish financial industry be happy for their investment / pensions to be held in a different currency; will iScotland get into Europe (do the majority of Scottish people actually want to stay in Europe?); drop in oil revenue; how will Scottish Government fund their proposed increase in services; what if negotiations with rUK don’t work out as expected by Mr Salmond; what is Mr Salmond’s Plan B

    54. Keef says:

      United with Labour – United with who?

      Working Together. Stronger together.- Again I ask with who?

      Better together, we’ll be together, let’s stick together, all together now, together forever, together whatever so long as we get our ermine.


    55. Gillie says:

      BBC in denial over Prof Robertson’s report. Evasive, angry, and completely on the back foot.

      You simply can’t trust the BBC

    56. Danny says:

      Ponsonby at heart is just yet another unionist. Anyone with a long memory may remember him polling around 4% in the Govan by election for whatever the lib dems were called at that time so he’ll be quite happy to wait for decade after decade for some kind of better home rule.

    57. crisiscult says:

      No means the status quo, plus possibly some vague pledges about a distant future, a decade or more away

      Can I just make a comment that I think the choice is between
      a) withdrawal from the westminster system (I’m not using the word independence because some nitpickers I’ve spoken to seem to think Scotland needs to be some kind of self sufficient, isolated community somewhere to really call the Scottish Gov proposals independence)
      b) uncertainty / change that we have no control over. This could be more powers, but is more likely to be more responsibilities and less money (Barnett change), and whatever other choices are made for us by parties which don’t reflect the interests of people in Scotland.

    58. We’ve gone from absolutely no more powers, line in the sand stuff, to looking at more powers in a short space of time.

      Somebody somewhere is very worried. About something. Canvassing returns maybe? Not the behaviour of people 20 points ahead.

    59. David McCann says:

      Just watching the debate from committee room 2 its clear that the McQuarrie, Boothman etc will NOT be making any changes to the way they report the the referendum.

    60. Col says:

      If a YES vote would be the end of David Cameron would the opposite be true for a NO vote and would we not be certain to be basically voting Tory as David Cameron will be hailed as the savior of the UK and voted back into leadership?
      If Scotland is truly an equal partner within a union should we not be in a position to negotiate with which ever Government is in power both here in Scotland and in Westminster which powers we see fit to have here and if the people do not get their wishes or are unhappy with what is on offer should it not always be an option to walk away?

    61. Gillie says:

      5 of the BBC Scotland trainees employed originally for the referendum debate are being used to monitor previous BBC Scotland broadcasts for balance and impartiality to counter the arguments of Prof Robertson’s research.

      This is the BBC’s notion of independent research.

    62. chalks says:

      As Rev has pointed out, indy and more powers are over jointly polling over 60%

      All we have to do is convince the people that more powers aren’t going to happen unless it is through indy and we win.

      Remember that. There are a few No voters who want more powers, they aren’t going to get them, we have history on our side.

      Use everything we have at our disposal to tell them a No means no (thing)

      The more they harp on about more powers, the more the media will start to question as I believe some of them want ‘more’ powers….

    63. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      It’s a vomitorium of falsehood.

      What wretched monster will next appear, mouthing empty rhetoric? The daddy of them all?

      Not so much the emperor’s new clothes as the old imperialists’ last heave.

    64. Fergus Green says:

      Online poll in the Courier – open NOW:

      Has the media been biased during the independence referendum campaign?

      Vote vote vote!

    65. Lanarkist says:

      Culture committee on questioning the BBC, were told that additional 50 employees taken on to cover their commitments to referendum coverage, especially the increase in online news output.

      Can someone please ask how this increase can be justified when the BBC close comments on their Scottish news section!

      Are they all just dealing with complaints.

      Why are the BBC allowing every other region to post comment online but not Scotland during this most important year.

      Arrogant, evasive, defensive and self interested is what is coming across.

      No mention of why the big debate was taken to Strathallen Public School where only 1.5% stated support for independence. How do they justify this decision?

      We are trying to broaden the debate out to include a wider spectrum of the electorate.

      They need to be exposed! Mr. Boothman comes over as a man not used to having to explain himself and seemed very angry and defensive. His wages are payed by license fee payers.

      They all seem to believe themselves to be untouchable!

    66. galamcennalath says:

      Dave Beveridge says:
      We’ve gone from absolutely no more powers, line in the sand stuff, to looking at more powers in a short space of time.

      Somebody somewhere is very worried.

      Makes me wonder what’s going on too. It appeared that BT had put all their faith in Project Fear. More powers was never on the agenda. I believe they are now only pretending to be considering more powers. That said, there clearly IS a change of direction from BT.

      Project Fear isn’t a runaway success for BT, but neither is it a disaster, according to polls….

      Canvassing returns maybe?

      Perhaps. Everything I have heard suggests canvassers are hearing a different story from what the polls say.

      Why? Are the polls so far out?

    67. Fergus Green says:

      Currently 61% to 22% in our favour

    68. Jimbo says:

      The short video says it all, don’t trust these men.
      The only way for more powers is to vote YES.

    69. Jim McIntosh says:

      Re Courier Poll – Who are the 21% that think that the MSM have been biased towards YES Scotland. A lot of of slopey foreheads out there methinks.

    70. Luigi says:

      If a YES vote would be the end of David Cameron would the opposite be true for a NO vote and would we not be certain to be basically voting Tory as David Cameron will be hailed as the savior of the UK and voted back into leadership?

      Yes yes yes – if there is a NO vote, a tory landslide in 2015 is all but guaranteed. Spread the word!

    71. sionnach says:

      RevStu: “That’s an awful lot of ifs”

      Indeed it is. If you preface that list with “If you vote NO”, you’ve got FOUR hoops to jump through before you get close to Brown’s “promises” – promises which have yet to find their way into Labour’s election manifesto. It might be jam, but it sure ain’t tomorrow!

    72. G H Graham says:

      SNP Plan to scrap Trident and 11,000 Jobs claims Jackie Baillie on her website

      Odd that. At Faslane today, Unite are out on strike today. All 800 of them.

    73. Flooplepoop says:

      O/T the John Beattie Arab/Scot debate was excellent, 1 vocal No voter, a councillor, was spouting nonsense.

    74. Erchie says:


      The Rev has said that the person in the Union Jack suit was NOT Prof Tompkins

      The Rv used that picture for a joke

    75. Malc says:

      @ Jim Mcintosh
      I am one of them Jim, read it wrong and picked the wrong option, so hopefully not all as you think.

    76. RenateJ says:

      With a Westminster election in the near future, all thoughts of Scotland and more powers will be quickly forgotten following a NO vote in the scramble to secure a majority with little england voters. Voting YES is the only way to guarantee more powers.

    77. Fergus Green says:

      The Courier has just deleted and closed down comments on the article about BBC bias, following a flurry of pro-indy posts. Maybe the poll won’t last much longer.

      Currently 66%-20%.

      Is there anyone out there who can take a screen shot of this poll before it is consigned to oblivion? I don’t know how to do it myself.

    78. liz says:

      @Jim McIntosh – apologies I voted that as I read it as biased against Yes – I know I’m an idiot – so you can mentally remove my vote.

    79. Vronsky says:

      @Dave Beveridge

      Somebody somewhere is very worried.

      The Unionists thought that most Scots wanted Holyrood to be more powerful without realising that the powers they wanted amounted to independence. Independence sounds uncomfortably radical, and Scots are notoriously cautious. So, make sure that increased powers is not on the ballot and they’ll all vote No. Job done.

    80. Mary Bruce says:

      “Is there anyone out there who can take a screen shot of this poll before it is consigned to oblivion? I don’t know how to do it myself.”

      Do we have a “how to be a cybernat” guide? ie instructions on archive, tinyurl, tweeting, screen clipping, private window viewing, ghostery and all that? If not, who fancies putting one together? I’d do it but don’t have a clue about half these things myself.

    81. Marker Post says:

      On BBC website now:

      “MPs are also questioning Mr Carney over other financial issues, including the possibility of a currency union”.

      Why? I thought there was no possibility of a currency union…

    82. MochaChoca says:

      O/T Citywire are running the story of Citibank’s comments on the referendum under the headline:

      Citi: nothing ‘plausible’ about Scottish independence

      When in fact the Citi quote is…“nothing ‘ implausible’ about Scottish independence”

      Strange mistake to make, especially considering the error occurs both as the headline and within the story.

      Can someone leave a comment on there about this (I would, but can’t register to comment from where I am right now)

    83. HandandShrimp says:


      I see that Aberdeen Clown Touncil are sending out No pamphlets with bills. Can I suggest people politely return the envelopes with a request for the bill to be re-issued without a political pamphlet. I’m sure they would appreciate the extra work, postage and slight delay in payment. 🙂

    84. Luigi says:

      O/T the John Beattie Arab/Scot debate was excellent, 1 vocal No voter, a councillor, was spouting nonsense.

      The only anti-Scottish voice seemed to be that pathetic character, who seemed to take exception to people describing themselves as Scottish Arab etc (Scotland far too wee to compare with the huge Arab world etc). His comments did not go down well with the rest of the participants). What an idiot.

    85. bjsalba says:

      O/T Does anybody have good answer/riposte to “I don’t want to split this island” as their reason for not wanting Independence. Not one I’d heard before.

    86. faolie says:

      I’m confused about the whole Brown declaration anyway. I thought his boss was going to reveal all at conference (see Rev’s post yesterday)? Has he given away her announcement? Or is this an alternative Labour plan? And did he clear it with her first?

      I should have thought she’d be livid about the whole thing. Perhaps Ponsonby could clear things up for me by asking her, and also by asking Brown if he had permission to speak ma’am.

    87. dmw42 says:

      The points have been adequately made by Stu and others that: there is no ‘devo’ whatever on the ballot paper; and any ‘proposals’ by the Unionist’s Scottish branches would need the ‘approval’ of Westminster.

      Just to put a bit of perspective on that latter point, 96% of Westminster parliamentarians are unelected by the people of Scotland, and have little interest in the affairs or democracy of Scotland.

      Remember that little point when you hear ‘more powers’, and particularly remember it when you’re in the polling booth.

      To rub further salt in to that ‘unelected’ wound, Scotland pays approximately 10% of all salaries and expenses of these parlaimentarians, and approximately 10% of the salaries and expenses of the 400,000 civil servants that support them.

      You might want to remember that last point as well.

    88. BuckieBraes says:

      @Fergus Green
      ‘Is there anyone out there who can take a screen shot of this poll before it is consigned to oblivion? I don’t know how to do it myself.’

      The ‘Snipping Tool’ in Windows 7 works a treat.

    89. MochaChoca says:


      400,000… on London weighted salaries.

    90. Fergus Green says:

      71% now saying media biased in favour of Better Together:

      Keep voting 🙂

    91. dmw42 says:


      400,000… on London weighted salaries. Exactly, and I haven’t even mentioned the £millions it costs us for repairs and maintenance of the ‘palace’ of Westminster!

    92. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The ‘Snipping Tool’ in Windows 7 works a treat.”

      Better yet, the thoroughly splendid Greenshot:

    93. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Seems there is also an awful lot of “if’s” by voting yes…”

      There are ifs either way. What will be left of the NHS by 2020 if we vote No, for example?

    94. Les Wilson says:

      Ponsonby used to give a good grilling to all, he does it well. He could even have came across as ALMOST fair, however I notice recently that is changing.It seems that we can no longer trust him to give any fairness, you can see this when the Unionists come out with their daily scare, he give them much more credence than he used to.

      Well, as long as we recognize it then!

    95. lumilumi says:

      I had the Education & Culture Committee streaming in the background whilst doing other stuff so I might’ve missed something but the impression I got was unionist MSPs playing the man, not the ball as regards Prof. Robertson.

      Mary Scanlon (CON) started her questions by asking if Prof. Robertson was in favour of Scottish independence – he is – thereby trying to evoke that old adage “He’d say that, wouldn’t he?” about his academic research.

      Playing the man got so bad that the convener Stewart Maxwell (SNP) had to remind committee members not once or twice but three times (during Neil Bibby’s (LAB) questioning) that the committee was here to discuss the research, not the man.

      Later on the BBC Scotland high head yins were there. Seemed very patronising and defensive. The one point I caught was that they will not reveal the number of complaints and insisting that they respond to every complaint personally. I think we all in the indy internet community have seen their “personal” responses (as posted by some complainants) which amount to “Thanks for your communication. The BBC is not biased, move along now.”

      The BBC Scotland honchos also revealed that they’ll be doing extensive coverage of the referendum count. Thirty odd teams on the ground in Scotland, teams in Edinburgh, London and also foreign countries. That’s interesting. Though perhaps not surprising, potential Scottish independence affects the rUK’s position in the world – their much beloved “clout” – so no wonder they’re so vehemently opposed to it.

      The Empire slowly crumbling away… The Kiwis might even remove the Union Jack from their flag…

    96. Jill P says:

      I’ve got a screenshot of the poll after my vote.

    97. Taranaich says:

      @HandadShrimp: I’m going to take a slightly contrary stance here and give Bernard the benefit of the doubt on the deliberate lying front.

      I think it could be interpreted (possibly being too generous) that Posonby was really meaning that the only acceptable choice for Scots is independence or more powers – the fact that No is not actually offering any more powers than a few meaningless responsibilities should let people draw their own conclusions.

      Brown and Ming can cook up all the woolly promises about more powers they like, but as has been stated time and again (and most always be repeated) there is no option for “more powers” on the ballot paper – and you have the No advocates to thank for that.

      @BuckieBraes: But wait a minute – I thought more devolved powers were derided as ‘Alex Salmond’s consolation prize’, triumphantly removed as a referendum option by Cameron and Co at the time of the Edinburgh Agreement?

      It’ll be interesting to see who continues to pull that party line. Will Johann Lamont suddenly become a firm believer in devolving corporation tax & welfare, even after she campaigned against devolution last time around?

      @edulis: What they truly mean is that we must make an offer to diss the SNP.

      This has ALWAYS been the case. Devolution has never been about granting Scots more freedom for the simple sake of democracy: it’s always been about “keeping the Nats out.” Now the Nats are in, and wouldn’t you know it, not only are they doing a better job than the previous administrations, they’re outperforming the UK government – despite the severe ties and restrictions of Westminster’s reserved powers.

      The SNP have nowt to fear from the Scottish parties when it comes to independence: either they’re on side on this one issue (SSP, Greens) or they’re a laughing stock (WM local branches). That leaves the only true enemy the SNP ever had – the Westminster system itself. That’s why devolution was held off until the latest possible date, that’s why Holyrood was set up the way it was, that’s why the constant smear campaigns have gone in place. And guess what? SNP’s still standing. They’ve gone through Scottish Tories, Lib Dem and Labour like wet cardboard, and now face the final boss.

      @bjsalba: O/T Does anybody have good answer/riposte to “I don’t want to split this island” as their reason for not wanting Independence. Not one I’d heard before.

      Ask them if they’re aware the island is already,/b> split? There’s already a Scotland-England border. The Scottish NHS, education system, legal system etc are already “split.” And it isn’t as if there’s going to be a massive earthquake to split the very earth at Gretna Green. Ask them if they’re advocating for the Scottish parliament, NHS, education, law etc to be abolished and replaced by one used by the rest of the UK. Ask if they’d prefer for Scotland to be renamed North Britain, and referred to as a region rather than a country (even Wales & Northern Ireland are called countries these days).

    98. chalks says:

      We are ending the political union.


    99. Kev says:

      This is all clearly a ploy by the BT/MSM tag team to counter the big ad push by the Yes campaign over the next few months.

      It is quite telling that BT have confirmed that they won’t even try to counter it with a campaign of their own – they are obviously confident that getting the MSM to take seriously their empty promises of more powers and fill the airwaves with non-stop coverage of it will easily distract people away from the growing shift towards Yes.

      Well its not going to work and the outcome of Euro elections in May will hopefully force the remaining Don’t Knows/No’s to wake up to the reality that more powers are nothing more than complete fantasy…

    100. Vronsky says:

      Hard to see what could come from the E&C Committee meeting. My suggestion: call the bluff. Accept the Unionist pleading that Robertson’s research is tainted by his personal opinions and fund a new survey by AN Other to run until September. That’ll shut the bastards up.

    101. lumilumi says:

      Thanks, Taranaich, for answering that “split the island” question so well.

      My own automatic response would’ve been amusement at the idea of some cataclysmic seismic earth-shattering event taking place on 19 September. Or perhaps EWNI workfare serfs digging a huge ditch along Hadrian’s Wall (because, it seems, that’s where a lot of BritNats think the border is).

      The island of Great Britain is a geographical fact and no political or constitutional arrangement can change that. The only reason you should be worried about the geography seems to be if you conflate the geographical entity with the political entity, UK, or, indeed, England.

    102. Alan Mackintosh says:

      bjsalba. Look up the Iapetus Ocean, and you will find that we have been split before.

    103. gordoz says:

      Here’s one for the undecideds.

      “A commission on new powers 30 days after No vote”.

      Seriously – Why not before ? Why not now ? If its important then discuss it now. YES side have produced a white paper !

      Dont listen to the snake oil peddlers of the Union !
      Remember the track record; promises followed by in-action masked in smoke & mirrors.

    104. Jamie Arriere says:

      Re “split the island” refer them to the maps on this article which show the island is pretty much divided economically already

    105. Appleby says:

      This is their latest attempt to derail things and lie to the public. They will sow the seeds of confusion and hope that it will play on people’s naturally timid natures when it comes to big changes and their belief in what they see in the news somehow coming true or manifesting itself in some concrete way in their lifetimes that benefits them as they’d imagine it. It’s all so many ‘ifs’ that it’s clearly nonsense, but that’s not what they are counting on, they’re aiming for that back-of-the-mind vague thoughts that influence people. Hence the fearmongering to stir up uncertainty.

    106. Appleby says:

      Sell your house to me for half the market value…don’t worry, right after you sign the dotted line I’ll find you a rental that’s twice as big, includes free heating and electricity and is only five pounds a month…right after you sign it all to me.

    107. lumilumi says:

      O/T but to return to the New Zealand flag question.

      The Returned Services Association (RSA), a body representing veterans, is against changing the flag.

      The head of the Returned Services Association says a change in New Zealand’s flag could fail to recognise soldiers who had been killed and buried under it.

      Sound familiar? The Blood spilled under the common flag argument used by that retired military person sending begging letters on behalf of BT to Who’s Whos?

      Personally, I’d love to see the silver fern as the NZ national flag, it’s beautiful and distinctive – unlike the present flag, which is easily confused with the Australian flag. The poll in the link above has keeping the present flag at 41% and Silver Fern at 33%, with dribs and drabs for other flags.

      Thank god Scotland has a national flag of ancient standing so one less independence worry.

      My country’s national flag is a bit of an accident. It’s basically the one flown by Fennoman yacht clubs in the 19th century! At the time of independence (1917) other designs were also mooted but the blue Scandinavian cross on white background won, it was felt to stress our ties to the other Nordic countries and to the west. The blue stands for our thousands of lakes and the white for snow and purity.

      The national coat of arms is a gold (yellow) lion rampant on red background. The lion wields a straight (western) sword and tramples on a curved (eastern) scimitar. Curiously enough, the lion faces left (west, towards Sweden), maybe in a reminder that we won’t be part of the Swedish rik ever again, either.

      The national men’s ice-hockey team is called the Lions, the female team Lionesses. Kind of funny as lions have never roamed the Finnish bogs, but that’s quirks of heraldry for you. The national football team is called the Eagle Owls (Huuhkajat) because a resident eagle owl interrupted a Euro qualification match against Belgium that Finland went on to win. The national basketball team – who recently made their way to the world championships – are called the Wolf gang. I don’t know why, but at least wolves are indigineous animals in Finland. A pack of a half dozen or so regularly roam within 2 km of my parents’ place.

    108. Doug says:

      O/T but check this out. Seems Aberdeen Council are about to letterbomb their constituents with “Vote No” letters…

    109. bjsalba says:

      check out

      Unravelling the Royal Bank of Scotland

    110. Tamson says:

      Vronsky above has surely just suggested a good stretch goal for the WoS money: funding for an academic study of media bias on the referendum between now and September.

    111. Harry says:

      MajorBloodnok says:

      11 March, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Vote no and Westminster decides what powers Scotland will have.*

      Vote YES and we decide what powers Scotland will have.

      * Note, devolved powers may go down as well as up.
      THIS should be on a poster. Time to stop being wishy washy, although I do like the “What would you say ” one and passed one today in East Kilbride and thought it was placed in a very prominent position (opposite traffic lights) and looked impressive.

      I’d keep in the asterisk too.

    112. lumilumi says:

      @ Jamie Arriere 2.44pm

      Thanks for the maps.

      It reminds me of the first time I came to Britain as a somewhat naive twentysomething uni student in the late 1980s. I was amazed that the people we met in London described Birmingham as being in the North.

      I naively tried to point at a map, no it isn’t, it’s in the south. At best middle if you discount Scotland.

      The UK narrative is that anything north of London or the Home Counties is “North” and therefore alien and irrelevant. Scotland is not the only place to suffer from this London-centric mindset, most of England suffers, too.

      It’s not a unique UK problem. For instance, in Finland greater Helsinki dominates. But at least our weather maps don’t shrink the northern parts, and south, middle and north mean just that, geographically.

    113. More powers for scotland?What a load of bollocks!
      Devo max wasnt allowed on the ballot paper anyway, and what Ming and Brown are waffling about isant even that.
      I hope no one is taken in by this,as i dont believe any of the westminster parties will agree to any new powers.oh…they might cut the block grant though.

    114. David Agnew says:

      people should be reminded that Broon was the man who plundered pensions with utter impunity. Who sold half the UK’s gold reserve to prop up banks. Who tried and failed to get his hands on old bank accounts. Who wanted school kids to wear army uniforms and do square bashing after school. Now he is preying on the elderly in Scotland and telling them to be feart. “Be feart” he says “for the English pay yer pensions, so youse need to vote no so the English will keep paying them”

      Once again the narrative is of a Scotland that is not really part of the UK, merely a burden that gets more than it deserves. Increasingly I wonder how long it is, before they start asserting the Union never happened at all in a bid to prop up a no vote.

      This is the supreme ambition and vision for Scotland that labour cherishes…an enfeebled old wifey, picking up the pension on Tuesday, and skint again by Wednesday.

      The best of both worlds apparently.

    115. lumilumi says:

      @ Debbiethebruce

      The sad fact is that Westminster will never agree on any meaningful new powers to Scotland but they’d agree pretty quick to reduce the block grant. Because all Scots are heroin-addicted benefit scroungers, therefore undeserving poor, and they shouldn’t have things like modern infrastructure like proper roads or broadband internet connections or things like that.

      FFS, block grant. “Grant”!?!? As in something benevolently granted. A magnamious gift to the poor. Or “send us all your money and we’ll send some of it back and call you subsidy junkies and scroungers”.

      Scotland’s little pocket money while Scotland’s wealth is spent on London sewers. With independence, the drain the money goes down will at least be a Scottish drain.

    116. X_Sticks says:

      @Fergus Green

      “Is there anyone out there who can take a screen shot of this poll before it is consigned to oblivion?”

      Done, tweeted.

    117. Taranaich says:

      @lumilumi: The head of the Returned Services Association says a change in New Zealand’s flag could fail to recognise soldiers who had been killed and buried under it.

      You mean like how the original one fails to recognize the indigenous inhabitants? The Maori? Who were conquered, with thousands dead? Those inhabitants? Doesn’t the original flag fail to recognize THOSE people who were killed and buried under their own banners? What a sickening comment. Might as well argue the UK flag’s incorporation of the Irish Cross disrespected those who died under the earlier version.

      @MajorBloodnok: Vote no and Westminster decides what powers Scotland will have.*

      Vote YES and we decide what powers Scotland will have.

      * Note, devolved powers may go down as well as up.

      Beautiful, I love it.

      David Agnew: Who wanted school kids to wear army uniforms and do square bashing after school.

      God almighty, I didn’t know that one.

    118. lumilumi says:

      @ Taranaich re the NZ flag.

      Indeed, the present flag is a colonial flag and doesn’t represent the indiginous people, the Maori. The silver fern flag isn’t an obvious Maori symbol either, so palatable to all Kiwis, especially as the silver fern and black is already emblematic of their sports teams. But the flag of NZ is for the people of NZ to decide, as citizens of a small independent country.

      I’ve only been to NZ once, for a few days, but what struck me was how visible and celebrated Maori culture was, in contrast to Australia where aboriginal culture is all but obliterated and, where it survives, denigrated and ridiculed.

    119. Bernard is probably the fairest of all Unionist journalists, even for a Lib Dem. It seems to be accepted wisdom that some form of increased powers, however reluctantly would have to be granted in the event of a no vote. So what? The question of how much powers is hardly worth arguing about and it would make little or no difference either way, since they would be so relieved they would stick it to us anyway in every other conceivable way. There is little left, that is not nailed down, that they could steal from us anyway. None of these tiny , worthless concessions would be on offer if it weren’t for the “threat” of Independence, including the Devolution Act itself, Ex Enoch Powell said, “Power Devolved is Power Retained.

      In the event of a no vote we might as well lie back,think of Engerland and pull the Union Jack coffin lid over.

    120. TrueScot says:

      If we want independence. We must have our own currency. As it stands there is too much uncertainty. We can’t say for sure what currency we will use, whether or we get into the EU and plenty of other uncertainties. Events in the real world have overtaken our referendum.

    121. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “We can’t say for sure what currency we will use”

      Yes we can.

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top